A Look at the Fluff of Shadowrun, Fifth Edition
March 15, 2014

Let’s Build A Character For Shadowrun (Part 2)

Let’s recap. We are making a character for Shadowrun. His name is Dominican, a human shaman with Strength two, Agility three, Reaction three, Body three, Intuition three, Logic three, Willpower five, Charisma six, and Edge three. Still with us? Good. Now lets move on to qualities.

As a standard runner, we have 25 karma (experience) to start off with, which can be used to buy qualities or as per normal character advancement rules. We also have the opportunity to gain up to 25 more by selecting negative qualities that give our character complications. Looking over them, I already have my mind set on Mentor Spirit considering that Dominican is a shaman, which will cost us five. His guide shall be the Raven, a trickster who thrives on exploiting others for his own ends and pulling off clever pranks. Lets also take Spirit Affinity for spirits of Man, the manipulators of the Shamanistic tradition, for seven karma and Will to Live level one for three karma to round that out to 15 karma spent on positive qualities, leaving us with 10 karma and no real need for any negative qualities. Lets look them over, and maybe take a few anyway just for some extra. Due to his flare for the dramatic, we will take Distinctive Style which makes it easier for others to remember details about him and possibly even track him down for five bonus karma, giving us 15 karma left over for other applications later down the road.

Next, let’s look at skills. As we took magic at our highest priority, we get to start with two magic related skills both at five ranks automatically, in addition to the 28 skill points and two skill group points we start with due to our prioritization of skills. For those, lets go ahead and take Spellcasting and Counterspelling both at five, as those are two of the most important skills for a spell-caster. Next, for our skill group, I hold that every shadowrunner needs a bit of sneakiness and athleticism – its not called “loudwalker” after all – so lets use the two group points to put one rank into the skill group of Athletics and another into Stealth. For our other skills, I like to opt to spread out a bit, starting off with a few skills fairly high but letting most be lower ranked, giving myself room to grow as the character gains experience. For this character, his focus is on magic and manipulation/trickery, so lets opt to boost Spellcasting and Counterspelling both to sixes, then go with Arcana one, Artificing one, Assensing three, Astral Combat two, Banishing one, Binding two, Con five, Etiquette one, Negotiation one, Perception one, Performance one, Pistols four, Ritual Spellcasting one, and Summoning two.

We also get to select a number of free knowledge skills equal to twice our Intuition (three) and our Logic (also three), so 12. Knowledges are basic areas of interest your character has. Things they know about. There is no real list for what these can be and the game encourages you to make them up, correlating them with real-world interests your character might have. Lets go with Magical Theory 4, Poetry 3, Spirits 2, and the Sperenthiel (elf) language at 3. We also start with one language at native – meaning no rolls needed – which we will just assume is English.

Next time we will dive into the real focus of this character: magic, selecting his spells and other abilities, as well as his resources.

Until then, thanks for reading and I wish you all good gaming.

Image Credit: Catalyst Game Labs

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