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5E - FA Enchanter Decker, does it work?

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FST_Gemstar

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« on: <06-20-20/1339:50> »
Finally reading FA and thought I would try an Enchanter. I still tend to prefer my aspected magicians at D priority, and the skill groups are unhelpful, but what Enchanter does provide is a nice boost to Magic Rating, and I think that can make it worthwhile. I made a character that uses uses Dedicated Spellslinger  a "Dedicated Alchemist," doing the same thing but for alchemy instead of spellcasting--so no other magic domains except enchanting, 5 karma for an aspected, and Alchemy 6 gives six preparations.

I tried to stay in the rules of an Islamic Alchemist. Despite the silly requirements for initiiations, the die rerolling and bonuses seem very worth it for an alchemist.

As a decker the character isn't top tier, but seems functional enough. Uses alchemy for decking attribute boosts. Rolls 20 dice to make health preparations. At F4 and with all of the Islamic Alchemist related bonuses, character will average 3 hits on the attribute spells for +3 attributes. They will only grow into their alchemy, making +4 more likely. Character could also make higher potency/Force preps (has the dicepool for it) if desired, but dependent on when/where it is safe to risk the drain. They can also contribute uniquely in  magical ways without stepping on a dedicated magic specialist's toes.

Karma Spent: 25 PQs, 1 Karma, 24 alchemy focus, -25 NQs = 0 remaining


== Personal Data ==
Street Name:
Name: Unnamed Character
Movement:4/8 (2m/hit)
Swim:2 (1m/hit)
Karma: 0
Street Cred: 0
Notoriety: 1
Public Awareness: 0
Human
Composure: 6
Judge Intentions: 7
Lift/Carry: 5 (30 kg/20 kg)
Memory: 7
Nuyen:558¥

== Priorities ==
Metatype: E,0
Attributes: D,1
Special: C,2
Skills: A,4
Resources: B,3

== Attributes ==
Current Form:
BOD: 3
AGI: 1(2)
REA: 3
STR: 1(2)
CHA: 3
INT: 4
LOG: 4
WIL: 3
EDG: 3
MAG: 4

== Derived Attributes ==
Essence:                                5.22
Initiative:                             7 +1d6
Rigger Initiative:                      7 +1d6
Astral Initiative:                      8 +3d6
Matrix AR:                              7 +1d6
Matrix Cold:                            5 +3d6
Matrix Hot:                             5 +4d6
Physical Damage Track:                  10
Stun Damage Track:                      10

== Limits ==
Physical:                               4
Mental:                                 5
   Medkit [+6] (Only for First Aid and Medicine)
Social:                                 5
   Ballistic Mask [+1] (Only for Intimidation, Must be visible)
   Securetech PPP: Vitals Kit [-1] (Must be visible)
Astral:                                 5

== Active Skills ==
Aeronautics Mechanic                    Base:2          Pool:6
Alchemy                                 Base:6          Pool:18
Arcana (Magical Artifacts)                    Base:1          Pool:5(7)
Artificing                              Base:6          Pool:10
Assensing (Aura Reading)                Base:4          Pool:8(10)
Automatics (Submachine Guns)            Base:4          Pool:6(8)
Automotive Mechanic                     Base:2          Pool:6
Chemistry                               Base:4          Pool:8
Computer                                Base:6          Pool:10
Con (Fast Talk)                         Base:1          Pool:4(6)
Disenchanting                           Base:6          Pool:10
Electronic Warfare                      Base:5          Pool:9
Etiquette (Corporate)                   Base:1          Pool:4(6)
Hacking (Devices)                       Base:6          Pool:10(12)
Hardware                                Base:6          Pool:10
Industrial Mechanic                     Base:2          Pool:6
Nautical Mechanic                       Base:2          Pool:6
Perception (Visual)                     Base:6          Pool:10(12)
Sneaking (Urban)                        Base:6          Pool:8(10)
Software                                Base:6          Pool:10

== Knowledge Skills ==
Arabic                                  Base:2          Pool:6
English                                 Native
Archaeology (Magical Archaeology)                        Base:2          Pool:6(8)
Gaming                                  Base:3          Pool:7
Holy Text (Quran)                       Base:2          Pool:10(12)
Security Procedures (Matrix)            Base:4          Pool:8(10)

== Contacts ==
; Fixer (4, 2)
;Antiquities and Oddities Dealer(2, 1)

== Qualities ==
Dedicated "Alchemist" Spellslinger
Enchanter
Infirm
Mentor Spirit (Holy Text)
Pacifist I
Practiced Alchemist
Restricted Gear
Weak Immune System

== Tradition ==
Islam [Islamic Alchemist],Resist Drain with:7

== Spells ==
Analyze Device (Alchemical)   DV: F-3
Increase [Attribute] (Alchemical) (LOG)DV: F-3
Increase [Attribute] (Alchemical) (INT)DV: F-3
Increase [Attribute] (Alchemical) (WIL)DV: F-3
Increase Reflexes (Alchemical)DV: F
Levitate (Alchemical)         DV: F-2

== Lifestyle ==
Low(Low)1 Month
   + Grid Subscription (Public Grid) [+50¥]

== Cyberware/Bioware ==
Cyberears Rating 1
   + Sound Link
   + Antennae
   + Antennae
   + Antennae
   + Increased Hearing Spectrum
Datajack Plus Rating 3
Muscle Augmentation Rating 1
Muscle Toner Rating 1

== Armor ==
Armor Jacket                            14
   + Concealed Pocket
   + Drag Handle
   + Fire Resistance 2
   + Gel Packs
   + Nonconductivity 2
Ballistic Mask                          +2
   + Gas Mask
Securetech PPP: Vitals Kit              +1
Vashon Island: Synergist Business Line  11
   + Custom Fit
   + Faraday Pocket
   + Fire Resistance 2
   + Gel Packs
   + Nonconductivity 2
   + Holster
Vashon Island: Synergist Business Line Longcoat10/+3
   + Chemical Protection 2
   + Concealed Pocket
   + Custom Fit (Stack)
   + Drag Handle
   + Insulation 2
   + Holster

== Weapons ==
Ingram Smartgun X
   + Gas-Vent 2 System
   + Personalized Grip
   + Sling
   + Smartgun System, Internal
   + Sound Suppressor
   Pool: 6 (8)   Accuracy: 4 (7)   DV: 8P   AP: -   RC: 4
Knife (Survival Kit)
   + Concealable Holster
   Pool: 1   Accuracy: 5   DV: 3P   AP: -1   RC: 2
Remington Suppressor
   + Concealed Quick-Draw Holster
   + Gas-Vent 3 System
   + Personalized Grip
   + Smartgun System, Internal
   + Sound Suppressor
   Pool: 6   Accuracy: 6 (9)   DV: 7P   AP: -1   RC: 5
Survival Knife
   + Concealed Quick-Draw Holster
   + Survival Knife Bonuses
   + Survival Knife Wireless Bonuses
   Pool: 1   Accuracy: 5   DV: 4P   AP: -1   RC: 2
Unarmed Attack
   Pool: 1   Accuracy: 4   DV: 2S   AP: -   RC: 2

== Commlink ==
Little Hornet(ATT: 5,SLZ: 4,DP: 1,FWL: 1)
   + Sim Module, Hot
   + Universal Connector Cord (Meter)
   + Commlink Functionality[Camera, Micro, Chip Player, Credstick Reader, Earbuds 1, GPS Guidance System, Micro Trid-Projector, Music Player, RFID Tag Scanner, Shock- and Water-Resistant Case, Touchscreen Display]
   + Agent Rating 4
Transys Arthur(ATT: 0,SLZ: 0,DP: 1,FWL: 1)
   + Commlink Functionality[Camera, Micro, Chip Player, Credstick Reader, Earbuds 1, GPS Guidance System, Micro Trid-Projector, Music Player, RFID Tag Scanner, Shock- and Water-Resistant Case, Touchscreen Display]
   + Subvocal Mic
   + Micro-Transceiver
   + Sim Module
Transys Avalon(ATT: 0,SLZ: 0,DP: 6,FWL: 6)
   + Commlink Functionality[Camera, Micro, Chip Player, Credstick Reader, Earbuds 1, GPS Guidance System, Micro Trid-Projector, Music Player, RFID Tag Scanner, Shock- and Water-Resistant Case, Touchscreen Display]

== Gear: Equipped ==
Backpack (Good)
Fake SIN (Enchanting) Rating 4
   + Fake License (Weapon License) Rating 4
   + Fake License (Talismonger License) Rating 4
   + Fake License (Concealed Carry Permit) Rating 4
   + Fake License (Restricted Cyberware License) Rating 4
   + Fake License (Driver's License) Rating 4
   + Fake License (Matrix Software License) Rating 4
Survival Kit
   + Lighter
   + Compass
   + Matches
   + Lightweight Thermal Blanket
   + Several Days' Worth of Ration Bars
   + Water Purification Unit

== Location: ammo ==
Ammo: Stick-n-Shock (Machine Pistols) ×15
Ammo: Stick-n-Shock (Submachine Guns) ×64

== Location: biotech ==
Biomonitor
Medkit Rating 6
Slap Patch, Stim Patch Rating 3

== Location: Electronics ==
Bug Scanner Rating 6
Data Tap
Datachip ×20
Glasses Rating 3
   + Flare Compensation
   + Smartlink
   + Thermographic Vision
Tag Eraser
Tool Kit (Hardware)
Tool Kit (Automotive Mechanic)

== Location: magic ==
Alchemical Focus (Bonded Foci) (Islam [Islamic Alchemist]) Rating 8
Magical Lodge Materials (Islam [Islamic Alchemist]) Rating 6
Reagents, per dram (Islam [Islamic Alchemist]) ×50
Vault of Ages Rating 5

== Location: programs ==
Armor
Baby Monitor
Browse
Edit
Exploit
Fly on a Wall
Search
Shell
Signal Scrub
Sneak
Stealth
Toolbox
Track
Virtual Machine
Wrapper

== Vehicles ==
Renault-Fiat Funone               
   + GridLink
   + Metahuman Adjustment Rating 2
   + Morphing License Plate
   + Sensor Array Rating 2


« Last Edit: <06-20-20/1345:42> by FST_Gemstar »

Grawwr

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« Reply #1 on: <07-07-20/1319:26> »
So I've built and played an enchanter in a Living Community for about 3 years now, and played with alchemy extensively so I've got some experience in this field.

The archetype you are playing with is definitely viable, although I would recommend a few things to bring them up to speed a little.

- Firstly, Analyze device is a very inefficient/ineffective spell to use on a cyberdeck. Your character has 18 dice to alchemy, and can make preps at a maximum of Force 8. This means that the biggest preps on average will be rolling 13 dice. A cyberdeck has 15+ dice to resist Analyze Device, which makes it unlikely to succeed. As an alchemist, recasting a spell is much more difficult and troublesome than a normal magician. This coupled with the fact that you only have 1x Vault of Ages means that you only have 10 preparation slots available to you means that you will likely be having a few "low effect" Analyze Device preps sitting around in your vault taking up space, when it can be better used for other tools.

- Removing Analyze device means your dicepool requirements drop dramatically. All of your other spells are unresisted options that require very little hits. As such, this allows you to forgo the extremely expensive Alchemical Focus at chargen, freeing up important karma and nuyen. In addition, due to your low WIL+LOG, you run a serious risk of an addiction spiral with such a strong focus, so getting rid of it will be useful. Instead, consider the Decrease Noise preparation and/or a Vectored Signal Filter module for your cyberdeck.

- This brings me to the next point. Average means something very different for an Alchemist vs a Spellcaster. A spellcaster that gets below average hits on a health spell can just drop the spell and recast it. An Alchemist that gets a bad roll on their preparation has one of their limited preparation slots effectively wasted. Remember that you only have enough storage for 10 preparations, so every single one has to matter! You should always be ready to deal with a situation where you get a low roll and have to live with it without being able to recast.

- Next, ware wise you are burning up a fair bit of essence in exchange for not much significant benefit. I would personally recommend throwing away all your ware entirely at chargen. Use headphones instead of cyberears, use a MOS and trodes instead of a datajack+ and instead of spending nuyen in muscle augmentations, we can use the karma we regained from dropping our alchemical focus to put into buying up our STR and AGI from 1 to 2!

- Then, instead of raising our edge, lets raise our magic from 5 to 6. This is actually somewhat important for an enchanter, since it increases the strength of the preps you can make without risking Physical Drain (which can be really annoying to rest off), while also giving you more flexibility for making more preps mid run.

- If you are willing to use Sum to 10 instead of Priority, you can then drop your Nuyen from B to C, your Skills from A to B and then raise your Atts from D to B. This will give you 6 more Att points to work with, and you can round out your essential mentals for a decker. If not, then you should drop 1 rank in both REA and CHA, and invest it into LOG and INT.

- If you are still sticking to priority, then you should invest your nuyen and essence into things like Neocortical nanites, etc., stuff that gives you a boost to Logic linked skills, instead of LOG itself. Try not to go below 5 MAG, 5 MAG is where you get the ability to make Force 10 preps, i.e. the biggest preparations that can fit in a vault. (Remember you can always spend reagents to lower the limit so you dont risk physical drain when you make preps!) Alternatively, you can drop nuyen to D and pick up some ranks in In Debt and reduce your deck to a Erika MCD-1 (You can use odd modifications to change it to a stat array of 5/3/1/1) so you can invest those priority points into Attributes B. This will give you much more flexibility and room for growth in the longer run.

- Remember, if you need additional LOG and INT in a pinch and your alchemy just isnt doing enough, drugs like Psyche and Cereprax exist for a one-off emergency button. (They also stack with preps up to +4!) And nanite sprays exist to give temporary boosts as well.

In summary, the crux of building a good Enchanter is to build a character that is passable as a mundane without access to their magic. You almost have it done right, just a few tweaks to buffing up their hacking dicepools without magical support and they would be a pretty solid character (and a little less initial investment into alchemy's dice pool)
« Last Edit: <07-07-20/1325:19> by Grawwr »

Beta

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« Reply #2 on: <07-14-20/2100:01> »
The essential math to keep in mind for alchemists is that each dice of alchemy pool on average contributes only 1/9th of a success when the preparation goes off (while each point of preparation force contributes 2/9th of a success on average). So the return on investment from really pushing your alchemy pool is not great.  You need a certain amount in order to overcome the force and have a useful potency, but big dice pools pay off less than for many other skills.
Tipperman  --
speechthoughtmatrix

FST_Gemstar

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« Reply #3 on: <07-17-20/1735:33> »
To Grawwr:

-You are right, analyze device isn't worth it. Just had a spare spell slot. Can be replaced perhaps with another attribute booster or Noise/Tech spell.

-Re drugs, this is something that I thought I knew, but I wasn't sure whether attribute boosts from drugs affect the force level requirements of increased attribute spells. Ex. If I raise Logic and Intiution with psyche to 5 or 6, would my F4 increase attribute preparation still work? Do I have to use the preparation first and then use drugs? I played it safe to build the character assuming that they wouldn't "stack" because F4 increase attributes wouldn't work with drug enhanced attributes. If that is not the case, then yes, alchemy is a great supplement to Narco to max +4 attributes without a terrible investment.

-the investment in the alchemy dice pools (particularly with the big focus), is in recognition that alchemy foci are comparatively cheap and useful across spell categories in relation to spellcasting foci. Though that bonus because less of an issue if the character is so focused on only health attributes. I guess 16 dice isn't a big difference compared to 20 (going for an R4 focus), especially if drugs are back on the table.



Grawwr

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« Reply #4 on: <07-28-20/2156:54> »
To Grawwr:

-You are right, analyze device isn't worth it. Just had a spare spell slot. Can be replaced perhaps with another attribute booster or Noise/Tech spell.

-Re drugs, this is something that I thought I knew, but I wasn't sure whether attribute boosts from drugs affect the force level requirements of increased attribute spells. Ex. If I raise Logic and Intiution with psyche to 5 or 6, would my F4 increase attribute preparation still work? Do I have to use the preparation first and then use drugs? I played it safe to build the character assuming that they wouldn't "stack" because F4 increase attributes wouldn't work with drug enhanced attributes. If that is not the case, then yes, alchemy is a great supplement to Narco to max +4 attributes without a terrible investment.

-the investment in the alchemy dice pools (particularly with the big focus), is in recognition that alchemy foci are comparatively cheap and useful across spell categories in relation to spellcasting foci. Though that bonus because less of an issue if the character is so focused on only health attributes. I guess 16 dice isn't a big difference compared to 20 (going for an R4 focus), especially if drugs are back on the table.

Sorry for the slow response, but in response to your questions.

- The force required for the preparation is the augmented value of your attribute at the point it is used. So yes, you do need a higher force if you are using drugs. However, you want to have a higher LOG and INT than 4 anyway! Right now, if you use a preparation and get +3 LOG and +3 INT, you have effectively 7 LOG and 7 INT, which almost identical to just having 6 LOG, 5 INT and taking psyche. That and you are burning through preparations, which are a much more limited resource than drugs. Generally speaking you wanna go *maximum* possible for your Force when it comes to preparations anyway, since that gives the prep significantly more dice during its spellcasting test. You can avoid physical drain by using reagents to lower the limit to a safe level.

- Alchemy foci just arent worth it at chargen. Your focus is effectively costing you multiple attribute points in karma and nuyen for a very minor return. In fact Alchemy foci are less efficient than Spellcasting foci are getting results. Spellcasting foci give a bonus of +Force dice to the final spellcasting roll in their category. Alchemy foci give an effective +(Force/3) dice in the final spellcasting roll of the preparation.

- If you just discarded your foci entirely and shuffled around the priorities, you will find that you can build a character that has stronger and more reliable dicepools without any preparations! I.e. Its better to have an alchemist that has 6 LOG and can make +2 preps, than an alchemist that has 4 LOG and can make +3/+4 preps.  Thus, my strong recommendation is to find some way of raising your LOG and INT up. I strongly recommend using Sum to 10 for this if possible, since it would allow you to rotate a priority point from nuyen to attributes after tossing that expensive focus.


- This has another reason. As an alchemist you will sometimes find yourselves in a situation where you are unable to use preparations. This is much more likely to happen than for a traditional mage. Thus, being passable at your job without needing preparations is a useful skill to have. I.e. dont rely on preparations to make you passable at your role (this is a recipe for disaster). Instead use preparations to turn a passable role into a good one.

- Once again, I suggest not burning out at all and sticking with 6 MAG, or 5 MAG at the minimum. 5 MAG allows for the creation of Force 10 preparations, which will be your bread and butter when it comes to prep usage.
« Last Edit: <07-28-20/2205:40> by Grawwr »