Master of Fear (Mage-Face)

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« on: <10-02-18/1358:18> »
As the GM of a small group that is generally new to Shadowrun, I've been spending most of my time creating NPCs that match up with the story I've been building.  This is fun of course, and leads to lots of time in Chummer playing around with things.  However, I recently realized I haven't sat down and built a Shadowrun character that I'd actually like to play if I got the chance.  Normally I'd be gung-ho to build a Street Sam or a Decker character, but lately I've had some interest in a face character.

The concept I have in my head is a Mage with Face skills.  He would use spells like Analyze Truth and Mind Probe to get insight on his targets.  Then he would use Con or Intimidation to fool the target into thinking their worst fears were coming true.  He'd have knowledge skills for things like Psychology, Sociology, Medicine, and Diseases.  Ideally he wouldn't have to talk his way past anyone directly.  He would use his spells and skills to get NPCs to panic long enough for him to slip by.

This could be aided by sensors in his armor that could reveal more details he could use against the target.  If things weren't going as planned he could have the Influence spell as a backup option.  The three spells mentioned are the only ones in the CRB that really seemed useful for this.  Some spells in Street Grimiore have names that seem like they could be helpful, but I don't have that book yet so I'm just going by a list I found online.

Does this seem feasible conceptually?

I'm also going back and forth on Mage versus Shaman.  The latter has more synergy with the Charisma stat being used to resist drain, but the former feels more like what the character would be.  His knowledge skills would be Academic, and he would be more of a book learner, even for magic.

Here is what I have put together so far:

Code: [Select]
== Personal Data ==
Street Name: Swirls
Name: Unnamed Character
Movement:4/8 (2m/hit)
Swim:2 (1m/hit)
Karma: 0
Street Cred: 0
Notoriety: 0
Public Awareness: 0
Human Male
Composure: 11
Judge Intentions: 10
Lift/Carry: 4 (30 kg/20 kg)
Memory: 10

== Priorities ==
Metatype: E,0
Attributes: B,3
Special: C,2
Skills: A,4
Resources: D,1

== Attributes ==
BOD: 2
AGI: 2
REA: 3
STR: 2
CHA: 6
INT: 4
LOG: 5
WIL: 5
EDG: 2
MAG: 4

== Derived Attributes ==
Essence:                   6.00
Initiative:                7 +1d6
Rigger Initiative:         7 +1d6
Astral Initiative:         8 +3d6
Matrix AR:                 7 +1d6
Matrix Cold:               10 +3d6
Matrix Hot:                10 +4d6
Physical Damage Track:     9
Stun Damage Track:         11

== Limits ==
Physical:                  3
Mental:                    7
Social:                    8
Astral:                    8

== Active Skills ==
Arcana                   Base:1          Pool:6
Assensing (Psychometry)  Base:5          Pool:9(11)
Banishing                Base:5          Pool:9
Binding                  Base:5          Pool:9
Computer (Matrix Search) Base:5          Pool:10(12)
Con                      Base:6          Pool:12
Etiquette                Base:5          Pool:11
Forgery                  Base:5          Pool:10
Intimidation             Base:5          Pool:11
Leadership               Base:5          Pool:11
Negotiation              Base:5          Pool:11
Perception               Base:5          Pool:9
Pilot Ground Craft       Base:1          Pool:4
Spellcasting             Base:5          Pool:9
Summoning                Base:5          Pool:9
Unarmed Combat           Base:6          Pool:8

== Knowledge Skills ==
English                  Native
Disease                  Base:4          Pool:9
Medicine                 Base:4          Pool:9
Psychology               Base:5          Pool:10
Sociology                Base:5          Pool:10

== Qualities ==

== Tradition ==
Hermetic,Resist Drain with:10

== Spells ==
Analyze Truth            DV: F-2
Influence                DV: F-1
Mind Probe               DV: F

== Armor ==
Urban Explorer Jumpsuit            9
   + Biomonitor
   + Sensor Array Rating 8
      + X-Ray Rating 8
      + Olfactory Scanner Rating 8
      + Ultrasound Rating 8
      + Camera Rating 8
      + Directional Microphone Rating 8
      + Cyberware Scanner Rating 8

== Weapons ==
Shock Gloves
   Pool: 8   Accuracy: 3   DV: 8S(e)   AP: -5   RC: 2
Unarmed Attack
   Pool: 8   Accuracy: 3   DV: 2S   AP: -   RC: 2

== Commlink ==
Transys Avalon(ATT: 0,SLZ: 0,DP: 6,FWL: 6)
   + Commlink Functionality[Camera, Micro, Chip Player, Credstick Reader, Earbuds, GPS Guidance System, Micro Trid-Projector, Music Player, RFID Tag Scanner, Shock- and Water-Resistant Case, Touchscreen Display]

== Gear: Equipped ==
AR Gloves
Fake SIN (Primary Identity) Rating 4

He's still two spells short of his limit, I wasn't sure what else to pick.  Currently setup as a Mage.  If I switched to Shaman then I would drop the Binding skill and use those points for something else.  I didn't get a chance to look up Psychometry yet so that specialization may be pointless, it just sounded useful to the build.  The computer spec in Matrix Search is for quickly gathering info on a target.  Anything I can use to inspire fear in their minds could be useful.  Forgery also goes along those lines, if I can fake something that aids my case then it could help.


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« Reply #1 on: <10-08-18/1739:29> »
The character can work, HOWEVER with a BOD and AGI of 2 we will drop like wet paper in combat. I would suggest Improved Invisibility as a spell to let him slip out of bad situations
I apologise for my posts beeing weird to read, I am fluent in english, but almost never write in english anymore :-(

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #2 on: <10-09-18/0052:14> »
7 defense dice from only 3+4 R+I, and only 8m when running (which costs you your Free Action economy) indeed mean you'll want to stay hidden and dive for cover in the first pass.
How am I not part of the forum?? O_O I am both active and angry!


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« Reply #3 on: <10-09-18/0947:04> »
Those are good points, I was thinking a bit too one dimensional with this build.  Plus, if I take invisibility, why am I bothering to talk my way past people in the first place?

I'll have to rethink the concept to be more broadly functional, and make sure that hiding isn't my only option in combat.  Thanks


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« Reply #4 on: <10-09-18/1011:21> »
Those are good points, I was thinking a bit too one dimensional with this build.  Plus, if I take invisibility, why am I bothering to talk my way past people in the first place?

I'll have to rethink the concept to be more broadly functional, and make sure that hiding isn't my only option in combat.  Thanks

Why bother talking ?

You need to make contacts/ friends in high places. You want Mr Johnson to pay more Nuyen. You need Intel but do not know where it is hidden. The place is crawling with magical security, so you need to do things old school. You are hurt/ ill and cannot affoard to take drain. There is a high backround count....etc.

I'm sorry I think you misunderstood my comment. The FACE is a great character idea and fun to play  8). However sometimes things go south or the dice hate you....AND THEN YOU NEED A BACKUP PLAN.

Personally I find the idea of a talking stealthy character fun and refreshing...and quite frankly more realistic given the fact that the corps outgun...everybody

If you like the idea, then by all menas give it a try !!
I apologise for my posts beeing weird to read, I am fluent in english, but almost never write in english anymore :-(


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« Reply #5 on: <10-09-18/1103:41> »
The problem is that my original concept was only thinking about getting past security, not any of the other things you mentioned, which would be important too.  So that is the part I need to rethink.


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« Reply #6 on: <10-12-18/1431:04> »
After taking another look at this build, it does seem more viable than I initially thought.  I looked up Psychometry and that is definitely something that would be useful, so I'd be keeping that specialization.  The character can summon and bind spirits, and would have room for one combat spell even with invisibility.  Originally I took the Shock Glove for panic situations, but never really considered the need for combat.

I think it really comes down to two things:

#1 Can this character contribute if the situation goes to hell?  With spirits, possibly, but he'd have to be hiding the whole time, which may not always be an option.

#2 Would a GM put up with me constantly delving into the intricacies of random NPCs who were never important enough to have those intricacies in the first place?  A face can just fast-talk people, and in essence this build says "sure I could just schmooze past you, but I'd like to do this the slow way."  I'm thinking if it makes the game more interesting then the GM might be game, but if it slows things down too much then they would tend to gloss over it.

Anyway, I'm going to keep playing with it in case I end up in a position to use it for something.


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« Reply #7 on: <10-14-18/0406:46> »
Just a thought - faces are great, but you don't really need to be one for this particular concept.  You just need mind probe, a high knowledge skill in psychology, and some illusion/manipulation spells.

kyoto kid

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« Reply #8 on: <12-28-18/2143:43> »
...I like the concept.

I've been playing a "Mystic Social Adept" in Missions for a while and she seems to get along just fine.  No weapons skill, not even a single combat spell, but she hasn't needed either.  She's a good Face but her primary "mundane" skills are Con and Intimidate.  Her Tradition is Black Magic and favourite spirit is Man (to which she can grant one of the spells she knows).  With Seducer as her mentor spirit she gets a lot of nice bonuses including +2 to casting Manipulation spells and using Con.  She also has a specialisation in Illusion spells for her Spellcasting. Her primary goal is to soften up the oppos with spells like Opium Den, Foreboding and Chaotic world (one of which her spirit can cast) which primarily rely on hits to have effect (hence she carries around has a shoulder bag of reagents).  Using Psyche she reduces the penalty for sustaining spell so she can keep a couple up with little penalty. 

On the adept side she sank 4 power points into Cool Resolve which amps up all her social skills. Her other powers are Astral Perception, Ventriloqism, and Lie Detector 3.

a while back she quickened on both an increase Willpower and Increase Charisma spell (3 Karma each). raising both attributes by 3, giving her a much improved drain pool and obscene social skill pools. 

She does also have Improved Invisibility as well as Fling, and is great at causing distractions (Ventriloquism power included). 

On one recent mission she and her spirit effectively took most of the baddies we encountered at the end out of the equation just with all the negatives they had to actions (Opium Den, Foreboding and Chaotic World), so the rest of the team could concentrate on the big baddie as they are cumulative.  On another occasion when we were leaving a scene a couple of mooks started shooting at us from the roof so she just turned around gave a disapproving look, waved a hand and said "why don't you just shoot at each other" (Mob Mind). They followed her advice and we got away.  Yeah, she's not a "front line" character or "blast everything to drek" mage, but has been quite effective though 14 missions to date.

...and she has yet to bond a power focus.

If anyone has seen the Adult Wednesday Addams videos on YouTube, that was my influence.
« Last Edit: <12-28-18/2145:36> by kyoto kid »
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