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> My First Char., Thoughts? Suggestions? Advice?
heinous
post Sep 9 2004, 03:17 PM
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Hello all. As some of you know I'm brand new to Shadowrun, as are my running mates. I've created the following character and would just like to see what some of you thought of it. I had an entire history planned out for the character but i have to adjust it a lot, so i'll include it later. I intend on including some edges and flaws in the near future, but here's where i'm at right now ->

Name - Seed
Race - Dwarf
Age - 22
Height - 3'-7"
Home - Pemigewasset Wilderness

Priority
A - Magic - Full Magician
B - Attributes - 27
C - Skills - 34
D - Race - Dwarf
E - Resources - 5,000

Racial Modifications
+1 Body
+2 Strength
+1 Willpower
Thermographic Vision
Resistance (+2 Body to Disease or Toxin)

Totem - Snake (Wilderness)

Totem Modifications
+2 Dice for detection, health & illusion spells
+2 Dice for any one spirit of the land
-1 Dice for all spells cast during combat

Attributes
BOD - 4
QUI - 4
STR - 4
INT - 5
WIL - 7
CHA - 5
ESS - 6
MAG - 6
REA - 4

Spells
Heal - 5
Increase Strength - 3
Manabolt - 3
Mindprobe - 3
Confusion - 3
Improved Invisibility - 3
Silence - 2

Active Skills
Projectile Weapons(Crossbow) - 2(4)
Athletics - 3
Aura Reading - 5
Biotech(First Aid) - 5(7)
Sorcery(Spellcasting) - 5(7)
Conjuring - 5
Etiquette(Tribal) - 3(5)
Interrogation - 3

Knowledge Skills
Zoology - 2
Medicine - 5
Botany - 3
Magic - 4
Dragons - 2

Language Skills
English(Mage-Talk) - 3(5)
-Read/Write - 4
Tribal - 4
-Read/Write - 4

Contacts
Not exactly sure yet. definately a Talismonger and something else

Lifestyle - Squatter

Equipment
-Light Crossbow
-Ordinary Clothing
-Medkit
-Medkit Supplies (10)
-Fetish(Heal)
-Shamanic Lodge Supplies
-Survival Kit

Initiative - 4 + 1D6
Astral Initiative - 25 + 1D6

Dice Pools
-Astral Combat - 8
-Combat - 8
-Spell - 6

Karma Pool - 1

Starting Nuyen - .10 * (Remaining Creation Nuyen) + 3D6 * 100


Questions -
The equipment i've chosen is pretty much based on what the sample character had, as i wasn't sure where to go in this category. Where can i find the information for buying the shamanic lodge supplies at creation? What is the survival kit and where is the pricing table it's included in? what exactly are fetishes? where's the equipment table listing bolts for my crossbow? I read about penalties a dwarf might take using specific weapons, where can i find a list of these weapon types? How are my spell/skill selections? other than a talismonger, what other contact might i want to choose? and, have i miscalculated anything or done anything wrong?

any and all help is greatly appreciated.
Rob.
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Kagetenshi
post Sep 9 2004, 03:26 PM
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Not bad at first glance; your projectile weapons specialization is wrong (the difference betwixt skill and specialization is always 2 at chargen) and I’d advise not specializing that at all with such a low starting skill, unless you’re never going to improve that skill. I’d suggest less specialization in general, at least until you’re more experienced. More info later.

~J
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Bigity
post Sep 9 2004, 03:42 PM
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I might drop one of the lower force spell and bump up some of the others. A spell with a force or 2, or even 3, is going to be resisted alot of the time, at least against significant opposition. Drop Increase Strength maybe? It's not going to do your character much good, and unless you want to sustain it on the close combat specialist of the team and take a +2 to TNs and drain, you won't be using it much. I'd bump up Mindprobe for sure, and this is a spell where you need several successes to get the good dirt. I'd increase Manabolt too. Silence at Force 2 is going to be resisted alot.

Is Tribal a language? Which tribe? Sioux, Salish, etc.

I also have an instinct to not specialize Sorcery, but I can't really think offhand of a way it will really hurt you, so maybe it's ok.
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BitBasher
post Sep 9 2004, 03:47 PM
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Specializing sorcery will mean less spell defence dice from sorcery are available.

I would lose a lot of the specializations especially with the longer term remifications that you cannot increase a specialization beyond 2x the base skill level.
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heinous
post Sep 9 2004, 06:33 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
Not bad at first glance; your projectile weapons specialization is wrong (the difference betwixt skill and specialization is always 2 at chargen) and I’d advise not specializing that at all with such a low starting skill, unless you’re never going to improve that skill. I’d suggest less specialization in general, at least until you’re more experienced. More info later.

~J

Just fixed that specialization error. what's the deal with starting skills/specializations and improving them later? is there some stipulations about improving that i should know while allocating these skill rankings?

Thanks!
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Kagetenshi
post Sep 9 2004, 06:42 PM
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A specialization may not be higher than twice the base skill, with the exception of 1/3 specializations at chargen. Thus, if you do a 2/4 specialization, you’re going to need to up the base skill to 3 if you ever decide to increase the specialization, at which point it’s more efficient and effective to just start with 3 and specialize after chargen.

~J
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heinous
post Sep 9 2004, 06:58 PM
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QUOTE (Bigity)
I might drop one of the lower force spell and bump up some of the others. A spell with a force or 2, or even 3, is going to be resisted alot of the time, at least against significant opposition. Drop Increase Strength maybe? It's not going to do your character much good, and unless you want to sustain it on the close combat specialist of the team and take a +2 to TNs and drain, you won't be using it much. I'd bump up Mindprobe for sure, and this is a spell where you need several successes to get the good dirt. I'd increase Manabolt too. Silence at Force 2 is going to be resisted alot.

Is Tribal a language? Which tribe? Sioux, Salish, etc.

I also have an instinct to not specialize Sorcery, but I can't really think offhand of a way it will really hurt you, so maybe it's ok.

Thanks for the advice. It's tough allocating spell forces when you don't really know how effective each spell force rating is. so this is helpful.

as far as the tribal language, im really not too sure. my char grew up in the pemi-wilderness with a dwarf shaman tribe...he wasn't born into this tribe, he was abandoned by his human parents because they were ashamed and embarrassed of their dwarf child. the dwarfs found him and took him in as one of their own. i put tribal as a language to, sort of, cover for my background... do i have to be specific on tribal language? is there any reference to the area and tribes that exist in the Eastern UCAS? or can i pretty much just make this part up?
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RangerJoe
post Sep 9 2004, 08:58 PM
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Folks seem to be really down on low-force spells on these boards (e.g., force 2-4). Especially for Illusion spells with low TNs to cast (I or W for directed, usually 4 for indirect illusions-- how many NPCs out there really have I or W above 3-5?) or detections spells with low TNs (or even combat spells for that matter), a low force spell with many successes can be just as successful as a high force spell. In order to generate lots of successes, you'll need to think carefully about using totem modifiers, spell pool, elementals (if you're a hermetic) and eventually foci or centering.

Sometimes being an effective spell slinger is less about the force 8 powerball and more a matter of being able to send off lots of spells, effectively resist the drain, and keep the mojo coming.
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Bigity
post Sep 9 2004, 09:14 PM
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Like I said, the low force stuff is fine for street punks or the average 40 hour a week security guard, but when the dedicated corp security guys show up, don't count on a force 2 illusion to save your team.
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Rory Blackhand
post Sep 9 2004, 09:41 PM
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I'm no expert, but you might want to try and get some sort of armor or you could get killed the first time you are shot.

You also took healing as a spell and as a skill. This is cool if that is your role, but it could be a bit more than you will need?? Maybe pick one or the other.

I like levitation, camouflage, shape earth, and shape change. But it is hard to get everything you want. At least with camo and levitate you could just get force 1 and keep trying until you succeed when you need to use them. alot of the other spells you need to have a higher force for it to be of value.

As has been mentioned you won't need increase strength unless you plan to get in there and start fighting physically instead of magically.

Just noticed you chose mind probe and interrogation. You might go mind probe only and save some skill points for something else. Or go compel truth.
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Kagetenshi
post Sep 9 2004, 09:46 PM
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QUOTE (Bigity)
Like I said, the low force stuff is fine for street punks or the average 40 hour a week security guard, but when the dedicated corp security guys show up, don't count on a force 2 illusion to save your team.

With eight successes behind it, why not?

Once the Otaku brigade shows up you may have some trouble, but otherwise…

~J
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Bigity
post Sep 9 2004, 11:08 PM
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Well, because maybe they have spell defense, die pools, or a mage around to back them up.
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Kagetenshi
post Sep 9 2004, 11:12 PM
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First off, they're not going to have dice pools unless they're using karma. Second, do spell defense dice work against spells that have already been cast? I don't think so, but I may be wrong. Third, force two or force two thousand, a mage is going to see through it on the Astral anyway.

~J
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Kanada Ten
post Sep 9 2004, 11:18 PM
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Force must be half OR to affect an object. Therefore you either can't make a spoon invisible with a Force 3 spell or you can't make anything invisible to a camera with it. GM's call. (Page 182, SR3, under Spellcasting, Sorcery Test).
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Kagetenshi
post Sep 9 2004, 11:31 PM
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So Invisibility is better than II for low-force implementations, but that doesn't change the power of low-Force mana-based illusions.

~J
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Kanada Ten
post Sep 9 2004, 11:38 PM
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Right, unless you roll bad. Or have a bunch of dice tied up in Spell Defense. Or need to cast multiple spells at the same time. Those things never happen. And never at the same bleeping time when you've only got one bleeping karma pool left and the bleeping insect hive is pouring from the sewer entrance.
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Kagetenshi
post Sep 9 2004, 11:40 PM
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I'm not saying that high-force isn't, all else being equal, better, but you can get a very effective spell for a very low cost.

~J
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Bigity
post Sep 10 2004, 02:15 AM
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Well, to clarify, I wasn't saying low force spells couldn't be useful, but as a new player, it would be more difficult to know when you could use them effectively, and when you are going to leave yourself in a bad place by relying on them.

That's why I suggested maybe bumping some of them up :)
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GrinderTheTroll
post Sep 10 2004, 02:21 AM
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QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
Force must be half OR to affect an object. Therefore you either can't make a spoon invisible with a Force 3 spell or you can't make anything invisible to a camera with it. GM's call. (Page 182, SR3, under Spellcasting, Sorcery Test).

Yeah I'd change Improved Invisibility - 3 to Force 4 so it can affect electronic devices like cameras. Other lower level spells are nice if you get alot of successes, but can be more easily resisted.
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Glyph
post Sep 10 2004, 03:22 AM
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For a Priority System character, you have one too many skill points (35), and two too few Attribute points (29, when you should have 31 after applying dwarven modifiers to a base 27).

I think, for a new character, that you should probably take fewers spells, at higher Force. Also, you can take Fetish or Exclusive modifiers on some spells to make them cost less, letting you take them at higher Force.

For skills, I would lose Interrogation (redundant with Mind Probe), and take Stealth, which is an essential skill.

Like others have said, you definitely need armor. Be sure to get some with good ballistic protection, as high as possible.
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sidartha
post Sep 10 2004, 03:49 AM
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QUOTE (heinous)
Questions -
The equipment i've chosen is pretty much based on what the sample character had, as i wasn't sure where to go in this category.  Where can i find the information for buying the shamanic lodge supplies at creation?  What is the survival kit and where is the pricing table it's included in?  what exactly are fetishes?  where's the equipment table listing bolts for my crossbow?  I read about penalties a dwarf might take using specific weapons, where can i find a list of these weapon types?  How are my spell/skill selections?  other than a talismonger, what other contact might i want to choose?  and, have i miscalculated anything or done anything wrong?

First and foremost, Miscalculations:
You seem to have lost two(2) ability points. I suggest Int and Cha both up to 6,
Also, you have too many skill points. For every level a skill is higher than it's base attribute you pay double. So with Int 5 Sorcery5(7) costs 5 pts up to level five Plus 2 for level six for a total of seven. Raise your Int and the problem will fix itself.
Second, Answers:
Shamanic lodge supplies are found in the magical gear section of Running Gear section at the end of the main book( Hereafter referred to as BBB).
Contents of the survival kit are whatever you can talk your GM into. It's listed under Equipment in Running Gear.
Non-modified racial penaltys are located in the combat section of the BBB if I recall correctly if not then they are in Cannon Companion (Hereafter referred to as CC).
Third, Skills:
Lose Aura Reading, it's too expensive for it's usefulness in my opinion. Pick up Stealth, can't have too much Stealth, Stealth is a good thing. YOU NEED STEALTH!!! Sorry but it had to be said.
You have the spell Heal and the skill Biotech and the knowledge skill Medicine. One of these is expendable. I'd lose the knowledge skill and replace it with something a bit more urban, you are in the sprawl after all.
Last but never least, Contacts:
I always take a Fixer, I mean how else you gonna get hired?
Also depending on your background and the circumstances of you leaving your tribe you might want to consider a pal from the "good old days".
It's like the mastercard commercial:
Force 3 sustaining focus. 45,000 :nuyen: at character creation.
Level 1 talismonger contact. 5,000 :nuyen: per year.
Someone to get you a unlimited supply of virgin telesma. Priceless



Edit Glyph beat me again!!!

Edit Part 2 One other thing about your choice of spells. Stunbolt for all intents and purposes does the same thing as Manabolt and it does it with less drain and less of the mad dog killer reputation. It should work against spirits just as well as Manabolt too. ;)
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tjn
post Sep 10 2004, 08:39 AM
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QUOTE (sidartha)
Also, you have too many skill points. For every level a skill is higher than it's base attribute you pay double. So with Int 5 Sorcery5(7) costs 5 pts up to level five Plus 2 for level six for a total of seven.  Raise your Int and the problem will fix itself.

Sorcery is based off Willpower, of which he has 7.

QUOTE
You have the spell Heal and the skill Biotech and the knowledge skill Medicine.  One of these is expendable.  I'd lose the knowledge skill and replace it with something a bit more urban, you are in the sprawl after all.

Well the character has a tribal background, not a 'sprawl background. Though the skills seem to suggest otherwise.

As for the character himself (and I'm probably gonna be echoing what a lot of others have already said throughout this)... upping Charisma and Int with your two extra att points would be best, and personally, I'd opt to put points in Body before touching Str. Let the muscle carry the gear; you've gotta live through the "geek the mage first" reaction.

Spell Selection: 4 spells at force 6 with Inc Reflex +3 at force 1. Learning high force spells is fskin' hard; you can learn the lower forces much easier in gameplay. Also the Inc Reflexes... if you have wired sams, it's really fskin boring to sit on your hands while the rest of the team runs circles around you. If the rest of the team doesn't have speed monsters, don't worry about it.

As to the spells, that's got more to do with what type of character you wish to play... however, Mindprobe is highly illegal and usually is more rigourously enforced. As a Snake shaman, I see Stunbolt more then mana. Imp Invis needs to be higher to effect technology. Inc Str is really kinda useless due to the low force (max of +3 str) and if the character casts it on himself, he still won't have as much as the combat specialist, and the TN to effect someone already strong is too high. Silence is better with Stealth the skill...

As far as Skills, yes, over one. Also I must echo the recommendations of not specializing. Enless yer never gonna go up, or for story considerations, then maybe...

Also, a tribal indian... who has the medical skills of a surgeon out of Seattle General? Huh? And he wields a crossbow? Conjuring should go to 6 as you can't augment it with a pool. And Stealth. Every runner needs it. The Magic knowskill, is infinitly useful, esp if yer the only magically active person on the team, worthy to go to 6 IMO. Also might wanna add some form of survival?

R/W is equal to half the base language skill, rounded down. And there is no dialect known as mage-talk. Mages don't have enough of a population within a regional area to diverge.

Contacts: Grab a fixer too. Easiest way for the GM to draw you into a game, and provides you with oppertunity for jobs and/or help aquiring and selling things.

Lifestyle: Seriously consider Low. Yeah it's a good chunk of your change at the beginning, but enless the campaign is gutterpunk, it's just not professional to show up to a meet smelling like the backside of McHugh's. Also, what's someone with the equivilence of a doctor doing fighting over a refrigerator box?

Also the default tribal lands around Seattle is Salish, there's about 5 different major tribes IIRC, but a minor band of d0rfs that went "back to nature" after the ork's kicked them outta the underground ain't too far of a stretch, plus wouldn't have much major complications enless the GM wishes it.

Last thing before my mind shuts down... what's with the crossbow?... as far as tables for what constitues a penalty for d0rfs when wielding... you won't find one. Ya buy a weapon and pay 10% more and presto, it's now d0rf modded and you won't have a penalty.
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lokugh
post Sep 10 2004, 07:55 PM
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As far as language goes, you could go two ways:

1. Take tribal language as Crow. Makes sense with your background. The Cascade Crow tribe is part of the Salish-Sidhe council which surrounds Seattle and Cascade Orks, made up of orks, trolls and a few dwarves is an offshoot of that tribe and is also part of the S-S council. If your parents were human, perhaps Cascade Crow, them dropping you off with the C-Orks makes good RP sense.

2. Mage talk could be a special shaman-only dialect of the Cascade Crow/Ork, assuming your GM allows it, or you could take Japanese or Sperethiel or Salish, all three being languages spoken in Seattle and/or the S-S Council lands surrounding it (Sperethiel is spoken in both the Tir and in the Sinsearch elven tribe in the S-S Council). Of course, that leaves you without English, so I'd say just drop the (Mage Talk) spec. I could actually see that as a specialization for an academically trained hermetic mage (sort of like "Valley Talk" or Ebonics), but not for a wilderness shaman.
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Kagetenshi
post Sep 10 2004, 07:59 PM
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I assume the intention was Mage Lingo.

~J
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lokugh
post Sep 10 2004, 08:50 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
I assume the intention was Mage Lingo.

~J

That is kinda what I thought too, but I still don't think it makes much sense for a wilderness raised shaman.
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