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Neo Tokyo characters

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Shinobi Killfist

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« on: (00:06:33/02-10-19) »
So I was reading the neo Tokyo premise for when we finish the Chicago campaign. It seems they are shooting for a more mirror shades campaign style. What kind of characters are people building and putting forth for these campaigns, are there obvious pitfalls I should guide players to avoid?

My initial impression, is melee is more important and awakened characters and a high Edge seems even more powerful. A runner probably needs to handle the basics or core stealth and con more than they did in Chicago, so maybe less dump stats and 6 or nothing skills?

Hibiki54

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« Reply #1 on: (01:33:24/02-10-19) »
I have not had a chance to play any of the new season since I need to travel out of state to play. So I was wondering the same thing. Based on what I have been reading, it will be more Mirror-Shades and Black Trenchcoat and Pink Mohawk will be for the CMPs.


Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #2 on: (01:39:43/02-10-19) »
Well, for starters Automatics is no longer the no-brainer combat skill every character takes.  As a matter of fact, in my small sample size of a pool of about a half dozen players having run through season 9 twice, noone's fired a gun beyond SA firing mode.  Noone's wanted to deal with the fallout of burst fire, much less full automatic fire.

what DO we use in combat? Yes, mainly melee.  For ranged options our "sniper" is a bow adept, and my covert ops specialist uses a dart pistol. (hehehe, blight toxin is legal now in Missions!  I'll never not be happy about that...)  Of course everyone but me plays a magician, so spells and spirits do a lot of heavy lifting for ranged combat as well.

Big picture-wise, yes it's generally accurate to say Neo-Tokyo is more Black Mirrorshades style of play and Chicago is more Pink Mohawk. But that's really a gross simplification. There's real Pink Mohawk opportunities in Season 9, if that's the flavor of Shadowrun you prefer.  Especially when you factor in the Neo-Tokyo-legal Las Vegas CMP that came out last year.  Especially the first Vegas mission... CZ-savvy Chicago veterans would be QUITE at home in that mission if they were legal for it.  When we played it, the Neo-Tokyo characters were quite unprepared for a mission that wants to be very Pink Mohawk.

Neo-Tokyo's higher emphasis on discretion does reward being more mindful of stealthy operations.  And that's not just Sneaking; being able to handle social situations without kicking up ripples is important more often than being able to sneak around is.

Segueing with that is it really pays to have more than one solution to a problem.  As they say, if the only tool you have is  a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.  12 dice is usually enough to overcome an obstacle. Having 16 or 20 allows you to soak penalties, sure, but it's inherently some wasted resources.  It's better to have numerous dice pools around 12 than it is to have one or two really big ones and being stuck finding ways to shoehorn those skills into places you don't need to.

As a point of example: My Covert Ops' Sneaking dice pool is around 22 dice, including bonuses and depending on terrain.  Yeah, the Skill is 6. I've never been seen, and I've never been CLOSE to having been seen. I could have gotten away with 16 dice and still be able to say the same thing. High/low skill stacks be damned; I clearly wasted at least 3 skill points making that a 6.
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.

kyoto kid

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« Reply #3 on: (02:58:16/02-10-19) »
...yes, I played a straight sword/archery adept though the entire first arc and was able to get through very well.

Like mentioned above, discretion can go a long way, as can a bit of social grace. as well to avoid an embarrassing faux pas. If you play Meta, be prepared to be looked down upon or shunned. If you play a female character be prepared to not be given the same amount of respect as a male character in some circles.  Knowledge skills in cultural aspects and the Yakuza can go a long way to helping you out. 

My character Snow Lily (Human Albino) is a "classic adept" who uses a Weapon Focus Katana for spirits and a pistol crossbow with S&S Static Shaft bolts [12DV(s) -5]  Unarmed with Shock Gloves for everyone else. Her primary pools are between 12 and 16 and even with just 16 armour she can pretty much make it through combats (maybe down a few boxes of stun now and then but nothing terribly serious) when they do occur.  She has an reasonable Etiquette skill along with knowledge in Bushido philosophy (which has helped save the team on a couple occasions from committing an embarrassing, and one time, serious faux pas [in the latter incident she actually was awarded an extra Street cred]).

From my observations, role playing tends to be a little more prevalent as there are a lot of situation that come up which require a little more subtlety than just drawing a weapon or casting a spell.

Oh about spells, if you are going that route boffo combat and mental manipulation spells can land you in a heap of trouble just as easy as autofire or HE grenades will.  Also one needs to be conscious of cleaning any spell signatures as a character can be traced through them.

This is not to say that an occasional weapons burst or powerful spell can't be used, just make sure it is done out of sight and earshot of any potential bystanders.

If you feel the need to carry a firearm like a pistol of machine pistol, make sure to have a decent palming skill as firearms (save for tasers, dart pistols, and the Narcojet One) are forbidden and can land you in hot water if you are caught with them (and there are no licences available).  Firearms are also harder to obtain as well so you may not be able to start out with that internally Smartlinked Fichetti Executive Action (total availability of 14 with the +2 penalty for availability and +2 for the internal smartlink).

As to contacts, having a police and or Yakuza contact can save your soy bacon if things look like they might go south. A bribe here a small favour there, and "nothing wrong happened".   

One feature I noticed is there is a a fair bit of intrigue involved, which I personally like, and it is kind of a refreshing break from having to don the FBA, grab the Raiden as well as a couple clips of ammo, and climb into the Citymaster just to do the weekly grocery run.

As to the CMPs, I haven't yet sent Snow Lily onto any of those as from what I understand of Vegas and the Caribbean League, she would be more like a street level character in comparison than a true runner, and I like her concept the way it is (she is based on the original Kyoto Kid from 1e when that character was still in Japan).  Not sure she could pull off the "Kwai Chang Caine act" two centuries later.

Definitely read through the NT section in the latest FAQ.
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Hibiki54

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« Reply #4 on: (03:47:11/02-10-19) »
I wish I could bring my Chicago character into Neo-Tokyo. But 400+ TKE says otherwise.

Hobbes

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« Reply #5 on: (09:46:58/02-10-19) »
Really the only (mechanical) change is to mundanes.  They've got some different options to explore.  Melee weapons are the new pistols.  Palming is required for anyone planning on using guns (well Palming always was required if you ever left the CZ...). 

As stated, Yakuza knowledge skill is highly recommended.  Looper rounds from Kill Code should be carried by everyone, smoke grenades also handy.  Smartwigs and synthskin masks also nice.

Technomancers and Mages are pretty much the same as before. 

Play what you want. 


Bull

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« Reply #6 on: (13:17:25/02-10-19) »
Usagi Bop:  Cyber-Bunny Girl with a giant mallet. :)


Tarislar

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« Reply #7 on: (14:41:35/02-10-19) »
What sort of Armor rating does "Catholic School Girl Outfit" come with anyway?

And where does she keep the Hammer concealed?

 :o

Hobbes

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« Reply #8 on: (17:05:41/02-10-19) »
Mortimer's of London Berwick Dress, Armor Value 8.  Duh.

And the Hammer is in the trunk of a car I would think.  In a duffel bag.  Preferably in a smuggling compartment.

kyoto kid

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« Reply #9 on: (20:18:28/02-10-19) »
Usagi Bop:  Cyber-Bunny Girl with a giant mallet. :)


...oh I love it (but I thought the that mallet was illegal for Missions),

I have fun with Leela when she wears the padded Amish armour clothing she got from Friendship is Tragic and plays her little girl act (with the Zoe Second Skin and all the "built in armour, she has has a 16 armour value).  Her favourite act when wearing it is giving certain people cookies...

...laced with Lael.

But she's a "Chicago" character with 449 Karma now.
« Last Edit: (20:25:01/02-10-19) by kyoto kid »
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Tarislar

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« Reply #10 on: (20:57:18/02-10-19) »
How many missions are in Chicago?

Those are some very big Karma amounts that people are listing so I'm wondering if the awards are that high or if there are 50+ missions to do.


Beta

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« Reply #11 on: (21:14:37/02-10-19) »
There are 24 Chicago missions (seasons 5-8).  However there are a lot of 'campaign mission packs' as eell, ehich are generally (I think) four linked adventures.  A couple if those have been published to the general public now (London Falling, Sister of Mercy), but more are available to agents.  Those greatly add to the total available adventures a character could have gone through.
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Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #12 on: (21:23:19/02-10-19) »
Really the only (mechanical) change is to mundanes.  They've got some different options to explore.  Melee weapons are the new pistols.  Palming is required for anyone planning on using guns (well Palming always was required if you ever left the CZ...). 

As stated, Yakuza knowledge skill is highly recommended.  Looper rounds from Kill Code should be carried by everyone, smoke grenades also handy.  Smartwigs and synthskin masks also nice.

Technomancers and Mages are pretty much the same as before. 

Play what you want.

It's not mechanical changes its setting assumption changes that affect magicians. I'm not sure I've seen a setting yet where its assumed the police have blanketed the skies with watchers, looking for magical activity where any mental manipulation spell gets pinged, any combat spell above force 3 and anything else where the GM decides its happening.  Not sure even how they do that, Tokyo is pretty big it would take conservatively 20,000 mages to pull that off.  That many in Tokyo capable of summoning a watcher, maybe but its no longer a default add to summoning.  That many in law enforcement seems a stretch.  The how is a nitpik but it is the core assumption of magic use, though adept powers get ignored which leads too more adept players or the dreaded mystic adept.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #13 on: (21:27:43/02-10-19) »
My primary Neo-Tokyo character has now played in all 6 missions of season 9, as well as all 8 2018 CMP missions.  I have 95TKE on that character and never Worked for the People. Between living at high lifestyle, maintaining a skillsoft subscription, and having a deep-seated prejudice about "the poor" means it'll just never happen.  Especially since the FAQ 1.3 won't let me use the BtB rule for spending Karma/Street Cred to lower living expenses :D  And of course Neo-Tokyo nerfs the return for Working for the Man/People...

That nerf will probably tamp down noticeably on the TKE's out there relative to Chicago campaign levels, but still at almost 100 karma per season it seems like some pretty powerful Neo-Tokyo runners will be available when season 12 wraps up.
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.

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #14 on: (21:54:35/02-10-19) »
My primary Neo-Tokyo character has now played in all 6 missions of season 9, as well as all 8 2018 CMP missions.  I have 95TKE on that character and never Worked for the People. Between living at high lifestyle, maintaining a skillsoft subscription, and having a deep-seated prejudice about "the poor" means it'll just never happen.  Especially since the FAQ 1.3 won't let me use the BtB rule for spending Karma/Street Cred to lower living expenses :D  And of course Neo-Tokyo nerfs the return for Working for the Man/People...

That nerf will probably tamp down noticeably on the TKE's out there relative to Chicago campaign levels, but still at almost 100 karma per season it seems like some pretty powerful Neo-Tokyo runners will be available when season 12 wraps up.

Yeah, if I were a player I don't think i'd bother at that exchange rate on a power gamer level. Personally the idea always just irked me, I know its called Karma but its a bit on the nose.