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[SRM Season 5] Street Samurai/Weapon Specialist

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ZeroSum

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« on: <10-17-19/2146:39> »
I found a Missions game to join, but my exposure to 5th Edition is pretty limited. I'd appreciate any tips you could provide for 5th Edition, as all of my recent reading has been around 6th.

I tried to make a combat-oriented character with a decent focus on ranged (dice pool of 12-16 before modifiers) and unarmed combat (dice pool of 14), with a strong showing in perception (between vision and audio enhancements and attention coprocessor a total dice pool of 14 with lowlight/thermographic and flare compensation); secondaries include gymnastics, sneaking and palming, with a 10+ dice pool in all four. Some misc skills to round it all up: disguise from the Stealth group, Locksmith just because of the naturally high agility, navigation because the CZ, pilot ground craft for the bike, running because moving may be important, and survival and tracking because Chicago?


Really not sure what to expect from Missions, to be honest. Anyway, here's the Chummer sheet (man, that tool is nice!). Let me know what you think for a generic SRM game; I've got just under 10k left to spend on gear, but there are just so many books to choose from, and I barely dabbled in Core, Chrome Flesh, Run Faster, Run & Gun, and maybe a couple others.

Concept is a street kid who got nabbed by corpos and experimented on as part of an augmented soldier program; basically stuffed full of 'ware and taught combat skills, but little else. Suffers from obvious stunted personal growth and a general inability to think for himself (hence the low charisma and logic). Needs someone to tell him who to fight.

I picked Quantum Princess as a contact because she seemed the most like someone who would throw this character a bone, maybe even feel bad for the kid and take him under her proverbial wing as he emerged from some underground lab.

== Personal Data ==
Name: Unnamed Character                 Alias: Zero
Human                                   
Movement:16/32 (2m/hit)                         
Swim:6.5 (1m/hit)                           
                                       
Street Cred: 0                          Composure: 6
Notoriety: 0                            Judge Intentions: 8
Public Awareness: 0                     Lift/Carry: 8(75 kg/50 kg)
Karma: 0                                Memory: 5

Nuyen:1,240¥

Age:                                    Skin:
Eyes:                                   Hair:
Primary Arm: Right                     

== Priorities ==
Metatype: D,1
Attributes: B,3
Special: E,0
Skills: C,2
Resources: A,4

== Attributes ==
Current Form:
BOD: 3          CHA: 2
AGI: 5(8)       INT: 6                                 
REA: 5(7)       LOG: 1
STR: 3(5)       WIL: 4
EDG: 5                                 

== Derived Attributes
Essence: 0.33                           Initiative:          13 +3d6
Physical Damage Track: 10               Rigger Initiative:   13 +3d6
Stun Damage Track: 10                   Astral Initiative:   
Physical: 7                             Matrix AR:           13 +3d6
Mental: 4                               Astral: 4
   Attention Coprocessor [+1] (Only for Perception)
   Audio Enhancement [+3] (Only for Perception (Hearing))
   Medkit [+6] (Only for First Aid and Medicine)
   Vision Enhancement [+3] (Only for Perception (Visual))
Social: 3                               
   Ballistic Mask [+1] (Only for Intimidation, Must be visible)
   Securetech PPP: Arms Kit [-1] (Must be visible)
   Securetech PPP: Legs Kit [-1] (Must be visible)


== Active Skills ==
Automatics (Assault Rifles)             Base:5 + Karma:0 =5  Pool:13(15)
Gymnastics                              Base:2 + Karma:0 =2  Pool:10
Heavy Weapons (Grenade Launchers)       Base:2 + Karma:0 =2  Pool:10(12)
Locksmith                               Base:0 + Karma:1 =1  Pool:9
Palming                                 Base:3 + Karma:0 =3  Pool:11
Perception                              Base:5 + Karma:0 =5  Pool:11
Pilot Ground Craft                      Base:0 + Karma:1 =1  Pool:8
Running                                 Base:2 + Karma:0 =2  Pool:7
Sneaking                                Base:6 + Karma:0 =6  Pool:14
Swimming                                Base:2 + Karma:0 =2  Pool:7
Unarmed Combat                          Base:5 + Karma:0 =5  Pool:13

== Knowledge Skills ==
TBD

== Qualities ==
AIPS
Battle Hardened (3)
Biocompatability (Bioware)
Illiterate
Phobia (Uncommon, Moderate) (Medical Facilities and Labs)
Prejudiced (Specific, Biased) (Medical Personnel)
Restricted Gear
Sharpshooter

== Lifestyle ==
Doss(Squatter)1 Month
   + Grid Subscription (Public Grid)

== Cyberware/Bioware ==
Attention Coprocessor
Bone Density Augmentation Rating 4
Datajack
Muscle Augmentation Rating 2
Muscle Toner Rating 3
Orthoskin Rating 4
Pain Editor
Platelet Factories
Smartlink
Synaptic Booster Rating 2

== Armor ==
Ares Victory: Wild Hunt                 12
   + Gear Access
   + Liner - Insulation (6)
   + Nonconductivity 6
   + Holster
Ballistic Mask                          +2
   + Flare Compensation
   + Gas Mask
   + Low Light
   + Thermographic Vision
Securetech PPP: Arms Kit                +1
Securetech PPP: Legs Kit                +1

== Weapons ==
Ares Alpha
   + Easy Breakdown (Unpowered), Foregrip, Gas-Vent 3 System, Imaging Scope, Personalized Grip, Shock Pad, Sling, Smartgun System, Internal
   Pool: 13 (15)Accuracy: 5 (8) DV: 11P      AP: -2    RC: 9 (10)
Ares Crusader II
   + Gas-Vent 2 System, Quick-Draw Holster, Silencer/Suppressor, Smartgun System, Internal
   Pool: 13     Accuracy: 5 (7) DV: 7P       AP: -     RC: 5
Grenade: Smokebomb
   Pool: 7      Accuracy: 7     DV: (3m Radius)AP: -     RC: 3
Minigrenade: High Explosive
   Pool: 1 (12)     Accuracy: 0     DV: 16P (-2/m)AP: -2    RC: 3
Unarmed Attack
   Pool: 13     Accuracy: 7     DV: 8P       AP: -     RC: 3

== Commlink ==
MCT Blue Defender(ATT: 0,SLZ: 0,DP: 1,FWL: 5)
   + Commlink Form Factor, Non-Standard (Bracelet)
   + Commlink Functionality [Camera, Micro, Chip Player, Credstick Reader, Earbuds 1, GPS Guidance System, Micro Trid-Projector, Music Player, RFID Tag Scanner, Shock- and Water-Resistant Case, Touchscreen Display]

== Gear: Equipped ==
Ammo: Assault Rifles
   + Explosive Rounds ×100, Stick-n-Shock ×100, Tracer (Assault Rifles) ×100
Ammo: Machine Pistols
   +  APDS Rounds ×40, Regular ×80
Biomonitor
Certified Credstick, Silver
Contacts Rating 3
   + Vision Enhancement Rating 3
Earbuds Rating 3
   + Audio Enhancement Rating 3
Fake SIN Rating 4
   + Fake License (Bounty Hunter's License) Rating 4 ×4
Flashlight, Infrared
Grenade: Smokebomb ×2
Lockpick Set
Medkit Rating 6
Micro-Transceiver
Minigrenade: High Explosive ×6
Miniwelder
Restraint, Plastic ×10
Spare Clip (Ares Alpha) ×5
Spare Clip (Ares Crusader II) ×2
Survival Kit (Lighter, Compass, Matches, Lightweight Thermal Blanket, Several Days' Worth of Ration Bars, Water Purification Unit)

== Vehicles ==
Thundercloud Morgan
   + Manual Operation, Off-Road Suspension, Smuggling Compartment, Standard, Winch (Basic)

== Contacts ==
Quantum Princess,Chicago(Connection: 4,Loyalty: 2)


Changes in v3
Not a complete rebuild, but enough changes that I'd rather just start fresh.

Highlights:
Managed to squeeze in another point of Muscle Augmentation
Swapped the Growler for a Thundercloud Morgan with a smuggling compartment for illegal gear
Optimized a lot of skills (thanks Tecumseh!), so overall focus and karma efficiency is now much improved; major focus in ranged and unarmed combat, stealth, and situational awareness, with good secondaries in locksmithing, athletics, and pilot ground craft.
Saved 7 karma for post-chargen to pick up Jack of All Trades, Master of None quality and start spending karma and downtime to increase low-rating skills for more versatility

Still have just under 1500 nuyen, but no real
« Last Edit: <10-19-19/0034:25> by ZeroSum »

Tecumseh

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« Reply #1 on: <10-18-19/0100:05> »
Looks pretty solid overall. There might be some tweaks to make.

How did you spend your starting karma? That's usually a key point, especially since you only get 25 karma in 5E. I suspect you bought the Sneaking (Urban) specialization with 7 karma, which - if true - I'm going to recommend against, but I'll wait until we have the full picture before saying for certain.

I'd recommend hard capping one of your Attributes. Most people choose Agility, but a case can be made for Intuition as well. Agility affects your movement rate in 5E, so it's nice to have that high. I'd pull a point from Body, as armor is inexpensive and it won't have a large impact to your dice pool for soaking. Missions isn't trying to kill you; this character should thrive.

Sharpshooter is a bit of a pain. There are times when you just need to hit, and that's when Burst Fire and Full Auto are priceless. I took it and didn't like it, so I "bought" it off (even though it's a positive quality). Your miles may vary.

You have smoke grenades but no Throwing Weapons skill (and not really the Strength to get them that far), so I'd get a clip of smoke mini-grenades instead.

Since you're mundane, the Jack of All Trades quality really helps after chargen. I'd prioritize that. Lots of people like the Agile Defender quality too, but it isn't that expensive so you could potentially afford that after gameplay starts even at double the cost. It's not that urgent since your Willpower is high enough to make Full Defense powerful even without it.

The Designated Omega quality (Cutting Aces, p. 152) could fit his "general inability to think for himself... [n]eeds someone to tell him who to fight" personality.

ZeroSum

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« Reply #2 on: <10-18-19/0525:30> »
Looks pretty solid overall. There might be some tweaks to make.
Thanks, and of course, that's why I come here. First of all, I just wanted to say I appreciate all the feedback you've provided for all of my characters so far. Really, than you.

Quote
How did you spend your starting karma? That's usually a key point, especially since you only get 25 karma in 5E. I suspect you bought the Sneaking (Urban) specialization with 7 karma, which - if true - I'm going to recommend against, but I'll wait until we have the full picture before saying for certain.
My bad, forgot to include the total. Here is the breakdown:
Positive Qualities: -25
Battle Hardened 3 (-6), Biocompatibility (Bioware, -5), Restricted Gear (-10), Sharpshooter (-4)

Negative Qualities: +25
AIPS (+10), Illiterate (+5), Phobia (Uncommon/Moderate, +7), Prejudice (Specific/Biased, +3)

Attributes: -10
Charisma 2 (-10)

Skills: -15
Locksmith 1 (-2), Navigation 1 (-2), Pilot Ground Craft 1 (-2), Tracking 1 (-2), Sneaking (Urban) specialization (-7)

Quote
I'd recommend hard capping one of your Attributes. Most people choose Agility, but a case can be made for Intuition as well. Agility affects your movement rate in 5E, so it's nice to have that high. I'd pull a point from Body, as armor is inexpensive and it won't have a large impact to your dice pool for soaking. Missions isn't trying to kill you; this character should thrive.
This is good advice, but I think I will actually hard-cap Intuition; the reason for this is because of the Pain Editor giving me +1 Willpower but -1 Intuition whenever active.

I just realized that dropping Body to 3 won't actually impact my Physical limit, and with 22 armor I agree that 1 point give or take won't make a huge difference. So I've put that back into Willpower for things like Spell Defense. I don't think the Ares Victory is a "full body armor" per se, so I've picked up the PPP Vitals kit for another +1 Armor just in case.

Quote
Sharpshooter is a bit of a pain. There are times when you just need to hit, and that's when Burst Fire and Full Auto are priceless. I took it and didn't like it, so I "bought" it off (even though it's a positive quality). Your miles may vary.
I mostly picked this up for the ability to always be using the Called Shot: Vitals option; +2 DV for -2 Dice Pool seems like it could be really strong, particularly as I've got a base 14 dice with the Assault Rifle; the +2 from the Smartgun would wash out the penalty, leaving only environmental modifiers which I've attempted to counter as much as possible.

There's also a couple of potentially strong called shots in Run & Gun, like Bulls-Eye Double-Tap/Burst (-10 AP with the Alpha seems pretty useful against spirits?) and That Hit The Spot; conditions like Winded and Stunned seem like they could be extremely useful in subduing a target, but perhaps it's just easier to fill the target full of Stick-n-Shock instead?

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You have smoke grenades but no Throwing Weapons skill (and not really the Strength to get them that far), so I'd get a clip of smoke mini-grenades instead.
Heh, this one is actually intentional. I figured this would be a defensive technique more than anything; drop the grenade near myself or toss it into a room before breaching; with thermographic vision I can ignore penalties that my opponents may not be able to avoid.

Quote
Since you're mundane, the Jack of All Trades quality really helps after chargen. I'd prioritize that. Lots of people like the Agile Defender quality too, but it isn't that expensive so you could potentially afford that after gameplay starts even at double the cost. It's not that urgent since your Willpower is high enough to make Full Defense powerful even without it.
Agile Defender is really tempting, not going to lie. I figured I would have to/should be using Full Defense anyway because I'm likely to be getting at least 2, maybe 3 Initiative Passes per combat round and the +5 (+8 with AD) dice to defend could really help.

Jack of all Trades is an interesting one I hadn't considered. Definitely something that could be useful. I could save up 4 Karma by not spending it on two Rank 1 skills and pick up the quality after character generation for 4 skills. This would effectively be Karma neutral, and any skill raised (less than 6, obviously) would be that much less expensive.

Quote
The Designated Omega quality (Cutting Aces, p. 152) could fit his "general inability to think for himself... [n]eeds someone to tell him who to fight" personality.
This is interesting. I could definitely swap Illiterate for Deisgnated Omega; both a somewhat flavourful to be honest. I'll think about this one. Thanks!


Finally, any general recommendations for Matrix gear? I'm not sure if I should invest in more protective gear like a Sleaze dongle to help with running silent; with my atrocious Logic I don't see Running Silent being particularly effective, but I also don't know how much hacking opposition I should expect from Missions.

EDIT:
Changes in v2
Reduced Body from 4 to 3
Increased Intuition from 5 to 6

Removed Tracking 1 and Navigation 1 to save 4 Karma for Jack of All Trades, Master of None quality, to be purchased once the game starts. This will pay for itself after just a few skill ranks are increased from 0 to 1

Purchased Gas Mask and added it to Ballistic Mask

Replaced Smoke Grenades with Smoke Bombs from Hard Target, as this is more the type of equipment I was looking for.

Purchased a Reloading Rail, a Miniwelder, and a Lockpick Set; also added Nonconductivity Rating 6 and Shock Weave to the Ares Victory: Big Game Hunter armour, as well as a Silencer/Suppressor to the Ares Crusader II

EDIT 2:
Just realized that Skeletal Pneumaticity is incompatible with Bone Density Augmentation. Removed the former.
« Last Edit: <10-18-19/0733:34> by ZeroSum »

Tecumseh

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« Reply #3 on: <10-18-19/1748:07> »
Hard capping Intuition is a solid option. As it affects initiative, dodge, and Perception, it is usually my choice too.

At 3d6+11 initiative, you have a 62.5% chance of getting three initiative passes, which is to say Initiative 21 or higher.

Agile Defender isn't a high priority because 1) you'll be acting early most of the time, and 2) adding 3 dice (8 Agility vs. 5 Willpower) for a situational benefit isn't worth making the room for at this point. Put it on the To Do list if you find yourself drawing a lot of fire, but your Edge pool is high enough that you have a panic button to hammer in case you get over your head.

What's Restricted Gear for? Chummer's output doesn't include grades for cyber/bio (used, alpha, etc.) so I don't know if you have 'ware that's above the Availability threshold or not. If it's standard grade then it is, but if it's used then it isn't, etc.

Mathematically, whether you go with the Urban (Sneaking) specialization depends somewhat on whether you go for Jack of All Trades. But the reality is that is has more to do what the opportunity cost is, and what you can spend the karma on otherwise.

Some of this advice is based on how optimized you want to be. Running, for example, rarely comes up. Your Agility is high enough that you won't need to sprint often (nor will you really want to burn the Complex action most of the time) and long-distance running tests are almost unheard of. Gymnastics is more useful, but most of your dice aren't coming from you skill. (I'm actually not even sure where your last two dice are coming from. Agility 8 + Gymnastics 2 + ____ 2 = 12 dice, evidently.)

As such, I'd recommend dropping your Sneaking (Urban) specialization and using the karma to buy Athletics 1 (the skill group) for 5 karma. Now you can still run and jump and climb, but also swim too. Your dice pools are lower, sure, but that frees up 6 skill points to redistribute. Automatics is an obvious candidate, especially if you want to use Sharpshooter. Heavy Weapons is also a good choice, as more dice = lower odds of a glitch = less chance of blowing yourself up with an HE grenade.

Or, here's another possibility. Right now you have your 2 skill group points into Stealth, and 6 individual skill points into various Athletics skills. You could swap those, buying Athletics 2 and then put the individual skill points into the Stealth skills. That's valuable, because Sneaking will be used the most frequently so it's nice to have it higher than the others. Palming is important, since you can't default to it, but it would be fine to buy a single rank with 2 karma to start the game. Same with Disguise. If you do that, you could put all 6 points into Sneaking if you wished.

Some of this comes down to how effective you want to be immediately out of chargen vs. long-term growth potential. In the same vein, what you want to spend your karma on after gameplay starts? The Jack of All Trades quality is a good example of this, because it makes skills cheaper after chargen, which means that if you can survive your first run or two without ____ low-level skill (Pilot Ground Craft, Tracking, Navigation, etc.) then you can pick them up for less karma later. Heck, you can leave chargen with up to 7 karma set aside for a bunch of rating 1 skills. All you have to do is survive the first run so that you can start spending some downtime on developing them.

Sneaky-stabby-shooty is the Holy Trinity of street samurai, although one could argue that Perception should be right there with them. This character has all those bases covered, which is why I said it looks solid overall. Don't worry as much about punchy/stabby, as those are more situational and usually "because you want to" rather than "the situation forces you to" use them. It's nice to have options when you don't have weapons, or need to be silent, but you won't be using those options frequently when you have suppressed weapons (like the Crusader) and relatively few negative modifiers for using firearms in close combat.

If you have some nuyen leftover, I'd recommend picking up some more ammo types for the Crusader. More armor options are also welcome, especially for different settings.

ZeroSum

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« Reply #4 on: <10-19-19/0008:35> »
Man, I can't thank you enough for all your advice, this is really good stuff!

I definitely agree on Intuition, and while I won't bank on having three initiative passes it'll definitely be useful when I do. Agile Defender is something I will most certainly want to add to the "get later" list; as I boost Agility even further, but with the Pain Editor active I will have +1 WIL and -1 INT so the difference between AG and not is only 2 dice. Thanks for the tip.

Restricted Gear is for the Pain Editor, which is 18F; since it's cultured bioware it can't be taken as used grade. Being able to soak damage makes it more likely that it'll be converted to Stun; the Pain Editor is there to keep me going if that happens, and the Platelet Factories is there for when stun does turn to physical. It's an expensive augment, but totally worth it in my opinion.

Your points about the sneaking specialty, and the athletics and stealth groups are spot on. I figure I can do without tracking and navigation, and even palming for that first mission. I'll keep Locksmith and Pilot Groundcraft because the former I can't default on, and the latter I don't know if a mere 5 dice is enough to ride around on.

So, with all of that in mind, I've updated the character somewhat significantly, and rejigged a lot of gear. Going to just post the whole thing as a separate response below.




Tecumseh

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« Reply #5 on: <10-19-19/0032:34> »
Cool, glad you're digging it. 5E is a different beast than 6E. Some of the same concepts apply, like around karma efficiency, but a lot of the rest of it depends on how things play out once the game has started. There are significant differences that aren't obvious until you play.

I would recommend starting with Palming for the same "can't default" reason. It's also how you hide/sneak guns past people, so it's valuable. I'd pay 2 karma to start with it, even if it would only cost 1 karma after chargen. But that's me, and I'll admit to not being familiar enough with Season 5 to know if it's really relevant or not.

Personally, I would skip the pain editor because of the price of Restricted Gear. The name of the game is "don't get hit in the first place". Your base dodge pool is 12, so you're in a good position to do that. Full Defense takes that up to 17, and good cover can easily boost that to 21. Someone hosing you down with Full Auto might give you pause, and AoE attacks like grenades and spells have silly rules that make it easy to hit, but even if you get tagged you still have 20+ dice to soak. Long story short, I wouldn't worry too much about damage and wound modifiers. Saving up for a pain editor is a good goal, but I personally wouldn't pay the Restricted Gear premium to acquire it since odds are good it will rarely come into play. (And, again, you have a fat Edge pool to make sure things never get that far.)