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Glyph
From Bull's introduction to SR4:

QUOTE

Edge can be extremely powerful, and it now makes it possible for a non-cybered, non-magical character to compete with his cyber and magic buddies, if he maxes out his edge attribute.


Is this really true? I was messing around with the rules, trying to make a combat-oriented mundane character that would be effective. Among other things, I maxed out his Edge (he was a human), and took the Lucky Quality. Here's the stats, btw. He's just a rough build, so no details on knowledge skills, or how resources are spent, etc.

[ Spoiler ]


Now, the guy wasn't a bad gunslinger, but I looked at his stats and thought: "You know, if I dropped his Edge down to 6, and took away the Lucky Quality, I would have 45 points. That's enough to buy the Adept Quality, and then increase his Magic up to 5. I could get Improved Ability/Pistols: 3, Improved Reflexes: 2, and two Improved Senses (probably Low-Light and either Flare Compensation or Vision Magnification). Or I could add that 45 points to his Resources, making it 50 points (the Street Samurai in the book only spends 38 points), and cyber him up (I would have to change the Sensitive System flaw to something else, or buy it off and still have 35 points)."

So I could either be an adept or a fully-cybered sammie, and the only sacrifice would be having an Edge of 6 that I could raise to 7, instead of an Edge of 7 that I could raise to 8. From a purely min-maxing perspective, it seems like an easy choice to make.

But maybe I'm looking at it wrong. Maxing out any Attribute at char-gen is rarely cost-effective, so maybe instead of spending those 45 points to be an adept or a street samurai, I could use them to boost my skills, and be even more well-rounded, in addtion to having a high Pistols skill. And unlike a mundane in SR3, he certainly seems more playable. Not optimal, but still capable of holding his own in a firefight.



So what do you guys think? Are mundanes in SR4 more viable? Do they still get outclassed by adepts and sammies? Can they be more than techies and faces (and second-class ones at that, with the expansion of the adept's Improved Ability power)? Has anyone come up with some good mundane builds? By the way, feel free to pick apart the sample character if you like, but he's not really there for a character critique. He's just there to get the ball running on the topic of mundane builds and opinions on how practical (or not) they are.
Lagomorph
well, given the abilities of drugs in SR4 (jazz and nitro), a high will power, some addictions and some combat drugs would make him a dangerous opponent. Make a conversion for the SR3 auto injector, and he could cause some damage.

edit:
oh yeah, unless you're going to use that 8th point of edge, get rid of lucky. Lucky is 20 plus the stat from 6 to 7 is 10 making 30, where if you had just gone from 6 to 7 with no lucky, it would only cost 25 points.
caramel frappuccino
From what I've seen, mundanes are definitely more viable out of the box in SR4, but only because they have more stats to pump their build points into, Edge being one of them.

That being said, they're still outclassed in the long run by the sammies and spellslingers.
Kerberos
QUOTE (Lagomorph)
well, given the abilities of drugs in SR4 (jazz and nitro), a high will power, some addictions and some combat drugs would make him a dangerous opponent. Make a conversion for the SR3 auto injector, and he could cause some damage.

edit:
oh yeah, unless you're going to use that 8th point of edge, get rid of lucky. Lucky is 20 plus the stat from 6 to 7 is 10 making 30, where if you had just gone from 6 to 7 with no lucky, it would only cost 25 points.

Yes making an uncybered mundane is futile. You don't even have to drop you extra edge point. Remove aptitude pistols and the seventh point there for a save of 18 bp. Instead you can get a reflex recorder for 10.000 which is 2 bp. Also drop logic and strength to 1 and replace it with bioware. It saves you 30 bp and costs you perhaps 7. You now have a character with strength 3 instead of 2 the same pistols rating and the same logic rating, but with an extra 39 pb most of which can be spend on equipment.
Kerberos
QUOTE (caramel frappuccino)
From what I've seen, mundanes are definitely more viable out of the box in SR4, but only because they have more stats to pump their build points into, Edge being one of them.

That being said, they're still outclassed in the long run by the sammies and spellslingers.

And in the short run.
The Jopp
Mundes are definitely a viable choise because they have a lot more points to spend on skills. Remember, the new 6 in skill rating is 4 and the average professional have skills of 3.

Thats quite a lot of skills, especially if you go for specialisation ( 1/3 ) will give them several skills in different professions, especially skills like Armourer (Explosives) 1(3) and Demolitions (Improvised) 1(3) will get you a demolitions expert.

What Id like to know is how many percentage of the industrial world that are wholly non-cybered, Id believe that even the majority of magicians/adepts might have one point of essence removed for those things that makes things easier.

I seriously dont think there are anyone in the larger cities who are non-cybered (except for the die-hard luddite mages/shamans). Even small things like image links, datajacks and the like are so easily obtainable and then you add the implant procedure that is probably taken care of by programmed nanites so no more cracking open the skull to install clunky pieces of metal, its mostly injected Id believe.

Still, if you go for Dice counting then mundanes are shafted on the individual skills, and initiative. Mundane Hackers with no cyber are a perfect viable choice though.
MaxMahem
I think they are very viable, although the stats may not directly respect this. The book is right when it says edge is a very powerfull asset. 5 or more dice (potentialy open ended) that you can apply to any test 5 or more times a run is VERY powerfull. Cyber and Magic can get you more dice in general, but on those occasions when you use that extreme edge you are as good or better than the best of them. And your edge allows you to attempt tasks that are plain impossible for other characters, no matter how good they are by taking a long shot and rolling just your edge. Obviously having more dice for these tests is a good thing.

Being uncybered and mundane has some of it's own advantages. You can get into places your cyber heavy friends can't, and you don't attract any special notice on the astral plane either. Being unobtrusive certianly has it's advantages in Shadowrun. They aren't as easily quantifiable, but they are definetly signifigant.

I would agree with some others that putting the full six points into edge is sub-optimal (5 is a better number), but never the less, unlike in previous editions, you can play a mudane and not be totaly outclassed by your opponents. So you can play that kamakazii addicted ork detective to your hearts content, and not worry about holding back the team.
hyzmarca
An uncybered mundane is viable in SR3 and is viable in SR4, it just isn't viable according to standard playing styles.

When I stated Scout for SR3 I noticed something important. She was an uncybered mundane with a few resources. She way an ork and she didn't need high physical stats, so her STR and BOD bonuses took care of her needs there. She was able to max out her mental stats without much trouble and she had plenty left over for skills.

It is skills where she really shone. She could do just about anything, including a little combat. In a real firefight the sammies and adepts with F her up. The adepts would overwhealm her with skill while the sammies would do the same with speed. That wasn't the point. She isn't a fighter, she is a con artist and a demolitionist. By the time anyone notices that there is something wrong about her all she has to do is push a plunger and they all go up.

She could sneak, not as good as a stealth adept but good enough. She could con, not as good as a Social Adept but good enough. She could pick locks. She could rewire electronics. She could make high explosives out of household chemicals and knew exactly where to put them. If she had surprise she could do a pretty good job of blowing someone away with a shotgun, too. In short, so long as she avoided an actual straight-up firefight she could do everything except deck.


SR4 is a bit harder on such characters but the concept is still viable. The trick is to make someone who will be able to avoid combat consistantly and give that character a wide variety of invaluable skills. With certain skills, it is even easier in SR4 although it is more difficult with others.
Kerberos
QUOTE (MaxMahem)
I think they are very viable, although the stats may not directly respect this. The book is right when it says edge is a very powerfull asset. 5 or more dice (potentialy open ended) that you can apply to any test 5 or more times a run is VERY powerfull. Cyber and Magic can get you more dice in general, but on those occasions when you use that extreme edge you are as good or better than the best of them. And your edge allows you to attempt tasks that are plain impossible for other characters, no matter how good they are by taking a long shot and rolling just your edge. Obviously having more dice for these tests is a good thing.

Of course the samurai with edge 6 still beats the cyberless mundane,
Sphynx
The thing with the SR4 system is the TN of 5. Cyber's real power in SR3 was the alteration of the TN. The best cyber would reduce your TN, and thus double or triple your successes. Now you get 1 to 3 (on average) more dice from Cyberware in 4th edition, which is about 1 more success than you'd get without the cyberware.

So, personally, I find that a lack of cyberware is actually very doable. Now, instead, spend the points on Chameleon suits, external comm-link, glasses/contactlenses, and above all, virtues. Starting with a 6 Karma Pool (the best SR3 to SR4 translation for edge) and enough non-cyber boosters (Seriously, don't even need SmartLinks installed, just a pair of glasses which can include an Image Link), and edges, and you're doing just as good as the cyber guy.

More importantly though, that itty bitty edge the cyber gets over the mundane, is insta-countered the moment you get injured and the mage casts heal on you. Smaller threshold on healing is paramount. You may not throw quite as many dice (but you'll be close), but you make up for it easily in other areas besides Edge (which is a keen area by itself)

Sphynx
Kerberos
QUOTE (Sphynx @ Jan 16 2006, 05:43 AM)
The thing with the SR4 system is the TN of 5.  Cyber's real power in SR3 was the alteration of the TN.  The best cyber would reduce your TN, and thus double or triple your successes.  Now you get 1 to 3 (on average) more dice from Cyberware in 4th edition, which is about 1 more success than you'd get without the cyberware.

So, personally, I find that a lack of cyberware is actually very doable.  Now, instead, spend the points on Chameleon suits, external comm-link, glasses/contactlenses, and above all, virtues.  Starting with a 6 Karma Pool (the best SR3 to SR4 translation for edge) and enough non-cyber boosters (Seriously, don't even need SmartLinks installed, just a pair of glasses which can include an Image Link), and edges, and you're doing just as good as the cyber guy. 

More importantly though, that itty bitty edge the cyber gets over the mundane, is insta-countered the moment you get injured and the mage casts heal on you.  Smaller threshold on healing is paramount.  You may not throw quite as many dice (but you'll be close), but you make up for it easily in other areas besides Edge (which is a keen area by itself)

Sphynx

One detail you seem to forgot. My cybered character with wired reflexes is going to have three initiative passes for each one your uncybered mundane has. Eaxh of these he might only roll a few more die, but he's getting 3 shots for each one of yours. That is a difference that matters.
Tanka
QUOTE (Kerberos)
QUOTE (Sphynx @ Jan 16 2006, 05:43 AM)
The thing with the SR4 system is the TN of 5.  Cyber's real power in SR3 was the alteration of the TN.  The best cyber would reduce your TN, and thus double or triple your successes.  Now you get 1 to 3 (on average) more dice from Cyberware in 4th edition, which is about 1 more success than you'd get without the cyberware.

So, personally, I find that a lack of cyberware is actually very doable.  Now, instead, spend the points on Chameleon suits, external comm-link, glasses/contactlenses, and above all, virtues.  Starting with a 6 Karma Pool (the best SR3 to SR4 translation for edge) and enough non-cyber boosters (Seriously, don't even need SmartLinks installed, just a pair of glasses which can include an Image Link), and edges, and you're doing just as good as the cyber guy. 

More importantly though, that itty bitty edge the cyber gets over the mundane, is insta-countered the moment you get injured and the mage casts heal on you.  Smaller threshold on healing is paramount.  You may not throw quite as many dice (but you'll be close), but you make up for it easily in other areas besides Edge (which is a keen area by itself)

Sphynx

One detail you seem to forgot. My cybered character with wired reflexes is going to have three initiative passes for each one your uncybered mundane has. Eaxh of these he might only roll a few more die, but he's getting 3 shots for each one of yours. That is a difference that matters.

Unless, as was stated earlier, the uncybered mundane takes combat drugs.
MK Ultra
Maybe this contributes to your discussion somehow.
nick012000
QUOTE (tanka)
QUOTE (Kerberos @ Jan 16 2006, 07:40 AM)
QUOTE (Sphynx @ Jan 16 2006, 05:43 AM)
The thing with the SR4 system is the TN of 5. Cyber's real power in SR3 was the alteration of the TN. The best cyber would reduce your TN, and thus double or triple your successes. Now you get 1 to 3 (on average) more dice from Cyberware in 4th edition, which is about 1 more success than you'd get without the cyberware.

So, personally, I find that a lack of cyberware is actually very doable. Now, instead, spend the points on Chameleon suits, external comm-link, glasses/contactlenses, and above all, virtues. Starting with a 6 Karma Pool (the best SR3 to SR4 translation for edge) and enough non-cyber boosters (Seriously, don't even need SmartLinks installed, just a pair of glasses which can include an Image Link), and edges, and you're doing just as good as the cyber guy.

More importantly though, that itty bitty edge the cyber gets over the mundane, is insta-countered the moment you get injured and the mage casts heal on you. Smaller threshold on healing is paramount. You may not throw quite as many dice (but you'll be close), but you make up for it easily in other areas besides Edge (which is a keen area by itself)

Sphynx

One detail you seem to forgot. My cybered character with wired reflexes is going to have three initiative passes for each one your uncybered mundane has. Eaxh of these he might only roll a few more die, but he's getting 3 shots for each one of yours. That is a difference that matters.

Unless, as was stated earlier, the uncybered mundane takes combat drugs.

But the street sam can take the same combat drugs, and since he can only take the one that boosts the particular stat he wants, he suffers less of a comedown than the "I take Physical damage from combat drugs" druggy.
Sphynx
QUOTE (Kerberos)

One detail you seem to forgot. My cybered character with wired reflexes is going to have three initiative passes for each one your uncybered mundane has. Eaxh of these he might only roll a few more die, but he's getting 3 shots for each one of yours. That is a difference that matters.

And in all honesty, this and Skillwires are the only reason I even see to go Cyber in SR4 really. Muscle Aug and Toner might be of interest in short-term games, but the benefits of cyber limbs, bone enhancements, etc is gone, and almost all visual and audio enhancements can be done cheaper with external sources. One pair of goggles, and some earbuds, and half the needs are gone. No more 'slower' problems with trodes, almost all the head-ware is redundant now. I'd say there was a strong point towards not using cyber (or using only for speed enhancements)

Even then, in our game of 6, only one person has any speed enhancement, instead of everyone like in SR3, so I'd say it balanced out towards non-cybered mundanes nicely. Our trouble is that magic is more appealing than cyber now, 4 of 6 are magically inclined....

Sphynx
hobgoblin
and how is that diffrent from SR3-? i seems to recall threads where people where talking of groups made purely from magicans and adepts.

magic rules all i the long run, no questions asked. why? the potential for unlimited growth...

and never forget that while guns and cyber can be picked up on sensors, only a spirit or a astraly active mage may spot your ability for powerballs and killing hands.

1% of the worlds population is magicaly active? yea right. if you go by the avarage number of people playing a magicaly active char i would say closer to 90% nyahnyah.gif
(but one cant realy calculate it that way as people are not all playing in the same game. more like they all exist in paralell realitys)

btw, i must say that hyzmarca's scout sounds a bit like macgyver without the pasifist flaw nyahnyah.gif

oh, and lets not forget that the all-important smartlink have now been moved off cyber. grab a simlink for your comlink and a skinlink. presto, all the bells of smartlink with none of the essence loss.
Daegann
For me SR4 is more viable for uncybered mundane because if cyber bonus are significative, it doesn't mean that an uncybered character can't do anything.

Edge was initially an attribute to balance character without cyber but in fact cyberware are cheap and it's possible to spend only few BP to get some great cyber additionally to edge. (okay if you want cultured bioware then BP is quickly spent - but there are some great and cheap implant available). However, if cyber give great bonus and can give a real advantage, it's no more must have to survive. A cyber-runner can be killed as a non cybered character and the opposite is also true : a non-cybered character can be useful even if he have a lower pool. After this consideration, a non-cybered character have some BP to spend to get more skills or contact...

And for me the most important in anyway a non cybered character can be interesting to play, even if he doesn't get 7 or 8 on edge. (I dislike character optimized for a pseudo credibility, a magician with 5-6 in magic and willpower is not my trip, I prefer a magician with attribute at 3-4 : he is not a supermagician, just a magician among others. Because the world is not composed by magician with 6 in willpo, troll with 10 in body and strenght (if not more with exceptional attribute), uncybered human with 7 in edge and so on. And this is a thing I like in SR4 : if you want a 7 agility and 7 pistol character, you can but this legendary skills have a cost and it's totally normal to have a poor character among this exceptional ability to use pistols. I think it's important to consider maximum as maximum not as standard in fact. Mmh back to the topic, following what you want to play, it's totally possible and viable to play non cybered character even if he haven't the max in edge or in other skills or attribute. (after it depend of the players around the table too)

- Daegann -
Kerberos
QUOTE (Sphynx)
QUOTE (Kerberos @ Jan 16 2006, 01:40 PM)

One detail you seem to forgot. My cybered character with wired reflexes is going to have three initiative passes for each one your uncybered mundane has. Eaxh of these he might only roll a few more die, but he's getting 3 shots for each one of yours. That is a difference that matters.

And in all honesty, this and Skillwires are the only reason I even see to go Cyber in SR4 really. Muscle Aug and Toner might be of interest in short-term games, but the benefits of cyber limbs, bone enhancements, etc is gone, and almost all visual and audio enhancements can be done cheaper with external sources. One pair of goggles, and some earbuds, and half the needs are gone. No more 'slower' problems with trodes, almost all the head-ware is redundant now. I'd say there was a strong point towards not using cyber (or using only for speed enhancements)

Even then, in our game of 6, only one person has any speed enhancement, instead of everyone like in SR3, so I'd say it balanced out towards non-cybered mundanes nicely. Our trouble is that magic is more appealing than cyber now, 4 of 6 are magically inclined....

Sphynx

I don't see how muscle toner for exampel would be worthwhile only in the short run. you can boost agility from 5 to 9 with 0,8 essence and 32.000 nuyen.gif. The same would require 7 magic points from an adept. I do see your point about cybereyes/ears though.
Sphynx
QUOTE (Kerberos)
I don't see how muscle toner for exampel would be worthwhile only in the short run. you can boost agility from 5 to 9 with 0,8 essence and 32.000 nuyen.gif. The same would require 7 magic points from an adept. I do see your point about cybereyes/ears though.

Because Muscle Toner 4 is going to put you only 3 dice short of the long run (9 vs 6). That's only 1 additional success on average. I'm not saying that the 1 success isn't worth it, I'm saying that in SR3, where you could reduce TNs alot, those 4 extra dice meant more than just 1 success (and even that 1 success isn't guaranteed).
Kerberos
QUOTE (Sphynx)

Because Muscle Toner 4 is going to put you only 3 dice short of the long run (9 vs 6). That's only 1 additional success on average. I'm not saying that the 1 success isn't worth it, I'm saying that in SR3, where you could reduce TNs alot, those 4 extra dice meant more than just 1 success (and even that 1 success isn't guaranteed).

Well I can't really comment much about the difference between sr3 and sr4 since I began playing only a few weeks before sr4 came out and thus only browsed the sr3 rules. As for the 1 hit it might not make much difference if you would have hit anyways, but if it's the difference between a hit and a miss then it matters. Also I can boost reaction which means I'm more likely to shot first, and might make the difference between being hit and not when I get shot at. Besides the adept only gets bonus dice rather than adjusted target numbers too.
stevebugge
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
An uncybered mundane is viable in SR3 and is viable in SR4, it just isn't viable according to standard playing styles.

This is really the key to the whole thing: What kind of game are you playing. In some settings it is sometimes even advantageous to by uncybered and mundane (like going through airport security). In the SR2 Rule Book the Detective Archetype was uncybered and mundane, which clearly indicates that the writers thought it was a viable option. It is definitely something to try once you've done a lot of cyber heavy or magic heavy characters, because it adds an extra dimension of challenge to the game, which may make it more enjoyable for you.
Sphynx
QUOTE (Kerberos)
Well I can't really comment much about the difference between sr3 and sr4 since I began playing only a few weeks before sr4 came out and thus only browsed the sr3 rules. As for the 1 hit it might not make much difference if you would have hit anyways, but if it's the difference between a hit and a miss then it matters. Also I can boost reaction which means I'm more likely to shot first, and might make the difference between being hit and not when I get shot at. Besides the adept only gets bonus dice rather than adjusted target numbers too.

Sure, you might go a bit faster, but the question was asked if it was worth it to not Cyber. Nobody's questioning if cyber helps, of course it does. But the size of boost it gives, is it just as nice to go without the boost, and put those points into other areas. Absolutely.

Granted, Cyber is the way to go if speed is something you consider important, not all character concepts require speed. But (especially since there's no upgrade rules), wouldn't that speedster do better still to just wait until he's made his mark, and get a nice alpha grade Synaptic Booster -3?

Anyhows, it's a moot point. It's definitely a viable option to go non-cyber, you're not going to be that much weaker than the cyber guy, and from my reading of the rules, if you opt for the purely mundane, you can later become a Magician/Adept or Mystic Adept via the purchase of the Positive Quality. That was never allowed in previous editions. wink.gif

Sphynx
Azralon
Magic has the most potential. Implants offer the quickest power escalation. Unaugmented mundanes, however, can offer the best build efficiency.

If you spend all of your build points on attributes, skills, and Edge then you have less "waiting for karma" to do than anyone else. You have more skills at higher levels, for instance. Your Edge can be that much closer to capping.

Gear and money can potentially come quickly to the resourceful 'runner; an unaugmented mundane can devote his budget to buying implants after chargen. This effectively bypasses the Availability:12 limit and means you don't have to buy subpar items before the SOTA stuff becomes potentially available. For example, you don't have to throw away money on standard Wired:2 on the way to getting beta Wired:3. You can just save up and buy the good stuff all at once.

I won't argue that the road might be rough on the way up there. Adepts will outclass you in their chosen field, and vatjobs will be more consistently effective than you in most areas. However, all you need is time and money and you'll blow past the guy who dropped 250k on implants in chargen.

Also, I should note, that you don't need to burn a single bit of Essence to be a kickass hacker or rigger. Heck, if you've got mad skills in those areas then all you need to do is mug a few of those guys for their gear and suddenly you're above the curve.
Glyph
Yeah, that was one thing I was asking myself too, on the cybered route: whether it would be better to start out with none, and just get the good stuff later, instead of having to "upgrade" everything. I guess it depends on the cash rewards of the campaign. If the runners are stuck with dinky runs to start out, it might not be worth the wait, but if they make decent money (which they should, to be honest, considering their skill sets), then starting out with no cyber is a decent option.
Azralon
Agreed, Glyph. If you know you're looking at a low-cash campaign anyway then magicians, adepts, and technomancers are probably going to be your best bets.

Reminds me of a fairly recent D&D campaign we had. The GM said "Loot will be somewhat rare in this gameworld." I've never seen so many PC monks, sorcerers, and people with Vow of Poverty. smile.gif
MaxMahem
QUOTE (Kerberos)
Of course the samurai with edge 6 still beats the cyberless mundane,

Sure, but that 30 odd points the samurai dumps into cyber is 30 points the mundane can dump into skills, stats, or contacts. And while cyber can make you better at a whole range of tasks, it doesn't necessarily provide a huge advantage in EVERY task, like hacking or knowledge skills for example.
Grinder
There's a 200 points cap for stats though, so the sam and mundane can (but don't nessecary need to) be on the same level at chargen. But i agree with spending more points for skills - that's the field an uncybered guy can shine.
FrankTrollman
Shadowrun 4 is much more survivable when a single guy shoots you. The days of Power Level 20 Deadly Wounds being handed out on a regular basis are over. But it is also less practical to wade through multiple opponents with small arms. The days when a heavily armored character could expect to bounce dozens of light pistol shots without a scratch are likewise over. The combat field has been levelled substantially, and the the end result is that getting caught is really really bad.

Hiding in plain sight is a big part of SR4. One of the primary abilities of the uncybered mundane is that he actually doesn't have any cyberware or magic to find - he really is an "ordinary citizen" from the standpoint of a lot of security measures that could potentially undermine a mission. Now personally, I find that the loss in subtlety one gets from putting in cybereyes and a synaptic accelerator is so minor that it is more than made up for by the increased capabilities (not the least of which is that you don't have security-grade goggles in your pocket - which can be tough to explain to arcology staff).

SR4 is less about how many combat modifiers you have, and more about how many alarms you set off. Being more like one of the six billion faceless metahumans populating the world is its own reward.

-Frank
Reprisal
Many of the sensory disadvantages of being uncybered can be countered by the use of gear like goggles with an image link, smartgun link, lowlight and/or thermographic vision, vision enhancements and vision magnification. The same can be said for sound enhancements as well. These enhancements can always be purchased and put into a helmet that gives you [+1/+2] if you're willing to walk around with a helmet on.

The only mechanical problem I can see a person having is "only" having one initiative pass like most of the goons you'll be facing. This is not entirely bad, but one tends to have more points in Edge, so you're more likely to go first and if not, you can always use a point for another pass or the ability to say to the Wired Reflex monkey, "I don't care if you got nine hits on your initiative, I'm going first!"
Cynic project
With Skinlinks you can be a Hacker. You don't need any cyberware as far as I can tell.
Kerberos
QUOTE (Sphynx)
QUOTE (Kerberos @ Jan 16 2006, 05:42 PM)
Well I can't really comment much about the difference between sr3 and sr4 since I began playing only a few weeks before sr4 came out and thus only browsed the sr3 rules. As for the 1 hit it might not make much difference if you would have hit anyways, but if it's the difference between a hit and a miss then it matters. Also I can boost reaction which means I'm more likely to shot first, and might make the difference between being hit and not when I get shot at. Besides the adept only gets bonus dice rather than adjusted target numbers too.

Sure, you might go a bit faster, but the question was asked if it was worth it to not Cyber. Nobody's questioning if cyber helps, of course it does. But the size of boost it gives, is it just as nice to go without the boost, and put those points into other areas. Absolutely.

Granted, Cyber is the way to go if speed is something you consider important, not all character concepts require speed. But (especially since there's no upgrade rules), wouldn't that speedster do better still to just wait until he's made his mark, and get a nice alpha grade Synaptic Booster -3?

Anyhows, it's a moot point. It's definitely a viable option to go non-cyber, you're not going to be that much weaker than the cyber guy, and from my reading of the rules, if you opt for the purely mundane, you can later become a Magician/Adept or Mystic Adept via the purchase of the Positive Quality. That was never allowed in previous editions. wink.gif

Sphynx

As for their being no upgrade rules, the fact that there is none means you have to house rule it, so how that influences the equation depends on your house rules.

As for the uncybered not being much weaker, I honestly can't see how it's not a significant difference to have 3 extra dice with you weapon (Reflex recorder and muscle toner lever 2) , 4 extra dice on your dodge (wired reflexes and reaction enhancers level 2) and going three times for each time the uncybered guy does, can possibly be considered a minor difference.

As for going magical later the rules might not state anything specific, but from the setting it's very clear that you're either born magical or you're not, with very, very few, very special exceptions.

Waiting until later to get cyberware does give some advantages in the long run, but only if you live long enough and if theres enough loot, so it would depend on the lethality and profitability of your campaign.
mfb
meh, 3 dice is pretty minor--consider that a maxed-out mundane can have up to 12 dice, base. 15 dice is nice, but it's not required for badass combat types, the way a smartlink was in SR3.
Sphynx
Kerberos, the question wasn't if you could kill people just as well with as without cyberware, the question was if it was viable to go without Cyberware and be a runner. The answer remains yes. I've never denied you can be better at certain things with cyber, even admitted it. But you can easily get enough dice to do a job without needing modifications.

BTW, buying a magical Quality later doesn't mean you weren't magical from birth, it just means you're starting to tap into it. Legally, you can 'buy' that magical Quality at the age of 40 if you want.

Sphynx
FrankTrollman
QUOTE (SR4 @ p. 265)
The Adept, Magician, Mystic Adept, and Technomancer qualities may not be awarded; they may only be obtained during character creation.


Your uncybered character can change their mind later on and get a grip of implants, but they are never going to become magically active. If you want the character who gradually discovers magical power, go ahead and start a character with a Magic of 1.

But that all has little relevence to the fact that an uncybered character can be a viable member of the team. There are advantages and disadvantages to having the smartlink inside the body or outside. Having different characters in the team make different choices means different capabilities which makes a stronger team over all.

-Frank
Aku
can you actually start with the quality and a magic rating of 0 and buy it up at a later date?
Azralon
I echo Frank: Some qualities are chargen-only. I personally wish each of their entries were marked as such, but what can ya do.

From a build efficiency standpoint it is not ideal (yet quite legal) to make someone with Magic or Resonance of 1 and no other magical training nor abilities. If you do that, then you're back to waiting on the karma trickle.

Besides, this thread is about characters who specifically have no magical nor technomantic capacity.
Azralon
QUOTE (Aku @ Jan 16 2006, 07:17 PM)
can you actually start with the quality and a magic rating of 0 and buy it up at a later date?

No, purchasing the Magician, Adept, or Mystic Adept quality gives you a Magic of 1 as part of the bundle.

You can raise that 1 later with karma just like you would any other attribute (3 x new rating), of course.
Chiaroscuro23
I don't think anyone is arguing that mundanes are as good as enhanced runners. They aren't. That's pretty much the definition of enhanced.

What they're arguing is that mundanes are not so totally outclassed in combat that they're unplayable, and that the advantage of not spending points on ware and magic is you can plow those points into more Edge (which can really save your bacon) and skills to avoid overspecialization. That's apparently different from earlier editions, and is nice.

It makes sense that cyborgs built for combat and adepts are better at killing. That's why those roles exist in the game, and make sense in the game world. But that doesn't mean that playing a mundane shouldn't be fun. The Edge rules allow it to be fun, and not instantly deadly.

-C.
Kerberos
QUOTE (Chiaroscuro23)
I don't think anyone is arguing that mundanes are as good as enhanced runners. They aren't. That's pretty much the definition of enhanced.

What they're arguing is that mundanes are not so totally outclassed in combat that they're unplayable, and that the advantage of not spending points on ware and magic is you can plow those points into more Edge (which can really save your bacon) and skills to avoid overspecialization. That's apparently different from earlier editions, and is nice.

I'd say it really depends on the game you play. If the GM balances the game for ber twinked cybers and adepts, then an uncybered mundane probably is so totally outclassed in combat that he'll be swish-kebab after the first combat turn. If it's balanced for uncybered or slightly cybered, less twinked characters then it is playable.
PBTHHHHT
there's always the fun of being the mundane fighting against enhanced beings. The rules make it feasible to be a mundane, but as others have said, it really depends on the campaign and also the rest of the group.

What I like is more of the Blade runner feel, the mundanes being like Deckard
[ Spoiler ]
and him trying to take on stronger, faster, better replicants. Oh, how about Ghost in the Shell, with Togusa being one of the few uncybered guys around using more of his brains. Or maybe Leon and his partner in the ADP. But again, it really depends on how the campaign is like.
Brahm
QUOTE (Azralon)
QUOTE (Aku @ Jan 16 2006, 07:17 PM)
can you actually start with the quality and a magic rating of 0 and buy it up at a later date?

No, purchasing the Magician, Adept, or Mystic Adept quality gives you a Magic of 1 as part of the bundle.

You can raise that 1 later with karma just like you would any other attribute (3 x new rating), of course.

Perhaps yes, perhaps no. Canon roughly says that normally Awakened manifest their ability at puberty. Until then they don't have a Magic otherwise the Adept would have to allocate their Power Point? Although with a good enough Assense their Awakened nature would be seen, there aren't any specific rules for what Threshhold that is.

So I see room for the GM to allow a PC with no apparent Magic manifest and stay mostly canon. I considered it myself for Slim. But 10 or 15 build points is expensive for something you aren't going to use on a PC that is scrambling just to say relavent.

I didn't like what I foresaw of wareless mundanes in combat. Maybe Slim could have done ok in combat, but he isn't a very good test of that because the existing team he joined sounded to me like they were more in need of people skills. cyber.gif So initially his combat skills aimed at minimal selfdefense, including his sole ranged attack skill that is intended as a legal-to-carry weapon that can blind the target group and distract by causing collateral damage to combustable material.

So far he doesn't seem to do a lot more hand sitting than any other specialized PC, but I have only played him two sessions. The utility of the PC is going to be highly campaign dependant. So I am trying to compare him to the cybered stealthy face character that he replaced.
Azralon
QUOTE (Brahm)
Canon roughly says that normally Awakened manifest their ability at puberty. Until then they don't have a Magic otherwise the Adept would have to allocate their Power Point?

Despite flavor text to the contrary, the RAW says that the Adept, Magician, Mystic Adept, and Technomancer qualities may be obtained only during character creation. They also say that the related attribute starts at 1.

Adepts do not need to allocate their magic points as they gain them. You can save up, or you can just not have them allocated yet.

That said, you can of course play your games however you want. I'm just saying what the book tells us.
Brahm
QUOTE (Azralon @ Jan 17 2006, 05:13 PM)
QUOTE (Brahm @ Jan 17 2006, 06:03 PM)
Canon roughly says that normally Awakened manifest their ability at puberty. Until then they don't have a Magic otherwise the Adept would have to allocate their Power Point?

Despite flavor text to the contrary, the RAW says that the Adept, Magician, Mystic Adept, and Technomancer qualities may be obtained only during character creation. They also say that the related attribute starts at 1.

Adepts do not need to allocate their magic points as they gain them. You can save up, or you can just not have them allocated yet.

That said, you can of course play your games however you want. I'm just saying what the book tells us.

I think you misunderstand. I mean buy the Quality at character creation but appear to have Magic 0 and at a glance appear mundane on the astral. So the PC always has the Quality, it just remains unused and difficult to detect until activated.

It is only a small step beyond a Magician that doesn't buy any Magical Skills and never projects or preceives, that is the astral appearance. The second difference for Adepts and Mystic Adepts is that they don't need to specify how they use their first power point during creation.
Azralon
Actually, I believe I do understand you.

The breakdown occurs in that purchasing the Quality automatically comes bundled with Magic:1. Therefore, if you have the Quality, then you must have a Magic rating.

If you're looking for a mechanically-viable method of Awakening a character during his/her lifetime, I'd like to point out that while you must purchase the Quality in character generation, there's nothing saying that a character can't have lacked that Quality prior to generation.

That is to say, your PC grew up as a mundane, hit puberty (or had a massive spiritual experience, or whatever), manifested the Quality, and then became a player character. As such the Quality was never purchased outside of chargen and it all remains legal.

The eternal fallback, as I mentioned earlier, is a GM who's willing to Awaken you during gameplay. Technically the GM would be allowing you to break the rules, but as long as everyone at your table is comfortable with it.... who cares? smile.gif
Brahm
QUOTE (Azralon)
Actually, I believe I do understand you.

I think you missed the word "mostly", as it follows the guideline of canon while going into a situation that the limited scope of the rules does not cover. frown.gif

QUOTE
If you're looking for a mechanically-viable method of Awakening a character during his/her lifetime, I'd like to point out that while you must purchase the Quality in character generation, there's nothing saying that a character can't have lacked that Quality prior to generation.


That is really missing the point, in SR Magicians are from birth although they do not manifest as such. I don't think that is all described in the SR4 book though. And a person does not have a character generation phase in their life. frown.gif
Azralon
QUOTE (Brahm @ Jan 17 2006, 06:51 PM)
And a person does not have a character generation phase in their life. frown.gif

Well, I know I sure wasn't born with my current skills and attributes. smile.gif

C'mon, separate the game mechanic from the flavor text. It all makes more sense that way.

QUOTE (Brahm @ Jan 17 2006, 06:51 PM)
in SR Magicians are from birth although they do not manifest as such

Here, maybe this will help: Someone can be born with the genetics to be a Magician yet still lack the Magician Quality... because it hasn't been assigned to them yet by their player.
Brahm
QUOTE (Azralon @ Jan 17 2006, 05:53 PM)
QUOTE (Brahm @ Jan 17 2006, 06:51 PM)
And a person does not have a character generation phase in their life. frown.gif

Well, I know I sure wasn't born with my current skills and attributes. smile.gif

C'mon, separate the game mechanic from the flavor text. It all makes more sense that way.

C'mon. You are the one mixing them. Which is why your paragraph makes no sense. frown.gif

QUOTE
QUOTE ((Brahm @ Jan 17 2006 @  06:51 PM) )
in SR Magicians are from birth although they do not manifest as such


Here, maybe this will help: Someone can be born with the genetics to be a Magician yet still lack the Magician Quality... because it hasn't been assigned to them yet by their player.


Again. frown.gif
Azralon
The mixing was my attempt to reconcile the "I wasn't a mage until puberty, but I was genetically always a mage" thing you brought up.

I apologize for not adequately getting my point across, and I'll admit conversational defeat. Or at least make a tactical withdrawal to go do something else. wink.gif
Brahm
QUOTE (Azralon @ Jan 17 2006, 06:05 PM)
The mixing was my attempt to reconcile the "I wasn't a mage until puberty, but I was genetically always a mage" thing you brought up.

There is another rational reason for the special case of that Quality not being purchased during play?

QUOTE
I apologize for not adequately getting my point across, and I'll admit conversational defeat. Or at least make a tactical withdrawal to go do something else.


Sure, let us just drop it then.
Galmorez
Because of the point balance in SR4, mundanes have so many options available to them, most character concepts in that vein are viable. Edge is what makes that possible. Any mundane with a low edge is dead meat. My experience to back that is my "ubar street sam" used 4 edge in one combat to avoid a messy death. One tough battle, and a low edge character can be in a world of hurt.

What might be a more interesting discussion:
Is any other race besides human worthwhile? That bonus edge is sweet.
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