Mage/Occult Private Detective/Runner

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« on: (17:07:28/01-20-19) »
It's been awhile since I've played Shadowrun, and this is my first time building this type of character. I haven't really used the 5E before, but I used the core rulebook and some online resources to help make this build so just looking for advice to help flesh out the character and things that might need to be changed to make a better build. I used the Occult Investigator on pg 114 for some help also. I used the standard table building from the core rulebook with the following.
A: Magician
B: Skills 36/5
C: Elf (3)
D: Attributes 14
E: Resources 6,000

Personal Info
Street Name: Vixen
Name: Talizira Toyama
Meta: Elf   Ethnicity:Japanese/American
Nuyen: 2,350

Body: 3
Agility: 4
Strength: 2
Willpower: 3
Logic: 3
Intuition: 3
Charisma: 4
Edge:4    Magic:6

Analytical Mind: 5
Mentor Spirit (Orcale): 5
Photographic Memory: 6
Distinctive Style: -5

For the 2 magical skills at 5 I went with.
Astral Combat: 5
Assensing: 5

For skill groups I chose.
Sorcery: 3
Conjuring: 2

Firearms(Pistols): 3
Unarmed: 3
Disguise: 2
Escape Artist: 2
Gymnastics: 2
Preception: 2
Sneaking: 2
Etiquette: 2
Impersonation: 2
Intimidation: 2
Negotiation: 2
Preformance: 2
Locksmith: 2
Computer: 2
Pilot(Ground Craft): 2

Magical Forensics: 4
Police Procedures: 4
Seattle: 2

For part of her distinctive style she has long black hair with snow white bangs, and wears a long black trench coat with a black wide brim fedora like Carmen San Diego. That's the basics of what I've got for her so far. Though I did come up with a bio that can maybe with fleshing out things.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #1 on: (17:34:00/01-20-19) »
Generally you're going to want higher dice pools in your core competencies.  Most people would agree the conventional wisdom is you should be shooting for 12+ in your primary abilities.  Some would go so far as to say you want to hit 16 dice. (I'm not one of them, though)

With skills being your B priority, the easiest thing would be to condense all those 2s into fewer, bigger skills.  Resources at E makes it hard, but you'll also want to look for ways to get dice pool bonuses from gear.  Augmentations are tough for magicians, but you could learn some attribute boost spells for the skills you'd like to use the most.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.


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« Reply #2 on: (18:03:19/01-20-19) »
You'll want Willpower of 5 and whatever your Drain stat is to be maxed out.  Presumably you're going Shaman so that would be Charisma.

Astral Combat is a very niche skill, rarely useful, cast a spell or order a Spirit to deal with the problem.

You'll want Spellcasting, Summoning and Counterspelling with 6 Skill points.  Do what you will with the rest.

And a Mage never needs Unarmed Combat or Firearms.  Zot something with your action in combat.

Spells to consider:  Levitate, Shapechange, Influence, Heal, Improved Invisibility, Petrify, Clairvoyance, Mana Net, Foreboding, Physical Mask.


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« Reply #3 on: (00:29:34/01-22-19) »
Lots of 2's and 3's for skills, 3's and 4's for Attributes.  Nice organic feel to the character, but while this character might make a good NPC, she is not really suited to a "standard" Shadowrun game where the runners are generally assumed to be experienced pros.  She would be fine for a game where the other players are also playing low-powered/newbie characters.  Otherwise, Hobbes covered most of it.  I would use some of your skill points for your essential magical skills; for the skill groups, I would recommend Influence and Stealth, one at 3 and one at 2.

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #4 on: (03:14:17/01-25-19) »
Is this a one shot or the start of a ongoing campaign?  How married are you to Elf? C Elf for the 4 edge is nice but it puts the hurt on your normal stats.  My most recent occult detective was A skills, B attributes, C magic, D human(put all the extra to get magic 6), part of it just came down to karma math, skills cost a lot to improve, attributes too.  But admittedly you can totally cheap out on skills if you want to get down to brass tacks of all I do is sling spells, and summon spirits or whatever. I wanted a more full package mage with rituals, alchemy, spell slinging, summons etc.

I mean I think the advice here is pretty solid for a ongoing campaign, though no i don't think you need a willpower 5 and maxed other drain stat.  Too many priorities have crap stat points distributions for that to be needed.  With your 14 if 9 went to 2 of the 8 stats you'd basically be terrible at everything else. But the realities of the Karma system does push you to extreme highs and lows for your start.  Its cheaper to bump a 1 to a 2 than a 5 to a 6. So while I don't think it is needed, there are good reasons to go that route.  As an aside I think you have 2 more points to spend in attributes.

That being said i have found solid use out of astral combat in this edition, first edition where I think it works out.  Mainly because direct combat spells are kind of bad.  I usually do far more damage with an astral kick to the astral lone star mage than I do with a manabolt. And as an elf you can make that damage fairly extreme if you did max out chr.

I think guns and unarmed combat are petty useful to a mage still, I have played in enough games where i lost 6-8 dice to background count or was down to 1 box of stun, or there was enough magical security a spell would be like setting off a flare so they came in handy.  Problem is they require investment outside of the skills to be effective mainly agility.  I like the movement agility gets me but unless i'm using guns often its a lot of initial attribute points that could have been intuition or reaction for extra dodge and better initiative, or my drain stats.

At the end of the day, I personally think the most important thing is blending in with the group. If everyone is building more well rounded characters with smaller dice pools I'd mostly stick with what you did. If others are tossing 16-20 dice, you might want to min/max more. Not just for your sake but for the GM who will have a bear of a time planning opposition for your team.