Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Lifespan for Dwarves and Metavariants?
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
DSHolmes
Hiya!

What is the expected lifespan of Dwarves in the Shadowrun game? I know the SR 3 rules says 'over 100 years', but that leaves a great deal of wiggle room.

Also, has there been any discussion on what the 'aging' ranges are for non humans? Such as when a Dwarf, Ork, or Troll is considered 'middle aged', or even 'elderly'?

Finally, do metavariants basically have the same lifespans as their 'underlying race' (Menehune and Gnomes living Dwarf ages, Cyclops living as long as Trolls, etc).

Thanks!
Aku
i dont think we really know at this point, as it hasnt even BEEN 100 yrs yet since they've appeared, so non of the meta's would've died of old age, other than orcs i tihnk
DSHolmes
Thanks! Just for some more info...

Reason I'm asking is that I'm wanting to design some NPCs that are metahumans that were born around the time of the Awakening, and am somewhat curious as to say, the physical condition of a 53 year old Dwarf. Would he look like the Human equivalent of 20s, 30s, middle aged?

I know SR fiction such as "Never Trust an Elf" indicates pretty much every Elf alive looks like a teenager, and that any Ork or Troll born during UGE should be dead, or almost dead, by 2064 (except for one born before, who Goblinized, who apparently still retains the Human lifespan, which doesn't make sense to me, and I don't consider that 'canon' in my campaign).
Moon-Hawk
QUOTE (DSHolmes)
and am somewhat curious as to say, the physical condition of a 53 year old Dwarf.

Short and hairy. biggrin.gif
DSHolmes
LOL!

...and...(old/distinguished/greying/prepubescent/etc..) biggrin.gif
Omar the Falcon
I have read about elves that are still alive from the 4th age. I dont know how/why this happened, though the term 'immortal' is thrown around a bit. Not sure how canon all of that is.

I also remember reading that people who goblinized retain their human lifespan. I think thats a fair trade for being a bit mentally unhinged... as it is said that those folks are known to be.

I imagine a dwarf would look 'adult' by their teens, with a full beard by 16. I was growing a spotty one at the time myself, and I have a friend who has been shaving since 12 (though we are both more ork/troll like..). After that, perhaps grey at 50+? Maybe earlier, but doubt it. Once they hit 18-20, they will probably look that way the rest of their lives... with the addition of grey hair and other 'old age' traits (loose/tight skin, spots, bad knees, etc).

An elf would probably retain that 'graceful nobility' look through their lives. Once they got to 60-70 or so (?) they might sport grey hair, with other traits showing as they got older. I imagine most elves get carded for age into their 30's or later.

Humans we know.

From what I understand, Orks are 'grown' by 16. In one of the books (SSG I believe) one of the orks comments about how it isnt really right that orks have to wait until they are 21 to drink, even though they are pretty close to middle-age at that point. I tend to agree, mostly because I think of all the metahuman types I can identify the most with them. At 6'2" (average height for an ork), 268lbs (a bit heavier than average), and a big build... I was buying beer at 16 without getting carded, and started to shave at 14 (not because I wanted to, like many pre-teens do..), and when I keep the facial hair on I am generally thought to be about 5-10 years older than what I really am. I know the feeling of being 'grown' before the law recognizes me as such. Expected to act like an adult, but not given any of the rights or privileges of one. Guess thats why I generally play an ork in SR... wink.gif

Trolls I have not read up on enough to comment. I just cant remember the details that well.



Hope that helps.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Omar the Falcon)
I have read about elves that are still alive from the 4th age. I dont know how/why this happened, though the term 'immortal' is thrown around a bit. Not sure how canon all of that is.

As canon as it gets.

~J
MYST1C
I don't remember where but in some piece of fluff it said that while elves seem to stop aging at some point and continue to look young dwarves instead look aged (by human standards) very early but, like elves, from that point onwards don't show signs of further aging.
Talia Invierno
QUOTE
I know SR fiction such as "Never Trust an Elf" indicates pretty much every Elf alive looks like a teenager, and that any Ork or Troll born during UGE should be dead, or almost dead, by 2064 (except for one born before, who Goblinized, who apparently still retains the Human lifespan, which doesn't make sense to me, and I don't consider that 'canon' in my campaign).
- DSHolmes

I'd understood that to mean that he had goblinised late in life, not that he retained the full human lifespan as an ork.
Adarael
The answer is, of course, "They live as long as you want them to."

It goes like this: nobody really knows how long dwarves and elves will live. If you want them to have hundreds of years of lifespan, they can. Personally, I don't. In my world, dwarves will die of old age at around 150, and elves at aroun 200. Humans will die at aroun 100, 105. Orks and trolls make it to about 75 or 80.

One of the things I've always been irked at is that there's always been a miscommunication between the BBB and players about 'average lifespan.' The BBB notes that orks and trolls have a very short lifespan. Most players seem to take that to mean that orks and trolls are 'adults' at around 12, not factoring into this that 'average' for those numbers definitely includes premature death due to environment and whatnot. How do I figure this? Humans live to an average of 55, according to the BBN.
Omar the Falcon
The comments made by Orks and Trolls in the various sourcebooks would imply that they feel they are 'fully grown' by their mid to late teens. I will review and cite a source of this if I get the time.

Not that they are adults, but the idea that they are the physical equivalent to an adult is not that far fetched today... just imagine things in 2060. As I said, I was more or less 'fully grown' around 16-17, and able to pass for 21+ at that age. Is that 'typical'? No way.. I have friends that are working on 28-30 that still get carded because they look so young. It all just depends...
Adarael
Yeah, I'm familiar with that. Physical adulthood is fine, since the marker of physical adulthood has throughout history really meant "big enough to pull your share of work." But the implication that they are adults at 12-14, in the same way a human might be 'adult' at 25-28 is a little bit off. They just don't have the life experience for it, unless they've lived messed-up lives, or are from a war-torn nation or something.
Omar the Falcon
I generally dont regard age as the measure for who is and is not an 'adult' anyway. I have met too many kids that have just seen and been through more than they should of, and too many guys that will just never grow up, no matter how old they are.

I think it was more in reference to the legal drinking age.. when an Ork is 21, they have been an 'adult' for several years. While they might not have the lift experience of a 25+ year old, I imagine they have seen their share, considering they have been 'grown' for some time by that point.
FrankTrollman
Orks get Methuselah's syndrome (SoA, p. 133), a condition which causes them to rapidly age and die. Not all of them get it, and it appears to be treatable, at least by Evo (and probably DeBeers-UO).

So the stuff in Never Trust an Elf can be reconciled like this: The old man who goblinized didn't get Methuselah's syndrome and his kids did. Nothing special about goblinized/non-goblinized. It's just that in 2064 every goblinized Ork from the first wave that you talked to would be aging at a normal human rate - any of them who got Methuselah's syndrome would be dead.

-Frank
Kronk2
The thing that interests me is how the short lifespan influences education for trolls/orks.

And how integrations affects school life. I mean you have a 13 year old troll boy and elf girl in a class, thats makes dating in the class a real interesting issue. I could easily see a troll middle schooler hitting on high school chicks.
tisoz
QUOTE (Kronk2)
I could easily see a troll middle schooler hitting on high school chicks.

And getting terribly ridiculed.

Now a troll or ork middle school girl I could see dating much older guys.
DSHolmes
Thanks everybody!

Okay, well, at least I feel better knowing I can make some GM calls without having a player throw some supplement or fiction in my face. nyahnyah.gif
Lazarus
It's a little late but I'll throw my 0.02 nuyen.gif in the hat.

I pretty much side with Adarael here. In my SR world Orks and Trolls live as long as humans. No one knows at least and for me Methuselah's syndrome is just Humanis bulldrek because most humans are scared of Orks and Trolls for various reasons.

I have Orks & Trolls reach physical but not mental or emotional maturity at 12 which would be the typical 18 for a human. The reasons they have shorter lifespans and less INT traits are because they don't have access to good healthcare, food, jobs, basically most of the things that up your lifespan. It has nothing to do with their race.

One of the things I added was most Orks and Trolls were put into camps not just in Japan, but all around the world. <That may be canon. Not sure.> One of the ways they could get out was by joining the military at least in the CAS and the UCAS. The thinking is the same as the reason certain African nations use children in their armies. A physically tough Ork with the mentality of a 12 year old is an ideal soldier if you want someone to follow authority without question. Is it ethically despicable? Hell yeah! But when have ethics and morality ever stopped the government from doing something?
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Lazarus)
The reasons they have shorter lifespans and less INT traits are because they don't have access to good healthcare, food, jobs, basically most of the things that up your lifespan. It has nothing to do with their race.

Ugh, why? The issues brought into play by metaraces who are measurably less intelligent and shorter-lived than sapiens sapiens are half the fun, IMO.

~J
tisoz
Supposedly, large humans have a shorter expected lifespan than average size people. I am not referring to weight but to height and general build. It may be that orks and trolls follow this trend, and thereby add to the shorter lifespan of tougher living conditions.
Critias
QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
QUOTE (Lazarus @ Jul 9 2007, 09:59 PM)
The reasons they have shorter lifespans and less INT traits are because they don't have access to good healthcare, food, jobs, basically most of the things that up your lifespan.  It has nothing to do with their race.

Ugh, why? The issues brought into play by metaraces who are measurably less intelligent and shorter-lived than sapiens sapiens are half the fun, IMO.

~J

Exactly. Orks and Trolls are different. This isn't the KKK telling us blacks are mentally inferior to humans -- these are not quite human metatypes that are unarguably, quantifiably, less intelligent (both on the average, and at the top-end) than other metaspecies.

Saying it's a cultural/economical thing, rather than biological, opens up all sorts of silly cans-of-worms (including what happens when someone wants to play an upper middle class Ork, or a happy, productive, Corp-facility-born Troll, or a Tarislar ghetto Elf, etc, etc).
Lazarus
I disagree. I think by saying that Orks and Trolls are different in the way the game sets it up is flawed.

First, the reason that they have less mental stats, from a meta-game stand point, is to balance out the fact they get better physical stats. For me this is short-sighted and really doesn't make sense for a realistic viewpoint. It's the same reasoning that in AD&D demi-humans had level limits and humans didn't. Or demi-humans couldn't be certain classes. Right. Elves are some of the best fighters in the AD&D world but couldn’t be 20th level?

The view is that no one would want to play humans if you gave metahumans the same stuff as humans with bonuses stat wise. Why? Elves get nothing but bonuses in the SR World and not everyone plays them. To me thinking like that is the inverse of min/max thinking.

So for the typical Ork or Troll I let them use the same racial modifiers as in the book, however players can offset that with BP and corresponding background. And no I don't make players spend BP to play a metarace. It's free.

My view is not to fix the problem with stats and age limits but to fix it with the world. Let's face it the world is racist against Orks and Trolls a lot more then elves, dwarfs, and most certainly humans.

When I first introduced the above ruling players all wanted to play Orks or Trolls. I told them that's fine, but "You're gonna have problems takin' a s**t." After some quizzical looks I explained that the world is made for humanity, not metahumanity, especially not Trolls. Everything you buy will have to be custom made and you'll have a higher lifestyle.

They didn't think it was a big deal. So I told them, "Just imagine trying to move through a typical office building. You're not going to be table o move through single doorways quickly. You'll have to duck you head and shoulders being in normal sized rooms which means unless you like to duck walk you're field of vision is limited. Forget about using an elevator as a group, weight limits. Even going to the bathroom in a stall is going to be a challenge."

That's not to mention buying clothes, housing, cars, even using the subway or riding a bus is big hassle to you and everyone else. Hell even guns would have to be modified just to fit your hand.

That's not to mention the daily racism you would encounter in everyday life and in the shadows. Trying to fast talk your way into an office? Forget it the Sec. guard is going to look extra hard at your fake I.D. Don't have a human, elf, or dwarf to be a face then chances are you won't get any really good deals or runs. And on and on.

So needless to say I get a lot short Orks and Trolls, but they still have to deal with the racism. My old veteran players played humans mostly. They had a much easier time. Only when a player wants to handicap himself in my games does he play an Ork or Troll.

As far as the age thing goes. I disagree again. Bigger humans have shorter lifespans. Orks and Trolls have higher Body Att. automatically. That is the att. used to resist diseases and such. O&Ts tend shrug off things that would knockout a human. That to me balances out the mass thing. So under ideal conditions they live about the same.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Lazarus)
Elves get nothing but bonuses in the SR World and not everyone plays them. To me thinking like that is the inverse of min/max thinking.

The problem with Elves is that for all but a few very narrow archetypes (the ones that can benefit from all 8/9 points of Charisma), they're too expensive for what they give. That's going to cut back pretty harshly on the number of people who play them.

~J
Xirces
The only SR game I've ever actually played was SR1 and, honestly, I think the way that metas were dealt with there was more sensible - Priority A AND an required allergy smile.gif

That actually seemed to marry up to the in-game fluff about the numbers of metas - most characters were actually human, but if someone really wanted to play something out of the ordinary they could.

Nowadays it seems like the mundane human is the poor sibling of SR characters - just about every concept can be done better by a meta (hey, that rhymes) or by a magician and/or adept.

Other than that, SR1 was crappy but I still think the metahuman proportions should be reflected in the rules.

Lazarus
I do agree with what you saying Kagetenshi but it's still free points with no penalties plus you use CHA with every social skill in the game. Etiquette, Negotiation, even Interrogation & Intimidation go off of CHA. If you have an elven face character with a maxed out CHA you're in pretty good shape. If you take the Att. Bonus from the Companion you can have a starting CHA of 9! That's before Pheromones and all that garbage. With a 9 or higher CHA you're not losing many Contested rolls.

I know in my games social skills were used a lot more than combat skills.

That's not to mention the DEX bonus, the Low-Light vision, the reduced racism, ability to look more human if you want, and the fact the metarace has two fraggin' countries I'd elves are doing the best out of the metaraces.
Adarael
I have no problem with orks and trolls having less intelligence than others. Mostly I try to play this up as "less smarts, more instinct". It's the interpretation that the BBB's figure of "45-50 years average lifespan" means a troll is the equivalent of 60 when he hits 30 years old. I mean, a human who takes care of themselves can still be quite active up to 40, although they'll never be a top-notch athelete after a certain point.

I'm just tired of wizened old man orks who are 35. I think it's dumb. Not on the part of the game, but on the way many players interpret the game.

Also: thank god for less elves. Way too many people I associate with played elves. I also refuse to let the Blandness merit and super-high charisma go hand in hand, just to keep that kind of stuff in check. Because no, you can't have a face to launch 1000 ships if people are gonna forget it 5 minutes later.
Angelone
Intelligence is SR poorly labeled, it isn't how smart someone is but a mixture of perception, analytical thinking, and memorizing abilities. A character's intelligence is measured by their skills. It annoys me to no end when someone plays an INT one troll or ork with like 800 skill point like an idiot.

The way I look at ork and troll lifespans is the same way I look at people like Andre the giant's. The heart isn't very big at all and it struggles to pump blood in people that size so they just die young. They don't get old faster, their heart just can't keep up. That compounded with the fact that the majority live in the barrens and don't have good medical care.

EDIT- btw I'm using SR3 as the basis for the definition of INT.
Lazarus
Nah I don't buy the Andre the Giant hypothesis with Orks and Trolls either. For those guys yeah it contributes to it but let's not forget Andre was a pretty heavy drinker too.

And to say that Orks and Trolls are bigger then humans in every other way physically except the heart doesn't fly either. "Oh they're totally different, except of course where it makes no sense and hurts them." Sorry, no, not buying it. Trolls and Orks would probably have stronger hearts then humans. It's just one more reason to be scared of them.

And if you say that they are different biologically then Humanis does have a point in trying to oppress them. Basically your average Ork and Troll are going to have a 1 or 2 INT which means the bulk of them will be severely retarded to really, really stupid.

It's fine if that's how you want to play your world, but when you look at Orks and Trolls at how they are portrayed in the writings and then their stats it doesn't add up.

To me it makes more sense for people to fear Orks & Trolls because not only do they look different but they are bigger, stronger, and tougher then humans. It's not like they're elves who are beautiful, naturally cool and graceful. Or Dwarves who are shorter but stocky and who would sort of be acceptable because we already have little people and Disney. But Orks and Trolls are the stuff nightmares are made from.

And yes I lowered the height for Trolls and Orks. The tallest Troll is only about 8 to 8 1/2 feet tall in my game. But that Troll is about 4 feet wide! Even a 6'8" Troll who bodybuilds is going to be massive. Probably tipping the scales at 400 lbs or more. Now add a huge jaw, head, tusks, horns, and bone deposits and I'd be pretty intimidated by that.
Angelone
QUOTE (Angelone @ Jul 10 2007, 03:47 PM)
Intelligence is SR poorly labeled, it isn't how smart someone is but a mixture of perception, analytical thinking, and memorizing abilities. A character's intelligence is measured by their skills. It annoys me to no end when someone plays an INT one troll or ork with like 800 skill point like an idiot.

Maybe I wasn't too clear about my point here. The INT stat is not a true measure of a characters intelligence, the amount of skills they possess is. INT is a mixture of perception (how well you notice stuff, I'm not sure if most people use the word that way), analytical thinking, and ability to memorize stuff and things.

So that INT 1 troll isn't a retard based on their INT stat, it just means they won't notice ambushes, disturbances, and subtlety is lost on them. now if they had 5 skillpoints then yeah, not the brightest bulb. Maybe intelligence wasn't the best name for the stat.
Solomon Greene
QUOTE (Lazarus)
And if you say that they are different biologically then Humanis does have a point in trying to oppress them.

Why?

Let's say they are different biologically - why does that give Humanis a point? Because Orks and Trolls can be "proven" to be different? Dolphins are a different species, does that give Humanis a point to oppress them?



Critias
QUOTE (Lazarus)
And if you say that they are different biologically then Humanis does have a point in trying to oppress them.

So what? Humanis should have a point. It wouldn't be as popular an organization as it is (super cool Shadowrunners and game developers notwithstanding, within the fluff Humanis and similar groups are massive) if they didn't have a point.

Humans are different than Orks and Elves and Dwarves and Trolls. Period. Innately. They don't breed together, the babies come out one species or another. They age differently (compare an Elf to a Troll). They breed differently (look at gestation periods and average numbers of children born per pregnancy). They've got different teeth, skull shapes, skeletal structures, eye cones/rods.

They're different, people. Saying so isn't racist, it's speciesist. Don't gloss over those differences with some misguided hippy lovefest garbage that tries to equate a Shadowrun metaspecies with a real-world pigmentation difference. We're not talking about black, white, and hispanic. We're talking about lives for a hundred years and sees heat signatures and bears litters of 8+ children. It's not just a matter of having pale skin versus having black curly hair.

The metaraces are different, and inhuman. Period.
Kagetenshi
Though they don't produce hybrids, the metaraces can still interbreed. They're the same species.

Otherwise, I pretty much agree.

~J
Moon-Hawk
Right, it's not racist or speciesist. It's subspeciesist. smile.gif
/nitpick

But yeah, I agree with the point. They are different. Quantitatively and provably. But that doesn't begin to answer the question of whether that difference should have any bearing on their rights, and that's where the issue gets interesting (and heated)
DuckEggBlue Omega
I liked the take on the 'acceptable' views of humanis presented in the shadowtalk article on knasser's site.

How it's 'unfair' to make trolls and orks to waste years of their life in normal schools when they don't live very long and have difficulties learning anyway and how it would be better for every one if they got streamlined through the system and into the labour force where their physical attributes could be put to good use.

Couple that with the claim of the shorter average lifespan is more statistical rather than an indication of 'natural' lifespan, but that the general public, much like many players, simply don't realise this, and it works doubly well.

Ofcourse SR genetics have aways been odd. Metahumans are catergorised as different subspeices, but 'race' seems to manifest more like eye or hair colour. Ofcourse there's an inherent magical nature to the races, so I geuss comparing to regular genetics is largely redundant.
Lazarus
<Disclaimer: I'm not arguing what's canon only my viewpoint which differs from those sources. I think my viewpoint stays within the spirit and context of the SR world, however I'm not trying to argue what pg. XXX says. I don't care. I've read it, and I disagree.>

First I'm going to say that it all depends on whether you agree with the canon or not. I don't. Also I'm not arguing what's in the canon because from that standpoint you're all right on the money. What I'm arguing is whether the canon makes sense. For one I'll point out my personal bias concerning Fantasy Literature is that Orks, Trolls, Dwarves, & Elves all seem to come from the same annoying, watered down stereotype.

Second, different canon sources have different standards. It's not uniform and whether it's intentional or not it does bring up an interesting point. Either the canon sources are incorrect or they can be up to interpretation. And either way I can make an argument for my viewpoint.

So personally I feel the game world is enhanced by saying the metaraces really aren't that far removed from humanity. I think you can make that argument from a creative standpoint because all metaraces were once human anyway, with the exception of Immortal Elves and Dragons. If it's genetics then I can say they're closer to humans in many respects, they are simply an evolution. If it's magic then I can say whatever I want.

And Critias your "misguided hippy lovefest garbage" comment. Really? A fallacy? Come on you do better than that. Oh wait you did in the same post.

For me saying it's mostly a result of environment, subspecies, species, or racial <Whatever you want to call it> prejudice adds more flavor to the world. In your and the canon's worldview it's pretty cut and dry, black and white. Well I hate that. It's a personal choice I know but it doesn't add much in the way of realism.

As far as metaraces being different biologically in some respects I agree with that statement. From a purely physical standpoint Troll and Orks are stronger, tougher, taller, bigger than humans. In that respect they are different. However I differ when it comes to INT, but not completely. For me all races have the potential for the same starting mental att, except dwarves who get a leg up in WILL, unless you were raised in another environment then you don’t get the bonus.

In my games if you grow up a “normal? Troll or Ork you get the penalty. That reflects your background or if you want the brain damage you suffered when going through goblinazation. But if you want to play an Ork or Troll from a background with better schooling then you can buy that penalty off with BPs. You can even take a disadvantage and not have great strength or body. Couch potato, genetic defect, whatever you want. For me this let’s the player personalize the character instead saying “Wow I get to be a big dumb Troll again. Awesome! Okay let me buy the Dikoted Combat Axe.?
Critias
So in your head Orks and Trolls are just flat out better than humans. They're bigger, stronger, healthier, breed faster and birth bigger litters, and are just as smart (when The Man isn't keeping them down).

Okay. Have fun.
Lazarus
I think that's overstating it a bit.

Another thing I failed to mention is that Orks and Trolls don't have litters of kids in my SR world. All Metahumans have the same pregnancy cycles, same amount of kids for each one <Statistics wise>, and live about the same lifespan under ideal conditions.

However, the stats for Orks and Trolls apply with corresponding INT negatives if a player chooses to play a "typical" Ork or Troll. Basically that means they were probably from a street or low lifestyle background. School access was limited and they can have some form of military service.

<Note: In my SR world the UCAS, CAS, and several European Countries allow Orks and Trolls to enter military service at the age of 12. A lot of Orks do it, but most Trolls are limited in the jobs and branch they can belong to due to their height and mass.>

Are Trolls and Orks better as you put it? Sure, in the physical arena but honestly how often in even today's post modern world does great strength come into play? How many office jobs require that you be able to deadlift 400+ lbs for reps?

Sadly most Orks and Trolls can do jobs no one else wants to do. Trash pick up, military service, possibly police, fire, and other stuff. Bouncer seems to be a popular choice according to the various SR run mods. The jobs where the pay isn't great, they expect a lot out of you, and there is a higher chance of injury and death.

So if you buy off the INT negs. with BPs then you are an exceptional Ork. If you look at population percentages and apply the stats from the book straight across then no the Ork and Troll populations aren't "better". In fact they are worse off then humans. Do they have the potential to be a smart as humans on the whole? Yes, but with Humanis and institutional racism being what they are I wouldn’t see that happening for hundreds of years.
tisoz
QUOTE (Critias @ Jul 12 2007, 12:37 AM)
So in your head Orks and Trolls [as NPCs] are just flat out better than humans.  They're bigger, stronger, healthier, breed faster and birth bigger litters, and are just as smart (when The Man isn't keeping them down).

Okay.  Have fun.

There, updated to conform to additional information.
Lazarus
Yeah with that crossed-out line it totally negates my argument. Awesome.
Ed Simons
QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
The problem with Elves is that for all but a few very narrow archetypes (the ones that can benefit from all 8/9 points of Charisma), they're too expensive for what they give.


I don't consider Face to be a narrow archetype. Nor is Summoner - elves can summon bigger spirits, have lower Drain to resist, and more dice to resist it with. Any mage who goes astral will appreciate better Astral Combat Pool. (They also get 2 more points of Astral Strength.)

Then there's the Dexterity bonus you're ignoring. Elves can wear more armor than anyone else. They can move farther. That Dex bonus means Reaction is higher, so they're more likely to go first and/or get multiple actions. (That also means elven Riggers have better Control Pool.) Elves are harder to surprise. They have higher Combat Pool.

QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
That's going to cut back pretty harshly on the number of people who play them.


Not in my experience. Shadowrun PCs I've seen were about 1/3 elves, 1/3 humans, and 1/3 everything else put together.
Fortune
I loves elves! love.gif

They're definitely not cost-effective, but people play them anyway.
mmu1
QUOTE (Ed Simons)
I don't consider Face to be a narrow archetype. Nor is Summoner - elves can summon bigger spirits, have lower Drain to resist, and more dice to resist it with. Any mage who goes astral will appreciate better Astral Combat Pool. (They also get 2 more points of Astral Strength.)

Then there's the Dexterity bonus you're ignoring. Elves can wear more armor than anyone else. They can move farther. That Dex bonus means Reaction is higher, so they're more likely to go first and/or get multiple actions. (That also means elven Riggers have better Control Pool.) Elves are harder to surprise. They have higher Combat Pool.

Most Faces aren't going to get a huge benefit out of having 8 or 9 Charisma instead of 6 or 7 anyway - it's not cost-effective to buy your social skills up that high. (14+16+18=48 karma per skill to get it to 9, unless you're ok with not doing anything but talking to people, you need those points for other things)

The only thing they get out of it is the benefit of having higher Cha then the people they're dealing with, but Faces generally get so many beneficial modifiers with the right Advantage selection anyway, it's hardly worth spending all those points on being an Elf.

I don't know enough about summoners to comment, but the Quickness bonus is basically a non-issue. It only helps Reaction and Combat Pool in marginal cases (since +1 to a stat isn't enough to raise either of those by itself), and let's not even talk - from a mechanical perspective - about Elven riggers. They're pretty much the definition of doing something that isn't worth it...

Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Ed Simons @ Jul 13 2007, 08:58 PM)
I don't consider Face to be a narrow archetype.  Nor is Summoner - elves can summon bigger spirits, have lower Drain to resist, and more dice to resist it with.  Any mage who goes astral will appreciate better Astral Combat Pool.  (They also get 2 more points of Astral Strength.)

But Faces in general don't benefit from 9 Charisma, or even 8—the TN mod is "7 or higher", which 7 still is. Charisma is the TN when using Etiquette to influence someone, but that's an uncommon thing to happen on a PC from an NPC—GMs, in my experience, feel uneasy about compelling a PC to do something based on a social skill test.

For a Mundane Face, then, the only benefits of high Charisma are being able to pay the cheaper skill rate up to 8 or 9 (not that this is useless, but it's still expensive and the returns are, IMO, dubious), to be able to hit harder when attacking a spirit with Willpower (handy, but getting full bang out of this requires a big weapon), and the aforementioned resisting NPC use of Etiquette to influence the PC. Compared to what else you could do with those ten points it really isn't worthwhile.

The Summoner has a better case, but the points it costs are harder to justify. It's worth it if you're going to engage in astral combat a lot, summon big spirits a lot, or want eight to nine spirits on call instead of six. These are all valuable things. However, you have to be pretty specialized to pay the ten points for it—sure you get Night Vision, but with Astral Perception that's less valuable.

QUOTE
Then there's the Dexterity bonus you're ignoring.  Elves can wear more armor than anyone else.  They can move farther.  That Dex bonus means Reaction is higher, so they're more likely to go first and/or get multiple actions.  (That also means elven Riggers have better Control Pool.)  Elves are harder to surprise.  They have higher Combat Pool.

For two points, any metarace without a Quickness penalty can wear as much armor, move as far, and get everything else that the Elf gets for eight points (subtracting the two for Night Vision, which is very useful). If the Elf isn't using the ultra-high Charisma, they're spending eight points to get two, which is a fantastically bad trade. The Elf can get another point of Quickness with BAP, of course, meaning that they get up to 8—but for 10 build points to be 1 better.

And Elven Riggers are fantastically bad ideas. Night Vision is useless for them anytime they're rigged, they're far, far too BP starved to take advantage of the Charisma, and they could get the same result for less money by using edges at chargen. Besides, Intelligence is far more useful than Quickness for them.

So basically you've got mundane Face/Spiritkiller, and Summoning/Astral Brawling-heavy mage.

Pretty narrow, if you ask me.

Edit: for Faces, don't forget the Racism Table. It's just one more place for things to go wrong for you that wouldn't apply nearly as often if you were Human.

~J
Pendaric
There was me thinking this was about the roleplaying of a character.
Sheesh the greater flexiblity of the build point system make the plain old mundane human the best bang for points.
But your elf has a better mohawk and will live longer barring imminent death at the hands of corp goons. Kick back, live fast and listen to 80's metal as you look good on the run.

In a vain attempt to return to thread, does the age range matter for a runner? Dwarves live for 150-250 years, for a elf more. Save for the interesting effects on psycology this produces and the social ramifications most runners are toast or 'retired' long before this.
Trolls and orks due to genes and socio-economics live shorter lives. End of the day more reasons to run.
Kagetenshi
Actually, Elves are even more expensive under Priority, IIRC. Also, no Elf will ever have a mohawk as good as a Troll's mohawk. They do get a bonus to mullets, though.

~J
Lazarus
I don't know Kage. I scan what you're typing and I don't disagree with you but I still think an elf going just by the racial mods makes a pretty good Face character although with the racism factor humans more then make up for that. Unless you're dealing with Tir elves then not so much.

If you want to base everything in combat terms and Karma cost then yeah Faces with High CHA aren't that great however here are some things to consider:

1. Every group that hopes to last for awhile needs a good Face character.

Let's face it a lot of SR is doing Legwork. If you read any published module that is most of what you do. After you pay each contact for info you usually don't have much left if you even complete the run. Having a high CHA and social skills means more nuyen, more info gathered, etc. etc.

You're gonna have enough guys who want to role-play gun bunnies. In our games we didn't like to run combat for several reasons: It took too damn long and it was usually pretty brutal. So if you can get something by talking instead fighting then you're better off IMHO.

2. Don't underestimate the power of Astral Combat

If you're gonna fight bugs, and at least five published mods have them, then you're going need a good magical weapon and a good CHA stat will help a lot.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Lazarus)
1. Every group that hopes to last for awhile needs a good Face character.

Absolutely. But how good? If you ban SotA:64, all you can do is get a few more dice once you've already got a properly edge-laden Charisma 7 Face. You get two more points of skill cheap, but you're already rolling with -2 from GR, -1 or -2 if your GM doesn't bother to ban GLaKi, and a bunch of other modifiers based on the situation (-2 from Charisma where applicable, so on and soforth). For most social skill tests, the opponent rapidly needs stats of 6 or greater to keep your TN above 2 in any neutral situation.

If you don't ban SotA:64, you can (admittedly at significantly greater cost) get a huge variety of additional negative modifiers—there's at least an additional -3 available, possibly more (I've avoided looking at the book since I initially read through it, and don't intend to change that now), allowing you to keep almost anyone you negotiate with with stats at or below racial maximums at a TN of 2, and IIRC you can negate most of the modifiers for trying to convince someone who is an enemy to do something disastrous to them. You're never going to be the best with a Mundane Elf Face, so it sorta makes the effort required to bring the skill up to 8 or 9 questionable.

Basically, while this point isn't wrong, the only advantage having the Face be an Elf instead of a Human is that then they can use BAP on some other stat.

QUOTE
Let's face it a lot of SR is doing Legwork.  If you read any published module that is most of what you do.  After you pay each contact for info you usually don't have much left if you even complete the run.  Having a high CHA and social skills means more nuyen, more info gathered, etc. etc.

You're gonna have enough guys who want to role-play gun bunnies.  In our games we didn't like to run combat for several reasons:  It took too damn long and it was usually pretty brutal.  So if you can get something by talking instead fighting then you're better off IMHO.

Right, but by itself, Charisma >7 doesn't actually help you do any of that as compared to Charisma 7. To take advantage of it requires that you either be defending against a hostile Etiquette (that sounds weird), or be spending gigantic gobs of karma on raising social skills to 8, 9, and beyond.

QUOTE
2.  Don't underestimate the power of Astral Combat

If you're gonna fight bugs, and at least five published mods have them, then you're going need a good magical weapon and a good CHA stat will help a lot.

Oh, certainly, we've been fighting bugs for the past year or so. Nevertheless, spirit combat is not usually something you can rely on at the start of a campaign, a large weapon and the skill to use it will help you more if you're Mundane (yes, you can attack with Willpower, but you can't actually choose to defend with Willpower—so if you take an oar to a spirit with no Polearms skill to back yourself up, you'd better paste it on the first swing). For a real Mage summoner-brawler, well, I still think it's limited but that is the archetype I'd consider making an Elf.

~J
Lazarus
Nah I feel yah. I'll admit I'm not up on SoTA: 2064, but I had a Face with a maxed out CHA and high Negotation and Etiquettes (Street & Corporate). It took him awhile to get there but once he did it was pretty sweet. None one could touch him in a contested social roll.

Granted he could do other things, but that was what he did best.

Ever since I played Barabbas, my Face character, I'm a big believer in high CHA characters, or at least having one in the group.

For me it just helps all around. Get better deals on swag and buying equipment. More info from contacts. More money from Johnsons. And if you do nuyen for Karma it sort of pays for itself in the long run.
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