So now that I have established that I enjoy Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Directors cut, let's get into some details. I figure that we should start where I started, with the character:
Meet 13, commonly written with letters but pronounced like "Dreizehn", since the game is set in Berlin. She's a female elf with the current profession of "shit kicking mage". I picked elf as my race since they get extra sauce on their Charisma(+1 native Charisma). While it means little for the mage class, having Charisma unlocks "etiquettes" which basically is unique dialogue-options you might use. I picked female because the model looked better than the male one. One thing I find a bit odd about the character-models in Shadowrun is that most of them, especially the males, seem to be slightly hunched over. It might be all in my head, but whenever I look at a model for too long, I always seem to notice this weird stance. I figure that this is because they needed a default posture that needed to work for all races, from human and elf to orc and troll. While it affects the female models as-well, the problem seems smaller on them.
One additional small note on the character-models: While I haven't "officially" begun playing Shadowrun: Hong Kong yet. From what little I've seen, it seems that they have given each race-build it's own default posture. So the "regular" body-types no longer look hunched over, while the larger more brutish body-types still have their posture. Take that as you will, I think it's an improvement.
What I wanted to play
I wanted to play a socialite mage. A mage with the power to both talk their way into buildings, and melt faces. I imagined my character as a bourgeoisie fallen on hard times, being forced to use all of the social skills to make it in a world that eats the weak. I imagined how she would talk her way through the toughest of situations, and only when it was truly necessary, she would pull out the spells. While creating the character, I tried to maximize my willpower and charisma. Willpower being the stat that governs spell-casting and charisma being the stat covering social skills (and spell-casting for shamans).
What I ended up playing
I tried, believe me I tried, to not fall into old patterns of efficiency. I realized, when looking over the stats, that if I was going to go in for a spell-caster, I needed to specialize into one of the two schools. So I decided to take my +1 native charisma from Elf-race and keep it at that. It would give me one extra etiquette, and that would have to do. So I instead put my extra karma-points(the Shadowrun version of skill points) into Quickness, hand-guns(a sub-tree to quickness) and biotech.
The revised plan was to make a gun-slinging mage. To invest into support spells and buy a nice revolver. Said and done, I'm now sitting with a pretty deadly mage carrying a pretty big paper-weight. While I like the idea of a mage carrying a side-arm for protection purposes, the problem for my character is that she's flooded with options in combat. Nearly every turn is dedicated to casting spells och attacking with the Mana-bolt (the "standard weapon" for mages). When upgraded, the power-bolt does the same damage as my revolver, but with better accuracy and unlimited ammunition.
She is still somewhat charismatic, since the extra charisma point led to an additional etiquette. Etiquettes in the game are basically your ability to communicate in a way that certain groups might pick up on. 13 in this case has the etiquettes called "gang" and "academic". So, in theory, if she is ever in a position that would require her to act like such a person, she could.
I took biotech simply because it affect the healing done by medical items, and the supportive nature of 13 made her an ideal back-up medic.
The current load-out of 13 looks like the following: She wears occult armor, carries a Cavalier Deputy and the Power-bolt(3) spell.
In Shadowrun, inventory-management is kept to a nice minimum. You simply have your character and your stash. Everything your character isn't currently equipped with is stored in the stash, and you can only access the stash in between missions. This actually makes the mission prep slightly more important (and involving) because you have to choose what to take with you. You can't just cram your inventory full of med-kits and beer-bong them down throughout the mission.
You can have ONE armor. This piece covers you from head to toe, so no mixing and matching. The upside here is that most armors give your character certain benefits. Take the Occult Armor that 13 is wearing. While its armor rating is low, it's bonuses are pretty good. It gives 13 +1 to Willpower and +1 to Spell-casting. That might not sound like a lot, but remember that both Willpower and Spell-casting is maxed out at 11, so what you are getting here is 1/11 bonus to the two main stats that a mage would use.
The gun looked cool and powerful, but ended up being more of vanity-piece rather than a tool of destruction. It has more stopping power than the Power-bolt, 13s great skill with spells and mediocre skill with guns make the Power-bolt the more effective tool. Again, I wanted to do a cool gun-toting-mage and ended up with just that. Just a shame that the gun ended up being more for show.
The spells is really the meat-and-potatoes of 13s repertoire. In the spell-book, we find neat supporting spells like "Mind wipe" and "Armor". Mind wipe does what it says, it wipes the mind of an enemy, making it not attack anyone for two turns. Great for knocking out a powerful enemy for a few turns while you focus on smaller targets that pester you. "Armor" simply gives a character extra armor for the duration of the fight(or until it is torn down), great for keeping your heavy-hitters in the game for an extended fight. The two most offensive spells that 13 carries are the "Lightning bolt"- and "Fireball"-spells. While they both do good damage, the reason I picked them were for their added effects. The lightning bolt has an AP-damaging effect, so it effectively strips enemies of their turns, as well as health. The Fireball on the other hand does damage-over-time and has a pretty big slash-radius. Pretty good against grouped up enemies.
The last part of the inventory is dedicated items. These are consumables that you can carry into a mission. These range from med-kits to drugs to grenades. While I don't have any specific load-out for 13, I do usually pack a little bit of everything.
You have the ability to install cyberware into your character. For those of you not invested in the series or the RPG-system, Cyberware is what you exchange your fleshy bits with. So instead of your puny human arm, you get a chrome arm, for example. I haven't touched any of that with this character, since it drains essence. Again, for those not invested, essence is basically your soul (my interpretation), and it facilitates your spell-casting. So, no essence = no soul, no soul = no spells.
So there you have it. The long and short of my character. Hope you found it interesting.
One note on the ENGLISH LANGUAGE
While no one can question my ineptitude with the language, I find myself floored by the fact that for the life of me, I couldn't spell "interesting" today. I miss-spelled it each and every time I wrote it down tonight.