Pre-Channeling Melee Aspected Conjurer

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« on: <07-15-17/0218:58> »
Prompted to theory craft more aspected magicians. Melee Channeling conjurers can be both super cheesey and super inefficient at the same time, but I always like the concept. I haven't bought Forbidden Arcana, so maybe there could be things to make them better (masteries?), but just looking at qualities, doesn't seem like the basic design is all that different. 

Be able to summon F8 spirits (at least Magic 4 with summoning dice that give a good chance net hits vs a dicepool of 8)
You want a high natural physical attributes up to 7, so that they can take advantage of a +4 bonus from possession.  So non-humans have a leg up here in that they all have at least one physical attribute they can get to 7 naturally at chargen (elves have agility, Orks/Trolls/Dwarves have Str/Body). 
Use a weapon focus   
Probably use a weapon that relies on physical limit for accuracy, as channeling for +4 bonuses to physical stats will up that limit +6-7, allowing you to take advantage of all of your extra dice. 
Have some edge to deal with potential drain issues. 
Initiate into Channeling ASAP 
Aspected Conjurers may be ideal for such a premise, as they lend themselves to play with non-human metas and full magicians/mystic adepts have other tools that aren't channeling at their disposal and tend not to have the builds to support melee combat. 

So knowing that, below is a concept that is demonstrative of dicepools... but the strains of the mentor spirit may make the character difficult. The template works fine if you change out the mentor spirit quality for another mentor, other qualities, switch spirit of choice, and switch weapons to unarmed. Thunderbird with Air spirits, Green Man with Plant Spirits, etc. come to mind...   

B Elf
A Attributes
D Conjurer
E Skills
C Resources 

Karma spent:  20 PQs, 26 on Foci bonding, 4 on skills. Needs -25 of NQs (and knowledge skills) .
Nuyen Left: Only bought weapon, one armor, and foci. Character has 68k leftover for solid starter gear (nice car, nice lifestyle, nice commlink, nice ID, etc.).

== Attributes ==
BOD: 3
AGI: 7
REA: 5
STR: 5
CHA: 3
INT: 5
LOG: 2
WIL: 5
EDG: 5
MAG: 4

== Derived Attributes ==
Essence:                   6
Initiative:                10 +1d6
F8 Earth Spirit Initiative: 15 + 2d6
Physical Damage Track:     10
Stun Damage Track:         11

== Limits ==
Physical:                  6
Mental:                    5
Social:                    6
   Vashon Island: Sleeping Tiger [+1] (Must be visible)
Astral:                    6

== Active Skills ==
Assensing: 1
Blades: 6 (Axes)           
Con: 1
Perception: 1 (Visual) 
Sneaking: 1 (Urban)
Summoning: 6 (Spirits of Earth)

== Knowledge Skills ==

== Contacts ==
; Fixer (4, 3)
; Talislegger (1, 1)

== Qualities ==
Agile Defender
Aspected Magician
Jack of All Trades Master of None
Low-Light Vision
Mentor Spirit (Stag) [+2 blades, +2 earth spirits]
Restricted Gear

== Tradition ==
Chaos Magic, Resist Drain with: WIL + INT (10)

== Armor ==
Vashon Island: Sleeping Tiger      13
   + Custom Fit
   + Newest Model
   + Ruthenium Polymer Coating
   + Holster

== Weapons ==
Unarmed Attack
   Pool: 6   Accuracy: 6   DV: 5S   AP: -   RC: 3
Urban Tribe Tomahawk
   + Concealed Quick-Draw Holster
   Pool: 6   Accuracy: 7   DV: 7P   AP: -1   RC: 3

== Gear ==
Summoning Focus (Bonded Foci) Rating 4
Urban Tribe Tomahawk
Weapon Focus (Bonded Foci) (Urban Tribe Tomahawk) Rating 6


So this build exploits the urban tribe tomahawk as a melee blades weapon that still uses physical limit as its accuracy. I don't think this is intended, but it is RAW. This makes the weapon itself unrestricted, concealable, and when channeling, use with Dicepool of 27 and a limit of 12. There are other bladed weapons that can get to limit of 8, but when throwing 27 dice, I wanted the option to keep bigger rolls. Going unarmed with an unarmed focus works too. 

I prefer Magic for this character to be 4 with Edge 5, as Magic is primarily used for summoning dice and spirit Force limit and the 2 extra doesn't affect it much and channeling perks peak at F8 spirits, whereas having more edge to deal with bad drain or skill deficits I think is more useful. However, character took a R6 weapon focus, so using it will trigger focus addiction issues. If you don't want to deal with them, you can go Magic 6/Edge 3, or cap that chargen weapon focus to R3 (and save some money/karma). 

Character throws 18 dice for summoning earth spirits. It is probably excessive, allowing some summoning to be siphoned to other skills (including binding) and even getting buying a binding focus can let the character have binding (likely most powerful ability of an aspected conjurer). 

Main Math: 
Weapon: Agility 7 + Spirit 4 + Blades 6 + Axe Spec + Stag mentor 2 + focus 6 = 27 tomahawk dice  at physical DV 11 w/ -1 AP and an accuracy of 12 
Summoning: Magic 4 + Summoning 6 + Earth 2 + Stag mentor 2 + summoning focus 4 = 18 summoning dice (against up to 8 for an F8 spirit). 
Channeling Initiative: (F8 x 2 - 1) + 2d6 = 15 +2d6
Channeling Defense: Reaction 9 + Intuition 5 = 14, with Agile Defender 9 = 23

In all, character is pretty combat-meathead and spirit support until they channel, and just become more of that when they begin channeling.  Useful for a combat-heavy campaign where outright killing is ok, or if nothing else, an NPC concept.

PS: Can we no longer put things in spoilers?
« Last Edit: <07-15-17/1234:37> by FST_Gemstar »


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« Reply #1 on: <07-15-17/0656:52> »
Nice ground work.

Initiative will be your greatest concern with these builds.
Going Apprentice (Health, Spirit of Man), Elf, Ancestor Shaman and add Dedicated Conjurer for extra spirits.
That way you can pick up a few spells for your Spirit of Man, including the always useful Increase Reflexes and Detox.
Now you can have your spirit cast those spells on you as needed, while you only need conjuring as a magical skill.

For weapon foci (can you actually bind a focus that's above your own magic rating?) I like using Plasteel Boots from HT - same effect as knucks but unrestricted (and you keep your hands free for other stuff)

If you switch between Spirit of Men and Task and Guardian, you can even have magic skill wires.
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« Reply #2 on: <07-15-17/1014:58> »

Initiative isn't great with channeled earth spirits. 2/3 chance for three passes. Usually I would go AIr who at F8 is always getting at least 20. I am always a little unsure about stacking initiative on a spirit, because they use Force (not Rea/Intuition) to determine initiative (you use spirit initiative when channeling). But Improved Reflexes should work ok then. 
My other question would be, and i'm not near my Street Grimoire, but do you get Immunity to normal weapons when possessed, or is strictly a materialization power? If that's the case, I'm not too hung up on initiative, as the character could pretty solidly tank (16 Hardened Armor, up to -8 in wound penalties ignored, etc.) and can survive more rounds of combat. If damage makes it past hardened armor, can you still  soak/stack with your regular armor when channeling (as this would really up the tankiness)? 

What does ancestor Shaman do?  Apprentice does seem like a great alternative for the melee-channeler to get those health buffs and as a build that doesn't require a super wide spirit options, it doesn't have much of a downside.

"You can't bond more foci than your Magic attribute, and the maximum Force of all of your bonded foci can't exceed your Magic x5,"CRB 318.
So I think you can bond foci higher than your Magic rating. The issue is that whenever you use foci with total Force higher than your magic rating, you trigger Foci addiction.  For a character like this is probably isn't such a big deal to have it, or even have it run out of control, as they depend heavily on their foci anyway and have a lot of opportunity to get "fixes" and avoid withdrawal. 

Unarmed is probably the better way to go when actually playing (especially when throwing so many dice). You never need to "carry" a weapon besides your shoes, and you get to take advantage of a high accuracy. But if going with a smaller weapon foci or fewer weapon bonuses, an accuracy 8 weapon like a combat knife (unrestricted) or one of the fancier swords could still be doable just fine.  I think in concept I just wanted a build that would take advantage of all the benefits of the Stag mentor (+2 earth summoning, +2 blades) AND use have high accuracy,  and tomahawk-ing seemed like a way to do it .
« Last Edit: <07-15-17/1236:38> by FST_Gemstar »


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« Reply #3 on: <07-15-17/1445:43> »
Ancestor Shaman is from FA p. 74
You gain +2 dice on summoning Spirits of Men and -2 on summoning other spirits. You can't bind Spirits of Men but at initiate grade 2 you gain the ability to channel them as if you had the meta magic to do so.

If you have access to the SotA ADL book, there is another useful Mentor Spirit: Wild Hunt gives you +2 dp to summon guardian or men spirits.

As for immunity to normal weapons: That is not a property of spirits but of the materialization ability. As long as you possess, are channeled or inhabit a vessel you aren't using materialization.
You do gain the +4 to body and a severe pain reduction, but you still want very much to avoid being hit. (Agile defender is probably a must for this build as well)

talk think matrix

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« Reply #4 on: <07-15-17/2034:10> »
Yeah this is the danger build of 5th.
I was waiting to see one after FA dropped.
Once it get to the point where it can deal with the drain involved calling up force 8 spirits, it's going to be really strong, and really hard to deal with.
There's lots places to go with it, good martial arts support.
It should be strong in a fight, and strong support.
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« Reply #5 on: <07-15-17/2046:33> »
I like these builds... 

but a materialized F8 spirit is nothing to sneeze at on its own, and there are more direct was to make summoners (particularly aspected)  who can get their drain pools very high, and do other things besides fight or fight alongside. An awesome PC who can summon an awesome spirit is usually better than an awesome PC made slightly more awesome with a channeled spirit. Just like channeling though. 

And F8 spirit is on average sending only 4-6 physical damage your way. With 10 drain dice, likely going to handle half of it. It's not too bad. If it is, it's why I think the character is better Magic 4/Edge 5 than Magic 6 Edge 3. Having an edge to reroll drain dice is likely enough to deal with the bulk of even a lot of summoning defense hits. Even if the character does take a ton of damage, once channeling character has up to -8 wound modifiers nullified, so while channeling, the character can still be functional enough to have as good chance as any to survive the situation.   


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« Reply #6 on: <07-15-17/2308:30> »
Oh yea F8 is serous business no question and it's not like this doesn't take a fairly decent pile of Karma to achieve. I'm not saying it's broken just that it's strong and flexible, and that is a dangerous combination. 
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