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New Magician

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Rockopolis

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« on: <02-13-11/2150:34> »
Well, I'm building a character for the Dark Days In Denver PBP game, a rookie magician, and I was wondering if there was any advice; reading the "Mages Are Overpowered" thread makes me wonder if I'm doing this wrong.  Heck, I'm a rookie magician; I used to play the other side of the street.
I'm blowing the dust off some old books, and blowing the dust of new books, and I'm reading as fast as I can, so I may have missed something.
I'm considering certain attributesqualities, but they'll change the way I look at this character.  Things like Pacifist and a Mild Addiction to Longhaul.  Day Job seems handy, but kinda cheesy, as do other Mild Addictions.

One of my alternates would be to take SINner and Trust Fund; frees me from having to worry about Lifestyle or money, which means I'm running because I want to ::), but the motivation for that would be rather murky.  I suppose I could pair it with being the child of some Aztechnology wagemage or something, refugee or otherwise, but that just seems...easy to mishandle.  Not what I'd initially planned, but it'd be a strong side hook, though, if I can avoid being crushed to dust.
If I took more Day Job, maybe Pacifist, I could boost up med skills and make him a nurse, too, I guess.
Might be able to mitigate SINner somewhat by using a fake SIN and trying to live separate lives...like Batman!

A Dwarf seems like a powerful choice, but I think my ego is too big for someone 1.2m tall.  I've always had a problem playing nonhuman characters, and while I should change that, and I don't know if now is the time to start.

Name: Glen Carter
Alias:  Max Magus!
Race: Human
Sex: Male
Nationality: Californian
Lifestyle: Low
Karma Spent: 0
Physical Description: Somewhat scrawny,
Personality/background "Changing the world would be nice, helping others would be nice, but right now I'm broke."  Good natured, somewhat naive by Shadowrunner standards, Glen is a curious, studious, and surprisingly adventurous young mage.

Attributes

BodyAgilityReactionStrength
3332
CharismaIntuitionLogicWillpower
3454
EdgeMagic/ResonanceEssenceInitiative
2567

Positive Qualities
Magician (Mage)
Sensei
Negative Qualities
Day Job

Active Skills
Athletics Skill Group1
Stealth Skill Group1
Spellcasting4
Counterspelling3
Ritual Spellcasting1
Conjuring3
Binding3
Banishing1
Assensing1
Arcana1
Enchanting1
Pistols (Light)1(3)
Unarmed Combat1
Dodge1
Etiquette1
Negotiation1
Survival1
Pilot Groundcraft1
Knowledge Skills ( [Logic + Intuition] x 3 free points)
Magical News3
Medical News3
Motorcycles
1
Magical Security4
Awakened Drugs1
Physical Security1
Denver2
Spirits3
Alchemy1
Chemistry1
Storytelling1
Language Skills
EnglishN
Spanish3
Sioux1
Pueblo1
Sperethiel1

Spells
Stunbolt
Healing
Invisibility
Levitate
Armor
Mind Probe

Gear (XXXXX¥)
Hermes Ikon (Novatech Navi, AR Gloves, Nanopaste Trodes, Printer, Satellite Link5355¥
Glasses (Low Light, Flare Compensation, Vision Enhancement 3, Image Link)650¥
Binoculars50¥
Mage Sight Goggles2000¥
Medkit 6600¥
Gas Mask200¥
GPS200¥
Mapsoft 6 (Denver)30¥
Gecko Tape Gloves250¥
Lined Coat700¥
Lodge 52500¥
Fake SIN 44000¥
Fake Spellcasting License400¥
Fake Driver's License400¥

Vehicles
Yamaha Growler
HandlingAccelSpeedPilotBodyArmorSensorAvailabilityCost
+115/401501661-5500¥

Contacts
ContactC/L
Talismonger3/3Thomas Amon.  Teacher and Employer; Max gets tips on the finer points of the theory and practice of magic, and occasionally helps out around the store.
Smuggler/Biker2/2John Carter of Denver (no relation).  Adventurer and smuggler.  Glen makes the occasional order, and enjoys listening to his stories, and John likes preening and free beer.
Shadowrunners are reminded that the Fashion Police are a real organization and will they will be deployed at the first sign of defiance.
Mossy the Mentat Looking for a game.

Charybdis

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« Reply #1 on: <02-13-11/2330:12> »
Great concept, and all good on the Rookie component, but still a solid performer :)

A) I think you need a Physical combat spell in there somewhere. Stunbolt is all well and good (hell, it's definitely my most commonly-cast spell) but when the chips are down and something needs to fry, a backup Powerbolt or Fireball to do some physical damage to the real world is nice to have.

B) I'd shift the attributes to get starting Magic at 6. I know it's 20BP you have to find, but it automatically increases several of your magical skills (as if you've spent BP on more ranks), and it also lets you take more Stun drain instead of Physical. This issue cannot be overstated! What's easier to shrug off? 2 boxes of physical (with a day of bedrest) or 2 boxes of Stun (30minutes driving between locations)

C) I'd choose a bit more of the Skill Group stuff (ie Sorcery group 4, Banishing Group 3). They're all handy skills, :)

D) Choose Unarmed or Dodge. No point having both (especially as to dodge Ranged attacks is an Interrupt action, and as a mage you'll have precious few IP's to chew through...

E) In general, you have a lot of skills at 1, which is rarely useful. Perhaps focus on fewer skills, but take some Specialisations to get really good?
Example: I took Sorcery group at 4, with specialisations in Spellcasting(Combat Spells) and Counterspelling(Combat Spells). For my PC, the combat spell component is his bread and butter, and this is reflected in his favourite skills

F) No qualities listed (Positive or negative)..Magician is obviously going to chew a few points, and I also highly recommend the Trust Fund (Middle Lifestyle). It does free you up for day-to-day running, but a clever backstory is needed as to why you riskl your life (Perhaps a Negative Quality like Adrenaline Junkie?  8)). I noticed you had a few language skills there. Maybe take Linguist (cheap option for an extra 2 dice to all language skills).

'Too much is never enough'

Current PC: Free Spirit (Norse Shamanic)
'Names are irrelevant. Which fake ID do you want me to quote from?'

Phreak Commandment V:
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Loki

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« Reply #2 on: <02-13-11/2340:53> »
I all so suggest shuffling some skill points. As magic support you want higher assensing and imo enchanting is something you pay NPCs to bother with. Arcana is nice for making your own spells and designing foci. The foci design process is fast enough to be a decent minor source of income.   

Rockopolis

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« Reply #3 on: <02-14-11/0921:43> »
Thank you for your prompt assistance.  I didn't even think of Magic 6 that way, and I didn't think of using Physical Combat skills on the environment.  I guess I should take Trust fund, it seems I'm thinking up a more detailed backstory to go with it.  Should I take that reflex boosting spell that I read about in "Mages are overpowered"?
Shadowrunners are reminded that the Fashion Police are a real organization and will they will be deployed at the first sign of defiance.
Mossy the Mentat Looking for a game.

Lansdren

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« Reply #4 on: <02-14-11/0952:16> »
I would suggest you balance your additional IP's with your group. Last thing they need is you having multiple IP's and them mostly having one as this will make things unbalanced.

I'm always wary about unbalancing a team to the point that to make it a chalenge for one person you have to screw the rest of the team.

What I mean is if your street sam is running with 2IP's maybe go for two yourself or just leave it at one. Mages can fit alot of roles and unless your the main combat role you dont want to shit on other peoples fun by upping the danger level too early.

I play a pretty heavy combat mage who makes do with one IP by planning ahead and not getting caught with his trousers down (it also helps that when he does cast it hits like a crazy thing).
"Didnt anyone tell you as security school to geek the mage first?"  "I guess I will just have to educate you with a introduction to my boomstick"

Walks Through Walls

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« Reply #5 on: <02-14-11/1038:32> »

E) In general, you have a lot of skills at 1, which is rarely useful. Perhaps focus on fewer skills, but take some Specialisations to get really good?
Example: I took Sorcery group at 4, with specialisations in Spellcasting(Combat Spells) and Counterspelling(Combat Spells). For my PC, the combat spell component is his bread and butter, and this is reflected in his favourite skills


Charybdis,
You cannot specialize in group skills at character generation. Now after the first run you could then add the specializations, but then wouldn't be able to raise the skills as a group any longer.

I agree that the level one skills aren't that useful, and they are cheap to get with karma after a run or two where it is more expensive to raise a skill at a higher level so I would raise a couple skills to higher levels and then buy the others after a run or two
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JohnQ

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« Reply #6 on: <02-14-11/1053:39> »
If spell tossing is your primary job, I'd recommend you raise your Willpower to 5 and Spellcasting to 5 too. That is another d6 for resisting drain and another for casting, then you can throw your spells at Force 5 as well.

If your going to take Invisibility, you might as well take Improved Invisibility. For electronic equipment you need a Force 4 or 5 to beat its Object Resistance or it will see you anyway. Also keep in mind you will take a hit while sustaining of -2 dice.

Maybe grab a Power Focus for another couple dice on casting your spells. If your going to take an Armor spell, grab a Sustain Focus or your hit with the -2 sustain penalty.

Speed is the essence of war. Take advantage of the enemy's unpreparedness; travel by unexpected routes and strike him where he has taken no precautions.

~The Art of War by Sun Tzu

FastJack

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« Reply #7 on: <02-14-11/1054:20> »

E) In general, you have a lot of skills at 1, which is rarely useful. Perhaps focus on fewer skills, but take some Specialisations to get really good?
Example: I took Sorcery group at 4, with specialisations in Spellcasting(Combat Spells) and Counterspelling(Combat Spells). For my PC, the combat spell component is his bread and butter, and this is reflected in his favourite skills


Charybdis,
You cannot specialize in group skills at character generation. Now after the first run you could then add the specializations, but then wouldn't be able to raise the skills as a group any longer.
Well, if the GM allows it, they can.

Quote from: SR4A, p. 84
... although, as always, individual gamemasters are free to allow this option.

But on the whole, most GMs frown upon this at character creation.

Charybdis

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« Reply #8 on: <02-14-11/1946:35> »
Quote from: SR4A, p. 84
... although, as always, individual gamemasters are free to allow this option.
But on the whole, most GMs frown upon this at character creation.
I forgot this was an option only.

Truth is, our GM is fine with it as it only ever costs 2 Karma during Gameplay, but also 2BP at creation. And since BP are more valuable than 1:1 karma (at creation) he figured it was fair usage.
'Too much is never enough'

Current PC: Free Spirit (Norse Shamanic)
'Names are irrelevant. Which fake ID do you want me to quote from?'

Phreak Commandment V:
If Thou Be In School, Strive To Get Thine Self Good Grades, For The Authorities Well Know That Scholars Never Break The Law

Rockopolis

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« Reply #9 on: <02-14-11/2337:42> »
I've got an idea that I worry about not being terrible very good, but it might serve as an explanation for both Trust Fund and for adventuring.  Although crunchwise, this is probably better, I get the feeling this is a worse backstory, despite (because of?) being more detailed.  Consider it a draft, I guess.  I can't write it so I'm satisfied, maybe I'll have something better tomorrow.  It just doesn't seem to hold together, at all.

Argh, I'm feeling reaally lightheaded, maybe I'll think of something better tomorrow, when I'm hoefully not sick or sneezing my head off.  There was some alternate backstory based on a quality I can't think of at the moment.Take dependent and have Glen be mooching off the trust funded, perhaps.

Name: Glen Carter
Alias:  Max Magus!
Race: Dwarf
Sex: Male
Nationality: Aztlanian (Displaced)
Lifestyle: Medium
Karma Spent: 0
Physical Description: Short (duh), somewhat scrawny for a Dwarf, he's a fresh faced brunette.
Personality/background "Changing the world would be nice, helping others would be nice, but right now I'm broke."  Good natured, somewhat naive by Shadowrunner standards, Glen is a curious, studious, and surprisingly adventurous young mage.
He's also the estranged son of a ex-Shadowrunner, ex-Aztlan commando, Colonel Corazon Santiago.  The moderately brutal Aztlan officer and her son don't have much in common, including worldview, Awakened status, or even metatype.  They're apparently related enough for her to allow him some measure of 'independence' for her own inscrutable reasons, possibly nostalgia.
For his part, he lives in Denver, free of overt Aztlan influence, studies magic while working part time at a Talismonger's shop, and runs the shadows, though he's not sure why.  Perhaps it's in the blood.

Attributes

BodyAgilityReactionStrength
3333
CharismaIntuitionLogicWillpower
3454
EdgeMagic/ResonanceEssenceInitiative
1667

Positive Qualities
Magician (Mage)
Sensei
Trust Fund I
Human Looking
Dwarf Qualities (Thermographic Vision, Resistance to Toxins/Pathogens +2)
Negative Qualities
Day Job II
Addiction (Mild, Longhaul)
SINner I

Active Skills
Athletics Skill Group1
Infiltration1
Spellcasting5
Counterspelling3
Ritual Spellcasting1
Conjuring4
Binding2
Banishing1
Astral Combat1
Assensing3
Arcana1
Enchanting1
Unarmed Combat1
Etiquette1
Pilot Groundcraft1
Knowledge Skills ( [Logic + Intuition] x 3 free points)
Magical News3
Medical News1
Motorcycles
1
Magical Security4
Awakened Drugs1
Physical Security1
Denver2
Spirits3
Alchemy1
Chemistry1
Aztlan1
Storytelling1
Language Skills
EnglishN
Spanish3
Sioux2
Pueblo1
Sperethiel1

Spells
Stunbolt
Healing
Invisibility
Levitate
Mind Probe

Gear (XXXXX¥)
Hermes Ikon (Novatech Navi, AR Gloves, Nanopaste Trodes, Printer, Satellite Link5355¥
Glasses (Low Light, Flare Compensation, Vision Enhancement 3, Image Link)650¥
Binoculars50¥
Mage Sight Goggles2000¥
Medkit 6600¥
Gas Mask200¥
GPS200¥
Mapsoft 6 (Denver)30¥
Gecko Tape Gloves250¥
Lined Coat700¥
Lodge 52500¥
Fake SIN 44000¥
Fake Spellcasting License400¥
Fake Driver's License400¥
Low Lifestyle Safehouse2000¥

Vehicles
Yamaha Growler
HandlingAccelSpeedPilotBodyArmorSensorAvailabilityCost
+115/401501661-5500¥

Contacts
ContactC/L
Talismonger3/3Thomas Amon.  Teacher and Employer; Max gets tips on the finer points of the theory and practice of magic, and occasionally helps out around the store.
Smuggler/Biker2/2John Carter of Denver (no relation).  Adventurer and smuggler.  Glen makes the occasional order, and enjoys listening to his stories, and John likes preening and free beer.
« Last Edit: <02-14-11/2356:58> by Rockopolis »
Shadowrunners are reminded that the Fashion Police are a real organization and will they will be deployed at the first sign of defiance.
Mossy the Mentat Looking for a game.

JohnQ

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« Reply #10 on: <02-15-11/0905:35> »
Noticing that you did not select an Area Affect spell. You may want to consider adding in Stun Ball, and swapping Stunbolt for Mana Bolt.

Instead of Banishing 1, use the Mana Bolt as your Spirit disruptor. If you do not have any big Ritual Casting plans, perhaps dropping that as well to free up BP.
Speed is the essence of war. Take advantage of the enemy's unpreparedness; travel by unexpected routes and strike him where he has taken no precautions.

~The Art of War by Sun Tzu

Rockopolis

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« Reply #11 on: <02-15-11/1441:59> »
Better?
Hmm...does Stunbolt/ball affect Spirits?  Because I think I need a Power Bolt as well to neutralize physical targets.
Trust Fund is very nice, but I can't seem to come up with anything good, and "Dead rich uncle" seems like a copout.  Anyone have any ideas?  I'll probably just drop the Azzie link, it just seems too scary, and too...silly.

Name: Glen Carter
Alias:  Max Magus!
Race: Dwarf
Sex: Male
Nationality: Aztlanian (Displaced)
Lifestyle: Medium
Karma Spent: 0
Physical Description: Short (duh), somewhat scrawny for a Dwarf, he's a fresh faced brunette.
Personality/background "I wouldn't mind changing the world." Good natured, somewhat naive by Shadowrunner standards, Glen is a curious, studious, and surprisingly adventurous young mage.
"I'd rather not have to sell my soul to get rich and powerful, though, like my parents."  That he's a trust fund brat supported by his parents' (a moderately brutal Aztlan colonel and a Aztechnology wagemage) money is rather embarrassing.  Probably combined with his short stature, he has a surprisingly large chip on his shoulder about 'proving himself'.  Why his parents continue to support his lifestyle is not known; perhaps they had similar aspirations.
"Holy drek, I've got to get out of here." After a brief stint as an intern with Aztechnology, he currently lives in Denver, away from unexpected visits from relatives.

Attributes
BodyAgilityReactionStrength
3333
CharismaIntuitionLogicWillpower
3454
EdgeMagicEssenceInitiative
1667

Positive Qualities
Magician (Mage)
Sensei
Trust Fund I
Human Looking
Dwarf Qualities (Thermographic Vision, Resistance to Toxins/Pathogens +2)
Negative Qualities
Day Job II
Big Regret (Association with Aztechnology)
Records on File (Aztechnology)
SINner I

Active Skills
Athletics Skill Group1
Infiltration1
Spellcasting5
Counterspelling5
Conjuring4
Binding4
Assensing3
Arcana2
Unarmed Combat1
Etiquette1
Pistols1
Knowledge Skills ( [Logic + Intuition] x 3 free points)
Magical News3
Medical Societies1
Magical Security3
Awakened Politics3
Physical Security1
Denver2
Spirits3
Alchemy1
Aztlan1
Aztechnology1
Storytelling1
Language Skills
EnglishN
Spanish3
Sioux2
Pueblo1
Sperethiel1

Spells
Stunball
Manabolt
Healing
Improved Invisibility
Levitate
Mind Probe

Gear (XXXXX¥)
Hermes Ikon (Novatech Navi, AR Gloves, Nanopaste Trodes, Printer, Satellite Link5355¥
Glasses (Low Light, Flare Compensation, Image Link, Smartlink)850¥
Binoculars50¥
Mage Sight Goggles2000¥
Medkit 6600¥
Gas Mask200¥
GPS200¥
Mapsoft 6 (Denver)30¥
Gecko Tape Gloves250¥
Lodge 52500¥
Fake SIN 44000¥
Fake Spellcasting License400¥
Fake Driver's License400¥
Low Lifestyle Safehouse2000¥
Stun Gloves200¥
Industrious Jumpsuit700¥
Half Body Form Fitting Armor900¥
Fichetti Executive Action (Smartlink, Powered Folding Stock, Personalized Grip, Improved Range Finder, Integral Sound Suppressor, Hidden Arm Slide, LowLight/Infrared Flashlight)4100¥
60 Stick and Shock Rounds240¥
100 Gel Rounds150¥
7 Spare Clip35¥
DocWagon Basic Contract5000¥
Synergist Pants, Shirt, Longcoat2000¥
Pocketmage Portable Library III1800¥
12Longhaul600¥
3Psyche600¥

Vehicles
Yamaha Growler
HandlingAccelSpeedPilotBodyArmorSensorAvailabilityCost
+115/401501661-5500¥

Contacts
ContactC/L
Talismonger3/3Thomas Amon.  Teacher and Employer; Max gets tips on the finer points of the theory and practice of magic, and occasionally helps out around the store.
Smuggler/Biker2/2John Carter of Denver (no relation).  Adventurer and smuggler.  Glen makes the occasional order, and enjoys listening to his stories, and John likes preening and free beer.
Shadowrunners are reminded that the Fashion Police are a real organization and will they will be deployed at the first sign of defiance.
Mossy the Mentat Looking for a game.

Charybdis

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« Reply #12 on: <02-15-11/1706:35> »
Better?
Hmm...does Stunbolt/ball affect Spirits?  Because I think I need a Power Bolt as well to neutralize physical targets.
Trust Fund is very nice, but I can't seem to come up with anything good, and "Dead rich uncle" seems like a copout.  Anyone have any ideas?  I'll probably just drop the Azzie link, it just seems too scary, and too...silly.
Yes, Stun Bolt/Ball affects spirits  8). It's a Mana spell so will affect any living entity. However, as it only does Stun damage, it won't affect constructs (eg vehicles, walls, or magical wards)

I rarely include Azzie-links to a beginning character. It's just too risky  :-[

Trust fund doesn't necessarily mean 'money left behind by dead relative' it could have been from one big, lucky score. Maybe a cash jackpot at vegas or finding a 500k credstick that allowed you to buy your own place. According to the old rules (don't know about 4e) you could buy a permanent lifestyle for 100x the monthly cost.

So just imagine an early runner getting a lucky score just once, and having the smarts to organise a fixer/decker to acquire some property and an interest bearing bank account.
'Too much is never enough'

Current PC: Free Spirit (Norse Shamanic)
'Names are irrelevant. Which fake ID do you want me to quote from?'

Phreak Commandment V:
If Thou Be In School, Strive To Get Thine Self Good Grades, For The Authorities Well Know That Scholars Never Break The Law