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> Balancing karma and money
Hyde
post Jul 8 2007, 06:16 PM
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I'm running a campaign which will provide the PCs money, and I mean millions here (it wouldn't be coherent with the scope of the campaign if I don't give that much, they're not exactly running the next warehouse they can find...).
My problem is that I have shamans/adepts and Sammies, and as the receive the same amount of money, sammies advance incredibly faster power-speaking compared to the shamans/adepts...
I thought I could maybe give more karma to m awakened's, but how much?
Or any other solution?
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Ravor
post Jul 8 2007, 06:22 PM
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Use the Karma for Cash rules, either from Third Edition or one of the House Rule version for Fourth Edition.

Then explain it away however you want, maybe the Mage is spending money to buy access to some of the best Magical Theorists in the world, or funding a team to search for ancient magical tidbits, or donating money to a bunch of monks in exchange for the secret to inner peace, or is throwing really wild parties and is jsut getting alot of Roleplaying Rewards. :cyber:
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Veggiesama
post Jul 8 2007, 06:32 PM
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Karma trading.

The drone rigger wants more money, but the street shaman wants more karma. Assuming everything is equal (same karma reward, split monetary reward), you could allow them to swap some of one for the other.

Assuming 1 BP = 5000 nuyen (from chargen), karma would be a little less. Serbitar's house rules estimates it at 1 karma = 3000 nuyen. That would be a good baseline, but I don't know how well it holds up in the millions range.

I wouldn't allow them to straight out trade nuyen for karma at the "GM bank". I'd say give them each an equal amount of nuyen and karma, then let them trade amongst each other however they wish.

Ex. Four runners receive 1,000,000 nuyen and 333 (!) karma. They each get 250k and ~83 karma. One player could "sell" 20 karma to another for 60k or so. Players can set "prices", so there might be a self-balancing mechanism in there somewhere. Fair trade?

Now, whether 1 karma = 3000 nuyen, or 5000, or 10000, I don't know. It depends on how many "money-sinks" you decide to put in the game. But more nuyen allows street sams to play with deltaware and jets, so more karma should let awakeneds mess with initiation and metamagic.

As for how this can be explained in-character... um... you're on your own. ^_^
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sunnyside
post Jul 8 2007, 08:02 PM
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There is the cash to karma thing.

However mages also have use of money. All those foci are NOT cheap. Neither are spirits really.

Adepts will want weapon foci, which also get way up there. Though otherwise they can be a little less likely to buy stuff, and are the only class I would worry about a little. Though maybe they want a T-bird. :)

Also might they not think about retireing? I suppose some people are adrenaline junkies but still.

Oh and my cash to karma is a monthly bonus beased on their lifestyle (or equivalent spending in that month). Which I find keeps things fun and balanced.
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Hyde
post Jul 8 2007, 08:25 PM
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QUOTE (sunnyside)

Also might they not think about retireing? I suppose some people are adrenaline junkies but still.

Hell no! They just happen to make money on the way of the campaign (like getting 2 millions bounty getting some toxic mages somewhere, or getting 1% of Ares ( :eek: , but their Johnson hold if for now) after some run in a corporate research lab...).
It's just coherent, the characters will retire at the end of the campaign, but they're still saving the world right now 8)
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Glyph
post Jul 8 2007, 08:34 PM
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Keep in mind that an optimized adept will often have one or two points' worth of bioware, and will want to upgrade just like the sammie - and doing something like swapping out your synaptic booster: 2 for a betaware synaptic booster: 3 can actually be pricier than many of the sammie's upgrades. Even mages, once they start initiating, might be tempted to get some delta cybereyes with the works or a cerebral booster.

For all awakened characters, foci (which many have already mentioned) are the big-ticket items, especially since they are so limited in Force at char-gen. And binding materials are not only expensive, but a recurring expense.

I honestly wouldn't worry too much about the power curve. Awakened characters have a lot more advancement potential. Adepts can keep adding power points, while mages get to increase a stat (Magic) that is used for spellcasting tests where the target usually only has Body or Willpower to resist.

Unless your large cash rewards are accompanied by extremely small Karma awards, I don' think you need to use cash to Karma rules. If you do, though, then make it more expensive. If characters will have millions of nuyen, giving them a Karma point for every 5,000 nuyen would let them trade a million nuyen in for 200 Karma - which would unbalance things the other way. If you literally are going to be giving them millions, then the ratio of cash to Karma should be closer to 100,000 nuyen per Karma point, letting them get 10 Karma points for turning in a million.
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Buster
post Jul 8 2007, 09:25 PM
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The OP is right, there isn't much for a mage to spend his money on after a certain level.

A maxed out delta grade cybereyes system only costs 15,000 nuyen! After that, he really doesn't need much. I might buy a delta rating 3 synaptic booster, which costs 2.4 million nuyen, but Extended Masking and a quickened Increased Reflexes spell would give me the same thing for free. I might permanently fund a new magical group at High resources level and use that to attract the best talent in the world. But without the karma to pay for the contacts, it really isn't too useful.

The nuyen-for-karma rule is the way to go. Remember that karma is an abstract game concept that characters have no knowledge of. Therefore, the mage can just pay extra nuyen for a focus that is "pre-charged" with the energy it needs to bind to an owner. Maybe his nuyen buys him into circles that would normally be closed to him (such as funding a magical group or research center or charity) letting him buy contacts with nuyen. Maybe his money buys him the best personal trainers in the world that whip him into shape in no time, letting him buy increases to his Attributes with nuyen. That sort of thing.
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