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Thanks to Street Magic, I've had this street level former ganger and newb mystic adept stuck in my head.

Since the whole basis for the concept is that of an ex-ganger just starting out in the shadows, I'm trying to keep his skills near the novice/professional range and his base attributes near average/above average. As such, I'm not sure the specializations or the 3 IPs fit with the power level I'm going for with the character.

As always - thoughts & comments are welcome.

Concept Archtypes: Former Ganger/Mystic Adept/Newb Runner
Concept Quote: "Live and learn, or ya won't live long."

Build: 400
Race: -30
Attributes: -150
Edge: -20
Magic: -65
Skills: -124
Positive Qualities: -15
Negative Qualities: +35
Contacts: -9
Spells: -6
Gear: -16

Stats & Such

RACE: ELF (-30 BP)

ATTRIBUTES (-235 BP) check
[20 BP] Body: 3          
[20 BP] Agility: 4 (6)  
[30 BP] Reaction: 4 (6)  
[20 BP] Strength: 3 (5)
[0 BP] Charisma: 3      
[20 BP] Intuition: 3    
[20 BP] Logic: 3      
[20 BP] Willpower: 3

[20 BP] Edge: 3  
[65 BP] Magic: 6(5)

Essence: 5.00
Initiative: 7 (9)
Initiative Passes: 1 (3)
Physical Damage Track: 10
Stun Damage Track: 10

[20 BP] Athletics Skill Group: 2  
[20 BP] Stealth Skill Group: 2  
[10 BP]Conjuring Skill Group: 1  
[8 BP] Automatics: 2        
[14 BP] Pistols [Semi-Automatics]: 3 (+2)
[8 BP] Blades: 2    
[14 BP] Unarmed Combat [Martial Arts - Taido]: 3 (+2)  
[6 BP] Etiquette [Street]: 1 (+2)  
[8 BP] Perception: 2    
[8 BP] Spellcasting: 2  
[8 BP] Counterspelling: 2  

Area Knowledge [Seattle, Dowtown]: 2 (+2)
Seattle Street Gangs: 2
Dealers: 1
Club Music: 2
Magical Theory (Wuxing): 1 (+2)
Martial Arts: 2

English: N
Japanese: 4
Cantonese: 3

[10 BP] Mystic Adept [Tradition: Wuxing]
[5 BP] Mentor Spirit [Moon Maiden - +2 Illusions, +2 Negotiatons, -1 Combat Spells]

[+5 BP] Addiction [Mild, Alcohol]
[+5 BP] Incompetent [Ritual Sorcery]
[+5 BP] SINner [Citizen - UCAS]
[+10 BP] Spirit Bane [Task Spirits]
[+10 BP] Allergy [Mild, Common - Seawater]

Improved Invisibility

Improved Reflexes II

GEAR AND LIFESTYLE (80,000 ¥) (16 BP)
+ Fake SIN 4: 4,000¥
+ + Fake License 4 - Drivers License: 400¥
+ + Fake License 4 - Gun License: 400¥
+ Starting Cash: 3d6+6x50¥
Suzuki Mirage Racing Bike: 6,500¥

+ Comm: Sony Emperor (700¥)
+ + OS: Renraku Ichi (600¥)
+ + Programs: Browse [2] (100¥), Edit [2] (100¥)
+ + Trodes (50¥)
+ + Datasoft [4](Wuxing Magical Theory) (40¥)
+ + Datasoft [4](High School Texts) (40¥)
+ + Mapsoft [4](Greater Seattle Area - 10 Regions) (200¥)
+ Micro-Transceiver [4] (800¥)

==== NET 'WARE COST: (35,750¥, 1.0 Ess) ====
CYBERWARE (5,750 ¥, 0.4 Ess)
+ Cybereyes (Rating 3, w/Flare Compensation [1], Thermographic Vision [2], Low-Light Vision [2],
Smartlink [3], Vision Magnification [2]) (5,750 ¥, 0.4 Ess)
BIOWARE (30,000 ¥, 0.8 Ess)
+ Muscle Augmentation/Toner 2 (30,000 ¥, 0.8 Ess)

==== NET ARMORY COST: (14,270¥) ====
+ Chameleon Suit (8,000¥)
+ + Helmet (100¥)
+ Armored Clothes (500¥)
+ Leather Jacket (200¥)
+ Regular Clothing (200¥)
+ TAC Vest (70¥)
+ Ares Alpha (1,700¥) 42(c)
+ + Gas-Vent 2 (included), Smartgun System (included), Sound Suppressor (300¥)
+ + Clips of Regular Rounds x5 (445¥)
+ + Combat Sling (50¥)
+ Ares Predator IV (350¥)
+ + Silencer (200¥), Smartgun System (included)
+ + Clips of Regular Ammo x10 (350¥)
+ + Clips of Gel Ammo x5 (265¥)
+ + Clips of SnS Ammo x5 (665¥)
+ + Concealable Holster (75¥)
+ Monofilament Sword (750¥)
+ Survival Knife (50¥)

B&E: 7,196¥
+ Chisel (20¥), Miniwelder (250¥), Wire Clippers (25¥), Autopicker [3] (600¥),
Monofiliment Chainsaw (300¥), Maglock Passkey [3] (6,000¥), Plastic Restraints [10] (1¥)
+ Respirator [3] (300¥), Rappeling Gloves (70¥), Lightstick x5 (5¥),
Flashlight [Low Light] (25¥), Survival Kit (100¥), Climbing Gear (200¥),
Microwire [200m] (100¥), Grapple Gun (500¥)
MEDICAL: 1,050¥
+ Medkit [3] (300¥), Medkit Supplies [5] (250¥), Stimulant Patch x2 [5] (250¥), Trauma Patch (500¥)
+Aluminum Briefcase [17.4 x 12.5 x 2.2 in] (60¥), Backpack (75¥),
Magical Lodge Materials [2] (1000¥), Spirit Binding Materials (500¥),
Standard Credstick x2 (50¥)

+ Sayoko Wu, Ex-Ganger/Club Kid C1/L5 (6 BP)
+ St. Criox, Fixer C2/L1 (3 BP)

Note: This character has been submitted to the LITS 2 Game in the Welcome to the Shadows forum, if you're in that game and can't seperate player knowledge from character knowledge - don't read the background.

[ Spoiler ]

20 Questions
[ Spoiler ]
As a GM I'm always annoyed with specialisations in Martial Arts for Unarmed combat.

Hopefully Arsenal will save us from this non sense.

For the rest he seems legal but rather weak for a runner.

I'm not sure what is function is?

Jack of all trade? Hardly, he's third string in most of his competences.

Combat specialist? Improved Reflex II and Agility 6 are solid but everything else shows he can't take the point in a tough combat.

Infiltration Specialist? That's his best area but expensive design choice prevent him from being really good and he's missing some key skill for it.


He has only a magic rating of 2 for purpose of spellcasting. That's just a little low since it means you'll be risking physical damage on almost every spellcasting : A spell force of 2 limits you to two success and that's just not enough for invisibility spell since many lowly guards with puny intelligence will still see through it. Just being able to go to force 3 without overcasting is a big deal for illusions : It's much tougher for a normal mundane to get 3 success on an intelligence test.


Good background.
I'm not a fan of the conjuring group.

Summoning 2 with a specialization will be far more useful, imho.

You're getting force 4 spirits at most. It's not really worth binding them, because you won't be getting that many successes - just get 4 dice to roll and use up the services.

Or just get summoning 1 with a spec, and get 4 points.

Personally, I'd find a way to work in synaptic boosters 2. I can't ever justify taking improved reflexes, unless you just can't spare the 32 bp.

In your case, I'd drop magic to 5 (3), that's 25 points. Add the 4 you save from summoing, that's 29. You only need 3 more points. Drop your 1/5 contact to 1/4, and put a specialization on automatics, or blades, and drop a point, and you're there.

Then you've got a point to spend on adept powers, and you can still buy magic 6 in game.
Mystic adepts are tough to optimize. If you like the flavor, that's fine, but if your group is interested in making min/max combat machines you're going to have a hard time contributing much with this character.

On a more technical side, keep in mind that you have to beat the object resistance of electronics to effect them. With your 2 magic for spellcasting, you're going to have to overcast to fool cameras and drones. Imp Invisibility and Stealth have a +1 DV and you're only rolling 6 dice to resist drain, so every time you cast either spell you can expect to take a box of physical damage.

The Ares Alpha does not have a built in gas vent, the 2 RC is just part of the gun.
Some number crunching for magician adepts - Most adept powers work well at even numbers, magic(spells and spirits, etc) work well at odd numbers. If you buy Magic at 5(IMO the most cost effective level), my suggestion is to have 3 points in Magic(spells and spirits) and 2 in adept Magic. You might want to choose one of those Traditions in Street Magic, the new spirits in the book usually have Magical Guard.

I've seen some well made Magical Adepts. But they tend towards being defensive - Adept Magic Resistance + Counterspelling + high Willpower + Spirit Magical Guard.
Some of the gear really doesn't fit the novice runner/ex-ganger concept - things like an Ares Alpha, chameleon suit, and so on. Compare that to, say, the sprawl ganger archetype. Your character's gear is more like that of someone who has some runs under their belt.

I would probably take the advice of the others and change your mage/adept allocations to 3/2, dropping Improved Reflexes down to 1 (since you were unsure about 3 IP anyways) and solving your potential overcasting problems with your two spells.

Overall, he seems to be what you intended, a beginning runner who can handle things like humanis thugs or gangers but who will struggle more with things like security guards with decent armor and weapons. Whether he will be fun to roleplay, or frustrating to watch as he is upstaged by the other PCs and brutalized by the opposition, depends on the campaign.

If the other players are creating "normal" 400-point characters, or if the campaign lets the cold, hard dice fall where they may, then this could wind up being a good concept that doesn't translate to a playable character. On the other hand, he would thrive in a roleplaying-centric campaign of relatively inexperienced runners.

You could, of course, also dive into the happy world of 320, where Rookie Runners frolic in the morning sun, battling against Availability 8 and a 40 BP limit on Resources.

THAT'S the life of the rookie runner right off the street. It's a good one, but, you have to learn quickly that when the fast response teams show up, you need to be long gone.
I will have to chime in with everyone else. The character seems kinda weak and generic. Heck you mention getting Street Magic and you don't even use anything from it. Find the one thing this guy is good at and then round him out. Otherwise he's just a round adept gunned down by square sammies.
@Charon -

The rules for unarmed combat specs irritate me too - but I didn't see another way to incorporate his background into his stats.

As for him being weak for a runner, that's the entire gimmick he's based on. A survivor of a gang war, who ideally should of never been involved in the first place if his life hadn't gotten all fragged up.

Though with the skill levels as described in the book - he and his buds should be running primarily against Rating 0-3 and maybe 4 NPCs at the top end. Encountering rating 5 and 6 NPCs are definately when they run and hide, praying the baddies don't find them.

A rating 3 (Lone Star Police Squad member - BBB pg 275) is throwing 9 (if you include a smartlink) dice for pistols before any situational modifiers - while this guy can throw 14 dice before situational modifiers. Now that I think about it the Street Sam archtype is only throwing 14 dice on automatics and 13 dice on pistols before situational modifiers. Granted there will be more of the grunts, and they also have the ability to call in reinforcements - but a 4 or 5 member team along this guys power level should be able to survive encounters with rating 0-3 (and the occasional 4) NPCs. Definately not unscathed, but most of them should survive.

As far as his function goes? At the moment he's built as a lower end combat guy with a smattering of other talents.

His magic is primarily his GOTH plan - if he needs a chance to escape/evade/hide 'right fraggin' now' from the encounter level he's built for. The physical drain from overcasting is the price he's gonna pay for it. That said, I can see lowering the Improved Reflexes to 1 and only getting 2 IPs, and bumping up his max force to 3 before overcasting.


I was debating on even taking any of the conjuring skills at all, but I figured since the guy was rated as a novice on his sorcery skills having him rated as a novice in conjuring couldn't hurt and might actually come in hand a time or two for watcher spirits.

If I took synaptic accelators at 2 - his agility/str bonuses (not to mention the loss of vision mods without resorting to goggles) would eat up 4 PPs. Its a trade off on how much I could twink him while trying to keep it in the realm of reasonable.


Yeah, I've come to the realization that mystic adepts are a friggin pain. Most of the games I end up playing in are heavy on flavor and roleplaying, and lighter on combat (not that light though, just not fighting off red samurai or tir ghosts anytime soon, mainly low level corp sec, gangs, the occasional lone star patrol) - so I haven't built a min/maxed combat monster in a long while.

Thanks for the heads up on the A. Alpha - I'll make a note.


I think I'll be dropping Improved Reflexes to 1 and ending up with 2 IPs and 3 for Magic. That means I'll still have to have a 6 in magic to end up with that though - thanks to the essence cost of the 'ware.


Not sure how much you keep up with the news, but the gangs in southern cali and south texas (the border towns, but that could describe Seattle in SR just as well) are running around with RPGs and body armor now. I don't see that an assult rifle (even it is an Ares Alpha) and a chameleon suit as being that much of a stretch for a survivor of a gang war in Seattle of the 2060s or 2070s.


I'd love to play in a lower level game like that - all of the games I end up playing in follow the standard 400 BP with RAW skill level/attribute guidelines though.


Most of the games that I've played in have followed the skill ratings outlined in the BBB rather closely. A skill level of 3 is rated as pro - above that you start encountering veterans, experts, and elites. Most of the GMs I've played with (mostly online, but a few face to face games since SR4 came out) start the characters off as newbs and expect you to not only keep the skill levels appropriate, but branch out so you aren't limited to one thing. Skills at 3 and 4 are common, 5s are encountered only infrequently (and 6s almost never) at character creation in those games. This is most likely coloring my choices on character creation.
Well, the type of GM can really affect what kind of character that you bring to a game. If a 3 is considered "high" in your games, then this character isn't really too weak, and most of the other characters will probably be similar to this. And it sounds like the GM is toning down the opposition appropriately, too.

I guess my POV is closer to how the archetypes are done. I consider a 5 or 6 to be an appropriate skill for a specialist such as a street sammie or rigger, with 3's or 4's and skill groups being likelier for things like covert ops specialists and technomancers. And there are a few, like hackers or faces, where you could get by with skill groups at 4, but where a 5 or 6 in a chosen skill wouldn't be out of place either.
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