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 First Character

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pirateking89



Number of posts : 16
Age : 28
Location : Ann Arbor, MI
Registration date : 2009-01-29

PostSubject: First Character   Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:55 pm

Hello, everybody. This is my first foray into shadowrun, and I was wondering if people would be willing to look over the background I wrote up to critique it as well as give me suggestions for how to make this person an effective character.


William, alias Blet:
Boredom, that was it. I was trying to remember what it was that drove me to the streets in the first place. My dad was a semi-successful doctor, and I was just your average rich white kid that enjoyed thrill seeking and target practice. I blew my free ride education learning new and creative ways to interact with the underworld, talking my way into the collective female population’s pants, along with starring on the school’s shooting team. My dad was so proud of the last, but I was just bored. Eventually, a couple guys that I had partied with a few times hit me up late one Saturday night to go to a club they’d found out about. It was there that I had my first intro to runners. Apparently, my friend’s father had pissed off someone real high up in his corp – I found out later the dad had been sleeping with his bosses wife for over a year – and that someone had hired a lone runner to cap my friend for revenge.
When the first shots started flying, I instantly did the two things I did best. First, I saved my own dreck by taking cover. Then, I popped up and delivered a solid headshot with the revolver I always carry for self-defense. I ran before security arrived, but apparently they managed to ID me. By the time I got back to my dorm at school, security forces were already there to try to bring me in.
I decided, then and there, that the runner’s life that I’d heard so much about and had now been exposed to would be a much better life than droning away like a corporate bee. I spent a couple months on the street nearly starving, occasionally picking up odd jobs tracking down a name through some friends or talking playing middleman to hire a runner team. Much as I enjoyed being payed to be Mr. Johnson, I wanted to be on the other side of the table, making the big money and taking the big risks.
It was almost a year after I went to the streets that I got my first job on a runner team. We were gonna do some very simple work. They hired me as an extra gun and to negotiate with Johnson after the run was over. I didn’t get a cut, but anything extra I earned from the payer was mine to keep. It was supposed to be an easy job: break into the building, steal the docs, get the hell out. It’s never that simple though, is it? Wasn’t for us anyway.
From the first the plan went all to hell. The rigger of the group got his arm broke in a bar fight the night before and was still stuck in the hospital, so I had to take over as the driver, trying to both keep my mind on the mission and on the car, while everyone else was planning in the back. When we got there, I got assigned to point. I thought it was an honor, but I didn’t know runners then. I was just a meatshield to make sure the technomancer didn’t get dropped. He popped the locks on the first few doors, but apparently didn’t go to ‘shut the damn alarm off 101’ while he was training. Our techie was opening the last door when they came upon us. I was watching the left hall and the Troll was watching the right. They hit him first, bullets and fire spewing down towards us. Like a stupid chump, I turned and fired with him, bringing down one of the two attackers before taking the bullet to my back.
It lodged in my armor, but it took me a moment to get myself spun around and firing. In that time, they had gotten themselves to either side of the hallway, and they had us all pinned down. The technomancer finally got into the door and leapt through as soon as it was open. I took a few steps back and in, firing as I went. The troll broke out the window and we all rappelled down the building and out to relative freedom.
We had managed to get the documents and it was my responsibility to get the money from the Johnson. I negotiated a 50 percent bonus for damages taken, the extra information we had managed to grab from the area’s net, along with an administrative account the hacker had set up. I returned to my compatriots and delivered the cash, managing to make myself just as much as they walked away with.
Since then, I’ve been working as a face for several different runner teams. I’m still a decent shot with a pistol, but negotiations and interrogations are my fort.
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Vanya's Devil
Mr. Johnson
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Number of posts : 661
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Race: Human
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PostSubject: Re: First Character   Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:27 am

It's okay, but it lacks a certain...oomph? I find characters tend to be more fun when they've got strong motivations, be it addiction, revenge, a collection of garden-variety sociopathies, etc. You've got a really good hook with that boredom thing, and I think you could really develop that more. Is your character an adrenaline junkie, loving the thrill of close scrapes and worming out of bad situations? That could make him take more and bigger risks, which would make for interesting roleplaying. Is he a sociopath in denial? That could help, too. Opposite end of the spectrum: does he regret becoming a runner? If he does, that'd also be good. Generally, the character could use some more specific flaws. Flaws make characters interesting; they make them do things that are unwise and get them into trouble.

For example: Let's add "Control Addict" to your character's personality. Well, now that scene in the club is more interesting, as is the run where things really go south. In the club, he's still in control, because he knows what to do despite the violence. In fact, he's in more control; after all, he just asserted his power to end the life of another. He loves it, revels in it, and that drives him to want more. On the other hand, the run becomes a sobering affair. There he doesn't have control. They're pinned down, and while they got away, it was as much luck as his own skill. Now your character's stuck: he's addicted to the feeling of a run going well, but he knows that sometimes things go south. Part of him wants to quit; that's the part that knows he might get himself killed one day. The stronger part, however, is still addicted and can't pull away from running. This can lead to irrational or reckless behavior during a run: when things go bad, he tries to wrestle things back into line with whatever means at his disposal, which often means inviting more danger than simply trying to cut and run.

Anyways, that's my two cents on the background. I'm new to 4th (I've always played 3rd), so I can't really help much in the way of character creation.


Last edited by Vanya's Devil on Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:22 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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PresentPresence
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Number of posts : 302
Age : 25
Registration date : 2010-07-31

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Character Name: яөъөсөр
Race: Human After All
Sex: French

PostSubject: Re: First Character   Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:43 pm

I like that you started with your character's background before making up a statistical write-up. That's a problem I tend to have, because I end up having interesting character concepts before I have interesting characters. One thing I like to do, however, is pick qualities for a character first. Most people would disagree with this, but I find qualities affect a character's persona more than attributes or even skills. As such, negative qualities add even MORE to a character's background. That's why I don't like using Sensitive System just because the person doesn't have ware. So let's look at some qualities. I don't have my sourcebooks on hand atm, so I might not remember their exact names or BP costs/bonuses, but I will post those when I get to it.
For starters, there is a quality that states that a character is good at adapting to new social situations, good for a "face" type character. I think it addresses social tests or something. New Kid here sounds like a good fit for this; a mid-level corp kid surviving the streets of Seattle (I presume) on just his shooting skills alone sounds like a miracle. He must have something special to have made it, like...a quality!
Surviving on the streets means you gotta learn to adapt, and learn fast. I don't known if your bio specified this, but it sounds like he has been on the streets for maybe only a year or so. He's probably got some Street Smarts, a quality which gives a bonus to all Street Knowledge skills, which he probably needs/has learned from his time as a Johnson/runner.
Their are also qualities which add bonuses to social tests, important for negotiating and interrogating. There is one thing I don't see much of in your kid however: intimidation factor. Sure, he's good with a pistol, but when you got a guy tied to a chair a skinny little ex-corp prep just won't be as persuasive as a Troll with fists the size of a fridge. Therefore you might want to stick with negotiation, and instead of interrogation maybe use smooth talking on a drunk wageslave to get the info you need.
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Wreck
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Race: Human
Sex: Male

PostSubject: Re: First Character   Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:04 pm

I like the concept, but Vanya is right. It lacks that edge to bring and keep you in the shadows.

Like PP I also start off with a concept and then pick my Qualities (usually negative first). For instance I'm making a rigger/decker. looking over the qualities, I decided to make him a paraplegic. Then, I thought... he can't feel below the waste... moderate addiction to BTL chips! Now he can" feel." That brings him in automatically, he has to get his fix when the latest chips he's bought get dull. Then I figured, he's a cripple & net whiz, so I gave him Virtual Personality, which gives him negatives to charisma checks in RL.

See how my negative qualities are shaping his personality and purpose before I've even started on my background?

My next step is to figure out how & why he got into the shape he's in. Was he always in the chair, or was he involved in an accident that caused it? Maybe he was involved in a street race, and crashed. Perhaps he killed his best buddy in the process. The combination drove him to drugs, his dealer turned him on to BTL with the promise of being able to "feel" his legs again. If I've got enough Bonus BP left over, maybe I pick up Debt, I'm into my dealer for 5k Or I get Paranoid, he is a junkie & a runner after all.

For your character I think he needs an Addiction mild (adrenalin) +5BP as his reason for sticking around the shadows. You could even think of using something like Vindictive or Compulsive Behavior. On the Positive side I'd go with First Impression, he gets a bonus to Charisma checks with people he's meeting for the first time (goes with his Casanova persona). I also think PP is right about him sticking with honey vs big stick tactics. It'll save you on the BPs and make him really good at getting info without being as memorable.

Again, go with PP's advice and choose your Qualities, then rewrite your BkG to fit those in.
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PresentPresence
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Number of posts : 302
Age : 25
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Character Name: яөъөсөр
Race: Human After All
Sex: French

PostSubject: Re: First Character   Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:52 pm

Some qualities that fit New Kid:
Quote :
First Impression [Good for a face, backed up by background]
Cost: 5 BP
A character with the First Impression quality slides easily into new situations, groups, cities, and jobs. Whenever attempting to ft into a new environment—such as infltrating a group or trying to meet contacts in a new city—the character gains a +2 dice pool modifer on any Social Tests during the frst meeting. This modifer does not apply to second and subsequent encounters.
Quote :
Linguist [This is a good face quality, I think. This one, however, requires a teensy bit of background molding]
Cost: 5 BP
A character with this quality has a natural gift for learning and understanding languages, grasping vocabulary and grammar much more quickly than others would. This quality halves the basic learning time for a language and modifies the rating of any Language skill the character possesses by +2.
Quote :
Adrenaline Surge [YAH!]
Cost: 15 BP
The Adrenaline Surge quality allows a character to act first in the first Initiative Pass of a new combat (and only the first), regardless of their actual Initiative Score. The character need not expend Edge to do so, and may not combine the efects of Edge use on initiative with Adrenaline Surge. If other characters also have Adrenaline Surge or spend Edge to go first in the same pass, those characters act first in order of their Initiative Scores, then, all other characters involved in the combat get to go according to their Initiative Scores.
Quote :
Big Regret [Embarrassed that he was a corp kid]
Bonus: 5 BP
The character has done something in his past that she is embarrassed about: maybe a past as a prostitute, a leaked pr0nvideo, or a job as an Aztechnology spokesperson. It could be that she was trapped in a well as a child or was a famous baby model. The character suffers a –3 dice pool modifier to Social Tests against anyone who knows about the character's past. The wrong person might hold it over the character’s head as blackmail. If the secret becomes too public, the gamemaster can give the character 1 point of Notoriety.
Quote :
Trill Seeker [Part of the Poor Self Control flaw]
Cost: 5 BP
This quality means the character tends to jump into risky situations without considering possible consequences and dangers. When confronted with an obviously risky proposition or dangerous situation, the character must make a successful Composure (2) Test to avoid blindly jumping into the thick of things.
Quote :
Gearhead [Expressed when he played the go-man in his run-gone-bad]
Cost: 5 or 10 BP
The Gearhead character is a natural born driver or pilot. From the frst time the Gearhead sat behind the wheel/stick/controls of a certain vehicle, it was like putting on a comfortable old suit. She discovered an intuitive understanding of its limitations and its capabilities, and she quickly learned to coax exceptional performances out of the vehicle. During a single scene (duration at the gamemaster’s discretion), a Gearhead can increase the Acceleration of her chosen vehicle by 20 percent, or increase the Handling modifer by +1. She also gets a distinct +2 dice pool modifier when attempting difficult maneuvers or stunts in the vehicle. This quality only benefts manual or VR control of the vehicle.
For 5 BP, the Gearhead is gifed at piloting a specifc vehicle (i.e. a Suzuki Mirage racing bike or a MiG-67 panzer). For 15 BP, the Gearhead is gifted at piloting any vehicle of a given type (i.e. bikes, cars, trucks, rotorcraft).
Quote :
Wanted [You might take this with Enemy, but after awhile these can pile up and get a little dangerous]
Bonus: 10 BP
For some reason (defined when the quality is taken), the character is wanted by the authorities, has a bounty on her head, or a mob contract hanging over her. Such bounties/contracts should be worth at least 20,000 nuyen. Unlike characters with Enemies, a Wanted character is not constantly harassed by a single opponent
(though the two can be combined). Instead, she will be hunted by anyone who becomes aware of the bounty and is interested in collecting it. It is up to the gamemaster how much this quality impacts the game, but, as a rule of thumb, it should come up at least once every other adventure. This quality may not be bought off, until the reason the character is wanted is resolved through role-playing.
Quote :
Enemy [The corp]
Bonus: Variable (max. 25)
The character possesses an Enemy (or more than one). Enemies are a constant foil and threat to the character’s activities and plans. The BP cost of an Enemy is equal to the sum of its (modified) Connection Rating and its Incidence Rating [I can help with this number if you want this quality]. The nature and depth of the bad blood between the two characters should be defined together with the gamemaster when the Enemy quality is chosen. The Enemy may even be a group or organization, rather than a single antagonist or rival. Enemy can easily be paired with a number of Negative qualities like Wanted and Vendetta.
Quote :
Records on File [If you are wanted by the corp that was looking for you, they probably have your number]
Bonus: 10 BP
One or more megacorps (chosen when the quality is taken) possesses a relatively up-to-date record of the character’s SIN, biometrics, personal, and possibly medical data. This may be the result of some prior encounter, professional relationship, or previous affiliation. This quality provides agents of the corporation with a +6 dice pool modifier to any tests to identify the character through SIN, biometrics, facial or biometric recognition, or medical data. It also provides a +2 dice pool bonus to Legwork attempts to track her down.
Fortunately for the character, corporations cherish their intelligence and do not usually share information willingly with their competitors, or even other organizations. However, this quality may also provide the corp with leverage or blackmail material against her in the future.
Quote :
SINner [You were a wageslave's kid]
Bonus: 5 BP
The character was born with or somehow acquired a legal System Identification Number, or SIN. This means the character’s real identity, personal history, biometric data, credit records, medical history, travel history, etc. are stored and accessible in numerous databanks. This does not mean the character is required to use that SIN, merely that a legal record of him does exist (and may serve as a detriment some day).
At 5 BP, the character has a standard SIN and is a bona fide citizen of the nation or extraterritorial megacorp of his choice. At 10 BP, the character has a criminal SIN, meaning that the character also has a verifable criminal record on file, and likely served prison time in the past. As many law enforcement agencies share their data, this means that character is more likely to be identifed if linked to a crime.
-OR-
Quote :
Erased [Remember the hacker that gave you an admin account?]
Cost: 5BP or 10 BP
Better than SINless—the character with this quality officially doesn't exist and never did; someone or something actively works to remove her traces from the system. Maybe it’s an elite hacker who owes her a favor or an AI she befriended, but the end result is that her data trail and records vanish from all but the most secure systems shortly afer being entered. For 5 BP, criminal SINs and unwanted data disappear within a week. For 10 BP, any SIN, undesirable credit history, or personal information on the Matrix that she wishes is burnt after 24 hours. Obviously, the eraser will preserve any data the character wishes preserved and that is vital for her to function in society. Note that vanishing data may prove an unwanted complication if the character is in custody or doing prison time (the Man may “forget” she is there).
EH? EH?
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Wreck
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Race: Human
Sex: Male

PostSubject: Re: First Character   Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:33 pm

I like SINer and Records on File. His background had him get arrested. Thrill Seeker is perfect for the way you described him as jumping right into the fray at the bar and how things got out of hand on a run. Linguist and First Impression are great for a face. I'd skip the Enemy & Wanted unless you want to add a whole lot to your background. Although, those (or just Enemy) are always great character plot devices for getting you into the shadows. What better reason to become a runner than having PO'd some powers that be? Or you can go with Vendetta, which can also be coupled with Enemy. You've got a rival out there. A dreck that needs to be taken down, if you throw in Wanted, you could have your Enemy be a cop/Lone Star officer. Maybe he killed your friend at the bar and you got hit with both the murder of the guy gunning for your friend AND your friend. You skipped bail and ran for the shadows never to look back.
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