A Look at the Fluff of Shadowrun, Fifth Edition
March 14, 2014

Let’s Build A Character For Shadowrun (Part 1)

Building a character for Shadowrun is no simple thing. In terms of crunch, the game is very complex and character creation can be very daunting, so it is important, as always, that you have a basic idea in mind for what sort of character you would like to make. For this example, I will be converting an older Shadowrun character of mine from an earlier edition. As always, this will not give you everything you need to make a character on your own, it is merely meant to be a guide so that you are able to see what goes into it and how my own thought processes work when making a character. With that said, lets dive right in.

To start with, my concept is a human shamanistic spell-caster who goes by the handle Dominican, a suave manipulator who can also double as face should the group need him to. Now to delve into the actual mechanics. As a note, we will be making a “standard” runner, not a street-level or prime runner. Fifth edition has gone back to a priority system for character making, asking that you prioritize your metatype (race), attributes, magic, skills, and resources. You can have a lot of fun with this, or it can be a headache trying to get the most out of it, so I recommend trusting yourself and going with your fist instinct on it. There are no perfect characters. Be sure to keep that in mind. For this character, I prioritize magic at the highest, followed by attributes, then skills, resources, and metatype.

Next we select our metatype. At the lowest priority, human is my only option but that is okay since I wanted to play a human anyway. Humans start with no special traits – thing like reach, natural armor, low-light vision, or thermal vision – but there are a lot of advantages to playing them. All of their attributes start at one and can be bought up to six and they also begin play with two Edge (luck) rather than the standard one. At priority E, the lowest, metatype does give me a single special attribute point to put towards edge, magic, or resonance. As I do not have resonance – which are technomancers only – and my magic will already start at a three with magic being my highest priority, I will put that to edge, giving my character a starting edge of three.

Next, we determine the characters attributes. All characters have eight attributes – Strength, Agility, Reaction, Body, Logic, Intuition, Willpower, and Charisma – and for humans they all start at one. Having selected attributes as my second highest priority, we get 20 additional points to distribute between them, with no one attribute starting above a six. To start, lets go ahead and raise all eight of them to two, that way we have no glaring weaknesses to exploit. With the twelve left, lets put three more into Willpower and four into Charisma as those are central to shamanistic spell-casters. Finally, we will put one more into each of Agility, Reaction, Body, Logic, and Intuition, making each of those a three. That brings our starting attribute block to Strength two, Agility three, Reaction three, Body three, Logic three, Intuition three, Willpower five, and Charisma six. Not the most impressive stat block out there, but a very good starting point.

Next time, we will take a look at qualities both positive and negative, as well as skills.

As always, thanks for reading and I wish you all good gaming.

Image Credit: Catalyst Game Labs

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