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> charging for summoning elementals
Elfwitch
post Nov 6 2006, 04:58 PM
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Something came up last night in our game.

We are planning a run and part of the plan includes my mage summoning three elemntals to carry out vital tasks.

Often in planning a run elementals are part of it. Now we often get expenses as part of our payment and when we don't if we need something we don't normally use it comes out of group funds. We always take 10% of payment and put it in a team fund for this.

I asked that the cost of summoning these elementals be part of expenses I thought it was a reasonable request after all we were talking about 3000 Nunien coming out of my pocket.

The GM said that the Johnson would never agree to pay mage costs and some of the other players got upset saying that why should I get an extra 3000 Nunien.

This is really making me angry I don't expect the others to pay for any elementals that I keep on tap for my use I have often used my elementals to save their butts. I came up with the 120,000 to buy a spirit focus.

But in my opinion if I have to summon a special elemental for a run as part of the plan why do I have to eat the cost. I mean we are charging the boat rental, the rigger's fee, special grabbling hooks and knock out gas to expenses so what is different about the elementals?

I was short 1500 for this so the team loaned me the difference but it comes out of my share of the money for the job. How is this fair no one else has to pay out of pocket for anything expect maybe ammo but I buy ammo myself too.

So am I wrong in how I am looking at this?
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Konsaki
post Nov 6 2006, 05:07 PM
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Just tell the group that since summoning is cutting too much into your profits, the group will have to do without them. After enough plans that require an elemental to complete them and you refusing to summon them, they will either get the idea or contact an NPC to summon them, and have to pay the NPC for the same cost or more.
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Angelone
post Nov 6 2006, 05:15 PM
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No, you are not. Your team (and gm) are being very unreasonable about this. Personally I wouldn't use elementals for them until they saw how useful they were and also saw how it should be covered for expenses.

The spirit focus is something you did on your own so you shouldn't expect them to cover that, not sure if that's what you were saying, but it was in the post.

I agree with Konsaki make them hire someone else to summon elementals and have them pay out their nose for a service, which may not be reliable or as strong as yours. After a few runs like that they'll have no problems with covering your costs.
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Elfwitch
post Nov 6 2006, 05:29 PM
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QUOTE (Angelone)
No, you are not. Your team (and gm) are being very unreasonable about this. Personally I wouldn't use elementals for them until they saw how useful they were and also saw how it should be covered for expenses.

The spirit focus is something you did on your own so you shouldn't expect them to cover that, not sure if that's what you were saying, but it was in the post.

I agree with Konsaki make them hire someone else to summon elementals and have them pay out their nose for a service, which may not be reliable or as strong as yours. After a few runs like that they'll have no problems with covering your costs.

I forgot to add why I brought up the spirit focus. One of the things that was brought up in the session was how much it cost the cybered characters to add new cyberware to their characters and that they did not expect to be reinbursed for it.

One of the arguments against paying for the summoning costs is that I might get more than one service from an elmental and that was an extra profit over the top of our payment for my character.

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Angelone
post Nov 6 2006, 05:47 PM
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They can also use the grappling hooks more than once, you should bring that up and tell them that can't come out of the expense fund. Oh yeah, the gas might knock out more than one person so that's a no-go as well.

I don't see the justification for that type of attitude don't they see that you would use them during the runs? Why are they upset that you have the chance to save everyone money? The cybered characters didn't have to get cyber, they made that choice so they can't bitch about it.

I love my group, we realize that we are only as good as our weakest link so we help each other out. We either steal or chip in for upgrades as the opportunity presents itself. Oddly enough, we tend to steal the tech, but buy the magic.
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Herald of Verjig...
post Nov 6 2006, 05:47 PM
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Just classify summoning materials in the same category as ammo. If rocketboy the walking missile storm pays for his excessive missile addiction out of pocket, deal with treating your summoning the same.

It's a standard expense, like those 50,000 rounds of exex ammo the street sam bought last time, not a special case expense like that limo from the time you had to pretend to be rich.

(edit) And consider giving your elementals interesting orders in future runs so that you can get a new batch of support meaties who won't try to shoot you for taking a little of the slush fund for summoning.
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Black Jack Rackh...
post Nov 6 2006, 05:52 PM
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Sounds to me, Elfwitch, like you're hanging with the wrong runners. Our group's policy is that all the upfront money is used to buy whatever special dodads we're gonna need for the run. Take for instance, our latest run (just a simple break in and destroy some product while inserting a virus to get rid of the specs for said product kind of run). We all figured that my character (the Troll Merc) should have some big explosive rounds (for extra cool fireworks). After the run, we found that I had plenty extra. Now rather than fuss and futter about how I would need to reimburse the others for my 'overpurchace' we just tacitly agreed that I would use the remaining rounds on another run.

Nice and Simple.
Mark
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noname_hero
post Nov 6 2006, 06:01 PM
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I'm not surprised that the Johnson "refused to pay mage costs" - he's not paying for each single thing the runners do. He's paying some money to get the job done, and it's up to the runners to make a profit.

But I have to agree with the others about the rest of the team. Tell them that you're not asking for a bigger share, you're asking to have your *expenses* paid from the group fund, just like your fellow runners. Tell them that you're not summoning the elementals for yourself, so if the *team* wants those elementals it should be the *team* paying for them.

Tell them that if the team doesn't want those elementals you're OK with that, you don't need them either. But the team's plan will have to change, because you *will not* pay for the team's plan, period.


I'm not saying you should never bite the bullet and pay for something you don't *have* to. Heck, just a week ago we did a run that turned into a financial catastrophe. Kind of a charity work for one player's contact, total income (including loot, and that's not something we're usually big on) was about 30kY, and our medical costs alone were upwards of 80kY. Two Deadly wounds, and yes, it was because they suffered a temporary lapse of sanity in the middle of combat (plus a stroke of bad luck) so it was their own fault, but we are a *team* and we helped them to pay those costs. Not a fair share, I admit, but we helped - because next time it could be us.

But to *always* be the one paying for the others...

Tell them that if they won't pay for the materials they will have to pay an NPC for materials *and* services, and that you're willing to pay a fair share of that. And that if they don't like your attitude, you'll wish them luck finding a mage who will accept *their* attitude.
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Kagetenshi
post Nov 6 2006, 06:11 PM
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QUOTE (Angelone)
No, you are not. Your team (and gm) are being very unreasonable about this.

Team yes, GM no. Why should the Johnson pay for expenses? The runners decide if they want the job, and then they figure out how to do it in a profitable manner.

Granted the GM is already having the J pay for expenses, but IMO that's silly to begin with.

~J
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eidolon
post Nov 6 2006, 06:17 PM
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Why? I've frequently had players use the "expenses card" in bargaining. Even if it's technically just fluff for their negotiation tests, it's far from unreasonable.
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Angelone
post Nov 6 2006, 06:25 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Nov 6 2006, 11:11 AM)
QUOTE (Angelone @ Nov 6 2006, 12:15 PM)
No, you are not. Your team (and gm) are being very unreasonable about this.

Team yes, GM no. Why should the Johnson pay for expenses? The runners decide if they want the job, and then they figure out how to do it in a profitable manner.

Granted the GM is already having the J pay for expenses, but IMO that's silly to begin with.

~J

The J was already paying for expenses for the run except the mages. Kinda silly, that's why the gm was unreasonable. The J pays expenses to help the runners out on some costs that would otherwise keep them from taking the run, such as travel EDIT- or gear UNEDIT. The J could also just provide the tickets or gear the runners don't have but that can be traced, so they usually just hand out an expense fund.

The team has an expense fund for things like that 10% of their take. If I weren't allowed into that I wouldn't pay it personally. Say it's so you can cover your own expenses.

BTW to the OP what is the team expense fund for if team members can't use it?
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knasser
post Nov 6 2006, 08:35 PM
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If they don't want to pay for elementals, then they don't have to. But if you don't want your elementals to be for someone else's benefit, you don't have to do that either. Find a way to do the run without elementals. Reach a compromise or not, so long as the game carries on.
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Dawnshadow
post Nov 7 2006, 02:39 AM
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If you're summoning up an elemental specifically for use in a run, then the summoning costs are a team expense.

If you're summoning an elemental for other things and decide to use it on the run, then it's not a team expense.

If your elemental lasts longer then the run is a valid argument for why they shouldn't pay for it, then make sure that nothing they buy can be used for more than one run. Destroy it after if necessairy. Because really, it's the same thing.

Otherwise, I'd start lying about the materials. "Sorry guys, I'm out. You want elementals for these tasks, you're going to need to get the summoning materials. I'll be more than happy to do the work, but I'm not making the special trip to buy conjuring materials just so you can have an elemental for this. I'm saving up for (insert next big focus)"
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Dog
post Nov 7 2006, 03:49 AM
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I wonder, is this more of an in-character or out-of-character issue? Hopefully it's just in-character.

You guys seem to be business-concious. If the conjuring is not cost-effective, just don't do it. Find a way to do the job that is worth the money. I imagine that only you (or rather, your character) can make the choice to conjure elementals. If the other team members are trying to "make" you conjure, you have to reexamine your role in the team. Why would your character bother to take the job if he's not expecting to profit from it?
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tisoz
post Nov 7 2006, 03:56 AM
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This really is only tangential to the discussion, but I was amazed at the results when they were implemented.

My mages quit spending money on conjuring matrials. They started fighting for control of NPC elementals whenever they were sent against them. They wound up with Charisma worth of elementals usually owing several services. Power foci and ally aid power helped, as well as centering for success.

Next time you meet an elemental, try to control it instead of banishing.
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fistandantilus4....
post Nov 7 2006, 04:50 AM
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As far as the J paying, just go by "Official Johnson Guidelines". Offer 80% of what you're really willing to pay, and let them "bargain you up". No fuss, no muss, and you get to bring in a smaller expense report to the boss if the team isn't to picky.
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Elfwitch
post Nov 7 2006, 05:23 AM
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QUOTE (Dog)
I wonder, is this more of an in-character or out-of-character issue? Hopefully it's just in-character.

You guys seem to be business-concious. If the conjuring is not cost-effective, just don't do it. Find a way to do the job that is worth the money. I imagine that only you (or rather, your character) can make the choice to conjure elementals. If the other team members are trying to "make" you conjure, you have to reexamine your role in the team. Why would your character bother to take the job if he's not expecting to profit from it?

I think its a little bit of both. Both in game and out game.

Our original team has changed with a player moving away and we added two new players.

One of the new players just happens to be the GMs best friend. When we added him to the team we had not been playing for awhile and the way the GM restarted the game was that we had been captured and the new player was part of a team that rescued us. His entire team but him was killed when they went to the meet to get paid.

So anyway he found these cred sticks on the boat provide for him to rescue us and they were worth about 400,000 he also sold the boat and got another 500,000 we on the other hand lost everything all our belongings, cred sticks, weapons foci, we had to go on the run.


Now a powerful man helped us get new identities and set us up in England gave us some weapons, a cool new headquaters, and little cred to replace some of what we lost.

But the point of the matter is the rest of us have about 2000 to our name and this one player had 900,00 he has loaned money to help us but he keeps a strict accounting and on runs after the ten percent taken out for team funds he gets 50% in repayment plus a full share of the run before the 50% is taken out and we divide up the rest.

This really bugging the three old players for a lot of reasons we never played like this before sure we split the run money but there were times when one of us needed something and we would go on a run to make the money to get it for example my first foci was for increased reflexes and the team went on a run to buy it the entire money from the run paid for it. Or when our street sam got hurt bad and some of his cyberware was damaged we did the same thing because that was our philosophy we were a team first. The philosophy of you are only as good as your weakest member.

The new guy does not play like this he says it is to DnD not Shadowrun. He says that there is no role playing reson of why he would be willing to share his money that way. And he says he would feel this way if it was the other way around and he was the broke one.

So my character does feel as this point that we are no longer the team we were and so feels that certain expenses should not come out of pocket especially since the rest of the team never has to pay a lot of money for run supplies.

And the player feels that our GM was wrong to give him that much money to start with even though I had a suspicion he did not expect the player to be like he is with the money.




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Elfwitch
post Nov 7 2006, 05:24 AM
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QUOTE (tisoz)
This really is only tangential to the discussion, but I was amazed at the results when they were implemented.

My mages quit spending money on conjuring matrials. They started fighting for control of NPC elementals whenever they were sent against them. They wound up with Charisma worth of elementals usually owing several services. Power foci and ally aid power helped, as well as centering for success.

Next time you meet an elemental, try to control it instead of banishing.

I have done that in the past but right now we have not encountered any elementals.
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fistandantilus4....
post Nov 7 2006, 05:27 AM
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Easy answer: kill the new guy.

Or you could go for more team buidling, try to make him "one of the guys", give him an in character reason.
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Kagetenshi
post Nov 7 2006, 05:33 AM
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IMO, the GM was wrong. The player's actions, though, are harder to judge. Shadowrunners are teammates, not necessarily friends, and probably only run together regularly because of the artifact of being played by a consistent group of players—from an in-character perspective, if he hasn't developed any deeper attachment to the rest of the team, it would be silly for him to be giving (or even loaning—Shadowrunners are bad risks) you money.

Team-first philosophy only works when you are, first and foremost, a team. It sounds like you're assuming that he's in on the team just because he's also a PC. Try bringing him in in-character, but be warned that he'll probably think you're just after his money (doubly so since it's true ;) ).

~J
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Fortune
post Nov 7 2006, 05:35 AM
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QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
Easy answer: kill the new guy.

That'd be my character's response. :D
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fistandantilus4....
post Nov 7 2006, 05:38 AM
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That is a problem that creeps up a lot. The whole "we should be friends/allies because we're all PC's". It's a OOC assumption for IC play. Sometimes it's a good thing. Keeps people from killing other's PC's because they don't liek them or they pissed them off. Other times it creates problems like "wait, why are we running with this tool again? I hate this guy!" This is one of the reasons or group usually has each player make a few different characters to have an active 'stable' of runners. Anyone remember that old cartoon "Mask" with all the vehicle guys with, well, masks, where they pick the guys donig the 'operation' at the beginning of each episode? It's kind of like that with us until we get an active team.
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Elfwitch
post Nov 7 2006, 05:38 AM
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QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
Easy answer: kill the new guy.

Or you could go for more team buidling, try to make him "one of the guys", give him an in character reason.

Can't kill him the GM has a rule about that if you kill another PC your character is out of the game.

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Kagetenshi
post Nov 7 2006, 05:45 AM
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Kill the GM. Or just walk.

~J
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Crossfire
post Nov 7 2006, 05:46 AM
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You should start a mage-only union and go on strike...

Seriously, I agree with what Dog said: just make sure the conflict is in-game and not ooc. Jealousy (or any form of greediness) can arise easily in a game and I can see the street sam complaining about not getting more money for his guns and bullets, and the rigger could easily complain about not getting reimbursed every time he fires a missile from his armored van. And I'm pretty sure the rigger doesn't use missiles outside runs (well, I hope so!).

I personally think that unless we're talking 25k :nuyen: per run, it shouldn't be a big concern. If you need more than 2 or 3 elementals to do the job, it's probably a suicidal run anyway!

I got a question here: What would happen if the team found a sustaining focus or any other magical item? Would you (the mage) keep it or the team would sell it? My point here is that sometimes you lose but sometimes you win. But keep in mind that everyone's a winner when you're having fun so it shouldn't become such a big deal...

Would it be nice to actually find more magical stuff, including conjuring materials, during runs? Maybe talk to your friendly neighborhood GM about it. He might be willing to drop conjuring materials (once in a while) in a weapon cache during a run (or even magical scrolls... err, I mean spell formulas).

Hope it helps! Don't forget to tell us how it will end...

Peace!

Crossfire
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