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> How much should Johnsons be willing to pay runners?
grahariel
post Feb 14 2011, 06:07 PM
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Without a price table for run jobs my haggling between Johnsons and runners has them paid waaay to much. Is there or has anyone created a table to help GMs know what prices Johnsons should be haggling for ?
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Brazilian_Shinob...
post Feb 14 2011, 06:26 PM
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First of all, how many runs they do per month? Unless they are really hoarding money to pay for some shiny new toy, most runners would work once a month. This means they should earn enough money to pay for their lifestyle and the legwork of the run and enough money so they can buy some new cheap toy.

I know it is someone's sig and I will paraphrase it: "if the cost of a run is cheaper than stealing cars, then you are not paying enough".
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Doc Chase
post Feb 14 2011, 06:47 PM
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QUOTE (Brazilian_Shinobi @ Feb 14 2011, 07:26 PM) *
"if the cost of a run is cheaper than stealing cars, then you are not paying enough".


Indeedy. It's a fine line, but know how many people you got, what their lifestyle costs are, and get it to be close, if not a bit over. Your players are likely to pick up some cash on the side in the farm of moveable assets purloined from the target. Also figure on the difficulty of the run. If this is a Zero Zone target, then the payout is going to be higher. If your people don't think the paycheck is going to be high enough, they'll walk away or haggle for a higher result. If you figure the price is fair but they don't, then yes, they've been paid too much and they're going to need to lose some of that bankroll. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)

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nezumi
post Feb 14 2011, 07:02 PM
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No more than the job is worth, no less than the runners can make doing something else, averaging around what the Johnson thinks they're worth.

Specifics? My runners probably wouldn't accept less than $5k/head for an hour's work. This is something easy, like the old 'pick up the Johnson's laundry down the street'. They go up to $50,000, barring special circumstances, and average around 20-30,000. That's all 'per head'. They've made as much as $200,000 per head (mostly in hardware, but still), and as little as... nothing.

They are very pro. For gangers, divide those numbers by 2.
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Eratosthenes
post Feb 14 2011, 07:11 PM
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It should vary very much by

1) the (expected) difficulty of the run (little opposition/security vs. Zero Zone)
2) the time involved (1 hour job vs. 1 week commitment)
3) the urgency of the run (now, vs. anytime within a week)
4) the ability of the Johnson to pay (Megacorp vs. co-op commune).

Also figure in that some J's will overpay, some will underpay, and some will downright try to screw the runner's over. And leave leeway for negotiations to change the final amount.

As others have said, they should make, in a month, enough to cover reasonable (for their ability and level of play) lifestyles + a little extra for gear/expenditures. Expenses will likely rise as they players maintain extra dosses, use more expensive gear, and encounter more risk (higher medical bills), so the contracts they receive should increase as well. Perhaps peg it to their Street Cred. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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CanRay
post Feb 14 2011, 08:19 PM
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Depends on the market. Whatever the market will bear.

As for some Mr. Johnsons downright screwing the 'Runners over, the 'Run isn't over until the Johnson has put the screws to the Shadowrunners. Serves them right for being the dregs of society and all that!

It also depends on the negotiation skill of the Johnson and the 'Runners. Too greedy, and Mr. Johnson will just find a crew that can do the same job cheaper, however.
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EKBT81
post Feb 14 2011, 09:38 PM
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QUOTE (Eratosthenes @ Feb 14 2011, 08:11 PM) *
It should vary very much by

1) the (expected) difficulty of the run (little opposition/security vs. Zero Zone)
2) the time involved (1 hour job vs. 1 week commitment)
3) the urgency of the run (now, vs. anytime within a week)
4) the ability of the Johnson to pay (Megacorp vs. co-op commune).


IMHO also by 5) the tone and style of your specific SR setting and campaign (gritty ultra-dystopia vs light-hearted action movie style).

A metagaming thought:

Having disposable cash once in a while allows your PCs more leeway for their own projects. Let the ex-ganger street sam throw a big party for his former gang, let the high society face buy a cover at the mayor's campaign dinner, whatever. In my experience letting the PCs do their own things between more standard runs leads to much more fun in game than having them just sit in their basement between runs, polishing their guns. Of course that depends on your group. If their reaction to a windfall is "I buy more guns to polish while sitting in my basement", it might not work out for you.
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capt.pantsless
post Feb 14 2011, 09:47 PM
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There's also out-of-character considerations - I generally take the viewpoint that the GM should dole-out the cash, karma and other rewards fast enough to keep your players having fun. If your table has lots of folks looking to write down bigger numbers on their sheets, but you only get to play once a month or less, by all means, throw some big numbers their way. Enough so that they can afford some sort of upgrade every other play session.
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shon
post Feb 14 2011, 10:42 PM
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Actually there's something in the negotiations that I encountered with my players and it's bugging me deeply. I wonder if anybody else feels that way. And keep in mind this is talking straight out of character here.

The situation is like this: I, as the GM, have prepared a scenario, or mission. It starts by the J making an offer (let's assume it's the typical "J pays, you do" situation). Then they negotiate. And they are greedy like hell (just for the fun of it I suppose as they are not very short on toys or anything). Let's say the J can offer them 30k for a rather simple job. They tell him they want 300k and nothing less. For the kind of job in question there is no way anybody is going to pay 300k, or even 100k for that matter. In character, the J simply walks away, having a good laugh, and finds another team.

The problem is: the players (not the characters) know that I have this mission prepared for them. And if the J walks away, there's no mission, there's no play. We can all just get up and go home. So they know they have me by the balls. I have to give them the money so we can play. I think this isn't fair play. But on the other hand, they players are fairly new to the game, and they thing they should earn tons of cash simply for being criminals. Of course they wanna play. But they know I won't end the game withing first 15 minutes, simply because of failed negotiation.

So, did anybody have a situation like this? Where they know they can negotiate way up or else the game is over for tonight? What would you do? Just get up and leave, teach them a lesson?

Of course I can always invent jobs where they are blackmailed or else forced to do something, but every once in a while it would be nice to just have the J hand over the details and get over with it. Or should I just pay them millions and then kill them because the run was way over their heads (as it should be for this kind of cash)?
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capt.pantsless
post Feb 14 2011, 11:01 PM
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QUOTE (shon @ Feb 14 2011, 04:42 PM) *
So, did anybody have a situation like this? Where they know they can negotiate way up or else the game is over for tonight? What would you do? Just get up and leave, teach them a lesson?



I usually have a second run semi-prepared to run in case of this sort of thing. Then the original offer gets re-cycled if feasible given the situation. If the runners make a habit of refusing otherwise decent jobs, you should have fewer customers available for them. It's one of the hard bits of trying to simulate a 'real-world', and usually the players themselves should have a bit more understanding of the GM's time.

Along these same lines, I've been thinking of writting-up a adventure titled 'An offer you really ought to refuse' and seeing if the players are smart enough to say no.
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TygerTyger
post Feb 14 2011, 11:02 PM
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QUOTE (shon @ Feb 14 2011, 06:42 PM) *
Actually there's something in the negotiations that I encountered with my players and it's bugging me deeply. I wonder if anybody else feels that way. And keep in mind this is talking straight out of character here.

The situation is like this: I, as the GM, have prepared a scenario, or mission. It starts by the J making an offer (let's assume it's the typical "J pays, you do" situation). Then they negotiate. And they are greedy like hell (just for the fun of it I suppose as they are not very short on toys or anything). Let's say the J can offer them 30k for a rather simple job. They tell him they want 300k and nothing less. For the kind of job in question there is no way anybody is going to pay 300k, or even 100k for that matter. In character, the J simply walks away, having a good laugh, and finds another team.

The problem is: the players (not the characters) know that I have this mission prepared for them. And if the J walks away, there's no mission, there's no play. We can all just get up and go home. So they know they have me by the balls. I have to give them the money so we can play. I think this isn't fair play. But on the other hand, they players are fairly new to the game, and they thing they should earn tons of cash simply for being criminals. Of course they wanna play. But they know I won't end the game withing first 15 minutes, simply because of failed negotiation.

So, did anybody have a situation like this? Where they know they can negotiate way up or else the game is over for tonight? What would you do? Just get up and leave, teach them a lesson?

Of course I can always invent jobs where they are blackmailed or else forced to do something, but every once in a while it would be nice to just have the J hand over the details and get over with it. Or should I just pay them millions and then kill them because the run was way over their heads (as it should be for this kind of cash)?


I can see this as an issue, but doesn't it go both ways? Why can't the Johnson just stand up and walk out? While yes, the GM does have a vested interest in the session happening, so do the players.

I run a pretty reactive game. Were my players to pull this, we would wrap it up right there, and play Risk or something for the night. And their characters wouldn't make rent that month. So there are consequences. Of course, you'd have a discussion about the situation out of character so that you can see what the issue is. If their characters legitimately believe that the run is worth nothing less than 300K, then maybe there is a misunderstanding. "No no no... not Saeder Krupp HQ!!! No, its a SK office in Tacoma." "OOOooohhhh! yeah, then 30K seems more like it."

Of course, maybe they are being jerks. I haven't much experience with that, as my group is composed of friends, but I can see that happening in some groups. Not sure what you'd do there.
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TheOOB
post Feb 14 2011, 11:21 PM
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I generally assume that runners won't get out of bed for less than 5k each, and if the job present any real risk to them 10k per runner is minimum. As mentioned above, if a run doesn't at least pay for a months worth of middle lifestyle it's not profitable to the runners, and a run with any danger is going to need to be able to pay for legwork, consumables, fake SINs, and whatnot.

Generally speaking, if you want to keep power level even, giving about 2,500 nuyen per point of karma you give it to be advised. This will keep the archtypes that rely on money to become more powerful (riggers and hackers), balanced with the archtypes that rely on karma (awakened and technomancers), and makes a good balanced with the mixed types as well (samurai, faces, ect). This doesn't have to be all at once however, the players may hood it for a few runs, working for 10k when they should be charging 15-20k, but then do a big corp run that gives them a high payout.
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ProfGast
post Feb 14 2011, 11:45 PM
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QUOTE (shon @ Feb 14 2011, 12:42 PM) *
...Players being unrealistically demanding...

If this happens, you can always pretend to give in. Have the Johnson say "Alright I'll pay you that, but I need time to gather the funds, I can only pay X up front right now and then later I can..."

And when they try to collect their unrealistically high paycheck, stiff 'em or have actual consequences waiting. Knight Errant, Red Samurai, Tir Ghosts, Sioux Wildcats or worse if they really deserve it. There are also a lot of other ways a Johnson can screw them over if they break etiquette and demand some more overt than others. Call ahead and have every single possible security already alerted while they're IN the run comes to mind.

As for payscales, I personally think paying a little more per head han is listed for a 40-hr/week day job, with scaling up per the fame modifier depending on how much karma the team has is pretty fair.

Then you can add all sorts of extra opportunities to make some cash on the side, loot, paydata or commodities and flavor to taste.
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TheOOB
post Feb 15 2011, 12:02 AM
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QUOTE (ProfGast @ Feb 14 2011, 07:45 PM) *
If this happens, you can always pretend to give in. Have the Johnson say "Alright I'll pay you that, but I need time to gather the funds, I can only pay X up front right now and then later I can..."

And when they try to collect their unrealistically high paycheck, stiff 'em or have actual consequences waiting. Knight Errant, Red Samurai, Tir Ghosts, Sioux Wildcats or worse if they really deserve it. There are also a lot of other ways a Johnson can screw them over if they break etiquette and demand some more overt than others. Call ahead and have every single possible security already alerted while they're IN the run comes to mind.

As for payscales, I personally think paying a little more per head han is listed for a 40-hr/week day job, with scaling up per the fame modifier depending on how much karma the team has is pretty fair.

Then you can add all sorts of extra opportunities to make some cash on the side, loot, paydata or commodities and flavor to taste.



Careful with that. While Johnsons do betray their runners sometimes, that is rare(would you betray a team of professional mercenaries?). Rather, if the runners demand high pay, have someone come to them with a job that is actually difficult enough to warrent that kind of money, and see how they like it.
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ProfGast
post Feb 15 2011, 12:10 AM
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Except Johnsons have been known to do it all the time. See the original Buzzkill SR opening fic.
See the fact that Corps like Shiawase and Renraku are known for hiring runners to hit their own facilities as security tests.
If a group of upstart runners came to me demanding money an order of magnitude higher than I was originally willing to pay them, and may or may not have an in game reputation for that (and not necessarily an reputation for deserving the pay) then they deserve what they get.

You reap what you sow.

Edit: Alternative solutions for runners who demand too much money consistently. Have the next Johnson they meet be an anonymous caller and when they go to the meet and greet start with the line "Greetings, my name is Herr Brackhaus"
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InfinityzeN
post Feb 15 2011, 12:14 AM
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Depending on how often you run in a month will directly effect your pay scale. I often try to keep it so that for every karma I give out, they get $2.5k after expenses. Meaning if all your players live in middle lifestyle, they run once a month, and your giving out ~6 karma each then the job should pay ~$20k each on completion, with enough money upfront to reasonably cover the cost of expenses (bribes, ammo, demo, etc).

Just remember, take home pay (that is cash after all lifestyles and expenses) should come out to roughly $2.5k for every 1 karma. It is the only way to maintain some balance between the cash heavy builds and the karma heavy builds.
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Eratosthenes
post Feb 15 2011, 01:05 AM
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QUOTE (shon @ Feb 14 2011, 05:42 PM) *
So, did anybody have a situation like this? Where they know they can negotiate way up or else the game is over for tonight? What would you do? Just get up and leave, teach them a lesson?


As TygerTyger said, it cuts both ways. Don't let them bully you into giving them what they want. Have the Johnson walk out. Have jobs dry up. Have them go broke. After a couple of months of no jobs, toss them a back up bone. Same run, just different dressing (different corp names, character names, etc.; they'd never know, since they didn't run the first one). See if their price point hasn't come down.

On a less drastic note, I've run into the problem where some characters have RP reasons for not doing specific jobs. Wetwork, sabotage, that sort of thing, because of either morals or perceived inabilities or dislikes. Which means I have to have a few missions on hand in case the players opt out.
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CanRay
post Feb 15 2011, 01:13 AM
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Not doing a job for personal reasons or morals will cut both ways. In one way, you won't get as many gigs.

In another, you'll get some respect from people in the Shadow Community for not wanting to sell out. Sure, the more Mercenary ones will go "What the Frag", but the Pink Mohawk, Neo-@s will see it as a blow to "The Man", even if but a little.

Sam "Twist" Verner lived this way, BTW, and was active from the early-2050s to the mid-2060s, wielding only a Narcojet Pistol and Rifle for the most part.
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scarius
post Feb 15 2011, 02:41 AM
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i am running at game at the moment with a group of about 4-6 (depending on life) players, we play weekly.

depending on the scale of the job that i write up for them to run, and the amount/rating of the \"bad guys\" that i put them up against is what i use to base the amount of money they are getting paid, when i get Mr J or their fixer to met them with the info about the job, i tell them that it is worth, 5-15,000 less then what it should be. eg snatch and grab on a armoured car: its worth 20-30,000 (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif) per person, i offer 10,000 per person and let them haggel over the price, if they want more they will ask, i have an upper limit that i am willing to go to, and i try and get the cheapest option.

i have about 4 jobs written up at the moment;
1: extract a little kid, 15,000 per player, i have given them a flood of info on the kid/area/house/security, but all that info drys up when it comes to the childs dad (head for a triad family) the job is being offered by a rivel family because they want to make a move and become one of the key players in seattle... they said no, they were then offered more money for the job, still they said no, they ended up being offered 50,000 per head for the job, they still said no... (it was very wise to say no, 2 of my players are in debt to the triads)

2: Hattori Hanzo\'s sword, 10,000 (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif) per player, this sword is the sword of legendary swordsman hattori hanzo, he used this while he was a shogun assassin way back in the day, the sword is said to be so sharp that it cuts through light making the user invisable, a yukaza boss has gotten his hands on this sword and is throwing a massive party to show it off (in 2 weeks) for all the movers and shakers (yukaza, triads, megacorps, lone star, knight errent, heads of state, ect) about 50-60 people all up, the job is to go and steel this sword. they said yes... after doing some research, (the hacker got about 20 hits on an extended test) they found out info on every guest at the party but could find anything on a Mr L. (lofwyr) they found out that some other people have been hired to do the same job as them, no one knows where the sword is coming from or where it is being heald, just that it will be at this blokes home on the day. most of their contacts either know someone or are part of a team who is going after this sword (its a big deal)... they then called up the fixer and said they didnt want the job anymore, the fixer asked them to hold on a second as he was told to do something in this case, he called up the J (another runner team) and then told my players that the offer has gone up to 25,000 per head, they said no, 50,000 per head, still no, 75,000 per head, a bit of a chat amongst each other but still no, 100,000 per head, the game was put on hold for about 15 mins at this point for a food and drink run, they spoke amongst them selves about the job, aprehencive but still no... the sword is worth about 5,000,000,000 if sold to the right person, they are still getting asked if they want the job, but its from different places (contacts, triads, mercs)

3: \"talk\" to some gangers undercutting the price of crappy cram: 5,000 per head, the dragon dodgers have been getting someone to import some cram, which they have then be changing to make more adictive and not as good, then they are selling it on the cheap. the players have been asked to find out who the supplyer is and have a \"chat\" to him about it, and to take care of the dodgers. they asked for more money so i said 7,500 per head, they said yes...

4: help doc wagon, about 5 days out of the hanzo job, the players will be asked if they want to work with doc wagon as there procetion for the night, no one shoots at doc wagon (that would be silly) they just need some extra people for the night, as its going to be quiet messy, i havent told them what they are getting yet as doc wagon will haggel over the fee at the end of the job (thats how i run them)


i hope this helps you have a basic idea on how i run some of my jobs and how i pay them
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braincraft
post Feb 15 2011, 05:51 AM
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Realistically, the budget Johnsons have for paying runners is

(benefit reasonably expected from operation) - (acceptable profit margin, adjusted for risk)

This is pretty much the ceiling for payment. Naturally, some benefits are difficult to quantify, and what constitutes and acceptable profit margin differs from case to case. Furthermore, it's worth delineating between entities responsible for organizing operations and payment.

A headhunter for a research department might think that kidnapping some nanotech specialist from a hardened facility could give his team a shot at beating X rival to the punch in the next quarter. Maybe getting his product to market first is worth 500 million in defense contracts to the company, but only a 50k annual performance bonus to him personally. It's absolutely stupid for this Johnson to pay 50k up front for the extraction, no matter how good the team or how difficult the operation, especially since he can't be assured of the success of the operation ahead of time and he personally risks getting caught playing dirty, or getting extorted by unscrupulous runners. If the corp hires the runners directly, it could easily be worth their while to blow a million on hiring multiple competent teams; but probably not very much more, since all that money has to disappear in accounting.

On the other hand, if the employer is a mob boss targeted by a rival's assassins, he might inflate the value of the benefit (his own life and limb) and minimize the motive for profit (though his underlings might take exception to their superior blowing the payroll on outsiders; or simply decide that it's worth losing their boss to keep the organization's funding).

These numbers are a moving target. If it turns out that scientist X already completed work on the project before his extraction, suddenly his worth plummets, and the runners might find themselves hunted by corp Y for an unsaleable hostage.

Furthermore, prudent Johnsons (which is most of them, since that's why they're in black ops HR and not the mail room) will keep in mind the going market rates for work and the specific desperation of runners. If he hears that you're in the hole to someone nasty, he might call in a marker to get your debt canceled, in exchange for services far in excess of the debt value. After all, when you need that money now now now before someone repossesses your kidneys, you're not exactly in a position to negotiate.

On the flip side, shadowrunners are creatures of wealth and taste, often burdened with massive expenses. Sammies need their bullets, their cyberware checkups, their docwagon card bills paid on time. Hackers need to keep their ware on the bleeding edge to say competitive, and who knows what kind of crazy magical junk a mage might be into. Everyone needs their rent paid, and most need just that little bit extra to justify the danger and discomfort of the profession, when most of them could easily get into a nice, safe line of work. Like dealing crack, or being a medical test subject.

The minimum payment a shadowrunner will accept for a job is

(whatever bills I can't get away with putting off this week) + (however many bullets/drones/pints of blood I'm liable to lose in the process of completing this contract) + (beer)

Again, moving target. Maybe the landlord turned off your heat, so you're thinking this time you could just try really hard to not get shot, and throw rocks at the guards instead of wasting your last clip of APDS. Sometimes your expense reports will be larger than expected; things go wrong, you drop an overcast powerball and glitch the drain, and the hospital bill ends up being more than your payday. Do you ask the Johnson nicely if you can please have some more? Does Mr. Johnson think your continued goodwill is a safe enough investment to give you an advance on your next run? Do you borrow from your teammates' cuts, and hope they don't just sell your Islets of Langerhans to the chop shop?

It's a constant battle between a bunch of horrible people who all need to get paid, and the only regulation of the industry comes from the end of a gun.
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CanRay
post Feb 15 2011, 05:58 AM
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QUOTE (braincraft @ Feb 15 2011, 01:51 AM) *
On the flip side, shadowrunners are creatures of wealth and taste...
Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/devil.gif)

QUOTE (braincraft @ Feb 15 2011, 01:51 AM) *
It's a constant battle between a bunch of horrible people who all need to get paid, and the only regulation of the industry comes from the end of a gun.
The Shadowrunners need a union. Why not, the Assassins unionized. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)
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hyzmarca
post Feb 15 2011, 06:36 AM
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Also remember that the Rolling Stones are going to get paid like the Rolling Stones even if you book them for your little back-alley bar with chicken-wire around the stage.

There comes a point where a runner can demand a premium, if he has a reputation. Remember that movie where Bruce Willis shot Jack Black's arm off with an autocannon? He was paid 70 million for a single assassination, half up front. Few shadowrunners will have a reputation sufficient to command such extreme remunerations, but someone with a rep can certainly expect more than bargain basement wages. Fastjack and random script-kiddie #12 might both be able to break into datastore X, but you'll be paying Fastjack a hell of a lot more, not because the job is difficult, just because he's Fastjack.

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PoliteMan
post Feb 15 2011, 06:58 AM
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Haven't GM'd but a good rule of thumb to me always seemed to be $2000xStreet Cred, assuming that the players start with a street cred of 3 (AFB) and they get a point of Street Cred every 10 Karma. Seems like it keeps the pay increasing at a rate reasonable to their advancement, helps mundanes keep pace with magic users, and provides a decent reason to hood (no pay on this job but increased pay on every subsequent job).
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TheOOB
post Feb 15 2011, 07:29 AM
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QUOTE (PoliteMan @ Feb 15 2011, 02:58 AM) *
Haven't GM'd but a good rule of thumb to me always seemed to be $2000xStreet Cred, assuming that the players start with a street cred of 3 (AFB) and they get a point of Street Cred every 10 Karma. Seems like it keeps the pay increasing at a rate reasonable to their advancement, helps mundanes keep pace with magic users, and provides a decent reason to hood (no pay on this job but increased pay on every subsequent job).


No runner worth the name will ever do a corp run for $6,000 unless there is great personal investment for them. If it costs 5k to maintain a medium lifestyle, and you can expect at least 1k in equiptment, bribes, medical work, ect, where is the profit.

Besides, that method would have nuyen rewards quickly sprialing out of the GMs control. Awakened characters would get really powerful early, but eventually riggers and the like would become gods.
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Ryu
post Feb 15 2011, 07:44 AM
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Multiple limits to "realistic" results have been mentioned:

- Joe Runner lifestyle costs
- Johnson gains
- Johnson budget
- inherent cost of the run

The important question is still what you want to dole out on average.

Runners need to pay for an acceptable lifestyle, lost assets (SINs, drones, binding materials etc), costs of the run itself, and occasional upgrades to ware. Gangers have low lifestyle, little assets to loose, do runs in their home town, and any significant upgrade would but them in the next bracket. The Elite has multiple high lifestyles, expensive illegal gear, operates globally, and can use only the best upgrades due to essence constraints.

What kind of group do you have? 400 BP allow for both gangers and accomplished street sams.
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