Shadowrun Play > Character creation and critique

5e Mystic Adept Face

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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
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:
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.

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.

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.

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
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.


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