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Sheffield
I thought I'd start a thread to see what people think is a good "baseline" for creation. The group I play with has gotten away from priority and points, because they don't allow enough variation and encourage the min and the max. We tend to use BECKs v.2 with the following restraints.

400 points.

Resources capped at 1,000,000.

Metavariants are allowed, but not shapeshifters or drakes.

SURGE is allowed.

Edges and flaws are limited so that you can only end up with +/- 5 points out of karma. (You can get more expensive SURGE effects or edges, but you have to balance them out with flaws, not buy them with your starting karma.)

Starting gear capped at avail. 8. Starting foci capped at force 4.

Custom vehicles allowed. Either guns or vehicle armor makes the vehicle count as avail. 8. However, both guns and vehicle armor (not personal armor from R3) count as avail. 12 and put it out of bounds.

Alphaware and bioware are legit, but not cultured bio. Genetech is allowed with good backstory.

This puts full magician with 30 spell points = 1,000,000 nuyen = 4 level 6 skills (assuming high enough attributes).

Strangely enough, skills and high attributes wind up being the crunch points under these restraints. One level 6 skill winds up being close to 8% of your total character budget, so people tend to have more level 4 skills. I personally like this because it prevents people from building characters with all their main skills at 6 right out of the box. They might have a lot of cyber or magic, but they're just not good at stuff. It gives them targets for improving. It also puts the no-magic and low-cyber chars back into the game because they're the ones who can afford a broad skill base.

Anyway, what do folks on the forum consider to be their "standard" for generation? I know no system is un-twinkable, but I'm curious what other people have found to work well or poorly.
Kagetenshi
Point system with 128 build points. I allow edges and/or flaws in excess of 5 total/6 points either way on a by-approval basis.

~J
hahnsoo
Priority and Point System (125 points). Edges and Flaws up to 5 each, but they must be approved by the entire group.
Bigity
Sum To 10.

Or Build with 125 points. Some Edges/Flaws, but I dislike most of them. No SURGE. No metavarients (I allow them, but they work game-wise the same as the base race, but can RPed as different).

No shifters, dragons, or vampires, etc etc. That is for other games. Standard availability, sometimes allow spell points to be bought, and spent on foci.
Lindt
Points exclusivly at 123. With GM approval of course.
Nikoli
BeCKS *shudder*

I'm a BP man personally, but when I'm of a mind to munchkin, I go Sum to 10
hahnsoo
QUOTE (Nikoli)
BeCKS *shudder*

I'm a BP man personally, but when I'm of a mind to munchkin, I go Sum to 10

Sum to 10 isn't much of a "munchkin" option, actually. You only gain a handful of points, and only if you play a mundane human. In most cases, you actually just gain parity with the BP system at 120 to 125 points:
http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?show...opic=7123&st=40
Kagetenshi
But you're still able to recreate the 130+ point-equivalent Mage builds.

~J
Nikoli
Considering I almost only play Humans, and often some form of sammie or other skill and money intensive archtype, sum to ten works out nicely for me. Works good for Human anything really.
hahnsoo
QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Apr 22 2005, 02:13 PM)
But you're still able to recreate the 130+ point-equivalent Mage builds.

~J

Same as the Priority system. The cheesiest build under both is a Dwarven Adept with a million nuyen, of all things.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (hahnsoo)
QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Apr 22 2005, 02:13 PM)
But you're still able to recreate the 130+ point-equivalent Mage builds.

~J

Same as the Priority system. The cheesiest build under both is a Dwarven Adept with a million nuyen, of all things.

Right, that's my point. You can always create any Priority character under Sum-to-10, so inherently Sum-to-10 is going to have all the munchability of Priority.

~J
hahnsoo
QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
Right, that's my point. You can always create any Priority character under Sum-to-10, so inherently Sum-to-10 is going to have all the munchability of Priority.

Or the Build Point system contains inherent flaws in total character building resources in order to provide the player with flexibility. For one thing, there is no way to increase one's resources or pay for magical ability with Flaws using Priority. There are some builds under Build Point that are more cheesy than Priority, and Edges and Flaws are the real gamebreaker there.

The most balanced character generation system is BeCKS. The quickest is Priority (and in some cases, it gives the most bang-for-buck, especially if you play Priority D metahumans). The most powerful for Human Mundanes is Sum-to-10. BP is the middle of the road, offering flexibility with a bit more "power" than BeCKS.
Smiley
We have the option to use any, but I prefer BPs.
Edward
We use standard sum to 10. cultured bio is allowed nobody yet requested gentech (to early in the time line really)

I am curious as to your banning any vehicle with both armour and guns. That makes riggers very week. A stock standard steal lynx with an appropriate weapon on it (or something similar) is the mainstay of any starting drone rigger (I used to use the Aries guardian but its availability was rightly changed)

Maybe it is rulings like that that mean so many say a rigger is not a good character to play.

Edward
Kaosaur
Covert Ops, Weapons or Demolition Specialists, and Face types generallly tend to build stongest under BP for me.
Anything else I prefer BeCKs
The Question
BeCKs 350-375, I prefer low level games, not neccessarily "street", but no superpowered killing machines either. If someone wants to to pour all those points into nuyen and have a super-cyber-ninja-zord character, I'll let them. I'll then have them hassled by every Corp-Sec, Lone Star, Maitre-D, Doorman etc in the North American area...
BGMFH
I listen to what kind of characters the players want to play, then use the creation method that will allow me to create NPCs with the same rules that are optimized for best sending players to their funerals.

Generally from a coronary when they realize what their characters are up against...
ElFenrir
We went to BP after Priority for awhile. 123 BP, +6/-6 edges and flaws, can take up to 6 extra build points if you want(but with 123, I never had to take that many, neither has anyone else. Most I saw anyone take was about 3 or 4 extra).

I found the characters are pretty balanced, nothing bad about them, munching can indeed happen with any system.

Alpha and bioware available out of the gate. We allow cultured bio as well. It doesn't break the game that much, we've allowed it forever.

Actually, we tend not to worry about availability within reason. I mean, if you take a million nuyen and insist on spending 975,000 of it for a small submarine...well, you'll have some explaining to do. If you want APDS out of the gate, go for it. But rememeber whatever you get the enemies will have also. This alone tends to keep everyone in check. Most players would rather start with the normal availability stuff and have their enemies moderate than start with AV ammo and rocket launchers, and have the enemy have them as well.

123 seems to be a solid build point total. Anywhere from 120 to 125 tends to work well.
Catsnightmare
Priority and Build Points. Nobody I've gamed with wants to use BECKS because of the math involved, and being dysnumeric myself I avoid it like the plague.
I've never been able to lay hands on the Sum-to-10 charts/system though I have wanted to look at/try it for some time now.
Kagetenshi
You take the Priority system, make A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, and E=0, then take any combination what adds up to 10.

~J
hahnsoo
QUOTE (Catsnightmare)
I've never been able to lay hands on the Sum-to-10 charts/system though I have wanted to look at/try it for some time now.

Sum-to-10 is simply the Priority system, except you substitute the Priorities with these numbers:
4 = A
3 = B
2 = C
1 = D
0 = E

Simply pick and choose enough Resources, Race, Magic, Skills, and Attributes, adding up to the number 10. Again, this really only "balances" things for Human Mundanes, although you can get some interesting combinations with "Double A" builds.
Kagetenshi
Bow before my post-fu cyber.gif

~J
hahnsoo
QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
Bow before my post-fu cyber.gif

~J

notworthy.gif Things haven't been the same since they removed my ability to go back in time.
Kagetenshi
<narrate>With the time-travelling squad of heroes defeated by a last-second server upgrade, there was nothing stopping the Immortal Elf plot to rule the worldÖ</narrate>

Sum-to-10, as pointed out, is most helpful to mundane humans, but it also gives some versatility (like the ability to make a full mage with A resources) that the Point system also gives.

~J
Edward
It was always confusing to me that characters with powerful magic where always relatively cash poor.

This makes little logical sense considering the high demand and low availability of magic, remember the services of an unskilled magician are worth 100nuyen an hour (for setting wards) and the low cost of maintaining equipment for those that are not hermetics.

Edward
Herald of Verjigorm
You could take a cue from the 2nd edition priority chart where starting spell points were lumped with resources. That way the ubermages also get a mil to spend on gear, foci, shops, and/or those last 5 spell points while the mages who skimp on cash also only have one or two spells that actually do anything.
Kagetenshi
Edward: it also makes little sense that those with amazing skills are often weak in either attributes or resources, or that a team of PC Shadowrunners is typically comprised of people who are relatively balanced as compared to each other. These are all artifacts of the chargen system.

~J
Glyph
I wouldn't say that shadowrunning teams are always that balanced compared to each other. They might start out with the same number of points, but some builds are more optimized, or specialized, than others. You can have a killing machine working with someone who is a Jack of all trades but master of none. You can also have new, weaker characters introduced to a group of high-karma characters.


The unavoidable pitfall of point-based generation systems is that they involve tradeoffs. The only way to have a character who is good at everything is to spend Karma points to improve in-game. Skill monkeys have low resources, sammies with high Attributes and lots of cyber will also tend to have a bare-bones skill set, and so on.

But while mages may be in demand, it can still make sense for them to start low in cash. Mages are a valuable commodity - commodity, as in, owned. They get snapped up by corporations, governments, or organized crime, and none of them want their prized possessions to leave them. So, a mage who has gained his freedom usually does it by giving up his former identity and all of the perks that he used to enjoy. So whether it is a former wage mage who lost her 401K and access to the corporate magical database, or an ex-Yakuza enforcer who finally made enough money to buy his freedom, there will be a lot of mages starting out at the bottom as shadowrunners.
Lantzer
QUOTE (Edward)
A stock standard steal lynx with an appropriate weapon on it (or something similar) is the mainstay of any starting drone rigger

Really? I've never thought so. I've always thought that the steel lynx was a bit over the top for a standard shadowrun game (and my favorite type of character to play is a drone rigger).

They are basically a milspec ground assault drone. You can't stop them with anything available on the street. The best thing you can do is crash another vehicle into them. While banning armored, armed drones _is_ an imposition on the poor rigger, I think they can do just fine with lighter drones that don't scream "We need the Metroplex Guard here, and we need it now!"

In my opinion, a rigger-type character is good for the following roles, even without the steel mini-tank.
1) Communications/overwatch (King of this job. Deckers are a close second.)
2) Transport / Extraction (King of this job. No competition.)
3) Anti-Security (Tied with decker for this job - It depends on the target.)
4) Surveilance (King of this job. Mages are distant second.)
5) Heavy combat (King of this job. Sams are distant second.)
6) Technician (King of this job. Deckers are a close second.)

Even a microskimmer with a pistol is dangerous if there's a rigger 'riding' it..
Even a microskimmer _without_ a pistol is dangerous if there's a rigger watching you through it - because his team now knows where you are and what you are doing. And in SR, information is the most deadly weapon.
Kagetenshi
I personally think the Lynx is quite overrated, but that's been argued before.

~J
hahnsoo
QUOTE (Lantzer)
And in SR, information is the most deadly weapon.

For a second there, I flashed back to the short-lived Battletech cartoon. That phrase sounded SO cheesy. "Information is ammunition".

Which led to the flavor text for a Munitions card in the Battletech card game:
"The hell with information - ammunition is ammunition!"
Edward
QUOTE ( Lantzer)

Really? I've never thought so.  I've always thought that the steel lynx was a bit over the top for a standard shadowrun game (and my favorite type of character to play is a drone rigger).

They are basically a milspec ground assault drone.  You can't stop them with anything available on the street.  The best thing you can do is crash another vehicle into them.  While banning armored, armed drones _is_ an imposition on the poor rigger, I think they can do just fine with lighter drones that don't scream  "We need the Metroplex Guard here, and we need it now!"

true, that is why a character that uses them should have a transport vehicle for them. They are listed as sec spec because they are used by corporate security forces, They are as standard starting character available, its biggest selling point is not its armor or ability to carry a huge weapon as that it is one of the few ground drones large enough to use as combat yet small enough to maneuver inside buildings and able to negotiate stares.
QUOTE

In my opinion, a rigger-type character is good for the following roles, even without the steel mini-tank.
1) Communications/overwatch (King of this job. Deckers are a close second.)

over watch only in the open and communications isnít really the job of a character, every character should have a radio or cell phone to keep in contact with the rest of the group,
QUOTE

2) Transport / Extraction (King of this job. No competition.)

transport yes but getaway driver isnít a very interesting position, I donít know what you mean by extraction, that is a whole job type not a persons roll
QUOTE

3) Anti-Security (Tied with decker for this job - It depends on the target.)

if you mean MIJI a lot of people donít like it and donít use it. If you mean CCSS rigged sites they are not all that common and often hard to gain access to
QUOTE

4) Surveilance (King of this job.  Mages are distant second.)

again, only outside. A Decker will access internal and external camera systems, (including grid guide) and an astral mage will follow wherever they go. Few riggers have the stealth skill to have the small drones follow somebody around in a building
QUOTE

5) Heavy combat (King of this job. Sams are distant second.)

defiantly not without a good gun (not necessarily a LMG but as good as the samys get) and generally not without armor. Even a light Sammy has better chance than a unarmored drone. With body 2 and no armor the drone will be damaged by any attack. Probably quite badly. They donít get the dice to stage down so it becomes necessary to have enough armor that you donít need to roll if you ant it to survive at all, redundant maneuver controls will cover for that partially but they are not something I would expect a starting rigger to have, they are certainly harder to get that armor is..
QUOTE

6) Technician (King of this job.  Deckers are a close second.)

this is not something that a rigger necessarily has, nether dose a decker, tech specialist is a field unto itself that riggers (and deckers) often take as a secondary but so do others, ability is primarily based on how much emphases is placed on it not on what your primary skill is, riggers if anything make pore tech specs because they often are in the wrong place, ether of site or busy controlling a vehicle.
QUOTE

Even a microskimmer with a pistol is dangerous if there's a rigger 'riding' it..
Even a microskimmer _without_ a pistol is dangerous if there's a rigger watching you through it - because his team now knows where you are and what you are doing.  And in SR, information is the most deadly weapon.

the point hear is that the rigger must directly control the drone. Without armor a drone on auto pilot is likely to be destroyed before a rigger can do anything to help it. there are just to few soak dice. I have found that riggers are often in situations where more than one element of there network is in action. Conceivably several drones in combat and electronic war fair attack. Without armor combat drones canít take care of themselves and a riggerís losses are exceedingly expensive so protection of assets is a primary goal.

Lastly what is to stop somebody from starting with a armored drone with no gun and installing one immediately after the first run (or during if time permits)

Edward
lorthazar
BeCKS 545 but 120 must be spent on resources and or contacts

Availability 8 cap on everything

Allow all races except ghouls, shifters, and drakes

Edges/Flaws as character story

This produces a slightly more competent and coherent team of runners that I feel I can unleash the Ghosts on if I feel like it.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Edward @ Apr 27 2005, 10:44 AM)
QUOTE
In my opinion, a rigger-type character is good for the following roles, even without the steel mini-tank.
1) Communications/overwatch (King of this job. Deckers are a close second.)

over watch only in the open and communications isnít really the job of a character, every character should have a radio or cell phone to keep in contact with the rest of the group

Hardly. Someone needs to coordinate the team, and the Rigger is in the best position to do so. With the vast sensor capabilities available to them, plus the availability of microdrones, the Rigger's overwatch abilities are unhampered in any but the most secured areas.
QUOTE
QUOTE
4) Surveilance (King of this job.† Mages are distant second.)

again, only outside. A Decker will access internal and external camera systems, (including grid guide) and an astral mage will follow wherever they go. Few riggers have the stealth skill to have the small drones follow somebody around in a building

Again, only if the Rigger involved is incompetent. Between extreme zoom capabilities, high-powered radar/imaging, and drones so small that you barely need the stealth skill (which, I might add, most Riggers should have since it's trivial to get), they are undisputedly kings in any but the most secured areas, and even those will probably be warded too.
QUOTE
QUOTE
5) Heavy combat (King of this job. Sams are distant second.)

defiantly not without a good gun (not necessarily a LMG but as good as the samys get) and generally not without armor. Even a light Sammy has better chance than a unarmored drone. With body 2 and no armor the drone will be damaged by any attack. Probably quite badly. They donít get the dice to stage down so it becomes necessary to have enough armor that you donít need to roll if you ant it to survive at all, redundant maneuver controls will cover for that partially but they are not something I would expect a starting rigger to have, they are certainly harder to get that armor is..

1) Ramming rules
2) Vehicle dodge rules
3) Enough said, but let's keep going
4) Lone Star Strato-9
5) Even an assault rifle mounted on a drone can kill pretty darn quickly. Oh, and did we mention halved recoil before recoil compensation?
QUOTE
QUOTE
Even a microskimmer with a pistol is dangerous if there's a rigger 'riding' it..
Even a microskimmer _without_ a pistol is dangerous if there's a rigger watching you through it - because his team now knows where you are and what you are doing.† And in SR, information is the most deadly weapon.

the point hear is that the rigger must directly control the drone. Without armor a drone on auto pilot is likely to be destroyed before a rigger can do anything to help it. there are just to few soak dice. I have found that riggers are often in situations where more than one element of there network is in action. Conceivably several drones in combat and electronic war fair attack. Without armor combat drones canít take care of themselves and a riggerís losses are exceedingly expensive so protection of assets is a primary goal.

But it's comparatively trivial in most cases to maintain control of the only drone that matters. Really, all this takes is some tactics.
QUOTE
Lastly what is to stop somebody from starting with a armored drone with no gun and installing one immediately after the first run (or during if time permits)

Nothing, why?

~J
Edward
coordination comes down to planing for our teems, or the decker that has access to the security cameras to coordinate our movements to avoid them. Tracking every security set in a building is imposable with only 6 active drones even if you assume you can always get them to the best possible location.

A riggers overwatch ability is severely hampered inside a moderately large building for this reason.

Zoom is good but only if you can get LOS remember most windows do not allow you to see into a building (just like they donít let you see into a car and for the same reason, mages and LOS), scouting a building with drones requires the drones enter the building. Radar will not penetrate solid objects so it canít see in the windows anyway

Where are the rules for small drones being easier to hide? It dose make sense to an extend but the smallest are the size of a small cat witch I would expect at best to get a +1 to the stealth roll. Without some additional modifiers (cover will not be available most of the time in a tidy office environment, ruthenium later in the game I guess) the chance of being spotted is still high. (Open test 6 dice with +1 against 3 dice from every average human it walks past, you might get threw but probably not). Based on my experience with characters hiding without any bonuses you wonít last long. Lastly if there is an onsite rigger he may pick up the drones transmissions, remote drones canít very well operate in radio silence.

Within the scope of combat

1) Ramming rules have a tendency to cost the attacker nearly as much as the target, unless your building small cheep expendable vehicles with intent to abuse the ramming rules and use them as kinetic kill missiles your repair costs will bankrupt you. This should be considered only in dire circumstances, also the interaction with metahuman targets is unclear.
2) vehicle dodge rules only apply with a rigger in direct control, this is not always feasible.
3) ????
4) the LS strato 9 is a fine bit of equipment, I almost always have one because they are rarely commented on by civilians, but they can not operate indoors and without armour die quickly if engaged without direct rigger control.
5) an assault rifle is a good choice for a drone, indeed that is my default vehicle armament I did say a combat drone should mount weapons as effective as a samy would carry witch is usually SMG or AR.

You say it is trivial to jump into the only drone that matters but I maintain that there is frequently more than one drone that matters or it is otherwise non trivial.

Eg a security guard sees your tiny drone you left to watch the lobby as part of your overwatch plan. While you are considering something else the guard walks up to it and destroys it (body 0 no damage resistance and light damage is destroyed) the only warning you had was it reporting movement in its vicinity (being so small it only has the CF for sensors one and pilot one).

Or you are in a combat that involves multiple drones. With 3 drones in the combat (I have seen 5) there is hardly a single drone that matters.

And there is the situation where your network is being infiltrated simultaneous to a physical strike, if you jump into a drone to deal with the physical threat you will quickly have huge penalties due to enemy MIGI, the obvious response would be to order the drones to defend and focus your attention on defending there control systems, but you can only do this if your combat drones can take care of themselves.

Finally my point about quick modifications is that there seems little point denying something to a starting character when you admit that it is so trivial to obtain it in game (why did the character not get it after the last run). This is why the starting character equipment is based on in game availability.

Edward
hahnsoo
QUOTE (Edward)
Where are the rules for small drones being easier to hide? It dose make sense to an extend but the smallest are the size of a small cat witch I would expect at best to get a +1 to the stealth roll. Without some additional modifiers (cover will not be available most of the time in a tidy office environment, ruthenium later in the game I guess) the chance of being spotted is still high. (Open test 6 dice with +1 against 3 dice from every average human it walks past, you might get threw but probably not). Based on my experience with characters hiding without any bonuses you wonít last long.

SR3 p 232 lists "Very Small Objects" as a +6 modifier against visual perception tests. So you can probably make a gradient of dwarf-sized (+1) down to bug-sized (+6) pretty easily.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Edward)
Where are the rules for small drones being easier to hide? It dose make sense to an extend but the smallest are the size of a small cat witch I would expect at best to get a +1 to the stealth roll.

I'll get to the rest later, but this is wrong. Check out Body 0 drones. They're the size of a large insect.

~J
Edward
Micro rotary UAV is body 0 20-40 CM long
Fixed and tilt wing & VTA UAVs are listed as the size of toy model aircraft (I believe they mean the functional ones not the 3cm diecast collectors items.
Micro Walker and crawler drones with body 0 are 10-25CM long.

That is a bit beiger than an insect (I will admit more kitten than cat)

I think the +6 to notice refers to something the size of a coin myself making a reasonable modifier for these drones +3 or +4 would be appropriate, that of cause is sufficient to give a reasonable chance of successes. The problem with there low available load and CF requiring low sensors persists in limiting there spying ability when the rigger is not directly controlling them.

Edward
Kagetenshi
Again, though, the Rigger will be directly controlling them most of the important times. I've played this Rigger for most of the last year, it's not that hard to do if you're careful.

~J
Edward
Most times I have seen a rigger in combat he has had more than one drone, the one he isnít actively controlling usually gets a bit shot up if its armour is not able to bounce the munitions used.

Edward
Kagetenshi
It's all about where you leave your drones.

~J
Edward
Are you saying critical assets (such as your meat body or the party) donít get multiple drones defending them?? You can arage distribution so only one is involved in any combat (or only one at close range and an LS strato 9 or similar at long range if outdoors) but frequently it has been the fact that we had 2, 3 or even 4 drones with the party that has allowed us to survive an encounter.

Edward
Kagetenshi
Given how heavily armored the area around your meatbody can be, and the vicious effectiveness of a single combat drone with a Rigger jumped in, yes, I'm saying that under most circumstances one drone with some backups out of the line of fire is all that's necessary.

~J
Solstice
I have to go with Kag on this one. After several years and two versions we've settled on the point build with 128. IMO it's the best way to get a the character you want. With the priority system the PCs often times feel "canned". It's also well nigh impossible to get what passes for a "multiclass" character without the point system.
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