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CrystalBlue
So I'm trying to help my brother create a character that we're going to play at GenCon this year (in Missions). Because of this, he has to tweak the normal Stealth/Assassin build he's used to by removing the martial arts that made him do cool damage to the bad guys.

Without the martial arts, one is forced to increase Strength to get better damage out of melee (in this case, Blades). Also, without Martial Arts, taking Unarmed is almost pointless unless that's all you do. So what I'm going to try is a 'ninja' build for him and see what we come up with. If anyone here wants to help, please give me your opinions.

Rules for the character:

1.) The character is a Missions character (400 BP, no extra Arsenal rules, no weird races)
2.) The character has to be an elf, since that's what he wants to play
3.) The character has to be speced to be a good with stealth, so I need him to still have good infiltration
4.) The character wants to be good with sword damage, since there's no reason he shouldn't be able to slice people up for as much damage as someone shooting at them does
5.) Character is an adept, so we're using adept build and powers
Stahlseele
Max out Agility.
Max out Martial Arts.
Done.

Net-Hits increase Damage as with anything else. Get many hits and you get much damage.
For SWORDS there is only Weapon-Focus for Adepts. Unarmed Combat Adepts are actually better than Melee Weapon Adepts.
Yerameyahu
That *is* an interesting scenario: must use sword for great damage, but can't use Strength or Martial Arts. In other challenges, must use a pistol at range, but can't use bullets. smile.gif
Stahlseele
Easy, attach a wire to the pistol and use it as a re-useable throwing weapon.
bannockburn
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jul 30 2012, 09:45 PM) *
That *is* an interesting scenario: must use sword for great damage, but can't use Strength or Martial Arts. In other challenges, must use a pistol at range, but can't use bullets. smile.gif

That's easy. Throwing mastery wink.gif

As to the OP: I find that 3 Str is enough for good damage. Personally, I go with unarmed, critical strike, penetrating strike.
Max out agi, as Stahlseele said, give him a good skill and off you go. Agi will also improve infiltration.
High reaction (+dodge or gymnastics skill) and an initiative booster to get into melee without getting shot up smile.gif
Stahlseele
Or look up the fastest running troll somewhere around these board.
Simply adapt as much as possible to high agility elf instead of high str troll.
You should probably be able to get into reach most of the time.
Yerameyahu
So, we've solved the problem: throw the sword.
bannockburn
Range is determined by strength frown.gif
Yerameyahu
That's okay, this is for melee, remember? biggrin.gif Point Blank yay.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
*Shakes Head*
Makki
Mystic Adept with sustained Elemental Aura adds Force damage as elemental to each melee attack. This also provides some AP. Can also give you Invisibilty for Infiltration.
Big swords like Nodachi and Claymore have a lot of +DV already implemented. Doesn't agree with the stealthy part, though.
Yerameyahu
But he's not a mystic adeptů and if he were, he could just cast stunbolt. smile.gif
StealthSigma
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jul 30 2012, 04:12 PM) *
That's okay, this is for melee, remember? biggrin.gif Point Blank yay.


Even so, at 3 Strength and referring to the chart for improvised throwing weapons....

I would say the closet match would be the ranges for throwing a sword.... 3/6/9/15.
Yerameyahu
Which is plenty, given the specification is 'melee range' (0-1m). I'm not saying it makes sense. biggrin.gif But it does fit the crazy-restricted spec: use a sword, melee range, no MA, no Str, tons of damage, adept-only.
UmaroVI
Under those restrictions, no, you can't. You can make a character who can hit someone with a sword, but you will always be doing so at the expense of doing something much more effective like shooting them.

You can make an alright character if you are willing to compromise on any of 2,4, and 5 (be a troll, be a magician or mystic adept, or use unarmed).
Yerameyahu
If I were a stealth assassin, I'd use tasers anyway. Maybe drugs.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jul 30 2012, 02:45 PM) *
If I were a stealth assassin, I'd use tasers anyway. Maybe drugs.


Drugs/Toxins are good... For the Stealth Assassin Type. smile.gif
Stahlseele
Still nothing that works immediately right?
So always time for some alarm buttoning.
Udoshi
Why has nobody mentioned Nerve Strike yet? Its hella good.
I mean, sure, its BETTER with the disorient maneuver from martial arts, but a smoke element aura can also add on-hit penalties.

I'd also second the Mystic Adepting. The obvious solution to a 'no strength no martial arts' martial artist is Death Touch.
Seriously.
Force 12 is only 4 drain, that also gives you a free melee and lets you hit anyway on ties. (knockout and shatter are also good)
If you want to play up the crazy chi manipulator aspect, you can always Multicast a Heal with your strikes, and then immediately stop sustaining it: this leaves wounds that can't be Healed by magic, since a healing attempt has already been made.
Krishach
Nerve strike doesn't prevent comms though. Drugs actually remain the best option, IMO. Many are potent enough to drop someone with two doses or less, but realistically carry the benefit that they CAN be delivered in such a way that the target is unaware of the issue.

Obviously not all methods of application are subtle, but many can be. Can't call in an alert if you haven't noticed the problem yet.

I am surprised at the hate for decent strength though. It couples with climb, which I assume you'd be using?

Also, if you really must have weapon damage in close combat that is not strength reliant, you could eschew blades, going with stun clubs/weapons, or the spectacularly messy but very lethal mono filament whip.
Udoshi
Most methods of attacking someone directly don't prevent comms. Guns don't, spells don't. And even if they did, biomonitors are still an issue.

Really that's a job for a Jammer and a Hacker, neither of which are really tied to any sort of ways to Attack people.
Umidori
I personally vouch for Stun Batons.

You could have a strength of 1 and still be dealing 7S with the minimum net hit to connect, easily topping 10S with a strong roll (either from luck or from Suprise making the enemy unable to defend), at half impact armor, and forcing struck biological targets to automatically suffer -2 dice with a chance to Incapacitate them for 2 + Net Hits Combat Turns (even if they stage all the damage down). It's also effective against drones and spirits.

In comparison a sword requires a decent strength to achieve comparable damage, doesn't penetrate armor as well, doesn't offer secondary elemental effects, and deals Physical damage which tends to leave more corpses and earn you more heat and long-term enemies.

Particularly without using Arsenal for better weapons, weapon mods, or martial arts, I'd say Stun Batons are really your best bet. Just be mindful of recharging them - without the battery packs from Arsenal you might have to plug in more frequently than you'd like.

Question - are you using all available sources of Adept Powers, or just the Corebook? Because there are some very nice powers elsewhere.

~Umi
All4BigGuns
QUOTE (Umidori @ Jul 30 2012, 07:29 PM) *
I personally vouch for Stun Batons.

You could have a strength of 1 and still be dealing 7S with the minimum net hit to connect, easily topping 10S with a strong roll (either from luck or from Suprise making the enemy unable to defend), at half impact armor, and forcing struck biological targets to automatically suffer -2 dice with a chance to Incapacitate them for 2 + Net Hits Combat Turns (even if they stage all the damage down). It's also effective against drones and spirits.

In comparison a sword requires a decent strength to achieve comparable damage, doesn't penetrate armor as well, doesn't offer secondary elemental effects, and deals Physical damage which tends to leave more corpses and earn you more heat and long-term enemies.

Particularly without using Arsenal for better weapons, weapon mods, or martial arts, I'd say Stun Batons are really your best bet. Just be mindful of recharging them - without the battery packs from Arsenal you might have to plug in more frequently than you'd like.

Question - are you using all available sources of Adept Powers, or just the Corebook? Because there are some very nice powers elsewhere.

~Umi


For raw damage and not leaving bodies, stun batons would be better, but the OP did say 'assassin' and that kinda would need to use non-stun weapons.
Yerameyahu
That, and 'high damage with a sword' was a requirement.
Critias
Don't forget called shots for extra damage. It's something thematically appropriate AND pretty effective (-4 dice for +4 damage levels is pretty danged good).
Umidori
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jul 30 2012, 06:09 PM) *
That, and 'high damage with a sword' was a requirement.

As people have pointed out, however, that doesn't mesh well with lack of strength and no Arsenal goodies. *shrug* As it was an unmentioned option, even though an imperfect one, I felt it worth sharing. nyahnyah.gif

~Umi
All4BigGuns
For the most part, it seems to me that he's more trying to come up with some way to get his player more damage with his sword without going with ork, troll or some other similarly high strength metavariant. I know how the thread title sounds, but this is the impression I get from the actual original post.
Yerameyahu
I already did say tasers, Umidori. I'm just teasing, anyway: we all know the stated requirements are impossible.
Halinn
Perhaps with Mind over Matter and a permissive GM?
Makki
I think

Agi 8 + Attribute Boost (Agi) ~ 2
Str 3 + Attribute Boost (Strength) ~ 2
Skill 6 + Improved Abiltity 3
Specialization 2
Weapon Focus 2-4
Personalized Grip 1
Called Shot -4 +4DV
successfull Infiltration role => no defense

should be one hit kills.
Udoshi
Warning! Non Serious Advice Follows: Stat This At Your Own Risk.
I'd suggest playing a cyborg.

After reviewing the missions FAQ, I've discovered that Bull never actually updated it with the loophole I sent him.

Specifically, only augmentation's bleeding edge section is disallowed(except for like one quality), its not a blanket ban on cyborgs at all.
Which is dumb, because everything you actually need is in arsenal.

Maybe bring it as a joke character.
Audious
QUOTE (Critias @ Jul 30 2012, 08:38 PM) *
Don't forget called shots for extra damage. It's something thematically appropriate AND pretty effective (-4 dice for +4 damage levels is pretty danged good).


Called Shot Adept with Heightened Concentration? Ignore a penalty to a task up to your Magic rating for a complex action.
Midas
As Stahlseele mentioned, a Weapon Focus could be a good way to increase DP and therefore net hits, which should help stage up the DV and thereby mitigate the lower STR. You could go all out for Restricted Gear to get a better focus if you have the BP (and +ve Qualities) to spare. Add a blades-based martial arts and some manouvres and you should be good to go.

For an elf, Exceptional Attribute or Metagenic Improvement to increase (augmented) max AGI to 8 (12) would be a good fit for both dealing damage via increasing net hits and sneaking with Infiltration. For a point of Magic, a Restricted Gear Muscle Toner 4 is a cheaper way to boost AGI than adept powers, and you could also get some useful cyber to round out the 1 essence point (remember with cyber/bio, the essence impact of the lower of the two is halved, so a 0.7/0.6 [or 0.67/0.66] mix is good for only 1 point of essence).

Don't forget to think about the other skills an infiltrator might need - Hardware skill/Electronics skill group for dealing with maglocks, Climbing or Pilot Aircraft (and a hanglider) for getting to the easier to break into points in a facility, perhaps a hack-in-the-box agent to deal with cameras and drones , and your own drones for scouting. Lockpicking skill and an autopicker can also prove useful. Some degree of face skills and Palming (and hence perhaps the Stealth skill group, for the Weapon Focus) could be useful when going in the front door is the only option.

At 0.25PP, Improved Skill can be a cheap and useful way to boost the character's infiltration skill DP-load, although remember the max is 1 rank/2 ranks of skill.

If you posted the character, I am sure people would be able to suggest specific improvements.
Xenefungus
I think the OP should really ditch 4.) or 5.), then we can talk. Letting go of the swords makes more sense, imho.
Aerospider
Does the "no extra Arsenal rules" include garottes? Monofilament is a straight 8P.

Though as it's a variant of subdual a low Strength score might be an issue - don't remember how it goes exactly.
CrystalBlue
Creating it last night, I got about the same results as most of you. I really am not going to relax the rules on 4 and 5 because, again, there's no reason I have to. Adepts can make good assassin and melee characters and swords are cool. I shouldn't have to use pistols or SMG's to solve my problems.

What I ended up doing was loosening the restriction on the strength being so low. Took a monofilament sword, modded it out, got a Agi of 7 and Str of 4, and worked the dice pool up to 16 with swords. With weapon focus 2 and personalized grip, that gets to 19 DP, with an average of 5 hits per roll. Throwing edge in there and calling the shot should be enough to drop most anything that moves. Took Adept powers Improved Reflexes 2, Improved Ability (Blades), Mystic Armor, and Cloak. I might be able to drop the Mystic armor and cloak, though, since those can both be handled by gear a lot better.

The restrictions on no martial arts (as well as a few other things) comes from us playing Missions. SR Missions doesn't allow for the extra rules in Arsenal except for Str to Recoil Comp, so I can't take any martial arts to improve DV or get maneuvers. What we will be doing is getting him initiated a few times and get him Centering and maybe Attunement. I'm still thinking what we should do there.
NiL_FisK_Urd
Atunement does not work with Weapon Foci ^^
Xenefungus
Str 4, seriously? -.-

Drop that to 3 or raise it to 5 already.

Plus, you really want to Surge for Agi 8(12) and then get that Muscle Toner 4 sooner or later (sooner with Restricted Gear).

Take Improved Reflexes 3 + Improved Ability (Blades). Having 4 IP is easiest as an Adept, and you can make good use out of it full dodging until you are the only one with actions left, so go for it. As it stands, just forgetting about Adept and going for WR2 + Skill recorder would be FAR more efficient.
CrystalBlue
To make the character effective, I have to spread the points out a bit more then trying to centralize Agi or Str. I am surged and have my agility around 7 right now. Dropping or raising the strength won't actually do me anything since damage is Str/2, rounded down. Raising it won't help, and lowering it will just lower my damage.

I am considering the cybered or bioed route, but I'm hesitant. I like magic so much more.
bannockburn
Lowering it to 3 will still give you 2 base damage, same as with 4.
ZeroPoint
To clarify what bannockburn is trying to say, Melee damage is calculated by rounding up. So 3/2 = 1.5 rounded up to 2. Therefore, if your strapped for points, drop it to 3 because it won't change where he's at. If you have a few more points, increase to 5 will get you another point of damage since 5/2 = 2.5 rounded to 3
Umidori
'Ware has a lot more options with better efficiencies and returns on BP, though.

Instead of pumping your actual Agility, get a single cyberarm customized to 7 Agility (since you're an elf). Any one-handed weapon gripped by that arm then uses the full 7 agility, even if the rest of your body is only 3 or whatever. You can also pump the Strength to 5 or 6 for an extra point of damage. You also get a free point on your Condition Monitor, and enjoy the benefits of sensors or armor or whatever else you want to cram into the cyberarm via capacity.

The drawback there is that you have to average the arm's stats with your meatbody ones for anything that involves more than one hand. For agility that's not so bad, biggest things that affects are two-handed weapons and your Gynmastics, and not much else. Strength is a similar ballgame, you won't do as well on your Lift/Carry, Athletics, or any Body + Strength resistance tests, but overall you're not losing much.

In exchange, you save a ton of build points. Taking Agility 3 with the customized arm over Agility 7 saves a whopping 55 BP. The tradeoff is the loss of a point of essence (mitigated by cramming fun extras into the arm via capacity), and the costs for the 'ware itself.

I know that playing an Adept without 'ware is attractive conceptually, but the costs are just completely out of whack for adepts. Basically unless you're using the newer books which give adepts more flexibility and powers, you're gonna be paying too much in terms of BP to be able to compete with 'ware and spells.

~Umi
bannockburn
Yeah, sorry, I was a bit short for time. Something in the kitchen tried to burn up biggrin.gif
Thanks for clarifying, ZeroPoint
Tanegar
QUOTE (CrystalBlue @ Jul 30 2012, 02:38 PM) *
4.) The character wants to be good with sword damage, since there's no reason he shouldn't be able to slice people up for as much damage as someone shooting at them does

Actually, there's an excellent reason: shooting is a Simple Action, while melee is a Complex Action. Unless he's doing unbelievable damage with every strike (demonstrably impossible given the stated restrictions), shooting is always the better option.
Irion
Does throwing the sword really works? I thought the DV is also based on strength. (Alright, with the adept power you get some Bam for the buck...)

How about punch him with the other hand, usingcritical strike?

QUOTE ("Umidori")
I know that playing an Adept without 'ware is attractive conceptually, but the costs are just completely out of whack for adepts. Basically unless you're using the newer books which give adepts more flexibility and powers, you're gonna be paying too much in terms of BP to be able to compete with 'ware and spells , unless using some houserules.

Fixed that...
Because honestly: RAW the adept is taken with at least two points of ware... It is in the end 20 BP for the possibility to increase agility by 4, reduce damage taken by one and increase your reaction or something else....
Yerameyahu
Yeah, Irion, I was assuming the damage would mostly come from the various throwing powers. smile.gif It's a joke anyway though, because obviously 'throwing' a sword at a guy from 0m is not what they asked for.
Umidori
That's a rather cynical view of things, Irion, although perhaps not entirely unwarranted... frown.gif

~Umi
CrystalBlue
So what I'm hearing here is that, not only are adepts not that powerful...melee combat is next to worthless when compared to anything else? That doesn't sound right to me. I know I've seen melee character make ranged characters look stupid. So there's no reason I shouldn't be able to be effective like I want to be. And I don't think that making something a pure adept is all that hard. I make pure mages all the time, and they run circles around augmented characters.
bannockburn
The problem with adepts is, that they pay out of their nose for everything that makes them more powerful, if you go the pure magic route. Nothing wrong with that, but you need to raise that MAG attribute, and to do that, you need to initiate. When you play with the optional rule of power point instead of meta magic during initiation, it gets a bit better, but it's still rather lackluster, if you compare e.g. Improved Physical Attribute (over unaugmented max) with let's say muscle toner smile.gif
Additionally, you need to first get into the close quarter combat, which can be difficult to accomplish, as people tend to just shoot their shotguns at the frothing maniac running at them wink.gif
Another thing is, you can get off two shots with an HM pistol (let's say a manhunter, for simplicity), BOTH doing 6P at least, if you hit with 1 net hit, with -1 AP. To get this kind of damage in melee, you need to have a base strength of 10 (if not augmented, counting 1 net hit) AND penetrating strike for at least .25 power points. And then you have only attacked once, because close combat is a complex action.

Still, nothing wrong with that. I don't play for effectiveness, I play for the roleplaying. My own melee adept is proficient in unarmed combat as well as with his weapon focus (a sword), rolling 16 dice base (unarmed) and 20 dice with his rating 4 weapon focus. He does have 3 IP, Killing Hands, Penetrating Strike 3, and Critical Strike 4, with martial arts +1DV to unarmed, he does 9 Base DV with one net hit (Strength 5). But while running up to the enemy, I usually fire a few shots with a pistol. Either it softens them up, or distracts them enough wink.gif
So yeah, I get by when I play him.
Big BUT: he has around 250 Karma, and it was a long, hard way to get him there wink.gif
Umidori
QUOTE (CrystalBlue @ Aug 1 2012, 04:32 AM) *
So what I'm hearing here is that, not only are adepts not that powerful...melee combat is next to worthless when compared to anything else? That doesn't sound right to me. I know I've seen melee character make ranged characters look stupid. So there's no reason I shouldn't be able to be effective like I want to be. And I don't think that making something a pure adept is all that hard. I make pure mages all the time, and they run circles around augmented characters.

Adepts aren't that powerful, particularly not with the restrictions you're trying to deal with.

Melee is next to worthless compared to ranged in many situations, particularly without martial arts. I can either shoot you twice from a good ways away, or I can first run up to you under fire and then make a single melee attack. I can use a heavy pistol to deal 5P + 5P (with another +1 on each for the minimum net hit per attack), with armor penetration base and further from ammo, at range, forcing the target to incur an additional level of the "Has Defended Against A Prior Attack" dice penalty, or I can need a Strength of 15 to deal 8 + 3P with a sword, plus the net hit for the same total damage of 12P, with armor penetration applying only once (although against impact, at least). Oh and the pistol is a lot more concealable.

Melee characters can make ranged characters look stupid - by outsmarting and outmaneuvering them. But if a guy with an assault rifle gets the drop on you in an open area without cover, suddenly your melee character starts looking stupid instead.

There isn't a reason you shouldn't be effective like you want to be, but there are reasons why you aren't. The rules simply make adepts pay a lot more for comparable levels of power than 'ware users and mages pay. This is why it's pretty much the unofficial default for any adept focused on combat to blow an essence point on Synaptic Boosters rather than sacrifice the 2.5 power points required for the same bonuses in magical form. And that's the reduced cost! It used to be 3 points! Hell, they even put out the Way of The Adept PDF expressly because they realized that pure adepts simply cannot keep up numerically. They had to give them the option to discount certain powers, because without those bonuses a pure adept is just numerically crippled.

Pure mages do run circles around augmented characters, but they run circles around everyone else as well. It is longstanding popular opinion that mages are the most powerful things in SR, and that they easily can get into very ridiculous places mathematically and rulewise.

~Umi
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