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So I'm playing around, and I decided my original changeling-tech idea is keeping the same basis of background and personality-but making him more of a magician; it's not the first time a concept would have changed. It's not the most optimum build-the abnormally high Strength is part of his character(he's just a strong mother/#&"%", known for kicking soccerballs into the ork goalie so hard in college he flew backward, and for one-hit knockouts in his old tournaments), so I'm keeping that.

I had to get him Genetic Optimization. I wanted him naturally stronger, but he didn't have enough Changeling quality points to get Metagenic Strength improvement, nor enough other build points for Exceptional Attribute, and I wanted him, again, with the high natural Strength. I think i'll fit something into his background from this(a test or something maybe? Maybe they gave it as an experiment at birth or something.) His not-perfect magical skills are, again, due to him still learning(though he has 4's in spellcasting and counterspelling, which certainly isn't bad.) He's a Logic based mage even though his Charisma is higher-but again, I can increase that in time.

Background(sort of cut down), physical appearance:

[ Spoiler ]

The numbers: (750 Karma Based)-forgive me for the ahh, slightly golden creme-filled sponge cake flavored negative qualities. I am going to rethink Sensitive System, to be honest.

[ Spoiler ]

5 Karma Remaining, for Knowledge/Language skills I prefer.

Now, he's got .8 essence left to spend of 1(has to be Bioware) and I figured since I spent .2 of it, I might as well spend the full 1 to make the most of it. Here are a few things i was thinking of getting:

Bioware Combos:

Muscle Aug/Toner 2. +2 Agl/Str, 30,000.
+: Cheapest, solid attribute bonuses, helps combat and athletics skills out. Keeps with his ''he's fragging strong!'' idea.
-: None, really. No Athletics bonus, I suppose.

Muscle Toner 2/Synthacardium 2/Cerebral Booster 1: 46,000. +2 Agl, +2 Athletics, +1 Logic.
+: Helps Athletics, a big part of the character, nice combat bonuses, helps Drain.
-: More expensive.

.4 Essence of Toner/Augmentation(however), Bone Density 1, Synthacardium 2. 54,000-56,000 +2 Athletics, +1 Damage soak, +'s to either or both Str/Agl.
+: Helps Damage soak and attributes.
-: Expensive, possibly the most if he goes Toner 2.

Suprathyroid Gland, Synthacardium 1. 55,000. +1 Body, Agility, Reaction, Strength, Athletics.
+: Even attribute bonuses down the line. Helps Initative and Combat skills, and Athletics with both the Synthacardium and the Agl/Str bonuses.
-: Expensive. Extra Lifestyle cost.

Bone Density 2, either Toner or Aug 1 or Synthacardium 2: 47,000-60,000: +2 Damage, +1 Unarmed damage, possible either +1 Agility or Strength, or +2 Athletics.
+: Extra defense is nice. Nice damage increase(though his kicking damage is already 8 without the density.) Extra Athletics dice or physical attributes is nice too.
-: Potentially the most expensive.

The thing is, it looks a bit minmaxy to break them down like this, but they all fit his concept well, IMO. They all give good benefits, and I just don't know which one would fit him the best overall. He's newer at the magic thing, still getting training-his skills reflect this. (The last one could also replace Synthacardium 2 with a Cerebral Booster). To break it down, I'm willing to toy around to get some combination of the Muscle Augmentation/Toner, Bone Density, Cerebral Booster and/or Synthacardium. I'm actually leaning toward the first, believe it or not-it's simple and basic, but fairly cost-effective and gives him nice bonuses.

So yeah. Any help is appreciated. Again, I'm aware that the build isn't necessarily optimum(Strength being one of the more easily-dumped stats, for example), but it's what I have in mind for the character; I just also want him to be able to do his jobs well. As he stands, he throws respectable dice for spellcasting and Drain resistance, and can even whip up some spirits if necessary. I SORT of wanted his Charisma a bit higher, but I'm not sure what i'd switch out. I could switch a point of Body out(4 is still good), to get the charisma 5, or even Logic(I'd take a hit to his Drain resistance, however.)

He's got 5 Karma left for knowledge and language skills, or whatever. I'm wondering if I could shave off anything(I considered just getting him a Conjuring Group of 1 for now, and saving the 2 Karma.) I have eight spells picked for him, but I almost wonder if I could shave off one or so. He's got a fairly balanced mix. I'm *almost* debating whether or not to take Sorcery Group of 3, since studied in a thaumaturgy department, and he only graduated maybe a year before. They might have taught him Ritual Sorcery-and hell, from a numbers standpoint, would drop him more Karma(9 more for knowledge and languages or perhaps another round-out Active Skill), but I'd lose two spells in the process(freeing up 10 more karma yet for more skills). Again, he's still learning the whole magic aspect, despite being around 26. I don't know if that would be a great move or not, though.

So yeah, taking Conjuring Group 1, Sorcery Group 3 and shaving off 2 spells would net me a rather healthy 21 more Karma for those roundout skills I love(plus those 5 remaining Karma.)

But...erm, go for it! It's been a couple weeks since I posted a character. grinbig.gif I sorta like my ''melee'' people, and I like mages, but rather than make a totally balanced combat mage, I wanted one with some room to kind of grow in one area, maybe a bit inexperienced at the mage-part still.
Muscle Toner 2/Synthacardium 2/Trauma Damper: 76,000. +2 Agl, +2 Athletics, damage reduction
+: Helps Athletics, a big part of the character, nice combat bonuses, helps Drain.
-: I win expensive
I had forgotten the tasty Trauma Damper. That is tasty, damn. But...whew, he'll have a whopping 29,000 nuyen left for gear, lifestyle, and everything. Doable, but I KIND of wanted a sustaining foci for Reflexes. I probably would have needed more money for that anyhow.

Now, if I:

Do the aformentioned things with Skills, freeing up the 21 Karma, and giving him 26 total.

Stick 15 more of that to resources(37500k)

leaving 11 Karma to bond foci, and possibly stuff left over from that, I could work that one. +2 Agility will add to his combat indeed, and his Gymnastics, his nifty legs give him a +2 to that already. The Synthacardium, plus Legs, will give him a rather keen bonus to Gymnastics Dodge. His running is increased and his 7 strength will serve him well to boost that(the 9 Strength is nice, but 7 natural is freakishly strong for an elf.)

Hmm, yet another option to mill over.
Ol' Scratch
Doesn't Platelet Factories help with Drain, too? It's not specific to Physical damage. It's not as useful when you're getting nickle-and-dimed by one point of Drain, but any time you do take more tha one point it kicks in nicely. It also works with a Trauma Damper if you decide to get one at a later date (with conditions).
Platelets are the -1 Damage taken(minimum 1), and .2, 25k. Not a bad deal...but...whew. I don't know if I can make any more nuyen room or whatever. Trauma Damper is .2/40,000. Together, it's .4, 65,000, and .4 Essence left to spare, which could be some combo of Muscle Toner and Synthacardium(for another big payout).

The Trauma Damper, if I recall, shifted a box of physical to stun, didn't it..or erase one box of stun, if damage taken was only stun? So the ''combo'' would be if 2 boxes of Stun were taken, the Platelets would rid one, and the Damper the other one? (Unless minimum was only one.) I know minimum is 1 for the Platelets, but I'm not sure about the Damper.

Definitely isn't a bad combo, either way(even if minimum taken is 1, it's nice. 3 boxes of damage would become 1 box.)

He throws 8 dice for Drain, and I don't see him really going into overcasting realm-he might even be a bit holding-back when it comes to his magic, as he's still kind of unsure about just HOW much it can do. He knows it, I mean, his skills show that, and he knows the ins and outs(he has the casting skills at least at a professional level, possibly more if I keep the 4/4...but Im liking the group 3 idea more and more), but he doesn't have the knowledge, of, say, your 4 Conjuring Group, 6 Spellcasting, magic specialist who has been practicing for awhile and knows everything.

It's another 'ware setup to consider, in any case. I'm trying to think about how he would pick the ware(using some of his savings or whatever)-perhaps his mage friend assensed him(yeah, he doesn't even have that or Astral Combat yet...he's not too Astral Experienced but I might at least want to get him 1's to show he's started on the skills, which I could do with the karma if I don't go for the super-expensive Ware options), and let him know about how he seems to have some sort of interference(the genetic optimization that happened as a baby), but he might be able to take a bit more stuff without harming his magic. He might pick stuff to help the magic side, or the physical side, or both. Gah, it's always the same with me. I can make the character to almost the end, and then it's those last few things which always get me, so to speak.

You could take the Negative quality In Debt from Runners Campanion “The character is indebted to a third party, usually an underworld
syndicate, large gang or corporation, chosen by the player
with gamemaster approval. For every 5 BP taken, the character
receives an extra 5,000¥ at character creation; this money can be
above and beyond the normal 50 BP cap for gear. The character
then owes her creditor that much plus another 50 percent. The
amount owed increases 10 percent every month, as compound interest.
If the character is unable to pay at least the interest amount
each month, the creditor may send someone looking for her?

That could have helped out with your nuyen issue for your build. That is if you had any room for Negative qualities or if you want to drop a few other Negative qualities for it.
Well, I was considering ditching or trading a quality...and I guess working the debt in the backstory was always easy(he had quite a bit of savings, but not *quite* enough). I would probably take no more than 20,000 nuyen though, more like 15k, and that could solve a few problems...for now. But then, of course, there's the issue of paying back the 15-20k+50%.

It's a thought, though. As much as I like the Trauma Damper idea...I might have to go with one of the cheaper options(I'm thinking 50k or less), though with 105 left I could squeak out the 60k 'package' with Bone Density2/Synthacardium 2(though if I take Toner 1 I get it for 47k.)

Preferably, I'd like enough left to pick up and bind at least a rating 3 foci for Increased Reflexes(enough for level 1), get a decent lifestyle(I sort of see him living in a large, roomy place, lower on the comforts, higher on the odd magic gadgets/whatnot), and the regular gear I need like armor, a commlink, a gun, etc.

After that, I can convert the rest to nuyen(if there is any), and try to scratch out a couple more skills I wanted for him.

One thing I am thinking is that I indeed might hold off on specializing in any kind of spellcasting right now. Since he isn't sure where his strengths in magic really lie yet...he's got solid combat ability(even without Muscle Toner, he throws 8/10 dice with a smartlinked pistol, and his melee combat is pretty solid-his kicking damage is a rather strong base 8...if I got density it would be even more). He might decide to specialize in spells like Health, Manipulation or Illusion or something-stuff to help his teammates/indirect stuff. Or he could go the combat route and supplement his already strong abilities(I could see him maxing out his Unarmed Combat in game, he had been training it for awhile.)
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