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hi all just joined the forums and was wondering,

Does anyone have any recomendations for what i should and shouldnt include in a decent character build, im currently using the covert ops specialist strait from the book but i want acharacter with more feel to it, my character seems so bland and 2nd class compared tot he ones the other players have built, probebly because thsi is my first time ever playing shadowrun. The concept for my character was going to be someone who could sneak around and gain entry to places such as the ops specialist, but also have a decent shooting stat for things like pistols and stuff, as well as having a good close combat ability such as martial arts or something, something like an urban ninja. if anyone could help me with that with things like what i should and shouldnt be using id be very grateful.

thanks in advance guys luke
There are a bunch of threads with sample characters in them, which could provide some guidance as to what is most important. Some posters might be inclined to offer a complete character build, but I'm not one of them.

As it's your first character I'd avoid magic like the plague, as it's just a whole bunch more rules to pick up. Cyber-ninja is the way to go. Don't spread yourself too thin, there's no need to max out a bunch of skills, and one can actually be very effective with dicepools of around 10 in your principal areas. It does depend on how optimised the other PCs are. If they're all rolling 16+ dice, there's no point trying to compete with them, and you might as well hyperspecialise too.

You can score loads of extra dice for firearms with tech, and the same goes to a lesser extent for sneaking, and B&E. Be prepared to spend a long time scouring the equipment lists if you want to get the very best gear. If that's not so important to you, you can get by with the stuff in the basic book.

good luck, and welcome to dumpshock.
You might want to consider being an adept, with a little bit of cyber if you are going stealth ninja. Aim for some optimized stats (maybe play an orc or a dwarf for some nice dump stats,) take the firearms skill group, get a smattering of hardware and demo to make/disarm traps and electronics, don't forget you will want a high perception, infiltration, and some dodge (or gymnastic dodge.) You don't need much in the way of martial arts, but maybe just give your character some shock gloves with a few ranks in unarmed sneak up on someone and they will be out like a light. Or gage how long you think your adventures will last. Cyber is a very good short game with little to no potential growth later on. Adepts can grow and adapt quickly and become more flexible if need be. They can take some cool meta magics and what they can do with their power points are also nothing to scoff at.

Just what are the other builds that are just kicking your butt though?
It might be hard for a new player to create a character who'll be as good as a character created by a veteran player who knows all the tricks and possible optimisations, but the blandness of your character might not be just because of its stats.

A character isn't just numbers on a sheet. What your character is will also be determined by two things:
1. How you play it. Make sure you take advantage of your character's abilities. You might not be able to shoot as good as the street samurai, but you sure can flank the enemy without being noticed, or even sneak past them.
2. How you roleplay it. Even the most maxed-out character ever will be bland if played without any interesting personality.

For example in one of my campaign there's a character who seems totally sub-par. He's not good in combat, he's a decent face but no better than other characters, he's got a few technical skills but with too low ratings to really matter, he's a mage but isn't very good at it either (he can just cast a few spells, with a rating 2 magic.). We spent the first sessions wondering where he could have spent 400 BP, wondering if he wasn't a shapeshifter/drake/hacker in disguise. But the character is still fun because of his personality, and he has also been very useful (unknown to our characters) thanks to a clever use of the few powers he's got.

Try this link for some example sheets. It's the Cast of Shadows listing for a lot of the characters in games played here on Dumpshock.
Pimp! nyahnyah.gif biggrin.gif
You should also talk to the other players in your group. "Hey, I'm having trouble making a character that I think is as cool as yours. I have some ideas, but if anyone has any other ideas and can help me crunch the numbers, that would be great." As they help you make a new/revised character, be sure to ask them WHY they're making certain design choices -- that will help you build your next character.

It's a cooperative game; the other players should be happy to help you kick more ass. smile.gif
Hi just thought id mention that im 90% sure that this Luke here is in my group (or this is a really freaky coincidence)

At the table there are 3 experienced players (myself and 2 others) although the others are more 3ed than 4ed.

Im playing the most optimized character - hey im palying a techno its optimize or die - im rolling 10 dice for unskilled logic tests and about 15-20 dice for hacking tests (thank you careful wording on neo-cortical nano and PuSHeD)

most of the others are playing outof the book chars with a couple of tweaks

Gun-Fu adept (gender change) ~15dp for pistols
Eco-Sham (changed to elf and a couple of minor tweaks) ~8 dp for casting

The two other experienced players are both playing mages - neither of which are built to be much more than a 10dp

Oh to top it off we have an inexperienced GM, the reason i brought the techno was so that he didnt have to worry about matrix stuff early on (he just assumes that whatever I need to do I can)

Now the backgrounds out of the waty my advice:

For a "batman" build
    An infiltration dp of 10 will almost always be enough - with stealth its all about the penalties to the other guys (generally crap) perception dicepool Chamelon suits give a nice -4 (which will knock most perception dp to 0) anmd situational modifiers are generally in the 2-4 range.

    A silent attack - mellee/unarmed/pistol - again you wont need much more than 10 dice here as if you do it right the other guy wont be able to defend against your first attack (and in SR the first solid hit takes you out), just make sure you use called shorts and armour bypassing - Stick'n' Shock rounds are great fun - non-leathal and easier to take someone out with a light pistol

    Security couontermeasures - dont relly on having a techno to open doors for you - make sure you can hack a maglock (hardware skill or passkey)

    Everybody needs a freind - have a drone or two - even a kanmushi can be a massive help by checking the lay of the land before you go in and a roto drone with a sniper rifle or LMG is all the fire support you'll ever need.

Right those are the generic bits that any "ninja-esque" character will need, to avoid blandness howeve is a bit trickier:
    Have a nice motivation for running the shadows
    Have some cool knowledge skills that fit in to your background
    Play up your flaws and play down your strengths - both a roleplaying goldmine and a tactical advantage
    Go for the dialogue - I dont do anything in a combat but good description can make even my pathetic contribution to a fire fight seem so much bigger
I made this up in a spare afternoon following the rule book on character creation to the best of my ability, what do people think, any criticisms, good points, things i should know about this build? or anything i just got plain wrong?

name: Hizache Kitsu alias: Batman

Agility:5 (7)
Reaction:5 (7)
Strength:2 (4)

Initiative:9 (11)

Initiative passes:1 (2)

Physical damage track:12
Stun damage track:13

Active Skills:
Athletics skill group:4
Electronics skill group:4
Perception:4 (6)
Blades: 4
Unarmed combat: 5

Knowledge skills:
Security systems:3
Safe houses:2
Finances: 2

Language Skills:
Japanese: N
English: 3

Spirit bane, Weak immune system, SINer criminal, Incompatent (First aid)
Murky link, Magic resistance 2, Blandness

Cybereyes- eye recording unit, flare compensation, image link, lowlight vision, thermographic vision, vision magnification, smartlink, vision enhancement 2.
Reaction enhancers 2, Wired reflexes 1, Muscle augmentation 2, Muscle toner 2, Comlink, Plastic bone lacing.

Weapons and Equipment:
Shock gloves, wrist crossbow, hammerli 620s (silencer), HK MP-5 TS (smart link, silencer), gel and stick and shock rounds, 4 thermal smoke grenades, Chameleon suit, fake SIN (4), gas mask, grapple gun, 200m of stealth rope, catalyst stick, rapelling gloves, geko tape gloves, AR gloves, wire clippers, jammer (area 4), white noise generator (4), autopicker (4), maglock passkey (4), maglock sequencer (4), flashlight, lightstick x2.
Vials of narcojet x2, neurostun x2, seven 7 x2 truth serum x2.
You want your body to be at leasy 3 with the chameleon suit. I prefer to go ahead and grab a 4 in body and wear a FFBA Half Suit underneath it so that you can survive most small arms. Your damage tracks are also wrong, you have 9 Physical and 10 Stun.
Some advice, feel free to ignore points that don't fit your concept for the character.
Overall, it seems to be a solid build, the only real problem being that he'll suffer encumbrance penalties when he's wearing a chameleon suit with that Body.
Of course, some twinking is always possible (see below for details).
I've also stuck to the core rulebook entirely, even though there might be some nifty stuff in other publications (you seem to have Arsenal, too).
But i don't want to overwhelm a newcomer with options, the game is already complex enough and if you really play in Ustio's group and should heed all of the following advice, your character may very well be one of the more powerful PCs in the group already.

I'd second raising the Body to 3.
Being an ork or dwarf would be extremely helpful here, you'd save some BP and would still come out with better attribute stats.

Moreover, i absolutely recommend that you get a Syntharcadium, preferrably at lvl 3.
This will give you 3 extra dice to your whole Athletics skill group, including athletic dodges...pure gold for any ninja.
Likely the most logical augmentation choice for this character, who relies strongly on not being hit for defense (okay, more on not being noticed in the first place, but you never know).
You might even consider getting Enhanced Articulation, as a whole lot of your skills will profit from it (Athletics group again, plus some of your Stealth skills), but get a syntharcadium first, as it offers more value for money.

You might also want to consider the Stealth skill group at 4.
You'll end up with one die less for Infiltration, but you'll get Disguise at 4 for free and will even save some BP.
Keep in mind that being a ninja may also involve infiltration on a social level where wearing a chameleon suit would be inappropriate.

Another good idea to trick out your character would be skillwires, if you have enough nuyen.gif and Essence left.

The free knowledge skill points seem to be too low, but i haven't really checked the math for the character.
You'll also be unable to use your crossbow and MP5 efficiently, as you lack the necessary skill (Projectile Weapons and Automatics, respectively) for those weapons.
I'd either drop them or resort to skillsofts for them, probably swap around one of the weapon skills depending on your preferences.
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