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> Effective Melee Characters?
Vestax
post Oct 27 2009, 11:21 PM
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New to shadowrun so been gentle.

I am aware that an adept can become amazing with unarmed strikes and are able to compete with guns. Could someone explain to me how a melee weapon (not unarmed) is able to compete? In another thread someone mentioned melee being able to get 14+ DV easy but I dont see how this is possible with the exception of unarmed.

While the damage / hits are close to each other vs pistol / katana the melee weapons lose because it requires a complex actions.

While I would really like to play a melee based character is just doesn't seem to viable. Especially when you consider how much extra damage he will be taking from being right in someone face.

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Ayeohx
post Oct 28 2009, 01:38 AM
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QUOTE (Vestax @ Oct 27 2009, 04:21 PM) *
New to shadowrun so been gentle.

I am aware that an adept can become amazing with unarmed strikes and are able to compete with guns. Could someone explain to me how a melee weapon (not unarmed) is able to compete? In another thread someone mentioned melee being able to get 14+ DV easy but I dont see how this is possible with the exception of unarmed.

While the damage / hits are close to each other vs pistol / katana the melee weapons lose because it requires a complex actions.

While I would really like to play a melee based character is just doesn't seem to viable. Especially when you consider how much extra damage he will be taking from being right in someone face.


Hi Vestax,

While I love the melee based adept idea it's just a weak shadowrunner. A samurai is terribly lethal in comparison due to his use of grenades and ranged weaponry. You can go this route with an adept as well but sammies are way more versatile due to the amount of cyber/bio you can cram into them. We've had two melee based adepts created, and while they were okay, they just aren't sammies. In fact, I'd go as far to say that I wouldn't want an adept on my shadow ops team unless we specifically needed his skillset. They're just way too limited.
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Wolfshade
post Oct 28 2009, 01:49 AM
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Can kinda depend on how it's played in my mind. Combine a good con skill with the melee skills and many things are possible. If it's a case where the fit has already hit the shan, the pure melee Phys-ad may be in trouble. However, they have so much potential and don't have to worry about drain (much) or ammo.
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Glyph
post Oct 28 2009, 02:07 AM
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Melee combat is like sniping - it's a niche role, rather than a full-fledged specialty. In close quarters, used in conjunction with stealth, or in special circumstances, melee can be brutally effective. But any melee fighter should have a good ranged skill, and a good dodge/gymnastics skill.

The thing is, close combat specialists aren't really stuck doing nothing but melee. To be good at melee, you need multiple initiative passes, high Agility and Reaction, and good armor/damage soaking capability. All of those things make you good in ranged combat, too!

Street samurai martial artists are relatively easy to make into close combat specialists. Most sammies should have a solid melee skill at any rate, so the only real difference for a martial artist is that they take the skill of 6 in the melee skill and 4's in the ranged skills, and spend a few more points on martial arts qualities and maneuvers. So you can have a decent martial artist street samurai who is almost indistinguishable from a "normal" one.

For adepts, you almost have to take one or two points of bioware (generally synaptic boosters and muscle toner), because being an effective unarmed fighter demands a lot of points, and you save with the bioware. This comes at the expense of being well-rounded, but adepts are more or less specialists compared to sammies anyways. Where they really shine is against spirits, possessed characters, and other things that have the immunity to normal weapons power. With killing hands or weapon foci, they completely negate that protection.
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Orcus Blackweath...
post Oct 28 2009, 02:08 AM
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Strength of 10 with a combat axe starts at 9p damage. With an adept with attribute boost, you could theoretically make it up to 15. At 15 that would be 11P. Make the axe a weapon focus, and you will be the terror of spirits everywhere. I don't have my book with me, but if I recall correctly there is a martial art that allows you bonus damage with a weapon as well. While this is nothing to compare to a panther assault cannon or a heavy machine gun, it nevertheless is superior to assault rifles and below.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Oct 28 2009, 02:15 AM
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QUOTE (Orcus Blackweather @ Oct 27 2009, 08:08 PM) *
Strength of 10 with a combat axe starts at 9p damage. With an adept with attribute boost, you could theoretically make it up to 15. At 15 that would be 11P. Make the axe a weapon focus, and you will be the terror of spirits everywhere. I don't have my book with me, but if I recall correctly there is a martial art that allows you bonus damage with a weapon as well. While this is nothing to compare to a panther assault cannon or a heavy machine gun, it nevertheless is superior to assault rifles and below.



Martial Arts can add up to a total Cumulative of +3 DV, but that might be hard to get in a melee weapon... No Books Handy myself...

My Troll Martial Artist had Base DV of 11 Unarmed, and could generally add +4 Strength (with Strength Boost) for +2 more DV (Total of 13) all of which was AP -3...

As Orcus Said... had I gone the Muscle Augmentation route for +4 Strength, I could have reached DV15, AP -3... that is damn brutal... also could have added another +1 DV for the last MA Bonus (for a total of +3)... it can definitely be done...

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Marwynn
post Oct 28 2009, 02:17 AM
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An effective melee character isn't always in melee, he just does very well when it comes to up-close-face-smashing compared to guys who only know how to shoot and received basic unarmed training.

Don't neglect the Martial Arts, there's two that gives +1 to Blade DV.

And you don't have to fully sacrifice being an Adept. There are many more things Adepts can do that 'ware can't replicate, the least of which is using weapon foci to slice spirits in half (though to be honest shooting them works well).

Do not neglect Martial Arts, especially for melee weapons. Also, don't forget that you can put some bayonets into some of your weapons (or build gunblades).
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Mystweaver
post Oct 29 2009, 01:31 PM
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I can't comment on SR4 because I don't play it. We are still on SR3

I have a melee (katana) specialist with my SR3 character who is approaching 1000 karma earnt from playing on and off for the last 13 years.

In the early days, considering that ranged combat was just with bow and shuriken, he kept alive by being cautious. In the starting build I had maxed out his Katana skill and as such he was terrifying when up close and personal (and that hasn't changed with 30 dice SR3 rules).

Maxing out to start with is indeed risky. It is probably better to go with either Troll or Orc for that extra strength and body. My character is a human and I've managed to survive many a hard fight.

Teamwork is key to a melee character. Have your other team mates suppress your opponents so you can take advantage of cover to get in close as quick as possible.

A couple of key things that have kept me alive:

Know when to run away
A decent weapon focus
Anchoring Focus: Armour 8
Anchoring Focus: Levitate 4
Anchoring Focus: Improved Invisibility 6
Max layered armour
Hardened Armour if Available (not worn at the same time (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif) )

Good powers to get (the names of them specifically illude me and I don't know if any of these powers have translated to SR4)
Quick Strike - the power that allows you to go first (Unless a cunning plan has been drawn up when I am not the first instigator in a combat, this is always used)
Increase Dodge Pool (For obvious reasons, this allows you to remain upright when approaching for a melee attack)
Increase Running Speed (each point in this gives me 3 meters when running and I have an infusion focus 10, thus 30 extra meters running... ZOOM!)
Increase Melee Weapons (obviously)

Essentially, having a sustained Armour Focus has saved my butt more times than I can remember. Improved Invisibility allows you to get in close without being shot at (for the most part). Levitate allows you to get to those hard-to-reach places. Obviously, all of these need a Mage Contact or Party member to make viable.

As you would expect, with my character at just under 1k karma, he has diversified from purely Katana Adept and can cover several other aspects. He is not optimised in anyway - such is the growth of a character from week to week over such a long period of time. However, these Foci that I attained early on the game are still used to good effect, and I still kill 95% of my opponents in melee.

This all said however; if I had a chance to build again, I would most certainly have started with a ranged weapons skill other than bow (which I took for character background purposes). Most probably Assault Rifles or Rifles.
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Screaming Eagle
post Oct 29 2009, 02:37 PM
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QUOTE (Mystweaver @ Oct 29 2009, 09:31 AM) *
who is approaching 1000 karma earnt from playing on and off for the last 13 years.

Um... I have to ask, why has this charater not bought a small country and retired there as king?

The highest I got in 3rd was 200 or so Karma and I was looking at end game resolution and retirement.

EDIT - or conquered a small country... or, or, or
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Corgak
post Oct 29 2009, 09:08 PM
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Being a newbie as well, where does one find the martial arts moves. I tried looking in the combat and skill sections of SR4 BBB and could not find anything specific.
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crizh
post Oct 29 2009, 09:23 PM
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Arsenal p156.
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Corgak
post Oct 29 2009, 09:24 PM
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Ahh, thank you!
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Oct 30 2009, 12:01 AM
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QUOTE (Screaming Eagle @ Oct 29 2009, 08:37 AM) *
Um... I have to ask, why has this charater not bought a small country and retired there as king?

The highest I got in 3rd was 200 or so Karma and I was looking at end game resolution and retirement.

EDIT - or conquered a small country... or, or, or



Best I ever had was 387 Karma... and he was a beast at Grade 8 Initiate and an 11 Magic Rating... He was a Cyber/Bio Adept...

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Red-ROM
post Oct 30 2009, 02:55 AM
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another plus to the phys ad close combatabt is when your in a high security spot, stripped of the grenades and heavy artillery, or when you've been captured/ arrested. no guns, and the mage has a bucket on his head.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Oct 30 2009, 02:58 AM
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QUOTE (Red-ROM @ Oct 29 2009, 08:55 PM) *
another plus to the phys ad close combatabt is when your in a high security spot, stripped of the grenades and heavy artillery, or when you've been captured/ arrested. no guns, and the mage has a bucket on his head.



Hard to deny the utility of a competent hand to hand specialist in that situation...

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Saint Sithney
post Oct 30 2009, 09:18 AM
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Don't forget, all that strength means you can huck grenades like woah.
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yorks6988
post Oct 30 2009, 10:39 PM
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QUOTE
My Troll Martial Artist had Base DV of 11 Unarmed, and could generally add +4 Strength (with Strength Boost) for +2 more DV (Total of 13) all of which was AP -3


Where did the AP-3 come from, using a weapon?

I am playing SR4 now and my first char is a troll melee character. With bone lacing, muscle augmentation, boxing +2dv, and surge (spurs) I have 13DV. As far as attack pool goes, natural reach and kick (maneuver) can add 2 or subtract 2 to dice pools. Also for a melee character drop a few points into longarms, and you now have an effective shooter. The Ensfield shotgun is nice, with a burst fire mode. Trolls are very effective also because they have a base run speed of 35 ( thats faster than Usain Bolt-115 yds or 105 meters in 9 secs. flat), combine that with a point in Running and you can get to people quick. I like keeping a few flash grenades handy to distract them for a few seconds while I'm rushing them. Adding initiative passes just makes things better.

One rules quirk that works well for melee is that during each IP you can choose to run or walk, and it's a free action. For example: Troll with 3 IPs- 1st IP run 12 meters (40ft) and attack, 2nd IP walk 5 meters (15 feet) and attack, 3rd IP run 12 meters and attack. If you can stun or kill an opponent with 1 hit, it's feasible to take out more than 1 person even if they are spread out. This scenario had 3 people spread out over about 100 feet, not too implausible.
NOTE- If I am doing something wrong, please let me know, I've only been playing Shadowrun for 4 months. But, I have been table gaming since 1980....
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Oct 30 2009, 11:48 PM
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QUOTE (yorks6988 @ Oct 30 2009, 03:39 PM) *
Where did the AP-3 come from, using a weapon?

I am playing SR4 now and my first char is a troll melee character. With bone lacing, muscle augmentation, boxing +2dv, and surge (spurs) I have 13DV. As far as attack pool goes, natural reach and kick (maneuver) can add 2 or subtract 2 to dice pools. Also for a melee character drop a few points into longarms, and you now have an effective shooter. The Ensfield shotgun is nice, with a burst fire mode. Trolls are very effective also because they have a base run speed of 35 ( thats faster than Usain Bolt-115 yds or 105 meters in 9 secs. flat), combine that with a point in Running and you can get to people quick. I like keeping a few flash grenades handy to distract them for a few seconds while I'm rushing them. Adding initiative passes just makes things better.

One rules quirk that works well for melee is that during each IP you can choose to run or walk, and it's a free action. For example: Troll with 3 IPs- 1st IP run 12 meters (40ft) and attack, 2nd IP walk 5 meters (15 feet) and attack, 3rd IP run 12 meters and attack. If you can stun or kill an opponent with 1 hit, it's feasible to take out more than 1 person even if they are spread out. This scenario had 3 people spread out over about 100 feet, not too implausible.
NOTE- If I am doing something wrong, please let me know, I've only been playing Shadowrun for 4 months. But, I have been table gaming since 1980....



Unarmed... meaning no weapon... he had Penetrating Strike (he was an Adept) at level 3, thus the -3 AP...

As for movement, we apply the same movement across the Turn, if you are running, you run through the turn... or stop running at some point in the turn, but hten you cannot start to run in htat same turn... it is, after all, only 3 seconds long...
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Wolfshade
post Oct 31 2009, 03:34 AM
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As someone noted earlier, thrown weapons can be a handy skill for a phys ad. There is an adept power somewhere that allows you to pick up anything and use as it as a thrown weapon. With strength this becomes a handy and scary thing. Literally had one of my players take out a sec gaurd in armor with a paperclip. Real Bullseye moment.
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Vestax
post Oct 31 2009, 04:42 AM
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Yah i noticed the throwing weapon power. Could easily flavor it to match the powers of gambit.
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Marwynn
post Oct 31 2009, 05:15 AM
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Missile Mastery and Power Throw is only 1.75 points and it turns you into a monster at throwing. With Strength 10 that comes to 16. Since it's only for calculating damage and range it doesn't count for the augmented max.

That's 10P right there with a throwing knife. And you're outranging heavy pistols, closer to SMG brackets. With the Quick Draw power it's a simple action to draw the throwing knife and attack with it. No need to even ready any of them...

But that is a hefty investment in Power Points. But if you have Ambidexterity and Martial Arts' Two Weapon Fighting it does work well.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Oct 31 2009, 03:43 PM
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QUOTE (Marwynn @ Oct 30 2009, 11:15 PM) *
Missile Mastery and Power Throw is only 1.75 points and it turns you into a monster at throwing. With Strength 10 that comes to 16. Since it's only for calculating damage and range it doesn't count for the augmented max.

That's 10P right there with a throwing knife. And you're outranging heavy pistols, closer to SMG brackets. With the Quick Draw power it's a simple action to draw the throwing knife and attack with it. No need to even ready any of them...

But that is a hefty investment in Power Points. But if you have Ambidexterity and Martial Arts' Two Weapon Fighting it does work well.



Yeah, it is not a bad combination at all...

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Mystweaver
post Nov 2 2009, 10:35 AM
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QUOTE (Screaming Eagle @ Oct 29 2009, 02:37 PM) *
Um... I have to ask, why has this charater not bought a small country and retired there as king?

The highest I got in 3rd was 200 or so Karma and I was looking at end game resolution and retirement.

EDIT - or conquered a small country... or, or, or



There is always fame and fortune to chase.
As you do more runs, you get a better rep for not screwing em up and as such get paid more.

Plus there are bigger fish to fry.
In our campaign, the Universal Brotherhood are still around - chicargo hasn't been nuked. We are still doing the Harlequin campaign. Horrors are still an issue, and all the other new stuff that is being brough out for SR4 is being written into our campaign.
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Draco18s
post Nov 2 2009, 11:21 AM
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QUOTE (Glyph @ Oct 27 2009, 10:07 PM) *
Melee combat is like sniping - it's a niche role, rather than a full-fledged specialty. In close quarters, used in conjunction with stealth, or in special circumstances, melee can be brutally effective. But any melee fighter should have a good ranged skill, and a good dodge/gymnastics skill.


This. Its as much true in ShadowRun as it is in the other game I play, Alpha Omega. I tried making an effective melee character in AO, but due to the way armor works (amongst other things) I ended up going heavy weapons (because a gun that fires 10mm steel ball bearings is awesome).
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Mystweaver
post Nov 4 2009, 12:57 PM
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In my group, there are two of us who are melee specialists. The other guy however has not focuses quite as heavily, or doesn't have the equipment to match my own skill in melee.

To make up for it when it comes to hitting as hard, he almost always uses a called shot to ignore armour rather than to increase damage which in turn makes it much easier to kill his target. He centers against in the increased target numbers help and is almost as effective.

Yet again I am stuck in SR3 so don't know how such a thing would work in SR4
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