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5e Mystic Adept Face

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steelybran

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« on: <04-20-21/1356:52> »
I decided to try something a little different; my previous main was a sniper built around cyberware who dabbled in Face skills because we didn't have one.

Now I'm trying at least a bit of magic, and have been playing around with Adept, Mystic Adept, Cyber/Bioware, and where the Face skills were primary and sometimes secondary.

I wanted to be useful in situations where there was little "Face" time as well, so I wondered what could make me useful with a low Initiative.  Something where a single attack can still be useful.

Here's what I've got so far:
Race: Elf (Dryad)
Body 3, AGI 6(7), REA 3, STR 4, CHA 8, INT 3, LOG 4, WIL 4, EDG 1, MAG 4, Mystic Adept Power Points 4

Positive Qualities:
Common Sense
Sharpshooter
Too Pretty to Hit
Trust Fund III

Negative Qualities:
Creature of Comfort (High)
SINner (National)
Social Appearance Anxiety


Skills: Blades[1] 8, Longarms[1] 8 (Sniper Rifles 10), Pistols[1] 8, Sneaking[1] 8 (Urban 10), Con[5] 16 (Seduction 18), Etiquette[1] 12, Impersonation[1] 12, Leadership [1] 12, Negotiation [1] 12 (Bargaining 14), Binding[4] 8, Ritual Spellcasting[4] 8, Pilot Ground Craft[1] 4

Spells: Combat Sense, Translate, Heal, Increase Attribute [CHA], Entertainment, Improved Invisibility, Physical Mask

Powers: Cool Resolve 2, Improved Physical Attribute (AGI), Eidetic Sense Memory, Three-Dimensional Memory

Armor: Amante Dress, Mortimer of London: Argentum Coat, Zoe: Executive Suite, Chameleon Suit

Weapons: Ares Desert Strike with Chameleon Coating, Tripod and external Smartgun System \ Browning Ghost \ Sapphire Knife with Weapon Foci RAT 1

Vehicles: Suzuki Mirage


After buying a lot of gear, I still have 37k to spend. Not sure if I'm just stretching myself too much here.  I know going the skills and bioware route is usually the easiest (Metatype goes into D, Magic goes into E), and I'm not OPPOSED to it, but I wanted to see if using magic could be fun. 

Any thoughts?  Do characters this spread out not work so well?  Also, being really new to magic, wasn't sure about spells

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #1 on: <04-20-21/1532:05> »
There's very few, niche reasons to have Binding but not Summoning, and Ritual Spellcasting but not Spellcasting.

If you're new to SR and/or 5e, you probably want to swap those skills.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Tecumseh

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« Reply #2 on: <04-20-21/1749:05> »
I'm guessing you did:

A: Attributes
B: Magic
C: Resources
D: Elf
E: Skills

You don't really have anything that links to Strength or Logic, so you might want to pull points from those in favor of Intuition 5 (for Initiative and dodging) and Willpower 5 (for drain and an extra box on your Stun monitor).

In fact, it might even be worth it to drop those attribute points altogether in favor of Magic A for the extra skill points, extra spells, and extra Magic rating (and maybe extra power points if you can find the karma for them).

Stainless Steel Devil Rat is right about wanting Summoning and Spellcasting as your skills.

Note that you'll have to cast Increase Attribute (CHA) at Force 8 (the rating of your Charisma) for it to have any effect.

Too Pretty To Hit will help keep you alive but it will be eating up Initiative that you don't have to spare. Maybe you'll distract an attacker or two but you won't be taking anyone out if you spend all your time in Full Defense.

You don't have Perception. You'll want that no matter what. Swap it in for Pilot Ground Craft.

In fact, I'd dump a lot of your rating 1 skills to start. Concentrate them in a few good skills and leave as many rating 1 skills as you can to buy with karma after your first run or two. Skip the blade, save the nuyen and karma from the weapon focus for other things. Right now you're stretched too far, trying to be a face, a caster, a shooter, and a stabber.

Personally, I'd drop the stabbing and the sniper rifle. If you want to be super useful even with one attack and a modest dice pool, use a full-auto weapon with suppressive fire. It lasts the entire combat turn (no need for multiple Initiative passes) and can reliably sap -2 or -3 dice from your opponents, even with a small dice pool. That can be a huge help while your more combat-oriented team mates do their thing. Focus your utility on your face skills and the spells you bring to the table, then let the others shine in combat. That's my take on things.

steelybran

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« Reply #3 on: <04-20-21/2300:56> »
The big thing is that I'm not new to Shadowrun, but am new to using magic in it.  I played a cyber-enhanced sniper for years and was basically up to Prime Runner in Missions Play. 

Just never took the deep dive into magic.  Trying to make magic work as a Face has been rough because of the lack of cash unless I tank something else.  I hate tanking the skills - it's frustrating - but not having enough starting cash for even a decent fake SIN seems problematic at best, especially for a face.

steelybran

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« Reply #4 on: <04-21-21/1029:20> »
So I played around with the build a bit last night, and did a huge rework.  Nothing set in stone, but definitely took your recommendations.
A. Magic
B. Skills
C. Resources
D. Metatype
E. Attributes

Race: Elf (Dryad)
BOD 1(4)  / AGI 3 / REA 3 / STR 1 / CHA 8 / INT 1 / LOG 1 / WIL 5 / EDG 1 / MAG 6

Positive Qualities:
Trust Fund III

Negative Qualities
Creature of Comfort (High)
SINner (National)
Social Appearance Anxiety

Skillgroup: Influence 5 (Negotiation, Leadership, Etiquette) (17)
Skills: Binding 6(12) / Spellcasting 6(12) / Summoning 5(11) / Perception 6(7) / Arcana 5(6) / Con 6(18) - Seduction (20) / Impersonation 1(13) / Performance 1(13) / Medicine 6(7) - Extended Care(9)

Tradition: Black Magic

Spells and Spirits:
Death Touch
Manablade
Powerbolt
Heal
Increase Reflexes
Improved Invisibility
Trid Entertainment
Astral Armor
Control Emotions
Critter Form - Cat

Adept Powers:
Cool Resolve 3
Improved Physical Attribute (BOD) 3

I haven't spent the money yet, and have 5 karma remaining.  I was debating going with a Mentor Spirit, either Raven or Seduction.  The Raven works better for my spell selection, the Seduction spirit works better for the theme I'm creating.

I think I went overboard on combat spells...  thinking I should drop manablade (or if needing more combat, trade that out for mana or powerball).
I'm not dead set on the Improved PA (BOD), but I did like that I could make myself a bit more survivable. 
Increase Reflexes is specifically to help others, but can cast on myself if necessary.

Right now my first goals while gaining karma would be to prop up the 1 stats to 2s, but otherwise I'm kind of open.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #5 on: <04-21-21/1057:51> »
not a fan of spending PPs to buy 3 BOD.  If you want to increase survivability, you can buy those +3 soak dice much more cheaply via other means.  if you want to address your abysmal Physical Limit, adding to STR will help more than BOD.

Frankly, if you want to do Attributes E, I don't think you can reasonably get away with 8 CHA.  You'd absolutely be better off with shaving a few points off and having Increase Charisma as one of your known spells... it'd still be a net gain on your dice pools!  If you want to be drastic you could even drop CHA down to 4 and leave your dice pools unchanged.

Usually characters of this type are going to put resources in the E bucket.  I get that you have a vision for your character being fancy and sophisticated.. is it truly worth the attribute points you're giving up by not having Attributes C?  You can have the exact same concept with a "currently down on her luck" twist by giving Resources E and a "temporary", drekky lifestyle that she's unaccustomed to.  You havent spent those resources yet, but what do you plan to buy besides a good fake SIN and high lifestyle?  No you can't get those at Resources E, but the absence of them can be part of your early career roleplaying hooks.  (at resources E, you'll probably have to convert some karma to cash just to get the absolutely necessary "good enough" Fake SIN tho)

If you want to be a face, then you'll want the special social tricks that are only accessible via adept powers.  Kinesics, etc.

RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

steelybran

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« Reply #6 on: <04-21-21/1259:55> »
I like your suggestions - and I think I have a good backstory to boot for it.

Basically she has the Trust Fund III like before, but very little starting cash - the thought being is that she sold off all her worldly possessions (well, almost all of them) to try and make her way into the entertainment market.  I am debating if she was conned out of her money - leading her down the path of becoming a grifter herself - or if she simply tried and failed miserably to garner even the slightest interest.  I kind of like the first one, as it gives me an excuse to create an enemy character to potentially work into the story later.  So she's living off of her parents' dollar while angry at herself for not managing to see her failure coming.  *She even sold her bike, which she loved.

Spend 5 karma on starting Nuyen because her friend told her if she was going to get into this line of work, she needed a fake SIN.  All she has left that is fancy is whatever the remaining cash I have will get (probably an Armante Dress).

Switched Attributes and Resources.

Attributes changed to:
BOD 2 / AGI 2 / REA 2 / STR 2(5) / CHA 8 / INT 2 /LOG 4 / WIL 5 / EDG 1 / MAG 6
(This gets my physical and mental limits to 5 each)

I thought about using the spell to boost CHA, but can I buff my CHA and still cast spells (using CHA as one of my main spellcasting stats)?

Spells are Death Touch, Manabolt (physical and non-physical attacks), Heal, Increase Reflexes, Incubus Shroud, Physical Mask, Trid Entertainment, Armor, Astral Armor, Critter Form - Cat (I'm okay giving up the armor spells if needed).  Still using Black Magic as the

Adept powers at the moment are Cool Resolve 2, Improved PA STR 3 (for limit), Kinesics 4

I did trade out Medicine for Palming, though I figure the medicine might be useful during downtime?  I also lowered my Arcana to add Sneaking.