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Kesendeja
Iíve been considering implementing some changes to the mystic adept to better fit my running style, and wanted to get some opinions.

First raise the cost to 40 karma. Iíve always thought they were a little cheap for their versatility.

Then you start with two separate magic categories, Physical and Mystical. Both start at one and have to be raised separately.

At creation the ranks can only total to six, but afterward both may be raised to six on their own.

Essence loss causes both categories to lower, and if either ever hits zero then the character loses access to that category permanently.

Initiation is handled by category. Meta magics may only be bought for that category that was raised. They may still only have a number of initiate grades equal to their magic as normal.

These changes make them a lot more karma intensive and limit their powers somewhat. In return they regain the ability to enchant, and astral perception is free.

Is this a balanced build, or what can be done to improve on it?
Titan
I don't expect my opinion to matter all that much (we don't know each other, I don't expect you to give a strangers' opinion much weight), but I would never play that version.

It could be argued it is more balanced, and I can't say it isn't.

But, unless your campaigns are "marathons" (a players needs to expect thousands of karma for a character) I would never gimp myself to a half assed Adept and a half assed Mage. There would be no payout for it.

Now, if your campaigns are marathons... I'm still not convinced I would play it. But at least it wouldn't be off the table anymore.
KCKitsune
I was never a fan of Mystic Adepts. As you said Kesendeja, they were too cheap for their cost. I've thought about this a little bit and here's a ROUGH idea on how I would solve the Mystic Adept problem.

Here is the problem for players. If you're a Full on Mage, you're kinda squishy. I mean even more so than normal. Your initiative is going to suck(1) and other than the utility spells, there is nothing you bring to the table that a smart street sam can't already do. Fireball? High Explosive grenade. Stunball? Narcojet gas grenades. Now to solve this, I would allow a Magician to take a Metamagic feat (Call it "Internalizing Magic") that would allow them to buy Adept abilities. So that would give the Magician extra options and make them a little less squishy. They would have the option of spending their next magic point on Adept abilities.

(1) == Yes I know you can get a sustaining focus and a Increase Initiative spell, but you can't take that active focus through a ward, and you light up the astral like a bonfire.

If you're an adept, You'll "quickly" get all the powers that matter and then you'll be left with a "What the hell am I suppose to do now?" question hanging over your head. SR 5 had a nice little idea for Adepts and that was the "Adept Spell". The problem I had with that ability is it cost WAY too much and can only be taken once. My expansion of that power would be this: Each level costs .5 power points and can be taken up to level 4, BUT you have to learn each spell just like a mage has to, but it costs 6 Karma per spell as it takes a little more for the adept to wrap his brain around using magic in a way he had never done before. So yes with 2 power points and 24 Karma you can have a Physical Adept with 4 spells. No Conjuring, Enchanting, or Astral Projection, but you can have an adept with spells and that can give you a bit of flexibility.
Tecumseh
@Kesendeja Did you play SR4, where mystic adepts had their Magic rating split between magician and adept?

In your scheme, how would a mystic adept advance their Physical and Mystic categories? Do they have separate Magic attributes or do they have a single Magic score that they split, like in SR4? Would an initiation that purchased a power point count toward the Physical category or would they have to improve their Magic rating to advance that rank?

Titan makes some reasonable points about the average length of your campaigns and how much karma a character could expect to earn. Mystic adepts under this system would definitely be a slow burn.

@KCKitsune Do you have Forbidden Arcana? Check out Barehanded Adept on p. 33:

QUOTE
BAREHANDED ADEPT
10 KARMA
Minimum Requirements: Must be an Adept and have Unarmed Combat 6
This quality allows an adept to cast a number of touch spells equal to their (Magic attribute / 2); a new touch spell is granted as the characterís Magic attribute rises high enough after acquiring this quality. An adept with this quality does not actually have to use their hands to cast a spell, but their bare skin must make contact with the target of the spell (or the targetís clothing). A barehanded adept uses their Unarmed Combat skill in place of the Spellcasting skill and must still take the normal unarmed attack required to target a touch spell. Drain is double what it normally would be and is resisted with Body + Willpower. The maximum Force of any spell cast with this ability is (Magic / 3), rounded up.
Titan
QUOTE (Tecumseh @ Jul 12 2017, 12:36 PM) *
In your scheme, how would a mystic adept advance their Physical and Mystic categories? Do they have separate Magic attributes or do they have a single Magic score that they split, like in SR4? Would an initiation that purchased a power point count toward the Physical category or would they have to improve their Magic rating to advance that rank?


Perhaps I am misreading, but they are two separate Magic scores. Advanced separately, and even Initiated separately.

And that is my issue with it. Mystic Adepts were already about 1.5 characters on one sheet with only one pool of Karma to spend between them.

On the one hand, a MA needs Physical attributes to enjoy many powers. True, there are powers that don't rely on the Physical side, but many of those mimic spells, or are poor shadows of spells. Not so desirable when you have access to spells.
Then you have the Physical based skills to go with them.

On the other hand, you need Mental attributes to use your spells. And then a different set of skills to use them.

With this variation, MA's become fully two characters on one sheet, because they now need to advance two separate Magic ratings.

And to repay getting about half as much Karma (comparatively) to the other characters, you get Astral Perception for free, and access to the Enchantment skill group.


My experience may be atypical, but in the Shadowrun games I have been a part of the characters start reaching "retirement age" around 700 Karma after character generation (about 1500 Karma if you use Karma buy). That isn't to say that every player is ready to put the character away. But most campaigns have run their course. Most GMs start finding it troublesome to "properly challenge" the group without making it almost certainly a TPK. Most characters have become paragons of their profession - not masters necessarily, but statistically there simply can't be many better.

Kesendeja's variation only starts reaching their stride at about that point.
KCKitsune
QUOTE (Tecumseh @ Jul 12 2017, 12:36 PM) *
@Kesendeja Did you play SR4, where mystic adepts had their Magic rating split between magician and adept?

In your scheme, how would a mystic adept advance their Physical and Mystic categories? Do they have separate Magic attributes or do they have a single Magic score that they split, like in SR4? Would an initiation that purchased a power point count toward the Physical category or would they have to improve their Magic rating to advance that rank?

Titan makes some reasonable points about the average length of your campaigns and how much karma a character could expect to earn. Mystic adepts under this system would definitely be a slow burn.

@KCKitsune Do you have Forbidden Arcana? Check out Barehanded Adept on p. 33:


Yeah, I looked at it, and while that is pretty nice, it is kinda nerfed as compared to my idea. Yes it costs a hell of a lot more, but 1) Allows spells up to full magic rating, 2) Drain is not doubled, and 3) Allows ranged spells.

My idea may be too expensive though. Tecumseh, what do you think would a worthwhile version of what I was proposing? Maybe knock the power point cost to .25 (max level 4) and still have 6 karma to learn each spell?
Glyph
Mystic adepts only seem unbalanced because they have to front-load their abilities; after character creation, their advancement slows compared to a regular adept (who gets a power point just from raising Magic) or mage (who can concentrate purely on mage abilities). Mystic adepts have always been tricky to balance. Despite a lot of things that I am not fond of in the new edition, I like the SR5 take a lot better than SR4's.
Kiirnodel
Glyph is right, a Mystic Adept that tries to advance both the magician side and adept side as a game progresses quickly falls behind in one or both of those categories in comparison to the awakened that is only one of those things.

My only issue with Mystic Adepts as they currently exist (in 5th edition), is that they are essentially Magicians+. In the long run, they only lose the ability to Astrally Project in comparison to Magicians, since they can use an adept PP to gain Astral Perception. This leaves Mystic Adepts with essentially all the Magician abilities and just an opportunity cost for gaining the Adept powers. The opportunity cost for advancing as an adept doesn't go away (PP are still hard to get for Mystic Adepts), but there isn't anything that limits the progression of the Magician side. I rather like the idea that access to everything should make all those opportunities have some sort of cost, so I feel like there should be something attached to the Mystic Adepts that limits how good a magician they can be.

I proposed an idea of a limitation on how high a force the mystic adept can cast spells. Possibly in the form of an effective Magic Rating that they are treated as for the effects of Stun/Physical Drain, Overcasting, etc. One suggestion that my gaming group came up with was Mystic Adepts being completely unable to overcast, that is to say that they can't cast spells at a Force higher than their Magic Rating. They can still raise their limit (through the normal means) above their Magic, resulting in Physical Drain if they get enough hits, they just can't declare a spells force at a level higher than their magic. I also offered a compromise in the form of being able to pay 5 karma (per point) for the Mystic Adept to be able to buy up Overcasting. So for 10 karma they could overcast up to Magic+2.

I think an overarching limitation to how Mystic Adepts use Magic for non-Adept actions is a more appropriate balancing measure than something like removing the ability to use the Enchanting group. That's the stealth errata that they're apparently trying to incorporate through the new Forbidden Arcana book. I just don't think removing Enchanting is an effective rebalance, plus it totally doesn't fit the setting.
Tecumseh
QUOTE (KCKitsune @ Jul 12 2017, 06:37 AM) *
Here is the problem for players. If you're a Full on Mage, you're kinda squishy. I mean even more so than normal. Your initiative is going to suck(1) and other than the utility spells, there is nothing you bring to the table that a smart street sam can't already do. Fireball? High Explosive grenade. Stunball? Narcojet gas grenades.

The examples that KCKitsune offers here are combat examples, with utility spells as an aside. In my experience, most magicians only take 2 combat spells and the other 8-10 are the "utility" spells that are what make a spellcaster the ultimate Jack of All Trades. Let's not quickly dismiss the value of all the crazy crap that magicians can do: Detect Enemies, Mind Probe, Heal, Physical Mask, Trid Phantasm, Invisibility, Euphoria/Opium Den, Levitate, Magic Fingers, Influence, Control Thoughts/Actions, and so on. Magicians are pretty awesome in non-combat situations, or in avoiding combat situations, to the point where they don't need to be the most efficient killers at the table too (although they can be if built that way).

I agree with Kiirnodel that "Mystic Adepts as they currently exist (in 5th edition), is that they are essentially Magicians+". There are several possible approaches to change this, depending on what you see as the root of the problem:

1) You can make power points more expensive at chargen. Say 7-8 karma each so that some serious compromises need to be made with negative qualities (and the opportunity cost of bypassed positive qualities) if the player wants to start with the full 6 PP;
2) You can make their Magician component Aspected, so that they can only take Spellcasting or Conjuring, but not both, or the Apprentice option from Forbidden Arcana (one class of spells and one class of spirit only); or
3) Or you can get rid of Mystic Adepts completely and instead add more options for Adepts to take spells like KCKitsune's suggestions.

For the purposes of the rest of this post, let's assume that we're going with Option #3 and we want to replace mystic adepts with Adepts+, in Kiirnodel's parlance. Let's break down the various components that Adept Spell and Unarmed Adept play with:

A) Skill used for casting (Spellcasting for Adept Spell vs. Unarmed Combat for Unarmed Adept)
B) Drain (Regular vs. Regular x 2)
C) Range of spells (Any vs. Touch-only)
D) Maximum Force (Any vs. Magic/3)
E) Maximum number of spells (1 vs. Magic/2)
F) Cost (PP vs. Karma)

That's a lot of ingredients with plenty of opportunity to mix-and-match to find a balance that works for you and your table. My own preferences:

A) I like giving Adepts the option of casting without learning a skill they don't otherwise need. I would open this up based on the adept's Way, so Athletes/Artists/Speakers/etc could use a skill relevant to their Way. (No actual need to purchase a Way quality; I'm just trying to keep things open for adepts whose abilities manifest in ways other than face-punching.)

B) Adepts soak with Body + Willpower so most aren't going to be rolling 12+ to soak drain like you would expect a magician to. Since many adepts will only be in the 8-10 range, Drain*2 might be unduly harsh. Regular drain instead.

C) Personally, I really like the Touch-only restriction, as I think it fosters creativity. That said, I would allow LOS spells to be taken and just make them Touch-only instead, like Levitate or Influence.

D) Given what we've established about adept dice pools for soaking drain, I wouldn't have an issue with allowing them to cast at full Force. (Not allowing overcasting would also be reasonable.) If the adept wants to try to soak 6 drain with 8 dice, go for it!

E) Definitely more than 1 if the goal is to replace Mystic Adepts. Magic/2 would certainly keep the lid on the magician abilities, but I would prefer to allow up to the adept's Magic rating as the ceiling and then tweaking the cost so that not every adept is taking 6 spells by default. See below.

F) Cost is both a philosophical question of whether you think that casting spells should make the character less of an adept (by costing PP), as well as a mechanical/balance question of "everything has a price." If spells just cost karma then there's not a lot of reasons for an adept not to take a few spells - since spells are a relative bargain karma-wise - which would be the demise of the pure adept. That would be a significant canonical shift that I wouldn't want to make personally. To balance that, you can either make spells very expensive (10+ karma each) so that there are significant opportunity costs in selecting them versus initiating, or have a spell include a PP cost, which would do more to preserve the pure adept since the trade-off between casting and adept powers would be more direct. Let's also keep in mind that certain adept powers are already quickened spells, like Magic Sense and Combat Sense (two personal favorites), so if you opt for Power Points as the price then try to balance what the spells cost vs. the established powers (which are mostly 0.5 PP, but with "Limits" like Combat Sense's 1/level inherent limit offset by the fact that you don't need to sustain adept powers like you do spells.) If spells cost 0.25 PP then we're back to the "not a lot of reasons not to take a few" situation. I would tentatively start with 0.5 PP per spell, but watching out for things like Increase Reflexes (the 0.5 PP spell) being used to bypass the 3.5 PP adept power.

On that final point, you then have other considerations, such as do you allow adepts to use power foci or sustaining foci or reagents or any of the other tricks up a magician's sleeve. And let's not get started on Conjuring, which is a completely separate can of worms that would either have to be dismissed outright or incorporated into all of the above.

In short, there are lots of options available for how to adjust mystic adepts, which GMs will probably have to resolve on a case-by-case basis with what makes the most sense for their own table.
Titan
QUOTE (Kiirnodel @ Jul 14 2017, 05:13 AM) *
My only issue with Mystic Adepts as they currently exist (in 5th edition), is that they are essentially Magicians+.



If that is the only issue, instead of creating all sorts of alternate rules, simply restrict the "Mage part" to aspected only. In this case, I would suggest opening up Enchanting to them if you do this.
Sure, you will mostly see Sorcerer Mystic Adepts.
But at least they won't be able to drag along Conjuration as well.
KCKitsune
QUOTE (Tecumseh @ Jul 14 2017, 04:49 PM) *
F) Cost is both a philosophical question of whether you think that casting spells should make the character less of an adept (by costing PP), as well as a mechanical/balance question of "everything has a price." If spells just cost karma then there's not a lot of reasons for an adept not to take a few spells - since spells are a relative bargain karma-wise - which would be the demise of the pure adept. That would be a significant canonical shift that I wouldn't want to make personally. To balance that, you can either make spells very expensive (10+ karma each) so that there are significant opportunity costs in selecting them versus initiating, or have a spell include a PP cost, which would do more to preserve the pure adept since the trade-off between casting and adept powers would be more direct. Let's also keep in mind that certain adept powers are already quickened spells, like Magic Sense and Combat Sense (two personal favorites), so if you opt for Power Points as the price then try to balance what the spells cost vs. the established powers (which are mostly 0.5 PP, but with "Limits" like Combat Sense's 1/level inherent limit offset by the fact that you don't need to sustain adept powers like you do spells.) If spells cost 0.25 PP then we're back to the "not a lot of reasons not to take a few" situation. I would tentatively start with 0.5 PP per spell, but watching out for things like Increase Reflexes (the 0.5 PP spell) being used to bypass the 3.5 PP adept power.


I would say make it cost both Power Points (0.5/level with max level of 4) AND Karma (5 karma per spell) and the Adept would have to take Spell Casting (just like Adept Spell). That way you might have an adept who will take 1 or 2 spells in the beginning. I would also make it that Adepts can NOT overcast, no matter what. As for an Adept casting Increase Reflexes spell. Yeah, that would be bad, but considering that if I were GM, I would NOT allow Adepts to have any other foci other than a weapon foci. They're adepts who have learned a neat little trick, not mages. This makes it that an Adept COULD cast the spell, but he would suffer a -2 penalty to all rolls... a tough handicap, but still there is a price to pay.


QUOTE (Tecumseh @ Jul 14 2017, 04:49 PM) *
On that final point, you then have other considerations, such as do you allow adepts to use power foci or sustaining foci or reagents or any of the other tricks up a magician's sleeve. And let's not get started on Conjuring, which is a completely separate can of worms that would either have to be dismissed outright or incorporated into all of the above.


I would make it that Adepts could only take spell casting. They're adepts who have learned a neat trick or two, not mages. Also, as I said above, I would NOT allow any foci other than weapon foci, and I would not allow them to use reagents. Again that is the realm of a Mage not an adept.


**EDIT**: I just went to Random.org and had it roll 8 dice. This would simulate an Adept with Magic 6 and Spell Casting 2. In a vast majority of the rolls, I would only get 2 or 3 hits. With the improve reflexes spell this would be a big nothing burger. If they did get a good roll, they would still have a penalty of -2 from every test to sustain it. When I jacked spell casting to 4, I still got on average 2 or 3 hits. Yeah the spell would be a "neat" way of bypassing the cost of the Adept power to increase initiative, but it's unreliable and takes time to set up. The adept ability is instantly on, and you know how fast you'll be going EVERY time.
Glyph
Personally, while I like seeing people's house rules, I think adepts already are balanced with respect to opportunity costs. They gain 6 power points, but it costs them access to astral space and 30 Karma - a not insignificant expenditure since you only start out with 25 Karma, which can increase up to 50 if you take the full 25 points' worth of negative qualities. Those six power points typically give them things like an always-on initiative boost, astral perception (but not projection), improved senses, etc. - appealing to have but not game-breaking.
Cabral
What I don't like about the SR5 is that the lose the give and take of earlier editions where they could shift how much of a mage or how much of an adept they are. In addition officially, mystic adepts cannot buy power points for karma outside of character creation so it incentivizes you to create a Magic 6, 6 PP Mystic Adept out of the gate.

I also don't like that their adept aspect does not follow adept rules. What I have considered, but not fully examined the impacts, is to apply the same rules as magicians/adepts (i.e., including free power points when their magic increases), but apply a multiplier to their karma costs (say x1.5) for increasing magic, buying spells, possibly foci and/or initiation. This may or may not be combined with treating their magic as 1 or 2 points higher for karma costs. I am not thinking that skill costs would be affected.

I haven't really worked out what I feel is balanced and makes sense to me, but I thought it may be a better option for reworking the Mystic Adept.
Kesendeja
After some playtesting and discussion my group has decided that treating mystic adepts like they did in 4th seems to be the best option for balance. Thank you all for your replies.
JanessaVR
Our house rule is simple - if you want to play a Mystic Adept, you pay for both the Magician and Adept Qualities (at full cost).
Cabral
JannessaVR, how do you handle advancement? Combined Magic or separate?
JanessaVR
QUOTE (Cabral @ Aug 1 2017, 02:43 PM) *
JannessaVR, how do you handle advancement? Combined Magic or separate?

They can slice up their Magic rating however they choose. For instance, if they have Magic 6, they could devote 3 levels for Adept abilities and then have 3 levels available for spellcasting.
Cabral
Ah. So it's SR4 with a higher upfront cost. As I understand it, they were generally considered underpowered in SR4 already with this double nerf, does anyone actually play one?
JanessaVR
QUOTE (Cabral @ Aug 1 2017, 03:42 PM) *
Ah. So it's SR4 with a higher upfront cost. As I understand it, they were generally considered underpowered in SR4 already with this double nerf, does anyone actually play one?

We had one person play one a couple years back, which is when we had a mini-debate and came up with the rule. But since then it's been all Magicians, Adepts, and (fairly consistently) one Technomancer.
Cabral
So, it is possible that the rule was too heavy handed and only served to discourage anyone from playing one.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Cabral @ Aug 2 2017, 08:42 PM) *
So, it is possible that the rule was too heavy handed and only served to discourage anyone from playing one.


I love the standard SR4 Mystic Adept and its rules... Was not impressed with the SR5 version, personall, even if it is more powerful.
Cabral
I agree. I used to make SR4 MysticAdepts to be more like minor physads with some minor spells, sometimes they felt like a different kind of adept, sometimes they felt like an adept that could provide mage back up, but I never felt like they were too weak, just versatile.

SR5 is a mage with varying degrees of physical adept that penalizes you if don't try to go full physad out of the gate.
Glyph
Anything less than Priority: A and six power points "penalizes" a mystic adept from a purely optimizing point of view, but the system lets you start out with a Magic of 3, five spells, and no power points if you want. It is harder to improve some things after character creation, but that is the nature of the beast.
SpellBinder
QUOTE (Cabral @ Aug 1 2017, 04:42 PM) *
Ah. So it's SR4 with a higher upfront cost. As I understand it, they were generally considered underpowered in SR4 already with this double nerf, does anyone actually play one?
One of my main story characters (currently in 2073, so SR4 rules) underwent an awkening as a mystic. Will see how his powers progress as I continue writing, but I'm expecting him to swing towards the magician side of things.

A minor character in the same storyline is also a mystic, effectively a Pariah (Forbidden Arcana) as he's focused on Banishing, Counterspelling, and adept powers only.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Glyph @ Aug 3 2017, 07:36 PM) *
Anything less than Priority: A and six power points "penalizes" a mystic adept from a purely optimizing point of view, but the system lets you start out with a Magic of 3, five spells, and no power points if you want. It is harder to improve some things after character creation, but that is the nature of the beast.


But if you are building a character for pure optimization, I would not call that a fully realized character...

Optimization often misses out on all the little things that make a person a person... those skills that a typical person in the field will have tend to take a back seat to the pure optimization protocols and the choice to "just get them later, if at all". So you get a character that cannot actually function in the job description that they have adopted, becuaase they lack the skills (both active and knowledge) that would support such a character in their field... Think every Optimized "Spec Ops" character that is missing key support skills that hey would have been trained for, yet they do not have because they have that Uber Martial Art, Unarmed Combat and Sniping at their max levels, and yet no leadership, no language skills, no real skill at sneaking, not skills to blend in with society, no instruction skills (many many Spec Ops are give the mission to train locals to fight), no first aid, no survival, no land navigation skills, no small unit tactics, etc....

Now that said, yes, you can "Optimize" a character to include all the little things (at the cost of top level skills - not an issue in my opinion), but then the criticism is that they "Gimped" themselves because they do not have Top Level Skill ratings (or Top Level Magic/Resonance Ratings)... You see that all the time on the boards here, when someone creates a character that is really good at what they do, but has a lot of support skills - It is a great concept... Then they ask for advice on the character to get an evaluation and maybe help shore up a few weak spots... the first piece of advice they get is to ditch the support skills for higher ranks in their primary skill sets. Never mind the actual thought that the character might need those support skills to fit their concept. Almost everyone that gives advice ignores what the character goal is (to be proficient at a given job, with all that entails), and moves their advice towards gaining more power... For some reason, More power has become what it is all about (it is almost a mantra), and not about the actual character living in an actual world. Apparently Power trumps all...
Titan
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Aug 4 2017, 08:04 AM) *
Optimization often misses out on all the little things that make a person a person...



Ehhh... This is just another spin on the "power gamer vs role player" (or roll vs role) argument in a different arena. It is usually just another way to say "my way of playing is better than your way, and / or you're playing the game wrong."

There is nothing inherently wrong with either style - as long as it matches the game the character is in. The only real problem, other than e-pissing matches on the internet, is when someone brings the wrong style of play to a game. Even then, it can work if the other players are willing to put up with the power level difference - admittedly, this rarely happens.
Cabral
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Aug 4 2017, 09:04 AM) *
But if you are building a character for pure optimization, I would not call that a fully realized character...

That depends on whether you are optimizing the character's effectiveness in a role or optimizing how closely the character aligns with your concept out of the gate. I typically use optimization advice can help reduce expenditures to allow for side developments, taking into account what I can do on day one and how quickly I can ramp up to a target concept.
Glyph
I wasn't advocating optimization per se; I was replying to Cabral saying that the game gives you an incentive to start out with 6 Magic and 6 power points. I retorted that sure, a system with flat or lower costs for certain things at the start of the game does give you a purely mechanical incentive to get those things. But at the same time, you are not compelled to make the strongest possible character at the start of the game. If you pick Priority: B for skills, you don't have to get one skill group at 5, and six skills at 6.

Character creation is versatile - you can make a neophyte to the shadows, a seasoned professional, or a burned out veteran on a downward slope, all with the same system. I like to optimize, but I use optimization as a useful tool in making the nuts and bolts fit the concept, rather than an over-riding philosophy. I still lean towards more powerful characters, because I tend to make pros, or mavericks who are good enough that teammates will put up with their quirks.

If someone came to me with a spec ops build asking for advice, I would recommend that they revise their concept. A spec ops dude who lacks skills such as leadership, sneaking, or survival is a bad spec ops dude. A spec ops dude who can't kick some serious ass is also a bad spec ops dude. If you don't have enough resources to do both, it is time to realize that your character concept was too ambitious, and re-think it. If kicking ass was what you wanted, then the spec ops guy can become the ex-corporate HRT member or former Vory enforcer. If being a survivalist who is a decent shot was what you wanted, then the spec ops guy can become a smuggler, coyote, or wilderness guide who operates between Seattle and the NAN. And either approach is valid.
Cabral
QUOTE (Glyph @ Aug 5 2017, 12:52 AM) *
I wasn't advocating optimization per se; I was replying to Cabral saying that the game gives you an incentive to start out with 6 Magic and 6 power points. I retorted that sure, a system with flat or lower costs for certain things at the start of the game does give you a purely mechanical incentive to get those things. But at the same time, you are not compelled to make the strongest possible character at the start of the game. If you pick Priority: B for skills, you don't have to get one skill group at 5, and six skills at 6.

It isn't that things are cheaper at character creation. You can be a magic 6 mystic adept at character creation and initiate at grade 1 and pick up masking shortly afterwards.

If you do not do that, being a Magic 6, grade 1 initiate with masking and 6 power points (or an uninitiated mystic adept with 6 power points) is forever cut off from you.

There are character concepts/builds that you cannot achieve if you do not progress through character creation in a certain way.
Glyph
Yeah, I agree that's a bit unfair, and I probably wouldn't mind a house rule letting mystic adepts buy power points after character creation (although I would probably charge 10, rather than 5 Karma). I guess it doesn't come up much for me because I usually get all six power points when I make a character.
SpellBinder
QUOTE (Glyph @ Aug 5 2017, 11:47 AM) *
Yeah, I agree that's a bit unfair, and I probably wouldn't mind a house rule letting mystic adepts buy power points after character creation (although I would probably charge 10, rather than 5 Karma). I guess it doesn't come up much for me because I usually get all six power points when I make a character.
If I ever do run a game in SR5, I'd be allowing Mystics to buy additional Power Points (it's how I'll be doing it in my writing). Not so inclined to charge double the karma, though. I don't like the idea of karma not being equal to itself before and after character creation.
Glyph
So I assume you would house rule qualities to be the same way, to be consistent? Say that one mysad gets focused concentration: 5 and two power points, while another mysad gets six power points. If the first mysad can pay 20 Karma to pick up four more power points later in the game, then the second mysad should be able to pay 20 Karma to pick up focused concentration: 5 later in the game. I do agree that "double Karma cost in Karma" is aggravating to even read.
SpellBinder
Of course. Qualities need to be okayed by the GM first, and I'd probably require a buy up on Focused Concentration rather than just jumping to the top. No one just jumps on a skateboard for the first time and can out-skate Tony Hawk cool.gif
Cabral
I think, especially if you are using karmagen, it makes sense to make it the same cost as during character creation.
SpellBinder
Curse my timing.

Even outside of using karmagen, no doubling. Even in Priority/Sum-To-Ten you get karma during character creation and can have up to seven karma left over.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Cabral @ Aug 4 2017, 10:47 PM) *
That depends on whether you are optimizing the character's effectiveness in a role or optimizing how closely the character aligns with your concept out of the gate. I typically use optimization advice can help reduce expenditures to allow for side developments, taking into account what I can do on day one and how quickly I can ramp up to a target concept.



This is true...
Sorry if I went off the rails a bit. smile.gif
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