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[5e] New Player - Help with gear purchase for Face

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Datastream

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« on: (03:21:37/11-01-17) »
Hi Chummers,

I'm going to be commencing my first game of Shadowrun in about a month or so and I'm trying to build a Face character. I've been consuming as much as I can about the Shadowrun universe to try and get my head around it, but purchasing gear / wares etc. is quite overwhelming for a new player. This is how I've gone so far.

=Priorities=
A - Resources (450,000)
B - Skills (36/5)
C - Attributes (16)
D - Metatype (Elf)
E - Magic (Mundane)

=Attributes=
BOD - 2
AGI - 2
REA - 4
STR - 1
CHA - 8
INT - 3
LOG - 4
WIL - 3
EDG - 1 (haven't spent Karma yet)

=QUALITIES=
Negative (23/25)
Dependent (Inconvenience) (-6) (note: this is core to my character's backstory)
Did you just call me dumb? (-3)
Creature of Comfort (Medium) (-10)
Addiction (mild) Alcohol (-4)

Positive (24/25)
Friends in High Places (8) (also core to the character's backstory)
First Impression (11)
Bilingual (5)

=Connections=
Police Chief CON 8 LOY 1 (blackmailed) - Part of backstory
Mr Johnson CON 8 LOY 1
Fence / Mafioso CON 8 LOY 6 - Part of backstory
Girlfriend CON 1 LOY 6 - Part of backstory
Street Doc CON 2 LOY 1
Mechanic CON 2 LOY 1
Bartender CON 1 LOY 2
Prostitute CON 4 LOY 2
Fixer CON 1 LOY 1

=KNOWLEDGE=
Black Markets 4
Mafia 4
Police Procedures (Professional) 4
Psychology 4

=ACTIVE SKILLS=
Skills group influence 5
Computer 4
Con 6
Electronic Warfare 1
Gunnery 4
Hacking 4
Intimidation 4
Perception 4
Pilot Ground Craft 4
Pistols 4

I know the character is a bit all over the place but I'll try to explain the concept. The character is primarily a conman that specialises in extortion and making as much money out of jobs as he can. He has strong ties to the mafia as part of his backstory and utilises their massive network to offload any and all goods he can get his hands on; stolen cars, bikes, drones, electronics, drugs, even going as far as to sell living and dead people for organs or into prostitution. He'll be heavily involved in the negotiation and legwork components of jobs, but more focused on trying to neutralise enemy drones or combatants during a mission for resale afterwards. I'm hoping to maximise his social skills while having passable decking / rigging skills and equipment to complete the tasks of downloading files, stealing vehicles / drones and being able to drive.

Any and all help would be appreciated.

fseperent

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« Reply #1 on: (08:01:56/11-01-17) »
Honestly, it looks like you're trying to do too much.
Rolling a maximum of 8 dice for non-social skills should be of some concern.

If you are set on using Resources A:
A good deck with an R4 agent
At least 3 R4 SINs
Tricked out pistol with stick and shock ammo
Variety of outfits to blend in

If I'm thinking right, you'll have about 100k left for other purchases.

FST_Gemstar

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« Reply #2 on: (10:33:14/11-01-17) »
It's really hard to be "kind of a decker." The way the system works you are really all in or not. If you want to be an elf face too... you are probably going to need to A skills and B Resources. 

I don't see anything in your concept of actually doing much hacking, but your skillset has nothing to do with doing any stealing, particularly of electronics (which requires a pretty extensive hardware test on page 236-237 of the core book, don't ask my why it's not listed as a matrix action...).  You don't need computer or EW for that. And I am not seeing any way to "neutralize" anything. If using drones, your gunnery dice pool is lower than a drone just usings its own autosofts, and your pistols aren't going to hit much... 

To make a recommendation...

This concept works well I think as a technoface... either able to work as a hacker as well as a face or not...

D Elf
B Attributes
C Resonance 
A Skills
E Resources 

See Know-it-All, a technomancer face/hacker for reference: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6kA-rvHAq-rT1RKMW5VMUNTZkk/view 

Know-It-All is designed to also be a social infiltration hacker (especially after getting skinlink), but your concept sounds more of a technologically informed-face, allowing you to not focus on the hacking bits.

If not going full hacking... you can at least get high hardware, and have machine sprites to teamwork tests with you when forcibly transferring ownership of devices (the way you steal in shadowrun. You can also get high cybercombat just to brick devices/drones/vehicles with that high elf charisma to be repaired after you transfer ownership. Have decent software/compiling/registering so you can take advantage of sprites and CFs (Resonance Veil is great for conmen).  And enough computer dice to make matrix perception tests (Remember that technomancers get +2 on matrix perception just for being technomancers, so it may not be much of an investment). 

You will also have the skills to be solid face and cover basic runner basics. 

Ask your GM if you can use machine sprite Diagnostics on armor with wireless social test boosts (ex. berwick suits), that can go a long way in boosting your social dice/limits. 

Really note though: Looting really isn't a thing in shadowrun. Everything worth anything is basically wireless and linked to someone's SIN. You can't just pick it up and sell it or use it (it may not even respond to your commands). Trying to offload a hot item can get you in trouble.   

And  really wouldn't blackmail a Connection 8 Loyalty 1 police chief... if they ever turn on you (likely enough) you are your done...   


I may model this character for myself...
« Last Edit: (10:55:30/11-01-17) by FST_Gemstar »

Datastream

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« Reply #3 on: (19:50:48/11-01-17) »
Thanks for the tips all, given me a lot to think about. I'll swap the skills and resources around to see if I can I can get some of those dice pools up. So I'm guessing that I want 12+ dice for the things I'm good at, 9-10 for secondary skills?

I envision this character more as the sort of person who knows a guy that can get this done as opposed to being able to do the things himself, which is why I was only after passable skills in decking / rigging but primarily being a face. I'd like decking only as face as being able to sleeze marks onto devices for the purpose of powering them down (hopefully for the purpose of selling them later) and possibly finding and cracking files that might have blackmail or monetary value. The rigging side of things is similar; to be able to competently drive a vehicle and fly / walk those drones into the back of my van where they can be powered down, taken offline and chopped up by my buddy in the chop shop at a later time. I'll likely get my troll buddy to help carry some of the bodies as well; do you think every bit of used cyberware comes from someone buying an upgrade?

Again, I'm new to this, our game hasn't even started yet so I've got plenty of time to flesh the character out. I'll try and get those dice pools up and see how things play out.

FST_Gemstar

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« Reply #4 on: (21:47:18/11-01-17) »
Talk to the GM about "power level" of your game. Most folks would prob say get your primary pools into the 12-16 range, secondary skills in the 8-11, tertiaries at least 4 so you can buy a hit. Matrix skills you often want to shift even higher, because almost all matrix tests are opposed and failure is conseqential (ex. you get marked on your own action).

Purchasing gear can be overwhelming. Runner hub has some basic starting gear selections. If you are going high Resources, you are going to have a lot of nuyen to throw around. 

https://neosynth.net/index.php?n=Resources.GearSuggestions
« Last Edit: (21:49:21/11-01-17) by FST_Gemstar »

fseperent

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« Reply #5 on: (22:18:34/11-01-17) »
I don't think there would be a problem with a runner that subcontracts to handle runs.
Outside of blackmailing a police chief, your connections look good.
A fixer is good, but you might consider some specialized contacts that can get you items.
Info brokers, car salesmen, and gun range owners spring right to mind.

Like Gemstar said, you're walking a thin line for outright theft.
It's fine if the run is to "acquire" an expensive item.
For theft on the field, bullets, grenades, and similar is fine.
Maybe a commlink for access codes, but not much else.
Body snatching or ripping off drones is going to get you black marks FAST.

Datastream

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« Reply #6 on: (23:57:51/11-01-17) »
Unfortunately the GM is in the same boat as me, has never played (or not for 20 years) and between us we'll come up with some useful backstory for each character and while they are there.

Regarding the police chief, this is what I have on her:
1. She provided me materials relating to an ongoing investigation into the mafia in return for her kidnapped daughter (who he purchased through an auction).
2. Recordings of numerous sex acts over the last 4 years.
3. The previously kidnapped daughter is my live in girlfriend (CON 1, LOY 6) who fell for the character after they were "rescued".

I had her as CON 8, LOY 1 blackmailed as LOY 1 implies that the character doesn't necessarily like you, and in this case there's no person in the world she despises more than this guy. Unfortuantely for her, she'd lose her job, her family and her freedom if she ever turned her in, as well as break her daughters heart. In the end, this will likely be the relationship that destroys the character, but that's all an important part of the story. Likely if the pair were ever to split up, she'd burn him and herself just to get even.

The other side of this, is that the same transaction is how our extortionist managed to get his friends in high places. He traded the information to the auctioneer he bought the girl off who was part of the mafia, and has had a positive working relationship with them ever since. The CON 8 LOY 6 fence (Black Market Matrix Auction) connection has been able to get him in touch with practically any service he needs and move on any of those "less than legal" items that wind up in his possession. The other contacts are local area links (chop shop, street doc etc.) where he can offload the goods for processing and receive his cut after the goods have been moved on. He met the Mr. Johnson after someone in the mob put in a good word for him.

Still playing around with it at this stage, there's a couple of guns I'm looking at that I really like the look of so I might abandon the decking side altogether in exchange for some meatspace skills.

Glyph

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« Reply #7 on: (14:03:04/11-02-17) »
I would ditch the tech skills for the most part - let the other party members who deck or rig handle those tasks; and consider the other players and their characters.  You will be playing in a game with them, so get them involved in your doings, or work your looting sideline into the main game.  Remember that this is not a solo character.

I would recommend dropping resources down to B or even C; faces need tailored pheromones: 3 and maybe a datajack, leaving plenty for the basics (armor, guns, fake SIN/licenses) and a couple months of high lifestyle.  Only keep B if you require things like a van or SUV for hauling loot (not strictly necessary for a middleman).  If you can manage resources: C, then you can raise attributes to A - right now, your stats are fine for a dedicated face, but poor for someone who plans to participate in combat in any meaningful way.

Does your GM allow Sum-to-Ten character creation?  Because B's for skills, resources and attributes would be the best fit overall.

Datastream

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« Reply #8 on: (22:09:43/11-02-17) »
After playing around with it yesterday, I've taken the advice of people here and dropped the Decking / Rigging aspect of the character, moving the focus over towards fire support for the team. Currently I look like the following:

=Priorities=
A - Skills
B - Attributes
C - Money
D - Metatype (Elf)
E - Magic (Mundane)

=Attributes=
BOD - 1 (2)
AGI - 6
REA - 3
STR - 1 (2)
CHA - 8
INT - 4
LOG - 3
WIL - 3
EDG - 1 (2)

=QUALITIES=
Negative (23/25)
Dependent (Inconvenience) (-6) (note: this is core to my character's backstory)
Did you just call me dumb? (-3)
Creature of Comfort (Medium) (-10)
Addiction (mild) Alcohol (-4)

Positive (12/25)
Friends in High Places (8) (also core to the character's backstory)
Ambidextrous (4) <====== worth it or not?

=Connections=
Police Chief CON 8 LOY 1 (blackmailed) - Part of backstory
Mr Johnson CON 8 LOY 1
Fence / Mafioso CON 8 LOY 6 - Part of backstory
Girlfriend CON 1 LOY 6 - Part of backstory
Street Doc CON 2 LOY 1
Mechanic CON 2 LOY 1
Bartender CON 1 LOY 2
Prostitute CON 1 LOY 2
Tailor CON 2 LOY 1 <==== not sure if tailor is a profession or not, but I need someone who can get in high-class suits for me or repair the holes in my current ones.
Fixer CON 1 LOY 1

=KNOWLEDGE=
Black Markets 4
Mafia 4
Police Procedures (Street) 3
Law Enforcement Procedures (Street) 3

=ACTIVE SKILLS=
Influence Skill Group 6:
Etiquette (Mafia): 14 (16)
Leadership (Rally): 14 (16)
Negotiation (Bargaining): 14 (16)

Stealth Skill Group 4:
Disguise: 8
Palming (Pickpocket): 10 (12)
Sneaking (Urban): 10 (12)

Impersonation 6: 14
Con 6 (Fast Talk): 14 (16)
Automatics 6 (Submachine Guns): 12 (14) <==== Leaning towards the Ingram Smartgun X as my primary with a Remmington Suppressor as my concealed carry. Both legal /w suppressor is my reasoning.
Perception 6 (Visual): 10 (12)
Intimidation 6 (Mental): 14 (16)
Pilot Ground Craft 3 (wheeled): 6 (8)
Computer 2 (matrix search): 5 (7)

So, how does that look? If that looks viable, I'm back to where I started, which is the gear purchase. $12,000 is gone straight away for my High lifestyle + live in partner and I've gone with Rating 3 Used Tailored Pheromones for $69,750. I've got $58,250 remaining and 6 Karma that I can potentially turn into another $12,000 if needed or even go in debt to the mob for an extra $10,000 + $16,000 for karma. I know I'm going to need a suit or suits, guns (possibly multiple) fake sin, fake license, fake carry and maybe a vehicle for getting around or transporting the odd body with. Also smartlink either through cybereyes, direct implant or contacts. I'm assuming ear upgrades as well. If I've got some cash left over, maybe a voice modulator.

Am I missing anything vital here? What would people recommend for equipment and why?

Datastream

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« Reply #9 on: (22:44:48/11-02-17) »
Currently playing around with the BBBDE as suggested, slightly lower dicepools in a number of areas but gives me a lot of flexibility for gear.

FST_Gemstar

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« Reply #10 on: (18:22:52/11-04-17) »
Note: You cant use skillpoints to buy specializations on individual skills in skill groups during character creation. You can use karma (7 karma per spec to do so) to buy those specs. So likely those Influence/Stealth specializations are illegal. 

Datastream

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« Reply #11 on: (20:38:30/11-04-17) »
Cheers for that tip, Chummer hasn't picked up on that.

Senko

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« Reply #12 on: (16:55:35/12-02-17) »
Hmm if you and your gm both haven't played before I'd suggest lower skill values rather than the 16+ maximized ones that way you can try out more options and have more room to progress in terms of threats as you figure out what you want to be. Personally I always feel with the higher die pool characters that they just aren't a good fit for me because they're great at X and lousy at everything else whereas I want a lot of that everything else so they could actually function in society without a group. They don't need to be able to hack into a bank but they should be able to manage at least basic computing tasks or driving.

Eric da MAJ

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« Reply #13 on: (03:48:51/12-03-17) »
A Face's most useful ability is their ability to convince people to do what they want.  Now there's lots of advice here on re arranging your stats to do just that.  But you asked about gear, right?  Well, a Face needs gear like anyone else.  But you don't need 500,000 worth of gear.  What you need is:

- At least 1 or 2 very high end armored tailored suits.  You can only make a good first impression once.
- A mid to high end commlink.  Never underestimate the potential of BSing people over the phone to gather information. 
- 3 - 5 burner commlinks for the same reason
- Trodes for DNI (unless you get your commlink implanted)
- If you get the skills for performance/acting/impersonation, a disguise kit
- Cyberware: You shouldn't want or need much. The best you can get is anything that boosts your Charisma and social tests like Tailored Pheromones; second best: a small implanted weapon (with appropriate skill) 
- A decker contact that can supply fake credentials like matrix sites that say you're a college professor unless you're playing with a team mate who can fill that roll
- As many other contacts as you can afford
- A decent medium pistol
- A silver certified credstick
- A taser
- A concealed carry permit for at least one of the above linked to your best fake SIN
- A few doses of Novacoke
- A middle lifestyle if possible.  But no lower than low.  You can't keep your suits looking their best as a squatter.
- 1 low end fake SIN to allow you to shop at Stuffer Shack and do low grade cons
- 1 mid range SIN to con people with.  Preferably a professional such as lawyer, academic, private investigator, or manager.  Don't get a fake police SIN (even if you can).  Playing cop too well might make people nervous.
- At least 1 high end fake SIN to do personal business, get through AA areas or very high end cons with.  But generally the more of each type the better

Unless you're GM recommends it, you shouldn't need a vehicle, drone, or a heavy weapon to start.

Handy if you can get them after all that:
- First Aid kit (and skill).  The best you can afford/comfortably carry.  This will endear you to your team when conversation turns to spells and bullets
- Stim patches
- Tranq patches
- A white noise generator
- Restraints
- An assault rifle.  Sometimes you just gotta go loud
- A few doses of Kamikaze.  Sometimes you just gotta HULK SMASH.
- Grenades (and throwing skill)
- A Trid projector.  Because you can sell something as hard as you can with your Con skill.  But sometimes it helps if there's something the mark can see to sell.
- An RCC and a micro drone.  The best way to Con people is to offer what they want.  Sometimes it's obvious.  Other times you need to be a literal fly on the wall to find out without having to bother the guy who's overwatch with the Steel Lynx.

- If you and the GM have access to it, and she's OK with it, Cutting Aces has useful Face centric gear

Glyph

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« Reply #14 on: (04:53:44/12-03-17) »
I know I recommended B/B/B/D/E earlier, but... if you can make a go of C Resources, I would keep it there, tempting as B Resources might be, because A for skills or Attributes saves you so much more later on.  You can buy extra gear after the game begins, but A in Attributes gives you four more Attribute points than B, while A in skills gives you 10 more skill points and 5 more skill group points.  Either way, that's an awful lot of stuff that you won't have to spend large amounts of Karma to improve later.

On your Attributes, it looks like you only spent 18 of 20 points - you could raise Body to 3 with those 2 points and still raise Strength to 2 with Karma, saving 10 Karma points.

I disagree with Senko's advice... for this particular character.  You have other areas, such as stealth and combat, covered decently well, so there would be little gain in lowering your main (social) skills.  For one thing, the character's background all but requires strong social skills, so there is no disconnect between stats and skills.  The other thing is that being a face is, like combat or decking, a role where you make opposed tests and face potential negative modifiers.  So while adepts can be overkill, a dice pool in the high teens is not excessive.  The Fixer and Mr. Johnson contacts roll 13-14 dice before modifiers, so your character will hardly be steamrolling them.