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 Paraplegic Mage

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Gala
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PostSubject: Paraplegic Mage   Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:26 am

Ok, I have brought this up a few times now on several other posts, but an interesting issue arose in a recent one and I wanted to get some feedback on how people would manage the issue.
My character concept, for some game at some indeterminate time in the future, is for a mage with no arms and no legs. Of course, the knee-jerk reaction for this would be cyber or regenerated legs. I have rejected that reaction for this character, since I think it would be more exciting to attempt to find a solution for all of life's problems with magic.
That being said, there are a lot of things that the average person, and character, take for granted which this character would have to detail out.

Basic movement:
For basic movement, a levitate spell and a sustaining focus will manage that issue admirably. It could even be done with only a force 1 sustaining focus, although that would allow for significant "pranking" by fellow mages, since it doesn't have a whole lot of strength to resist a dispel attempt.
Other options? Wheel chairs? Thoughts?

Normal Daily Tasks:
Like wiping your...
The spell Mage Hand will take care of quite a bit of what a normal person does. The mage could easilly have 2 of them, both cast through a sustaining focus, to manage all of the necessary daily tasks.
Other options? Thoughts? A 'Trode net with some simple roto-drones might do it too... Other thoughts?

Melee Defense
Now, an interesting issue comes up. How will this mage defend against melee attacks? This is of critical importance, since there is no sense in creating a character who gives an automatic Coup De-Grace to any attacker... That wouldn't be very much fun, and it wouldn't last for very long. I want this character to be at least moderately effective.
Mage hand with a knife? Mage hand with a gun? Mage hand with a Stun Baton? Gust of Wind? 'Trode Net with a roto-drone? Let's have some ideas here. Also, with a gun, how do you anchor the gun against recoil?
There are some exciting possibilities with the combination of Mage Hand and Clairvoyance... The mage could manage a sniper cover alone! Also, in D&D, there is the idea of a "Cloud of daggers", which could be done with multiple mage hands.

Qualities:
Positive:
Multi-Dexterity
Aptitude: Spellcasting

Negative:
Paraplegic
Napoleanic complex (Otherwise known as Uncouth)

Others? Suggestions?

Skills:
Ok, there are some interesting issues with skills too. Like, gymnastics... This is now a slightly different skill than it would have been for a limbed person. Also, Run, which might become fly? Hard to say...
Below are the skills that would need to be rethought and reconsidered from a character and GM perspective:
Keeping in mind that Mage Hand is weak...

Athletics: All
Stealth: Infiltration, Sleight of Hand
Attack-Skills: All - This is a particularly exciting set of skills to be able to mess around with, since "digitation" is such an important piece of the attack skills in our repertoir. I am really interested to see what kinds of thoughts you all have to add to this list.

Ok, now that I have gotten this far, it comes to my attention that it would be a shorter list of which skills do NOT need to be reconsidered...
Perception
Assensing
Sorcery
Conjuring
Shadowing (Stealth Skill Group)
Any others?

Alright, I think we have covered the most interesting portions of character creation for this character. Drones and/or foci will be detailed in the discussions above where they are needed... The same will be true of the equipment needed.

I look forward to all your thoughts on this!
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PostSubject: Re: Paraplegic Mage   Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:42 pm

Just fyi, I'm playing a paraplegic mage in Vanya's game (btw, you mean quadraplegic for your concecpt - para is 2 limbs, quadra is all 4). An Evo Orderly drone would be just the thing for this character - walker drone that can go just about anywhere a person can, designed to carry an ill individual so with build in medical support, and a pair of mechanical arms that come standard, so it can carry the gun for you. A chariot drone is another option - closer to the current powered wheelchair.

Run would be a pointless skill for such a character - his speed is capped by the power of his levitation spell, so couldn't be increased, even if you switch to fly.

Defense: two words: armored wheelchair. Wink
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Gala
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PostSubject: Re: Paraplegic Mage   Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:08 pm

Thank you for the clarification! Quadraplegic Mage!

As for the drone, that solves some of the problems. And is an interesting way to look at the problem.
How can you take this in to the skills section? What other of the problems mentioned does it already solve?

And, what other solutions do you have?
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PostSubject: Re: Paraplegic Mage   Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:43 pm

Essentially what you would end up having is a mage who is also a capable rigger in the right hands, and could also be very good at hacking, given the right skills.
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PostSubject: Re: Paraplegic Mage   Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:21 pm

Gala wrote:
Thank you for the clarification! Quadraplegic Mage!

As for the drone, that solves some of the problems. And is an interesting way to look at the problem.
How can you take this in to the skills section? What other of the problems mentioned does it already solve?

And, what other solutions do you have?

Well, there are a number of ways to approach things. In my case, I went with a high pilot on the drone plus targeting, and eliminated any weapon skills for my character all together - the drone knows how to shoot the gun and does it reasonably well. Defensively, he's an old man and in poor condition, so I figured it would be silly to have him trying to dodge stuff - reflex 1, no dodge skill. But heavy armoring built into the drone means he can take a fair amount of abuse anyways. From there I focused pretty heavily on magic skills, and that ate up most of my avaliable bp <-- up until this last point, I would say it was all quite relevent to your planned build. However, note that I had a 60 bp race cost. If you were going with something like a human, this would leave these bp free to bulk up on other skills, becoming (as wngd suggested) a decent rigger or building up some other area of the character like stealth. Lots of things you can do with those skill points.
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PostSubject: Re: Paraplegic Mage   Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:19 am

I have been messing around with the combination rigger/mage in my head for some time now. I LOVED the way that Durandana put together an Adept/Rigger, and we could say that the rigger/mage thoughts I have been playing with are inspired by her adept/rigger. She, however, did it with 'ware, not trodes.

Ok, so the walker drone is one way to do things. And it seems to be extraordinarily practical. I like it. In the spirit of this post, I am interested in pursuing all the off-the-wall ridiculous potential solutions available, since the character won't be played yet, and we all have time to mess around with the idea.

Let's think of some more? Maybe we could go the route of magic? Maybe we could go the route of a character who spends all available time astral projecting; and interacts with the physical world through spells? I am just brainstorming here... feel free to jump in all of you semi-sane, super creative peeps!
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PostSubject: Re: Paraplegic Mage   Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:43 am

Entirely possible, Gala. After all, thats how AI and serious hackers do it; They don't even bother showing up in the flesh. Isn't there a way to 'project' yourself to the physical realm as well, if you're in the correct spot astrally? Of course, you run the risk of someone tracing you back....
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Gala
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PostSubject: Re: Paraplegic Mage   Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:24 am

I am not sure, I will have to review the rules again. That being said, there are plenty of spells which allow for interaction with the flesh... Mind link, Mind net, etc. allow for "telepathic" thought transmission. I can think of several other things that allow for direct flesh interactions... but I don't want to cut in on all of your creative juices by providing all of my ideas...

Just to satisfy that lingering question... Are you, MisterBook, the "Semi-Sane" or the "Super Creative" of my description below? Or both?!?
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Gala
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PostSubject: Re: Paraplegic Mage   Mon May 03, 2010 7:24 pm

So, we have had a few good ideas so far. I still have a few floating around in my head, none of which have been brought up. Anyone new care to comment on this?
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PostSubject: Re: Paraplegic Mage   Tue May 04, 2010 10:17 am

Alright, I give. I will post my initial thoughts when writing this post.

For hands, 2 force 1 spell foci, with permanently sustained mage-hands. They will have no trouble completing almost any particular "normal" daily task that any person may need done. Including washing yourself (the hand can hold soap), eating (the hand can hold silverware), dressing yourself... etc. Also, since the hands are disembodied, their capacity is actually significantly greater than the "average" person's range of motion. You never have to worry about "scratching that itch" on your back, or "reaching that top shelf" on the bookshelf, etc.
For mobility: a force 3 spell focus with a permanently sustained levitate spell. Obviously, for almost any normal non-troll, a force 1 is sufficient. But having it force 3 makes sure that it will sustain the character in strong winds, or any number of other strange situations.


As for MisterBook's idea below: the Trid Entertainment spell would allow an Astral mage to project an image, and even speak, in the physical world. Further, it would show up on the devices being employed by the AI and Hacker's who are present in image as well. The negative, of course, is that the mage would not be able to recognize the AI or hacker's attempts to interact, since that does not translate to the Astral.
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