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View Full Version : [Shadowrun 4e] - Advice on Gm'ing and creating a mage



khylis
2010-12-21, 02:14 AM
Mornin'

I was recently introduced to the Shadowrun roleplaying game, and asked to read up and GM a game; we've since decided to co-gm a game - after the current D&D campaign is over. I've really taken to the cyber-punk, GITS pseudo fantasy, cross sci-fi feel - and decided to learn the system by playing an elven mage (face), trickster mentor spirit, black magic tradition. i.e. your general conniving, charming, capricious bastard (i.e. playing a gm'ing style as a character)

My regular group has rounded out pretty well over a couple of gm's and a couple of campaigns (disjointed and mostly discontinued though they were) and I felt I'd run a Shadowrun campaign better than a dark sun campaign - because I feel I have a better understanding of dystopian cyber-punk as opposed to post post-apocalyptic wasteland where everything tries to eat everything else.

As for my character concept, elven mage, exceptionally over-the-top pretty-boy (exceptional attribute: charisma) seemingly a flibbertygibbet; he is anything but, he focuses his attention on information gathering and iterative illusions (methinks lots of fake SINs? and conjuring watcher spirits that spy on targets; and focus on detection/illusion spells)

I know that I'll want to get initiative, charisma (max-1), magic - what equipment specifically does a mage carry? I'll take an Ares Predator IV, and fake SIN's - the rest I don't really know.

As for character quirks - he's a pacifist, strangely enough; the thought of hurting/killing people makes him queasy, and he'd prefer to leave enemies behind; after all, if you kill people, you no longer get any use out of them.

Books available:
- 4th Edition 20th Anniversery Core Rulebook
- Arsenal
- Unwired
- Street Magic

Any advice welcome.

Earthwalker
2010-12-21, 03:15 AM
Depends on your game style but

A comlink is a must. Normally a fake one you use most of the time and expect to get hacked so you leave false data on it. Then a real one you keep safe, or data you want not hacked just held on data chips.

Duct tape (you will always find a use for it)

Some means of getting flare compensation, some sunglasses with it built in or contact lenses.

Stick and shock ammo for your predator or a taser.

khylis
2010-12-21, 03:26 AM
I like the look of a spirit dream pact, and the anchor metamagic.

Earthwalker
2010-12-21, 03:44 AM
I like the look of a spirit dream pact, and the anchor metamagic.

I am not too sure under 4e rules, under 3e anchoring could be usful but expensive in karma.

I would suggest starting the game with some sustaining focuses to power some initative boosters, and other usful spells for you, so you don't take a penalty for sustaining spells.

Trekkin
2010-12-21, 08:46 AM
General advice:
Get a commlink, a vehicle, and a taser (ideally a smartgun taser and smartlinked glasses). Armor is a good idea too. As for mage-specific stuff, I would recommend foci (sustaining, and probably binding) and whatever drugs are useful for magecraft; Wudu'aku comes to mind, although expensive.

I haven't done much with mages, but I've heard watcher spirits leave something to be desired; you may want to go with full-fledged spirits.

And in general:
Work out how not to get caught.
Assume you'll get caught. Work out how not to get hurt.
Assume you'll get hurt. Work out how not to get killed.
Assume you'll get killed. Work out how to minimize the trouble the team gets into if they leave your body behind.

Sarakos
2010-12-21, 10:16 AM
I'm away from my books at the moment but there's a quality that gives a fair amount of BP at character gen called Pacifist. Unfortunately I beleive it's in Runners Companion which you don't seem to have. It fits your character perfectly if you can get a hold of a copy though

Sarakos
2010-12-21, 11:01 AM
Got a hold of my books. The pacifist quality is in Runners Companion. Heres what it does:

Pacifist
Bonus: 5 or 10 BP
The Pacifist quality makes a character unusually principled
and humane for the dark streets of 2070. If the quality is taken at 5
BP, the character actively avoids needless violence and will not kill
unless in self-defense (and even then, she will do so as humanely
as possible). Such characters cannot participate in premeditated
murders or wetwork and are compelled to dissuade their fellow
shadowrunners from embarking on such operations.
If the quality is taken at 10 BP, the character has severe moral
qualms about any violence and will refuse to harm any living creature
that possesses more intelligence than a gnat, regardless of the
provocation. If she does, she is overcome by a deep depression, during
the onset of which the character refuses to do anything other
than eat, sleep and go about her daily routine. Such a state typically
lasts several weeks, but may vary at the gamemasterís discretion.
Some individuals respect the restraint of Pacifist shadowrunners,
while others consider them useless wimps.

Trekkin
2010-12-21, 11:46 AM
If the quality is taken at 10 BP, the character has severe moral
qualms about any violence and will refuse to harm any living creature
that possesses more intelligence than a gnat, regardless of the
provocation.

I have to (jokingly) wonder if this includes the character, who would then become depressed the first time they took Drain.

Sarakos
2010-12-21, 12:09 PM
I have to (jokingly) wonder if this includes the character, who would then become depressed the first time they took Drain.

I lol'd. Never thought of that :)

khylis
2010-12-22, 12:17 AM
Recursive loop! :smallcool:

first time he takes drain he becomes depressed, then proceeds to inflict pain upon himself from this chronic depression - thus becoming more depressed! heh, amusement.


Get a commlink, a vehicle, and a taser (ideally a smartgun taser and smartlinked glasses). Armor is a good idea too. As for mage-specific stuff, I would recommend foci (sustaining, and probably binding) and whatever drugs are useful for magecraft; Wudu'aku comes to mind, although expensive.
Okey okey, I'm still reading all the rules interactions; this sounds like a good idea - didn't know you needed glasses for the smartlink gun.

thanks for all the replies guys. I'll probably bug you more when I've read more in detail =P

Drakefall
2010-12-22, 07:44 AM
So you're going to be playing an evil, black magicky, pacifist emo?

Yep, sounds like one of your characters.:smalltongue:

Sarakos
2010-12-22, 11:02 AM
Ahhh, so you guys are playing together? I was wondering about the sudden influx of shadowrun threads and I was wondering about how you both happened to have the same books available. I wish I could be more helpful but the shadowrun game I got the books for never happened and I never found another willing group.

Despite the lack of in-game experience though I've read the core book several times over and the supplements at least once. So I like to thing I have a decent idea of what I'm talking about (please don't spoil my blissful illsion :P)

edit: smartlink can be installed on cyber eyes, goggles, glasses, contacts or be built into helmets. Since helmets protect you from called head shots it's a plus to snag one if you expect a firefight but since a called head shot is likely to ruin all the fancy gear you installed into the helmet in the first place and is ridiculously expensive to replace. The cheap 100 nuyen helmet in core has I think one less ballistics armor less than the 1000 nuyen helmet in arsenal (away from books so don't quote me) that can hold all those fancy electronics. Best to buy headphones for listening enhancement and contacts or glasses with the binocular mod (forget it's name) and smartlink. Chances are you'll by the headset and glasses once and can replace the helmet cheaply as needed instead of blowing a few thousand every second gun fight because of called shots

Trekkin
2010-12-22, 12:52 PM
Sarakos brings up a good point; if at all possible separate your armor and your electronics. Although the helmets in core can be modified (Arsenal, page 44), there are several places where you will want to be able to have access to AR without visibly guarding yourself against headshots.

I would say "get contact lenses", but the problem of Availability comes into play, and after putting a smartlink in contacts, additional enhancements put them out of reach of starting characters. Besides, it's awfully uncomfortable--and not allowed by RAW--- to hook up your contacts to a fiber optic cable should you want to avoid wireless emissions.

khylis
2010-12-23, 12:22 AM
So you're going to be playing an evil, black magicky, pacifist emo?

Yep, sounds like one of your characters.:smalltongue:

No no, he's not emo; twas a joke - I'm gonna try get him a dream pact, so he has a regular day job for when I'm GM'ing, and then play his spirit possession form when you're GM'ing. Probably a untenured prof or post-doctorate, who did his thesis on the differentials affecting spiritual binding, and the elevation of cogitation potential with dream pacts in particular. (how to do your thesis faster! use a dream pact, and get your spirit to write it whilst sleeping! jokes)

Works for either Aztechnology or Wuxing during the day, has multiple fake SINs for the spirit possession phase of his existence.