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Zen Shooter01
OneTrikPony has been outspoken in his position that magic is so overbalanced as to make mundane characters worthless. I agree that the developers are clearly in love with magic, and I hope that ARSENAL and AUGMENTATION go a long way to expanding the options for mundanes. But street samurai are still giant badasses.

There are a lot of powerful options available to magicians, but there are only so many you can fit in at character creation, and how fast a magician acquires new powers depends on how fast the GM dishes out the karma. A lot of the overpower in magic comes from too-generous karma awards. Its always better to err on the side of caution with karma.

Take a look at a street samurai with a Predator. Agility 5, Muscle Toner 2, Pistols 4, Smartlink, equals a dice pool of 13, which on the average scores four hits. Ex-Explosive ammo does 6P AP-2.

A magician with Reaction 4 will average one hit on the dodge. Body 3, Ballistic 6 on the average will leave the magician with six points of physical damage.

Then what happens? The street samurai uses his second simple action to do it over again, with a nearly irrelevant -1 recoil modifier to the attack test, and the magician ends up unconscious and dying before he gets an action.

And thatís just with a handgun.

Yes, if the magician attacks from ambush or manages to win initiative (unlikely), he might kill the samurai. Iím not saying street samurai are unbeatable, just formidable.

And magicians face drain, which samurai donít. I have seen magicians in combat try to summon a force 5 and end up with five points of stun damage and no spirit. When drain bites, it bites hard.

And while spirits are very powerful, Iíve seen them get wiped out in combat in an eyeblink, too. One bad die roll can ruin anyoneís day.
The Jopp
I agree that there are limitations for sammies but as mentioned above - karma kan be a bitch. Upping magic attribute and initiating from 6 to 7 costs around 100 karma...for 1 initiation.

For adepts that's 1 point of power so they won't change overmuch - they'd be better off getting more versatile skills.
Smed
Not sure where you're getting the 100 karma to initiate. Initiatiion is 10+3* grade= 13 points for the first initiation grade, and its cheaper if you use an ordeal or join a group. Raising Magic from 6 to 7 costs 21 points, for a grand total of 34 karma, not 100.
knasser
I agree with OneTrikPony's comments broadly speaking. There is an imbalance between the magic and technology paths to power.

It's not a simple W will do X damage and Y will only do Z in the same situation sort of imbalance, however. I actually think the designers have done a tremendously good job of balancing it all and it plays like a very sophisticated game of rock, paper, scissors. I've tried to build a mage character that replicates what a samurai can do (I'll dig out the thread if anyone is interested) and it's tremendously hard to do. And you can't do the reverse any more easily.

The imbalance is in power development. It takes a long time and a lot of karma before a mage leaves a samurai noticeably behind. But there are a couple of problems to do with how they develop.

Samurai develop primarily via money, with a secondary from karma. It's hard to deny that lacking initiation, increased special attributes, new spells and ally spirits, samurai get anything like as much bang for their karma as magicians do. Mages are the other way around gaining primarily from karma, but can also spend cash to improve themselves very nearly as effectively as the samurai. There can be some offsets in routine money drains such as binding materials, but these vary with how a player chooses to play and whether the group shares resources and other things. It's not something you have control over.

What this means is that (a) magician characters develop more quickly than samurai and (b) a GM cannot limit their development effectively. To explain (b), if a GM keeps money low through limiting income or keeping up costs, then that stifles character development for the cyber-types. But not as much for mage types. You can't limit karma very much. Magicians have a kind of inevitable progression of power about them that samurai's lack.

That's the first part of the problem. The second is ceiling. A magician's power isn't capped. It just grows and grows. It's going to take a long time before the gap widens significantly, but in a longish campaign, it will happen and it will be incredibly irritating for the mundane characters, as a rule. Even before this begins to happen, though, the sheer potential can be a limiting fun factor. Knowing that you can get really good with automatic weapons just isn't the same as knowing three months from now you'll have a personal spirit servant and quickened armour spells.

Mundane characters badly need new toys and power creep. The nice thing with new toys is that if the GM wants to keep the powerful ones out of the player's hands, it's (relatively) easily done. But it raises the ceiling and that goes a long way to off-setting the cramp a mundane character can feel.

It even helps with the dual sources of progression a mage gets, because it increases the options, and thus the value, of cash rewards.

My thoughts, anyway.

-K.
noneuklid
I'd actually say that with some minor alterations, like letting them stack Reaction Enhancers with their reflex booster of choice, Sammies aren't too bad off. Deltaware goes a long way toward upgrading their capabilities, and Bioware is the new ubermensch. Cybersammies are pretty well left behind way back, though.

However, I'd more like to address some issues with the OP's math assumptions on the Sam vs Mage conflict. The math itself is fine; it's the assumptions, like the Mage not having any defensive spells running, that bother me.

Slightly more realistically, let's assume the Mage has an armor vest (6 ballistic), Armor with 4 hits and Barrier with 4 hits up and sustained by spirits/foci (why would I assume 4 hits? Magic 5 + Spellcasting 5 + any number of other things, like 2 dice from a mentor for manipulation, dice from a spirit, specialization, etc.) On average, this means the mage will score 5 hits on defense, leaving him with 4 physical damage rather than 6.

Now let's assume the Mage has used all of those things - a specialization on Spellcasting (manipulation), a mentor spirit, a Force 7 spirit assisting (thanks to the power focus), a 3 point (12R avail) spellcasting focus nad a 2 point (10R) power focus. With 10+2+2+7+3+2 = 26 dice, their average hits will be 8 on one and 9 on the other. If it's 9 on the Barrier spell, this discussion is a moot point; the bullet can't even make it through, and the Sammy's gonna have to blow a hole through it and bring it down (despite the fact it regenerates every round and has 9 armor and structure).

And of couse, this mage is foolishly visible.

We start to see the real problems when we stop assuming our mage is a sitting duck target. Spirits and sustaining foci, especially, vastly improve the resources of a mage. One measure we can take about this is to give low-Essence characters an inherent Object Resistance to magic (rather than just to healing spells) but even this doesn't much offset their power level. There is one combat advantage a sammy has, and one playstyle advantage a sammy has: for the latter, they tend to be more versatile in a variety of ways. For the former, they have Initiative Passes, and this is the only way they're really going to be able to hope to take out an aware and hostile mage.
kigmatzomat
Caps are a fundamental aspect of most systems. They may not be hard caps like SR4, they might be soft caps like SR3 where at a certain point the system begins to fail.

Without going to a hyper-extended system like EarthDawn that has near infinite growth but that doesn't fit in well with a "quasi-realistic" RPG (SR assumes human beings have limits so is quasi realistic) your options are to work within the cap.

Which for SR4 IMO means you kill people. No, really. Let characters die. Then, after enough of the party has been wiped out, you retire the old characters.
knasser
QUOTE (noneuklid)
I'd actually say that with some minor alterations, like letting them stack Reaction Enhancers with their reflex booster of choice, Sammies aren't too bad off. Deltaware goes a long way toward upgrading their capabilities, and Bioware is the new ubermensch. Cybersammies are pretty well left behind way back, though.

However, I'd more like to address some issues with the OP's math assumptions on the Sam vs Mage conflict. The math itself is fine; it's the assumptions, like the Mage not having any defensive spells running, that bother me.

Slightly more realistically, let's assume the Mage has an armor vest (6 ballistic), Armor with 4 hits and Barrier with 4 hits up and sustained by spirits/foci (why would I assume 4 hits? Magic 5 + Spellcasting 5 + any number of other things, like 2 dice from a mentor for manipulation, dice from a spirit, specialization, etc.) On average, this means the mage will score 5 hits on defense, leaving him with 4 physical damage rather than 6.

Now let's assume the Mage has used all of those things - a specialization on Spellcasting (manipulation), a mentor spirit, a Force 7 spirit assisting (thanks to the power focus), a 3 point (12R avail) spellcasting focus nad a 2 point (10R) power focus. With 10+2+2+7+3+2 = 26 dice, their average hits will be 8 on one and 9 on the other. If it's 9 on the Barrier spell, this discussion is a moot point; the bullet can't even make it through, and the Sammy's gonna have to blow a hole through it and bring it down (despite the fact it regenerates every round and has 9 armor and structure).

And of couse, this mage is foolishly visible.

We start to see the real problems when we stop assuming our mage is a sitting duck target. Spirits and sustaining foci, especially, vastly improve the resources of a mage. One measure we can take about this is to give low-Essence characters an inherent Object Resistance to magic (rather than just to healing spells) but even this doesn't much offset their power level. There is one combat advantage a sammy has, and one playstyle advantage a sammy has: for the latter, they tend to be more versatile in a variety of ways. For the former, they have Initiative Passes, and this is the only way they're really going to be able to hope to take out an aware and hostile mage.


Is it time for our tri-annual Samurai vs. Mage debate again, already?

Whether its guns or magic or melee or whatever, one of the running principles of shadowrun is strong on offense, vulnerable on defense. Both the samurai and the mage are more than capable of killing each other and if they're dumb enough to fight it out face to face, it will come down to who goes first and who is best prepared. And no that isn't necessarily the samurai. That's why in Shadowrun we practice deceit and subterfuge. Because anything else is too risky to ourselves. Neither being a mage nor being a samurai says anything about how sneaky the individual player is so samurai vs. mage will always be a moot argument.

What matters is if the mage or samurai outshines the other when on the same side. THAT is what determines balance in the game. And I think the designers have done a superb job of ensuring that this doesn't happen. Broadly speaking, the mage can do some impressive things that the samurai can't replicate. But he doesn't have the power to sustain the assault in the same way the samurai does, and he doesn't have the consistency of result that the samurai does, and he also has to pay a higher cost for much of what he does.

The issue I feel needs to be addressed is expanding the variety and upper limits of power of the mundanes. I don't think there is a problem with either of their game effectivenesses relative to each other.
noneuklid
Oh, no, I agree -- the top part of my post was pointing out that 'rye aren't too weak overall (unless they're badly built), and I concluded by saying they tend to be more versatile in play terms. However, I also think that one on one combat, a well-prepared mage trumps a well-prepared samurai; the gist of my post was to demonstrate that a defensive mage is going to vastly overwhelm the offensive power of a Samurai in those first few critical moments. The mage can simply out-defend any other character type except Rigger. I'm not claiming that Mages are overpowered inasmuch as that the OP's math was vastly oversimplified, to the point of no longer being a useful abstraction.
Mistwalker
Shakes his head.

Yup, it seems to be that time again.

If the prepared sammy knows he will be facing a mage, especially a prepared mage, he will simply cross a nice ward, use a long range weapon or area weapon.

This argument can go around and around, with no clear winner or loser.

Magic got a boost when SM came out, next will be Arsenal, followed by Augmentation (feb-march maybe), which should add a boost to mundanes.
Grinder
QUOTE (Mistwalker)
Magic got a boost when SM came out, next will be Arsenal, followed by Augmentation (feb-march maybe), which should add a boost to mundanes.

Emergence will be out around that date hopefully, the next books follow end of 2nd quarter, I would assume.
hyzmarca
In the long-term, the mage is going to be better. No one disagrees. The problem is that you probably won't run a campaign for that long. It becomes noticeable when you're running an 'epic level' 500 or 600 BP campaign and allow initiation at chargen. However, the Samurai is going to hit hard caps in multiple areas and be a better overall character, especially if you remove availability restrictions on your 600BP game. A magician or an adept who tries to be a generalist is going to be stretched thin, while a Samurai is a natural generalist, all things being equal.
IvanTank
This is how a cybercharacter 'levels up':

You spend all of your karma in buying up edge.
Once you have maxed out your edge, you spend all of it to become super lucky and buy a lottery ticket. Roll your edge. For every hit, your character wins 500,000 nuyen.gif . spend your new found nuyen.gif on some sweet cyber ware, or better yet, RETIRE!

While the above thread is a joke, it does bring up a valid concern about upgrading cyberware. If you have enough money to do it, why the hell don't you just retire instead?

Hell, the hardest part of coming up with a background for a super-cyber character is figuring out why your character is running the shadows if he could afford so much expensive cyberware?

EDIT: 250,000 nuyen.gif start, 5,000 nuyen.gif per month for medium lifestyle, 50 months = more than 4 years of comfortable easy life without even needing to work. And with some decent investing in things like treasury bills, which are fairly reliable, unless the UCAS suddenly dies (which now that I think about it, might just happen), you could extend it even further. Work a few hours a week and you are set for life. If you are ok with low-lifestyle, you probably wouldn't even need to get a job at all to make that money last forever.
noneuklid
Because a permanent Luxury lifestyle costs nu nuyen.gif 10,000,000 wink.gif
IvanTank
QUOTE (noneuklid @ Dec 7 2006, 08:11 PM)
Because a permanent Luxury lifestyle costs nu nuyen.gif  10,000,000 wink.gif

you will never see 10,000,000 nuyen.gif , especially not when the jobs pay in the 10,000 nuyen.gif range.

Plus, if you play a rigger and one of your vehicles or drones bites the dust, you are going to start being in serious debt.

For other characters, you still need to pay rent, buy equipment, pay medical bills whenever you get shot up (which can get expensive), plus the whole, you know, high chance of death, I don't see how it is worth it to the guy with 250,000 to spend it all on cyberware/assorted gear
Mikado
QUOTE
For other characters, you still need to pay rent, buy equipment, pay medical bills whenever you get shot up (which can get expensive), plus the whole, you know, high chance of death, I don't see how it is worth it to the guy with 250,000 to spend it all on cyberware/assorted gear


Because the money you get from build points are supposed to represent your background. People with lots of cyber are usually ex-military and THEY are the ones who put the cyber in you so you could do your job better. You know, the job of killing people!

QUOTE
Hell, the hardest part of coming up with a background for a super-cyber character is figuring out why your character is running the shadows if he could afford so much expensive cyberware?


Like I said above, you didn't own that cyber you stole it. Cyber characters are the easiest to get (un-original) backgrounds for. You could have worked for any AA, AAA, or government who would "make you better." Finding an original background however is harder but still doable. Like getting muscle replacement for neuromuscular damage, getting low level (rating one) wired reflexes for someone suffering from a neurological disorder, born blind or deaf and getting cyber eyes or ears, some sort of non-curable calcium deficiency and getting bone lacing to compensate. Most of the above might be covered under standard insurance coverage in which case you didn't pay for it but just acquired it.
Lovesmasher
QUOTE (Mikado)
QUOTE
For other characters, you still need to pay rent, buy equipment, pay medical bills whenever you get shot up (which can get expensive), plus the whole, you know, high chance of death, I don't see how it is worth it to the guy with 250,000 to spend it all on cyberware/assorted gear


Because the money you get from build points are supposed to represent your background. People with lots of cyber are usually ex-military and THEY are the ones who put the cyber in you so you could do your job better. You know, the job of killing people!

QUOTE
Hell, the hardest part of coming up with a background for a super-cyber character is figuring out why your character is running the shadows if he could afford so much expensive cyberware?


Like I said above, you didn't own that cyber you stole it. Cyber characters are the easiest to get (un-original) backgrounds for. You could have worked for any AA, AAA, or government who would "make you better." Finding an original background however is harder but still doable. Like getting muscle replacement for neuromuscular damage, getting low level (rating one) wired reflexes for someone suffering from a neurological disorder, born blind or deaf and getting cyber eyes or ears, some sort of non-curable calcium deficiency and getting bone lacing to compensate. Most of the above might be covered under standard insurance coverage in which case you didn't pay for it but just acquired it.

Or combine the lot and have the government recruiting super soldiers from the coma wards of hospitals. Your choice when you wake up with the cybergear: serve or go back into the coma.
Mikado
QUOTE
Or combine the lot and have the government recruiting super soldiers from the coma wards of hospitals. Your choice when you wake up with the cybergear: serve or go back into the coma.


Now that is a cruel twist I didn't think of and very fitting of Shadowrun.
Jaid
QUOTE (Mikado)
QUOTE
Or combine the lot and have the government recruiting super soldiers from the coma wards of hospitals. Your choice when you wake up with the cybergear: serve or go back into the coma.


Now that is a cruel twist I didn't think of and very fitting of Shadowrun.

i disagree. why would the government take untrained regular civilians and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on someone who may or may not sign up.

i would expect the government looks long and hard at someone before they decide to blow large amounts of money to cyber them up.
Lovesmasher
QUOTE (Jaid)
QUOTE (Mikado @ Dec 7 2006, 11:50 PM)
QUOTE
Or combine the lot and have the government recruiting super soldiers from the coma wards of hospitals. Your choice when you wake up with the cybergear: serve or go back into the coma.


Now that is a cruel twist I didn't think of and very fitting of Shadowrun.

i disagree. why would the government take untrained regular civilians and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on someone who may or may not sign up.

i would expect the government looks long and hard at someone before they decide to blow large amounts of money to cyber them up.

Because they're going to sign up?
jervinator
I can think of one reason. Maybe they aren't sure if they have all of the kinks worked out and don't want to risk a valuable asset on a medical procedure that may kill them or otherwise cause an undesirable result. In other words, they are desperate enough to volunteer for medical research so that the military may one day be able to have super-soldiers.

Besides, how many super-cyborgs will refuse? Isn't being an active chrome killing machine better than being a vegetable?
Grinder
That, and it's not really easy to awake someone from coma.
Mikado
QUOTE
I would expect the government looks long and hard at someone before they decide to blow large amounts of money to cyber them up.


Why do you think that... They could be suffering from a lack of people signing up and offer to to cyber up (enough to get the people functional) people with degenerative diseases to bolster their ranks. (like the US rasing the minimum age and lowering the ASVAB requirements)
Yes, this is different from what Lovesmasher said and I agreed with, the basic premise is the same, serve and have what could be a better life or live in squalor for the rest of your life.
Hound
I think the characters are fairly balanced as it is right now, unless, as has been mentioned, you're playin' them for a really long time. But by the time you get to that point in your campaign, it wouldn't really be that unrealistic to say that the new books will come out (Aug. and Arsenal) and personally, I have faith in the developers, I think they'll deliver. That's just me though, I'm a noob, in all fairness.
OneTrikPony
QUOTE
OneTrikPony has been outspoken in his position that magic is so overbalanced as to make mundane characters worthless.
That's a truncated misrepresentation of what I've said in other threads. but Ok, I'll bite. vegm.gif (BTW if i thought they were worthless I wouldn't play them nearly exclusively.)
QUOTE
a street samurai with a Predator. Agility 5, Muscle Toner 2, Pistols 4, Smartlink, equals a dice pool of 13
You havn't added range modifyers, vision modifyers or any of the expencive ware that might counter these but continue
QUOTE
with a nearly irrelevant -1 recoil modifier to the attack test
any street sam that isn't a meat head mage twink wanna be will have spent the 200• on reqoil reduction for his pistols. It's just easier to play that way.
QUOTE
if the magician attacks from ambush
What do you mean IF. I like you but you're a bit of a knuckle head. You have no range modifyers to indirect combat spells. You have no vision modifyers because you can astraly precieve and negate my stealth plus about 4000• worth of chamelion suit. You are invisable casting from behind the bullet proof glass of your car and a physical barrier spell. I roll 3 will with NO FURTHER RESISTANCE ROLLS against your force 12 overcast mana bolt. Your weapon has a base DV of 12 from an attack that COMPLETELY BY PASSES my expencive armor. I'm useing my iterative actions and phases to deal with your manifest spirit who has force x 2 HARDENED armor and powers such as confusion and accident. Your drain is more likely to be 2 or 3 boxes than it is to be 5 boxes. And I'm allready dead cuz i just rolled a glitch on my three will dice.

the Jopp. (I like you too but you said;)
QUOTE
nitiating from 6 to 7 costs around 100 karma
My book says that initiating from 6 to 7 by which you might mean gaining your fist grade of initiation and buying magic up to 7, costs 34 karma. IF you don't use a magical initiation group or do a thiesis or what ever twinks call this magic stuff.

knasser
QUOTE
I've tried to build a mage character that replicates what a samurai can do (I'll dig out the thread if anyone is interested) and it's tremendously hard to do.
It's tremendously hard and monumentaly fruitless. Given the abilities of a mage I'm at a loss as to why you would do this other than as a thought experiment.
QUOTE
The imbalance is in power development.
It is my possition that the imballance comes from lack of support by the developers for certain character archetypes and unnatural affiliation for other archetypes. In the FAQ thread Synner took time to assure me (us) that this problem will end with "Augmentation" I am now optomisticly looking forward to many nights of duking it out in STREETSAMS ARE TOO UBER threads.

noneuklid
QUOTE
Deltaware goes a long way toward upgrading their capabilities, and Bioware is the new ubermensch.

which have you seen more of in your games; Delta clinics or Initiate groups? Which have you seen more of in SR published material? Bioware is neither new or "ubermensch" there is no new bio in the BBB and it didn't used to cost essence. I cannot port half my characters to SR4 because I can't afford the new essence cost of bio. As to the rest of your post it's BANG ON.

kigmatzomat
QUOTE
Caps are a fundamental aspect of most systems. They may not be hard caps like SR4, they might be soft caps like SR3 where at a certain point the system begins to fail.

Caps are a fundamental aspect of playing a cyber character. It is a hard cap called ESSENCE COST, and it is valuable and necessary. There are no fundamental caps to the growth of a magic character infact there are ZERO caps as far as I can see.

QUOTE
Is it time for our tri-annual Samurai vs. Mage debate again, already?

don't blame me I was summoned by name
I participate only to ring the bell that magic is twinky because there are no built in limitations in the rules and that certain archetypes are more fully supported in the setting.

QUOTE
he will simply cross a nice ward,
that's a classic bit of metagameing Mistwalker . "excuse me mister mage could you show me to the nearest ward. You see my astral perception is on the fritz because I have 0.01 essence."

QUOTE
In the long-term, the mage is going to be better. No one disagrees.
I dissagree. How is 34 karma for grade 1, magic 7 if the mage doesn't use an initiate group. long term? That's 5 average SRMissions runs. the mage adds 2 die to about 5 different tests and +2 DV to about 10 different weapons. The sammi has earned 25 grand which buys levels of cyber he had access to at CharGen.

As to the posts about why is your street sam a shadowrunner. I've never had a problem coming up with a background that I wasn't proud of. Given you got the cyber from a benefactor because you used to do a job that required cyber. What happened after that point is always interesting and nearly always spontaniously generated by the setting. THATS WHY I LOVE SHADOWRUN. It's so easy to create a character that's just torn up physicly and emotionally. The setting provides a plethora of hooks for creating a "man on a mission" character too.

I would propose that the more intrigueing question is that as a mage you're one of the 1 percenters and all corps would reqruit you for a job that's the equivelant of a lifetime high lifestyle. So it's a given that you just don't like corps and you have some moral/antisocial reason for not taking the cushy job but do you ever play that aspect of your character?

QUOTE
I have faith in the developers, I think they'll deliver.
I too have faith. I can only hope that they can deliver because I don't want to quit this game. again.
[edit] which is to say that I missed shadowrun and my own angsty, Morissy type, whineing to cover my secret joy in playing the underdog.
Marmot
QUOTE (OneTrikPony)
I would propose that the more intrigueing question is that as a mage you're one of the 1 percenters and all corps would reqruit you for a job that's the equivelant of a lifetime high lifestyle. So it's a given that you just don't like corps and you have some moral/antisocial reason for not taking the cushy job but do you ever play that aspect of your character?

Simple. Character listened to way too much punk rock (or its 2060-2070 (edition dependent) equivalent) in their formative years/came from a monied family and has an overblown sense of entitlement to 'set things right', &tc. &tc.

Or they could be an anarchistic asshole, or former cyberpirate, or William Gibson knockoff character where evey instance of tech is replaced with magic or-

Well, the list goes on. You can't very well claim Shadowrun supports a variety of wonderful places to draw your character from and then posit this question. The sourcebooks themselves pretty much offer up why a lot of magic work for the corps and why many don't: simply that some hermetics are just jerks who want to keep their formulae and tricks to themselves and that a lot of shamanic totems are simply incompatible with the concept of punching a clock at a set time.

I'm a fan of your ideas so far as I've read about them (in this thread), but shouting about how magic vs. tech is imbalanced in Shadowrun is an awful lot like wondering why water is wet and it's been like that for a while now. Those of us who like playing folks who don't run around chunking lightning bolts instead of lead will just have to suck it up and find comfort in the knowledge that a slug in the back of the head will kill a wizard (who isn't sustaining his/her Force 8+ Barrier/Armor spell) just as easily as it'll kill anyone else.

Cold comfort, I know, but don't we play Shadowrun for the feeling of crushing hopelessness in the face of long odds?
noneuklid
Meh. I've never really jerked my players around as to where to get Deltaware put in. Or at least, I wouldn't've, if any of them played 'rye. wink.gif I'd let 'rye burn Karma to get access to one from a Johnson -- this is called the 'Jedi Mind Trick' style of negotiaton.
Kesslan
While I find its true you cant handle as much combined bio/cyber as you could in SR3 (And quite frankly heh, I had some real near cyberzombies myself) the thing is they dont just stack straight up. While cyber and bio now both use essence, BOTH can now benifit from essence reduction due to grades, and which ever uses less essence of the two, is then unless I"m way off (i'd have to double check again but I KNOW it's reduced) is cut in half or so.

So were you to some how come into the kinda money it takes to take all delta all teh way you could have just about every concievably useful piece of bioware with tons of supporting cyber and still have just around .38 essence left.

Why the hel you wouldnt just take the money and retire however is beyond me. Maybe Aztechnology killed your puppy when you were a child.

Of course yes i agree one can beg to point out ok but then what can an adept/mage with the same Karma/cash do? Their skills wont be quite as varied and as high, sure, ditto stats. But by god they can sure make up wtih that with their abilities that no sammie has. And then they have all the cash to spend on god knows what.

Part of the balance though is still magic loss. It's abit easier in some ways to avoid it under SR4 than SR3 (No more roll for magic loss for deadly damge, no more magic loss roll for simply using a trauma patch) but you can still loose it other ways, forced cyberimplantation (And yes it can happne I had it happen to one of my adepts), you can also as a result (ontop of a result of other things) burn out all sorts of new ways now via simple 'loss of faith' and then you can 'loose faith' even easier after the first time it happens. ANd eventually you can quite easily become a total burn out and then all that hard earned karma goes down teh gutter and you have litterally nothing to show for it.

That doesnt happen with a sammie. Ware can be destroyed but it can be replaced. Magic loss can be compenstated for a degree but it is still forever lost. No money will buy it back. And should you totally burn out then yoru really screwed because money wont even buy some form of crutch.

That isnt to say there isnt a balance issue, there is, on both sides of the fence in my own oppinion. On the sammie side i'm hoping some of the issues are fixed with the new comming sourcebooks (And hey, I love my tech toys too, not just my wall running adepts). And I'm fairly certain by the time they do any current imbalances will more or less be worked out, especially when you take into account how it's still qutie easy for an awakened character to 'loose it all'. Where as it's alot harder to do to a samie. IT's not impossible but just because the samie 'looses faith' in technology doesnt mean suddenly his wired reflexes 3 permently stops working.
Kesslan
QUOTE (noneuklid)
Meh. I've never really jerked my players around as to where to get Deltaware put in. Or at least, I wouldn't've, if any of them played 'rye. wink.gif I'd let 'rye burn Karma to get access to one from a Johnson -- this is called the 'Jedi Mind Trick' style of negotiaton.

Can I have your babies? None of my chars ever even got close to deltaware... wait no thats a lie. I did have a cyber/bio enhanced ork doctor that once got use a low raitign deltaware clinic. And he had all of 3 pieces of very cheap betaware (Cyberjack etc).

Still none of my actual combat toons that were samies ever saw such nifty things.
Mistwalker
Ah, then you aren't asking for the right things for payment from your Johnson.
If you do more than one run for the same Johnson, then it may be possible to get access to a Delta clinic.
knasser
QUOTE (OneTrikPony)

knasser
QUOTE (knasser)
I've tried to build a mage character that replicates what a samurai can do (I'll dig out the thread if anyone is interested) and it's tremendously hard to do.
It's tremendously hard and monumentaly fruitless. Given the abilities of a mage I'm at a loss as to why you would do this other than as a thought experiment.


Well I started out agreeing with you (OneTrikPony), but I'm going to have to change that position, now.

You need to read my post a bit more carefully. The reason for seeing if you can duplicate a samurai with a mage is because the balance that matters is whether or not a mage outshines a samurai at what they do, not by a fight between the two in locked, featureless room with FAB wallpaper. Shadowrun is a deadly game in which everyone can kill everyone else. A fight between a mage and a samurai will go to whoever is prepared / surprising the other one.

Samurai and mages play differently and have different strengths and weaknesses. Therefore they are roughly balanced. If a mage could do what the samurai does better, then they would not be. I've tried to make a mage "samurai" and it was really difficult, so I'm fine with that.

Now I'm going to re-iterate that I agree there is an imbalance, but as I said, it is in power-development. There are two components to this: mages developing from both cash and karma, whilst samurai are primarily cash developers. And secondly, a higher ceiling for mages than samurai - i.e. mundanes need more range and lethality in their toys.

But mages do not outshine samurai in the rules until a couple of hundred karma have gone by. We need the toys so that (a) players have something to aim for and (b) GMs don't need to resort to magic to make Łber villains.
Mistwalker
And even after that 100+ karma goes by,
the mage is not necessarily spending all that karma on magical abilities.
Most people expand their repertoire of skills and abilities, to have a more balanced character. And, they also raise those weak attributes to a more respectable level.
Jaid
just a side note, i've noticed this coming up a couple of times, from multiple people...

Astral perception does not negate stealth. it does negate a chameleon suit, but you can still use your infiltration against things on the astral without even knowing there is something on the astral or where it is. now, certainly, some situations would have a penalty applied or even be impossible (wearing a black outfit crawling along dark asphalt at night will hide you from unmodified vision rather well, but not astral... that being said, in many cases thermo and low light vision would have the same effect), but as a general rule, infiltration skill works against astral as well as physical sight.

you may now continue with your regular program of mage vs sammy arguing nyahnyah.gif
lorechaser
QUOTE (IvanTank)
QUOTE (noneuklid @ Dec 7 2006, 08:11 PM)
Because a permanent Luxury lifestyle costs nu nuyen.gif  10,000,000 wink.gif

you will never see 10,000,000 nuyen.gif , especially not when the jobs pay in the 10,000 nuyen.gif range.

Your jobs are only going to stay in the 10k range if you're not investing your 250k in cyberwear. wink.gif

You gotta spend money to make money!

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