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I am playing 2 Shadowrun games at GenCon this year and have not played in a very long time (2ND edition was the last time). I have been asking around on the boards and was told it was best to submit my character here for folks to look at so they can help make sure it is legal. It is the first character I've created on my own, so there may be some mistakes. Thanks to anyone who takes the time to review it and can offer any help. This is the first of 2 characters that I plan on building (one for each game). This character is an American wild west fannatic, who thinks of himself as the modern outlaw (Jesse James type image). He rides a steel horse, wears the long duster with twin revolvers on his hips. Chewing toothpicks and spitting chew (or whatever equivilent they have in the current time). As a note, please forgive any spelling and grammer errors. It has been many moons since I was in high school and I never went to college. In the gaming community, I am usually the least educated and worst writer, and it shows quite often. So, here we go...

Metatype: Ork [20 BP]

Attributes: BOD-4, AGI-5, REA-5(6), STR-3, CHA-2, INT-3, LOG-3, WIL-3, INI-8(9), Magic-5 [200BP]

Qualities: Adept, Ambidexterous, SINner, Astral Beacon [+5]

Skills: Pistols 6 (revolver specialization), Baldes 4 (knife specialization), Longarms 4, Dodge 4, Escape Artist 2, Gymnastics 2 (jumping specialization), Infiltration 3, Perception 4, Etiquette 2 (street specialization), Pilot ground vehicle 3(bike specialization), Armorer 2 [154BP]

Knowledge Skills: Security Companies 3, American Wild West 4, Street Gangs 2 [18 free]

Contacts: Mechanic 1/4, Fixer 5/3, Mr Johnson 4/3, Street Doc 1/2 [23BP]

Gear: 40,0000 nuyen [8BP]

Adept Powers (magic 5): Imporved Ability 2 (pistols), Improved Reflexes 1, Mystic Armor 3, Combat Sense 1

Equipment: 3 months low lifestlye, Knife x2, Ruger Super Warhawk x2 with 60 ammo, Walter MA Sniper with 20 ammo, Remmington shotgun with 30 ammo, Imaging scope with vision magnification (on sniper rifle), Hidden arm slide x2 (each arm with knife attached), Quick Draw holster x2 (revolvers), Speed loader x4, Lined Coat with Thermal Damping R2, Renraku commlink with RenrakuIchi operating system, Fake Sin R3, Fake Liscense R4, Certified credstick x2, Armorer kit, Thermographic goggles, Glue sprayer, Flashlight, Docwagon Basic contract, Trauma Patch x2, Stimulant Patch R4 x2, Harley Scorpion ( 39,485 nuyen out of 40,000 for 8 build points )

Thanks again for anyone who has the time to help or offer advice. I look forward to hearing from you.
Drop mystic armor down to 1, and up Combat sense to 3. Not getting hit at all is better than a couple dice to soak. Also by my count you have only spent 4.5 power points.

Don't have my books with me, so i can't check, but do all your weapons have a smartlink on them?
You probably have an older copy of SR4, which lists improved reflexes: 1 as costing 2 points. As of SR4A (the anniversary edition), it only costs 1.5 points.

Actually, you might seriously consider upgrading to improved reflexes: 2, which only costs 2.5 points now. That would still leave you 2.5 points, enough to keep the improved ability and also get combat sense: 3 (I agree with the other poster that it is better than mystic armor for this build - unless you envision this guy as being tough as nails or want it for some other reason. Mystic armor is hardly bad - it's actually pretty good, just not quite as good as combat sense).

I would definitely consider getting smartlinks for all of your guns (the sniper rifle already comes with one), along with skinlinks (to prevent people from being able to hack your guns). You already have goggles, so you only need to add a smartlink and an image link to them. I understand if this character might not like smartlinks (preferring "natural" skill), but otherwise any character who uses guns should have them - it's a +2 bonus.
QUOTE (galvatron42 @ May 15 2010, 08:45 AM) *
Attributes: BOD-4, AGI-5, REA-5(6), STR-3, CHA-2, INT-3, LOG-3, WIL-3, INI-8(9), Magic-5 [200BP]

I'm showing 190 BP for that. Also, magic is bought separately from the rest of the attributes, so you've only spent 150 points on "attributes" (you could still spend 50 more if you wanted), although you did spend 40 points on magic.
QUOTE (galvatron42 @ May 15 2010, 08:45 AM) *
Qualities: Adept, Ambidexterous, SINner, Astral Beacon [+5]

That adds up to 0 -- they're all either +5 BP or -5 BP, so +5+5-5-5=0.
QUOTE (galvatron42 @ May 15 2010, 08:45 AM) *
Knowledge Skills: Security Companies 3, American Wild West 4, Street Gangs 2 [18 free]

Yes -- you've used 9 out of 18.
QUOTE (galvatron42 @ May 15 2010, 08:45 AM) *
Contacts: Mechanic 1/4, Fixer 5/3, Mr Johnson 4/3, Street Doc 1/2 [23BP]

I would drop the fixer/mr. johnson. You don't keep working for the same Johnson. A fixer contact is nice, but in a module you'll be working for the module's fixer and either he'll treat you right (and you don't need to worry) or he'll try to burn you whatever the contact rating says (presume this), so don't get those two contacts, beef up the other two or spend the points somewhere else.
QUOTE (galvatron42 @ May 15 2010, 08:45 AM) *
Adept Powers (magic 5): Improved Ability 2 (pistols), Improved Reflexes 1, Mystic Armor 3, Combat Sense 1

That's only 4 points. You can buy Improved Reflexes 2 and be right at your cap. Mechanically, Mystic Armor and Combat Sense either add to an avoidance roll or to a soak roll, so it reduces DV just the same. It's better to not get hit, though if you're going to be surprised with an attack then you can't dodge it, in which case mystic armor is better. So go with whatever you want.

That adds up to 395 points, as far as I can tell -- 150 attributes, 20 race, 40 magic, 154 skills, 0 qualities, 8 resources, 23 contacts.

I'm not even going to check the prices on that gear, although you might want to make some mods on your Harley Scorpion. You have four slots For instance...

Electronic CounterMeasures (ECM) -- 1 slot, rating x 1k nuyen (1 to 10), dice penalty to people trying to lock onto your vehicle (with gun/missle) according to the rating, if it's turned on. Also gives the same dice pool to a hacker trying to hack it while you're riding.

engine customization -- 2 slots, increases base value of either speed or acceleration by 20% (buy it again)
speed = speed x body x 5 nuyen
accel = accel x body x 25 nuyen

Gecko Tips -- 1 slot, only costs 300 nuyen and lets you ride that bike up a concrete wall (or other wall that will support the weight), water doesn't stop it, but oil will.

GridLink -- 1 slot, 750 nuyen, runs off the city's power and saves your gas (normal: 6 hour runtime before you have to refill) and no hassling from the pigs when they see your chopper coming down the street and not registering on their gridguide, but you have to drive the legal limit and you're tracked. However...
GridLink Override -- 1 slot, 2k nuyen, The GridLink override is a hardware/ software modification that fools the system and allows the vehicle to go at its top speed without being noticed. In addition, this system automatically spoofs Gridlink with a randomized fake access ID allowing the user to bypass the GridLink systemís accounting and tracking capabilities.
Turn it on when you want to get away quickly.

motorcycle gyro stabilization -- 1 slot, body x 300 nuyen, never worry about a kickstand again, if a crash test must be performed you get +2 dice to try to stop it.

oil slick -- 1 slot, 500 nuyen free action to activate, 6 charges, refill is 50 nuyen, raises threshold on handling tests for vehicles behind by +2

smuggling compartment (normal) -- 1 slot, 1.5k nuyen, adds -6 to concealability rating
smuggling compartment (shielded) -- 1 slot, 3k nuyen for each type of shielding, airtight stops chem sniffers, faraday cage stops wifi signals and radar scans, lead stops radioactive, biofiber stops astral scans...
GM gets the final word on what fits and doesn't. On a bike, a pistol would fit, but a dwarf wouldn't.

Or go for the literal "all terrain package"...
amphibious operation level 2 -- 4 slots, body x 1k nuyen, halves accel/speed, drops handling by 2, otherwise it's a boat
Flying Fox Gliding system -- 3 slots, body x 3.5k nuyen slowly glide down/control where you land, take 4p damage on landing without off road suspension, new chute costs (body x 2k) nuyen (or fold it back up, but that takes 30 minutes)
off road suspension -- 1 slot, vehicle cost x 25%, handling on roads = -1, handling off roads = +1
overmod it to add in gecko tires, but that requires GMs approval and this is all really expensive.
Thanks for all your replys. I'm not sure how to use the quote feature that you did, so I'll try to break my responses up to make it easier to read. And yes, I have an older copy of SR4. I do not own SR4A, though now I wish I did.

Adept Powers: I am going to go with the Improved Reflexes 2, Combat Sense 3, and Improved Ability (pistols) 2. Thanks for pointing out both my missing point spent and the difference between the avoiding test or damage soak. I see him as super fast, not especially tough.

Knowledge Skills: I thought the knowledge skills were 2 points per rank with 1 point for specialization. If you say I've only used 9, does that make them only 1 point per rank? This may be another change in SR4A that I do not have.

Smartlinks: That was something I forgot to add. I am have added image link and smartlink to my goggles, and internal smartlinks on both revolvers. The sniper comes with one and I'm passing on the shotgun. Thanks for the reminder.

Qualities: I had taken SINner at 10 for having a criminal SIN. He has done time in the past for a few larceny charges. (stealing bikes as a kid) That may no longer be an option in SR4A, which I am fine with. If that is the case, can you please confirm it for me.

Contacts: I've dropped Mr Johnson and Fixer, bumped up mechanic to 3/6, street doc to 3/3, and added bartender at 3/4.

Attributes: I'm still counting 200 points spent on abilities when I count magic. BOD-4 (0), AGI 5(40), REA 5(40), STR 3(0), CHA 2(10), INT 3(20), LOG 3(20), WIL 4(30) + MAGIC 5(40) If I'm doing something wrong, please let me know. I'm not sure what else may be different from the SR4A book.

Total Build Points: If I can not take SINner at +10 points, by my count I am 5 points over (405 BP spent). I get this from...Attributes-160
Qualities- 0

I wonder if SR4A has a diffeernet starting attribute that I did not need to increase with BP to get my total. My book has orks starting with BOD 4 and STR 3. Other than that, and not being able to take SINner at +10 points, I'm not sure where else I messed up. Any ideas what I might be missing or anyone notice an error in my math? I really appreciate the help.
Your math is fine. The other poster had 190 for Attributes because originally you had Willpower posted at 3, not 4. And he was probably assuming the 5-point version of SINner - as far as I know, the 10-point flaw is still in SR4A.

I still think you should also get skinlinks for your smartlinked weapons, to keep hackers from being able to mess with them. It is a pretty cheap modification.
Ah, I see the mistake now. Not sure why I put 3 at first, but thanks for catching that. Thanks for pointing out skinlink. I will also be picking up skinlinks for my smartlinked weapons. That was something I missed outright, so thanks for bringing that to my attention. I also have 2 questions. First of all, someone mentioned 4 slots for enhancements to my bike. I took those enhancements (being gridlink, gridlink override, gecko tips, and ECM rank 1). I've already spent the money and put them on my sheet, but will they be legal for the Missions game I'm playing at GenCon? Also, I'm still waiting to hear about the knowledge skill points. Are they 1 point or 2 points per rank? Someone told me I had onlt spent 9 of my 18 knowledge skill points. That seems to indicate they are no longer 2 points each, but I have no way to verify. Thanks again for everyone's help and suggestions.
Knowledge skills are a bit confusing. You start out with free points, and additional knowledge skills cost 2 build points per point. In the first part, they are talking about full points, rather than build points. The character creation example part right after knowledge and language skills might make it clearer.

So you have 18 points to assign to knowledge skills, of which you have only assigned 9 so far. If you go past 18 points, it will cost 2 BP per additional point of knowledge skills. I have rarely ever seen anyone buy knowledge skill points past the "freebies", though.
QUOTE (galvatron42 @ May 15 2010, 04:59 PM) *
Thanks for all your replys. I'm not sure how to use the quote feature that you did, so I'll try to break my responses up to make it easier to read. And yes, I have an older copy of SR4. I do not own SR4A, though now I wish I did.

[quote] Stuff [/quote]

Knowledge Skills: I thought the knowledge skills were 2 points per rank with 1 point for specialization. If you say I've only used 9, does that make them only 1 point per rank? This may be another change in SR4A that I do not have.

1 point per rank and specs can only be bought with BP, costing 1 BP. Extra 'knowledge points' cost 2 BP each (which is likely where you got mixed up), and you can get extra equal to how many you originally had, so basically double the number if you want.

Thanks again! I'll buy another 9 points worth of knowledge skills then. Are the vehicle slots legal for Missions play? All in all, how does the character look? Does he stack up well to the average runner, or will I see a lot of things I should have done differently once I hit the table and play with some experienced folks? Thanks again everyone. I hope you don't mind if I do this again with my next character. I've got two games to make characters for.
Actually, I think you can spend one of your free knowledge skill points to get a specialization - a number of the sample characters do that to buy lingos, and languages are treated the same as other knowledge skills. I would only do it if you really want a particular specialization, though, since you are expending a point that could have been used to get a full skill point, instead.

I think overall, it's a very good first effort for a character. From a pure min-maxing perspective, adepts are more effective with a bit of bioware for things such as initiative and Agility boosts, but a pure adept has more points to be well-rounded - and a gun adept is a role where a pure adept can be almost as effective as an enhanced one. If you plan on staying "pure" and not getting any enhancements, I would recommend taking the attribute boost power at level: 1 for agility (when you raise your Magic). The drain will be low enough that you will nearly always soak it, but the agility increase will really help your primary dice pool.

Thanks again. I really look forward to playing this guy. Its a shame Gencon is still so far away. If only I could find a home game.
Yeah, Glyph's suggestions, as usual, have all been good ones.

Anyway, as a general rule, there's three paths to choosing good powers if you stick with being a "pure" Adept: take things that tech cannot do at all, take things that directly make use of your unblemished Magic attribute in tests (Like the Agility Boost power Glyph recommended) or specialize by taking a select few powers and taking them at as high a rating as you can get and never look back. The reasoning behind the first two paths is easy to understand, but the third path is really more about relative power levels.

Basically, if you're shooting for a number of small bonuses here and there, then I must say a street samurai or even a lightly cybered adept is generally going to be more cost effective-- if you want to be fast AND smart AND tough AND charming AND have a great perception pool, then you're likely better off saying to hell with essence and grabbing the bone lacing, pheromones, cerebral booster, Wired 2 and cybereyes pupu platter instead. You won't have much room for new tricks and the benefits of each piece of 'ware is all subject to caps, but you'll get a LOT of dice in a lot of areas, which is definitely very useful. So if you want your pure adept to actually do things that a cybered adept couldn't have done more cost effectively by sacrificing some essence, then you need to shoot for a tipping point that consistently gets you that one net hit to put you over the top of a less dedicated build. That means shooting for Combat Sense 5 and being untouchable instead of hedging your bets and grabbing a couple points of Mystic Armor just in case you do get hit (which you shouldn't). That way if a guy with Move-By-Wire attacks you he'll be thinking "Man, I thought I was supposed to be jumping him," as they're stitching him up in the ER.
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