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> Initiation at character creation (Karmagen), Should it be allowed)
Tyro
post Sep 28 2009, 08:14 PM
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See title.
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Jhaiisiin
post Sep 28 2009, 09:21 PM
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Yes.

See answer.
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Tyro
post Sep 28 2009, 09:24 PM
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QUOTE (Jhaiisiin @ Sep 28 2009, 02:21 PM) *
Yes.

See answer.

What's your argument? I can see good arguments being made for both sides: it's an unfair advantage over BPgen (I call bull; BPgen sucks), it makes certain very powerful archetypes possible from the get-go (self-possession comes to mind), etc. I want a good argument to sway a GM with.
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Semerkhet
post Sep 28 2009, 09:40 PM
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Should it be allowed? The way your posts are phrased, there's implied antagonism between the player and GM. If I were starting a game with the premise that the characters are not newbies and are mid-level professionals, then a grade or two of initiation makes perfect sense. You just make sure that the non-magical characters get some similar goodies that fit their archetypes.

If the characters are all supposed to be newbie shadowrunners, then initiation probably doesn't make sense. If you want to make the argument that your character is the sole veteran forming a new team with newbies, then you should pay for your initiation with negative qualities that reflect time in the shadows making enemies and such.

Any talk about possible exploiting (whatever self-possession is) sounds like either a lack of communication or a weak social contract at the table.
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dirkformica
post Sep 28 2009, 09:42 PM
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A quick, and somewhat off the cuff, response would be that there don't seem to be any current rules precluding Initiation at character generation EXCEPT for the fact that there aren't any Build Point costs listed. Since you wouldn't be dealing with Build Points in Karmagen at all, there doesn't seem to be any actual rules stopping you from spending your Karma as you see fit. It also doesn't seem to be really all that overpowering since you won't be able to take advantage of many of the rules from Street Magic that allow you to reduce the cost.
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Tyro
post Sep 28 2009, 09:43 PM
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I was under the impression that a significant number of people considered initiating at chargen to be somehow unbalanced. I merely wish to arm myself with good arguments in the event that I should find myself defending my position.
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Semerkhet
post Sep 28 2009, 09:50 PM
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QUOTE (Tyro @ Sep 28 2009, 03:43 PM) *
I was under the impression that a significant number of people considered initiating at chargen to be somehow unbalanced. I merely wish to arm myself with good arguments in the event that I should find myself defending my position.


Any number of things can be unbalancing in SR. I stand by my previous statement that if the magical types can initiate, you just make sure that the mundanes have access to some goodies they wouldn't normally have access to in chargen. It's important to avoid the perception that one player was given special treatment. Your best argument for initiation is to have a group discussion with your GM and hammer out the premise of the game. If you wish to have your character initiated at the beginning, then you argue for a campaign premise that allows more powerful starting characters for everyone.
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Jhaiisiin
post Sep 28 2009, 11:23 PM
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Basically what's already been said. It's simply another option. Should it be allowed? Yes, if it fits the style of the game. If not, the GM should flat out remove the option. It *can* make characters more powerful, but so can allowing higher money values and betaware or deltaware at chargen.
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Tyro
post Sep 28 2009, 11:24 PM
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It's not like magicians and mystic adepts have karma to burn (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)
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Ravor
post Sep 28 2009, 11:45 PM
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The best answer is that the devs themselves have stated on these very boards that every serious mage who has been praticing for more than a few years should have Initiated at least once.
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Ancient History
post Sep 29 2009, 01:42 AM
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Being a lowly freelancer and not a dev, I can say that I deliberately put initiation in as an option for KarmaGen because it would have been a silly omission otherwise. While it might rub a few people raw to think of players starting out initiated, I think considering the cost it would be balanced with other characters. After all, a character that managed to get up to initiate grade 6 and can only afford rating 3 skills is roughly equivalent to a guy with a doctorate and handful of graduate certificates but no practical on-the-job experience. Which works for me; other gamemasters and players have to feel out what they think is comfortable in their own games.

I will say that I do like the increased focus on initiation from a standpoint of continual self-improvement; it's not something you get automatically when you earn X Karma and it is not necessary to have a viable or competitive character in most instances, but can be a doorway to greater character concepts. An uninitiated shaman can still be a holy terror, but at a certain point initiation provides an entirely different set of options than building a bigger focus or learning another couple spells. Plenty of magicians can build themselves around the metamagics they learn or the ordeals they took to get to their current level of potency, and there's a strong DIY vibe to self-initiation. This isn't Mage or Unknown Armies where initiation becomes the quest and the whole of the game, but it's a definite role-playing opportunity. You have to want initiation, you have to really save your Karma and you damn sure don't want to go off to ordeals half-cocked and unprepared. From that perspective, buying initiation at chargen is a bit of a cop-out, since you miss out on the many games watching your sammy and hacker friends slowly increase in ass-kicking power and you save up for the next grade; on the other hand it feels nice to be an "experienced" character instead of someone that tries to shave with their three-thousand nuyen katana every morning because they didn't have the cred left over to get above a squatter lifestyle.
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Sponge
post Sep 29 2009, 01:56 AM
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QUOTE (dirkformica @ Sep 28 2009, 04:42 PM) *
A quick, and somewhat off the cuff, response would be that there don't seem to be any current rules precluding Initiation at character generation EXCEPT for the fact that there aren't any Build Point costs listed. Since you wouldn't be dealing with Build Points in Karmagen at all, there doesn't seem to be any actual rules stopping you from spending your Karma as you see fit.


There also aren't any Karma costs listed for Initiation, in the Karma Character Generation Table on p41 of Runner's Companion. I'd assume that since they explicitly listed a bunch of Karma costs in a table, and gave you explicit steps to follow on how to spend your starting Karma in character creation, anything not in that list is disallowed at creation. Of course, it's all up to the GM in the end.

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Omenowl
post Sep 29 2009, 02:35 AM
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If you are the player then don't argue with the GM to get a better deal by using karma gen. If one allows initiation then one should also remove the limitations on availability, bioware/cyberware, and a cap on money. I put Karma character generation at roughly the same point as say 500 build points. The real question is why do you want initiation at character generation? It is much easier to get initiation if you take something like geomancy or divination as your metamagic rather than say centering from a GM.

The defense position is
A) you want to play a higher level game as do the rest of the players
B) All the players are experienced with Shadowrun so playing a newbie to learn the ropes is not necessary
C) Have a fully fleshed out 3 dimensional character
D) You are doing it more than just to be a bigger bad ass

By your posts you sound like B maybe true, but C and D are not.

As a GM if players can push C hard I will give most players what they want, but they had best include a lot of plot hooks such as family, motivations, fears, likes, dislikes, etc. The worst thing as a GM is trying to create a world where people are just dropped in and play it like a video game. You show me an investment in your character where it is fun to play and you help make the story then I am all for it. If it is just I am badder and tougher than someone else the answer is no. Also if you know you can get an equivalent character from char gen so you view them as disposable then I again will clamp down on it. I noticed if you start lower and work hard to get a certain character then you will put more investment in the game and play less stupidly.

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Glyph
post Sep 29 2009, 02:36 AM
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In the "Tweaking the Karma System" text box on page 43 of Runner's Companion, it states that a GM can choose to allow players to start with other things they would normally spend Karma on, such as quickened spells, initiation, etc. I think that's about right. It's something the GM can allow, but it isn't the default.

I don't think it is unbalancing in the sense of creating overpowered characters, but it is unfair, if you allow a character advancement option that only applies to awakened characters at char-gen. Mundane characters should get something too - such as more high-rated skills allowable to start with, or more karma that can be put towards resources.
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wind_in_the_ston...
post Sep 29 2009, 02:58 AM
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My own personal position is that if you pay the points for it, you're giving up something else. Why can't a mage have devoted himself to initiating, at the cost of other advancement?

In more general terms, it's totally GM prerogative. What sort of campaign does he have in mind, and what sort of "starting characters" does he wish to see. There are all kinds of limits he may or may not want to set, in addition to how many points. Availability limit for gear? Amount of points spent on cash? It may be subjective for him, if these really are characters who are new to the shadows, and he feels that certain abilities would not have been cultivated give approved backgrounds.
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