Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Sword Fighting Character
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
As one of the cart pullers to a game with no experienced SR's, where my experience is just a little bit more (except I never really play combat characters) I have been (t)asked to help design a fencer.

And that's like a swashbuckler, and not the guy who is a fence. Our GM (with more experience) is however really warning people not to go completely overboard with the dicepools.

So, what I am looking for is things that might be important or useful to a fencing type character. Cyberware, Mundane tricks, Adept Powers. And what might be useful to have as a back-up.
For a fencer? I see that as a lot of parry/riposte type actions. So, some sort of martial arts qualities from arsenal that give bonuses to parry would be good. The riposte maneuver (and also possibly two weapon fighting if you're gonna use a main gauche also). Adept powers like combat sense will help in avoiding hits, while counterstrike will make those ripostes that much more effective.

As always, IPs help, and having a gun as a backup, or a cyberspur or something hard to take away from you to have in case you get disarmed is always nice.
Lets see, one of the martial arts stiles focuses on blades and disarming, would be very in character for a fencer to pick up that. Other then that most of the basics. Wired reflexes to give him some extra IPs, perhaps dermal plating/sheathing, and some muscle toner/enhancer for better dice pools and damage. Oh and definitely a specialization in whatever weapon he is using and a customized grip for the weapon.

I think those are all the main ones.
Alright. First things first. When you see footage of the war in Iraq have you ever seen a Marine running around with a Rapier? No? There's a reason for that, and Shadowrun models it reasonably well. Frequently the people on your team with ranged attacks will clear out any enemies before a melee character will get there, frequently you'll draw most of the fire and get sliced down (especially if the GM remembers to reduce your dodge pool by 1 for every shot you attempt to dodge), and for extra fun sometimes both will happen.

So what does this mean?

You need a way to close fast, need to have ranged skills of your own, or need to be super resiliant.

If you go cyber I would put some empasis on the pistol side of swashbuckling. Make the character fast, tough, and a leaper. Use the sword when you can, pistol when that's better.

However instead I'd suggest an adept. At least you'd have a solid reason to use a sword as you can get a weapon foci. Also adepts have fun things like combat sense and the movement skills that I'd strongly advise focusing on.

Go for stealth and maneuverability, primarily. He'll want to get close enough to actually use the weapon without getting shot, and that is possible with the right skills and powers.

Personally, I'd like more than "fencer" to work with. Age, nationality, Background, history, and that sort of stuff is important. There are so many different ways to crunch the numbers that some direction is needed, particularly away from the places that the player doesn't want to go. (A stealth throat-cutter can be a very useful character, for example, but the players who is looking for an Errol Flynn role might not like it.)
Yeah, I mean, I could give the basics as well...but it's not too much different than what everyone said. Martial arts to get some blade bonuses, agility/some strength increases, good skill, specializing, etc.

I find, liking melee characters, there are several ways to go about getting close:

A. Stealth method. Sneaking up, around, getting the drop. Surprise attacks are *nasty* and if your guy is good an enemy probably won't live through it. Hell, even an average person can ruin someone's day in a surprise.

B. Sneaking isn't the only way to get surprise, as far as I'm concerned...a more ''Errol Flynn' type might use Con. Yeah, by taunting, fast-talking or luring someone into a sense of security(or into a ''this loon can't do jack to us'' sort of mindset), he could manage to close in on people, as well.

C. Athletics. Running, jumping, gymnastics, and adaquate agility/strength/either a synthacardium or improved abilies if an adept.

You want one of those three, and yes, it would be advisable to at least take a ranged weapon as backup. Hell, it can be used to at least chase the enemy around as you close in for your real stuff.
Race Elf (30)

Stats (180)
Strength 3 (20)
Body 2 (10)
Agility 6 (50)
Reaction 4 (30)
Logic 3 (20)
Charisma 3 (0)
Willpower 3 (20)
Intuition 4 (30)

Infiltration 4 (16)
Pistols 5 (Heavy +2) (22)
Blades 5 (Swords +2) (22)

Positive Qualities
Adept (5)
Mentor Spirit (Rat) (5)
Krav Maga (Take Aim is Free; Ready Weapon is Free) (10)
Arnis (+1 DV with blades or cause damage on Called Shot to Disarm) (5)

Negative Qualities
Braggart (-5)

Eichiro Hatamoto II
Monosword (side sword)

Feel Free to fill in the blanks and make modifications. This is just a basic template with plenty of room to work.
He still need Magic and Adept Powers.

In case your woundering, I chose the single-shot pistol/sword combo to mimic the traditional musketeer. I made him a Totem Way Adept of the Rat Totem so that he'd be a Mouseketeer.
Drop Logic to a 2, up Body. Body is needed for the front lines. Hell, I don't even like to play back-liners with a body less than 3 unless it's very character-centric.

I would go cybered, myself, but adept is good, too. I'd take Muscle Augmentation/Toner 2 each for +2 Agility/Strength.

Wait, you still have 20 more Bps to spend on Attributes. Make that Logic 2, Body 4. 190 spend, can re-up logic to a 3 if you want.
I know how to minmax quite well and double fistfuls of dice are always a good place to start. Minmaxing humor value can also take you far if your GM isn't a hardcore wargamer. Mix the two and have a little fun!

For the crunchy part you could make a character with a good Athletics and Palming (he's good with his hands) and then get Reaction and Dodge at 6.
Dodge towards the enemy doing full defense, aborting as needed to full defense, until you get in position... then say something witty and stick em with your blade. Definitely witty.... not 'yarrr!' or stuff from The Princess Bride. I don't know the size of a Fichetti Pain Inducer but one of those in one hand and a rapier in the other for some twisted reason leaves me chuckling. Too much cyberpunk back in the day, probably.

Then get 35pts in positive qualities that are fluffy and more or less just there for fluff like Animal Empathy then take the remaining points and minmax the heck out of it.

Why be comical? Because otherwise just get tons of muscle toner, a reflex recorder, etc., etc. and wargame it. Its cliche almost. Use your GM's desire for reasonable characters by building in fluffy bits. You'll end up with a subpar character which should make your GM happy and lots and lots of fluff and survivability. If you want effective there are several ways to get there and these boards know how to get there. The fluff part though can make the lack of overall minmaxing a lot more colorful and fun for you and the others on your team.

And remember.... something witty before the jab-jab!
There's no need for the Dodge skill if the character already has Gymnastics and a Melee skill.
Adept: Blades 7 (Sword +2) + Improved Ability + Quickness 6 + Rating 2 Weapon Focus = 27 dice.

Heck, at that, you could even afford to sac a point of magic to buy a reflex recorder and other choice pieces of ware. Or, we can buy Increased Reflexes and Great Leap. Or, maybe even both. With Great Leap, he can quickly jump into melee range, closing the distance before he can get shot at too much.
QUOTE (Fortune @ Oct 8 2008, 10:56 PM) *
There's no need for the Dodge skill if the character already has Gymnastics and a Melee skill.

Excellent point. I suppose it'd be a matter of style if a character does backflips away from gunfire or military style rushing and falling prone. For minmaxing though, you've taught me a trick on perspective, sir, so thanks!
I would get with your GM and find out exactly what he means by "overboard" with the dice pools, because a high dice pool should be the main focus of a close combat specialist. You are using it both to attack and to defend, so your dice pool is extremely important.

Since I don't know how much is "too much", I'll just kind of list what's out there.

Weapon: the monofilament sword (which is a broadsword) or the rapier would fit a European-style fencer the best. The katana is the province of oriental swordsmen, and the vibro sword is, honestly, kind of cheesy. A custom grip adds 1 to your dice pool.

martial arts: European-style swordfighting is sadly lacking, but if the GM uses these optional rules, you might want to take 10 points of Arnis De Mano as a quality - to get +1 DV to your blades attacks, and to be able to do damage when you disarm someone.

For maneuvers, all kinds of good ones. If I had to pick the best four, it would be two weapon style (it gives an incredible boost to your defense), riposte and finishing move (both let you make attacks out of the normal sequence of initiative), and disarm (since Arnis De Mano lets you do damage in addition to disarming your opponent).

For street sammies: Get something that gives you extra initiative passes (wired reflexes: 2 is a good choice), muscle toner: 2 and muscle augmentation: 2, and a reflex recorder for blades (and maybe one for pistols, too). Get cybereyes with a smartlink and other goodies for using your pistol. Other than that, plenty of room for other 'ware.

For adepts: you might want to consider muscle toner: 2 and muscle augmentation: 2, maybe with two reflex recorders - well worth one point of Magic loss for the gain. You definitely want either improved reflexes: 2 or synaptic booster: 2 (the latter is very pricey, but only costs you one point of Magic loss, as opposed to the three points to buy the power). Beyond that - improved ability/blades, combat sense, a point of counterstrike (LETHAL combined with the two-weapon fighting and riposte maneuvers), and the quickdraw maneuver to get your blade out without losing an action.

Also, you can buy/bond a Force: 2 weapon focus for not only two more dice when attacking, but also the ability to ignore the Immunity to Normal Weapons that spirits and similar creatures have.
Shadowrun newbies should be required by law to take Platelet Factories or Trauma Dampers. If nothing else it gives your GM one more excuse to arbitrarily decide that your chummers managed to stop the bleeding. smokin.gif
1. The weapon mod "Personalized Grip" Glyph refers to is on Arsenal, p152.
2. The "Victorinox Memory Blade" on p16 of Arsenal can roll up like a roll of tape when inserted into its special sheath and become its normal solid shape 1 combat ROUND after you draw it. Have the sheath and handle inside a "Skin Pocket" and you suddenly have a really hard to find sword for those hard to rea-- or, hard to smuggle places.
3. The Genetic Infusion "Sideways" really is awesome. It lets you ignore wound penalties and gives bonuses to Perception and adds to "all defensive tests" and adds +1 die to all combat tests too. It seriously rocks and costs 1000 nuyen per dose but 1 dose lasts two straight weeks! Genetic infusions have an Addiction Threshold of 2. [Edited in thanks to Whipstitch]
Genetic Infusions are on p94 of Augmentation and are avail 16 so gotta find them in play.
Actually, genetic infusions are addictive.
QUOTE (Augmentation @ Page 94)
For purposes of addiction and effect, genetic infusions are treated as drugs with an Addiction Threshold of 2 (see p. 248, SR4).
Thanks for the heads up, Whipstitch... my groups I've played with never let me know that and lots of folks use them. Wow. Suck.
If you go the Sideways route, you might consider taking the Genetic Heritage Quality and taking Sideways as an inherited Permanent Genetic Infusion.
Thanks for all these great answers, I have received a little bit more detail about the character's concept.

For those of you who watched the series the Gargoyles, this character is supposed to be somewhat of a mix between Hyena and Jackal, which means, highly acrobatic, cybered warrior ninjas, who prefer to fight up close and personal but are not slouches with other skills either.
Then Elfenrir's comment about Synthacardium should be bolded for emphasis. Three extra dice on the entire Athletics skillgroup for 6 bp worth of nuyen is a tremendously good deal.
QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Oct 9 2008, 06:50 AM) *
If you go the Sideways route, you might consider taking the Genetic Heritage Quality and taking Sideways as an inherited Permanent Genetic Infusion.

Not to mention making sure you get a biomonitor in your clothes.
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