Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: [SR4]order of modifiers, essence and magic
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
When creating starting mage who has some 'ware, does the missing essence reduce the starting magic attribute?

ie. if I have essence 5, then does magic 5 cost 40 points (10 per, with the 1 base), or does it cost 50 points?

Any book references would be very much appreciated.
Mr. Unpronounceable
neither: magic 5 would cost 1(free) +4 (x10) +1(x15, max point) -1 (essence loss) = 5 magic for 55bp

meh, typo - Matsci is right, last point is 25, not 65bp total.
Buy Attributes comes before Purchasing gear, so you have to buy up your magic first, then loose some

EG, to get magic 5 at essence five costs 65 BP, cus you have to buy your magic up to 6 first.
I was afraid of that, someone remind my why people think having a little 'ware as a mage is a good thing? (kind of new to the system.)
Because some people like it, and some don't, and if there was One True Way there would only be One True Character to play instead of the fun of letting everyone play the character they would like.
Ancient History
While it is recommended for new players to proceed linearly through character creation, with your GM's permission there is nothing wrong with buying your 'ware first and then buying up Magic. The only caution here for GMs is that this can produce a "BP boost" for magician characters, like so:

Example #1: Linear Generation
Jim picks his metatype (Ork), then his qualities (Magician, 15), and then raises his Magic attribute to 5 (40 BP). When assigning resources, Jim buys a Cerebral Booster (2), which drops his Essence down to 5.6; lowering his Magic to 4.

Example #2: Skip Generation
Jim picks his metatype (Ork), then his qualities (Magician, 15), then buys the Cerebral Booster (2), which drops his Essence down to 5.6. When buying attributes, Jim raises his Magic to 4 (30 BP).

So, with Skip Generation Jim saves 10 BP in this example. If Jim had raised his Magic to 6 in example #1 (for 65 BP instead of 40 BP), he would start the game with Magic 5. If Jim had raised his Magic to 5 in example #2, that would be his maximum Magic attribute and it would cost 55 BP instead of 30 BP. Naturally, the more 'ware you decide to take, the more you "save" because you don't have to buy up your Magic attribute just to pee it down the drain when you get 'ware.

Linear generation does have its advantages for simplicity's sake if nothing else. It does not require you to keep track of your Essence score during character generation, for example - you can play around with whatever combination of implants you desire and then at the end calculate what your final Essence is. Not having to go through any interim calculations makes things faster and easier - even if it does raise the specter of a character that starts out as a burnout and paid dearly for it!

Someone might suggest that players ignore Essence reductions during character generation as long as the character's Maximum Magic attribute is greater than or equal to their actual Magic attribute. This is a fine way to play it, but you run into the potentially sticky problem of a character buying their Magic up to a certain point (say, Magic 3) and then lowing their Essence until that's their Maximum Magic (i.e. the character with Magic 3 has Essence 3.xx); now the character is getting by paying the 15 BP kicker they should pay for maxxing out their Magic. Something to watch out for.
QUOTE (Ancient History @ May 11 2009, 08:13 PM) *
Example #2: Skip Generation
Jim picks his metatype (Ork), then his qualities (Magician, 15), then buys the Cerebral Booster (2), which drops his Essence down to 5.6. When buying attributes, Jim raises his Magic to 4 (30 BP).

Wouldn't that be:
Jim picks his metatype (Ork), then his qualities (Magician, 15, giving him Magic 1), then buys the Cerebral Booster (2), which drops his Essence down to 5.6, and drops Magic down to 0, making Jims character mundane. When buying attributes, Jim can't raise his magic because his character is mundane.

Effectively Jim will not save anything at all, because the Magician quality will be wasted.

Ancient History
Okay, bad example. Buy the quality after the 'ware. See how easy it is to get confused?
Because there's supposedly stuff magic can't emulate.
And it's according to the Fluff the norm.
And you can build horribly overpowered characters with the RIGHT combination.
My suggestion would be to work it out with your GM, but here's what I would propose if it was me (because I have, and it works):

When purchasing your "Positive Qualities" buy the 5 point Latent Awakening out of your pool. Then work out with the GM at what point you become "Awakened" and save the apropriate number of points to buy that later on. This keeps you more in line with the base system. (Essentially, instead of say a 400 BP character, you are building a 325 or so, then you are spending the rest of the points as if they were Karma improving an existing character.)

To keep things reasonable, keep the Magic score moderate (like not above a 4), don't load up on a boatload of spells, keep any magical skills to moderate (again, 4 or lower) levels and avoid whole skill groups as they represent broad long-term training.

In my case, what I did was purchase the Latent Awakening Quality, then "sold" it off in exchange for the Mystic Adept and Mentor Spirit Qualities as well as the (blancing) Aspected Magician - Sorcerer Negative Quality. This reflects that I am just getting a handle on tossing mana around, and that I haven't gotten my head around dealing with spirits at all. I bought Sorcery 4 and Counterspelling 3, but intentionally left out Ritual Spellcasting as well as the entire Summoning Group and Arcana, since I have a very ad-hoc training in the Art. My Magic Rating is a 4, as high as I could buy it up (to max) because I had ALREADY had cyber/bioware installed at an early(ish) age. I also left my Edge as a paltry 2, to reflect that I Awakened in a traumatic event and that I "burned" a point of the stat permanently in combination with my sudden surge of Talent to survive the encounter.

Taken as a whole, it's important not to go for the outright "gouda" and try to make the stats "feel" organic to the character. I played with a guy whose day job was doing home decorating on TV (think "Queer Eye") but for some reason had Firearms at 4. Why? You've got military veteran level qualifications with automatic weapons? But you've never served? It's hard to "suspend disbelief" and get into thinking of them as the other character when the numbers don't gel. And GMs know that sort of thing when they see it, even if they can't put their fingers on it.

Come up with a solid idea, make sure the story is believable (and interesting!) then go to your GM with what you have in mind, including some rough numbers so they get a feel for what you're asking for. You would be amazed how readily a good GM will respond to that, as opposed to a standard method character who fits neatly on the book-style sheet (does anybody ELSE need more space for skills?) and is "but it's legal!" while not being believable even in a Manga novel? I've played with both, as a GM and a player, and I know which one I want at my table(s).

Well, that's my two cents, for what it's worth; Take it or leave it. And as always, your actual mileage will vary.
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