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Well, I've been out of the RPG loop for several months now due to my academic commitments, and I haven't had a lot of time to play with the SR4 rules. This concept has been bouncing around in my head for a while now with a fair amount of fleshing out finished, but I'm having a bit of trouble optimizing the character for BP. In other words, I'm not really sure about which options would be effective choices.

Troll -40
Adept -5
EA: CHA -20
SINner +10
Mod. Addiction +10 [This is an important aspect of the character and I do intend to utilize this to its full potential. It ain't free points.]
BP Remaining: 355

Attributes: 180BP
ST: 8
BD: 8
AG: 3
RE: 2
CH: 4
LG: 2
IN: 4
WL: 3
Secondary Attributes: 50
ED: 2
MG: 5
ESS: 6
INI: 6[7] + 1 Pass

Active Skills: 100BP
Unarmed Combat 5
Pistols 3
Stealth Group 2
Athletics Group 2
Influence Group 1
Intimidation 2
Perception[Scent] 2[4]

Knowledge Skills [18]
Security Procedures 3
Law 2
Criminal Organizations 3
Seattle Area Flop Houses 3
Smuggling Routes: UCAS 3

English N
Japanese 2
German 2

Adept Powers - 5 points
Kinesics 2: 1 point
IR 1: 2 points
IS[Scent]: 0.25
IS[Vision Mag]: 0.25
Killing Hands: 0.5
Critical Strike 4: 1

25 extra points for resources/contacts. I'm pretty sure I got all the math right.

Okay, so the basic idea is that the guy was a bail bondsman, and has already been busted once for his drug habit. Good behaviour got him out early and he's working in the same field through slightly less, uh, 'official' channels. He's now working more unsavoury connections and dealing with a larger proportion of particularly dangerous felons as a result of the black marks on his record -- a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do to put soy on the table, y'know?

As for his M.O., I'm trying to develop a persona tougher than the average bear - maybe not so much so compared to other trolls, but rather to the rest of the general population, but whose real advantages lie in his ability to work connections and find his charges through old-fashioned methods - pounding the pavement, doors, and faces as need be.

The concept seems simple enough to work out with 400 BP, but I feel like he's spread a little thin. For example, I'd like to eke out enough points to at least have him passable at first aid, especially with a good kit. If he's running a bondsman operation he should be fairly well-rounded.

Options I've considered include dumping the influence group, keeping intimidation at 1, and using those and extra points scrounged elsewhere to boost his magic to give him an extra level or two of kinesics or some improved abilities. I figured he can default to intimidation or an attribute for the more graceful social skills, and with kinesics and his good charisma he should still be better than average at 6 dice.

I'd also considered other tricks that could be used to help him specialize a bit better in his important areas. Could there be a way to narrow his social abilities down to one or two skills that are highly functional, and use the surplus to boost his physical toughness further? I kind of dig the idea that he is someone who's pretty much unstoppable [in the plodding elephantine sense rather than the 'I am unable to commit suicide because my skulls combined body and armor totals are in the triple digits' sense] until he's found the mark, barring those damned shakes from the withdrawal.
QUOTE (ThatSzechuan @ Dec 15 2005, 04:09 PM)
The concept seems simple enough to work out with 400 BP, but I feel like he's spread a little thin.

That's been my experience with everyone I've made up under 400 BPs. Since moving to SR4, I've had to adjust my expectations from "action hero bordering on superhero" to "guy who can do some useful things reasonably well."

You can still minmax, of course. Some archetypes lend themselves to that since they require relatively few skills (which are huge BP sinks). Your bloodhound/bounty hunter concept needs a few diverse skillsets, so it's going to be hard to be particularly good at everything you need.

Also, being a troll is expensive no matter what you're wanting to play. You get what you pay for, though.
Yeah, our group has noticed problems with spreading the points too thin, but I didn't bring it up because it could have easily been due to inexperience and I didn't want to make snap judgements.

As for the Troll. Well, I like Trolls. And yeah, you do get what you pay for. The 40BP really help in making a character who's naturally tougher without a huge point investment, but whom you can still make relatively street smart [low Log, high Int/Cha].
I especially enjoy how his running speed is obscene compared to other metatypes - a part of the concept that's understated but important to me. He may be a bit of a generalist, but that's why you're not going to escape from him.

Minmaxing seems to be required to come up with a viable character in this edition. For this concept I don't think it would be undesirable because he needs to tap into a wider pool of skills. It isn't particularly detrimental or munchkin, as you really do need to be efficient with your BP.

Any suggestions?
When you're not satisfied with 400 BP, why don't you adjust them, i.e. build chars using 450 or 500 BP?
You can't adjust it unless you happen to be the GM - if this is strictly a player building and evaluating, he's likely stuck with 400 BP.

Shadowrun is suppose to be a game of some realism - some people have amazing skills, but most others either stink at something or are average with it. Part of the fun is becoming one of the few that excels and survives. Sure, in some cases you can do that from the start if you focus onto a specific style (beware magical swordsmen or nut job samurai) but they then have a specific weakness, or there's a limitation to their power that can be exploited.

At least when you're well rounded, your weaknesses are less blatant, and you can train those away more easily over time.

If you want extra points, you might consider taking a few ranks from your combat skills and redistribute. your high physical stats give you plenty of dice by default. Course, that would make you a little weak as a troll to....either way. choices choices.
Well if you really want first aid at a basic level you could shave a Pistol point for it, or default to start (don't have my book handy I'm assuming you can defaul on first aid) and have it be the "I really need to learn how to do that skill" to sink an early Karma point in to (besides roleplaying this guy sitting through the Red Cross basic first aid seminar at the community center could be funny).
QUOTE (Cold-Dragon)
You can't adjust it unless you happen to be the GM - if this is strictly a player building and evaluating, he's likely stuck with 400 BP.

In our gaming group we simply talk about such topics and decide together what to do.
QUOTE (Grinder)
In our gaming group we simply talk about such topics and decide together what to do.

Honestly, if you are using BP, I'd suggest dropping a few of your lower level skills completely and using the points to boost others to higher levels. I might suggest taking points out of your charisma and throwing them into your influence group. All of these suggestions are merely there because buying them back later with Karma will be cheaper.

If possible, I suggest you talk your DM into using Serbitar's Karma creation system. (Search the SR4 boards). By using Karma during character creation, you eliminate the discrepencies I suggest taking advantage of above, and making a character with several low level skills more viable a chargen.

Other than that, seems enjoyable. I hope you have fun with your troll addict.
QUOTE (Azralon)
QUOTE (Grinder @ Dec 15 2005, 05:36 PM)
In our gaming group we simply talk about such topics and decide together what to do.


Some people call it heresy too biggrin.gif
Yeah, min-maxing is somewhat unavoidable. You're also not taking full advantage of one key aspect of chargen: negative qualities. Go for those "free points" qualities, everyone else does. If you're an adept I'd suggest Sensitive System, or one of the abundance of negative qualities that make hacking more difficult. Other than that, it looks like a good character. You just have to get use to the SR4 system being at a lower power setting.
QUOTE (6thDragon)
If you're an adept I'd suggest Sensitive System, or one of the abundance of negative qualities that make hacking more difficult.

Just keep in mind that you'll be getting the lower points values for those flaws, since the character's not primarily a hacker.
Biggest thing I see is the low reaction. I understand that he is a Troll, but with a 2 reaction, you will get hit every time. I didn't notice a dodge skill either.

Body is good, but you will still be getting hurt, so a higher reaction would be worth a lot. I count it right up there under agility personally. I would drop the strength to 7 since it gives the same damage bonus as an 8 and add a point in reaction. Regardless the 8 in strength is not needed if you are strapped for bp, go 7 for the same effect...

If you want to save build points and have all those skills, see if you can fit in skillwires for non combat skills (Since you can't add edge to them) You may not want to do this, since he is an adept, but just an option.


Also, vision mag as an adept power can be achieved in so many non magic burning ways, I would drop that and get another point in critical strike. Your options for replacing it are glasses/goggs/contacts with other goodys, or if your pistol is smartlinked, you are even able to install vision enhancements there. I've heard of people getting the protective lenses from the cyberware section and putting vision enhancements in there also, those woule cost you no essence, always be there and give your eyes a little armor value. Just around 500 bucks too....


Got to looking, and if you could afford this and wanted it, you could get skillwires lvl 5 alpha for about .8 essence and 20k, leaving room for 2 lvls of tailored pheromones....Which would be good for your character concept just don't know if you would want to buy another point of magic to just drop it, haven't checked into the economics of that. With the pheromones I would drop the enhanced attribute charisma and maybe drop down charisma though depending on how "sexy" you want him to be...
Well, buying Magic to drop it is damn expensive - I'm working on a Hacker Adept for a campaign right now and paying 75 points for Magic 4 is a PAIN! It stings but I neeeed it. I need it good, man...Oddly, he doesn't neeeed the chips either. I got through it without taking Addiction, and sticking to reasonably RP-explicable flaws. nyahnyah.gif

P.S. Grab Ineptitude at Pilot Anthroform. Everyone loves you for it. nyahnyah.gif
I won't be adding tech beyond the eye covers - it actually makes sense for this guy to do so, based on his mentality - mainly because I am a purist as far as tech and magic go, and treat it as such in my games [co-gm/player, depending on who's motivated at the time].
In other words, losing magic sucks and as a rule mages don't actually enjoy it happening, regardless of benefits recived via the cyber. It's like trying to regain that initial high - you're never quite at your potential. It may not be canon, but I like it.
I forgot to make an edit to the hardcopy sheet regarding the vision mag before I'd posted. I was actually planning on including the mods in contacts or goggles, so that extra .25 points will go toward something a bit more useful.
Also, with regards to what Squinky mentioned about Reaction, I fully intend for this character to use the environment and cover to his advantage - Troll or not. I figured that the only times he's likely to be at serious risk for receiving damage will be during unarmed combat, which he is not only good at but which he can use to avoid those attacks. There's always gymnastics dodge, too!
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