Decided to make my Grognak the Barbarian character for New Vegas instead of trying it in Fallout 3. New Vegas begins with your character taking some serious head trauma, so it's the perfect setup for the character.
It didn't take long to make him. The first pre-made male character, who looks like the befuddled neighbor in a 50s sitcom, was almost perfect. I just made his hair gray and cranked up the age.
I plan on playing him as if he's a befuddled retiree turned psychotic nutjob, who truly thinks he is a barbarian -- a relentless warrior who constantly searches the apocalyptic wasteland for evil sorcerers, scantily-clad wenches, and a good Luby's.
Strength, endurance, and luck are the big stats -- the first two stats are obvious for a melee fighter, but I put just as many skill points into luck. It seemed right to me: a crazy old bastard roaming the Nevada wastes who thinks he's a fictional character would need a lot of luck if he planned on continuing to be a crazy old bastard roaming the Nevada wastes who thinks he's a fictional character.
Since his strength and endurance are so good, I'm going to use this character to attempt the hardcore mode. I figure his ability to eat things that would make a mutated billy goat puke will even the playing field.
It'll be interesting to see how his karma changes as the game progresses. I'm going for crazy bastard, certainly -- but a well-intentioned crazy bastard. I plan on having him attack most ghouls and mutants on sight, though -- which will make for an awkward conversation or two, like when Grognak suddenly charges out of a conveniently placed bush in the Nevada desert to bludgeon a ghoul caravan guard to death and then ask the traders if he can get a discount for his trouble:
GROGNAK (triumphant): I demand a discount for saving you from this foul wretch who lies dead before my mighty, Dr. Scholl's-adorned feet!
TRADER: That foul wretch was our guard! He was my friend!
GROGNAK (haughty ambivalence): You jest! He was sneaking up on you, ready to strike at any moment.
TRADER: He was walking fifteen feet in front of us!
GROGNAK (confused): Well...er...a cunning plan of his! The last thing you would expect!
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One last thing: I'm two hours in with Grognak and I already have the perfect outfit and equipment for him. It's a shame I'll have to trade them out later in the game. He's wearing the best old man clothes I can get: a plaid shirt, a sweater vest, and a fedora (too bad the checkered shorts, black dress socks, and sandals combo isn't in the game -- that would complete the look). His weapon of choice is a golf club, a 9 iron.
In his mind, though, he wears nothing but a loincloth (and a good hat -- 'cause, you know, it gets cold at night) and wields a strange, mystical sword that magically improves his short game...
Grognak the Barbarian (Level 1):
Starting Trained Skills: Melee Weapons; Survival; Unarmed
Starting Perks: Heavy Handed; Wild Wasteland