Author Topic: Astral Combat Specialist / Face SR5  (Read 384 times)

ShadowcatX

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Re: Astral Combat Specialist / Face SR5
« Reply #15 on: (13:53:22/07-31-17) »
I'm glad you like it, that is the most important thing after all.

Paper

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Re: Astral Combat Specialist / Face SR5
« Reply #16 on: (14:13:46/07-31-17) »
Honestly I recommend trying to rebuild this on karma gen, this variant is overly restricting imo.

Weapon foci, will add their dice to astral combat, given your stat line, you need something like a stun baton to be effective in the real world, But it raises some issues your GM will have figure out how he wants to address. (Things like when you astral project is your stun baton still a stun baton? Does it do electrical damage? etc Honestly i'd try to build this as like straight 4 across line or something similar to that. It's very weird I admit.

After that aptitude (Astral combat) would let you go to 7. Maybe a mentor spirit?  There is a martial art in FA, but i don't that's really going to helpful for you.

As far as beating down spirits go, Adepts are really the best at it. Spirit claws combined with just generally very strong unarmed builds, is really the only thing i can think of.

Unfortunately, FA doesn't give guidelines on how to purchase the Explorer aspect in Karmagen. I agree that it definitely isn't as good as an Adept, but what can I say? I've got folders full of character archetypes that I made ages ago (and will probably update again every time a new SR book comes out) and sometimes I just want to make something a little different. You are quite correct that Aptitude would help, and while there isn't a Mentor Spirit off the top of my head that gives a bonus to Astral Combat, it still might exist. However, I can't fit everything into one character, especially not at chargen. As it was, if you look back at the first iteration of it, this character wasn't good at much of anything. With the suggestions people made, I managed, somewhat to my astonishment, to be decent backup in meatspace combat while having decent face skills. Astral Combat, unfortunately, is just something that I can't seem to buff too much without removing a lot of other options from the character.

I appreciate your suggestions, and I agree that from an efficiency standpoint, this character is perhaps not the best. However, I think that I accomplished my goal of creating something that's just a bit different, while still playable.

I'm glad you like it, that is the most important thing after all.

Thank you for your help! I definitely wouldn't have thought to include those augmentations in a magic build. Since the changes from 4E, I've been extremely hesitant on using augmentations in my magic users, but in this case, my magic was expendable, as you pointed out. Plus, those augmentations add a little bit of extra flavor that I can integrate into the backstory, should I get to use this character in a game.

Kuirem

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Re: Astral Combat Specialist / Face SR5
« Reply #17 on: (18:03:28/07-31-17) »
The main benefit of Explorer over Adept is the access to Projection which is a great tool to spy and to fight spirit that decide to just fly out of the adept range. The benefit over magicians is that you can access to Astral Combat/Assensing for really cheap: With the starting magic and skill points you have everything you need for that except the attribute. Magicians don't really need astral combat anyway so it was a waste to pick a C magician just for projection and the Explorer open that build.

Is it weaker than Adept/Magicians? Yes certainly but so is pretty much every build tbh, magic is super strong in Shadowrun, it's not really a good argument. Personally I build one as well because I like the concept and the fluff of the explorer.

FST_Gemstar

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Re: Astral Combat Specialist / Face SR5
« Reply #18 on: (10:46:56/08-07-17) »
Optimizing for astral combat is tough, and can easily leave you not good at anything else. And astral combat is not really much of a marketable shadowrunning primary function unless on very specific kinds of runs. 


Things to note: 
If going explorer, you really only need a Magic of 1. This lets go astral  (for two hours), assense, get a mentor spirit, and get a weapon focus. It's ok to get 'ware!! 
If  wanting to take advantage of other magical things, you can go magician (probably at B for the free skills), but you can build to be low Magic as well. ex. get free counterspelling/astral combat. 

So there seems to be two ways IMO to build an astral combat specialist that is also a functional part of a team (takes on a more traditional specialty as well). You build as a face  around your high DV charisma, or you 'ware up a lot (you can burn a lot of Magic) and be a physical combat/melee specialist.   


I highly recommend Narco and Nephritic Screens as minimal 'ware. Your astral form can be manipulated by using drugs. Narco and Zen gets you +2 Willpower. In the astral, that's a quick +2 astral combat dice and +2 soak (might save your life). Something like Red Mesc will give you +2 Willpower and +2 Charisma (for damage). 

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Astral Combat Specialist / Face SR5
« Reply #19 on: (14:59:29/08-07-17) »
So, at the risk of summoning the gods of munch and cheese:
Given a really capable enchanter contact, how about a monowhip focus?  8)
Edit: Actually, if you have some 10k spare for reagents, a totally average enchanter will do.
« Last Edit: (14:47:57/08-08-17) by UnLimiTeD »
Still waiting on a Vector-Thrust Liminal Body.

SmilinIrish

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Re: Astral Combat Specialist / Face SR5
« Reply #20 on: (21:03:05/08-13-17) »
Request to the OP... can we discuss why everyone is down on astral combat?  seems relevant, but I can do a different thread entirely if you prefer...
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FST_Gemstar

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Re: Astral Combat Specialist / Face SR5
« Reply #21 on: (21:41:05/08-13-17) »
Astral combat is often redundant if you are already a magician. If you already can summon spirits, they are already good at astral combat. If you can spellcast, you can already do damage in the astral (and at safe range). If you already can do these things, astral combat is just rarely going to be used and takes up lots of skill slots. Let alone astral combat very dangerous. 

So if you are already a magicky character, astral combat just doesn't serve a lot of use. 

I think astral combat works best when you limit it to your primary/only magical ability, while you specialize in something else, probably facing or physical combat. With say Magic 1 or 2 , some 'ware and/or drugs, and a weapon focus, you can be solid at astral combat while still having the resources to be good at something else.

SmilinIrish

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Re: Astral Combat Specialist / Face SR5
« Reply #22 on: (21:55:50/08-13-17) »
So I suppose I am thinking of a projecting mage defending himself on the astral, rather than lobbing spells at a materialized spirit that your team has engaged in meatspace.  So specifically to address the point of a mage already being able to do damage in the astral:  If I'm not mistaken, only direct damage spells work, and you can't use reagents.  So you are rolling your base combat spellcasing dice pool, and they are resisting your hits.  So they are resisting 4 damage on average from a mage.  And not from a safe distance.  On the astral, distance means almost nothing, so they will be closing to do melee from you (which is the only way they can attack you I believe).  As to having your own spirits, bound spirit tasks are expensive, and you can't always count on having bound spirits, so you have your one summoned spirit.  If you are up against more than one spirit, you may be in for it. 

So I'm basing this off my chaos mage, with an Int of 5, Will of 7, and Cha of 4, Log 2, with a club for weapon focus.  he would be doing 7P plus net hits that the other spirit would be soaking, rather than 4.  Right?  Seems better to have the option, right?  Of course, with a dwarf, will 7, 6 ranks in Astral Combat, specialized with his weapon focus, he's rolling 16 dice to hit, so he shouldn't be missing.  Maybe that character is the exception?  I also build my mages with Sum to 10 with A in both magic and skills, so again, maybe the exception there as well. 

Am I right with the spells for damage in the astral though?
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Marcus

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Re: Astral Combat Specialist / Face SR5
« Reply #23 on: (22:11:39/08-13-17) »
Yes mana aka direct, so damaged based on hit capped by force vs will+conterspell. baring witness my hate or something else to muck around with damage values. Most mages don't run Magic A and Skill A. So very few have skill points to put into astral combat, on top of that. Astral attributes are kind of funky, Logic as agi, cha is strength. Most casters will have as high possible stats in their drain abilities, so Int+Will, Cha+Wil or Log+Will. So hermatics have a decent chance of being able to hit something, and shamans have decent astral damage, and chaos has a good chance of going first, but few mages have all three. So common sense or simple math suggest doubling down on being  be very good spell casting and your covered regardless.  Though i think we have gone fairly off topic. What was the question?

FST_Gemstar

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Re: Astral Combat Specialist / Face SR5
« Reply #24 on: (22:18:37/08-13-17) »
Projecting Mage: 

I am thinking of this too. It is dangerous for a projecting magician to fight in the astral. An F6 spirit is still going to be tough to take on.

Lobbing Spells: 

You can project/perceive and lob mana spells into the astral as well. That is what  I was referring to. A magician can get combat dice very high. While they are resisting hits, they are only resisting with a dicepool of their willpower.  An astral combat attack gets a defense test (Logic + Intuition), and then soaks with Willpower. 

You can attack dual-natured things from above them when projecting with spells just fine. It's a little more dangerous with astral combat unless you one-hit kill things. 

Spirits: 

Why do you have to use a bound spirit? A single summoned spirit can be very powerful on its own in the astral. It only uses one service per fight. And if it gets "killed," you can just summon another one.  You can't do that with yourself. 

Weapon focus: 

Don't forget that when you use a weapon focus, you use its accuracy for your astral attacks. For a club, that accuracy is 4. 5 if your GM lets you use a personalized grip in the astral. Lots of spirits/magicians are going to be able to get 4 hits on a Logic + Intuition test and avoid being hit. You are going to want a weapon with a higher accuracy, or no weapon, which would limit your dicepool. 



That being said, I have an astral combat character that I like. My astral samurai using runnerhub rules: 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6kA-rvHAq-rZmRPZmhGZG9RY0U/view

Can get Willpower to 11 with Zen, and have 22 astral combat dice when weapon focus is bound. Psyche helps astral defense (+4). Goal would also be to get Magic 2, and cast Force 4 Increase Charisma on himself (or take Novacoke). 

With more generous character creation rules, the character could start with magic 2 and Increased Charisma, making going astral safer.  In retrospect it saving room for a Pain Editor in the future would also be ideal...

When not dealing with the astral, character is more often a physical tank/sam.

SmilinIrish

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Re: Astral Combat Specialist / Face SR5
« Reply #25 on: (22:19:36/08-13-17) »
Well, I was asking why astral combat was always recommended against.  Maybe my feelings for it on this character have to do with more breathing room in skills, high Will (astral combat is Will not Log), decent charisma.   With the night int and will, this character would go fast, have the extra pass to full defense with, very accurate and good damage.   I can't build a mage for less than B in skills.  I like to look at a character as having rounded skills, since your face won't always be there, can't ask your decker every time you want to Google something, and you need perception, assensing, and sneak at a minimum on everyone. 


So to bring this back around for the OP, looks like dwarves make good astral comabat specialists due to higher will. 
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Marcus

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Re: Astral Combat Specialist / Face SR5
« Reply #26 on: (23:02:40/08-13-17) »
Well, I was asking why astral combat was always recommended against.  Maybe my feelings for it on this character have to do with more breathing room in skills, high Will (astral combat is Will not Log), decent charisma.   With the night int and will, this character would go fast, have the extra pass to full defense with, very accurate and good damage.   I can't build a mage for less than B in skills.  I like to look at a character as having rounded skills, since your face won't always be there, can't ask your decker every time you want to Google something, and you need perception, assensing, and sneak at a minimum on everyone. 


So to bring this back around for the OP, looks like dwarves make good astral comabat specialists due to higher will.

hmm your right, when did that happen?

SmilinIrish

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Re: Astral Combat Specialist / Face SR5
« Reply #27 on: (23:09:08/08-13-17) »
I think it was a change in 5th.  It evens out the usefulness of the skill across traditions I think, since most ages will have it at 5.   
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Marcus

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Re: Astral Combat Specialist / Face SR5
« Reply #28 on: (00:11:23/08-14-17) »
Now i want to build a A neon Mohawk, Rocker dwarven astral explorer with a combination weapon focus combat axe and Guitar, so he can ROCK OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!!!!! <Insert bad Axe puns>lool


« Last Edit: (00:34:48/08-14-17) by Marcus »

SmilinIrish

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Re: Astral Combat Specialist / Face SR5
« Reply #29 on: (00:13:05/08-14-17) »
 :o opening Chummer as we speak. 
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