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> Spending Karma . . . what do you do
Gargs454
post Mar 13 2012, 01:42 AM
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So just curious as to what everyone else does when it comes time to spend all that hard earned karma. Do you start by improving your ability scores? Improving skills you bought at char gen? Or do you start developing new skills?

Obviously I realize a lot depends on each specific character, particularly since mages will save up for initiation and the like. But assuming that you are a character that is more dependent on skills (like a sammie, or hacker) is it worth it to branch out first or build up what you have? I guess in some ways its 6 of one, half a dozen of another as you either get really good at a few things initially, or get somewhat good at a number of things.

I guess for me, I tend to prefer to branch out and be able to cover more bases. So, what do you do?
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Lantzer
post Mar 13 2012, 03:54 AM
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I find that my first priority is raising my existing skills. I never feel I have enough skills at chargen, as I like well-rounded characters. So my starting characters have low ratings in a lot of skills. Getting an extra point in them makes me feel better, for whatever good it does.
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Makki
post Mar 13 2012, 06:18 AM
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whenever possible, I improve the skill I used a lot or get the one I wish I had the in the last run. That's for non-awakened ofc.
For those unpriviliged burdened with BP chargen, buying specializations is probably the first thing to do.
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Thanee
post Mar 13 2012, 07:02 AM
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QUOTE (Gargs454 @ Mar 13 2012, 02:42 AM) *
So, what do you do?


1) Join a Group
2) Initiate
3) Raise Magic

(IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)

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Thanee
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Aerospider
post Mar 13 2012, 10:35 AM
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If using BP chargen the most economical (read 'powergaming') approach is to save diversifying until after chargen. This is because BP costs are linear whilst Karma costs are not.

For me it depends on the character (not as in archetype) I decided on. Ie. I go by what the character wants, not what I would want if I were a runner.
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Thanee
post Mar 13 2012, 10:38 AM
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Yep. It really depends on the character. For some attributes will be most important, for others raising their important skills. Then there are those that would prefer to cover any shortcomings first and so learn new stuff.

There is no single answer to this question.

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Thanee
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Blade
post Mar 13 2012, 10:41 AM
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Most of the time I forget about it and let it pile up. Then sometimes I realize I've got a whole lot of karma and usually raise an attribute.
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Gargs454
post Mar 13 2012, 12:27 PM
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QUOTE (Thanee @ Mar 13 2012, 05:38 AM) *
There is no single answer to this question.


Yeah sorry, didn't mean to imply there was. Was more just curious is all. To me it seems to come down to "Do I want to start making improvements right away, or save up for some larger improvements?" For example, training a new skill and raising it up to a rating of 4 will take, on average, about 5-6 runs depending on your group and GM. But at the end, you'll be much better at a single single skill than you were before. By contrast, raising a skill from 4 to 6 will take just as long, but yield less total improvement (but will max you out in that skill -- with the exception of gear/ware upgrades of course).

I totally understand the different answers though. A rigger for instance, isn't usually too reliant on her ability scores, and may well be pretty set on the rigging skills depending on the particular game, so may be able to branch out into other skills (picking up some other Matrix skills or even a few combat, social, or technical skills). Or, they could choose just to become the ultimate in rigging and max out Gunnery, Infiltration, Pilot and Mechanics (though the mechanic skill seems to be one that's better left at a low level to me).

By contrast, the Street Sammie is probably going to want to invest more in abilities (whether through Karma or ware) and only then worry about branching out into new skills (after all, more boxes mean harder to kill).

So yeah, was more a curiosity on my part than anything.
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Redjack
post Mar 13 2012, 01:02 PM
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Having five active character across 2xPBP, 2xTabletop Games and Missions, I find that the specifics of the runs the characters are involved in influence my decisions. For example, my Missions character (mage) bought quiet a few new spells early on, raises an attribute or two, a few skill changes, then joined a group and initiated several times. That falls in line with the diversification Aerospider mentioned above. In fact, he just bought two more spells after the last Mission. My hacker in one of the PBP game continues to gently diversify his skill set and save toward raising attributes making future choices based upon what would have been most effective in the previous run.

Generally, I would say diversification is the primary spend for me. Many times starting characters last a lot of diversity if they are reasonably good in one area.
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bibliophile20
post Mar 13 2012, 01:12 PM
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*waits for CanRay to stop by and bemoan lack of gaming* I'm gonna be in the same boat as CanRay; I'm typically the GM, not the PC; the one game I'm a PC in is a nWoD Changeling game, where I tend to split between small exp purchases and big ones.
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Sengir
post Mar 13 2012, 01:35 PM
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I usually have one or two things which I needed to cut short during chargen, those obviously are the first to be increased. The rest is a crystal-clear "depends"
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Machiavelli
post Mar 13 2012, 01:45 PM
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I donīt have a special way. I always try to save the karma for bigger advancements, but then reality sets in and i raise something else. Right at the moment i am switching between the thoughts if i either initiate or better learn some spells and quicken them afterwards.
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Gargs454
post Mar 13 2012, 01:52 PM
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QUOTE (bibliophile20 @ Mar 13 2012, 08:12 AM) *
*waits for CanRay to stop by and bemoan lack of gaming* I'm gonna be in the same boat as CanRay; I'm typically the GM, not the PC; the one game I'm a PC in is a nWoD Changeling game, where I tend to split between small exp purchases and big ones.


Heh, that's me in D&D, I am almost always the DM. Fortunately I have a very good GM for Shadowrun who at least seems to enjoy running it. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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snowRaven
post Mar 13 2012, 09:12 PM
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Haven't had a PC in any P&P game for 15 years, except for a very brief stint in the 'Cage Fight' game here on dumpshock.

At my table, ppl usually raise their dumpstat first or save up for that first initiation. After that it's adding skills, as needed.
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almost normal
post Mar 13 2012, 09:19 PM
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Why is the Karma gen better then BP gen?

Ive never had a problem with BP.
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snowRaven
post Mar 13 2012, 09:54 PM
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QUOTE (almost normal @ Mar 13 2012, 10:19 PM) *
Why is the Karma gen better then BP gen?

Ive never had a problem with BP.


I wouldn't say 'better'...it's different.

Both ways have their drawbacks and benefits.
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Thanee
post Mar 13 2012, 11:11 PM
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QUOTE (almost normal @ Mar 13 2012, 10:19 PM) *
Why is the Karma gen better then BP gen?


The part about it that is "better" is, that the cost to gain anything is the same during character generation as it is during play.

It leads to more balanced/diversified characters, which generally feel more natural and "realistic". You get what you pay for.

That, at least, is what makes it "better" for some people.

Bye
Thanee
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Gargs454
post Mar 14 2012, 12:52 AM
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QUOTE (snowRaven @ Mar 13 2012, 04:12 PM) *
Haven't had a PC in any P&P game for 15 years, except for a very brief stint in the 'Cage Fight' game here on dumpshock.

At my table, ppl usually raise their dumpstat first or save up for that first initiation. After that it's adding skills, as needed.


Which raises an interesting question in and of itself, is there any stat that assuming you don't have any skills associated with it that you can afford to let linger at the bottom? Obviously body and wisdom always have their uses and agility, reaction and intuition are good to raise as well, but what about stats like logic, strength and cha?
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Whipstitch
post Mar 14 2012, 01:28 AM
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I frankly don't believe Strength should be a stand alone attribute at all given the way Shadowrun is currently written and balanced. The burly metas have good reason to stand pat at their base scores and the smoothies are probably better served picking up Synthacardium and maybe some Muscle Augs if they're worried about being able to perform basic athletic feats. Such things provide a lot more bang for your buck than blowing a part of your BP cap on having muscles in a setting that features drone technology and shock pads that can be surgically installed along your palms and knuckles in a discreet outpatient procedure.
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Angelone
post Mar 14 2012, 03:58 AM
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I diversify a lot at first, I like having a wide range of skills to fall back on. Then I will start raising my core skills and attributes, and finally go back to diversifying.
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snowRaven
post Mar 14 2012, 10:05 AM
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QUOTE (Gargs454 @ Mar 14 2012, 01:52 AM) *
Which raises an interesting question in and of itself, is there any stat that assuming you don't have any skills associated with it that you can afford to let linger at the bottom? Obviously body and wisdom always have their uses and agility, reaction and intuition are good to raise as well, but what about stats like logic, strength and cha?


Charisma is too useful, at least at my tables. Most of my players want to make use of their contacts and a few social skills - not to mention resistance for social skills, and Judge Intentions tests and Composure tests.

Logic - almost anything involving computers is Logic, and it's useful for many knowledge skills, as well as memory tests

Strength is useful for Melee damage, Recoil compensation, Running and Swimming, and Lifting/Carrying tests.

I very rarely see any of these three left at a rating of 1, and even 2s are rare. However, it's often useful for orks, dwarves and trolls to keep strength as a dumpstat if they aren't heavy combat types, and for elves to keep Charisma as a dumpstat unless they are face-types.
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Thanee
post Mar 14 2012, 03:06 PM
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QUOTE (snowRaven @ Mar 14 2012, 11:05 AM) *
However, it's often useful for orks, dwarves and trolls to keep strength as a dumpstat if they aren't heavy combat types, and for elves to keep Charisma as a dumpstat unless they are face-types.


Hmm... not sure I would consider it a "dumpstat" then, since you actually pay for it via your race.

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Thanee
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Xenefungus
post Mar 14 2012, 03:59 PM
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QUOTE (almost normal @ Mar 13 2012, 10:19 PM) *
Why is the Karma gen better then BP gen?

Ive never had a problem with BP.


Wtf, are you even serious?

Quite obviously, as Thanee pointed out, Karmagen of course is not just beter, it's the only worthy Chargen system.
BP is the shit. Have you never wondered while they introduce another 'currency' for generating, thats not related to Karma in any fixed rate? That then leads to all kinds of absurd decision when building a char?

Honestly, BP is unusable. It should never have been printed. It introduces just another layer of complexity, that doesnt even make any sense and is not coherent with the rest of the rules.

Also, i see 1's and 2's in Str, Log and Cha all the time for that matter.
Plus, elves are not worth it if you dont want to use their Cha, that +1 Agi can be gotten elsewhere.



Well, if I just go trolled: Good Job, Sir.
If not: Use KarmaGen from now on. Please.
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snowRaven
post Mar 14 2012, 05:14 PM
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QUOTE (Xenefungus @ Mar 14 2012, 04:59 PM) *
BP is the shit. Have you never wondered while they introduce another 'currency' for generating, thats not related to Karma in any fixed rate? That then leads to all kinds of absurd decision when building a char?


Karma gen is a much later introduction than BPs (and before BPs it was Priority system). It's good though, but not perfect...

Oh, and saying that something 'is the shit' means it's really good... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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Whipstitch
post Mar 14 2012, 05:36 PM
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QUOTE (Xenefungus @ Mar 14 2012, 09:59 AM) *
Well, if I just go trolled: Good Job, Sir.
If not: Use KarmaGen from now on. Please.



I think you're trolling yourself, what with all the hyperbole. BP is far from perfect and I much prefer using KarmaGen when running an extended campaign in which character advancement is the norm. But with that said, KarmaGen's scaling costs and cheap opportunities to load up on multiple low end skills and specializations means that chargen tends to take longer and the book keeping is fair bit less transparent. Those are not inconsiderable drawbacks, particularly when dealing with new players who don't have all the point caps and such memorized yet. If you're only running a short campaign or one shot with minimal power advancement then the drawbacks of the BP system are frankly not a very big deal. At that point the worst problem is that the system favors specialization to a higher degree than many people are comfortable with, but that is a different kettle of fish than having a system that is "unusable."
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