Shadowrun Play > Rules and such

Point Buy quirks


Doing more point buy experiments with the help of a CP excel sheet a friend threw together this morning, here's what we've found:

Point Buy values Magic for spellcasters more than Priority.  Trying the "optimized for cheese" build for awakened : A Attr/B Skill/C Meta/D Mag/E Resources.  In priority you can end up with a 6 Magic, 5 Edge full mage caster this way, and get 2 spells.  In Point Buy, the same build will cost 106 CP (check my math please), without 2 spells, so the closest you can get is 6 Magic, 3 Edge with 2CP left over for 1 spell, or attribute/skill pt, or money.  Priority is a little better but it's pretty close.
This is offset by the allowance made in point buy to purchase spells with karma.  That's actually a huge bonus, it means you can get as many spells as an A Magic pick if you have the karma to spare.

Adept points are valued VERY high by point buy.  In Priority, you could pick A Attr/B Skill/C Meta/D Mag/E Resource and leave chagen with 6 Mag/6 PP and still completely optimized the other choices.  The best Adepts can do in Point Buy and still end up with 6 Mag/6 PP would be the equivalent of the priority pick A Mag/B Attr/C Skill/D Meta/E Resource, with 2CP left over for money or another attr/skill pt.

Mystic Adept power points are valued about the same in point buy and priority.  If a point buy mysad purchases Mag and PP up to 4, they end up with the same sort of Attr, Skill pts, and resources they would usually pick, if they picked E Resources.  I haven't tested other Mysad PP choice combinations to see if that pattern holds up.

Mundanes though... oh boy, we messed up here.  Let's talk about Resources. 
Let's look at a Max-Resources, mundane Human build.

A Resources 450k
B Attr 16
C Skills 20
D Meta 4
E Mag 0

In point buy, this costs us:
Resources 22CP - 1 per 20k, plus 10k free.  440k divided by 20k is 22.
Attributes 24CP - 2 per 1 pt, plus 4 free.
Skills 16CP - 2 per 1 pt, plus 12 free.
Meta 12CP - 4 per 1 pt, plus 1 free.
Mag 0CP - Mundane

That total is 74 CP.  The build undershot by 26CP.  CLEARLY, 1 CP per 20k is the wrong number and needs to be errata'd immediately.  Please check my math, building by CP is prone to mistakes because you get free points you have to remember not to count.

Put another way, another build would be A Attr/B Skill/C Resource/D Meta/E Mundane, the point buy version of this would be equivalent to A Attr/B Skill/A Resource/D Meta/E Mundane.

9000 per CP, with starting cash of 9000, max spend 49 pts, would have been much, much better numbers.  Minimum would have been closer to E, maximum would still be 450k, and the A Resources/B Attr/C Skill/D Meta/E Mag build would come out to 102.

Itīs beyond me why they didnīt just bring back a Karmagen System. Now we have 4 (or 3.5, given that Sum To Ten is just a more flexible version of normal priorities) wonky systems, all with linear costs for Attributes and Skills that are at odds with the progressive costs in character advancement. And they also mechanically punish norms and mundanes, because of course they do. Nice way to reward out-of-the-box min-maxing and powergaming :P

Right now, the best RAW way to build actually interesting and "rounded" characters is probably the Lifepath System. Apparently, Pegasus Press will add a Karmagen System in the german release. Hurray  ::)


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