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> Getting Paid, How much runner's usually get paid for a run?
Zemiron
post Apr 3 2009, 05:40 PM
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I was talking with one of my friends the other day and he brought up the fact that there is not a really a section in the books that lists how much runners should get paid. I remembered early today that there is a section in the Shadowrun Third Edition Companion about it, but the rates seem really low. I was wonder how much some of you fellow GMs have your Johnson's pay the runners.

Also, as a corollary to this topic, how often do you have the runners approached for potential runs in game time? Thanks!
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Degausser
post Apr 3 2009, 06:28 PM
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Both of these topics are brought up a lot and there is no real, cut and dry answer.

Beginning runs should run about 1k to 5k a runner, and then go up as the level of the runs increases. Try to remember, that your Street sam is going to be saving up for those lvl 3 alphaware wired reflexes, and your mag will want to buy a high level power focus. Don't give that to them right away, but it should be reachable by the end of your campaign, if your PCs don't flirt away their money.

As for runs, sometimes there are good months and sometimes there are bad. I know at one point in a game I was in, the entire party decided to take two months off of shadowrunning. Our Adept and Mage wanted to spend time to initiate, our tech guy was going to build his own, then implant, cyberware in our Street Sam, who wanted to up some skills before the surgery.

Bottom line, it is whatever the GM feels like. Give the runners enough money to buy some cool new toys every few runs, and have a run every one to two weeks is my SOP.
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InfinityzeN
post Apr 3 2009, 07:14 PM
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The easiest way to say it is more than they need ((lifestyle / runs per month) + expenses & expendutures) and less than they want (enough to buy everything they want).

Honestly, give them what you feel is enough to support the level you want to play at. Too little is better then too much since you can always make it up later, while taking away or paying less will upset people.
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Dumori
post Apr 3 2009, 08:34 PM
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I work on the vage scale of just enough to make them want just a bit more.
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CanRay
post Apr 3 2009, 09:52 PM
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Some 'Runs are paid only in blood. And lots of it.

Those are often the most satisfying for the 'Runners. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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Mystweaver
post Apr 6 2009, 12:37 PM
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I agree with the above in general. In the campaign I play in, we started on the 5k - 10k each bracket. Our campaign has been long an extensive though and at the point we are at now we take no less than 200k per run but our characters have an average of 500 karma each and we have never failed a mission. Thus, our reputation is prestine.

Consider the party rep for how much they get paid, if they botch a job, they may not get a run for a little while or the next run they get will pay less.

Also consider that as they are doing runs, there might be unmentioned bonuses in the way of loot... e.g. perhaps there is a shaman to kill who happens to have a unique totem focus that is useless to the party, is hot and is worth a bit of extra cash if they sell it quick (or worth more if they hide it and sell it at a much later date). This type of loot can be litterally anything from foci, to jewellry to weapons and armour. Everything has a value... we have even stolen TV's, microwaves and other random crap to keep us going.... lets not mention the amount of vehicles we have stolen in our campaign to sell to chop shops (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

If your players are really ruthless, they might even go so far as to sell body parts of the enemies they have slain (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif) gory!!


One thing our GM does not let us do though is negotiate a price with our Johnson, now I know this goes against the grain and eliminates a certain bartering factor involved with making a meet, but it does allow that portion of the run to go smoother.

A meeting with a Johnson in our case may go as follows:

Team walks into meet, Johnson and bodyguards are there around a table.
Johnson offers a job: 20k up front, 5k expenses each. Job is to assassinate some corporate types. Do you accept?

Team accepts

Johnson goes onto explain the details of the targets and the run in general with as little or as much information available to the johnson at that time. Perhaps a time limit as well.

The team is now obliged to do the job as the johnson as given the details. The only way out at this point would be if the information provided is significantly different from the description first given... e.g. Its not the assassination of a corporate person(s) and is something different such as an extraction.

Hope this helps.

Myst
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Apr 8 2009, 03:14 AM
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QUOTE (Mystweaver @ Apr 6 2009, 06:37 AM) *
If your players are really ruthless, they might even go so far as to sell body parts of the enemies they have slain (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif) gory!!
Myst


Had a Troll ganger that routinely sold the bodies of his enemies to Tamanous... Worked out pretty good...
Was a bit twisted, mind you, but no more than any other Troll Ganger I guess...
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Degausser
post Apr 8 2009, 04:35 AM
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A good way to get the 'Baseline' ideas for how much a run is supposed to pay, is to look at one of the fluff books. Emergence, Ghost Cartels, and Contacts and Adventures (the last one comes free when you buy the GM screen) all come with official runs, along with official pay scales. A lot of posters on the forum believe that the books Lowball the number, and I cannot disagree. However, some runs can net the runners huge bonuses down the line. Here is an example:

In Ghost Cartels (which I have just finished reading through), the beginning run of the first chapter is crap, a measly 1k a runner, and very little chance to get extra 'side' cash (such as stealing guns, or whatever.) However, do a few more runs down the line, and the final run of the first chapter nets the runners 10k apiece, along with the bodies of several street sams (if they manage to best them) which can be sold for parts. Yay.

For my first run, I gave my players 5k total (divided among 4 players.) In the final encounter, they also defeated six guys, stole their craptastic guns and commlinks. Donated all their amonium nitrate (the thugs were building bombs) to the Ork Underground for farming, and then sold off five of the six thugs (one had died) to Evo for human medical testing.

For my second run, my players will get paid 5k apiece (which is story-driven about why it is so high), but will also have the chance to steal some guns, and maybe even sell a street sam to a shadowdoc for spare parts if they are fast/smart enough.

My rule of thumb is to give runners enough money to sustain a mid lifestyle, and allow enough money that they can buy the things they need for runs (or buy some nice big shinies if they save up for a month or two.) Don't let runners have tons of cash, but let them have enough so that your armoror can save up and buy that Armory shop, or so your mage, after he scrimps and saves for several months, can get that power focus he had his eye on.
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paws2sky
post Apr 8 2009, 02:37 PM
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Determining average rate of pay is kind of an art form, IMO.

The Dumpshock rule of thumb seems to be: Would it be more profitable to boost Americars and sell them to chop shops? If yes, then you're not paying them enough.

What is the average lifestyle cost for the group? This is a good base rate for a month's work. It keeps the people living a lower lifestyle more cash to play with and keeps the folks with better lifestyles scrapping to get by. If you want them to be a bit more wealthy, consider upping the base pay.

How often do jobs come up? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Quarterly? Yearly? The less frequent the work is, the more the jobs need to pay for the runners to be motivated to stay runners. It will also set the tone for the game. Big scores earned a couple times a year gives the impression that shadow work is rare, but hugely important, thus only real professionals are trusted with the work. They also will have the opportunity to enjoy their wealth more. Frequent work that pays less gives more of a street level feel, as the characters will need to keep working with little downtime. Characters may be motivated to take petty jobs to keep the cash flowing. Enterprising characters may even feel the need to do some work on the side to

Other things to consider: How difficult is the work? How many objectives? What kind of time constraints? Will outside contractors be needed? How high risk is it? All these can inflate the rate of pay for a job.

And even if you want to keep the runners poor, you'll want to throw them the occasional bone to make them feel like they're making headway. Keep tabs on what gear your players want for their characters, occasionally dropping items like that in as bonuses or side rewards.

Favors and markers (IOUs) are also a big deal in low income games. If the Street Doc owes you for scoring a couple cases of the hot new immuno-suppressant, he might be willing to do some work for free to help pay you back. He might even go out of his way to try and score that implant your street samurai wants on the cheap.

ramble, ramble

-paws
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Moon-Hawk
post Apr 8 2009, 05:58 PM
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On the one hand, if you err on the side of excess, then your players will be spoiled rotten little punks who demand ridiculous fees, and it's virtually impossible to scale their pay back once you've set the precedent of overpaying them.

On the other hand, if you pay them far too little, then they'll get sick of being your punching bag for no reward and stop playing your dumb game. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

I generally go for awards of ~5k/character right at the start, quickly increasing to ~10-15k once they have their initial reputation. After a few good runs at that level, if they've got a good reputation, and a hundred karma under their belts maybe they make anywhere from 20-50k per run.
Sometimes you want to give them a windfall, a major award to really motivate them. My advice here is, don't do it in cash. One big payout and everything else will be ho-hum from then on. If you want them to get a big reward, negotiate something else. 'Ware, a cool vehicle for the team, or a hideout. That way you won't ruin them for future, smaller, cash rewards.

All in all I think the question was pretty well answered before I got here, but I sort of wanted to say "Hi" to everyone, having been gone so long.
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Heath Robinson
post Apr 8 2009, 06:58 PM
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QUOTE (Moon-Hawk @ Apr 8 2009, 06:58 PM) *
On the one hand, if you err on the side of excess, then your players will be spoiled rotten little punks who demand ridiculous fees, and it's virtually impossible to scale their pay back once you've set the precedent of overpaying them.


The solution here is to give them an itemised payment and do it for the whole group as a block. Vary the payment distribution between various categories near randomly, with some degree of weighting based on the Johnson (and his affiliation). Payment needs to vary between jobs, even if by a few hundred nuyen. Both up and down. Use all the digits in your payment (i.e. you give them 15832 in total, down from 20000 thanks to laundering, fixer's fee, intel charge, job satisfaction forfeitures, goods-in-lieu, etc.) When you need to slash the pay, cut one item or category off the payment list, or increase one of the Johnson's service charges.

Remember that Johnson's are heartless corp-types. They will include small print in your temporary employment contracts (under assumed identities, for positions that are completely uncontroversial) that forces you to accept these charges for things from the corp. Your Face has Negotiate, let his hits on the roll invalidate service charges or create slash budgets that you can use to pay off some portion of your lifestyle costs.
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Moon-Hawk
post Apr 8 2009, 07:05 PM
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QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Apr 8 2009, 01:58 PM) *
The solution here is to give them an itemised payment and do it for the whole group as a block. Vary the payment distribution between various categories near randomly, with some degree of weighting based on the Johnson (and his affiliation). Payment needs to vary between jobs, even if by a few hundred nuyen. Both up and down. Use all the digits in your payment (i.e. you give them 15832 in total, down from 20000 thanks to laundering, fixer's fee, intel charge, job satisfaction forfeitures, goods-in-lieu, etc.) When you need to slash the pay, cut one item or category off the payment list, or increase one of the Johnson's service charges.

I suppose we all spend our time planning runs differently. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Adarael
post Apr 8 2009, 07:27 PM
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Here's my experience as a player:

75% of the time, I've been the mage, because people demanded I play it, and everything was hunky-dory. Money was never REALLY an issue, because to be honest, mages in 3rd edition and lower never really NEEDED as much money as other types. Sure, it was handy to save up and get a power focus, but it wasn't like you were defined by the 'ware you had. So you just sponged Karma up.

The other 25% of the time, I never had enough money. And I don't mean that in the sense that I couldn't buy the hottest ware, I mean I rarely had enough money to be cost-effective with it. This is all prior to 4th edition, since payment was a little odd when I played my street sam/rigger in 4th. But running for long periods of time, making between 35k and 65k a run, I could only very rarely afford to upgrade ware, get a fancy vehicle, or spring for something fancy. Making 35-65k a run isn't a low amount, either. But if it takes you 3-4 runs to save up for the Alphaware version of your Cyberdoodle, and 6-7 runs for a Betaware version or a new vehicle, then you're gonna be rapidly left in the dust in the per-run Karma award is the 5-8 we were getting.

As a GM, I decided this was bullshit. Cybered characters are about keeping their edge, pushing the limit, and going as far as they can. So I started out paying 5k per runner when they were new, like the standard seems to be, but that rapidly became 10k. Now, at between 75 and 100 karma per character, they're making half a million per run, with a team of 6 people. Not all of that value is money, certainly - some is gear, or favors, or drugs, but the total value is 500,000 nuyen for the group, in general. I want my players to be able to get deltaware for something other than a datajack or a smartlink. I want them to live the high life. I want them to feel like they're going somewhere. Because once they feel like they're going somewhere, they feel capable of taking on the kinds of runs I want them to take on - hitting AAA corps, killing mob bosses, trashing government facilities, and the sorts of shit they wouldn't do if they didn't have the gear and ware to back it up. You know. High street cred runs.
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Zemiron
post Apr 9 2009, 01:06 AM
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Thanks for all the advice and such.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Apr 9 2009, 01:40 AM
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QUOTE (Adarael @ Apr 8 2009, 12:27 PM) *
Here's my experience as a player:

75% of the time, I've been the mage, because people demanded I play it, and everything was hunky-dory. Money was never REALLY an issue, because to be honest, mages in 3rd edition and lower never really NEEDED as much money as other types. Sure, it was handy to save up and get a power focus, but it wasn't like you were defined by the 'ware you had. So you just sponged Karma up.

The other 25% of the time, I never had enough money. And I don't mean that in the sense that I couldn't buy the hottest ware, I mean I rarely had enough money to be cost-effective with it. This is all prior to 4th edition, since payment was a little odd when I played my street sam/rigger in 4th. But running for long periods of time, making between 35k and 65k a run, I could only very rarely afford to upgrade ware, get a fancy vehicle, or spring for something fancy. Making 35-65k a run isn't a low amount, either. But if it takes you 3-4 runs to save up for the Alphaware version of your Cyberdoodle, and 6-7 runs for a Betaware version or a new vehicle, then you're gonna be rapidly left in the dust in the per-run Karma award is the 5-8 we were getting.

As a GM, I decided this was bullshit. Cybered characters are about keeping their edge, pushing the limit, and going as far as they can. So I started out paying 5k per runner when they were new, like the standard seems to be, but that rapidly became 10k. Now, at between 75 and 100 karma per character, they're making half a million per run, with a team of 6 people. Not all of that value is money, certainly - some is gear, or favors, or drugs, but the total value is 500,000 nuyen for the group, in general. I want my players to be able to get deltaware for something other than a datajack or a smartlink. I want them to live the high life. I want them to feel like they're going somewhere. Because once they feel like they're going somewhere, they feel capable of taking on the kinds of runs I want them to take on - hitting AAA corps, killing mob bosses, trashing government facilities, and the sorts of shit they wouldn't do if they didn't have the gear and ware to back it up. You know. High street cred runs.



Our campaign seems to be following this formula pretty well... and it works quite nicely... we have a team of 5 regulars and 2 that show up occassionally... we still are always wanting more, and we never seem to get exactly what we want, as money seems to evaporate for those things that you never would have thought that you needed; but then, I am almost halfway to the saved 480,000 Nuyen to upgrade my entire cyber suite to Beta Grade...

Still, it works out well...
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Chrysalis
post Apr 9 2009, 07:54 AM
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I found a possible answer to this question: Shadowrunners are never paid enough.

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Ascalaphus
post Nov 4 2009, 08:16 PM
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Johnsons and fixers should definitely try to use the PCs' "low Street Cred/high Notoriety" against them, as long as they can. Eventually, PCs will turn the tables, getting the higher pay they deserve.

I think payment negotiation is tricky from a GM vs. players standpoint; suppose a team and a Johnson really can't agree, then your planned mission is basically stillborn..

Neither side can really afford not to come to an agreement OOC, but IC they should both be considering when to walk away.

You can have a walkout once in a while; maybe even prepare an unacceptable offer as the hook for a later offer by another Johnson to intercept a rival team that did take the mission. But you can't do this all the time.

I wonder, too about gaining Notoriety for turning down a job. There is definitely need for common sense interpretation; some jobs are just unreasonable to accept (too underpaid, dangerous or vile). Nor will Johnsons go telling everyone about the job they couldn't sell..


How do you people handle it when the PCs are really unwilling to take a job you've spent some time preparing?
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Pendaric
post Nov 4 2009, 08:57 PM
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I hit them serveral months of no jobs, taking contact up keep and rent until any job starts looking good. then I give them more jobs than they can handle and get them to pick between greed and common sense and see if the tail chaser or set up gets picked.

Runners are like actors, very few are so certain that the best roles will come their way that they can sit back and dismiss any chance for the next hit of credit to feed the familiy, drug habit, rock and sim life style.

They live hand to mouth an so if you make this clear to them honour really means something because it might mean you dont eat. It can also mean that that reputation means you do.

I run a more 'leverage' type of game though where a run goes down every couple of months for seasoned runners, so they have down time to recuperate and upgrade/repair.

SR3 my runner average 50 to 100 K per job but are lucky to get four jobs a year after healing. The lifestyle costs of dealing with the messes that a SR life style means the chances they end up paying a lot to stay in a living (if not whole) piece are quite high.
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Cheshyr
post Nov 4 2009, 10:56 PM
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I'm actually a touch disturbed by how readily the 'corpse trade' was accepted by everyone here. We could just take the cruddy job pay... we could steal cars... we could steal their gear... or we could just sell the corpses! Does it really pay well? Why aren't there groups of snipers just scanning for cyberware and offing SINless runners?
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Creel
post Nov 4 2009, 11:01 PM
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QUOTE (Cheshyr @ Nov 4 2009, 05:56 PM) *
I'm actually a touch disturbed by how readily the 'corpse trade' was accepted by everyone here. We could just take the cruddy job pay... we could steal cars... we could steal their gear... or we could just sell the corpses! Does it really pay well? Why aren't there groups of snipers just scanning for cyberware and offing SINless runners?



My bet would be that there are. They'd be rare, as it takes a special kind of person to randomly geek passersby and rip the hardware out of their guts, but they're out there. Could be a fun series of runs: Fixer has lost a few of his usuals in a certain area of town, go find out what's up?
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Chrysalis
post Nov 4 2009, 11:01 PM
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QUOTE (Cheshyr @ Nov 5 2009, 01:56 AM) *
I'm actually a touch disturbed by how readily the 'corpse trade' was accepted by everyone here. We could just take the cruddy job pay... we could steal cars... we could steal their gear... or we could just sell the corpses! Does it really pay well? Why aren't there groups of snipers just scanning for cyberware and offing SINless runners?



Hey, that's an idea. Thanks. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Ascalaphus
post Nov 4 2009, 11:57 PM
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Ooooh, that IS a nice idea. I can imagine some Runners from differing groups all paranoid trying to figure out which team is going "cannibal", and eventually pooling money for someone to sort it out - perhaps even hiring outsiders because everyone suspects everyone else locally.

I think I'll take it one step further: the PCs are hired to come to Seattle, to play normal Runners, but to watch out just who the Cannibal is all the while. This might be good for my starting campaign as a nice way to drop the PCs in Seattle and give them an angle...
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Cheshyr
post Nov 5 2009, 02:18 AM
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Well, that's at least another dozen runners dead. My job here is done.

As for the original discussion... the entire economy of Seattle confuses me to the point that I'm considering trying to create a rouhg model and fix the inconsistencies. Has anyone done something like this before (so I don't reinvent the wheel)?
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Generic_PC
post Nov 5 2009, 02:31 AM
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Thats a noble pursuit. The problem is that the money in seattle goes to and comes from corps, on both sides. As far as I can tell, 99% of inbound money is controlled by the corps. They probably employ about 70-85% of the population, and probably support (Shadowruns, construction, dock workers) another 5-10%. And ultimately, they'll get it back too, if they're running a profit. Anything that is inbound is almost all corp. stamped.

On topic: It depends on motivations. If all the characters are only skilled at mugging people, 'running is probably going to be more profitable, if more dangerous, than mugging en masse, so you have to price it to reflect that. If the characters can all steal cars, they'll need to make more money (or be safer, i guess. Jacking every single jackrabbit within 3 blocks is likely to cause a police alert.) running than they would making cars, or it makes no sense.

For my group, I've had 4 runs with 2 different sets of characters. I recently 'inherited' GM mantle, so...

One group is low skill, and they've made about 4k in two runs. The other is somewhat higher skilled, and has made about 16k+some loot in their two runs. In the higher skilled game, most of the characters could be making tons of money as a mage, or a security decker, or a doctor. Instead, they don't want to buy into the corps. They're fine taking ones money and screwing over the next, though.
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Platinum
post Nov 5 2009, 03:13 PM
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I guess I expect more of a payout because in the glory days of 2nd edition the average run paid about 5K a person. I don't see why that would be outrageous. You have to hire expert criminals, who have weapons, that will do something illegal. It should pay off millions or at least hundreds of thousands for a Corp or Mr J, worth the price of 50-75K for 1 night.

Sure you can hire a bunch of bums, give them $500 guns, but it would most likely fail. Shadowrunners are the 1 in 100 people with exceptional abilities. Imagine trying to contract a merc company like Blackwater to return a kidnapped child. You think they are going to work for $1000.

Sure you can get some ex cops to run a low level scenario like protecting a rock star, but they are still going to hammer you for $100 an hour each. You will need to hire more of them as well.

Other things to put into perspective.

Merc companies of today charge hundreds of thousands for an op.
They have to cover healing and medical costs
They need to pay for upgrades and replace equipment.
Mages can earn thousands a day from alchemy/enchanting/summoning... etc.
If there is a crime involved there is a risk of jail time.

So GM's pay your runners well. (Just get rid of the cash for karma rule. <-- worst munchkining idea ever.) Leads to unprofessional behaviour like corpse harvesting, which could be another loose end. There will be paperwork tracking that somewhere. Also adding in another person into the loop. Cyberware has traceable hardware, which can be followed back to your runners and from the runners to Mr J.
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