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> Reputations in the shadows, cause it merits discussion
Backgammon
post Jun 7 2004, 05:43 PM
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This thread is derived from Hiring a runner team 101

The question is, how does exactly reputation work in the shadows?

There is no way that every Johnson knows every shadowrunner and, more importantly, what they did. "Ah yes, Jake the Sammy, I've heard good things about how you handled that Ares run last month. Sit down, I have a proposition for you."

Runs are, by defintion, not supposed to be known. Word cannot get around that a) there even was a hit at Ares last month and b) who did it. Were that the case, runners would die from payback squads at an alarming rate.

But rep is undeniable. A fixer needs to know if the guys he's hiring are any good. How does he do that?

Imagine this scenario: a team of runners go meet a fixer hanging out in his favourite bar, and tell him they are runners looking for some work.
The way I see it, he'd ask the runners for other fixer names, and call up the ones he's chill with and ask about the runner. "Oh yeah, he's solid" or "That fragger? Do me a favour and do him in right there and then, I'll owe you one buddy". Instant reputation. After that, he knows that team is good, and he himself can attest to that when one of his buddies calls him up.

So a fixer that can't check up on the names a runner drops, cannot verify their rep. So any good fixer needs to know a lot of people.

I have more thought, but I'll wait for feedback before continuing.

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Nikoli
post Jun 7 2004, 05:46 PM
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I remember in 2nd ed. there were rules for 'rep' based on your total good karma.low karma meant few if any knew about you.
get a few hundred under your belt and Dragons have heard of you.

Problem is, so have the cops, though they might not have photos. Remember The Jackal, everyone had heard of the guy but nobody knew who he was. They just knew not to fuck with him, well, most of them knew.
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Abstruse
post Jun 7 2004, 05:52 PM
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And that's the trick. Check out the Life on the Run section of SSG, it goes into more detail about what a rep entails. Basically, you want to make sure the right people know about you and the wrong people don't. This is very tricky, of course, but possible. And even if the wrong people do know about you, this doesn't matter much as long as you play it smart. "Buzz on the streets says" doesn't hold up in court. The Lone Star detective may KNOW you guys were the ones that capped off the new City Counsel member, but he has to be able to PROVE it to bring you down.

Rep is a very nebulous concept though. It seems to be one of those things you either get or you don't get.

The Abstruse One
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Siege
post Jun 7 2004, 05:54 PM
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Interesting idea.

I'd guess a starting crew would find someone who knows someone and pay for an introduction.

Then, after x amount of penny ante jobs, they get graded as "worth my time and capable of these jobs" or "never going to amount to more than body bag filler".

By approaching someone and saying, "Hi, my name is..." doesn't seem like it would be a particularly good career move, given the suspicion and paranoia inherent to the running world.

Word of mouth would probably circulate among those who know -- I'd even imagine fixers would share some information and get referrals, just like talent agents today. And I'd imagine fixers who specialize in jobs would make a habit of frequenting establishments that cater to their clients -- gun ranges for mercs, the Matrix or deck shops for Deckers and so on. Always have to keep an eye out for the next big thing.

Of course, some reps are limited to certain circles and are by no means universally applied.

"Rep: Best Decker on the Matrix" probably won't help you in a gang showdown. Although "Rep: Made Man with the Mafia" could go either way, but it would be a lot more applicable.

"Street cred" is a really fickle thing that could blow either way and is gone just as fast.

-Siege
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Lantzer
post Jun 7 2004, 05:55 PM
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I'd go with that. I've always figured the shadow community was a network of aquaintances, held together by word-of-mouth news and unwritten rules.

A Johnson sets up a meet with a runner team because somebody he knows and trusts at leat a little vouched for them. A team goes to meet a Johnson because their fixer set it up for them. If things go south, you can bet the disgruntled parties will have a chat with their respective contacts about it.

A fixer who is repeatedly a poor judge of character, situations, or talent will go out of business, in one form or another.

A Johnson who overpays or screws his teams regularly will be out of business as well, for different reasons.

A team that is known for blabbing info or other unprofessional behavior will find their employment opportunities limited in much the same way.

On the other hand, if one of the above proves to be reliable and professional, his rep will rise accordingly. Johnsons, fixers, and runners are in the same boat, when it comes to Rep.
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k1tsune
post Jun 8 2004, 07:36 AM
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Dude. There's the Matrix. Anyone can find out any dirt on anyone if they know where to look.

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CircuitBoyBlue
post Jun 8 2004, 08:19 AM
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QUOTE (Nikoli)
Remember The Jackal, everyone had heard of the guy but nobody knew who he was. They just knew not to fuck with him, well, most of them knew.

Actually, almost everyone knew who he was. The French, Venezuelans, Cubans, and Soviets all had intel files on him before he even began his career as a terrorist. He actually kept himself alive becuase everyone knew who he was. Since so much was known about him, keeping him around was useful to the Soviet Bloc because as long as he lived, Western Europe had to keep on its toes, and the West couldn't just have him offed, because doing so would have meant sneaking into communist territory and assassinating someone, which would have violated a code of decency that the West held itself to when the Soviet Bloc didn't. I'd call the whole thing masterful and cite it as an example of a shadowrunner type using his wits if the whole thing hadn't been due to the manipulations of the Stasi, who basically got away with it. Carlos got used, and used bigtime. If anything, the Stasi were a really devious, backstabbing sort of Johnson.
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Mr.Platinum
post Jun 8 2004, 12:23 PM
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Some other shit that may effect a characters rep.

For example a flaw named Distinct style may make it easier for some one to know you.
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Backgammon
post Jun 8 2004, 07:37 PM
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There's also the "name factor".

Say a fixer's goon overhears his boss talking about "Raygun", and how Raygun really did one hell of a job on that Ares run.

Now, say that goon, wanting to impress his friends, or maybe trying to get on another fixer's good side by pretending he knows what he's talking about, starts saying how a certain Raygun iz da man with da mad skillz.

Then somewhere, somehow, somebody else mentions he heard a certain Raygun had pulled a good job. The low players of the street, the mafia soldiers, the thug bodyguards, etc., talk about what they heard, and the name Raygun keeps coming up. The Bosses also pick up on what the goons talk about. "Hmm, get me this Raygun guy, I have a job for him".

So I guess gossip amongst the flunkies, people that don't really know what their talking about, can really boost your reputation.
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Siege
post Jun 8 2004, 09:12 PM
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A legitimately earned rep versus "I killed ten with a single blow" scenario.

Interesting role-play potential there.

-Siege
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Backgammon
post Jun 8 2004, 09:14 PM
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Hmm, had a thought.. Would Etiquette have any relation to reputation? Like knowing how to handle your reputation, how to subtly boost it without looking phony, that sort of thing?
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Nath
post Jun 8 2004, 09:25 PM
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QUOTE (CircuitBoyBlue @ Jun 8 2004, 10:19 AM)
QUOTE (Nikoli @ Jun 7 2004, 12:46 PM)
Remember The Jackal, everyone had heard of the guy but nobody knew who he was.  They just knew not to fuck with him, well, most of them knew.

Actually, almost everyone knew who he was. The French, Venezuelans, Cubans, and Soviets all had intel files on him before he even began his career as a terrorist. He actually kept himself alive becuase everyone knew who he was. Since so much was known about him, keeping him around was useful to the Soviet Bloc because as long as he lived, Western Europe had to keep on its toes, and the West couldn't just have him offed, because doing so would have meant sneaking into communist territory and assassinating someone, which would have violated a code of decency that the West held itself to when the Soviet Bloc didn't. I'd call the whole thing masterful and cite it as an example of a shadowrunner type using his wits if the whole thing hadn't been due to the manipulations of the Stasi, who basically got away with it. Carlos got used, and used bigtime. If anything, the Stasi were a really devious, backstabbing sort of Johnson.

Maybe Nikoli was thinking about The Jackal from the movie Day of the Jackal/The Jackal, instead of Ilich Ramirez Sanchez aka Carlos the Jackal.
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Vlad the Bad
post Jun 9 2004, 03:18 AM
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QUOTE (Nikoli)
I remember in 2nd ed. there were rules for 'rep' based on your total good karma.low karma meant few if any knew about you.
get a few hundred under your belt and Dragons have heard of you.

The system in 2nd edition which I kinda liked was a Street Etiquette test for someone to know your rep. Target number (1000 - total karma)/50. Not bad in a pinch.
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sidartha
post Jun 9 2004, 04:03 AM
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It's really not that hard to learn someone's rep if you have the right contacts.
Consider the following.
On a particular night in Seattle three simaltainous runs are taking place.
Run 1: A quiet datasteal from a shell company. The run has a bonus for being totaly quiet. The target has heavy electronic security, but after aquiring some high end goods from their fixer the runners sleaze in, snag the data, sleaze back out again and nobody even misses the lost data for a week afterwards.
Run 2: A typical extraction from a Ares development lab. The team has a few heavy bullet shields in it but it doesn't help them and on the way out they trigger an alarm and in the ensuing gunfight the target is killed, one of the meat shields is killed and everyone else is badly hurt.
Run 3: A 'Scorched Earth' run against a Renraku shell company, orders are destroy everything. The team moves in and in a matter of ten minutes charges are set and the building goes up in a spectacular fireball. Because it's a shell company the Star gets to investigate. Despite news briefs to the contrary contacts within the Star say they've got nothing, not even the type of explosive used due to all the chemicals in the wrekage. Renraku also investigates and hits the same dead ends. Because Renraku is investigating, SK, Yamatetsu and Mitsuhama look into it and also find no leads.
Two days later a so-called demo expert is on the market for some new material and one of the demo experts mates calls his street doc for mild chem exposure.
Net result. Fixers, Suppliers and a Street Doc know enough to pin team 3 to the job and four megas could not find evidence inplicating the guilty party. In all Good Rep
Back to run 2. The next day the trid shows the aftermath of a very sloppy run, an entire team is under the knives of various Street Docs and a Fixer has gotten bitched out by an irate Johnson. Result, Bad Rep
Run 1. the team is linked to the job by the equipment they had to purchase before hand and after the job some johnson is saying to another that he had to pay the bonus fee to his team but it was worth every nuyen cause the heist wasn't found for a week.
One other thing to remember is that runners have to maintain their contacts. This doesn't mean wiring them $100 a month, it means taking your Fixer out to the opera. And if during the intermission he asks you "How did that thing go last Wendsday?" you say" Like clockwork. It was wounderfull" then you might get some more good rep.
Point being your actions will be found out. But as far as reprisals from the Megas go remember they are looking to hire the best too 8)
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toturi
post Jun 9 2004, 10:21 AM
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I would allow the upkeep for special cases such as Fixers and Johnsons to be paid in kind, eg. runs(and the fixer gets his cut), purchases thrugh the fixer, etc.

Remember, if your Fixer asks you about last week's run, he should just get a blank look. Not "Like clockwork. It was wonderful."
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sidartha
post Jun 9 2004, 10:26 PM
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I suppose that all depends on the relationship you have with your fixer.
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Moonstone Spider
post Jun 9 2004, 11:23 PM
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An old group of mine used to have Party-RPs. Each player would blow their entire contact maintenance on the same day and throw a massive party where all the Johnsons, Fixers, and Runners they'd met for the past year were invited.

Of course ever Party at Mona Lisa's was infiltrated by Lone Star, Humanis, Bugs, or some other nasty but everybody knew that would happen to begin with. The opportunity to network with dozens of other shadow-figures was too important to miss out on, and the Runners always went through some hoops to kill/Laes/distract/evict the infiltrators.
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Kagetenshi
post Jun 9 2004, 11:32 PM
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A Rodent of Unus...
post Jun 9 2004, 11:51 PM
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The answer is simple, but one that too many people are reluctant to accept. The role of the fixer should be changed to reflect a more believable scenario. The way the game works now, it's horribly silly.

The way it should work is a Johnson contacts a Fixer and gives him the details and they negotiate a price amongst themselves. It's then up to the Fixer to get the job done. He hunts down runners he's worked with in the past that suit the job's critera and then works with them to set up the run. He determines how much they get paid (likely a fraction of what the Fixer received in the first place) and can help secure any specialty equipment they'll need.

In this scenario, the Johnson's anonyymity is protected, the Fixer's reputation is the only one that matters on that side of the fence, and the runner's reputations only matter in regard to their Fixer. The runners have no idea who they're running for, nor can they ever tell anyone who they're working for because they simply don't know. Only one person knows both sides, and that's a hell of a lot more secure and safer than the Johnson, the Fixer, and the Runners all knowing one another.

The way it works now, it's insane. The Johnson has to not only tell the Fixer that he needs people to commit a crime, but he reveals his identity to each and every one of those runners of whom he has *no* relationship whatsoever (let alone any reason to trust them). The Fixer isn't out of the loop, either, since the runners are likely to come crawling right back to him for any specialty equipment or contacts they need, and he's going to know who they need it for since he just hooked them all up. Everyone knows everyone, and everyone can rat everyone else out. It's... just insane.

Yet since that's the way the game's protrayed, way too many people seem unwilling to go the more believable route. It's a shame.
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Dax
post Jun 10 2004, 02:50 AM
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QUOTE (A Rodent of Unusual Size)
The answer is simple, but one that too many people are reluctant to accept. The role of the fixer should be changed to reflect a more believable scenario. The way the game works now, it's horribly silly.

The way it should work is a Johnson contacts a Fixer and gives him the details and they negotiate a price amongst themselves. It's then up to the Fixer to get the job done. He hunts down runners he's worked with in the past that suit the job's critera and then works with them to set up the run. He determines how much they get paid (likely a fraction of what the Fixer received in the first place) and can help secure any specialty equipment they'll need.

In this scenario, the Johnson's anonyymity is protected, the Fixer's reputation is the only one that matters on that side of the fence, and the runner's reputations only matter in regard to their Fixer. The runners have no idea who they're running for, nor can they ever tell anyone who they're working for because they simply don't know. Only one person knows both sides, and that's a hell of a lot more secure and safer than the Johnson, the Fixer, and the Runners all knowing one another.

The way it works now, it's insane. The Johnson has to not only tell the Fixer that he needs people to commit a crime, but he reveals his identity to each and every one of those runners of whom he has *no* relationship whatsoever (let alone any reason to trust them). The Fixer isn't out of the loop, either, since the runners are likely to come crawling right back to him for any specialty equipment or contacts they need, and he's going to know who they need it for since he just hooked them all up. Everyone knows everyone, and everyone can rat everyone else out. It's... just insane.

Yet since that's the way the game's protrayed, way too many people seem unwilling to go the more believable route. It's a shame.

I see that as both, yes and no. That's the way it normally works. And its probably the way that Johnson's work when work when they want to be totally annonimous. However, there is something to be said about a Mr. Johnson decideing to set a group of runners up hook-line and sinker.

The game continuity has done this before, usually groups like the Human Nation and Saito and their ilk. Show up as Mr. Bumbling idiot desperate to get some kind of job done, and thusly setting up the runners to do something they'd normally never want to do.

Then there is the issue of Mr. Johnson's that do nothing but act as hireing men. They almost act like Fixer's themselves, but they deal strictly in people instead of everything needed in the Shadows.

The point is, that there are many different ways to go about hireing Runners.
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Kagetenshi
post Jun 10 2004, 02:53 AM
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They are basically people-fixers. It's their entire point.

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A Rodent of Unus...
post Jun 10 2004, 03:18 AM
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No, the point is that's not how it's typically done within the game. The standard is the Fixer, due to poor conceptual design, just introduces the Johnson to the runners and washes his hands of it. As pointed out above, that's neither smart nor believable. It basically just makes him a liability.
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sidartha
post Jun 10 2004, 04:05 AM
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I agree with you Rodent but from a purely game standpoint, where you have this huge maciavelian universe, the runners may have some plot oriented goal to hunt down their Johnson and haveing never met the person makes that difficult to say the least. Throw in one dead fixer and it becomes imposable.
The prosses you describe makes perfact sence but from a in-game point of view it completely cuts off a certen aspect of the game. It's the same reason that you can not buy a out of the box cargo helecopter but you can get a Strato-9 w/mmg and 10,000 rnds EX explosive for said mmg. Game mechanics pure and simple :spin:
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