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Here it is.

Another character in my 600 BP game wants DS to check out hit character and suggest changes. He is mostly a combat mage- honestly I'm not completely sure where he is going with it, but I told him I would host it here for him so let me know what you think. Oh, he can initiate at char-gen if he wants for BP=karma cost.

Availability 16, Frank's house rules, 300 bp on attributes, 75 on resources, free BP for contacts = to double charisma score, uhh... that's about it. I'll check back if anyone has questions. Not sure what his DS login is going to be yet, but he will register and get on here tomorrow. So, early thanks to all of you.

Why would a rating 6 bow increase to rating 9 when the users strength increases?

For someone who has devoted so much to his bow concept otherwise, he has a pretty lousy Agility. I would consider moving two points from Logic to Agility, at least.

Also, I noticed he has Japanese as his native language. Unless you are running Japan slightly differently than in canon, there's a wee bit of a problem with that. wink.gif
Ol' Scratch
I'm guessing he's new to the game and building this character for fun rather than to be an optimized character. Which, personally, I think is awesome.

The only thing I would suggest is changing around his spell list. Having Ball Lightining and Powerball is kind of redundant. He'd really do himself a service dropping Powerball for Stunball. Likewise about having both Manabolt and Powerbolt, especially since he's looking to be really good at Archery. I'd at least trade one of them for Stunbolt and would even consider trading the other for an elemental spell like Laser if he absolutely wants to have a large selection of combat spells.
Yeah, this is the.... third game he's played in I think. The other two were at Dragon*Con and this is the first character that he has ever built. The original combat was a stealth/support magic character that would sneak in places and shoot people in the neck with his bow, and when working with the team stay back, invisible and support from range with bow and magic. Now he's looking more like a combat magician. I'm honestly not completely sure where he is going with it.

It looks to be an insane game, basic 2 nuyen.gif premise is that the world is in crazy upheaval because Alamais just killed Lofwyr and S&K is falling apart as Lofwyr's will comes into light and redistributes wealth and power all over the world. AA corps are fighting to snap up pieces of S&K during the turmoil and hoping to knock it out of AAA status and take it's place, Alamais is trying to claim Dragon tradition of spoils and take Lofwyr's place at the head of the company and the Corporate Court is fighting him for it. They have all worked for S&K a lot and personally met Lofwyr at least once as "reward" for a job well done. They are obviously experienced(600BP) and have been working together for a long time. So, opportunities abound.

The three characters I know for sure are a technomancer(no sheet yet), this mage, and the crazy die-hard surged troll form the other thread. Two more players yet to chime in on concepts.

Also, I would just like to say it is awesome to see you back again, Dr. F. You have been missed around here.

We´ll have to delay the Q&A game until the vict.. I mean player is participating. A little headstart:

- Which spell category will be choosen for the sustaining focus?
- You are aware that milspec armor can be modded until you look like a walking gearbox?
OMFG you can't kill teh Lowfyr because you totaly can't because it's not possibil and Lowfyr would totally win because his would be more prepared and also because it's not possible so there!

With that many points, i'd certainly invest something into Enchanting.
Being able to produce your own Binding materials is a great money saver.
Good thinking, Rasumichin, I normally do this with my mage characters but I hadn't thought to suggest it to him. He chose manipulation for the sustaining focus, and he was planning on getting some strength enhancement from the armor for some reason. He hasn't bought it yet, though. Still has 10 BPs left apparently.

I´d loose a point of magic to some augmentations. Magic 5 is plenty. Cerebral Booster and Muscle Toner are the primary candidates here. Agility +2 / Logic +3?

The elven language is Sperethiel.
For most of my characters, I like to give a point or two(or even 1+2) in a melee skill. It's nice for having to defend in close(since full defense in melee is Reaction + Melee Skill + Dodge. Regular is Reaction + Melee Skill.) If you can scrape up 6-10 points, you could get a 1+2 up to 2+2 in some sort of unarmed combat or blades to help out. With his good Strength, he could actually inflict some damage if he had to. As good as spellcasting is, if someone walks up and punches you, it's nice to be able to at least block it easier.
What tradition is he?

I've seen he's got a plant spirit bound (something i wouldn't do at the start of game, but somehow a lot of maxed builds come up with that-don't you guys expect to have 5 hours prep time when the game starts?), but it says nowhere what tradition he follows.

In case of magicians as combatants, i'd always go for a tradition that is posession-based, preferrably with guard spirits.
Out of the book, that would leave only Voodoo, which, as a CHA-based tradition, would fit the elf nicely- if he wheren't a ghoul, that is...leave that out, with 600BP, being a banshee, vampire or EES (eagle/elf shifter, the race with the highest drain DP) starts to become really interesting.
Even an EES with softmaxed CHA and WIL goes to town with 16 drain dice.

Another nice trick is to load up on healing sustaining foci, leave attributes to be boosted at 3 and jack them up through the Increase [Attribute] spell.
Keep in mind that you can only use (LOG) foci at once.

I'd also ditch that bow for Longarms or Heavy Weapons, but it may be core to the concept to do the whole RamboIII routine, shooting down helicopters with your bow, so this might not be an option.
So, im the player thats working on making this character which i kinda need to have done by Wednesday. A few points ive seen people make that i can add info to as how how i interpret the game which is probably wrong.

1. I'm was planning on making the character of Shintu tradition but still havent made a final decision.

2. I didnt really see the need in having a really high agility to use with archery because when shooting the bow i plan to be invisible. If i understand the rules correctly people do not get to roll dodge against my attack if they cant see where its coming from.

3. My sustaining foci is going to be manipulation. From what my gm was told me force 4 levitate would move me at human walking speed, not great but i wouldnt make sound when im invisible flying up to something. Secondly, if my group is heading into a combat situation i could have either barrier spell in it. Again i think i understand the rules on physical barrier. The opponent takes -2 dice pool and has to get damage through the barrier to see if it hits me, barrier recharges every round if it wasnt broken. I just hope it saves me from bullets atleast enough to where i can soak the rest and invis to run away.

4. With the bow, str of 6 is a bow rating 6 with 8p damage, however with the military armor on my str goes up 3 and allows me to carry a rating 9 bow with 11p for the damage. 11p from being invis so they cant dodge plus my roll will hopefully damage any soft targets. If not ill just use magic to blow them up hopefully. Also, answering one of the things above i just read. I bought two seperate bows.

Thanks for the help, Justin

Meant to have stunball, instead of powerball. I still dont know.

Post Edit number 6. The character isnt a ghoul the excel sheet just shows the positives and negatives for the ghoul for some reason. Same thing happen with Thal'aens uber troll.
I think I figured out the thing w/ my and Trialbyaxe's characters being mistaken for ghouls. The ghoul stats are shown on the excel sheet (Created by Frank Trollman) that we are using to generate our characters. However, the stats are NORMALLY hidden, through the use of macros. I.e., we don't see them, so we don't think to delete them.

However, to post a sheet to Google Docs for review, we have to convert it from .xlsm to .xls, which loses any macros contained within the sheet. So, after the conversion, the Ghoul statistics show up even for non-Ghoul characters, it is uploaded, and chaos ensues.

...or at least that's how *I* see it happening.

-- Thal'aen out
Ol' Scratch
Sustaining Focus: You'd do better to have a sustaining focus for your Health spells. Increase Reflexes is one that you'll almost always want active while on a run, and especially in combat, so you definitely don't have to sustain a -2 dice pool modifier in those situations. Your plan to use Improved Invisibility with Levitate is one where you can afford the -4 dice pool modifier; you're not really doing anything other than sneaking about. While a sustaining focus would be nice for those spells, it's not quite as vital to avoid the penalties in those situations as it is in combat.

Agilty: I'm not familiar with the rule you mentioned (no dodge for invisible archery), but remember that invisibility is very easy to get around in SR4. Ultrasound (which anyone and everyone can have due to how cheap vision mods are for helmets, glasses, contacts, etc.) is a great example. Even if such a rule does exist, it's pretty cheesy and it's one I'd suggest voluntarily ignoring. It's just... well, lame. It's both cooler and more important to build a solid character then look for advantages than to build a character around a loophole and hope it works. That's just a general character design philosophy.

Military Armor: You won't always be able to wear this. In fact, you rarely will unless the circumstances are extreme. If the GM is allowing you to have a suit, cool, go for it. But much like the last suggestion, don't base your character around it. You will regret it.
Hrmm with the sustaining focus its a good idea. I think i could buy a second one, just need to find out if i could have both foci going at the same time.

About the dodge rolls against ranged attackers. How could someone dodge something they dont see? I come from a totally different system but it would make sense that if they didnt know i was there that they wouldnt get the ability to dodge.

And the military armor is probably never going to see use but the gm said it would be a good idea to have a set laying around just incase. So i went ahead and modified it and got a bow to go along with the modifications. Also the bow may never even be affective in combat i just use it to shoot alot of my spells. ex: any of the bolt spells as arrows just for personalization of the character.
QUOTE (TrialbyAxes @ Sep 14 2008, 10:35 PM) *
Hrmm with the sustaining focus its a good idea. I think i could buy a second one, just need to find out if i could have both foci going at the same time.

With Logic 5, you can keep up to 5 foci going at once.
There is an elven language. Just FYI. What cyber/bioware are you stuffing into your character to be magic 6 (5)? I don't see it there. Also knock your str down from 6 to 5 to save you some points and raise some other stats higher. Like your Edge by 2. Having 5 edge being a mage is always good. Always. I mean I can't even stress this enough to how good it is. It's awesome. Anyways.... knock your conjuring up to five. Trust me it's awesome.

Your character does not have a geas so a talisman is useless. Talismans also do not give you bonuses to casting spells. That is a foci and it does not cost a few hundred nuyen.gif it costs 5,000 per rank + the bp, or karma to bind it to you. Gaining additional services is getting hits on those extra dice you don't just get an additional service from holding a fetish or binding foci. So you might want to work on this area when dealing with extra dice for summoning or binding a spirit. You might want to make your mana bolt fetish a ring, or a necklace instead of attached to your bow. It's best not to put all your eggs in one basket. Fetishes can only be used for spells, not conjuring. Two different things but if you look at the BBB on page 340 it will make a lot more sense what you can use fetishes for.

You might also want to fill in your spirit list. I suggest you get a beast spirit since your mentor spirit gives you +2 to beast spirits. I would change confusion to stun ball or stun bolt. It's a lame spell that you will find out that you will never use it. You will take less heat for not killing everyone in your path + it's nice to have someone you can nab and mind probe later to your every whim.
Got the language thanks to a post from earlier its Sperethiel.

The talismans (reagents - may have not listed the name correctly) listed in the inventory list are the ones i used to summon / bind the spirit i have. I understood it as 500 x force of spirit to summon it then again to bind it for additional services. On the fetish ive spoken to the gm about it and its simply wrapped around the bow in my hand that holds the bow.

I dont think the gm wants me to start the game with all my available spirits.

Also i dont know why it shows my magic 6(5) i dont have any cyber/bioware.

Changes so far to the character include:

Changes powerball to stunbolt. Only have Ball lightning for aoe. Which seems good but its going to kill me i can see it now.
Buying a second sustaining foci for health spells. +3 init and +3 passes all the time something i overlooked early on.
Dropped strenght to 5 boosted edge to 5. Also changed bows accordingly with str changes.
You mean you want to buy binding material? That is doable. It is not a talisman or fetish, but ritual binding materials (or reagents.) What is says in the BBB. is you "buy them from a talismonger" Two different things, but I guess I can see how it can be confused. The problem with putting a fetish into your bow is more that it puts all of your eggs in one basket. Having the fetish as something you wear means that the only time it is removed from your person is if you get captured. Sometimes always touching a bow is not an option. Also Ball lightening AOE is not that great. The problem being since it is AOE indirect people can dodge it, counterspell it, and use armor + body to soak it. It's not the bomb as far as a spell goes. The only good thing is you can hit people who are out of LOS. However having AOE direct spell that uses LOS; such as stun bolt, is that if you can see someone the only thing that they can have a defense against it is counterspelling and willpower. It's crazy insane and you take out a lot of the middle man. Don't take ball lightening, because that is what your weapons specialist with a grenade launcher and an airburst link is for. He will roll more dice and do more damage then you can ever do in this respect and he will not have to take Physical or Stun in doing so. It's not bad to have, but get stun ball as well instead of maybe powerball. It's vicious.

It takes nothing to summon a spirit it takes reagents to bind it. Summoning a spirit costs nothing.

Your character also has a fake license but not a fake SIN. This means you are in a bit of trouble, because they will ask for your SIN first before they ask for the license. You might want more fake licenses then one, since you are carrying around more then just military body armor (like your magical items for instance.)

Also since you worked for the dragon in his company take SINner as a negative quality and have an extra 5 bp while your at it (since your GM has stated that you specifically worked for the company and met the big man once.)

Also I don't know if this will come into play but a bow using combat mage is high profile stuff. Have you tried to work maybe a different angle? I get that you are trying to squeeze out some P to be just as bad as the big boy cyber sammie, but I would personally forget about it. Mages hurt you in a different way. I might personally aim to be an overcasting mage if you wanted to pull some hurt off. Personally have you considered being a support mage? Buffing your friends with combat sense, and shifting things around might be a better option then trying to use a bow. Your teammates will thank you for it and you could still rock the combat and counterspelling as needed. At the same time not shooting people with a bow means that the only trace you leave is the spells that you cast instead of putting arrows into people. Think about it weapons are fairly common, but if someone sporting a bow and casting spells shows up more then once people will be able to put 2 and 2 together pretty quickly if your GM runs it that way.
Ol' Scratch
You don't count helmets and shields for encumbrance purposes. His 12/10 armor is just fine (Body x 3 for milspec armor).
The [5] after magic 6 is "comment number 5".
Oh yes you do.

P. 149 BBB
Armor and Encumbrance
If a character is wearing more
than one piece of armor at a time,
only the highest value (for either
Ballistic or Impact) applies. Note
that some armor items, like helmets
and shields, provide a modifi
er to the worn armor rating and
so do not count as stacked armor.
Too much armor, however,
can slow a character down. If either
of a character’s armor ratings
exceeds his Body x 2, apply a –1
modifi er to Agility and Reaction for every 2 points (or fraction
thereof ) that his Body is exceeded. Note that this may aff ect
Initiative as well. If a character is wearing multiple armor items,
add their ratings together before comparing to Body

The very end of that says that it certainly applies. You then need to have your characters body upped by one if you want to wear the millspec armor AND helmet. If a character is wearing multiple armor items their ratings are added together. A helmet has an armor rating and so does the mill spec armor. Add them together and you will take a - 1 to both agility and reaction even if it is FFBA. Now there might be something in arsenal that totally blows that out of the water, but BBB standing leaves it as true.

However I scrolled down on his sheet and saw a mobility rating of +2 so it doesn't matter then. Missed that (oopsie.)

*edit* thanks Ryu I was looking over the stats so I ended up missing the comment list. Thanks for the heads up *edit*
Ol' Scratch
QUOTE (masterofm @ Sep 14 2008, 06:25 PM) *
Oh yes you do.

P. 149 BBB
Armor and Encumbrance
If a character is wearing more than one piece of armor at a time, only the highest value (for either Ballistic or Impact) applies. Note that some armor items, like helmets and shields, provide a modifier to the worn armor rating and so do not count as stacked armor. Too much armor, however, can slow a character down. If either of a character’s armor ratings exceeds his Body x 2, apply a –1 modifi er to Agility and Reaction for every 2 points (or fraction thereof ) that his Body is exceeded. Note that this may aff ect Initiative as well. If a character is wearing multiple armor items, add their ratings together before comparing to Body.

Current score: Reading Comprehension 1, Masterofm 0
No need to be an ass about it. I interpreted it differently. They mention them as armor items and say it does not stack. However they fail to mention with what exactly. It could be that stacked armor means that the armor itself does not stack. For instance when you wear a cammo suit and a flack jacket the armor is stacked and the extra bonuses do not apply. They are saying that they are armor items that add their armor value to the other piece of armor w/o stacking.
Reading that, I get the impression that ratings og helmets etc do not get halved, as they do not count as stacked. However, they count towards the encumberance penalty.
Thank you Gast! Stacking armor is different. It says add the full armor rating of all armor items. What is a helmet? An "armor item." Encumberance applies.
Ol' Scratch
Bah, I'll concede it could be that way. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between the real rules and house rules you've been using since God knows when.
Yeah I totally know that feeling. To be honest it is also a little hazy and interpretation could go either way in the end. I however believe that when it talks about armor items and lists helmets and shields as armor items. I feel that if they had said used stacking in that last sentence then I would totally agree with you.
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