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Brol_The_Mighty
post Feb 27 2010, 09:48 AM
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Are Free Spirits a viable PC option? I see the rules for it in RC...but are they actually viable from a point-cost perspective? They look very intersting, and the combinations of critter powers available + mage spells could be pretty sweet....but are they too costly? Even when using Karmagen?

Also, it states that their force attribute affects their minimum AND maximum...what exactly does that mean really? Increasing their Force attribute increases what they start at...AND modifies their maximum? So really, you should be investing in Force, Magic, and Edge then? Lol....am I reading it right?
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TheOOB
post Feb 27 2010, 01:16 PM
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I don't see anything about the force being the minimum for attributes, though I could be missing something. Your attributes start at 2, and are capped by your force, which stands to reason that you need to raise force than your attributes.

In any case, free spirits are viable, but they are kind of late bloomers. Even more so than a magician, spirits have unlimited natural power, but they start off a little weak. Being forced to be astral or duel natured also has problems(learn that masking quick if you ever want to get past wards).

The trick is, you have to focus on what a spirit can do, unlimited access to the metaplanes, including the metaplaner shortcut is very very powerful, and can be used in many situations. If a spirit loses suprise, they can simple turn astral, and manifest behind their target, and that is nasty. I'm not sure if your friendship pact allows you to use the shortcut to go to one of your friends locations, I think it's worth further investigation.

What is even more nasty is if you are a possession spirit and buy a powerful vessel to start. Those characters can just be broken.
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Platinum
post Feb 27 2010, 05:21 PM
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I thought that free spirits can't earn karma that it has to be given freely from NPC's or pc's at a loss 1:3 ratio. Seems like a bad idea for the long run.
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Starmage21
post Feb 27 2010, 05:25 PM
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QUOTE (Platinum @ Feb 27 2010, 12:21 PM) *
I thought that free spirits can't earn karma that it has to be given freely from NPC's or pc's at a loss 1:3 ratio. Seems like a bad idea for the long run.



The runner's companion outlines how PC Free Spirits are played, and they have an option called a friendship pact that allows them to gain karma normally, in addition to spirit pacts.
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Neraph
post Feb 27 2010, 06:54 PM
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QUOTE (Brol_The_Mighty @ Feb 27 2010, 03:48 AM) *
Are Free Spirits a viable PC option? I see the rules for it in RC...but are they actually viable from a point-cost perspective? They look very intersting, and the combinations of critter powers available + mage spells could be pretty sweet....but are they too costly? Even when using Karmagen?

Also, it states that their force attribute affects their minimum AND maximum...what exactly does that mean really? Increasing their Force attribute increases what they start at...AND modifies their maximum? So really, you should be investing in Force, Magic, and Edge then? Lol....am I reading it right?

Their Force is equal to their Magic. Their Force does in fact make the natural Maximum for their stats, however. Example: You have a Force 3 Free Spirit. Your attributes and Edge max out at 3.

This actually makes it all but mandatory to take the Lucky quality and pick up some Increase Attribute spells and Shapechange. That'll help immensely.

The Friendship Pact is also required to play a character normally, (IE: karma from runs), but I would like to suggest this worthy alternative: Power Pact. Grab a Power Pact, get a 16 BP group contact (Loyalty 6) of mages, get all the free spells you can think of, and charge 1 karma a week from the ~100 people in the group.

If you use Karmagen, Free Spirit PCs become broken. For example, build an amazing human spellcaster, but don't take any conjuring skills. Now reduce his Edge by 1 and he's a free spirit. Karmagen does not charge karma for the racial BPs, and that saves you effectively 500 karma (250 BP) to continue building a super-mage - not to mention the possibility of Initiation and Metamagics in karmagen.

Also, feel free to check the free spirit thread in my signature for some ideas.
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Ryu
post Feb 27 2010, 07:11 PM
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QUOTE (TheOOB @ Feb 27 2010, 02:16 PM) *
What is even more nasty is if you are a possession spirit and buy a powerful vessel to start. Those characters can just be broken.

There is that. Take a look at the drone selection with the Movement power in mind.

Materialisation spirits make for good Recon Specialists. They have the astral dodge, are spellcasters, and can use the concealment power for themselves. With the right Divination spells they can know any area they are in perfectly well, too. Build them for astral combat and astral penetration and nothing can stop them.
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Karoline
post Feb 27 2010, 07:18 PM
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QUOTE (Neraph @ Feb 27 2010, 01:54 PM) *
Their Force is equal to their Magic. Their Force does in fact make the natural Maximum for their stats, however. Example: You have a Force 3 Free Spirit. Your attributes and Edge max out at 3.

This actually makes it all but mandatory to take the Lucky quality and pick up some Increase Attribute spells and Shapechange. That'll help immensely.


Not really. For 20 BP to get lucky you could just raise your force 2 more points, thus raising your max edge(And all other stats) by 2.

As for using karmagen, yes, spirits become minor gods if you use the RC rules. If however you use the SR4A rules which include a 5x cost for attributes as opposed to a 3x cost, and the fact that you have to pay karma equal to the BP cost of your race, they become somewhat more in line with other PCs, though are still very powerful because they are virtually immortal, and can pop out of any dangerous situation any time they want.

Friendship pact allows spirits to gain karma normally like other runners, and they also have the option of picking up other pacts and using those to get karma out of people (Haven't seen anything about that being at a 3:1 ratio though). The health pact for example is cool because you can give it to all your teammates, and they can pull 2 points of healing whenever they want in exchange for giving you a point of karma.
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Emy
post Feb 27 2010, 07:29 PM
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QUOTE (Neraph @ Feb 27 2010, 11:54 AM) *
If you use Karmagen, Free Spirit PCs become broken. For example, build an amazing human spellcaster, but don't take any conjuring skills. Now reduce his Edge by 1 and he's a free spirit. Karmagen does not charge karma for the racial BPs, and that saves you effectively 500 karma (250 BP) to continue building a super-mage - not to mention the possibility of Initiation and Metamagics in karmagen.


Unless you use the updated karmagen rules, which are only in German at the moment. Then racial BP cost is also used as a racial karma cost, and attributes cost 5xLevel.

The Free Spirit doesn't have access to certain godly things like sustaining foci. And why would you not take conjuring skills as a human? Conjuring is quite good.

QUOTE (TheOOB @ Feb 27 2010, 06:16 AM) *
I don't see anything about the force being the minimum for attributes, though I could be missing something. Your attributes start at 2, and are capped by your force, which stands to reason that you need to raise force than your attributes.


Unless there's something in the German version (or unreleased errata), the OP is right. RC says that Force "determines a Free Spirit's natural minimums and maximums for all attributes."
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JoelHalpern
post Feb 27 2010, 07:52 PM
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The other thing to remember about Free Spirits is that they have trouble with wards. Yes, they can often power through them. But doing so is NOT discreet or stealthy. It immediately alerts the casting mage.

My own take was that in RC as published, with the 0 cost for race, unless the GM was nasty about handling the friendship pact, they were overpowered.
With the SR4A cost for race, and the 5x cost for attributes, they probably are actually a bit weak. (I have a nice one crafted with racial cost in karma = BP, but 3x rather than 5x attribute cost. That is a house-rule setup, although we are trying to stick close to the rules in all other regards.)

Yours,
Joel
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Mordinvan
post Feb 27 2010, 08:06 PM
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QUOTE (JoelHalpern @ Feb 27 2010, 12:52 PM) *
The other thing to remember about Free Spirits is that they have trouble with wards. Yes, they can often power through them. But doing so is NOT discreet or stealthy. It immediately alerts the casting mage.

My own take was that in RC as published, with the 0 cost for race, unless the GM was nasty about handling the friendship pact, they were overpowered.
With the SR4A cost for race, and the 5x cost for attributes, they probably are actually a bit weak. (I have a nice one crafted with racial cost in karma = BP, but 3x rather than 5x attribute cost. That is a house-rule setup, although we are trying to stick close to the rules in all other regards.)

Yours,
Joel


They can just deep astral travel to the other side of a ward. This only becomes a problem for possession spirits who have to leave their body behind.
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Emy
post Feb 27 2010, 08:10 PM
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QUOTE (Mordinvan @ Feb 27 2010, 01:06 PM) *
They can just deep astral travel to the other side of a ward. This only becomes a problem for possession spirits who have to leave their body behind.


Only if they've been there before.
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Mordinvan
post Feb 27 2010, 08:13 PM
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QUOTE (Emy @ Feb 27 2010, 01:10 PM) *
Only if they've been there before.


Generally speaking unless the ward blocks visible light, that isn't much of a problem.
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Karoline
post Feb 27 2010, 08:14 PM
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QUOTE (Mordinvan @ Feb 27 2010, 03:06 PM) *
They can just deep astral travel to the other side of a ward. This only becomes a problem for possession spirits who have to leave their body behind.


Could run their body at the ward, then unpossess it at the last moment and have momentum carry it past the ward, then repossess it on the other side (Provided you can do the deep astral thing or get around it some other way)
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Mordinvan
post Feb 27 2010, 08:19 PM
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QUOTE (Karoline @ Feb 27 2010, 01:14 PM) *
Could run their body at the ward, then unpossess it at the last moment and have momentum carry it past the ward, then repossess it on the other side (Provided you can do the deep astral thing or get around it some other way)

I actually didn't think about that.... ya that would work, as it would be a mundane object tumbling through the ward then.
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Emy
post Feb 27 2010, 08:24 PM
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QUOTE (Karoline @ Feb 27 2010, 01:14 PM) *
Could run their body at the ward, then unpossess it at the last moment and have momentum carry it past the ward, then repossess it on the other side (Provided you can do the deep astral thing or get around it some other way)


That's pretty excellent.

QUOTE (Mordinvan @ Feb 27 2010, 01:13 PM) *
Generally speaking unless the ward blocks visible light, that isn't much of a problem.


I thought they had to have been there, and not just seen the location. At least, that's the impression I got from the little "Metaplanar Shortcut" section on page 94 of Street Magic.
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Karoline
post Feb 27 2010, 08:25 PM
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QUOTE (Mordinvan @ Feb 27 2010, 03:19 PM) *
I actually didn't think about that.... ya that would work, as it would be a mundane object tumbling through the ward then.


Score 1 point for the laws of physics. A body in motion tends to stay in motion until the troll catches up with it.
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Patrick the Gnom...
post Feb 27 2010, 09:05 PM
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Are you guys getting wards confused with the mana barrier spell?
QUOTE
A basic ward must be placed on a non-living thing (walls, rocks,
and so on), and it must possess a physical anchor (an object or symbol
of mystical significance that provides a “focal point” for the ward).


Wards exist solely to prevent spirits from floating through the walls of a facility, they don't create random, invisible astral barriers in a radius around the ward anchor. So a possession spirit running headlong into a ward and unpossessing it at the last moment would just make its unpossessed body crash into a wall. A possession spirit, or any spirit for that matter, that wanted to walk into a facility would simply have to find an open door or window and walk in like a normal person. The mana barrier spell would be the thing you'd have to charge your body through to avoid detection and then teleport through yourself.

Free Spirits are cool because they give basically unlimited access to spirit powers and abilities. I, personally, want to create a possession spirit with regeneration that would become a super party healer, although it wouldn't be able to do much more than that.
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Emy
post Feb 27 2010, 09:15 PM
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QUOTE (Patrick the Gnome @ Feb 27 2010, 02:05 PM) *
Are you guys getting wards confused with the mana barrier spell?

Probably (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wobble.gif)

QUOTE
Free Spirits are cool because they give basically unlimited access to spirit powers and abilities. I, personally, want to create a possession spirit with regeneration that would become a super party healer, although it wouldn't be able to do much more than that.

Well yeah. Regeneration is expensive. It heals a lot, but it won't heal magical damage so aside from its sustainability, I don't really see much of an advantage over Heal spells.
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Patrick the Gnom...
post Feb 27 2010, 10:06 PM
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QUOTE (Emy @ Feb 27 2010, 04:15 PM) *
Probably (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wobble.gif)


Well yeah. Regeneration is expensive. It heals a lot, but it won't heal magical damage so aside from its sustainability, I don't really see much of an advantage over Heal spells.


The advantages of regeneration are a) it's faster, the heal spell takes (the damage healed-2)*2 combat rounds of the mage touching the target and concentrating to work, b) it heals everything all the time, heal only works once and then you have to use natural healing, c) it has no drain, with heal it's extremely hard to heal near death wounds, d) regen heals stun damage, heal is only good for physical, e) Regeneration can regrow limbs and other non-healable appendages, f) Regeneration has some interesting secondary effects, such as causing a corpse to undecay or causing a stick to bud and whatnot, g) A regenerating spirit can run the injured party-member out of danger as well as perform any other action such as casting a spell while healing, h) the healing party member gets protected by the spirits immunity ot normal weapons while healing

Regeneration is vastly superior to the heal spell. The main disadvantage of it is what happens to implants when regenerating, which, according to immortal flower rules, causes the regeneration to deal 2d6 points of unresisted damage to the regenerating character as the power attempts to heal the implants, so regeneration should only be used on implanted individuals in emergencies and the spirit should rpobably get the heal spell anyway for magic damage and cyber people
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Karoline
post Feb 27 2010, 10:34 PM
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Don't know what immortal flower rules you're talking about, but yeah, it pushing out cyberware is a problem (Though nothing has ever stated just how quickly it manages this that I've seen), but come on, how many runners don't have cyber(This applies to bio as well I should point out)? Only the mage/adept types, which the spirit will likely be taking the place of one of.

Also, if I'm remembering my rules right, the mage casting heal doesn't need to continue touching the person for all that time, they simply need to touch to get the spell started, and then they just sustain without needing to maintain contact or even LoS.

Heck, if a mage wants, they can even touch for the heal spell, then get a focus to sustain it to heal the person while they focus on other things.

Also, is the DV in that the damage value healed or the damage value of the person being healed? The latter seems fairly silly, but the former is perhaps too low of a drain.
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Patrick the Gnom...
post Feb 27 2010, 10:48 PM
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You may be right about the touch and leave thing for heal, but you'd still get the sustaining penalty unless you carried around an empty sustaining focus at all times for your heal spell. Drain on heal is damage attempted to be healed minus 2, so if a character has 7 damage and you're trying to heal for 5 and get 2 hits on the test, he heals for 2 and the drain is 3.
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Brol_The_Mighty
post Feb 27 2010, 10:50 PM
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Okay, sounds like playing a Free Spirit could DEFINATELY be interesting (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) I think I've got the hang of the whole Force thing too. Pg. 92 of RC, first paragraph, second sentence states: This attribute determines a free spirit's natural minimums and maximums for all attributes. It also acts as the spirits's Magic attribute.

So essentially, by increasing my Force, I increase the min/max of all stats as well, including Magic. So it sounds like, and correct me if I'm wrong, or missing something....that if I purchase Force to 6, then all my stats are 6 as well, since it affects ALL stats MINIMUMS. Correct?
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Mordinvan
post Feb 27 2010, 10:53 PM
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If you have the regenerate power, and the power pact ability, you could charge people in high risk occupations cash and karma to gain access to it too.
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Patrick the Gnom...
post Feb 27 2010, 11:03 PM
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QUOTE (Brol_The_Mighty @ Feb 27 2010, 05:50 PM) *
Okay, sounds like playing a Free Spirit could DEFINATELY be interesting (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) I think I've got the hang of the whole Force thing too. Pg. 92 of RC, first paragraph, second sentence states: This attribute determines a free spirit's natural minimums and maximums for all attributes. It also acts as the spirits's Magic attribute.

So essentially, by increasing my Force, I increase the min/max of all stats as well, including Magic. So it sounds like, and correct me if I'm wrong, or missing something....that if I purchase Force to 6, then all my stats are 6 as well, since it affects ALL stats MINIMUMS. Correct?


Yeah, you kind of are I'm sorry to say. When it says that force determines minimums and maximums, it means that base force determines minimums and whatever you raise your force to determines maximums. So a spirit with force 5 has all of his stats at force 2 with a natural maximum of 5. That's how I interpret that section. I thought that was how it was too until I read the rest of that paragraph and realized how broken that would make spirits.
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Brol_The_Mighty
post Feb 27 2010, 11:22 PM
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I don't see anywhere in that paragraph that differentiates(sp?) between BASE Force, and the Force attribute. It specifically states its minimums are based on the Force attribute, and that you can pay to increase your Force attribute. Yes, it talks about the stats starting at two, and references the Force attribute, but that's because the Force STARTS at two. I don't see how this can be interpreted your way honestly.

Could see why Free Spirits cost 250 BP's this way. Going by your interpretation, they're not playable without twinking them out, or abusing certain aspects.
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