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> Adept Improved Physical Attribute, Question needing an answer
TKDNinjaInBlack
post Sep 8 2008, 07:50 PM
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According the core rule book, augmenting a physical attribute by one rating point with the adept power "improved physical attribute" costs 1 adept power point.

However, the second paragraph states:

"This power allows you to exceed your natural attribute maximum up to the augmented maximum, but each point over the maximum costs double (2 power points per level)."

Now here is where I get confused. The maximum that is used in the second part of the sentence could mean either the natural maximum or the augmented maximum because both are used in the previous part of the sentence. Depending on which one it is, this could create two scenarios. If;

1:) the maximum it is referring to is the natural maximum, it causes some problems with when a player would purchase this power.

examples. Character X (human) has Agility 3 and improved physical attribute level 3. His Agility would be 3 (6). The cost in adept power points would be 3.
However, Character Y (human) has Agility 6 and improved physical attribute level 3. His Agility is 6 (9), but the cost in adept power points he spent was 6.

Ideally, if you wanted to avoid the jump in cost, you'd build a character with a lower agility at the start gate, and buy your max levels in this power first. Then you'd up your natural agility with karma. You'd have to pay for the equivalent augmented target rating when improving with karma, but it is still way cheaper than having to up further levels of magic (especially when you add in initiation costs). So with this tactic and using the examples above, Character Y could have his agility 6 (9) merely and only pay 3 adept power points for it if he was just careful with in what order he improved his character. This seems unfair and confusing. Why punish a character who wanted to beef up his natural attribute before augmenting it with adept powers?

the other possible meaning that could be taken from this second paragraph is 2:) that the maximum being referred to is the augmented maximum. This would make the above problem null and void and make the order of operations for improving a character less costly in the long run. But, it would allow Players to create adept characters that spend all of their karma on upping magic in order to further improve their attributes BEYOND the augmented maximums. In the long run, it is impossible to make this efficient as the amount of karma spent on further magic levels and initiation would be astronomical and the GM really wouldn't have to worry about this becoming too much of a problem. The thing that bothers me about this scenario though, is that the first part of the sentence in that second paragraph is worded to make the reader think that they can use this power to only take it "up to" the augmented max.

I've been playing SR4 for about 2 1/2 years now and this problem has always plagued me but I really didn't press the issue as I GMed more than played. I am creating an adept martial artist/infiltration ninja for a new campaign and would like to have this ironed out before I finish the creation process so I know where to go with my BP and adept points.

I'd really like help with this misunderstanding, especially from a developer if they are around. I've read the forum a bit, but am a first time poster and hope it won't affect my topic being passed up.

Thanks in advance.
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Ol' Scratch
post Sep 8 2008, 07:53 PM
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Your augmented maximum is just that; the maximum you can augment the attribute be it through implants, magic, or anything else.

For a normal human adept, it costs 1 Power Point to raise a Physical Attribute by +1 up to 6. For 7-9, it costs 2 Power Points. Improved Physical Attribute will not augment those attributes beyond 9 for such a character.
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Ryu
post Sep 8 2008, 07:56 PM
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Welcome on DS.

Regarding your question, see that only one of those attribute values may be exceeded. 1 per point up to the natural max, 2 for every point beyond that, with the augmented max as absolute maximum.
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ArkonC
post Sep 8 2008, 07:59 PM
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Also, if you have Str 3 and buy improved Str, you don't get 3(4), you get 4 and it now costs you 15 karma to improve Str...
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HappyDaze
post Sep 8 2008, 08:09 PM
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I'd suggest houseruling this power to function as an enhancement and without the doubling cost above the natural max. Otherwise, by RAW, the power sucks ass.
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Muspellsheimr
post Sep 8 2008, 08:14 PM
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By RAW, this is by far the worst Power. Comparable to the Astral Sight quality, possibly even worse than that.

I would suggest:

Improved Physical Attribute
Cost: 0.5 PP / Level
This power increases the augmented value of a Physical attribute by +1 per level. This power is taken seperatly for each of the four Physical attributes.
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TKDNinjaInBlack
post Sep 8 2008, 08:19 PM
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In General, yes, the rule does "suck ass," but it does a good job of permanent (until background count reduces magic and in turn your adept power points and powers) improvement to a physical attribute.

Everything said so far doesn't really help because it's exactly as I've read in the book. I understand when the power costs 1 point and when it costs 2. The inherent problem is that this can be circumvented with clever munchkining. One can buy the adept power first, while his nat. att. rating is low (1-3), and then after he has 3 levels of this power, up his nat rating with karma.

Oh, BTW the att rating would be writin: natural (augmented). Adept powers are no exception to that rule. It's on pg. 62 in the core.
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Muspellsheimr
post Sep 8 2008, 08:28 PM
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This Adept Power is an exception to that rule - it increases your Natural, not Augmented attribute, so it is written as your Natural attribute. Using this Adept Power to increase an attribute functions the same as using Karma to increase the attribute.

And yes, your question was answered by previous posters. This power does not allow you to exceed your Augmented maximum, only to achieve it "naturally", at an increased cost.
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HappyDaze
post Sep 8 2008, 08:31 PM
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QUOTE
This Adept Power is an exception to that rule - it increases your Natural, not Augmented attribute, so it is written as your Natural attribute. Using this Adept Power to increase an attribute functions the same as using Karma to increase the attribute.

Except for that nasty problem with Background Count.

I'm really not going to comment on the RAW version of this power anymore because it sucks so bad right now that no one I know will use the RAW form in a game - player or GM.
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Isath
post Sep 8 2008, 10:16 PM
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Indeed, this power appears somewhat worthless - at least it wouldn't come to my mind to spend points on this. Bioware is at a major advantage here. Pick up 3 levels of muscle augmentation with muscle toner, and you get to the max in no time (given that you are human and have agility and strentgh at 6). If you don't, you can still raise the attributes without increased cost.

Muscle Augmentation 3 and Muscle Toner 3 would cost 45k and 1.2 essence. Raise this to alpha, pay 90k and your essence will only go down by 1 - 6 attribute points for 1 magic and a nifty but managable sum of 90k. Thinking of it, it seems much easier to earn 90k than to "earn" 6 magic points.
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SpasticTeapot
post Sep 8 2008, 10:26 PM
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QUOTE (HappyDaze @ Sep 8 2008, 03:31 PM) *
Except for that nasty problem with Background Count.

I'm really not going to comment on the RAW version of this power anymore because it sucks so bad right now that no one I know will use the RAW form in a game - player or GM.


Getting a strength of 6 normally costs 75BP, if memory serves.
Strength 5 plus one point of magic for Improved Attribute costs 60BP.

It's still a savings, if a small one.
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Tarantula
post Sep 8 2008, 10:28 PM
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QUOTE (SpasticTeapot @ Sep 8 2008, 03:26 PM) *
Getting a strength of 6 normally costs 75BP, if memory serves.
Strength 5 plus one point of magic for Improved Attribute costs 60BP.

It's still a savings, if a small one.


65 actually for str 1->6 with a human.
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Jackstand
post Sep 8 2008, 11:44 PM
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I think that the most favorable light in which to view this power is that it essentially allows you to exceed the 1/2 total BP attribute cap. Ten BP into magic is, then, equivalent to ten BP into any of your physical attributes. If you're going from five to six with the power, you're actually saving fifteen BP, in fact.
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Ol' Scratch
post Sep 8 2008, 11:50 PM
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I'd rather use the Power Point for... just about anything else, really. I've never once had a character in any edition who wasted points on Improved Physical Attribute or its counterparts. Attributes are highly overrated.
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Glyph
post Sep 9 2008, 01:47 AM
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Yeah, the RAW rules stink. And I'm not one of those people who thinks that every adept power should be comparable in cost to the bioware equivalent. I think it fits the setting better that there are some things that tech simply does better, and even the "purest" mage or adept should be tempted to get 1 or 2 points' worth of 'ware.

So, I don't think the adept ability of Improved Attribute needs to be as good as muscle augmentation and toner - it doesn't even need to be as good as muscle replacement. But it shouldn't suck so badly that no-one ever takes it, ever.
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TKDNinjaInBlack
post Sep 9 2008, 02:56 AM
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No, I really know this power sucks ass. It's just that the character has a prejudice against artificially(cyber/bioware) enhanced fighters (playing up the whole magic v tech haughty mentality that goes with most magic users). It would be a bit of hypocritical for my character then to take three levels of muscle toner and muscle augmentation (both alpha to make it only one essence loss) while RPing this flaw. Ideally I was looking for permanent solutions for augmenting attributes over the natural maximums without resorting to the things my character stands against.

Trust me, I've laid out this kind of super fighter (a cybered martial arts adept) before as an NPC just to be a dick to my players and I know their awesome abilities right out of the box. They have the instant gratification of a cybered street sam plus the ability to use all kinds of wicked adept powers that you can eventually buy to do things the sammy never could (with enough combat sense later down the road, players get very pissed when they can't just shoot the guy running up to them). It's not that I am simply trying to min max this character though. I am trying to keep a good concept in mind for roleplaying and keeping it interesting, and not letting my warez contradict the very things my character stands against.

I guess with the limitations I've placed on the characters personality, I will mostly need to rely on the adept power attribute boost and possibly somatic control metamagic to up my attributes to augmented maximums.

Also, i am not trying to pick fights, but this adept power does augment the natural. It's worded just like Muscle Replacement cyberware (pg334 core). It increases the attribute by it's rating/level. Nowhere does it say it alters your natural attribute rating. It says it allows you to exceed it up to your augmented maximum (which is augmentation). Again, I'll cite pg62 to prove that any cyberware, bioware, adept power, or magic "augments" (which is also different than giving bonus dice, noted with a (+1), (+2), etc.) attribute ratings. The only time natural attribute ratings are changed is when you increase them with karma. Once you hit the natural max, you can't increase it with karma anymore.
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Jackstand
post Sep 9 2008, 03:00 AM
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QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ Sep 8 2008, 06:50 PM) *
I'd rather use the Power Point for... just about anything else, really. I've never once had a character in any edition who wasted points on Improved Physical Attribute or its counterparts. Attributes are highly overrated.


I'll admit that I've only used it once in fourth edition, but in third edition, I used Improved Physical Attribute extensively.
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ArkonC
post Sep 9 2008, 08:11 AM
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QUOTE (TKDNinjaInBlack @ Sep 9 2008, 04:56 AM) *
Also, i am not trying to pick fights, but this adept power does augment the natural. It's worded just like Muscle Replacement cyberware (pg334 core). It increases the attribute by it's rating/level. Nowhere does it say it alters your natural attribute rating. It says it allows you to exceed it up to your augmented maximum (which is augmentation). Again, I'll cite pg62 to prove that any cyberware, bioware, adept power, or magic "augments" (which is also different than giving bonus dice, noted with a (+1), (+2), etc.) attribute ratings. The only time natural attribute ratings are changed is when you increase them with karma. Once you hit the natural max, you can't increase it with karma anymore.

QUOTE (BBB)
With this power, you can raise a Physical attribute (Agility, Body, Reaction, or Strength). Each level increases the attribute by one. If you later want to increase the attribute using Karma (see p. 264), the cost is based on the total attribute, including the magical improvements. Increasing Reaction with this power also affects Initiative.
This power allows you to exceed your natural attribute maximum up to the augmented maximum, but each point over the maximum costs double (2 Power points per level).

Emphasis mine, so for all intents and purposes it increases the natural rating, since it even counts for Karma improvements...
If it looks like a horse, and acts like a horse, maybe it's a horse...
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TKDNinjaInBlack
post Sep 9 2008, 01:08 PM
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I see what's confusing you. By total attribute they don't mean natural. They mean the Augmented attribute rating, which is the natural plus the level of improved attribute. So:

Att Nat 5, Improved Att Rating 2 would be 5 (7). When you buy Karma for the upgrade, you wouldn't purchase your next level at 18 points, but rather 24 points because your next effective level would be 8 denoted by a 6 ( 8 ).

A problem with using that power to actually raising your natural attribute is that if you were to have your adept powers zapped by a detrimental mana ebb or void, or if the background count is aspected to something that isn't complementary to your tradition, you would have to know how much improved attribute levels were lost because of loss of power. In that regard, you'd be subtracting the difference between your augmented rating and your natural from your dice pools (unless you had another attribute booster that wasn't an adept power). Essentially, if you lose all your adept powers, you'd just have to use your natural attribute and you need to denote the difference between the two in case that situation ever happens.

I know from experience playing that (at least in my group) that background counts didn't come up much and when they did, it was a plot device to place our magic users on edge and get them spooked and cautious because they were weakened. Most of the time the GM didn't want to futz with background counts so they were mostly forgotten about unless it was to help the storytelling.
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Isath
post Sep 9 2008, 01:54 PM
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My comparison was not ment to imply that every adept power should be comparable to a tech or ware. What I did however is compare them to show how much that power actually sucks compared to bioware. That amount of "suckage" (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) is way out of line. Even if you do not view implants as an alternative, there appears to be no reason to buy the adept equivalent - especially when compared to what other things you can get for those points.
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Ol' Scratch
post Sep 9 2008, 04:31 PM
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I seriously doubt many people would argue that point.

But even if implants were a comparable cost, I'd still rather spend my Power Points elsewhere nine times out of ten. An extra die for my dice pool is just boring compared to getting powers like Beserk, Commanding Voice, Elemental Strike, Enthralling Performance or Traceless Walk. If all I wanted was an attribute boost, I'd probably go the implant path even if the costs were identical.
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TKDNinjaInBlack
post Sep 9 2008, 06:21 PM
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No, I absolutely hear you on that. I am a big fan of a lot of other adept powers, namely combat sense, critical strike (which is awesome for the cost), Improved Ability, improved reflexes, killing hands (maybe I am up in the air about this because you can do physical damage if you learn a maneuver, but it's needed for my wanted water elemental strike), berserk (possibly), counterstrike, nerve strike, penetrating strike (possibly) smashing blow. I still don't know what order I want these in, but that's to figured out tomorrow or so.
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HappyDaze
post Sep 9 2008, 08:38 PM
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QUOTE
critical strike (which is awesome for the cost)

This power is the opposite of Improved Physial Attribute in that it is actually too good for its cost. At 0.5 power points per level it would still be attractive to unarmed combat enthusiasts.

QUOTE
killing hands (maybe I am up in the air about this because you can do physical damage if you learn a maneuver, but it's needed for my wanted water elemental strike)

The ability to do P damage is less impressive than the ability to bypass Immunity to Normal Weapons - making this 0.5 power points well spent if your adept ever has to face a mid-to-high Force spirit.
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Skip
post Sep 9 2008, 10:39 PM
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QUOTE (HappyDaze @ Sep 9 2008, 04:38 PM) *
The ability to do P damage is less impressive than the ability to bypass Immunity to Normal Weapons - making this 0.5 power points well spent if your adept ever has to face a mid-to-high Force spirit.

Agreed. Any adept taking spirit bane pretty much has to take it.
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Wakshaani
post Sep 9 2008, 10:53 PM
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Gotta say that I'm on the bandwagon for the 0.5 cost for Improved Physical Attribute as well. (And, thus, 1.0 for stats above racial limit, capping at racial max as usual).

At the current cost, it just ... sits there. Untouched. Unloved. A fallow field that no runner ever visits.

Alas, alas...
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