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[SR5] New player, looking for advice on a Mage Face

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ZZTRaider

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« on: <11-21-13/1228:29> »
Hey all. I'm new to Shadowrun, and I'm trying to put together my first character using the new 5th edition rule book. Most of my roleplaying experience is with Pathfinder (essentially D&D, for those unfamiliar with it), so Shadowrun is a bit of a change, but so far I like what I see.

I want to put together an Elven Magician to serve as our party's Face, but I'm running into a few issues related to my inexperience with the system, so I'm hoping to get a bit of advice from you all.

1) Looking at all the things that I can do, it looks like I could get some of my dice pools as high as 16 at character creation (6 ranks in a Charisma based skill, 8 Charisma, and a specialization) ignoring the qualities to increase my attribute and skill maximums. That's great and all, but I don't really have any context for how good that actually is. What size dice pool should I be aiming for with my core skills?

2) For that matter, what should I really consider to be my core skills? In Pathfinder, to play a Bard Face, all of what I needed to be a good caster came with the class and a good Charisma score, and then I'd just put skill ranks in Diplomacy, Bluff, and Sense Motive to cover social skills. That left plenty of room to dip into secondary skills like Disguise, Stealth, and various Knowledges. In Shadowrun, it seems like skills are a lot more spread out; skills have replaced what a Bard would have gotten for free in terms of Base Attack Bonus and the Spells class feature, and there's a wider range of social skills to pick up. I may be trying to over-invest in each skill (see question #1), but I'm having trouble figuring out how actually cover my bases with the skill points available.

3) Alchemy looks interesting. If I understand the mechanics correctly, you're essentially trading away nuyen and a larger dice pool to gain the benefits of being able to rest off most of your drain before the run and avoid penalties for sustaining multiple spells. How does this work out in practice? Is the trade off generally worth it? It does seem a bit odd, compared to what I'm used to with Pathfinder's Scribe Scroll and Brew Potion, however, in that the preparations have an expiration date. Though, I suppose that other than the monetary cost to actually make the preparations, it's not much different from a Vancian magic system; I want to figure early in the day what spells I will need available and how many I'll need.

4) Any other helpful advice for making the transition from Pathfinder to Shadowrun is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Tkeela

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« Reply #1 on: <11-21-13/1309:58> »
i'm a newb, so I can't be much help, but check out the dragonslayer mentor spirit:) And the Shamman instead of a magician? And I know what you mean about choosing skills.
And now that you've started into Shadowrun, you'll never go back :P

ZZTRaider

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« Reply #2 on: <11-23-13/1535:18> »
Thanks for your response, Tkeela. I was hoping for a bit more feedback from people, but oh well. I built a character, so maybe I'll have better luck getting specific feedback on the build itself.

(I have no idea how to make the nuyen symbol, so I'll just use a $ instead.)

Priorities:
Metatype D (Elf, 0)
Attributes C (16)
Magic A (Shamanistic Tradition Magician, Magic 6, two Rating 5 Magical skills, 10 spells)
Skills B (36/5)
Resources E ($6,000)

Attributes:
Bod 2/6 (10 karma)
Agi 4/7
Rea 3/6
Str 2/6 (10 karma)
Wil 4/6
Log 2/6
Int 4/6
Cha 8/8

Magic 6/6
Edge 1/6
Essence 6/6

Qualities:
Bilingual; English, Sperethiel (5 karma)
Quick Healer (3 karma)
Mentor Spirit, Bear (5 karma)

Incompetent, Close Combat (-5 karma)
Addiction, Mild, Dreamchip (-4 karma)
Allergy, Severe, Silver (-15 karma)

Active Skills:
Sneaking Group 5
Etiquette 6
Negotiation 6
Con 6
Pilot Groundcraft 1
Spellcasting 6 (5 from Priorities)
Counterspelling 3
Alchemy 6 (5 from Priorities)
Astral Combat 1 (2 karma)
Arcana 1 (2 karma)
Assensing 1 (2 karma)
Perception 6
Pistols 6

Knowledge Skills:
Fashion 4 (Interest)
Street Drugs 4 (Interest)
Psychology 4 (Academic)
English N
Sperethiel N

Spells:
Alchemy formulas:
Heal
Increase Body
Increase Strength
Increase Reflexes
Invisibility, Improved
Stealth
Armor

Spells:
Ice Sheet
Fling
Influence

Gear:
Starting with $26,000 (10 karma + Priority)

Middle Lifestyle, 3 months ($6000, using team lifestyle rules with 2 others)

Ares Light Fire 75 ($1250)
Gast Vent System 3 ($600)
Periscope ($70)
3x Spare Clips ($15)
SnS Ammo, 30 shots ($240)
Gel Rounds, 30 shots ($75)
Regular Ammo, 30 shots ($60)

5x Flashbang ($500)

Actioneer Business Clothes ($1500)
Armor Clothing ($450)
Chameleon Suit ($1700)
Thermal Damping 6 ($3000)

Meta Link Commlink, DR 1, with Sim ($200; planning to upgrade this significantly after the first run)

Trodes ($70)

Area Jammer 4 ($800)
Directional Jammer 6 ($1200)
White Noise Generator 6 ($300)

Silver Credstick ($20)

Glasses, Capacity 4 ($400; GM says he will not consider this to interfere with spellcasting line of sight, since you can look over the rim of glasses)
Vision Enhancement 3 ($1500)
Vision Magnification ($250)

Earbuds, Capacity 3 ($150)
Audio Enhancement 3 ($1500)

Magical Lodge, Force 6 ($3000)
Reagents, 50 drams ($1000)

Carryover to play: $240
« Last Edit: <11-23-13/1559:55> by ZZTRaider »

Tkeela

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« Reply #3 on: <11-23-13/1632:22> »
cool!  I think one has to make skills A,B for a caster **back to the Chargen** sigh

Telles

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« Reply #4 on: <11-23-13/1748:18> »
Hi, I've just finished creating a mystic adept face. I dont think there is much reason to do a magician instead of a mystic adept with the rules as they stand right now.

I'm attaching the sheets created by my character generator for you to check it out. I used the pseudo errata that states that power points cost 5 per point.

It's a human and not an elf but still preety good I think
« Last Edit: <11-23-13/1752:43> by Telles »

SavarWallk

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« Reply #5 on: <11-23-13/1821:28> »
side note: ALT+0165 = ¥
press and hold ALT then type 0165 then release the ALT
No trees were harmed in the sending of this  message...however a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #6 on: <11-23-13/1837:03> »
...
Incompetent, Close Combat (-5 karma)
...

This is probably an extraordinarily bad idea.

But, if you do stick with it, it will make your character's background pretty out of the ordinary.. since even children learn the raw basics of protecting oneself through play.
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.

ZZTRaider

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« Reply #7 on: <11-23-13/1904:48> »
Thank you all for your feedback.

Telles:
I did think about Mystic Adept. Currently, I'm the only one in the group that will be capable of astral projection. I've just kind of assumed it's something we'd want to have in the group; is it not a big deal?

Stainless Steel Devil Rat:
What exactly makes this an "extraordinarily bad idea"? I can definitely see some issues if I get caught in melee, but I feel like there's a good chance I'm screwed then anyway.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #8 on: <11-23-13/1914:45> »
Stainless Steel Devil Rat:
What exactly makes this an "extraordinarily bad idea"? I can definitely see some issues if I get caught in melee, but I feel like there's a good chance I'm screwed then anyway.

Incompetent gives you the 'Unaware' skill level in the skill in question (pg 81).
Unaware is worse than having no ranks in the skill; it means you can't even default the skill. (pg 131)  "it never really occurs to you to solve your problems."

It's one thing to be bad at melee combat; it's another to forfeit the roll entirely.  Without the Unaware problem, at least you get to default to your attribute in the opposed roll to see if (more like how badly) you're hit.  Yes, you might be screwed if you find yourself in melee, but with spells/spirits/etc that may not necessarily be the case.  With incompetence however, you don't even get to put forth a token opposed roll to see if you're hit.  You're guaranteeing you're screwed when someone gets within arm's reach of you.

(and of course, there's the potential problem of explaining WHY your character is clueless about even the idea of trying to avoid a melee attack..)

You'd probably be better off picking a skill like Firearms for Incompetence.  If you want to have someone decdidely un-skilled in combat, yet still use guns, then I'd say go with an armed combat skill like clubs or blades.  Just, for the love of the spirits, don't let unarmed go Unaware.  With a decent attribute and strategic use of edge, you keep the possibility of some amazing things open.

Personally, I think Incompetence: Ground Vehicles would be fun.  "Wait, you want ME to drive?  I thought they always just drove themselves..."
« Last Edit: <11-23-13/1931:55> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
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.

ZZTRaider

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« Reply #9 on: <11-23-13/1949:28> »
Okay, that definitely makes sense to not get rid of my ability to defend.

If I'm reading Incompetent correctly, though, it must apply to a full skill group, rather than an individual skill, so going for something like Ground Vehicles wouldn't be an option.

I'll have to come up with something to replace that quality, I guess... Nothing jumps out at me as entirely appropriate, though. Maybe dropping the allergy a bit to fit in Combat Paralysis? That kind of fits in the same line as Incompetent Close Combat was.

Beaumis

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« Reply #10 on: <11-25-13/1037:57> »
Quote
I've just kind of assumed it's something we'd want to have in the group; is it not a big deal?
It really depends on what kind of game you are running.

It seems that a lot of people on these forums play in games that either do not recognize or fear the power and versatility of astral projection. I could guess at reasons, but I don't want to hijack your thread. Basically, the usefulness of astral projection comes down to the question whether or not you are going to actually use it. A lot of people seem not to, so to them, its not much of a sacrifice to not have it and hence, mystic adepts are, in their games, strictly superior to mages.

If your GM is of the sort that sidelines astral projection, its no big deal to lose it. If your GM keeps to the setting of shadowrun as its intended, then not having access to astral projection in your team is a VERY bad idea.

As a simple rule of the thumb, if even basic bars and clubs are hermetically sealed against all form of magical entry, then you're dealing with a sidelining GM. If magical defenses are limited to the places where it actually makes sense for them to be, its a very useful and powerful tool.

ZZTRaider

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« Reply #11 on: <11-25-13/1200:12> »
Okay, that's about what I expected. I'll stick with Astral Projection.

I'm thinking about changing my negative qualities to the following:
Addiction, Mild: Dreamchips (-4 karma)
Social Stress (-8 karma. My understanding is the reduction in the number of 1's needed for a glitch would only apply when faced with the chosen trigger. Is that correct? Either way, this fits the backstory very well.)
Allergy, Uncommon Moderate: Silver (-10 karma)
Prejudiced, Biased against specific group: Troll Gangers (-3 karma)

That'll give me one more karma than I had previously, which I'll just carry over into the game.