how do you make your mages?
But last week, I died a horrible death. Actually, the death wasn't so horrible - it was my utter ineffectiveness leading up to it. There were only three of us on the mission, so my inadequacy was apparent.
Problem #1: Drain. I only had eight dice for drain. I hate walking around with 2's for attributes, so most of mine were 3's and 4's. A 2 body means you can't wear an armor jacket. And you also have fewer dice for damage resistance. I wanted him to be okay with guns, so he needed a 3 AGL. Reaction powers initiative. Strength was the only 2. Mental atts needed to be high, of course. I didn't want to take a mentor spirit, so there goes one of the few ways to increase drain dice. Centering is the only other one I can think of, offhand.
Problem #2: Spellcasting. I only had eleven dice for launching spells. Skill of 5, Magic of 4, power focus 2. Leaving my magic low, cost me 1 die (I wouldn't have started with a 6). Again, no totem dice. No other foci.
My intention was to be the mage/heavy weapons specialist. We had seven on the team, and I was the "other" mage. I'd have a variety of spells, and sit in the back and sometimes use spotters (my spirits, if necessary). I had gun skills of 1, just in case, but ten dice with my LMG. What ended up killing me was taking 1 drain every time I cast a spell. An injury modifier of 1 is a big deal when you have that few dice. And then you get a real injury, and can't do *anything*. After three combats, the three of us were sneaking out the back, and had to roll stealth. At -4, I rolled a 1 on one die. "The rotodrone overhead opens fire." I take enough damage to put me at dead with no overflow. The second burst killed me. I was so unhappy with the character at that point, that the GM had gone into shorthand mode and pretty much just made me dead.
It was an ineffectual build. But how do you build a mage? I'm not looking for specific answers to my specific problems. I'm wondering what you do with your characters. What are your requirements? How do you make them effective? How narrow is your focus?