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> Mystic Adept Help
jetpack
post Jul 2 2010, 01:27 AM
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Hey all,

I am new to this forum but have been playing shadowrun for about a year now. I am going to try my hands at a mystic adept for the first time and am looking for some advice and help. My plan is to play the character as an anti-mage / paracritter / spirit bounty hunter.

1) Race: Most likely dwarf for the higher will
2) Magic: 5 or 6? How to split it (5 adept / 1 mage)?
3) Adept abilities vs mage spells. Should I focus on adept powers that I can not get through spells (improved skills, etc)? Focus on mage spells such as imp ability/reflexes along with some detection and health spells.
4) Should I grab some 'ware to balance out myself or would the loss of a magic point hurt my ability to deal with drain etc to much. I am moving more towards taking some bioware (Muscle toner, platelet factory, etc) Anything else?
5) Skills: Lost of counterspell (4 or 5), spellcasting, and a little summoning and banishing. For combat focus on Longarm (spirit doom elephant gun), seconds as a club if modified, and a little pistol skill for unintended situations and SnS

Any advice or ex characters you all could help with would be appreciated.
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Udoshi
post Jul 2 2010, 01:32 AM
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First things first: Fourth edition, or fourth anniversary edition?
Which books do you have access to? Street magic and runner's companion being at the top of the list.
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Yerameyahu
post Jul 2 2010, 01:33 AM
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While you don't necessarily need Magic 6, it's probably cheaper to max it now.

1 point worth of key bioware is often a good idea. The trick is to make really good decisions. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)

Given how you'll need all your BP and Karma, it may be better to go with Automatics. AR range is acceptably long, and Machine Pistols are nearly concealable enough. If you really need that extreme range, or that highly concealable sidearm, go for it, though. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

If it's a 'powergame', I'd get silly with SURGE, too, and probably a metatype.
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Ol' Scratch
post Jul 2 2010, 01:35 AM
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You should really fine tune your concept a bit more. One of the perks of Shadowrun is that there's a nearly endless combination of abilities available. If you lack focus, you can sit there all night and wind up with a mess of a character, especially if you try to cover every possible angle.

Things to consider:
  1. What role on a team do you want to fill? Just soaking up magical damage and dealing with paranormal critters isn't really a 'role' so much as a niche.
  2. What race do you actually want to play? That's more important than trying to min/max for the best possible choice. I love dwarves myself, but choosing them purely for their Willpower kind of pales compared to actually wanting to play one for the fun of it.
  3. Do you want to focus more on adept powers than mage powers? Why did you decide to go with a Mystic Adept in the first place? Just so you can access Counterspelling and the like? Or did you want to really explore both facets?
  4. Mystic Adepts have a harder time with implants than either Adepts or Mages since their Magic is already relatively low. If you get something, make sure it's something you really want. Squeezing in one point is often worth it, but only if you're prepared for the loss in your magical capabilities.
From the ideas you mentioned, I'm thinking you have this dwarven safari hunter idea rocking in your head. If so, I think there's a lot of better ways to go about making one other than as a Mystic Adept. But like I said above, you really need to narrow your idea down a little before you can get any real help.
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DrZaius
post Jul 2 2010, 01:49 AM
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QUOTE (jetpack @ Jul 1 2010, 08:27 PM) *
Hey all,

I am new to this forum but have been playing shadowrun for about a year now. I am going to try my hands at a mystic adept for the first time and am looking for some advice and help. My plan is to play the character as an anti-mage / paracritter / spirit bounty hunter.

1) Race: Most likely dwarf for the higher will
2) Magic: 5 or 6? How to split it (5 adept / 1 mage)?
3) Adept abilities vs mage spells. Should I focus on adept powers that I can not get through spells (improved skills, etc)? Focus on mage spells such as imp ability/reflexes along with some detection and health spells.
4) Should I grab some 'ware to balance out myself or would the loss of a magic point hurt my ability to deal with drain etc to much. I am moving more towards taking some bioware (Muscle toner, platelet factory, etc) Anything else?
5) Skills: Lost of counterspell (4 or 5), spellcasting, and a little summoning and banishing. For combat focus on Longarm (spirit doom elephant gun), seconds as a club if modified, and a little pistol skill for unintended situations and SnS

Any advice or ex characters you all could help with would be appreciated.


I made a guy today as a thought experiment that had bioware, cyberware, and was a mystic adept. I'd say avoid having sustained spells you aren't going to want to drop. I.e, get either the adept improved reflexes, or spring for the synaptic booster. Most spells are pretty effective even at low force: a security guard isn't going to resist 4 hits most of the time. That means you could have a magic as low as 2, overcast, and still be completely invisible/influence them successfully, etc. If you don't want to use bioware, I'd go with the improved reflex adept power (1.5 PP), Combat Sense 3 (1.5 PP), leaving you 3 magic for spells. A force 6 ball lightning is going to do plenty of damage.

-DrZaius
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tagz
post Jul 2 2010, 02:27 AM
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Actually, this sounds very similar to the build my boyfriend made when he joined my game temporarily.

The concept was a Mystic Adept that used custom manipulation spells to give regular bullets elemental effects while retaining the original bullet's damage code. AP -50% as it became an elemental effect.

He split his Adept Power and Spellcasting power 3/3, and build himself as an Adept Sniper with good spellcasting. He either ignored Summoning or took Incompetence in it, as it was an anti-spirit theme.

All in all the build played out pretty well and the spells worked fine too. He's just too loud and full of energy to be a good sniper n_n
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Rystefn
post Jul 2 2010, 02:31 AM
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QUOTE (Ol' Scratch @ Jul 2 2010, 02:35 AM) *
I'm thinking you have this dwarven safari hunter idea rocking in your head.


...and now I do, too. Pith helmet and everything. I need to find someone running a game locally so I can play this concept. Damn you!
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Hagga
post Jul 2 2010, 02:40 AM
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You may want to consider conjuring - spirits can often make a far better replacement for spells when you've got low magic. There is a list of spells lurking around that are uesful at low force (I'm afraid I can't find it, my search-fu is weak) that you can try, though. Are you sure you don't just want to try an adept? They're surprisingly flexible.
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Nifft
post Jul 2 2010, 06:14 AM
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QUOTE (DrZaius @ Jul 1 2010, 08:49 PM) *
If you don't want to use bioware, I'd go with the improved reflex adept power (1.5 PP), Combat Sense 3 (1.5 PP), leaving you 3 magic for spells. A force 6 ball lightning is going to do plenty of damage.

I wouldn't pay a permanent resource for anything that just gives me +1 IP, since you can get that level of reaction bonus from cheap drugs. IMHO the various 'ware become relevant at +2 IP and +3 IP. If you can't afford +2 IP (or better), just take Addiction (mild) [cram] and save your .

Can you upgrade Improved Reflexes I -> Improved Reflexes II for just one PP? If so, then that may be a case where buying the +1 IP version is worthwhile, since you're just one Initiation away from +2 IP.


Regarding Mystic Adepts in general, it seems to pay off well if you can specialize, and optimize your BP expenses. For example:
  • Power Focus (2): +2 to all summoning, binding & spellcasting for 12 BP
  • Mentor Spirit: +2 to one type of Spirit for 5 BP
  • Skill Specialization: +2 to one type of Spirit for your first 2 Karma (cheap in Karma, but too expensive in BP)

Those first two combined are still way cheaper than buying your 6th point of Magic.
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Udoshi
post Jul 2 2010, 06:27 AM
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I'd also like to point out that, as a mystic adept, once you can initiate a few times, you have some good options for increasing your power points. While you can't use mentor spirits or specializations on your adept powers...
You do have Adept centering. Which is -good-.
Which in turn unlocks Infusion, which is.... not so great.
And then there are these little, awesome, useful little trinkets in digital grimoire called Infusion Foci.
Even a crappy little rating 1 focus can grant you an extra sense, or a dice in a technical skills. Sure, you only get it for a combat turn or two, but it can be a great way to make up the shortcomings with your adept powers, instead of wasting a -ton- of karma to raise your magic for a power point.
Need killing hands? Get a rating 2 focus for it.


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Critias
post Jul 2 2010, 06:48 AM
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I'd say that unless you've got a REALLY great idea for some cyberware/bioware, and the nuyen to burn (along with the magic point!) I'd lay off for right now. Taking an expensive attribute -- especially if purchased all the way to 6 -- and splitting it between Spellcasting and Power Points is already making you half the Adept an Adept is, and half the Mage a Mage is...trying to split that attribute three ways? Yikes.

If I just had to, I'd buy it to 5 (instead of wasting the points to get it to a 6 just to burn off a point on 'ware)...put 2 in Power Points, 2 into Spellcasting, and very, very, carefully whittle down that last 1 point with a very specific blend of cyberware and bioware, to try and get the most out of it.

The 2 points in Adept goodness would -- for me -- probably be doled out into a whole bunch of .25 powers, or be nothing but, I don't know, Combat Sense maybe. The 2 effective Magic for slinging mojo would fuel me a bunch of utility spells (and a single combat spell, which I'd always overcast and hope for the best).

But I just...yeah. Splitting one attribute three different ways is just plain tricky.
QUOTE (Nifft @ Jul 2 2010, 02:14 AM) *
I wouldn't pay a permanent resource for anything that just gives me +1 IP, since you can get that level of reaction bonus from cheap drugs. IMHO the various 'ware become relevant at +2 IP and +3 IP. If you can't afford +2 IP (or better), just take Addiction (mild) [cram] and save your .

Unless being a junkie combat drug addict doesn't fit your character concept, sure.
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sabs
post Jul 2 2010, 03:25 PM
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Force 3 sustaining focus that sustains the Enhanced reflexes spell, at force 3. Congradulations.. you now have 3 IPs without spendiing AP, OR Essence.
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Ol' Scratch
post Jul 2 2010, 04:30 PM
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I don't think anyone's ever considered that combination before. Increased Reflexes and a Sustaining Focus? The mind boggles.
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sabs
post Jul 2 2010, 04:39 PM
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QUOTE (Ol' Scratch @ Jul 2 2010, 05:30 PM) *
I don't think anyone's ever considered that combination before. Increased Reflexes and a Sustaining Focus? The mind boggles.


I'm assuming that you're kidding being hugely sarcastic (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Because, I would assume /everyone/ has thought of it.
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Whipstitch
post Jul 2 2010, 09:18 PM
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Keep in mind that hunting wild Spirits is a tough business for Adepts since they can always just go Astral and leg it if things start going south. Best to have a Magician buddy or at least a powerful Spirit of your own to try and disrupt it for a while if that happens. Beyond that, it's a fairly workable concept, and a solid combination of Infiltration and Counter Spelling can let you snipe mages with impunity. As has been suggested, I tend to favor going for Summoning and Counter Spelling rather than trying to be an excellent spell caster as well. Magic Sense sounds like it'd be a great ability for the theme provided that you do concentrate on a high Magic attribute to the exclusion of cyberware. A 50 meter Detect Magic is pretty nice for keeping one step ahead of dual-natured critters or Magicians who like sustaining spells.
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Udoshi
post Jul 3 2010, 01:04 AM
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If you're going to play a mystic adept, the best advice I have to offer is
Use restricted gear for a rating 4 power focus, and bind it in character creation.
Snag aptitude for Spellcasting, and put it at 7.

Then..... just don't worry about the magic split, and build your character however you like. Sure, it eats a good chunk of BP, but you won't have to worry about not being an effective spellcaster ever again. Minimum twelve dice(SC7, magic1+, focus4), before specialties and mentor spirits is pretty good.
Compared to the costs of doing it in play, its totally worth it to spring for it out the door.
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Saint Sithney
post Jul 3 2010, 05:22 AM
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If you're going for an anti-magic Mystic Adept, gnome would be the top choice over dwarf for me.

Arcane Arrester is amazing. You resist spells at half force, meanwhile beneficial spells, like your buffs are unaffected.

Best ever.

edit: BTW, I just started creating a Gnome Mystic Adept character of the Buddhist tradition named Ang. He's got a high-level Enemy negative Quality representing M. Night Shyamalan.
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augmentin
post Jul 3 2010, 09:27 AM
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Previous posters have given some really good advice. To build on that:

For mystic adepts, best to thing of them as adepts that can sling spells and conjure.* If you treat them like a magician, you'll be disappointed. And yeah, as mentioned above, not being able to project will make it pretty tough to be a spirit hunter. Mages can still be tough physically. Health spells + old fashioned build points + bioware can get you some of what a mystic adept can do, but with out the much lamented "karma sink" effect. In other words, if you're considering a 3/3 Magic/Adept split. Consider what you can get with Magic 4/Bio-Cyberware 2. Still a very effective build and you can chase those free spirits.

Now, personally I love Mystic Adepts, but they tables I've played at have been pretty lose with the karma. So here goes:

First, consider what tactics you will use and tweak your build around that.

It sounds like you want to go toe to toe with some heavy duties and still walk away. So, IMHO the two things that will most enable you to do that are foci and channelling.

Foci will help you in the starting and early game. Take restricted gear and get the most power combination of power focus and weapon focus you can. Without looking, I believe that's 4. Level 4 will make you a kick some serious free ItNW/Regeneration tail on the physical plane. (Also, from my opening paragraph: it's often over looked, but mages can take weapon foci, too. - For your spirit hunter build, I'd strongly consider possession tradition+weapon foci. More on possession two paragraphs down.)

It's a bit of a weak sauce munchkiny thing to do, but for starting power: take magic at 1 and a power focus at 4. You won't have enough build points for power focus and weapon focus at 4, but if you have 4 or 5 adept points to play with, you won't need more than a force 1 weapon focus. For added munchkinry, take the focus addiction quality at a low level. It's free build points because with magic 1, you're effectively addicted to your power focus anyway. If your GM is cool with it, you can buy it off later after your initiate a couple times.

Once you have some karma built up, nothing will help your physical plane survivability more than channelling+possession ally spirit. (Important note! mana spells are resisted by lower of two mental attributes - plan accordingly.) You get immunity to natural weapons plus force added to physical attributes and the use of spirit powers, which you'll find incredibly helpful. (Talk to your GM and beware the role playing consequences.) Search to find the critters. Movement to catch up to them. The tactical options you open up with this combination are pretty impressive. (Back to the opening paragraph, your traditional mage can still use the possession+channelling power combo. Given enough karma, a sufficiently high force ally spirit can allow you to go toe to toe with mosts adepts or cyberzombies and you still retain full use of the astral.)

I'd spend no more than a point on cyber/bio/nanoware and load it up with senseware. It's just cheaper to load cybereyes/cyberears than to purchase the adept powers. If you can afford it (though you probably can't as a mystic adept), consider cool critter hunting options like ultrasound or radar.

(Side note: it's been mentioned elsewhere that by RAW materialization traditions can still create possession-enabled ally spirits. Just a thought...)

In summary, for your spirit hunter build, you'd be more effective going full mage, loading up on the foci, spend a point of essence/magic on senseware, and plan for channelling and an ally spirit in the future. But, well, adepts are cooler...

*Credit: Octopii
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augmentin
post Jul 5 2010, 03:04 PM
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Not sure if this is in line with OP's request, but I liked the concept and thought I'd take a stab at it. Just know: you're a one trick pony, but you're whatever is beyond legendary at magical swordsmanship.

[ Spoiler ]


I passed on mystic adept because you want to hunt spirits and they can just astrally fly away from you without astral projection. This way you can take your sword with you and hunt them down. (But beware: with Logic at two, your astral doge pool is insignificant.)
Your tactics are pretty simple: buff up (using focused concentration) and hack away. No one should have anywhere close to your dice pool in close combat (physical or astral). Try to avoid snipers and stay the heck away from anything remotely connected to the matrix. Which brings me to your upgrade path:
As soon as you have 13 karma, initiate and pick up Channelling. From there I'd focus on picking up some new skills, improving Charisma & Logic, initiate again to get quickening, and if your group needs a face, your pick up some influence. Mid to late game, make an ally spirit with the regeneration power. Keep him channelled and you're looking at Troll+quickened armor+ItNW+Regeneration=magical tank with a big @$$ sword.
An alternate option would be to forgo Troll and instead be go human with high reaction/dodge/edge. It might even be a smarter option, I just really like Troll swordsman.
Another alternate would be to diversify a bit, tone down the blades skill to say 3 (5) and power down the weapon focus to 1 and instead use sorcery & conjuring skill groups, maybe influence and pick up some more spells.
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Wasabi
post Jul 5 2010, 03:44 PM
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When making any spellcaster that can do something else you cant maximize both spellcasting and drain and whatever third thing they will do.

I suggest you make a list of the spells you want and look at their drain. A Mystic Adept that uses utilitarian spells like Catfall and Gecko Crawl requires much less drain pool than one intending to use Armor and Barrier. Once you know how much drain you require and if your spells will be used offensively you can decide what amount of dice you want/need for spellcasting and use the rest for something else.

For a gunslinger mystic adept I'm a big fan of "Heightened Concentration" from Digital Grimoire. It allows all penalties from a single source to be negated. In the opening part of a fight it can be used to offset full-auto recoil (up to magic rating) and if things go south, for instance if hit by Nausea Gas while wounded, it can be used to negate wound and toxin-induced penalties.

Later in life all Adepts, Mystic or otherwise, should get Adept Centering. Its amazingly good as long as called shots are allowed in any form.

As far as how much magic to use for spellcasting/summoning, the popular choice is 2 or 3. At 2 you can overcast Increase Reflexes to get 4 passes without the adept power granting extra passes and after that the other spellcasting is all gravy.
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Wasabi
post Jul 5 2010, 03:48 PM
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Every weapon focus should have the mod "Personalized Grip" from the weapon modifications section of Arsenal.

;-)
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augmentin
post Jul 5 2010, 04:17 PM
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QUOTE (Wasabi @ Jul 5 2010, 11:48 AM) *
Every weapon focus should have the mod "Personalized Grip" from the weapon modifications section of Arsenal.

(IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)


Great point...If only every extra die was only $100.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Jul 5 2010, 04:19 PM
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QUOTE (Wasabi @ Jul 5 2010, 09:48 AM) *
Every weapon focus should have the mod "Personalized Grip" from the weapon modifications section of Arsenal.

(IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)


Indeed... Best Bonus Die you can purchase for a Melee Weapon...

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Shinobi Killfist
post Jul 5 2010, 06:19 PM
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Oh and are you using the Faqs interpretation on magic points with mystic adepts? It is fairly harsh on the magic side of things in many peoples opinion.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Jul 5 2010, 06:20 PM
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QUOTE (Shinobi Killfist @ Jul 5 2010, 12:19 PM) *
Oh and are you using the Faqs interpretation on magic points with mystic adepts? It is fairly harsh on the magic side of things in many peoples opinion.


I actually use the SR4A Book Rules myself... the Faq is wacky on a few points, which kind of ruins its use for me...

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