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Okay, so we’re going to make a Street Level character with this, to see how it all works out. This will be one of three-I’ll be posting a Prime character next, and finally, a ‘Normal Mode’ character.

Availability will be limited to 10, and Device Ratings of 4.

We’re going to make a Human Street Shaman, after some thought. First off, we’ll look at the priorities and pick:

Magic: A
Attributes: B
Resources: C(Street gives 25,000 here)
Skills: D
Race: E

It’s going to be a female human Raven shaman, because that jumped into my head and her personality and everything started to form. (Raccoon, sadly, isn’t in this book, or I’d have rather used that.) We’ll get to the Mentor Spirit stuff later.

Attributes B  gives 20 points. We’ll spread these out as so:

Body: 2
Agility: 3
Reaction: 3
Strength: 2
Charisma: 4
Intuition: 5
Logic: 4
Willpower: 5

Not the most impressive set of stats, but Raven can get by on her cleverness and skills. Well, Skills are D here, but we’ll make do. The rundown here is that I see this character being definitely more of a con-artist type; getting by on wits and high Magical skill rather than raw, brute force(Raven doesn’t much favor brute force). 2’s in some Physical stats isn’t infirm or invalid or anything of that nature; she simply did not choose to focus her time on them(except for her manual dexterity), where she did for her mental stats.  For her Special stats, being human starts her with an Edge of 2, and she gets one more point, to give it a 3, making her lucky enough. I particularly wanted her with at least 5’s in her Willpower and Intuition. I’d have liked to have gotten a 5 Charisma as well, but I saw her with at least average manual dexterity and Reaction, and she’s had an education which she took seriously, so I saw her with good-level book smarts; that’ll be something I work toward.

Magic: 6
Edge: 3
Essence: 6
Initiative: 7+1d6

With Magic Priority A, she not only nails her Magic 6, but she gets 10 spells and two Magical Skills at rating 5 each, which will be handy given her lower skill points. I see her as less of a summoner(she will have some skill there though), and more of an ‘enchanter’ type and spellcaster. She gets 22 skill points to divide around. She does not get any Skill Group points, so those will have to come out of Karma if she wants any.

First, the 10 spells:

Power Bolt
Stunbolt
Clairaudience
Clairvoyance
Analyze Magic
Heal
Chaotic World
Improved Invisibility
Shadow
Physical Barrier

Balancing out spells a bit, she has Power Bolt for when drek is just REAL bad, but Stun Bolt as more of a basic combat spell(better to leave ’em alive and knocked before you steal their pants). When considering Stunball, I thought Chaotic World would fit a Raven shaman much better. Other odds and ends help out-like spying with Clairaudience and Clairvoyance, patching up wounds with Heal, or using Shadow and Improved Invisibility to help out stealth some more. Analyze Magic fits the ‘magic artificer’ idea for her. Physical Barrier is a useful defensive spell.

We’ll come back to the skills after Qualities are taken care of.

Street Level games get 13 Bonus Karma, and can only go up to +/- 26, so that is another hit they take over the Normal games. Looking over the Positive Qualities, we know we want Mentor Spirit: Raven as one of them. Others include:

Mentor Spirit: Raven(5)
Analytical Mind(5)
Weak Immune System(10)

Raven grants her the following benefits: +2 Dice for all Con tests, +2 dice for spells, preparations and spell rituals that are Manipulation based. However, she has to make a Charisma+Willpower test to avoid exploit someone’s misfortune for her own gain or to play a prank at a really bad time. Such are the ways of Raven. Analytical Mind fits her clever, problem solving personality well.

As for the negatives, she’s just kinda unlucky that she has a bit more trouble fighting off stuff that other people do. Otherwise, she isn’t terribly saddled with disadvantages. Since they cancel out, she remains with 13 Bonus Karma(to spend later on.)

Now, we’re onto Skills. She gets the free ones, and then we’ll choose the following:

Spellcasting: 5(Free)
Counterspelling: 5(Free)
Artificing: 5
Summoning: 2
Banishing: 3
Sneaking(Urban) 3(+2)
Pistols: 2
Con: 3
Etiquette: 3

I definitely want to spend some Bonus Karma here when that time comes. But it manages to at least cover a wide array of magical skills(between her casting, counterspelling, artificing, summoning, and banishing), as well as some ‘physical world skills’, like her Etiquette knowledge, being rather perceptive, and learning a bit on how to shoot things, just in case(she’s been practicing with that). Her skills aren’t bad for being Priority D though; she’s more of a specialized character, but does have basics like Etiquette  at decent scores to help out. I thought she would have a decently high Sneaking skill as well, and Con was a definite.

With her Intuition of 5 and Logic of 4, she gets 18 Knowledge Skill points. These get divided up like so:

Magical Threats: 3
Magical Groups: 3
Local Diners: 2
Magical Engineering: 3
Safehouse Locations: 3
Sinthcore: 1

English: N
Spanish: 3

She has a great interest in magic, so she has corresponding skills to run with that. Being Raven, she enjoys food and so has some knowledge of diner locations. Safehouses are always very good to know about, and Sinthcore is usually found on her Commlink playlist. She picked up Spanish in her old school; believe it or not, she actually graduated high school. She practices sometimes with one of her contacts.

As for gear, she gets 25,000 nuyen worth of stuff. Being Street Level, this is going to limit her, as said, to Availabilities of 10 and Ratings of 4. So, with that in mind, we’ll grab stuff that fits!

*to be continued at bottom of page with character sheet*

Spent: 23400
Left: 1,600
Starting: 3d6x60-780(added to 1600)-2380

Gear list isn’t too bad for her more limited resources; it’s going to be listed at the end of it all so I don’t have to list gear twice in this, since they can run long. She has magical gear, some other odds and ends that help her out, and so on, like some armor(not enough bonus armor to give her encumbrance or anything like that.)

Her Charisma of 4 gives her 12 free points to spend on Contacts. She’ll get:

Fixer(Spanky): C4 L3-She’s known Spanky for awhile and he’s a well-connected guy who magically gets more connected the higher loyalty someone is…somehow. Spanky is the big Irish Fomori that owns a sports bar called Goal, and he’s almost obsessed with football(soccer to the UCAS ‘heathens.’)
Talismonger(Mama): C3 L2-Another decently connected contact, this middle-aged heavyset Hispanic Santeria practicing woman’s shop looks like several bombs hit it, but she has a knack for being able to come across some rather rare magical stuff. She’s a skilled Artificer in her own right.

And finally, we’ll spend up her 13 Bonus Karma. With that, we’ll pick up:

Lockpicking: 2-6 Karma
Perception: 2-6 Karma
Gang Turf(Knowledge): 1-1 Karma

She figured out some Lockpicking due to her occasional thievery, and I didn’t get Perception before; an important skill, and I’d definitely want to raise that a bit later on. Living a little more on the lower end of town, she sorta picked up somewhat of what gangs hang out where; both to stay away(if they’re particularly nasty), or where some of the more helpful ones might be. (Sort of helpful, anyway.)

Now, let’s get some basic stats down:

Name: Jessie Olmar
Alias: Kat

Race: Human

Gender: Female
Height: 5’5”
Weight: 120lbs
Age: 25
Hair: Medium length, dark blonde
Eyes: Gray

General Appearance/Personality: Fairly average height and weight, Kat is a pretty young woman, whom always looks curious about how magical things work. She dresses fairly low key; choosing jeans, sneakers, and tank tops, though puts on an armor jacket if things are going down. She wears her shoulder-length hair rather simply; she prefers a bit more of a comfortable look and style. She’s actually pretty even-tempered-even a bit aloof in the sense that she’ll let a lot of things roll right off of her, but due to her mentor spirit, she’s prone to occasionally playing tricks on people, and she’s also been known to take some nuyen off of a team-mate who is sort of ‘indisposed'(hey, they aren’t using it and it could better the team who didn’t get themselves fragged.) Still, she enjoys keeping her friends and isn’t totally untrustworthy. She leaves the heavy lifting to others, but always looks for creative uses of her magic. She’s happiest in her basement, sinthcore music blaring, while she tinkers with a new foci.

Attributes:

Body: 2
Agility: 3
Reaction: 3
Strength: 2
Charisma: 4
Intuition: 5
Logic: 4
Willpower: 5
Magic: 6
Edge: 3
Essence: 6
Initiative: 7+1d6
Astral Initiative: 10+3d6

Physical Monitor: 9
Stun Monitor: 11
Overflow: 2

Armor: 12

Positive Qualities: Mentor Spirit(Raven), Analytical Mind
Negative Qualities: Weak Immune System

Limits:

Physical: 3
Mental: 6
Social: 7
Astral: 7

Active Skills:

Spellcasting: 5
Counterspelling: 5
Artificing: 4
Summoning: 3
Banishing: 3
Sneaking(Urban) 3(+2)
Pistols: 2
Etiquette: 3
Con: 3
Perception: 2
Lockpicking: 2

Knowledge/Language Skills:

Magical Threats: 3
Magical Groups: 3
Local Diners: 2
Magical Engineering: 3
Safehouse Locations: 3
Sinthcore: 1
Gang Turf: 1

English: N
Spanish: 3

Spells(Note: Raven grants +2 to all Manipulation spells)

Power Bolt(C)
Stunbolt(C)
Clairaudience(D)
Clairvoyance(D)
Analyze Magic(D)
Heal(H)
Chaotic World(I)
Improved Invisibility(M)
Shadow(M)
Physical Barrier(M)

Weapons, Armor, and Gear:

1 Fake Sin(Rating 2)
2 Silver Certified Credsticks
Fake Magic License(Rating 4)
Browning Ultra-Power(8P, Acc. 5(6), 10c, SA, AP-1)
w/Gas Vent 1
50 Regular rounds
50 Gel Rounds
10 Clips
Concealable Holster
Armor Jacket
Flash-Pak
Renraku Sensei Commlink
Subvocal Mic
Glasses(Capacity 4)
w/Low-Light Vision,  Vision Magnification
Earbuds(Capacity 3)
w/Audio Enhancement Rating 3
Autopicker 4
Sequencer Rating 3
Lockpick Set
Survival Kit
Chemsuit 4
Gas Mask
Medkit Rating 4
2 Supplies
3 Antidote Patches(Rating 4 each)
Trauma Patch:
Magical Lodge Materials(Rating 4)
Reagants: Assorted, 1,000 nuyen worth

Lifestyle:

Low(1 month)

Nuyen: 2,380

Background:  Kat was actually born to a more upper middle-class corporate family; however, after being found for magical aptitude while she was entering high school, she was quickly funneled to the ‘AP Classes’ as they were nicknamed. Learning all sorts of magical theory and the like, she was attacking every lesson with zeal; she loved Magic, and particularly liked any lessons in Artificing as well. However, she was a bright girl-and after awhile, she came to realize that the destination at the end of this fun, scholastic magical journey would be corporate slavery.

After being visited one night in a dream by a bit of a comically sarcastic Raven spirit, she began to embrace those teachings, and started to look for a way out. Through some of her knowledge and the resources she had available to her, upon graduating high school, she managed to adjust some things here and there before walking out of her life, getting settled with a Talismonger she had met during one of her magical gear explorations one weekend. The Talismonger, nicknamed ‘Mama’, set her up with some work with enchanting on the side as Kat tried to build her new life in the shadows. She does not have a lot of her old resources or contacts available to her, but she was introduced to an Irish Fomori by the name of Spanky, a friendly fixer who owned a sports bar and loved watching football(soccer to the UCAS folks.)

She hopes to be able to eventually enjoy her previous almost luxury life, and perhaps a bit more than that; but she pretty much had to pick up from nothing. She thinks, perhaps, if she were able to get a Fake SIN good enough, that she could actually enroll in a university for even more  magical training one day.

Final Verdict: You can make extremely serviceable, and versatile, Street level characters with this system. Some might think that this character could even fit into a primary game, and you know, she may well be able to; however, she does lack the Resources of your ‘Regular’ character. Thing is-IMO, this is good. Resources and the like are what should separate the runner types, rather than raw Skills and Attributes(however, the others get more Bonus Karma; so they usually will have at least a little more in those areas as well, which is fine; it just shouldn’t be as limited.) You still feel like your Street level character has lots of room to grow(as well it should), but I didn’t feel like I was completely squeezing and squishing points(which, IMO, in a ‘basic’ street level game, you should not. In a total gutter-rat bottom of the barrel game? Sure, but not ordinary street level. I think you should feel less powerful than an average runner, but not like you’re a bare-bones nobody. I think of ‘Street Level’ along the lines of Snatch-badass at what they do but pretty specialized.)

I admit, making a magically active human for the Street level game may have been ‘cheating’ a little bit. I’ll say that, judging by costs of Cyberware and the like and the hits to Availability, Street Level cyber characters are going to take a bigger hit. Oh, they can be viable, but they’ll most likely end up taking Resources A and some used cyber(ew.) Hell, if you’re really not squicky, used cyber can make a pretty scary street level samurai. Just don’t try to think about it too hard.

Street level Deckers, now…given the cost of cyberdecks and the like, they would definitely need Resources A to work with. Technomancers actually would probably work out a little better with this.

But really, this is very playable, and a very solid set of Street level rules. I’ll say I rate it eight Mohawks out of 10. It loses couple of Mohawks due to the fact that magically(or Resonance…ly) active people will be considerably ahead of their non magically active folks. Now from a certain standpoint, this makes perfect sense-less Resources means less ware/gear/less top of the line ware/both, but this is one of those instances where ‘it makes sense’ may end up frustrating those who wish to play more ‘gear-oriented types’. Of course, as long as they know what they’re getting into, I think it’s fine, but the GM will need to take special care.

How would she had differed from a normal character? Well, she’d have had more Bonus karma for extra skills, and she’d have had a lot more resources for her magical stuff; namely things like Foci, which are very good to have. Or, quite possibly, she would have taken Resources D and have had a lot more base skills to work with(as well as more money for Foci), but there would have been a clear difference.

As Prime, she’d probably have a better lifestyle for sure, along with some pretty piles of foci and a workshop to do her Artificing stuff with. She’d have had a lot more Bonus Karma to spend on skills-I’d have been able to get her several more skills at 2 or even a couple more at 3(or some combination thereof), if I wanted to.

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