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Dwarf and Orc

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Fedifensor

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« on: (00:03:57/10-31-18) »
...a battle not worth telling.


(Bonus points for those who get the reference)


I've been working on pregens to use for Neo-Tokyo, and something recently occurred to me.  I have no orc pregens, and the only dwarf I have is because it was made by request.  From an optimization standpoint, neither race seems to be worth the cost of sacrificing a C or better priority.  So, tell me, what types of characters are best for these two races, and what areas of specialty can they excel in better than the other racial options?

Tecumseh

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« Reply #1 on: (01:57:13/10-31-18) »
My two current PCs are an ork and a dwarf, but I agree that they're underrepresented for the reason you give.

One of the most common uses is the "skinny ork" or "skinny dwarf" approach, wherein you're effectively buying five attribute points for the price of Priority C. In other words, a lot of people leave the Body or Strength values of orks and dwarves at (or very near) their racial minimums, as Body 3/4 and Strength 3 is sufficient for the vast majority of situations, especially since Armor composes the majority of your soak pool. This approach is common with deckers and mages and others who probably won't be on the front lines and don't need to worry as much about things like recoil, armor encumbrance, dishing out melee damage, etc.

I wouldn't say that there's anything specific that orks and dwarves can uniquely excel at that other metatypes can't. Some magician and technomancer builds look to dwarves for the extra point of Willpower for soaking drain/fade (and improving a technomancer's Living Persona), but it's not like that one point makes such a big difference that a character is inconceivable without it.

Grizzly

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« Reply #2 on: (13:34:10/11-03-18) »
I have an Ork that I'm quite happy with in Chummer, though I have yet to hit a table with him.  He's a mundane, focusing on combat with a decent fast-talk (8 dice) as a back-up or to help with leg-work.

Attributes A, Metatype B, Skills C, Money D, Magic E

Stats:
Body 8, Agility 6 (8 ), Reaction 5, Strength 6 (8 ), Charisma 3, Intuition 5, Logic 3, Willpower 4, Edge 5

(Charisma is paid for by 25 Karma to raise from 1 to 3)

Qualities: Agile Defender, Quick Healer, Code of Honor (Warrior's Code)

9 Karma to Nuyen - total available 68,000

Important items: Muscle Replacement (Rating 2, used)

Skills:
Athletics Group at rating 2 (all skills at 10 dice total)
Perception at rating 5 (10 dice total)
Sneaking at rating 4 (12 dice total)
Unarmed Combat at rating 4 with a specialization in Subdual Combat (12 dice total, 14 with Subdual)
Automatics at rating 4 with a specialization in Assault Rifles (12 dice total, 14 with AR)
Pistols at rating 4 with a specialization in Tasers (12 dice total, 14 with Tasers)
Con at rating 3 with a specialization in Fast Talk (6 dice total, 8 with Fast Talk)


Easy enough to drop the specializations in Unarmed, Automatics and Pistols to pick up another non-combat skill at rating 3, or if you prefer you can switch Metatype and Skills to broaden your skill base.  You'd only have Edge 1 then, unless you pick up another 10 points of Neg Qualities which will allow you to buy it up to Edge 2.

Initiative is 10+1d6, so not great but it is 2 initiative passes each combat turn with 18 dice on Full Defense.  You also have 5 points of Edge in the basic build so if you need to you can Edge to go first.

(Edited to fix a few formatting issues)
« Last Edit: (14:08:22/11-03-18) by Grizzly »

Fedifensor

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« Reply #3 on: (09:35:44/11-04-18) »
Thanks to both of you for your responses.  I haven't seen too many "skinny orcs" or "skinny dwarves", but I can see the value in trading Race priority for added attributes.  Grizzly's ork allows me to dig into the priority system to see how it compares to a human or troll trying to do something similiar.


First, the human.  Let's go with Attributes A, Money B, Skills C, Metatype D, Magic E.  That gives the same 5 Edge, but more than 200,000 extra nuyen.  The question is whether you can get better total attributes than the ork with the use of cyberware and bioware.  Body is the big stumbling block...it's not hard to get just as many soak dice by getting Orthoskin, but there are other things you use Body for where Orthoskin won't help...like Toxin Resistance Tests.  Neurostun and Narcoject don't come up that often, but when they do, Body (and Willpower) become VERY important.


The other stats are easier to match.  You can get used Muscle Augmentation 3 and used Muscle Toner 3 at character creation, and the essence cost is much less than used Muscle Replacement 2.  Wired Reflexes 1 + Reaction Enhancers (or Synaptic Booster 2) will give Reaction and Initiative equal to or better than the ork,  You may even be able to sneak in Tailored Pheromones 1 to help with fast talk and other social situations.  Overall, I think the human is better off, putting aside the extra roleplaying hooks you may get from playing an ork.


Next, the troll.  Metatype A, Attributes B, Skills C, Money D, Magic E.  You lose one point of attributes overall (4 extra points due to Attributes A instead of B, but orcs get Body 4, Str 3 while trolls get Body 5, Str 5), and the maximum agility is 5 instead of 6.  Also, your lifestyle costs are doubled.  To compensate, you get +1 Reach and +1 dermal armor, and with Metatype A you get 6 Edge instead of 5 Edge.  Finally, your maximum Body is 10 instead of 9 and your maximum Strength is 10 instead of 8.  For a balanced build, the orc seems better, but a "pro from Dover" (maximizing in a chosen area of focus) is better off being a troll.  If you're willing to sacrifice Edge for both builds, the ork gets better skills while the Troll goes to Attributes A and Metatype B, getting 4 extra attribute points.


I guess i can see some cases where the ork has a slight edge, but both the dwarf and ork are a bit behind in general.  Their best use seems to be for specific builds that leverage their advantages over a standard human while avoiding the weak spots and stronger racial discrimination that trolls face.

Grizzly

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« Reply #4 on: (19:31:48/11-04-18) »
Well, let's build your human and see what comes up.

Attributes A allows you to get: Body 6, Agility 5 (8 ), Reaction 4 (5 ), Strength 5 (8 ), Charisma 3, Intuition 5, Logic 3, Willpower 3

Charisma is bought up to 3 with 25 Karma as per the Ork.

Qualities: Quick Healer, Agile Defender, Code of Honor (Warrior's Code)

Nuyen total is 293K (with a 9 karma spend), however:

Required Items:
Muscle Toner (Rating 3 - Used)
Muscle Augmentation (Rating 3 - Used)
Synaptic Booster (Rating 1)

This leaves you with 56,250 Nuyen after your purchases.  The ork was left with 30,500, so the Human gets a bit more money for gear, as well as having a slightly better initiative (10+2d6 vs the Ork's 10+1d6).  You could also pick up Orthoskin Rating 3 for 18K and have 38,250 left.

So the human does come out a bit ahead apart from a Body of 6 compared to the Ork's body of 8.

Why I still like the Ork (aside from roleplaying reasons) is growth potential.  While both builds can easily branch out to other skills, the human's growth in the main combat role is mostly capped when it comes to Agility/Strength as they are using Rating 3 Augmentations from jump.  Upgrading to Rating 4 items would be a lot of expense for only 1 extra die, whereas the Ork gets a 2 die bump for the same cost.

Tecumseh

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« Reply #5 on: (17:37:52/11-05-18) »
Other uses for orks and dwarves are applications dependent on their improved attributes, i.e. their higher racial maximums. This is mostly the case for Strength. For example, a character focused on melee, or Strength-based ranged weapons (e.g. bows, throwing weapons), will want to get it as high as they reasonably can.

One of the best ways to exploit these are cyberlimbs. Per RAW, cyberlimbs mirror the character's race when it comes to attribute maximums. In other words, dwarves and orks can get stronger cyberlimbs than humans can. Whether this makes logical sense is debatable, but that's the default rule.

An ork can get a STR 11, AGI 9 cyberarm for 100k new, or 75k used. Get a pair of them and add Redliner if you really want to hit hard. Is the extra two points of Strength worth Priority C (for ork/dwarf) vs. Priority E? That depends on how much you want to specialize. Strength helps not only with damage but also with range if you're throwing things. Or, if you're an adept with Smashing Blow, then you definitely want to get Strength as high as possible. But everything has a price, and giving up those two priority points will definitely limit you elsewhere.