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Alkar Rahn
Hello, DS. Long time lurker, first time poster here. Been playing off and on for roughly a couple years, I think it's been. On my third PC now. First I retired. Think the GM decided he died. Second was fairly useless. I decided to join in on the making of new characters since we were pretty well starting a new group. Anyway, I have the SR4, RC, SM, AU, and AR books. I've got questions about some skills.

Firstly, my current character has arcana. Failing in its use kind of helped set up one of his negative qualities. Thing is, I'm not really sure how it works. Like thresholds and that. Is this just made up by the GM, or is there something in the books that explains?

Secondly, I like making characters, and am working on one now. I'm having trouble selecting active skills though. I want her to be one that can sneak into a place, or disguise herself to get in, and gather physical information, or plant explosives. I want her to take flight over fight. Flight over most options, if caught, actually. I don't want her to be able to con her way out of a situation if she gets spotted and approached. Yet, I would like her to represent the type of person she is disguised as. I am wanting SneakGroup, Demolitions, Running, Dodge, and Perception. I have four others that I was thinking about, though I'm not sure I have enough for all of them. Two, maybe. The top of those would be locksmith. I'm not wanting anything towards weapons, outside the demolitions which has already been selected. Anyway, I'm more looking for suggestions for skills that might suit the character. Oh, she's human, if that matters.
Daddy's Little Ninja
I'm not sure of the questions but we usually can't start a character with all the skills we want. You have to set the pattern and accept she will gain ability as she grows.
Alkar Rahn
Well, I suppose what I'm asking more is, with con and disguise, do I need con to act like who I'm dressed as, or would something like etiquette do? Not for a specific person, but a specific type of person, doing a specific type of job.
Well, you are going to probably want Con. I'd say make a Face character, High Charisma and Influence group. Get some implants that help with your faceness and ability to disguise like the False Front bioware in Augmentation.
The Active Arcana skill is IIRC mostly used for enchanting items (focus-crafting) and Alchemy, while the Knowledge skill of the same name is used for the theorical part of magic, things like designing a spell formula - or understanding what the one you just found does.

Those two facets of magic rarely comes into play during a run, and most spellslingers can go without them.
Actually you have it sort of mixed up:

Arcana = Spell Design, it does things like making spell formula, spirit formula, and focus formula.

Enchanting = Does the enchanting. biggrin.gif

They dont come into play during a run, but it doesn't mean they aren't useful. If you are doing anything with ally spirits (found in Street Magic) then Arcana would be very helpful.
You'll be happier if you make her in karmagen, with all the skills you want. Will your GM allow this?
Alkar Rahn
Yeah. Spell formula. Say I wanted to make a Manipulation Spell. How many 5/6's would I need?

And karmagen isn't an option. Tried to see if I could with my current character. Was denied.
There is a table on Page 158 of Street Magic. Its got all the modifiers and bases and such.
QUOTE (Alkar Rahn @ Dec 16 2010, 03:57 PM) *
Yeah. Spell formula. Say I wanted to make a Manipulation Spell. How many 5/6's would I need?

I'm pretty sure its an extended test based on some parameters found in Street Magic. I'm AFB though.
Yeah, its Logic + Arcana extended test taking place over the course of 1-3 months depending on the type of spell you are designing.
Alkar Rahn
Great! I'm sure I seen it before, I just couldn't find it. I was looking for a section titled arcana, or something. Around the enchanting section, I think it was. Thanks for that.
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