Author Topic: Most challenging character concepts that works?  (Read 1368 times)

DigitalZombie

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So what's your most challenging character concept that you've come up with that actually works?
I created an adept (not mystic adept)  melee pixie bezerker that seems to work fine (on paper,  never played it). I'll see if I can find the link later.

Example concepts I'm having trouble envisioning at a gaming table would include stuff like:
AI face
Naga b&e expert
Large and physically strong specimen (like cyclops)  drone riggers.
Aspected mmagician enchanters in general.
PI shapeshifter

What are yours? Or what's your challenge to someone else to build?
« Last Edit: (16:32:24/02-01-18) by DigitalZombie »

firebug

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Re: Most challenging character concepts that works?
« Reply #1 on: (16:50:44/02-01-18) »
For me, it was trying to make Lo-Res (the 5th-edition version of Firebug, my favorite character) work.  She's a technomancer, but in 4th edition she was a vehicle empath who was a go-ganger.  She needed to be able to rig a motorcycle, fight in chase sequences, not be useless in normal tactical combat, and still be competent at hacking.

That worked in 4th edition, but jesus titty-humping christ is that a lot harder to achieve in 5th edition, where TMs can't even jump into things without initiating once, building a TM who isn't outclassed by the most basic-bitch of a decker is already a tall order, and expecting to have anything leftover to still do something as basic as know how to fire a gun or have any above-average physical attributes makes me grind my teeth into dust.  While also making sure I don't ignore the few things a TM can do that actually makes them different from a decker (namely, sprites and complex forms).

I end up having to cut a lot of corners, enough that I renamed the character because the concept required so many retcons and changes that it just couldn't be called the same character anymore.  Every time I go back to her, I end up rebuilding her from the ground-up hoping that this time I'll make it all work, and I won't just end up with a character that would be a thousand times more effective and coherent as a mundane character.  I usually end up leaving her with low Charisma and just nothing in Cybercombat, I lowball Computer (and rely on the +2 Matrix Perception TMs get to not be just blind on the matrix), I make liberal use of Specializations, she's still actually shit at Piloting because I don't have the REA for it or enough points to spare on the skill, and my plan for her in normal combat is to hide behind her motorcycle and tell it to shoot for her.  This is with her having an B or A in attributes, for the record.  She usually only has Compiling and no Registering, no Hardware or Mechanics skills...

Oh wait.  "that actually works".

Well...  I still like roleplaying as her, does that count?
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Jeeze.  It would almost sound stupid until you realize we're talking about an immortal elf clown sword fighting a dragon ghost in a mall.

Jack_Spade

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Re: Most challenging character concepts that works?
« Reply #2 on: (17:02:08/02-01-18) »
Completely mundane character without magic or cyberware
Works as an elven face with Lightning Reflexes

The greatest challenge for me is creating any kind of mystic adept - because I really can't stand them.
talk think matrix

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firebug

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Re: Most challenging character concepts that works?
« Reply #3 on: (17:09:41/02-01-18) »
Oh!  Here's one I did that actually did work!

I made a character who was a vampire.  Just a vampire.  Not a vampire magician, not a vampire adept, just a vampire.  Jack_Spade mentioning "completely mundane" reminded me.  She was a private detective before she was infected; she has pretty solid combat skills and some passable social skills, and when you have 7 REA and 7 INT, you're basically set to be dangerous in combat by virtue of having good initiative and great defense dice.  Some day I wanna make a character who's just a ghoul for a game in Chicago, but that requires the right kind of group.
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Jeeze.  It would almost sound stupid until you realize we're talking about an immortal elf clown sword fighting a dragon ghost in a mall.

Marcus

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Re: Most challenging character concepts that works?
« Reply #4 on: (18:31:53/02-01-18) »
AI face is interesting  I'll have to take a look at it, it something I'd love  to see.

I do think straight non-cyber-non-magic PI is solid challenging build to get effective. The edge method works, but another option would be interesting, maybe drugs?

I would add Any Techno build that's not a petnomancer.

Any ghoul build, double bonus points for ghoul face.

The Astral Explorer magic option, I have made two build around this, and while I find them both fairly amusing I'm not sure I have one I think is going anywhere.

The BAND!!! Maybe it was just when I was playing 2nd or maybe it was just the groups I played with, but having a band used to be cool thing you did in SR. I'd love to see that come back. (FOR MY DARK MASTER!!!!) lol

Animal Shamans- I guess this is way easier, but I just haven't seen many running around recently.

Interesting Gangers - (Go or otherwise) Preferably built at street level.

Hippies/eco-activist/SJW- whatever you want to call it, maybe Eco-terrorist used to be what this was, but it's something i recall for several editions, and haven't seen any running around.

The Mastermind- So leadership the skill, it has a use I have literally never seen in play.  It's called Rally, and it raises your team initiative. The question is can you make a build that makes every other build in the party better by purely social skill means. I would love to see if you can get a whole party initiative to be the exact same, via one leadership roll.

FUN with Skill WIREz- So as some may recall in some older version of background, many corp employees and factory workers were expect to get high raiting skill wires. which sometime lead to weird mind controlled populations, but I do recall a scene where the whole building suddenly all downloaded rating 6 unarmed combat, and then everybody was KUNG FU FIGHTING!!!! At recent Con I had blast with rating 2 skill wires, doing all the wild skills, simply being one download away. What can you do with rating 6 skill wires?

Digital Assassin, the dreaded matrix killer- It's something discussed at some length in background, but even my most cyber combative deckers would be hard pressed to actually whack the decker on the other end. Double bonus points if you can make it as a TM.

That's all I can think of for now.
« Last Edit: (18:36:10/02-01-18) by Marcus »

Glyph

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Re: Most challenging character concepts that works?
« Reply #5 on: (22:57:21/02-01-18) »
Completely mundane character without magic or cyberware
Works as an elven face with Lightning Reflexes

The greatest challenge for me is creating any kind of mystic adept - because I really can't stand them.

An unaugmented mundane also works for a sum-to-ten human: A - Attributes, A - Skills, C - Human, and E for Resources and Magic.  Instead of Lightning Reflexes, have Adrenaline Surge and Revels in Murder.  Characters without magic or augmentations are still suboptimal, but this Edition is definitely more generous to them.

Csjarrat

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Re: Most challenging character concepts that works?
« Reply #6 on: (07:41:25/02-02-18) »
I had an adept free-runner hacker called flea, ran her in a pbp. Worked OK!
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ShadowcatX

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Re: Most challenging character concepts that works?
« Reply #7 on: (09:18:00/02-02-18) »
Completely mundane character without magic or cyberware
Works as an elven face with Lightning Reflexes

The greatest challenge for me is creating any kind of mystic adept - because I really can't stand them.

An unaugmented mundane also works for a sum-to-ten human: A - Attributes, A - Skills, C - Human, and E for Resources and Magic.  Instead of Lightning Reflexes, have Adrenaline Surge and Revels in Murder.  Characters without magic or augmentations are still suboptimal, but this Edition is definitely more generous to them.

Hmmmm....I like it.

legionof1

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Re: Most challenging character concepts that works?
« Reply #8 on: (14:47:26/02-05-18) »
Snip
Animal Shamans- I guess this is way easier, but I just haven't seen many running around recently.
snip

Hippies/eco-activist/SJW- whatever you want to call it, maybe Eco-terrorist used to be what this was, but it's something i recall for several editions, and haven't seen any running around.

The Mastermind- So leadership the skill, it has a use I have literally never seen in play.  It's called Rally, and it raises your team initiative. The question is can you make a build that makes every other build in the party better by purely social skill means. I would love to see if you can get a whole party initiative to be the exact same, via one leadership roll.

FUN with Skill WIREz- So as some may recall in some older version of background, many corp employees and factory workers were expect to get high raiting skill wires. which sometime lead to weird mind controlled populations, but I do recall a scene where the whole building suddenly all downloaded rating 6 unarmed combat, and then everybody was KUNG FU FIGHTING!!!! At recent Con I had blast with rating 2 skill wires, doing all the wild skills, simply being one download away. What can you do with rating 6 skill wires?

Digital Assassin, the dreaded matrix killer- It's something discussed at some length in background, but even my most cyber combative deckers would be hard pressed to actually whack the decker on the other end. Double bonus points if you can make it as a TM.
snip

Animal shamans/adepts are actually pretty interesting/decent characters. The trouble is that the situations they excel at are underrepresented in most campaigns/missions and at least until Howling Shadows was released not terribly well supported. The environment of 5th just kinda grew around some niches leaving them in effective limbo even after the content they needed got released. 

Similar to above the eco-character is a niche that just got limboed due to content. In this case the dark side of the ecology content in the form of toxics and such received a lot of attention/content. Probably some real world bleed-over as well. The environment has become a mainstream concern, harder to be radical when everyone is doing it.   

The leadership based mastermind is from personal experience, really hard to make worth the investment, without just ending being a primary face anyway. Rally in particular is pretty weak, only producing +1 initiative per two hits. It can be very useful at times but it requires allies to have rolled initiative just shy of an additional pass to shine. And players investing in initiative modifiers have probably tuned themselves to be just over a pass. I found there is plenty more mileage via the Direct action.

Played the max skill wires build and it's just not short to mid term cost effective. While cheaper in terms of absolute resources each individual skill at 6 is quite expensive in terms of char gen newyen. Also the rating x4 availability dictates investing in Restricted gear quality. So all told the maxed out wires cost 120k newyen and 10 karma without skills. 30k per rate 6 skill. it adds up very fast, and you still end up being inferior to the specialist since you rarely have the attributes they will. And you cant really sub for a decker or rigger without a bunch more gear. In something like a missions character its more valuable since the table compostion is never the same and its not a given all specialists are present.   

The format of the 5e matrix has effectively killed the digital assassin. The targets gear will brick well before you can cause sufficient feedback to kill someone. At least so far. Maybe the forthcoming book will provide a way to deal feedback without dealing matrix damage. Until then the concept is dead.

Glyph

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Re: Most challenging character concepts that works?
« Reply #9 on: (22:28:07/02-05-18) »
Leadership specialists can get the small unit tactics knowledge skill to supplement their leadership skill, and use the combat maneuvers from Run & Gun.  Too bad they made tac-nets so prohibitively expensive.

FST_Gemstar

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Re: Most challenging character concepts that works?
« Reply #10 on: (22:42:11/02-05-18) »
Leadership specialists can get the small unit tactics knowledge skill to supplement their leadership skill, and use the combat maneuvers from Run & Gun.  Too bad they made tac-nets so prohibitively expensive.

Resources A and Restricted Gear works for a Pi-Tac 2. Combine with small unit tactics. 

Take it farther by 
A: Being a technomancer that uses sprites on their Pi-Tac 2 to give everyone connected to the pi-tac extra bonuses to perception, sneaking, and (likely) automatics. (talk to gm)
B: Get a cheap RCC and drones with small unit tactics and weapon to teamwork. Drones can be part of the tac network for to make their low dicepools decent, and they can teamwork small unit tactics tests. 



My favorite builds now that were challenging but work are technomancer hybrids that both hack and do something else. The erata that gives them extra skills and a few more free CFs make them much more doable. Previously, you could make a hacking technomancer (either a Res 1 braindecker or a petnomancer) or machine sprite focused non-hacker that can help out the decker with complex forms.   

Technomancer/Faces I think have become my favorite. 

My two favorite ways to go about it: 

Poor face who becomes an increasingly capable as hacker  and social infiltrator type  in play like (pre-erata) Know-it-All.https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6kA-rvHAq-rT1RKMW5VMUNTZkk/view. With extra skills and more starting CFs he can be much more competent at game start. 

Drugs/Ware boosted brainy face.  Something like an EDCAB Res 1 character with two essence of bioware. Raise Resonance back to 2 in game and you have a functional hacker with functional sprites, can use drugs to boost your physical prowess, mental prowess, and living persona, and have the skills/qualities/gear/ware to also be an effective face. Sprite assisted social armor can go a long way if your GM doesn't ban it.



As for your concepts: 
Naga B&E specialist seems like it won't work. 
I just don't like making AI characters so I wouldn't even try. 
Cyclops Drone RIgger would work fine. 
I also tend to stay away from shapeshifters. 
Aspected Enchanters for a lot of builds. They make fine Magic 1 Private Investigators (EBDCA). Yay Reagents! Folks can play alchemist deckers, but they make decking even clunkier with clunky alchemy rules.  Alchemist archers/shotgunners also work ok as combat characters. The biggest deal with alchemy is just its clunkiness (multiple step process to cast a spell and sustaining/potency bookkeeping). It's why I like the Investigator alchemist the best. They rely on their Magic D enchanter basically just for a magic rating and assensing, but can learn alchemical support spells that are used specifically more for permanent/immediate spells than anything else (things like fashion, makeover, and compel truth come to mind). 
« Last Edit: (23:09:08/02-05-18) by FST_Gemstar »

firebug

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Re: Most challenging character concepts that works?
« Reply #11 on: (09:16:58/02-06-18) »
Leadership specialists can get the small unit tactics knowledge skill to supplement their leadership skill, and use the combat maneuvers from Run & Gun.  Too bad they made tac-nets so prohibitively expensive.

Yeah, but honestly 90% of the benefits of a tacnet can be gained simply by using AR (assuming everyone has a simrig so they can share senses).  Only the numeric bonuses actually need the tacnet.
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Jeeze.  It would almost sound stupid until you realize we're talking about an immortal elf clown sword fighting a dragon ghost in a mall.

DigitalZombie

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Re: Most challenging character concepts that works?
« Reply #12 on: (16:04:43/02-06-18) »

I made a character who was a vampire.  Just a vampire.  Not a vampire magician, not a vampire adept, just a vampire......  Some day I wanna make a character who's just a ghoul for a game in Chicago, but that requires the right kind of group.
Ooh yeah Ive tried to make vampires/ghouls in older editions. I dont know how well they would turn out in 5th.
What did the vampire use to augment her PI skills with? Just naturally good intuition and skills?

@Marcus maybe we could kill two birds with one stone and create a mundane ghoul face..... wait. Maybe thats stretching it a bit.

Marcus

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Re: Most challenging character concepts that works?
« Reply #13 on: (19:20:30/02-06-18) »
@Marcus maybe we could kill two birds with one stone and create a mundane ghoul face..... wait. Maybe thats stretching it a bit.

I'm not opposed to the idea but yea that's gonna be rough ride lol.

Glyph

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Re: Most challenging character concepts that works?
« Reply #14 on: (22:24:19/02-07-18) »
A mundane ghoul face is just barely doable if the GM lets you buy off the Blind quality, because being a human-poser is the only way to really make it work.  Get cybereyes, clean metabolism to take care of the ghoul body odor, lots of cosmetic work (perhaps it would be the equivalent of getting a gender/metatype change), and tailored pheromones: 3 to compensate for the lowered Charisma (definitely want to go human or elf for metatype),

Lowering your Magic to zero will take away the dual-natured quality, and the armor and natural weapons will be sacrificed to be able to pass for human.  In the end, you will basically spend 29 Karma for a net gain of two Attribute points, some enhanced senses, and higher Attribute maximums in a few areas.  Offsetting this is a moderate allergy to sunlight, the need to eat metahuman flesh, a lower Charisma, and the loss of a point of Essence.  So yeah, it could work, but it is definitely setting the game to Hard difficulty level.