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> What should I be getting paid?, Going Wages for Shadowrunners.
Swing Kid
post May 20 2005, 03:55 AM
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I am looking to get calibrated on payments for running in the shadows. Yes, I know that it will vary depending on reputation, difficulty of the job, character type, and experience, but I would still like to get the ideas of this forum for how much one could expect for various jobs. More than anything, I would like help knowing how much to expect to charge a Johnson for any given job for any given team/runner. Any help will be appreciated. I would also be interested in knowing if the character types (decker/sam/etc) should get paid differently, or if the fee would usually get split evenly.
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Kagetenshi
post May 20 2005, 04:04 AM
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Realistically, there should be differences in pay. Just make sure all of your players are up for haggling with each other as to why they're more or less valuable than the other team members before you go down that path.

~J
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Modesitt
post May 20 2005, 06:21 AM
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Both of my current groups have a lot of overlap.

We don't work for less than 25K each. We might work for less than that when first starting out as a group, but after a run or two, it's 25K each MINIMUM or we walk. Half of that must be paid up front or, again, we walk. The up front money is for any purchases we need to make for this run, like disposable cars, wigs, new linguasofts, etc. Once we complete the run, we take the other half, add it to whatever is left, and split it evenly.

We're currently a three-person group(Face, Sorceror, and AR Samurai, had a decker but he dropped after two sessions). On our last run, the Dwarf was pretty fruity and wasn't necessary for the completion of the job while the decker was invaluable. We still paid everyone the same. Why? Because each char is more or less useful on certain jobs. If everyone is paid the same when they're useful as when they're useless, it pretty much balances out.

The same logic holds true in my other group. My char has been pretty useless on this run, but on previous runs he WAS the reason we succeeded. You win some, you lose some.

Some chars 'need' nuyen more than others. The solution is that if you want to spend other peoples money, you convince the group it benefits everyone as a whole for us to have it. We don't pay for your hookers, your drugs, or your bone lacing. But a medical clinic? Yeah, we might be on board for that.
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fistandantilus4....
post May 20 2005, 06:34 AM
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SR3 suggests using around the characters lifestyle in pay, to make sure they can eat. The copanion book has a much better break down. Wetwork and extractions usually pay about 20k, they're the top, unless you count 'snatch the protoytpe', which I think was about 5-10% of the value. Then up it from there due to difficulty and rep, that sort of thing.

Usually once my team is a team, we get flat pay as a team, up to us how to distribute. For newer 'groups', basically all independent, the PC's usually get their pay offer seperately, to avoid anyone capping a fellow runner just after the run so that they get a bigger cut. It's happened before.
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fistandantilus4....
post May 20 2005, 06:36 AM
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Hey Modesitt, why not bone lacing? As the shaman in my group, I don't really need much cash, and usually throw a good chunk of my share into the riggers vehicles, or cyber for the sam. Pretty straight forward, if he's still up to shoot because of that bone lacing, I have a better chance of living through the run.
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Charon
post May 20 2005, 06:44 AM
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QUOTE (Modesitt @ May 20 2005, 01:21 AM)
We don't work for less than 25K each.  We might work for less than that when first starting out as a group, but after a run or two, it's 25K each MINIMUM or we walk.  Half of that must be paid up front or, again, we walk.

I see. Well if the GM agrees that it's the going rate, it's okay. But it's the GM who decides that.

Swing Kid : The real question is what power level are you confortable with? It's obvious that if the average paycheck is 100K, you'll get very powerful PC with top notch cyberware, programs and focus within a few sessions. If it average at 10K, the power level you'll observe in the first sessions will be maintained in the short term and will increase slowly. If you are not an experienced GM, I recommend a low base paycheck. Then have each mission fluctuate around that based on common sense.

If players walk, that's okay. Just tell them to shell out half their lifestyle expenses because they found no other run in the following two weeks and then present either next week's run (if it's readdy) or the same run with a few of the names changed. Offer roughly the same wage. Warn them through their contact that they're getting a prima donna reputation that isn't yet earned. They'll get the idea. Beside, it's much better to start too low than too high. The adjustments after a few runs are much less painful.
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toturi
post May 20 2005, 06:50 AM
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QUOTE (Charon)
If players walk, that's okay. Just tell them to shell out half their lifestyle expenses because they found no other run in the following two weeks and then present either next week's run (if it's readdy) or the same run with a few of the names changed. Offer roughly the same wage. Warn them through their contact that they're getting a prima donna reputation that isn't yet earned. They'll get the idea. Beside, it's much better to start too low than too high. The adjustments after a few runs are much less painful.

If the PCs walk, and you as a GM insist on not taking the hint, and offer a job with the same pay, the players will walk. Good luck playing with yourself.
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Guest_Crimsondude 2.0_*
post May 20 2005, 06:52 AM
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Don't knock it 'till you've tried it. I've had some pretty interesting runs and downtimes adventures engaging in mental masturbation where I played GM and PC. I can also say that so far I've been a bigger threat to my current PCs' continued survival than other GMs.
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Critias
post May 20 2005, 06:53 AM
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I prefer to call it "short fiction, with dice and rules."
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Guest_Crimsondude 2.0_*
post May 20 2005, 07:07 AM
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Old habits... You know. Your term is more correct. MM would more appropriately refer to posting here.
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Edward
post May 20 2005, 07:21 AM
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Johnsonís will always offer an amount to each member or a flat sum the teem will divide as they see fit, most groups split it evenly unless there is a unexpected expense (rigger gets more if he looses a drone)

There is also the issue of expenses, Johnsonís will sometimes provide things like disposable cars but not always, this will affect the price (especially considering the number of disposable cars that wind up in a chop shop).

The problem with the prises quoted in SRComp and MJLBB is that there frightfully low especially when you consider that some of these runners have over a million nuyen in hard wear (m 2-4 mill if they have to replace it on the street) or magical skills that can earn a base rat of 100nuyen an hours (for wards) and climbing quickly. The characters that suffer the most are the million nuyen riggers, with 600k worth of drones and a lifestyle that will provide space for them these characters have fixed monthly expenses of 16k as a minimum. If a drone gets damaged that goes up buy tens of thousands. The best paying runs in MJLBB would get him maybe 5k, and that is a big job.

The prises in the modules are better guides.
I have taken jobs paying anywhere between 20k and 250k (going for the bounty on a blood mage 3 teem members and 5 ringers)

As to other characters paying for stuff, I have done it but not often. The teem really needs to be very close to have that happen, at least you need to know that the samy your buying wear for will be beside you on your next run

Really you can decide the average pay rate but tell the players before they build characters so they donít have characters that have monthly expenses several times there income, you can still have a dry patch now and then the players just know what there used to earning.

Edward
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Crusher Bob
post May 20 2005, 09:45 AM
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It also depends on some variables of your game, like how often the runners will be running...

Using the following assumptions:

In 5 years a runner should be able to 're-create' themselves (i.e. end up with about 1 million Y more stuff than when they started).

If you run every month, thats 60 runs, so each run would have to pay you an average of ~16,667 Y plus whatever expenses you might encounter living a high lifestyle for those 5 years adds 10,000 Y per run to that figure...

The economics of SR are pretty whacked, but it soulds like the 25K minimum might be a good place to start.

If it is impossible to make 1 mil in 5 years in the shadows, then the million dollar men that seem so common there would be impossible.

I think a large part of the 'problem' with the pay per runs is the ridiculous cost of most of the 'toys'. Reducing the cost of toys vs the cost of everyday goods will make lower run payments make sense. 10 Y a bullet and 10K per disposable rifle means that a runner has to make money hand over fist to even replace 'used' toys. .1 Y a bullet and 1K per rifle would mean that a runner can get by on much less.
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Modesitt
post May 20 2005, 02:49 PM
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QUOTE
Hey Modesitt, why not bone lacing?


Upgrading the riggers vehicle can make sense. My Rigger has a standing offer - You give him 5K, you get your own ejection seat.

It's mostly just a difference of groups. My groups typically have PCs that don't trust each other too much. I imagine your PCs probably trust each other a lot more. Granted, I have seen entire groups spontaneously decide to give one another Christmas presents.

Personally, if someone has a role and wants to be better at it - They spend their money on it. You're free to leave at any time and do your own thing. You'd be expected to leave anything the group paid for with the group.


@Charon:
If a GM refuses to pay my chars enough to make it worth their while, they don't just sit on their hands and wait patiently for the GM to give them a new run. They simply go off and do something else that makes them money until they get a job that pays enough.

If a char can crack a maglock, a char can make money stealing and selling cars. Go look at the amount of money you would make stealing and selling JUST Jackrabbits, the most common car on the road. If you made 20% street value off of each(Guessing that the Fence will typically come out on top in negotiations), you'd make 3,260 nuyen EACH. You are essentially paying him to NOT go off and play Grand Theft Auto: Seattle.

This isn't the only example of this. Pretty much any character who wants to can find some way to make money during downtime. Shadowrunning not paying enough? Oh well, back to writing software.
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Kagetenshi
post May 20 2005, 02:56 PM
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QUOTE (Modesitt)
We don't work for less than 25K each. We might work for less than that when first starting out as a group, but after a run or two, it's 25K each MINIMUM or we walk. Half of that must be paid up front or, again, we walk. The up front money is for any purchases we need to make for this run, like disposable cars, wigs, new linguasofts, etc. Once we complete the run, we take the other half, add it to whatever is left, and split it evenly.

I'm glad that works for you, but in my campaign you'd be doing an awful lot of walking. How many people on the team?

Well, that or you'd be jumping straight to the kinds of runs that command that kind of pay, namely the ones that are probably going to get you killed if you really ask that much that quickly.

~J
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Westiex
post May 20 2005, 03:21 PM
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Well, lets break it down

A) You're paying a group of people to commit crime(s), so you have to make it worth the possibility of going to jail and/or possible death.

B) You're paying the group to be professional in the way they go about things. Otherwise you'd just hire a gang.

C) You can expect a certain element of deniability. For instance, if they get caught by LS or (insert security agency of choice), you're expecting that they won't just hand over the details on how to contact you.

D) In most cases, you're expecting the group in question to have the gear that they need and/or get it themselves.

Depending on the group and the run, you're expecting the charges could amount to:

A) Murder
B) B&E
C) Theft
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Kagetenshi
post May 20 2005, 03:28 PM
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E) You're paying them significantly less than the value of what they're doing. For example, if a run will net you ~•100,000 worth of assets and intangibles, you don't pay •120,000 or even •60,000 to get it done.

F) The true cost of a run is significantly more than the cost of hiring runners. Hiring the Johnson, paying possible bodyguards for the Johnson, having contingencies for the noncompletion of the run or betrayal by the runners, these things all cost money.

~J
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Slacker
post May 20 2005, 04:44 PM
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QUOTE (Modesitt)
Pretty much any character who wants to can find some way to make money during downtime. Shadowrunning not paying enough? Oh well, back to writing software.

Yes most any character could make money on the street doing other things than runs. But they would have to be doing a lot of little things rather than a single run. This means it will be far more likely that they will run into the Star, make mistakes, etc. Also, any crime spree would likely attract the attention of Lone Star, and even if it didn't it would end up with other negative effects such as security levels drastically increasing due and/or value of said action drastically decreasing (you don't really expect the fence to give you the same pay each time do you? he has to be able to sell the thing off or he aint making shit off the deal).
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Charon
post May 20 2005, 05:12 PM
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QUOTE (toturi @ May 20 2005, 01:50 AM)
If the PCs walk, and you as a GM insist on not taking the hint, and offer a job with the same pay, the players will walk. Good luck playing with yourself.

Yeah, you say that but it never really happens.

If player are trying to dictate me their terms IC, good luck. You'll have to discuss it with me OOC.

And one GM has as much weight about how the game will be conducted as all the player together if they are putting up a united front. Since they pretty much never do, the balance of the power is in the hand of the GM because there are a lot less GM than players on the market, after all.

I'm not saying that to be a prick or appear to be a dictator. I try to run an ejoyable game. There is some dialogue. But by and large, I've always run pretty much exactly the style of game I wanted in any given campaign and no player has ever walked on me for it. At worst we'd agree on a shorter campaign so I'd get a certain style of play out of my system. For one thing, it's easier to find compatible new players than a competent new GM. Secondly, the game is in my experience more enjoyable if the GM like what he does than if the game is perfectly tailored to the player's taste but not to the GM's taste. I'm talking with experience from both side of the fence. The guy who does most of the creative work deserve to create something he likes. If my players really want to try something different, they are free to pick up the GM mantle for a few sessions and they sometime do.
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Dawnshadow
post May 20 2005, 05:41 PM
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If the PCs all walk because they honestly like the way they're getting paid, the GM should take the hint. It shouldn't be a common occurrance though. Especially when you have PCs with fixed monthly expenses that eat up almost all of their pay -- when 95% of your pay is devoted to 'maintaining present standards', then the character is not getting paid enough. Not in the least.

The person running the game should be slapped if he isn't willing to adjust the style of play to something between what the players want and what he wants. It doesn't matter if he's the only only one willing within a hundred miles -- if he doesn't want to work with the players to come up with something they'll enjoy as well as he will, then he isn't a GM. He's someone running a game for his own amusement.

That is not to say that the GM should just pay out the way the players want. But it is to say that if the players on the whole want a better paying game, then the GM should oblige them. Not paying out enough to give them a chance to advance anywhere is nothing but arbitrarily limiting the mundanes -- awakened don't actually need money. They can do advance quite well without foci. Not easy, but possible.



Actually, it'd be interesting to see if there's a corrollation between games that don't pay well and games where mundanes are quickly outstriped by awakened. I doubt it's all the cases -- my group doesn't pay out well, but I've never felt drastically outdone by the awakened. Out-plotlined sometimes, but not outdone. That's really changed lately though.
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Adarael
post May 20 2005, 05:42 PM
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I've had a tendancy to deal with this in one of two ways, as a player.

1) If the probable costs of a run (odd equipment, transit, bribes, etc) are more than 50% of what I'm getting paid, I won't do the run. That doesn't mean 'get the run done for bargain basement', that means 'get the run done right.' As a runner, you have an obligation to keep overhead down, both for yourself, and for your employer (based on the fact that it'll just get around that you charge too much). But sometimes you have to ICly put your foot down and say "Listen. You can either pay a small amount of money to maybe have this done right, or you can pay more for the certainty that it will be done right. This connects to the below:

2) My PCs won't run for less money than they think they're worth, unless it's a cause they believe in. Witness, doing Brainscan - I didn't ask for pay for that one. Same with hunting down psycho blood magician types, say. If someone tries to pay our team less than what we're worth, we'll just say, "No. You came to us looking for quality and certainty. If you can't afford to pay for that certainty and quality, hire someone with a success rate that isn't above 98%." Our 'worth value' is based on the average pay for runners, increased amorphously by our success and stealth rate.
If the Johnson still won't increase his rates, we'll suggest someone less pricey to him and walk. That way he'll still have a recourse for what he wants done, we keep our rep, and we don't go broke. And, in a round-about way, it gets out that said Johnson (or his funders) is unwilling to pay for stealth and silence, and that run may get your ass all over the news.

And, as to the thing about awakened progressing sans foci: I've never once bought a foci past starting. They're just too damn expensive. I've made some, but that's different, since the price is so much less.
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Bearclaw
post May 20 2005, 05:50 PM
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I try to think about how else a job could get done.
If you want general mayhem, like say shooting up a building, killing a guy with moderate or less security, or hijacking a truck, hire the Black Rain.
Figure :nuyen: 500 for the boss, who will do nothing but assign a group of guys to do it. :nuyen: 500 more for the lieutenant actually in charge of the team, and :nuyen: 200 each for the 10 guys. So :nuyen: 3000. But they're some what unreliable.
A 5 man merc team will do the same jobs for :nuyen: 5000, if you want to be sure it's done right.
So, for any job that actually needs Shadowrunners, rather than just muscle, the price starts at :nuyen: 10,000 for the job. The more skills you need, the more reliability you need, the more subtlety you need, the more magic you need, the more the price goes up.
A job is NEVER worth X :nuyen: PER RUNNER. It is worth X :nuyen: . The per runner thing is just plain silly.
"I need some one to paint my house. I'll offer $200 per person working on it. Hope there's only 2 or 3."
Bigger teams have the advantage of generally making runs easier. That's it's own payoff. And honestly, if you've got a six or seven person team, you can be doing leg work for more than one job at a time.
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nezumi
post May 20 2005, 06:11 PM
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QUOTE (Bearclaw @ May 20 2005, 12:50 PM)
And honestly, if you've got a six or seven person team, you can be doing leg work for more than one job at a time.

Ugh... You obviously don't GM much... I have enough trouble keeping my group doing one job.

The way I play it is generally the Johnson's have a set amount of money to spend. They find out how many people are in the group and divided it up so it comes out to $X per runner.

Why?
1) If anyone else joins up, they weren't in the original contract, so he doesn't pay 'em
2) If anyone dies, he keeps the difference (he can get his cut when he comes to claim it)

It also helps because it discourages the group from deciding to dump other PCs. That goes into out of game stuff that just isn't any fun.
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Bearclaw
post May 20 2005, 06:20 PM
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I've GM'd a decent bit, thank you very much. And I've had a party preparing for a run, while one of the group was doing preliminary legwork for a job that they had dropped in their lap as a "favor" for a powerful individual.
Anyway.

I have used the "per runner" thing myself, to decide how much it's worth to the characters, then just did the math. Usually though it's not necessary. Unless it's a "no one ever knew you were there" kind of thing, I always make sure there's a decent bit of loot around, so the runners can turn a profit.

:nuyen: 100,000 ended up being much less then the run all over Seattle and the NAN was worth, but the guy with the box they were supposed to find and return was riding in a Prairie Cat, which greatly eased the complaints :)
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Pinel
post May 20 2005, 06:51 PM
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As was suggested before (can't remember the threads) I have each player keep two active characters at all times and treat all of them as members of the same loose team. No player is allowed to run more than one character during a game, but having more than one by player allows to customize the team a bit more before a mission. It helps with game continuity when specific characters are in ICU, or off initiating / learning Thai Cooking / finding themselves. It also means that my players will often have one character engaged in legwork for the next run while their other character is completing the current job. I've even encouraged character-swapping to make it easier to deal with a player's last-minute absence ffrom a gaming session, and it seems to help the team function better.

I usually pay the team a fixed amount with bonuses & conditions, i.e. 40K for retrieving this file, but only 20K if you end up killing the scientist to get it, etc.. I'll use per-runner rates when the team needs some expertise on the sidelines and wishes to hire one of their other characters to assist without participating in the main run (mostly specialty services like medtech, surveillance, transportation). I've almost never had runners killing each other or their NPC associates over pay, since I impose very bad consequences for behavior like that: loss of street rep, long stretches of crappy jobs, relocation, vendettas, etc..

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wagnern
post May 20 2005, 07:07 PM
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Supply and Demand. If the job could be done by a lot of people then it is worth less, if it requires special talents the team possesses, then it will pay better because there is not as many teams who could do it. Also, what is the time frame? If the Johnson has plenty of time to find a team and arange the run, then he can shop around, but if it has to be done now then he will have to 'price it to sell'.

Meta game wise, ask yourself these questions:

1) How ofter in game time dose the team run?
2) How many toys do you want them to have?
3) How strong of a motivator do you want money to be?

Now I find it cool when they will pay you X to do the job, but if you can also do A, B, and/or C, we have bonises avalable. Even if Mr Johnson dosen't offer the bonises, if the team does manage to pull off more than asked he should give them a bonus. As long as the extra is helpfull and dosen't endanger the Johnson or his employers. (The mission was to kidnap a scientist, but we also got his notes and materials).
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