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> Comment my houngan build, 500BP Voodoo Mage/Face
Professeur
post Mar 28 2009, 12:24 AM
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Alright, I'm not so good at doing mages in general, but for this game I decided to go for a Wakyambi Houngan. Now I've heard a lot of things about posession being broken in general, and I'm not looking for any game-breaking power here, just a nice, balanced character. I'm turning to the dumpshock community for input on this one.

Here are the rules
CHAx2 Free Contacts
Skill group breaking allowed
500BP, 250BP on attributes max.

Here's my first draft, comment away.

/*
Race: 35
Attributes: 220+50
Qualities: 20-35
Skills: 162
Gear: 10
Contacts:
Spells: 24
Bound foci: 2
Free: 11
*/

Wakyambi Houngan
B 4 A 4 R 3 S 2 C 7 I 4 L 4 W 5
E 1 M 5 I 7/1 CM 10/11 Ess 6.0

Qualities:
Magician
Mentor Spirit: Dark Goddess (+2 Combat & Health Spells, Composure test [3] to resist escalating feud)
-35

Skills:
Conjuring 1
Summoning (Guardian) 3
Binding (Guardian)
Sorcery 1
Spellcasting (Combat) 4
Counterspelling (Combat) 1
Influence 3
Con (Fast Talk)
Etiquette (Gangs)
Negociation (Diplomacy)
Athletics 2
Stealth 1
Assensing 2
Enchanting (Vessels) 1
Perception (Visual) 1
Longarms (Shotgun) 2
Dodge (Ranged) 1

Gear:
Power focus, Force 2

Spells:
Manabolt
Stunball
Ball Lightning
Combat Sense
Heal
Increase Reflexes
Levitate
Armor
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Glyph
post Mar 28 2009, 04:41 AM
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Your magical skills seem, frankly, to be a tad underpowered for a 500-point game. You can have two fives or one six for skills, and there is no reason for this character not to have that. It's fine to have lower scores for tertiary skills, but why would you want to be mediocre in your specialty? In Shadowrun, it is very easy to overgeneralize too much. If you're gimping him for fear of him being overpowered otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it. 500 BP gives everyone enough points to shine.

You have 50 points costed out for special Attributes, but have only spent 40 (Magic of 5). I would take those ten points and raise Edge to 2 (which is still kind of low, but slightly more survivable). Oh, and I think you should have 12 points left free to spend, not 11.

Dark Goddess is a good mentor spirit for a combat mage, but a terrible mentor spirit for a face. Dragonslayer would be better if you still want a combat spell boost - it also gives you a bonus to one social skill of your choice, and the disadvantages won't have you picking fights with the people you're trying to negotiate with.
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The Mack
post Mar 28 2009, 11:15 AM
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QUOTE (Professeur @ Mar 28 2009, 09:24 AM) *
Skills:
Conjuring 1
Summoning (Guardian) 3
Binding (Guardian)
Sorcery 1
Spellcasting (Combat) 4
Counterspelling (Combat) 1


I agree with Glyph, your magic skills are exceedingly low for a Mage.

I also don't understand how you've laid out the skills. Is that Conjuring Group 1 with a specialization in Summoning?

Where's Banishment?

This next part only applies if you have taken Conjuring Skill group (I can't tell). Banishment 1 isn't going to do anything for you, you either go for broke with Banishment, and hope it comes into play in your game. Or you skip it entirely and use spells against spirits when the time comes.

Counterspelling is probably one of the more important jobs of any mage, in my opinion. The mundanes in your group don't get much to resist spells, and this makes Counterspelling of prime importance. You also get to apply all your counterspelling dice to the entire group.

Not only that, Counterspelling dice never get "all used up" no matter how many spells you defend against. It also costs no drain to use.


QUOTE (Professeur @ Mar 28 2009, 09:24 AM) *
Influence 3
Con (Fast Talk)
Etiquette (Gangs)
Negociation (Diplomacy)
Athletics 2
Stealth 1


While I appreciate having a well-rounded skillset, I think you're hurting yourself by taking both Athletics Skill group and Stealth Skill group.

I think you're spreading you're points too thin. At 500 points it would normally be fine, but you're going for Face/Secondary Face, so I would probably either dump those, or reduce them to individual skills.


QUOTE (Professeur @ Mar 28 2009, 09:24 AM) *
Assensing 2
Enchanting (Vessels) 1
Perception (Visual) 1
Longarms (Shotgun) 2
Dodge (Ranged) 1


I don't have much experience with Enchanting. But I personally might leave it to pick up later on down the road. Again, this is where you kind of need to be shrewed and focus on the two roles you're going to fill - Mage & Face.

Out of curiosity, why Longarms? It's kind of hard to conceal a shotgun (depending on GM anyway), but that depends on what kind of game you're in. I prefer automatics myself, not that there's anything wrong with Shotguns.


QUOTE (Professeur @ Mar 28 2009, 09:24 AM) *
Gear:
Power focus, Force 2


I would definitely try to find points for some more gear, most probably using the points you have left over here to get a gun+ammo & Accessories, some armor, a commlink, etc.
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Professeur
post Mar 28 2009, 01:43 PM
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QUOTE (Glyph @ Mar 27 2009, 11:41 PM) *
Your magical skills seem, frankly, to be a tad underpowered for a 500-point game. You can have two fives or one six for skills, and there is no reason for this character not to have that. It's fine to have lower scores for tertiary skills, but why would you want to be mediocre in your specialty? In Shadowrun, it is very easy to overgeneralize too much. If you're gimping him for fear of him being overpowered otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it. 500 BP gives everyone enough points to shine.


You're right, I probably got too caught up in trying to do too much at once with those 500BP. I'll probably bump Summoning at 5 and find a way to bring Counterspelling at 2 or 3.

QUOTE
You have 50 points costed out for special Attributes, but have only spent 40 (Magic of 5). I would take those ten points and raise Edge to 2 (which is still kind of low, but slightly more survivable).


Edge 2 it is. That was one of my problems with that character, I don't use edge too much (I tend to forget about it actually...), but I still thought Edge 1 was much too low.

QUOTE
Dark Goddess is a good mentor spirit for a combat mage, but a terrible mentor spirit for a face. Dragonslayer would be better if you still want a combat spell boost - it also gives you a bonus to one social skill of your choice, and the disadvantages won't have you picking fights with the people you're trying to negotiate with.


I was trying to find one that was listed in the Voodoo mentor spirits at the end of Street Magic and that fit in my backstory (former "tribal" villager in the Caribean, came to the sprawl for vengeance against some corp or something... I got the character's personality and quirks fleshed out, but I still have some work to do on the backstory). I'll probably talk with the GM to take another mentor spirits and dip it in voodoo sauce.

QUOTE (The Mack @ Mar 28 2009, 06:15 AM) *
I also don't understand how you've laid out the skills. Is that Conjuring Group 1 with a specialization in Summoning?

Where's Banishment?

This next part only applies if you have taken Conjuring Skill group (I can't tell). Banishment 1 isn't going to do anything for you, you either go for broke with Banishment, and hope it comes into play in your game. Or you skip it entirely and use spells against spirits when the time comes.


As I've said in the first post, my GM allows us to break skill group. So I have one rank in all Conjuring and Sorcery skills (including Banishment and Ritual Spellcasting), plus all the ranks listed below in the other skills from those skill groups. I'll probably take those out though; and focus more on the "core" skills.

QUOTE
Counterspelling is probably one of the more important jobs of any mage, in my opinion. The mundanes in your group don't get much to resist spells, and this makes Counterspelling of prime importance. You also get to apply all your counterspelling dice to the entire group.

Not only that, Counterspelling dice never get "all used up" no matter how many spells you defend against. It also costs no drain to use.


Understood, I'll get it up to 3 probably.

QUOTE
While I appreciate having a well-rounded skillset, I think you're hurting yourself by taking both Athletics Skill group and Stealth Skill group.


I don't want to stick out too much... although I'll probably just take Running from Athletics, and Infilitration, maybe with some specs, and save some BP for the core magic skills.

QUOTE
I think you're spreading you're points too thin. At 500 points it would normally be fine, but you're going for Face/Secondary Face, so I would probably either dump those, or reduce them to individual skills.

I don't have much experience with Enchanting. But I personally might leave it to pick up later on down the road. Again, this is where you kind of need to be shrewed and focus on the two roles you're going to fill - Mage & Face.


For possesion purposes, if I want serviteurs, it's going to be useful to be able to prepare vessels. I'll probably keep those.

QUOTE
Out of curiosity, why Longarms? It's kind of hard to conceal a shotgun (depending on GM anyway), but that depends on what kind of game you're in. I prefer automatics myself, not that there's anything wrong with Shotguns.


For background/flavor reasons. He's from the Caribeans, former "tribe member" or something, so I figured it was probably more common for him to use weapons like shotguns and rifles rather than pistols and automatic assault rifles. I know the best investment would probably be Automatics with a spec in SMGs, but I like the idea of carrying around a sawed-off shotgun...I'll probably get the Automatics instead though...

QUOTE
I would definitely try to find points for some more gear, most probably using the points you have left over here to get a gun+ammo & Accessories, some armor, a commlink, etc.


Yup, I just haven't got to that point yet (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) . I just figured I'd put the more important stuff right now, as the remaining 11BP will be for contacts and gear, with maybe some BP saved from scrapped skill groups. I still have 14 free contact points to use also.

Thanks for the help !
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The Mack
post Mar 28 2009, 04:25 PM
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QUOTE (Professeur @ Mar 28 2009, 10:43 PM) *
I was trying to find one that was listed in the Voodoo mentor spirits at the end of Street Magic and that fit in my backstory (former "tribal" villager in the Caribean, came to the sprawl for vengeance against some corp or something... I got the character's personality and quirks fleshed out, but I still have some work to do on the backstory). I'll probably talk with the GM to take another mentor spirits and dip it in voodoo sauce.


If you do a search on Loa, there's a ton of them. I would do a bit of research and see if you can find one who fits the Trickster personality.

Or you could use one of the major Loa and go trickster as a different "aspect". Loa aren't gods, they're not like the Norse Pantheon where they have sphere's of influence, and are more like Roman Catholic saints in how they are intermediaries, so there is plenty of room to work here.

You could just go with Seductress, but it doesn't sound like it fits the character concept at all, where as Trickster might.


QUOTE (Professeur @ Mar 28 2009, 10:43 PM) *
As I've said in the first post, my GM allows us to break skill group. So I have one rank in all Conjuring and Sorcery skills (including Banishment and Ritual Spellcasting), plus all the ranks listed below in the other skills from those skill groups. I'll probably take those out though; and focus more on the "core" skills.


How exactly does the skill group breaking work?

Do you buy one rank of the group, and then you can purchase extra ranks of individual skills as desired?

Even so, my point on Banishment still stands. It's pretty much all or nothing unfortunately, and is not like other skills where having at least 1 rank is worth it.



QUOTE (Professeur @ Mar 28 2009, 10:43 PM) *
For possesion purposes, if I want serviteurs, it's going to be useful to be able to prepare vessels. I'll probably keep those.


Good point.


QUOTE (Professeur @ Mar 28 2009, 10:43 PM) *
For background/flavor reasons. He's from the Caribeans, former "tribe member" or something, so I figured it was probably more common for him to use weapons like shotguns and rifles rather than pistols and automatic assault rifles. I know the best investment would probably be Automatics with a spec in SMGs, but I like the idea of carrying around a sawed-off shotgun...I'll probably get the Automatics instead though...


Well, he could have not even had a need for a gun until he got to, well where ever it is your game takes place. So he could have picked up the skill recently.

That being said, I like taking skills for flavor reasons so if shotguns works for your concept, go with it. Nothing he says he needs to be totally optimized from head to toe.


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Professeur
post Mar 28 2009, 10:31 PM
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QUOTE (The Mack @ Mar 28 2009, 11:25 AM) *
If you do a search on Loa, there's a ton of them. I would do a bit of research and see if you can find one who fits the Trickster personality.

Or you could use one of the major Loa and go trickster as a different "aspect". Loa aren't gods, they're not like the Norse Pantheon where they have sphere's of influence, and are more like Roman Catholic saints in how they are intermediaries, so there is plenty of room to work here.

You could just go with Seductress, but it doesn't sound like it fits the character concept at all, where as Trickster might.


I like the Trickster disadvantage, but I have like 0 Illusion spells so the bonus doesn't really fit my character (IMG:style_emoticons/default/indifferent.gif) . I'll probably just work out something with the GM.

QUOTE
How exactly does the skill group breaking work?

Do you buy one rank of the group, and then you can purchase extra ranks of individual skills as desired?

Even so, my point on Banishment still stands. It's pretty much all or nothing unfortunately, and is not like other skills where having at least 1 rank is worth it.


Yes that's it, and we can also spec individual skills like I did with the Influence group. I'll still ditch Banishing though.

QUOTE
Well, he could have not even had a need for a gun until he got to, well where ever it is your game takes place. So he could have picked up the skill recently.

That being said, I like taking skills for flavor reasons so if shotguns works for your concept, go with it. Nothing he says he needs to be totally optimized from head to toe.


The stealth issue still stands though, and that's something that honestly bugged me from the beginning. I like the idea of him having picked up the skill recently though, so I'll probably steal it and run with it.
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