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> Are Street Samurai obsolete?, well, are they?
JonathanC
post Sep 8 2006, 09:23 PM
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To be honest, I'm not seeing a lot of great reasons to play one, and I certainly don't see any reasons to bring one along on a run. They're difficult to heal with magic, they set off cyberware scanners at security checkpoints, and due to essence loss, they aren't really all that pleasant to be around. So why put up with them?

Adepts can easily equal the skill of a street sam in melee or ranged combat, and with smartlinked contact lenses, they've finally caught up to the one advantage Sams had in 3rd edition.

If you need heavy weapons, well...there's nothing stopping an adept from carrying a Panther XL cannon, or you could save yourself the storage space and just hire a competent combat mage.

Most of the other benefits of cyberware/bioware can be approximated with equipment. The only real exceptions are minor combat buffs like platelet factories (yes, that's a nice buff, but you can live without it quite well). Internal air tank? Just wear a breath mask and oxygen on your next run. Cyber spurs? Why bother when you can have Critical Strike and Killing Hands?

Is there anything that a Street Sam can do that a Magician or Adept can't do better, more quietly, and with greater chance of success?
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Cold-Dragon
post Sep 8 2006, 09:27 PM
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Cyber sams are genuinely easier to create, which is their main advantage over mages and some adepts - they depend on wholesome bodies, while as a cyber warrior you obviously aren't entirely required to do that (killing yourself with stuff is bound to have an effect on anyone).

Also, when you lose a cyber arm, you can get it replaced without too much fuss. a mage doesn't have that benefit so much, etc, etc.


mages and adepts got power, but when they get hurt, they are in big trouble. cyber sammies can survive.

That, and since only 1 or so percent of populations are suppose to be awakened (or something like that) cyber sammies should be more common in the first place.
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JonathanC
post Sep 8 2006, 09:32 PM
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The population figures suggest that magicians should be rare, but the player characters are supposed to be somewhat exceptional in the first place, so that doesn't really affect character generation. Adepts are easier than Street Sams to create, since you don't have to calculate essence loss (remember, bioware and cyberware essence losses are tracked separately, since you add all of the essence loss from the higher category and half of the essence loss from the lower category to determine final essence loss), or how much any of it costs. It's just power points with adepts, which are done in simple whole numbers and easy-to-add decimals (.25, .5, .75, etc.).

Likewise, limb loss is not all that common in gameplay. Yes, it could happen, but it could also not happen. And it isn't really all that hard to heal an Awakened person. First of all, most of them can heal themselves, far better than a medkit-using Street Sam can. You get penalties for using first aid on yourself (in addition to wound penalties), but not for casting heal on yourself.

Mages and adepts, as near as I can tell, are simply superior to street samurai. Nobody would voluntarily hire a street sam for one of their teams if they could get an adept or mage instead.
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Exodus
post Sep 8 2006, 09:39 PM
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A samurai isn't hte onlyone that is going to be setting off sensors, your Rigger and Hackers will also trigger such sensors.

Mages are pretty squishy and like it was said before samurai can take a bloody hit.

Mages can be the most powerful toon in the game, but don't start with immense power and must spend lots of karma to get there.

Samurai get alot of their power upfront, have expirience in demoltion, tacticle situations, and can pump out plenty of hurt.
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DireRadiant
post Sep 8 2006, 09:39 PM
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If you choose to remove limits, either in character generation, or during play, in mechanics and or setting, then you are absolutely correct that magic beats all.

I personally don't find any problem myself wanting to and finding people to play cybered up street samurai.

If you can't find a reason to play one or to have them, then don't. That's up to you.

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Jaid
post Sep 8 2006, 09:39 PM
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basically, the advantage to sammies in SR4, imo, is that you can fit them onto something else.

for example, you can have a hacker/street sam fairly easily. you can make a face/street sam pretty easy too, or a rigger/street sam.

the main advantage is basically that they are not very BP intensive compared to some other archetypes (in particular, they don't spend 50+ BP on their magic score).

and of course, i would personally say that you'll see a lot more sammies using bioware for most questionable gear... most of what's left should be stuff that people don't care about as much (cybereyes/ears, implanted commlink maybe, skillwires, control rig, etc... the kind of stuff you could reasonably have legitimately).

i would have to agree that generally speaking, the street sam as a pure combat machine focusing exclusively on killing stuff is not quite as amazing any more. that being said though, i can still see room for them, even with adepts and mages
around.

[edit] oh yeah, and essence loss has nothing to do with them being pleasant to be around, mechanically speaking. [/edit]

This post has been edited by Jaid: Sep 8 2006, 09:41 PM
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WorkOver
post Sep 8 2006, 09:45 PM
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I keep reading this crap, and the only reason I can see is for the style preference.

Give me a troll Sam, with cyber, and I will show you crazy stats.

Add the rules with the way essence works, you can make some crazy combos.


Sams can also be duel purpose very very easily.

Awakened always need to upkeep thier power with constant karma cost.

Samurai can be GREAT at combat starting off, then with karma become a face, fence, hacker, rigger and armourer.

The main issue I found with most pick up games, is that the game is too based on combat, and not enough character.

I am an old gamer from the 1979 dungeon crawl ways of D&D, in my old age now, our groups are 95% story, 5% combat.

Lots of roleplaying our way out of fights, we also tend to make older charatcers with pages of story.

Kind of like my name's-sake, Workover.

He was a troll physical adept, he was a prowrestling fanatic, had killing hands.

His unarmed combat skill was 6, he had throwing weapons 5(non aerodynamic 7), and that is where those skill stayed.

248 karma, 3-4 years later, he had a cooking skill of 8, and a cajun cooking specialty of 12.

He was from the Bayou, and he was Creole. He ended up opening a restraunt in Seattle that specialised in troll sized portions of spicy Cajun food. It was all real food, and the prices where cheap. I pumped all of his money he ever earned shadowrunning in to the restraunt, and the wife and 4 kids he ended up having.

He died and old man, happy, and rich when 4th edition came out.

See, is story driven games, a mage is no better.


In a combat based game, a Samurai will still be great for a group for the many many roles he can perform. Magic users are stuck, and I would say that 90% of spell casters have the same tired ass spell lists:

Stun
Mana Bolt
power bolt
Stun Ball
Mana Ball
Power Ball
Death touch
(generic indirect combat spell)
Heal
Invisibilty
Improved Invisibilty
Heal

EDITED: Add in Armour, and Ram



Wow, how fun.
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Butterblume
post Sep 8 2006, 09:50 PM
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Adepts allready have their new nifty stuff. Sams are still waiting for Augmentation...
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Zen Shooter01
post Sep 8 2006, 09:50 PM
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Samurai have what they have always had. Sheer firepower.
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JonathanC
post Sep 8 2006, 09:51 PM
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QUOTE (Exodus)
A samurai isn't hte onlyone that is going to be setting off sensors, your Rigger and Hackers will also trigger such sensors.

Mages are pretty squishy and like it was said before samurai can take a bloody hit.

Mages can be the most powerful toon in the game, but don't start with immense power and must spend lots of karma to get there.

Samurai get alot of their power upfront, have expirience in demoltion, tacticle situations, and can pump out plenty of hurt.

I'm talking about characters are the start of the game. At the start of the game, a mage is easily going to have armor equal to or exceeding that of a street samurai, will have more initiative passes, and can do more damage to a larger number of people at once without causing structural damage, using direct combat spells.

Mages don't have to be squishy, and an Adept won't be squishy at all. An adept will likely be physically equal to a Street Sam at character generation, and will only become more powerful as time goes on, while a street samurai starts out near their peak of power. There's nothing stopping an Adept or Mage from taking skills in demolitions and tactics, so that's not really an advantage for street sams either.

While it's true that riggers and hackers will have trouble with cyberware scanners, it's worth the trouble, because they can do things that a mage or adept can't do. Technomancers are nice and all, but they get penalized for cyberware. A Hacker can easily have 3 IPs with no real impact on their hacking ability, while a TM is going to lose resonance, and thus hacking ability.
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Lantzer
post Sep 8 2006, 09:53 PM
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I'd say it depends on the sort of game you play in.

If its karma rich and money poor, the Street sams go the way of the dodo.
If its the other way 'round, Street sams are common.

If you are buried in Karma and money, then you'll see .05 Essense cybered Magical Adept initiates tossing spells while readying their dikoted cyberspur weapon foci.

Then going home to sleep with their AVS ally spirit, of course.

Because we all know the real route to power for those who care is to not have to choose between magic and metal. Oh, they'd also be human, for the edge.
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Glayvin34
post Sep 8 2006, 09:55 PM
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I play an Ork Hacker with enough 'ware to be considered a street sam, he can kick some ass with firearms.

The biggest benefit I see in a Street Sam is the toughness that comes along with cyberlimbs. Two lower arms (about 20,000 nuyen plus a few thousand to increase the attributes) give two more damage boxes on the condition modifier. And I plan on grabbing two cyberfeet in the near future to give 2 more. There is literally no other way to get more of those boxes apart from increasing the Body attribute, which has a cap and only contributes a damage box every two points.
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JonathanC
post Sep 8 2006, 09:59 PM
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QUOTE (Zen Shooter01)
Samurai have what they have always had. Sheer firepower.

What firepower? Anybody can use guns.
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hyzmarca
post Sep 8 2006, 10:00 PM
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In a balanced game, Samurai progress far faster than awakened characters. Awakened characters have their more core stats than most samurai (magical skills, magic rating, drain attributes) which must be raised with karma and they have a wide variety of extras (ally, initiation, anchors, quickened spells, foci, ect.) which also cost karma.
Samurai have their core stats (firearms, agility, ect.) which cost karma and extras (cyberware) that cost money.

In a balanced game a samurai is more of a gnerealist while an awakened character will be forced to specialized simply due to the wide variety of options available to the awakened character combined with limited karma.
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mfb
post Sep 8 2006, 10:02 PM
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street sams tend to be skillmonkies. it's easy to be a street sam/face/electronics specialist. not so easy to be a jack of all trades as a mage.
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Glayvin34
post Sep 8 2006, 10:13 PM
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QUOTE (mfb)
street sams tend to be skillmonkies. it's easy to be a street sam/face/electronics specialist. not so easy to be a jack of all trades as a mage.

I hear that. In a team with an Gun-fu Adept, a combat mage and a Troll Gun Bunny, my character has managed to be face, rigger, hacker and (obviously) does all the team's legwork. And there was still room to give him 2 in the Athletics and Stealth skill groups. It's easy to be Jack of all trades and Master of a few as a street sam crossbreed type deal.
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craigpierce
post Sep 8 2006, 10:21 PM
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QUOTE (JonathanC)
...(remember, bioware and cyberware essence losses are tracked separately, since you add all of the essence loss from the higher category and half of the essence loss from the lower category to determine final essence loss)...

what?!? i'm an idiot - where does it say that?
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Glayvin34
post Sep 8 2006, 10:24 PM
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QUOTE (craigpierce)
QUOTE (JonathanC @ Sep 8 2006, 03:32 PM)
...(remember, bioware and cyberware essence losses are tracked separately, since you add all of the essence loss from the higher category and half of the essence loss from the lower category to determine final essence loss)...

what?!? i'm an idiot - where does it say that?

Page 84.
Believe me, you are not the first to miss that. Got some more essence now, eh?
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2bit
post Sep 8 2006, 10:28 PM
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It is a bit daunting for sam lovers to see everyone else horning in on their territory... SR3 made adept powers as good or better than cyber in most instances (with the notable exception of attribute increasing powers) and today we have things like non cyber smartlinks providing the same bonuses as their implanted versions. There was a recent thread about how to more clearly define the cybered warrior's role and advantage. In my opinion being tough and taking hits could be the thing they do better than others. If you revert Mystic Armor back to impact bonus only, and tweak the cyberlimb rules and stats so that they don't suck, samurai can really pull out ahead in damage resistance power.
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craigpierce
post Sep 8 2006, 10:33 PM
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QUOTE (Glayvin34)
QUOTE (craigpierce @ Sep 8 2006, 05:21 PM)
QUOTE (JonathanC @ Sep 8 2006, 03:32 PM)
...(remember, bioware and cyberware essence losses are tracked separately, since you add all of the essence loss from the higher category and half of the essence loss from the lower category to determine final essence loss)...

what?!? i'm an idiot - where does it say that?

Page 84.
Believe me, you are not the first to miss that. Got some more essence now, eh?

thanks!
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Thanee
post Sep 8 2006, 10:39 PM
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Dunno, I still see the cyberwarriors with a clear advantage, especially initially. Adepts are good at one or maybe two things, while a street samurai can easily be good at a lot more.

Of course, in the long run, the adepts have a clear advantage with the technically unlimited Magic attribute, but that takes long to get there. In the meantime, the samurais are improving much faster, thanks to the cheaper (compared to initiation, if such can be compared) cyber-/bioware.

Bye
Thanee
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ShadowDragon
post Sep 8 2006, 10:59 PM
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In my game, the sammy kicks a lot more ass than the mage. The mage has to spend a lot of BP/karma to shoot off a single manabolt per IP, while the sammy spent a fraction of the cost to shoot off 2 bursts with 0 recoil per IP that outdamages the manabolt almost every time. Meanwhile, the sammy didn't have to spend the BP the mage did for magic stats/skills so he can spend it to be good with drones, more resistant to damage, and more able to do a variety of other skills.

I also wanted to add that in every mock 1 on 1 fight between the group sammy and the mage, the sammy won.
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JonathanC
post Sep 8 2006, 11:06 PM
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QUOTE (Thanee)
Dunno, I still see the cyberwarriors with a clear advantage, especially initially. Adepts are good at one or maybe two things, while a street samurai can easily be good at a lot more.

Of course, in the long run, the adepts have a clear advantage with the technically unlimited Magic attribute, but that takes long to get there. In the meantime, the samurais are improving much faster, thanks to the cheaper (compared to initiation, if such can be compared) cyber-/bioware.

Bye
Thanee

What improvements is the Sam going to be buying? The ones that would take his essence below zero? Or the ones he already bought at character generation? How many cybereyes does one guy need? :)
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Lagomorph
post Sep 8 2006, 11:08 PM
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I think a street sams' usefulness comes from their adaptability. A street sam will often have the firearms skill group rather than just one of the skills. So they can pick up and use (nearly) any weapon where because of the BP cost for mages and adepts of their magic stat, they're more likely to pick up just one weapon skill or the group at a much lower level.

A sam should be able to pick up just about anything and use it as a weapon, and use any weapon that he finds decently.
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Thanee
post Sep 8 2006, 11:11 PM
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Oh, you can fit a lot of stuff into 6 points of Essence. :D

Bye
Thanee
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