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Well, it seems that I'll finally be able to play in a game as opposed to being stuck as the Keeper of Fate all the time, but we are all new to 4th Edition so I figured I'd post my character as well as the rest of the team as soon as I get their stats for comments and/or suggestions.

(Combat Mage)

Lee O'Conner aka Bot
Human Male age 23

Body 3
Agility 4
Reaction 3
Strength 3
Charisma 2
Intuition 3
Logic 5
Willpower 5
Edge 3
Essence 6
Initiative 6
Magic 5
Astral Initiative 6
Initiative Passes 1 (Astral 3)


Magician (Hermetic)
Astral Chameleon
Focused Concentration (1)
BTL Addiction (Mild)
Sensitive System
Silver Allergy (Mild)
Spirit Bane (Beast)

Active Skills

assensing 1
Counterspelling (Combat Spells) 5+2
Spellcasting (Combat Spells) 5+2
Conjuring Skill Group 3
Dodge 2
Pistols (Semi-Automatics) 1+2
Perception 3
Pilot Ground Craft (Bikes) 1+2
Influence Skill Group 1

Knowledge Skills

(S) btls 2
(S) Seattle Gangs 2
(A) Magical Theory 6
(P) Magical Security 4
(I) Urban Legends 2
(I) WizPunk Rock 2
(L) English (Wiz) N+2
(L) Or'zet 2
(L) Spanish 3
(L) Sperethiel 1




Leo the Lion -Fixer (L1 C3)
Sandra MacQuin -Talismonger (L4 C2)


* Low Lifestyle (1 Month)
* Magical Lodge –Rating 6
* Fake SIN –Rating 4
* Harley-Davidson Scorpion
* Novatech Airwave (Commlink)
Iris Orb (OS)
AR Gloves
Sim Module (Hot)
Subvocal Microphone
Trodes (Embedded inside the band of his 'Lucky Hat')
Virtual Pet (Feathered ‘Dragon/Bird')
‘Cool Whiteout’ BTL Zap
* Headphones
Select Sound Filter –Rating 1
* Sunglasses
Low Light
Flare Compensation
Image Link
Vision Magnification
Laser Range Finder
* Bio Monitor
* Medkit –Rating 6
* Pen Flashlight (Low Light)
* Pen Flashlight (Normal)
* Respirator –Rating 6
* Cheap Cigars
* Colt America L36 (Light Pistol)
External Smartlink System (Top Mount)
Silencer (Barrel Mount)
Spare Clips (4)
Concealable Holster (Small of Back)
Regular Light Pistol Rounds (60)
*Ares Predator
Internal Smartlink System
Spare Clips (4)
Quick-draw Holster (Right Hip)
Regular Heavy Pistol Rounds (80)
EX-Explosive Heavy Pistol Rounds (40)
*Lined Coat
*Armor Vest


A man of few words, Bot is rarely seen without his 'lucky hat' (A dark brown Australian outback style with a steel dragon figurine on the tie down cord, although truth be told, all the luck is held in the figurine.), full length Lined Coat (Western 'Duster' Cut), and a cigar of disputable quality. In the company of strangers he tends to ever-so-slightly shy away from displaying the old scar running down the left side of his face, and only those who he considers his closest friends would ever be shown the nano-tat on his right breast. (A flaming serpent dragon swallowing a strange Rune.)

Bio Bullet Points

-His parents were killed in the crossfire of a gang-war when he was very young and Lee was "adopted" by an Ork who had recently loss all but one of her children. (He doesn't actually remember his birth parents, although he dreams of their faces when he is stressed.)

-He 'earned' his scar at fourteen when he was almost beaten to death after trying to stand up to a few Ork gangers who was hassling his 'sister'. If the trauma hadn't jolted his Awakening and allowed his subconscious to cast an Armor Spell he probably wouldn't have lasted long enough for an elven Talismonger to scare away the thugs with an Illusion. (Sandra MacQuin.)

-With Sandra's aid he finally found something to truly focus his mind and will upon and he quickly devoured every text he could find on Magical Theory, although his favorites are still the works of Professor Justin Finne. (He even managed to trade enough favors to meet the Professor once in person and was amazed by Finne's politeness in answering his question about a Magical Equation that Lee couldn't quite solve.)

-Although ever since his Awakening, silver has felt 'wrong' to him and his presence seemed to similarly make Beast Spirits uneasy, after a failed run against a Corrupted Shaman in which Lee was the only survivor, both symptoms have increased a thousand fold, to the point that silver actually brings physical discomfort and that Beast Spirits actively seek him harm. (He can't remember anything from that run other then the screams of his Teammates and the Shaman's laugher, if he were honest with himself he'd have to admit that the nightmares are what has led him to BTLs in order to calm himself.)

Known Associates & Family

-Odessa O'Conner (Ork)
Odessa is the Ork who 'adopted' Lee when she was younger, but the years have not been kind to her. Quite simply put she's dying, and she knows it. However, she looks at both of her surviving children and is proud that she raised them as best that she could.

-Lily O'Conner (Ork)
Lee's 'sister' tries her best to live on the 'straight and narrow' with her husband and three children, although she loves her brother to death, she prays nightly to whatever Spirits who'll listen that her children won't be influenced by their adored uncle into a life of crime.

-Sandra MacQuin (Elf)
Sandra has flatly refused to answer any questions regarding her age, threatening to turn Lee into a toad if he presses the issue. In fact the two are good friends and sometime lovers. In fact it was Sandra who designed Lee's nano-tat, and she won't even tell him what the Rune means.

-Leo the Lion (Dwarf)
Leo is a street fixer with tall dreams and a short conscience. It is rumored that he earned both his nickname and cyberhand in an underground death match with a real fracking Lion. Of course, knowing Leo it's just as likely that he got drunk and fell into the wrong cage at the Zoo.


The other members of the team are going to be:

* A human Decker/B&E expert.

* An elven Swordmaster who hates Cyberware, relaying instead on the best Bioware that money can buy.

Any suggestions, thoughts, or hints that may save us from getting geeked on our first run?
Be paranoid. Assume everything is a potential hostile. Big Brother is always watching.
A few comments:

Your flaws are giving you notoriety 2. Not necessarilysomething to avoid, but something to be aware of.

You've got a lot of specializations. Specializations are horribly inefficient at chargen for a regular game. I'd only have more than one during chargen for an online game (where you won't see karma very quickly). Just buy them up with karma instead.

Consider taking the first aid skill. It's a near perfect skill for a hermetic mage to invest in because of the synergy with Logic. It's also very handy for taking care of some drain. Since you need 3+ successes to be effective, you need every last die you can get with it, too.

If you have stunbolt, you probably don't need manabolt. I tend to favor stun spells (low drain, most foes can take slightly less stun damage) and grab a physical spell (power bolt or a manipulation spell) to take care of drones and the like.

You're pretty slow. In general, I'd much prefer Increase Reflexes to Armor. Having only one IP is difficult, if you plan to be in a lot of combat. You might consider a sustaining focus, too. Force 3 is pretty much where you'd want to go with it.
I liked the brief back ground for your character and the explanations of the flaws. It's always neat, IMO, to see a character with flaws and weaknesses that actually make some sort of sense, and can acutally be a vulnerability, instead of freebie points. kudos for that.

I say stick w/ armor BTW. IPs are great, bt they're even better if you're alive to use them. But I would go for Increased Reflexes and a way to sustain it w/o concentration as a priority.

If you want to save some points, or get more for spells, see how your GM feels about getting a group later. For example, take banishing and summoning now, then learn binding up to the skill of the other two later, and make it a group. Some people are ok with that, some aren't. But the drain on binding is really going to hurt you early on, and it'll be a while until you can handle summoning the heavier spirits anyways (aka-initiate, learn centering).
Weeeeell, I dislike the armor spell in general because it glows (aka, the huge "geek me first" sign) and doesn't really do that much for you as compared to multiple IPs. Even at force 6, it's only averaging taking two points off damage you're taking from each source. Don't get me wrong, two points off every hit isn't anything to sneeze at, but the glow is making you take more hits in the first place and your lack of IPs means you're not avoiding as well or taking down your foes fast enough. Over the course of a few rounds, you'll benefit more from being able to launch the extra combat spells more than you'll benefit from the armor.

Of course, if the choice is "both" that's obviously better than just one.

As far as the skills go, you need spellcasting, counterspelling, and summoning. Binding can be nice, as well, but can be bought later. In your team you're really not going to be doing much ritual magic to start out with, so ritual sorcery isn't a must. Banishing is actually inferior to a force 9 stunbolt (3P drain... probably as good as you'll get with banishing).

By RAW, you can make skillgroups in play, but you can't have specializations on any of the skills.
I loved the whole background working with the flaws, that was a nice touch.
I'd figured he'd kept banishing more out of having problems with beast spirits than to have the full group. I hadn't noticed that part about no specilizations off of a group though, thanks. I'll ahve to go back over my character sheet for some editing.

As for armor glow, there's always (assuming the GM allows) altering it no a non-glowing version. We've discussed that one enough times though.

I dislike droping the Sorcery (G) becuase of ritual magic. It seems like one of those things you'd drop because of OOC knowledge to me. Just my opinion though, probably because we have a game going where the majority are hermetic mages, so we do ritual sorcery every chance we get. We have 4 hermetics, a shaman, and a rigger in our main group. We don't get to use ritual sorcery often, but it's great fun when we do. We all try to learn new spells together to make the most use out of it.
Allergy to silver (particularly you said it's increasing) could affect magical items. After all silver is one of the components in oricalcum, and this allergy may be enough to disrupt the delicate balance that holds the metal together.
that would be interesting. Wear an orichalcum bracelet and get a rash. I don't think I would do that in my game, but it's an interesting idea. Certainly make that allergy a lot more important.
Given his background, ritual sorcery may or may not fit with it.

The big question with groups, though, is whether or not he wants/needs spellcasting at 5. Groups are capped at 4, so you see the problem with that.

I'd rank the importance of magical skills thusly:

Ritual Sorcery

Astral combat goes in there somewhere, I just haven't figured out where yet.

Really, the skill layout isn't bad. I might rob a few points from Counterspelling to beef up assensing (assensing the Johnson is a must), but that's about it.

There is one broad thing, though. It might be worthwhile considering a few more utility spells (imp invisibility, levitate) over just damage spells. The truth of the matter is that in combat (except against spirits), just about anyone can deal damage. However, no one else can make party members invisible or hand out perfect magical disguises (or any of the 30 other things you can do with illusion and manipulation spells).
You've got a great combat mage started. I'd only recommend two changes: 1) Drop some of those specializations to buy up Astral Combat at least at Rating 1, and 2) Swap Manabolt for your choice of Increase Reflexes, Power Bolt or Combat sense. If it were my choice, I'd grab Increase Reflexes, which you will want in order to keep up with your faster teammates and to boost your Reaction stat. More armor is good, but it won't keep you from getting schooled if you can't do something to keep the hits from getting to you in the first place.
QUOTE (TinkerGnome)
Given his background, ritual sorcery may or may not fit with it.

The big question with groups, though, is whether or not he wants/needs spellcasting at 5. Groups are capped at 4, so you see the problem with that.

I'd rank the importance of magical skills thusly:

Ritual Sorcery

I don't know if I would place banishing at the bottom of the list because last night I ran into a spirit and while I could have bolted it 1 in a fine restraunt 2 trying to escape quickly therefore not having time to clean up spells.
1) bolting a hostile spirit in a fancy restaurant is problematic now? i can assure you, the restaurant would prefer you stop the spirit *before* it starts damaging their restaurant, and i can tell you now they don't care if the walls take stun damage (which has absolutely 0 effect on inanimate objects), so fire away.
2) clean up spells why? you're defending yourself. i fail to see why you would need to clean up the spell. it's not as if banishing the spirit isn't going to be noticeable either, you know...
well we were extracting a person from the guards while have dinner with them while mage was in the bathroom. so I had clean the stunball I had previously cast on the guards in the room and not leave another spell to clean up. I did not want to leave my astral signature for the mage in the bathroom to read. Additionally the jig was up so I did not care if I was noticed banishing the spirit who was sent to stop us.
This is why you go into the bathroom and knock out/kill the mage first.

A Suzuki Sakura Fabuki loaded with Stick 'n' Shock rounds works wonders for this. 9S damage, before you add in hits.
Well, I'm not saying banishing is worthless. I am saying that it's one of the last couple of magical skills in order of priority. Ideally, you should have them all at one or better.
i did not mean it that way. I just thought it to be more important than ritual sorcery.
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