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Sell me on adepts

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TheCommanders

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« on: <08-25-11/0148:05> »
Ok, so I quite like the concept of an adept, and I think it could make for some interesting roleplaying opportunities, but the little power gamer in me is convinced that it's not worth it, as any augmented character could easily become superior. Here's my logic:

So for any adept worth his salt, you'll probably be wanting a 6 in magic, to get the maximum amount of power points possible, which costs 65 bp. If you plan on fully kiting an augmented character, you most likely want all the nuyen you can get at character creation, so you'll be wanting the born rich quality (10bp) along with a full 60 bp spent on equipment (for a total of 70 bp). Keeping in mind that the adept will have to buy equipment too, and I've never had a character spend less than 5 bp on gear, this will put them at least even on the bp front.

Now lets use the adept and augmented characters and see which could make the more powerful martial artist, as a comparison.

Now, consider what the adept can get:
-Improved Reflexes (2.5)
-Killing hands (0.5)
-Critical Strike (0.75)
-Increase Physical Attribute - AGI (1.5)
-Attribute Boost STR (0.75)
-Mystic Armor (0.5)

So their bonuses come out to:
-+2 REA
-+2 Initiative Passes
-Unarmed attack damage = (STR/2+3)P
-+2 AGI
-(Average Rolls on attribute boost) +3 STR
- +1/+1 armor

Ok, now the cyber character can easily get within his budget (cost of items here: 234,000):
-Wired Reflexes 2, Alpha
-Muscle Toner 2
-Muscle Augmentation 2
-Bone Density Augmentation 4
-Orthoskin 1
-Adrenalin Pump 2

And this puts their bonuses at-
-+2(+4 with AP) REA*
-+2 Initiative Passes
-Unarmed attack damage = (STR/2+3)P
-+2(+4 with AP) AGI
-+2(+4 with AP) STR
-+2 WIL with AP
- +1/+1 armor

*Not sure if that one stacks

So they are very close to matched. The problem is for the adept to improve, at all, he needs karma, at least 43 (35 for increasing an attribute to 7, 8 as cost for initiation, required to raise the magic attribute (and that's with the possible -40% cost for both group initiation and having performed an ordeal). So it's likely going to be between 4 and 8 missions (depending on how gm awards karma) before the adept can improve bugger all.

On the other hand, the augmented character has only used 4.95 essence (or 4.275 if they decide to get Type O system (30 bp positive quality) and drop the born rich, which would also give more bp at character creation), and all they need to improve is money. For example, for 15,000, an average earn from one or two early runs, they could improve both muscle toner and augmentation by 1. If they were planning to raise that all the way, they could not take the adrenalin boost (as it's superfluous at that point do to limitations on augmented attributes and uses a lot of essence) in favor of more orthoskin, or a more exotic implant. They get a LOT more options. Also, seeing as implants cost no karma, they can actually spend some increasing their skills, or other attributes.


To conclude, I see a lot of cool potential in adepts, they do have lots of good unique powers that could compliment a lot of character builds, but their problem as I see it is that the amount of power points you have to spend, along with all the limitations placed on magical characters and their advancement, means you'll either have to waste most of your points on implant equivalents, or be slightly underpowered in order to get the flavor powers you wanted. I hope someone can show me a better way around this, because I would really like to play an adept (maybe a pistol adept). :D

Cheers!
-TheCommanders
« Last Edit: <08-25-11/0153:17> by TheCommanders »

Medicineman

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« Reply #1 on: <08-25-11/0203:15> »
I hope someone can show me a better way around this, because I would really like to play an adept (maybe a pistol adept). :D
a cybered Adept
get 1 or 2 Essencepoints of ' ware (f.E. Synaptic boosters Lvl 2 160 K for 1 Essencepoint you get +2 REA +2 IP ;)
 or a Reflexrecorder for the Firearmsgroup , there are lots of combinations possible)
You don't neccesarily need a MAG of 6 ! 5(4 with Essenceloss) is totally OK for a Start.
Later You initiate and instead of a Metamagic ability get yourself a Power Point.
Or get one of the Ways (I'd advice the Way of the Warrior) You might save up to one Powerpoint for the 10 BP

with a Min/Maxed Dance
Medicineman
« Last Edit: <08-25-11/0207:27> by Medicineman »
http://english.bouletcorp.com/2013/08/02/the-long-journey/
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1V7fi5IqYw
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Makki

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« Reply #2 on: <08-25-11/0213:22> »
some more things.
-You can't upgrade Bioware the way you said. You need to buy a new better version.
-Adepts don't trigger Cyberware Scanners. These things are everywhere!
-Adepts with Masking won't be deemed a threat by magical security, while cyber- and bioware will be identified
-adrenalin pump is the worst you can buy. better get trauma damper or higher Ortoskin
-Adepts can melee spirits with ease. No immunity
-Increase Physical Attribute power is the worst idea ever. just get some bioware as Medicineman said

TheCommanders

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« Reply #3 on: <08-25-11/0226:03> »
Thanks for the input, couple of quick questions.

I hadn't heard that you could choose to add a power point for the initiation benefit instead of a metamagic power, which book is that listed in?

What are the benefits of taking a way? I found them listed in street magic, but all they give is a description of the concept, no gameplay rules or benefits.

(on reflection the next two aren't really questions :P)
The only problem with buying something like the synaptic boosters is that item alone would facilitate 32 bp being allocated towards equipment, and even with the 25 you would save from having a 5 magic, that still thins out the bp you would have to spend on attributes and abilities, not to mention that you would need to have at least a few more bp put in for the rest of your equipment. Also that whole thing only frees up 0.5 power points essentially, as it does away with a 2.5 ability, but also takes away 2 power points by reducing magic, and combined with the cost of the equipment, that's gonna be a big hit to your character development overall. What might be more feasible is to spend 30,000 nuyen (only 6 bp) on muscle toner and augmentation (total of 0.8 essence), which could allow you to do away with increased attribute and attribute boost, freeing up 0.25 power points, but allowing for more bp to be spent elsewhere.

As a slightly less important note, part of the appeal of the adept to me was the fact that they are augmented only by the power of the magic within them, so buying implants would soil the character concept a bit, which was the main reason I wanted to play an adept.

TheCommanders

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« Reply #4 on: <08-25-11/0228:53> »
some more things.
-You can't upgrade Bioware the way you said. You need to buy a new better version.

Really? I was under the impression that for example a character with muscle toner at rating 2 could later go to a body shop and have them improve it to rating 3. Does this sort of thing only work with cyberware (or not at all)?



rasmusnicolaj

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« Reply #5 on: <08-25-11/0236:00> »
I hadn't heard that you could choose to add a power point for the initiation benefit instead of a metamagic power, which book is that listed in?

Street Magic.

Quote
What are the benefits of taking a way? I found them listed in street magic, but all they give is a description of the concept, no gameplay rules or benefits.

There is a downloadable e-book on adepts that give adepts a little upgrade (I think it is a cool optional rule).
Basically Adepts on a way can chose a few powers ascociated with their chosen way and buy those at a discount.

Quote
As a slightly less important note, part of the appeal of the adept to me was the fact that they are augmented only by the power of the magic within them, so buying implants would soil the character concept a bit, which was the main reason I wanted to play an adept.

Agreed - that is also my view on adepts but you will become more powerfull with bioware.
The initiative boosting bioware costs 1,5 essence at rank 3 and to get the same for power points would cost you 5. So the trade off is well worth it from a munchkin perspective but I don't think I would do it anyway  :-\

Regards
Rasmus
Deplore killings made in the name of religion. Can't it just be for fun?

Makki

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« Reply #6 on: <08-25-11/0239:05> »
some more things.
-You can't upgrade Bioware the way you said. You need to buy a new better version.

Really? I was under the impression that for example a character with muscle toner at rating 2 could later go to a body shop and have them improve it to rating 3. Does this sort of thing only work with cyberware (or not at all)?

maybe it's just our table. Cyber should be upgradeable, because it's machanical. Just screw in some stronger servos and get a firmwareupgrade. But Bioware is always a ready-to-implant grown organ. There's nothing in the books, so common sense told us you can't just "grow it better" within the body.

A side note on the whole adepts wanna stay pure and not spoil there magic thing:
-you're a fuckin' criminal living and working in the darkest times and dirtiest business. You wanna do EVERYTHING to survive!

TheCommanders

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« Reply #7 on: <08-25-11/0245:26> »
I hadn't heard that you could choose to add a power point for the initiation benefit instead of a metamagic power, which book is that listed in?

Street Magic.

I couldn't find it   :-[
I did a word search of a pdf version for "power point" and none of the matches were that one. Also, obviously, I read the section on initiation.

Shadowjack

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« Reply #8 on: <08-25-11/0318:29> »
Imo if you want your adept to be powerful you should cut back on gear and contact costs during character creation and develop your skills and attributes to a high level. This way you can spend the majority of your Karma during the game on initiation and boost your magic attribute quite high. There are many powerful options at your disposal depending on what type of character you want to play. Over time it will become harder for a samurai to improve due to essence restrictions but as an adept you can continue to gain and enhance powers. In the long run you should turn into quite a monster. I suppose the samurai can instead focus on raising skills and attributes but the adept can choose to do the same.

Adepts can also use a weapon focus which is quite powerful. Not having to worry about cyberware scanners is quite good as well. In Street Magic there are some really nice powers for a low cost and in Way of the Adept you can greatly improve your cost efficiency by taking one of the new qualities which reduce power costs. I am playing a combat adept and saved about 2 points of magic by doing so.

Show me your wallet and I'll show you a man with 20 fingers.

rasmusnicolaj

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« Reply #9 on: <08-25-11/0446:22> »
I haven't my book at hand round now but if i recall corectly it is stated in the beginning of the section on initiation.

Regards
Rasmus
Deplore killings made in the name of religion. Can't it just be for fun?

Xzylvador

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« Reply #10 on: <08-25-11/0545:28> »
Initiation to raise Magic isn't an OR thing. SR41 p198:
A character's maximum magic attribute = 6 + Initiation level. *
AND
Each time a character gets an initiation level, it can choose a metamagic type.

(* Minus essence loss from 'ware.)

Initiating doesn't automatically get you an extra point of magic though, you still have to buy it seperately.
Also, don't start with 6 magic, it's a waste of BP's. Get more edge or skills or stuff instead.
First karma should probably go to raising it to 6 (30 karma).
Then initiate for 13 karma (hopefully at a discount from having magical friends/ordeal).
Maybe the other way around, as mentioned above, Masking can be very useful to seem completely harmless to security.
Appearing as a mundane (or very low magic) and not having any offensive 'ware or weapons will get you past security, while Mr. Street Sam can leave his arms, legs and nervous system at the door.

UmaroVI

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« Reply #11 on: <08-25-11/0635:19> »
You are actually pretty much correct - adepts are not very good, and pure adepts (meaning not mystic adepts and not cybered) are quite bad, second only to the "mundane with no ware" concept in "sounds cool but not supported." What adepts are good at is "enhancing" something else - albeit, expensively. The idea is that adepts get bonuses that stack with everything else, so you can use them to be better at that thing than any other person. Adepts also have a few powers that give you non-replicable abilities that are really useful. This being Shadowrun, though, they also have piles and piles and PILES of terrible, useless powers, powers that are ridiculously overpriced, powers that are over-balanced so they don't do anything helpful, etc.
 
As an example, Kinesics. Kinesics lets you get +3 to your social skills. But a cybered character could just take Tailored Pheremones for +3, right? However, you can be an adept, get Tailored Pheremones too, and get +6. If you want to be really hardcore, you can even take Improved Ability for some social skills. The idea is always going to be to get the "key" ware that does stuff adepts suck at getting - like ability score increases - and stack adept powers with 'ware that does similar things. this also lowers your magic, which makes it easier to get more magic later because it's cheaper.

Take a look at the Archetypes (link in my sig) and specifically the Transhuman Mystic (a mystic adept) and the Negotiator (a cybered adept) for some examples of what I mean. I have a few more adepts in the pipeline.

I tried and failed, repeatedly, to make an adept who would never want 'ware for reasons other than RP, having Sensitive System, or being a sapient critter or some other type of character who cannot take ware. If you want to be a pure adept who doesn't have and never gets 'ware because you think it's cool, go for it, but it is from an optimization standpoint bad.

« Last Edit: <08-25-11/0640:17> by UmaroVI »

TheCommanders

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« Reply #12 on: <08-25-11/0722:47> »
Initiation to raise Magic isn't an OR thing. SR41 p198:
A character's maximum magic attribute = 6 + Initiation level.

Initiating doesn't automatically get you an extra point of magic though, you still have to buy it seperately.
Also, don't start with 6 magic, it's a waste of BP's. Get more edge or skills or stuff instead.

Yes, I'm aware, as you can tell here:

So they are very close to matched. The problem is for the adept to improve, at all, he needs karma, at least 43 (35 for increasing an attribute (magic) to 7, 8 as cost for initiation, required to raise the magic attribute (and that's with the possible -40% cost for both group initiation and having performed an ordeal). So it's likely going to be between 4 and 8 missions (depending on how gm awards karma) before the adept can improve bugger all.


my question was regarding:

Quote
Later You initiate and instead of a Metamagic ability get yourself a Power Point.

I wasn't aware that taking a power point instead of a metamagic ability was an option, or if it even was, so I was asking where this was listed.

UmaroVI

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« Reply #13 on: <08-25-11/0806:56> »
Check the Street Magic errata.

Xzylvador

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« Reply #14 on: <08-25-11/1004:34> »
OMG... I missed that.

(Chrona, if you're reading this, you allow that tweak in your game?)