EP2 Focused Builds (how to)

8 posts / 0 new
Last post
Xagroth Xagroth's picture
EP2 Focused Builds (how to)

Hi!

As the Summary says, I want to consolidate here as many builds as possible here. This stems mainly to locate holes in the rules that can give us trouble in game, be it as players or as GM's.

Incidentally, I want to mention that I did some math on the character creation (since the system allows rearrangement of the packages) for those that want some sort of equivalence between 1st Edition's CP buy system and 2nd Edition. My results are more or less:

Spoiler: Highlight to view

While Aptitudes have suffer a -15 points adjustment, COOrdination has been removed, so they remain as 15 points per each as a base.

I have assumed an average of 40 skill points given in 1st Ed for Background, and another 40 for Faction (I am aware that some are more optimal than others).

I have not compared starting Languages and Flex, but I consider those to be of equal value between editions.

----------------------------------

In the end, a 2nd Edition character has, just in CP equivalent to 1st Ed, 790 CP in skills and 5 on Reputation . This is "compensating" the average of 80 skill points given between Background and Faction in 1st Ed., the Aptitude base values, etc...

I have not counted Credit (1st ed characters start with the equivalent to 5pts on Credit), and 2nd Edition characters get free Morphs and Gear per mission in a more consistent way, with the Resources advantage being much more potent than its value on money on 1st Ed.

So I'd like some opinions on the following "usual suspects" builds for 2nd Ed (by no means a closed list, and the idea is to link each entry to the post in this thread so all can be accessed easily from this post):

  • The Infosec specialist
  • The Face
  • The Quartermaster/provider
  • The Brute
  • The Psi
  • The soldier
  • The infiltrator
  • The sage/researcher
  • The Drone Masters

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
The Drone Master

Character concept: a character that deploys drones to do stuff, primarily battlefield control and support.

Step 1: Background.
We can choose between two options here: Freelancer or Infolife (or Hyperelite if we need extra justification on our Resources level). Unlike on EP1, the only real difference between them is social, at least at this moment, so we will go with Freelancer:
Interface 40 Know 60 (Military ops)
Kinesics 20 Know 30 (spycraft)
Persuade 40
Program 30 Research 40

While Spycraft is a Professional Training like that of Military Ops, in this case it's mostly a hobby more akin to Interests.

Step 2: Career.
We have, again, several options: Soldier is quite obvious, while Hacker and Techie have quite the overlap. In this case, let's go with Techie (so "hacker" would be the secondary interest):
Hardware (electronics) 60 Know 60 (nanofacturing)
Infosec 40 Know 30 (engineering)
Program 30

Step 3: Interest.
Commander comes into view quite fast, but is not quite what we want. Fighter is an attractive option, but Jammer is the obvious one:
Hardware (Robotics) 40 Know (bot models) 40
Interface 20 Pilot (Air) 40

Step 4: Factions.
This is mechanically irrelevant, but for simplicity's sake let's go with Scum, with other options being largely the kind of sauce we want for the roleplaying experience. A Titanian could be a good option too, like an Extropian, Brinker, Barsoomian, Argonaut or the Regional "catch all".

Step 5: Aptitude Template.
Our main focus is COGnition, so we will go with an Inquirer basic package, and then change it a little (we raise REF at the cost of SAV and INT):
COG 20[25], INT 15, REF 20, SAV 10, SOM 10, WIL 15

Step 6: Skill Totals.
I will cheat a little and do this after expending CP... but will count the +5 to COG as applied after this step, allowing me to get 85 on COG skills (there seems to be .
I will also change some skills since we need some basic skills, namely Guns instead of Kinesics (despite the character's inclination to be a gamer rather than a gunner):

Interface 60 + 25 = 85
Infosec 40 +25 = 65
Program (nanofabrication) 60 + 25 = 85
Pilot (Air) 40 + 20 = 60
Persuade 40 + 20 = 60
Guns 20 + 20 = 40
Research 40 + 15 = 55
Hardware (electronics) 60 + 25 = 85
Hardware (Robotics) 40 + 25 = 65
Know (engineering) 30 + 25 = 55
Know (bot models) 40 + 25 = 65
Know (Military ops) 60 + 25 = 85
Know (nanofacturing) 60 + 25 = 85
Know (spycraft) 30 + 25 = 55
Know (Scum) 30 + 25 = 55

While the numbers are not all that great, we could cannibalize some of the last 4 points we had left on Step 10 (3 spent on Reputation, 1 on either Familiarity or Specialization).

Step 7: Languages.
Largely background, and heavy dependent on the faction we chose before. Le'ts say English and Spanish, and since we have 35 in COG+INT we get an extra one, so let's go for Chinese.

Step 8: Flex 1

Step 9: Reputation.
Again, dependent on Background. Let's go for a new Firewall sentinel, with 50 @-rep, 25 i-rep, and 25 rep on either Guanxi (if we want some "lowlife contacts"), Research (if we are more reputable), or C-Rep (if we chose Hyperelite on Step 1).

Step 10: Customization.
We now have 20 CP to buy stuff...

Advantages:

  • Drone Affinity (1) so we don't make Integration tests when Jamming a Drone (Quality of Life)
  • Familiarity (1) with Infomorphs, or Operator if we need to grab it for the specific version (not that it matters: we will always use the Operator).
  • Resources x3 (6); while lv4 would be better, it is also harder to justify. Our angle here is, however, that this character is the designer of a good Guardian Angel variation, thus justifying both having a DRM-free Blueprint and tying nicely with being centered on Drones.
  • Specialty for Programming: Nanofabrication (1) [optional]
  • Situational Awareness (2): so we can keep tabs on what the drones are doing even without forks.

We have 9 more points to spend on things. Since COG is the cornerstone of our system, we will spend 5 points to raise it, and then we will spend 3 on raising Rep by 15 points (the non-Firewall one we got at 25, so we can ask favors), and we will use the last point for either Familiarity (Flexbot) or Specialty (Interface: Weapon Systems).
Alternatively, if the GM allows us to reach Resources 4, we can drop the Rep raise and get both Familiarity and Interface speciality.

Funnily enough, this raising of COG lets us surpass the 80pts limit on Step 6!

Step 11: Derived Stats.

Initiative: 35
Aptitude Checks: COG 75, INT 45, REF 60, SAV 30, SOM 30, WIL 45
Lucidity: 45
Trauma Threshold: 9
Insanity Rating: 18

Step 12: Morph and gear.
Morph: we have 6 points for morph options, and we have 3 extra points from Resources for this and Gear.
First, infomorph. We will get the Operator (2 points) as a direct option: Digital Speed, Drone Rig, Mnemonics, Oracles, Exotic Morphology (3), Insight (3) Flex (1).
Second, we want a fallback option... and the best one is the Flexbot, considering what we want. The good part is that we can treat it like a drone, or we can sleeve into it easily.
We will pick the Crafter Module (2), the rogue Module (2) and the Wizard Module (1).
We will also "abuse" the system and have a Case (0) for safety reasons.

Gear: We go for the Techie package, and we will add a Server (complete, and for ourselves) with our last 2 points. Since there are no provisions for starting with blueprints that I could find, we will use the Server into maximum acceleration to churn out Blueprints, in this case of the Guardian Angel.
Our Firewall-provided Gear will be prints of the Guardian Angel geared with Heavy Pistols, we want to deploy about at least 3 at once (6+3, so we can spend 3 GP per Bot).
Eventually we will want to churn out blueprints (or modify some Open Source ones) to get all the bots.

Step 13: Motivations.
We will go for the easy ones: Self-Reliance, Open Source (we really regret selling the rights for that Drone blueprint!), and Leadership (of our little Drone Helpers! XD).

So our little Freelancer Techie is a fan of James Bond's Movies, with Q as his personal favorite character and personal idol (in fact, the Muse is him!), and he hit the jackpot when he designed one of the most popular lines of Guardian Angel drones by selling the rights to a hypercorp and getting out into his own little asteroid hidden in the middle of nothingness... until Firewall found him, and throw him into the meat grinder that is Field Ops!

ubik2 ubik2's picture
Since you mentioned wanting a

Since you mentioned wanting a drone operator in another thread, here's a fairly one dimensional one:

This guy is a bit min/maxed, so he might have some trouble keeping sane. His drones are likely to fail a lot of SOM checks too.
I'm also not quite sure how the gear allowance is supposed to work. For the sake of working out a sample character, I went ahead and assumed I can print 3 of the Guardian Angels (for which I have the blueprints, and a medium fabber).
I also assumed I can print a Railgun Machine Pistol for each of them (to go in that weapon mount).
It's possible I should have an additional 10 gear points, but I'm not sure, so I'm just using the 10 gp pack from Firewall, the 10 gp pack from Techie, and the 4 bonus gp from Resources.
I've also allocated my 6 morph point base plus the 4 mp from Resources to get some extra mods for the Operator morph.
With the two purchases of Multiple Personalities, I should be able to fly all three Guardian Angels at the same time. They're pretty strong in combat, with Pilot 80, Fray 80, and Guns 90 (with specialization). They're small, so harder to hit, and there's three of them. Jamming is an issue, but with Interface 80, you can generally counter that. The Breadcrumb System means you can stay in a safe server, while sending these guys to do the dangerous work. Infosec of 80 makes you pretty safe from hacking too.

archetype: drone master
morph: operator

background: isolate
career: techie
interest: jammer
faction: extropian
aptitude template: thrill seeker (tweaked)

cog 30 [10cp]
int 10
ref 30 [10cp]
sav 10 [-5cp]
som 15
wil 10

fray 60+20 80
free fall 15+20 35
guns 30+50 80 (railguns) [1cp]
interface 30+50 80
infosec 30+50 80
hardware (robotics) 30+50 80
perceive 20+60 80
pilot (air) 30+50 80
pilot (ground) 30+50 80

know (habitat ops) 30+50 80
know (bot models) 30+50 80
know (extropian interests) 30+50 80
know (computer science) 30+50 80
know (system administration) 30+50 80

@-rep 60
r-rep 40

drone affinity [1cp]
resources 4 [8cp]
fitness 1 [1cp]

real world naivete [-2cp]
enemy [-2cp]
black mark 2 (corporate) [-2cp]

initiative 8
lucidity 20
trauma threshold 4
insanity rating 40

anonymizer
armor vest (light) -> guardian angel (1/2)
fake ego id
medium pistol firearm -> railgun machine pistol (1/1)
smart clothing -> guardian angel (2/2)
tacnet app
vpn app

automech
electrical sense -> mind amp (1/3)
fixer swarm
fokus
medium fabber
tools (kit) -> mind amp (2/3)
utilitool -> mind amp (3/3)

operator [2mp]
digital speed, drone rig, mnemonics, oracles
3 0 0 1
flex +3 [3mp]
multiple personalities [3mp]
multi-tasking [2mp]

multiple personalities [3gp]
breadcrumb system [1gp]

Final pools:
I M V F
6 0 0 5 - Smart Actuators in the Guardian Angel will provide a Vigor pool point, and Drone Rig lets us use our Insight pool for Vigor too.

I traded in the electrical sense, tools (kit), and the utilitool, since I don't have a real body, and those are already included on the automech (which is the body I'd use to build/repair things).

This variant chooses to use jamming for the drones. There's another option, where you use autonomous mode instead. You could have more drones in that case, but they won't be as effective. Using autonomous mode does free up a lot of aptitude and skill points, since you can focus on the mental side. This variant can expand to run with 4 (or 5?) drones total in jamming mode once you get some more gear points (for more multiple personalities).

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
ubik2 wrote:Since you

ubik2 wrote:
Since you mentioned wanting a drone operator in another thread, here's a fairly one dimensional one:

Not a Drone Operator per se, but a chapter on how to create a functioning one, and to integrate those into a game, since they can bog down the game as much as a 3+ actions PC on 1st Ed, not to mention how much more terrain they can cover.

Also it would tie down quite nicely with the "get to a new world and create a new settlement alone".

All in all, I see potential to several short supplements... And Forkin is quite central on all of them, despite not being as detailed as it should.

ubik2 ubik2's picture
I think the skill limit of 80

I think the skill limit of 80 continues to apply. When you mentioned cheating a little, I assume you interpreted the limit to be 80 in step 6, but since you are increasing COG in step 10, that you don't have to stay under the limit there.

The text for step 6 is "No final skill total (including aptitudes) may exceed 80". I think that's supposed to be at the end of character creation, rather than the end of step 6, but it's ambiguous.

There's also the text in step 10 under Extra Skills "No skill may be raised higher than 80 during character creation". Arguably, this doesn't apply if you're not spending points this way, but between the two of those, I read the intent to be a hard limit of 80 (without Expert Training).

You start with blueprints as well as the item for everything in the Campaign pack (Firewall) and Career pack (Techie). I interpreted these to be reusable blueprints, but it's possible they're supposed to be single use. Since you can swap out items from your gear pack, you should be able to acquire your Guardian Angel blueprint that way.

Weapon mounts on small bots like the Guardian Angel are limited to pistol sized weapons, and even on the medium ones, the Two-Handed and Fixed weapons are not allowed. If your bot has arms (like the Automech), you should be able to use those, but unfortunately it doesn't look like there's a mod to add arms to any existing bot that doesn't include them (the cyberlimbs are only available for biomorphs).

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
ubik2 wrote:I think the skill

ubik2 wrote:
I think the skill limit of 80 continues to apply. When you mentioned cheating a little, I assume you interpreted the limit to be 80 in step 6, but since you are increasing COG in step 10, that you don't have to stay under the limit there.

The text for step 6 is "No final skill total (including aptitudes) may exceed 80". I think that's supposed to be at the end of character creation, rather than the end of step 6, but it's ambiguous.

There's also the text in step 10 under Extra Skills "No skill may be raised higher than 80 during character creation". Arguably, this doesn't apply if you're not spending points this way, but between the two of those, I read the intent to be a hard limit of 80 (without Expert Training).

Considering how many games allow this kind of "roundabout surpassing", it would certainly be necessary to clarify, yeah. It's more points for extra skills, however.

ubik2 wrote:

You start with blueprints as well as the item for everything in the Campaign pack (Firewall) and Career pack (Techie). I interpreted these to be reusable blueprints, but it's possible they're supposed to be single use. Since you can swap out items from your gear pack, you should be able to acquire your Guardian Angel blueprint that way.

Weapon mounts on small bots like the Guardian Angel are limited to pistol sized weapons, and even on the medium ones, the Two-Handed and Fixed weapons are not allowed. If your bot has arms (like the Automech), you should be able to use those, but unfortunately it doesn't look like there's a mod to add arms to any existing bot that doesn't include them (the cyberlimbs are only available for biomorphs).

Not really, I mention that we either start with the blueprints... or a Server, in which I assume we can get in for a week to make our own Blueprint, or at least some hours to check some open source ones.
It is largely dependant on the GM giving some time before throwing the PC's "into the think of it", but I don't think it's a great stretch.

As for the bots, I corrected the post so they go just with the pistols. The next version will need to be able to equip longer barrels!

Dr. Maxwell Dr. Maxwell's picture
Xagroth wrote:

Xagroth wrote:

It is largely dependant on the GM giving some time before throwing the PC's "into the think of it", but I don't think it's a great stretch.

I think maybe just making variants of a sheet for a post scarcity enviroment vs semi or total scarcity enviroment makes more sense. Some game setups just wouldn't let you get away with it ever. Gatecrashing games for example, don't have the 'spy infrastructure subversion' that allows this sort of thing to work, and some GMs don't like the idea on principle.

Just codifying these styles as seperate and something the GM can just declare as 'correct' in their campain likely is the best long term solution, rather than constantly guessing how bare bones on material items you intend to get right away and effectively 'start with' is 'good taste.'

Don't forget to check out my open source biomorph and medtech files!

ubik2 ubik2's picture
Soldier

Here's a soldier build. He can double as a pilot/driver.

archetype: soldier
morph: arachnoid

background: underclass
career: soldier
interest: fighter
faction: extropian
aptitude template: actioneer

cog 10
int 10 [-5cp]
ref 30 [10cp]
sav 10
som 30 [10cp]
wil 15

athletics 30+20 50
fray 60+20 80
free fall 30+50 80
guns 30+50 80 (railguns) [1cp]
infiltrate 30+50 80
melee 30+50 80
perceive 20+60 80
pilot (air) 30+50 80
pilot (ground) 30+50 80

know (triads) 10+50 60
know (security ops) 10+70 80
know (extropian interests) 10+30 40
know (mercenary groups) 10+50 60
know (military ops) 10+50 60

@-rep 60
g-rep 40

hardening (violence) [1cp]
resolve 1 [1cp]

resources 4 [8cp]

neural damage (mood swings) [-2cp]
enhanced behavior 1 (aggressiveness) [-1cp]
enhanced behavior 1 (cooperation) [-1cp]
black mark 2 (hypercorp) [-2cp]

initiative 8
lucidity 30
trauma threshold 6
insanity rating 60

anonymizer
armor vest (light) -> oracles (1/1)
fake ego id
medium pistol firearm -> light combat armor (1/2)
smart clothing -> light combat armor (2/2)
tacnet app
vpn app

assault rifle railgun -> battle rifle railgun (1+2/2)
enhanced vision
grin -> medichines (1/3)
meds -> medichines (2+3/3)
neurachem

arachnoid [5mp]
access jacks, cortical stack, cyberbrain, magnetic system, mesh inserts, mnemonics, pneumatic limbs, puppet sock, retracting limbs
DUR WT DR
50 10 100
I M V F
1 0 3 0
flex +3 [3mp]
resolve 2 [2mp]

smart actuators [2gp]
freezer [2gp]

Final pools:
I M V F
1 0 6 4

armor: 18/24