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> Making 1 million nuyen realistic, making a plausible character backgroun
Otaku On Acid
post Sep 22 2004, 05:23 AM
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Running with a new group and I'm having an issue. One character in the group took the million nuyen to make a pimped out rigger. Makes sense, cyber is expensive so are drones, but how do you work that into a background? His explanation is that he's a BTL producer/dealer who runs the shadowruns for kicks. How realistic does that sounds to people, and if it does seem realistic what kind of personality would it take to get kicks out of something like that?
One theory is that he seems to think of it as a video game. Since he uses a remote control deck and drones for almost everything then it's plausible that he sees the runs almost like levels in a video game, or at least that my .02 nuyen.
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Cain
post Sep 22 2004, 05:46 AM
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Easily. He built most of his drones himself, or stole them, or traded BTLs for them. At no point did he have a million in cash to blow on drones; he's just got the equivalent of that in equipment. The rest of the background works out well enough, if it fits into the rest of the game.
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lacemaker
post Sep 22 2004, 06:00 AM
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Ex corp/military on the run is a popular one - so much so that it's a bit stale IMO.

Former celebrity/wealthy individual who decides to blow their saving on going into running (possibly for a cause) is an interesting twist.

The hardware can be sold as being from "one big score" which an otherwise normally resourced rigger managed to pull off, but that doesn't really cover the cyberware.

A gift from a mysterious mentor (who was killed and now the rigger wnats revenge).

Stockpiled from a more mundane profession - did testing on vehicle prototypes, worked in a mob chop-shop and skimmed parts off the top.

I don't really like - "I spent my youth building things" without some effort at providing more context, but it solves the problem fairly effectively.
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Jason Farlander
post Sep 22 2004, 06:06 AM
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I find that it is a common assumption that taking 1,000,000 :nuyen: in resources at chargen is directly indicative of how much money the character has spent. This is simply not true. It is simply a reflection of the material things the character currently has at his or her disposal, regardless of acquisition method. In extreme examples, a character with 1 million :nuyen: in starting resources may not have bought a single thing he currently owns, having stolen every last piece of equipment. Likewise, a character with 5,000 :nuyen: in starting resources may once have been a millionaire, but retains nothing of his former fortunes (except perhaps the 1,000 :nuyen: suit he's wearing)

I dont think anyone here would argue that starting off with a level 3 contact means that at some point in that character's career he paid someone 100,000 :nuyen: to be his friend for life, so why they try to apply that rationale to all other gear is somewhat baffling to me.

However, having said all of that... a runner that earns 5,000 nuyen a month and lives a low lifestyle will, over the course of a measly 21 years, have earned a cool million. If you factor in the idea that they might occaisionally have earned more than that, or that they would start earning more money as their rep developed, it might take significantly less - so your seasoned veterans of the shadows can pretty easily justify their starting gear even at that resource level.
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lacemaker
post Sep 22 2004, 06:17 AM
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The only problem with that justification is that the points system requires, by way of maintaining balance, that the most cashed-up runners be the least skilled in other areas. I guess without some kind of explanation it bothers me that the 1 mil character, who often skimps on a lot of basic skills is some kind of 10 year vet - if nothing else that requires you to flip the question around and ask why the more skilled and experienced runners don't have much to show for it.

I'm not suggesting this is an insurmountable problem or anything, just that it tend to bother me.
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Johnson
post Sep 22 2004, 06:38 AM
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Lets put it in to context, of the monetary value. If he is a rigger in your case he could be in scrap yards collecting scrap. Maybe hit a score of some old Drones that he has fixed up or had the fixed with a friend who knows this stuff.

As far as the VCR goes and how he obtained that could be different. At the end of the day drones cost money to repair upgrade and so forth.

He may have all this now but will he be able to maintain the drones and equipment.

Its like a sammy getting 1 M Yen boost on cyber. Most of it is alpha where.
Now a Corp ain't going to let the sammy go Maybe he bounties for a past time or for part of his carrer.

The best may is for him to explain his way of aquiring the goodies.
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Sphynx
post Sep 22 2004, 06:44 AM
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Like others said. A million does NOT mean cash. It's your life. Age is the best background for a cool million. If you want it in cash, thats easy too, super-corps are filthy rich and your dad's old warehouse that he wouldn't sell for sentimental reasons, well, now it's a 50 story Ares office building that you made a cool million on when selling the highly-desired land.

As for Skills... I don't know too many old men who can touch me in skills, skills do not neccessarily increase post school (knowledges may increase alot though).

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lacemaker
post Sep 22 2004, 06:57 AM
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They will tend to among runners though - which is the main way you imagine someone stockpiling that quantity of assets (the whole thing changes if it's spent on contacts obviously).

The 40 year-old stock broker who then decides to run the shadows as a relative newbie works fine, but it's more than a little odd...
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Sandoval Smith
post Sep 22 2004, 09:02 AM
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Your character did not just buy a lottery ticket one day, win a cool million, decide to go run the Shadows and then chrome himself to the teeth (well, maybe he did, but that shouldn't be the explanation everyone uses). If you want to, you can write his backstory that has him go through TEN million in equipment, starting from his first fingertip compartment, and moving up through his upgrades and acquisitions (he had a fully loaded Citymaster, the story about loss of which tying into why he now has a shiny new cyber skull) to the current day, where the full value of his equipment is close to a million nuyen. Hatchetman's story in Cybertechnoloy is a good example of this. Ex-military is another frequently used example explaining why Samurai Sam has so much combat chrome, and it didn't come all at once.

Starting money is the value of your equipment when you start, not what you have in your bank account. That's why you don't get to keep whatever you have leftover.
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Edward
post Sep 22 2004, 09:40 AM
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The “I run for kicks” mentality is a dangerous one but workable. It tends to denote a less professional runner and he shouldn’t work to hard to get high pay (this will be offset with income from his day job flaw BTL dealer).

Other reasons include

ex corp security that ran out for some reason (one of my characters left aztechnolegy because they where going to vivisect his daughter. Yes this is the one that may fly aircraft into pyramids). If you use this one most of your drones should be of the type your former employer used and you should take them as your primary enemy.

Only purchased item was the RCD & cyber. The drones where stolen from there remote control networks and reprogrammed toe belong to the character. For this you must have a good rigger protocol emulation module and possibly a decryption module and your drones must be of types that are moderately common. I like the LS strato 9 myself. those you stole them from will be your core enemies.

Seasoned veteran works but only if you take reputation edges and flaws to account for your history. Or you recently moved town.

Edward
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Kagetenshi
post Sep 22 2004, 11:49 AM
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Keep in mind the ridiculous amounts of money a decently prolific drug/BTL dealer without much in the way of qualms can make. That's an entirely reasonable background for a character with a lot of cred.

I'm running a character now who due to generally being quite talented at vehicle work probably bounced around as a freelance test driver/pilot for a lot of stuff. Good money and it's cheaper than keeping someone with a VCR-3 on-staff (though she probably upgraded over the course of working), while a few security measures will make decently sure that she's not going to walk away with the specs.

~J
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TheScamp
post Sep 22 2004, 12:39 PM
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Besides, as a BTL producer, he doesn't need to run for kicks. He can be recording things for his BTL's.
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Tanka
post Sep 22 2004, 12:53 PM
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QUOTE (TheScamp)
Besides, as a BTL producer, he doesn't need to run for kicks. He can be recording things for his BTL's.

You can't expect people to work all the time. Even drug dealers need a break now and then.

Granted, running may not be the best way to break, but it's a way.
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Johnson
post Sep 22 2004, 02:15 PM
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Well I can see a BTL dealer getting in on the action. Do recordings of runs for btl trips.

We tried that and where very succeful but we had our own problems with that.


Our work got around to the wrong johnson. You can guess what happened next.

Yep we where runners
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Deacon
post Sep 22 2004, 02:36 PM
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I dunno, I see a lot of this sort of thing on the MUSH I play on. Like other people have said, you did not respawn in the room with a million nuyen to spend -- the million represents the gear, ware, contacts, vehicles, modifications, programs, electronics and other items you've amassed/built/bought/had installed for you/stolen/acquired over the years. Just like 30 attribute points represents a firm and fit physical and mental body, or 50 skill points represents much training, education and experience.

I just find it amazing the number of people who try to justify that million as money they seem to have acquired and spent for their stuff, like an inheritance or a corporate bequeathal. This ain't Counterstrike, you did not respawn in the character generation system.
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UpSyndrome
post Sep 22 2004, 03:49 PM
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My current rigger (1 mil in resources) is a trust fund baby who is not good at saving money.

-Joe
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TheScamp
post Sep 22 2004, 04:01 PM
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QUOTE
You can't expect people to work all the time. Even drug dealers need a break now and then.

Oh, I'm not saying it can't be fun for him. But there can be other motivations as well. :)
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GrinderTheTroll
post Sep 22 2004, 05:12 PM
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My suggetion would be to make situations that make the runner in question have to do something out his "comfort zone". For example, put him in a situation where all Radio transmission are jammed making communication and drones rather inoperable. THis would atleast see how willing he is to doing more than just playing a video game.

I've done similar things with mages where "a mana disturbance" made going astral require a Willpower (10) test just mix things up (it also helped me keep the ending secret from those damned mages).
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Rev
post Sep 22 2004, 06:06 PM
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Some ways I have explained 400k to 1mY on charachters in the past:

Corporate researcher guy killed in a lab accident is brought back to life as an experiment / to save him / to finish the job of killing him in secret (but he escapes).

Street sam who was gifted with various bits from organized crime, a street doc he helped out once, and maybe one or two minor personal investments.

A smuggler who simply had a few good years once.

Obsessive disorder causing a street sam to spend every spare cent, and do whatever it took for most of his life (much like being addicted to cosmetic surgery).

Former merc was souped up by his mercenary organization.

Basically all the same ways people might end up with something like beta wired reflexes 3 in any campaign where they aren't going to pile up a few million to just buy it.


Yea, but the "running for kicks" thing is lame. Would be better if his btl connections were cut off somehow, maybe a big police operation from which he managed to escape, possibly changing countries as well. Maybe he delivered a large bad shipment and can't be in that business anymore, but got out with his life and some toys by the skin of his teeth.

The worst thing is that his current story gives him access to massive amounts of cash going forward. It does not make sense if he does not have that, and it is even worse if he does.
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FlakJacket
post Sep 22 2004, 07:13 PM
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QUOTE (lacemaker)
The only problem with that justification is that the points system requires, by way of maintaining balance, that the most cashed-up runners be the least skilled in other areas.

And how did they become so skilled? Finding and hiring people to teach you a wide range of highly illegal skills or knowledge skills can take up a lot of money as well. I always just assumed that they'd ploughed the cash back into themselves as it were.
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Edward
post Sep 22 2004, 07:13 PM
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GrinderTheTroll. Your "a mana disturbance" sounds a lot like computer games making doors imposable to open until you pass an unrelated objective

The rules for jamming multiple frequencies make it quite difficult although you can determine a riggers frequency switching pattern and jam what he is using (forcing him to take several actions resetting the system)

Edward
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Cynic project
post Sep 22 2004, 09:39 PM
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Here is soemthing to think of that is on a simliar note. how much does MBW cost for say one of the big ten? Or how much does it cost for them to make their own jet air fighters?I have looked at the cost they showed,and I was told that the cost was counting labor,and profit for the company. So if a company makes cyberware,and has all the resources to install it, do you think they are going to pay the whole cost?

Now As for why this matter to the debate, well simple if you work for anyone else and had big backer, it is safe to say that they vest resources into you,and your your well being. As we can see a starting shadowrunner can go on par with most highly trained forces.Or att he verry least a shadowrun team can deal with a "SWAT" team.So why wouldn't they be given the resources to exploit their skills?

And sas noted the 1,000,000.00 is an ideal of how much the characters backer would help him. If said batters were say SK, that 1,000K worth of toys may have cost the corp only 50K...Just look at CD, they cost pennies to make,and yet some software costs well way more, It is safe to say that they are sold for a big profit.
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Kagetenshi
post Sep 23 2004, 02:24 AM
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Keep in mind that a Resources A person often isn't less skilled, but more specialized. Meanwhile, other people spent time they could've spent earning cash learning new skills.

For instance, my rigger mentioned earlier is a Resources A character. She can do all sorts of vehicle-related stuff; no one in the group is more skilled at a single skill than she is with her vehicles. That being said, she' s got no personal combat abilities or any of the other skills she might have picked up if she were doing something other than practicing her few skills and getting gear to aid those skills.

Most people don't put 4s in their skills even when they've got a Resources A character.

~J
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