Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Munching Out the Ally...
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
Big D
Taking off from the previous thread, I thought I'd throw together a quick'n'dirty demo of just how wrong an Ally can be.

Feel free to shoot down the numbers, I'm just doing this back-of-pad and may miss something. I've gamed out the dice a little, but they really depend on things like how you spend your BP and (when summoning your Ally) Edge.

[ Spoiler ]

All in all, a well-designed Ally can be anything from a strong asset to the team to an overwhelming munchkin that causes the GM to send dragons after you, for a lot less karma than it would take to make your mage remotely as powerful. After all, initiation/Magic costs scale, and attributes and skills cap. But Ally spirit costs are completely linear; for example, a F16 munchkin Ally (originally summoned at F9) with a score of skills (all at 32 dice) and three dozen spells would cost about 400 karma--an enormous sum, until you realize that it's less than the karma it would take to initiate a mage to 15 Magic without raising anything else.

Just remember--make an unbeatable Ally, and word will get around that the only way to defeat it will be to geek you.
Slithery D
The difficulties in getting a Force 9 ally formula should not be understated. That's a (45, 1 day) extended test with Logic + Arcana.

How many runners take Arcana? How high? What limits does your game put on extended tests? Dice pool attempts? With 12 dice you can get on average before your time runs out...48 hits. You're not likely to have 12 dice. You might get unlucky. And most GMs seem to give a lot fewer chances than the number of dice in the pool, usually based off the skill, instead. Good luck with that.

Of course, you can take the cheap route and do a metaplanar quest. Cheap because your GM probably doesn't have the balls to slap you around the way a SR3 style Force 9 quest could have. Personally, I'd think defeating a spirit identical to the one you propose for your formula should be the minimum asked on such a quest.
Besides, what's the point? It's like mages sitting around and making orichalcum. By then, just make your spirit, get a job, and send the spirit on the job, while you sit at home and make orichalcum. Not much fun really.
You wouldn't actually have to purchase it a skill to use its elemental attack. The elemental attack pwer probably comes with the Exotic Ranged Weapon skill. This sort of thing is why I originally wrote them with a geometric cost by Force.

Regardless, you could go way cheesier than that if you wanted. While a Force 9 Ally is indeed extremely difficult to create (not impossible, just really hard), once it has been successfully crafted you could do much better than just having a spirit that smacks things around. I mean, you could start with a tradition that has Task spirits and rock out with 9 technical skills at 9 and inhabit into a body that already has a datajack so that you create a super hacker that's better than a mundane hacker could possibly hope to be ever. You could have a spirit that casts spells and knows area versions of save-or-dies like Stun Blast. 18 dice to resist drain takes no drain on average from a Force 9 Stunblast, which in turn will drop just about anyone.

Yes, there were some unfortunate and massive power loops added to that section after I was done with it, but the stuff you're talking about is small cheese. The hope was apparently that forcing PCs to sit through a potentially lethal Binding test was going to keep them in line, but it's really obvious that it isn't going to do that. If two people attempt to make a mondo Ally and one explodes and the other breaks the game, that's two campaigns in the shit hole. I apologize for any role I had in crafting the Ally rules as they ultimately appeared.

Really I think that it's up to individiual GMs to keep their games in line and not let characters go nuts trying to make an ally that will make the rest of the team superferlous, especially the way Big D's talking about doing it. Besides Frank, no matter what, there's going to be loop holes that someone's going to try to exploit. After seeing how strong spirits were in the SR4 core book, it was a gien that allys were going to be nasty. I like the lower cost, because now they're feasible. BUt when you compare it to the skill caps, it makes for a scary story. Basically allies take advantage of the two things that I dislike most about SR4: skill caps and spirits overwhelming power.
From the title I thought this was a totally different kind of thread.
Big D
Don't go there. nyahnyah.gif

Fistandantilus, I was attempting to show some of the things that could be done with it, not recommend that it be done in anybody's campaign. Preventing the cheese from becoming unbalanced is exactly where the GM steps in.

For the formula, if there's an extended test that could legitimately be performed in increments (say, between runs), I'd argue that this qualifies.

Frank, I considered inhabitation, but I don't grok it well enough yet. To make a hacker Ally, wouldn't you have to get a living vessel and cheese the roll so that they merged successfully?

Personally, I think having Concealment/Movement/Influence/Guard/Psychokinesis on tap at high levels 24/7 is more important that the killing folks stuff. Then, there's a host of healing/manipulation spells to consider--I wouldn't plan on taking many combat spells, because a couple of elemental attacks pretty much takes care of it. And, of course, the aforementioned social skills.

Regardless of all else, of course, it falls to the GM to keep the game fun, by slapping people around if necessary.
sorry, wasn't trying to point the finger. I acutally appreciate you're pointing it out, because I hadn't really put a lot of thought in to it, and now I won't be suprised by some of my players. Hell, one of my guys, when I was running D&D, I had to ban from using the Savage Species book because he was so good at abusing rules and min/maxing. Hopefully he won't notice ally spirits for a while.
Make a Force 9 Ally Formula with Inhabiting and some good skills, prepare yourself as a vessel, summon the ally into yourself and use your conjuring dice to push the merge toward a flesh form. Congradulations, you are now a free spirit and if you're having sex with your GM you might be able to avoid becomming an NPC.
excellent.. my wife sometimes runs games..

now all I need to do is think up a name for my Aspected Magician Computer Illiterate Infirm Quadrapalegic Albino Ghoul Cyclops Otaku Changlings Free Spirit with glowing neon green feathers and poor social skills
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
excellent.. my wife sometimes runs games..

now all I need to do is think up a name for my Aspected Magician Computer Illiterate Infirm Quadrapalegic Albino Ghoul Cyclops Otaku Changlings Free Spirit with glowing neon green feathers and poor social skills

You forgot uncouth wink.gif

Mr. Munchkin?

But nah! I know you were only trying to show what could be done. Sadly, other people with less common sense will eventually try to get away with things like that. There comes a carp handy!



p.s. Don't worry Frank, it's not at all the book's fault. I have really liked what I have read so far!
DAMN fast typers!

This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012