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I am new to SR4 and I am working on an elf shaman/face man. The game limits attributes to 200 points. I looked over the board but found few discussions of shamans and little discussing this specific archetype.

Please make what suggestions you can as to how to make the character an asset to his group.

I have already edited it based on other comments. One lowered the Influence Group from 4 to 1, not sure I can still call him a face man.

Here it is with a few edits from thoughts below applied.

[ Spoiler ]

Edited based on post #2 added power focus 2, replaced spellcasting 5 and counterspelling 5 with sorcery group 4. Still have not dropped logic or intuition as they help in astral space.

Edited based on post #4 lowered logic to 3( lowering knowledge and language skills as well), lowered Influence Group to 2, Raised Body to 3, added Stealth group 1, added Astral Combat (Spirit) for 2 points and put 8 points into contacts. Added 2 points to +2 Binding focus.
What kind of shaman are you planning on being? It seems like more utility focused than combat, yes? I ask because your phys stats (body and reaction in particular) are low for combat effectiveness. Also, edge is really nice, and it gets better the higher it goes. I think you might be able to lose a point or two from logic/intuition to bump those up a little.

Your skills are also very specialized. For one thing, you are limited to one 6 or two 5s, and you have three 5s. Some basic stealth like infiltration (for sneaking) or palming (for hiding items) would be nice, and you could really use a non-magic combat skill, like pistols.

Focus-wise, I'm pretty sure power focii are the best bargain, since they cost eight times as much after character creation to bond.
My plan is that the character is flexible. The reason for the high logic and intuition is astral combat. I want to make sure the character is able to defend themselves when astral.

My other plan is that the character is more about summoning then spell casting and lets the spirits do the dirty work.

GargaMONK I made a couple adjustments up top. I am still thinking about the others thanks.
Welcome to DS!

Astral defense is best done via a)spellcasting, and b)your own spirits. Setting attributes up for the astral side of things hurts under the BP system; instead of possibly getting troubles on the astral, you can now be pretty certain of having troubles on the physical side. Given that even a force 5 spirit has stronger astral combat abilities, I´d say don´t sweat it.

  • Influence 4->1: Dodge +2, Body +2, Astral Combat: Spirits +2; wear armor, avoid physical combat at all cost. //Slightly more surviveability.
  • Logic 5->3 //So that you don´t overspend on attributes, adjust the knowledge skills accordingly.

You would have 20 BP to spend as you please. I´d try to get some contacts and the stealth group with those. The sustaining focus (health) is IMO a no-go for this character, as the temptation of entering combat might prove deadly - get more spells instead. The binding focus will give you good use.
Made a lot of the changes. My concern is that the character is no longer able to be a face character. But I figure I will be flexible with the concept.
If you want point-effective Face ability pick up the "First Impression" positive quality. At 5pts its cheap for a bonus against all the folks who dont know you which are TBH the ones you need to impress the most. Whether a cop pulls your car over, you need to wheedle information from a maitre'd or if you need to interrogate some punk held against a wall by a spirit of yours... "first impression" can help.

The binding focus will only help with one specific type of spirit. Thats 4 build on nuyen and 2 build on bonding I'd spend elsewhere.
Stealth Group 1 with an AGI of 2 is worthless since sneaking around is opposed by Perception. 3 Dice will not save you from being spotted. If you want the Intuition-linked stealth skills like Palming and Disguise you could get them seperately.

If you want to be better at Binding AND Summoning from your home the "Home Ground" quality can be useful. Its not going to help you in combat but it sure can help when Binding. Just make sure to summon a force 1 spirit and have it use the Guard power on you while you Bind so you can ignore glitches. If you glitch a spirit in your Home Ground the spirit has a small chance to go free and make your Home Ground miserable. At least if you glitch elsewhere you can avoid the area... maybe. smile.gif

Lastly, you might feel better about the character by making it a Human. You'll lose 2pts of Charisma, sure, and a point of Agility, but with the points you could get your influence group back to a 4. Its only a couple more points and hurts your drain tests a LOT but it'll mean the character has lots of training which for RP could be good I s'ppose.
QUOTE (Coyote @ Mar 9 2009, 10:31 AM) *
Made a lot of the changes. My concern is that the character is no longer able to be a face character. But I figure I will be flexible with the concept.

Get a high rating(6 if possible) empathy software and some kind of a camera sensor.
That will get you to 14 dice for social tests.
EDIT: Going to remake him. I made a few mistakes with my attempt. Give me some time. grinbig.gif

Here we go-I will suggest the Ork, as I usually do with combo mages. Check this quick 'n dirty build out(similar to your own)

Ork Shaman Faceman:

415-20=395 BP


B: 4(0)
A: 2(10)
R: 2(10)
S: 3(0)
C: 5(55)
I: 5(40)
L: 3(20)
W: 5(40)
E: 1(0)
M: 5(40)

Total: 215

Left: 180

Resources: 9(45k)+ In Debt 30 BP
Contacts: 8
Spells: 15

Total: 32

Left: 148

Active Skills: 148

Spellcasting: 4
Counterspelling: 4
Summoning: 5
Binding: 4
Perception: 1
Dodge(Ranged): 1(+2)
Astral Combat(Spirits): 1(+2)
Assensing: 1
Arcana: 1
Etiquette(Corp): 4(+2)
Con(Fast-Talk): 4(+2)
Negotiations(Bargain): 4(+2)

And get him Emotitoy Lv. 6.

Now we have a Shaman/Faceman cross, who might roll a couple less in drain, but is more survivable(Body 4), and even rolls more dice for his Social Skills(9+Emotitoy 6 for 15, and +2 dice for specializing-yes, this ork throws 17 dice.) Skipped Ritual Spellcasting, since it's quite rare(useful, but hard to do. You can get it later.)

This guy even has 2 BP to put whereever you want-contacts, resources, or another specialization. biggrin.gif Or, you could scrounge up 3 and get him First Impression(perhaps taking out Arcana, and then using the last BP for resources or whatnot.)
I will look at your ideas as well. First Impression might fit well. I was thinking about spider as a totem so home ground might be a great fit too.

I will look at the software idea.

Nice job on the Orc version. Not sure I am sold on it for my concept but I think that there are not enough different takes on magic using character archetypes on the board.
I found another thread that discussed this this am. Don't know how I missed it.

Here is Glyph's take:

[ Spoiler ]
For relativly cheap +3 to social skills( except intimidation) is to make the character a Dryad or a changeling for the Glamour SURGE quality. love.gif
Glad you liked my orc take a bit. I forgot about Dragonslayer.

I admit, when it comes to pure/combo mages, I'm a big believer in the Ork or Dwarf. Honestly? numbers. As Glyph pointed out, you are going to need to do some minmaxing a bit. Dumping Strength and Body for an Ork or Dwarf is basically painless, and a Charisma of 5 is very, very solid(don't forget Dwarf bonus to Willpower.)

Here's a Dwarf take, very close to the Ork with a few minor changes:

Dwarf Shaman Faceman:

[ Spoiler ]

There we go-still 2 BP left for whatever, and this guy actually has an extra Drain die. He's even got a point extra of Perception to make up for the 1 less in Intuition. He's not QUITE as sturdy as the Ork, but he rocks pretty hard. He's also stronger at Binding. You could even switch the point out of Binding leaving it a 4 still and increase his Etiquette to a whole 5(+2) Corporate(or any of the social skills.) You could have taken the Perception back down to 1, and do the same. He'll be a great face/shaman. You don't need a 7 charisma to be an awesome face(is it good? Sure, but a 5 is still awesomesauce.)

Or, you could take these 2, drop the Perception back to 1 and take the First Impression.

(I love Elves. I mean, everyone knows here I play a lot-my current adept martial artist is an elf fellow. but when it comes to full mages, again, I love the dwarf and the ork.)
I had a go at it as well.
[ Spoiler ]

Assensing is so high because it should give you bonuses on your influence rolls.
With shapechange and Body 3 you can turn yourself into virtually any urban animal and analyze truth makes you a walking lie detector.
Edge 4 allows you to be really good on the few critical rolls you need to make in an adventure.
Procedurally its best to have a bound** spirit of man inside your warded vehicle then have the spirit of man cast analyze truth on you so you dont negotiate with a -2 sustaining penalty...

[**or summoned if its not far enough away to be a remote service]
Lots of good ideas. Seems like there are plenty of interesting takes on this type of characters. I learned a lot so far. Suppenhun why Shapechange? Seems cool just curious.
I think it's rather fitting for a shaman to be able to turn himself (and others) into animals.
Furthermore you can for example turn into a pigeon and stunbolt mundanes without fear of much reprisal, you can infiltrate buildings as a rat, go close up and dirty as a rottweiler, turn the hot troll chick you're dating into a horse and right off into the sunset, the list goes on. In other words it's pretty versatile which is a big plus when someone only has a very limited number of spells at his disposal.
Thanks. I had already picked it myself but I wasn't sure why. When I saw your remark, and explanation I figured you would have a good answer. Thanks

Love the idea of a self loathing elf posing as an orc.
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