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Here's the scenario

I WAS playing a Troll physical (Boar) shaman gang member. The DM had us initially start weak and build us up. It was a good idea and great fun.

However, through gameplay the character graduated from ganger to runner. During his tenure as a runner he was infected with and cured of VITAS3, losing a magic point in the process.

I initiated later with the Talisman geas. I thought "cool."

Well as it turns out a botched body roll vs an SMG burst can really ruin your day. Out the window goes a magic point.

The GM made it a point to tell me that while my pc was in a coma fighting to recover he dreamed of Boar running away from him. He told me out of character that if i wanted to switch characters now would be a good time. I took him up on the offer.

Am I a quitter? Considering his totem is Boar and not Wolf, i think backing down was ok, but i feel quilty leaving the other remaining gang member hanging.

Anyone else have bad experiences with physical magicians?
The Stainless Steel Rat
I wouldn't associate the problem with the PhysMage, but rather with the SMG Burst.

Yeah, yeah I think that's where you're problem is. What with all those bullets trearing up your soft pink flesh...
Well yeah an SMG will do that.

Maybe i'm rationalizing here but the physical magician has too many choices to make regarding karma.


The character had Magical Power at 5 and Increased Reflexes 1 for adept abilities
Grade 1 Initiate

His highest spell was a rating 5

His street name was Blinker. On again off again...just like his attempts at ANYTHING

Physical magicians have exceptional potential.. it really depends on what you're trying to do.

They can combine the best (and worst) of both adepts and mages/shamans.. the options is the big weakness.. well, coupled with the "shafting" nature of physical magicians in the astral department. It can be countered by a very themed character -- not in the sense of "adept with a few spells" or "mage with a few adept powers" but rather "specialty with some adept powers and spells".

If you try and make a first rate Adept with some spells, you're probably going to be weaker. Ditto for mage with some adept powers.

But if you're trying to make a first rate stealth specialist, then you can be exceptionally good -- from the beginning. Same with first rate melee specialist (armour spells, few combat spells, a treat spell, and the key adept powers), or first rate mechanic (catalogue, analyze device, repair, improved ability, levitate, improved senses..).
The Stainless Steel Rat
QUOTE (Dawnshadow)
Physical magicians have exceptional potential.. it really depends on what you're trying to do.


I think one of my most powerful characters was a Gun-Fu Adept with a few points of Magical Power. In the beginning he used it mostly for Conjuring, but as he progressed and got his hands on some decent Foci he became something fierce.
Eyeless Blond
In SR3 you had to be really careful with "just a few points of Magic" because you could take a few Deadly wounds and suddenly lose it, as Magic Power goes away first.

In SR4 they removed the whole Magic loss from deadly wounds thing, which IMO really helped make the magic adept a lot less fragile of a character.
Indeed.. characters are always going to be "magically" fragile as physical magicians.. but they can be quite powerful
Fragile was definitely the word for this character.
Agree with Dawnshadow - a player has a physmage in our smuggling campaign, and its required some hard choices from him, but you do NOT want to get into melee combat with the character, what with sustained/quickened physical-enhancing spells and skill enhancing-powers, martial art manoevres and some vicious touch range spells.

The character is now at karma pool around 10, and grade 4 (2 extra magical power initiations, 2 regular physad ones, giving a total of 6 and 4 respectively for an idea of his balance of powers), so obviously is quite advanced, now - but at the start the character was very much a melee specialist, with only rudimentary sorcery skills and spells, most of which were things like reflex enchancements and treat. His skill set was martial arts with some manoeuvres, whips and edged with athletics and stealth thrown in, with magical skills at around the 3-4 mark. His powers tended to be sensory enhancements and minor skill improvements, but it was enough to give him a very good edge when it came to spotting ambushes and things in combat, and more than enough oomph in melee to handle multiple standard goons with ease (especially with a dikote manriki-sickle-blade thing. Nasty).

A very successful character, but one who has only just now (after all told about two years play) got powerful enough to start branching out into other areas to train in.

If he'd tried to be all things, he'd have fallen flat and probably got killed long ago.

The player has said he wouldn't play another though, because it just takes too long to get 'any good' by which he means outstripping all opposition regardless of game balance, so I wouldnt' put too much stock in that! I'd have been pleased with myself had I managed to acheive what he has with it, but I think he'd rather have the phenomenal cosmic power if he's honest!
It is possible to play a great physical mage at chargen. You have to play to his strengths that's all. Imagine a melee oriented(with weapon focus) shamanic phys mage concealed by his nature spirit using his spell and sorcery to smother any spell casting from his enemies.
Hey Grim Tooth , it sounds liek you have a good GM by aying you had a dream of boar running away.
Straight Razor
my most munchkinde out chaircter was a shapeshifter(tiger) PhyMage.
He was very leathel and hard to kill to boot. skills on the other hand not-so-much.
sorcery 6
unarmed combat 5 martial arts 7
that be all the skill he had
How erver was sure to kill 1 person every round, and he normaly went first.
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