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d1ng0d0g
[ Spoiler ]


A blurb that came to my mind when I was thinking about a new character to play for a campaign.

But when I tried to work up this free spirit magical gumshoe and started to look at the rules for them I realized that they confuse me quite a bit.

Now I get the part about how to Force restricts the maximum rating any attribute can have. (Using the BP system), and that I pay 250 BP for at the same time lots and very little.

But the confusing part goes, what happens when I get more Karma and decide to raise my force ?

Do I pay 10x the new Force rating and get a +1 on all my attributes ? Provided of course that I have a high enough initiation grade.

****

I see two options here, both of which actually do make kinda sense.

Option 1) A PC Free Spirit (as made by the rules in the Runner Companion and Streetmagic) actually starts with an effective -X on most attributes, with Force being the maximum during character creation. As soon as he starts getting Karma, he switches to the regular rules, and each increase in force automatically increases all his attributes. (But still restricts it to Force as a maximum). This basically boils down to a spirit whose attributes are slightly less powerful than most other spirits, yet whose magical nature is much stronger. He can also improve his attributes separately, raising them to a maximum of Force.

Option 2) A PC Free spirit is really screwed and has to really learn up every single trait with karma. Seperately.


My personal opinion is that the new Force x 10 might be a bit cheap (although it is still double the cost, requires initiation (which also costs).

I will run the numbers in a next post .... but my question basically is ... how to make this concept viable ? (If at all)
kzt
The FS character is generally screwed. There are some really clever things you can do with them that you simply cannot do with any other character design, but you start out in a deep hole. So unless you plan on using materialization, aura masking, realistic form, and the power that allows you to change your realistic form you likely won't be happy.

I'm not sure how to fiddle with the point values to make them really playable without making them hell on wheels.
d1ng0d0g
I made a quick sheet.
[ Spoiler ]


There really is something missing here. This won't even stand up to a halfway decent runner if I bothered to really look over the fitting spirit powers.
kzt
Use Kama gen. There is no cost in Kama gen to be a free spirit. That isn't balanced either....
darthmord
QUOTE (kzt @ Apr 14 2010, 06:38 PM) *
Use Kama gen. There is no cost in Kama gen to be a free spirit. That isn't balanced either....


An unpublished errata has the race cost in karma to be equal to the published numbers for BP cost.

EX: Race X costs 100 BP.

Under Karmagen (pre-errata) = 0 Karma
Under Karmagen (Unpublished errata) = 100 Karma

I used that with my game I'm running and it's worked out rather well.
Ol' Scratch
Every time I've tried to make a free spirit magician, I've been sorely disappointed by the fact that they can't use foci. Which means they have to sustain spells like Increased Reflexes on their own, meaning a -2 dice pool modifier on all their actions if they want to keep up with the rest of the team. Not to mention when they need to sustain anything else.
D2F
QUOTE (d1ng0d0g @ Apr 14 2010, 08:20 PM) *
But the confusing part goes, what happens when I get more Karma and decide to raise my force ?

Do I pay 10x the new Force rating and get a +1 on all my attributes ? Provided of course that I have a high enough initiation grade.

Yes.

QUOTE (p.92 Runner's Companion)
Free Spirit Attributes
Free spirits have a Force special attribute that starts with a rating
of 2. This attribute determines a free spiritís natural minimums
and maximums for all attributes
.

Ol' Scratch
What you just quoted says the exact opposite of your answer. No, Free Spirits do not get a +1 to all of your attributes unless they also happen to be at their minimum rating prior to the Force increase.
d1ng0d0g
I was fiddling around with the numbers to come up with a houserule for free spirits PCs using the build point system and I came up with thing which stays fairly close to the original rules.

The free spirit template still costs 250 BP.
A free Spirit PC starts out with all attributes (except Edge) equal to their Force - 2. Edge gets a +1 bonus just like humans. Force starts out at 1. The natural maximum an attribute can go equals Force x 1.5 (to keep them in line with other spirits). They can also raise their individual attributes for normal cost.

The cost to raise Force is double that of an other attribute. The maximum Force during chargen is also 6.


Force also determines the number of powers you have as a spirit. Using the rules (for Edge though) from the Runner's Companion.

***

This in effect boils down to pay 320 build points for: All attributes at 3, Force at 5, Edge at 2 and the inherent advantages and disadvantages of being a free spirit. (A normal human mage with the same attributes would only cost 200 build points).

At all attributes at 4, Force at 6, Edge at 2, this would cost 370 build points. The normal human mage would cost (although technically it's not legal in my group) 305 build points.

By my reasoning paying upward from 120 build points for Immunity to Normal Weapons, Spirit Powers, Immortality and not being meta-human is probably worth it.

Karma cost for raising force is not doubled for spirits, with the same effects as listed in Street Magic. (So it still costs 10 karma x new rating)

D2F
QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ Apr 15 2010, 12:05 AM) *
What you just quoted says the exact opposite of your answer. No, Free Spirits do not get a +1 to all of your attributes unless they also happen to be at their minimum rating prior to the Force increase.


Their force rating IS their minimum rating. It is impossible for a free spirit PC to have attribute ratings OTHER than their force rating.

QUOTE (d1ng0d0g @ Apr 15 2010, 08:49 AM) *
By my reasoning paying upward from 120 build points for Immunity to Normal Weapons, Spirit Powers, Immortality and not being meta-human is probably worth it.

Karma cost for raising force is not doubled for spirits, with the same effects as listed in Street Magic. (So it still costs 10 karma x new rating)


Keep in mind that Free Spirit PCs are much more affected by Background count than any other Player Character.
d1ng0d0g
QUOTE (D2F @ Apr 15 2010, 01:52 PM) *
Their force rating IS their minimum rating. It is impossible for a free spirit PC to have attribute ratings OTHER than their force rating.


The reason I went with a -2 was mostly because there are spirits who have attributes lower than their Force rating.

QUOTE (D2F @ Apr 15 2010, 01:52 PM) *
Keep in mind that Free Spirit PCs are much more affected by Background count than any other Player Character.


Just as they lose Force if their friends die, unless they spend Edge to save them from dying. Also the bigger they become, the more people badguys can go after to terminate to hurt the spirit. There's several drawbacks to playing one.

Ol' Scratch
You know, I had to read the section on Free Spirit attributes like four times. What a confusing mess of redundancy that is! Why couldn't they just say something along the lines of "a free spirit's Physical and Mental attributes equal their Force. Their Force also determines their natural minimum and maximum ratings for these attributes, which in turn determines their augmented maximums normally. They cannot raise their Physical or Mentral attributes normally, but any changes to their Force also affects their Physical and Mental attributes."

Seriously. Had to read it four times to understand what they were saying. The bit half-way through the section about their attributes starting at 2 is where the serious confusion was. Yeesh.
D2F
QUOTE (d1ng0d0g @ Apr 15 2010, 12:32 PM) *
The reason I went with a -2 was mostly because there are spirits who have attributes lower than their Force rating.

I wasn't critizizing your concept. I was referring to the actual rules for PC Free Spirits, in which they even specifically mention that they work differently than for regular spirits.

QUOTE (d1ng0d0g @ Apr 15 2010, 12:32 PM) *
Just as they lose Force if their friends die, unless they spend Edge to save them from dying. Also the bigger they become, the more people badguys can go after to terminate to hurt the spirit. There's several drawbacks to playing one.

This is only true, if they have a friendship pact, which is not nescessary (but convenient).
D2F
QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ Apr 15 2010, 01:03 PM) *
You know, I had to read the section on Free Spirit attributes like four times. What a confusing mess of redundancy that is! Why couldn't they just say something along the lines of "a free spirit's Physical and Mental attributes equal their Force. Their Force also determines their natural minimum and maximum ratings for these attributes, which in turn determines their augmented maximums normally. They cannot raise their Physical or Mentral attributes normally, but any changes to their Force also affects their Physical and Mental attributes."

Seriously. Had to read it four times to understand what they were saying. The bit half-way through the section about their attributes starting at 2 is where the serious confusion was. Yeesh.

For once we agree.
darthmord
QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ Apr 15 2010, 08:03 AM) *
You know, I had to read the section on Free Spirit attributes like four times. What a confusing mess of redundancy that is! Why couldn't they just say something along the lines of "a free spirit's Physical and Mental attributes equal their Force. Their Force also determines their natural minimum and maximum ratings for these attributes, which in turn determines their augmented maximums normally. They cannot raise their Physical or Mentral attributes normally, but any changes to their Force also affects their Physical and Mental attributes."

Seriously. Had to read it four times to understand what they were saying. The bit half-way through the section about their attributes starting at 2 is where the serious confusion was. Yeesh.


It's a big reason why I had to tell my players no PC Free Spirits at this time. That section is very poorly written.

I simply have not had a chance to re-write for my own uses and run it by Dumpshock for commentary. When I get the urge & motivation to do so, I will.

I believe I understand what they wanted to accomplish with PCFS but what we ended up with misses the mark.
D2F
QUOTE (darthmord @ Apr 15 2010, 02:09 PM) *
It's a big reason why I had to tell my players no PC Free Spirits at this time. That section is very poorly written.

I simply have not had a chance to re-write for my own uses and run it by Dumpshock for commentary. When I get the urge & motivation to do so, I will.

I believe I understand what they wanted to accomplish with PCFS but what we ended up with misses the mark.

Funny enough, I had an idea for a completely revamp of PC free spirits, using existing spirit templates as the base (providing the required attribute adjustments and keeping them in line with other spirits). If only time wasn't such a bitch =/
Starmage21
The only way for free spirit PCs to be balanced is to be comparable to a conjured spirit of equal force, that they themselves are barred from doing. With my 400 points if I cannot build at minimum a copy of an Force 4 Fire Spirit that went free, then it's not working right, because simply you cant.
kzt
Spirits in SR are seriously unbalanced, way too powerful for difficulty of getting access to the spirit. So I don't see any reason why exactly duplicating them is required.
D2F
QUOTE (kzt @ Apr 16 2010, 03:52 PM) *
Spirits in SR are seriously unbalanced, way too powerful for difficulty of getting access to the spirit. So I don't see any reason why exactly duplicating them is required.

That statement is only true, if you completely ignore half the rules concerning spirits and magic. I understand your sentiment, but to state it as fact is plain wrong.

Think about background count for once. Or how about Offensive spells? They (spirits) can also be harmed by regular weapons, fired by your average joe plumber. If you consider them too powerful and wish to present that opinion as fact, you need to provide evidence for it.

Pretty much all SR settings have areas with low to high background count and even a background count of just 2 can already seriously screw over a spirit.
Ol' Scratch
QUOTE (Starmage21 @ Apr 16 2010, 09:44 AM) *
The only way for free spirit PCs to be balanced is to be comparable to a conjured spirit of equal force, that they themselves are barred from doing. With my 400 points if I cannot build at minimum a copy of an Force 4 Fire Spirit that went free, then it's not working right, because simply you cant.

What?

Now that I actually understand the jumbled mess that is Free Spirit attributes, it only costs a total of 310 Build Points to get a Force 6 free spirit with 6's Bod, Agi, Rea, Str, Cha, Int, Log, Wil, and Edg, 6 Power Points for critter powers, and the Magician quality which doesn't eat up any of their quality points. That's 90 Build Points for everything else. They don't need any resources beyond a fake SIN and a lifestyle, which can be done with just 1 or 2 BPs. Sorcery 4, Assensing 4, and Astral Combat 4 eats up 72 BP. That leaves 16 BP for spells (which a newly free spirit doesn't have) contacts, and whatever other skills you fancy, plus up to another 35 BP (51 total with the remaining points) from negative qualities. Make him "just" Force 4, and now you have 51-86 BPs to spare.

Not sure how you think you can't build one with 400 BP. The rules are crazy powerful with the not-having-to-buy-any-attributes-ever rules. Especially since they only have to raise one attribute to raise all eight in the future. That ridiculously overpowered all by itself.


Starmage21
QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ Apr 16 2010, 12:06 PM) *
What?

Now that I actually understand the jumbled mess that is Free Spirit attributes, it only costs a total of 310 Build Points to get a Force 6 free spirit with 6's Bod, Agi, Rea, Str, Cha, Int, Log, Wil, and Edg, 6 Power Points for critter powers, and the Magician quality which doesn't eat up any of their quality points. That's 90 Build Points for everything else. They don't need any resources beyond a fake SIN and a lifestyle, which can be done with just 1 or 2 BPs. Sorcery 4, Assensing 4, and Astral Combat 4 eats up 72 BP. That leaves 16 BP for spells (which a newly free spirit doesn't have) contacts, and whatever other skills you fancy, plus up to another 35 BP (51 total with the remaining points) from negative qualities. Make him "just" Force 4, and now you have 51-86 BPs to spare.

Not sure how you think you can't build one with 400 BP. The rules are crazy powerful with the not-having-to-buy-any-attributes-ever rules. Especially since they only have to raise one attribute to raise all eight in the future. That ridiculously overpowered all by itself.


Where did this calculation come from? Because last I saw, free spirit PC attributes start at 2, and you had to buy them up individually from there, including the cost for raising force. Was there an errata i missed?
Ol' Scratch
Yeah, that's the section I'm talking about. You have to read it a few times before you really understand that all they're saying is that "Force = Attributes."

Note how Force determines their natural minimum AND maximum ratings? Note how it says that their attributes start at 2, which is what their Force starts at? It's really confusing, but in the end it really does just translate to "Force = Attributes." And since their Force determines their minimums, that means that any increase to Force automatically increases their minimum (ie, 0 BP cost) score in those attributes. And since they can't raise them through BP (since it's also their maximum)... well, you get the picture. All you ever have to do is change their Force, and all 7 attributes (Physical, Mental, and Edge) change with it. Completely free of charge.
D2F
QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ Apr 16 2010, 04:46 PM) *
Yeah, that's the section I'm talking about. You have to read it a few times before you really understand that all they're saying is that "Force = Attributes."

Note how Force determines their natural minimum AND maximum ratings? Note how it says that their attributes start at 2, which is what their Force starts at? It's really confusing, but in the end it really does just translate to "Force = Attributes." And since their Force determines their minimums, that means that any increase to Force automatically increases their minimum (ie, 0 BP cost) score in those attributes. And since they can't raise them through BP (since it's also their maximum)... well, you get the picture. All you ever have to do is change their Force, and all 7 attributes (Physical, Mental, and Edge) change with it. Completely free of charge.

Whereas I personally think that especially raising the edge attribute along with it is a major balancing issue.
kzt
One of the the parts of SR4 that I really love is the clear and well though out rules, combined with examples for rules that are somewhat unclear. Oh, wait, that is HERO.... nyahnyah.gif
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