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> REQ: Build advice for a magician, self explanatory
Eleazar
post Oct 12 2006, 07:57 PM
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Here is what I have so far.

Fredericke
Dwarf Magician

***********THE CHARACTER HAS BEEN UPDATED A 2ND TIME*********

---ATTRIBUTES---
Body: 5
Agility: 2
Reaction: 3
Strength: 3
Charisma: 2
Intuition: 4
Logic: 5
Willpower: 6

Edge: 1
Magic: 5
Initiative: 7
Essence: 6

---Knowledge Skills---
English : N
Japanese (Speak) : 4

Magic Background (Path of the Mage) : 4
Spirits : 2
Black Markets (Magical Items) : 4
Security Procedures : 4
Safe Houses (Runner Safe Houses) : 3
Lone Star : 4

---Active Skills---
Assensing : 4
Spellcasting (Manipulation) : 6
Perception (Visual) : 3
Counterspelling (Combat spells) : 4
Con : 2
Etiquette : 1
Computer : 1
Data Search : 1
Summoning (Air Spirits): 4

---Qualities---
Raven Mentor Spirit -5BP
Magician -15BP
Sensitive System +15BP
Bad Luck +20 BP


---Tech Gear---
Commlink : CMT Clip
Sim Module
Trodes
Tag Eraser
Commlink : Renraku Sensei
Response Upgrade (5)
OS : Vector Xim
System UPGRADE (Rating 5)
Firewall UPGRADE (Rating 5)
Edit (Rating 5)
Browse (Rating 5)
Analyze (Rating 5)
Mapsoft (Rating 5)
Datasoft (Rating 5)

---Equipment---
Mage Sight Goggles
+Flare Compensation
+Image Link
+Vision Enhancement (Rating 3)
+Vision Magnification
Earbud
+ Audio Enhancement (Rating 3)
+ Select Sound Filter (Rating 3)
Plasteel Restraint
Plasteel Restraint
Stimulant Patch (Rating 6)
Stimulant Patch (Rating 6)
Stimulant Patch (Rating 3)
Fake Sin (Rating 4)
Fake Sin (Rating 1)
Fake Sin (Rating 1)
Magical Lodge Materials (Rating 6)
Combat Fetishe
Healing Fetishe
Sustaining Focus (Rating 3)
Detection Fetishe
Manipulation Fetishe
Biomonitor

---Spells---
Stunball
Heal
Increase Reflexes
Improved Invisibility
Physical Mask
Physical Barrier
Deflection
Fashion
Levitate
Mind Probe
Influence
Stunbolt

---Contacts---
Naomi (Talislegger) (L:4 C:4)

---Lifestyle---
LOWx3

---Vehicles---
Suzuki Mirage (Racing Bike)

---BP Allocation---
Metatype 25
Attributes 180
Special Attributes 40
Skills 112
Gear 14
Resources 36
Contacts 8
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Konsaki
post Oct 12 2006, 08:06 PM
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Sensitive System +15BP
The ever present awakened 'free BP' neg quality.

I notice that your character is going to be a total clutz with agility 1 and reaction 1. Hope you like tripping over curbs and falling down stairs.

If I remember correctly, you cant have 2 skills at rank 6 at char gen. (Summoning and Spellcasting)

I would rule that your Mage Goggles would have an availability that is too high for Char Gen with all those mods.

Lastly, I see you plan on having no contacts...
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lorechaser
post Oct 12 2006, 08:10 PM
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You're going to be in a *lot* of pain in combat. 1 agi, 1 reaction. No dodge. 3 body, no armor.

A single shot from the street sam, and you're in a lot of pain. A second shot, and you're likely down for the count.

And yes, one at 6 or two at 5.

Is your plan to be the mage sitting invisibly in a tree 500' away summoning spirits? It seems likely, based on your spells and skills. That's an option, but at some point, you have to get down and dirty, and you're in a lot of trouble then.

Why 4 ranks in infiltration? You have 1 agi. You're a clumsy bugger. And you have a several magical concealment spells. Don't pretend you're going to use the physical - just dump the points elsewhere, and go all magic.
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DireRadiant
post Oct 12 2006, 08:16 PM
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What's your goal? For all I know this might meet it perfectly.

My personal opinion only.

Attributes at 1 are bad, Edge of 1 is bad. Sensitive System questionable. No car, No Lifestyle, No Contacts. Can't tell if you are buying Computer and Influence group, thous I assume you are.

To shave points, consider dropping one level in a skill, and spend 2 BP in specialization that you will frequently use. e.g Perception 4 becomes Perception 3 (visual 5). This works really well with something like Security Procedures 3 (Lone Star 5) instead of the two separate skills.
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Eleazar
post Oct 12 2006, 08:30 PM
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Yeah it looks like I have some serious oversights. Ok, back to the drawing board. Thank you for the input.
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deek
post Oct 12 2006, 09:07 PM
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If you are going to be working with a lot of spirits (seeing you have summoning at 6, I have to believe you intend to), you will want your CHA increased, as that is the limit to your bound spirits.
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Eleazar
post Oct 12 2006, 09:28 PM
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Okay I made some changes. I could also use some help if I have made poor use of BP. I have a feeling I spent BP in places I shouldn't have. Maybe you can help me shave some BP off in the unnecessary places, so I can put it into some more important places.
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Fortune
post Oct 12 2006, 09:44 PM
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May I suggest ...

When you go back to the drawing board, you should concentrate first and foremost on what you want to do Magically. Magic can cover a lot of bases, sometimes better than, or in place of Skills. (The same can be said for Tech like Medkits, because when using the First Aid Skill alone, healing is limited to the Skill level.) If you don't envision your character using a certain Magic Skill, it is pointless to buy it at chargen.

[side rant] The same can be said for Skill Groups in general. While they can be a good deal, it is only true if you plan to make use of every Skill in that group. If you just want to fit in socially and tell the occasional lie, then you are better off getting Con and Etiquette than the whole Influence group. [/side rant]

Only after you are happy with the Magic side of the character, then go back and fill in the blanks, either from a useful or background point-of-view.
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Eleazar
post Oct 13 2006, 01:10 AM
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Ok, I just rebuilt the guy from the ground up and made some new decisions. I took into account what Fortune said and some others.

DEEK:
I only have a charisma of 1 because I won't be binding any spirits. Since the limit of unbound spirits is 1 anyways, it doesn't really matter. If I was going to use the tactic you said, I would have actually chosen to be a shaman.
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Fortune
post Oct 13 2006, 01:26 AM
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I'd skip the Astral Combat altogether, and just use magic on anything Astral.

If you are not concerned with Spirits whatsoever, the I'd suggest a form of Spirit Blast, which is great for dealing with those pesky Watcher Attack Packs™. ;)

You might even think about skipping Summoning altogether, the better to concentrate on slingin' spells.

Speaking of Spells, you seem to have a few too many.

I'd definitely pick up a Rating 6 Medkit. Maybe drop some of that extra stuff from your Commlink until after the game starts, and you can get it custom-made for you by the team's Hacker.

Speaking of Hacking (or more technically, Computers), how much do you plan to have your character interact with that type of tech? The reason I ask is that the points used in Data Search and Computer might be better used elsewhere, unless those Skills are integral to your character concept.

All in all though, the character is starting to look a lot more cohesive and playable. :)
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Slithery D
post Oct 13 2006, 02:12 AM
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QUOTE (Fortune)
Speaking of Spells, you seem to have a few too many.

He has six too many, and I was increasingly amazed as I read down this thread that no one mentioned it.

The maximum number of spells you can have at character creation is two times the higher of your Spellecasting or Ritual Spellcasting (yeah, right) skills. You have Spellcasting 5, so you're only allowed to have ten spells; you have sixteen, which no one can have. Cut four spells, save 12 BP, spend 4 of them on bumping your Spellcasting to 6 so you can have 12. You need to max out your spellcasting abilities if you're not going to be binding.
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Fortune
post Oct 13 2006, 02:22 AM
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QUOTE (Slithery D)
He has six too many, and I was increasingly amazed as I read down this thread that no one mentioned it.

I was trying for subtle understatement. ;)

Honestly, I never even glanced at the Spell list until my last post, as it was largely irrelevent in the light of other, more glaring needs.
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Eleazar
post Oct 13 2006, 03:01 AM
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Thanks, you guys are awesome. I will make the changes tomorrow.
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Eleazar
post Oct 13 2006, 01:55 PM
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Alright made the chagnes. I completely took away summoning and astral combat. I then used those points to make spellcasting 6 and added specialization combat spells to counterspelling. I increased my logic and willpower up by 1 to 5 and 6. I added the pilot groundcraft skill to 1. I also now have 12 spells instead of 16 ;). Any other pointers?


One thing I forgot that somebody recommended. I have the programs at all rating 5 because our team isn't going to have any hackers. We are all very new to Shadowrun version 4 and the GM doesn't feel capable of doing any matrix stuff yet. So that means no hacker's allowed. On the otherhand, I know the GM and I know I better have protection from NPCs hacking me. Yeah it doesn't make sense, but oh well.

Another thing too. The computer and datasearch are there just so my character will be capable of using a computer well enough to protect himself. If I did have a hacker on the team I would kiss these goodbye without any worries. I would also throw away all those programs I bought too since the hacker could just crack his and give them to me. I have to be at least able to keep out the rift raft, script kiddies, and mediocre hackers out of my commlink. It's the only thing I could think of to cover myself.
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Slithery D
post Oct 13 2006, 02:29 PM
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You can't default on Astral Combat or Summoning. Unless you have a character concept that never conjures and is helpless if attacked astrally in a high background count, I'd keep a point in each somehow. If you don't plan on ever using conjuring, then lose Bad Luck quality and take some Incompetencies in the conjuring group skills and find the other 5 points somewhere else.

How to pay for a point each in Summoning and Astral Combat?

First, I'd lose the point in Pilot Groundcar. You can drive without it, and can even default to 2 dice if you need to make a vehicle test of some sort. If you're needing to make enough tests that 4 dice is enough better than 2 that its worth forgoing Summoning entirely there's a problem with your character concept.

Second, trim a point from Computer or Data Search. I like that you took them because they make you not purely one dimensional and they're the kind of skills a hermetic mage might have, but these are flavor skills rather than anything you'll do much, especially if you've got a hacker. With skill 2 you're rolling only 7 dice; with no skill you'd still roll 4. Settle for 6 with skill level 1.

Do that and you can have a point in Astral Combat and Summoning, and go from zero dice to six, enabling you to dodge some damage if ambushed in the astral and to summon still useful Force 3 or so spirits.

I'd personally trim another point from Computer/Data Search (make them both 1s) and use it on something else that either can't be defaulted on or is more useful. Pick something and fit it into his background/concept. Maybe he took flying lessons once and has Pilot Aircraft 1, which might somehow save your ass down the road if you need to steal something and no one else knows how to get it off the ground without the disabled autopilot. Or First Aid to maximize your high Logic and mop up damage you can't Heal.

Finally, I note that you didn't list Magician under your qualities. Did you pay the 15 BP but not put it here, or not pay it at all? Also, put somewhere on there your tradition and which mentor spirit you have.
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Eleazar
post Oct 13 2006, 03:24 PM
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First of all, yes, I payed for magician; I forgot to list it.

I would like to have the ability of summoning because it adds a heck of a lot more versatility to my character. I agree with your reasoning behind Astral Combat too, but I would rather have 3 in summoning. I should also choose to specialize in summoning a certain spirit for 2 BP. That way the 3 in it isn't so bad. Do you have any recommendations? To get the 2BP for it I am thinking about getting rid of my specialization in fast talk for the con skill.

EDIT:
Ok I made the changes. I decided against the Astral Combat. I put Summoning to 3 and haven't decided what spirits to specialize in.

EDIT AGAIN:
Just made another change. I put Etiquette down to 1 and made Summoning 4. I still haven't chosen a spirit type to specialize in.
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Slithery D
post Oct 13 2006, 04:03 PM
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You could pick a mentor and summoning speciality that stack. As far as which one would be good, I think for a mage Air/Fire/Man are the best choices. Fire is the best combat killer, Air hits and dodges just a little bit better if you don't mind stun damage, and Man is great for utility with Innate Spell.

You might also want to change your Spellcasting specialty. Throwing another couple of dice for a combat spell may be less useful than for Detection or (especially) Manipulation spells, and you know five Manipulation but only two Combat spells. If roleplaying and character concept weren't an issue, you might go with Raven for a mentor and specialize in Manipulation and Air. You'll have 15 dice for Deflection, Physical Barrier, Influence, and Levitate. (And, uh, Fashion...) An extra success on those spells can be more meaningful than an extra box of stun damage from Stunbolt, especially since that's a low drain spell you can just boost the Force on for more base damage. And with Air you'll be tossing 13 dice, plenty to get good services from a Force 5 spirit who in combat can do stun damage to mop up/combine with whatever damage you did with Stunbolt/Stunball.

Other good mentors for dice maximization, not necessarily role playing, might be Phoenix (+2 Health/Fire, -1 Binding which you don't have) and Fire Bringer (+2 Manipulation/Fire, -1 Illusion). Since you can't do physical damage with your spells, maxing Fire elementals would be a good fit for the gap. Summon Fire elemental, hide under Physical Invisibility/Deflection, let him do your fighting for you.
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Thanee
post Oct 13 2006, 04:08 PM
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QUOTE
---Active Skills---
Assensing : 4
Spellcasting (Combat) : 6
Perception (Visual) : 3
Counterspelling (Combat spells) : 4
Con : 2
Etiquette : 1
Computer : 1
Data Search : 1
Summoning (??? Spirits): 4


Instead of Con/Etiquette/Computer/Data Search you could get Influence 1 and Electronics 1, that gives you -1 to Con but 4 additional skills!!

Maybe you should remove some specializations (i.e. from Spellcasting and Summoning) and get Pilot Ground Craft 1, so you can actually drive that bike you listed there. ;)

Bye
Thanee
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Fortune
post Oct 13 2006, 04:22 PM
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QUOTE (Thanee)
Instead of Con/Etiquette/Computer/Data Search you could get Influence 1 and Electronics 1, that gives you -1 to Con but 4 additional skills!!

I disagree! Unless the player envisions the character ever using (in this example) Software, Hardware, Leadership, and/or Negotiation in any but the more dire of emergencies, then it really isn't that great of a deal. Sure you get more skills, but if they are just words on the paper and don't get used, then what's the point?

Another, albeit minor reason to pick up individual Skills as opposed to Groups is that you cannot purchase a Specialization on any Skill included in one of your Groups at chargen.
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Slithery D
post Oct 13 2006, 04:22 PM
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You don't need Pilot Ground Craft to drive! You only need it to make tests, like Crash Tests. Even then, you can default to Reaction.

Look at the skill level examples on SR4 pg. 108. Skill 0 is equivalent to: "Basic operator's license. Can get from here to there, but can't handle driving in adverse conditions." If he plans to get into enough chases to justify taking a point in the skill, I don't think two more dice (one for skill, one for not defaulting) are going to save his ass.
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Fortune
post Oct 13 2006, 04:25 PM
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QUOTE (Thanee)
Maybe you should remove some specializations (i.e. from Spellcasting and Summoning) and get Pilot Ground Craft 1, so you can actually drive that bike you listed there.

It is stated in the rules that most people do not actually have a driving (or Compuer) Skill, and that defaulting is kinda the norm. Remember that unless the Skill specifically prohibits defaulting, then the Average untrained Joe could normally have a shot (2 in 3 chance) at accomplishing something fairly basic.
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lorechaser
post Oct 13 2006, 04:43 PM
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And now that he has a reaction in the reasonable range, he can drive just fine.

With a reaction of 1, I'd say you're hosed. 3 is fine for normal stuff, jsut don't try to get away from anyone....
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Eleazar
post Oct 13 2006, 05:50 PM
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QUOTE (Fortune)
QUOTE (Thanee @ Oct 14 2006, 02:08 AM)
Instead of Con/Etiquette/Computer/Data Search you could get Influence 1 and Electronics 1, that gives you -1 to Con but 4 additional skills!!

I disagree! Unless the player envisions the character ever using (in this example) Software, Hardware, Leadership, and/or Negotiation in any but the more dire of emergencies, then it really isn't that great of a deal. Sure you get more skills, but if they are just words on the paper and don't get used, then what's the point?

Another, albeit minor reason to pick up individual Skills as opposed to Groups is that you cannot purchase a Specialization on any Skill included in one of your Groups at chargen.

Yeah I agree with that. I know for sure I will never use negotiation, leadership, hardware, or software. The first two are things only a face would need and the latter two are things only a hacker would need. I would rather have 1 more on my con.

I chose to go with the air spirits. I am taking the raven mentor spirit.

Lastly, are there any gripes about the spells I picked or are those good to go. Should I trade one of the spells or two of the spells for some physical damage ones?

Oh yeah, thank you everyone for your input so far; it has been really helpful.
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lorechaser
post Oct 13 2006, 05:54 PM
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Input is fun!

My first SR4 character was made using only Daegann (sp?) chargen.

I think my GM actually went in to catatonic shock after reading it....

"WHAT DID YOU DO?!"

He still won't let me live it down, 9 characters later....

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Fortune
post Oct 13 2006, 06:21 PM
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Although I don't know what I'd remove from the list for it, as I said before, I'd definitely consider SpiritBall (SpiritBlast?), especially when you are not going to be dealing with friendly Spirits to any great degree. It has the bonus effect of being able to be cast right on top of you (and/or the rest of your party) with no fear of damage due to 'friendly fire'.
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