Character creation

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Character Creation is the first step of a new Shadowrun campaign. Through a series of choices outlined below, it allows the player to create and customize the character that they will play within the world.

Gender[edit | edit source]

First off, a new player will be asked to select their character's gender. There are no statistical advantages or changes to the gameplay from choosing either male or female. Therefore, this is merely a cosmetic decision.

Race[edit | edit source]

Next, the player will be asked to choose the race of their character. Since the awakening of 2012, five races have come to be considered Meta-Human and make up the world of Shadowrun. Each race possesses a unique look as well as its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

  • Human - The most well rounded of the races, they gain an extra three karma points during creation.
  • Elf - Swifter than the other races, they also gain a bonus to charisma.
  • Dwarf - While moderately strong and durable, the dwarfs' greatest strength is their willpower.
  • Ork - Strong and tough; second only to the trolls in this regard, the orcs still remain reasonably well rounded in other capabilities.
  • Troll - Capable of strength and toughness that exceeds all others. However, they are limited by the fact that their charisma and intelligence will always be sub-par.

Archetype[edit | edit source]

After selecting their race, players will be asked to choose an Archetype. Archetypes in Shadowrun serve as a pre defined set of skills that help the player begin their journey playing a style of character that suits them. Ultimately however the game is designed to allow to player to develop their skills in any way they see fit.

Project lead and Shadowrun creator Jordan Weisman spoke to Game Informer to help explain. “Shadowrun is a classless system, meaning that players are not restricted to a single character development path,” explains creative director Jordan Weisman, also one of the original architects of the Shadowrun universe. “Rather, players start with a representative Shadowrun character archetype and are then free to grow their character as they wish, spending Karma points to choose any skill or ability available in the game.”

Players are given a choice between six premade archetypes or the ability to create their own.

  • The Mage - A spellwielder who can weaken enemies and strengthen friends as well as deal damage and heal.
  • The Street Samurai - A modern warrior, typically the first into the fight and the last out.
  • The Shaman - A magic wielder in tune with the natural world, they focus on buffing their allies and summoning spirits into the world.
  • The Rigger - who augment their brains to achieve control over vehicles and drones.
  • The Decker - Master computer hackers who utilize cyberdecks to jack into their enemies systems and open up opportunities not available to others.
  • The Physical Adept - Masters of hand to hand combat they also wield magic designed to give them an edge.

Attributes and Skills[edit | edit source]

During character creation and at various times during the campaign, your character will receive Karma. Karma points are spent to directly upgrade your character's capabilities through the attributes and skills system.

Attributes make up the characteristics of your virtual character. They show what you are capable of, reflect your ability to succeed at certain actions and define which skills you can use. Each attribute has corresponding skills. Some of them improve only statistics and others unlock special techniques. Skills are developed the same way as attributes, but there is a certain relationship. For example, in order to develop Ranged Combat to level 5, you first need at least level 5 Quickness. There are also skills which require the appropriate level of another main skill. The mentioned Ranged Combat has to be on level 6 or higher if we want to improve Pistol to 6th level.

Different races have different maximums, affecting the games.

Attributes Racial Maximums
Human Elf Dwarf Ork Troll
Body 9 9 11 14 17
Quickness 9 11 9 9 8
Strength 9 9 12 12 15
Charisma 9 12 9 8 6
Intelligence 9 9 9 8 6
Willpower 9 9 11 9 9

Body[edit | edit source]

- Determines resistance to physical damage and adds 10hp per point. This is the only attribute without any directly corresponding skills.

  • Cyberware Affinity - Enhances your characters' ability to use cyberware and unlocks the ability to install powerful cybernetic enhancements. Only available in SR: Hong Kong.

Quickness[edit | edit source]

- Determines your chance to hit and be hit with ranged attacks.

  • Ranged Combat - The main component in calculating the ability to hit with ranged attacks. Also unlocks an additional weapon slot and the overwatch ability.
    • Pistol - Increases the chance for greater than normal damage with pistols and unlocks several special abilities.
    • SMG - Increases the chance for greater than normal damage with sub-machine guns and unlocks several special abilities.
    • Shotgun - Increases the chance for greater than normal damage with shotguns and unlocks several special abilities.
    • Rifle - Increases the chance for greater than normal damage with rifles and unlocks several special abilities.
  • Dodge - Reduces the chance to be hit by physical attacks.

Strength[edit | edit source]

- Determines your chance to hit with melee or throwing weapons. Also affects max grenade throw distance.

  • Close Combat - The main component in calculating the ability to hit with melee weapons and unarmed combat.
    • Melee Weapons - Increase the chance for greater than normal damage with melee weapons and unlocks several special abilities.
    • Unarmed - Increases the chance for greater than normal damage with your fists and unlocks several special abilities.
  • Throwing Weapons - The main component in calculating the ability to hit a target with a throw grenade. Also can reduce the AP needed to throw a grenade.

Intelligence[edit | edit source]

-Used in Decking or Rigging to determine your chance to hit and be hit by computer programs and drones.

  • Biotech - Grants a bonus to Hit Points recovered when using a medkit.
  • Decking - Determines which cyberdecks you can use, as well as your chance to hit enemy computer programs or deckers.
    • ESP Control - Increase the power of a Deckers Expert Systems programs in the matrix.
  • Drone Control - Allows the Rigger access to more/different drones and abilities.
    • Drone Combat - Adds abilities and bonuses to a Rigger's drones.

Willpower[edit | edit source]

-Determines your chance to hit and be hit with magical attacks.

  • Spellcasting - The main component in calculating the ability to hit with Spellcasting spells. Also unlocks special abilities.
  • Chi Casting - The main component in calculating the ability to hit with Adept powers. Also unlocks special abilities.

Charisma[edit | edit source]

-Used to calculate the chance to control spirits, increases the chance to hit with Conjuring spells and unlocks Etiquettes that affect conversations.

  • Spirit Summoning - Used by Shaman to summon spirits. The higher the skill, the more powerful the spirit.
    • Spirit Control - Increases the chance for a Shaman to maintain control of a summoned spirit.
  • Conjuring - The main component in calculating the ability to hit with Conjuring spells. Also unlocks special abilities.

see also: Skills and specializations