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> PC wants to make Money between the Runs!
i101
post Dec 13 2007, 08:19 AM
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Hoi,

Ive got a problem within my group. Mudane players feel disadvantaged by their magic teammates that can earn money thru enchating reagents and selling em for good money. This doenst happen so often, but imagine a hacker and a streetsam that have to watch how their colleagues from time to time between the runs make more money then in the runs.

The point is that I am not sure how to let the mudane players make some money between the runs. I found a solution for the streetsam, he developed thru his career some nice connections and is now selling/buying weapons. He does it on minimal base, so that he can miss for a few days to be part of a shadowrun, but engage his gunrunner role from time to time.

The problem is my hacker, he wants to create stuff like fake IDs and sell em, or plunder something in the matrix. Does their a char exist, or some rules what a hacker can do inbetween without big Gamemaster interaction? Have to mention that we handle almoste all stuff between the runs on our local forum, that way it cant run out of controll.

Regards.
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Fortune
post Dec 13 2007, 08:30 AM
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Hackers by far have the easiest time making money outside of shadowruns. So easy in fact, that it sometimes stretches belief that they would actually endanger themselves doing such work when they could cut IC and rack up cred with ease in myriad other ways.

Possibly as a solution, instead of looking for ways for others to make money outside of game time, you might consider cutting down the free time available to the players between in-game jobs. Making magical anything is a time-consuming process, and that kind of free time in large chunks might not often be feasible.
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Crusher Bob
post Dec 13 2007, 08:36 AM
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Part of this should be addressed out of game as well as in game. For example, do the players feel that they are getting enough money from running? If you are paying them 5K a run a piece, and they are pulling down 25K a month from their enchanting gig, why should they get off their butts for a run? If they are getting 25K per run, and 5K a month from their enchanting gig, that's a different story all together.

Another thing to do is give them options on what to do with their downtime other that making money. So for example, they might get 1 karma a week from training instead, or the hacker can get 'free' backdoors into systems by setting them up during down time. This way there is a choice of what to do during your down time other than make money or nothing.
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Blade
post Dec 13 2007, 08:56 AM
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Making money outside runs can lead to players prefering to get money that way instead of running. That's especially true for mages who can get a whole lot of money creating orichalcuum, for example.

There are several ways to prevent that: making runs rewarding enough (in money and/or karma), making getting big money between runs very difficult (as soon as you get successful, you'll get attention from the mafias, competitors or corps), changing the scope of the game from shadowrunning to money-making, or telling your players that you're playing shadowrun and not a business simulation game.

Once you've sorted out that problem, I guess the best way to keep it in control is to consider that running a business takes time, hence make it harder to train skills or attribute, learn spells and do all that kind of things runner might like to do. It's also detrimental to the runner's anonymity and makes it easier to find you. Finally it might get you some trouble.
I'm not saying this to keep players away from having businesses, but I think it makes sense, and it also makes having a business something more (and more interesting) than just a way to get free money.
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ElFenrir
post Dec 13 2007, 10:46 AM
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Orichalcum is a big moneymaker, and the thing is, not terribly hard to make when you think about it...but its got some drawbacks as well You need a pretty fair enchanting score to get the hits, with a full lab, but the ingredients for it are findable by any mage with even a fair knowledge of gathering.
But where it gets hairy is the 28 days of circulation. If you keep them busy most of the time, they'll only get this maybe once, twice a year(and since a unit of the stuff sells for around 88,000 book price...probably what, 60,000 street they could get for it...they only NEED to sell 1-2 times a year,and they are probably getting more than one unit per circulation.

Hell, a mage with a high enchanting score could sit out a couple months a year, get the materials, hope to hit 3-4 units of orichalcum(not difficult), sell it, and get around 2k for it, living the high life and never moving off his butt for a damn year. :P I mean, work 2 months gathering and sitting around a lab getting 6 digits for your efforts, or running twice a month risking your tail? (Now, selling expensive stuff black market carries its own risks, but technically, a mage that creates it, as far as i know, isn't doing anything wrong. It's certainly lesser risk than running onsite every week. And if they have a dedicated higher-end talismonger that buys from them every year, its not as shady.)

And other enchanting is nothing to sneeze at either, of course. So yeah, don't take it away from them...but keep them moving a bit more perhaps, so they don't get TONS of free time for it. (And not all enchanting takes 28 days. They can have plenty else to do, so they won't feel the skill is wasted.)

I had my bouncer/roadie/adept guy rent himself out for bodyguarding, since he's had some experience in that too, and the skills are pretty cross-class if you will(ie, a bouncer had alot of skills a bodyguard would have). He also still hired himself out to any bands his contact back in Norway would have contact with, while he was in the States, so while the pay wasn't anywhere near the runs(one doesn't get alot helping lower end people), it helped keep him afloat. Im sure some other adepts/sams can find these kinds of jobs, riggers can hire themselves out for mechanic work/vehicle jobs, hackers have the whole Matrix at their fingertips, detectives can find people's lost wives/kids/husbands/cats/etc.

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Ryu
post Dec 13 2007, 11:10 AM
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Orichalkum is the big money maker, and the price only justified if it is not as easy to make as the rules say. Once you´ve forbidden making that, we are talking a rather standard income of a few hundred ¥ per day - we are talking trained pros here.

What are you going to do about a decker that wants to sell his selfmade rating 6 program at half-standard price? Better offer him some programming work for cash.

Adepts can participate in illegal street fights. Those do not need to be played out, but betting can make serious money here.

Street Sams often make for good security consultants. There are enough illicit types that won´t be the ones to let LoneStar design their security setup.

Ah, and forgot the most important part: Your runners should not need to make money on the side. Pay them well, especially if you still play SR3.
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Fuchs
post Dec 13 2007, 11:28 AM
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I'd do it as Blake said - shift some focus on those "side activities", add problems, and opportunities. Maybe the next "break in and replace a file" is not a job from a johnson, but done so the license for the mage's shop matches with the records?

Maybe the bodyguard ends up with some information he should not have, or with trouble he can't solve alone. The hacker gets a job offer for some system designing he can't refuse, and needs some assurance to survive the job. Or the talismonger gets some dubious artefact sold to.

Lots of opportunities for adventures and runs in such activities - half my campaign is about such stuff, not the usual paid for runs.
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Blade
post Dec 13 2007, 01:13 PM
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QUOTE ("Fuchs")
Maybe the next "break in and replace a file" is not a job from a johnson, but done so the license for the mage's shop matches with the records?


Or maybe the next "break in and replace a file" is a job from a Johnson, who's actually working for a competitor of the mage, so that he can claim the mage's shop. ;)
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Fuchs
post Dec 13 2007, 01:14 PM
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And enemies made through those side jobs have an easier time tracking the runners too - as my runners found out last run.
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Moon-Hawk
post Dec 13 2007, 05:20 PM
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My solution:
Whenever a player feels that their character has a marketable skill, we talk about how much time they're willing to put into it, how good they are at it, etc, and we agree on what lifestyle it's worth. They get their lifestyle costs covered for free, and in return they have less free time for other downtime activities and I get wonderful plot hooks involving their day jobs. It sounds like a perfectly fair deal to me, and my players love it.
Maybe the enchanters can talk a high lifestyle (or hell, maybe luxury, it's not that big of a deal) out of you but the street sam only gets low, but handing out lifestyles generally keeps things running better than handing out cash.
Lifestyle differences will cause less problems than cash differences in terms of people's feelings at the table, and will cause less imbalance in the game.

If they still have a problem and demand cash that they can use for anything they want, then maybe you need to talk to them about playing Shadowrun, not Smallbusinessrun.
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nezumi
post Dec 13 2007, 09:25 PM
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That has got to be the most graceful solution I've seen to this problem. Hats off to that one, I like it very much.
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Kyoto Kid
post Dec 13 2007, 09:37 PM
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...agreed. I might take this into consideration during my next campaign (extra hooks are always nice).

A lot of my characters have some skills that translate into everyday occupations and the licenses (when needed) to back them up. Usually it is for a cover act, but there wouldn't be any reason why they can't also defray a bit of lifestyle cost with these skills.
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ShadowDragon8685
post Dec 13 2007, 09:44 PM
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My soloution is simple, and to the point.


If(players) Search.jobs during (time.downtime)

Then:

Increase :nuyen: gained per run

Else:

Do Nothing.




If the players feel they need more cash than running is getting them, then you need to jack the cash per run. Don't have them trying to whore themselves out or pursuing side-tasks for cash or glory.

Everything should be a group activity - from getting money (traditionally by doing something illeagal, hence a Shadowrun) to taking over their own corner of the barrens. Nobody should be left out like that.
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jklst14
post Dec 14 2007, 03:09 AM
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QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)
My solution:
Whenever a player feels that their character has a marketable skill, we talk about how much time they're willing to put into it, how good they are at it, etc, and we agree on what lifestyle it's worth.  They get their lifestyle costs covered for free, and in return they have less free time for other downtime activities and I get wonderful plot hooks involving their day jobs.  It sounds like a perfectly fair deal to me, and my players love it.
Maybe the enchanters can talk a high lifestyle (or hell, maybe luxury, it's not that big of a deal) out of you but the street sam only gets low, but handing out lifestyles generally keeps things running better than handing out cash.
Lifestyle differences will cause less problems than cash differences in terms of people's feelings at the table, and will cause less imbalance in the game.

If they still have a problem and demand cash that they can use for anything they want, then maybe you need to talk to them about playing Shadowrun, not Smallbusinessrun.

This is what I do to. I find that it works out pretty well.
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wargear
post Dec 14 2007, 04:41 AM
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We played a gang level game. Using the expanded rules for Lifestyle, we built a hideout capable of supporting the entire gang in some small comfort, and financed it through stealing cars for the local chop shop. We negotiated to 10% of the cars value in creds, low value credsticks or goods, and found that a single Ford Americar a week was enough to support a gang of 20 in a communal low lifestyle.

And pay for us to buy armour and weapons for the gang as we grew.

Everything we did on top of that was either pure profit, or was put towards the gang leadership getting wire.
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i101
post Dec 14 2007, 02:45 PM
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Thanks for all those relpys.
In my eyes increasing the money per run may not be the ultimate solution. Big money for a run means for me as a GM that the run also has to be big. Furthermore I personal find a lil bit unrealistic that a group does always top-notch jobs.

Unfortunately it looks like a lot of you find that enchating is the root of all evil. What I am looking for is an alternativ for mudan PCs.
Tell me how I shall tell the Hacker if he wants to make some money during downtime, that he simply cant?! In my eyes a hacker can make even more? or at least easier money then a mage or anyone else. All I need are some rules and chars. Looks like I have to make some chars up by my own if something like doesnt exist in any offical Sourcebooks.

PC in my group are looking for alteratives things they can do during downtime. Somehow it helps to create a more individual character that wants to use his/her skills, that may not be usefull during an active shadowrun but that are an essential part of their PC. I have to mention that in our group we agreed that stuff that happens during downtime will be published on our local forum. When we meet for a run, we really only play the shadowrun and handle everything else on our forum. Unfortunately we dont have the time to meet in real every three or four days to handle this stuff. 10years ago we had the time.
Anyways, small storys are written, how he/she does what he/she wants to do and then I as a Gamemaster give them their treshholds and reply their requests.

Our Hacker gives me the creeps ... Certainly couse the matrix is the only thing I dont know that much about ...
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Blade
post Dec 14 2007, 03:01 PM
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For the hacker, it depends on your conception of Matrix security in 2070. Some like to pretend that it's exactly as in 2007, that users will have poor protection and so on.
I think that after 2 attacks that wiped out the whole network, a Matrix built by corps and a lot of time with an ubiquitous matrix, matrix security is a serious business, and big time hacking leads to trouble.
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Nightwalker450
post Dec 14 2007, 04:39 PM
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I didn't play SR3 myself, but my GM gave my character a low point negative quality of a day job (was only like 5 points) that he said was in SR3. It waived a portion of my lifestyle costs, and was time I had to spend every week doing my job. Of course I took a very flexible job (cabbie).

Perhaps we need to get some brainstorming as to what some good rules would be some sort of quality to use for a character with a job. Doing work outside of a day job, selling items shouldn't make much more than fencing items, in fact it would probably make quite a bit less. Since its not a business they don't know where you're getting the stuff you're selling them or how reputable you are as a craftsman, the items you're selling aren't brand names they are things you made in your basement. A day job sets up the contacts/regularity that allow you make cash.

Rating should be based on:

1) Hours per Week (negative)
This could be from 10 - 60 hours per week. This takes time away from your runs, and your legwork you can perform. Anytime you miss a week it will affect your income and you could possibly loose the job altogether.

2) Flexibility (negative)
This is related to hours, in that if you work x hours per week, do they care when or are you working the 8-5 every day.

3) Visibility (negative)
A rating to establish how easy you are to find due to your job, probably based off of Hours per Week, the more time you spend at your job the easier you are to pin point to a job. This isn't based off of income, because a street drug dealer might only do 10 hours, but make tons of nuyen.

4) Contacts (positive)
This would be your job co-workers or customers. This would probably be covered as normal contacts though likely only a loyalty of 1 unless you had worked at the job for a long time.

5) Income per Week (positive)
This is the reason you're really taking the quality unless its for backstory purposes. Eitherway I'd recommend amounts equal to probably 1/10 of the lifestyle choices. So working a month covers almost half of an equivilant lifestyle. Why so little, because if your dayjob supports a luxury lifestyle you're not running. Non-runner chars could make more but for characters these would be the recommended limits.
EDIT: This should also be based on the skill the character will be using for the job

Ok those are categories that I think should come in to play, basically this would be a swing quality... It could be a positive or a negative quality depending on how it calculates out. Though as to whether or not a negative quality would actually award build points at the beginning is in the air. Probably not, unless as a GM you have some good ideas on how to penalize them if they decide their first week they're going to get fired. There's no numbers on these at the moment, I'll do some number crunching and probably post more later.
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kzt
post Dec 14 2007, 08:09 PM
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There are numerous jobs you can do that don't really interfere with your shadowrunning life and can actually benefit from things like experience with weapons and violence. And don't require SINs. Pimping, for example. . . .
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Nightwalker450
post Dec 14 2007, 08:28 PM
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Ok here's some number just thrown together. I'm trying to close the range but here's what I have so far.

Pay Per Week
17 == 1000 :nuyen:
12 == 500 :nuyen:
7 == 200 :nuyen:
2 == 100 :nuyen:

Hours/Week
-1 == <15
-6 == 15-30
-11 == >30

Flexibility
2 == Own Boss
-3 == Swing Shift
-8 == Tight Schedule

Visibility
2 == Low or No Visibility
-3 == High Visibility

This is going with the Concept of trying to keep Qualities on Multiples of 5. This swings from -20 to 20. I took contacts out of the equation, basically those could be bought or earned as normal contacts. I shed the Luxury Lifestyle job which would of been 10,000 :nuyen: per week. Because making 520,000 :nuyen: a year and shadowrunning is beyond me.

What is a -20 point job?
High Visibility no control over your 30+ hours per week. But only making 100 :nuyen: per week. So you're making 3 :nuyen: per hour as a high profile person's consort. You're seen on the arm of a trid star and you're really just with him for the fame not the little scraps he gives you. Either that or they actually own you, the fact that you get any nuyen per week at all is something you're thankful for.

What is a 20 job?
A Low visibility job where you work 10 hours a week when you feel like it, and make 1000 :nuyen: per week. This would be a back alley dealer with the good stuff. People contact him when they want stuff, and he tells them when he'll meet them and where. The person has to be able to make stuff of a quality worth this.
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kzt
post Dec 14 2007, 08:51 PM
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Hmm, how much does a permanent low lifestyle cost again?
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ShaunClinton
post Dec 14 2007, 09:37 PM
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We have the opposite situation in my campaign, in that it is the mundane who makes all of the money!

Orichalicum production can be an issue but 30 uninterrupted days is pretty hard to manage for most PCs with any kind of enemies.

Meanwhile the decker just rams his computer skill, gets a hold of a good deck and then steals time on a host. By using an auto-coder and the help of a halfway competent assistant he can start cranking out programs like there is no tomorrow.

The decker we have pushed his skill way past the SOTA into the teens and then started selling mega high rating programs to the corps in exchange for money. Even though we limited the number of non-source copies he could sell to four he still started making mega-bucks very quickly.

With a good program plan and other favourable situational modifiers you can blast out rating 20 programs in what seems like no time with sufficient skill. The decker has accumulated vast wealth whilst most of the awakened PCs have pennies to scrap together as they spend it all on foci and the like.
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Ryu
post Dec 14 2007, 10:05 PM
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I prefer the Moonhawk solution. Much. The economic system of SR was never strong enough to stand on its own feet. It is simple and fast for RUNNING, but nothing else. Remember 2nd ed survival knifes?

Giving out more money will not always make the problem go away. The player may care more about the gear list of his char than about his free time. You know who you are.

Giving out little money on the other hand... that one creates problems. The abstract lifestyle costs alone kill the idea. Here even waiving cost may not work because the players want to spend money on things that are not covered by livestyle.
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Slump
post Dec 15 2007, 12:57 AM
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In SR3, a decker who was making his own programs to make money is retarded. With a half-way decent deck, you can pull so much paydata out of a system it's absurd, and each 'run' takes like 2 minutes, tops. Just drive around town, hitting up jackpoints and hack up low-security hosts and you'll end up with thousands upon thousands of nuyen in just a few short hours of hard work.
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Pendaric
post Dec 15 2007, 05:36 PM
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Hmm Things people do for money between runs....
Well the decker can be a trideo repair/ electronics guy. Run into host for paydata that then is brokered for cash as already noted. If they have the skills they can be a deckmiester for less talented deckers.
The big one that everyone can do is be a teacher within their sphere of skills. This one is great for roleplay and to add NPCs to care about and be responsiable for etc.

May i inquire how your magicain got his enchanting shop? Also how does he get his gold for the oricalcum? More importantly how do they perform deals without being riped off? Who does he pay protection too?
With any downtime activity there is plenty of room to build in challenges that can become runs for the entire group.
The trick is to place the group into a realistic world with checks and balances. So for example, decker x is a nova hot world class programmer? Great the computer megacorps will extract him for his talent. To stop the corps and the syndicates from trying to rest control means money, connections and insurance plans. In other words, shadow runs.

The SR world economics unfortunatly do not help on this score but its a matter of rolling with the punchs.
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