SR5:Character Creation:Step 2

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5th Edition Rules
Basics Combat Magic Matrix Driving Character Creation
Step 1-CHOOSE CONCEPT Step 2-METATYPE & SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES Step 3-MAGIC OR RESONANCE Step 4-PURCHASE QUALITIES
Step 5-PURCHASE SKILLS Step 6-SPEND RESOURCES Step 7-SPENDING KARMA Step 8-FINAL CALCULATIONS
Step 9-FINAL TOUCHES

CHOOSE METATYPE

RAISE MENTAL, PHYSICAL, AND SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

METATYPE & SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

In Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, character generation is based on the Priority System. The Priority System is a table with the following columns: Metatype, Attributes, Magic or Resonance, Skills, and Resources. The rows are divided into Priority Levels ranging from Priority A to Priority E. Players assign a specific Priority Level for each of the columns to their character depending on their preferences. The values assigned must be different for each column (representing each aspect of the character), and there can be no duplications. For example, a character may not have Priority Level B for Magic or Resonance and Priority B for Resources. The higher the Priority Level (A, B, etc.), the more valuable it is for the character. Characters use Karma later on to customize their characters even further.

The player begins the character-creation process by choosing their character’s metatype, or race. There are five distinct races within Shadowrun: dwarfs, elves, humans, orks, and trolls. Each race receives different racial advantages (and possibly disadvantages). Humans, for example, receive a higher rating in Edge (+1). Trolls receive Thermographic Vision, +1 Reach, and Dermal Armor, but they also have the disadvantage of having their Lifestyle costs doubled to reflect the costs of adapting everything they use—especially their gear, including cyberware or bioware—to meet their massive physical requirements. Several metatypes also receive physical or mental advantages/disadvantages to their attribute ratings (such as higher or lower natural attribute limits). When determining which metatype best fits the character concept they wish to play, the player should refer to the Metatype Attribute Table (p. 66) and review the specific details for each metatype.

Once the player has selected the metatype they wish to play, they should review the Metatype column to determine which Priority Levels give them the best options for their character based on their preferred metatype and the special attribute points they need. The special attributes are Edge, Magic, and Resonance; if you want your character to have a high rating in one or more of these areas, make sure you select a row with plenty of special attribute points. Technomancer characters need to ensure they can have a high Resonance, while magician or adept characters will want a high Magic rating. Edge starts at the value for each metatype listed in the Metatype Attribute Table (p. 66). Magic and Resonance start at 0.

Priority Table
PRIORITY METATYPE ATTRIBUTES MAGIC OR RESONANCE SKILLS RESOURCES
A
Human (9)
Elf (8)
Dwarf (7)
Ork (7)
Troll (5)
24
Magician or Mystic Adept: Magic 6, two Rating 5 Magical skills, 10 spells
Technomancer: Resonance 6, two Rating 5 Resonance skills, 5 complex forms
46/10 450,000¥
B
Human (7)
Elf (6)
Dwarf (4)
Ork (4)
Troll (0)
20
Magician or Mystic Adept: Magic 4, two Rating 4 Magical skills, 7 spells
Technomancer: Resonance 4, two Rating 4 Resonance skills, 2 complex forms
Adept: Magic 6, one Rating 4 Active skill
Aspected Magician: Magic 5, one Rating 4 Magical skill group
36/5 275,000¥
C
Human (5)
Elf (3)
Dwarf (1)
Ork (0)
16
Magician or Mystic Adept: Magic 3, 5 spells
Technomancer: Resonance 3, 1 complex form
Adept: Magic 4, one Rating 2 Active skill
Aspected Magician: Magic 3, one Rating 2 Magical skill group
28/2 140,000¥
D
Human (3)
Elf (0)
14
Adept: Magic 2
Aspected Magician: Magic 2
22/0 50,000¥
E Human (1) 12 18/0 6,000¥
EXTENDED 'A' PRIORITY METAVARIANTS Source: SR5:Run Faster
METATYPE ADDITIONAL KARMA COST METATYPE ADDITIONAL KARMA COST
Nartaki (8) 0 Cyclopean (5) 2
Dryad (8) 0 Fomorian (5) 12
Nocturna (8) 0 Giant (5) 2
Wakyambi (8) 12 Minotaur (5) 2
Xapiri Thëpë (8) 0 Centaur (6) 25
Gnome (7) 7 Naga (4) 25
Hanuman (7) 5 Pixie (6) 15
Koborokuru (7) 0 Sasquatch (5) 20
Menehune (7) 2 Shapeshifter [Bovine; Vulpine] (8) 5
Hobgoblin (7) 5 Shapeshifter [Canine;Falconine] (7) 10
Ogre (7) 8 Shapeshifter[Lupine; Equine] (6) 15
Oni (7) 4 Shapeshifter [Ursine;Leonine] (4) 20
Satyr (7) 10 Shapeshifter [Pantherine;Tigrine] (4) 25
EXTENDED 'B' PRIORITY METAVARIANTS Source: SR5:Run Faster
METATYPE ADDITIONAL KARMA COST METATYPE ADDITIONAL KARMA COST
Nartaki (6) 0 Cyclopean (0) 2
Dryad (6) 0 Fomorian (0) 12
Nocturna (6) 0 Giant (0) 2
Wakyambi (6) 12 Minotaur (0) 2
Xapiri Thëpë (6) 0 Centaur (3) 25
Gnome (4) 7 Naga (2) 25
Hanuman (4) 5 Pixie (3) 15
Koborokuru (4) 0 Sasquatch (2) 20
Menehune (4) 2 Shapeshifter [Bovine;Vulpine] (6) 5
Hobgoblin (4) 5 Shapeshifter [Canine;Falconine] (5) 10
Ogre (4) 8 Shapeshifter [Lupine;Equine] (4) 15
Oni (4) 4 Shapeshifter [Ursine;Leonine] (2) 20
Satyr (4) 10 Shapeshifter [Pantherine;Tigrine] (2) 25
EXTENDED 'C' PRIORITY METAVARIANTS Source: SR5:Run Faster
METATYPE ADDITIONAL KARMA COST METATYPE ADDITIONAL KARMA COST
Nartaki (4) 0 Oni (0) +4
Dryad (3) 0 Satyr (0) 10
Nocturna (3) 0 Centaur (0) 25
Wakyambi (3) 12 Naga (0) 25
Xapiri Thëpë (3) 0 Pixie (0) 15
Gnome (1) 7 Sasquatch (0) 20
Hanuman (1) 5 Shapeshifter [Bovine;Vulpine] (4) 5
Koborokuru (1) 0 Shapeshifter [Canine;Falconine] (3) 10
Menehune (1) 2 Shapeshifter[Lupine; Equine] (2) 15
Hobgoblin (0) +5 Shapeshifter [Ursine;Leonine] (0) 20
Ogre (0) 8 Shapeshifter [Pantherine;Tigrine] (0) 25
EXTENDED 'D' & 'E' PRIORITY METAVARIANTS Source: SR5:Run Faster
METATYPE ADDITIONAL KARMA COST METATYPE ADDITIONAL KARMA COST
Nartaki (2) 0 Wakyambi (0) 12
Dryad (0) 0 Xapiri Thëpë (0) 0
Nocturna (0) 0
'E' Priority
Nartaki (1) 0

Edge, of course, is beneficial to all characters. Special attribute points may be spent entirely on Edge if the player chooses not to play a magic user or a technomancer, or they may split these points as they see fit between their Edge and Magic or Resonance attribute ratings if the player so chooses. These Special Attribute Points may only be allocated on Special Attributes. They may never be used to raise Mental or Physical attributes. Any unspent Special Attribute points disappear following the character creation process. If the player chooses an option that provides 0 special attribute points, don’t worry. Players may elect to spend the Karma given to them during the character creation process to raise these special attributes by following the standard Character Advancement rules (p. 103).

Note that for most metatypes, the maximum rating for Magic, Resonance, and Edge is 6; humans have a maximum Edge rating of 7. Certain qualities (Lucky, Exceptional Attribute) allow characters to exceed attribute maximums by one, but the player must purchase these qualities with Karma and may only do so with gamemaster approval (the player may purchase either Lucky or Exceptional Attribute, but not both). Even if one of these qualities is purchased, the player must still spend the attribute points/Karma to raise the attribute to that new limit. With Exceptional Attribute, you can end up with a maximum Magic or Resonance rating of 7 when starting the game (before initiation or submersion).

MENTAL AND PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES

The next step is to raise the character’s attributes. The player chooses a Priority Level from the Attribute column that best suits their vision of the character. The number in this column represents the points a player has available for raising their character’s Mental and Physical attributes. When spending attribute points, refer to the Metatype Attribute Table. This table shows the starting attribute ratings for each metatype (the number before the slash) as well as the maximum for each. Characters begin at their metatype’s starting levels at no cost; so humans begin with a Body rating of 1, dwarfs have a starting Body rating of 3, orks have an initial rating of 4, and trolls start at 5. Characters then apply their attribute points to these starting values. It takes 1 attribute point to raise an attribute rating by 1.

A character must spend all attribute points during character creation. They may not spend attribute points from the Attributes column to raise special attributes or for any other purpose. Characters at character creation may only have 1 Mental or Physical attribute at their natural maximum limit; the special attributes of Magic, Edge, and Resonance are not included in this limitation.A player needs to be careful in building their character, as many of the attributes have a natural limit below the default level of 6 to reflect a metatype’s inherent disadvantage in that particular attribute.

While the player is raising attributes and deciding on starting levels for her character, she should keep in mind several factors that will be calculated at the end of character creation based upon the character’s attributes, namely Initiative and Inherent Limits. Initiative determines the order in which characters, both player characters and non-player characters (NPCs), act in combat (for rules on Initiative, see Initiative, p. 52). The base Initiative rating for a character is Intuition + Reaction. Inherent limits (see Tests and Limits, p. 46) restrict the number of hits characters can count in certain tests. They are based on attributes, so when choosing attributes, keep these limits in mind. The formulas for inherent limits are found on the Final Calculations Table (p. 101). Technomancers need to remember that their mental attributes will determine attributes for their Living Persona, their representation in the Matrix (p. 249). For details on the living persona, see p. 250. Similarly, when magicians project themselves into astral space, they have astral attributes (p. 314) that are based on their mental attributes. The choices players make in this section will affect those attributes later.

EXAMPLE

ASSIGNING ATTRIBUTE POINTS

JAMES

James thinks the human metatype is best suited to the role of technomancer, and he has decided to use row D in the Metatype column. As a human character, he receives 3 Special Attribute Points that he wants to spend on Edge and Resonance. James assigns 2 Special Attribute points to Resonance (giving it a rating of 2) and assigns 1 Special Attribute point to Edge. Consulting the Metatype Attribute Table, he sees that the starting Edge rating for a human is 2, so the point he spent raises the rating to 3.James then moves on to the Attribute column of the Priority Table and decides to assign row C to his Mental and Physical Attributes. That gives him 16 Attribute Points to raise his Mental and Physical attribute ratings. After distributing the points, James’ attributes look like this:

!ATTRIBUTES POINTS SPENT RACIAL BASE/NATURAL LIMIT NEW RATINGS
Body 2 1/6 3
Agility 1 1/6 2
Reaction 1 1/6 2
Strength 2 1/6 3
Charisma 2 1/6 3
Intuition 3 1/6 4
Logic 3 1/6 4
Willpower 2 1/6 3
Essence 6 6
Total 16
Special Attributes (so far)
!ATTRIBUTES POINTS SPENT RACIAL BASE/NATURAL LIMIT NEW RATINGS
Edge 1 2/7 2
Resonance 2 1/6 3

Racial Bonuses/Disadvantages: None

ROB

Rob has decided to build a troll street samurai and has chosen Priority B for his metatype, even though this priority level does not give any Special Attribute Points to a troll character. If he desires to raise his Edge, Rob will need to spend his bonus Karma later on in the character creation process to do so. Rob chooses Priority A for his Attributes category, giving him 24 Attribute Points to spend on his Mental and Physical attributes. After Rob has spent all his points, he reviews his character. He intends to take the Exceptional Attribute quality, which would allow him to take his Strength up to 11, and the gamemaster has given Rob permission to take this quality at character creation. Knowing this ahead of time, Rob has spent the points to give his character Strength 11. Rob checks his character, and makes sure he only has one Physical attribute that is at (or in this case, above) his character’s natural attribute maximum limit. Rob’s attributes look like this:

!ATTRIBUTES POINTS SPENT RACIAL BASE/NATURAL LIMIT NEW RATINGS
Body 4 5/10 9
Agility 3 1/5 4
Reaction 2 1/6 3
Strength 6 5/10 (11) 11
Charisma 2 1/4 3
Intuition 2 1/5 3
Logic 2 1/5 3
Willpower 3 1/6 4
Essence 6 6
Total 24
Special Attributes (so far)
!ATTRIBUTES POINTS SPENT RACIAL BASE/NATURAL LIMIT NEW RATINGS
Edge 0 1/6 1

Racial Bonuses/Disadvantages: Thermographic Vision, +1 Reach, +1 dermal armor, +50% gear and Lifestyle costs

KYRA

Kyra has decided her character will be an elf. Scanning the Priority Table, Kyra decides on Priority Level D for metatype. Like Rob’s troll character, Kyra’s elf character will receive no extra Special Attribute Points. For her to raise her special attributes, she will need to use Karma later on. Kyra settles on Priority B for her Attribute Points. This gives Kyra 20 Attribute Points to improve her character. Checking her character, none of her Mental or Physical attributes are at their natural maximum limit. After spending her points, these are her character’s attributes:

!ATTRIBUTES POINTS SPENT RACIAL BASE/NATURAL LIMIT NEW RATINGS
Body 2 1/6 3
Agility 4 2/7 6
Reaction 2 1/6 3
Strength 1 1/6 2
Charisma 3 3/8 6
Intuition 3 1/6 4
Logic 2 1/6 3
Willpower 3 1/6 4
Essence 6 6
Total 20
Special Attributes (so far)
!ATTRIBUTES POINTS SPENT RACIAL BASE/NATURAL LIMIT NEW RATINGS
Edge 0 1/6 1

Racial Bonuses/Disadvantages: Low-Light Vision