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> Misanthrope's Masterplan Recruitment, 4e Game
Mulcarn
post Nov 3 2019, 04:59 AM
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Hail and well met strangers. Starting in about 1-2 months I'll be trying to restart an old campaign of mine using the 4th Edition ruleset of Shadowrun. The game will take place in Seattle set somewhere between the year 2072 and 2075. Haven't decided entirely upon which year and what time exactly but I think I'll figure something out. This might just be a one-shot mission or it might become an overarching campaign lasting about ten chapters or so. That depends entirely upon the players more or less.

The basic premise behind it involves a team of runners going against the machinations of a toxic cult, supposedly led by a mad dragon. Which consists of making harrowing journeys into Glow City, braving the worst of what Redmond has to offer. Rusted Stilettoes and Halloweener alike will seem humane in comparison to the horrors that lie at the heart of the city's blight-lands. That's not all however... Delve deep enough and you'll uncover the most racist and transhumanist plot that'll threaten all of the inhabitants of Seattle as a whole.

For character creation you'll be using the 4th Edition 20th Anniversary book of Shadowrun plus a few others as follows below. For the time being, only these afore mentioned books are game legal.

4th Edition Core Book
Arsenal
Augmentation
Digital Grimoire
Gun Heaven
Runner's Companion
Sim Dreams and Nightmares
Street Magic
Unwired
Way of the Adept

Char-gen rules.

1. Special Attributes don't count towards the 50% BP/Karma Limit.
2. Free Contact points equal to Charisma X 2.
3. Free Knowledge Skill points equal to (Logic + Intuition) X 3
4. Essence loss only lowers maximum Magic/Resonance.
5. No Meta-Variants.
6. Outside of the above, all standard rules of Char-gen apply. (Max Avail is 12, Only 1 non-special Attribute can be raise to Metatype Maximum, Only 1 skill can be raised to 6 while the rest stay at a max of 4 or lower/ Only 2 skills can be raised to 5 while the rest stay at a max of 4 or lower)

House Rules. (So far)

1. Physical melee and ranged attacks will be defended against with Reaction + Dodge. (This includes Indirect Combat Spells)
2. Full Defense tests will be Reaction + Dodge + Dodge.
3. Physical Direct spells are defended against with Body + Body.
4. Mana Direct spells are defended against with Willpower + Willpower.
5. Elemental Combat spells have their Drain Code lowered by 2, making them F/2 +1 for single target and F/2 +3 for area effect.
6. Only two Magical Traditions are allowed at Char-gen, Hermetic and Shamanic.
7. Hermetic Magicians lose access to the Mentor Spirit Quality, but instead gain access to the Elemental Focus Quality. (see below)
8. Shamanic Magicians may take the Spirits of the Flame Quality. (see below)
9. Initiation/Submersion no longer increases the Maximum cap of Magic/Resonance. (Hard cap of 6 placed on both Magic and Resonance, determined by Essence)

Elemental Focus
Cost: 5 BP

Most mages take a balanced approach to the four elements of earth, air, fire and water. Others align themselves with a single element and become elemental mages, gaining +2 dice for spells and spirits of that element. The penalty for such specialization is that the mage suffers a -1 die for spells and spirits of the opposite element (fire opposes water, earth opposes air). A fire mage, for example, has +2 dice for combat spells and fire elementals, but applies -1 die for illusion spells and water elementals.

Elemental mages may develop personality traits commonly associated with their element. For example, earth mages are often characterized as materialistic and practical. Air mages are seen as cerebral and thoughtful. Fire mages are willful and aggressive, while water mages are intuitive and emotional. Though these are stereotypes, elemental mages will show these characteristics to some degree. Like a totem or mentor spirit, the alignment chosen for an elemental mage is permanent. Only a full hermetic magician can choose this quality.

Spirits of the Flame
Cost: 0 BP

Some shamans have learned to summon a type of nature spirit that represents the more active and primal element found throughout the natural world. Most commonly, these shamans are capable of conjuring spirits born of heat and fire known as salamanders, or spirits of the flame. This fundamental change can only happen at the cost of the ability to conjure spirits of man. Traditionally, flame spirits are known to dwell within places of great heat or fire, such as active volcanos or arid deserts, and in cultures where fire is especially honored, like the kahunas of Hawai'i or the elven magical paths of Tir na nOg. This quality is only available to full shamanic magicians.
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Gilga
post Nov 3 2019, 05:42 PM
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Welcome back friend!
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Mulcarn
post Nov 3 2019, 07:25 PM
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Yeah, been down and out close to 2 years now. Life has a way of throwing a monkey wrench into what plans you set into motion. Glad to see all is well for the most part.
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Koekepan
post Nov 4 2019, 11:03 PM
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I'm provisionally interested. Would you like me to post a proposed sheet, or do you prefer private messages?

I can send a courier, but they cost extra.
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Mulcarn
post Nov 5 2019, 12:27 AM
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Either works it up to you. Also, you can use the BP System starting with 400 BP or the Priority System. I recommend using the 750 Karma Buy System since you get cheated less on the advancement costs and its the most flexible.
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Koekepan
post Nov 8 2019, 05:47 AM
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Sorry it took so long, but I have a proposed character:


Summary and qualities
[ Spoiler ]

Attributes
[ Spoiler ]

Skills
Groups
[ Spoiler ]

Active
[ Spoiler ]

Knowledge
[ Spoiler ]


Lifestyle
[ Spoiler ]

Transport and Drones
[ Spoiler ]

Contacts
UW Faculty Group Contact
[ Spoiler ]

Portable medical supplies
[ Spoiler ]

Personal effects, weapons, clothing
[ Spoiler ]

Electronics and software
[ Spoiler ]


Other gear and cash
[ Spoiler ]

Personal summary
[ Spoiler ]
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Mulcarn
post Nov 8 2019, 04:08 PM
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I like the char concept of a Medic/Rigger but I feel like he's stretched a little to thin when it comes to both his Attributes and his Skills. Consider condensing his skill list a little more, that'll free up some BP/Karma. Also, he lacks any kind of Augmentations. Even something like a Control Rig, Datajack, Reaction Enhancers and maybe some Cybereyes will go a long way for him and really complement his Rigging potential.

For inspiration and a general guideline, look at the Drone Rigger and Smuggler sample characters in the SR4A core book.
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Koekepan
post Nov 8 2019, 06:04 PM
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Cool, I'll build another character.

(Can't see adding major cyber to a guy with sensitive system, and without sensitive system I'm completely changing the concept, so might as well start fresh.)

I'll try to be a little faster this time.
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Mulcarn
post Nov 8 2019, 06:17 PM
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It's cool, no rush man. I noticed the Sensitive System quality and how that played a part in the guy's background, but in my opinion it's kinda of a trap quality similar to Bad Luck. It's a quality meant more so for Magicians, Adapts and Technomancers. The kind of Archetypes that don't need or would never use Cyberware and Bioware.
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Thanee
post Nov 8 2019, 10:36 PM
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Hey there!

It looks like you could still use new players here, so let me voice my interest to join. I would probably make a street shaman, most likely human or elf.

I do have a few questions.

1) Is Initiation okay during CharGen? I understand it won't help with Magic, but some of those metamagic techniques are pretty sweet.

2) "No Meta-Variants" -- does that mean only the standard five metatypes are available, or are some of the other options from Runner's Companion (that are not Meta-Variants) also valid?

3) House Rule #8 "Shamanic Spirits" -- is that set in stone? I really like Spirits of Man, and they also seem rather thematic for an urban shaman. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

4) And last, but not least... since the little pretext sounds rather bleak... any insight about how much Background Count is to be expected?

Bye
Thanee
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Mulcarn
post Nov 9 2019, 01:27 AM
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First off, welcome! Secondly, thanks for showing an interest.

1. Yes, but only once and you can't take an Ordeal to lessen the cost.

2. Just the standard 5 metatypes for the time being. Although, you may run the risk of becoming an Infected PC if fate wills it.

3. I'll make it more of a provisional rule in that case. Fire Spirits may replace Man/City/Hearth Spirits for Shamanic Magicians.

4. Expect a 1-4 Background Count, but only for certain rather... Nasty spots. I'm gonna rule BGC as a DP modifier for all Magic related tests and for Drain tests instead of a reduction in Force/Magic. Less annoying that way.
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Koekepan
post Nov 9 2019, 01:54 AM
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I'm weighing options.

Can you explain the Elemental Focus quality?
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Thanee
post Nov 9 2019, 04:12 AM
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Cool, thank you!

As a follow-up question to 2): What about SURGE?


Also...

QUOTE
3. Physical Direct spells are defended against with Body + Body.
4. Mana Direct spells are defended against with Willpower + Willpower.


Is this just for Direct Combat spells?

Bye
Thanee
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Mulcarn
post Nov 9 2019, 05:01 AM
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@Koekepan - Yeah, glad you asked.

Elemental Focus
Cost: 5 BP

Most mages take a balanced approach to the four elements of earth, air, fire and water. Others align themselves with a single element and become elemental mages, gaining +2 dice for spells and spirits of that element. The penalty for such specialization is that the mage suffers a -1 die for spells and spirits of the opposite element (fire opposes water, earth opposes air). A fire mage, for example, has +2 dice for combat spells and fire elementals, but applies -1 die for illusion spells and water elementals.

Elemental mages may develop personality traits commonly associated with their element. For example, earth mages are often characterized as materialistic and practical. Air mages are seen as cerebral and thoughtful. Fire mages are willful and aggressive, while water mages are intuitive and emotional. Though these are stereotypes, elemental mages will show these characteristics to some degree. Like a totem or mentor spirit, the alignment chosen for an elemental mage is permanent. Only a full hermetic magician can choose this quality.

Spirits of the Flame
Cost: 0 BP

Some shamans have learned to summon a type of nature spirit that represents the more active and primal element found throughout the natural world. Most commonly, these shamans are capable of conjuring spirits born of heat and fire known as salamanders, or spirits of the flame. This fundamental change can only happen at the cost of the ability to conjure spirits of man. Traditionally, flame spirits are known to dwell within places of great heat or fire, such as active volcanos or arid deserts, and in cultures where fire is especially honored, like the kahunas of Hawai'i or the elven magical paths of Tir na nOg. This quality is only available to full shamanic magicians.

@Thanee

1. I'm half and half on SURGE at the moment, but I might lean against it.

2. I'm not a big fan of single Attribute only tests so that rule will apply to most if not all Spell/Power Resistance Tests. Examples spells/powers being but not limited to - Manabolt, Powerball, Control Thoughts, Fear, etc. The second Attribute may vary depending on the Spell/Power in question. (at Gamemaster's Discretion)
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Koekepan
post Nov 9 2019, 05:32 AM
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Thanks, Mulcarn.

OK, provisional plan (and I'd like Thanee's take on this as well):

I'm thinking a hermetic mage right now. I'm fifty-fifty on the elemental focus, because I'm still solidifying the concept. If I do, it might be earth or water, but no promises. I'm thinking dwarf again for no other reason than that I think our squat cousins don't get enough love, but human is still on the cards.

So, Thanee, should we be the magical Gimli/Legolas odd couple of Mulcarn's twisted Redmond nightmare? Until one of us dies horribly, of course.
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Mulcarn
post Nov 9 2019, 07:18 AM
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I don't plan on pulling my punches so much as telegraphing my blows. The Sixth World is a deadly and apathetic place. Between the soulless corporate machine of triple-A companies that govern the world combined with the existential threat posed by the dragons and metaplanar horrors, death is always right around the corner. Don't forget the seemingly endless amount of heartless criminals who'll gladly shoot you in the face for a quick buck.

That being said, I believe in fairness and balance when it comes to games like Shadowrun. I'm not going to try to intentionally kill you at every turn imaginable, nor will I go out of my way to save you for that matter. It's why I want to GM a game with the house rules I have in place so far. There is no right or wrong. No black and white. Only cause and effect. The takers and the taken. I'm only here to set the stage and put the actors in their place. The narrative, at least as I view it, will be written by you. More specifically, by the choices your characters make and the actions that follow suit.

So in essence, yeah, there is a chance you'll die horribly. Probably even in the first mission. But fret not, the challenges that presents themselves won't be impossible to overcome. Only just that, a challenge.
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Thanee
post Nov 9 2019, 09:34 AM
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QUOTE (Mulcarn @ Nov 9 2019, 06:01 AM) *
1. I'm half and half on SURGE at the moment, but I might lean against it.


I will first have to come up with something more concrete, anyways. But it would likely not be too wild. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

QUOTE
2. I'm not a big fan of single Attribute only tests so that rule will apply to most if not all Spell/Power Resistance Tests. Examples spells/powers being but not limited to - Manabolt, Powerball, Control Thoughts, Fear, etc. The second Attribute may vary depending on the Spell/Power in question. (at Gamemaster's Discretion)


Yeah, that is what I thought at first, but that "Direct" in there made me wonder.

Bye
Thanee
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Mulcarn
post Nov 10 2019, 04:28 AM
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For further clarity, Spellcasting is subject to Visibility Modifiers for all line of sight based spells, including area effect spells. Poor visibility affects the spellcaster's ability to create the mystic link needed to channel mana into another person/point in space. Indirect Combat Spells are the only spells that can be used without LOS, but suffer the -6 Blind Fire penalty. Cover provides extra DP to the defender/target of a Combat Spell. (I think Cover applies to all spell defense/resistance tests but i'm not 100% sure atm)

For Direct Combat Spells, the target would roll Body/Willpower + Body/Willpower (+ Partial/Good Cover, Counterspelling if available) to resist the incoming attack.

For Indirect Combat Spells, the target would roll Reaction + Dodge (+Partial/Good Cover if available) to defend against the incoming attack, followed by Body + 1/2 Impact Armor (+Armor mods and Counterspelling if available) to resist the damage incase the defense test failed.

One work around for poor/zero visibility is to use Astral Perception to target your friends and/or foes.
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Thanee
post Nov 10 2019, 02:17 PM
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QUOTE (Koekepan @ Nov 9 2019, 06:32 AM) *
So, Thanee, should we be the magical Gimli/Legolas odd couple of Mulcarn's twisted Redmond nightmare? Until one of us dies horribly, of course.


Sorry, havn't replied to this, yet.

If anything, my character will be more Tauriel than Legolas, just not as good with the bow... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

Bye
Thanee
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Koekepan
post Nov 10 2019, 07:12 PM
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Outdated version of character

[ Spoiler ]
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Thanee
post Nov 10 2019, 08:09 PM
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You might want to think about a Sustaining Focus for Manipulation, so you can get that armor or barrier up without hindering yourself too much.

Also, I think, getting Edge to at least 2 or 3 is not very expensive and highly useful (for those times, that surely will come, when you really botch some important rolls (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) ).

Bye
Thanee
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Mulcarn
post Nov 10 2019, 09:20 PM
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Adding on to what Thanee had said, I'll make a numerical list of things to drop/add (if you want to that is (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) ).

1. Strength and Agility can be dumped entirely.

2. Astral Combat and Banishing aren't bad per se, just entirely obviated by direct combat spells like Manabolt and Stunbolt. Consider only leveling Counterspelling, Spellcasting, Summoning and Binding to free up some extra BP/Karma.

3. Close Combat, Outdoors and Stealth can all be dropped. Grab Improved Invisibility to replace Invisibility to sneak past metahumans and sensors.

4. Drop Detect Magic and Ignite to pick up any of the following spells, (all are good so it doesn't matter) Firebolt, Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Ball Lightning, Combat Sense, Mind Probe, Analyze Truth, Increase Reflexes, Influence, Control Thoughts, Physical Barrier and Levitate.

5. Cram and Psyche are a magician's best friend. Really strong and good drug cocktail.
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Koekepan
post Nov 11 2019, 12:37 AM
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My thinking was that Strength and Agility have some use when the mage at least has to keep up with others to some extent - and this goes double for short-legged dwarves.

Banishing has its uses when dealing less violently with things you don't exactly want to tackle head-on. I definitely also want ritual spellcasting to keep options open. Besides, it makes sense that someone who learned by way of a de facto apprenticeship in a talismongery would have learned those skills as a part of the business.

I could drop stealth and outdoors I suppose, but I think that a street dwarf with a difficult relationship with technology would definitely have some rough-and-tumble, slash-and-stab skills if only at the basic level.

Detect magic is way too useful. Ignite I could drop, improved invisibility is OK (but again, more drain). I could switch around combat spell choices, but I don't see that getting the whole collection buys me much. Mind probe and analyze truth were on my shortlist, so that's worth considering. I just ended up running against the chargen limits of how many I could use.

I'll reread the sheet and see where makes sense to drop and add things. I might be able to do a little shuffling. I realise belatedly that I forgot to roll for her cash on hand anyway.
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Mulcarn
post Nov 11 2019, 01:02 AM
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Not sure if a DP of 3 for melee and Stealth tests will be worth the early game resource sink. While I do agree that ritual sorcery can do some neat things, for char-gen purposes I'd say dropping it for now. You also don't have any rituals learned 😉. For combat spells, you only need 1 direct and 1 indirect, anything beyond that is more icing than anything (except in the case of combat spec based spellcaster).

Consider learning a spell in limited form to help deal with Drain.

Levitate coupled with Imp. Invisibility will supplement most if not all obstacles a shadowrunning mage/shaman might face. They entirely replace the need for the Athletics and Stealth skill group (more or less).

Anyway, it's all food for thought. Play the Character you want to play.
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Koekepan
post Nov 11 2019, 03:10 AM
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OK, I did some adjustments to sort things out.

(I think you meant not having a lodge, rather than not having memorised rituals? Anyway...)

I added sensitive system to this character as well for the points (what the hell, this time it's a mage anyway) as well as some other tweaks. I'd really have liked to get more spells, but I'm already hard up against the limit. For combat, I have one plausibly lethal and one non-lethal, so as a less combat oriented mage, that works for me. Anyway, here goes...

Basics
[ Spoiler ]

Contacts:
[ Spoiler ]


Qualities:
[ Spoiler ]


Property:
[ Spoiler ]


Lifestyle:
[ Spoiler ]


Spells:
[ Spoiler ]


Attributes:
[ Spoiler ]


Skill groups:
[ Spoiler ]


Languages:
[ Spoiler ]


Active skills:
[ Spoiler ]


Knowledges:
[ Spoiler ]


General commentary
[ Spoiler ]


No substantial text changes, but she's a better rounded individual with a slight change to chosen spells, a little more edge, and the background to make better sense of her place in the world and the world's activities around her.
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