Just for the sake of completeness, here's my Limits, at this point. However, my Mental limit, which is the key one for a lot of tests a Decker makes, is 7, which is rock-solid in my mind. One advantage of playing a Human, aside from being able to take a D or E in Metatype is that your Edge starts at 2.
Anyone who doesn't value a high Edge attribute hasn't played enough Shadowrun. Also, I chose to drop Strength, in favor of Reaction. This was deliberate for several reasons.
First, my Physical limit is still high enough that I can do most physical tasks, and as long as I have a decent skill I should be ok. Reaction, given that it is used for Initiative, and ranged combat, is more important to me then Strength, which would be used for more up close and personal combat. Before we talk Skills, I want to touch on another Shadowrun mechanic that I absolutely love, Qualities. Qualities work to customize a character so that each Runner can be different, even if they perform the same job in a team.
For my Decker, I like to look at a few positive, and negative, qualities. Codeslinger 10 Karma is a must-have for any serious Decker. For me, that's either Brute Force, or Hack on the Fly. For this Decker, I went with Hack on the Fly. Karma remaining, 3 Quick Healer 3 Karma is another great positive quality. While I'm going to pass on it for today, I find that it can really help when your character's Body attribute isn't quite what you'd like it to be, and for 3 Karma, it's a steal.
Negative qualities can get out of hand, and I appreciate that there's a built in maximum in 5th Edition, it keeps players from loading on odd allergies, and strange addictions, for a few more Karma. In our case, as a Street Level character, we're limited to a max of 26 Karma.
As always, feel free to correct me in the comments if you feel otherwise. Citing page numbers is appreciated. I know it has drawbacks, but I find that the knowledge that I'm a citizen makes a lot of decisions easier. I usually carry a backup SIN, for illegal things, but my lifestyle, permits, gun, commlink, etc.
The police like it too. Karma remaining, 8 Remember, I'm going to use the Karma I have for more nuyen later, so I want to have some leftover. If you remember from up above I took skills at C, this gives me 28 skill points, and 2 points for skill groups.
This is a good point to touch on another of my favorite additions to 5th Edition, the separation of skill points, and skill groups, at character creation. Also, the fact that you can break apart, and re-assemble skill groups over the course of game play adds a layer of extra customization that really works for me. Let's start by assigning my two Skill Group points.
Skill groups are a great way to get a lot of bang for your buck, though with only two points my bang is going to come out as more of a whimper. First, I'm going to a take a point in the Athletics group. This is something I always suggest players do, unless they plan to build a physically minded character.
The one point in Gymnastics, Running, and Swimming save you from defaulting on a lot of tests. Given my low Strength attribute, defaulting could be catastrophic and leave me hanging, possible literally, at the end of my rope at the worst possible moment.
For the other point, I have a number of options. Stealth could be helpful, as could Acting, or Influence. Given that I'm looking to build a competitive Runner, I'm going to take Influence, also at 1.
This helps offset the low Charisma, and will give me the ability to work a bit in social situations, without defaulting. Etiquette, Leadership, Negotiation 1 Athletics Group: Gymnastics, Running, Swimming 1 For my 28 skill points, I'm taking the following: It won't get you far, but it's head and shoulders better than defaulting.
One skill I would have liked to have higher is Hardware, given that I'll be repairing a fair amount of my own gear, and my team's gear, I'd like to have a few more dice here. This is a good place to spend some in-game Karma. For flavorful characters, it's a wide open world, and you take whatever it is that makes you smile.
I'm not going to go into exact detail, instead I'm going to hit the highlights that I go over when buying gear for a competitive Street Level character.
To begin, the Cyberdeck. My view here, as with any character is, if it's your main piece of gear, get the best you can.
Our big pile of money just got a lot smaller. Now, the fun stuff, the illegal hacking programs. Here's the selection I recommend.
Alternately, to run a heavy-handed Decker swap Brute Force in with Codeslinger above, and take Decryption here. We still need a lot of gear to survive even a basic run, and funds are going to get tight. Next, I worry about a gun, clothes, and a place to sleep. The Gun, for this character I'm grabbing two pistols, with ammunition. I'll pick up 20 rounds of ammunition to go with it as a starting point as well. For armor, I usually start, and stop, with a Lined Coat.
At this point we have the bare minimum covered, and it's as far as I'll take this build. Given that you have a SIN might as well grab permits for your guns, as well as a second lined coat, or armored jacket. A backup,backup, gun isn't a bad idea either. While most characters won't have that extra, it's certainly not a bad idea to line your pocket, even a little.
I've also had players pick up a random assortment of higher availability gear, that they don't want to bother finding in game, explosive rounds are always popular, though how you fit them in a hold-out I'll never know. I hope this has been informative, and I'd appreciate feedback in the comments.
I'm going to be away from the net for a week, but when I return look for a post on Riggers, and a Let's Build post, most likely for a colorful Face character.
Just for the sake of completeness, here's my Limits, at this point. However, my Mental limit, which is the key one for a lot of tests a Decker makes, is 7, which is rock-solid in my mind.
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