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> Wealth & Rewards, How much? How little?
post Mar 17 2010, 12:14 AM
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Hey there dudes'n'dudettes!
Currently at it leading my first Shadowrun game and I must say, I've gone all freakish about "mission rewards". I mean, how much Nuyen is ALOT of Nuyen, and how little is not enough in the long run?
The currency is a bit iffy as it is, and I have no clear picture of the economy - thankfully, my players've been trying to help me with the whole thing, but even they are at a loss.
So, come one, come all! Help a newcomer!
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post Mar 17 2010, 12:21 AM
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Bottom line: Don't hand out a huge shitton of nuyen, or let them spend it at book prices. that just leads to insanity later. But don't give them so little they can't make rent - or worse, won't even get out of bed to try for so little.

This also depends on how gritty your game is. As I understand it, proper grittyness levels should have the players feeling a little tight in the pockets, and so willing to look for alternate ways to boost their income, or consider higher-paying, but riskier jobs more than they usually would.

At a guess? Look at your playerbases most expensive lifestyle, see how much it costs per month, and then arrange for roughly that amount, plus or minus ten percent, to fall into their hands over that month - but also find ways to work bonus income into a run. Tips and bonuses for prompt service, or material benefits. Handing +cash isn't quite the way to go. Having materials, spare expensive guns, or other small-size high-value items hidden around for your players to find, if they're observant, lends a nice element of 'wait wait wait, how much -can- we fence that for?'

When you think about it, a full 250 belt of Ex-Ex machine gun ammo is worth a few thousand nuyen(250/10*100=2500). Stuff like that. Even a nice commlink here and there. Letting your runners get el cheapo disposable gear(that they were going to dispose of, anyway) as favors, or through contacts, helps a lot to defray the 'but I need money' problem.

Hope that helps.
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post Mar 17 2010, 12:53 AM
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Shooting Target

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An old post of mine on the subject.

How much to pay runners is really a nonstarter. Shadowrun isn't like D&D with wealth/level tables and stuff like that. A GM needs to decide how much to pay his runners based on his individual group and playstyle. Like others have said, a 'street' level campaign where the PC's pay 100nuyen a month for a squatter lifestyle and loot half full clips off of dead enemies because they will probably need that extra ten rounds of ammo is going to see a lot less cash than a 'prime runner' campaign where the PC's maintain a high lifestyle and spend their time debating between dropping 500K on a slick new piece of ware or buying an armoured SUV.

With that said, a far more critical question is "how do I balance Nuyen to Karma" and here's where things get ugly. A lot of GM's equate karma with experience points and will often dole out too many, sometimes far too many as compared to how much cash they hand out. The problem crops up when the adepts and the mages start investing that karma into initiation and the like.

As a general rule of thumb you'll want your mage initiating at about the same time as your Street Sam buys his first piece of high end ware. I'd err on the side of giving too much money than too little since all things considered it's a lot easier to make your runners poor again than it is to suck karma from them.

If you're looking for hard numbers? I'd say start with the assumption that the runners are established professionals pulling in 15-20 K each per run. It's too easy to give too much karma to compensate for low payouts in lower level campaigns. Give them 7500:nuyen: - 10,000:nuyen: for each point of Karma you plan on awarding. This means that by the time the mages should be initiating for the first time (at around 20 karma) the Sams will have banked around 150K. Assume that they'll have spent about 50K each on various expenses over the course of the game so far and that leaves the sams with about 100K. That's enough to start really working at upgrading their ware while the mages initiate.

In other words, for a run that you expect to net 2 karma for pay a group of five 75-100 thousand.
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post Mar 17 2010, 01:37 AM
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Street Doc

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Welcome to Dumpshock BubbleGrunt!!

This question comes up every few weeks. Here is the most recent one I know of.

Unfortunately the search function doesn't work for three letter words like "pay". If you search for things like "compensation", "payment" or "payout" it works a lot better.
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post Mar 17 2010, 01:27 PM
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as a general rule for me, runs themselves should pay 1000-10000 per character depending on the difficulty (10k runs are essentially suicide missions for all but the best runners)... however the run payout is far from the only way to make some cash, which is one of the biggest reasons I dont have the runs themselves pay more, frugal players will find many ways to make extra money... if it's in the barrens or other similar area... practically anything and everything they see during the run that will fit in a vehicle, will be in a pawn shop by the next morning... bikes from gangers, every gun, every jacket and piece of armor, every commlink, everything... including any "recently used" cyberware if they can get the bodies to a safe place, and if they can do the run fast enough the bodies themselves may get donated to science (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

make sure you use the rules for buying / fencing... read through them a couple times, without a face character they're probably looking at buying anything for 130% book value, and selling anything at about 25-30% book value (make sure to include mods, that secondhand cyber is 30% of the cyber value, its 30% of the secondhand cyber value )

if it's in a better area where they can't take the time to rummage you can still expect them to grab weapons, credsticks and commlinks off of dead or unconcious guards, etc...

if it's in any kind of corp office and there's a decker involved you can pretty well bet on them trying to sell off some corp secrets for extra money.

point is, the run itself is the last of your problems if your players are semi-intelligent and greedy

remember, it's just as easy to make the run harder by throwing in an extra 3-4 guards high on jazz, as to add a cyber troll with big weapons.... and when the players win, the 4 dead goons will mean less money than the cybertroll with expensive toys
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post Mar 17 2010, 03:28 PM
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The Dragon Never Sleeps

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More then they need, less then they want.

You'll need to talk to the players to find out what they want.
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post Mar 17 2010, 03:41 PM
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Immortal Elf

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It also depends on how often they're running. If a run takes them a month before their next one, then they have a month of lifestyle upkeep to spend cash on too.

So the bare minimum is enough to cover their lifestyle + spent gear (ammo, etc).
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