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> 4e Combat Adept building help requested.
Ner0
post Apr 3 2015, 08:39 AM
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I've got the opportunity to play in a 4th edition Shadowrun game in the near future. Its been a long while since I've played in SR4. Unfortunately my character building skills are rusty and I'm struggling to find the right way to make what I want to play. That's where I'd love some help.

The short story is I'm looking to build and optimize an Elf Adept with 500bp. I envision him being a bit of a burnout (at least 1 essence gone, maybe 2), both for how awesome bioware is in 4 but also his character's mentality. I want him to be skilled in Automatics (SMGs being his favorite), Unarmed (maybe blades but unarmed is nice) and a competent motorcycle driver. Every thing else is icing on the cake.

Here's the character story/bio I've got in mind. He was born in Tir Tairngire to an upper class Elf family. Thinking his mother is some one semi-important, a famous artist or politician or some thing. His father is a paladin. They both expect great things from him given his birthright and the money they've thrown into his upbringing. Private schools, tutors, a proper elvish education. The works. That isn't what he wants however. At some point during his youthful teenage rebellion he gets hooked on trid movies, combat biker matches and the idea of living free as a Shadowrunner. Maybe around this time he falls into a bad crowd, makes some friends with the Ancients and starts down the path of becoming a Runner.

Jump to start of game, and you've got a still young (though not entirely naive ) Shadowrunner with a few "real" jobs under his belt looking to make a name for himself in the shadows of Seatte.


There's two reasons I'm thinking Adept (and burnout), first is mechanical; I like the idea of having some thing I can spend karma on and upgrade as long as the game goes on (Improved Skill Automatics/Blades/Whatever). As I intend him to be a powerhouse in combat this is nice. From a story standpoint I like how it reinforces the whole "was given every thing, and threw it away" idea behind him. How many people are lucky enough to be born into a wealthy family, with what ever they want, and be magically active? Yet he tosses it aside to get fast gains and slick 'ware.

I'm tempted to take Type 0 system (again reinforces that "given every thing" story point) and taking 2 Essence of bioware. Looking mostly at Muscle Toner and Muscle Augment for AGI + STR.

Powers wise I'm thinking Improved Reflexes and Improved Skill (combat. Probably Automatics first, then maybe unarmed or blades down the line).

I'm stuck at this point trying to convert it from an Concept to an actual character let alone one that's getting the most bang for his build points. Hoping some one here might have some advice on how to flesh out this character and or make him work.

Happy to answer questions or elaborate on any thing I can. Thank you all in advance.
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Stingray
post Apr 3 2015, 09:17 AM
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QUOTE (Ner0 @ Apr 3 2015, 11:39 AM) *
I've got the opportunity to play in a 4th edition Shadowrun game in the near future. Its been a long while since I've played in SR4. Unfortunately my character building skills are rusty and I'm struggling to find the right way to make what I want to play. That's where I'd love some help.

The short story is I'm looking to build and optimize an Elf Adept with 500bp. I envision him being a bit of a burnout (at least 1 essence gone, maybe 2), both for how awesome bioware is in 4 but also his character's mentality. I want him to be skilled in Automatics (SMGs being his favorite), Unarmed (maybe blades but unarmed is nice) and a competent motorcycle driver. Every thing else is icing on the cake.

Here's the character story/bio I've got in mind. He was born in Tir Tairngire to an upper class Elf family. Thinking his mother is some one semi-important, a famous artist or politician or some thing. His father is a paladin. They both expect great things from him given his birthright and the money they've thrown into his upbringing. Private schools, tutors, a proper elvish education. The works. That isn't what he wants however. At some point during his youthful teenage rebellion he gets hooked on trid movies, combat biker matches and the idea of living free as a Shadowrunner. Maybe around this time he falls into a bad crowd, makes some friends with the Ancients and starts down the path of becoming a Runner.

Jump to start of game, and you've got a still young (though not entirely naive ) Shadowrunner with a few "real" jobs under his belt looking to make a name for himself in the shadows of Seatte.


There's two reasons I'm thinking Adept (and burnout), first is mechanical; I like the idea of having some thing I can spend karma on and upgrade as long as the game goes on (Improved Skill Automatics/Blades/Whatever). As I intend him to be a powerhouse in combat this is nice. From a story standpoint I like how it reinforces the whole "was given every thing, and threw it away" idea behind him. How many people are lucky enough to be born into a wealthy family, with what ever they want, and be magically active? Yet he tosses it aside to get fast gains and slick 'ware.

I'm tempted to take Type 0 system (again reinforces that "given every thing" story point) and taking 2 Essence of bioware. Looking mostly at Muscle Toner and Muscle Augment for AGI + STR.

Powers wise I'm thinking Improved Reflexes and Improved Skill (combat. Probably Automatics first, then maybe unarmed or blades down the line).

I'm stuck at this point trying to convert it from an Concept to an actual character let alone one that's getting the most bang for his build points. Hoping some one here might have some advice on how to flesh out this character and or make him work.

Happy to answer questions or elaborate on any thing I can. Thank you all in advance.

..any thoughs about cyberware? Cyber-suites lower price and Essence cost (Eyes,Ears and Datajack together,all alphaware) (add Biocompatability( cyberware) to lower essence loss eve more)
Is Surge allowed in charc.creation? take a look at options, some metagenetic qualities are pretty good for combat Adept..
(IMOO) Type O-system is waste of points.
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Ner0
post Apr 3 2015, 09:53 AM
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I'm open to Cyberware. I've got no real preference over Bio/Cyber just thought I'd squeeze more out of my essence with Type O and Bio, either way doesn't matter to me the character build and concept would be fine with Cyber.

Surge is allowed but for the build I'd want to keep him as close to "Elf" as possible, but I'm open to suggestions.
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Udoshi
post Apr 3 2015, 09:56 AM
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QUOTE (Ner0 @ Apr 3 2015, 01:39 AM) *
The short story is I'm looking to build and optimize an Elf Adept with 500bp. I envision him being a bit of a burnout (at least 1 essence gone, maybe 2), both for how awesome bioware is in 4 but also his character's mentality. I want him to be skilled in Automatics (SMGs being his favorite), Unarmed (maybe blades but unarmed is nice) and a competent motorcycle driver. Every thing else is icing on the cake.


Do you have any houserules regardging availability, or the amount of money you can spend being raised, or books banned/allowed?
If you get extra points to spend, usually you get some extra allowances here. Is the quality limit still 35 or do you have some flexibility there? If no, can you priority gen and then add 100BP to customize it? (serious question)
Are there any other houserules in play? Fourth is so old pretty much everyone has their own take on it.


When you're talking maximum-impact for an adept, getting your extra IP on ware is usually the go-to to make more efficient adept powers.
Improved reflexes 3 costs 4 magic, level 2 is 2.5. If you spend less essence than magic on IP, you come out ahead.

An synaptic booster III gives you +3 ip, +3 reaction letting you hit the hardcap for it. Reaction is used for Driving your bike as well as defense tests, so its definitely valid. It will lose you some magic overall, but you can then grab a Way from Way of the Adept and make your point costs a little less expensive. I'd look at Artisan, athletes, and warriors. A booster 3 will test the limits of your money-stretching skills but it may just be worth it. IP on ware can -never- be taken away from you by random background counts either.

The edgecruser experimental combat bike from War(boo, hiiss, i know) came across my attention recently. Its not especially great, but it has body 3, meaning you can gecko tips it and literally drive it up walls and over other cars on the road, without hitting the damage-things-you-drive-over clause for that mod.
Then again, you might want that as a combat biker, in which case look at the horizion-doble revolution. Just a funny idea.

If you're making a tanky combat samurai with that many BP, I'd look at buying bumping adept into mystic adept, just for counterspelling access. You could make a 'pit crew' of task spirits if you wanted to really push the limits here, but you won't be great at it with most of your magic devoted to adept powers - this is a good thing. Spirits have a way of stealing the show.

What you want is absolutely doable.

Type-O is a trap though; it doesn't affect cultured bioware. Muscle augmentation is a bit of a trap, I'd prioritize muscle toner over that.

Blades adepts want an odd strength - 5,7,9 - a good ratio weapon, and then all of the dice they can manage to land hits because net hits carry most of the weight. Weapon Foci are great for this.
Unarmed adepts don't give a devil rats ass about strength. They can stack up to +3 unarmed DV from martial arts qualities, up to Magic more(via critical strike), and have ways of reducing AP - either a power directly, or elemental fists.
(A mystic adept can easily use a rating 1 elemental aura on themselves to get AP half with a melee weapon, then rely on the adept centering metamagic to negate the penalties also. Unarmed adepts can save a bunch of power points by not taking elemental strike doing this also.)

Anyway:
Ware of interest to you
Bone Density: Soak Dice
Muscle Toner: Agility best
Synaptic Booster: Passes AND reaction
Trauma damper: Survivability, helps with stun buildup, mitigates all drain by 1 forever, immunity to fatigue damage
Synthacardium: Gymnastic dodge. Less useful for a driver build though, because you want to maximize Dodge instead
Reflex recorders: Pay for Adept Improved Skill with cash, free up points elsewhere.
Reakt: More reaction dice for self defense.

Dont forget that going bio-heavy means cyberware is half-essence. I'm a big fan of a non-cybereye Smartlink paid for on essence. 0.1, halved. A lot of people forget that drivers can benefit from smartguns on their vehicle too. (you can even put them in cameras in a sensor bay if you want the pilot to be able to use it)


Here's what you want to do:
Prioritize Reaction and Agility. Then Body, then strength. Body comes first so you can max out your armor.
Pump Dodge as high as it can go, then take the vehicle specialization. Reflex recorders are good here.
Being lethal in combat is about going on full defense as little as possible, relying on passive reaction being high to avoid trouble, and dropping enemies as fast as possible. But if you have to do it, you want to shrug off everything coming your way.
Driving a vehicle without rigging it, you roll reaction+handling base - so a high handling will keep you alive. It also lets things like Reakt and Combat sense help you out.

If you build this right, you should be able to walk/drive through wide bursts without spending actions.

Hope that helps!
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Ner0
post Apr 3 2015, 11:15 AM
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Those are all some incredibly good tips. Thank you.

I'm starting to wonder if the Adept portion of my build is worth all the stress of essence/magic balancing. All I'm looking to get out of it is Improved Automatics or Improved Blades)...

Maybe I should dump the Adept part, and make a straight Street Samurai, with this character. Thoughts on that?
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Stingray
post Apr 3 2015, 12:53 PM
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Street Samurai is easier to make, no need to worry much about essence.
..how much is allowed to use in Attribute's? 200 bp? 250 Bp?
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Apr 3 2015, 02:06 PM
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QUOTE (Ner0 @ Apr 3 2015, 04:15 AM) *
Those are all some incredibly good tips. Thank you.

I'm starting to wonder if the Adept portion of my build is worth all the stress of essence/magic balancing. All I'm looking to get out of it is Improved Automatics or Improved Blades)...

Maybe I should dump the Adept part, and make a straight Street Samurai, with this character. Thoughts on that?


While a Street Sam is easier to make in some ways, the benefits of being an Adept outpace it pretty quickly. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Stingray
post Apr 3 2015, 02:17 PM
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..true that..but that takes A lot of karma..
(some GM's change yen to karma for awakened charcs)
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Apr 3 2015, 02:45 PM
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QUOTE (Stingray @ Apr 3 2015, 07:17 AM) *
..true that..but that takes A lot of karma..
(some GM's change yen to karma for awakened charcs)


Not as much as you might think, actually. Especially if you are willing to take an Essence hit of 1 (my general preference) or 2 for the absolutely essential 'ware that is cheaper than the Adept abilities (assuming you believe in that concept of cyber/bio adepts, which many do). (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Stingray
post Apr 3 2015, 03:21 PM
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QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 3 2015, 05:45 PM) *
Not as much as you might think, actually. Especially if you are willing to take an Essence hit of 1 (my general preference) or 2 for the absolutely essential 'ware that is cheaper than the Adept abilities (assuming you believe in that concept of cyber/bio adepts, which many do). (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

..maybe, maybe not.. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/cool.gif) ..it depends in many things, choices, starting what charc. creation systen is used.... 400 bp, 500 bp, 750 karma etc.. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/indifferent.gif)
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Apr 3 2015, 03:39 PM
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QUOTE (Stingray @ Apr 3 2015, 08:21 AM) *
..maybe, maybe not.. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/cool.gif) ..it depends in many things, choices, starting what charc. creation systen is used.... 400 bp, 500 bp, 750 karma etc.. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/indifferent.gif)


Indeed... 500 BP is just awesome compared to Normal 400 BP.
Karma Gen is even better, especially with some additional XP added to compensate for the increased BP starting Limit (assuming the normal 750 Karmagen - the 1000 Karmagen Limit that JH espouses is just ludicrous).
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Udoshi
post Apr 3 2015, 10:06 PM
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QUOTE (Ner0 @ Apr 3 2015, 04:15 AM) *
Maybe I should dump the Adept part, and make a straight Street Samurai, with this character. Thoughts on that?


Adept Counterstrike + the Riposte martial arts Maneuver alone worth being an adept for.

Adept Multitasking also lets you make perception tests as free actions - while the extra free actions go away in combat, free action Active Sensor Targeting Lock-ons are majorly useful to a combat biker.

For the king of speedtankers, its very hard to rival the passive/no-action defense tests you can get via high reaction, Running, and combat sense.


A samurai is fine too, but i think you will have more fun as an adept once you figure out where the augmentation line to cross lies. Get back with those houserules/variants questions and I we can advise more.
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Ner0
post Apr 4 2015, 02:22 AM
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Sorry if I'm not sure how to properly address the house rule and clarification questions. As far as I understand we're going off the 20th edition BP character generation rules. All of the books are available to us. I don't believe there are any specific house rules or table errata in place. My GM is pretty open to ideas though so I'm sure I could bring something forward if it's not too crazy.
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Ner0
post Apr 4 2015, 09:42 AM
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I've been looking at various augmentations trying to decide what's best for this character. So far I'm under the impression that some thing to boost Reaction and Initiative Passes and an agility boost are core. Strength would be nice since I'd like some melee skill. That said I'm struggling to decide what the best path is.

As far as I know to boost Reaction and get Initiative Passes I've got four options: Wired Reflexes, Move By Wire, Synaptic Booster and Adept Improved Reflexes Power.

Move By Wire sounds great. Lots of Reaction boost, Initiative Passes, Bonuses to Dodge and acts as Skillwires however the price and essence cost leaves me with out any room for anything else.

I'm leaning toward Synaptic Booster, because of the low essence cost since I'm still leaning toward Adept. At 1.5 Essence (standard ware) it's cheaper on the essence then Adept Power Improved Reflexes if I'm understanding power point costs right (Improved Reflexes costs 4 power points). The nuyen cost is a bit steep though.

As for other augments Muscle Toner and Muscle Augmentation seem like they're what I'm looking for. Cost is high but they look more essence friendly then Muscle Replacement or Adept Powers.

I'd love for some Bone Density augmentation or Aluminum Bone Lacing for boosted damage resistance and the ability to do physical with punches, plus in the past my GM has allowed bone lacing at least to be counted as a weapon focus if enchanted before implantation, so that would be cool. But Not sure I can afford it essence (and nuyen) wise, plus if I take Synaptic Boosters as my inititive/reaction booster it leaves me open for Killing Hands power instead.

Thoughts? Suggestions? What cyber/bio makes sense for this character? This stuff gets overwhelming.
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Udoshi
post Apr 4 2015, 11:52 PM
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Then you should figure out what adept powers you are interested in instead, and what you can cut there, use that to determine how much augmentation to take.

For the record i think you could get by doing what you want with an essence around 3 or 4.
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