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The gun bunnie discussion got me thinking about PC design and all. So I was curious as to what others thought. I've designed PC's as specialist and as generalists. All in all I see there being benefits to both approaches. My preferrred skill set is one or two high level (5's or 6's) then a bunch of low level skills (mostly 1's and 2's).
Personally it depends. In the BP system I tend to either get a skill at 4 or leave it to be acquired in game, because unfortunately the BP system is set up that you get more out of it by getting the highest skill levels possible. The standard theory is that 1 BP is worth 2 Karma, but specilizations, 1 point and 2 point skills have BP = karma costs, and so you are really kind of losing out. Same is true for attributes, much better to get a few as high as you can with BP and then bring up the lower ones a bit with karma to get the levels you truly want.

Now of course this means that you enter the game with about a 50 karma shopping list of skills, specs, and a couple of attributes you want, but I don't see a problem with having goals like that right from the start.

If using karmagen though, I tend to have half the skills at a rating of 1 or 2 in order to better round out my character some (Like maybe my character tinkers on her car a bit or knows how to drive herself and so on). This is one of the biggest reasons I prefer karmagen over BP.

So with BP it is option 3, and with Karma it is option 1.
I chose the second option, but then I use BP. If I used karmagen, I'd probably choose to spread things around a bit more, too.
I tend to take 2 level 5 skills and a mix of 3/4s with High Stats. Any skills I have at 2 are because of a high linked stat and modifiers to get the dice pool higher. In our games the lowest pools are at 9 and 10. Any time we need someone for a team work test that's what skill softs and Move by Wire is for.
Johnny B. Good
I give the character skills and attributes that I believe the character would have if he actually existed.
The competitive gamer in me says to min/max, and a degree of that is inevitable, but for the most part I like to flesh out my character through an array of skills at middling levels.
There is no single approach - it depends on the kind of build I am doing. I will usually get that single skill of 6 (or two skills of 5), but I never do that and have nothing else but a smattering of 1's and 2's. Even for the most focused builds, I still have some other skills at 3 or 4.

The problem with the options listed is that none of them are terribly optimal, and they aren't really non-exclusive options, either. What I mean is, you can use tech to boost your Attributes and dice pools, have a skill of 6, and have several skills of 4 as well.

On the generalist vs. specialist approach, I find it depends on the role. If I am playing a covert intrusion specialist or a private detective, they will be more of a generalist bent than, say, a former pit fighter. But I don't go to the point of diminishing returns, either way. My private detective won't be overgeneralized to the point that he tosses 5-7 dice for everything, and my pit fighter won't be so mono-focused that he can't function outside of his role.
I usually make my characters take one skill at the max of 6 and heavily invest in the appropriate attribute for that skill. You aren't playing normal people... you are playing professional criminals who have a reputation built around being able to do something better than their peers. You get jobs because you stand out from the crowd of grunts and company men. Whether it's the ability shoot really well, the ability to dodge and run, the ability to lie your way through any situation, I build my characters around a key skill or ability. You won't be the absolute best in the world, but you'll be well-known to the right people that you are the right person for the job.

I also tend to over-emphasize Edge on my characters. Having high Edge can make a character with average stats really shine during gameplay when it counts. And you are building your character to contribute in the game, usually (people who build characters as thought exercises need not apply). The most boring sessions are when you, as a player, are sidelined because your character abilities just aren't all that useful to the current run. Edge can turn this around pretty easily.

The creation rules are built with limits as such that prevent you from making totally unbalanced characters unless you force it. For example, build point limits on attributes, on starting resources, on Positive/Negative qualities, etc.
It depends on what I am attempting to create.

The rules of thumb would be:
1) unaugmented attributes at 1 or 5, special attributes maxed out
2) skill groups like Stealth and Athletics are either at 1 or 4
3) individual skills at 1 or 4
4) key skills not within Stealth or Athletics at 5 or 6

I tend to massage the attribute + skill dice pools to multiples of 4, so sometimes I end up with attributes and skills at other ratings.
Johnny Hammersticks
I generally go with 1 clutch skill of 5, sometimes two skills like that, and everything else 3 and below.

Attributes rarely pass 5 at chargen save for Ork and Troll BOD and what not.

I generally like a skilled, if failible character.

I tend towards B, though not quite to that extreme.
Thanks all for responding, I probably should have just stated in Question that it was a 400bp thing (Karmagen looks alittle different). It is interesting, though confirmed my suspicions, that there is no one defined way to design a PC. IMHO-this is a good thing.

Of course this is not a scientific poll, but you get what you pay for.
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