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Brol_The_Mighty
'Ello Chummers. Been lurking in the shadows for a while, thought I'd step out for some clarification.

After a long wait, I've finally been able to scrape up a group for 4e here in Japan, and we're beginning to build our characters. So far we've got an Adept Gun Bunnie, a mage specializing in manipulation spells and enchanting, a TM who actually sounds like he knows what he's doing, and then me. I'm playing a formori adept. I've burned one point of Magic due to essence loss to get the rating 2 reaction enhancers to boost my reaction + IP, but I'm also Type O so I can stuff a good bit of bioware into that 1 point. Anyways, I'm looking at what I'm going to take for powers, being the brute of the party. I'm using the chargen spreadsheet found on these forums. I personally liked the windows program a bit better, but it doesn't have support for the augment. book, nor the Type O quality as an option. Anyways, the list of powers I've got so far:

Improved Combat Ability, 3 (Archery)
Improved Combat Ability, 2 (Blades) <----- I'm using an Axe since our mage is an enchanter
Attribute Boost(Strength), 5 <-----Not sure if I really want to take this one, since it doesn't stack w/ bioware, and I could just get rating 4 muscle aug instead, and save the points for something else.

So far that's as far as I've gotten. Now here are my questions. The Improved Combat ability power. It says it cannot be higher than base rating X 1.5. Meaning if I have rating 6 archery, I can't have higher than rating 3 in that power right? I was also looking at taking Missile Mastery for times when my bow isn't around, or taken from me. I had two questions on that. First, since its improvised weapons...you just default to agility right? Wouldn't that make it hard to hit something, being a Troll? If not, what skill would it link to? My other big question, was if I took and picked up a grenade and threw it as an improvised weapon, would you get your improvised weapon damage, PLUS the damage from the grenade exploding? Since generally throwing a grenade is an overhand toss, not throwing it like a baseball?

So those are my adept power questions. I'm trying to go for just a combat master in general. I figured going with the TrollBow, and TrollThrower (Missile Mastery + Power Throw), then adding in some melee ability, it would work fairly well. What would the Great Dragons suggest? What bioware would you stuff into that one point? I'm thinking of actually taking another point worth so I can throw in the bone density augmentations, reflex recorders (to boost my skill up further and such) and all that. But I wouldn't do that during chargen. Would you suggest just sticking w/ the one point lost? I usually just go with the crazy CyberSam, first time making an adept. I know I can't do the SocAdept, since I am generally not very charismatic, and my GM would penalize my character for it......regardless of how many dice/hits I roll. That, and our TM is going to be our "face"
hahnsoo
First of all, Reaction Enhancers just add +1 Reaction. They do nothing for Initiative Passes.

Also, the limit on improved ability is actually equal to your Magic rating. However, the maximum skill dice you get is equal to the base rating of the skill x 1.5. You can actually buy, say, 6 dice if you have 6 magic, but you'd only be able to use 3 of them if you have a 6 base skill (so there's really no reason to buy more than that).

Throwing improvised weapons still uses the Throwing skill. You don't have to default unless you don't have the Throwing skill.

Is Type O your only positive quality? Remember, you can only have up to 35 points of Positive Qualities, which pretty much means you can only pick Adept and Type O.
Brol_The_Mighty
Yeah, Type O and Adept are my only qualities.

As for the powers and bioware, I just couldn't remember the name of the 'ware at the time, but i was meaning the Synaptic Booster, at rating 2. On the powers, I had figured on the Improved Combat ability, i just wanted to make sure i hadn't missed anything.

So throwing improvised still uses throwing skill? That's awesome to know! What's your take on the whole throwing a grenade as a projectile (Improvised weapon) though? Would the damage be whatever's higher, or would it deal the Improvised thrown weapon damage, and THEN the grenade damage?
Glyph
It's a GM call on the grenade thing, but the rules seem to disallow "double-stacked" damage in other cases where it would be logical (such as shock gloves).

The problem with Type O system as a quality is that it only works for basic bioware, not cultured bioware (such as the synaptic booster, sorry frown.gif ).

I would recommend against taking Attribute Boost at rating: 5, because that is 5 points of Drain - you want a Drain code that you can soak consistently, which is why I usually only take it at Rating: 1.
hahnsoo
QUOTE (Brol_The_Mighty @ Jan 30 2010, 08:35 PM) *
Yeah, Type O and Adept are my only qualities.

As for the powers and bioware, I just couldn't remember the name of the 'ware at the time, but i was meaning the Synaptic Booster, at rating 2. On the powers, I had figured on the Improved Combat ability, i just wanted to make sure i hadn't missed anything.

So throwing improvised still uses throwing skill? That's awesome to know! What's your take on the whole throwing a grenade as a projectile (Improvised weapon) though? Would the damage be whatever's higher, or would it deal the Improvised thrown weapon damage, and THEN the grenade damage?
Grenades are normally thrown weapons, so they don't count as improvised throwing weapons. Missile Mastery is specifically for improvised throwing weapons. On weapons that deal two types of damage, you typically get one or the other, but not both. For example, using Shock Gloves on punches.

Also, in case you are wondering if Missile Mastery adds to Grenade damage, the power specifically states "adds +1 to the Damage Value of any non-explosive thrown weapon he uses." I guess you could throw small explosive shells like mortars and such at people, but I wouldn't have the improvised weapon damage count if you intend to detonate the device, too.

If you are going for Throwing Weapons, take a look at Power Throw as well. One of my friends made a Troll Iron Chef adept character who played during GenCon missions and was infamous for taking out a guy with a thrown head of cabbage.
Brol_The_Mighty
Good call on the whole non-explosive thing. It makes sense. As for the bonus damage, yeah, i was figuring on Power Throw as well. Wasn't worried about the 5 drain, between having a 5 magic, and a 9 body, would average high enough to beat most if not all of it. Although, I think with it not stacking w/ bioware, then yeah, its a waste of PP's.

For Type O, yes, it says basic bioware, but I took that as meaning grade. This is backed further up by the fact that the community project Spreadsheet supports that by reducing the amount of Essence loss for it. Although I understand that its a player made spreadsheet, and they could have their interpretation wrong as well. I figured with it being a community project that someone would've pointed it out if it was wrong however.
Rand
The only other power I suggest for each and every adept is Combat Sense. That is the one ability they have that cannot be replicated by street sammies (as far as I have noticed, anyway). It is very critical for dealing with surprise and all defense (melee & ranged). It is very important.
hahnsoo
QUOTE (Rand @ Jan 31 2010, 12:55 AM) *
The only other power I suggest for each and every adept is Combat Sense. That is the one ability they have that cannot be replicated by street sammies (as far as I have noticed, anyway). It is very critical for dealing with surprise and all defense (melee & ranged). It is very important.
Well, Sammies can get Reakt for an additional +2 to defensive Reaction rolls (doesn't affect Surprise, of course). They also can more easily raise their Reaction to augmented maximums. Still, Combat Sense is quite good.
Glyph
QUOTE (Brol_The_Mighty @ Jan 30 2010, 07:29 PM) *
For Type O, yes, it says basic bioware, but I took that as meaning grade. This is backed further up by the fact that the community project Spreadsheet supports that by reducing the amount of Essence loss for it. Although I understand that its a player made spreadsheet, and they could have their interpretation wrong as well. I figured with it being a community project that someone would've pointed it out if it was wrong however.

Two problems with that interpretation. First, "basic" isn't a grade - "standard" is. Second, the quality is pretty specific - it specifies "Off the rack, basic bioware". Cultured bioware is not off the rack; it has to be specifically tailored for the individual recipient. Still, it's worth asking your GM about, since it seems that a lot of people house rule the quality to include cultured bioware.
Medicineman
The Grenade Thing:
Its called "Beaning" IIRC and its OK with the Rules even though You "trick them out" a little bit.
First You hit the Enemy with the Grenade,which causes Damage than ,at the End of the Round,the Grenade explodes ,doing Damage again

with 2/3rds of a Devilsdance
Medicineman
Rand
QUOTE (hahnsoo @ Jan 31 2010, 01:08 AM) *
Still, Combat Sense is quite good.


Especially when it can be; +2, +3, +4, +5, etc...and doesn't count as an attribute enhancement! That is it's true power. The gun adept I had took Combat Sense at level 4. Add that to Improved Reaction 2, and you get a sick defensive number.
Medicineman
Combat Sense and Mystic Armor are the best defenses a Ki-Adept can get


with the best Dance I can get
Medicineman
Udoshi
Alright, mister, i'm going to try to tackle your loads of questions. Starting with...

Adept powers. Getting your extra passes through adept Improved Reflexes is the way to go, instead of reaction enhancers. If you get 2 levels of it, and can save half a point at character generation, you can skip right to the max level as soon as you can initiate or raise your magic. It adds to reaction AND passes. Much better than cybernetic reflexes. Note that it doesn't stack with increases to initiative, but it allows more increases to Reaction.

Attribute boost: Each level only lets you roll more dice to boost, in addition to your magic. So if your magic is fairly high, you don't need a high level attribute boost to be effective - one is enough, and gets you lower drain too. There are better things to spend your power points on. If you really need to skyrocket one attribute, you can always use Edge on that test. It also doesn't stack with bioware/cyberware augmentation.

Improved combat ability: When it says the max rating is 1.5 times the max, it means that yes, the highest the skill can go is 9. If you have the aptitude quality, that's 10. If you have rating 6 in that skill, you can only get 3 levels. If you have rating 4, then you can have 5 levels, but no higher than nine. An important thing to consider is improved combat ability uses the Augmented Max Values - which means its compatable with skillgroups, or the limit on having high skills at start.(one at 6 or 2 at 5, if i recall right.)

Combat Sense: if you're going for a combat master, this is very useful. Defense rolls include parry and dodge tests, which you can use with various martial art and adept powers like counterstrike to hit people back with.

Improvised weapons: Arsenal has a table of them on pages 17 and 19. they're typically either Clubs for bashing things, or Throwing for tossing them.


Moving onto augmentation. Typo-O quality only works with Basic bioware. That is, Non-Cultured. You can still use it, but you won't get the essence discount. Also, a Geas negative quality, out of Street Magic, will give you that magic point you spend on augmentation back - but at a cost. With one point of augmentation, there are a few good options.
Enhanced Articulation. Adds +1 to physical skill on physical attributes. Like dodge, and other combat skills.
Muscle augmentation and muscle toner are far, far cheaper build point wise than buying your attributes normally. The upside is you have more power points to spend on adept powers. You want a high Agility, because its used for your attack skills, and an odd strength value - melee damage is generall strength divided by two, but rounded up.
Chemical glands, out of augmention, also fit the bill for standard bioware. There are definitely some useful drugs out there.
Orthoskin is expensive, but helps keep you alive, and has some useful addons in augmentation.
If you expect to take a lot of damage, platelet factories and a trauma damper are both Basic and will do a lot to keep the incoming damage - and wound penalties - down.
Reflex recorders are cultured bioware, but they're cheap enough the bonus dice is worth it. More importantly, they stack with your adept powers.

Cyberware. If you have less of it than bioware, you get half off on the essence. With alphawear, you can pack in some decent ware. Cybereyes are good. Datajacks are useful, and can run software, but you're going to want a good firewall for it.

Hope that helps.

Ophis
QUOTE (Udoshi @ Jan 31 2010, 11:59 AM) *
Improved combat ability: When it says the max rating is 1.5 times the max, it means that yes, the highest the skill can go is 9. If you have the aptitude quality, that's 10. If you have rating 6 in that skill, you can only get 3 levels. If you have rating 4, then you can have 5 levels, but no higher than nine. An important thing to consider is improved combat ability uses the Augmented Max Values - which means its compatable with skillgroups, or the limit on having high skills at start.(one at 6 or 2 at 5, if i recall right.)


Sorry but that's wrong. Maximum rating on Improved ability is half the skill, with skill 6 this allows you to get 3 levels. 4-5 skill 2 levels, 2-3 skill 1 level. Technically you can have all the levels you want but only these numbers count.
Udoshi
QUOTE (Ophis @ Jan 31 2010, 05:07 AM) *
Sorry but that's wrong. Maximum rating on Improved ability is half the skill, with skill 6 this allows you to get 3 levels. 4-5 skill 2 levels, 2-3 skill 1 level. Technically you can have all the levels you want but only these numbers count.


Hm. In this instance, you're right, but only because Improved Ability says it works differently than the skills section says modified maximums work. It would be more accurate to say that Improved Ability has a limit on how high it can go, in addition to the regular limit on modified skills.
Brol_The_Mighty
What do you mean by taking a Geas negative quality I'll get my point of magic lost from essence loss back? I just read the rules, pg. 27 and 28, and I didn't see anything like that. Am I looking at the wrong place...or just not reading it right? I'd love to hear how to accomplish this though.

Edit: Or do you mean by using geas to decrease their effective cost by 25% I'd ESSENTIALLY be gaining it back?
Udoshi
QUOTE (Brol_The_Mighty @ Jan 31 2010, 05:19 AM) *
What do you mean by taking a Geas negative quality I'll get my point of magic lost from essence loss back? I just read the rules, pg. 27 and 28, and I didn't see anything like that. Am I looking at the wrong place...or just not reading it right? I'd love to hear how to accomplish this though.

Edit: Or do you mean by using geas to decrease their effective cost by 25% I'd ESSENTIALLY be gaining it back?


I seem to recall there being a quality that makes up for a point of magic loss, with some strings attached. I -thought- it was a geas, but I might be thinking of something else. I'll go take another look.
Laughing One
QUOTE (Udoshi @ Jan 31 2010, 12:59 PM) *
Enhanced Articulation. Adds +1 to physical skill on physical attributes. Like dodge, and other combat skills.


Enhanced Articulation do not help combat skills.
Ascalaphus
I think the idea was that you can prevent in-game Essence or Magic loss by taking a geas; not sure it was intended for chargen.


As for Improved Reflexes being better than Wired: sure. But Synaptic Boosters costs only 0.5 Essence per level. For rating 2 (which should suffice; 3IPs is pretty decent), you're looking at 1.0 Essence, compared to 3 Magic for Improved Reflexes 2.
Glyph
Geasa in SR3 could offset Magic loss, or be taken by adepts to get a discount on powers. In SR4 (at least as of Street Magic - I don't have Digital Grimoire), they are purely a limitation. They are either taken as negative qualities, or (as an optional rule) acquired in play if an awakened characters suffers a crisis of confidence.
Udoshi
QUOTE (Laughing One @ Jan 31 2010, 06:37 AM) *
Enhanced Articulation do not help combat skills.


Sorry, should have clarified. It helps gymnastic dodges. As do synthcardiums.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Udoshi @ Jan 31 2010, 05:46 AM) *
I seem to recall there being a quality that makes up for a point of magic loss, with some strings attached. I -thought- it was a geas, but I might be thinking of something else. I'll go take another look.



This is a rule from Previous Editions... It does not exist in 4th...

Keep the Faith
Brol_The_Mighty
So, take the point of burn for some good bioware, but NOT for the synaptic boosters. Take rank 2 of the Adept power instead, and fill that point of essence with as much to boost reaction, dodge, and other stuff as possible biggrin.gif
Dakka Dakka
If you take the Restricted Gear Quality Muscle Toner 4 is a good choice as well. Without it rating 2 isn't that bad either.
Brol_The_Mighty
So which is more suggested? Using the PP's for extra dice to hit (Improved Combat Ability, etc.) or for more defensive dice (Combat Sense, mystic armor, etc.) I was thinking about it, and wasn't sure on the significance of spending 1.5 PP's for Improved combat ability 3 (blades, archery) or being able to spend 1 PP and get Improved Physical ability 4 (gymastic dodge, dodge)
Manunancy
In my opinion you should starts with defensive abilities - most corporate/law enforcement types tends toward guns rather than melee. First go for survivability, then improve effectiveness. You can't improve if you get killed...
Dakka Dakka
QUOTE (Brol_The_Mighty @ Feb 4 2010, 07:38 AM) *
I was thinking about it, and wasn't sure on the significance of spending 1.5 PP's for Improved combat ability 3 (blades, archery) or being able to spend 1 PP and get Improved Physical ability 4 (gymastic dodge, dodge)
You can never have improved ability 4, not even with the aptitude quality. The augmented maximum of a skill is natural rating(not maximum) x 1.5. Thus a natural skill of 6 can be improved by 3 to 9 and a rating of 7 also by 3 to 10.

I also suggest only to take improved ability once the natural skill is maxed since karma expenditure for improving the skill is calculated with the augmented rating.
Glyph
QUOTE (Brol_The_Mighty @ Feb 3 2010, 10:38 PM) *
So which is more suggested? Using the PP's for extra dice to hit (Improved Combat Ability, etc.) or for more defensive dice (Combat Sense, mystic armor, etc.) I was thinking about it, and wasn't sure on the significance of spending 1.5 PP's for Improved combat ability 3 (blades, archery) or being able to spend 1 PP and get Improved Physical ability 4 (gymastic dodge, dodge)

Dodge is a combat skill, so improving it costs about as much as getting combat sense - combat sense is usually the better buy, unless you use full melee dodge a lot (which you probably don't, if you have a melee combat skill to block with). Manunancy is right that ranged defense is more generally useful to have than melee effectiveness - although melee is one of those things where, if you specialize in it, you want to be really good in it.

A possible compromise between the two options - get 2 points of combat sense and 1 point of counterstrike. Counterstrike lets you add its level and any net successes from blocking to your counterattack, which makes it especially good combined with combat sense.
Dakka Dakka
They add as dice though.
Umidori
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Feb 4 2010, 01:26 AM) *
You can never have improved ability 4, not even with the aptitude quality. The augmented maximum of a skill is natural rating(not maximum) x 1.5. Thus a natural skill of 6 can be improved by 3 to 9 and a rating of 7 also by 3 to 10.

I also suggest only to take improved ability once the natural skill is maxed since karma expenditure for improving the skill is calculated with the augmented rating.
You are mistaken, I am afraid. The adept power of Improved Ability expressly states, "Improved Ability does not actually improve a skillís rating, it only provides additional dice for tests involving the skill." <SR4, p.187> This means you can indeed have Improved Ability 4, even without the aptitude quality. The skill is not changed, so the rule of augmented maximum does not apply. It is true that "you cannot have more additional dice than your base skill rating", but that simply means you need a base skill of 4 to have Improved Ability of 4.

~Umidori
Dragnar
Has has been errata'd since the second or third printing. Improved Ability is a regular skill boost, not a dice pool bonus.
Umidori
*facepalm* Gorram errata. Disregard my ramblings.

~Umidori
Brol_The_Mighty
So, I've ended up going with Improved Reflexes 2, Combat Sense 3, Counterstrike 1. Figured that would be a good starting point.
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