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Edward
How often do you initiate.
And else do you pick up

I have been accused of initiating unusually often. And I am wondering how often others do.

When playing a full magician I find I split my karma about equally between skills, spells and initiation. This results in initiating every 3-4 runs. I have been accused of playing overpowered characters because of this habit.

The question is what else to spend karma on. My spells make so many of the skills obsolete. I have improved invisibility, physical mask and masking, why do I need stealth, I have force 6 levitate, why do I need athletics. Style means I only need pistols and unarmed combat. I have heal and an excessively good mundane medic in the party, why take biotech.

So what non magical things do you do with your karma when playing a mage.

Edward
mfb
in ~200 karma, my physad has initiated five times. he's going to spend his next ~250 on skills and stats.
Grinder
I normally split up my magicians/shamans karma equally between attribs, skills and spells, so theres little karma left for initiation. Normally every ten runs i have the ~20 karma to do so. I think its not that bad for a spellslinger to have decent attributs and skills. One can not always rely on magic, so there is a need for a good stealth skill i.e.
DrJest
From an SR2 point of view, I initiated to Grade 0 as soon as possible to get access to metamagics.

From an SR3 point of view, I guess I'd initiate once or twice reasonably early to get Masking and Centering, then spend more time building up skills etc.
Shockwave_IIc
I go with picking up the 1 or 2 skills i missed out on at Character Gen then Initiate. Advance a couple more skills, which depending on which ones is wether or not i initiate again.
Dawnshadow
Don't know, haven't been playing the magical character long enough. Probably every 3-4 runs -- lots of Karma goes into skills, spells, attributes, and the ally spirit. (As it is a really high powered campaign).

The better answer is: As often as I have the Karma and don't need to do something else with it. And it takes a lot of Karma to get up to grade 4 initiate with a magician-adept, especially one who has a horrendously bad chance at finding a group.. a unique M-A (shaman), with a moral system that's completely separate from the major group we've been exposed to..
Smiley
QUOTE (mfb)
in ~200 karma, my physad has initiated five times. he's going to spend his next ~250 on skills and stats.

Ditto. (Well, 6 times.)
paul_HArkonen
you really should have put a "as often as possible" answer on there

instead I have to guess at how many runs it takes my character to get enough karma to initiate.
Kanada Ten
Much of this has to do with how much karma is generated with each run and where Initiation is taking the character.

Magicians have a many areas for personal improvement, but if you're starting to get complaints from your team then perhaps one would consider using karma for permanent wards inside the safehouses, Quickened spells on armor and gear to augment the other characters, Anchored defenses, learning new "flavor" spells, Enchanting unique foci, developing side skills that develope the character further... Surely in all the study and insight funneled to Initiation, the character has developed other interests?
Cynic project
Um, some runs are worth 1 karma and others are worth 10...So if you do a few runs on the high end and then do a lot of runs on the low end, you will most likely not be initating at the same rate per runs even if you are doing it the same rate of karma.
tisoz
I said Every 10, but it is probably less frequent than that.

(Aimed at Full Mage)

How fragging much karma are you getting a run to split it pretty evenly 3 ways and still initiate every 3 or 4 runs? That has got to be at least 8 - 10 karma per run.

How many runs do you play the character, because how many initiations do you need? Are you losing magic points left and right? It does not sound like it.
DocMortand
As a player - I tried to initiate once. Kept getting fraggin killed by a sadistic GM tho, so never managed to accumulate enough karma and then stay alive long enough to initiate.

As a GM, my players seem to try to initiate ASAP...but I think it's because MY GMing style is slightly less sadistic than the abovementioned evil GM.
Edward
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
Much of this has to do with how much karma is generated with each run and where Initiation is taking the character.

Magicians have a many areas for personal improvement, but if you're starting to get complaints from your team then perhaps one would consider using karma for permanent wards inside the safehouses, Quickened spells on armor and gear to augment the other characters, Anchored defenses, learning new "flavor" spells, Enchanting unique foci, developing side skills that develope the character further... Surely in all the study and insight funneled to Initiation, the character has developed other interests?

The complaint was actually about the power level of a campaign in general. My character (and the other magicals) where apparently initiating to often and the cyber all had to many toys. The face was captured so somebody went threw her address book and told her friends she was in trouble and a small army arrived.

I do note something about your suggestions however.

Permanent wards, I never saw the point and we didnít have a safe house
Quickened spells & Anchored defences require more initiations (to get meta magics)
Flavour spells donít cost much (usually low force & exclusive)
Unique foci would still risk focus addiction and means taking enchanting. The one time I took enchanting I had to retire the character soon after, you can make far to much money with that skill, if I worked 1 month in 3 I was making 10 times as much enchanting as I did running, the character would have stayed but been grossly over powered.

As to rate of earning karma, we I was getting 8-12 per run with a run lasting 1-2 sessions. Then I was using cash for karma to increase that 25-50% (I had more trouble finding uses for cash than I did karma).

Edward
Kanada Ten
QUOTE
Permanent wards, I never saw the point and we didnít have a safehouse.

Were you to have safehouses, "Permanent" wards reduce the number of trips to the location, and every visit to a safehouse lowers the safety and security.

QUOTE
Flavour spells donít cost much (usually low force & exclusive)

Ah, but they CAN use up much with Spell Design and VARIETY. Create Green Tea, Detox, Caffine!, lots of little Illusions..

QUOTE
Unique foci would still risk focus addiction and means taking enchanting.

Focus addiction only occus with active foci that are bonded to the charatcer.

QUOTE
The one time I took enchanting I had to retire the character soon after, you can make far to much money with that skill, if I worked 1 month in 3 I was making 10 times as much enchanting as I did running, the character would have stayed but been grossly over powered.

Any Awakened with Astral Perception and Conjuring cannot use money as a reason to run. One can make over 600• an hour just making Wards. Obviously the solution is to NOT use it that way.

QUOTE
The complaint was actually about the power level of a campaign in general.

QUOTE
As to rate of earning karma, we I was getting 8-12 per run with a run lasting 1-2 sessions. Then I was using cash for karma to increase that 25-50% (I had more trouble finding uses for cash than I did karma).

Is the GM doing the complaining? At that karma rate and allowing karma for cash, high power is to be expected. Sounds to me like the GM simply doesn't understand that.
Chibu
I play a Physical Adept, ithis campain, i'm currently up to 93 karma, and i'm a grade 3 initiate. (I would be 4, but, i decided to get some Magic Theory instead) Being an Adept, i find it more useful to gain powers through initiation than to raise skills.
Charon
Have your PC go on an astral quest on a semi-regular basis. You'll probably notice that the mage PC will want to round up his skills by investing some points in skills that are useful for questing, thus breaking somewhat away from the usual cycle of +sorcery/+initiate/+spell rinse and repeat.

There's other challenges that help encouraging diversification too.

Other than that, what a wizard does with his karma is his business. If he initiates too much, it's because he has too much karma in which case he's not the only PC pushing the limits.
Edward
Actually it was one of the other players complaining. (the one that had been paying the face). And that campaign is well over.

I am just worried about a similar power creep situation I the current campaign (same GM).

For my own safe house I prefer not to ward it. People get suspicious of warded 1 bed squatter lifestyles. A group safe house would be worth warding permanently but we never trusted each other that much.

Spell design uses only time. It isnít going to consume karma, as you your spell list. Detox can be exclusive but otherwise is a good spell, I have taken it before. Last time I suggested a spell to keep me awake I was accused of being a munchkin trying to avoid the minimal addiction risk of long hall (and no it wasnít as good as long hall). Myriad small illusions are silly, better to take trid phantasm once and display whatever you want. Create green tee is good but wont cost karma as exclusive force 2 should work just fine.

The problem I have with foci is that is what I was using to try to get rid of cash before turning it into karma. Because of this habit I ten to wind up quite focus heavy. What can you make a unique focus do anyway (I know the gm has final say but I have never seen one that wasnít an artifact).

Charon- what is this astral quest for and how will it consume karma.

Edward
Chibu
Personally, i like to go on Astral Quests for the challenge. Nightshade, Physacal Adept, loves questing for the different kind of chalenge. (I know a free spirit with Astral Gateway power) You can go on an Astral Quest for no reason at all. All you do is Roll a d6 or two to find the rating, and then go at it.

"What do i get out of it?"

Funny you should ask. You don't get drek out of it. Except cool storys and some fun.
Charon
QUOTE (Edward @ Feb 20 2005, 11:57 PM)
Charon- what is this astral quest for and how will it consume karma.


It doesn't consume karma as such. But to succeed an astral quest you have to undergo a series of challenges involving different skills and attributes.

For example, when you reach the Place of Battle in the quest, you will face a test involving melee and if you suck at it, you'll get hurt bad. If you run it by the book the mage will get up to S in physical damage. If you run it as an actual encounter, it could be worse. The Place of Battle, Charisma and Knowledge can all involve skills otherwise little used by many mage. A few failed quest (or just quest that ends up with the wizard hospitalized) are likely to encourage the wizard to expand his horizons

As to why do an Astral Quest : Learn Metamagic and learn the true name of a free spirit come to mind.

In order to encourage going on a quest to learn metamagic you could simply have some of the metamagics you know your PC will want be unknown to anyone he readily knows. Unless he knows a Free spirit that could teach him, astral quest becomes the obvious option.

In order to get him to quest for the name of a free spirit, it's obvious enough ; introduce some free spirits in his rogue gallery.
Fortune
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
Any Awakened with Astral Perception and Conjuring cannot use money as a reason to run. One can make over 600• an hour just making Wards.

And you don't even need the Conjuring. wink.gif
Charon
QUOTE (Edward @ Feb 20 2005, 09:20 PM)
The one time I took enchanting I had to retire the character soon after, you can make far to much money with that skill, if I worked 1 month in 3 I was making 10 times as much enchanting as I did running, the character would have stayed but been grossly over powered.

Not to run an economy class, but was it assumed that your character was going to...

1 - Be able to sell at market (street) value?
2 - Was going to able to sell everything his is able to produce?

If so, no wonder he was getting too rich.

The market value given in SR3 is for something you can get in days. No way in hell would I pay the same amount for something I order and then get possibly over a month later.

Also, selling at a high margin of profit and selling as much as you can produce assumes you have a base of client that can absorb the demand. It's dubious a PC could whip up a base of client large enough to live off their commands so early in his career. It's a believable avenue for retirement once he's made enough contacts, though.

Finally, foci are long lasting objects that can have many users. Therefore it only makes sense that the secondary market is larger than the primary market, which obviously tends to reduce demands for long lasting foci. I'd assume most of an average artificer's business is one shot foci and ritual materials with only a handful of well established artificer getting the lion's share of orders for new foci of real power.
Fortune
You really don't need to sell at Street value to make scads of money Enchanting. Just producing Radicals or Orichalcum brings the bucks rolling in. You don't even need to make too much.

As to buyers, there are many available, including a wide range of talismongers, and even the Corps or Organized Crime.
Charon
Well, I can see where it could make you some money if you cut corner.

Let's assume enchanting 6 and an average of 3 successes on the enchanting test (10 - 6 magic = TN 4)

The radicals to make these 3 units cost 44 000$. If you stop there, sure, you get a huge profit.

But logically you also have to include your lifestyle for the month in the cost since you didn't do anything else to pay the rent. So how much lifestyle? It's really up to the GM but here are some considerations : You need a shop. Using the SSG rules for lifestyle it could be argued that a PC would need to increase his space category by 1 to maintain lifestyle. You also need security. You are making orichalcum and using gold as a ressource, for pete's sake! You need security. Considering that any kind of robbery, even if foiled, could possibly ruin your batch through stray bullets and other mishaps, the security has to be good enough to be a deterrant. Your radicals are worth maybe 13000$ through a fence, and intruders could reasonably hope to grab other valuables. Therefore your security has to be good enough to be a detterrent for "20 000$ thief". And then you have to pump up the security when you are near completion because suddenly your security has to be good enough for "80 000$ thieves". 80 000$ thieves are also known as "Runners". So you probably to hire some qualified muscle from the last criticals day up to the delivery.

Your simplified cost are 44 000$ + lifestyle (higher than average for the same kind of comfort) + additional security required by project. And you are not selling at market value.

We're also still assuming that the artificer has a buyer for all he produces. In fact, we are assuming that he has more buyer than he needs, otherwise price would drop.

All in all, sure, you can make a nice living of it. And you can also be paid over 100K each run if you are in the elite of your profession. Depends if your PC feels he has better odds of climbing the food chain in runner or artificer circles.

But what I just estimated is a backward way of guestimating. We should simply figure out a business that bears the same risk as Artificing. Artificing will give roughly the same return on investment as that other business. If artificing gives a better return on investment, new artificers will enter the business until the margin of profit shrinks to what the market will bear. And if it drops under that margin, Artificers will get out of the business until it raises again. Simple, no?
Edward
Astral quests are fun. Of cause they have a nasty habit of needing skills you donít have. If I take pistols and assault rifles you can bet before long the place of battle will need SMGs, its worse with knowledgeís.

As to the financial benefits of producing oricalcum. I was already initiated 3 times with 1 point of magic loss so the target was 2. I was using a shop owned by my initiatory group so they where providing security, this was a group that expected members to do tasks for the group. (One run was initiated by this group and the task they set for my initiation ordeal was scary, a real fail one stealth roll and your dead scenario).

For calculating wether I could make money I assumed I could get half marked value and sell all my stock. Between the initiatory group, my fixer and my tails monger that should not be problem. However my GM said that I was not allowed to sell it if I was going to remain a PC. I used a lot for making my own foci but ended up with the character deciding to stop taking paying runs.

The return on the investment for artifising could well be much higher than another business. Remember only a small portion of the population have magic, all magical careers tend to pay better.

Edward
DocMortand
Actually in my group I prefer to run Astral Quests - and Lina's been more than obliging, because Lina likes to learn spells at level 7, so the TNs are nasty and you can use Quests to reduce the number of karma needed....

Of course, the one she seems to get stuck on regularly in the Field of Charisma - So far I've stuck him in a courtroom were she had to defend himself against a Johnson she just killed, and a pseudo time-travel where she had to watch her parents get gunned down and she had to get her younger self to hide in the cupboard (it's how she found Raccoon as a story line, so it was fun to roleplay)

Don't forget to include having to finagle your way past the Dweller of the Threshold - I actually stumped Lina once and bounced her out of the meta planes because she got stuck in a paradox and the Dweller said "Come back when you've figured yourself out" vegm.gif
Ombre
That's a problem I've been thinking about for some time...how much time should pass between initiation, especially for Adepts...

I don't like the idea of being able to go up in grades whenever you have enough karma...with groups and ordeals, it means that potentially, you can have a Grade 12 Initiate in a year or so...

But how many Grade 12 Initiates are there in the world?

Initiation is a personal journey, delving throught he mysteries of magic, an inner trip to slowly unlock one's potential...such a trip should take more than a few runs in my opinion lest it becomes an D&D-like power-trip with nothing mystical about it...

Some of you seem to be reasonable enough, alterning Inititation with skill and attribute improvement. that's fine. But some would blaze through initiation grades like overwired street sams...which can eventually lead to overpowered characters (especially adepts).
I've decided to put an artificial minimum time limit (provided you have engouh karma of course) :

minimum of 1 run between Grade1 and 2
minmum of 2 runs between Grade 2 and 3
minimum of 3 runs between Grade 3 and 4
and so on...this amount of time being necessary to accomplish this inner journey towards magical enlightenment...

Not really stasifying, but I've not come up with a better solution fo the moment

tisoz
More reasons to astral quest.

Extra dice equal to quest rating to learn spell and karma reduction for learning spell equal to quest rating. Conceal astral links (sounds like you need this if you are carrying many magic items.) Pierce a masked aura. Retrieve a disrupted spirit (rare in my experience.) Destroy a spirit.
Edward
QUOTE (tisoz)
More reasons to astral quest.

Conceal astral links (sounds like you need this if you are carrying many magic items.)

Pierce a masked aura.

I donít know those two.

Can you elaborate or provide a reference to the book description of these proseses


Edward
tisoz
MitS.94
Chibu
For masking, it goes something like if you get a success on the piercing test, you know that it is masked, but, you can't see through it. so, you can go on a quest to pierce it. Or, if you think someone is wierd, and that they're lying, but, you can't tell that they're lying, you can go on a quest to try to pierce the masking, and, if they aren't masked, you figure out that they aren't masked. But, as for the last part, it makes it easy to metagame. so, be careful there.
KeyMasterOfGozer
In my opinion, it's all about trades offs. As long as you are following the rules for cost of initiation, and your character would like to initiate, then what is the problem? I would initiate 2 or 3 times very quickly, as someone else said, to get the metamagic techniques you need to survive, but if the character is obviously having trouble because he lacks some particular skill or spell, then I'd say it would be ok to purchase that first. Masking is pretty essential. I really like to have Invoking to be able to summon greater form spirits.

I say, you are following the rules, so tell them to bugger off, smile.gif
Grinder
Our ki-mage decides to wait until he has earned and spent 40 or so karma before collecting the karma for the first initiation. The player said his char needs some experience in running and using his magic before the char is able to understand the deeper secrets of magic (=initiation).
Eyeless Blond
Well, keep in mind one thing about the "experience" angle is your characters at chargen are already pretty experienced. This isn't like D&D where your characters start out barely more than children; these guys have been already working for years, and are just about to make it to the big time.

Personally I see nothing wrong with a mage trying to initiate several times all in one big block. Hell, I wouldn't have a problem with him going from zero to Grade 3 and skipping all the steps in between, at least spending-wise. However, initiation is supposed to be some big intense quest-thing, so it probably should take longer than say a sam's cybersurgery and recovery, but if he just happens to get more out of that time than someone else, well them's the breaks chummer.
mfb
did you mean except spending-wise? because otherwise, you're going to run a game, and i'm gonna play in it, and i'm gonna save up the ~37 karma it costs to go straight to grade 10.
Crimsondude 2.0
null
Grinder
I know that starting characters are experiecend to some level, but i had the thought that mentioned ki-mage didn't try to go down deeper in magic before he starts running (for whatever reason). So he is already a educated ki-mage when he starts running, but doens't have a clue about initiation and what i means. He makes a few runs, earns karma, spends it on skills and the like and in the downtime starts to search for a way to increase his understanding of magic. That does make sense for this character (as he is a uneducated ork), but may be broken for other chars (like formr college students).
Eyeless Blond
QUOTE (mfb)
did you mean except spending-wise? because otherwise, you're going to run a game, and i'm gonna play in it, and i'm gonna save up the ~37 karma it costs to go straight to grade 10.

I meant more along the lines that in terms of spending it wouldn't bother me all that much if a mage scraped together 155 karma and initiated ten times with ten ordeals all at once; there shouldn't necessarily be any restriction on when you can try to initiate or spend Karma on initiation. IMO the only thing that should really take time is the process of initiation itself; something like the desired Magic Rating in days. Or maybe something like making a Magic Test against twice the desired Grade, and extra successes divide into the base time of (desired Grade) days; no successes mean you wasted that time.
mfb
ah, okay. i agree.
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