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knasser
In this thread and elsewhere, Hermit has been proclaiming the brokeness of pre-errata magicians. That they are overpowered, that magic has little cost or downside or counter, that for every limit on a magician a mundane has twice as many and that a magician replaces a TEAM of shadowrunners in being able to fill their roles (by implication whilst still being a capable mage themselves) .

I do not think this is the case so I asked Hermit if he was willing to pit a standard 400BP straight out of chargen magician against an identically costed samurai build and see if he could produce something that would match its capabilities, thus fulfilling the same role in a team. Hermit said sure, so here's the thread and here's my build.

I do not expect this challenge to prove that samurai can beat up magicians or vice versa. Shadowrun is a game of eggshells armed with hammers - typically he who betrays the other first gets the loot. What I expect it to prove is that magicians and samurai are neither better nor worse than the other, but different. That they each have their own, and complimentary roles. Hermit expects to prove that magicians are greatly superior to samurai, able to beat the samurai at its own game.

It's been queried why I proposed matching it against a samurai when I could have picked a rigger or a hacker or a TM to more easily demonstrate that magicians can't replicate what a mundane can do. I chose Samurai because when I say "challenge" I mean it. I've given Hermit the best opportunity to prove his point.

So here is my build. Hermit can post his next and then we'll start comparing their capabilities. I already have some idea that Hermit is going for the notorious voudoun magician (often thought to be broken) with the infamous Task spirit, but we'll see what he comes up with.

I want to be clear that given the nature of the challenge, I'm totally fine with us tweaking our builds following suggestions from others or after discussion in the thread.

Game on, wink.gif

Khadim Nasser.
knasser
Betty Bang, petite Ork Samurai.

Attributes 190BP
B 6 (9)
A 4 (7)
R 4 (7)
S 4 (5)
C 3
I 3
L 2
W 3

E 4
Ess. 0.55

Init. 7 (10)
IP 1(3)

Skills 170BP

Running 1
Climbing 2
Blades 2
Unarmed 2
Etiquette 3
Negotiation 2
Leadership 1

Infiltration (spec. Urban) 3
Disguise 1
Shadowing 2

Automatics (spec. Assault Rifles) 5
Heavy Weapons (spec. Grenades) 5
Pistols 2

Perception 4

Dodge 3
Pilot (Groundcraft) 1
First Aid 2

Resources 49BP

Cyberware / Bioware:

Datajack
Cybereyes IV (w. Flare Comp., Low-Light, Thermographic, Smartlink, Vision Mag, Vision Enhancement 3)
Cyberears (w. Audio Enhancement 3)
Wired Reflexes II
Aluminium Bone Lacing

Muscle Toner II
Orthoskin II
Suprathyroid Gland
Reflex Recorder (Automatics)

Gear:
Ares Alpha incl. Grenade Launcher + Smart Link, (w. Airburst Link, Shock Pads, Personalised Grip)
Ares Predator IV incl. Smartlink, (w. Silencer)

200x Regular Ammo
50x Ex Ammo
50x Ex-Ex Ammo
50x Stick n' Shock Ammo

10x Flash Bang Grenades
20x Frag Grenades
20x HE Grenades
5x Thermal Smoke

Flash-Pak

Form-Fitting Body Amour Half-Suit (4/1)
Camouflage Suit (8/6)
Helmet (+2/+2)

Monofilament Sword

Erika Elite w. Iris Orb O/S (w. SIM module, sub-vocal mike)

Mapsoft rating V (Seattle)
Fake SIN rating IV (Mrs. Margaret Worthington-Smythe)
Fake Licence rating IV (firearm permit)

Virtual Pet (Blue Chinchilla)

5x Cram Dose.

Gecko Gloves
Grapple Gun

Basic Docwagon Contract ("Don't Leave Home Without It!")

4x Stim Patch rating VI

Honda Spirit (compact car) w. Rigger Adaptation
1 x Month Low Life Style Cost (incl. Suprathyroid adjustment)

Positive Qualities: 5BP
Restricted Gear (Suprathyroid Gland)
Negative Qualities: 15BP
Spirit Bane (Guidance Spirits)
Addiction (Mild) Stimulants

++++++++++++

Notes:

Total Armour: 16/11
Dice w. Assault Rifle SA: 16 dice, no range mods.
6P, -1AP regular ammo; 7P, -1AP Ex- ammo; 7P, -2AP Ex-Ex ammo; 6(e), -1AP SnS ammo;

Dice w. Grenade Launcher: 16 dice, no range mods.
HE grenades: 10P, -2AP, -2P per 2m.
Frag grenades: 12P(f) +5AP (conditional) -1P per 1m

Dice on visual perception tests: 10
Dice on auditory perception tests: 10

+++++++++++++

I have tried to avoid utter cheese in the build. No stat is completely dumped, etc. This is a playable character. I even went so far as to not make the character a troll as many of the disadvantages of trolls are in-game ones due to size and social factors.

So my little ork girl samurai can handle the basics of talking to people and infiltrating places, though she's expert at neither she at least doesn't have any obvious weaknesses. She can lay waste to her opponents with some decent firepower. The first few games' worth of karma is going to padding out her breaking and entering skills after which she'll become a passable infiltrator. All she needs now is a back story about how her parents were murdered by a megacorp and she's ready to rock.

If I played around with her equipment list a little more I could squeeze in a Reaction Enhancer at rating 1 also, so I might go back and edit this when I have time. Thoughts, people? I know she's not very min-maxed and I might be making this too easy on hermit but I like her for a first draft. wink.gif

+++++++++++++

EDIT 1: Have taken Octopiii's Form Fitting Body idea and added to Betty.

EDIT 2: Fuchs mentioned "Personalised Grip" for his own build. Why not nab it for mine? Have added.
WeaverMount
Question: What is the premise of the engagement? If a mage and a samurai were both walking down an empty street and realized at the sam moment that God had ordained that they fight to the death, my money says they the sam can ready a weapon and waist the mage before the mage can buff or summon. On the flip side if two people on the opposite sides of the earth are given a picture of a target the sam get's waisted by CHA number of high force spirits.
knasser
QUOTE (WeaverMount @ Mar 22 2009, 08:12 PM) *
Question: What is the premise of the engagement? If a mage and a samurai were both walking down an empty street and realized at the sam moment that God had ordained that they fight to the death, my money says they the sam can ready a weapon and waist the mage before the mage can buff or summon. On the flip side if two people on the opposite sides of the earth are given a picture of a target the sam get's waisted by CHA number of high force spirits.


This is entirely irrelevant to the challenge. biggrin.gif A Mage vs. Samurai fight is meaningless because it always comes down to the circumstances of the fight - even in your initial example - and I think this says something healthy about Shadowrun. The one who wins is the one who out-thinks his opponent and gets the drop on him, arranging circumstances to suit his own abilities.

The challenge is because Hermit has been saying that magicians are overpowered, that they can replace the rest of the team, that they can fill the role of others and make them redundant. Basically that magicians are the be all and end all. Therefore I asked him if I posted a basic samurai build could he produce a similarly legal 400BP magician that could do the same, handle the same circumstances as the samurai, etc.? It's not about whether the magician or the samurai can beat the other (they both can). It's about whether the magician makes the samurai obsolete through its superiority as Hermit thinks and I do not.

Is that clearly put?

K.
Zurai
QUOTE (knasser @ Mar 22 2009, 03:02 PM) *
Betty Bang, petite Ork Samurai.

Suprathyroid Gland

Positive Qualities: None


You need the Restricted Gear positive quality to take a Suprathyroid at character creation, unless it got better availability in SR4A.
pbangarth
By my count, Betty has 172 BP spent on skills, not 170.
Draco18s
Didn't even mod your guns so you could load two kinds of ammo at once: free action to switch with a smartlink!
IP1: Short Burst Ex-Ex, swap, Short Bust SnS. biggrin.gif
Degausser
QUOTE (WeaverMount @ Mar 22 2009, 04:12 PM) *
Question: What is the premise of the engagement? If a mage and a samurai were both walking down an empty street and realized at the sam moment that God had ordained that they fight to the death, my money says they the sam can ready a weapon and waist the mage before the mage can buff or summon. On the flip side if two people on the opposite sides of the earth are given a picture of a target the sam get's waisted by CHA number of high force spirits.


I haven't seen their arguements, but I am betting that the guy saying mages are better is going to use a Force 3 Sustaining focus for improved Reflexes 2, which basically nets him the same (or similar) speed as a street sam. Unfortuneatly for him, I still think the street sam would win in a 'fair' fight. I just don't see a standard build 400BP mage having the damage resistance to go against a Street sam for too long. Whereas a street sam could PROBABLY hold his own for a few IPs against the mage. Of course, the guy could build a "Street Sam Killer," to win, but that would defeat the purpose of this contest. This guy didn't make a 'Mage Killer' or he would have dumped loads of points into Magic resistance.

As a side note to the OP, I don't know the details of the contest, but if you are doing a standard BBB 400BP sam, then you can't have a superthyroid gland, its availability is 20F, too high for a starting character.
knasser
Right - I've removed a rogue specialisation and paid for Restricted Gear. Thanks to all.
knasser
QUOTE (Degausser @ Mar 22 2009, 08:27 PM) *
I haven't seen their arguements, but I am betting that the guy saying mages are better is going to use a Force 3 Sustaining focus for improved Reflexes 2, which basically nets him the same (or similar) speed as a street sam. Unfortuneatly for him, I still think the street sam would win in a 'fair' fight. I just don't see a standard build 400BP mage having the damage resistance to go against a Street sam for too long. Whereas a street sam could PROBABLY hold his own for a few IPs against the mage. Of course, the guy could build a "Street Sam Killer," to win, but that would defeat the purpose of this contest. This guy didn't make a 'Mage Killer' or he would have dumped loads of points into Magic resistance.


It's not about who can win a fight. That comes down to who betrays the other first - this is Shadowrun, after all. wink.gif

It's about whether magicians are so overpowered as has been claimed that they are a team unto themself and make non-magician characters redundant.

K.

@Draco18: Now that would just be mean. biggrin.gif
ElFenrir
Well, I mean, someone else is making this mage...I would put my own 400 BP bio-combat-mage up, but that might be going against the 'spirit' of the competition, since he had about 2 essence worth of bioware and almost better physical stats than this samurai(body was a bit less, Agility and Strength were more, Reaction the same-and yes, 400 BP.) There was no flat ''cheese'' involved, per se, but a lot of numbers playing. I'd post it for fun but I do feel it breaks the whole spirit of the thing.

As for being able to resist, my bio-mage had a body of 4(5, +2 damage), so that actually is quite competent to resist the physical damage without too much trouble.

Not trying to play too much devil's advocate here, as I like both sams and mages and did NOT have a problem with mages in vanilla 4e, but given some time and even 400 BP I CAN build one beast of a combat mage. biggrin.gif
Octopiii
If Hermit's "One Man Shadowrunning Team" utilizes the broken Possession tradition Task/Guardian summoning trick, I would argue it that doesn't really speak to the effectiveness of the SR4A rules change. As far as I can tell, Possession based summoning hasn't been nerfed. So I'm not sure what his proposed 'Vodoun Swiss Army Knife" will show, other than Street Magic, like all the other supplements, feature power creep.

Improved Reflexes + Various "Improve Attribute Spells" + sustaining foci is the best way, using Spellcasting, that I can think of for a Mage to usurp the roles of other team members. In conjunction with spirit possession, that could lead to some terribly broken dice pools; but again, since possession based summoning has not been effected by the new changes, I'm not sure what point Hermit is making.
Medicineman
@Knasser
I Like Betty. If you don't mind i'll make a copy for Conventions


HeyaHeyaheya
Medicineman
Draco18s
QUOTE (knasser @ Mar 22 2009, 04:38 PM) *
@Draco18: Now that would just be mean. biggrin.gif


That's the whole point. nyahnyah.gif
My character does it, well, not really but could. If he had SnS and ExEx rounds. Right now all he has is standard and gel. I plan on getting armor piercing instead of standard. Someone bought anti-vehicular rounds, which have a better AP vs. people than armor piercing rounds, but it's expensive ammo I don't want to be using up three shots at a time of.
Mx
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Mar 22 2009, 11:00 PM) *
Someone bought anti-vehicular rounds, which have a better AP vs. people than armor piercing rounds, but it's expensive ammo I don't want to be using up three shots at a time of.

Those are definedly not RAW AV-rounds.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Mäx @ Mar 22 2009, 05:26 PM) *
Those are definedly not RAW AV-rounds.


Arsenal, IIRC. AP -4 on people, vs. APDS's AP -2.

Edit, almost right. APDS is also -4, but cheaper. nuyen.gif 70 per 10 versus nuyen.gif 120
knasser
QUOTE (ElFenrir @ Mar 22 2009, 08:42 PM) *
Well, I mean, someone else is making this mage...I would put my own 400 BP bio-combat-mage up, but that might be going against the 'spirit' of the competition, since he had about 2 essence worth of bioware and almost better physical stats than this samurai(body was a bit less, Agility and Strength were more, Reaction the same-and yes, 400 BP.) There was no flat ''cheese'' involved, per se, but a lot of numbers playing. I'd post it for fun but I do feel it breaks the whole spirit of the thing.

As for being able to resist, my bio-mage had a body of 4(5, +2 damage), so that actually is quite competent to resist the physical damage without too much trouble.

Not trying to play too much devil's advocate here, as I like both sams and mages and did NOT have a problem with mages in vanilla 4e, but given some time and even 400 BP I CAN build one beast of a combat mage. biggrin.gif


Sounds good. I would be interested to see it actually. Maybe wait until Hermit has posted his and we've had at least some discussion over it as I'd like to see him answer the challenge, being the one that brought it about. But I'm up for all comers. Your build sounds pretty samurai-ish itself - should be a fun comparison.

QUOTE (Octopiii)
If Hermit's "One Man Shadowrunning Team" utilizes the broken Possession tradition Task/Guardian summoning trick, I would argue it that doesn't really speak to the effectiveness of the SR4A rules change. As far as I can tell, Possession based summoning hasn't been nerfed. So I'm not sure what his proposed 'Vodoun Swiss Army Knife" will show, other than Street Magic, like all the other supplements, feature power creep.

Improved Reflexes + Various "Improve Attribute Spells" + sustaining foci is the best way, using Spellcasting, that I can think of for a Mage to usurp the roles of other team members. In conjunction with spirit possession, that could lead to some terribly broken dice pools; but again, since possession based summoning has not been effected by the new changes, I'm not sure what point Hermit is making.



Yes - he said earlier he'd probably go with a Voodoo mage so I'm guessing he's trying for a possessed by a task or guardian spirit build. I tried this approach myself when trying to create a magical samurai "replacement". It didn't quite work though for a number of reasons. I actually don't consider Possession to be over-powered though it does seem so when you first look at what a possessed magician is capable of. You lose a lot in giving up Materialisation spirits and there are some severe limits on Possession in practice. We should be quiet on that though, while Hermit is preparing his build. (Just kidding).

But still, you are absolutely right that Possession rules haven't been changed by the errata so it doesn't fit in with Hermit's argument that the errata has improved things. Sustaining Focus approach is probably what I would have gone with after giving up with the Possession attempt. Doesn't work though until you are considerably advanced from chargen. You just can't match what mundanes can do with cyber-/bio- and even if you do, it's cost you so much that your skills are lagging. Still, it's probably the best path (though I'm interested to see ElFenrir's Essence 2 mage later).

QUOTE (Medicineman)
@Knasser
I Like Betty. If you don't mind i'll make a copy for Conventions


Please do. It's a while since I've actually created my own character (I'm the eternal GM, it seems), and I quite like her. I'm half tempted to go back and add some fluff as well.

K.
knasser
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Mar 22 2009, 09:32 PM) *
Arsenal, IIRC. AP -4 on people, vs. APDS's AP -2.

Edit, almost right. APDS is also -4, but cheaper. nuyen.gif 70 per 10 versus nuyen.gif 120


I could be wrong, but I think there was a short-lived version that was how you initially described, but it was errata'd, possibly before Arsenal went to print. I only have the updated PDF now so I can't check.
Draco18s
QUOTE (knasser @ Mar 22 2009, 05:41 PM) *
I could be wrong, but I think there was a short-lived version that was how you initially described, but it was errata'd, possibly before Arsenal went to print. I only have the updated PDF now so I can't check.


It's possible our physical copy is the one lacking said errata, as my pdf is just fine. nyahnyah.gif
Octopiii
QUOTE (knasser @ Mar 22 2009, 01:40 PM) *
Yes - he said earlier he'd probably go with a Voodoo mage so I'm guessing he's trying for a possessed by a task or guardian spirit build. I tried this approach myself when trying to create a magical samurai "replacement". It didn't quite work though for a number of reasons. I actually don't consider Possession to be over-powered though it does seem so when you first look at what a possessed magician is capable of. You lose a lot in giving up Materialisation spirits and there are some severe limits on Possession in practice. We should be quiet on that though, while Hermit is preparing his build. (Just kidding).

But still, you are absolutely right that Possession rules haven't been changed by the errata so it doesn't fit in with Hermit's argument that the errata has improved things. Sustaining Focus approach is probably what I would have gone with after giving up with the Possession attempt. Doesn't work though until you are considerably advanced from chargen. You just can't match what mundanes can do with cyber-/bio- and even if you do, it's cost you so much that your skills are lagging. Still, it's probably the best path (though I'm interested to see ElFenrir's Essence 2 mage later).

K.


Possession, straight out of CharGen isn't so uber-elite. It's when you get ~9 Karma for your first initiation (to pick up channeling, naturally) that the Possession based mage can really go to town. 9 Karma is two/three runs (or one, if you're Synner grinbig.gif) so it's not a distant goal.

I'm now trying to think of a way for a Mage to Uber his way through a team's role now while relying on spells - Summoning has always been pretty powerful, and the new rules don't change that. Hacking and Face work would be easy for a Mage to cover. I wonder if picking up a Move-By-Wire system would be worth the horrendous magic loss?
suppenhuhn
QUOTE (Degausser @ Mar 22 2009, 09:27 PM) *
I just don't see a standard build 400BP mage having the damage resistance to go against a Street sam for too long. Whereas a street sam could PROBABLY hold his own for a few IPs against the mage. Of course, the guy could build a "Street Sam Killer," to win, but that would defeat the purpose of this contest. This guy didn't make a 'Mage Killer' or he would have dumped loads of points into Magic resistance.


1 stunbolt and that sammie is down, no need to survive many IP.
In fact I just made a 94 BP build to reliably win that duel. grinbig.gif
Chrysalis
If this is a straight-up Spy vs. Spy or in this case Mage vs. Street Samurai it does not prove anything, since each character can be built to counteract the other character. Instead it should involve a series of challenges in which a character competes against the other. The character which succeeds the best is the winner. The details of each challenge would remain secret. The series of challenges would fit with the inflitration of R&D center. Each challenge is irrespective of class considerations, strengths or weaknesses of one character over another. Does that make sense?
WeaverMount
QUOTE (Octopiii @ Mar 22 2009, 05:05 PM) *
Possession, straight out of CharGen isn't so uber-elite. It's when you get ~9 Karma for your first initiation (to pick up channeling, naturally) that the Possession based mage can really go to town. 9 Karma is two/three runs (or one, if you're Synner grinbig.gif) so it's not a distant goal.

I'm now trying to think of a way for a Mage to Uber his way through a team's role now while relying on spells - Summoning has always been pretty powerful, and the new rules don't change that. Hacking and Face work would be easy for a Mage to cover. I wonder if picking up a Move-By-Wire system would be worth the horrendous magic loss?

Possession is actually pretty broken straight out of gate, because of two tactics in particular. First it's the only (or at least only easy) attack you can launch from the astral onto the physical. You can use it to completely broad side mundane opposition. You can stop one vehicle. A spirit of man with mind probe and alter memory is crazy broken. Wait until someone is alone (goes to the bath room). Possess them. have them keep on doing whatever they were supposed to. Milk them for all they're worth. Wipe there memory. All from an astral attack vector, no meta magic. With the harshest interpenetration of tasks that's only getting 3 tasks on a force 6 spirit.

Hacking is program + skill, facing(?) is CHA + skill. get skill wires, and charisma drain stat. The rest is a matter of money, which mages aren't hurting for that badly.

And I can here people saying now: "yeah, well show me. You wont actually have to points for all that". And I suspect they are right. What you can do with build a 400bp mage that is a great mage, and a great something else right out of the gate. At the same time you can lay the ground work take over everything else.
BlueMax
QUOTE (Chrysalis @ Mar 22 2009, 02:36 PM) *
If this is a straight-up Spy vs. Spy or in this case Mage vs. Street Samurai it does not prove anything. Instead it should involve a series of challenges in which each character competes. The character which succeeds the best is the winner. The details of the challenge would remain secret. The challenge nonetheless, should be comprehensive with situations which can come up irrespective of class considerations. Does that make sense?

I think so.

WeaverMount
QUOTE (Chrysalis @ Mar 22 2009, 05:36 PM) *
If this is a straight-up Spy vs. Spy or in this case Mage vs. Street Samurai it does not prove anything. Instead it should involve a series of challenges in which each character competes. The character which succeeds the best is the winner. The details of the challenge would remain secret. The challenge nonetheless, should be comprehensive with situations which can come up irrespective of class considerations. Does that make sense?

Nice, Spy vs. Spy is a great name for that kind of wackery!
I think Knasser was thinking Hermit needs to establish that the mage can out sam the sam. To that ends I think that the situation should be situations where the sam should shine. Thoughts?
knasser
Good grief, people! Please read any of the explanations I have put in this thread so far.

QUOTE (knasser)
so I asked Hermit if he was willing to pit a standard 400BP straight out of chargen magician against an identically costed samurai build and see if he could produce something that would match its capabilities, thus fulfilling the same role in a team. Hermit said sure, so here's the thread and here's my build.


QUOTE (knasser)
I do not expect this challenge to prove that samurai can beat up magicians or vice versa. Shadowrun is a game of eggshells armed with hammers - typically he who betrays the other first gets the loot. What I expect it to prove is that magicians and samurai are neither better nor worse than the other, but different. That they each have their own, and complimentary roles. Hermit expects to prove that magicians are greatly superior to samurai, able to beat the samurai at its own game.


QUOTE (knasser)
So here is my build. Hermit can post his next and then we'll start comparing their capabilities.


QUOTE (knasser)
A Mage vs. Samurai fight is meaningless.


QUOTE (knasser)
The challenge is because Hermit has been saying that magicians are overpowered, that they can replace the rest of the team, that they can fill the role of others and make them redundant. Basically that magicians are the be all and end all. Therefore I asked him if I posted a basic samurai build could he produce a similarly legal 400BP magician that could do the same, handle the same circumstances as the samurai, etc.? It's not about whether the magician or the samurai can beat the other (they both can). It's about whether the magician makes the samurai obsolete through its superiority as Hermit thinks and I do not.


QUOTE (knasser)
It's not about who can win a fight. That comes down to who betrays the other first - this is Shadowrun, after all. wink.gif

It's about whether magicians are so overpowered as has been claimed that they are a team unto themself and make non-magician characters redundant.


Does that make the nature of the challenge clear now? It's to ask Hermit to follow up on his claims and Hermit has accepted. We're just waiting for his build. It has nothing, absolutely nothing, at all, to do with the two builds "fighting each other" which would be nonsensical outside of a game because circumstances determine the outcome, not the builds.

K.
Octopiii
So here's my shot at a Swiss Army Mage:

[ Spoiler ]


OMA can drop spells (9 dice pool, 13 for manipulation spells; 10dp for drain generally; 12 for drain with his fetishes), Fight (15 dp for ballistic resistance, 14 for impact; dodges with 6 dice at ranged, 12 if full dodge; 11 initiative and 3 IP's), and Hack (9 dice for hacking, 11 if in hotsim; 3 IP's in AR or Hotsim), and be a pinch Face (Influence, Mind Probe, Physical Mask, Control Thoughts), and do B+E work: (Physical Mask, Levitate, Shapechange, various burglar tools), and finally, act as a Medic (Heal spell; 6 dp; 12 with Medkit for First Aid tests) In exchange, he has to overcast most of his spells to be certain to succeed, which isn't a problem in combat (Force 6 Stunbolt: 2 physical drain).

Can he take other team member's roles? Yes. Is this because he is a mage? Generally, No. The MBW system and the cheapness of Activesofts in SR4 are the contributors to the cheese. I could make a Samurai Hacker/B+E/Rigger just as easily with a MBW system, and he'd have better dice pools.

EDIT: Added drain dp for his three fetish limited spells, fixed damage resistance pools to reflect that I gave him 5 body halfway through the build, and added his ability as a combat Medic. I didn't use Unwired, otherwise he'd be a bit more tricked out for matrix combat.
Mikado
QUOTE (Octopiii @ Mar 22 2009, 07:18 PM) *
So here's my shot at a Swiss Army Mage:
OMA can drop spells (9 dice pool, 13 for manipulation spells; 10dp for drain generally), Fight (14 dp for ballistic resistance, 13 for impact; dodges with 6 dice at ranged, 12 if full dodge), and Hack (9 dice for hacking, 11 if in hotsim), and be a pinch Face (Influence, Mind Probe, Physical Mask, Control Thoughts), and do B+E work: (Physical Mask, Levitate, Shapechange, various burglar tools). In exchange, he has to overcast most of his spells to be certain to succeed, which isn't a problem in combat (Force 6 Stunbolt: 2 physical drain).

Can he take other team member's roles? Yes. Is this because he is a mage? Generally, No. The MBW system and the cheapness of Activesofts in SR4 are the contributors to the cheese. I could make a Samurai Hacker/B+E/Rigger just as easily with a MBW system, and he'd have better dice pools.

Your prices on Activesofts are wrong for SR4A. 10,000 per rating is the new cost.
Sir_Psycho
Aren't we proving that pre SR4A magicians were broken, though? So shouldn't everything pre-anniversary be acceptable?
Mikado
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho @ Mar 22 2009, 07:41 PM) *
Aren't we proving that pre SR4A magicians were broken, though? So shouldn't everything pre-anniversary be acceptable?

Ah, never mind then.
Malicant
QUOTE (Octopiii @ Mar 23 2009, 12:18 AM) *
So here's my shot at a Swiss Army Mage:
The point was the mage uses magic to make everyone else redundant. Skills are obviously ok, but 'ware makes the point moot.
suppenhuhn
QUOTE (Malicant @ Mar 23 2009, 02:20 AM) *
The point was the mage uses magic to make everyone else redundant. Skills are obviously ok, but 'ware makes the point moot.

Mages can't use cyber? proof.gif
This is getting silly.
Malicant
Dude, what?
If a guy claims a mage can do everything a regular team can, on his own, because of magic, he cannot use (excessive) implants to do stuff he cannot do with magic. Seriously, go play somewhere else and let the grown ups do the talking, will you?
suppenhuhn
There's nothing written in any book that states mages can't use cyberware.
In fact every argument about how balanced everything is always points out how mundanes can get some deltaware this and betaware that.
Mages can do so as well, it's a valid built no point for you to behave like in your kindergarten.
Dunsany
It's true that cyberware and bioware are available to all characters. I also don't think that using cyberware with a magically active character to show that magically active characters can be overpowered is out of line. I'm of the opinion that bioware, in particular, isn't perfectly balanced in this edition with the cost to magically active characters, but that's not really the issue here and is properly argued elsewhere.

The argument is that a mage can/cannot replace an entire team of shadowrunners by themselves. I think it's fair to allow people to use any magically active character with any normal options open to them to prove that mages can replace the team. Given our contention is that it is impossible, I feel relatively safe in letting people use whatever character options they like.
Malicant
QUOTE (suppenhuhn @ Mar 23 2009, 02:46 AM) *
There's nothing written in any book that states mages can't use cyberware.
In fact every argument about how balanced everything is always points out how mundanes can get some deltaware this and betaware that.
Mages can do so as well, it's a valid built no point for you to behave like in your kindergarten.

Ok, now you're getting just cute. Dear, your missing the point, but that's ok, we love you anyway, our little special darling angel.
eidolon
QUOTE (suppenhuhn @ Mar 22 2009, 08:24 PM) *
This is getting silly.


Getting?

Sir, I respectfully submit that the wankery on the forums surpassed "silly" about five minutes after SR4A dropped, and has firmly moved into realms approaching inanity.

grinbig.gif


Draco18s
QUOTE (Dunsany @ Mar 22 2009, 09:55 PM) *
The argument is that a mage can/cannot replace an entire team of shadowrunners by themselves. I think it's fair to allow people to use any magically active character with any normal options open to them to prove that mages can replace the team. Given our contention is that it is impossible, I feel relatively safe in letting people use whatever character options they like.


Given this and given that the Swiss Army Mage uses cyber to accomplish some of the "I replace you" means that it isn't because he's a mage that he can replace the entire team. Having some access to magic just helps him replace more (i.e. a mage with MBW replaces the whole team, a non-mage with MBW replaces everyone but the mage).

So while a valid entry, it doesn't prove the point that "magic replaces everyone." It only shows that MBW replaces everyone (isn't that why corps implant all their wage slaves with MBW?).
Malicant
Indeed. spin.gif
eidolon
Malicant, knock off the baiting and provocation. Asking a valid question doesn't make someone illiterate, stupid, or a child.
Malicant
It does not. But not understanding it after it has been explaind does.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Malicant @ Mar 22 2009, 10:14 PM) *
It does not. But not understanding it after it has been explaind does.


Oh, so that's why I've had to explain the SR4A drain mechanic to people 14 times...
</bait>
<switch>
eidolon
I'm sure we'll all keep that in mind the next time you misunderstand something the first time.

You can argue with me but it won't change the point: stop treading, however lightly, on the TOS or it'll start earning you administrative warnings and time outs. Thanks.
Malicant
Drains... drains! Giev.... drains! grinbig.gif

QUOTE (eidolon @ Mar 23 2009, 03:23 AM) *
I'm sure we'll all keep that in mind the next time you misunderstand something the first time.
I never misunderstand stuff, it's everyone else who is wrong.

What?

Oh, right. Sorry.
Draco18s
QUOTE (eidolon @ Mar 22 2009, 10:23 PM) *
You can argue with me but it won't change the point: stop treading, however lightly, on the TOS or it'll start earning you administrative warnings and time outs. Thanks.


I think my most recent corrections have been to repeat offenders, actually. All 14 of those posts would be in the same 3 threads too (so even if it is a new person the answer has already been supplied 4 times). Most of whom reply back with a variant of "that's what I said" and when attempting to explain the difference between what they said and what I said I get a remark about "that's not how it's done, it's done [correct method]."

Anyway, I hope the SR devs take all of the discussion to heart and reword / exemplify the rules in the published book or the problem will only exacerbate itself. Assuming they decide that their "fix" for whatever "the problem" is is in fact the correct one, and not one of the other suggested methods (my other hope is that when the players find the rules odd and come up with a "better" solution that the devs take note and adopt that instead).

QUOTE
I'm sure we'll all keep that in mind the next time you misunderstand something the first time.


Go for it. I'm open to taking the same criticism that I give, I know that when it comes spelling and grammar I'm quite a nazi, yet have terrible spelling and grammar of my own (you would never want to read what I type if I was unable to make corrections). I'm certainly willing to extend that towards rules as well.
Octopiii
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Mar 22 2009, 06:05 PM) *
Given this and given that the Swiss Army Mage uses cyber to accomplish some of the "I replace you" means that it isn't because he's a mage that he can replace the entire team. Having some access to magic just helps him replace more (i.e. a mage with MBW replaces the whole team, a non-mage with MBW replaces everyone but the mage).

So while a valid entry, it doesn't prove the point that "magic replaces everyone." It only shows that MBW replaces everyone (isn't that why corps implant all their wage slaves with MBW?).


I agree that this entry proves nothing more than the errata for activesofts and software mods were much needed. Still, even with the discounted costs, I was unable to get him any useful foci; a rating 2 power focus would be extremely helpful, as would some sustaining foci. OMA was an attempt to use rules that were nerfed in SR4A to prove Hermit's point (which I don't, for the record, agree with) that a Mage could replace an entire team pre-SR4. His dicepool for spells is a bit on the low side, owing to his large essence loss; and his drain dicepool is merely ok. I can anticipate the argument that a Skillwires + Synaptic Booster combo would be better; but a rating 2 Booster would not allow him to take on a hacking role due to money constraints; a rating 1 Booster would be serviceable but leave him weak in the Samurai Replacement department.

I could make a much more powerful character who utilized a possession based tradition to be the Swiss Army Mage; but as the possession rules were not nerfed, I didn't see how that proved Hermit's point that the SR4A changes were necessary to keep Mages from obsoleting an entire team. Skillwires do that, and for far cheaper (with bp) than magic. One thing to note is that OMA still doesn't have very many spells that effect items with OR, as I decided his hacking ability was more efficient at taking out technological foes than magic would be. For the record, I think an OR of 6 is frankly punishing; 4 is usually enough of a hurdle for a Mage to meet.

EDIT: Removed quasi-incendiary term "SR4.5" for "SR4A". I don't want (more) of a flame war here smile.gif.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Octopiii @ Mar 23 2009, 12:47 AM) *
I agree that this entry proves nothing more than the errata for activesofts and software mods were much needed.

I could make a much more powerful character who utilized a possession based tradition to be the Swiss Army Mage; but as the possession rules were not nerfed


Points I both agree with. I never used Skillwires myself, though one character in our group does (the cybersam, go figure), and I think they've only ever been used in our group for those characters who want to be able to go, "Oh, we need XYZ and no one has it. I have skillwires, let me get the Activesoft" rather than trying to be a Swiss Army Knife.
Octopiii
QUOTE (Malicant @ Mar 22 2009, 05:20 PM) *
The point was the mage uses magic to make everyone else redundant. Skills are obviously ok, but 'ware makes the point moot.


Just thought I'd tackle this point directly. Yes, the Swiss Army Mage makes rather heavy use of Cyber; but it's still his magic that fulfills the essential part of all his roles. Combat? He uses spells (Stunbolt, Stunball, Control Thoughts, Mob Mind, Mana Bind, Mana Net) and spirits. B+E? Spells (Physical Mask, Levitate, Influence, Control Thoughts, Mob Mind) and spirits. About the only role he fulfills that doesn't use magic is Hacking (and he would be a much better character if I didn't try to squeeze in hacking ability as well).

Part of what makes this versatility possible is that several of his spells have overlap in the various roles he plays, maximizing his bp's spent on skills (you notice I only spent 90 total bp on skills? Relying on spells means that he only needed to spend 26 bp on Spellcasting and let the rest lie.) and magic.
Angier
Part of the Challenge actually is the predication that awakened can do all a mundane can do and more. Using cyberware is fine I think as long as the actual build itself doesn't use more ressources than the 400BP allow.
Malicant
If you want to prove Magic to be uberpowerful, and you use Cyberware in your build, you only prove that magic paired with 'ware is uberpowerful. Although there is a lot of cheese going on in the Augmented Awakened department, this is not the purpose of this challange.

Really, how do you prove magic can do everything (and better), if you use tech to cover things magic cannot do?
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