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> Pimp my build, A thread where people can get community feedback on their characters
Tyro
post Dec 7 2008, 11:46 PM
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I'll start it off with an impersonation-based mystic adept I've been working on for a while. She was built with 600 point Karmagen. I intentionally did not use FFBA because I believe it is unbalanced. I use armor suit Capacity rules from Arsenal. I use advanced lifestyle rules. I paid BPx2 in Karma for race. I used exactly 600 Karma.

[ Spoiler ]

[Edit:] Replica's MO is to hide in plain sight. She takes precautions, sustaining Manascape if she believes she will come under astral scrutiny. The plan is to get her another sustaining focus and keep Manascape up at all times once she has it. She cleans away her astral signature whenever possible, and casts Sterilize anytime she thinks there might be forensic analysis of a scene.

Her favorite tactic is to seduce (using Physical Mask) or simply follow home and overpower an employee who has access to the place she wishes to go, or at least a place near it. She doesn't pick anyone who people would pay much attention to; no popular types, no executives unless they're so exalted that nobody would dare question their actions. She then mindrapes them, kills them, and goes to work as them armed with cellular glove molds of their hands (incorporated into the illusion, looking and feeling like real hands but using the molds' fingerprint patterns), her victim's voice and mannerisms, and, once she can afford it, retinal patterns (she has enough space left in her cybereyes for retinal duplication). This should make it cake to get wherever she needs to go, steal it, go home early (or finish the day's work if that would arouse undue suspicion), and disappear into the shadows before anyone knows anything is missing. If she was stealing paydata with a genuine password (Thank you Mind Probe!), they might never know it was stolen.

Replica intends to get Tailored Pheremones (1) as soon as she can afford it (15k); she has exactly enough essence to get them without losing any magic.

Any suggestions? I wish I could fit Skillwires in; maybe I'll take out the ultrasound sensor, as she doesn't really need it.

[Edit 2]: Removed ultrasound sensor, added skillwires rating 3. Changed the rating 3 SIN to a rating 4, dedicated it to broadcast only and purchased a rating 2 for rent and everyday purchases (i.e. lifestyle). Purchased a Pilot Ground Vehicles (1) activesoft.
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Cthulhudreams
post Dec 8 2008, 12:20 AM
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Did you post pay for race or pre pay?
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Fortune
post Dec 8 2008, 12:32 AM
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n/m
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Glyph
post Dec 8 2008, 12:36 AM
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Looking at your Attributes:

3 Body - 15 Karma
3 Agility - 9 Karma
2 Reaction - 6 Karma
2 Strength - 6 Karma
6 Charisma - 45 Karma
5 Intuition - 42 Karma
3 Logic - 15 Karma

No Willpower Attribute listed, but the above add up to 138 points, so even if your Willpower was 6, you wouldn't be spending 225 Karma on your core Attributes. And that's assuming you add the racial mods before buying them - if you add them afterwards, then your Agility would only cost 6 points, and your Charisma would only cost 27 points.
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Tyro
post Dec 8 2008, 03:55 AM
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QUOTE (Cthulhudreams @ Dec 7 2008, 04:20 PM) *
Did you post pay for race or pre pay?

I'm afraid I don't understand the question.
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Cthulhudreams
post Dec 8 2008, 04:02 AM
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When you pay for your race, are you saying okay now my charisma is 3, and then buying 3 points of charisma and ending with charisma 6 or are you buying three points of charisma, paying for your race, and ending with charisma 6

One route costs much less than the other route.
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The Jake
post Dec 8 2008, 08:26 AM
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Here's a concept I've been grappling with.

I was looking at playing a mage assassin that is virtually untraceable. To that end I wanted a build to include at a minimum:

* DNA Masking: Genewipe,
* Phenotype Alteration: Print Removal,
* Erased (10pt Positive quality),
* Full Magician.


To get the DNA masking I picked Restricted Gear and for Print Removal I took Mysterious Cyberware out of Runner's Companion. However, I had to pay to get the DNA masking, which is what is killing my build.

Here's what I've come up with. It's good but not great. I can't think of much more I can do to optimise it. Some of the skill selection may not be 'optimal'. I was aiming for a former scholar-mage type, fuelled by vengeance who became an assassin (there's a long backstory). Originally I was aiming for a troll but I don't see how I can do it on this build. Heck, I originally was going to take Arcana 6 to reflect the scholar background but I can't justify it with the story and the build cost. As it is I've been scrimping on points to buy individual skills rather than the Sorcery and Conjuring Skill groups.

Ideally I anticipated a killer good with unarmed combat, pistols and sniper rifles as well as spellflinging but I really had to scale everything back to just pistols, unarmed combat and spells. I took Martial Arts because I really liked it and wanted to incorporate it into the build somehow (but I'm willing to relinquish it if I had to). His flaws revolve around his obsession with Aztechnology given their involvement in the death of his ex-wife and unborn child. He's violent and without mercy largely as a result of his past experiences more than him being a psychopath - although I admit I look forward to playing it at some point.

I'm willing to alter the backstory some to suit the build (I am flexible) but the above four points are what I was trying to include in the build - so any variation of it would have to include the above in bold.

Thanks in advance.

--
Attributes: (210bp)
Body: 3 Agility: 3 Reaction: 3 Strength: 3
Charisma: 1 Logic: 5 Intuition: 4 Willpower: 4
Magic: 3 Edge: 2 Essence: 5.5

Cyberware/Bioware
Datajack

Genetech:
DNA Masking: Genewipe, Phenotype Alteration: Print Removal

Positive Qualities (35 points):
Restricted Gear (DNA Masking: Genewipe): 5
Erased: 10
Magician: 15
Martial Artist (Muay Thai): 5

Negative Qualities (35 points):
Mysterious Cyberware (Traceless): 5
Flashbacks (Explosions): 5
Enemy (Aztechnology – Incidence 4, Connection: 6): 10
Poor Self Control (Combat Monster): 10
Vendetta: 5

Active Skills (136 BP):
Assensing: 3
Perception: 3
Dodge: 2
Spellcasting: 5
Arcana: 4
Unarmed Combat: 5
Summoning: 5
Binding: 3
Pistol: 4

Knowledge Skills: (Logic + Intuition x 3= 27)
Megacorporate Politics (Aztechnology +2): 3
Magical Threats (Blood Magic +2): 1
Astral Space Research: 4
Spirits: 3
Magical Theory: 4
Chemistry: 2
Pharmaceuticals: 2
Corporate Security Procedures (Aztechnology +2): 3
English: N
Aztlaner Spanish: 3

Martial Arts:
Advantage: +1DV on Unarmed Combat attacks.
Manouevers: Set-Up, Finishing Move

Spells (15 BP):
Area Thought Recognition
Improved Invisibility
Alter Memory
Influence
Manabolt

Contacts: ((IMG:style_emoticons/default/cool.gif)
The Monk (Connection: 6, Loyalty: 1) --> high ranking CIA officer who is helping the character to wage a personal war on Aztechnology.
Isis (Connection: 1, Loyalty: 1) --> Hacker contact.

Gear (30 BP):
Commlink (w/ subvocal microphone),
Glasses (Image Link, Smartlink, Vision Magnification, Flare Compensation, Low Thermographic Vision),
Ares Viper Slivergun with smartlink,
Hidden Gun Arm Slide,
Armor Jacket,
Low Lifestyle.
(I only got around 5k after paying for DNA masking, so at this point so I don't have a lot of options).
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Cthulhudreams
post Dec 8 2008, 12:23 PM
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I think you'd be better at taking whatever the quality is that gives you a free peice of genetech for 10 BP, wouldn't you? That would save you.. 4 BP by my count, which you can spend on money
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The Jake
post Dec 8 2008, 12:38 PM
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QUOTE (Cthulhudreams @ Dec 8 2008, 01:23 PM) *
I think you'd be better at taking whatever the quality is that gives you a free peice of genetech for 10 BP, wouldn't you? That would save you.. 4 BP by my count, which you can spend on money


That's for genetic infusions, not for what I took.

I wanted the gene wipe to prevent fingerprints, DNA, matrix traces being collected. As a mage he will eventually be able to tamper with magical forensics using metamagic. But those other things he can't beat.

As far as inspiration for the character I was drawing on influences of Jason Bourne (from the novels as well as the films) and Fox Mulder from X-Files. Not sure if that helps but I think it might paint a picture of what I'm trying to achieve.

- J.
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Cthulhudreams
post Dec 8 2008, 01:16 PM
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As it references the genetech chapter, i think you can pretty much assume that it works for anything in the genetech chapter.
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Mickle5125
post Dec 8 2008, 02:26 PM
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drop a couple of your negative qualities and pick up a couple levels of "in debt". tie it back to your CIA contact, and you'll have another pile of money to play with.
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ElFenrir
post Dec 8 2008, 03:32 PM
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Small nitpick; You have 3 level 5 skills. You can only start with 2 by RAW; however, if your GM has houseruled this, disregard this, of course. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

This might be a good place to post my concept for a mystic adept/assassin/martial artist combo. Kind of wanting him to be able to do things with the shadows and such(hence the mystic adept part), and the Adept powers are more of his cut-and dry type powers. Still tooling with it, though(using our usual 750 Karma method.)
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The Jake
post Dec 8 2008, 09:07 PM
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QUOTE (ElFenrir @ Dec 8 2008, 04:32 PM) *
Small nitpick; You have 3 level 5 skills. You can only start with 2 by RAW; however, if your GM has houseruled this, disregard this, of course. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)


There is no such ruling in the SR4 rulebook. If you believe otherwise please provide a quote and page ref and I'll happily eat my hat.

QUOTE (Mickle5125 @ Dec 8 2008, 03:26 PM) *
drop a couple of your negative qualities and pick up a couple levels of "in debt". tie it back to your CIA contact, and you'll have another pile of money to play with.


Interesting suggestion.

This forced me to re-evaluate my qualities. I re-read the Augmentation qualities. I could take 'Gene freak' for 10BP and get Genewipe for free (which really makes sense in terms of economy of points compared to my current method) but since I'm maxed on Positive Qualities, I'd need to drop a 5pt quality to get it (like martial arts). This would free up over 25BP which is VERY tempting.

But then I looked at In Debt and I think you're right. In Debt is CLEARLY the best way to achieve this. I can drop 25BP of flaws, pick up the genewipe, keep my martial arts AND get 25BP for skills and spells.

THANKYOU very much. This helps me out LOTS! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)
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ElFenrir
post Dec 8 2008, 09:27 PM
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QUOTE
There is no such ruling in the SR4 rulebook. If you believe otherwise please provide a quote and page ref and I'll happily eat my hat.


BBB, page 75, Creating a Shadowrunner, in the ''Purchasing Active Skills'' section:

QUOTE
The maximum skill rating for starting characters is either one skill at rating 6(with the rest at Rating 4 or less), or two skills at rating 5(the rest at Rating 4 or less.) Your character cannot start with both one Rating 6 skill and 2 rating 5 skills.


Mustard or ketchup? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif) (and don't worry, I've misread things plenty of times.)
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Mx
post Dec 8 2008, 09:46 PM
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QUOTE (ElFenrir @ Dec 8 2008, 11:27 PM) *
BBB, page 75, Creating a Shadowrunner, in the ''Purchasing Active Skills'' section:



Mustard or ketchup? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif) (and don't worry, I've misread things plenty of times.)

Damm was going to post the same quote, put then i had to reboot my computer to get my net to work. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/mad.gif)
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Larme
post Dec 8 2008, 11:35 PM
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@The Jack: I have often struggled with the idea of "ultimate killy stealth mage." The real problem is astral stealth. There is no way to magically mask your presence on the astral, other than plain old infiltration (which will apply to astral and meat equally, with the exception of vision modifiers which are different on each plane). The concealment power helps, but it seems to me that if you're not invisible on the astral, why bother being invisible on the physical plane? Invisibility lets you walk right up into peoples faces without being seen, but an overwatch mage will spot you instantly. And let's not forget about ultrasound and radar vision, which renders invisibility useless anyway...

So, what I'm trying to say is: invisibility, what's the point? It works on gangers and low-grade security, but it's worthless against anything with magical surveillance or ultrasound/radar. The best way to be invisible is not to actually be invisible, but to be so ninja-like sneaky that you're effectively invisible. If you can figure out how to get 25 infiltration dice, nobody will find you. This is much better than having a smaller infiltration pool while being invisible, because all they have to do is strap on the right goggles and your most important asset, invisibility, goes poof.

Though I suppose this may not be very constructive -- my advice amounts to "if you want to be Mr. stealth, start over as a cybered adept with maxed out infiltration," which is essentially reconstructive criticism (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)

Also, assassin combat monster? Assassins are supposed to kill one person and escape without their identities (and employers) being revealed. Combat monster is fundamentally inconsistent with that mission... Not to mention manabolt, which leaves a big fat fingerprint wherever you cast it, making it a bad assassination tool (unless one of your qualities modifies that, I haven't read Companion yet).


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The Jake
post Dec 9 2008, 12:09 AM
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QUOTE (ElFenrir @ Dec 8 2008, 10:27 PM) *
BBB, page 75, Creating a Shadowrunner, in the ''Purchasing Active Skills'' section:

Mustard or ketchup? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif) (and don't worry, I've misread things plenty of times.)



Interesting. And yet when I checked SR4 after reading your comment yesterday, I found the opening chapter on Skills specifically illustrates with a character creation example with three skills at 5 . One for the next errata perhaps.... ?

I'll take the Worcestshire please.

My DM would probably house rule against it (I would with my PCs). I'm not a fan of these restrictions and they never used to exist in previous editions and as it stands its quite difficult to build a character with a decent array of skills.

- J.
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Fortune
post Dec 9 2008, 12:35 AM
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QUOTE (The Jake @ Dec 9 2008, 11:09 AM) *
Interesting. And yet when I checked SR4 after reading your comment yesterday, I found the opening chapter on Skills specifically illustrates with a character creation example with three skills at 5 . One for the next errata perhaps.... ?


Can you give me a quote on that. The only example I can find that is even close to what you describe in the Skills Chapter specifically refers to raising Skills after chargen

QUOTE (Shadowrun Core Rulebook pg. 106)
Ashley decides to create a stealthy character and purchases the Stealth skill group at Rating 4 at character creation. After a month of play, she notices that she really only uses Infiltration and so makes the decision to raise it by one point without raising the rest of the Group. This means she no longer has the Stealth skill group, but instead has Disguise 4, Infiltration 5, Palming 4, and Shadowing 4. Ashley can regain her Group by raising the other three skills to 5, at which point she will have Stealth skill group 5, but will have paid more for it than if she had just raised the skill group initially.
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Dragnar
post Dec 9 2008, 12:44 AM
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The main reason that restriction exists isn't 'OMG starting character get to powerful!', but as a band aid fix for a problem introduced with having different character generation and character advancement systems.
In short, high level skills are significantly cheaper to get at chargen than ingame, so the best way to take them would be all 6's and buying those you'd want on a lower level later. That restriction tries to reduce the cost difference.
Now, you could've just unified generation and advancement, but that would have been too easy, it seems...

And that problem existed in editions past, making nonmunchkinny chargen akward, to say the least, so this heavy handed solution is at least better than just ignoring the problem.
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ElFenrir
post Dec 9 2008, 12:51 AM
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I do think that's it. I mean, while it's not everyday you find someone with, say, 5 5's, it can exist, and it wouldn't be much more powerful than someone with 2 5's and 3 4's(the three fours losing 1 die each, and that's it.)

But when 2 5's/3 4's guy has to pay 30 karma to get those 3 5's...that other guy can buy a lot more than that-three skills at 2+2, or 3 2's and specialization for 2 of the 5's...or specializations for all the 5's and 2 skills at 2+2....

Karmagen helps alleviate this. At least they grow the same way, and in Karmagen, getting a bunch of 5's or 6's is very expensive at chargen.
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The Jake
post Dec 9 2008, 01:18 AM
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QUOTE (Fortune @ Dec 9 2008, 01:35 AM) *
Can you give me a quote on that. The only example I can find that is even close to what you describe in the Skills Chapter specifically refers to raising Skills after chargen


At work now. Will do it later tonight. But I think it may have been that passage...

QUOTE (Larme @ Dec 9 2008, 12:35 AM) *
@The Jack: I have often struggled with the idea of "ultimate killy stealth mage." The real problem is astral stealth. There is no way to magically mask your presence on the astral, other than plain old infiltration (which will apply to astral and meat equally, with the exception of vision modifiers which are different on each plane). The concealment power helps, but it seems to me that if you're not invisible on the astral, why bother being invisible on the physical plane? Invisibility lets you walk right up into peoples faces without being seen, but an overwatch mage will spot you instantly. And let's not forget about ultrasound and radar vision, which renders invisibility useless anyway...

So, what I'm trying to say is: invisibility, what's the point? It works on gangers and low-grade security, but it's worthless against anything with magical surveillance or ultrasound/radar. The best way to be invisible is not to actually be invisible, but to be so ninja-like sneaky that you're effectively invisible. If you can figure out how to get 25 infiltration dice, nobody will find you. This is much better than having a smaller infiltration pool while being invisible, because all they have to do is strap on the right goggles and your most important asset, invisibility, goes poof.

Though I suppose this may not be very constructive -- my advice amounts to "if you want to be Mr. stealth, start over as a cybered adept with maxed out infiltration," which is essentially reconstructive criticism (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)

Also, assassin combat monster? Assassins are supposed to kill one person and escape without their identities (and employers) being revealed. Combat monster is fundamentally inconsistent with that mission... Not to mention manabolt, which leaves a big fat fingerprint wherever you cast it, making it a bad assassination tool (unless one of your qualities modifies that, I haven't read Companion yet).


All fair comments.

I'll try and address:

1) Astral signatures can be cleaned up by an Initiate with the right metamagic, which was my plan. Metamagic can be learned. DNA masking, No fingerprints, Erased - are a lot harder to get after chargen.
2) Improved Invisibility... meh. Yes, it isn't perfect but at the end of the day it is another tool which goes into the tool box (and you use the right tool for the job). Using Influence/Alter Memories works a treat for getting someone else to do the job for you. That + Physical Mask + Makeover + Fashion all makes it a lot easier to slip away after a kill - before I even get into using spirit powers. My plan was to use magic to kill from a distance ideally, get up close if he had to. Manabolt is a personal favorite and always works a treat when everything else fails.
3) The positive qualities I've included do not stop astral tracking/signatures. There aren't any that outright prevent it - they only make it *harder*. This is a moot point in my mind when I can Initiate and achieve the same effect with metamagic without using my few qualities.

I did consider at one point whether I should play an adept for the reasons for you've outlined but I decided I *really* wanted to play a mage. I guess the take away message from your post is that if I am going to play a mage assassin and I should focus on my strengths (spells/conjuring) and less on physical combat related skills and perks. This is a very valid criticism and I will ponder on it some more.

- J.
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Glyph
post Dec 9 2008, 03:55 AM
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Quick comment - you don't have to be an initiate to clean up your astral signature, and it doesn't take long. A number of complex actions equal to the Force may seem long, but remember that a round is, what, six seconds? Outside of combat, that means you can clean up your astral traces in a minute or less in most cases. The Flexible Signature metamagic does reduce the longevity of astral signatures, among the least of its benefits - it is as useful as Masking if you are playing a stealthy mage.
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Larme
post Dec 9 2008, 04:57 AM
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QUOTE (The Jake @ Dec 8 2008, 07:09 PM) *
Interesting. And yet when I checked SR4 after reading your comment yesterday, I found the opening chapter on Skills specifically illustrates with a character creation example with three skills at 5 . One for the next errata perhaps.... ?


NEVER look at the sample characters for ANY rules. First of all, they're not a source of rules, they're examples. If you want to know what the rules are, read them. If the sample characters violate the rules, it's the sample characters that are wrong, not the rules themselves... And the sample characters very frequently violate the rules. I'm not sure why they're so riddled with errors, but they most certainly are... They're good inspiration for how to create an archetype, but their accuracy is not to be relied on under any circumstances.

As for being a stealth mage... It all sorta breaks down when faced with other mages. Mask is open to a mage assensing you (which they will probably do at high security places) and any mindfuck spells are going to be screwed up if the security team has a mage providing counterspelling. Mages are ungodly against mundos, but enemy mages basically neutralize them. The way SR4 sets up magic, magicians have pretty one reason to be on a team: support. Without counterspelling, mundane teammates are killed by magic. And they have few ways to defend against spirits as well. I notice by the way that your character doesn't even know counterspelling, which means that not only will you not be able to defend your team, you won't be able to defend yourself from other mages... Not good!

Regardless, the meat skills are what make you truly sneaky. Relying on magic only works until you meet an equally powerful mage. Magic will see right through a disguise made out of mana, but a nanopaste disguise is just as solid to a mage as to anyone. But if you want to be a badass mage to start out, your meat skills are crappy more or less by necessity.
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The Jake
post Dec 9 2008, 05:01 AM
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QUOTE (Glyph @ Dec 9 2008, 04:55 AM) *
Quick comment - you don't have to be an initiate to clean up your astral signature, and it doesn't take long. A number of complex actions equal to the Force may seem long, but remember that a round is, what, six seconds? Outside of combat, that means you can clean up your astral traces in a minute or less in most cases. The Flexible Signature metamagic does reduce the longevity of astral signatures, among the least of its benefits - it is as useful as Masking if you are playing a stealthy mage.


With that in mind do you see any problems with the existing build or approach?

- J.
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The Jake
post Dec 9 2008, 05:23 AM
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QUOTE (Larme @ Dec 9 2008, 05:57 AM) *
NEVER look at the sample characters for ANY rules. First of all, they're not a source of rules, they're examples. If you want to know what the rules are, read them. If the sample characters violate the rules, it's the sample characters that are wrong, not the rules themselves... And the sample characters very frequently violate the rules. I'm not sure why they're so riddled with errors, but they most certainly are... They're good inspiration for how to create an archetype, but their accuracy is not to be relied on under any circumstances.

As for being a stealth mage... It all sorta breaks down when faced with other mages. Mask is open to a mage assensing you (which they will probably do at high security places) and any mindfuck spells are going to be screwed up if the security team has a mage providing counterspelling. Mages are ungodly against mundos, but enemy mages basically neutralize them. The way SR4 sets up magic, magicians have pretty one reason to be on a team: support. Without counterspelling, mundane teammates are killed by magic. And they have few ways to defend against spirits as well. I notice by the way that your character doesn't even know counterspelling, which means that not only will you not be able to defend your team, you won't be able to defend yourself from other mages... Not good!

Regardless, the meat skills are what make you truly sneaky. Relying on magic only works until you meet an equally powerful mage. Magic will see right through a disguise made out of mana, but a nanopaste disguise is just as solid to a mage as to anyone. But if you want to be a badass mage to start out, your meat skills are crappy more or less by necessity.


It's gotten to a sad state of play where technology beats magic nearly every time. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/frown.gif)

Do you believe its the concept that is not sound?

- J.
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