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> Side jobs, what runners do when not running
raverbane
post Jan 30 2008, 01:03 AM
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Several of my players were wanting to know how much money they could make doing 'work' in the downtime between runs.

Like the street sammy doing some bodyguard work on the side.

And the 'faceman' thinking about pimping out some 'tricked out grrls'

Are there any rules for 'supplemental income'?

The side work can't generate too much cash, or the character wouldn't need to do runs. (except to get the mondo adrenaline fix)

Since 'jobs' tend to, generally, be of the same quality as the 'lifestyle' of the person doing the work I was thinking of a simple solution.

If said character had a 'marketable' quality about them and they took downtime to do the 'job', simply allow the character to make an edge roll when it is time to pay the monthly bill for their lifestyle. For each success it reduces the cost of their lifestyle by 10%.

Thoughts and suggestions always welcome

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Ravor
post Jan 30 2008, 01:39 AM
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I don't know, personally I liked the solution that another poster came up with in another thread which is just figure out what level of lifestyle the Runner's dayjob would support and just give it to the character.

Of course, the player should realize that there is no such thing as a "free lunch" in the Sixth World and as the :vegm: DM :vegm: you have every right to use the dayjobs as plothooks anytime you feel like it, including in the middle of another run. :cyber:
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Method
post Jan 30 2008, 02:26 AM
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There was a "day job" edge (Edit: or was it a flaw?) in previous editions that simply generated a set amount of cash per level purchased per month. The key is that the GM has to call on the player at totally inconvenient times (as Ravor suggested) in order to balance it. Otherwise its just free money.
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i101
post Jan 30 2008, 04:15 AM
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@raverbane: Take a look here.
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Wanderer
post Jan 30 2008, 05:29 PM
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QUOTE (Method)
There was a "day job" edge (Edit: or was it a flaw?) in previous editions that simply generated a set amount of cash per level purchased per month. The key is that the GM has to call on the player at totally inconvenient times (as Ravor suggested) in order to balance it. Otherwise its just free money.

IIRC it was a Flaw. Anyway, Edge or Flaw, I'm rather nostalgic for Day Job. It was a very nice and nifty way to give the character added background and a lifestyle beyond shadowruns, and to make it not entirely dependant on shadowruns for economic sustenance. It improved the feel and image of runners as elite underworld professionals.

I'm rather hopeful that in some form Day Job will be resurrected in the upcoming Companion. Change it as you feel it's needed, but please resurrect it, likewise for being able to buy multiple lifestyles (another rule I'm terribly nostalgic of).
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knasser
post Jan 30 2008, 06:25 PM
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I had a good concept for a Hacker character who worked like a good little corp employee during the day, but was addicted to his secret life as a Shadowrunner by night. Would be a great character but I've no idea how I could balance the having of a good job against other player's day to day struggle to survive.
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deek
post Jan 30 2008, 07:03 PM
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If a Day Job isn't going to impact money or "get in the way" of the runner, why isn't this just part of the background? I guess I often question why a player needs to have an item on his character sheet in order to be a part of the character...

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DireRadiant
post Jan 30 2008, 07:22 PM
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"Hey mister GM, I'm cool, can I get some free money between games for my cool skill X?"
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Moon-Hawk
post Jan 30 2008, 07:37 PM
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QUOTE (Ravor)
I don't know, personally I liked the solution that another poster came up with in another thread which is just figure out what level of lifestyle the Runner's dayjob would support and just give it to the character.

Of course, the player should realize that there is no such thing as a "free lunch" in the Sixth World and as the :vegm: DM :vegm: you have every right to use the dayjobs as plothooks anytime you feel like it, including in the middle of another run. :cyber:

Out of the raging maelstrom that is my ego, I'm going to recklessly and egocentrically assume that you're talking about me. :D
My relevant post from the previously linked thread was
QUOTE (me)
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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Feshy
post Jan 30 2008, 07:46 PM
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Day jobs fall into one of two categories: normal jobs or shadow jobs.

Normal jobs and shadowrunners don't mix. Not long term. Sure, it's hilariously fun when the cybered-up street sam is an accountant by day(*), but the boss is going to get uncomfortable when his fixer or teammates stop by for coffee. Uncomfortable enough that he'll jump to conclusions when the place gets shot up a few weeks from now, and fire the guy on the spot.

Still, I've got no problem with a runner doing that, and even getting money for it for the added role playing -- but it won't last. While it does, though, if the player is jumping through enough hoops to justify keeping the income while staying in the shadows, as a GM I don't have a problem with that. Leading a double life is hard.

Shadow jobs -- and this includes mercenary work, bodyguard work, etc. are a different story. These would just be like "runs" to me. It's not really a "day" job. Once you get into the "normal" side of these jobs (soldier? cop?) you can really see they just won't work for a shadowrunner very long.

I admit, I never had a player want to be a pimp as a day job. That's hilarious. I suspect the first time he has to put a troll john in his place will be the last time he pimps -- at least, once he regains consciousness...


Always, though, the thing to keep in mind is that there is a reason the characters are running in the shadows, and not working at Stuffer Shack. That reason has to be more than "because I've got muscle replacement." If the character's background isn't thought out well enough to elucidate that reason, it needs work.

If the background does allow shadow work and daytime work, it probably won't work out for both for very long. The hypothetical adrenaline junky knasser mentioned is likely to loose his job, get scared out of the shadows, or get himself killed taking a risk. Not that I'd have any problems with a character background like that -- on the contrary, I think it's great! But it's not free cash, as raverbane's players seem to think.


(*) "Jim, what have I told you about slicing the copier in half with your dikoted katana? I don't care if it would only duplicate in half-tone, it's coming out of your salary!"

"Jim, we've had some complaints about you intimidating your co-workers. We've had this conversation before, and I thought we agreed that the last doughnut is not a good enough reason to draw spurs? No, it doesn't matter if it is for your symbiotes!"

"Jim, that's three chairs this week that have crumpled under you. It's coming out of your salary. No, I really don't think the Rehabilitation Act covers excessive weight from bone lacing as a disability we have to support."

"Jim, Joan found EX Explosive ammo in the fridge again. You know you aren't supposed to bring that in to work."

"Jim, I know I told you not to use your spurs in the office... but... could you open this toner package? The plastic just won't tear..."

"Oh, Jim, there you are. I've got some messages for you. Ed, in personel, needs those expense reports checked over. James, in sales, says he needs you to crunch some numbers for him for a client. And someone named 'Bl00dKaet' says your sister is being held for ransom until you return the chips from you-know-where."


Edit: Moon-Hawk posted his quote while I was writing this, and I have to agree. Paying the runner in lifestyle, rather than cash, is a great idea.
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Stahlseele
post Jan 30 2008, 07:56 PM
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QUOTE
"Jim, Joan found EX Explosive ammo in the fridge again. You know you aren't supposed to bring that in to work."

great, now i wanna play the fallout series again x.x
other than that? funny quotes ^^
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kzt
post Jan 30 2008, 10:09 PM
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We have had a game where we started out as a security firm. That was fun.

Another game we ended up eventually forming a security firm, with a nice abandoned geothermal power complex out in the lava fields as a base. Paid a bunch of money in bribes, etc. It was useful for the character who kept trying to figure out how she was going to get real use of the tbird they had acquired and she spend half her time working on. Never really did....

But if people want to be playing characters who essentially have a secret shadowrunning habit, that's cool also. But you need to set that up when you build the game.

If people want to be small scale crooks that's really pretty perfect. They get a certain amount of money, but they need to "deal with" the kind issues that come up in that sort of lifestyle during play.
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Siege
post Jan 31 2008, 03:31 AM
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The upshot is - nothing prevents a character from taking a temp job for some quick cash. But the justification has to be plausible and not so complex as to overshadow most shadowruns - "hey, I rob banks for fun on the weekends..."

But for the type of money to make the character's time worthwhile represents a significant risk of complication.

Example, as a muscled thug, I could work the door Saturday nights at the local drinking hole. That nets me $100 for the evening. Maybe. And that's on the high end.

A samurai with 400k nuyen of cyberware doing the same thing? Unlikely, unless it's for role-play purposes - "I spend time at this place, building my rep and making it 'my' drinking hole. The waitresses know me, the bartender has my favorite drink waiting when I walk in and the locals know to keep it quiet so nobody disturbs my drinking."

Other character types have it a little easier - wizworms wiggle their fingers, put on a floor show and get paid a lot more because there just aren't as many mages to be had.

Hackers or other critters with high b/r skills might make custom gear and then sold to interested fixers who deal in that sort of stuff. Mechanics with garage owner contacts might start working on cars sitting in the lot. Got a contact with a minor security firm? "Hey Bob, need anyone to walk around with a flashlight for 12 hours at a construction site? Boring, but I need the $7 an hour paycheck."

-Siege

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kzt
post Jan 31 2008, 03:40 AM
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Anyone with astral perception should be able to find someone to pay him to make wards. Even a 1 point ward is very useful to many people.
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Ravor
post Jan 31 2008, 03:50 AM
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QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)
QUOTE (Ravor @ Jan 29 2008, 08:39 PM)
I don't know, personally I liked the solution that another poster came up with in another thread which is just figure out what level of lifestyle the Runner's dayjob would support and just give it to the character.

Of course, the player should realize that there is no such thing as a "free lunch" in the Sixth World and as the :vegm: DM :vegm: you have every right to use the dayjobs as plothooks anytime you feel like it, including in the middle of another run.  :cyber:

Out of the raging maelstrom that is my ego, I'm going to recklessly and egocentrically assume that you're talking about me. :D
My relevant post from the previously linked thread was
QUOTE (me)
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.

Yep, I was. :cyber:
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Fuchs
post Jan 31 2008, 08:17 AM
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QUOTE (Feshy)
I admit, I never had a player want to be a pimp as a day job. That's hilarious. I suspect the first time he has to put a troll john in his place will be the last time he pimps -- at least, once he regains consciousness...

If the runner cannot even put a troll john in his place, what is he doing in the shadows? Either he can take care of such problems, or he has someone - like the team samurai - who does that, or he is no Shadowrunner in the first place.
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FriendoftheDork
post Jan 31 2008, 08:43 AM
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The problems with these side jobs is not a simple day job with 10-20 nuyen an hour, the problem is PCs doing crime. Oh, not any moral aspect of course, but the fact that the whole team cannot join in and enjoy themselves, so either it has to be something in the background or the group has to wait for one player doing his "GTA" sidejob instead of playing Shadowrun.

This can get even more hairy when the PCs get greedy - stealing a fancy car a week can suddenly net more nuyen than most jobs. So I can either tell a player "you can't do it", or just hand over money just because the PC has a skill.

Then there are all the things you have to consider: What does the job pay? If theft, how often can the PC do it without guaranteed being caught or simply emptying the "pond"? When will organized crime notice the runner (not always easy if the runner is discreet), and take action? When will LS do the same?
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Ravor
post Jan 31 2008, 09:26 AM
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Which is why I use Moon-Hawk's idea of not actually giving money for the sidejobs, just handling out whatever lifestyle I think could be supported.
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Fuchs
post Jan 31 2008, 09:29 AM
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Easy solution: Make the side job a team effort, involve all PCs.

Running a talismonger shop works for that - face handles contacts, dealings, and advertising, mage enchants, samurai covers security (especially on excursions to gather telesma), rigger does transport, hacker covers information, market analysis, and matrix security.

An escort service can be run by a team as well, with similar division of labor. Or a smuggling business, or a weapon customisation shop.
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FriendoftheDork
post Jan 31 2008, 09:47 AM
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QUOTE (Ravor)
Which is why I use Moon-Hawk's idea of not actually giving money for the sidejobs, just handling out whatever lifestyle I think could be supported.

Well that means said runner can save the money usually spent on lifestyle to save for upgrades. I don't see how this fixes things, unless they can't get good enough lifestyle they want.


Fuchs: What if the team wants to do Shadowrunning instead?
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Fuchs
post Jan 31 2008, 09:50 AM
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QUOTE (FriendoftheDork)
Fuchs: What if the team wants to do Shadowrunning instead?

Then they do Shadowrunning. The porposed solution is for players who want side jobs next to shadowrunning, and to involve the whole team. It works very well in my own campaign, and often, the lines between side jobs and shadowrunning blur a lot when shady side jobs are involved.
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Moon-Hawk
post Jan 31 2008, 04:29 PM
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QUOTE (FriendoftheDork)
QUOTE (Ravor @ Jan 31 2008, 10:26 AM)
Which is why I use Moon-Hawk's idea of not actually giving money for the sidejobs, just handling out whatever lifestyle I think could be supported.

Well that means said runner can save the money usually spent on lifestyle to save for upgrades. I don't see how this fixes things, unless they can't get good enough lifestyle they want.

I believe I address that here:
QUOTE
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.

Seriously, the gaming table is a social construct, everyone's showing up on game day to play a game of Shadowrun. If you have one person at your table who is this rabid about going their own direction and getting more money, there's a problem at your gaming table. Someone has very different ideas of that they're supposed to be doing, and how much they're expecting to make, etc. Talk to your group and get everyone on the same page about what game they want to play, and how much money/karma they expect to bring in.
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Ravor
post Jan 31 2008, 04:33 PM
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QUOTE (FriendoftheDork)
Well that means said runner can save the money usually spent on lifestyle to save for upgrades. I don't see how this fixes things, unless they can't get good enough lifestyle they want.


Because it is less unbalancing to give a Runner a middle or high lifestyle then it would be to give him raw nuyen, especially if the player is likely to "settle" for a low lifestyle otherwise. It doesn't really solve much on the low end of the scale, where it helps is on the upper end.
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kzt
post Jan 31 2008, 04:33 PM
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QUOTE (FriendoftheDork @ Jan 31 2008, 01:43 AM)
- stealing a fancy car a week can suddenly net more nuyen than most jobs. So I can either tell a player "you can't do it", or just hand over money just because the PC has a skill.

As Frank Trollman pointed out, if it's more profitable to steal cars (a fairly low risk, low difficulty crime) what are the runners doing risking their lives doing runs? Why would anyone choose to make a living where they get shot at on a regular basis (and shot up occasionally) when they could make more money with a lot less effort by stealing cars?

So either make running more profitable or look more closely at why stealing cars isn't the road to a luxury lifestyle. Which is isn't, because of the huge overhead and limited reward to the person who steals the car. The guy who sells the car gets the big bucks, and the big risk.
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Siege
post Feb 2 2008, 11:54 PM
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QUOTE (kzt @ Jan 31 2008, 05:33 PM) *
As Frank Trollman pointed out, if it's more profitable to steal cars (a fairly low risk, low difficulty crime) what are the runners doing risking their lives doing runs? Why would anyone choose to make a living where they get shot at on a regular basis (and shot up occasionally) when they could make more money with a lot less effort by stealing cars?

So either make running more profitable or look more closely at why stealing cars isn't the road to a luxury lifestyle. Which is isn't, because of the huge overhead and limited reward to the person who steals the car. The guy who sells the car gets the big bucks, and the big risk.


Which is very true - the actual thieves make a small, small percentage of the car's value and re-sale.

And in SR, the risks can be lethal to the point of absurdity - anyone who's going to splurge on genuine Sasquatch hide for the interior is going to have something equally silly and probably morbid for the security rig.

Which leads up to the inevitable conflict between the actual runner's job versus this expensive and risky hobby.

-Siege
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