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(SR4) Building Doctor/Interrogation Expert Character

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DastardlyJack

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« on: <08-04-15/0336:50> »
Before I outline what I want to make and ask for advice, let me make note of the fact that I am very new to Shadowrun (I have watched a couple campaigns but only played one) and how its character creation works, and this will be my second character. (My first character's creation was almost entirely supervised by a more experienced player, so I didn't really learn a whole lot from it)


Essentially what I'm going for is a combination of medical skills (Including knowledge of and experience in the use of various drugs) and persuasion ability, essentially I want someone who can patch up the team and also use a combination of drugs and psychology to interrogate people and extract potentially useful information from them.

As far as combat goes, I'd like to have him specialize with knives (Totally impractical, I know.) but I'm completely willing to listen to other ideas. I'm planning to play him as a sort of deranged sadist that takes great joy in breaking people down and bending them to his will, and sometimes has trouble keeping up the professional facade. My main issue so far trying to do it myself is that I simply don't have enough experience to properly allocate my attributes and skills efficiently.

Something else I'd really like him to have is a sort of mobile medical station out of a truck or van of some sort, and would be grateful if you could help me make that happen.

I apologize for my inexperience and hope you will be patient with me.
« Last Edit: <08-04-15/0342:50> by DastardlyJack »

Csjarrat

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« Reply #1 on: <08-04-15/0339:49> »
im a bit rusty on SR4 but it should be fairly doable.
i'd recommend having a look at making an adept "face" character with medical skills, chemistry and intimidation being the focus. the adept powers will make you fairly handy with a knife in combat and boost your social skills for those interrogations
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DastardlyJack

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« Reply #2 on: <08-04-15/0346:07> »
That's a pretty good idea, I had thought about making him an adept but I'm worried he'll be spread too thin that way. If you could give me some help with attributes and skills I'd really appreciate it, though if it's too much trouble I could probably work something out on my own and put it up here for more specific advice. (Side-note I forgot to mention, I'm using chummer for this.)

Csjarrat

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« Reply #3 on: <08-04-15/0914:27> »
well you only get 200BP for stats and i think the cost goes up to 25/level at maximum level so i'd probably just go for CHA being at 5 or higher and keep your physical stats around four, maybe 5 for AGI. i think being an adept is only like 5BP or so. being an elf is BP efficient in SR4a iirc too so that might not be a bad idea as it'll give you better charisma and agility right out of the gate.
3-4points of magic would be enough for a few face skills and a rank of improved reflexes (for combat) and you don't need to go daft with resources, just grab a few different outfits, weapon (maybe grab a focus for your main knife) commlink and somewhere to doss down on a night. you'll probably want a chemistry kit/workshop to go with your knowledge skills and allow manufacture of chemicals.
I haven't got chummer 4 anymore so can't really build one for you but
« Last Edit: <08-04-15/0916:09> by Csjarrat »
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fseperent

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« Reply #4 on: <08-04-15/1658:25> »
I remember this from awhile back, see if it helps you.
http://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=21088.0

Whiskeyjack

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« Reply #5 on: <08-04-15/1725:52> »
I would say the big concern is figuring out what to do in combat. Doctor was viable in 4th but interrogation is pretty specific a duly still are going to be fighting and sneaking and need to maybe contribute some legwork.
Playability > verisimilitude.

emsquared

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« Reply #6 on: <08-04-15/1758:06> »
Let's see if we can teach you to fish, eh?

DastardlyJ, the trick with character generation in 4E is to not get boned by the BP system.

It's a system that encourages Attribute purchases and discourages Skill purchases, simply because Skills are cheaper to buy with Karma in play (see my sig for more on that...), and Attributes can be more expensive in play. Also, nuyen/Gear/'ware is a good thing to invest your BP in during chargen too, because in 4E gear is often a much cheaper method of adding dice to your pools than purchasing the actual Attribute or Skill.

Beyond that, to have much of a chance in 4E, you have to be either Augmented or Awakened. Mundane PCs (no 'ware, no magic) simply can't keep up with those who are - with the possible exception of the "Mr. Lucky" Edge focused build - and even then you could end up SOL depending on your GMs "refresh policy".

So, with all that said where does this leave you and your knife-wielding, smooth-talking, sociopath doctor? He could be stretched a little thin, but - depending on what the rest of your tablemates PCs look like (or more specifically their dice pools) - we can definitely get you close. Primed to do exactly what you want once play starts and you accumulate a little Karma.

As for actually building the character, there should be no great mystery for most of it. You want to be good at a bunch of Skills that are primarily linked to your Charisma, Logic and Agility, right? Well then, invest heavily in those Attributes. Keep in mind though that Reaction and Intuition are both extremely important Attributes too, for Initiative, Defense and Perception, so you can't neglect any of those either. AND when you remember that Body and Willpower are how you stay awake in combat, you realize you can't dump those either. Put that all together and we see that every Attribute is important to this character. Y'know what MAD is? Your PC has it. It's okay though, we should be able to hack it because some are more important than others, and some are more easily augmented (by 'ware and/or magic).

Elf is optimal for this PC, since CHA and AGI are among your primary stats, are you opposed to playing an elf?

DastardlyJack

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« Reply #7 on: <08-04-15/1822:00> »
Not really, to switch him over to elf from human all I'd really need to change is his picture. And the fact that every attribute is near-essential for this character is one of the reasons I considered dropping the adept idea and maybe getting him some cyberware instead. I never really intended for him to be a sort of jack-of-all trades, in fact originally he was going to end up almost cripplingly overspecialized (Hence why I came to you guys) but making him combat-effective is the main problem. Although the particular team I'm building this character to join has no lack of firepower, having a non-adept knife-wielder is kind of a crapshoot as far as I can tell, and having one team-member that's useless in combat isn't really an option. My biggest issue with building a character is that I simply don't know how much to invest in each skill/attribute, and I don't know what powers/augmentations will be relevant and useful. Overall, I suppose it's just a lack of experience with the system.
« Last Edit: <08-04-15/1824:08> by DastardlyJack »

emsquared

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« Reply #8 on: <08-04-15/1830:55> »
If you want me to give you exact numbers that I would do given this PC concept, I can do that. But if you want to learn how to build, you might wanna give it a shot yourself first.

Here's my recommendation: spend all 200 BP that you possibly can in (non-Special) Attributes, get your MAG to 5, and try to get as close to 15 dice in Blades, 12 dice in the Influence Skill Group, and 9 dice in First Aid/Medicine, and any other LOG Skills you want (not counting Knowledge Skills). This is a solid Skillset distribution IMHO, and achievable.

Have fun playing with the mix of ways to do this, and be mindful of Positive Qualities and Gear, and maximizing how you spend your BP in doing it.

DastardlyJack

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« Reply #9 on: <08-04-15/1852:05> »
I'm trying, but I can never seem to get close to those dice numbers without going into negative BP, and I can't seem to figure out precisely what I'm doing wrong. I don't really want you to just give me numbers, but I'm not certain what else I can try at this point. Again the problem seems to be that I need a bit of absolutely everything or else my character simply won't be able to function in one of his primary areas, for this particular iteration of the character, I need medicine, interrogation, and magic and at this point I can't seem to get more than two. Not to mention the fact that I'm very unfamiliar with how magic works in Shadowrun and I may be putting points into skills I don't really need. I apologize if it's too much work, but if you could highlight some more of the skills I should be focusing on I'd really appreciate it. (Note, I couldn't even get above 10 dice in most of the skills you highlighted, and I'm not certain what I can do about that.)

emsquared

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« Reply #10 on: <08-04-15/2130:11> »
Metatype: -30BP
Elf

Attributes: -250BP
BOD 3
AGI 6(8.)
REA 5(6)
STR 1(3)
CHA 7
INT 3
LOG 3(4)
WIL 3

EDG 2

MAG 5(4)

ESS 5.0

Posi Qualities: -10BP
Adept
First Impression

Neg Qualities: +35BP
Pick 35 BP worth of whichever NQs you like to give your PC some flavor.

Contact: (-4BP, sorry  :-\)
3/1 Somebody

Adept Powers: (4PP)
Combat Sense 2 (1.0PP)
Improved Reflexes 1 (1.5PP)
Kinesics 2 (1PP)
Power Throw 2 (0.5PP)

Skills: -130 BP
Influence Group 4 ranks (13 dice, 15 on a first encounter)
Blades 6 ranks (14 dice, 15 with a Custom Melee Grip on your knife, even more when you start getting Weapon Foci)
First Aid 4 ranks (8 dice)
Intimidation 4 ranks (13 dice, 15 on a first encounter)
Medicine 4 ranks (8 dice)
Perception 4 ranks (7 dice)

Nuyen: -13 BP
65K Y

Bioware: 40K Y
Cerebral Boosters R1
Muscle Augmentation R2
Muscle Toner R2

I didn't leave you with much for Contacts, but you'll have 25K Y for a Lifestyle, Armor, Weapons, Fake SIN/Licenses, Audio and Visual Enchancers, Commlink and Biotech eqiupment. A Mobile Medical Shop is 15K, so dunno if you wanna go for that out of the gate.

Enjoy!
« Last Edit: <08-04-15/2133:18> by emsquared »

DastardlyJack

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« Reply #11 on: <08-04-15/2320:04> »
Thanks for that, I appreciate it. However, these numbers seem to leave me with a deficit of -25 BP. I'm not sure why.

EDIT: Nevermind, I believe I found the cause. Evidently Chummer does not factor in the essence costs of the bioware. I guess that affected it.
« Last Edit: <08-04-15/2328:02> by DastardlyJack »

emsquared

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« Reply #12 on: <08-04-15/2338:23> »
Chummer probably kept your Magic at 5 - which means it needed to raise it to a 6 due to the ware. Make sure your base Magic score is 5, 4 after Essence loss.

Not sure if this is what you had discovered as the problem or not.