Shadowrun: Character Creation in 10 Steps

Step 0: Ask your GM

Step 1: Invent—>89ff

Imagine your character. Write a background story. Draw him. Describe her to your friends.

In short: Get avid. No need for steps 2-10 without this.

You should be able to answer the following questions easily:

  1. What are her gender and metatype?
  2. What are her names?
  3. How old is she?
  4. Does she have family?
  5. Does she possess Magic or Resonance?
  6. Since when does she shadowrun?
  7. Why did she start to shadowrun?
  8. What did she do before?
  9. How does she live?
  10. Does she have a SIN, or many, or none?
  11. How does she look?
  12. What are her interests?
  13. What does she think about other metatypes?
  14. What does she think about the opposite sex?
  15. What does she think about friends?
  16. What does she think about wetwork?
  17. What are her prime abilities?
  18. What are her prime handicaps?
  19. Does she fear/love something special?
  20. What should you definitely know about her?

You may want to meet other people to invent your character together.

Examples:—>89-104.

Step 2: Metatype—>65ff (0-40 BP)

Metatype BP Scientific Name
Dwarf 25 Homo sapiens pumillionis
Elf 30 Homo sapiens nobilis
Human 0 Homo sapiens sapiens
Ork 20 Homo sapiens robustus
Troll 40 Homo sapiens ingentis

Each of the metatype has special attribute modifiers (default is 1-6 for all attributes):

Metatype Physical Mental Other
Dwarf +1 Body, +2 Strength, -1 Reaction +1 Willpower -
Elf +1 Agility +2 Charisma -
Human - - +1 Edge
Ork +3 Body, +2 Strength -1 Charisma, -1 Logic -
Troll +4 Body, +4 Strength, -1 Agility -2 Charisma, -1 Logic, -1 Intuition -

In other words:

Metatype B A R S C I L W E
Dwarf 2-7 1-6 1-5 3-8 1-6 1-6 1-6 2-7 1-6
Elf 1-6 2-7 1-6 1-6 3-8 1-6 1-6 1-6 1-6
Human 1-6 1-6 1-6 1-6 1-6 1-6 1-6 1-6 2-7
Ork 4-9 1-6 1-6 3-8 1-5 1-6 1-5 1-6 1-6
Troll 5-10 1-5 1-6 5-10 1-4 1-5 1-5 1-6 1-6

In addition, some metatypes have special abilities:

Metatype Vision Body
Dwarf Thermographic +2 resistance to toxins/pathogens
Elf Low-light -
Ork Low-light -
Troll Thermographic +1 natural melee reach, +1 natural armor

and special handicaps on tests dealing with gear customized other body sizes:

Metatype \ Gear size dwarven human trollish
Dwarf none -2 -4
Elf/Human/Ork -2 none -2
Troll -4 -2 none

Step 3: Attribute Qualities—>73 (0-15 BP)

Some Qualities are special, since they grant a special attribute:

Quality BP Page New Attribute Value
Adept —>186 5 —>77 Magic 1 – 6 (+initiation grade)
Mystic Adept—>186f 10 —>79 Magic 1 – 6 (+initiation grade)
Magician —>164ff 15 —>79 Magic 1 – 6 (+initiation grade)
Technomancer—>232ff 5 —>80 Resonance 1 – 6

The qualities are mutually exclusive. Initiation—>189.

Step 4: Attributes —>73 (up to half your BP + 130 BP)

Depending on your Metatype, attributes start with 1-5 and can be increased to up to 4-10.

Property BP Notes
Attribute point 10 up to natural maximum – 1
Max out 25 You can only max out on 1 attribute.

Step 5: Qualities—>77ff (up to 35 (positive) and -35 (negative))

Unique means that a character can only buy this quality once.

Positive

Physical

Quality BP Page Type Notes
Ambidextrous 5 —>77 unique no penalty for off-hand weapons (—>142)
Blandness 10 —>78 unique -2 for others on shadowing and perception tests in crowded places or locating the character through social means
Double Jointed 10 —>78 unique +2 for Escape Artist tests (—>115); ability to squeeze into cramped places
High Pain Tolerance 5 —>78 3 max ignore +2 damage boxes for calculation of wound modifiers (—>153); may not be used with other Pain modifiers
Human Looking 5 —>78f unique may pass as human in social situations; restricted to dwarves, elves, and orks
Quick Healer 10 —>80f unique +2 for others on Healing tests (including magic)
Toughness 10 —>80f unique +1 to Body on Damage Resistance tests

Resistances to Pathogens/Toxins—>80f

Grants +1 to Body on resistance tests against a specific group of venom.

Quality BP
Resistance to Pathogens 5
Resistance to Toxins 5

Immunities—>78f

Natural Immunity makes the character immune to a specific disease or toxin. The costs depend on the type of the disease (natural or synthetic). Characters cannot be immune to magic diseases.

Quality Type BP
Natural Immunity natural 5
Natural Immunity synthetic 15

Effects:

This Quality may be purchased more than once.

Mental

Quality BP Page Type Notes
Animal Empathy 10 —>77 unique +2 on tests involving animal control
First Impression 10 —>78 unique +2 on social tests during first meeting
Guts 5 —>78 unique +2 on tests to resist fear or intimidation, including magic
Photographic Memory 10 —>80 unique -1 threshold on Memory tests (—>130)

Special

Quality BP Page Type Notes
Aptitude [active skill] 10 —>77 unique can improve [skill] to 7, which costs additional 8 BP
Exceptional Attribute [attribute] 10 —>78 unique +1 to natural maximum of [attribute]
Home ground [location] 10 —>78 no max +2 to active skill tests and +4 to knowledge skill tests while in [location]; the location must be small and can also be a special network or system
Lucky 20 —>79 unique +1 to natural maximum of Edge
Will to live 5 —>80 3 max +1 Damage Overflow Box—>244

Astral

Quality BP Page Type Only1 Notes
Astral Chameleon 5 —>78 unique A/MA/M astral signatures last half as long; -2 for others on Assensing tests
Focused Concentration 10 —>78 2 max MA/M +1 on Drain tests
Magic Resistance 5 —>78 4 max all but A/MA/M +1 on spell resistance tests (including beneficial ones); character cannot be a voluntary subject for spells
Mentor spirit 5 —>79 unique MA/M character has a special mentor spirit—>192
Murky Link 10 —>79 unique all -3 for others on ritual spells (—>174) directed at the character (including beneficial spells)
Spirit Affinity [spirit type] 10 —>80 no max all Spirits of [type] (—>294) tend to like the character, may refuse to harm her, and are more willing to help her

1 Some magic qualities are restricted and may only be purchased by Magicians (M), Mystic Adepts (MA) or Adepts (A).

Matrix

Quality BP Page Type Notes
Codeslinger [matrix action] 10 —>78 unique +2 on [matrix action] tests
Natural Hardening 10 —>79 unique +1 natural biofeedback filtering

Negative

Physical

Quality BP Page Type Notes
Allergy [substance] -5 to -20 —>80f no max -2 to -4 to all tests while under influence of [substance], +2 to +4 damage from weapons using [substance], up to 1 box of damage per minute (depending on severity)
Combat Paralysis -20 —>80f unique -50% Initiative on first combat turn, -3 on Surprise tests, +1 threshold on Composure tests in combat
Infirm -20 —>82 unique +100% karma and BP cost for learning/improving physical skills, “unaware” in any unlearned physical skill, no physical skill groups allowed
Low Pain Tolerance -10 —>82 unique wound modifier every 2 damage boxes (instead of 3)
Sensitive System 15 —>83 unique +100% Essence loss for cyberware implants
Weak Immune System 5 —>84 unique -2 on tests to resist diseases

Poser

Quality BP Page Only
Elf Poser -5 —>81f Humans
Ork Poser -5 —>83f Humans, Elves

Characters can only purchase one poser quality.

Mental

Quality BP Page Type Notes
Addiction [drug] -5 to -30 —>80 no max -2 to -6 (depending on severity) on Willpower and/or Body test to resist [drug]—>247
Uncouth -20 —>83 unique +100% karma and BP cost for learning/improving social skills, “unaware” in any unlearned social skill, no social skill groups allowed
Uneducated -20 —>83 unique +100% karma and BP cost for learning/improving technical, academic knowledge, and professional knowledge skills, “unaware” in any such unlearned skill, no such technical/academic/professional skill groups allowed (Biotech, Electronics, Mechanics)

Special

Quality BP Page Type Notes
Bad Luck -20 —>81 unique on each Edge use, roll 1D6; when 1, Edge turns against the character
Incompetent [active skill] -5 —>82 no max set [skill] to “unaware”, make character unable to learn the skill

Astral

Quality BP Page Type Only2 Notes
Astral Beacon -5 —>81 unique A/MA/M astral signatures last twice as long, +2 for other on assensing tests
Spirit Bane [spirit type] -10 —>83 unique all Spirits of [type]—>294 tend to dislike, disobey, or harm the character or a party including the character

2 Some magic qualities are restricted and may only be purchased by Magicians (M), Mystic Adepts (MA) or Adepts (A).

Matrix

Quality BP Page Type Notes
Codeblock [matrix action] -5 —>81 unique -2 on [action]
Gremlins -5 —>81f 4 max -1 “1” needed for a glitch when dealing with technology (excluding implants)
Scorched 53 —>83 unique -2 to Willpower on tests to resist Black IC or BTL
Sensitive Neural Structure 53 —>83 unique -2 on resisting Simsense damage
Simsense Vertigo 54 —>83 unique -2 when interacting with AR, VR, or Simsense
Legal SINner 5 —>83 unique has a SIN—>258
Criminal SINner 10 —>83 unique has a criminal SIN—>258

3 -10 BP for hackers and technomancers.

4 -15 BP for hackers and technomancers.

Step 6: Damage monitors—>86

Both rounded up.

Step 7: Skills (and spells)—>74ff (no limit)

Active Skills

Active skills start with a value of 0 and can be increased up to 6 (natural maximum).

Property BP Notes
Active skill point 4 up to 6
Specialize active skill 2 adds +2 on tests for specialization; only one per skill
Max out active skill 8 needs Aptitude quality on that skill
Active skill group point—>106 10 up to 4

Restriction: max. 2 skills at 5 or 1 skill at 6

Knowledge Skills

Property BP Notes
Knowledge skill point free5 1 to 6
Specialize knowledge skill 1 adds +2 on tests for specialization; only one per skill
Additional knowledge skill point 2

5 (Logic + Intuition) x 3 free knowledge skill points at start.

Restriction: max. 2 skills at 5 or 1 skill at 6

Language Skills

Property Cost Notes
Native language free Rating “N”
Foreign language point 1 knowledge skill point 1 to 6
Foreign language specialization 1 BP adds +2 on tests for specialization; only one per language

Step 8: Magical and Digital Resources

Step 9: Gear and Lifetyle—>84 (up to 50 BP)

Lifestyle—>84f Monthly costs Dice for starting ¥ Max additional units Starting ¥ per unit
Street Free 1 3 10¥
Squatter 500¥ 2 6 20¥
Low 2,000¥ 3 9 50¥
Middle 5,000¥ 4 12 100¥
High 10,000¥ 4 12 500¥
Luxury 100,000¥ 4 12 1,000¥

Starting ¥—>86f:

  1. Roll dice, add results; receive A
  2. Purchase additional units from your for 100¥ each, maximum listed; receive B
  3. Starting ¥ = (A + B) * starting ¥ per unit

Step 10: Contacts—>68, 278 (no limit)