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Ok, I'm just looking at adept vs street-sam, not the effects of pure mage or mystic adept.

As I see it, the primary strength of the adept is both early and late game. they get a bunch of adept powers, potentially up to 8 and a half points worth without foci out of chargen (magic 7, plus 1.5 points from raven mentor spirit). In addition, there are good odds that if you follow the pay scales from the book the adept will be able to initiate before the street sam can buy new hardware. Adept is better off the mark, especially with Qi foci.

Now let's look ahead a bit. The street-sam is buying upgrades with money, plus gaining skills with his karma. Meanwhile, the adept is having to pick between his magic and his skills, meaning he's either focusing on one at the cost of the other or splitting his points and growing slowly in both areas. Either way, in the midgame the sam begins to claw his way back and can potentially surpass the adept, particularly if cash rewards begin to increase as the runners become more experienced and take on harder jobs.

Finally, we get to the late game. While technically the Adept has the potential for unlimited growth opposed to the street-sam's limits, the truth is that very few games will go on for long enough for the street sam to have no more 'ware to save up for or skills to improve. However, it would be remiss of me to point out that eventually, the Sam will run out of essence to sacrifice and skills to buy while the Adept can continue to increase his magic indefinitely.

What am I saying? Provided your GM doesn't blindly underpay you and cripple tech characters, an adept is not going to remain ahead of their street sam counterparts forever. I think. I haven't actually done all the math yet.
I believe the advantages at chargen are as follows:

Adept Advantage: Initiative, Dodge DP

Augmentation Advantage: Resilience/Soak DP, Attributes, Unarmed Combat, Social Combat

With Adepts losing both stacking Critical Strike and Kinesics granting bonus DP, augmented characters have a clear advantage in those field. Adept attribute enhancements are very expensive and not feasible until obscene amounts of Karma are obtained. Assuming the pay tables are eventually fixed, both augmented mundanes and adepts will stay competitive to each other.
and, of course, those who combine the two will continue to be scary smile.gif
Fortunately, doing so will be much harder with the higher prices and the priorities system.
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