Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: New Character, New to Shadowrun
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
Pages: 1, 2
Sand
Hey,

I'm a long-time roleplayer who's new to Shadowrun and about to start a game (1st session in about 2 weeks). I'm making my way through the 3rd Edition core rulebook (the only book we'll be using) and am trying to figure out what kind of character to make. Since making things easy would be no fun, I have two sets of priorities -- my own preferences and my GM's foibles.

My preferences are for characters with flexibility -- enough combat ability to get the job done without having to be the star of the show, and enough skills to have fun outside of combat. I prefer survivability to massive damage potential, though I need to at least have the ability to affect opponents. I've also been told by everyone I asked that initiative is king in Shadowrun, so lots of that would be a good thing. From what I know so far, it sounds like there are several paths one could take to make this kind of character (adept, shaman, mage, and various cybered types all seem like they could fit the bill if done properly).

Then there's the GM. I haven't played with him much, but he tends to be very focused on what he wants to have happen and not so much about other stuff the characters might want to do. For example, I'm leery of taking too many Contacts because I suspect they will only tell me what we would have learned anyway, and trying to use them creatively will not get me much. It's not so much that he's linear in terms of character actions -- within a given scenario we're free to do what we want -- but attempts to go too far outside that scenario seem to run into a brick wall. For example, we might get a mission to infiltrate a corp, and it'll be up to us to make it a sneak job, a frontal assault, or a magical op; but trying to con an exec into giving us the info directly won't work. His NPCs also tend to get fairly deadly fairly fast.

Thanks for any help you all can offer!

CardboardArmor
Alrightie. Versatility and survivability.

To me, that says Cyberware. Look into a street Samurai, fairly light on the chrome so you aren't some glaring social horror. I would suggest Smartlink, Chipjacks/Knowsoftlinks with a possible skillwire system, and light dermal plating.

To compensate for the general lack of ware, you could shift your priorities to reflect a greater dependance on skills rather than on attributes or resources to tote around all that ware.

Your mileage may vary on this, but it should lay a wide open enough character to allow for versatility and growth potential in any direction you decide to take him/her.

Oh, and go Human on this character. It frees up Priority slots.
Lantzer
I agree.

Mundane Human lightly chomed street sam. Heavy on skills, that's the most versatile character type, with a lot of growth potential in whatever direction you want to take him.

Get him a datajack, probably a smartlink (with or without the induction pad), and perhaps cybereyes/ears for the sensory mods. A chipjack/knowsoft link could be handy.

There's nothing there that will cause people to cross the street to avoid you, and you'll be fairly flexible, given good skills. A knowsoft link is a good way of having a bunch of knowledge skills at your beck and call, with planning.
TinkerGnome
Hm... I'd say physical adept, actually. They're damn easy to make and pretty good at a lot of things. Try this:

A Attributes (30)
B Magic (adept)
C Skills (34)
D Resources (20,000)
E Race (human)

Bod 6
Quk 6
Str 4
Cha 4
Int 6
Wil 4

Skills:

Pistol/other weapon 4-6
Thrown weapons 3-4
Unarmed Combat/or armed melee of some sort ~4
Athletics 4-6
Stealth ~6
Etiquitte 4 or 3/5 (street, probably)
Electronics ~4 (and Electronics B/R if possible)
Other social skills if you like

For powers, pick small but powerful stuff with one or two big things, ie:
Improved ability: Stealth +6 (1.5 points)
Improved ability: Pistols +1 (.5 points)
Improved Reflexes 2 (3 points)
Imp Senses: Low light, flare comp, vision mag, enhanced hearing (1)

Gear:
Weapon(s)
Ammo
MICRO-TRANCEIVER WITH BROADCAST ENCRYPTION (everyone on the team should get one of these, you can get one rating 4 with encryption rating 4 and ECM 3 for 10k)
Armor

[edit]
Pros:
  • Simple creation
  • Fairly flexible.
  • A lot of room for advancement because of good stats (in terms of skills)
  • You're about as legal as a shadowrunner gets
  • Weapon foci. Mmm... weapon foci. (requires armed combat skill)
Cons:
  • Without using Magic in the Shadows, you're advancement in powers is limited
  • You're a massive karma sink either way (MitS or not)
  • Magic loss is a danger (disproportionate to most loss faced by sammies without the use of Man and Machine)
  • Most of the good technological stuff is in the other books (ie, reuthinium in MitS)
  • Not as hard to kill as a cybered up sammie
[/edit]
snowRaven
I have to agree with CardboardArmor and Lantzer on the cyber-thing... though you might want to seriously consider a Dwarf instead of a human. You don't really loose anything, except a point in running multiplier and 10% added to your gear costs. The lower karma pool will only be a problem down the line, and the added attributes, natural thermographic vision and resistance to diseases and toxins make for a starting character with increased potential for survival (and being small makes it easier to hide, if need be!)

Priority E - Mundane (OR Human )
Priority D - Dwarf (OR Mundane)
Priority C - 24 Attribute points
Priority B - 400,000
Priority A - 50 Skill points

For cyber I suggest considering a Smartlink, Wired Reflexes 2, and Alpha-grade Titanium bonelacing. While this doesn't leave much essence it gives you a fair combo for surviving. If you choose human, you may want to add cybereyes with some various vision mods. If you want to leave more essence, lower the reflexes to level 1. In either case you should have roughly 100K left for gear.

For skills I suggest a few varied combat skills, like Pistols, Unarmed Combat and one heavier weapon like SMGs or Shotguns or Assault Rifles. Maybe a Melee weapon skill as well. Get fair levels in Electronics and Electronics B/R and you can bypass locks and some other security systems. Stealth and Etiquette are always useful, and if you have points left you might want to consider a vehicle skill, athletics and/or biotech. Maybe intimidation.

For attributes I suggest moderate charisma, fair intelligence and strength, and high body, willpower and quickness. (For instance: B 6, Q 5, S 5, C 3, I 4, W 5 - for a dwarf)

Go with a secure jacket or an armor vest w/plates for armor (depending on the job) and stock up on some good-to-have electronics with any money you have left over after weapons, armor and lifestyle. A toolkit to go with that electronics skill, then things like a medkit, trauma patch, bug scanner, white noise generator, gas detector, micro-camcorder, shotgun microphone, data codebreaker, binoculars, flashlight, wire clippers, ration bars... for some suggestions upsidedown.gif (maybe an IR smoke grenade or two, just in case)

Don't forget a spare forged credstick, a lifestyle and a few contacts.

Personalize and prioritize - make sure you read up on the gear you get, and scan the lists of surveillance measures and countermeasures, as well as survival gear and electronics.

In the end you should have a versatile, capable character who is (hopefully) fun to play in most situations! After playing with that character and getting a feel for the game, you'll probably figure out which direction you want to pursue for that, or another, character. Enjoy!
TinkerGnome
As has been pointed out in every one of the above posts, try to plan out your character at start, +10 karma +10,000 nuyen.gif, +50 karma, +50,000 nuyen.gif (or some equivalent formula) and see where it goes. Being well rounded at the start is good, but you'll want to become stronger as time goes on, as well.
kevyn668
Don't play a dwarf just because it gives you the best boost. If you wanna play a human or an ork or a troll OR a dwarf, do it because you think it would be fun. Eventually you learn which one you like best.
Sand
Wow, lots of good advice. I just finished the magic chapter, so the stuff about street sams I can't really evaluate until I've read the tech chapters. The thought of switchable skill chips appeals to me, though I don't know how it works in practice in terms of expense or other restrictions.

I was thinking about playing an adept, but it seemed very limiting that they got a small set of powers and were basically stuck with them. I guess if you pick the right powers it's not a problem...and the sample character above doesn't look bad at all.

Planning out the character -- thanks for advising this, all. I wouldn't have thought of that in time, most likely, and even if plans change, it's good to have a goal to begin with.

I will definitely be reading about this stuff tonight!

(Don't worry about me choosing something "just for the best bonuses"; I don't enjoy playing unless I've got a character concept that grabs my attention. I'll make sure I use the rules enough that my character is capable, but utter minimaxing is not my goal.)
Large Mike

Personally, I'd say it doesn't matter whether you get chromed or not, as you're probably looking at a skill-monkey. So, to that end, you could get as many skills as possible and diversify them to the point you have no idea what there's left you possibly could do.

Another option for versitility: Shaman. Firstly, you'd have spells. Magic fingers, gecko crawl, and imp invisibility are versitile spells and beautiful to have. Also, as a shaman, you can summon spirits, which have almost as many powers as you have spells.
TinkerGnome
Bah, I've not been posting on the discussion boards so I've got a "backup" as it were of chattyness wink.gif The following discussion goes beyond the single character and to the team a lot. Everyone here has an opinion that differs from this one (and I doubt any two of them are alike) so your milage may vary.

The basic character types are:
  • Street Sammie (heavy combat type)
  • Face/other light Sammie type
  • Rigger/Decker/other techie
  • Adept
  • Aspected Mage/Shaman
  • Mage/Shaman
Because we're restricted to the core rulebook, the pure decker immediately comes out. Deckers are still critical, but buy a level 2 decker contact instead of muddling through using the rulebook as one (or dual purpose yourself). That cuts down our list a little bit. That leaves you with the Sammie, Face, and Rigger for mundanes, and the three basic types of awakened characters (and we'll go ahead and lump together the mage/shaman and aspected mage/shaman.

Rigger is another one of those roles that is best served by someone doing double duty as something else in this case (if you wanted to do a Decker, you could get away with a Rigger/Decker). Without Rigger 3, making "good" vehicles and drones is difficult, and you're missing some important rules (like electronic warfare, etc). Someone in the party should know how to drive and have a vehicle big enough to carry the team, or, alternatively, several party members should drive smaller vehicles. Arriving at a meet via the tube is embarassing at best, and no one wants to try hailing a cab as a get away vehicle after the run goes south.

A first run
There is a natural tendancy to "go for the gold" at character gen. That's all well and good, because Shadowrun can be lethal. However, knowledge is just as important as firepower in getting a run done. Let's take a look at a "typical" run and the roles involved.
  • Team goes to the meet (transportation)
  • Team meets with Johnson and settles on payment and terms (social skills)
  • Team does legwork (info gathering/scouting)
  • Team inserts into target/intercepts target (transportation)
  • Team captures/destroys/steals objective (combat/stealth)
  • Team escapes target (transportation)
  • Team collects payment (All)
Transportation comes in more than the others, from this list, but it's not that big a deal, generally. The other steps are all critical, however, and will appear, in one form or another, in most games.

A balanced team
So, what does that mean? Well, your team needs a descent mix of abilities. If you have enough players, each should be fairly "pure" in their fields so as to make the team itself stronger. Ideally, each team should have one or more members who can do or get someone to do the following:
  • Negotiations/Bargaining/other social skills
  • Driving
  • Sneaking/Stealth/Invisbility
  • Legwork (contacts)
  • Legwork (matrix)
  • Legwork (astral)
  • Combat (mundane threats)
  • Combat (magical threats)
Combat is deadly in SR, so a team should dedicate as much time and effort to avoiding it as they can. Not firing a shot is definitely a great way to end a run (unless you're supposed to shoot something, that is).

What about the character?
Well, we've already established that you want versatility and the possibility of advancement. From the rest of this, I gather that we're probably looking at one of the following character types:
  • Light sammie (ie, not 2.5m, 250kg of metal and weapons)
  • Face
  • Adept
  • Mage/shaman
All four are versitile and good to have on a team. As Mike says, a shaman can be a great choice. Lots of people have mentioned the makings of a "light" Sammie, and I put up an adept. Each has pros and cons, but personal preference tends to carry the day at this point.

Do you happen to know what the rest of the team is playing?
RedmondLarry
When I was introduced to Shadowrun, the great advice I received was "play a street sam from the book for a few weeks and then make a character how you want to be". Character creation rules are an awful big thing to tackle before sitting down to your first game, and magic rules are complicated. It sounds like your GM may like to guide your character creation. Some GMs treat characters more kindly that they've helped create (right or wrong).

That said, have high skills if you want to accomplish a lot. Have high attributes if you want to live longer. If you'll be playing with some experienced shadowrunners, and may want high attributes just to survive through the difficulties they'll get themselves into. I pick high skills for one-game things (conventions), and high-attributes for starting characters in a long campaign.
Lilt
For what it's worth, I'll reccomend a full mage/shaman. You advancement is limited if you don't have access to MitS (no initiation and metamagic) but you can still learn new spells and bond foci. You probably won't be as powerful physically as the sammie, but that matters somewhat less when you're invisible.
  • Mages can get initiative boosts fairly erasily (Force 1 Increase Reflexes +3 and a sustaining focus, that's 15k nuyen.gif and 2 karma).
  • You can become highly effective in melee using weapon foci (if you can ever afford one).
  • If you're not using the rules from MitS then you're not going to be hit with focus addiction.
  • You can use sustaining foci with increase *attribute* spells to give your attributes a reasonably cheap boost (15k and 2 karma per point)

There are obviously cons to being a good full mage/shaman. Attributes will probably be streched because you'll want good mental attributes and sufficient physical attributes to be effective. You can skimp a bit on skills, however, as you can do so much with sorcery and conjuring.


Just my 0.02 nuyen.gif
Sand
TinkerGnome, nice post! Lots of general stuff that I need to know and think about. smile.gif

The GM is being a little odd about what he's allowing and not allowing, at least thus far. He is giving us a decker Contact to avoid the "1 person goes into the Matrix" syndrome. He has said that he doesn't do much with spirits in the game, and has hinted that drone riggers might have a hard time keeping up with their repair bills.

The other players have stated the following intentions, which are subject to change:

1) Troll/Orc "thug" (assume melee/weapons specialist)
2) Troll or human Combat Mage
3) Street samurai / Weapons expert / covert ops (i.e., a weapons dude)
4) Vehicle and tech wiz guy

Looking at the above list, it seems like the team is lowest on social skills and next lowest on non-magical investigation. This won't be a super-long campaign, so I'd rather design for the short-term (not one adventure, say a few months) and adjust if it ends up going longer. It does sound like a street-sam-Lite / Face makes the most sense, with magical support guy coming in second. Tonight I'm cracking open the tech chapter, so we'll see how all this cyber-stuff looks!

TinkerGnome
The Matrix really isn't that bad, once you get the hang of it, but it takes a while to understand what's going on. If the GM wants to keep it NPC, then that's probably for the best all around wink.gif

It looks like a face is the natural fit. Take a look at the face achetype in the main book and go from there. The book archetypes tend to be playable (unlike most every other game in existance).
gknoy
QUOTE (Sand @ Apr 6 2004, 04:16 PM)
Wow, lots of good advice. I just finished the magic chapter, so the stuff about street sams I can't really evaluate until I've read the tech chapters. The thought of switchable skill chips appeals to me, though I don't know how it works in practice in terms of expense or other restrictions.

I have to admit, that there is something extremely satisfying (if the hackfactor of the game isn't TOO high) to being a low-cyber, HIGH skills human. My first char was patterned after the Weapons Specialist archetype, but with less heavy gunnery skills and launch weapons and stuff, and more social skills.

Skills A, Attributes B, and resources C are very powerful. The resources will let you get an eyeware package with almost every fun toy in the book (low light, thermo, image link, vision mag 3), smartlink (this is a MUST for any nonmagical character, and even some gun-fu adepts), and maybe even some wired or boosted reflexes. You may not act first, but you will be able to have 6s in several skills (pistols, a variety of rifles, etc) and some non-combat skills can be very high too. 50 skill points are so addictive to me that I find myself really missing them at any other priority level. =D

Also, get the NSRCG program ( http://matrix.dumpshock.com/mcmackie/ ) and use that to play around. It's far easier than doing it on paper, and lets you easily switch things up. smile.gif

You can get more starting bang for buck when you use skill specializations ... personally i don't because ... I'm stupid. j/k - but I like being able to specialize later in something else, but for now have a 6 in any weapon in a class (eg, ARs) I pick up. Tho i guess it 'd be more realistic to go the other way and specialize.

[edit]
With all the weapon skills, it's hard to pick a few. If you're going for a Face character, you probably won't have many skill pts devoted to combat, so you might want a rundown on those. (I'm assuming you're going for a Face.)

Pistols: Pretty much ubiquitous. Easy to get, easy to conceal. Don't have the damage potential of the other weapons tho. If you do use a pistol, either chose a light pistol that's easy to conceal, or a heavy pistol that actually does damage. The max-power actually has better conceal that most ofthe other HPs (IIRC?), so that might be a good reason to use one instead of the ubiquitous Predator. As a face, you may want to go for concealability. Hold out pistols are only useful for shooting yourself. The Slivergun 0wns, and is the most munchkin-favoured pistol ever (that you can get at chargen) - but it's not too good vs armor. wink.gif Still, potentialy pretty nice.

SMGs: Still almost as wasy to conceal. Can do BURST FIRE -- which is significantly more effective than a semi-auto pistol (or other non-sniper weapon in SA mode). More damage, AND harder to dodge, IIRC. Most of the combat archetypes have this skill as theor main combat skill.

Assault Rifles (ARs): These look just like SMGs, stats wise, except that their short range is HUGE -- most any indoors, street-level, etc engagement will be in short range - compare with pistols' range. (ranges are in the first few pages of the combat chapter.) However, ARs are much harder to conceal than an SMG or pistol.

Shotguns: Aside from burst fire spas-22's (lol), I don't consider these all that useful; tho, they ARE powerful... but as a primarily non-combat oriented character (again, an assumption), you need to make sure that your shots are either harder to avoid (burst fire with great recoil compensation), or harder to stage the damage from. A shotgun round is about the same damage code as the staged-up damage from a burst firing weapon, I believe, so I'd go for the SMG or AR.

Other rifles: You probably aren't a sniper so don't bother, IMO.
[/edit]
FlakJacket
QUOTE (gknoy)
Shotguns:  Aside from burst fire Spas-22's (lol), I don't consider these all that useful;  though, they ARE powerful...  But as a primarily non-combat oriented character (again, an assumption), you need to make sure that your shots are either harder to avoid (burst fire with great recoil compensation), or harder to stage the damage from. A shotgun round is about the same damage code as the staged-up damage from a burst firing weapon, I believe, so I'd go for the SMG or AR.

Excuse me? Shotguns are some of the best weapons IMO. But then I am biased since I do like shotguns. Lets take the Franchi SPAS-22. First off, just ignore the burst fire option since it's practically unworkable- stick to SA mode. Carries ten rounds and has a concealability equal to nearly all heavy pistols and SMG's.

And unlike SMG's that with burst fire you automatically get +3 to your target numbers, with a shotgun you get 10S damage straight away without any recoil, which makes them easier to hit with. For a starting character I would have thought they'd be ideal. You can't silence them as well as SMG's, but just carry a silenced heavy pistol as a secondary weapon if you want something for quiet work.
Glyph
A character with 50 points of skills can fill many different roles. Here is one I put together once, just for an example. This guy could function as a face, medic, scout/break-in guy, and magical support.


Here is the breakdown:
A: Skills
B: Magic (Sorcerer)
C: Attributes
D: Race (Dwarf)
E: Resources (5,000 -10% = 4,500 Nuyen)

Dwarven Hermetic Sorcerer
Attributes -
Body: 4
Quickness: 4
Strength: 3
Charisma: 5
Intelligence: 6
Willpower: 6
Essence: 6
Magic: 6
Reaction: 5

Initiative: 5 + 1d6
Combat Pool: 8
Spell Pool: 6
Karma Pool: 1

Active Skills -
Athletics: 3
Biotech/First Aid: 5/7
Computer: 1
Electronics: 6
Electronics B/R: 6
Etiquette: 6
Negotiation: 6
Sorcery: 6
Stealth: 6

Knowledge Skills -
(Languages)
English/Cityspeak: 4/6 R/W: 2/-
Japanese: 4 R/W: 2
(Other Skills)
Corporate Politics: 4
Corporate Security: 4
Gang Identification: 3
Japanese Culture: 3
Medicine: 6
Psychology: 6
Underworld Politics: 4

Spells -
Stunbolt: 6
Clairvoyance: 6
Heal: 6
Improved Invisibility: 6
Physical Mask: 6
Levitate: 5

Contacts -
Fixer (Level 1)
Talismonger (Level 1)

Lifestyles: 1 Low (1 Month prepaid), 1 Squatter (1 Month prepaid).
Credstick Balance: 3d6 x 100 Nuyen.

Gear -
Armor/Clothing: Secure Ultra-Vest, Ordinary Clothing (x 6).
Other Gear: Duffel Bag (of 100 Nuyen cost), Medkit with Supplies (x1), 1 Antidote (Rating: 6) Slap Patch, Survival Kit, Wire Clippers, Crowbar (25 Nuyen cost), Ultrasound Detector, Electronics Toolkit, Pocket Flashlight, Earplug Phone, Pager, Metal Restraints (x 2), Telecom (5 Mp) with disposable Printer.

tjn
I agree that a Human Light Sam/Face combo is probably the way to go, and if you do, I would suggest Skillwires. Nothing is quite as versatile as a good set, you'll never get to use pools with them (so avoid Combat skills), but it's a lot quicker to pick up a Demolitions, a Biotech, or a Rotor Aircraft chip then it is for someone to actually learn the skill.

If ya do, don't take it at less then a 4 rating (That gives a 1/1296 chance of botching, the lower levels come up too often IMO). This is expensive though, and you'll probably need to take resources of A to do it as a good set can run ya near half a million nuyen. And if you ever do expand into the other sourcebooks, get the Chipjack Expert Driver, best thing since sliced bread. nyahnyah.gif

And then with the skills you do get, you can choose to specialize into the areas that will come up more often (Combat skills, Etiquette/SocialSkills, Stealth), without having too sacrifice much for them.

As far as your worries about initative... in 3rd, they toned down the blatant abuses of it. As just using the corebook as a starting character, you're not too liable to get huge scores. To get to three times a turn, with just the core book, you'd probably have to prioritize your resources to the point where it's all you did.

I'd personally vote for Boosted 1, as it's the most efficent, and yet you still have a good chance of going twice a turn if you have a good reaction attribute.

As well, Smartlink, just no two ways about it, anyone who takes cyber needs it in the Shadowrunner's line of work. It gets better if you had Man and Machine, but I think the advantages still outweigh scopes/lasers.

I'd also suggest Alpha'd Eyes/Ears for the space, and as a human, you really aren't giving up anything. Personally, with this type of build, I'd go Camera and Recorder over other enhancements as recording what you see, or what the contact said might be more important. You won't be the combat monster, you'd be the info gatherer, record your info ;p. Though the internal MP costs are atrocious.


But as I was going over this, I think a Shaman/Face might work well as well for your desire for versatility and the needs of your group for someone with some social skills.

I would probably never suggest an aspected mage, personally I feel Projection is just that useful, and a high Charisma would play into both the social needs of the group and astral combat.

Take the spells you think would fit well, but the true versatility of the Shaman comes from being able to summon spirits, and as most runs take place indoors, you'll come to love Hearth spirits. Accident, Confusion, Concealment, and Search add a depth to your abilities, and if all else fails you can summon one, send it forth and book for the hills.

Plus, the Imp Reflex +3 is fairly easy to get (as you only want it at a force of 1), but as yer likely focusing more on yer spellcasting abilities, your reaction will suffer. You might be able to go three times in a round, but it'd be more 50/50.
Crusher Bob
Here's my take:

An Adept (which gives you a 'simple' introduciton to the magic system), who has plenty of skills. The character can do Talking, fighting, or breaking and entering quite well.

Note also, that you can take a look at the character builds posted here, they will tend to be much more reasonable that the archtypes.

A Skills
B Magic (Physad)
C Stats
D Resources
E Human

Body 3
Quickness 4
Strength 3
Cha 4
Int 6
Will 4

SKills:
Pistols(QCK) [4]
Assault Rifles(QCK) [4]
Unarmed Combat-SR3(STR) [3]

Athletics(BOD) [3]
P:Stealth(QCK) [4] (Adept Power raised this to cool.gif

Etiquette(CHA) [4]
Negotiation(CHA) [4]
Intimidation(CHA) [4]
Interrogation(CHA) [4]

Electronics(INT) [6]
Electronics B/R(INT) [6]

Car(REA) [4]

ST:Security Procedures(KNO) [5]
ST:Criminal Organizations(KNO) [4]
IN:Cooking(KNO) [3]
AC:Psychology(KNO) [4]
AC:Security Systems(KNO) [4]
AC:History(KNO) [3]
SW:Megacorporate Politics(KNO) [4]
ST:Local Neighborhood(KNO) [3]

Adept Powers
Imp. Reflexes Level 2 3
Imp. Sense: Low-Light Vision 0.25
Imp. Sense: Flare Comp. 0.25
Imp. Sense: Improved Scent 0.25
Imp. Sense: Improved Taste 0.25
Imp. Sense: Sound Dampening 0.25
Imp. Sense: Hearing Aplification 0.25
Imp Abl Phys Skl/Stealth(QCK) [4] 1.00
Pain Resistance 0.50

Gear
Browning Max power, Internal Smartlink
Silencer, Concealable holster, 4 spare magazines, 100 round EX ammo

AK-97, Internal Smartlink, Shock Pads, Gas Vent II
4 spare magazines, 200 rounds EX ammo

Smart Goggles
Secure Jacket
Electronics toolkit
Microtransceiver Rating 3 with lvl 3 encryption
Low lifestyle 3 Months pre-paid

~2000 nuyen left over for clothes, flashlights, and similar stuff

There is very little this character can't do. This will tend to involve you in all aspects of the run, and you can talk, shoot, break into things, and drive the getaway car.

Generalist characters are a great way to get into the game as you can see most of the game happen 'first hand'.
TinkerGnome
A couple of caveat's to what tin said. Skillwires can be useful, but they area also expensive (if they are worthwhile) and not as good as having the real skill. You can't use dice pools with skillchips (not in the base rulebook, anyway) and the price is exponential (thus having more than 4 dice for a skill chip is rare). Often you're better off defaulting (quite often not, but often you are) to another skill or even stat.

As for initiative, Boosted is okay, but keep in mind that boosted reflexes are very, very difficult to upgrade (requires genetech in SOTA 2063, lots of time and lots of money). Mages get a cheap spell which can give them up to +3d6 for a relatively tiny investment and adepts can get +4/+2d6 for 3 points (the level you see taken most often because of the cost scale) so they get their own boost. I'd say bite the bullet and go with Wired I instead of Boosted I. For 40k nuyen.gif more you get +2 reaction and the possibility of upgrading later on.

I'll agree with FlakJacket that shotguns are far from useless. In general, your character should have two weapons, one that's concealable and one that's a heavy hitter. Pistols are usually the choice for the first (take a look at concealable holsters and armored long coats and their boost to conceal, used together they turn a conceal 4 into a conceal 9), and the choice for the second is widely split. If you plan on getting into tactical situations (as in you know your GM is the kind how's going to be throwing them at you) you might want to consider range more than you normally would (an assault rifle with an underbarrel grenade launcher can't be beat for versatility in a real battle).

Some characters opt for a mid-range sorta-concealable but sorta-heavy hitter (or sorta-long range) weapon (SMGs, some shotguns). You can go with this if you want, but it's really personal choice if you haven't played with the GM enough to know that he'll make situations which require a "mid-gun" necessary.

In general, look for weapons with flexibility in ammunitiion. Grenades/GLs are the most flexible, of course, but some weapons can't take non-flechette ammo, for instance, and may not be the best choice for the long term.

You've seen a wide variety of characters thrown up here, and every one of them is playable. Some of us forget what it's like to make a character out of less than six books, so it's good to get back to the basics.
toturi
QUOTE (TinkerGnome)
As for initiative, Boosted is okay, but keep in mind that boosted reflexes are very, very difficult to upgrade (requires genetech in SOTA 2063, lots of time and lots of money). Mages get a cheap spell which can give them up to +3d6 for a relatively tiny investment and adepts can get +4/+2d6 for 3 points (the level you see taken most often because of the cost scale) so they get their own boost. I'd say bite the bullet and go with Wired I instead of Boosted I. For 40k nuyen.gif more you get +2 reaction and the possibility of upgrading later on.

I'll agree with FlakJacket that shotguns are far from useless. In general, your character should have two weapons, one that's concealable and one that's a heavy hitter. Pistols are usually the choice for the first (take a look at concealable holsters and armored long coats and their boost to conceal, used together they turn a conceal 4 into a conceal 9), and the choice for the second is widely split. If you plan on getting into tactical situations (as in you know your GM is the kind how's going to be throwing them at you) you might want to consider range more than you normally would (an assault rifle with an underbarrel grenade launcher can't be beat for versatility in a real battle).

Some characters opt for a mid-range sorta-concealable but sorta-heavy hitter (or sorta-long range) weapon (SMGs, some shotguns). You can go with this if you want, but it's really personal choice if you haven't played with the GM enough to know that he'll make situations which require a "mid-gun" necessary.
.

2 things:

1) Boosted can be upgraded without using genetech. There is nothing Canon that says you need to, but your GM may have something to say. Also Boosted is the only thing that stacks with Synaptic Accelerators, so they are more useful than you think.

2) I agree that an assault rifle is quite the all round ranged combat weapon, but I feel that if you are going to be spending your time indoors, you might want to consider a shotgun (shot, not slugs) instead, especially if you have a smartlink. Suppressive fire and shotgun choke rules are your friends.
Sphynx
QUOTE (Sand)
My preferences are for characters with flexibility -- enough combat ability to get the job done without having to be the star of the show, and enough skills to have fun outside of combat. I prefer survivability to massive damage potential, though I need to at least have the ability to affect opponents.

Just wanted to say somethign quickly Sand. Welcome to the game for one, and 2ndly, the first lesson most players learn is to specialize. It's nice the character shown able to do all sorts of stuff, but in the end, you'll learn to specialize in char-gen for a certain field. The hard part is figuring out where. wink.gif

Anyhows, since the examples all show Adepts and Mages, thought I'd post a cyber-type you might like and seems to fit your imagery. My wife played this character as her starting character and it was a blast for her.

http://shadowrun.i-sphynx.com/kat.htm

Sphynx
TinkerGnome
QUOTE (toturi)
1) Boosted can be upgraded without using genetech. There is nothing Canon that says you need to, but your GM may have something to say. Also Boosted is the only thing that stacks with Synaptic Accelerators, so they are more useful than you think.

True, but that depends on how your GM deals with the availability of cultured bioware. I played under a house rule one time that only let the two stack if you bought them together (which explains why I didn't realize this earlier), but as I see it's not an official rule, that makes this a viable option. It is certainly a cheaper route to speed than wired 3 (in essence and cash). The only drawbacks are that you can't turn off boosted reflexes and the reaction bonus is smaller.

If you anticipate the campaign to last a very long time, I'd advocate boosted III at game start for a light sammie (if you're working off 400k, anyway... boosted I if you are poorer) if you're not going with Wired II. Both choices have pros and cons. [edit]Oops, forgot about the "base book" restriction for a second there. Since Synapatic is in M&M, this is only a recommendation if the GM is going to allow in other books in the future.[/edit]

QUOTE (toturi)
2) I agree that an assault rifle is quite the all round ranged combat weapon, but I feel that if you are going to be spending your time indoors, you might want to consider a shotgun (shot, not slugs) instead, especially if you have a smartlink. Suppressive fire and shotgun choke rules are your friends.

Assault rifles are great all around combat weapons, but notice how I gave the caveat that it was for a game where the GM tended to present tactical situations (ie, lots of distance, cover, etc). If you're not dealing with ranges over 100 meters, shotguns are a strong contender for "heavy hitter" status (the others being rifles/sniper rifles, assault rifles, SMGs, and heavy weapons).
Lindt
Im gonna have to disagree with you Sphynx. Frist off, he dosent know what Syn. Acc. is, and cant use it. Second, from that sounds of that group he might want to be able to do a little of everything, it sounds like its 4 goons and a rigger wannabe. But Im one of those people who love Becks for the ability to have a barge load of skills at low levels for cheep. Anywho... To whom mentioned needing 2 weapons, too true. If your gonna be in a combat situation, your pistol is your sidearm, not your main weapon. Rifles, assult rifles, shotguns, Sub guns, those are your battle weapons. Im of the opinion that everyone should take a pistol skill, no matter what they do, but your combat charcter needs something that might stop say, a charging troll.
tjn
QUOTE (TinkerGnome)
A couple of caveat's to what tin said. Skillwires can be useful, but they area also expensive (if they are worthwhile) and not as good as having the real skill. You can't use dice pools with skillchips (not in the base rulebook, anyway) and the price is exponential (thus having more than 4 dice for a skill chip is rare). Often you're better off defaulting (quite often not, but often you are) to another skill or even stat.

As I said, try to get at least a rating 4 set or above, also said they are expensive, I still feel they're worth it for the utility they provide.

Defaulting to an attribute is almost never worth it (except maybe a Troll with max body and athletics or some such).

But defaulting to a skill... there's precious few that you can actually default to anymore. I'd wager to say, out of combat, the only time one would default to a skill is a Computer ot Electronics roll. All the rest are combat or vehicle skills, combat I'll get to, and vehicle skills are just too specialized if one's not a rigger.

Now, the drawback for using skill wires is you can't use pools. Using the base book, no one will ever use a pool with most of his skills, so that isn't really a drawback.

As the character would be Mundane, without a VCR or a Cyberdeck, the only pool he would have access to is Combat.

So yes, use the skill points for Combat skills. I said as much.

But Biotech? Demolitions? Piloting a Helicopter as a non-rigger? Or any other non-combat skill the team is missing? Skillwires work just fine.
Sand
Looking at the two alternatives, it seems like the adept has the benefit of a couple ludicrously high skills (Stealth seems to be favored), while the street sam has a lot more stuff but no spectacular skill rolls. How much of a difference does that make? I'd hate to find that "only" having a 6-7 in all my combat skills makes the character a third-string combat participant. (Although, that skillwire thing does look pretty tempting...)


TinkerGnome
True, I missed the part about pools. There are a lot of descent skills you can get on chip which would prove helpful. In fact, it's probably one of the better things you can do with the same amount of cash. It's only when you try to add in all the bells and whistles from M&M that they get truely expensive (or you try to use more than one at a time).

I'd stopped looking at them because of previous bad experiences *coughCEDcough*. They appear to be worth a second look.

In combat, you use your combat pool with most things you really want to get to work, so the difference between skills isn't too terribly great. Though through a base of 12 dice at something generally means it'll get done right the first time.
Lilt
If you want to be the drek at melee then the key is to roll more dice than your opponent and avoid TN penalties. Initiative bonuses don't matter as much for melee fighters as whenever someone attacks you you can kick their ass in a counterattack. As long as you roll more dice than them then you can kick their asses on their own turns. This gives adepts a slight advantage as improved ability lets them roll extra dice. They also have the option of bonding weapon foci in the future making them even more powerful.

In ranged combat, Initiative is often king. Very few adepts can challenge a sammie's Wired Reflexes 2, Smartlink, and Cyber Vision Mods. It is possible though, and if you sacrifice a point of essence (and so magic) for a bit of cyber (Smartlink, Datajack, and CyberEyes + Thermo + Low-L + Flare-Comp + Vis-Mag-3 are popular choices) then they can contest reasonably well with sammies.
Austere Emancipator
I believe, with the current M&M Errata (p. 78), you could also opt for a combination such as Smartlink-2 + Enhanced Artwinkulation + Muscle Toner-1. I'm not a good min/maxer, but I think it's worth noting that Bioware is currently "half price" when considering Magic loss from 'Ware.
Sphynx
QUOTE (Sand)
Looking at the two alternatives, it seems like the adept has the benefit of a couple ludicrously high skills (Stealth seems to be favored), while the street sam has a lot more stuff but no spectacular skill rolls. How much of a difference does that make? I'd hate to find that "only" having a 6-7 in all my combat skills makes the character a third-string combat participant. (Although, that skillwire thing does look pretty tempting...)

The only real advantage to an Adept is melee combat. Unless you're up against another adept, even that's overkill. Athletics and Stealth can be just as good with a Cyber character. Even though the adept may get more dice for Stealth, stealth is based on your highest-roll. More than 6 dice to a stealth roll isn't nearly as beneficial as with a skill where the number of successes you get is more important.

Going cyber though has alot of potential that you can't get with Adept powers (though you could get by mixxing the 2 worlds, the "twink" way to do things). wink.gif

Sphynx
gknoy
QUOTE (FlakJacket)
Excuse me? Shotguns are some of the best weapons IMO. But then I am biased since I do like shotguns. Lets take the Franchi SPAS-22. First off, just ignore the burst fire option since it's practically unworkable- stick to SA mode. Carries ten rounds and has a concealability equal to nearly all heavy pistols and SMG's.

I knew I was going to draw fire for that, lol! I've never actually USED a shotgun in-game, so I can't really comment on their actual effectiveness.

Is the SPAS-22 in the SR3 core book? (I recall the original poster saying that they were limited to gear/etc in that book.)

Recoil: good point. But, a burst fire weapon where you don't care about silence can have a gas vent IV or III tacked on, and you're in the same ballpark as most shotguns.

From the BBB, the only shotgun that fits your description is the Defiance T-250: 10S, SA, only holds 5 rounds.

This is (damage-wise) equivalent to any SMG with a gas vent III firing bursts, for a single burst vs double ... however the second shot means that the SMG has +3 recoil again while the SG only has +2 ... however, it DOES carry only 5 shots whereas the SMGs carry 9-20 bursts-worth. But that's kindof a secondary concern when I notice that shotguns using flechette ammo have a 10D(f) code ... that's actually REALLY nice. smile.gif Plus, when using buckshot, you get minuses to TN based on range and choke setting, I believe.

So, I stand corrected -- shotguns DON'T suck. But, they don't really seem to fit my image of a covert-ish Face type character. Shotguns don't convey a desire of the wielder to negotiate wink.gif

Can you load shotguns with EX-EX rounds?
gknoy
QUOTE (Lilt)
In ranged combat, Initiative is often king. Very few adepts can challenge a sammie's Wired Reflexes 2, Smartlink, and Cyber Vision Mods. It is possible though, and if you sacrifice a point of essence (and so magic) for a bit of cyber (Smartlink, Datajack, and CyberEyes + Thermo + Low-L + Flare-Comp + Vis-Mag-3 are popular choices) then they can contest reasonably well with sammies.

Throw in 2-4 Improved Ability [gnu of choice] dice, and "reasonably well" becomes "frighteningly well". wink.gif

though, the magic loss means that you're that much weaker. =/ And, if you don't take a Geas (as it was explained to me, at least) to counteract magic loss, once you staert using iniatiation rules in MITS, you can't initiate (and are considered "burned out"). This was of course confusing to me , though. smile.gif
Sphynx
Don't forget. Unlike Mages, Adepts don't get to choose if they get a Geasa for Magic Loss. Only the GM can decide if the player gets a Geasa. In non-high-powered games, most GMs will enforce heavily that rule and not give Geasa's for Cyberware to Adepts.

Sphynx
Herald of Verjigorm
Why do so many people misread the effects of geasa?

If you don't take a geas, you just lose that magic point.
If you do take a geas, but don't fullfil it, you don't have any geased magic points and you suffer a +1/geased magic point penalty until you do fullfil them all.
If you discard a geas, by consciously deciding to never fullfil it, you no longer have the TN penalty for not fullfilling it, but you can never initiate (and you must drop all geasa you have when using this method).

Adepts do have some different rules as Sphynx mentioned. Additionally adepts only need to worry about the geasa linked to the powers they are using or the last level of powers that are as high as possible.
TinkerGnome
There is a magic group stricture which says you have to take a geasa to offset magic loss. Maybe that's part of the confusion, too.
FlakJacket
QUOTE (Sphynx)
Don't forget.  Unlike Mages, Adepts don't get to choose if they get a Geasa for Magic Loss.  Only the GM can decide if the player gets a Geasa.  In non-high-powered games, most GMs will enforce heavily that rule and not give Geasa's for Cyberware to Adepts.

Really? Um, okay. Guess I must have must have missed that part for quite a bit. Oops. smile.gif You got a page reference so I can read up on it?
Herald of Verjigorm
All the geas related info is in MitS near page 31. That line is in the first paragraph or two of the section about special geas rules for adepts (after the regular rules).
Lilt
I'll remind you all that Geasa aren't an issue here what-so-ever as, IIRC, only the core rulebook is fair game.
Herald of Verjigorm
It's topic drift, irrelevant in this instance but informative to others. Does Sand still have issues that need clarification/input or is this thread fair game for wild topic drift?
Sand
Wild topic drift is fine. smile.gif I am going to have more questions, but I think I need to absorb all the advice and come up with some character concepts (and stats). Right now I'm exploring a skillwire-based character to see how it looks.
TinkerGnome
I think a critical question at this point is whether your GM intends to allow you guys to aquire stuff from other books later on or not. If he does, then this becomes relevant since we can go on and on about "get x so later you can get y". I'm finding it helpful because I need to make a Shadowrun: Missions character wink.gif
Sand
If the campaign really takes off, then other books will get added in; otherwise, no. (The main issue is that nearly all the players are new to Shadowrun, and buying/using that many books at once just seemed like a recipe for confusion.)

I'm currently working on a skillwire-based character. My conception of her is that she was the daughter of a corp exec (no one tremendously important, just someone with money) who was disgusted by the corporate exploitation she saw. She joined the military (or Lone Star, or whatever), found that that was no better, and then boosted a load of cash from her family and hit the streets. Due to the skillwire system, she often seems a bit schizo, as each chip alters her reactions somewhat: the smiling, pleasant negotiator; the gung-ho, hard core combatant; the cool and competent expert. Most people know her as somewhat ditzy, but that's just an act -- her real self is very intense and focused.

Stats at present:
Resources A, Attributes B, Skills C, Magic D, Race E (human)

Body 4
Quickness 6
Strength 2
Charisma 4
Intelligence 6
Willpower 5

Skills:
Assault Rifles / AK97 5/7
Pistols 6
Rifles 6 (possible specialization in sniper rifle)
SMGs 6
Etiquette 4
Stealth / Alertness 5/7
Knowledge / Language TBD (to include military and corp knowledge)
[note; the idea here was to get everything else on chip, this may change!]

Cyberstuff:
Skillwires (rating 6, 216 MP; enough for 2 Activesofts at once)
Smartlink (Alpha)
3x chipjack (Alpha)
Datajack (Alpha)
Knowsoft link (Alpha)
Memory 250 MP (Alpha)

Stuff:
Fichetti Security 500a, smartlinked, concealable holster
Permit for the above
AK-97, smartlinked, gas vent III, shock pads, combo scope, ultrasound
15-17 skill chips
Full camo suit (urban and forest)
Micro-transceiver thingie with encryption
Bug scanner
etc.

Lifestyles:
1 medium, 2 low, maybe more

TinkerGnome
QUOTE (Sand @ Apr 8 2004, 09:39 AM)
If the campaign really takes off, then other books will get added in; otherwise, no. (The main issue is that nearly all the players are new to Shadowrun, and buying/using that many books at once just seemed like a recipe for confusion.)

That's pretty accurate wink.gif

Because other books are going to get added, that does change recommendations a little. For instance, there will come a time when you can add bioware to your character (Man & Machine), get improved skill chips (the expert driver from M&M and programing options from, I think, Cannon Companion), and the like.

If possible, you might want to try to squeeze in an alpha grade boosted reflexes III. (180k nuyen.gif 2.24 essence) to give you an initiative boost. As a minimum, I'd invest in boosted I since that will net you an extra die of initiative (taking you from an average of reaction + 3.5 to reaction + 7... generally the difference between averaging one action or two actions) and you can upgrade later.

Also, take a look at the skillsoft jukebox item (it's in the core book). You might find it handy and it could cut down the number of chipjacks you have to have (you can read chips through datajacks as well).

[edit]Oh, and to take back I something I said earlier, the "sweet spot"s for broadcast encryption are rating 2 and rating 6. I recommended rating 4 earlier, but when you read the broadcast decryption rules, the difference between a single die being successful on the decryption test is only 2.78% whereas between 2 and 6 it is an 8.33% -- probabilities are non-linear because of the 6=7 trait of the Shadowrun rules). None of this is foolproof... a skilled user with rating 6 decryption has about a 50-50 change against a piece of rating 6 encryption... it it takes time to do, which is the whole point.[/edit]
kevyn668
Ditch two of the firearm skills. You won't need such a high level in SMG and Rifle if your primary weapons are an AK an a pistol. If you really wanna snipe, just slap a Mag 3 scope on your AK and use the "Aiming" and "Called Shot" rules.

Also, get yourself a real pistol. the Browning Max-Power is often my heavy pistol of choice. You can use the Fichetti as a back up or lose it all together. All you gonna do w/ that thig is piss some one off.

About the Firearms: I know you took a bunch to be more versitle or in case you are relieved of your weapons but you got Pistols at 6. That'll do. Trust me.

By losing those two skills you can nab 12 points! Thats more than enough to get a secondary SOS (Shadowrunner Ocupational Specialty). I'd grab a vehicle skill at four and then burn the other 8 points on either social skills (Interro, nego, or intimidation) or tech skils (electronics or electronics B/R). Then you can use your skillwires for Demo and Biotech exclusively.

I just read TG post, definitely get boosted reflexes. I perfer those to Wired most of the time. They're always on and pretty much undectable. And depending on your GM, may not cause the "knee0jerk" reaction thats caused by Wired w/o a Reflex Trigger.
TinkerGnome
I personally like wired better than boosted, but if you're going with high MP rating 6 skillwires, you're not exactly rich anymore.
gknoy
QUOTE (TinkerGnome @ Apr 8 2004, 09:18 AM)
I personally like wired better than boosted, but if you're going with high MP rating 6 skillwires, you're not exactly rich anymore.

I gotta agree on the getting of Boosted, if your main role is NOT combat.

If you have to be The Fastest, then Boosted's not the way to go - Wired II is faster than Boosted III. But, I think Boosted III is cheaper . . . smile.gif

If your goal is to be medium-speed man, and have decent skills to back it up, I have to admit that Boosted is Just Fine. I'd go with Boosted 2 or 3 tho, and skip 1 entirely (1 reaction is almost useless by itself).

I USED to be a Wired-Only kind of guy (tho I admit that I like Adept improved reflexes wink.gif), but when the player I am GMing for took Boosted 3, I realized that it was actually a darn good idea. I think it saved him essence AND money, too. I think. Could be wrong. smile.gif

[edit]
And Kevyn's dead-on right about the pistol. =) A light pistol will fail to do any damage to almost anyone wearing armor (6L - 4-6 power means 2's to resist damage). You're better off getting a heavy pistol. or a shotgun. Or a Roomsweeper, which is the best of both worlds. wink.gif
[/edit]
TinkerGnome
QUOTE (gknoy)
I gotta agree on the getting of Boosted, if your main role is NOT combat.

Or if you intend to stack in a synaptic accelerator later on, as someone pointed out earlier. As tough as it is to find a beta clinic, it's generally tougher to aford wired III (essence and cash).
Herald of Verjigorm
About speed:
Boosted 3 + a later purchase of Synaptic 2 surpasses wired 3.
If he wants to become fast, this is a very nice option that can be dealt with later in the game.
tjn
QUOTE (gknoy)
I'd go with Boosted 2 or 3 tho, and skip 1 entirely (1 reaction is almost useless by itself).

Slightly mixed up there. One gives an inititive die, two is the one that only gives 1 reaction. Boosted 1 + Synaptic Accelerator 2 is by far the most effecient Essence/Bio Index speed in the game.
Sand
Don't know what Synaptic Accelerators are (guessing a supplement thing), so I can't rely on them. In terms of new books coming in...I'd be surprised if we saw any in the first 6 months, and not surprised if we never saw any at all. If we did, I suspect character redesigns would follow anyway.

Had forgotten all the earlier advice about initiative. Made a few changes for pass 2:
  • Drop SMG and Rifle skills, replace with Biotech and Electronics (6 each)
  • Switched pistol to Ares Predator to do real damage. Will probably get a permit for this but not the AR-97 (when she's using the assault rifle, she'd rather be able to leave it behind).
  • Dropped skillwires to 108 MP (one active skill at a time), one chipjack, and the headware memory.
  • Added 3x108 MP jukebox (total of 5 skillsofts available at a time)
  • Added Alphaware Wired Reflexes II with reflex trigger. This gives Initiative of 10 +3d6, so 2 actions are guaranteed and 3 actions 50% of the time.
  • Enough cash left for ~15 skill chips, which looks to cover most of the active skills I need and a few knowledges as well.

Questions:
1) Once you are loaded up with Essence-lowering items, how can you upgrade? Can you rip stuff out and replace it, or is there some mechanism for raising Essence later on?

2) Are there any non-obvious active skills that I should take? (For example, I noticed that breaking into keypads requires Electronics B/R.)

3) As indicated above, this character has a corporate and military background, so she's taking Knowledge skills like Corporate Security, Corporate Policies, Military Tactics, etc. Any good suggestions there?



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