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DarkKindness
And here's the Mage that I promised you folks - as promised, Wiccan Pacifist!

[ Spoiler ]


General philosophy here is that this is someone who's awakened and has been generally persecuted for their ability, until finding a coven of Wiccans who took him/her in and showed him the ropes. As such, big focus on defensive and detection magic, along with a reasonable splash of healing. The meta-game concession here is that this character is designed to be the team's astral warning system and defense against spirits/other magical badness, so some choices were made in that regard. Big Stunbolt user for religious (Pacifist) reasons, and only has Lightning Bolt to help take care of things like Drones and mechanical defenses.

Think that I pretty much pegged where I wanted to go with this one, and I know that I made a couple of inefficient choices (Bad Luck, no Sorcery Skill Group (but I really wanted Spellcasting at 5 here, so...)), but tear it apart and let me know what I could/should change to tighten it up around the edges. As always, feel free to try to convince me to change some of my inefficient choices by making better suggestions! I look forward to all of the feedback, and I look forward to showing all of you the whole team once this character and the hacker are through the tweaking process.

For the whole team post, I'll be jotting up short backstories (probably pretty similar to the one that the hacker and gunslinger already have) for each character, and a short backstory for the team for those who want to use them either as individual NPCs or as an NPC team, as well as giving my thoughts on swapping some things around for options (for instance, I wrote the whole team as Human, but there's no reason that it has to stay this way - switching several of the characters to various metatypes might actually be advantageous for the builds). Anywho, first things first - let's get this one ready for the show floor!
Machiavelli
What? No comments up to now? Baaah....im dissappointed my fellow dumpshockers.

I just had a brief look, but to me he/she/it looks fine. Better than my mage i think.^^ If you are not going to put some ´ware in it, switch sensitive neural stucture with sensitive system (or however is is called in english) and do EVERYTHING to get rid of "bad luck". This flaw is REALLY awful and even with your high edge it doesn´t pay it BP-costs off. Spells are ok for the beginning (i know BP´s are rare, but if you take some more flaws use the BP´s you get for levitation, improved invis. etc. These spells are REALLY basic and a should-have for every spellcaster.) Maybe swap Logic with willpower but this depends on your taste. Your have to realize that your pools won´t be the highest, but if you play in a "non-munchkin/powergamer" group this shouldn´t be much of a problem. Spellcasting 5 is very good, and specializations are cheap and affordable after the first run. Regarding your character background/team-task i can just say "interesting", but here my opinion is not crucial.^^
Stingray
Gremlins/Incompetant instead of Sensitive Neural Structure
instead of Bad Luck (20 Bp)..,Scorched (5 Bp), In Debt (5 Bp) (Runner's Companion),Spirit Bane (10 Bp)
Distinctive Style (5-35 Bp) (Runner's Companion)..
Mx
One question, why does a pasifist carry a Warhawk loaded with regular rounds.
Mx
Fraggin, douple post.
brennanhawkwood
QUOTE (Mäx @ Aug 31 2009, 08:37 AM) *
One question, why does a pasifist carry a Warhawk loaded with regular rounds.


I assume for self-defense. At the 5BP level the Pacifist Negative Quality does not reflect absolute Pacifism. It is the "kill only as a last resort and in self-defense and then as humanely as possible" level of Pacifism. I do agree that a Warhawk is a monster of a gun for someone like that, but I suppose it makes it more useful for stopping cars or possibly avoiding a violent confrontation through intimidation purposes.
DarkKindness
QUOTE (brennanhawkwood @ Aug 31 2009, 09:02 AM) *
I assume for self-defense. At the 5BP level the Pacifist Negative Quality does not reflect absolute Pacifism. It is the "kill only as a last resort and in self-defense and then as humanely as possible" level of Pacifism. I do agree that a Warhawk is a monster of a gun for someone like that, but I suppose it makes it more useful for stopping cars or possibly avoiding a violent confrontation through intimidation purposes.


Heh, you're a mind reader. Precisely this.

That said, no critique otherwise? This is my first Awakened build, so I feel certain that I missed something.

And thanks for the negative quality pointers... edited some changes into the first post.
DarkKindness
QUOTE (Machiavelli @ Aug 31 2009, 05:48 AM) *
Your have to realize that your pools won´t be the highest, but if you play in a "non-munchkin/powergamer" group this shouldn´t be much of a problem. Spellcasting 5 is very good, and specializations are cheap and affordable after the first run.


That said, what would you suggest/how would you min-max it? I'm always curious to see what the 'ideal' is so that I can try to wring a little more out of my builds while still making a rounded character.

TBRMInsanity
QUOTE (Mäx @ Aug 31 2009, 07:37 AM) *
One question, why does a pasifist carry a Warhawk loaded with regular rounds.


I agree, it would be better to carry some longer range stun weapon.
DarkKindness
QUOTE (TBRMInsanity @ Aug 31 2009, 08:48 AM) *
I agree, it would be better to carry some longer range stun weapon.


That'd be the Stunbolt. However, I agree with you for areas with high Background - I'll add something in in a bit.
McAllister
I like BOD 3. I hate having it lower, and raising it to 4 doesn't add a box, so it doesn't feel worthwhile.

Thinking of picking up a mentor spirit?
Machiavelli
QUOTE (DarkKindness @ Aug 31 2009, 02:46 PM) *
That said, what would you suggest/how would you min-max it? I'm always curious to see what the 'ideal' is so that I can try to wring a little more out of my builds while still making a rounded character.
I would switch to an charisma-based tradition, maybe softmaxing charisma (are you already an elf?) and lowering some other stats like logic. Taking a mentor spirit is also high favourable. If you like the "woman-based" magic view, there are a lot of other tradtions that include that which have other drain-attributes. Your mage isn´t very specialized but this is not important as long as you don´t have to deal with other specialists.
TBRMInsanity
QUOTE (DarkKindness @ Aug 31 2009, 08:51 AM) *
That'd be the Stunbolt. However, I agree with you for areas with high Background - I'll add something in in a bit.


I meant more along the idea if your a pacifist you wouldn't like buying a gun, and if you did buy a gun should be getting the least lethal gun possible (giving the unfortunate receiver the highest chance to survive and thus sparing your conscience).
Mind you, you could just get a power focus to help cast through high background counts and rely on your magic (I have a Wuxing mage that does that).

Edit:
I should point out I'm looking at the build from a roleplaying POV and not a rollplaying POV.
X-Kalibur
QUOTE (TBRMInsanity @ Aug 31 2009, 12:33 PM) *
I meant more along the idea if your a pacifist you wouldn't like buying a gun, and if you did buy a gun should be getting the least lethal gun possible (giving the unfortunate receiver the highest chance to survive and thus sparing your conscience).
Mind you, you could just get a power focus to help cast through high background counts and rely on your magic (I have a Wuxing mage that does that).

Edit:
I should point out I'm looking at the build from a roleplaying POV and not a rollplaying POV.


Or use gel rounds (or stick'n'shock with a smaller, more concealable sidearm)
Marwynn
For this level of pacifism I believe there's still a rationale of "I won't kill unless I'm forced to utterly defend myself".

In that case it makes sense to use the biggest baddest weapon you can to make sure than what you do choose to kill dies. Minimum fuss and muss.

However, if he's pragmatic and reasonable enough to realize that he won't always have the option of carrying such an obviously loud and monstrous gun, then some more concealable backups might work. And also another piece of weapon that'll let him support without directly killing.

Consider two of my new favourite guns: the Walther Secura Kompakt and the Ruger Thunderbolt.

The first can be modified to be very concealable and silent. The second can be (heavily) modified to fire full auto with two clips of 11 bullets each. That's enough for one supressive fire action.

Or just get an Ares Crusader and mod that for Full Auto or the Steyr TMP. If you use it for Supressive Fire its lack of recoil compensation won't matter.

Nothing says I don't wanna kill you than unloading 20 Stick-n-Shock or Gel rounds at their general direction. Anyone pops up or is caught in the open gets severe encouragement to stay down. Essentially, it'd be a weapon you can choose to fire in support a lot more freely due to their relative non-lethality. The Walther can be the trick (literally) up your sleeve. Face full of SnS, Gel rounds, or even Ex-ex if you know the situation's gotten bad.

That might end up being more useful than waving around a firearm that you hope you won't have to fire.

But that's me reading that level of Pacifism as a "Taboo - Killing" quality rather than being against violence in general.
TBRMInsanity
QUOTE (X-Kalibur @ Aug 31 2009, 11:46 AM) *
Or use gel rounds (or stick'n'shock with a smaller, more concealable sidearm)


My thoughts exactly. Like I said I'm looking from a roleplaying POV and I usually play pacifists as pure anti-violence and defiantly as anti-killing types. Usually all my pacifist characters are either hackers or vehicle riggers (any excuse to not even get involved with combat in the first place). BUT if your min-maxing then my advice is useless to you.
Kerenshara
Gardenarian Wicca:

You want thematically correct?

Take talisman limited spells for everything. Without your wand, your clasp, your cloak, your robe, your necklace(s), your athame, your sword, your boline, your staff, your censer, your cauldron, your challice and your Book of Shadows... you're not casting a spell.

Drop the hand cannon, pick up hand-to-hand. If you insist on a gun (prior to game start) take something lighter (light or below).

Most Gardenarians I have known don't ride bikes. Think Subaru.

Drop Lightening Bolt, insert Power Bolt. (This is thematic more than anything, raw magical force over elementalism.)

Improved Reflexes is wiz, but you're -2 on everything maintaining it without a sustaining focus.

Those are some of the high points.
DarkKindness
I've been working on this build pretty extensively with private input in messages on the board, and will be posting a pretty significant overhaul shortly.

Keren - most of your suggestions above have already been implemented, and I'd like to note the the build has a Force 4 Sustaining Focus in order to maintain Imp. Reflexes.
Kerenshara
QUOTE (DarkKindness @ Aug 31 2009, 02:09 PM) *
I've been working on this build pretty extensively with private input in messages on the board, and will be posting a pretty significant overhaul shortly.

Keren - most of your suggestions above have already been implemented, and I'd like to note the the build has a Force 4 Sustaining Focus in order to maintain Imp. Reflexes.

That's the only way to fly if that's how you plan to put on some speed and still be fully functional... might need to take the Restricted Gear quality to take it though at that force. But even at F2 sustained, you've got an extra IP, which is as much as anybody who's not a super-sammy or gunslinger Adept is going to have.
DarkKindness
Whoops, quite right on the focus being higher than legal for character creation. Changed it down to a Force 3, added the extra point to Contacts.
DarkKindness
All right, HEAVILY edited build in the first post - lots of changes in skills and spells, couple of changes in gear, and some changes in stats. Need thoughts on the new build - it's more thematically appropriate, I think, but I also still need it to be viable as a Shadowrunner. Bring it on!
Kerenshara
That looks pretty decent now. I might do a couple things a bit diferently but now we're down to personal taste/style and background.
DarkKindness
QUOTE (Kerenshara @ Aug 31 2009, 06:55 PM) *
That looks pretty decent now. I might do a couple things a bit diferently but now we're down to personal taste/style and background.


Slick - glad to hear it, Keren, and thanks for all of the help in fine-tuning ^_^

Anyone else have any thoughts on the current build/finishing touches?
DarkKindness
Giving this one one last bump for any final feedback before I let it fall off, call the build good, and get to posting the team thread =)
Glyph
QUOTE (DarkKindness @ Aug 31 2009, 07:46 AM) *
That said, what would you suggest/how would you min-max it? I'm always curious to see what the 'ideal' is so that I can try to wring a little more out of my builds while still making a rounded character.

A min-max build isn't always the "ideal" - it depends on the concept. For something like an ex-Lone Star combat mage, a min-max combat-oriented build makes sense. For a healer or a support mage, or someone who has recently awakened, or a gang punk from the Barrens, not so much.

Generally, a min-maxed build saves some magical skills to boost later in favor of starting out really good at one area right out of the gate. Something like Magic: 5, Spellcasting: 6, specialization in combat spells, mentor spirit that gives a bonus to combat spells, and a Force: 4 power focus bought with the restricted gear quality. So a lot of dice for one thing, at the expense of some versatility (don't think that such a character has to be a one-trick pony, though - there is still plenty of room for other things).
Kerenshara
See, and I define "Min-Maxing" as doing anything and everything possible to wring out the last bit of capability to FULFILL THE CONCEPT YOU INTENDED. So if you're a generalist awakened character, then that might mean figuring the best way to balance many MANY low-to-moderate skills and stats. It doesn't have to mean going Munchkin up any particular pipeline.
Glyph
I've done that, as I like to play hybrid face/combat types. But some concepts lend themselves to min-maxing more than others. And the term is colloquially used more in conjunction with builds focused tightly on being very good at one or more things (best combat mage, best medic, etc.), and less as a general catch-all for tweaking a build. I would probably call a good generalist build "well-crafted" rather than "min-maxed".

As for "going munchkin", I am less worried about how powerful a build is, and more worried about how self-consistent it is. If someone handed me a character that was like my previous spellcasting example, and he was a former corporate combat mage, I would be fine with it. But same character, with a background that he's a gang punk from the barrens who has recently awakened, and I would say "Whoa, there."
Kerenshara
QUOTE (Glyph @ Sep 3 2009, 01:25 AM) *
I've done that, as I like to play hybrid face/combat types. But some concepts lend themselves to min-maxing more than others. And the term is colloquially used more in conjunction with builds focused tightly on being very good at one or more things (best combat mage, best medic, etc.), and less as a general catch-all for tweaking a build. I would probably call a good generalist build "well-crafted" rather than "min-maxed".

As for "going munchkin", I am less worried about how powerful a build is, and more worried about how self-consistent it is. If someone handed me a character that was like my previous spellcasting example, and he was a former corporate combat mage, I would be fine with it. But same character, with a background that he's a gang punk from the barrens who has recently awakened, and I would say "Whoa, there."

As to the first part, as always, it's a question of personal lexicon since "us gamers" are too weird to have Mr. Webster ever bother to solve our arguments for us. *grin*

As to the second, I prefer the term "internally consistent" or if it's even more believable "organic", as in: I can believe it grew naturally to the state it is in.
DarkKindness
QUOTE (Kerenshara @ Sep 3 2009, 08:51 AM) *
As to the first part, as always, it's a question of personal lexicon since "us gamers" are too weird to have Mr. Webster ever bother to solve our arguments for us. *grin*

As to the second, I prefer the term "internally consistent" or if it's even more believable "organic", as in: I can believe it grew naturally to the state it is in.


Well, this is what I aim for in builds - something organic, a character that's had reason to grow with the stats that they wind up with. Based on some of the commentary in my collected builds thread - Nightsiders, Inc. - these recent builds seem to have accomplished that in a lot of peoples' eyes. I'm just happy that they manage to be believable characters without giving up game viability/utility.
Kerenshara
QUOTE (DarkKindness @ Sep 3 2009, 10:18 AM) *
Well, this is what I aim for in builds - something organic, a character that's had reason to grow with the stats that they wind up with. Based on some of the commentary in my collected builds thread - Nightsiders, Inc. - these recent builds seem to have accomplished that in a lot of peoples' eyes. I'm just happy that they manage to be believable characters without giving up game viability/utility.

That IS the real trick, isn't it? Being realistic and believable while remaing useful AND within the scope of the rules / character generation system. And people ask why it takes me weeks to make a character (or months, in the case of Kerenshara; My GM thought I had lost my mind).
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