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"High Life" Pistol Adept for Campaign - too many choices?

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TK421

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« on: <04-22-19/0023:47> »
So, as mentioned in the title, I am building an Adept for an upcoming SR5 campaign.  I've lurked on this site for some time, and have to thank the community for all the information on the forum here.  I find myself in the odd instance of being spoiled for choice, that is to say, using the High Life option at character generation has me diving down rabbit holes every time I look at Hero Labs.

I should also note that I have played Shadowrun for a number of years, but mainly in series of one-shots as opposed to a lengthier campaign.  Our GM has come up with what is, to me, a novel approach on this one as we won't be playing traditional Runners, but rather "Reclamation Agents" for an organization that liaisons with Corps and governments.  Essentially, we will be doing Runs but with an air of legitimacy that is relatively new to me in the SR verse.  Needless to say, murder hobo-ing our way through or shoot once, shoot twice, then ask why we needed to bring our targets back alive aren't options for us.

I'm hoping the folks here can weigh in on the longer term viability of my build or offer any suggestions as to what is a glaring mistake or miss on my part.  The only pieces I need to maintain is that of Race (Elf) and that I would like to retain the Positive Quality (Bilingual).  For now, it is just one other player and myself in this - we have a good start on backstory; he is playing a Drone Rigger, and my task was to be the "muscle" though we were both thinking to retain a bit of "Face-ness" to aid with our tasks.  So far, I have an unaugmented version of this character, one that focuses on Gun Kata, and one or two other builds, but below is the one I keep coming back to.

I realize I have to get some Knowledge skills down and that I have about 95k left to spend for gear, wheels, etc. but was hoping to get some Adept insight here.  Priorities are:  Attributes A, Resources A, Skills B, Metatype C, Magic C

B 4/5, A 7/9, R 5/9, S 2/3, W 5, L 3, I 5/7, C 5, ESS 5.01, EDG 2, M 5
Condition Monitor (P/S): 11 / 11
Armor: 0
Limits: Physical 7, Mental 6, Social 7
Physical Initiative: 10/16+4D6
Active Skills: Arcana 1, Gymnastics 2, Influence Group 5, Intimidation (Interrogation +2) 5, Palming
(Legerdemain +2) 1, Perception (Visual +2) 3, Pilot Ground Craft (Wheeled +2) 1, Pistols (Semi-
Automatics +2) 6, Sneaking (Urban +2) 1, Tracking (Urban +2) 4, Unarmed Combat (Jujitsu +2) 6
Metatype Abilities: Enhanced Senses: Low-Light Vision
Qualities: Adept, Agile Defender, Bilingual, Biocompatibility (Bioware), Code of Honor: Avenging Angel,
Driven: Find sister's murderer(s) (8dicepool (4)), Mentor Spirit: Wolf, Perfect Time, SINner (National SIN):
Tir Tairngire, Tough and Targeted
Adept Powers: Attribute Boost (2): Agility (7dicepool), Authoritative Tone (2), Combat Sense (1), Danger
Sense (1), Improved Reflexes (3), Nerve Strike, Nimble Fingers, Rapid Draw
Augmentations:
Cerebellum Booster (Alphaware) (2)
Datajack (Alphaware)
Muscle Toner (Alphaware) (1)
Suprathyroid Gland (Alphaware)
Gear:
Contacts (3) w/ Smartlink, Vision Enhancement (1), Vision Magnification, Electronic
Identity: Specify Name
Qi Focus: Authoritative Tone (2) (4)
Qi Focus: Nerve Strike (4)
Weapons:
Savalette Guardian [Heavy Pistol, Acc 9, DV 8P, AP -1, SA/BF, RC 1, 18 (c)] w/ Advanced Safety
System, Extended Clip (1), Gecko Grip, Improved Range Finder, Longbarrel, Personalized Grip, Smartgun
System, Internal
Starting ¥: 5,000 + (1D6 × 20)¥
Ammunition & Resources:
Savalette Guardian - unloaded
Edge Pool - 0/2

Jareth Valar

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« Reply #1 on: <04-22-19/0500:53> »
One option. You could drop Mantor Spirit and Perfect Time (Mentor Spirit could be bought in game and could lead to a good story) and in their place take Prototype Transhuman.

Loose the Datajack and you will have a full Power Point more to spend. You could then purchase the 2 ranks of Attribute Boost you lost from Mentor Spirit and still have .5 left, even buy a rank of Authorative Tone for a full 3 with your Qi focus.

Trode Patch is all you need for DNI, especially being an adept.  WIth what Bioware you have and loosing the Datajack, you could fit something that is .1 essence (Alphaware) like a Reflex Recorder. Use it for Pistols and that raises your poolo to 19 with your Guardian.

Again, just suggestions.

TK421

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« Reply #2 on: <04-22-19/1442:45> »
I actually gave the Transhuman quality some thought, unfortunately, we had agreed on some back story elements that won't allow that to work for this character.

I do appreciate your thoughts though - I will definitely take another look at the Reflex  Recorder (and any other 'ware that costs 0.1 Ess).

Tecumseh

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« Reply #3 on: <04-23-19/1330:31> »
Just wanted to confirm, you're doing Sum-to-15, correct? Just wanted to make sure that's intentional.

How did you spend your starting karma?

You'll likely want to concentrate your skill points a little more. For example, it's more important to have Perception and Sneaking at high levels than it is to have Tracking at a high level. Similarly, it would be best if you can buy your low-ranking skills with your starting karma and then put those skill points into other existing skills. I'd probably drop Pilot Ground Craft and leave that job for your drone rigger partner. Spend 2 karma each on Arcana 1, Gymnastics 1, then reinvest those skill points into Perception, Sneaking, maybe Palming since that helps you sneak your pistols into places where they're not supposed to go.

If I were you, I'd probably drop Resources to B and boost Skills to A. Actually, I'd probably do Resources C, then Skills A and Magic B. I'd save the 'ware for after game play starts and treat it as an element of character development/growth. Your starting Attributes will be lower but your skills will be higher, which might be important for a 2-man team that's desperate for diversification. That also gets you an extra point of Magic - which you'll lose later to 'ware, but it will help bridge the gap until then - and a couple extra points of Edge, which are hugely valuable.

TK421

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« Reply #4 on: <04-24-19/1657:00> »
Honestly, I'm not sure if the Sum-to-15 is the same as selecting the High Life Alternate Campaign option on p350 of the Core book or not.  With a hand wave from the GM and at the other player's suggestion, we're starting with that alternate campaign option.  If you've got Hero Labs - it's the Established Runners Creation System with the Alternate Campaign - High Life selected.  Priority selection moves from A-E to AA-B-CC.

That said, your points are well taken.  My Active Skills are what have been driving me batty.  As I noted before, it seemed important to cram as much into the toon at chargen for multiple brief forays into SR then to build for story or depth.  Edge was also a concern - 2 is below what I would normally feel comfortable with, but with "building a bigger gun" something had to give.  Building some taller skill stacks and getting a bit more oompf out of skills at the get go will very likely prove more important then building for combat only.  I will say that given the nature of the campaign we're going to run had influenced some of the 1 point choices, but the reality is that no matter what we'll be doing, having some depth in the "core" skills will be important.  I think I might just keep that Pilot Ground Craft though if I can keep the resources at a level to grab the car  ;)

If you don't mind, I'll put some work into implementing your suggestions and re-post the build later today for dissection.  Again, can't say enough how helpful everyone on the site has been contributing knowledge, builds, and even rules discussions.  Thanks all!

TK421

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« Reply #5 on: <04-24-19/1705:01> »
One other quick note as I realized I didn't answer all your questions - karma broke down as follows:  Gear (1), Attribute (10), Magical Resources (16), Qualities (summed to -2).

TK421

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« Reply #6 on: <04-24-19/2240:08> »
Well, here goes take two - TBH, I'm not totally happy with how I spent the newfound Skill points here either - I'm sure it could be done better.  I haven't seen my partner in crime's stats yet, but I assume he'll have most of the technical skills we'll need...

I did try to take your advice, but couldn't stay away from a bit of 'ware (at a lower cost then before).  If I'm totally off-base on this at chargen, let me know and I'll give it another go.  I did write him up un-augmented, and that idea's not totally off the table - let me know what you all think of this version first.

Sort of off topic - are there any guidelines/recommendations for starting Karma buy-up of attributes?  I found myself, when creating the un-ware'd version, spending what seemed to be an excess (3 Attribute increases for 40 karma) of Attribute points, limiting the magic karma I could expend and positive traits I could take.  Just curious if there's a rule of thumb to follow with a Priority build and karma spending...

Anywho, here's the second take - feel free to disparage, disregard, denigrate, and well, any other d words you can think of...

Priority Build (High Life, Established Runner)
Attributes - A
Skills - A
Resources - B
Metatype - C
Magic - C

Karma spend - Attributes (10), Magical Resources (16), Qualities (-7)
Resources - ~40k left to flush things out

Unnamed Hero
METATYPE: ELF

B 4/5, A 7/9, R 5/8, S 2/3, W 5, L 3, I 5, C 5, ESS 5, EDG 2, M 5
Condition Monitor (P/S): 11 / 11

Armor: 16
Ranged/Melee Def: 17

Limits: Physical 7, Mental 6, Social 9

Physical Initiative: 10/13+3D6

Active Skills:
Acting Group 3
Athletics Group 2
Influence Group 5
Arcana 1
Intimidation (Interrogation +2) 6
Palming (Legerdemain +2) 6
Perception (Visual +2) 6
Pistols (Semi-Automatics +2) 6 (7)
Sneaking (Urban +2) 6
Tracking (Urban +2) 4
Unarmed Combat (Jujitsu +2) 6

Metatype Abilities: Enhanced Senses: Low-Light Vision

Qualities: Adept, Agile Defender, Bilingual, Code of Honor: Avenging Angel, Driven: Find sister's murderer(s) (8dicepool (4)), Mentor Spirit: Wolf, Perfect Time, SINner (National SIN): Tir Tairngire, Tough and Targeted

Adept Powers: Attribute Boost (2): Agility (7dicepool), Authoritative Tone (2), Combat Sense (4), Improved Reflexes (2), Nerve Strike, Rapid Draw

Augmentations:
   Muscle Toner (1)
   Reflex Recorder: Pistols
   Suprathyroid Gland

Gear:
   Contacts (3) w/ Smartlink, Vision Enhancement (1), Vision Magnification, Electronic
   Identity: Specify Name
   Qi Focus: Authoritative Tone (2) (4)
   Qi Focus: Nerve Strike (4)
   Sleeping Tiger w/ Custom Fit, Holster, Newest Model, Ruthenium Polymer Coating (3), Synergist Business Line Longcoat

Weapons:
   Savalette Guardian [Heavy Pistol, Acc 9, DV 8P, AP -5, SA/BF, RC 1, 18 (c)] w/ (18x) APDS, Extended Clip (1), Gecko Grip, Improved Range Finder, Longbarrel, Personalized Grip, Smartgun System, Internal

Starting ¥: 5,000 + (1D6 × 20)¥
Ammunition & Resources:
   Savalette Guardian - APDS x18
   Edge Pool - 0/2

TK421

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« Reply #7 on: <04-25-19/0036:07> »
I think I'm finally picking up what you were laying down ;)

It could go something like this...

Priority Build (High Life, Established Runner)
Attributes - A
Skills - A
Magic - B
Metatype - C
Resources - C

Karma spend - Attributes (25), Magical Resources (8), Qualities (-9)

Unnamed Hero
METATYPE: ELF
B 5, A 6/7, R 5/7, S 3, W 5, L 3, I 5, C 5, ESS 6, EDG 4, M 6
Condition Monitor (P/S): 11 / 11
Armor: 16
Limits: Physical 6, Mental 6, Social 9
Physical Initiative: 10/12+3D6
Active Skills: Arcana 1, Con (Fast Talking +2) 4, Gymnastics 3, Influence Group 4, Intimidation (Interrogation +2) 6, Locksmith (Maglock +2) 6, Perception (Visual +2) 6, Pistols (Semi-Automatics +2) 6, Running 1, Stealth Group 6, Tracking (Urban +2) 4, Unarmed Combat (Jujitsu +2) 6
Metatype Abilities: Enhanced Senses: Low-Light Vision
Qualities: Adept, Agile Defender, Bilingual, Code of Honor: Avenging Angel, Driven: Find sister's murderer(s) (8dicepool (4)), Hawk Eye, Mentor Spirit: Wolf, SINner (National SIN): Tir Tairngire, Tough and Targeted
Adept Powers: Attribute Boost (2): Agility (8dicepool), Combat Sense (4), Improved Physical Attribute (1): Agility, Improved Reflexes (2), Nerve Strike, Rapid Draw
Gear:
   Contacts (3) w/ Smartlink, Vision Enhancement (2)
   Identity: Specify Name
   Qi Focus: Nerve Strike (4)
   Sleeping Tiger w/ Custom Fit, Holster, Newest Model, Ruthenium Polymer Coating (3), Synergist Business Line Longcoat
Weapons:
   Savalette Guardian [Heavy Pistol, Acc 9, DV 8P, AP -5, SA/BF, RC 1, 18 (c)] w/ (18x) APDS, Extended Clip (1), Gecko Grip, Improved Range Finder, Longbarrel, Personalized Grip, Smartgun System, Internal
Starting ¥: 5,000 + (1D6 × 20)¥
Ammunition & Resources:
   Savalette Guardian - APDS x18
   Edge Pool - 0/4

Tecumseh

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« Reply #8 on: <04-25-19/1707:05> »
I'm going to focus on the most recent build, but if you like the augmented one better then we can go over that instead.

For the unaugmented one, here's what I would do:

1) Drop Body from 5 to 3 and then raise Charisma from 5 to 7. That will make you a much better face. Body only comes into play for soak rolls (and an extra box on your Physical condition monitor), but your goal is to avoid getting hit in the first place.

2) You haven't hardcapped any of your attributes. I would take a point from Logic and put it into Agility to hardcap it at 7 (pre-augmentations). You don't really need Logic since Arcana is your only skill linked to it. You probably have Arcana so that you can initiate, but if so then that's an Intuition+Arcana test that doesn't depend on Logic.

3) I'm guessing you spent 25 karma to upgrade Strength 1 to 3. I would save 15 karma and only upgrade it to 2. You don't really need Strength for Unarmed Combat since you'll be relying on Nerve Strike instead. You potentially need it for Running (i.e. sprinting), but your Agility is so high (and thus your base movement rate is so high) that might not really need to sprint that often.

4) Then, take the 15 karma you saved an invest it into your low ranking skills, like Arcana 1 or Running 1 for 2 karma each. (Alternatively, buy Athletics 1 with 5 karma. You'll be worse at Gymnastics but you'll know how to swim, and it will save 4 skill points.) Take the skill points you save and reinvest them into things like Con. That will probably leave you with some leftover karma to spend on other things, or to save for your first initiation after gameplay starts.

5) I'd probably leave Attribute Boost at Rating 1. It's an odd power where the drain is related to the number of ranks you have rather than something else, like the number of hits you generate. So with Magic 6, R1 gives you 7 dice to roll instead of the 8 you would have for R2, but for half the drain. That gives you an extra 0.25 power point to put into something fun.

6) I'd drop two ranks of Combat Sense and put the 1.0 power point you save into a third rank of Improved Reflexes. That gives you an extra point of Reaction, so in terms of dodging you've only lost 1 die, but the trade-off is an extra 4.5 points of Initiative. With 4d6 + Reaction 8 + Intuition 5 you have a 97% shot at three initiative passes and a 16% shot at four passes. Even if you don't score the fourth pass, the extra initiative will let you act first (improving survivability) and give you additional options for interrupt actions (which also improve survivability). That's a good trade for 1 fewer die to dodge.

Go ahead and mull over that for a while. The biggest drawback would be the Physical Limit, which would be 5. That will be most relevant for Sneaking tests and Unarmed Combat. 5 hits is solid for both, but obviously the more the merrier. The good news is that you're right on the cusp of Physical Limit 6, with improving any of the underlying attributes (STR/BOD/REA) will get you to 6. Plus there's gear you can use to help too, like chameleon suits.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #9 on: <04-26-19/0546:10> »
Note that with those stat-changes, you definitely want some Limit-increases for Perception (such as your Vision Enhancement) and Sneaking (which can be done with gear, as Tecumseh mentioned), since it'd put your limits at 5/4(5)/10. You'd be at 14/3 for Physical Limit, and would need 16/3 for PL 6.
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