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Minmaxed Elf Mage Face

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TimTurry

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« on: <05-13-14/1753:02> »
I do not believe minmaxing is a dirty word.  I minmax, and sill I roleplay as much as anybody else in our group.  I don’t steal the spotlight from anyone else, and don’t mess the powercurve enough to make others insignificant.  Don’t you like to buy things on sale?  How good does it feel to buy something on Black Friday?  I bought a TV 2.5 years ago so cheap that its street price just last month reached what I paid!  Does paying more for things make you a better roleplayer? What do sale prices have to do with Shadowrun?

There are items that are “on sale” at Chargen.  You can get them later, but you will pay more for them.  Why pay more if you don’t have to?  Would you do that in real life? These items are high-values attributes, skills, and qualities (karma costs double after chargen). For this example we pick a shaman/face (might as well get double duty out of Chr).

This guy is a primary Face, and a backup everything else.  His goal is to be a Fence when he retires.

Priorities:
Metatype:  C – Elf (3) put 2 in magic and 1 in edge
Attributes: D – 14.  Make the best of it by splitting it as: 6,4,4
Magic: Mystic Adept (accept no substitute) Magic 4, 8 skills
Skills: 46/10.  There is no other minmax choice.  Skills A is the best bang for the buck
Resources:6000.  You don’t need much money (see below)

First let’s talk about “Extraordinary Ability”
This should always be taken!  You have to take it for you magic score or you highest ability (depending on where you want your emphasis).  For an Elf, this is Chr.  For a Troll, this is Str. For a sniper, this is Agil, and for a decker, it is Logic. 

Abilities:
Every ability you take should be taken to the max.  Priority must be given to abilities that define your role, and those that have a high max from your race.  A rule of thumb is to spend your points as 5,4,4,4,4,remainder.  That first “5” should be a “6” if your “Extraordinary Ability” is not magic.

Our Elf’s stats therefore are:
Body 1      Agility 6      Reaction 1      Strength 1
Will 5      Logic 1      Intuition 1      Charisma 9 (exceptional)
Magic 6      Edge 2

All the 1’s are unfortunate, but it is cheaper to raise them later than in chargen.

Skills:
As you must have guessed, all skills are taken at 6 (with specialization) or not at all.  Group skills are spent the same way as regular skill points.  Ignoring where each skill goes (feel free to adjust), 46 + 8 (magic) = 54.  There are 7 maxed skills in 49 (6 skill + 1 spec), which leaves a remainder of 5.  You always take a specialty if you can, since it will cost you 7 after chargen (except where you can’t, like for exotic melee weapon Monofilament Whip).  Here is how I spread those skill points; these can be moved around, but you should not violate the above rules (if you want to minmax):
Groups:
Sorcery  (Counterspelling, Ritual, Spellcasting) 6
Electronics (Computer, Hardware, Software) 4
Skills:
Monofilament Whip 6
Perception (search) 6
Sneaking (urban) 6
Con (Fast talk) 6
Negotiation (Black Market) 6  note that we have 20 dice here counting adept power!
Assencing (Signature) 4 - this is where I put the remainder
Summoning (man) 6
Hacking (Host) 6
Knowledge:
Gear Values (4)  I copied this one from the NPC fence stats in the book

Given the lousy stats, you will not be the primary hacker/muscle/utility, but if those players do not show up (always happens), you can fill in for them.  Sure beats having to make the DM meta-give you a decker/thief/healer because Bob did not show up.

Positive Qualities:
Adept powers 6 (cost 30) must get them at chargen; will never get them later
Extraordinary Ability Charisma (cost 14) feeling so pretty!
Focused Concentration1 (cost 4)
Spend 2 karma for $4000 to start with a whip

Negative Qualities:  (try to avoid screwing yourself or notoriety – need 25)
Allergy - Seafood mild (cost -10)
Allergy – Silver Moderate (cost -10)
Sin – National  (cost -5)

Gear:
Only 1 item: Monofilament Whip.  $10000
Can spend your spare change on a throw-away level 1 commlink
First order of business is to get the armor off the first punk your spirit kills.  Take his commlink too, and make it yours with your Electronic/Hacking skills.
Lifestyle street (upgrade as soon as possible)
Eventually get an Argentum Coat for that +1 social skill

Adept powers:      PP cost
Astral Perception   1
Combat Sense 2      1
Mystic Armor 3      1.5
Adrenaline Boost 1      .25
Enha Accuracy(Mono)      .25
Critical Strike(mono)      .5
Improved Ability (Neg) 3      1.5    I like this one for 3 dice on negotiating :)

Spells (pickem):
Physical Mask
Armor
Levitate
Improved Inv
Increase Willpower
Increase Chr
Increase Reflexes
(Getting the feeling that I am planning to use Quickening?)
You can replace any with some combat spells, but I figure at the beginning the plan is to summon a spirit every dawn/dusk and have them ready for combat.

Contacts:
Pick a bunch of 4/3 or 3/4 contacts.  Make sure one is an OrganLegger so you can sell him the Street Samurai bodies your party will kill.  Thought: Buy a duffle bag that blocks RFID/transmissions (Faraday Cage) and put dead bodies in it.  Your spirit will fly them to the OrganLegger (who will have his own Faraday Cage / scramblers if he is to be in business for long).

Long term Karma plans:
Obviously Initiate and Quickening to cover those low stats until they can be raised.
Speaking of raising them, it will take 140 karma to raise all those 1’s into 3’s (including the 2 edge).  Yes, that is a lot, but nothing compare to paying for that 9 chr after chargen. 
Keep an eye out for the other characters, and make sure you are never better than them in their selected role.  A good way to do this is to be a better utility guy (use your Face skills to get them the best gear, buff them, etc).

Quick thought on realism.  You can justify anything.  You can’t imagine a back story that covers all those 1’s?  Here is a quick try:
Born to humanist parents, ELF <fill in name> was hated.  Only his unnatural chr kept them from abandoning him or worse.  He stayed in the basement, playing with a computer he made with parts he put together (he was not a natural –> Low Logic, but he kept trying –> high skill).  He never moved or saw the sun.  His only joy was his elder sister who come to him, and let him play with her Monofilament whip (she was a humanist enforcer).  One day there was a commotion upstairs: other humanists got wind of ELF.  They came crashing into the house to lynch him.  While the mom cries upstairs, the delay is all ELF needs to crawl out the basement window; on his way out the sister gives him her whip, with a kiss goodbye.  Eventually, starving, sleeping in a ditch, he Awakens.  Later, he finds his way to CITY. 
Add details to taste…
« Last Edit: <05-13-14/1818:20> by TimTurry »

RHat

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« Reply #1 on: <05-13-14/1817:43> »
There are...  Problems here.  All those ones?  You might think of it as cheaper to raise them later, but with those attributes, there won't be a later, because you'll die in the first run.  Exceptional Attribute?  Almost never worth it, but especially so for a Mystic Adept.  You have a hacking skill you straight up can't use, failed to take very important skills...  Many, many issues.

This is not a min-maxed character.  This is a character with some seriously glaring flaws.  Hell, you put a 1 into one of a Face's critical attributes.

And as an aside, towards the background - Humanis (the name of the fictional metaracist organization), not humanist (the name of a real-life philosophical orientation that, transferred to SR, would be pretty heavily opposed to the ideas of the aforementioned metaracist organization).  There's a very, very, very serious distinction there.
« Last Edit: <05-13-14/1832:29> by RHat »
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #2 on: <05-13-14/1856:59> »
This isn't minmaxed. Minmaxed is taking my character concept, switching Strength and Charisma, replacing the social skills with combat skills and replacing Indomitable 2 (which he'd no longer need) with powerful qualities. What you're doing isn't just minmaxing, it's way further than that, it's throwing all pretense that it's still a balanced character out the window, yet still claiming it can be justified.

Five ones? 4 defense dice? Two allergies to try to score maximum karma? No decent commlink, no fake SIN, no capability whatsoever to actually change a commlink's ownership, pure intent to try to game the system to the max, ignoring that the consequences WILL butcher your character? That ain't minmaxing, that's munchkining to the max and begging to have your character get killed within ten minutes if the GM doesn't veto it and bans you the instant you try to PRETEND this is a decent character. Five 1s can NEVER be justified.

Show your fellow players some respect. Don't pretend this character should ever see the light of day.
How am I not part of the forum?? O_O I am both active and angry!

ZeConster

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« Reply #3 on: <05-13-14/1924:54> »
    Quote from: Wikipedia
    Min-maxing is the practice of playing a role-playing game, wargame or video game with the intent of creating the "best" character by means of minimizing undesired or unimportant traits and maximizing desired ones.
    Notice the "unimportant" there? You've minimized things your character needs.

    Here, a quick (and most likely incomplete) list of glaring flaws even if your character somehow gets approved by some fool of a GM:
    • Memory: 2 dice; Lifting/Carrying: 2 dice
    • Weak skill dice pools:
      Computer: 5
      Hardware: 5
      Softtware: 5
      Perception (searching): 7 (+2) (and limit is 2, so anybody worth noticing will be undetectable by you anyway)
      Negotiation: nonexisting specialization
      Hacking (Hosts): 7 (+2)
      Assensing (Astral Signatures): 5 (+2)
    • There is no such thing as a "secondary" hacker in 5th Edition, especially if you don't have a cyberdeck: you need high dice pools and lots of Edge to get any hacking done without a deck. Plus with your dice pools, you're not even a tertiary hacker.
    • You do not have the skills needed to take ownership of someone's commlink.
    • Even with Combat Sense 2, you've only got 4 defense dice - your chances of survival are pretty much nil if anyone opens fire upon you.
    • Selling bodies will get your entire party hunted down pretty quickly - plus that spirit will most likely get noticed hauling around a bodybag, and with no Binding skill, a Remote Service will result in them taking off afterwards.
    • How exactly do you plan to use Quickening to "cover" your low stats if you don't have the spells for it?
    • With Edge 2, Monofilament Whip is not a weapon you want to be using.
    • Improve Charisma is useless unless you Quicken it, as you'll need to cast it at Force 9+.

    Tarislar

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    « Reply #4 on: <05-13-14/2039:54> »
    As others have said.  Your not going to live past 2 runs IMHO with your "Dodge" ability.

    You can get by with a low STR.
    You can get by with a lowish-average BOD & LOG.

    You can NOT survive w/o Intuition & Reaction!!!

    I think the first punk ganger that beats your initiative will paste you with a saturday night special, let alone a real gun.

    While Skill-A is very "Karma Friendly" at Char-Gen, trying to take it with as Metahuman and Full Magician also is just asking to be squished.
    I've tried to make it work and its been pointed out to me just how many "flaws" that combo creates that can be taken advantage of.
    And yours makes my concepts look powerful by comparison.
    « Last Edit: <05-14-14/1207:32> by Tarlisar »

    mjack

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    « Reply #5 on: <05-13-14/2151:20> »
    While Skill-A is very "Karma Friendly" at Char-Gen, trying to take it with a Metahuman or Magician type is just asking to be squished.
    Priority A for Skills also works properly with Metahumans and certain Awakened types. At least my characters never got squished because of this choice. Very possible others play the game in a way requiring more focused builds …

    Nevertheless, all the other comments are very right. There is something seriously wrong with this character. My first thought was, please let me game master that one. I would not even know where to start with bringing him down to earth with this epic fail in "minmaxing". So many creative options to make the player hate me … But I also would feel really bad to fictionally torture a mentally and physically handicapped being.

    The developers should really introduce 1 point of Notoriety for each Attribute rating of 1.

    Whiskeyjack

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    « Reply #6 on: <05-13-14/2302:56> »
    So here's the thing: you can't wear a heavy jacket without being encumbered. You are the definition of "gonna get 1-shot."

    I don't call this min-maxing (minimizing your weaknesses and maximizing your strengths or minimizing useless traits, maximizing useful ones) because you have huge, glaring weaknesses. It could be an example of minimum expenditure for maximum result (magic) except for the lack of survivability, which is pretty core to any build.

    I don't call this optimizing (specializing to be The Best in one or a couple of areas using everything in your disposal) because most forms of optimization, even in non-combat fields, implies combat survivability.

    I don't even call it munchkinning ("A munchkin seeks within the context of the game to amass the greatest power, score the most 'kills,' and grab the most loot, no matter how detrimental their actions are to role-playing, the storyline, fairness, or the other players' enjoyment") because this character is in no danger of lasting long enough to acquire those OOC traits. Muchkinning is also related to gamism, which isn't applicable since this character is not going to "win the game" with any conceivable set of victory conditions; again, that presupposes some survivability.

    This is just absolutely atrocious character-building resulting in something unplayable.
    « Last Edit: <05-13-14/2328:02> by Whiskeyjack »
    Playability > verisimilitude.

    TimTurry

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    « Reply #7 on: <05-13-14/2342:49> »
    Ahh.  Well, the majority have spoken.  I then propose that 5 of the spells should be replaced with Increase Attributes for the attributes that currently support a 1.  Using Focused Concentration (and pushing the limit) and multiple attempts, I cold make any one of those 1's into a 5 for as long as I wanted.  Then it is a matter of gaining 18 karma (13 initiate, and 5 for quickenings) to get the rest up there.

    Much like the second edition D&D Wizard, this character is expected to be "carried" by his teammates until he passes the threshold where his karma efficiency kicks in.

    Zcaster said a few things others did not. 
    With respect to Edge 2 and Mono Whip.  I think 12 dice should not glitch enough that 2 edge would be fine.
    I don't know what you mean by "Improve Charisma is useless unless you Quicken it, as you'll need to cast it at Force 9+."  Anyway, I expect to cast all the Improve __ spells at force 12, so that they would be much harder to dispel.
    Also, I know there is no specialty for "Black Market"  I figured there should be (it is mostly flavor) but if disallowed, then contracts will clearly be more useful in-game.
    « Last Edit: <05-13-14/2357:31> by TimTurry »

    Davidvs

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    « Reply #8 on: <05-13-14/2354:33> »
    There are good choices for Face Shaman MAs so you may want to take a look at them.

    5th is very different from 4th and I'm just going to guess that you haven't played 5th because of some of the mistakes you made in your post. It is very doubtful that you would enjoy playing this character during its very short lifetime.

    I would suggest considering the following:
    ...if the other PCs at your table don't have any reason to have you in their group, past you being a PC too, then they are likely to let you die.
    ....you buy the game you want to play by how you spend your points. Your GM will likely use both your strengths and weaknesses for/against you during the game. Your weaknesses will get you killed.

    TimTurry

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    « Reply #9 on: <05-14-14/0004:33> »
    Why is he useless?  He is a Face guy who gets contracts (18 dice) for them, and lies when they get in trouble.  Also with 12 (14?) dice to sneak he would be hiding all the time, and letting his spirit fight for him (great drain dice).  So why is he dying as often as people on this thread think?

    RHat

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    « Reply #10 on: <05-14-14/0018:23> »
    He is a Face guy who gets contracts (18 dice) for them, and lies when they get in trouble.  Also with 12 (14?) dice to sneak he would be hiding all the time, and letting his spirit fight for him (great drain dice).  So why is he dying as often as people on this thread think?

    ...  You do realize what limits do, yes?  You would in fact never be hidden.  YOu would not be able to get through a meet, because you lack Etiquette.  And on, and on.

    Besides that, this isn't a gaame where you can count on things like "hide all the time, make the spirit do it for you".
    « Last Edit: <05-14-14/0022:33> by RHat »
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    TimTurry

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    « Reply #11 on: <05-14-14/0107:15> »
    I don't lack etiquette, I have 8 dice in it!  The beauty of 9 chr is that it is good enough to turn default skills to 8 dice.  After I spend 2 karma, it would be 10 dice.
     
    The minmaxed part of this character is the karma efficiency, and the long term versatility. 

    You do make a great point about limits.  Without spells, they are: Physical 2, Mental 3, and Social 10. 
    I get 1 boosted stat with Focused Concentration.  If I make that Reaction, the Physical would become 3, and if I make it Strength (probably not) it would become 4.

    RHat

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    « Reply #12 on: <05-14-14/0143:28> »
    I don't lack etiquette, I have 8 dice in it!  The beauty of 9 chr is that it is good enough to turn default skills to 8 dice.  After I spend 2 karma, it would be 10 dice.
     
    The minmaxed part of this character is the karma efficiency, and the long term versatility. 

    You do make a great point about limits.  Without spells, they are: Physical 2, Mental 3, and Social 10. 
    I get 1 boosted stat with Focused Concentration.  If I make that Reaction, the Physical would become 3, and if I make it Strength (probably not) it would become 4.

    8-10 dice is not remotely sufficient for a Face.  And a Physical/Mental limit of 2-3 means you're basically completely inept at physical tasks - when you try to sneak, you WILL be found.  When you try to climb, you will fail.  When you try to spot something, you won't be able to.  And so on.

    And you're not remotely safe with a limit of 4, for that matter.
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    Senko

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    « Reply #13 on: <05-14-14/0443:25> »
    The developers should really introduce 1 point of Notoriety for each Attribute rating of 1.

    I disagree on that, the only way I could make my mage work is by having a 1 in strength (which I'd use the first 10 to buy up to 10 as the healthy exercise of running for her life gets her fitter) and I still feel pinched on skills/attributes. I really wouldn't want a penalty because I was forced to take a 1 in a stat because the system penalizes you for trying to get all 3's i.e. human average. Multiple 1s is a different matter.

    Aranador

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    « Reply #14 on: <05-14-14/0911:02> »
    personally I really don't agree with or even get the rage some people have if a player dares turn up with a 1 in a stat, let alone more than 1.  After all, priority E and D for stats are a perfectly legal option, and you really don't have much choice on tanking stats if you've chosen one of those.  Heck even priority C is rough.

    But this character is almost certainly doomed, far too much min in the survivability area for questionable max in others.  So in essence this particular example of multiple 1s is self correcting anyway.