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There has been much discussion about cyber sams and adepts. It is generally agreed that sams make for better generalists while adepts are better specialists. After reading Target: Wastelands, I am forced to reconsider: Other than Space (although I really don't know how you are getting cyberware through all those security checks), sams seem to have a worse time in exotic locales.

So here is my question: Who (Sam or Adept) would make a better real generalist? Anywhere, Anytime.
Samurai. One character I've been playing with lately is a Samurai who used too many chipped skills and now has few skills of his own. I ended up giving him a few weapons skills at 6, plus computers 6 and a little ettiquette, and using his skill wires (which can take up to rating 6 in any skill) for everything else. Add in a chipjack expert driver and he's good to go. He can litterally do anything... all he needs is the right chip for the job.

Whichever one has the skills and equipment to survive in those locations. If there's one thing I've learned from playing SR, it's that just as soon as you say, "This kind of character is best for this role," you'll be swamped with half a dozen examples refuting the idea.

Freshly created samurai generally have plenty of cash for survival equipment and (as JaronK noted) chipped skills. So, IMO, they're the "no brainer" for making an "all terrain runner." However, that just means you don't have to put as much thought into making them versatile in all environments.

I'm sure an adept with the right skills and gear could be created, too.

And any veteran character that spent karma correctly could be an "all terrain" runner.
It's a wash. Samurai: lots of stress effects to cyber in hostile conditions, low Essence to resist cancer from radiation. Adept: power drops dramatically in particularly astrally polluted or absent areas, such as the SOX, space, high-radiation areas, etc.

Physads can probably hold out longer, but Sammies are more effective while they're there.

Jason Farlander
When I read the title of this thread, I thought you were going to ask which archetype would be more desireable for making Mountain Dew commercials or something similarly "eXtreme!"
For the long run, I would probably choose something like a skills/stats and get very little cyber. True self reliance. Pick and choose very carefully as to what actually gets installed, cyber-wise, and just be a skills monster.
What I was thinking of is who would be a better runner given the concept of an "all terrain" runner? I agree with Kage that adepts lose out when in toxic areas, but unless the mana warp is really severe (>6), then I believe that the adept would be generally better off.

Hostile conditions affect the sam much more severely than the adept, but the accumulated Stress will take its toll only after a period of time.
QUOTE (toturi @ Aug 11 2004, 10:20 AM)
Hostile conditions affect the sam much more severely than the adept, but the accumulated Stress will take its toll only after a period of time.

That depends on the samurai's gear, doesn't it? A bioware-heavy samurai shouldn't mind a harsh environment to the same degree as a chrome-plated Robocop wannabe. The bioware sam's implants can heal themselves.

There's also the issue that with some foresight, a samurai can much more rapidly prepare themselves for extreme environments than a physad (who probably won't get a skillwire system, and thus has to learn harsh environment skills the hard way).
Since there is only 1 Wilderness Survival skill, I do not see the problem or the advantages a skillwire system would confer.
QUOTE (toturi)
Since there is only 1 Wilderness Survival skill, I do not see the problem or the advantages a skillwire system would confer.

Useful outdoor skills, knowledge and active, that probably aren't entirely covered by Wilderness Survival:

*Stoneworking. Make good spears, drills, hammers, knives.
*Carpentry. No need to live in hovel of pine needles and sticks (which Wilderness Survival probably covers), build yourself a real cabin. Or a boat to get off that island.
*Tracking. Find some good eats, not just what you can scrounge with Wilderness Survival.
*Navigation. Get off the island without risking getting lost at sea, even build your own navigational aids.
*Brewing. Not only good for passing the time, but it keeps your drinking water safe from spoiling for extended periods.
*Sailing. Get off that island without oars.
*Chemistry. Want to purify that funny glowing water?
*Cooking. Sure, Wilderness Survival caught you a rabbit. But it doesn't turn the rabbit into a 4-course meal of herb-crusted roast rabbit, plus smoked and salted leftovers for your trek/voyage home.
*Traps. Sure, Wilderness Survival might teach you how to catch a rabbit, but how do you deal with invisible alien hunters looking to mount some stuffed humans on his trophey wall?
*Electronics. Wilderness Survival won't tell you how to build a TV out of coconuts and vines, but Electronics will. There's no need to miss ESPN 8's World Dodgeball Championships when you're stranded on a desert island without the Professor.

I'm sure you can think of others.
Cray, very well done! I especially like the reference to "El Ocho".

And since you brought up the professor, here is something I really liked. Gilligan's Island: A Descent Into Madness

The White Dwarf
Erm, hard question because its rather relative. It depends on how your person/group typically makes adepts and sams. And how theyre typicall used, and in what types of games. As far as best overall, for any where, any game, any situation ... the most adaptable guy ever ... Id respond with "what karma value".

A Magicians Way Adept, with a few points of cyberware, and a 2 didgit initiation grade is going to be hard to beat; as well as having some insane, rather unrealisitc karma level. While out of the box the Sam is probably going to win, because its easier to make an adaptable character using cyber during char-gen.

If you could throw out some parameteres, even really general ones, itd help. Like 100 karma ballpark? Maybe payed about 10k a run, decent level of contacts (betaware access but not delta, etc), figure 5 karma per run .. that gives a better picture of what level to think on.
OK, maybe it is a little vague. Say right out of Chargen and after 28 karma awarded (there is a reason for this number, SotF has 7 runs and there are about 4 Canon karma awards of 1 point each per run).
The White Dwarf
Egads, ~28 is about borderline. Its just enough for the magic folks to start getting one or two things, and just enough for the sams to shore up some sideline things. Id say this really boils down to how you build and play in your campaign. Almost too close to call, but Id say cyber

You can make a pretty decent sam keeping over 4 essence using all alphaware, with permits on a fake SIN, and fill in the rest with bio. If you take the right stuff, this makes it rather hard for anything to detect your ware, if it does it needs enough successes to register some kinda threat, and if it does that it has to pass the ID check to actually land the issue. And on top of all that, the players actions can make it even harder. Just running around its pretty hard to crack all that which leaves you a pretty adaptable character. The greater danger is player mistakes (as opposed to character issues) betraying something to the authorities.

Of course, you can likewise make a pretty decent adept with the same set of conditions. The catch here is that if you boost the adept up to sam combat levels, they tend to run out of space for the sideline skills and 'ware the sams can afford (because they dont sink 25 build points into magic). Theres even less chance theyll get caught, but theres also less they can do.

Id say adept would lose to sam at those levels, but not by much, and depending on who built the characters (and then played them) it could flip flop. I just cant see an adept comparing to a sam this early on in terms of pure adaptability. They could easily be the more effective character if you narrowed the confines some, but if you had to prep to do anything with 1 guy on a moments notice, sam wins.
I would definatly agree what has been said about Karma. The more karma that has been awarded is going to generate different out comes. It also boils down to what I gather who can do the most.

A jack of all trade and a master in none, I feel is what is getting asked here.

Skillwire Sammy is good but there a gain as mentioned money. what happens when he gets Fireballed by some mage. Oops I may be wrong he could losse some chips there.

So General all rounder, well each has his pros and cons.

Karma for Skills - Samurai
Magic aspect - Adept.
Cyber - Samurai
Survivability - I would say on a par, where one looses out the other gains.
Charisma based Skills - Adept, no cyber if so a min amount.

We can only add to this list.

I have a samurai who has seen it through a seven year campaign. Yet I have to say he is specialized. He is not an all rounder.

Well I am going to try am make an all rounder Sam and see.

To be the best at what you do Specialize.

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