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Ok, without posting my character's stats, just assume that I know what I am doing and that everything works mechanically. Note that this character is created using the BECK's system. With that said, here is the character I created.

Spelljack - Mage / Drone Rigger / Decker / Street Sam / Covert Ops

Ok, Basically what I did here was created an aspected owl shaman sorceror with cyclic magic night and aptitude sorcery. Then added in cyberware / bioware to increase my intelligence and quickness. For reflexes, strength, and even more intelligence, I use magic with sustaining foci. I have 6, yes, 6 geas.

I know what your thinking, I have no karma for skills. Well, your right. I start everything off at a 1 skill rating at character creation. I then use the Mneumonic enhancer lv 3 to reduce the costs of improving these skills. This saves a ton of karma. I bring the ratings to lv 5 then specialize to lv 10.

Specifically, the archetypes are focused as such:

Mage - I focus on spells that enhance my other archetypes such as analyze device, armor, invisibility, increase cybered intelligence, increase strength, manabolt, manaball, gecko crawl, wreck vehicle, wreck door. With all the geas, cyclic magic and being an owl shaman, casting during the daytime could be considered attempted suicide as I have tons of penalties and everything is physical drain. However at night, I am a magical force to be recokend with.

Drone Rigger - by equipping the same weapon (stoner ares HMG) I can specialize in gunnery to get that skill ungodly. I then focus to the Car (so I can do wheeled drones and regular vehicles) and to vector thrust. I bring other B/R skills I might need to a minimum of 3 so I can use my task pool of 3 and then use Analyze device to get more successes. To pilot misc vehicles, I just default to reaction which is 10. I am constantly jacked into captain's chair mode (one of my geas) but that gives me the obvious advantages of controlling the drones.

Decker - This is the character type I focus on first since it can make me the most money. I take the connected edge to sell programs. I then use the programming team rules and buy mainframe time (or just buy it) and I can complete programs in no time at all and sell them for hundreds of thousands if not millions (if the buyer has the cash). The beauty of this is that I need these programs anyway, so programming them myself and then selling them just helps fund the rigger aspect by allowing me to buy tricked out drones and vehicles and my mage aspect by buying those expensive sustaining foci.

Street Sam - I took Kung Fu at a respectible rating 4 with whirling and kip-up as a pure defensive means. However, my offensive power is in my grenade launcer (which I specialize in launch weapons and also have reflex recorder). I use the simple MGL-6 and I can take it almost anywhere. Anything my grenade cant handle, I have magic for. For protection, I have the Armor spell and with my high quickness, I can wear some pretty heavy armor.

Covert Ops - With the gecko crawl spell, I can move anywhere and quickly. Invisibility allows me to move unseen and I took the stealth skill pretty high since I can use it to hide vehicles as well as myself. My rigger aspect means I have an electronics skill to crack those maglocks or I can use my decking skill to hack the entire system by satellite.

What I end up with is a character that is very weak the first run, but quickly becomes a very versatile character that can fill a gap and almost as powerful in each of the classes as someone who specializes in it. Obviously the other players are like WTF! but when I break it down for them, they see that their character is actually better than mine in their chosen field. I admit this build isnt a better decker (for example) than someone who focuses on decking, but a lot of skills overlap and I wanted to take advantage of that. I like the versatility because 1. I am usually the GM so I wanted to NPC out the decker, and 2. I live in a military town so players are always coming and going so being able to fill a gap in a pinch makes life easy.

Anyway, let me know what you think. Would you allow this character in YOUR game? If I get enough requests, I will post the character build (using BECK's 425pt build), but I would rather keep this little gem to myself smile.gif
Um, no?

I don't think you can get a mneumonic enhancer at any level in SR3 character creation under the RAW, and as a GM I wouldn't allow a character with no skills over one at all in the game without a very very good backstory. The same with the six geas, one or two I could see, if it fit in the character's backstory, but six is just overkill.
Ol' Scratch
QUOTE (Skip @ Sep 5 2008, 01:21 PM) *
I don't think you can get a mneumonic enhancer at any level in SR3 character creation under the RAW, and as a GM I wouldn't allow a character with no skills over one at all in the game without a very very good backstory. The same with the six geas, one or two I could see, if it fit in the character's backstory, but six is just overkill.

Why not? Mnemonic Enhancer 2 is only about 15,000 nuyen with an Availability of 10 or 12. Going off memory here (it's Rating x5 or x6).

'Course, I have no idea what Spelljack is going on about using it to lower the cost of improving his skills. All it does in that regard is give you a +1 (regardless of rating) dice pool bonus on Instruction Tests from what I recall. Well, unless he's playing some weird SR3/SR4 hybrid. Actually after breezing through it again, it has to be SR3 since he's referencing BECKS and using old Decker and Rigger rules.
Yeah Dr. F, he's using SR3, and IIRC in SR3 Cultured Bioware like the Mnemonic Enhancer was not allowed at character generation.
You CAN get the enhancers at character creation. One of the edges I took is State of the Art equipment, which allows for the purchase of high availability items. As far as the geas, yeah, 6 is a lot. I took 1 that I had to be in the city, 1 that I had to be jacked in to some sort of simsense (I.E. Remote Control Deck or my matrix Deck, 1 incantation geas, and 3 talisman. As far as back story for them, you don't need a back story for geas. You loose magic, so you take a geas to get that magic back. Simple as that. If I started the game with 6 magic and no cyberware, then through gameplay got cyberware over the years, are you saying that I couldn't take 6 geas to get my magic back? I think you are just shocked by the number, take a sec and think about the rules and remember that characters did have a life before the game began which leaves plenty of time for the roleplaying of getting the geas without actually roleplaying in front of the GM after the first session starts.

Now as far as your point of having no skills over 1, I'll agree with that one. I did actually start with a sorcery of 5 and several skills at 2 and 3. I was simply stating that you could start your skills at 1. Although, a back story could be that the character is indecisive and never focuses on anything for too long. That's why he got the enhancers, to learn things faster to keep up with his lack of attention span. So, being that he spreads his attention around to lots of different skills, he doesn't have any of them very high. Using that as a base, I'm sure any good player can whip up a great back story in about 10-20 min.
QUOTE (Skip @ Sep 5 2008, 02:55 PM) *
Yeah Dr. F, he's using SR3, and IIRC in SR3 Cultured Bioware like the Mnemonic Enhancer was not allowed at character generation.

I know we allowed it at character gen, none of us are experienced GM's and we make mistakes, but even so, you could get it after character gen and still make the character work right?
No, I would not allow this character. I will elaborate only if necessary.
only problem i have is 6 geas, i havent looked at it but im pretty certain that if you base magic(without geas) hits zero you burn out. mundane for life.i dont know about 4th ed. but im sure thats how it rolls in 3rd.

(edited) just looked it up page 33 of magic in the shadows if your magic loss cause your base magic to hit zero you burn out. you can only have a number of geas equal to your unaugmented willpower.
Also, if you break one geas, you effectively break all of them in SR3.

The mnemonic enhancer was a broken piece of 'ware that got nerfed in the errata; it only gives a 1 Karma bonus to improving skills, which is still an incredibly good deal, but not the monstrosity that it was before. It falls within starting Availability. It was recommended that starting characters not begin with cultured bioware, but not forbidden, so it is well within the lattitude of the GM to allow it (SR4 doesn't have that restriction, presumably in part because it has become much more common by the SR4 time frame).

I probably wouldn't allow the character, and I am pretty lenient when it comes to min-maxing. But to me, there is a difference between trying to make your character the best at something, and trying to exploit rules loopholes to game the system.
Something that we allow in our games is to initiate once at character generation, which gave me a magic rating of 1. So I didnt burn out there. Also, I am a dwarf, which allows me to start with a willpower of 7, which allows me to get one more geas before I hit my max. So, the character is still legal from a rules standpoint, however you could not start the character with 6 geas in a normal game where you cant initiate at character gen. You could however just take 5 geas and skip on some of the cyberware and just get it installed later and take the geas then. With the money you can make from decking, you should have no problem paying for it.

Glyph - I didn't see the errata that changed it to 1 karma, but I'll look that up again. As far as exploiting rules loopholes, that's what I was trying to do with this character. I like to build the most broken character I can find to get a better understanding of the rules, then I back off with my future characters and just roleplay. However, with this character, I really like its versatility. Maybe its just the Druid in me (World of Warcraft) but I like to do everything.

I'm seeing that most of you out there wouldn't allow this character in your games. If nothing else, perhaps I have shown those of you out there that still play 3rd ed. something to look out for. If I was a player in your game, I would probably start the character out with a little bit of cyberware and a couple of geas then just get the rest of what I needed during gameplay and get the same end result.
I don't know about broken but it is so much on one plate you don't know where to start, it's too much
The Man & Machine errata is here. It's worth checking out - they also fixed that complicated mess they made of bioware and the awakened, with "virtual" Magic ratings and all of that nonsense, replacing it with a much simpler, more elegant way of resolving the Essense loss.
p. 78 Bioware and the Awakened [4]
Replace the third, fourth and fifth paragraphs with the following:

In game terms, bioware reduces an Awakened character's Magic rating in a way similar to Essence loss. Magic is reduced by the character's Bio Index divided by 2 (round down).

The effects of Bio Index and Essence reduction on Magic are cumulative, so the two should be combined before determining how Magic is affected. Magic has a starting value equal to the character's Essence minus (Bio Index รท 2), rounded down. So a starting magician with Essence 5.8 and a Bio Index of 1 begins with a Magic rating of 5 (5.8 - 0.5 = 5.3, rounded down to 5). Further increases in Bio Index (or reductions in Essence) may also affect the Magic rating whenever the total falls beneath a whole number. If the same magician later acquires more bioware, raising his Bio Index to 2, he will lose an additional point of Magic (5.8 - 1 = 4.8, rounded to 4).

Magic reduction from bioware functions like other forms of Magic loss-adepts lose some of their powers, for example. Geasa can be used to counteract magic loss from bioware and a character can still initiate to raise his Magic rating.

And there is the appropriate area. It actually makes sense, so much so that I was suprised when I read it.
Ok, i've read through the errata and rebuilt my character. I must say that this seriously un-breaks my character, but still allows me to do multiple things (just not as good at it due to lack of karma). However, I was playing around with the idea of tattoo magic and quickening. For a rigger, Analyze device is an awesome spell. With the money from decking, you could quicken a lot of analyze device spells on yourself giving you a good modifier to your base skill in B/R (device). Sure, this opens you up to astral attacks, but if your first initiation gives you the technique of reflecting and you always dedicate all your dice to it when your not spellcasting, then you should be ok. If not, you could always get an anchoring foci with a detect magic spell and spell shield to raise the TN of the incoming spells. You can always take it off when you need to buff yourself or if you pay karma for it yourself you can just not activate it while buffing yourself.

Tattoo magic specifically makes it very difficult to dispel, so by putting increase attribute spells on you can get some very good stats. Sure, I know this is min-maxing, but what's the use of getting karma and cash if you cant spend it on stuff to make your character less likely to die and more likely to kick some hoop?
Quickened spells ruin stealth. Ruin it. Unless you have Masking at high enough level, and if you plan on multiple quickened spells, it's not going to happen. You are lit up like a Christmas tree on the astral plane, and always have to worry about wards.

I'm pretty sure you can only have one Analyze Device spell giving you bonuses at a time.

The Increase Attribute spell is limited to the Force of the spell, and only increases the Attribute by one per two successes. It works decently to buff up low Attributes, but is almost useless for high Attributes, since the original Attribute is the Target Number.

It takes more than money to quicken spells - it also takes Karma. Unless you plan on finding other mages who are willing to create a permanent, traceable link between them and a professional criminal. Good luck.

I'm not familiar enough with the decking rules to comment on the "make programs in no time at all and sell them for millions!" thing. I suspect there are more than a few hindrances to that tactic, but someone like Tarantula would have to point them out. The unlimited funds thing is the most munchkin part of the build, so it will probably get nerfed by nearly any GM.
QUOTE (Spelljack @ Sep 5 2008, 03:00 PM) *
[snip]As far as back story for them, you don't need a back story for geas. [snip]

I wouldn't allow either character. But then I don't allow anything without backstory, especially for a geas. If I misremember the third edition rules, I appoligize, it has been awhile. To bring my work into it, it violates the general anti-abuse rule, IMHO.
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