A Look at the Fluff of Shadowrun, Fifth Edition
March 18, 2014

Let’s Build A Character For Shadowrun (Part 5)

Our Shadowrun character, Dominican, is almost ready. All that is left is figuring out some of his derived values.

First off, let’s look at his Condition Monitor Tracks, which is how Shadowrun deals with Health. His soak poll will be based on his Body attribute, as well as that armored coat we bought him. With his Body of three and the armor giving him nine, he will have a total soak pool of 12 dice. Not great, but this is not exactly a heavily armored Street Samurai. His Physical Condition track is also based on his body. You figure out how many boxes he has by taking his Body divided by two, rounded up (so two in this case) and add eight to the result, thus giving him 10 Physical Condition Boxes. We then do the same with his Stun Condition Track, using Willpower in place of Body. As he has a much higher Willpower (five rather than three) he has more boxes for his Stun track: 11.

We also need to figure out his initiative. At base, he has a single dice of initiative because he does not use any combat stims or have any cyberware or spells that enhance it (yet). On top of this, he gets a bonus equal to the sum of his Intuition and his Reaction, which is six. Because Dominican is a mage, he will also have an Astral Initiative score, which starts at two dice and adds a bonus of twice his Intuition (which is also six). If we wanted, we could also figure up his Matrix Initiative, but as there is very little chance our mage will go picking fights in virtual space where his magic is useless to him, there is not much of a need for it.

Then we need to determine his Limits, his maximum potential on physical, mental, and social rolls. His Mental Limit is equal to twice his Logic (6) added to Intuition and Willpower (total of 14) and then divided by three, rounding up, which makes his Mental Limit five. The same sort of process is done for his Physical Limit, using Strength x2, Body, and Reaction, and Social Limit, using Charisma x2, Willpower, and Essence. When all is said an done, he has a Mental Limit of five, a Physical Limit of four, and a Social Limit of eight. Also, because he is a mage, he will also have an Astral Limit, which is equal to the higher of his Social and Mental Limits. In this case, that would be his Social Limit, making his Astral Limit also an eight.

Now all we have to do is make up a list of starting contacts for him, which he has a pool of 18 points for (Charisma x3). Contacts are people he can go to for help, be it for gear, information, or even just a good time. In short, these are his friends and business associates. So, for a mage, its always good to know a Talismonger – a provider of magical goods – so lets make that one a priority with 3 points in Loyalty and 4 in Connection (we can come up with the specifics of who this is later). Lets also give him a Fixer – a generic info broker and one-stop pawn shop for stolen goods – with Loyalty 2, Connection 2. Since it is clear by his skills that Dominican is a social character, lets give him a bartender contract, since they can be great sources of rumors. Lets go with Loyalty 4 (a really close friend) and Connection 1. Two points left. We could come up with a one/one contact, but instead lets just boost what we already have, putting an additional point into our Bartender’s Connection and other into the Fixer’s Loyalty.

And thus our shadowrunner is ready for his first job. I hope this was helpful to anyone having trouble understanding the system or at least insightful as to what goes into making a character for this phenomenal game.

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

Image Credit: Catalyst Game Labs

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