In ShadowHack character are expected to have a bit of experience or fairly extensive training prior to their adventuring careers. However they are not expected to be anything like an expert or master, even in their most specialized fields.
Starting characters receive 300 Build points.
Races: The character may choose to spend an appropriate amount of BP to take on a demi-human race. This generally comes with advantages and disadvantages, dictated by the specific race chosen. Otherwise the character is Human.
Attributes are dealt with as normal in Shadowrun rules. So far we have changed Edge to Luck, and changing Essence to Aura. Starting characters may spend up to 200 BP on their attributes. Attributes may also be increased using earned Experience in play. Attributes start at a base of 1, and may be increased at a rate of 10 BP per point, up until the character’s racial maximum, which costs 25 BP instead.
Active Skills for starting characters are capped at 3 + specialization. You may take the Aptitude quality, in which case your starting maximum will be raised to 4 as well as increasing your natural maximum to 7. Skills cost 4 BP per point. Specializations cost 2 BP, and a character may only ever have one specialization in any given skill.
Unlike Active Skills, Knowledge Skills are not capped at 3. Every character receives 3 x (Logic + Intuition) points worth of Knowledge Skills. Players may choose their knowledge skills pretty freely, but get GM approval. Knowledge Skills fall into 4 broad categories. Interests and Street Knowledge which are based on Intuition; and Academic Knowledge and Professional Knowledge which are both based on Logic. You can buy increases at 2 BP per point. You may also specialize in a Knowledge skill, at the standard 2 BP point cost.
You receive approximately 5,000 Silver as a starting money allowance. You may spend BP to increase that by 5,000 per point spent, but such points are used permanently. You may buy any standard equipment with money. A character may start with magical gear, including prosthetics, but the cost is 1 BP per 5,000 silver or part thereof of the item. Such items cannot be bought out of starting cash. The Aura Distortion caused by starting equipment is assumed to have already equalized at the amount listed for the item.
You may buy Contacts at the standard BP cost, but you should ask the GM first if a contact will be of any significant value in the campaign he has planned. All contacts have a loyalty rating and a connection rating that measure their value to the character as a contact. 1 BP per point of each.