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> Bryce's Character Thread, Seems like a good idea generator
Bryce963
post Dec 19 2006, 12:04 AM
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Allrighty, my latest greatest idea for a character to be played over the xmas break. After getting Threats at Halfprice the other day, I wanted a blood mage, heres the story, also seeing Apocalypto helped, a nice flick. Ill post what I have of stats, I'm almost done with equipment and contacts, so completeness will come soon.

Note, I'm GM, so a blood mage is no problem, it doesn't really seem that powerful to me, except for blood spirits, and that would take a long time to get that much karma.


At an early age Juan Xiatl had awakened and been enducted into the state priesthood of Aztlan, in his hometown of Nuevo Laredo, near the old Texas border. Xipe Totec, the Aztec Flayed Man, had chosen Juan to be his patron, being chosen by a god greatly elevated him in the ranks, he become a leader amongst the lower priests, helping the high priests with sacrifices, and participating in ritual magics. Excelling in the dual nature of his patron, as a god of sacrifice and fertility, combat and health magic came easily to him, but at the cost of great temper and confrontational nature. During a week long harvest festival, he was promoted to full priest, as he would be needed as a devotee of a major harvest god to perform the final sacrifice to power a ritual to make the fields fertile. Unknown to the population, the sacrifices actaully powered magic to protect and help them, on the final night, an awakened human had to be sacrificed to fully power the spells, Juan's brother Jose had awoke as an adept a month earlier. Possed by his god Juan performed the ceremony in a trance, flaying his brothers skin, and dancing through the streets wearing it on the way to bless the fields. At the fields, where the ritual was completed, his religous fervor broke, and he realized what he had done, using the power of his brothers blood he cast a spell more powerful than he could imagine, slaughtering the high priests, who weren't excpecting to need to defend themselves, and fled northwest.
Making his way through the desert, dieing of thirst and starving, a cactus began to speak to him. Promisng to nourish him and get him through the desert in exchange for his blood, and servitude, Juan impaled his hands on the cactus spines, sealing the spirit pact. Xacatl, was a free plant spirit, with a taste for blood, which had nourished the cactus' roots from Spanish slaughtered Indians, he knew the secrets to turn blood into power, something that Juan had not been yet strong enough to learn in the priesthood.
Walking through the desert and over the mountains to Denver, he got there much faster than he could understand, waking up in a differnt place than he had fallen asleep, and always walking, his feet leaving a bloody trail. The plant spirit had merged with his totem, becoming one in the same, appearing to him as a man shaped cactus, draped with his brothers skin, held on by blood covered thorns. Taking jobs in Denver as a Shadowrunner came naturally to him, especially when he helped to ferret out the remaining AZT reistance, his knowledge of thier methods and mindset made him perfect for this role.
Earning enough to get to Seattle, the last Strong hold of AZT, and therfore Atzlan, in North America, he set up shop with a freind of a freind of his Denver Fixer. His reputation for bad luck, and bloodthirstyness had followed him, but so had the rumors of his prowess as magical support.

Juan goes by the street name of Johnny Flay, looking like a typical Aztlaner immigrant, except for the tattoos that cover his body, black geometric shapes and designs, usually hidden under his clothing, or his constanly worn respirator, more of a comfort thing than a neccessity, he had much worse pollution while training in Mexico City than Seattle could dream of. He carries an obsidian knife with a jade handle, formerly used to cut the skin from sarcifice victims, it is much stronger than it appears, to the suprise of many who think thier armor will save them from a stone knife, it is also just as deadly to spirits. He usually wears a long flowing leather coat, with attached hood, sublty inscribed with patterns similar to those on his skin.

His goals in life are gain power enough so that Xacatl will teach him actaul blood magic, and he wants to bring down AZT, thinking that they have corrupted the true Aztec religion. Xacatl has similar goals, it wants karma to become more powerful, he doesn't usually demand it from Juan in exchange for using its powers, the loan of spells is enough, but the real payment is the use of Juan while he is asleep. Xacatl possesses him at night, and there sure is a reduction of homeless people in the area where Juan lives, its ultimate aspirations are the become a blood spirit, but Juan has a lot to learn before that is possible. The spirit is fine with biding its time and sacrificing humans in hopes that it can uncover the secerets of how exactly to be turned into a blood spirit. So far the Star hasn't cared enough about the area or people to do anything about it, but one wrong choice by Xacatl, or Jauns face on camera could launch an investigation. Thankfully Juan's astral signature doesn't last very long, and he is covered by both a respirator and a shamanic mask while possesed by the spirit.

Ok now to the crunchy bits.

Juan Xiatl, aspiring blood mage
human
B3, A3, R4, S3, C3, I4, l3, W4 EDG 2, M5 Int 8
Positive qualities:
Magician, Spirit Pact(Edge 2), Mentor Spirit Xipe Totec(Dark Goddess), Astral Chameleon
Negative qualties:
Sensative System, Bad Luck

Skills:
Sorcery group 4
Conjuring group 4
blades(Knives) 4+2
Astral Combat 3
Assensing 2
Automatics 3

Knowledge Skills/Languages:
Aztlaner Spanish N
English 3
S)Corp Sec procedures(AZT) 3+2
P)Magical Backgound(Aztec) 5+2
A)Magic Ritual(Aztec) 3+2
S)Smugglers(Denver-Seattle) 1+2
I)Aztlan Trid Sports 2

Spells Known:
Manaball
Powerbolt
Increase Reflexes
Heal
Chaotic World
Control Thoughts
Deflection

Relevent equipment
Force 2 weapon Focus(Obsidian Knife)
Force 3 health Focus( Jade Bead Bracelet)
and a force 5 lodge in his apartment, on the Tacoma side of Puyallup
other assorted weapons and such, not that big of a deal, fake SIN etc.

So what yall think?



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Konsaki
post Dec 19 2006, 12:14 AM
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Mages cant bind weapon foci
Edit: never mind, I was wrong
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Glyph
post Dec 19 2006, 03:43 AM
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Actually a pretty well-put-together character.

People will probably point out the lack of any social skills, although with the SR4 concept of "rating 0 skills", you can actually get by with it a lot easier than you could in SR3. Still, he will be rolling just one dice for most social skill tests. If you can't spare the points now, you should make it a priority to get at least Etiquette: 1 at your first opportunity.

Two other skills that I consider essential are dodge (you can parry with the knife, but you still want some dice to help you avoid ranged attacks), and perception. Perhaps you could drop the automatics skill in favor of dodge, and get assensing and perception both at 1 instead of assensing at 2. The ranged weapon skill is really the only non-essential one that you have, since you already have spells. Yes, it's good to have something to fall back on, but maybe it could wait until you get more karma.

My initial reaction to the edged weapons skill was to think that it was a bit high for a character not optimized for melee. But then I looked at the stats for things like humanis thugs and gangers. You could probably deal with that level of opponent just using a knife. Just remember that you are still not a sammie, so don't go head to head with cybered people who generally have higher Body and more damaging attacks. You might consider reversing the astral and meatbody skills, though.

Usually skill groups are not worth it, but in your case, you probably will use every one of those skills. So for the point cost savings, the two magical skill groups are worth giving up being able to get a 5 or 6 with specialization. You can always do that later, and a 4 should probably be enough for you to survive. It's a pity about the low Edge, since that Attribute can be so useful, but sometimes you have to cut something when you are putting the character together.
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Clyde
post Dec 19 2006, 05:22 AM
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Ditto the dodge skill. That can factor heavily into your survivability. At least pick it up at rating 1 so you can grab the specialization in Ranged dodge for cheap.
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Lord Ben
post Dec 19 2006, 05:33 AM
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From a powergamy standpoint drop the edge to 1 because those 10pts can be spent on dodge (ranged) 2+2 and you'd be much more effective. The edge 2 only costs 6 karma to raise ingame. Then drop automatics to 1 and get 4 dodge.

But if you're the DM and are can fudge with the xp progression that's fine.
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Kesslan
post Dec 19 2006, 06:00 AM
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Also keep in mind obsidan knives while they can be quite sharp, are also somewhat fragile. So in the realm of modern combat knives it's not all that useful alas. Of course if it's really only ment as a sort of sacrificial knife for use in powering blood magic and such it should serve the purpose quite well.

Overall a fairly decent character if you make the previously mentioned suggestions others have made into account.
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Glyph
post Dec 19 2006, 06:20 AM
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QUOTE (Lord Ben)
From a powergamy standpoint drop the edge to 1 because those 10pts can be spent on dodge (ranged) 2+2 and you'd be much more effective.  The edge 2 only costs 6 karma to raise ingame.  Then drop automatics to 1 and get 4 dodge.

But if you're the DM and are can fudge with the xp progression that's fine.

He's a human, though. An Edge of 2 is his minimum already.
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Wakshaani
post Dec 19 2006, 06:55 PM
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QUOTE (Clyde)
Ditto the dodge skill. That can factor heavily into your survivability. At least pick it up at rating 1 so you can grab the specialization in Ranged dodge for cheap.

Dodge? Why Dodge? One of teh least-used skills I'ev seen, that one, since you have to blow yoru action to use it and most people only *have* one. Better for most sammies to just shoot a target to give 'em wound penalties, too, than to try and dodge.

Wouldn't Dodging just make a mage nigh-useless? Can't cast, can't summon, just hide and pray.
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lorechaser
post Dec 19 2006, 07:08 PM
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He's got increase reflexes. He could well have 4 ips. Dodging just uses 1 of them.
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Kyoto Kid
post Dec 19 2006, 09:40 PM
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...I would have opted for at least one non lethal combat spell (Stunball being the best) just so the character doesn't get a rep for leaving high body counts behind. Keep in mind an opposing mage (Or someone with FIrst Aid) can heal physical wounds in a relatively short time. On the other hand, characters with stun damage have to spend time resting in order to recover.

Powerbolt is an excellent choice of spell because since it can also affect non living objects.

In agreement with Kesslan on the choice of material for the knife. If you want something undetectable by MAD scanners, there are ceramic blades (though your GM will have to houserule on this).

Also Social skills, even at a minimal level are valuable, I would ditch the automatics skill (since your spells are pretty much your ranged weapons) & pick up some Etiquette or Negotiation (SPC: Con).

I do have somewhat of an issue with Awakened characters taking the Sensitive System quality. Since they are not prone to getting implants which reduces their Essence [and Magic Attribute] it is almost like 15 free BPs. There has been discussion on the topic in this forum but my search fu is limited by the length of my lunch break at this time.

Another downside of Sensitive System (depending on how the GM runs his or her campaign) is if the character is ever captured and given ware, he can be really screwed. All the oppos have to do is stick you with .6 worth of implants and you lose 2 to your MA rating. A small expense for the bad guys but a big one for the character. When you look at the cost of initiation and increasing a character's Magic Attribute, the 15 extra BPs at chargen are really not worth it. I would suggest considering other qualities like allergy, addiction, and even SINner.
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Glyph
post Dec 20 2006, 03:36 AM
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I gotta disagree on the sensitive system. For one thing, even one of the archetypes has it. For another thing, it's a pretty good flaw for 15 build points - you get some much-needed build points at char-gen in exchange for a getting hit harder should you decide to get a few pieces of cyber down the road.

I honestly don't think that the prospect of potential bad guys putting cyberware into you against your will is something that would even come up in most campaigns. If the bad guys want to mess up a captured mage, they probably have drugs and other means that are a lot cheaper than giving him cyberware, and they probably won't give you enough to slightly decrease your magic and let you go, either.

The Bad Luck flaw is actually the one that will be the most limiting to you down the road. I'm not sure how the Edge from the spirit pact works, though, not having Street Magic, so maybe you've found a workaround, or maybe not.

I'll re-pimp the dodge skill. Full defense is a good option to keep on the table, and remember, you can take it as an interrupt action, so you can go first, dodge, then take your third action, etc.
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Fortune
post Dec 20 2006, 06:14 AM
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QUOTE (Glyph)
I'll re-pimp the dodge skill. Full defense is a good option to keep on the table, and remember, you can take it as an interrupt action, so you can go first, dodge, then take your third action, etc.

Keep in mind that you can use Gymnastics in place of the Dodge Skill for the exact same purpose.
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Glyph
post Dec 20 2006, 07:49 AM
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Yes, and that might be a good option for this particular character. It is not quite as good when you are using full defense against melee, but this guy would probably use his edged weapon skill for that. It is equivalent when using it against ranged combat, and for an adept, it is half the price to increase with improved ability (0.25 per point instead of 0.5 per point).
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lorechaser
post Dec 20 2006, 04:02 PM
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"Welcome, Mr. Silver. I'm glad you're awake. It was foolish of you to think that you could infiltrate our organization, and not be caught by our watchers. Now that we have you, you will learn to regret your meddling."

*snaps fingers*

"Stanley! Bring forth the tools! Now, Mr. Silver, your horror begins. For we shall IMPLANT A CYBER-EYE IN YOU! Oh, don't worry - it's top of the line. Zeiss optics, Oakley covers, Mitsuhami electronics. THE BETTER TO DESTROY YOUR MAGIC! MUAHAHAHAHAHA!"

I think Sensitive Systems is a bit of a gimmie flaw for a mage. At the same time, it means that down the road, they can never pick up that incidental cyber (say, an air tank) once they have enough to spare the essence - they're always going to have to pick up the more expensive bioware.

And to be fair, there are gimmie flaws for every AT. VR hacker? Combat Paralysis. Face? Incompetence (Archery). Melee adept? Gremlins 2.

There's always something you can take. As long as you aren't venturing in to Incompetence (Astral Combat) for a hacker, I'm fine with it.
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Kyoto Kid
post Dec 20 2006, 04:12 PM
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QUOTE (Glyph)
I honestly don't think that the prospect of potential bad guys putting cyberware into you against your will is something that would even come up in most campaigns.  If the bad guys want to mess up a captured mage, they probably have drugs and other means that are a lot cheaper than giving him cyberware, and they probably won't give you enough to slightly decrease your magic and let you go, either.

...in the campaigns I've been it it has happened, not to awakened characters of mine (considering I rarely play mages) but it still is a pretty big annoyance when it takes you past another Essence break point making you that much harder to heal.

I also qualified it with the statement: "depending on how the GM runs his or her campaign". Some really like to make sure that a flaw is just that.

I have tended to stay away from taking Sensitive System for the most part with the exception of one character who is mundane and actually does have a few minor cyber implants
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Konsaki
post Dec 20 2006, 04:23 PM
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As a general rule, my personnal choice, is to stay away from flaws at all. I make the character work with the 400BP I start out with. Yes, this is sometimes done with 35BP spent on Pos qual.
It does make more of a street character by spending that much BP just on pos qual, but I like the fact that there are no blatant neg qualities to exploit in my character.
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lorechaser
post Dec 20 2006, 04:29 PM
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QUOTE (Konsaki @ Dec 20 2006, 11:23 AM)
As a general rule, my personnal choice, is to stay away from flaws at all. I make the character work with the 400BP I start out with. Yes, this is sometimes done with 35BP spent on Pos qual.
It does make more of a street character by spending that much BP just on pos qual, but I like the fact that there are no blatant neg qualities to exploit in my character.

You, sir, are not playing Shadowrun.

If your runner isn't addicted to nova coke, allergic to silver and unable to perform some inexplicable skill, I don't know what game you're in, but it's not SR. ;)

Neg. quals are an easy way to add some depth to your character, but I agree, they aren't required.

That being said, the min-max-monkey that lives in my closet would beat me if I didn't take 35 points of neg quals each game. I expect them to hurt me, but that's part of the fun....
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Konsaki
post Dec 20 2006, 07:02 PM
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The 'flaw' that I'm playing with is the fact that I dont have the +35BP that other people have, but that just means I might not be as strong, fast or skilled at that character, though I also dont have that addiction or sycosis.
You can add alot of flavor to your character just by the skills, attributes and backstory it has. Though it's just another way to play, like your thoughts on neg qual.
Even positive qualities can have negative parts to them (SURGE) or ware (Wired or Syn Boosters). It just depends on the type of game you are playing: run and gun or suspense and story. :D
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Konsaki
post Dec 21 2006, 01:48 AM
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I dont know how Martial Arts from China(Kung Fu) = Bushido (Japanese Samuri Code), but I like how you explained everything else about your character. :D

As for your 'Uneducated' neg qual, by RPing it out and probably boosting your mental stats to 3, you could buy it off by just figuring that over time anyone would be able to figure the new world out. But I can also see how you would want to keep the flaw.
Just remember that even after removing the flaw, it could still be a major point in your character's life, like how an addict still feels the craving for something, even though they arnt truly addicted to it. Smokers who have quit still have that urge to start up once again since they had the experience in their life.
KK could probably remember how things were simpler before she finally understood the world. She cant go back, sort of a lombatamy, but remembering those times before she removed the flaw would be interesting. Plus you can still keep some of the quirks like "Ok, I forget, which pedal is GO?" "R means real fast right?" :D
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Kyoto Kid
post Dec 21 2006, 06:20 AM
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QUOTE (Konsaki)
I dont know how Martial Arts from China(Kung Fu) = Bushido (Japanese Samuri Code), but I like how you explained everything else about your character.  :D

...it was more the time honoured traditions of the Far East meeting up with the old Wild West angle of the show that I based her on. Even moreso, another influence was the parallel between the Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven (both films which I also enjoy).

As for buying off the Uneducated flaw (which my GM tried to get me to do) that is just a bit spendy [40 Karma] when you have things like initiation and raisng your MA to consider. And yes, I do like the flaw even though it crocks the character on things like learning Tech skills and Arcana (required for joining a Magic/Adept group). This is very much a central part of the character concept and I remember reading that in such a case (SR3?) the flaw should not be bought off.

QUOTE (Konsaki)
Plus you can still keep some of the quirks like "Ok, I forget, which pedal is GO?" "R means real fast right?" :biggrin:


That is actually very amusing since she has Pilot Ground Vehicle. In a related aside, back when I was in college, I used to do a comic strip in the campus paper and teamed up with a friend who did another strip using the storyline of our two characters racing each other. His character, named "Norm" ended up trashing his roomie's car saying that when it looked like he was going to lose, he threw it into "R" for "Race". (the last panel showed his car screeching to a halt with the engine continuing forward out the grille) Yeah, that sounds like something KK would do.

Ed. note: Please excuse any typos as I am on that node which does not support PHP Spell.
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Digital Heroin
post Dec 22 2006, 03:58 AM
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QUOTE (lorechaser)
Face? Incompetence (Archery).

But the bow is essential to every concept!!!1!

In all honesty, I tend to shy away from any sort of 'gimmie.' When it doubt, Mild Soy Allergy is a quick ten, and seriously cramps a character's options for eats.
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Trigger
post Dec 22 2006, 07:37 AM
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Or play a flaw that would naturally come with a racial group, like Mild Allergy Milk (lactose intolerance) if you are an AmerInd. It works with the character background and is an easy few free BP to help you along.
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