With the newest addition to the Shadowrun universe, Shadowrun Returns allows you to create a character in varying ways that you
will use throughout the entire campaign.
For your character you have the choice of gender, race, archetype, and
finally the attributes and skills that you can upgrade as you earn karma for
various deeds. You are given a wide
berth of what you can do with your character and by following this guide you
can get the exact character that you were hoping to build. This guide will give you the rundown of each
section in creating your character and what you should look for in each type of
character. You’ll be using your character for a long time, so it’s wise to
think about what kind of character you want before jumping right in. So with that said, let’s jump in!
Creating Your Character
The first thing that you’ll want to do when creating your
character is to figure out what kind of character you want to use. There are many archetypes to choose from such
as having a magic wielding hero or a gun-toting vigilante. If you want go for
the more up close and personal type of character that uses more melee attacks
overall, then you’ll need to keep that in consideration as well.
Have Some Class
There are several archetypes all ready for use, but if none of them float your
boat, you can always create a custom class of your own and create your
character from scratch. All archetypes
can have multiple purposes and uses, but if you want to use each class for the
duty they are most suited for, then here’s the rundown of what you should be
going after for each.
The Street Samurai is an up close and person type that
uses swords to do their dirty work as the main attack. They can also be built up with spells and
guns, but if you choose this class, you will want to focus your points and gear
on Melee and Thrown Weapons with the other form of attack as a secondary option.
The best race to choose for the Street Samurai is either the Elf of Human.
Mages are your typical spell casters. They can either be defensive of offensive, or
both; but you will want to build up their arsenal of spells and put their karma
points into Willpower and Spellcasting.
They can be a powerhouse when you have purchased enough spells for them
to use in combat from the venders located throughout the game. Any race is good
to use for the Mage.
Deckers are characters that can jack into the Matrix and
use computers to your advantage to help turn the tide of battles in your
favor. Whenever a Decker is needed in
the actual game if your character isn’t one, then one will be supplied to you
or you will have the option of hiring one for your runners. Choosing to play as
one seems a bit pointless, but if it’s what you’re after, be sure to drop your
points in Intelligence and Decking. The best races to choose for Deckers are
Humans, Elves, and Dwarves.
The Shamans are similar to Mages except that instead of
using direct attacks, they use summon spells and call forth creatures to do
their dirty work for them. Shamans can
be very formidable in the later stages of the game as they can use their own
attacks as well as their summons. If using a Shaman, be sure to focus your
points on Charisma and Summoning. The best races to choose for the Shamans are
Elves, followed by Humans and Dwarves.
Riggers, like Shamans, can be very useful as they not
only can fight themselves, but can use drones to do their bidding as well. Riggers can have up to two drones that have varying
types of weapons equipped on them and can be powerhouses when used properly. If
the Rigger is the class for you, you’ll want to add your karma points into
Intelligence and Drone Control. The best races to choose for Riggers are
Humans, Elves, and Dwarves.
The Physical Adepts are comparable to Monks or Martial
Arts fighters. They don’t use weapons,
but rather use their fists and feet to deliver their damage. To complement
their fighting style, you will want to drop karma points into Willpower and Chi
Casting, as each level unlocked will reward you with a new talent to use in
battle. The best race to choose for the Adept is either the Elf of Human.
Just as the title says, you are able to create your own
class here by contributing your karma points to which ever attributes and
skills you choose without the automatic pluses given like other classes. When you choose to create a custom class, you
will start with 34 karma points instead of the usual 4 or 5 that other classes offer
Off to the Races
Before you can choose the Archetype of the character you
want to use however, you’ll need to choose the race of the character. While the
gender has no effect on your character, the race has a great effect, especially
on the levels you can reach for each attribute. The race types are listed after
the archetypes here as the race makes a huge difference on which archetype you
may want to pick, although in the game, you will have to choose the Race before
the archetype. If you decide you want to
be a Shaman, then using a troll wouldn’t be the best choice as their maximum
level for Charisma and Spirit Summoning is only 6, while their body and
strength attributes are the highest of all races.
The Human race is the average of all the races. They are able to perform any of the
archetypes, except they are limited to level 9 in many of the attributes and
skills. Body, Strength, Quickness,
Charisma, Intelligence, and Willpower are all topped out at level 9 and given
the class you choose to take for the human, you will hit that limit rather
quickly leaving you the option to choose other skills to spend your points on,
3 of which you will begin the game with as extra over the other races.
The Dwarf race, unlike the Human race will top out at
different levels for each attribute. The Body attribute will max out at 11,
while the Quickness will max at 9. The
other attributes; Strength, Charisma, Intelligence, and willpower max out at
12, 9, 9, and 11, respectively. Unlike the Human class where you are given 3
extra karma points to start, the Dwarf is given an extra point to Willpower to
The Elf is able to have slightly higher attributes in a
couple of the skills than the average human, with the levels that they max out
at: Body 9, Quickness 11, Strength 9, Charisma 12, Intelligence 9, and
Willpower 9. The Elves have an automatic additional point to Charisma to start
which helps with your Etiquettes.
The Orks of this game are big and brutish and have higher
attributes for doing physical damage than most of the other races. Their Body
attribute caps at 14, and Strength at 12,; higher than most races while the
Quickness, Charisma, Intelligence, and Willpower are equal with the humans or
just one point below. It’s a fair trade for the numerous additional points that
the Body and Strength get.
The Trolls are the toughest of all the races, but
definitely not the quickest. With their Body
maxed out a level 17 and their Strength at 15, they are the brutes that you
want if physical attacks are the route you want to go. Their quickness isn’t
especially hot maxing out at level 8, nor is their Charisma and Intelligence
maxing out at level 6.
Skills to Pay the Bills
At various times during the campaign and when you
complete missions, you will receive karma points which can then be used to
upgrade your character. You can place the points in the main Attributes, which
are located across the top of the upgrade screen, or in the sub-categories of
those attributes, which are the individual skills. Where you place your earned
points will determine which type of character you will have and are building
towards. Suffice it to say, if you are to use a Mage, adding points to Melee or
Decking would be pointless, and those points would be better served in
Spellcasting or Willpower itself. Below
are the Attributes and the skills that go along with them and which should be
chosen for each archetype.
Combat, Melee, Unarmed, Throwing Weapons
If you are a Street Samurai or an Adept, then strength is
definitely the first attribute you want to funnel your points into. The Close
combat of these characters are served greatly by the Close Combat and Melee
skills, also you will get an additional weapon slot at level 3 and Overwatch at
level 4; two very useful abilities to have.
Keep in mind that level 9 in all of these skills is the max level for
Humans and Elves. For Trolls, Dwarves,
and Orks, they can level up much higher and are suited better for the close
combat and melee skills than other races. If you choose the brutes, you will
want to throw a lot of points into these attribute and skills.
Combat, Pistol, SMG, Shotgun, Rifle, and Dodge.
No matter which race you choose, you should always dump a
few levels into Quickness as it will make you a little trickier to hit, whether
ranged or up close. The Elves excel with
these skills with the tougher races lacking with the ranged and ballistic
weapon combat. You will have to decide
which weapon to go with instead of dividing up your points between three
different types of guns available. There
is also the skill of Dodge, but it is for physical attacks, and if you are
planning to be a ranged warrior, this won’t be needed.
Decking, ESP Control, Drone Control, Drone Combat
The Intelligence Attribute should be reserved for the
Deckers and Riggers. They are the most reliable on the attribute and the skills
that come along with it. Deckers will
always want to drop points in ESP Control and Decking, while Riggers will want
their points in Drone Control and Combat.
At levels 1,3,5,7, the Rigger will get access to different and more
powerful Drones, making you a tough bastard to deal with. The other skill in this category is the
Biotech skill. This skill can be used by
any archetype and grants the user additional HP when using a health pack, which
if you’re not a Decker or Rigger will be the only reason to drop points into
this attribute at all.
This Attribute is for use basically for only the Adepts
and Mages. Like the Strength attribute, you will gain additional spell slots at
levels 2, 4, and 6 to allow you a greater selection of spells and more powerful
attacks. With the Chi Casting skill however,
each level that is unlocked will open up a new power to you. If you are using an Adept, or a Melee
character, you will want to hit these up as soon as possible to get the most
out of the skills.
Spirit Control, Conjuring
For the attribute of Charisma, players should drop at
least one point into it to receive the Etiquette skill. With this skill, players will be able to
converse in certain situations much easier.
There are seven different choices which are listed below in further
description. Other the Attribute, the skills in this category are mainly for a
shaman archetype. The summoning skill will allow a Shaman to summon creatures
to help in battle, the more levels you have unlocks with points, the more creatures
than can be summoned. When level 3 is
unlocked, you can then choose one of 5 Totem Animals that will offer buffs to
you and your team, such as the Eagle which will offer 15% accuracy for 2 rounds
or the Cat which adds +1 to Dodge for 3 rounds. Spirit Control will allow
greater chance to control your summon, while Conjuring will allow the Shaman to
call in various types of barriers that will hurt enemies if they cross them.
Once you have chosen your race and archetype for your
character, and if you dropped a point into Charisma, you will then need to
choose which Etiquette you possess. Etiquettes are skills that allow you to
talk to certain groups with more ease and bypass certain situations. There are 7 different types of Etiquettes to
choose from, those being: Corporate, Security, Gang, Socialite, Shadowrunner,
Street, and Academic. Sadly there really aren’t many times during the campaign
where these etiquettes are used, and when they are, it’s usually one of each,
so which one you choose, really doesn’t make a difference from a gameplay
perspective, but more along the lines of how you think your character would
be. Additional Etiquette choices can be
added when your Charisma is leveled up to levels 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12,
depending if your race can go that high. Only the elf can go up to level 12 to
gain all the etiquettes, but even then, it seems a waste of karma points to