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> merrits and follies of a rounded character, vs the Min/max specialist
Red-ROM
post Oct 10 2009, 03:52 AM
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I'm sure this has come up before, and it probably differs from table to table, but i find it hard to reconsile the desire for a well balanced character that can handle the myriad of challenges, with the desire to make him really good at what his focus is. I mean, being average is a 6 DP. And average is not so hot in SR. There are a lot of must have skills IMO, I end up with things like a perception of 2 and negotiations 3(with 2 Cha). Is it a waste of points?should I just do 1 point to avoid the default?I guess Edge is the balance? to succeed when it really counts? how much do the gm's out there let slide/punish a gun bunnie with no stealth or social skills? or a face with no perception? especially when they are game breakingly good at their specialty?
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TheMidnightHobo
post Oct 10 2009, 04:21 AM
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Most of the characters at the table I play at are pretty average at quite a few things and still manage to be fairly decent at their specialty. I'm playing a (very probably soon-to-be-dead) face who rolls 5 to 10 dice in his non-specialties and 15 or 16 dice in most social skills. Of course, my guy also has 7 Edge, so he can do most things in a pinch. It's the same with the other characters; mid teens in specialties, high single digits in non-specialties.

At our table, lack of social skills hasn't really affected people, but that's because we tend to negotiate in a group, and I've been sent on most people-meeting missions so far. If you find yourself hurting in the social skills department, don't be afraid to pick up some Empathy software. For Perception, I'd grab one point in it and take some Vision Enhancers on your glasses; it'll help loads, and it's pretty cheap.

So yeah, currently our dicepools are fairly low. We're all using our first-made characters though, and with a rogue AI hunting us, it's only a matter of time before we'll be needing new guys, and they'll undoubtedly be more highly specialized.

I guess in the end it really comes down to what kind of game you're playing. We've been doing mostly small-time runs this whole time, so our small DPs weren't a problem. Our GM only recently stepped things up, and, well, the long and short of it is, we're probably screwed. XD

Asking your GM about the power level of your campaign is probably your best bet though.
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kzt
post Oct 10 2009, 05:06 AM
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Skills are either grossly overpriced or characteristics are far too cheap based on what you get for each. You should put all your possible points into characteristics before buying any skills in a game that hasn't extensively house ruled CharGen.

After that you need to know what the GM and other players are expecting.
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the_real_elwood
post Oct 10 2009, 05:15 AM
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It all depends on how your group runs their games. In the group I played in, people put most of their points towards their combat, matrix, magic, or build/repair skills. Social skills always got shortchanged, but our GM let us roleplay around some of that. If we could roleplay an encounter well, he would cut us some slack on rolls for negotiation and interrogation and the like.

But in my opinion, as a Shadowrunner your primary job is to shoot people in the face for money. If you aren't good enough to successfully shoot people in the face, you won't even survive to collect the money. QED, your "shooting people in the face" skill is the most important and should have as many points in it as feasible.
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Wolfshade
post Oct 10 2009, 05:55 AM
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Prolly repeating the mantra, but..... It really depends on the game and how you perceive the character. I have always been against min/maxing a character (its a pen and paper rpg, not an mmo...IMHO) The GM has the pleasant job of mixing you're creation into the current story. If it helps the story line...awsome , otherwise, I just see it as part of the challenge of being the person behind the screen. Most well thought out runners with their skills coming from their background are usually more balanced than twinked. Sure your primary skills will be higher, but any paranoid person with any experience in the shadows will have at least 1 or 2 points of perception (unless their oblivious, which is a negative quality for a reason). Just my thought
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kzt
post Oct 10 2009, 05:57 AM
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QUOTE (the_real_elwood @ Oct 9 2009, 10:15 PM) *
But in my opinion, as a Shadowrunner your primary job is to shoot people in the face for money. If you aren't good enough to successfully shoot people in the face, you won't even survive to collect the money. QED, your "shooting people in the face" skill is the most important and should have as many points in it as feasible.

No. Your job it to be able to effectively carry out a task that someone is paying good money to get done. The client probably isn't going to be very happy about your team leaving a trail of bodies into and out of the Evo boardroom that you bugged for him. Being really good at shooting people really doesn't help in stealing data from an Ares computer, it doesn't help sneaking into the pyamid to plant evidence, it isn't very helpful unnoticeable rearranging the furniture in a Wuxing executive suite, etc.

The vast majority of jobs people want shadowrunners to do can be be done by a team that has nobody with skill with a gun. It would be pretty crazy to organize a team like this, but it certainly possible. Particularly if one of the people who has incompetence in firearms keeps a F6 fire spirit handy for those occasions when a stunbolt is too subtle....
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Marwynn
post Oct 10 2009, 06:10 AM
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Ahh the Wuxing runs. Man, I love those. Spend a week doing legwork to move a potted plant a centimeter to the left, rotated slightly, with the seats set at odd angles.

Specialists are, by definition, great at what they do. But I see no reason not to round yourself out. It does go hand-in-hand with your game and group. Karoline's running a fun Left 4 Dead-ish game and I don't feel the need to round my uber-mage out.

In general, it helps not to think of it is as an "and my character does this too". It should be my gun bunny stealther, an integral part of the concept. Sometimes though you have to accept that your character can't be good or even decent at everything, another part of the character concept. You can point and laugh at the gun bunny who can't tiptoe, but what about the Rigger who has Charisma 2 but Etiquette 3(5)?

Rounding out sometimes has a detrimental affect.

To get by this whole thing I say create a concept for the character, a full concept that addresses each area. Don't go straight to building with just the first initial thought, you usually end up becoming too specialized in that case and end up with a two dimensional character.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Oct 10 2009, 05:18 PM
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QUOTE (Red-ROM @ Oct 9 2009, 09:52 PM) *
I'm sure this has come up before, and it probably differs from table to table, but i find it hard to reconsile the desire for a well balanced character that can handle the myriad of challenges, with the desire to make him really good at what his focus is. I mean, being average is a 6 DP. And average is not so hot in SR. There are a lot of must have skills IMO, I end up with things like a perception of 2 and negotiations 3(with 2 Cha). Is it a waste of points?should I just do 1 point to avoid the default?I guess Edge is the balance? to succeed when it really counts? how much do the gm's out there let slide/punish a gun bunnie with no stealth or social skills? or a face with no perception? especially when they are game breakingly good at their specialty?



A good majority of my character's at our table tend to be somewhat specialized with a great deal of rounding out... yes, my primary skill rolls 13 dice, and most of my other character skills are in the 6-9 range...

This is to be expected if you follow the fluff of the skill ratings... it has not been detrimental in our games, even when I was captured and sent to prison (where I am still languishing, waiting for my comrades to break me out)...

this just adds to the game, not detract from it in my opinion... of course, opinion (and mileage) may vary...

Keep the Faith...
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Glyph
post Oct 10 2009, 07:09 PM
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Being a well-balanced character is not incompatible with being a specialist, because a specialist should, in addition to being good at his specialty, still be capable of functioning outside of a team when he has to. To address the examples - a gun bunny with no social skills or stealth skills can function (for the latter, defaulting to his enhanced Agility will probably be enough for infiltration and palming). However, putting a few points into, say, negotiations, intimidation, and shadowing will help that character immeasurably in being a better gun bunny. The face, on the other hand, is shooting himself in the foot by not taking perception. Perception is a complementary skill in social situations, and sometimes getting a good read on a situation can stop you from doing something that will give you lots of dice pool penalties.

The "game breakingly good" might be a clue to the problem. The system rewards specialization - heck, the entire game's premise is of groups of specialists who work together. However, the game also discourages hyper-specialization by making those last few points disproportionately costly. If you have a primary Attribute of 5 and a skill of 6, you still have plenty of points left. But if you start hard-maxing things, your points will dwindle rapidly. Hyper-specialists are still doable, but they will have a bare-bones assortment of other skills. A specialist will have breadth within his own skill set, and be functional outside of that specialty. The only specialists that really have difficulty being well-rounded are the ones like mages or covert ops specialists - because their "specialties" are actually lots of skills, leaving few points left for other things.

Finally, there isn't really a consensus of how needed most skills are, because it depends on the campaign. For some games, the gun bunnies will run wild, but in other games, nary a shot will be fired. In some games, social skills will be very important, but in other games, the GM will handwave most of it, or such situations won't even come up. So the optimal mix for a character's skills really varies - your best bet is to check with the GM and other players, then make your character.
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MikeKozar
post Oct 10 2009, 07:13 PM
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As a rule of thumb, first identify what you will be required to do, then what you will be asked to do, and then what you want to do. It's kind of subtle, but hear me out.

Some rolls you are going to have to make no matter what. For instance, sooner or later, you'll have to try and deal with incoming fire. Do you have high Reaction? Dodge? How's your Armor, and is your Body high enough to soak a hit?

Some rolls you're going to be asked to make. Take out that sniper, protect the mage, turn off those turrets, open that door. This is where the table really comes into play. If you're a specialist, you might be asked to work outside your comfort zone when everybody else defaults. If the party is deep enough, you can be a one-trick pony. If you're in a small group, you'd better be ready to do more then one trick.

Finally, what do you want to do? Does your Rigger have Automotive Mechanic at an absurdly high level, despite it never coming up in the game? Do you insist that your paratrooper backstory *demands* that you take at least parachuting 3? Are you the only one in the party with diving? Do you have skills that just plain don't help?

When you're deciding how much to specialize a character, first decide what you're going to have to roll, and cover those bases. Then think about your group and figure out what you're going to be asked to do, and make sure you're competent in those skills. Once you're satisfied with your main skills, start fleshing out the character.

I think the medics call this triage - not every skill is going to survive the build process, and you need to prioritize. When you build a generalist, you're not doing anything wrong, you're just fitting in to a larger number of roles. When you build a specialist, you're setting yourself up to be amazing at one part of the game - make sure it's going to be a big part.

~Mike
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Karoline
post Oct 10 2009, 07:33 PM
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I don't see any reason you can't be both well rounded and a specialist. I mean it doesn't take 400 BP to be able to shoot someone in the face. It isn't hard to give yourself good stats, good equipment, a high specialty skill, and still have a good number of other skills. Keep in mind things that would make sense for your character to know. For example, a gunbunny might well have a good shadowing skill so they can follow the guy they need to shoot in the face, infiltration so they can get to the guy without needing to shoot other guys in the face (That should cost extra), hardware to get past a locked door. Negotiation so they can find people to sell them bullets and new guns. Con so they can explain why they have all those guns on them.

So yeah, don't think of it as having to 'round out' your character so much as make him properly believable. And of course, you are in a team, a team of -specialists- If everyone plays a generalist then you are more or less screwed.

Reminds me of a thief handbook I read a long time ago, which talked about how you could have a bunch of low level specialists or a single high level generalist to pull off a big job (A cat burglar to get everyone in the second story window, a guy good at opening safes to get to the goods, a stealth guy to scout out the guards and so on.)

Think of runners in the same way. You have the gunbunny, the hacker, the mage, the infiltrator, the face. Sure, you could have one ultra super prime runner of doom do the run, but why would he bother? It is easier for the J to higher a team of specialists. Now, that doesn't mean that no one should be able to do anything that the others can do. Like in the above example, all the thieves need to be able to be at least a little bit quiet so they don't wake up the whole house, but only one needs to be extra stealthy to go ahead and scout out the guards. In SR it is helpful that everyone else can at least be not giant noisemakers while the infiltrator moves ahead to figure out where the security is and take out the cameras and stuff.

It also helps the face out if the rest of the party doesn't do stupid things in social situations, so a smidge of negotiation/con/etiquette makes sure you don't say something stupid or belch in the Js face or something like that.
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Thanee
post Oct 10 2009, 07:53 PM
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QUOTE (Glyph @ Oct 10 2009, 09:09 PM) *
However, the game also discourages hyper-specialization by making those last few points disproportionately costly.


Yep. I can never convince myself to start out with an attribute of 6 (plus racial mods). It just has too much of an opportunity cost. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

OTOH, I rarely take a lot of skills at low ratings (1-2). I would rather choose a few select skills and get them at decent ratings (3-4).

Bye
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Weaver95
post Oct 10 2009, 10:14 PM
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For what it's worth, my group started with a character concept and built 400 pt characters based on/around that concept. they didn't really bother with min/maxing their character out for performance. In fact, they have several glaring holes in their coverage...but the characters they made are what they really wanted to play, and they put some work into making them come together.

i'll smooth over some rough edges prior to game start but basically if your group likes character development, then that's the style of campaign you play. if they want to slaughter massive amounts of corpsec guards, then that's what you write. the point is to have fun after all. that requires a bit of flexiblity.
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toturi
post Oct 11 2009, 12:33 AM
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While technically all tests can potentially be success tests or opposed tests, some tests are generally success or opposed tests. Shooting someone else in the face is usually an opposed test while climbing down a wall is a success test. If you are a specialist where your primary function is opposed, you'd need more dice than someone specialising in success tests generally.

The reason why most opposed tests specialists have a lot of dice in the primary function is that you do not want the other guy to win the opposed test. So you try hard to stack the odds on your side.
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Glyph
post Oct 11 2009, 01:47 AM
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It's not coincidental that opposed tests that have lots of potential negative modifiers are the ones where you can start with the highest dice pools. I think those dice pools are considered "game breaking" so often, because some GMs either don't apply negative modifiers, have these prime runners facing mainly cannon fodder, or both.

But if a GM is doing that, a bit of metagaming might be in order. If a dice pool of 15 succeeds most of the time, and a dice pool of 20 makes the GM flustered, then go with the 15 and use the points to shore up a few weak areas. Why go for overkill, if it will only lead to the GM resorting to cheesy tactics to level the playing field? Conversely, if a GM thinks a lack of social skills is a huge, glaring weakness, then a Charisma of 2 and the Influence skill group at 1 might be worth it, not so much for any mechanical advantage in dice rolling, but so you won't be targeted the way you would if your character had a Charisma of 1 and no social skills. Min-maxing is an effective tactic, but it is pointless if you make a character that doesn't fit that particular gaming table.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Oct 11 2009, 02:42 AM
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QUOTE (Glyph @ Oct 10 2009, 07:47 PM) *
It's not coincidental that opposed tests that have lots of potential negative modifiers are the ones where you can start with the highest dice pools. I think those dice pools are considered "game breaking" so often, because some GMs either don't apply negative modifiers, have these prime runners facing mainly cannon fodder, or both.

But if a GM is doing that, a bit of metagaming might be in order. If a dice pool of 15 succeeds most of the time, and a dice pool of 20 makes the GM flustered, then go with the 15 and use the points to shore up a few weak areas. Why go for overkill, if it will only lead to the GM resorting to cheesy tactics to level the playing field? Conversely, if a GM thinks a lack of social skills is a huge, glaring weakness, then a Charisma of 2 and the Influence skill group at 1 might be worth it, not so much for any mechanical advantage in dice rolling, but so you won't be targeted the way you would if your character had a Charisma of 1 and no social skills. Min-maxing is an effective tactic, but it is pointless if you make a character that doesn't fit that particular gaming table.



Ain't that the truth...
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toturi
post Oct 11 2009, 04:19 AM
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QUOTE (Glyph @ Oct 11 2009, 09:47 AM) *
But if a GM is doing that, a bit of metagaming might be in order. If a dice pool of 15 succeeds most of the time, and a dice pool of 20 makes the GM flustered, then go with the 15 and use the points to shore up a few weak areas. Why go for overkill, if it will only lead to the GM resorting to cheesy tactics to level the playing field? Conversely, if a GM thinks a lack of social skills is a huge, glaring weakness, then a Charisma of 2 and the Influence skill group at 1 might be worth it, not so much for any mechanical advantage in dice rolling, but so you won't be targeted the way you would if your character had a Charisma of 1 and no social skills. Min-maxing is an effective tactic, but it is pointless if you make a character that doesn't fit that particular gaming table.

The reason why most specialist builds have to go with a pool of 20 rather than 15 is most opposed tests are those that you cannot afford to fail. If you do, really bad things happen. For example, Perception vs Infiltration/Disguise, if you are trying to spot a sniper, or you are a sniper trying to hide from a counter-sniper, failing either way is very bad for the failing character's continued survival. Similar for Spellcasting/Counterspelling, etc.

Opposed test exceptions that I can think of off-hand that doesn't generally have lethal consequences are the Social Skills. Sure, if your GM doesn't want your pornomancer to talk the pants off his CEO NPC, then don't.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Oct 11 2009, 04:40 PM
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QUOTE (toturi @ Oct 10 2009, 09:19 PM) *
The reason why most specialist builds have to go with a pool of 20 rather than 15 is most opposed tests are those that you cannot afford to fail. If you do, really bad things happen. For example, Perception vs Infiltration/Disguise, if you are trying to spot a sniper, or you are a sniper trying to hide from a counter-sniper, failing either way is very bad for the failing character's continued survival. Similar for Spellcasting/Counterspelling, etc.

Opposed test exceptions that I can think of off-hand that doesn't generally have lethal consequences are the Social Skills. Sure, if your GM doesn't want your pornomancer to talk the pants off his CEO NPC, then don't.


But how many NPC's are throwing upwards of 15 dice, let alone 20+?
In my experience with SR4 since it came out, I have found that a dice pool of 12-14 is more than sufficient to succeed the vast majority of the time...

On those RARE occassions, where you are going up against a prime runner of your caliber or better, you are expected to fail about 50% of the time (for equal challenge) or even less for the vastly superior challenge...

Stacking your dice pool so high that it becomes increasingly hard to challenge yuor character detracts from the story in my opinion... If you NEVER FAIL, what is the point of playing at all, you might as well just have the GM and you collaborate on a novel and be done with it (and it would be a boring one indeed if the Protagonist is flawlwess in execution of anything that he does)...

Failure helps you to grow as a character... it is part and parcel of character development...

Keep the Faith
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toturi
post Oct 12 2009, 12:24 AM
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QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Oct 12 2009, 12:40 AM) *
Stacking your dice pool so high that it becomes increasingly hard to challenge yuor character detracts from the story in my opinion... If you NEVER FAIL, what is the point of playing at all, you might as well just have the GM and you collaborate on a novel and be done with it (and it would be a boring one indeed if the Protagonist is flawlwess in execution of anything that he does)...

Failure helps you to grow as a character... it is part and parcel of character development...

Keep the Faith

Due to the extreme lethality of the Shadowrun game system, it is unlikely failure in the PC's chosen area will help character development. It may help your character development but it is almost quite detrimental to your PC's continued well being. If you are building a specialist, you should be ready to fail somewhat at other tests not relating to your primary focus, but should your PC fail in his primary focus, then likely the story ends or has taken a very bad turn. Even if you do have more dice, it does not mean that you will always succeed, it simply means that the likelihood of success is better.

Failure only helps you to grow if you survive it.
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Tachi
post Oct 12 2009, 02:03 AM
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Yeah, that's one of the reasons that I'll usually start a group of "well rounded" PCs in a street level arc and let them grow into the real shadows. They tend to 'well round' themselves into a grave otherwise. I'm not a very forgiving GM, burning edge for survival happens fairly often in my games. But that's just me, YMMV.
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cndblank
post Oct 12 2009, 02:13 PM
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The BP system encourages hyper specialization with the skills and stats maxed or mined.

It charges any where between 1.5 to 2 times the Karma rate for most skills and stats unless you get really high.

It even cost double to specialize.

I understand why they did the BP system that way, but they should have made it a quickstart option.


Use the Karmagen system if you want rounded characters.

The character will have more low low level skills and fewer very low dump stats, but they won't be so maxed out.

You can also give some starting karma to round the character out. People will use it to get specializations and pick up a few skills at rating 1.

Stuff they should really start the game with but cannot afford with the BP system.



IMHO, a character should have his specialization covered, after all the Johnson is hiring specialist and can afford to hire professionals.

But a character should also be well rounded enough to to keep up with the rest of his team if called to fill in some other role.
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Kerrang
post Oct 12 2009, 02:51 PM
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QUOTE (Red-ROM @ Oct 9 2009, 10:52 PM) *
I'm sure this has come up before, and it probably differs from table to table, but i find it hard to reconsile the desire for a well balanced character that can handle the myriad of challenges, with the desire to make him really good at what his focus is. I mean, being average is a 6 DP. And average is not so hot in SR. There are a lot of must have skills IMO, I end up with things like a perception of 2 and negotiations 3(with 2 Cha). Is it a waste of points?should I just do 1 point to avoid the default?I guess Edge is the balance? to succeed when it really counts? how much do the gm's out there let slide/punish a gun bunnie with no stealth or social skills? or a face with no perception? especially when they are game breakingly good at their specialty?


As many have already noted, it is going to depend on your GM. I am they type of GM that does not care for Power Gaming, and by extension, Min/Maxing. If you come to my table with a min/maxed character, the first thing I am going to do is make an observation that your character looks a bit unbalanced, and that you may want to fix that. Ignore my observation, and you will have a target on your forehead. Others will look at it differently, your best bet is to discuss it with your GM first, and then with your group as a whole. The people you play with should be the determining factor, not the consensus on Dumpshock.
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Blade
post Oct 12 2009, 03:17 PM
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As a lot of people said, it depends on your table and GM and the average threshold you face.

I have a character who's got an average of 8-10 dice in hacking combat and facing with low Edge. Sure he can't hack the heaviest node, can't handle an army on his own and can't convince the corporate court that he should be in charge but in most situations (in the game I've played at least), his abilities will be enough. Then it all comes down to playing his advantages and working around his weaknesses.

The advantage is that he'll be able to do some dangerous social engineering on his own: get in the place, hack something once inside and be able to fight his way out if needed. He'll also be a very good addition to a small team that can't have specialists in every aspects. He's also rarely left behind as the rest of the team does something.

One of the possible drawback is that he can feel useless if there are specialists to do his work. But you can work around this: if there's a better hacker, my character will focus on the facing and combat or he'll assist the hacker by doing the grunt work. If there are enough fighters on the team or a very difficult opponent, he might avoid combat entirely or use his hacking abilities in combat (mostly for tactical support rather than for aggressive hacking).
You just have to keep in mind (and remind your teammate) that your character can't do everything he's skilled in and play accordingly.
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Zak
post Oct 12 2009, 03:42 PM
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QUOTE (Blade @ Oct 12 2009, 05:17 PM) *
As a lot of people said, it depends on your table and GM and the average threshold you face.

I have a character who's got an average of 8-10 dice in hacking combat and facing with low Edge. Sure he can't hack the heaviest node, can't handle an army on his own and can't convince the corporate court that he should be in charge but in most situations (in the game I've played at least), his abilities will be enough. Then it all comes down to playing his advantages and working around his weaknesses.

The advantage is that he'll be able to do some dangerous social engineering on his own: get in the place, hack something once inside and be able to fight his way out if needed. He'll also be a very good addition to a small team that can't have specialists in every aspects. He's also rarely left behind as the rest of the team does something.

One of the possible drawback is that he can feel useless if there are specialists to do his work. But you can work around this: if there's a better hacker, my character will focus on the facing and combat or he'll assist the hacker by doing the grunt work. If there are enough fighters on the team or a very difficult opponent, he might avoid combat entirely or use his hacking abilities in combat (mostly for tactical support rather than for aggressive hacking).
You just have to keep in mind (and remind your teammate) that your character can't do everything he's skilled in and play accordingly.



Yea, or he might not get a call next time a job is up.
Because he is not bringing enough expertise. Of course this is usually not an issue when playing with friends, but 'slacker' chars like this one are dragging team of specialists down.
It gets annoying to have chars who can do their job having to put up with those who can't (f.e. a lousy hacker who might aswell be replaced with a babysitted agent).

As you said, it really depends on the group setup. If everyone is just above (or on par) of average on their field your char would fit right in. If however, the group prefers to get their jobs done - I would tell you to bring another char.

That said, I am not changing the gameworld depending on the dicepools of the group.
I expect a Sam to totally overpower any guard (or even HTR members). I expect a hacker to easily walk into a normal security node and own it. And I expect a mage to not make a scene out of force 3 spirits (as annoyingly powerful those can already be).
So yes, you might get along with your 10 dice. From a group perspective though, i'd rather have you roll 15 if that is the average specialist pool (which it usually is in my starting games)

In gaming groups you can get by with quite alot of slacking. It is pretty unfair to the rest of the team though, if it's not communicated and for a good role-playing reason.
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Blade
post Oct 12 2009, 04:52 PM
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I disagree. The char I've used as an example isn't a slacker. He's competent, but not a specialist.

He overpowered a few guards easily (though he might have trouble against an elite HTR member) and hacked a lot of security nodes (rating 4) on the fly. What he didn't do was hack a rating 6+ node but he used social engineering to get a legitimate access to that one.
When in a team with a hacking specialist (maxed out hacking stats, nearly nothing else), he was still the one who was sent when you had to physically jack-in since he was able to handle the infiltration on his own and to fight his way out if needed. And while less competent than the hacking specialist he's also less of a burden to the team when he has to tag along.

But then again it depends on the average dice pool on your table. I've mostly played him when the BBB was the only available book and 12+ pools were rare and 15+ even rarer.
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