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Subject: 100 or more Karma! -or- How to run out of Slots rss

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So my wife and I finally did it with our pair of adventuring characters. We broke the 3 digit barrier and now both of the characters have just over 100 Karma.

We don't feel like we're done with the game, but one of the two characters is about to face a dilemma.

My Social Adept is fine. I decided when we hit 45 Karma that I wanted to try something a little whacky and I took the Karmic Upgrade "Show Off". It costs 45 karma and its effect is that when you are in your "Draw & Buy" phase, you Draw 3 cards into your hand (one more than normal) and then discard one out. In general, this has the effect of cycling a basic card from my deck into my discard at the end of every turn. If I have held onto one basic card, I *know* I have a basic to throw away. If I had to spend the entire hand, then there is a minor risk I might have to throw away a purchased card, but in practice it's been rare that I've been sad about what I have to discard.

When the Adept hit 70 karma, I picked up Luxury option, which gives me the option of spending an extra coin when making a market purchase to draw from my deck. I'm perpetually poor, but I'm always accelerating the good cards I have purchased through my discard and deck into my hand.

At 85 I picked up another 5 Karma upgrade (Cigar Money, +$1) and have been futzing around with things every five karma since, trying to determine what fits well in that third slot.

But that's not the issue...

My wife plays a Dwarf Drone Rigger. She has all four slots filled now that we've hit 100 karma... I forget the names of some of the combined upgrades, but here's the effects:
(20) (+2 cards)
(20) (+1 card / +$1)
(20) (+1 card / +1 HP)
(10) Prep Work (Before game, purchase from visible black market one card)

70 karma + 30 for the slots == 100...

The question is where do you go from here? She love those extra starting cards, it lets her come out of the gate swinging, and hard. With all of her upgrades, she starts with 6 of her 7 basic cards and 1 card from the black market, pretty much of choice. (No spells requiring spells, and the $8/$9 choices are out of reach at the beginning of the game.) She's rocking 6 HP, which is generally enough and money is really not an issue.

I don't think Prep Work will ever not be on that character sheet. It's been there since we hit 10 karma and it's kind of become part of the character.

Any changes will also seem like a downgrade to her if turn one damage potential is reduced. Maybe we'll run the numbers on some of the more situational abilities, or the stuff that lets you swap in card upgrades for your basic cards (like True Pro or Head Computer).

But then it occurred to me... Harlequin did it... Why can't we? (well other than we're not Harlequin...) Could we... maybe... put a sticker into a 5th slot?

It's not like the character won't have earned the Karma, we've been scrapping against this game for weeks recently as we wait for Dragonfire to figure out how to get to retail outlets. DF has 6 slots on each character AND has some 100 XP abilities to boot AND even has some abilities that 'don't require a slot' (but you still have to put them somewhere, so we think those features just mean you don't have to pay for an extra slot).

And how about adventure scaling?

Pandemic starts at 7 karma. You can boost it two ways (+1 for having the obstacles heal when they hit you, and +3 for having Pandemic Obstacles show up before your turn, not after). 11 Karma means you can take a -10 experience penalty before playing the adventure yields nothing.

50+ is -1
75+ is -2
100+ is -3
125+ is -4
150+ is -5
175+ is -6
200+ is -7
225+ is -8
250+ is -9
275+ is -10

So characters with up to 299 karma can still benefit from a fully maxed out Pandemic Mission.

But with 4 slots and 50 as the largest possible upgrade... 230 is the most karma you can fit into 4 slots.

So... a 5th slot? Good idea or should the Rigger explore the esoteric stuff that costs more karma and be happy about it?
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Jon Cant
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have you played against the Dragon?

the way I've played my team is that 4 slots is the limit (harlequin is insane, which is maybe the price for more slots that a normal person)

i have gone with a fairly streamlined build on my four:

Prime Runner - first basic (of your colour) deals another of that colour each turn
2 colourless for 1 - matching that runners role
the last two i have left for either more cards or money which ever the race is short on.

my current karma is around 135 each.
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Yrael wrote:
have you played against the Dragon?

the way I've played my team is that 4 slots is the limit (harlequin is insane, which is maybe the price for more slots that a normal person)

i have gone with a fairly streamlined build on my four:

Prime Runner - first basic (of your colour) deals another of that colour each turn
2 colourless for 1 - matching that runners role
the last two i have left for either more cards or money which ever the race is short on.

my current karma is around 135 each.


No, no Dragon yet - it recommends 4 players and I can understand why - everyone needs to focus on their strength.

Maybe we'll try it with two - the worst that happens is we lose.

Prime Runner on everyone, eh? That gets into the piece limitation question of whether stickers are meant to be a limited resource.

(We use sticky notes, but we try not to overload any one build pattern.)

 
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Ian Simpson
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byronczimmer wrote:
Yrael wrote:
have you played against the Dragon?

the way I've played my team is that 4 slots is the limit (harlequin is insane, which is maybe the price for more slots that a normal person)

i have gone with a fairly streamlined build on my four:

Prime Runner - first basic (of your colour) deals another of that colour each turn
2 colourless for 1 - matching that runners role
the last two i have left for either more cards or money which ever the race is short on.

my current karma is around 135 each.


No, no Dragon yet - it recommends 4 players and I can understand why - everyone needs to focus on their strength.

Maybe we'll try it with two - the worst that happens is we lose.

Prime Runner on everyone, eh? That gets into the piece limitation question of whether stickers are meant to be a limited resource.

(We use sticky notes, but we try not to overload any one build pattern.)



The stickers are not supposed to be a limitation; afraid I can't remember where it was cited (somewhere in these forums, I believe), but a developer answered the question.

One house-ruling possibility if you don't use the existing physical sticker components would be to create your own stickers; particularly for the stat upgrades, where the effect/Karma cost ratio is well established:

5 Karma: +1 to a stat
20 Karma: +2 total to any of your stats (either buying 2 5's or one 20)
35 Karma: +3 total to any of your stats (5 and a 20 or 3 5's)
50 Karma: +4 total to any of your stats (2 x 20, 20 + 2 x 5, 4 x 5)

You could easily house rule a 35 Karma sticker
Savvy Runner: at the start of the game, allocate a total of +3 to your starting cards, starting Nu-yen, or starting and Max HP

and a 50 Karma
Elite: at the start of the game, allocate a total of +4 to your starting cards, starting Nu-yen, or starting and Max HP

Exactly the same effect for the same Karma cost, but frees up a sticker space.
 
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Sar Athas
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Your Drone Runner should think about swapping one of her mixed stat upgrades for a more consistent damage upgrade. The +1 starting card gives +1 damage exactly in the first turn. Some 50 points upgrade like Prime Runner or Drone Arsenal works like an additional basic card of her main role at the start of the game, plus gives damage in almost every successive turn.

Also, as much as I love Prep Work, it drains your money and is effectively only a Black Market Contact for any class. In my opinion, there are better options as you climb the Karma ladder.

Here are some of our 100+ Karma builds.

Orc Decker (even in 2p game!): 160 Karma Carrier build
- Weird Reflexes (+2 cards) --> full deck on hand at beginning of the game
- Hat Trick (play 3 cards of same name --> deal 1 level of damage) = almost always kill something in the first turn, even 11 Nuyen obstacles
- Killing Machine (+1 damage if 4 cards played) --> is almost always fulfilled, giving constant +1 damage per turn
- Luxury Option (During Buy Step: pay 1 to draw 1) --> fuels Hat Trick and Killing Machine

With 2 cards drawn, one bought and Luxury Option activated, Killing Machine always procs. Alternatively, Pandemic gives a card at the end of almost every turn. Additionally, the first turn does 8 damage + 1 level, killing almost every single obstacle.

Human Social Adept: 130 Karma Damage build
- Show off (During draw: draw 1 extra, discard 1) --> draws into the good stuff faster
- Prep Work (start of game: buy 1 card) --> gives a decent head start
- Shop when they drop (first card bought costs 1 less if matching an obstacle defeated this turn) --> buy good cards earlier with added flexibility
- Luxury Option (see above)

Bit unfocused, but becomes powerful as the game goes on. Good cards are bought early and drawn into very fast. Since this is not my build, I will not recommend changes. These two characters play together, with the Decker starting and the Adept reaping the benefits.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Elf Adept: 105 Karma Black Market (BM) build

- Inventory Hack (buy a card --> cycle a card)
- Drive a hard bargain (buy a card --> put card with cost of 3 less from the Black Market into own discard)
- Shopping Agent (+1 Black Market size)
- It's a Raid! (one per game, cycle all BM cards)

This one is tricky in a 2p game. Starts off very weak, but is complemented by the following character. The BM upgrades let us dig deep for the juicy cards. It's a Raid is marvelous in every game. I'd probably switch the Shopping Agent for something else next, since this character is at 150 Karma currently...

Orc Rigger: 110 Karma Support Damage build
- The Long View (buy cards from BM discard) --> plays well with the Adepts BM cycle abilities
- Strength and wisdom (+1 card/+1 HP) --> someone has to tank
- Omae (Assists deal +1 damage) --> The real meat of ths build
- Luxury Option --> draw into Assists faster

The two characters play together nicely. 7 BM cards, and even more since the cards relevant for the Rigger (especially Asissts) can be cycled if bought by the Adept. Omae is a beast; in most cases, the Rigger does not do any damage in their own turn, while the Elfs turns are damage parties. We struggle with the Pandemic +2 Karma option though. A better head start and some higher upgrades (getting rid of Luxury Option maybe)
may help here.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Hope you got some inspiration. There are tons of possibilities for building characters. At some point, you would not want to go up to 230 Karma builds, but instead try something new. And that is perfectly fine.

For the endgame, beware that upgrades giving extra damage in a turn are the bread and butter of a sucessful build. Every character should have one, in my opinion. There is a Dragon to come after all...





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Sarathas wrote:
Your Drone Runner should think about swapping one of her mixed stat upgrades for a more consistent damage upgrade. The +1 starting card gives +1 damage exactly in the first turn. Some 50 points upgrade like Prime Runner or Drone Arsenal works like an additional basic card of her main role at the start of the game, plus gives damage in almost every successive turn.


This is probably where she'd headed -- one of the "do an extra damage" functions that simulate an extra basic card without actually being an extra card.

Nice response, thank you!
 
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