Shadows of Seattle
The basic character archetypes
As always, one of the first steps in creating a character is to figure out what you exactly want to [i]do[/i] in the game. The archetypes in the core book are there to help you in that endeavor, but I felt it was important to make broader archetypes that may help you come up with a cool idea. So let’s get to it.
The Street Samurai
Every Shadowrunning team needs the guy that can kill indiscriminately, either as the primary plan or as the backup plan if the run goes south. That is what the Street Samurai is. They are almost always packed full of Cyber/Bioware, to where most people (including the Samurai) are unsure how much of them is actually meta-human. But if there’s one thing people know, it’s that all that ’ware makes for a murder machine that few want to get on the wrong side of.
The Combat Mage
Some mages think that hanging back from the action is for sissies, and instead gets in people’s faces and blasts them with shotguns and fireballs. Mostly fireballs. It’s fairly obvious as to why a Combat Mage is useful to a shadowrunning team.
-Patrick is most likely going Combat Mage
The Support Mage
Some mages think that charging in throwing fireballs is dumb, and instead use their magic for more constructive purposes such as healing their allies, enhancing their reflexes, or taking out crowds of innocents without bringing them any harm. These are the support mages. While they’re less flashy, a Support Mage with ingenuity can turn many sticky situations into survivable encounters.
Some mages think that spells are dumb, or don’t know exactly how to use spells, and instead focus that magic within rather than without. These are Adepts. Effectively, they use magic like Cyberware and can therefor slug it out like a Street Samurai, or talk their way into a cop’s good graces like a Face, or anything else that some people would want Cyberware to enhance themselves. Basically, the Adept is the magical variant of anything that relies on cyberware to function. The exception to this rule is a Rigger.
One of the very few positions that every running team needs, a Decker is the guy that hacks into the digital world and monitors the group’s wireless traffic and data-trail. Considering how technologically reliant we are in 2075, that’s one hell of a job for someone to take on. There’s also a ‘magic’ variant known as the Technomancer. Deckers use technology to manipulate the digital world, but Technomancers use their very minds to manipulate the digital world.
-Rue will probably be playing this
One of the few roles with a varying job description, a Rigger effectively controls multiple robotic devices called ‘Drones’. Drones come in all shapes and sizes, some for the purpose of scouting and others for the purpose of mass shootings, and some are actually vehicles that were simply given a limited Artificial Intelligence. Riggers can be getaway drivers, surveillance masters, mobile weapons platforms, or anything in between.
-Ben is considering being a Rigger
The other position that every running team needs, a Face is the guy that talks his way into and out of anything. When meeting your employers, he’s the guy that haggles for a better cut. On the job, he’s the guy that distracts the guards in the front door. And no matter the social situation, he seems to blend in perfectly. Great for making friends in high places, which has so many uses in the shadows it’s not even funny.
While most people would call themselves “Covert Ops Specialists”, most people on the street would say “A fuckin’ ninja came in here, stole our shit, then killed our leader!”. They excel at being unnoticed, sneaking into places they shouldn’t be in, and taking whatever is needed for the mission be it some lives or some pay data.
Some magicians put less focus onto their ability to cast spells, and put more focus into summoning powerful spirits. Summoners, Spirit Shamans, Witch Doctors are all common terms and themes, as they speak with the spirits of the arcane world and bend them to their will.
And those are the common archetypes within Shadowrun. Character Creation is effectively a point-buy system, so if you aim to create a Street Samurai there is no handy-dandy class or starting base. That’s where the stat-blocks within the more narrow archetypes come in. When you have more of an idea of the character you want, it’s a good idea to look over the stat-blocks in the game to get an idea of what is fine for a starting character to have.