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5e Combat Mage - 1st Ever Character

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Hermetic Mage

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« on: <04-30-21/2030:59> »
Hi Chummers!

First ever character and I have no idea what I'm doing if I'm honest. Hopefully the below is legal and I'm looking for any help you might be able to get to both refine the below as well as tidying up bits I might have missed (For example I haven't implemented the College Educated Quality yet because I don't really understand it but it feels right for the character's background).

Any help would be appreciated. I don't need it to be mix-max levels of efficient but a bit of optimisation would be nice (I think the rest of the group will be a Troll Street Sam and some sort of Decker or Technomancer)

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Name:
Street Name: Paradox or Pi (Undecided)
Metatype: Human
Age: 32
Archetype: Mage (Hermetic)

Priority: A - Magic (6) | B - Attributes (20) | C - Skills (28/2) | D - Resources (50,000) | E - Metatype (Human - 1) |

Metatype - Human

Attributes
  • Body - 3
  • Agility - 3
  • Reaction - 2
  • Strength - 2
  • Willpower - 5
  • Logic - 6
  • Intuition - 5
  • Charisma - 2
  • Edge - 3
  • Essence - 6
  • Initiative - 7 + 1d6
  • Astral Initiative - 10 + 2d6
  • Racial Qualities - +1 Edge

Limits
  • Physical Limit - ((2*2)+3+2)/3 = 3.0 = 3
  • Mental Limit - ((6*2)+5+5)/3 = 7.3 = 8
  • Social Limit - ((2*2)+5+6)/3 = 5.0 = 5
  • Astral Limit - Mental Limit = 8


Skills
  • Skill Points - 28
  • Skill Groups - 2 (Conjuring)
  • Magic  - 5 (Spellcasting & Counterspelling)

Active Skills
  • Arcana - 4 points + 6 = 10
  • Assensing - 3 points + 5 = 8
  • Counterspelling - 5 points + 6 = 11
  • Perception - 3 points + 5 = 6
  • Pilot Group Craft - 1 points + 2 = 3
  • Pistols (Agility) - 3 points + 3 = 6
  • Ritual Spellcasting - 2 points + 6 = 8
  • Spellcasting - 6 points + 6 = 12 (Specialisation: Combat)

Knowledge Skills
  • Gang Identification (Street) - 2 points + 5 = 7
  • Magic Groups (Professional) - 3 points + 6 = 9
  • Magical Theory (Academic) - 6 points + 6 =12
  • Mathematics (Academic) - 5 points + 6 = 11
  • Seattle (City/Street) - 4 points + 5 = 9

Languages
  • English - Native
  • Latin - 2 points

Positive Qualities
  • Astral Chameleon = 10
  • Analytical Mind = 5
  • Mentor Spirit - Dragonslayer (+2 dice pool to social skill and +2 to Combat Spells) = 5 ← I haven’t taken a social skill for this yet, not sure which one would be best[/b]
  • College Education = 4 ← I haven’t factored this in to stats yet as I don’t 100% understand how it works but the quality makes sense given his background. Help would be appreciated

Negative Qualities
  • Mild Caffeine Addiction = -4
  • Mild Pollen Allergy = -10


Spells
  • Lightning Bolt
  • Lightning Ball
  • Mana Bolt
  • Stunbolt
  • Heal
  • Invisibility
  • Trid Phantasm
  • Levitate
  • Physical Barrier
  • Armor


Augmentations
  • None


Gear
Weapons
  • Ares Predator V - 725
  • Streetline Special -120
  • Survival Knife - 100
  • 6 x Spare Clips (Ares) - 30
  • Hidden Arm Slide (Streetline Special) - 350
  • Concealable Holster (Ares Predator) - 150

Armor
  • Armor Jacket - 1000
  • Mod Thermal Damping x 2 - 1000
  • Mod - Electrochromic - 500
  • Helmet - 100
  • Helmet Mod - Trode - 70
  • Helmet Mod - Electrochromic - 500

Comlinks
  • Erika Elite - 2500
  • Meta Link (Burner) - 100
  • Meta Link (Burner) - 100

Electronic Accessories
  • AR Gloves - 150
  • Subvocal Microphone - 50

ID & Licenses
  • Fake SIN (6) - 15000 - Michael O’Connor
  • Fake SIN (3) - 10000 - Donal Thompson
  • Fake License (6) - 1200 - Licensed Magician - Registered to Michael O’Connor
  • Fake License (6) - 1200 - Ares Predator V - Registered to Michael O’Connor
  • Fake License (3) - 600 - Streetline Special - Registered to Donal Thompson
  • Fake License (6) - 1200 - Spell Focus - Registered to Michael O’Connor

Credit
  • Standard Credstick x 5 - 25 (Empty)
  • Silver Credstick x 2 - 40 (Currently Empty)

Optic Devices
  • Glasses (4) - 400
  • Mod: Image Link - 25
  • Mod: Smart Link  - 2000
  • Mod: Low-Light Vision - 500
  • Mod: Thermographic Vision - 500
  • Contacts (2) - 400
  • Mod: Image Link - 25
  • Mod: Smart Link - 2000

Audio Devices
  • Earbuds (1) - 50
  • Mod: Select Sound Filter (1) - 250

Magical Equipment
  • Spell Focus: Combat Spells (2) - 8000

Medical
  • Medkit (3) - 750
  • Medkit Supplies x 6 - 600
  • Trauma Patch x 2 - 1000

Vehicles
  • Suzuki Mirage - 8500

Lifestyle - Low
  • Apartment in the Barrens - 2,000 per month
  • Extra Secure (Street Mage Lodge) + 20% of Lifestyle - 400


Contacts
  • Robert Turkington - The Local Street Mage Lodge Leader
  • Connection: 3
  • Loyalty 2
  • GM is giving out 1 free Fixer contact to each player for his campaign purposes.


Remaining Nuyen = 8630
Remaining Karma = 0
« Last Edit: <05-03-21/1546:10> by Hermetic Mage »
Numbers never lie and they can reveal everything to us.

Tecumseh

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« Reply #1 on: <05-01-21/1240:38> »
Points to you for some neat-and-tidy formatting.

For a first character ever, this is pretty solid. Some tweaks are possible but the foundation is firm. I'm going to write a lot of advice and tips below so it's going to sound like you totally messed up, but you didn't. Again, for a first pass, this is highly functional.

Question #1, which is fairly important: how did you spend your chargen karma?

Skills
Good news: your active skills sum to 28, which means you didn't take credit for the Spellcasting 5 and Counterspelling 5 you took from your Magic A priority. That means you have more skill points to spend.

Conjuring is incredibly powerful and you want more points in it than your 2 skill group points. Also, you don't really need Binding and Banishing so let's pick a different skill group altogether. Influence is a decent choice, not that you'll be good at it with Charisma 2, but it's good to have a few dice to avoid a critical glitch, especially in Etiquette. Alternatively, pick up a couple points of Etiquette on their own and grab a different skill group, like Athletics.

You don't need Arcana too high to start. You can drop that down a bit.

Assensing is very important since it sounds like you'll be the only one at the table with it. Get it as high as you can, like 5 or 6.

Skip Ritual Spellcasting for now, especially as a new character. Put the points into Summoning. Get Summoning to 6.

If you can, buy Pilot Ground Craft 1 with 2 karma instead. Spend the skill point on another skill, like Summoning.

I'd drop Pistols to 1 and then buy it with karma too, if possible. Invest the skill points elsewhere, like Summoning and Assensing. Currently, with 6 dice (Agility 3 + Pistols 3) you'll never hit anything. It can be good to carry a gun so that you don't look like a mage (because mages get geeked first), but you don't actually need to know how to use it: it's just a prop. If you really do want to fire a gun now and again, pick up an automatic weapon. Suppressive fire is the most useful thing you can do with a low dice pool.

Attributes
If you can find the karma, drop an attribute down to 1 (like Charisma) and then buy it back up to 2 with 10 karma. Then put the attribute point you saved somewhere else. I would vote for Reaction. Not only will that improve your Initiative and your dice pool for dodging, but it will also improve your Physical limit. Boosting your Physical limit makes it less likely that you will suffer Knockdown if you get hit.

Qualities
I personally don't allow Addiction qualities for Caffeine, but if your GM buys it then go for it.

College Education halves the price of your Academic knowledge skills. Right now you have Magical Theory 6 (which would now only cost 3 points) and Mathematics 5 (which also costs 3 points, so you might as well take it at rating 6 for the same price). You now have some more knowledge skill points to spend. I'd put them into more academic skills with a magical bent: Magical Law, Magical Threats, Parazoology, Parabotany, etc.

For Dragonslayer, I'd probably have it boost Etiquette. That will be your most useful Social skill most of the time. Your dice pools will be too low to go after Negotiation or Con with any reliability.

I would take some more negative qualities. Get some extra karma to enable some of the advice above for Skills and Attributes.

Spells
Three combat skills is enough to start. Spells are fairly inexpensive to add later. I'd drop Manabolt to begin.

I'd select Improved Invisibility instead of Invisibility. You want to be invisible to cameras too.

Combat Sense is better than Armor. Avoid damage altogether instead of just absorbing a little bit of it.

I find Physical Barrier underwhelming but lots of people like it. It can be used for creative problem solving.

Improved Reflexes is a good way to boost your initiative. Or you could do drugs.

Other good options: Spatial Sense (Extended) is awesome. Detect Enemies (Extended) can be a huge help, but can also annoy your GM. Manascape is the mana/astral version of Trid Phantasm (which is great). Magic Fingers can be useful if you're tricky. Don't underestimate the value of some housekeeping spells, like Fashion or Fix. Not only are they fun but they can be shockingly useful. Influence is good for the crafty. I also like Analyze Truth and Compel Truth, but they can probably wait.

You currently don't have a good way to sustain spells. One option is to summon a Spirit of Man with Innate Spell as an optional power and then have it cast (and sustain) the spells for you. Alternatively, you could use Psyche, which is great but expensive.

Equipment
You can only take 5,000 nuyen out of chargen, so you have some more spending to do. Consider upgrading your focus or buying more foci, even if you don't have the karma to bind them right now. A power focus is huge. A spellcasting focus that can be used to sustain spells is also helpful.

You don't need 6x medkit supplies. 1x is fine.

Upgrade your earbuds to get Audio Enhancement.

You don't need Image Link and Smartlink in both your glasses and your contacts.

Thermographic Vision is 500, not 50, although I presume that's a typo.

Get some trodes so you can send and receive messages via DNI.

As a magician, you'll want a magical lodge.

In conclusion
Good job! I know, it's a lot, but welcome to Shadowrun. I'm running out of electrons so I'll close and let others take it from here.

Welcome to the boards!

Hermetic Mage

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« Reply #2 on: <05-01-21/1334:05> »
Points to you for some neat-and-tidy formatting.

For a first character ever, this is pretty solid. Some tweaks are possible but the foundation is firm. I'm going to write a lot of advice and tips below so it's going to sound like you totally messed up, but you didn't. Again, for a first pass, this is highly functional.

Question #1, which is fairly important: how did you spend your chargen karma?

Hi Tecumseh,

Thank you so much! I'll work through this and try to take all your suggestions on board! (Have to get ready for a Deadlands game in a few hours so after that! :) )

As for the Karma expenditure it went like this but not sure if it's right:

Karma = 25

Negative Qualities:
  • Mild Caffeine Addiction: -4
  • Mild Pollen Allergy: -10

Karma = 39

Positive Qualities
  • Astral Chameleon: 10
  • Analytical Mind: 5
  • Mentor Spirit - Dragon Slayer: 5
  • College Education: 4

Karma Remaining =  15

Convert 10 Karma to 2K Nuyen per Karma = 22K

Karma Remaining =  5

Contacts
  • Robert Turkington - Local Mage Lodge Leader
  • Connection: 2 = 2 Karma
  • Loyalty: 3 = 3 Karma

Thank you again!
Numbers never lie and they can reveal everything to us.

Tecumseh

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« Reply #3 on: <05-03-21/1254:59> »
Jolly good news: you get Charisma x3 in free karma for your starting contacts. So not only do you not have to pay 5 karma for Robert Turkington but you also get to boost his Connection or Loyalty by 1 point. I'd go for Connection.

Alright, previously I advised to "spend more" because you had 8K nuyen leftover. If that came from karma-to-nuyen transfers then I'm going to unwind that recommendation and say "don't convert that karma to nuyen". I'd take that 8K and turn it into 4 karma, then turn those 4 karma is two Rating 1 skills. As before, I'd recommend Pilot Ground Craft and Pistols. Con is another possibility, or perhaps one or more of the Athletics skills if you don't take the Athletics skill group with your skill group points. Another possibility is something that would leverage your high Logic, like First Aid or something from the Engineering skill group.

Otherwise, my recommendations are largely the same. Pick up some more Negative Qualities so you have some extra karma to spread around. Personally I'd prioritize Reaction 3 via the "lower an Attribute to 1, buy it back up to 2 with 10 karma, put the saved Attribute point into Reaction" route that I recommended earlier.

Hermetic Mage

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« Reply #4 on: <05-03-21/1529:29> »
Thanks for all the feedback! I've done my best to incorporate it as best to my understanding and ability to change things around.[/i]

Priority: A - Magic (6) | B - Attributes (20) | C - Skills (28/2) | D - Resources (50,000) | E - Metatype (Human - 1) |

Metatype - Human

Attributes
  • Body - 3
  • Agility - 3
  • Reaction - 3
  • Strength - 2
  • Willpower - 5
  • Logic - 6
  • Intuition - 5
  • Charisma - 2
  • Edge - 3
  • Essence - 6
  • Initiative - 7 + 1d6
  • Astral Initiative - 10 + 2d6
  • Racial Qualities - +1 Edge

Limits
  • Physical Limit - ((2*2)+3+3)/3 = 3.3 = 4
  • Mental Limit - ((6*2)+5+5)/3 = 7.3 = 8
  • Social Limit - ((2*2)+5+6)/3 = 5.0 = 5
  • Astral Limit - Mental Limit = 8


Skills
  • Skill Points - 28
  • Skill Groups - 2 (Influence)
  • Magic  - 5 (Spellcasting & Counterspelling)

Active Skills
  • Arcana - 2 points + 6 = 8
  • Artificing - 2 points + 6 = 8
  • Assensing - 6 points + 5 = 11
  • Counterspelling - 6 points + 6 = 12
  • First Aid - 1 points + 6 = 7
  • Perception - 3 points + 5 = 8
  • Pilot Group Craft - 1 points + 2 = 3
  • Pistols - 3 points + 3 = 6
  • Spellcasting - 6 points + 6 = 12 (Specialisation: Combat)
  • Summoning - 6 points + 6 = 12

Knowledge Skills
  • Gang Identification (Street) - 2 points + 5 = 7
  • Magic Groups (Professional) - 3 points + 6 = 9
  • Magical Theory (Academic) - 6 points + 6 =12
  • Magical Threats (Academic) - 4 points + 6 = 10
  • Mathematics (Academic) - 6 points + 6 = 12
  • Parazoology (Academic) - 4 points + 6 = 10
  • Seattle (City/Street) - 4 points + 5 = 9

Languages
  • English - Native
  • Sperethiel - Native - Given by GM for Free
  • Latin - 2 points


Positive Qualities
  • Astral Chameleon = 10
  • Analytical Mind = 5
  • Mentor Spirit - Dragonslayer (+2 dice pool to etiquette and +2 to Combat Spells) = 5
  • College Education = 4

Negative Qualities
  • Mild Caffeine Addiction = -4
  • Mild Pollen Allergy = -10
  • Insomnia = -10


Spells
  • Combat Sense
  • Heal
  • Improved Invisibility
  • Improved Reflexes
  • Levitate
  • Lightning Ball
  • Lightning Bolt
  • Physical Barrier
  • Stunbolt
  • Trid Phantasm


Augmentations
  • None


Gear
Weapons
  • Ares Predator V - 725
  • Streetline Special -120
  • Survival Knife - 100
  • 6 x Spare Clips (Ares) - 30
  • Hidden Arm Slide (Streetline Special) - 350
  • Concealable Holster (Ares Predator) - 150

Armor
  • Armor Jacket - 1000
  • Mod Thermal Damping x 2 - 1000
  • Mod - Electrochromic - 500
  • Helmet - 100
  • Helmet Mod - Electrochromic - 500

Comlinks
  • Erika Elite - 2500
  • Meta Link (Burner) - 100
  • Meta Link (Burner) - 100

Electronic Accessories
  • AR Gloves - 150
  • Subvocal Microphone - 50
  • Trodes - 70

ID & Licenses
  • Fake SIN (6) - 15000 - Michael O’Connor
  • Fake SIN (3) - 10000 - Donal Thompson
  • Fake License (6) - 1200 - Licensed Magician - Registered to Michael O’Connor
  • Fake License (6) - 1200 - Ares Predator V - Registered to Michael O’Connor
  • Fake License (3) - 600 - Streetline Special - Registered to Donal Thompson
  • Fake License (6) - 1200 - Spell Focus - Registered to Michael O’Connor

Credit
  • Standard Credstick x 5 - 25 (Empty)
  • Silver Credstick x 2 - 40 (Currently Empty)

Optic Devices
  • Glasses (4) - 400
  • Mod: Image Link - 25
  • Mod: Smart Link  - 2000
  • Mod: Low-Light Vision - 500
  • Mod: Thermographic Vision - 500

Audio Devices
  • Earbuds (1) - 50
  • Mod: Audio Enhancement (1) - 500
  • Mod: Select Sound Filter (1) - 250

Magical Equipment
  • Spell Focus: Combat Spells (2) - 8000

Medical
  • Medkit - 250
  • Medkit Supplies x 1 - 100
  • Trauma Patch x 2 - 1000

Vehicles
  • Suzuki Mirage - 8500

Lifestyle - Low
  • Apartment in the Barrens - 2,000 per month
  • Extra Secure (Street Mage Lodge) + 20% of Lifestyle - 400


Contacts
  • Robert Turkington - The Local Talismonger
  • Connection: 4
  • Loyalty 2
  • GM is giving out 1 free Fixer contact to each player for his campaign purposes.


Remaining Nuyen = 3715
Remaining Karma = 0

Starting Nuyen (3D6 * 60) = 840
Nuyen Ingame = 4555


Karma Expenditure Details:

Starting Karma = 25

Negative Qualities
  • Insomnia: -10
  • Mild Caffeine Addiction: -4
  • Mild Pollen Allergy: -10
  • Karma Gained: 24

Remaining Karma = 49

Positive Qualities
  • Astral Chameleon: 10
  • Analytical Mind: 5
  • College Education: 4
  • Mentor Spirit - Dragon Slayer: 5
  • Karma Spent: 24

Remaining Karma = 25

Other Expenditure
  • Money (18K): 9
  • Raising Charisma to 2: 10
  • Skill Running to 1: 2
  • Skill Piloting to 1: 2
  • Skill First Aid to 1: 2
  • Karma Spent: 25

Remaining Karma = 0
« Last Edit: <05-03-21/1544:37> by Hermetic Mage »
Numbers never lie and they can reveal everything to us.

Tecumseh

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« Reply #5 on: <05-03-21/1807:22> »
Pretty good.

You'll need to spend another 50 nuyen to upgrade your earbuds to rating 2 to provide some extra capacity. In fact, see if you can get the to rating 3 for another point of Audio Enhancement.

You mentioned Running under your karma spend but it's not listed under Active skills.

I'd probably skip Artificing to start. Leave it as something to grow into. Those skill points could help in Perception. Perception saves lives; namely yours.

A fake SIN's Availability is Rating * 3. What this means is that the most you can get in chargen (where the Availability cap is 12) is R4.

This is an opportunity. Downgrade your R6 to an R4 and you'll save some nuyen. Same goes for the associated licenses, which only need to be R4 instead of R6.

Take this nuyen and see if you have enough to convert back into karma. If you can scare up 5,000 nuyen then that's worth 2 karma, or another R1 skill. I think that's a worthwhile trade.

Similarly, your R3 fake SIN only costs 7,500, not 10,000. There could be some more savings there if your accounting is off.

If you just find yourself swimming in nuyen, then 5 karma buys another spell. Remember, spells (and spirits) are what you bring to the table as the magician. (Astral projection and assessing are huge too.) You want as many spells as possible in your toolbox.