Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Balance issue question for the masses
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
Alright, it has been brought to my attention that after the many months of reading SR4 books, that I have been doing something wrong. In a thread tthat I read last night, (for the life of me, my awesome search-fu skills fail me, Once a mage initiates he still has to pay to raise his magic score to utilize the benifits of his grade.

So far I have been doing as per SR3 and before , that when a mage initiates he gains understanding and a point of magic automatically and he picks his little benny and life goes on. Well after debating the ramifications of this new rule with my room mates, who both play in my game, I realize that I have some serious issues to resolve or in the long run my mage and phys-adept and Technomancer players would be outmatched by the non special trait PC's.

I crunched numbers based on the average Karma awards and money awards (Money increasing accordingly based on their Rep karma wise). Based on foreknowledge on how my players wish to grow their characters at this time, The end result boiled down to the Cyber using PC's being 2-3 times more effective skill and attribute-wise that any of the special trait PC's. Well maybe not the technomancer as much since they do not seem to have as many karma sinks as Magic PC's

So it came down to having list the benefits of each of the Iconic archtypes Mage, Samurai and Hacker.

One of my room mates is playing the Samurai and the other the mage.

Sam say that mages are over powered because they can just blast you with a mana spell and all the armor in the world doesn't help.

My counter to this was Mages, Decent ones, (Training, Magic score above 3)Though few and far between (Atleast in my world) Are still easily countered by another mage or a razor guy with a hint of increased Reflexes.

Sam say well I have to pay a boat load of money to get the good cyber and I only have a finite essence before I can't go any further.

Good argument but a mage has to kick out a lot of cash and karma for decent gear to make them more effective and By virtue of playing the game as written you will get the cash. And further where all a Sam has to do is get a couple of arms and legs he can get to his augmented max in certain stats with money alone.

Well as you can see this went back and forth till nearly 3am and well I feel no closer to making a decision go go forward with RAW or just continue on the way I have been going. The mage player is no help he just says I don't care. But he has a tendency to bitch when every one elses character in any game is better than his and I think that if I went with the RAW that ould be the case. But the other SPecial trait PC's have yet to chime in since they will not be over untill the game. So I guess what I am looking for is some feed back on this issue and what have other people done. Did you keep it Raw or did you House rule it?

Thanks gang. Please look at this more as a character growth issue and not what archetype is better than everybody else.

Found the post that I was looking for. But it was only a little helpful.
The usual argument I have heard for Mages beating Sams over a long term game is that Initiation allows them to raise their power level dramatically, with enough Karma - most Sams will hit the skill/stat cap shortly after character creation. If you're a human gunslinger, then once you get to Agility 6(9) and Firearms 6(8) in your chosen weapon, then there are very few ways to grow that dice pool. With a 400-point build, it's not impossible to start only a few points away from that. Samurai hit the cap in their primary skill within a few runs and then must start learning secondary skills - stealth, social, technical, etc. They grow laterally.

Conversely, Mages can spend years of acquired Karma pumping up their Magic. I'm not a Mage myself, but we worked the math out once and figured that a 400BP Mage Build could spend 600 Karma just becoming a stronger Mage. They grow vertically. If you want to spend Karma improving your primary skill set instead of being forced to branch out, Mages are the way to go.
I think I see what you are saying. If you want to be a good mage then stick with the mage gameplan. If you want to be a bit more rounded then you are a mage but they should expect you to work miracles on a run.
That's the first time I've heard that initiation makes a mage less powerful than a mundane. Awakened characters and technomancers can improve themselves laterally just the same as a mundane can. The difference is that mundanes have hard caps to deal with, so their only real avenue of vertical improvement is 'ware.

So ask yourself - how often does the sammie actually get to upgrade his gear? 'Ware is very expensive, so I'm guessing not much. The mage may have to pay for initiation, then buy up his Magic rating, but the sammie, in the meantime, is likely nowhere near able to afford to upgrade his 'ware. If that is not the case - if characters get phat loot and upgrade fairly often, then you might want to think about house ruling initiation.
Saint Sithney
Mages can still buy very powerful foci. Sure they need even more karma to bind it, but it's not like a mage can't also use his moneys to become uber.
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