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5e 1st character advice - Decker/Mage

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Cakeater

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« on: <04-01-22/1925:41> »
Hi this is the first character I've made and would appreciate any feedback from those more experienced here.  I don't care if it is perfectly optimal but if there are glaring problems it would be nice to know prior to being disappointed in game when something doesn't work as I expected.

thanks in advance.

I'm just copy paste-ing this from the sheet chummer generated. not sure if there is a better way.

post chargen priorities:
cha and str to 2
spec in data bombs
1 point to con, maybe some other skills
medkit
vehicle: spoof chips $500, morphing plate $1k
foci+fetish

NAME: Hector Luthario as "Sideshow"
A- attributes
B-resources
C-skills
D-magic aspected mage sorcerer
E- Human

BODY: 5
CHARISMA: 1
AGILITY: 4
INTUITION: 5
REACTION: 5
LOGIC: 6
STRENGTH: 1
WILLPOWER: 5
MAGIC: 4
EDGE: 2
ESSENCE: 6.00

SKILL RTG POOL
Computer LOG 6 12
Electronic Warfare LOG 6 12
Hacking LOG 6 12
Spellcasting MAG 6 10
Cybercombat LOG 2 8
Hardware LOG 2 8
Disguise INT +2 1 8
Etiquette CHA 1 2
Gymnastics AGI 1 5
Palming AGI +2 1 7
Perception INT 1 6
Pilot Ground Craft REA 1 6
Pistols AGI 1 5
Running STR 1 2
Sneaking AGI +2 1 7
Software LOG 1 7
Swimming STR 1 2

KNOWLEDGE SKILLS
SKILL RTG POOL
English INT Native
Matrix LOG 3 9
Area Knowledge: Seattle INT 2 7
Matrix Threats LOG 2 8
Awakened Hangouts INT 1 6
Classical Music INT 1 6
Data Havens INT 1 6
l33tspeak INT 1 6
Magical Security LOG 1 7
Magical Theory (Academic) LOG 1 7
Magical Threats LOG 1 7
Matrix Games INT 1 6
News INT 1 6
Religion LOG 1 7
Security Design INT 1 6
Shadow Community INT 1 6
Spanish INT 1 6
Street Drugs INT 1 6
Vehicles INT 1 6

QUALITY
Addiction (Moderate): psyche SR5 78
Aspected Magician SR5 69
Curiosity Killed the Cat DT 46
Dedicated Spellslinger FA 36
Favored (Specific Target, Biased): deckers CA 152
Mentor Spirit: Spider (Alt) SR5 76
Mentor's Mask FA 182
Overclocker RF 148
Perfect Time RF 148
Prejudiced (Specific, Biased): technomancer SR5 82
Social Appearance Anxiety CA 152

MAGIC
TRADITION
Hermetic
(Mentor spirit +2 manipulation spells)

Detect Life, Extended
Increase [Attribute] (LOG)
Invisibility
Deflection
Fling (darts,capsule and dmso rounds)
Levitate

ARMOR VALUE
Equipped
Armor Jacket 12 SR5 437
Chemical Protection 3; Fire Resistance 3; Nonconductivity 4; Thermal Damping 2;
Ballistic Mask +2 RG 74
Chemical Protection 2; Fire Resistance 2; Nonconductivity 3; Thermal Damping 1;
Good Pants 0 RF 253
Good Shirt 0 RF 253
Good Shoes 0 RF 253
Good Socks 0 RF 253
Good Suit 0 RF 253
Good Undergarments 0 RF 253
Good Watch 0 RF 253
Hat 0 RF 253
Vashon Island: Steampunk 10 RG 61
Custom Fit
Total of equipped single highest armor and accessories 14


Fichetti Executive Action
Concealed Quick-Draw Holster; Gas-Vent 3 System; Personalized Grip; Smartgun System, External;

Ammo: APDS (Light Pistols) - 18 SR5 434
Ammo: Capsule Rounds
(Light Pistols)
- 20 RG 55
Ammo: DMSO Rounds
(Exotic Ranged Weapons)
- 20 SR5 436
Ammo: Gel Rounds (Light
Pistols)
- 36 SR5 434
Ammo: Injection Darts - 10 SR5 434
Ammo: Regular Ammo
(Light Pistols)
- 36 SR5 434
Ammo: Stick-n-Shock
(Light Pistols)
- 36 SR5 434
Ammo: Tracker Rounds,
Security Tag (Light Pistols)
- 10 RG 55

Backpack (Good) - 1 RF 254
Biomonitor - 1 SR5 450
AR Gloves - 1 SR5 439

Microtrónica Azteca 300 - 1 DT 64
Add Module with Program Carrier (Configurator)
Multidimensional Coprocessor, Sim Module, Hot, Universal Connector Cord (Meter), Vectored Signal Filter;

Data Tap - 1 SR5 440
Electronic Parts - 2 DT 66 (used to add 2nd module to deck)

Armor - 1 SR5 245
Baby Monitor - 1 SR5 245
Biofeedback Filter - 1 SR5 245
Bootstrap - 1 DT 56
Browse - 1 SR5 245
Crash (Program) - 1 DT 57
Decryption - 1 SR5 245
Defuse - 1 SR5 245
Edit - 1 SR5 245
Encryption - 1 SR5 245
Evaluate - 1 DT 57
Exploit - 1 SR5 245
Fly on a Wall - 1 DT 57
Fork - 1 SR5 245
Guard - 1 SR5 245
Hammer - 1 SR5 245
Hitchhiker - 1 DT 57
Lockdown - 1 SR5 245
Mugger - 1 SR5 245
Nuke-from-Orbit - 1 DT 57
Search - 1 DT 56
Shell - 1 SR5 245
Shredder - 1 DT 56
Signal Scrub - 1 SR5 245
Smoke and Mirrors - 1 DT 57
Stealth - 1 SR5 245
Swerve - 1 DT 57
Tantrum - 1 DT 57
Toolbox - 1 SR5 245
Track - 1 SR5 245
Video Game (New) (vr
game)
- 1 RF 253
Wrapper - 1 SR5 245

Bug Scanner 6 1 SR5 440
Certified Credstick,
Standard- 2 SR5 442
Datachip - 10 SR5 440

Contacts 1 1 SR5 443
Thermographic Vision;

Custom Commlink "slave to
deck" (custom)3 1 SR5 438
AR Game (super mario 2k) ,
Diagnostics, Receiver

Fake SIN (Joshua
Jenkleheinstein)
4 1 SR5 442
Fake License rating 4 (Cyberdeck License) ,
Fake License rating 4 (Mage License) , Fake
License rating 4 (Matrix Software License) ,
Fake License rating 4 (Pistol License) ;

Flashlight - 1 SR5 449
Flashlight, Infrared - 1 SR5 449

Goggles 5 1 SR5 443
Flare Compensation, Image Link, Low Light,
Smartlink, Vision Enhancement rating 1;

Headphones 5 1 SR5 445
Audio Enhancement rating 3, Select Sound
Filter rating 2;

Meta Link - 2 SR5 438 (burners)
Micro-Transceiver - 1 SR5 441
Narcojet - 2 SR5 410
Psyche - 3 SR5 412
Reagents, per dram
(Hermetic)
- 20 SR5 317
Respirator 6 1 SR5 449
Restraint, Metal - 1 SR5 447
Restraint, Plastic - 10 SR5 447
Security Tags - 10 SR5 440
Sensor Tags - 10 SR5 440
Slap Patch, Stim Patch 6 1 SR5 451
Slap Patch, Stim Patch 3 1 SR5 451
Slap Patch, Trauma Patch - 2 SR5 451
Spare Clip (Fichetti
Executive Action)
- 1 SR5 433
Standard Tags - 10 SR5 440
Stealth Tags - 10 SR5 440
Tag Eraser - 1 SR5 441
Tool Kit (Hardware) - 1 SR5 443
Trodes - 1 SR5 439

VEHICLE
GMC Universe
LIFESTYLE
Medium


0 karma, 393 nuyen remaining

Reaver

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« Reply #1 on: <04-01-22/2108:48> »
Well, its not optimal, and making a mage/decker combo is rather hard with the skill requirements.

An issue you are going to have is in your spells. You have all sustained spells, and no way to offset the -2 DP (PER SPELL!!). Combine that with relatively low dice pools, and you are in glitch territory for some actions....

Something to consider
« Last Edit: <04-01-22/2115:22> by Reaver »
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

Cakeater

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« Reply #2 on: <04-02-22/1722:15> »
Thanks for the reply.  I agree with you.

I was hoping using psyche to reduce the negative dice pool to -1 and getting +2 dice on all my manip spells  from my mentor spirit would both help with this issue.  I'm a decker first, mage second, so only plan on using one sustained spell at a time, so only -1 to dice pools.  Is this an unrealistic expectation?

Then later getting some sustain foci I expect would help this problem.  I also tried to stay away from spells where a large dice pool was needed, so stuck with buffing mostly to avoid having to make opposed rolls.

fling i don't think is sustained, levitate, invis, and detect life i expected to use more out of combat and to stop sustaining before I had to do decking or something else where the dice penalty mattered much.  deflection I would use to buff the more combat oriented party members since i am def. not.  increase logic if my math is correct has a pretty good chance of gaining a bonus to help with decking, even taking into account the -1 dicepool.

For skills, I had to make sacrifices in cybercombat and assensing and counterspelling. Planned on sticking with sleaze decking and was hoping another partymember, who will play a face/mage would pick up the other two.

Again, with no practical experience at a table I'm not sure if I am missing some things that are going to majorly trip me up, but this was my theoretical plan at least.

Reaver

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« Reply #3 on: <04-02-22/1906:41> »
Well, some of that can only be answered by your GM, (his table, so he'll have a better idea)

But, speaking for MY table, I GM would veto the character because of 2 reasons.
1: too many "Dump stats"... you have both Strength and Charisma as 1.
2: your skills are too weak. Many skills are just not at a level that they would be of use to you.

Perception for example is 6 for you. Given that most times you use this skill is "reflexive", rather than active, the modifiers will be bumping you down 1 to 4 dice before you even roll (unaware, poor lighting, etc). Etiquette is so low as to be pointless as it IS a resisted test, and at 2 whole dice... you will Critical Glitch more often then just failing... Not to mention situations will reduce you to 0 dice anyway (hostile, apathetic, Biased,  etc)


IF this is your first game, my advice would be to make something basic. Either go full decker, or go full mage. Until you actually sit down at a table and play, and see how the GM plays and how everythign interacts, its very hard to make a functional dual archtype character right out of creation.

IF you are really set on a Decker/Mage. Then make a mage first, and use your in game karma awards to build up a decker from there.
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

Cakeater

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« Reply #4 on: <04-02-22/2236:00> »
1: too many "Dump stats"... you have both Strength and Charisma as 1.

Well easy enough to fix.  What would you suggest I transfer? reaction perhaps to bring cha up to 2?

2: your skills are too weak. Many skills are just not at a level that they would be of use to you.

Perception for example is 6 for you. Given that most times you use this skill is "reflexive", rather than active, the modifiers will be bumping you down 1 to 4 dice before you even roll (unaware, poor lighting, etc).

I thought visual enhancement wireless bonus would add +1 dice, i have low light and thermo vision, my headphones have audio enhancement which add +3 dice to hearing tests and select sound filter, plus i have detect life extended to help me perceive life forms out further than one would usually be able to do so.  I thought all those things would help mitigate low perception, but you disagree. hm. I'll have to rethink perception if my gear and spells won't help me in that department.

Etiquette is so low as to be pointless as it IS a resisted test, and at 2 whole dice... you will Critical Glitch more often then just failing... Not to mention situations will reduce you to 0 dice anyway (hostile, apathetic, Biased,  etc)

So you would suggest removing the +1 to etiquette and spending that karma elsewhere?  Only boost a few skills to 6 and forget about the others?

IF you are really set on a Decker/Mage. Then make a mage first, and use your in game karma awards to build up a decker from there.

Decker was actually what I was going for primarily, and I felt I added mostly to the decker side here. The only magic skillpoints I spent are spellcasting.  The vast majority of my skills, attributes, and gear are tailored towards decking. If this isn't enough to be successful there, I'll have to rethink my approach.  You are advocating going all in one direction and being super specialized, while I was trying to be mostly decker, and a little bit mage.  Good to know that doesn't work.

Reaver

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« Reply #5 on: <04-06-22/0051:31> »
The issue in Shadowrun is that is a team of specialists. A team is made up of (usually) 3 to 6 members, who compliment and enhance each others skills and abilities.
And while there will be some overlap in their skills, they all fulfill a separate roll.

Deckers/technomancers for matirix threats and hacking of computer networks
Mages for magic security and countermeasures
Riggers for mechanical response and threats
Samurai for physical threats and countermeasures
Adepts for surveillance and sneaking
Faces for social manipulations
and so on...

and even that very basic list is not really complete, as you can find Deckers that specialize into combat hacking... Or Adepts build for social manipulation... Or the mage that specializes in Conjuration and not Evocation... Or the Sammy that is just a Sniper (To the collective groan of every one on the team)

Now that is not to say that these archtypes can not "spread their wings" into other fields or specialties, just that it generally happens after they reach a "plateau" in their current archtype.


The biggest issue people usually have with shadowrun, is Dice Pools. How much is a big enough dice pool? Now this will be a debate that rages! Ask one person and a dice pool of 18 is your minimum stating point! Ask another and the magic number is 30! Ask a third, and the number is 14...For me, the baseline number you want in your primary skills is between 8 and 12 to start. The reason I say 8 to 12 is because most baseline "professional" opposition is going to be rolling between 8 to 12 dice, and if you below this range, then you are playing catch up to NPCs.... and its just a matter of the rolls until you fail enough times to wash out. (to die, or get caught, or fried, to whatever..)

On top of your primary skills, there are a host of skills that everyone should be taking to some level:

Etiquette Street. Unless the Face is glued to your hip and your lips are sewn closed, everyone needs etiquette. Be that to get past the bouncer at the club door, to talking your way past that wageslave that popped up in the hallway at exactly the wrong time. 

Infiltration (Sneaking). Sneaking is an over looked aspect of the game that a lot of people forget about. And usually ends runs before they actually begin... And if you don't have it... well your team's life just got that much harder! (how, EXACTLY, did you expect to cover that ground to the entry way?? Or move through what should be an empty building...)

Perception: From spotting that ambush before its too late, to that dropped microchip hiding in the carpet, Perception is one of the most used skills in the game. AND the most hit by modifiers ranging from unaware to environmental modifiers.... And its situational for a reason, just because you have "Micro radar 3000" implant in your beanie, doesn't mean its on 24 hours a day, seven days a week.... you actually have to turn it one and "use" it.... which raises the question, "If you are actively using a device, are you 'aware' of the details around you???" (welcome to Shadowrun!)

(ranged) Combat skill: Usually guns of some type. You don't need a high skill, but you should be skilled "enough" to at least make people think twice about following you as you RUNAWAY!!! Lets face it, life in Shadowrun is cheap and dirty, and you could be rolled just getting your morning soycaf, let a lone getting ventilated  while stuffing your face at the Stuffer Shack. (Hence 'Food Fight'.. the into module for Shadowrun, that has a fight in a food court!)


From there, depending on the archtype, you have your archtype skills. Which can vary from the archtype. Some Archtypes like Sammy get to pick out a couple of skills from a list and they are good to go. Some Archtypes have a small list of "must have" skills that needs to be taken AND taken at a high value... What those skills are varies with the archtype and what you are trying to do. The "Sniper" just grabs Long guns on top of the 3 skills above and sits on a roof top, being useless to the rest of the team. The Decker has to take a half dozen skills because he has to edit programs, hack locks, defeat IC, and sleaze past security alarms. (each, effectlvely requiring a separate skills, or programs)

And then, there are the "Traps"

"Traps" in this term refers to ideas that players come up with :D Like being a Sniper :D

Some ideas can place way too much strain on starting resources to build an effective character right out of the gate, which leads to either A: an unproductive game for the player as their character can not "keep up" to the rest of the team, OR B: a total party wipe as the character doesn't have the dice pools to effectively handle a situation at a critical moment.

The 2 BIGGEST failures I see in this regard is the often mentioned "Sniper". And when people try to merge "Awakened" into an other archtype, ESPECIALLY a high skill archtype, that doesn't have much synergy.

Sniper is almost always a failure, just because of what role is, versus what a typical Shadowrun is. Snipers like to stay well away from the scene, often from a high vantage point that over sees a narrow field. Shadowruns often involve the retrieval of a person, item, or data from inside a secure facility, requiring the team to GO INTO said facility... Seeing the issue for a Sniper?

Awakened come in many flavors, usually have a high skill cost. And are limited in how they can advance. A trick some players do (which you did) to try to save some karma at generation is to take become aspected.

Just so we are on the same page: CRB 69

Aspected Magicians
• Aspected magicians are a limited form of magician.
• Aspected magicians do not astrally project.
• Aspected magicians can astrally perceive.
• Aspected magicians must choose one, and only one, of the
following three Skills/Skill Groups.
• Sorcery (Spellcasting and related skills)
• Conjuring (Summoning and related skills)
• Enchanting (Alchemy and related skills)
• Aspected magicians cannot perform any of the magical skills
associated with the two groups they did not select.
• Aspected magicians can only learn Counterspelling if they
take the skills to be a spellcaster.
• Aspected magicians can follow mentor spirits.
• At character creation, aspected magicians who cast spells,
perform rituals, or create alchemical preparations may know
a maximum number of formulae from each group equal to
their Magic Rating x 2 (i.e., Magic Rating of 4 allows 8 spells, 8
rituals, 8 alchemical preparations). 

You took "D" for Magic, which means you are aspected, and start with a MR 2... Then spent 2 of your 3 SAB on magic, and 30 Karma on Spells. just to be able to.... cast some spells.
And those spells are limited to Force 4 IF you don't want physical drain (because once you cast at force 5 to force 8, if the Hits (not NET hits) exceed 4, its all physical drain!)

You are still open to astral attacks thanks to being awakened, but can't respond to them at all, Can't summon spirits (arguably the most powerful reason to BE a mage), still suffer the effect of being awakened and the risks of Magic Loss (which with Addiction Moderate, you are WELL on your way to!).


I can't help but wonder if those SAP, and 30 karma might be better spent elsewhere  (like on less flaws), then what you gain with being an Aspected Mage/Decker.





Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.