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My group is about to start running our first SR campaign. Everyone in the group is a heavy RP'er and I am trying to design a Phys-Adept that specializes in Mage Killing.

Is there any way for an adept to affect something on the Astral Plane via Adept Powers or technology? It bothers me that I am dual-natured when astrally perceiving but remain impotent vs things in the Astral Plane. I know I can just make a Mystic Adept but I want to avoid it if I can.

A semi-related question, will Elemental Strike or any other Adept powers allow you to bypass the Force x2 armor vs non-magical attacks spirits get when Manifesting?
Killing Hands bypasses ItNW, and the Astral Combat Skill can be used in place of Melee skill vs. Astral Forms of mages. Nothing Ranged would work however.
Ancient History
1) Take the Astral Perception Power (p. 187 SR4)
2) Take the Astral Combat and Assensing Skills and Specialize (p. 113 SR4)
3) Buy and bond a Weapon Focus (p. 191-2 SR4), or purchase powers such as Critical Strike (p.187 SR4).

Killing Hands, Elemental Strike, Weapon Foci, etc. can bypass Immunity to Normal Weapons.
Don't forget Mystic Armor. It's nice to be one of the few with armor in an astral battle.
That simplifies it. I did take the Astral Perception power but I was under the impression that you had to be able to Astrally Project to engage in astral combat. I didn't think that Dual Natured alone allowed you to perform Astral Combat. The fact that I would still be tethered to the ground and restricted by physical speeds made it seem pretty unfeasible.

My only problem now is finding the Power Points fit it all in.
astral mages and spirits are likely to be faster than you, in astral combat, so taking the counterstrike power might be wise. as you grow in power, you should consider Smashing Blow--an astral form will likely want to put a physical wall between itself and you. being able to get through walls will be helpful in purting hurts on them.
I was really hoping for some way to prevent Astral mages from simply "floating" out of my limited range and peppering me with Mana spells.
Did distance strike make it to 4th ed, or am I making stuff up? Anyway, it'd be really nice to have some way to hit the astral mage who's flying 10ft up dropping spells.
Distant Strike is there, I'm not sure if you can use it to affect the Astral though. I know it says it cannot be used with many of the other Unarmed Combat powers.
Unfortunately, there is no solution to being out of range in astral. You'll essentially have brought a knife to an astral world of gun fights.

One potential workaround is the throwing adept, there is a power in street magic which ups the damage of thrown items, this may be considered a "Magic" bonus which may allow it to affect astral and bypass Normal Weapons Immunity. But, it probably shouldn't be allowed to do that.
not much you can do about that. just stock up on magic resistance.
Athletics and Stealth. aka run and hide.
Hmm I thought Astral projecting mages could target non astral targets with spells, unless there was astral link for the spell to target.

As for astral perception using adepts and astral as a GM would allow such, but the adept had better use the mundane terrain to keep mages for astralling hovering, ie get inside a building with less than ten foot ceilings.
Well yeah. If the adept is being harried by a projecting mage the adept can always stop perceiving and be safe. Sort of.
I had high hopes for allowing my revolvers to affect Astral/Spirits when I saw the Adept Bonding Metamagic in Street magic, but I was letdown. Am I the only one that thinks the choice of Metamagic for Adepts is kind of crappy?
eh... depends on how you look at it. i mean, being able to center on any skill you want to is awesome. with a few metamagics sunk into centering, you can get a huge boost to your effectiveness by simply grabbing a centering focus (assuming they still exist in SR4).
Kyoto Kid
QUOTE (BlackRabite)
I had high hopes for allowing my revolvers to affect Astral/Spirits when I saw the Adept Bonding Metamagic in Street magic, but I was letdown. Am I the only one that thinks the choice of Metamagic for Adepts is kind of crappy?

...other than Masking and possibly Flexible Signature, I tend to agree. The Adept specific ones like Cognition & Infusion, leave you way too vulnerable after the duration expires. I've been on a lot of runs where you just think you can catch your breath and the GM says, "Roll Initiative".

Of course, i've yet to get enough Karma after a mission to initiate & increase KK's MA.

BTW You use twin Warhawks too? Excellent choice.
I do use twin Warhawks, with a back-up pistol that can be Silenced. The initial idea was to make more of a mage assassin. I had/have a number of infiltration skills and adept powers, like wall running and traceless walk.

We haven't started our first run yet but I've been reading the boards here for about a week and I keep revising the concept behind the Adept as more things come to light. Its my first foray into the SR system and I didn't have a clear idea of things worked out in the SR universe.

What sparked most of my questions though was realizing that Astral Perception would be key to any attempt at killing a mage on his "home turf" so to speak, since I would have to deal with barriers and patrolling spirits/watchers in the astral. I was just disappointed at the Adepts inability to handle such obstacles. I thought the Adept would be more able to get close to a Mage undetected but it seems like being Awakened is more of a liability than an asset.

I've gathered that a patrolling spirit, even though it can tell I am awakened from the astral plane, will still have to beat my infiltration skills to detect me. I can see them with Astral Perception so I'll know to avoid notice from spirits/watchers and my infiltration rolls should apply. Do things like Mana Barriers work on Adepts whether they are Astrally Perceiving or not?
Personally, I tend to roll a little on the crazier side, so when SR4 hit I took a troll physical adept who'd been laying around, applied surge, and made him dual natured. Then run, do not walk, and buy the Magic Sense power (.5 cost). He already has killing hands, so now he's in a world of hurt, but can at least get a heads up before trouble gets within 60 meters or so.

If you go this same route, I'd consider a race with slightly better mental stats to increase survivability. There are many other physical adept powers that might make for a sweet mage killer... I'd also recommend elemental effect (electrical), but I'm sure it'll take a backseat to mystic armor.

Quick Edit: This was my 'punch through the wall while yelling 'Oh yeah!' troll, so while he was geared for physical barrier destruction, now he's also a walking ward killer. I vaguely recall one of the older edition's Grimoires mentioning a method of physically attacking/intercepting incoming spells, but I haven't seen new rules for it, and can't recall the specifics. So yeah, the only way a non-projecting character can really cancel range is by using and knowing the Astral Visibility rules on page 114 of Street Magic.
Big D
My response would be to go magic adept/counterspelling, and blow off the other mage skills (basically wasting 5BP+1PP), but I can certainly understand wanting to avoid that for thematic reasons.

For ranged combat, though, you're pretty much hosed if you can't cast spells back at them or summon something that can.
It seems like the priveledge of being able to learn the counterspelling skill would be a good metamagic for adepts.
Purely in the realm of house-rule, but you might be able to talk your GM into it.
If he wants an adept who can do counterspelling, he should go ahead and get the mystic adept quality, maybe offsetting it by aspecting in sorcery.

Personally, I would stay away from astral perception - as someone else said, it's taking a knife to a gun fight. If you stay a pure adept, then magic resistance, magic sense, and either killing hands or a weapon focus - letting you sense spells, resist them, and fight spirits. You also need an initiative boost. For example, with a Magic of 5 you could get Improved Reflexes: 2, Magic Resistance: 3, and Magic Sense, then bond a weapon focus. A mystic adept is still your best bet, though, because only one point invested in the mage side lets you use counterspelling (for spell defense), which is far more cost-effective than magic resistance.
Agree with Glyph. You don't need to be some grand mojo slinger to gum up another mojo slinger's spells, a 2-bit Magic 1 guy can still be a pain in the ass. Unless you are a Magician, I'd go with staying physical.
Well, the initial concept was more of an infiltration style mage assassin that would either run in as a forward scout or be able to pick out the awakened enemies in combat for a quick kill. Astral Perception was necessary both to avoid watchers/spirits when infiltrating and to tell which of my enemies might be an awakened masquerading as a norm.

Dealing with people in the Astral was just a side thought I had.
With magic 5 let's se...

Astral Perception
Spell Resistance 2
Killing Hands
Mystic Armor 2
Cloak 2
Magic Sense

Distance Strike should, IMO, be able to affect astral targets - after all, it is stopped by a mana barrier (which is strictly astral) so the rules suggest it has an astral presence.

Other useful powers for an anti-mage/anti-spirit adept:
Improved Reflexes
Critical Strike
Iron Will
Piercing Senses
Multi-tasking (especially if your GM decides it'll offset the penalty for physical actions using astral perception)

Owl or Dark King could be good mentor spirits to choose.

Other potentially useful Qualities:
Spirit Pact (Power Pact or Life Pact; Magic Pact if the increase boosts adept powers)
Murky Link
Spirit Affinity

Adept Centering, Infusion
Masking, Extended Masking, Flux
Flexible Signature
killing hands works with distance strike, right? so distance strike should work find against astral targets, if you've got killing hands. if you don't have killing hands, well, you get what you deserve.
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