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[SR5] Feedback on Elf Street Samurai

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FatRambo

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« on: (23:50:23/07-28-19) »
Hi everyone,

Long time lurker, first time poster. Apologies in advance for the long post!

The group I play with will be starting up a 5th Edition Shadowrun campaign in a few weeks. We've been playing together for a couple of years but this will be our first time playing Shadowrun as a group save for a few one shot sessions.

I have some experience, but mostly from 2nd and 3rd Edition a long while ago. I've been jonesing to play a long running campaign of Shadowrun forever, so super psyched!

Some notes on house rules for our campaign: We're using Sum to 10 and we all also start with 10 extra free Knowledge/Language skills.

Some notes on my character: While we're all veteran players, most people are new to Shadowrun. Most of the rest of the group's experience comes from more narrative systems such as Masks or FFG's Edge of the Empire, so I'm a bit worried about the lethality/consequences of Shadowrun (We had a short stint with Rogue Trader in the 40K universe that ended...poorly). Additionally, other players' characters tend to be pretty extra/zany, so I am usually the Team Dad/Straight Man. Which means I feel it's mostly my responsibility to make sure we have our bases covered and I can (hopefully) deal with the consequences of our actions. Our GM is very fair but will make us live with the consequences of our actions. Our group consists of a Decker, an Elf Mage (new to Shadowrun), and a not-so-subtle chainsaw arm wielding Street Samurai (also new to Shadowrun). In case anyone is interested we're actually going to be running through the original 1E - 2E 2050 modules in 5E.

This has led me to take a pretty optimized approach to character generation. Baseline role filled is mundane Street Samurai with a secondary focus on B&E and Face roles from the high Agility and Charisma of Elf. So let's get into it:

"Casper" is a Tir Tairngire Ghost washout. Originally from a rich and influential connected family in Tir Tairngire, Casper increasingly relied on cutting edge augmentation to keep up with other awakened Ghost recruits (Prototype Transhuman is re-fluffed with GM permission as his family helping him get access to cutting edge bioware). Eventually though, he couldn't keep up and was uncerimoniously tossed. Listless, he ended up working muscle/protection for the Ancients until he finally couldn't stomach it and eventually found work in the Shadows (this backstory is still somewhat malleable).

PRIORITY (Sum to 10):

A: Attributes, Resources
B: -
C: Elf (+3 Special Attributes)
D: -
E: Skills, Magic (Mundane)

I know Skills E leaves a HUGE weak point with Skills. I originally had the build with Skills D and Elf D, but figured the extra Edge was worth the drop to Skills E (which cost mainly some specializations). My thinking is that the high attributes will allow for fairly good pools and good limits even with low skill investment. Post-gen, my first priority is on increasing B&E and Face skills with JoaT to 1 - 3 and using Edge to supplement until then. Gear-wise I tried to buy as much high-availability stuff in CharGen as possible. 'Ware wise I'd love to add in an internal airtank and Sleep Regulator after we get some $$$ and then look at upgrading.

I know it looks like I'm trying to build a solo "do anything" type (and I sort of am), but my main goal is to be able to come in and fill in a good variety of roles for the group.

I'm using HeroLab and the stat output is as below:

Casper
METATYPE: ELF

Body 5
Agility 7/10
Reaction 5/7
Strength 2/5
Willpower 3
Logic 2
Intuition 5
Charisma 7

Essence 0.41

Edge 4
Condition Monitor (P/S): 11 / 10
Armor: 20
Limits: Physical 8, Mental 4, Social 8
Physical Initiative: 10/12+3D6
Active Skills: Automatics 6, Con 1, Hardware 1, Locksmith 1, Perception 1, Sneaking 6, Unarmed Combat 6
Knowledge Skills: Military 2, Small Unity Tactics 4, Street Gangs 3, Tir  3
Languages: Chinese 2, English N, Japanese 3, Or'Zet 1, Salish 2, Sperethiel 4
Metatype Abilities: Enhanced Senses: Low-Light Vision
Qualities: Agile Defender, Allergy, Common (Mild): Seafood, Big Regret, Biocompatibility (Cyberware), Jack of All Trades, Master of None, Phobia, Uncommon (Mild): Tight Spaces, Poor Self Control - Vindictive, Prejudiced (Specific) (Outspoken): Gangers, Prototype Transhuman: Allergy, Common (Mild): Seafood, Quick Healer, SINner (National SIN): Tir
Augmentations:
   Bone Lacing (Aluminum)
   Datajack (Alphaware)
   Muscle Replacement (Used) (3)
   Orthoskin (Prototype) (Alphaware) (2) w/ Prototype Transhuman
   Smartlink (Alphaware)
   Striking Callus (Alphaware)
   Striking Callus (Alphaware)
   Synaptic Booster (2)
   Synch
   Tailored Pheromones (Prototype) (3) w/ Prototype Transhuman
Vehicles:
   Suzuki Mirage [Handling 5/3, Speed 6, Accel 3, Body 5, Armor 6, Pilot 1, Sensor 2, Seats 1]
Gear:
   Armor Clothing
   Armor Jacket w/ Chemical Protection (2), Fire Resistance (3), Nonconductivity (3), Thermal Dampening (4)
   Ballistic Mask w/ Flare Compensation, Gas Mask, Vision Enhancement (2)
   Bug Scanner (6)
   Bug-Out Identity w/ Fake SIN (1)
   Certified Credstick, Silver
   Certified Credstick, Standard x5
   Chisel/Crowbar
   Concealed Quick-Draw Holster
   Contacts (3) w/ Flare Compensation, Image Link, Vision Enhancement (1)
   Data Tap
   Datachip x20
   Directional Microphone (6)
   Dufflebag
   Ear buds (3) w/ Audio Enhancement (2), Select Sound Filter (1)
   Executive Suite w/ Custom Fit, Increase Social Limit by 2, Newest Model, Nonconductivity (4)
   Flashlight, Thermographic
   Forearm Guards w/ Auto-Injector, Biomonitor
   Gecko Tape Gloves
   Identity: Specify Name w/ License: Aug, License: Concealed  Carry, License: Military, License: Weapons
   Jammer, Directional (6)
   Johnny Come Lately w/ Fake License: Concealed Carry (4), Fake License: Ware (4), Fake License: Weapons (4), Fake SIN (4), (1 month) Low Lifestyle
   Laser Microphone (2) w/ Audio Enhancement (1), Select Sound Filter (1)
   Long Haul x3
   Metal Restraints x2
   Micro-camera
   Micro-Tranceiver
   Miniwelder
   Omni-directional Microphone (6)
   Omni-directional Microphone, Micro w/ Select Sound Filter (1)
   Plastic Restraints x10
   Securetech PPP Legs Kit w/ Decrease Social Limit by 1
   Security Tags x10
   Sony Emperor
   Standard Tags x10
   Stealth Tags x10
   Stim Patch (6) x4
   Subvocal Microphone
   Survival Kit
   Tag Eraser
   Telescoping Mirror on a Stick
   Tool Kit, Disguise
   Tool Kit, Locksmithing
Weapons:
   Ares Alpha [Assault Rifle, Acc 7, DV 11P, AP -6, SA/BF/FA, RC 5(7), 42 (c)] w/ (80x) APDS, Bipod, Flashlight, Thermographic, Folding Stock, Foregrip, Gas-Vent System (3), Grenade Launcher, Imaging Scope, (20x) Regular Ammo, Smartgun System, Internal, (10x) Spare Clips, (10x) Stealth Tag Tracker, (20x) Stick-n-Shock, Tracker
      Ares Alpha Grenade Launcher [Grenade Launcher, Acc 6, DV By Ammo, AP , SS, 6 (c)] w/ Smartgun System, Internal
   Ares Alpha Grenade Launcher [Grenade Launcher, Acc 6, DV By Ammo, AP , SS, 6 (c)] w/ Smartgun System, Internal
   Enfield AS-7 [Shotgun, Acc 6, DV 13P, AP -1, SA/BF, RC 3(4), 24 (d)] w/ (30x) APDS, Gas-Vent System (3), Laser Sight, (100x) Regular Ammo, Shock Pad, Smartgun System, External, Underbarrel Weight
   FN HAR [Assault Rifle, Acc 7, DV 10P, AP -6, SA/BF/FA, RC 2(3), 35 (c)] w/ (100x) APDS, Gas-Vent System (2), Laser Sight, Shock Pad, Silencer/Suppressor, Smartgun System, Internal, (100x) Stealth Tag Tracker, (100x) Stick-n-Shock, Underbarrel Weight
   Ingram Smartgun X [SMG, Acc 6, DV 8P, AP -4, BF/FA, RC 2(3), 32 (c)] w/ (80x) APDS, Flashlight, Thermographic, Folding Stock, Gas-Vent System (2), Silencer/Suppressor, Sling, Smartgun System, Internal, (10x) Stealth Tag Tracker, (80x) Stick-n-Shock
   Steyr TMP [Machine Pistol, Acc 6, DV 5S(e), AP -5, SA/BF/FA, RC (1), 30 (c)] w/ (80x) APDS, Flashlight, Thermographic, Folding Stock, Laser Sight, Silencer/Suppressor, Smartgun System, Internal, (60x) Stick-n-Shock
   Streetline Special [Hold-out, Acc 4, DV 6P, AP , SA, 6 (c)] w/ (30x) Regular Ammo, Spare Clips
   Shock Glove [Unarmed, Acc 8, DV 8S(e), AP -5] w/ Internal Battery
   Survival Knife [Blade, Acc 5, DV 7P, AP -1]
   Flash-Bang Grenade x5 [Grenade, non-aerodynamic, Acc 8, DV 10S, 10m R, AP -4]
   Fragmentation Grenade x15 [Grenade, non-aerodynamic, Acc 8, DV 18P(f), -1/m, AP +5]
   High Explosive Grenade x15 [Grenade, non-aerodynamic, Acc 8, DV 16P, -2/m, AP -2]
   Smoke Grenade x5 [Grenade, non-aerodynamic, Acc 8, DV Smoke, 10m R, AP ]
   Thermal Smoke Grenade x3 [Grenade, non-aerodynamic, Acc 8, DV Th. Smoke, 10m R, AP ]
Contacts:
Fixer (Connection 5, Loyalty 2)
Mechanic (Connection 2, Loyalty 5)
Street Doc (Connection 2, Loyalty 5)
Starting : 134 + (3D6 60)

I feel fairly confident in this build but it's been a long time since I've played Shadowrun and am interested what everyone thinks regarding how this would play in the the wild. Thanks for bearing with me and any feedback is greatly appreciated!
 

Fatespinner

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« Reply #1 on: (00:29:16/07-29-19) »
I think it is a problem that you have only automatics and no other ranged weapon skills. If you are in a situation, where you don't have an automatic, then you have a much lower pool. You have a pretty high agility. So maybe you could shift some points from unarmed or sneaking to pistols?

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #2 on: (01:45:10/07-29-19) »
Automatics includes SMGs, so doesn't sound that much of a problem really.

I see you have both a Mask and Contact lenses with Vision Enhancement and Flare Compensation. It would be better to make the two fully different to properly stack. Maybe consider Thermographic Vision in the lenses, and boost the mask to Vision Enhancement 3 if you dare depend on the Decker to turn the mask wireless.

Your social skills will be good enough in a pinch and teamwork tests, especially if the Decker creates/finds some stuff to give you a boost. I'd prefer higher but you're at Skills E though... Guess you'll have to use the occasional Edge to push through.

Agility as high as possible including Used Ware is nice, especially combined with Agile Defender.
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Marcus

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« Reply #3 on: (02:05:59/07-29-19) »
Automatics is fine if that what you like.
Your problem is your looking at too many roles.

If you're the group straight man, then I'd suggest face with fighting as the secondary.

Next concentrate your language points, if it's something your GM messes with consider headware to and handle it.

You can dump a fair amount of that ware and go to a beefy cyberarm, It'll save you a lot of essence and cash, and give you armor, utility and extra health boxes. Integrate an auto-pistol and shock hand into the arm. Push initiative, Wired and Reaction enhancers (Armor is good not getting hit is best). Sleeping Tiger for armor.

Get rid of Prototype trans, it's just not needed. Get your skills in order, negotiation with spec, Etiquette doesn't need to be super high, primary shooting skill with spec, unarmed (Cyber-implant weapons).  Perception, sneaking, token computers. I know cyberlimb rules are confusing but for cost vs pool and their other benefits it's well worth the headache.  Cybereyes, thermo, night, flair comp, smartlink at minimum.  The alpha is a great gun sure, but an auto-pistol gets the job done. I'm a fan the crusader, but go with what you like. The most important roll of any run is the negotiate roll.

« Last Edit: (02:09:34/07-29-19) by Marcus »
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Tecumseh

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« Reply #4 on: (14:59:53/07-29-19) »
It's pretty good.

As for cyberarm vs. muscle replacement, it depends what you want to be good at. A cyberarm would help you punch harder, especially if you add a cyberspur for the stabby-stab, but muscle replacement lets you be good at whole-body actions, like Sneaking. What weapons can be fired with one hand (with a cyberarm) is an open question so ask your GM. If you take a cyberarm then you might want to get Pistols instead of Automatics, but that's a whole separate debate and ultimately comes down to what you think is fun and how you envision the character.

How did you spend your chargen karma? I would try to carry over 7 of it into gameplay, then starting buying up your 1-karma Rating 1 skills thanks to Jack of All Trades. Things like Pilot Ground Craft, for that Suzuki Mirage.

I'd drop Prototype Transhuman. I'd drop bone lacing and orthoskin and, honestly, even Body. Drop Body to 3 and put the savings in Willpower. Your job is now to dodgedodgedodge instead of soak, which you're well-built to do with your high Agility and Agile Defender. (Note this works better if you stick with the muscle replacement.)

Consider buying some specialty ammo for your weapons. APDS, explosive rounds, different mini-grenades for your Alpha, etc. Give yourself some options.

If you have money you need to spend, I'd invest in more/different types of armor. Fancy suits, lined coats for when you need concealability, armored sports jerseys, etc. Again, it's nice to have options.

More fake SINs and more boltholes are always nice-to-haves too. Bug-out bags at each of them.

FatRambo

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« Reply #5 on: (02:13:05/07-30-19) »
Thanks all for the advice! I think you raised some good points that I've been struggling with as well.

I think it is a problem that you have only automatics and no other ranged weapon skills. If you are in a situation, where you don't have an automatic, then you have a much lower pool.

As others mentioned, I think automatics is pretty versatile and I tried to grab a gun for different types/ranges of engagement. That said, I would like to pick up a couple of ranks in Throwing, Heavy Weapons, and Longarms down the line. I pre-purchased a good shotgun just to not have to deal with high availability post chargen.

I see you have both a Mask and Contact lenses with Vision Enhancement and Flare Compensation. It would be better to make the two fully different to properly stack. Maybe consider Thermographic Vision in the lenses, and boost the mask to Vision Enhancement 3 if you dare depend on the Decker to turn the mask wireless.


I had actually bought them with the idea that they would be used separately for subtle/not subtle situations, but that's a really good point that I could also wear the contacts under the mask. Maybe I will overlap some different vision types.

Your social skills will be good enough in a pinch and teamwork tests, especially if the Decker creates/finds some stuff to give you a boost. I'd prefer higher but you're at Skills E though... Guess you'll have to use the occasional Edge to push through.

Yeah, the skills are the biggest issue, but it just seems a lot more feasible (long term) to bootstrap them for the first couple of sessions/runs and buy them up with Karma. From what I understand they're the easiest to raise from a cost/downtime time perspective. However, if you guys think this would be really unworkable even in the beginning, maybe it should change.

Agility as high as possible including Used Ware is nice, especially combined with Agile Defender.


Thanks! I'm a fan of Used Ware myself. I totally didn't notice it lowered availability until someone pointed it out here.

Your problem is your looking at too many roles.

If you're the group straight man, then I'd suggest face with fighting as the secondary.

I heavily considered this, and maybe I should go back and fiddle with a primary Face/B&E role. I'm just worried that our main combat focused character is new to Shadowrun and I want us to get gud not get ded.

How did you spend your chargen karma? I would try to carry over 7 of it into gameplay, then starting buying up your 1-karma Rating 1 skills thanks to Jack of All Trades. Things like Pilot Ground Craft, for that Suzuki Mirage.

I'd drop Prototype Transhuman. I'd drop bone lacing and orthoskin and, honestly, even Body. Drop Body to 3 and put the savings in Willpower. Your job is now to dodgedodgedodge instead of soak, which you're well-built to do with your high Agility and Agile Defender. (Note this works better if you stick with the muscle replacement.)

Sorry, totally forgot to document how the Karma was spent:

LOG 1 --> 2 = 10 Karma
Positive Qualities (Agile Defender, Biocompatability Cyberware, Jack of all Trades, Prototype Transhuman, Quick Healer) = 23 Karma
1 Rank in Hardware = 2 Karma
1 Rank in Locksmith = 2 Karma
1 Rank in Con = 2 Karma
1 Rank in Perception = 2 Karma
18,000 Nuyen = 9 Karma

This is with a full 25 karma worth of negative qualities.

You're completely right about carrying over 7 to use in game with JaoT. I might do that, but the only area I can see (assuming keeping Prototype Transhuman for now) would be to shave skills and then buy them back up with the 7 first thing in game. That's tempting.

I do realize Prototype Transhuman isn't a great deal. It's insanely expensive for what you get. I could drop it and drop the Bone Lacing (Aluminum) to stay within Essence. This leaves with with an extra 18 karma to spend, which is admittedly a lot.

However, that bone lacing gives me +4 dice to roll resisting damage, which is pretty significant. I'm dropping from 27 dice down to 23 dice to soak. I'm a little worried that's low, even with the Agile Defender.

With your recommendation of dropping Bod to 3, Bone Lacing, and Orthoskin, I'd be sitting at 19 dice to soak, which seems really low even for a dodge based defense. Do you think this is survivable?

Consider buying some specialty ammo for your weapons. APDS, explosive rounds, different mini-grenades for your Alpha, etc. Give yourself some options.

If you have money you need to spend, I'd invest in more/different types of armor. Fancy suits, lined coats for when you need concealability, armored sports jerseys, etc. Again, it's nice to have options.

More fake SINs and more boltholes are always nice-to-haves too. Bug-out bags at each of them.

I've got about 80 - 100 APDS rounds per gun (so 500 or so total). Do you guys think this is sufficient or should I try to pick up some more in chargen? I know availability is pretty high so it might be a pain to pick up in play.

I've got Executive Suit armor for more subtle situations, but good call on a trenchcoat/great coat. Definitely want to pick up more Fake SINs in play but they seemed fairly easy to come by. But I definitely hear you about versatility.

Thanks for all the feedback! This is really helpful and thanks again for bearing with my questions.

Tecumseh

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« Reply #6 on: (00:15:16/07-31-19) »
19 dice to soak is fine, especially if you're rolling 22 dice with Agile Defender. (I don't know if Synch applies to attacks or defense or both.) With a pool that high, you'll be able to regularly dodge Full Auto. Your bigger concern will be Direct spells, which is part of the reason I recommended boosting Willpower instead.

Your average initiative roll will be 22-23, so even if you go Full Defense you should have two attacks per combat turn.

Plus you have Edge 4, which is enough to bail you out of a jam if the dice go cold for a moment.

I think Skills E is viable, especially if your Edge is decent, which it is. The difference between Skills D and E is so minuscule that I never take Skills D for any reason. The benefit of advancing a different priority by one step is absolutely worth 4 measly skill points, especially if they're cheap from Jack of All Trades.

I would drop the ware I suggested. That saves you some nuyen, which means you don't have to convert karma to nuyen. I'd even dump the rating 1 skills, except for Perception. If necessary, use Edge for your first session to fill in some gaps (or get some gear to help replace Locksmith, like an autopicker and a maglock passkey). Carry over 7 karma to start gameplay, then have fun with the rest.

Marcus

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« Reply #7 on: (00:34:14/07-31-19) »
Agile Defender is fine, but keep in mind using it eats initiative. 5e can achieve amazing soak if your trying for it. But it's really all about INT+REC. If you can get non-action defense high enough you're in the best position.  Reaction Enhancers and Wired with the exception included  is the best tech option to achieve this. Magic does this better, but requires more resources to achieve.

« Last Edit: (00:47:50/07-31-19) by Marcus »
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FST_Gemstar

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« Reply #8 on: (21:31:01/08-03-19) »
Looks pretty solid to me. Without going to heavy into gear, I would prob save Locksmith, Hardware, and maybe even Con until play to purchase. With jack of all trades, you can get them cheaper and you are likely not to need them at first.