Author Topic: Garth Nelson, Astral Explorer  (Read 380 times)

Kuirem

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Garth Nelson, Astral Explorer
« on: (06:11:01/07-24-17) »
I really like the new options available through Forbidden Arcana and I'm building some characters with them. This first is an Explorer. In my opinion Explorer are the most fitted to use the Astral Combat skill, mages has better options and adepts/aspected are stuck on the ground which kind of limit it. Explorer have some really great boons for a C-priority pick, starting at 5 Magic and getting 12 free skill points (which would likely go into Assensing + Astral Combat or Assensing + Arcana if you want a non-mage magic scholar) which gives them everything but the attributes needed to do their stuff.


A century ago Garth would have been called a free spirit, now the term would be a bit confusing but the idea remains. He does whatever he wants, lives on rooftops, explore that urban jungle called Seattle and wish the world wasn't as polluted as it is. But what Garth like before all is to fly through the Astral.

Garth is awakened but wasn't gifted with the ability to cast spells, call spirits or even enhance his body, he is an Explorer and it's fine by him. Being able to free from all physical shackles and fly through the astral is all he can ask for, maybe one day he will fly off in a metaplane and never look back.

But for now he still has to worry about worldly concerns such as food and paying rent (rooftops aren't as cheap as you might think) and there is no way he would become a wageslave, being a shadowrunner is much more fitting for him and there is no shortage of work for someone who can break the astral neck of a spirit or a mage.


Priority
B - Elf : It's like the perfect combination with Explorer, Elf gives tons of Charisma for maximum astral damage and at priority B allow to max out Magic and Edge. And you will need the extra edge to fight in the astral without spirits and spells. Dwarf are an other good option since Astral Combat is rolled with Willpower.
A - Attributes : So the character can be a decent fighter in both planes.
C - Explorer : Nuff said
D - Skills : With the 12 skills points from Explorer you have as much points as if you picked C - Skills without the bother of Skill group.
E - Resources : Can't be a rich free spirit chummer. Or can you?

Qualities
Positive
  • Perceptive II : Work for both the Astral and the Physical, nice.
  • Mentor Spirit (Eagle) : Mentor Spirit are for anyone with a Magic Attribute and Eagle is just so fitting for this character.
  • Home Ground (Astral Acclimation) : Let some nasty magicians worry about background count while you punch their astral face back to their physical skull.
Negative
  • Hobo with a Shotgun : You can keep your fancy sheets.
  • Lack of Focus : Birdbrain.
  • Phobia (Common, Mild) (Claustrophobia) : Yeah he really doesn't like being restrained.
  • Allergy (Common, Mild) (Pollutants) : From the Eagle Mentor Spirit.

Attributes
BODAGIREASTRCHAINTLOGWILEDGMAG
3632854566

Active Skills
PointsTotal
Outdoors1
Assensing611
Astral Combat611
Etiquette210
Gymnastics (Balance)17 (9)
Perception514
Pistols (Semi-Automatics)511 (13)
Sneaking (Urban)511 (13)
Unarmed Combat17

Knowledge Skills
PointsTotal
English0N
Magical Theory (Astral World)59 (11)
Area Knowledge : Seattle38
Magical Threats37
Spirits26
Sprawl Life (Squats)38 (10)

Gear
Lifestyle : Squat

Armor
  • Urban Explorer Jumpsuit
  • Urban Explorer Jumpsuit : Helmet /w Trodes

Weapons
  • Browning Ultra Power /w Quick-Draw Holster
  • Fichetti Executive Action /w Concealable Holster; Silence; Holographic Sight
  • Shock Gloves

Other Stuff
  • Fake SIN (Rating 4) /w Fake Astral Bodyguard License (Rating 4); Fake Firearms License (Rating 4)
  • Medkit (Rating 6)
  • 6 Spare Clip (Browning Ultra-Power) /w 10 Regular Ammo
  • 6 Spare Clip (Browning Ultra-Power) /w 10 Gel Rounds
  • 5 Spare Clip (Browning Ultra-Power) /w 10 APDS
  • 3 Spare Clip (Fichetti Executive Action) /w 18 Regular Ammo
  • 3 Spare Clip (Fichetti Executive Action) /w 18 Stick-n-Shock
  • MCT Blue Defender
  • Micro-Transceiver
  • 10 Cram
  • 4 Jazz
  • 10 Novacoke
  • More other stuff (Credstick, RFID, Restraint)

Vehicle: Dodge Scoot.

Karma
Positive Qualities: -25
Negative Qualities: +25
Nuyen: -10
STR 1 to 2: -10
Skill Group Outdoors 0 to 1: -5

FST_Gemstar

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Re: Garth Nelson, Astral Explorer
« Reply #1 on: (10:09:01/07-24-17) »
You get 12 free skill points with Explorer? I wish chummer would fix that : )  And are explorers also aspected magicians, or do they just get access to astral combat, assensing, and arcana?

This priority build seems to be pretty ideal for the new explorer slot. If going to be in the astral without spells, you are going to want to max that edge! 

I should try to remake Drop-Out, https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6kA-rvHAq-rZmRPZmhGZG9RY0U/view, using Explorer... Weapon foci, some 'ware, drugs, and high willpower go well in the astral too. 

Kuirem

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Re: Garth Nelson, Astral Explorer
« Reply #2 on: (10:39:16/07-24-17) »
They are considered aspected yes, from Forbidden Arcana : 'Three of these “lost” aspects follow'. It is an aspected magician who only gets Projection.

The explorer get two Rating 6 Magical Skills and can only be taken at C Priority. He has no access to Conjuring, Spellcasting, Powers or Enchanting. Only Projection and Perception so I assume Arcane, Astral Combat and Assensing are the only magic skills he can use. Maybe Alchemy for reagents gathering, not sure.

There is certainly more possible build, I made this one without wares because of low money but sacrifying Edge for more nuyen could certainly be worth it.

I'm working on an Aware now, it's not that much of a good deal because he only get 1 more magic than adept/aspected at the same priority. The 4 skill points are nice but not as impressive as what you get for a explorer imo.

Tecumseh

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Re: Garth Nelson, Astral Explorer
« Reply #3 on: (02:31:42/07-25-17) »
I love it. I also really enjoyed the new Aspected options from Forbidden Arcana and was hoping to see some new concepts roll off the presses.

I would do the negative qualities differently but that's a flavor choice, not a mechanical one. Addiction would not be out-of-place, given the drugs on the Gear list.

I'd probably skip Home Ground because it's so limited geographically. 10 karma could go a long way toward picking up skills to leverage that monster Charisma so that the character could be a secondary face. You could pick up both Influence 1 and Acting 1 for that 10 karma, which would also save the skill points you spent on Etiquette 2. That diversifies the face skills significantly with only a slight hit to Etiquette. Put those skill points you saved into specializations for Assensing and Astral Combat instead.

Other good options for karma you save: buy those rating 1 skills - like Unarmed Combat - with 2 points of karma instead of a skill point. Put that skill point toward a specialization, like for Perception.

For the record, there's not a huge benefit for an Explorer to have a maxed-out Magic score. Since you can't cast or summon, the only thing that Magic impacts is how long you can project for (Magic rating * 2 hours). With that in mind, I would move Metatype from Priority B to Priority C. Keep the special attribute points in Edge and drop Magic back down to 4. If Sum to 10 is acceptable then I would upgrade Resources from E to D. That extra ¥44,000 would go a long way: it would save the 10 karma you converted to nuyen, it would let you buy glasses/contacts/earbuds to leverage your high Perception+Intuition pool, it would let you buy more armor options (like a chameleon suit) that would leverage the character's stealthiness, plus maybe a suit to leverage the social skills. (A suit wouldn't go well with Hobo with a Shotgun, but as I stated previously I would personally be picking something else.) Plus, with the extra money and karma, you could afford a weapon focus. I've played a character that was an expert at astral combat and what really separates the metahumans from the spirits are the weapon foci. If you want to hit like a hammer on the astral, then Charisma 8 is a great start but an actual hammer is even better. Combat axes and Highland Forge Claymores can be unbelievably brutal on the astral, where there's little armor and fewer witnesses. Granted, that's probably a bit goofy for a Strength 2 elf, but even a katana has a killer combination of Accuracy and additional damage. If you want to be stealthier, go with a combat knife weapon focus. If you can connect Charisma 8 + weapon focus 3 + net hits (1 minimum) with only the target's Willpower to soak, then you're going to be doing 10+ boxes reliably, which puts targets down fast

Beta

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Re: Garth Nelson, Astral Explorer
« Reply #4 on: (09:01:46/07-25-17) »
For someone expecting a lot of astral combat, I'd think lightning reflexes could be an interesting quality.  With the general lack of armor, pretty much every hit really hurts. Getting the first chance to hit, especially with a DV of 8+, is likely to put your opponent at a -2 on everything, giving you a pretty good chance of surviving long enough to land a second hit to finish them off.

With regard to a weapon focus, most of the time (given a charisma as high as 8!) the big ones give a real chance of a one hit take-down, but on the other hand raise awkward questions in the meat world.  By the time you are down to katana level you'll need a second hit more often than not, but it is extremely unlikely to take three hits even with a low DV weapon -- provided that you hit.  So I think the extra dice from the focus can really matter -- after all, not uncommonly you'll be facing a force six spirit with 12 dodge dice and 12 dice to hit you, so you'll need all the edge that you can get (well, also Edge, but you know what I mean). 


Kuirem

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Re: Garth Nelson, Astral Explorer
« Reply #5 on: (12:57:58/07-25-17) »
@Tecumseh Some good points, I will admit I focused more on the general aspect of the character than in depth optimization so there is certainly some stuff that can be added. A weapon focus is definitely #1 on the buy list but it's quite expensive at chargen with Resources E… I might be able to free some nuyen here and there for that though, would probably pick a Staff though, fit more the character than a Combat Axe or a Katana and it still a decent 6 Acc/+3 damage (and the 2 reach is nice for meat space).

Home ground was for fluff but I'm not especially attached to that.

Can't drop Metatype from B to C because I'm using Priority and Explorer is stuck at C. It would also make me lose 2 points of edge, that not negligible, Magic start at 5 for Explorer.

@Beta Hmm does lightning reflexes really work in Astral? It's mentioned that it doesn't stack with magical initiative enhancements and going astral could be considered that. If it does stack it is indeed well worth it.

EDIT : After rechecking the character I noticed that my Negative don't make -25 but -24 so I added In Debt I which give enough money to start with a Weapon Focus Rating 1 without removing too much stuff (Dodge scoot sacrificed for a Bicycle  ;D)
« Last Edit: (13:18:13/07-25-17) by Kuirem »

Kiirnodel

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Re: Garth Nelson, Astral Explorer
« Reply #6 on: (17:13:38/07-25-17) »
EDIT : After rechecking the character I noticed that my Negative don't make -25 but -24 so I added In Debt I which give enough money to start with a Weapon Focus Rating 1 without removing too much stuff (Dodge scoot sacrificed for a Bicycle  ;D)

You can't take the In Debt negative quality and still spend karma on nuyen as well. Taking the In Debt quality replaces the normal karma for nuyen transfer.

Kuirem

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Re: Garth Nelson, Astral Explorer
« Reply #7 on: (17:34:41/07-25-17) »
You can't take the In Debt negative quality and still spend karma on nuyen as well. Taking the In Debt quality replaces the normal karma for nuyen transfer.

Isn't it a houserule? Either way might as well have a character as free as possible, and that include debts right? Gonna get a Fake SIN 3 to pay for that Weapon Focus.

Here is the result with all the adjustments :

Qualities
Positive
  • Lightning Reflexes
  • Mentor Spirit (Eagle)
Negative
  • Hobo with a Shotgun
  • Lack of Focus
  • Phobia (Common, Mild) (Claustrophobia)
  • Addiction (Mild) (Novacoke)
  • Allergy (Common, Mild) (Pollutants)

Attributes
BODAGIREASTRCHAINTLOGWILEDGMAG
3632854566

Active Skills
PointsTotal
Assensing611
Astral Combat611
Etiquette210
Gymnastics (Balance)17 (9)
Perception613
Pistols (Semi-Automatics)511 (13)
Sneaking (Urban)511 (13)
Clubs17

Knowledge Skills
PointsTotal
English0N
Magical Theory (Astral World)59 (11)
Area Knowledge : Seattle38
Magical Threats37
Spirits26
Sprawl Life (Squats)38 (10)

Gear
Lifestyle : Squat (2 months paid)

Armor
  • Urban Explorer Jumpsuit
  • Urban Explorer Jumpsuit : Helmet /w Trodes

Weapons
  • Browning Ultra Power /w Quick-Draw Holster
  • Fichetti Executive Action /w Concealable Holster; Silence; Holographic Sight
  • Staff /w Weapon Focus (Force 1)
  • Stun Baton

Other Stuff
  • Fake SIN (Rating 3) /w Fake Astral Bodyguard License (Rating 3); Fake Firearms License (Rating 3)
  • Medkit (Rating 6)
  • 6 Spare Clip (Browning Ultra-Power) /w 10 Regular Ammo
  • 6 Spare Clip (Browning Ultra-Power) /w 10 Gel Rounds
  • 3 Spare Clip (Browning Ultra-Power) /w 10 APDS
  • 5 Spare Clip (Fichetti Executive Action) /w 18 Regular Ammo
  • 4 Spare Clip (Fichetti Executive Action) /w 18 Stick-n-Shock
  • MCT Blue Defender
  • Micro-Transceiver
  • 10 Novacoke
  • Bicycle (Good)
  • More other stuff (Credstick, RFID, Restraint)

Karma
Positive Qualities: -25
Negative Qualities: +25
Nuyen: -10
STR 1 to 2: -10
Clubs 1 to 2: -2
Weapon Focus bonding: -3

Beta

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Re: Garth Nelson, Astral Explorer
« Reply #8 on: (18:37:08/07-25-17) »
RE: lighting reflexes, it isn't something I ever thought to question,  tbh.  I assumed all initial initiative situations, but don't have any particular evidence for it.

FST_Gemstar

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Re: Garth Nelson, Astral Explorer
« Reply #9 on: (19:52:05/07-25-17) »
oh interesting re: Lightning reflexes. It doesn't specify physical initiative/defense... just that you have to be unaugmented. It can be a much more valuable quality for a magical characters who expect a lot of astral time or magical deckers/technomancers...

Beta

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Re: Garth Nelson, Astral Explorer
« Reply #10 on: (22:17:52/07-25-17) »
Doh!  I apparently glitched my memory test earlier today.  I finally got to double check Run Faster, and realized that the quality I was thinking of is actually called Adrenaline Rush.
 Sorry for the confusion.

Not that Lightning Reflexes is a bad option either, just expensive.  Adrenaline Rush lets you get first shot in almost all of the time (and says nothing about issues with other types of enhancement), and in Astral it is that first shot that matters so much.  (of course, if you have enough edge, and can afford to burn through it quickly, you can get the same with that)

Kiirnodel

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Re: Garth Nelson, Astral Explorer
« Reply #11 on: (23:55:13/07-25-17) »
You can't take the In Debt negative quality and still spend karma on nuyen as well. Taking the In Debt quality replaces the normal karma for nuyen transfer.

Isn't it a houserule? Either way might as well have a character as free as possible, and that include debts right? Gonna get a Fake SIN 3 to pay for that Weapon Focus.

Just to clarify my statement (last sentence of first paragraph of the In Debt quality): "These points are spent in place of the normal Karma for extra cash"

I always read that to mean that you can't do both, as that is what "in place of" means.