3 Oct 2014

By the Numbers - Behind the Scenes V

Welcome back.  This week's character study is Oswald, the crew's mage.  Oswald's stats are the same ones for the Mage Detective archetype in the fourth edition anniversary release of Shadowrun.  I didn't feel like creating Oz from scratch, but did want to change the spells known, adapting them for my needs.  More after the jump.  Oh, and if parts seem familiar, I needed to save time in writing by reusing last week's prose.  Apologies.

Oswald's role with the crew was magical support, able to both exploit a vulnerability while preventing magical attacks on him and his team.  The Mage Detective archetype matched up with the idea I had of Oz's background, a former NYPD Inc. detective.  There is more to his story than revealed, like why he left the force and why he's in Seattle, but that's for another work.  Oz's name came to me as I tried getting the crew worked out, and it kinda stuck.  Since most street names in Shadowrun work that way, why not keep "Oswald"?
Alias: Oswald
Metatype: Human
Age: 33
Sex: M
Total Karma:
Street Cred:
Notoriety: 2
Public Awareness: 0
The attributes are straight from the archetype.  Physically average, above average mentally, Oz also gets the Magic attribute, which limits how powerful a spell he can cast.  Each time a spell's force rating would push him to physical damage, I had him check for a nose bleed.  Magic takes a toll.
Body        3
Agility        3
Reaction    3
Strength    2
Charisma    4
Intuition        4
Logic        4
Willpower    4
Edge        4
Essence    6
Magic        4

Initiative    7
Astral Init    8
Init Passes    1
 Astral        3

Physical Damage Track 10
Stun Damage Track     10
Like the attributes above, I took the skills from the archetype.  The skills reflect an investigator, no light on combat skills, heavier on skills that root out data.  Assensing is the ability to look into the astral and recognize what's there, astral perception, if you will.
Active Skills
 Assensing        3
 Conjuring Skill Gp    3
 Data Search        3
 Dodge            2
 Influence Skill Gp    2
 Locksmith        1
 Perception        4
  Visual +2        (6)
 Pistols            1
 Shadowing        2
 Sorcery Skill Gp    3
Again, from the archetype.  Oz should have some knowledge of New York City, but, in game terms, he's in Seattle so he gets the Seattle knowledge.  The Underworld Politics skill is why Oz knew DeClerry's was a Mafia safehouse.
Knowledge Skills
 Chemistry        3
 Seattle Area        4
 Magic Theory        4
 Underworld Politics    4
I did change up the language skills, adding in Yiddish and its specialty.  I figured there would still be, even in 2072, areas of New York where speaking Yiddish got a detective further than speaking English.  Plus, I was considering Oswald's background, though no decision has been made there.
Language Skills
 English        N
 Japanese    2
 Latin        3
 Yiddish        3
  Cityspeak +2    (5)
Again, straight from the archetype.  Magician is a needed quality, but it is expensive to get during character creation.  The quality opens up new ways to mess people up, from bolts that do damage to mind probes.  To offset the cost, Oz is a functional alcoholic, which never really came out in the story, and he isn't lucky.
 Addiction (Mild, Alcohol)
 Bad Luck
The spells I did change.  Oz learned Ignite as a smooth way to impress women while lighting their cigarette.  Magic Fingers isn't related; it's a way to pick up small items from a distance, not massage someone's back - or other body part - while facing them.  Mind Probe was used, off screen, and led to a bloody nose because of strain.  Only Magic Fingers wasn't used in the story; no time for it.  The equations after the spells are how to calculate the drain, where F is the force of the spell.  The P after Improved Invisibility means the spell is physical, affecting the real world including cameras.
 Ignite (F/2)
 Improved Invisibility (F/2 +1, P)
 Magic Fingers (F/2 +1)
 Mind Probe (F/2 +2)
 Stun Bolt (F/2 -1)
Only two of Oz's contacts appeared in the story.  Elsa appeared because of her ties to the magical community in Seattle.  Tina appeared later to provide the background on the Knight Errant team at the big meeting.  The others weren't needed, but could be used in a later installment.  Instead, Nabi and Sun-Jung turned into contacts after the meeting.  Went to show two things; first, how important it is to keep up with one's contacts; and, second, how to expand one's network.  Who a character knows is as important was what he or she knows.
Contacts (Loyalty/Rating)
 Bartender (1/2)
 Fixer (1/2)
 Sergeant Tina Miles - KE Beat Cop (1/2)
 Street Snitch (1/1)
 Elsa - Talismonger (1/2)
To no big surprise, Oswald has no cybernetic implants.  Cyberware and bioware impact the body's integrity, reducing the contact it has with the natural world.  Most people. like Charles and Treehugger, don't notice or don't care if they do notice.  Oz, though, needs that connection; magic in Shadowrun is for the living, not the machine.
Finally, the gear.  Again, taken from the archetype, to make things easy during the writing process.  What I appreciate here is that the mage has a number of useful bits of electronics, putting to lie that magic and electronics can't mix.  Very little of it came into play in the story; By the Numbers wasn't the type of shadowrun that involved a lengthy surveillance of a target.
 Lifestyle: Low, 2 months prepaid
 Colt Manhunter w/Concealable Holster, 10 clips Regular Ammo, 5P, AP -1
 Radio Signal Scanner (Rating 3)
 Security Tags (20)
 Micro Directional Microphone
 3 Micro Microphones
 Lockpick Set
 4 Micro Cameras
 Autopicker (Rating 3)
 Lined Coat (6/4)
 Magical Lodge Materials (Rating 4)
 Fake Press License (Rating 4)
 Fake SIN (Rating 3)
 Sony Emperor Commlink w/Renraku Ichi OS
  Analyse 3
  Browse 3
  Command 1
  Edit 3
 Glasses (Rating 3 w/Image Link, Flare Comp, Low-Light, Thermographic)
 Earbuds (Rating 3 w/Audio Enhancement 2, Select Sound Filter 1)
 AR Gloves

Again, if you play him, let me know, though Oz was based on the archetype in the book.

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