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 Help with developing a character

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PostSubject: Help with developing a character   Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:30 pm

So I've got all these ideas for this one character but I can't figure out how to bring them together. I don't know which facets to develop or which ones to just eliminate.
My original idea was to have a Hawai'ian guy with a sword that can discharge electricity at his command. I wanted him to specialize in doing this underwater so it would spread out through the water. After reading Arsenal, I discovered this is supported. And I realized, "Heck, if he's underwater, won't he get shocked too?" So I came up with this idea where he has a tattoo that's also a focus that absorbs electricity, and develops an illumination from the built up energy. But I really don't know much about foci.
I am also fascinated by mythology based around Pearl Harbor (Pu'uola in Hawai'an). The spirit "in charge" of Pu'uola is Kahi'uka, "The Smiting Tail." According to folklore, one end of his tail is sharpened and the other end is larger than average. So I thought, "Hey, I could make the guy an adept and have Kahi'uka be his totem." (I believe totem-making is covered in Street Magic.) I studied up a bit more on Hawai'ian, uh, words, and found some relatively useful/cool ones:
Hekili - Thunder, Mano - Shark, Niho - Tooth (Niho Mano is shark tooth, maybe the weapon's name?), Ku'i Hekili - Thunderclap (Other name for weapon?)
But that seemed a little shallow to me. I mean, that's just a combat ability, not a full character. So I read up Paradise Lost, which is, admittedly, a 3rd edition book, but it's still full of Hawai'i's history in the Shadowrun universe. No new skills/qualities, though. Some totems, but none to my liking. It gave me a couple potential backgrounds: Na Kama'aina, a generally positive separatist group essential to the secession of Hawai'i from UCAS, and ALOHA!, a terrorist group which eventually started bombing targets which led to the deaths of innocents. I liked the idea of him/his father being an ex-member of ALOHA!, leaving when they started bombing.
But how well does an underwater combat specialist fare in the Shadowrun universe? I mean, how many people have underwater security in the first place? I'm sure there are much better characters for sewer infiltration, the only water infiltration I can think would be applicable.
After reading Augmentation, I found he could have shark skin and gills, and other features such as fins and shark-electromagnetic-detection gene treatments. That's cool I guess, but how is it APPLICABLE?
And I haven't even touched the aspect of his Adept powers. Can he summon a flood of water and a magical energy-surfboard that he use to zoom up to a group of enemies and stick his sword in the water and shock them all? They probably have rubber-soled boots!
And what does he do after he battles genetically supercharged bodyguard piranhas and evades underwater electromagnetic detection systems with his shark nostrils? Does he even have any BP left to actually aid his fellow runners in any way? I guess the internal systems would have less IC than easily accessible ports, but this would practically be a run devoted entirely to THIS CHARACTER. That's just a short story.

So, tl;dr, need ideas for my Hawai'ian adept or street samurai.

Tattoo:

This tattoo depicts Kahi'uka biting an anchor, symbolizing Kahi'uka's role in helping the character overcome obstacles. The motto above Kahi'uka reads, "Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina i ka Pono," translated as, "The Life of the Land is Perpetuated by Righteousness." Below, Kahi'uka's "signature". The green-coloring represents the areas that glow after absorbing electricity.

Sword:

Still needs a name. Hekili Kahi'uka, "The Smiting Tail's Thunder," sounds cool.
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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:44 pm

Ahem, a swimming adept. Cool.

Swimming is generally not taken because most people would just assume default on it, but what may help you, is perhaps not thinking of your player trapped underwater, but freed to move in the ocean, on land, and with a few skills thrown into perhaps piloting aircraft, a Navy SEAL in the truest sense that you are fully capable of attacking from sea, air, or land.

A combatant that could stealthily approach from anywhere, at any time, and raise all sorts of hell would be deeply attractive to any group.

The electro-sense that sharks posses allow you to track electromagnetic fields, this could be various technologies, such as tracking someone that has an overly powerful mp6 player, or as small as a tracking chip to some extent, just like a true shark would.
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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:37 pm

But will the character be strained at creation because he has to spread his points between Adept powers, bioware, rigging, infiltration, and hacking? I would feel kind of silly making an adept JUST because I like the totem. I could just give him an interest skill in Hawai'ian Mythology (Spirits of Pearl Harbor), and use symbionts instead of a focus on the tattoo. There is info on bioluminescent tattoos and "glow worm" symbionts.
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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:20 pm

He could be a very useful character... provided he was 'running in the right area of the world. The Caribbean League, for example. Lots of over- and under-water smuggling and raiding, pirates, sea-monsters... yeah. Otherwise, he's probably a bit too specialized for general play. But yeah, it's a very cool idea.

As for stretching your BP thin... it's always a problem. The best thing you could do is to figure out what you need for him to be able to do, and then cut the chaff. Given what you're wanting to accomplish, I'd suggest a mystic adept, since using foci and spells seems like it'd be useful. Alternatively, you could go with the pure chrome approach, and rely on augmentation to accomplish your effect. Why not draw up a basic character sheet, 400 BP, post it here and we'll see if we can help you create your Hawai'ian SEAL?
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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:45 am

I like what Phantom had to say: The SEAL approach to the character would make him a useful addition to any team. Also, despite that most people don't think about it, water is an essential and omnipresent portion of all daily living. Furthermore, including sewers, water treatment plants, and drinking water storage/delivery, there is also recreational water, nearly everywhere. Not just for recreation but also for defense. The fact of the matter is this: A metahuman may be capable of approaching 5-10 meters per second speeds on land, but that number is nearly 1/10th while swimming, and somewhere around 1/4 in waist deep water. It makes a very useful defensive structure, more so than a wall in many circumstances. And the mega's know that. Most GM's gloss over that kind of defensive structure because few Runner's specialize in it, but if you were to have that as a significant facet of your character, you would be opening back up a large portion of the game world to the players and GMs that we generally forget about. Also, Seattle is a port city... Think on this.
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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:55 am

As for the mechanics:

Useful Adept Powers:
"Great Leap"
"Improved Sense" - I imagine that some GMs would allow the Electronic Sense to be added in to this list.
"Freefall"
"Gliding"
"Iron Lungs"
"Temperature Tolerance"
"Wall Running"

Useful Spells:
"Ice Sheet"
"Levitate"

I don't know about you, but I can imagine a Mystic Adept who could put together a combination of powers and spells that would be stunningly effective at crossing water quickly. And we haven't started to consider the tech side in depth yet...
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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:45 am

Trying to create a character with Bioware/Cyberware/etc with Mystic Adept will be extremely tight.

I would say until you get more familiar with the SR4 rules I would stay with Augmented SEAL or Mystic Adept SEAL. Reason being the choices are going to be very tight.

If you are using swimming would recommend diving to complete the set.

I have only created one character with swimming skills he was in a Caribbean game. He has swimming and Diving.
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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:30 pm

Instead of making a character sheet, per se, I'm going to list some things that would fit the character, without regards to the 400 BP limit (outside of attributes).

Name: Hekili Pu'uola
Alias: Mano
Metatype: Human
Ethnicity: Hawai'ian
Age: 34
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 190 lbs

Attributes:
Body: 4
Agility: 4
Reaction: 4
Strength: 3
Charisma: 2
Intuition: 3
Logic: 3
Willpower: 3

Edge: 2
Magic: 3
Initiative: 7
Essence: 6

Qualities:
Mystic Adept +10 (Shamanistic adept tradition, I don't think I could devise a whole magical tradition for the kahuna)
OR Latent Awakening +5 (Might make it more interesting [and save some BP])
OR Spirit Knack (Kahi'uka) +5, but I'm not sure how this works.

If I make him a changeling: (and if I don't, I'll have to give him some qualities based around bioware for gills and orthoskin)
Changeling III +15
Metagenetic Qualities:
Dermal Alteration (Shark skin) +5
Electrosense +10
Gills +5
Underwater Vision +5
Webbed Hands and Toes +5 (Note: Webbing only extends when wet)
Striking Skin Pigmentation (Blue arms and back) -5
Critter Spook (Sea creatures) -5
Extravagant Eyes -5

Shark-affiliated:
Mentor Spirit (Kahi'uka) +5 (I need a little help in developing this guy, like which advantages/disadvantages to take that won't harm the character too much)
Spirit Affinity (Sea spirits) +10
Water Sprite +5
Animal Empathy (Sharks) +5 (Note: If one animal is chosen, can the BP cost be halved as seen here?)

Gear/Contact-affiliated:
Gearhead (Tundra-9) +5
Restricted Gear I (I might need this for vehicles?) +5
Sensei +5 (I'm thinking of making one of his contact a kahuna talismonger)
Black Market Pipeline (Vehicles) +10 (And I'm thinking of making another a Yacht salesman with Black Market ties)

Useful skills for a newb?:
Guts +5
High Pain Tolerance I +5
Will to Live I +5
Common Sense +5

SEAL-affiliated:
Martial Arts II +10
Arnis de Mano II +10 (+1 die on Called Shots to disarm, +1 DV on Blades attacks)
Disarm +2
Riposte +2 (Can I Riposte after parrying to disarm?)
Set Up +2
Finishing Strike +2

Negative Qualities:
Distinctive Style (Shark) -10 <-?
Prejudiced (Bias against Japanese) -10 (Pearl Harbor and the Paradise Lost sourcebook entails a Yakuza occupancy in Hawai'i)
Poor Self Control (Combat Monster) -10 (I don't really like this one, but I think I need more negative qualities and this could work with the "feeding frenzy" idealogy)
A 5 point Aspected Mage quality?
Mentor's Geas -10 (I could work this to my advantage since I am creating my own totem)

Skills:
I'm not great at choosing these.

If I want him to make his own focus weapons (like the sword I drew), then I need some level of Arcana and Enchanting, but that seems a bit off base. I think I would rather see a talismonger.

Blades 3-4 (Arnis de Mano)
Unarmed Combat 2 (Underwater Combat)
Firearms 2-3 (I might not use firearms actively because many do not work underwater, but I will probably want SOME skill with them)

Astral Combat (Weapon Foci)?
Sorcery
Conjuring

Diving 3-4
Stealth
Swimming 3-4
Electronics 1
Aeronautics Mechanic 3-4
Nautical Mechanic 3-4
Demolitions 1
First Aid 1

Pilot Aircraft 3-4
Pilot Watercraft 3-4

Surfing-Agility ?

Seattle Smuggling (Water-based routes)
Mythology (Pu'uola)
Military (Navy SEALs)
Sports (Surfing)

Hawai'ian N
English 4 (Hawai'ian lingo)
Japanese 2

As for gear and magic/powers, I am still learning. If starting with the sword and lightning-absorbing tattoo is absurd, then a good knife would serve the Arnis de Mano martial art well. I think I should shrink this list down before moving on to magic/powers.

I also need some help in designing his vehicle. I think the Renault-Fiat Fokker Tundra-9 (or equivalent) aircraft would be a good start. It's in the availability rating, but I'm not sure it can be afforded at creation.
Handling -1, Accel 30/120, Speed 500, Pilot 2, Body 18, Armor 8, Sensor 2, Availability 12, Cost 325,000

I'm starting to see him fitting into a role as a changeling mystic adept smuggler/underwater infiltrator with SEAL-like combat ability. Hmm?

I have an idea for a background...
As a young (15) member of ALOHA!, he was easily influenced by their angry propaganda. His best friend was used as a suicide bomber without his friend's knowledge, causing him much anguish (and possibly flashbacks negative quality). He resolves to leave Hawai'i, but with no means of transportation, and blinded by rage and sadness, his only option is to just swim. After swimming for days, he falls unconscious. He awakens (in more than one way) on the shores of Seattle, greeted by his mentor spirit and aumakua (family spirit) Kahi'uka. He finds he is a changeling, a shark metavariant. He adapts to the Shamanistic Mystic Adept tradition, following Kahi'uka.


hyooj post amirite? elephant
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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:16 am

Comments:
I like the idea of using SURGE for this character, it makes a LOT of sense! Maybe there is a way you could write up a Shark Shapeshifter for a slightly elevated cost over the SURGE cost. I am sure that a GM would be interested in putting that together in tangent with you, and it could be a lot of fun. Also, I haven't checked, but this may be already suggested/created in SR Companion. It's worth taking a look.

As for Adept/Mystic Adept/Spirit Knack:
If you go with Adept or Mystic Adept, you need magic 5, or 6 in the case of Mystic Adept. In this, of very few situations, you want to spend the 15 extra points to completely max out an attribute. You will need it.
Between Adept and Mystic Adept, it depends on whether you want to extend the cool adept abilities by the spellcasting or not. It would increase your "coolness factor" and probably your value, but only marginally at the beginning (it will get better as you get more powerful through game-play).
Spirit Knack: This is probably not the way to go for this one. Although, Spell Knack may be. Again, it depends on what you're trying to get done in this character.
Latent Awakening: If you can put this together as a Shark Shapeshifter, then Latent Awakening might extend your in-game capacity post build. Otherwise it won't really save you anything up front. You'll end up spending more on the Magic Attribute in Karma than it would have cost in Build Points to do it on character creation. Better to skimp elsewhere, unless you can gain some benefits by doing a Shapeshifter for the extra cost you are saving.

Sharkskin: Cool
Electrosense: Cool
Gills: Very Cool!
Underwater vision: Cool, but you'll need to pick up Thermovision and Low Light vision either through adept powers, tech, or qualities. You'll need it to be a water denizen...
Webbed Hands/Toes: Eh... I don't see this being a big thing. Maybe good for coolness points though.

I think you should stay away from the qualities that you listed further down. You will be spending enough to take the SURGE qualities, or Shapeshifter, that you probably can't really afford the extra qualities. You need your BP to put together everything else. If you want to stretch a bit, just to fill out your character, a Mentor Spirit is probably the best of the listed ways to go. Points are going to be tight when you put this guy together...

I would go for more unarmed combat than blades. It will be more useful in more situations, at least the way I understand this character. Also, instead of firearms, go with a Bow, or a harpoon. Those work under water.
I think you're on the right track with the rest of your skills. You'll balance them out as you get the feel for your character.
If you're going to stick with bladed weapons: use Cyber-Weaponry, and focus on strapped on forearm snap blades. Those work under and above water, and are quite effective. Then you can use something like a punch-blade for your Arnis De Mano.
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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:38 pm

Prez, you're wanting to take him in too many directions at once. As I said earlier, this is always a problem: we want our characters to be able to handle anything that comes up, and do it well. But this isn't possible without a ton of BP or karma. We have to work within the limits of what we've got. The key to a successful character is to figure out what he has to be able to do in order to fulfill his role on the team, and then build towards that.

In that vein, I've done a workup at 400 BP. I started with what you've posted here (using it to show me what you wanted with him) and I've worked from there. Let's use this as the base, and then make modifications from there:

Meta: Human

Atts: 200 BP

Body: 4 (Good score for someone who puts himself in harm's way -and it looks like your boy's going to be a combat specialist)

Agility: 5 (Useful for just about every meaningful combat skill out there -I wouldn't go lower than this.)

Reaction: 5 (A must for combat -it decides how well you're going to be able to avoid damage.)

Strength: 3 (I left this as is, since you're wanting to go a HtH route with him, at least in part.)

Charisma: 2 (Nobody likes to play a character no one wants to be around, which is why I think most people sink at least a point here. It's not necessary for this character, so if we need extra BP, I suggest shaving it here first.)

Intuition: 3 (Useful for Initiative -if you wanted to shave a point from charisma and put it here, it would pay for itself.)

Logic: 3 (Ditto Charisma -but may justify itself depending on the magic tradition. If you're going with Logic + Willpower to avoid drain, we may want to beef it. If you're going Charisma + Willpower, we may want to put these points over into Charisma.)

Willpower: 3 (I don't see a way to beef this, atm. But as a spellslinger, we may want to try, as it's low.)

Special Atts: 65 BP

Edge: 2 (I've left this at default for a human.)

Magic: 6 (Mystic Adepts have to split their magic pool: I've got 3/3 for this build. However, if we go with a SURGEd character, we may want to drop him down to a adept, since SURGE offers options that negate the need to be able to use both sorts of magic, and a magician needs extra skills that sap BP.)

Qualities:
30 BP
Mystic Adept 10 (We'll go with this for now, but changing it may be the best bet.)
Changeling 15 (SURGE III -must take at least 30 pts of SURGE qualities, and 15 in negs)
Mentor Spirit (Kahi'uka) +5 (Isn't shark available in Street Magic? I've not got that book on me atm. Anybody want to look it up and post the perks?)


Positive SURGE Qualities: 30 BP (does anyone know if these BP are subtracted from the total 400, or if they're essentially "extra" given by the Changeling quality? I can't remember at the moment, and don't have my book. I've left them out of the build, but if they count this will cut us down big time on what we've got work with. It'll knock out a good portion of our skills, at the very least.)

Dermal Alteration (Shark skin) +5 (This'll make him extremely recognizable, which a good GM will take advantage of. What benefits are we looking at for it?)

Electrosense +10

Gills +5

Underwater Vision +5

Webbed Hands and Toes +5 (Note: Webbing only extends when wet) [can we limit it like that, per the description?]

Negative SURGE Qualities:
-15 BP
Striking Skin Pigmentation (Blue arms and back) -5 (Justified by the positive quality above, and the comments I made remain the same for both.)

Critter Spook (Sea creatures) -5 (can we add the specialization here? I thought the quality was broader in its its description. I'd say it may be doable, but a GM would have to rule in limiting it to only sea critters.)

Extravagant Eyes -5

Negative Qualities: -35 BP (We need to go all out here, take the full -35, since this character's looking expensive, being both a Mys. Ad, and a SURGE.)

Sensitive System -15 (Always good for Awakened characters.)

Combat Monster -10 (Likely to effect gameplay for this character, but has good background justification, so I say keep it.)

Addiction, Mod -10 (thrown in to bring us up to snuff, and can always be justified and add a bit of interest to a character. We can sub in something here, but I suggest we keep the who -35 in negs.)


Active skills: 138 BP
Athletics Skill Group: 3 (Swimming is a must, gymnastics are useful, climbing would help him get onto ships at sea. Anytime you want at least 2/3 of a skill group, it's more cost-effective to buy the whole thing, so we're getting a bonus with running, which can be useful in certain situations.)

Automatics: 5 submachinguns +2 (check the "gear" section for why I put this in -but in general, SR is a game geared towards firearm combat, imo. Guns generally do more damage than any HtH or Ranged weapons (I'm excluding aritllery, missiles, and the sort.) Unless a different skillset is determined by the character concept or background, I tend to choose these over the other options.)

Blades: 4 swords +2 (so you'll be able to use your wicked weapon idea.)

Dodge: 4 (a necessary skill: For a combat character, I suggest never going lower than 3)

Infiltration: 3

Shadowing: 3 (the two most used stealth skills: Disguise (camouflage) may be necessitated if a SEAL background is what's decided on, but these two skills offer some ability without the need to buy the whole group.)

Diving: 2 (the character is geared for this. Any other GMs besides me think that bonuses to Swimming will generally apply to this skill as well? But, either way, we can play with it: It's only peripherally useful, so while I suggest we don't nix it, we may want to lower it. A rank of 1 will allow the character to avoid defaulting, and he's already got a 5 for agility. I can't imagine that a diving threshold would be so high that it would necessitate a dice pool of more than 6-8.)

Spellcasting: 3 (Necessary as an Mys. Ad. Looking at the character, though, I have to wonder if being a spell-slinger is really necessary. If we decide it is, we'll need to look at freeing up Bp for other magic skills, or aspecting him. If not, we can drop that whole aspect and put the BP towards more useful things.)

Language:

Hawai'ian: N
English: 4
Japanese: 2

Knowledge:

Magic Background: 4 (always useful for the Awakened: and justifies knowledge about magical critters and phenoman, though not so well as more focused knowledge skills.)

Smuggling Routes: 4 (useful for a nautical theme: most of the crime occurring on the seas deals with trade, after all.)

Military Tactics: 3 (I like skills like this, as it can be used to garner more from the GM, as well as a way of getting tips on how to arrange combat and the like.)

Sports: 1 (At the limit with the free Knowledge Bp. This reflects his surfing interest, but I wouldn't suggest going overboard with it, since it's likely not to be that useful. Of course, a use might be found for it if the player is creative, so if you think you can work that in, I'd shift some points around with the others. Up to you.)

Adept Powers (3 pts total to use):

Improved Attribute 1 (Good for increasing dice pools cheap. Some people prefer the spell equivalent, but I like the permanency of the power. It negates the necessity of activating it before it can be used, and doesn't put you in the situation of wasting a combat round doing so.)

Animal Empathy 2 (since you're wanting to go the Aquaman route with him, for some reason...)

Living Focus (really useful for Mys. Ads.)

Combat Sense (Whee... bonus dice for use in combat. Love this power.)

Spells: (I used 9 BP for this. Spells get expensive, so I kept it bare-bones, only combat useful spells.)

Improved Invisibility (Coupled with stealth skills, this makes for a really good sneak-attacker.)

Improved Reflexes (You have to cast it to use it, but it's cheaper than spending all your Power Points to get this as a useful Adept ability.)

Armor (Because every little bit helps... and this bypasses encumbrance restrictions. Can make for a real damage sponge.)

Contact: 2BP

<Insert Type here> 1/1 (we really need BP, so I've gone as low as possible here.)

Gear: 3BP 14950

Armor:
Diving Armor 5/4 Y1750 (What do you think? For most characgters, I wouldn't suggest it, but our boy may justify this over some other forms. Has a capacity of 3, which could allow for a few bells and whistles.)

Weapons:

Colt M24A3 Water Carbine Y1200 (This is why I suggested automatics over harpoon or bow. It's useful in water [so long as you carry an air-tank for it fire] and out. Very versatile and a solid weapon. Modding it could make for a real threat. Fits well with a SEAL background.)

Vibro-Blade Y2000 (to use a basis for the sword: I've not got the energy to try modding it for electricity or similar tonight, but I'd suggest this be the jumping off point for the custom weapon.)
+ Weapon Focus R1 Y10k (If you have to have it, but I'd suggest getting the money for any Foci from runs: they really eat up resources and BP, and your character isn't a dedicated Spellslinger, so it's hard to justify the expense.

That brings the total up to 400 BP, with Y50 left over. We'll need to cut fat somewhere, because we need some non-combat equipment for him to be able to operate (SINs, licenses, commlink and the like. Not to mention lifestyle.) I don't know what Prez wants for these, so I think we should let him suggest what he's wanting before we start looking at what to cut.

That's all I've got for now. Take a look, make changes, and we'll see what we can build out of him.
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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:51 pm

It just occured to me, as far as background goes: I don't have any source material that says Hawai'i wouldn't allow a SURGE into their military, but both the UCAS and CAS would treat such a character as a pariah, and, realistically, wouldn't let him in. Just something to keep in mind, since we've been throwing the term SEAL around (though, I know, more metaphorically than anything.)


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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:54 pm

SURGE Qualities do not count against the 400 BP cost except for the cost of the SURGE I-III.
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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:55 pm

Thanks, WMZ. I didn't think they did, but I wanted to be sure.
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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:06 pm

Street Magic page 31
Adepts and Geasa
For a more adept-driven game, gamemasters may allow adepts to voluntarily take a geas for a specific adept power; in return, the Power Point cost for that power is reduced by Adepts and Geasa. 25 percent (round normally). In this case, breaking the geasa only affects that power; the adepts remaining geasa-limited powers are unaffected

Street Magic page 28
Geasa 10pt
Talisman Geas: The character must use a specificfetish, called a talisman, to perform magic (see p.81 for rules on creating talismans). To qualify as a talisman, an item must have at least three distinct characteristics describing it (for example, “a quartz crystal set in a silver medallion, hung on a gold chain”). If the character isn’t prominently holding or wearing the talisman, the geas is broken. If it is lost, confiscated, or destroyed, the character must retrieve it or get another one very similar to the original. In some cases, a talisman may be irreplaceable, such as the locket from a deceased loved one, and must be retrieved. If an irreplaceable talisman is destroyed, then the character suffers permanent Magic loss, as detailed below, and the geas is eliminated.

Using this you can get the Adept Powers at basically 75%.
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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:36 pm

Nice! What do you think, Prez? We'll need to shave some positive qualities, but we'll get some of it back in magical bang for our buck.
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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:39 pm

T-Hawk, you have successfully garnered a good deal of respect from me. I think a shark's tooth (or even the sword) would act as a cool talisman. Now to answer some questions.

Shark:
Shark is a cold and relentless hunter. His power is known to all who live near the sea. When Shark strikes, he does so without mercy, driven into a frenzy by the blood of his prey. Shark magicians tend to be wanderers, always on the move. They are fierce and deadly warriors. A Shark magician believes the only good enemy is a dead enemy. If challenged, he does not waste time with threats or boasts but strikes to kill.
Advantages: +2 dice for Combat spells, +2 dice for water spirits.
Disadvantages: Shark magicians can go berserk in combat (similar to Bear magicians) when they are wounded or when they wound an opponent. A berserk Shark character may continue to attack the body of her last victim instead of moving on to attack a new target, if the player chooses.
(The Sea archetype supplies +2 dice for water spirits and +2 on swimming tests, but -1 die on negotiation tests.)

Changeling/SURGE III costs 15 BP, and the "metagentic qualities" (gills) do not count towards the total BP cost. Also, I didn't stop to think that Underwater Vision doesn't account for depths and low-light situations, and webbed hands might be redundant with all the other benefits to swimming. I took the wetness factor from the equivalent bioware info in Augmentation. I want to replace that with another vision benefit, but should I take Low-light Vision or Thermographic Vision? On a side note, I don't think I can take Distinctive Style because exceptionally bizarre metagenic qualities already supply -3 on most social skill tests (outside of the Matrix) and +2 on Intimidation tests.

The sharkskin orthoskin upgrade in Augmentation:
Sharkskin: The recipient’s skin is densely covered with denticles, small cartilage outgrowths that make the skin as rough as sandpaper and provide it with superior hydrodynamic properties. When not wearing clothing or armor (Wait what, skinny dipping? I hope he can keep his pants on at least), the recipient’s Swimming Rate is improved by 1 meter/Combat Turn. Further, the subject’s skin is now so rough that he will inflict scraping wounds on any character when he brushes by them rapidly or handles them roughly. These wounds will typically be too small to inflict any damage, but may cause a –1 dice pool distraction at the gamemater’s discretion.

I have no idea why I thought I could specialize in a negative quality, much less one that would conflict with animal empathy. That effect extends to all animals, paranormal or otherwise.

I would prefer Prejudiced over Addiction. But I'm not sure where "Japanese" falls in their chart.
10 BP is awarded a "common" target group and they cite women and metahumans as examples.
5 BP is awarded a "specific" target group and they cite artists, gays, and lawyers as examples.
0 BP is awarded for being "biased", i.e. a closet hater.
5 BP is awarded for being "outspoken", i.e. a typical member of Humanis.
10 BP is awarded for being"actively prejudiced", i.e. a Humanis chapter leader.
15 BP is awarded for being "radical", i.e.e a racial supremacist.

If Japanese isn't broad enough to be common, maybe the GM would consider the prevalence of Yakuza in Seattle. I don't really see my character being more than biased.

As for gear, I like the water carbine, I was looking for an underwater solution (Bows are useful too, but I don't know how they fit with the character). Is the air tank involved the size of, say, a SCUBA tank? Because one of the benefits of gills is not needing a water tank encumbrance. Another option is Shock Gloves + Nonconductivity armor modification, which would help with an Unarmed Combat (Underwater Combat) skill. Arnis de Mano (from Arsenal) focuses on clubs and knives, which fits a SEAL, but not the sword, so I might just eliminate that to save BP, or take one practiced by Hawai'i's special forces incorporating an underwater combat bonus. A survival knife is cheap and would act as a good all around tool. Weapon foci are damned expensive, there's got to be a way to maybe increase the Vibroblade's battery requirement with the benefit of adding electricity damage.

I was wondering, though, if Military groups (such as the SEALs) are now defunct due to the prevalence of paramilitary organizations. Hawai'i's covert ops division of the Royal Hawai'ian Army is called the Na Kiu.

Hawai'i's King had a mage as his personal advisor, and the Hawai'ians hold great respect for sharks, so...maybe they would accept a SURGE? In the character background I'm working on, though, he isn't affected by SURGE until he actually reaches Seattle though. Now that I think about it, that would affect his age somehow, probably. It happened 12 years ago. If I incorporate a military background with Na Kiu, than his age would be 30-33. Cool!
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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:14 am

Bioware: Anything you add to yourself will knock your magic down by a point. This is your choice, but you're looking at losing quite a bit of power for that one upgrade. If you want to go ahead with it, definitely drop Mys. Ad and go with straight Adept. I'd also lower magic from 6 to 5, so that you're not paying 15 BP to cap off a stat that you're not going to get use from.

Vision: There's a special piece of gear that you can use for underwater operations that uses bioluminescence to provide light in diving situations. With that, you may not need any other vision upgrades.

Prejudice - Japanese would fall at 5BP, as I see it. They're a common enough group, especially in SR, where Japan has only recently been knocked from its perch atop the world. This is why the language is so common throughout the setting.

I'm a big proponent of Martial arts -they add a lot of options to combat that can't be achieved else-wise. You're going to have to shave BP from somewhere though.

The SR canon supports spec ops teams still being around, and used. The CAS Marine Corps has a group called the Ferrets. They're essentially SEALs with greater infiltration skills. They made up a large part of the background in the novel "Just Compensation." But, even beyond canon, there's no reason SF wouldn't remain a viable military option in the 6th World: there's just no replacing a well-trained, well-armed, and motivated soldier as a problem solver.

As for Hawai'ian Spec ops: Canon makes no mention of the Hawai'ian military, save that it's more technologically advanced than the nation's small size would suggest, due to the Hawai'ians having managed to keep ahold of some cutting edge tech when they left the USA. And they're not anti-awakened like the UCAS, so I'd say you could justify having a SURGEd in their elite military.
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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:31 pm

It's not perfect, but here goes.

Name: Mano Pu'uola
Metatype: Human Changeling
Ethnicity: Hawai'ian
Age: 30
Sex: Male
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 196

Attributes: 200
Body: 4
Agility: 5
Reaction: 5
Strength: 3 (4)
Charisma: 2
Intuition: 3
Logic: 3
Willpower: 3

Extra Attributes:65
Edge: 2
Magic: 6
Initiative: 8
Essence: 6

Qualities: -5
Positive: 30
Mystic Adept (Shaman)
Changeling III (Shark)
  • Dermal Alteration (Sharkskin)
  • Electrosense
  • Gills
  • Low-Light Vision
  • Underwater Vision
  • Critter Spook
  • Extravagant Eyes
  • Striking Skin Pigmentation

Mentor Spirit (Shark)
Negative: -35
SINner I
Gene Freak
Combat Monster
Prejudiced I (Japanese)
Addiction, mild (Surfing)

Skills: 124?
Active:
Athletics 3
Automatics (Submachine Guns) 4
Blades (Swords) 4
Dodge 3
Spellcasting 3
Disguise (Camouflage) 2
Shadowing 2
Infiltration 2
Diving 2
Knowledge:
Magic Background 4
Smuggling Routes 4
Military 3
Sports 1

Spells: 9
Increase Reflexes
Improved Invisibility
Armor

Powers:
Living Focus
Killing Hands
Elemental Strike
Improved Physical Attribute I (Strength)

Gear: (9,690) 5
Lifestyle: Low
Survival Knife
Shock Gloves
Vibro Blade Sword
Colt M2483 Water Carbine
+Flashlight (Low-Light)
+Sling
+Air Tank (There is no listed price for a spare tank, but the Dual Tank Manifold costs Y600 and includes the cost of a tank, so I just subtracted Y100 for the Manifold)
Diving Light
Diving Armor
+Nonconductivity II
Camouflage Suit

Contacts: 2
L1,C1

I know it needs some tweaking, but once I get the CS right, I can post an accurate background/contact.
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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:01 am

You don't need living focus, since you can cast spells yourself. Living focus allows you to sustain spells that another magician cast, but why would you need that if you can do the casting yourself?

As for being a Mystic Adept: There are really only two reasons to be a mystic adept, rather than straight adept or magician: Coolness Factor, or specificity. Mystic Adept is a weakened version of both of them, since you have to choose how many of your magic points are devoted to your magician side, and how many are devoted to your adept side. In this CS, you have 4 points on your adept side, so the biggest spell you could cast would only be a force 2 (with physical drain!). That's not big enough to be of any particular value for the spells you chose.
So:
Mystic Armor, the adept power, is better than the Armor spell.
Improved Reflexes, the Adept Power, is better than the spell.

As mentioned above: if you're going to go with being a Mystic, use your spellpoints for something that really sticks with your character's theme (and be extremely specific/specialized in your choice of spells and powers). Use some combination like (spell) Ice Sheet, (power) Great Leap, and (power) Gliding to make the surface of water passable to you for an extra 10 meters before you have to jump. That specific combination can't be done by either an adept or a magician. Or something extremely specific like that. Otherwise, you're better off being either full magician or full adept.
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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:00 am

Killing Hands and Elemental Strike are both .5 points, actually, and I'm not sure if I even want Improved Attribute, at least for strength. I used a character generator to organize this, so I'm not sure if the points come together right. I kind of agree with you Gala, I mean, why take Disguise (Camo) and buy a camo suit if I'm going to use improved invisibility? And shouldn't I also use spells that coordinate with my mentor spirit (and on that note, can adepts take mentor spirits?)? However, I am not very knowledgeable about magic yet. Any more suggestions?
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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:23 am

Good catch. But that still only saves you 1 magic point for your spellcasting side. Again, the point of Mystic Adept is to give you the option to combine the benefits of Magician and Adept. Of course, the negative in "Generalization" if you will, is that when you do it, you won't have the capacity to really be outstanding at either. The best way to put them together is by hyper-specialization in one specific aspect that neither does well. Stealth, speed, attribute bonuses... Those are done well by both Adepts and Magicians. If that is what you want to do, pick one (I suggest Adept) and go with it, leave off the Mystic side. There are some other specific combinations that the occasional player is interested in that make the hyper-specialization in the Mystic Adept useful. I gave you an idea, where you could combine Ice Sheet with Gliding. Ice Sheet is a spell, and Adepts don't have ANYTHING similar to that, and Gliding is a power, and Magicians don't do ANYTHING similar to it (maybe levitate, if used properly). But this is your character. If you want to go Mystic Adept, then you need to find that special something that combines the abilities of both, in a way that neither can do well. What you have on your character sheet right now would be much better dealt with as a straight Adept.

So, my advice: it looks like what you really want to do is Adept, not Mystic Adept. Try putting together the character as an Adept, and see how it feels. Maybe it will come out great, in which case, you're golden!
Also, I always advise people not to use character generators. My rationale is this: The way that a character goes together is always specialized enough that a generator will not offer you the freedom to understand your character in it's entirety. Use the generator, perhaps, to put together the barebones: Attributes, Skills, Race. The rest you should probably do yourself. Do the math yourself, it helps to understand the character. Really. It does.
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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:34 pm

If I may peep in (assuming 4th ed rules and books):

Metatype : Human
Mystical Adept

Attributes
Body: 3
Agility: 5 (7)
Reaction: 4
Strength: 3 (6)
Charisma: 2
Intuition: 4
Logic: 2
Willpower: 3

Edge: 2
Magic: 5 (4) (2 magician/ 2 Adept)
Initiative : 8 (with fpci : 10)
passes : 1 (with foci : 3)
Essence: 5

Active Skills
stealth group : 3
  • Disguise : 3
  • Inflitration : 3
  • Palming : 3
  • Shadowing : 3

athletics group : 4
  • Climbing : 4
  • Gymnastics : 4
  • Running : 4
  • Swimming : 4

Spellcasting : 3
Blades (Knives) : 3 (+2)
Unarmed Combat (Martial Arts) : 3 (+2)
Perception (Visual) : 2 (+2)
Archery (Bows) : 3 (+2)

Positive Qualities
Mentor Spirit (shark)
class 2 surge
martial arts (arnis de mano x2)

Negative Qualities
Signature
Thrill seeker
Combat Monster
Vindictive

Biowares
Muscle Augmentation 3
Muscle Toner 2

Weapons
Survival Knife
+ personalized Grip

Forearm Snap-Blades

Bow (Rating 6)
+ personalized Grip
+Melee Hardening
Smartgun System, external
20x Explsoive head arrows/bolts
20x injection arrows
20x Stick-n-Shock arrows


Armors ( encumberance 6b/6i = no negative mod. : actual armor is 9b/7i, can be worn under normal clothes.)
form fitting body armor
Securetech PPP shin guards
Securetech PPP forearm
Securetech PPP vitals protector plate
Securetech PPP leg and arm casings
gel pack
non-conductivity 4
thermal dampening 4
Clothing (Chic)

Commlinks
Subvocal Microphone
Satellite Link
Commlink : Meta Link
Response Upgrade (5)
Signal Upgrade (5)
OS : Vector Xim
System (Rating 6)
Firewall (Rating 6)


Equipments

5x Fake License (Rating 4)
Goggles
+Smartlink
+Image Link
+Flare Compensation
+Thermographic Vision
Contact Lenses
+Vision Magnification
+Vision Enhancement (Rating 3)
Earbud
+ Audio Enhancement (Rating 3)
+ Spatial Recognizer
Autopicker (Rating 6)
3x Fake Sin (Rating 4)
3x combat load vest
5x ammo pouch
DocWagon Contract (Basic - per Year)

foci
Sustaining Focus (Rating 3) (shark tooth necklace, or anything else you want)

(Note: to avoid possibly messing up on a role, have included that before game play the necklace has a force 3 increased reflexes spell, to avoid having to cast while in combat.)

Spells
Increase Reflexes (just in case you need to recast)

Powers
Combat Sense (Level 2)
Killing Hands
Elemental Attack

Martial Arts
Arnis De Mano
* +1 DV on blades
* May deal damage when attempting to Disarm

Maneuvers
*Disarm
*Riposte
*Finishing Move

Surge 2 (20bp positive ; 10bp negative)
positive
*electrosense 10
*gills 5
*nasty vibe 5

negative
*extravagant eyes (shark's eyes) 5
*unusual hair 5

Contacts
Fixer (L:3 C:5)

Reasons: I usually follow the teachings of the light brigade, "there's is not to reason why, there's but to do and die." But since we don't want you to die, I'll explain just about everything.

1. holy cyber mystic adept batman: Yes you have cyber, and you are a mystic adept and surge. Most people would claim this is a bad idea, you have practically nothing that could stand up against a pure mage, a pure adept, or a pure cyber player, but in fact, you could take all three simultaneously if you simply look at what you do have.

Gills: you can breathe underwater without creating bubbles, without giving yourself away, and you can stay down there for as long as you find something to eat.

Electrosense is almost the ultimate in anti-stealth. You can detect the just about any living or electrical thing within (essence) meters, thats four meters, thats about roughly 13 feet away, even behind you, wouldn't you like to tell if someone is on the otherside of that door without having to peek your head through it, or a camera to give away your position?

Nasty Vibe: When you really need to make a bad guy run, or convince someone that you mean business when they think they have a chance in hell of hurting you, it's best to make sure they avoid any pant-color changing decisions.

Why I didn't take webbed hands and feet: Okay, the swimming boost rocks on toast, hot buttered toast with cinnamon and sugar... But, you can already swim like a fish, breathe like a fish, and even partially look like a fish. That and the -1 modifier to fine movements with your fingers can greatly come back to bite you in the ass (another shark pun) depending on your GM.

Negative:
extravagant eyes (shark's eyes) 5 : You're supposed to be shark like, why not have their eyes to?

unusual hair 5 : This can be a whole host of different things, from extraordinarily long hair, hair that is permanently wet, or go with more of a fish theme and say you have absolutely no hair at all, hell you might even get a swimming modifier for that one.



Mystic Adept, Why? Because, you don't need to be a god in both areas at once, to be awesome in just one area. You can always upgrade later with karma, so for now, take what you need. You have enough magic to recast Increased reflexes at force 3 (yes, it's over cast, but at force 3, it doesn't hurt that much to begin with, a whole 3 damage, that can be healed away in a matter of an hour). Okay, so now you can attack 3 times in one turn, cool. But you still need to use your adept points, since it takes a mage 1 full pass to cast 1 spell it would be nice to have an edge over a mage, plus you will be in melee range quite a bit so you've said, it makes sense to have a bit of melee possibilities.

Combat sense, you have to agree with the ideology that the perfect offense is a strong defense, if they can't hit you, and you can beat them to a pulp, then you're damned good.

Killing hands, elemental Strike (electricity) : reach out and touch someone, and be the meta-human taser with each and every punch, that and now you don't need to have hardliner gloves, you can punch someone to death, literally.

Cyber:
Why cyber: If you take a look at the standard build, you'll notice you lack any sort of edge in 2 main areas, agility and strength possibly the two most important attributes for killin' folks, and sneaking around them, and swimming, and running, and climbing, etc. So, if you take what we've learned so far, and use what we have, we can sacrifice 1 point of magic and gain a drek ton of agility and strength off of it., everything you need, from sacrificing 1 point, just 1 little point.

Everything else: From your weapons to the rest of your non-combat skills are designed around 4 things, getting to the target, taking care of the opposition, get the target, get your ass out without anyone ever knowing. Your bow works just fine underwater, and you get the ability to choose which kind of arrow you want to use, from explosive heads, to non-lethal stick and shock, and the ever fun injection arrow which you can have filled with any chemical you want, from the deadliest poison, to the most potent truth serum, options is what will win you the day.

martial arts and maneuvers: Any martial artist will tell you to wait for your opponent to strike first, this is key in every style, striking first can open you up for mistakes, but with a hair bit of strategy, you can kick their ass before they have a chance to blink. With the ability to deal more damage with blades, deal damage while you disarm, disarm the opponent, then strike again, then strike again (no that's not a typo, with the combination of disarm/riposte/finishing move, You'd deal damage with the disarm, the parry would trigger riposte, (more damage), which the attack would trigger finishing move (more damage)) you would take their weapon away, and basically slice them up three times, in one turn. Of course some would disagree because this action does soak up your actions for a total of three rounds, but if they are still alive after this devastating combo, and they attack again, guess what happens? Riposte/finishing move all over again, and this time, they don't have a weapon.

Gear: I noticed your argument about the problem with seeing underwater, goggles fix that problem pretty well, don't ya think? And their upgraded, and you can simply combine that with a good ole' pair of enhanced contact lenses as well. The 5x licenses are for whatever you need a license for according to your gear, i didn't actually count it, but oh well, at least you're covered.

Any questions kids?
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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:15 am

I've decided that, as much as I like the mentor spirit, I like the batman more. I also decided, "Hey, screw ranged weapons! I've got Stealth and Distance Strike! Beat that grunts!" It will probably come back to haunt me. I'm going to stick with a smuggling career, but as boats are wicked expensive, he is stuck with a collapsible water scooter.

Gala, you're Ice Sheet+Gliding idea was really, really cool. But my guy is a champion swimmer anyway. I think I would prefer the (eventual) storage space of a boat for long-distance runs.

Winged Phantom, thanks for your Martial Arts clarification and combo suggestion. Thanks also for the electronic hardware "copypasta kit." I'm still in the Dark Ages when it comes to electronics in Shadowrun (which is practically deadly).

CS V2.0 "Shark Adept"

Name: Mano Pu'uola
Metatype: Human Changeling
Ethnicity: Hawai'ian
Age: 30
Sex: Male
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 196

Attributes: 200
Body: 4
Agility: 5
Reaction: 5
Strength: 3 (4)
Charisma: 2
Intuition: 3
Logic: 3
Willpower: 3

Extra Attributes: 65 BP
Edge: 2
Magic: 6
Initiative: 8
Essence: 6

Qualities: -5 BP
Positive: 30 BP
Adept (Shaman)
Changeling III (Shark)
  • Dermal Alteration (Sharkskin) +5
  • Electrosense +10
  • Gills +5
  • Low-Light Vision +5
  • Underwater Vision +5

  • Critter Spook -5
  • Extravagant Eyes -5
  • Striking Skin Pigmentation -5

Martial Arts (Arnis De Mano) II +10
  • +1 die on Called Shots to disarm
  • May inflict damage to opponent when making a Called Shot to disarm

  • Disarm
  • Riposte
  • Finishing Strike
  • Watchful Guard (Because I just used up three combat turns)


Negative: -35
SINner I -5
Gene Freak -10
Combat Monster -10
Prejudiced I (Japanese) -5
Addiction, mild (Surfing) -5

Skills: 126 BP
Groups: 70 BP
Athletics IV +40
Stealth III +30
Active: 42 BP
Unarmed Combat (Underwater Combat) VI +26
Dodge II +8
Diving II +8
Technical: 12 BP
Pilot Watercraft II +8
Computer I +4 (If he's going to invest so much money into it, he might as well know how to use it.)
Knowledge: 2 BP
Smuggling Routes III
Military (Special Forces) III
Magic Background (Path of the Adept) II
Sports (Surfing) I

Powers: 6 Powers
Killing Hands (.5)
Elemental Strike (.5)
Counterstrike I (.5)
Mystic Armor I (.5)
Critical Strike IV (1)
Smashing Blow (1) (Not very stealthy, but eh, it works)
Distance Strike (2) (This is why I didn't take cyber/bioware. That and the price.)

Gear: Y60,000 12BP (Is it considered cheating to put money on a credstick instead of having starting money? Cause I feel like I'm cheating here.)
Lifestyle: Low

Subvocal Microphone
Satellite Link
Datachip (It's like Y1 so why not?)
Commlink : Meta Link
Response Upgrade V
Signal Upgrade V
OS : Vector Xim
System V
Firewall VI
Datasoft VI
Mapsoft VI (I don't know about Datasoft but this is justified. They're pretty cheap.)

Survival Knife
Hardliner Gloves (Do these add to my Unarmed Combat damage/rolls?)
Diving Armor
+Nonconductivity VI
+Insulation VI
+Fire Resistance IV
+Strength Upgrade I
+Mobility Upgrade I
Camouflage Suit
+Thermal Dampening III
Form Fitting Full-Body Armor
Clothes (Regular)

Goggles
+Vision Enhancement III
+Vision Magnification
+Flare Compensation
+Image Link
Earbud
+Audio Enhancement III
+Spatial Recognizer
DocWagon Contract (Basic)
3x Fake SINs (Cause I am a SINner.)
Certified Credstick (Gold) (Y9,704) (To save up for a boat Cool )

SeaDoo Bolt
Handling +2, Accel 15/25, Speed 45, Pilot 2, Body 5, Armor 4, Sensor 1
+Assembly Time Improvement

Contacts: 4 BP
L1,C3
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PresentPresence
Team Leader
Team Leader
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Number of posts : 302
Age : 25
Registration date : 2010-07-31

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

PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:25 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Help with developing a character   

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Help with developing a character
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