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Yeah, Reach -1 weapon foci is the most frightening idea I've seen on this thread so far. That wins the prize.
I wouldn't worry about those -1 reach foci: Only surgeons need worry about them.

That and the character carrying one: "Why was I paid to carry a focus inside me? And who paid me? Damn amnesia flaw!"

(Teeth are reach 0, right?)
A Clockwork Lime
No, they're Reach -1. Reach 0 is your fists (and thus your arms). Reach -1 basically means you're putting a vital area -- ie, your head -- right up on the opponent.
That idea above would be fun in 2nd edition... target the focus with your fireball > ) (talk about needing mouthwash!)

Actually, I just realized one...

Take your vicious gun adept. Make him a troll. Have him wield, 1 in each hand, the Steyr-Aug Carbine (or some equally vicious rifle) for about 10D four times a phase (or two FA's, if you have the recoil comp. for it).

Or, if your GM isn't paying attention, give him a pair of assault cannons, 18D twice a phase. If your GM REALLY isn't paying attention, grab that light rail gun for LN damage.
Ah. Ok, then. Ew.

"Momma? Why is that man biting the fire elemental?"
One note is that technically the weapons aren't -1 reach weapons, you just have a reach penalty when using them on your head. Example: You could take the horns out and use them as a 0 reach weapon in melee.
Using point system

Shamatic Elven Conjurer

Edges Flaws
Bonus attribute Point CHAR +2
Exceptional attribute Point CHAR +2
3 boxes of high pain tolorance +6
Allergy uncommon sever Chicken -4
Night Blindness -2
Sensitive System -2
Amnesia lvl 1 -2

23 attribute points
B - 2
Q - 2
S - 1
C - 10
I - 6
W - 6

12 Active Skill points
Conjuring/Summoning [5/7]
Sorcery 6

25 resource points 650K

Use 15 spell points to initiate with the meditation ordeal and snag invoking
Now spend 50K on two more spell points leaving you with 12 and buy a force 6 spirit focus

I chose a Bacchus shaman and hearth spirits for my spirit focus.
I got 14D6 to summon spirits.

In 30 seconds this character can summon 10 force 5 greater form hearth spirits for 5L drain and if im not mistaken he can have all of them with him all the same time.

This character can astrally project and command his army of spirits from the astral leaving his body safe and secure. with the remaining 240K nuyen.gif buy some more spell points and get something like stunbolt or stunball. If im not mistaken stunbolt and stunnball are the same on the astral as manabolt and manaball with less drain.
A Clockwork Lime
Strictly by the rules, Charisma is limited to 9. Exceptional Attribute doesn't benefit a character at creation, only their growth potential.

You'd also be better off 33 Spell Points to initiate three times in order to gain Centering, Channeling, and Invoking. Your spirits will be way more scary that way, especially if playing a Hermetic Magician who can put all his gusto into the Summoning Act (thereby increasing his chances of scoring more successes). Spend your cash on the focus and the Spell Points for it; I think you have more than enough with 650k (Force 6 = 10 more Spell Points [250k] and 360,000 for the focus itself.. so yep, and you even have enough cash leftover for other stuff).

Extra dice are nice, sure, but with Centering you can score more successes, with Invoking you create more powerful spirits (and Force 3 Great Form Spirits can be done practically as easy as a regular spirit), and you can channel them inside yourself to boost your combat effectiveness if you get into a fight.

I'm also assuming you made him a full magician but are just focusing on conjuring. Otherwise, projection is right out and Sorcery is only good for astral combat and giving your future ally spirit some spunk.

Not a bad build, but you could do a lot better with minimal tweaking. Especially since the funds are pretty much wasted here. A focus is nice, sure, but you can squeeze out more bang for your buck without one.
Im not familliar with the charisma is limited to 9 rule could you please give a page number?

as far as starting characters are concerned the hermatic mage isnt that scary because you have to spend spell points on spirits(ill find the page number if you want) so you would be able to conjure but untill your first run is completed you wolnt be able to have any spirits.
A Clockwork Lime
It's not that Charisma is limited to 9, it's just that you can't put more than 6 points into any given attribute before mods are applied (SR3 p. 55). So that's Charisma 6, +2 from being an Elf, and +1 from Bonus Attribute Point. The only thing Exceptional Attribute does is increase your Racial Modified Limit and Attribute Maximum. It doesn't let you assign another point there. Again, strictly by the rules. I don't follow those rules, nor does anyone I remember gaming with, but dem's the rules nonetheless.

Also, a hermetic magician only has to spend points on spirits if he wants to begin the game with some that are already bonded without having to roll or pay for enchanting materials for (since its assumed he did so prior to the start of the game). The moment he's in the game, he can summon his heart out, including before his first run.

I mean, if a Hermetic mage really wanted to, he could start the game as a grade 1 initiate with Invoking and a bonded 6 Great Form Elemental with 17 services available without spending a single nuyen on resources. It'd be a stupid way to go (the equivalence of 575,000 was blown on that elemental), but he could do it.
Interesting. I am not fimilliar with the channeling metamagic. Centering and invoking yes but channeling isnt something ive heard of in any of my books. Could you please explain how it works and which book its in?. I also noticed that most of the twinked characters on this thread are magic users of some sort.
A Clockwork Lime
It's from Target: Awakened Lands. Basically, it lets any conjurer channel a spirit into their bodies sort of like what Hougans do. Except youre in full control and the spirit's mind is suppressed. You gain access to most of their abilities, your combat abilities skyrocket, and if they're a Great Form, you even get Immunity to Normal Weapons. It's got a high Drain, though, so it's not something you want to use 24/7. But it's definitely nice to have when the drek hits the fan.

The most "twinkable" character in the game, though, is the Face with Resources A, almost all of which are spent on powerful contacts and a Pocket Secretary. smile.gif Sure, making one an initiated Grade 2 adept (or adept of the Magician's Way with a hard-on for Control Manipulations) with Centering: Social Skills would make one more powerful, but magic boosting a character's potential is true for just about any character.
It's actually easier to get your charisma to 10 just using a force 6 spell and a charisma attribute of 4, which any troll can do.

Or you could do what I did and use cha 9 and a force 3 spell to get 12 charisma, then combine it with a trauma damper so you can summon any force 6 spirits with no drain. Sadly we weren't allowed to initiate at chargen, and the game was cancelled before we finished (started?) the 2nd run, but he could have summoned force 6 great-form spirits with no drain given a few more karma... *sighs*

[edit]And yes, his second metamagical technique would have been channeling given the chance... Force 2-3 great forms are easy enough to chanel when you have charisma 12 and a force 4 ally[/edit]
QUOTE (Lilt)
One note is that technically the weapons aren't -1 reach weapons, you just have a reach penalty when using them on your head. Example: You could take the horns out and use them as a 0 reach weapon in melee.

Ah, but people twinking tend to ignore little things like that.
Im suprised no one has mentioned the home ground edge for conjurers. Home ground is my best friend because Jo mage goes into his home ground and conjurers with the -1TN modifier for all active skill tests including conjuring then goes on a run and uses those spirits conjured on his homeground to own everything.
A Clockwork Lime
It's better for Hermetic Magicians, as well as a lifestyle with the Power/Manaline bonus.

Like I said, your build was decent but there's a lot you can do to make a better conjurer. smile.gif
A Clockwork Lime
QUOTE (Lantzer)
QUOTE (Lilt)
One note is that technically the weapons aren't -1 reach weapons, you just have a reach penalty when using them on your head. Example: You could take the horns out and use them as a 0 reach weapon in melee.

Ah, but people twinking tend to ignore little things like that.

What are you talking about? Try reading the rules for cybernetic Horns and Fangs sometime. They're in Man & Machine. They're quite clearly listed as Reach -1. It's not some kind of house rule, nor are those weapons detachable and usable in melee combat (at least no more than a troll's natural horns or a vampire's fangs). Though if you did break them off and use them that way, sure, it'd make for some kind of improvised weapon with inferior stats and a Reach 0. But the same happens if you break the tip off a spear.
QUOTE (Fang Implants)
Fang attacks suffer a -1 reach modifier.

QUOTE (Horn Implants)
Horn attacks suffer a -1 reach penalty.

Nothing there about the weapons themselves having a lower reach, just the attacks made with them. Although on an interesting note: You are at no penalty to defend using your fangs or horns.
A Clockwork Lime
<just sits there with his mouth gaping open>

You're joking right? You can't seriously believe what you just said. Because if you do, please feel free to show us where it has any other Reach, or another example of a weapon that has varying Reach scores in its natural form.

I'm willing to agree that the wording was poorly chosen (as is the case in numerous areas), but come on...
IIRC: Short axes and clubs have been made out-of ram's horns and ram's horn is a valid horn format. As such the weapons themselves don't suffer a reach penalty, the penalty is evidently suffered from the use of the weapon and not fom the weapon itself.

If you argue that the use of the weapon should factor into the cost, then why don't trolls pay extra for weapon foci? Would trolls have effectively reach 0 for determining how much fang weapon foci cost?

As you said,
Reach -1 basically means you're putting a vital area -- ie, your head -- right up on the opponent.

If someone straps a weapon to their head in such a way that they can still fight with it, which is effectively what cyberhorns do, then that dosen't mean the weapon itself has any lesser reach.
Lime, I think I see where Lilt is coming from. What's the difference between a reach 0 weapon and a reach -1 weapon?

Where you put it. Reach 0 assumes you have use of your limbs.

Your average reach 0 short knife (when used normally) would be a reach -1 weapon when gripped between your teeth, using Lilt's thinking. The rational? "Reach -1 basically means you're putting a vital area -- ie, your head -- right up on the opponent. " Your words, I believe.

EDIT - I think I take to long composing posts.
I'm willing to agree that the wording was poorly chosen (as is the case in numerous areas), but come on...

Well it's not like a weapon focus's nuyen and karma costs intended to use negative reach either. If you're gonna be literal, you have to go all the way nyahnyah.gif
A Clockwork Lime
But the point is, weapons have different Reaches. That's what makes a weapon a weapon. Sure, you could cut the tip of a spear off and use it as a dagger, but that doesn't make a spear a Reach 0 weapon, either. Likewise, you could duct-tape a knife to the end of a staff and use it as a Reach 2 weapon if you really wanted to... so does that mean knives should be treated as Reach 2 weapons for enchanting purposes, too?

In any case, the rules for weapon foci work just fine with a Reach -1 weapon, though anything below that obviously breaks it (luckily, there's no such thing). The difference in cost between a Reach -1 Weapon Focus and a Reach 0 Weapon Focus is identical to the difference between a Reach 0 and a Reach 1 Weapon Focus or the difference between a Reach 1 and Reach 2 focus (ie, 100,000 nuyen and 1 Karma per Force).

Sure, a Reach -1 weapon is cheaper and easier to bond, but it's still a Reach -1 weapon. That sucks in combat, especially if you don't invest in Close Combat. But that's true of any weapon in the game; they all have their downfalls, and most of them can be made up for one way or another. Doesn't change the fact that their Reach is their Reach, even if you could break the weapon and use it in some other fashion to gain a different reach.

It's nicer during character creation for its cheapness and relative ease for making up for its downfalls, but I'd personally rather have other weapons if I could afford them.
The easiest way to think about it, and probably the way the designers meant it, is that higher reach weapons may require the use of more orichalcum (or just take more enchanting to begin with) in their construction.

I would allow a character to tape a dagger to the end of a pole and use it as a spear (as long as he tied it well), but he's got to be touching the dagger for it to be active so he wouldn't gain the bonus from the focus.
Perhaps I see it differently, Lime.

A magic spear is a reach 2 weapon because it is a fairly long weapon.
A magic knife is a reach 0 weapon because it is a fairly short weapon.
A magic knife on a stick is a reach 0 weapon on a reach 2 stick. It acts as a reach2 weapon in combat, but you certainly aren't going to use it as a magic weapon, because you aren't holding it anymore.
A magic spear with the haft cut off is a Reach 0 weapon. It's up to the GM whether it still counts as magic, since it has been damaged.

You have two short blades in front of you to be enchanted. One is going to be used as
a short knife, while the other is going to be used as a forehead ornament.

Is one easier to enchant than the other? Why?

Edit: I'm _Definitely_ too slow on the response.
A Clockwork Lime
"Why" doesn't really matter. If you rip the horns or fangs off of someone, you just damaged the weapon as much as you did by breaking the tip off a spear. In their natural state, they have their own Reach bonuses. Any variation of that natural state effectively makes it another weapon with its own stats, even if those stats or size/length might be close.

If you break a Bo Stick in half, you now have two Reach 1 Clubs. Since Lilt's apparently worried about and allowing someone to damage cybernetic Fangs and Horns and use them as Reach 0 weapons, the same concern can be found here. You just snagged two Reach 1 Weapon Foci for the price of a Reach 2 Weapon Focus; a significant savings in Karma and nuyen [Force 6; 30 Karma and 1,740,000 as a Reach 2 vs. two Reach 1 at 48 Karma and 2,280,000]. The absurdity of that, however, is the same as with these Reach -1 weapons. Just because they can be used another way if you break 'em, that doesn't mean they're not exactly what they are in their standard incarnation.

The bit about orichalcum being the reason reach weapons have different costs is just a rationalization to help explain a possibility. Nothing in the rules state that's the source of the cost, and indeed, the enchanting rules themselves make no reference to it -- it's just a fluff comment in the core rules, and that fluff comment merely says that orichalcum is used in its construction, not that it's dependant on the weapon's Reach (or even necessarily found in the weapon itself, though I might be wrong on that particular point). It certainly helps lower the First Bonding Karma costs for Weapon Foci, though.

Want another example? Take a Mace (Concealability 4, Weight 2) and a Morning Star (Concealability 4, Weight 2). They're essentially the exact same size, one just has a short chain on it. Yet one is Reach 1 while the other is Reach 2. If you cut the head off a Mace and attached it back with a short chain, you'd have a Morning Star. By the rules, you'd still be in contact with the weapon while using it (just as you would be with the hybrid spear you made out of a knife; it's still a single weapon and that's all the rules make reference to). Nothing in the rules say you have to be touching the damaging part of the weapon, only that the weapon has to be in your hands when it damages someone or something. The same is true of all foci; you can wear an amulet Power Focus around your clothing-covered neck and resting on your shirt, and it's still in contact with you even though you're not directly touching it.

And honestly, I don't know if I'd put a broken tooth as a Reach 0 even if used in someone's hand. That's, like, tiny.
QUOTE (Lilt)
The easiest way to think about it, and probably the way the designers meant it, is that higher reach weapons may require the use of more orichalcum (or just take more enchanting to begin with) in their construction.

More enchanting, perhaps. Manrikigusai don't really have that much material in them, so I doubt orichalcum quantity is the primary factor.

Fygg Nuuton
but your touching the stick which is touching the dagger.

its the magic harpoon with a cable argument
QUOTE (A Clockwork Lime)
Nothing in the rules say you have to be touching the damaging part of the weapon, only that the weapon has to be in your hands when it damages someone or something.

You really do have to touch the focus though, to be fair. An amulet focus isn't going to work if it's not touching your neck, but for the sake of playability this is often glossed over.
Arguably it only has to be touching your aura.

A Clockwork Lime
Not really, it just has to be in contact with you. Nothing in those rules says it has to be in direct contact with you, let alone your aura or your flesh. I know it's a nitpick, but apparently that's what we're doing here. smile.gif Some quotes to show you what I mean:

SR3 p. 190, Activation: "Once activated, a focus continues to operate as long as its on the owner's person." Only if it is snatched away or dropped do you lose the benefits of it.

SR3 p. 191, Weapon Focus: "As soon as the focus is no longer in contact with its owner, it deactivates."

You can be a Raistlin-style mage with a Power Focus crystal snuggly held in the grasp of an ordinary staff if you like, and you can activate and gain its benefits as long as you're touching the staff.
A horn could be removed from someone's head without massive structural alteration.

The natural state of a troll's cyberhorns gives it reach 0, I ask again how much it would cost to enchant such a weapon.

Sawing a weapon in half or sawing part of a weapon off is a fairly good ground for the enchantment to be broken.

I am fully aware that what I said about orichalcum is rationalisation, it is not the center of my argument.

Again, if you break the focus then presumably the enchantment goes too. Thus the mace/morningstar argument dosen't work.

A fang, however, could concieveably be used as a weapon, especially if you strapped it onto your hand or had it implanted like a claw or something.
Yeah, on re-reading I see that I'm wrong, the "contact" is pretty vague. I think it's safe to say that you can't put it on the end of a two-meter stick, though.
Twinking Attributes with Quickened Spells.

I observed a year ago that if you are going to raise an Attribute with a Quickened Spell, you get a better result if the Attribute starts low than if the attribute starts high.

Let's say you've found a way to use 24 dice to Increase an Attribute, and you roll once, here are the likely results:

Start 7, 4 successes, 9 final, need force 2 spell
Start 6, 4 successes, 8 final, need force 2 spell
Start 5, 8 successes, 9 final, need force 4 spell
Start 4, 12 successes, 10 final, need force 6 spell
Start 3, 16 successes, 11 final, need force 8 spell
Start 2, 20 successes, 12 final, need force 10 spell
Start 1, 20 successes, 11 final, need force 10 spell

However, it's 10 Karma to learn a force 10 spell, and 12 Karma to Quicken it in a way that's very difficult to get destroyed. 22 Karma total to get an Attribute from 2 to 12.

Compare this to the 36 Karma cost to raise a natural attribute from 2 to 6.

I then made a Shapeshifter spellcaster, with all 6 physical attributes at 2.

Then I discovered that it can take years to learn a high force spell. Dang.
QUOTE (Fygg Nuuton)
but your touching the stick which is touching the dagger.

its the magic harpoon with a cable argument

Um, Fygg?

You are touching the ground which is touching the focus which you left at home. Is it active?

I'd allow the harpoon & cable argument, if the cable was enchanted too. And that will _cost_.
QUOTE (CoalHeart)
Trauma Dampener, Platelet factory.
Most priceless set of bioware you can get. it's like a reusuable Hand of God.

Add bone lacing to that. Your bones become unbreakable barring directed
attempts to break them.
<cough> Move,.. by,.. wire<cough> delta grade, nuff said
John Campbell
QUOTE (Lantzer)
I'd allow the harpoon & cable argument, if the cable was enchanted too.  And that will _cost_.

You might want to consider that more carefully, because, in one of those odd twists of SR rules, while high-Reach weapon foci do cost an arm and a leg if you just buy them, Reach doesn't figure at all into creating them. PCs might not be able to afford to buy a "Reach 300" missile weapon focus, but a PC enchanter could make one just as easily and cheaply as they could make a Reach 0 dagger weapon focus of the same Force.
The magician with an extra pair of cybereyes on the Right Hand.
That Hand, you know of it. The cyber hand on the end of the cyberarm.
The Hand that has 20m of coiled optical cable connecting the cybereyes and motor signals of the hand to the rest of the arm.
The Hand that is detachable, but remains connected to the arm with 20m of grapple line, with a grapple rewinder (DNI controlled) in the stump of the arm.

He can leave the hand at the corner casting spells while the team leads him away, only to reel it in when done. Or hang onto a windowsill and lower himself 6 stories. Or finger-walk across the floor to touch that thing you wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole.

The Hand
Would you allow someone to put a knife at the end of their weapon foci staff and use it as a spear with all the benefits?

As far as the horns/teeth argument goes... Reach is usually an indicator of weapon size - teeth are very short, even if they are fangs, so they could count as Reach -1 weapons for purposes of enchanting. But... what about hand razors? They can surely not be significantly longer than the fangs, yet they have the same reach as a knife... A horn will be approximately the same size as a knifeblade.

One way to look at it is this - fangs are just two small 'blades' - don't use much orichalcum. Hand razors are usually 4 or 5 blades - use twice the amount of orichalcum, or about the same as a regular knife blade. A horn should, imo, not be smaller than a knife blade and thus not use less orichalcum than that - but look at the quotes from cannon companion; it states that fang-attacks have a -1 reach modifier, while Horns suffer a -1 Reach penalty. To me, this implies that the horns get the reach penalty because of where they are, and the fangs because of how small they are. Technicalities, but it would allow for purchasing Reach -1 weapon foci as fangs while having horns cost the same as a regular 0 Reach weapon.
A Clockwork Lime
Reach has nothing to do with size. Length, perhaps, but definitely not size. A claymore or no-dachi is *significantly* larger than a manriki-gusari just like a Long Cougar Fineblade is *significantly* larger than five fingernails.

Reach is exactly what it is -- Reach. By the rules, cybernetic Fangs and Horns have a Reach of -1, and by the rules, they're cheaper to get as weapon foci than Reach 0 weapons. JUST like Reach 0 weapons are chepaer than Reach 1 weapons. JUST like Reach 1 weapons are cheaper than Reach 2 weapons. The price difference is identical between all of those, as well.

The pitfalls of using a Reach -1 weapon more than make up for the cost; you're going to be in bad shape against someone using just their fists unless you have Close Combat, which means you *have* to spend Skill Points on at least four points of a martial art and two maneuvers, and you *have* to use it each and every time you're in a fight unless fighting someone else with horns and fangs, lest you be at a significant disadvantage. Since you're going to be using Close Combat so often, that means you're not going to be able to use other options or maneuvers simultaneously, so it sucks to be you. No Whirling, no Multi-Strike, no Evasion. Just Close Combat.
You still haven't answered the main question, ACL:

I have two weapons in front of me, and they're both the same exact size, type, and of the same composition. Yet, because one of them is going to be stapled to my forehead, it's extremely cheaper to get it Foci-cized. Why?
A Clockwork Lime
If the retractable horn had a handle on it and could be used without penalty in that fashion, I'd say it was a Reach 0 weapon. Unfortuantely, it doesn't come with a handle. Just like retractable Fangs don't come with one, either.

Enchanting has nothing to do with size, and honestly, the only reason Weapon Foci have different costs for Reach is because different Reach bonuses affect how well that weapon functions. Orichalcum has no dependancy on Reach whatsoever as per the Enchanting rules, or even the fluff description; you just have to use some (ie, one unit) in its construction. The different costs for Reach is a total game-balance issue.
Manrikigusai are only about a meter long. They have Reach 2 because it is amazingly difficult to actually block one.

QUOTE (A Clockwork Lime)
By the rules, cybernetic Fangs and Horns have a Reach of -1, and by the rules, they're cheaper to get as weapon foci than Reach 0 weapons.

Well, no, because of what Lilt quoted. nyahnyah.gif

It's still a pretty impressive piece of twinking, though.
That's not twinking. It's a rule. We use it. If you put it on the end of your hand or on a stick, then it isn't a Fang or a Horn (Reach -1).
Well, it was posted to this twinking thread for a reason.

As Lilt pointed out, the weapons don't have reach themselves, merely the attack rolls made with them. This is, obviously, because you're using your head instead of your arm.
I've read Mission Briefing and

[ Spoiler ]
Just for completeness-sake this should be mentioned here:
Using Decrease Attribute spells before Increase Attribute spells

Lots of people disallow it somehow, but it's still twink so should probably be mentioned here.
I once had a player take it a step further, trying to use Decrease Charisma before enhancing his stat with karma.
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