Author Topic: Dice pools  (Read 438 times)

grffnhwk

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Dice pools
« on: (15:16:41/07-26-17) »
I'm trying to get a character concept to work, but I just can't seem to get my combat dice pools (sword & automatics) over 12 without screwing up the concept.  Is 12 dice just bad?

Jack_Spade

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Re: Dice pools
« Reply #1 on: (15:21:07/07-26-17) »
Depends on the rest of your team, but for your main skills it's a bit low.

It would be easier to answer if you'd post your build


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grffnhwk

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Re: Dice pools
« Reply #2 on: (17:33:59/07-26-17) »
I'm at work right now.  Basically a paladin, trying to fit in spellcasting (heal spells, manipulation for defense spells) primarily a healer with tanking as a secondary.  I have:
16 dice health spells
12 dice manipulation spells
8 dice drain
12 dice blades (swords)
12 dice automatics (mach. Pistols)
31 soak dice (without spells)
Other skills are around 6-9dice.  Perception sneak at the high end of that.

He's running 2 ess worth of Cyber/bio... full arm replacement,  toner&Aug to makeup for MAD of this build.  Trauma damper 2 w/ Damage comp 4 for more pushing through the pain.

Took imp. reflex 2 (obvious), astral perception (to scrub background), and heighten concern (for 1 concentration spell)

I had to go troll A, Resource B, Magic C, Attribute D, Skills E... just to get everything meshing just right.  Unfortunately I'm thinking this one's a still birth.. but maybe we can save it.

Marcus

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Re: Dice pools
« Reply #3 on: (18:28:00/07-26-17) »
hmmm
31 soak is gonna push the envelop in most table I'm used to.
That build sounds a little all over the place. I'd consider focusing it down.
Resource loss due to losing points of magic to essence loss is also rarely something I would consider.
If your interested in just building tank there probubly some other ways to approach it.

grffnhwk

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Re: Dice pools
« Reply #4 on: (18:43:33/07-26-17) »
I'm trying to make something different, try and go outside the min/max box but still have something playable.  I already have the 0.4 essence street sam tank, but who doesn't? :)

He's sort of a support type that is way too much into knights templar lore.  If a teammate goes down he runs in (with deflection and/or armor going) and provides cover for the wounded ally (physical barrier?) while healing them.  He can pretty much soak most wound penalties his armor let's through to do the job. 

FST_Gemstar

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Re: Dice pools
« Reply #5 on: (18:52:53/07-26-17) »
Healing/Medic isn't really a primary role in Shadowrun (no matter how much some of us would like it to be).... A mage with the heal spell and and an R6 medkit working on its own can compare in healing efficiency to a character who heavily invests in being a good "healer." 

Tank is also a concept that doesn't have as much of a  a primarly role is Shadowrun. Not getting hit in the first place tends to be easier and better (wound modifier issues), and the longer a fight goes on, if you are a combat character that can't land a hit, you will still be taken down eventually (just from taking enough stun damage to pass out).   

There are some alternate builds ideas.... but if thinking about how you would market this character to a potential fixer, what to do they have that they would want to hire for you for a run?   

If you are set on being on a troll... this is what came to mind... less paladin, more health berserker. 

Karma spent: 25 on PQs, 5 on spell, 10 on Logic, 9 on weapon focus, -4 on NQ = -20 remaining (needs 20 karma of NQs).
Nuyen Remaining: 38k (Enough for basic runner gear, solid armor, and a car). 

== Personal Data ==
Street Name:
Name: Unnamed Character
Movement: 14/28 (1m/hit)     Swim: 10 (1m/hit)     
Karma: 0
Street Cred: 0
Notoriety: 0
Public Awareness: 0
Troll
Composure: 6
Judge Intentions: 7
Lift/Carry: 11 (90 kg/60 kg)
Memory: 5
Nuyen: 38,180

== Priorities ==
Metatype: A,4
Attributes: E,0
Special: D,1
Skills: C,2
Resources: B,3

== Attributes ==
BOD: 5
AGI: 5 (7)
REA: 2
STR: 5 (6)
CHA: 3
INT: 4
LOG: 2
WIL: 3
EDG: 3
MAG: 4

== Derived Attributes ==
Essence:                   5.02
Initiative:                6 +1d6
Rigger Initiative:         6 +1d6
Astral Initiative:         8 +3d6
Matrix AR:                 6 +1d6
Matrix Cold:               4 + DP +3d6
Matrix Hot:                4 + DP +4d6
Physical Damage Track:     11
Stun Damage Track:         10

== Limits ==
Physical:                  7
Mental:                    4
Social:                    5
Astral:                    5

== Active Skills ==
Automatics (Machine Pistols) Base:  6          Pool: 13 (15)
Blades (Swords)          Base:  6          Pool: 13 (15)
Con (Fast Talk)          Base:  1          Pool:  4 (6)
Disguise                 Base:  2          Pool:  6
Palming                  Base:  2          Pool:  9
Perception (Visual)      Base:  4          Pool:  8 (10)
Sneaking                 Base:  2          Pool:  9
Spellcasting (Health)    Base:  6          Pool: 10 (12)

== Knowledge Skills ==

== Qualities ==
Addiction (Mild) (Kamikaze)
Agile Defender
Aspected Magician
Biocompatability (Bioware)
Jack of All Trades Master of None
Mentor Spirit (Bear)
Restricted Gear
Thermographic Vision

== Tradition ==
Chaos Magic, Resist Drain with: WIL + INT (7)

== Spells ==
Heal                     DV: F-4

== Cyberware/Bioware ==
Datajack
Muscle AugmentationRating 1
Muscle TonerRating 2
Narco
Nephritic screenRating 2
Pain Editor

== Weapons ==
Katana
   Pool: 13 (15)   Accuracy: 7   DV: 9P   AP: -3   RC: 3
Unarmed Attack
   Pool: 6   Accuracy: 7   DV: 6S   AP: -   RC: 3

== Gear ==
Spellcasting Focus, Health Rating 4
Weapon Focus (Bonded Foci) (Katana) Rating 3 


IMO tanks in Shadowrun are folks who have Pain Editors, decent armor,  and cyberlimbs (more places for armor, extra damage tracks). Combat is just generally too lethal otherwise. 

Folks with high soak take everything as stun.  Their high body becomes useless when they are knocked out from a few hits. Pain Editors help you stay on your feat after you fill your stun track, and to boot, all future stun damage is taken at damage/2 on physical boxes, getting more use from the physical boxes. Also being functional when you would have massive wound penalties is key. 
Decent armor is what helps you take soak as stun, and limit incoming. 
Cyberlimbs let you implant a lot of armor, up damage boxes, and let you drop natural agi/str  so save your attributes for higher Body/Will and Reac/Int (still better to not get hit).

That being said, if going to be a troll that wants to cast spells, be good at two weapons, and tank, above is what I came up with. You use Kamikaze to boost initiative and combat stats during the fight. Your soak may not be wonderful (Bear helps a litle), but your pain editor should keep you on your feet, you have a melee focus for extra melee dice. And if you have access to a medkit, you can usually heal youself just fine before turning off your pain editor. 

Character grows by picking up health spells, and binding its health focus.

« Last Edit: (19:18:15/07-26-17) by FST_Gemstar »

grffnhwk

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Re: Dice pools
« Reply #6 on: (19:17:20/07-26-17) »
Ok.. question sorta answered.  Have to have 15+ dice in any primary skills other than healing. :)

Tecumseh

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Re: Dice pools
« Reply #7 on: (00:22:23/07-27-17) »
A slightly more accurate answer is, "It's relative." Specifically, it's relative to the opposition.

If you have 12 dice and you're going up against gangers, then choppity-chop!

12 dice against generic security folks and law enforcement officers will get the job done, since troll + sword = major Reach advantage. Plus, most melee opponents aren't in cover so they are usually forced to defend against melee attacks with only their Reaction + Intuition (minus Reach), which probably won't get the job done unless they use an Interrupt action.

12 dice won't get very far against dedicated professionals.

If you want to look at the sample grunts on p.381-4 (which aren't very balanced at all) then you'll see that 12 dice gives you a good opportunity to slice and dice Professional Ratings 0-4. You'll have a chance to connect with Professional Rating 5, but the problem is that they'll have 14-16 dice to counterattack so you'll probably be that tank you envisioned. Professional Rating 6 = don't.

If you're looking at attack effectiveness, why do you have both a full arm replacement AND muscle toner and aug? Your attack is only going to benefit from one or the other. You might be able to save some Essence and nuyen by choosing one and dropping the other, which could get put into other adept powers (like Attribute Boost) or gear (like a weapon focus). Either of those will help squeeze out some extra dice for attacking.

I'm more impressed that you came up with 16 dice for Health spells AND 14 for Manipulation spells even after the Essence/Magic hit. Magic 4 + Spellcasting 6 + Specialization 2 + Mentor Spirit 2 + Power Focus 2 gets you to 16 dice for one, but Mentor Spirit and Specialization wouldn't apply to the other, so you'd be at 12 spellcasting for the other spell categories..

Honestly, I think it's viable. Since you want something different - a troll mystic adept qualifies - and are comfortable not min/maxing everything, I would say that this is a playable concept.

Jack_Spade

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Re: Dice pools
« Reply #8 on: (05:59:37/07-27-17) »
I'm at work right now.  Basically a paladin, trying to fit in spellcasting (heal spells, manipulation for defense spells) primarily a healer with tanking as a secondary.  I have:
16 dice health spells
12 dice manipulation spells
8 dice drain
12 dice blades (swords)
12 dice automatics (mach. Pistols)
31 soak dice (without spells)
Other skills are around 6-9dice.  Perception sneak at the high end of that.

He's running 2 ess worth of Cyber/bio... full arm replacement,  toner&Aug to makeup for MAD of this build.  Trauma damper 2 w/ Damage comp 4 for more pushing through the pain.

Took imp. reflex 2 (obvious), astral perception (to scrub background), and heighten concern (for 1 concentration spell)

I had to go troll A, Resource B, Magic C, Attribute D, Skills E... just to get everything meshing just right.  Unfortunately I'm thinking this one's a still birth.. but maybe we can save it.

That build is pretty unfocused.

12 dice alone might be enough in optimal conditions, but the more environmental conditions (wound penalties, vision, weather, etc.) happen, the more you'll see that you don't hit anymore.

Troll builds are tricky enough without trying to cram every available option in it (seriously, the only thing this build is missing is rigging/decking to make the mess complete)
Especially the low attributes are bad. If you really, really must be a troll, I'd suggest taking a fox or dog shifter and have troll as your alternate form.
That way you can have A: Attributes, C: Magic, C: Meta, C: Skills, E: Resources
Scrap the cyber and go for full magic paladin. Use magic to augment your attributes and defense and don't fret too much about gear
talk think matrix

To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield
Revenant Kynos Isaint Rex

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Dice pools
« Reply #9 on: (08:33:10/07-27-17) »
I think the concept is viable.
We don't need to all play professionals that are a year away from being viable SpecOps soldiers.
As others have said, you could suffer a bit against the tougher enemies, but with health and manipulation spells at high levels you could probably buff the beejeezus out of someone or something, including yourself. Though the Cyberarm might actually get in the way here. Dropping that for an Adepts attribute boost could work out; I recommend a sustaining focus or going for the Concentration Quality (Or heightened Concern Adept power) ASAP, so you can keep more mojo running, and you'll probably be able to fight up to rating 5 goons just fine.
Depending on your concept, both Bloodmagic and the 'Noble Sacrifice' Metamagic could allow you to help your team - I know I planned a char going that direction, though I went a more pacifist route.
Still waiting on a Vector-Thrust Liminal Body.

Beta

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Re: Dice pools
« Reply #10 on: (09:20:20/07-27-17) »
At my table you'd be just fine with those skill dice pools as a starting character; at somebody else's I can't say. (I might talk to you about rolling back the soak dice though -- otherwise to threaten you I'd have to risk one shotting other heroes). 

My bigger concern if you brought that character to me is something along the line of 'what do you do to move the story forward?'  Negotiations, information gathering, surveillance, breaking through security (hopefully unseen), taking out opponents by surprise/quickly to prevent alarms being raised, bypassing obstacles, dealing with major combats .... it seems like your main role is only in that latter one, although you could have manipulations spells that help with some of the others, and health buff spells that helps the team in yet others.  Just so long as you have things to do while things are going according to plan (i.e. nobody is getting shot), and ways to help move those plans work.  Ultimately it is up to you to decide, but given that this isn't D&D with its dungeon slogs, it seems to me that just keeping everyone alive in combat seems like a pretty narrow niche.

(FWIW, I fall into this same problem when I make characters, I tend to over emphasize perception and not having too much in the way of weaknesses, at the cost of not having much in the way of strengths at moving the story along.  So I'm somewhat sensitized to the issue)

grffnhwk

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Re: Dice pools
« Reply #11 on: (00:13:49/07-28-17) »
whoa...didn't expect this to get much more interest than the initial blast. :)  Ok, I'll post what I have, I'm tired, my brain is fried so I can't see easy swaps to get it done.  Perhaps changing a contact to infobroker to help with gathering information.  <Shrug>

Unnamed Hero
METATYPE: TROLL
B 5, A 3/4, R 3/5, S 6/7, W 5, L 2, I 3, C 3, ESS 4.02, EDG 3, M 4
Condition Monitor (P/S): 12 / 11
Armor: 24
Limits: Physical 8, Mental 4, Social 6
Physical Initiative: 6/8+3D6
Active Skills: Assensing 1, Automatics (Machine Pistols +2) 2, Blades (Swords +2) 4, Counterspelling 2, Etiquette 1, Perception (Visual +2) 1, Sneaking (Urban +2) 1, Spellcasting (Manipulation Spells +2) 6
Knowledge Skills: Catholicism (Knights Templar +2) 3, Law Enforcement Procedures 2, Magical Threats 1, Seattle Area 1
Languages: English N, Latin 2
Metatype Abilities: Armor (+1), Enhanced Senses: Thermographic Vision
Qualities: Allergy, Common (Mild): Shellfish, Biocompatibility (Bioware), Christian Theurgist Mystic Adept, Code of Honor: The Akichita Code (8dicepool vs. 4), Mentor Spirit: Magician Powers: Bear, Magician Powers
Spells: Armor, Deflection (limited), Heal (limited), Resist Pain, Sterilize
Adept Powers: Astral Perception, Heightened Concern (up to -2), Improved Reflexes (2)
Augmentations:
. . Cyber Arm (Obvious) (Alphaware) (Main Hand) w/ Biomonitor, Cyberlimb Agility (8 ), Cyberlimb Strength (10), Enhanced Agility (3), Enhanced Armor +2 (2), Enhanced Strength (3)
. . Damage Compensators (4)
. . Muscle Augmentation (1)
. . Muscle Toner (1)
. . Tetrachromatic Vision
. . Trauma Damper (2)
. . Troll Reduction (1)
Vehicles:
. . Yamaha Growler [Handling 4/5, Speed 3/4, Accel 1, Body 5, Armor 5, Pilot 1, Sensor 1, Seats 1]
. . . . Gear:
. . . . . . Linguistics: English (local language)
. . . . . . Linguistics: Japanese (Manufacturer's Language)
. . . . . . Off-Road Suspension
. . . . . . Spoof chip
Gear:
. . Ballistic Mask (Customized) w/ Gas Mask, Micro-Tranceiver, Smartlink, Trodes
. . Bug Scanner (6)
. . Certified Credstick, Silver x2
. . Certified Credstick, Standard x5
. . Chisel/Crowbar
. . Climbing Gear
. . Concealable Holster
. . Contacts (3) w/ Flare Compensation, Image Link, Polychromic Lens
. . Datachip x10
. . Ear buds (2) w/ Select Sound Filter (1), Sound Link
. . Endoscope
. . Fetish: Deflection
. . Fetish: Heal
. . Glue Solvent w/ Ultra-Glide Industrial Lubricant (l)
. . Glue Sprayer
. . Guts x5
. . Identity: Specify Name w/ (1 month) AR Fashion Subscription, Formal, Fake License: Bodyguard (4), Fake License: Concealed Carry (4), Fake License: Melee Weapons (4), Fake License: Possession of Firearms (4), Fake License: Spellcasting (4), Fake SIN (4), (1 month) Low Lifestyle
. . Jammer, Area (4)
. . Lion's Roar
. . Long Haul x5
. . Medkit (3)
. . Medkit (6)
. . Meta Link
. . Meta Link
. . Metal Restraints
. . Micro-Tranceiver
. . Plastic Restraints x10
. . Reagents, Raw (dram): Christian Theurgy x95
. . Renraku Sensei w/ Non-standard Form Factor: Wrist Watch
. . Sleeping Tiger w/ AR Fashion, Custom Fit, Holster, Newest Model, Nonconductivity (6), Ruthenium Polymer Coating (3)
. . Spellcasting Focus: Manipulation Spells (4)
. . Stealth Tags x10
. . Stim Patch (6) x5
. . Tag Eraser
. . Trauma Patch
. . White Noise Generator (6)
Weapons:
. . Riot Shield [Exotic Melee Weapon, Reach 1, Acc 4, DV 9S(e), AP -5] w/ Internal Battery
. . Remington Suppressor [Machine Pistol, Acc 9, DV 7P, AP -1, SA/BF, RC 3, 15 (c)] w/ Flashlight, Thermographic, Gas-Vent System (3), Personalized Grip, Silencer/Suppressor, Smartgun System, External
. . APDS (Machine Pistol) x15 [Acc 0, DV , AP -4]
. . Ares "One" Monosword [Blade,Blade, Reach 2, Acc 6, DV 13P, AP -3] w/ Custom Look, Gecko Grip, Personalized Grip
. . Flash-Pak Grenade x2 [Grenade, non-aerodynamic, Acc 8, DV Flash, AP ]
. . Gas Grenade, Pepper Punch x2 [Grenade, non-aerodynamic, Acc 8, DV By Chem., 10m R, AP ] w/ Pepper Punch
. . Gel Rounds (Machine Pistol) x30 [Acc 0, DV +0S, AP +1]
. . Stick-n-Shock (Machine Pistol) x15 [Acc 0, DV -2S(e), AP -5]
. . Thermal Smoke Grenade x2 [Grenade, non-aerodynamic, Acc 8, DV Th. Smoke, 10m R, AP ]
Contacts:
Church Pastor (Connection 2, Loyalty 3)
Fixer (Connection 2, Loyalty 2)
Starting : 400 + (3D6 60)

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Tecumseh

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Re: Dice pools
« Reply #12 on: (13:54:19/07-28-17) »
You're not getting a ton of benefit from the muscle augmentation and the muscle toner. Since you're attacking with your cyberarm, the bioware isn't adding any attack dice or DV. You are getting an extra die for Sneaking out of your muscle toner, which is costing you 32,000 and some Essence. You'd be better off with a Reflex Recorder, which would provide the same benefit for half the Essence and less than half the price. You could spend your savings on a Reflex Recorder for Blades or Automatics to give a little boost to one of those pools and not be any worse off in terms of nuyen or Essence.

You mentioned getting Assensing to scrub the background after spellcasting. I'll note that it's relatively expensive - since you spent a power point on it - and that you're not very good at Assensing with your current dice pool of 4.

One option would be to put that skill point into Conjuring instead, and summon little "angels" to do the scrubbing for you. 5 dice for Conjuring isn't a lot, but low-Force spirits can still be useful.

Then, you could take the power point that you saved and invest it in other fun things, like the third rank of Improved Reflexes, or Combat Sense, or Traceless Walk (which is good for fatty trolls with low Sneaking dice pools), or Riposte, or Rapid Draw, or Elemental Weapon, etc. etc. etc.

I'll admit that I don't know much about Hero Lab formatting, but it looks like your Cyberarm Agility is 8. If you have Blades 4 and a Swords specialization, then you should have 14 dice to attack with, not 12. A weapon focus could improve that further, either now or down the road. Shooting with the machine pistol would be 12 dice, or 13 with the smartlink running wireless on.

Since you have a lot of nuyen floating around, it might be worth it to upgrade your Renraku Sensei to something else.

Some gear with audio or vision enhancement would help boost that modest Perception dice pool.

grffnhwk

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Re: Dice pools
« Reply #13 on: (14:34:42/07-28-17) »
Sorry, at work but quick response regarding muscle aug.  It was due to the str needed to not get an encumbrance penalty for the shield.  I could forgo the mask too.. but I wanTed both. Something to consider.  Thanks

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Dice pools
« Reply #14 on: (17:17:36/07-28-17) »
Ok, so one thing I don't understand:
How does that Cyberlimb come to be?
If I read that right, you customized it to a base Agi of 8, and Strength of 10 (which a troll can't even use anymore) - That, on an Alpha grade limb, would result in an Availability of 6 + 5 + 7 = 18.
Did you use Restricted Gear and just didn't list it?
Still waiting on a Vector-Thrust Liminal Body.