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400 BP starting Mage skills recommendations?

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Mordoyh

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« on: <11-03-10/1840:01> »
Hello,

Returning to SR after 10-12 years away.  (Last played 2nd Edition.). Just wanted to get an idea of what are good skills for a new, 400 BP Mage, and possibly the ratings to have them at.

Thanks

PS....I know a lot is subjective, but just looking for some pointers.

FastJack

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« Reply #1 on: <11-03-10/1852:00> »
Determine what kind of caster you want to be. If you're going to want to be a spellslinger, then boost the heck out of Spellcasting, with some points in Counterspelling and 1-2 in Ritual, then buy the Summoning skill group. Reverse if you want to be a summoner.

FoxBoy

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« Reply #2 on: <11-03-10/1855:23> »
Must haves (irregardless of what you play):
Perception

Must Haves (Mages):
Sorcery (Group) or Conjuring (Group)
Assensing

Good to have (Any):
Dodge

Good to have (Mages):
Arcana
Astral Combat

Good spells to have:
Shapechange, Levitate, Magic Fingers, Physical Barrier, Mana Barrier (along with your counterspelling)

Quite often when your dealing with spirits, it's just easier to manaball them to heck and back instead of banishing, though that is situational. I have a post somewheres that list out some spell selections. I'll see if I can find it again. Here.

Mordoyh

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« Reply #3 on: <11-03-10/1928:11> »
Thanks for the feedback.  I tend to play a more combat oriented Mage.  Looks like I'm pointed in the right direction with what I have done so far.  This is a shapeshifter Mage who has so far relied on touch spells in combat.

Assensing          4         
Astral Combat       3
Counterspelling       3
Conjuring Group       3
Etiquette (Street)      1(+2)
Perception           4   
Spellcasting           5
Unarmed Combat.        4

Nomad Zophiel

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« Reply #4 on: <11-03-10/2124:33> »
Every character should probably have at least a little Dodge, Perception, Etiquette and Computer. Pilot Ground Vehicle is almost non-optional. These are the little things where even one point so you're not defaulting can save a character's life.

Bradd

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« Reply #5 on: <11-04-10/1932:28> »
For most purposes, you can use Gymnastics instead of Dodge. There are pros and cons. Gymnastics is more generally useful and easier to modify, but it doesn't let you specialize in defense, and it doesn't apply to vehicle combat.

FastJack

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« Reply #6 on: <11-04-10/2221:21> »
Even if you don't think you need Computer, buy 1 rank and Specialize in Commlink. 'Cuz I bet there are people even on the forums here that have limited computer knowledge, but can do a LOT of stuff with your cell... ;)

Chaemera

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« Reply #7 on: <11-05-10/0705:40> »
Even if you don't think you need Computer, buy 1 rank and Specialize in Commlink. 'Cuz I bet there are people even on the forums here that have limited computer knowledge, but can do a LOT of stuff with your cell... ;)

I like that. In no small part because it's very true. . .

I'm probably repeating a lot of what's been said, but I'm taking it from the perspective of being a new GM (never played the game until 4A, and only started running 3 months ago) with 100% new players. So we've been digging through the books and learning the hard way just how vital some of these skills end up being:

Perception (the party's gun-nut has a bad habit of staring into his soy-caf instead of seeing the people trying to kill him)
Etiquette (The number of times the Johnsons end up wanting to kill my runners is frightening. . . they're that rude. One of them cut spaghetti in front of a native Sicilian! Who he owed money! He lives *only* because of that second statement)
Dodge (Bullets just aren't your friend)
Some sort of non-magic combat skill (there are times when leaving an astral signature bites you in the ass. With an assault rifle.)
Stealth Group (A mage who can't slink away is a mage potentially riddled with bullets.)

You probably won't be able to afford everything everyone here is suggesting, so prioritize amongst the suggestions and also consider how much you want to min-max vice spread out in the interest of a fun character with a real background. To that end, the team technomancer has one point in the Animal Husbandry skill group. Why? He grew up on a farm, it's how he met his wife (if I understand the backstory correctly). I'll find a way to make it relavent once in a while, that's my job as a GM. Player's skill selection tells me what kind of game they want to be playing and what sort of things they want to do with their characters. Will it always be useful? Nope, but them's the breaks.
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FastJack

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« Reply #8 on: <11-05-10/0906:28> »
Or, if you can't afford them during character creation, have the PC buy them during his first Karma spending spree. As a GM, you might even consider lowering the Karma Cost. For instance, if the group turns out to be really stealthy and constantly annoyed at how the Mage sticks out, they take him under their wing and give him a crash-course in the Stealth skill group. I don't recommend doing this frequently, however, since most groups will then come into a new game expecting you to let them slide on Karma costs. Only do it with lots of justification on the PC and groups part (i.e. if he doesn't improve this, the group will consistently fail).

larskrygan

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« Reply #9 on: <11-05-10/2133:58> »
and when all spells fails  dont ever forget to learn how to shoot !!!!
pick up one or two point in the firearms group, always useful. 

i dont know about the rest of you GMs but every mage i had at my table, always had one nasty gun : automatic shotgun, sniper rifle, submachine guns...

if i can't fry your brain, i shall blast your balls  seemed to be their moto...
"stop bugging me or I will bug you"
insect spirits are the GM's friends

Glyph

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« Reply #10 on: <11-07-10/0325:09> »
One thing to keep in mind for skill groups, especially ones that have only three skills in them, is that they are a bargain - if, and only if, you plan on using every one of those skills.  In other words, if you don't think you'll bother with ritual sorcery much, you are better off picking up spellcasting and counterspelling.  If you think you'll be more likely to use a manabolt to "banish" a spirit, you are better off picking up summoning and (maybe) binding.

Walks Through Walls

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« Reply #11 on: <11-08-10/2051:35> »
To continue on what Glyph just said if points are tight and you aren't going to be using all of the skills a lot you can save points by getting the skill you really need now from the group and buy the others later when you have karma to spend. This is especially true with the conjuring group in my opinion. Unless you plan to work with spirits a lot a couple levels of summoning maybe one of binding and a good manabolt work well.

However, everyone has there own playing style. You need to find yours and run with it so to speak.

I find I tend to play finesse characters who can throw down if need be, but not their first choice of action.
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