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Matrix Monkey
Also, which conversion rates do you use?
The SRC ones, or your own?
Sphynx
Both, but House Ruled. We simply let the players sell Karma off to each other. They chose the value of their Karma that way. And the GM maintains the amount of Karma through allocation. Hell, I as a Shaman just sold 2 Karma Points for 2,000 (thousand each) nuyen cause I needed it in a rush. Our only real control point is that we insist any Karma bought in this manner is immediately spent. That was House Ruled because someone once came up with the idea that if they kept selling Karma to each other, they could raise their Karma Pool (every 10/20) and then sell the extra to the next person. nyahnyah.gif

Sphynx
L.D
Normally it's 5000 nuyen for each karma and to stop people from spending ridiculous amounts at the same time purchases are only allowed between runs and then there is a five karma limit.
Krashlocke
Neither - I tried it one game and I ended up with a mage who was using all of his money to buy karma, then borrowing all of the other PCs money to summon high force elementals. It was ridiculous. It got even worse when he started looting everything he could touch just to buy more karma.

Damn karma junkie.
Game2BHappy
Conversion rates we use:

1 karma spent = 5,000 NuYen
100,000 NuYen spent = 1 karma

In my book, even that could get abused.
phelious fogg
I use
50k = 1karma
1karma = 5k

That way you loose either way. And I almost never let runners get 50k that they would want to use towards karma. A normal run from me is 1-10k payoff for each person, and 3-5 karma..

the karma for cash is used a lot though, and that i dont mind
Sphynx
This thread got me thinking.... maybe a better method, instead of Karma for Cash would be using Karma for the 'luck factor' of a negotiation. Every karma spent increases the 'base' pay by X%, maybe 10%. If a Johnson is paying 50g's for a run, and one of the team mates spends a Karma point, that's a nice way of starting the base offer at 55g's.

Would be a better method for my games where Cash is always the problem. I mean, hell, to 'upgrade' to any kinda Cyber or Bioware, where 5 karma and 5,000 nuyen a game is average (per person), is just about impossible. Might also lessen the looting acts neccessitated by a chance to get something Delta. I don't think my characters have EVER seen more than 250g's total in any of their lifetimes of Running, and some of the good stuff is easily in the millions.

I mean, what's a player to do short of cutting a deal with a Corp that leaves you wide the frag open for GM abuse? The reason I ALWAYS start with a million nuyen, I'll never get cybernetics installed in-game again. Too expensive, too risky if the surgery tables are used, and too available for GM abuse. Give me my low ass Magic Rating to buy off via initiations any day.

Sphynx
phelious fogg
I give out cyberware and other things as loot occasionaly. Team X breaks into a place, Teammember Y has been saving up for Wired 3. Team X steals prototype from lab in Case Z. Case Z contains, along with the prototype, several cyberware enhancements, leaing Teammember Y only to pay for the surgery. Occasionaly the team will pool together to buy some cool cyberware for thier buddy too. You can image each player haveing 100k saved up in a rainy day fund, and each having 5 karma to spend. among five teammeats that 625k which isnt bad for buying expensive cyber. And thats 10-12 runs probably (you tend to get paid more as you run more, your rep is also your pricetag) If you dont have a reason to give a runner more than 10k then its going to take forever, but if they get more skilled they might earn 15k or something like that, cutting the time down even more. The idea is the team should probably be helping pay for nessassary upgrades.

mckay421
My players tend to think of me as being rather stingy so the 2-3 karma that they get per game session would never be converted to cash. And even though I keep them on a 5-10K nuyen per session leash there is just no way that I would ever allow them to buy karma. Just me...

All the best...
John
Switchblade
I have never even had a player that asked for such a thing. Good thing too. In the beginning I was giving out monster payoffs but being stingy with the karma.
BigBlacksmith
I just ration the amount of karma the players can buy. I roll dices to check how much karma is "available", and then, if they want to buy some, they are more than welcome. The rates change on the situation, but I rarely go under 10K. Same thing for selling karma, but the price is really lower. The fact that I ration it that way (rarely above 2 or 3 points per pc per session, if even that much) kinda stops the whole karmarush idea, while allowing them to get that extra point that makes the difference.

I usually give more leeway to mages for buying, but then again, barely... biggrin.gif

However, as opposed to L.D., I allow it in-game.
Lilt
I don't allow any direct point-for-point shifting but I doleave them oppertunities in-game once every coupple of sessions.

They may be hired to 'Remove' a group of orks from a building they are squatting in for example. They could go in and kill/muscle the orks out but if they talk to them they'll find-out that the orks just keep being evicted as they only have enough money to feed themselves.

The runners, being nice people at heart (as I encourage my runners to be), could find them somewhere else to stay which, if they pay something out of their own pocket for it, could see a nice reward karma-wise (Probably at-least as well as the rules in the SRComp). IE:A few permenant squatter lifestyles in another part of town could earn the contributors a fair bit of karma.

You can do the converse with completely amoral runs (assasinations, bombings, whatever). That way I have control over when the group can earn karma or nuyen. If the players want either they can just ask me.

I would probably not allow direct "I give 200k to charity. Aren't I nice! Woot, Initiation level 6...".
Zazen
Does anyone else find the "gift to charity" explanation really weakass?

I've never heard anyone place restrictions on what you can use the karma for, so what keeps people from using karma gained from donating to good to learn bad things? Hell, you can give money to your church to quicken an Agony spell on the poor elderly priest!

ed- clarity
Domino
And that is why it gets abused. Because GMs do not say no. With final say over the process it only gets as abused as you let it.
Lilt
I might allow stealing from charity as a way of doing karma to cash... As long as it was done in character. The other realistic rules-wise way of doing karma to cash is by giving karma to a free spirit with the wealth power.
Reth
i play in a fairly high powered game, but without getting terrible much more karma than in regular games, so we need karma badly, therefore we are allowed to purchase karma ca. every 3 months, seeing as we play about once a week, this we feel is not overusing the rule.

10K=1 karma
1 karma=1K
Zazen
QUOTE
And that is why it gets abused. Because GMs do not say no. With final say over the process it only gets as abused as you let it.


My concern isn't about it being abused, just that it doesn't make sense to give money to charity to enhance lying, cheating, and stealing abilities. It never made sense to me.

I guess no one else finds that weird.
TinkerGnome
My view on karma for cash is that it really only has to work one way. Most games will tend to be heavy on one type of award and light on another (the last game I played for a length of time was heavy on karma, light on cash). The point of the trading rule is simply to maintain game balance and interest. What rigger wants to have 2k a run and 10 karma? What mage wants 10k a run but just 2 karma? While, in the short run, both characters might like the awards, they'll start missing out on not having their more necessary resource.
Fortune
I allow both on a case-by-case basis. I require a half-decent explanation as to just how the trade-off works, and never count bought Karma as Good Karma in that it never goes towards raising the Karma Pool or Reputation.
VOLKOV9
we use both, we jsut make it unprofitable, by a long shot. we do 25,000Y to buuy 1 karma, and 1 karma will get you.... 200Y? i dont remember, I'll ask my group, but we don't use it too commonly.
we used to have a rule about a maximum number of times a char could use this rule in his lifetime, but I'm liking the idea of a maximum use per run.
Lantzer
What conversion rates? dunno.

How would you folks handle conversion rates for a campaign that is supposed to
start at the gritty In-The-Gutter level (60-70pt chars) and is supposed to develop
to the Darned-Good-Professional level?

This one has got me kind of stumped. Maybe have variable rates, with the rates dependent on how long the campaign has gone?

One of my future players has a nifty concept that includes the Borrowed Time flaw, where the character got the money to buy his cyber from a leg-breaker, and it's only a matter of time before he comes to collect... And I was thinking that I'd allow him to buy off the flaw with gobs of cash _and_ 60? pts of Karma converted to cash. So the conversion rates interest me.
Herald of Verjigorm
For entertainment purposes, you could say that all karma nuyen conversion is simple gambling. They put up cash and karma, one gets doubled, the other is lost, a coin decides which way.

This way, they choose the exchange rate, but don't know which way the exchange will go.

As always, don't let this modify the karma build-up that fuels the pool, just how much you can improve by karma.
last_of_the_great_mikeys
Real simple in my games.
1 karma can be traded for 10 000 nuyen
10 000 nuyen can be traded for 1 karma
maximum of 50 000 nuyen/5 karma per game session/adventure, whichever lasts longer.

Because it's fun to advance!
GunnerJ
I guess I'm a fairly permissive GM...

2000 nuyen.gif = 1 karma
1 karma = (1D6*250) nuyen.gif

GunnerJ
QUOTE (Zazen)
QUOTE
And that is why it gets abused. Because GMs do not say no. With final say over the process it only gets as abused as you let it.


My concern isn't about it being abused, just that it doesn't make sense to give money to charity to enhance lying, cheating, and stealing abilities. It never made sense to me.

I guess no one else finds that weird.

I would find it weird to give to anti-lying, anti-cheating, or anti-stealing charities, and then turn around and make yourself a better liar, cheater, or thief. But giving money to, say, cancer research, has very little to do with what you do with the karma (unless you spend it on the "tobacco manufacturing" skill).
Reaver
I use a scale based on the level of the runners. Since low rep runners start out with lower pay runs.

0-100 - 1,000
101-250 - 1,500
251-500 - 2,000
501-750 - 4,000
751-1000 - 5,000

This keeps things well balanced. I don't know if the high rep end will be enough of a charge per karma point, but we will see once my group can make that point.

House Rules: I don't allow bought karma to be rolled into the characters actual totals, it's just spendable good karma. By not allowing it to be included in the Good and Shadow karma totals, they can't advance thier karma pools and reps quickly.
Also, a character can only by a max number of karma points equal to thier karma pool to further keep things in check.
Hot Wheels
We buy karma during down time to simulate people spending time on self development. Just to prevent people from taking it for granted at the time of the purchase they roll 3 dice. The total is X nuyen.gif 100 cost per point, so if you're lucky, it's $300. if unlucky it can be nearly nuyen.gif 2000. We look at this as finding the right book easily, just finding the right stuff or maybe just not quite getting it.
Since the mathematical average is around nuyen.gif 1050 that's what you can budget for and maybe fate will smile, maybe she won't.
Black Isis
Personally, I was horrified when I saw this rule in the Companion back in second edition and I don't know why anyone would ever use it. If characters are not getting enough of one or the other, the GM should adjust rewards appropriately, not do this kind of silliness.

Of course, I am so hardcore against Monty Haul type campaigns that I think even letting characters have enough money that they could think about doing this sort of thing is a bad idea (or having enough karma/XP to do so), so perhaps I am not the best judge -- but I think this sort of thing is a real danger if it is used.
GunnerJ
QUOTE
but I think this sort of thing is a real danger if it is used.


*Lights flashlight under face a la "Who's Afraid of the Dark?"*

Who knows what PERILS would be unleashed, what ELDRICHT HORRORS would stalk the Earth, how many REALLY CREEPY THINGS would happen if only... if only...

Um...

If only players are given tools to increase their freedom to improve characters?

...
Reaver
QUOTE (Black Isis)
Personally, I was horrified when I saw this rule in the Companion back in second edition and I don't know why anyone would ever use it. If characters are not getting enough of one or the other, the GM should adjust rewards appropriately, not do this kind of silliness.

Of course, I am so hardcore against Monty Haul type campaigns that I think even letting characters have enough money that they could think about doing this sort of thing is a bad idea (or having enough karma/XP to do so), so perhaps I am not the best judge -- but I think this sort of thing is a real danger if it is used.

I didn't like it either at first. Then my players talked me into it, but I put limitations on its use to prevent abuse. So far it seems to be working well. smile.gif
Talia Invierno
Would you believe the amount and ratio of karma and nuyen have never been an issue in our groups? Everyone's perpetually strapped for nuyen, everyone's perpetually strapped for karma - and everyone's perpetually strapped for time.

It's not that the awards are particularly large or small either. Rather, it's that the demands implied by the rewards are invariably proportional to those awards. One PC has a specialised rep allowing him to make a million in one run - but most of that is flow-through for other commitments, and he's additionally in hock for ten. Another PC struggles by on a bit more than 1 k nuyen.gif a month + the odd small haul, but his only regular expenses are his lifestyle, maintaining basic equipment (and saving up for one specific item), and replacing ammunition.

Not one PC will ever have enough nuyen or enough karma to do everything they want. I'd argue that none should. If you have everything you could ever want, where's the motivation?
Rift
heh, i play in a fairly "high power" game, my GM starts out w/ a group... your talkin 5-7 karma and like 30-50k a run.... pretty damn good for begginers... but one of our first runs was protecting a dragon egg.... in the middle of a gang war, 3 vs 20 some vs 20 some gangers....... its a risk vs reward thing, but we've been running for a while... almost killed a dragon that tried to screw us(we use the rule that if a dragon is in human form thier armor is NOT hardened just cause well, duh, its flesh and bones not 10,000 year old scales) while the dragon just laughed at us, i feel we "almost" killed it heh.... but, were up to 100+k a run, 10+karma, the guy thats never missed a game is at 90 or 100 karma, but the the thing is we get fuxxed over..... ALOT, and if all you do is go to place A and steal object B or kill person C... thats no fun heh, and part of shadowrun is the fun of having lots of toys(well, part of it) as for upgrading cyberware, our street sam is saving up 8 mill for something, now, i know your all saying, well shiot, at 100+ k a run thats nothing... well when you end up spending 50+k on expenses it really doesnt go very far, and not including the times you get double crossed and dont get paid... so it all equalls out in the end, as for lots of karma... we usually only have 3 or 4 people, w hich means same amount of karma as your bigger 6-8 people groups(dunno what everyone usually has for # of players)

now, for the subject on hand... i am always a cyberware junkie, wanna know why? because i hate ending up w/ shittons of nuyen and never having enough karma for skills, stats, AND magic upgrades. Im all in favor for nuyen to karma and karma to nuyen... IIRC we use like a 25k to sell a karma, 100k to buy a karma, or something like that, dont remember, havnt had to use it forever, since i keep dumping karma into skills for my wep specialist/rigger/decker(i know, im talented) and i keep spending money to try and get all the toys i need, cause w/out me, the only way the team has to open doors is C4.
Hot Wheels
QUOTE (Reaver)
QUOTE (Black Isis @ Aug 25 2003, 03:18 PM)
Personally, I was horrified when I saw this rule in the Companion back in second edition and I don't know why anyone would ever use it.  If characters are not getting enough of one or the other, the GM should adjust rewards appropriately, not do this kind of silliness.

Of course, I am so hardcore against Monty Haul type campaigns that I think even letting characters have enough money that they could think about doing this sort of thing is a bad idea (or having enough karma/XP to do so), so perhaps I am not the best judge -- but I think this sort of thing is a real danger if it is used.

I didn't like it either at first. Then my players talked me into it, but I put limitations on its use to prevent abuse. So far it seems to be working well. smile.gif

Yeah, It looked like munchkin city when it came out, but it avoids spending huge amounts of time on down time. I mean can a mage only learn stuff by casting spells while going over the wire at Renraku's new facility? Or can they learn stuff in deep study?

Can a rigger only learn to improve herself while dodging RPG's on I-90, of can she spend a few afternoons under the truck taking apart the engine?

Can a Psy-ad only learn things by trashing a corp sec team in the Wuxing caffateria or can he go to a dojo for long practice session?

The cash for karma rule lets tham do this. Instead of working next week on a run, I spend the time, not generating income, but happily tinkering under a hood. Snow Fox spends time with her nose in a book or hunting down bits of lore. etc
Black Isis
My big problem is that the way the rules work, it is you pay X dollars and get Y karma. That just doesn't make any sense. One is a "real" commodity, the other exists only as a measure of experience -- and you can just throw money in a machine and out pops a can of karma you can just drink up.

I assume that characters are taking time off on their downtime to fix up their cars, clean their apartments, bash out code on their decks, scrawl out new formulas in their libraries, or spar with others at the dojo. But this doesn't necessarily require money, and it certainly doesn't work out in a neat fashion. I wouldn't let people get much Karma/XP this way either. Yes, you can learn things when not on a run -- but people who just do drills all the time will not have as good a grasp on how things really work.

During downtime, I assume characters are working on the skills and attributes that they will be raising in the future; the samurai is going to the shooting range and firing off a couple hundred rounds, the decker is combing the Matrix for the latest and greatest in intrusion techniques and backdoors, the mage is taking time to practice her spells and conjure her stable of spirits. Then, I don't have to ask them, "well, how the heck did your character learn basic Cantonese all of the sudden?" I assume they have just been using language tapes or something in their downtime.

I very much subscribe to the point of view Talia described, where characters should always be strapped for cash and Karma/XP, so that things do not get out of control. Sure, they might make the big score every once in a while -- but the big score is going to be eaten up by replacing trashed vehicles, disposed of weapons, new digs, and paying off bribes and contacts so that they can get away with it. Karma/XP is going to be used to get new skills, save up for higher level ones, and (in Silhouette at least) to buy emergency dice to save their asses. They should have a chronic shortage of everything -- that's sort of what the whole cyberpunk vibe is about. After all, if you had tons of cash, would you be risking your life on a weekly basis? Hell no, you'd retire to the Caribbean and live out the rest of your days in a life of luxury.
Zazen
QUOTE (Black Isis)
My big problem is that the way the rules work, it is you pay X dollars and get Y karma. That just doesn't make any sense. One is a "real" commodity, the other exists only as a measure of experience -- and you can just throw money in a machine and out pops a can of karma you can just drink up.

Explaining it is pretty easy. In my games the character spends the money on expensive training sessions, (expendable) learning materials, magical samples, etc etc. The quality of those materials reduces his karma costs.

As for karma-for-cash, I've only had one player ever do that, so he answered an ad in the paper looking for people to get paid for experimental drug testing.
Hot Wheels
Black Isis, it doesn't require money to tinker, but those spare parts, extra oil,that neat tool ya just gotta have, even though you only saw it 10 minutes ago (a lesson from visiting home depot with guys biggrin.gif)

I agree it shouldn't be automatic which is why we have variable amounts and most of us will work on plans with the GM about the down time we spend on something.
Adam
QUOTE (Black Isis)
After all, if you had tons of cash, would you be risking your life on a weekly basis? Hell no, you'd retire to the Caribbean and live out the rest of your days in a life of luxury.

Assuming that money/a life of luxury is your goal, sure. But there's plenty of other character motivations that may force someone to stay involved in the shadows.
Talia Invierno
I would have said that being good/very good/the best you can be at what you do is the primary motivation ... so you can accomplish whatever goal / follow whatever path your shadowlife takes you. Karma's the path. Money's a marker and a tool, but only rarely an end in and of itself.
QUOTE
As for karma-for-cash, I've only had one player ever do that, so he answered an ad in the paper looking for people to get paid for experimental drug testing.

Zazen, that was good! biggrin.gif
Domino
I look at it this way. I spent 10,000 or whatever nuyen.gif to get the best trainer or rare magical texts or something along those lines. The karma gained just represents that with better trainers or source materials it is easier to learn or that your training is more effective. However you want to look at it, it makes sense.

As long as there is a reasonable explanation and it isn't used every other session I don't see it as out of whack. As I have said before it is only as out of whack as you allow it to be.
Birdy
One benefit of issuing only money is, that it balances out / favours the Cyber/Tech guys against the less important professions like mages or adepts. Another nice step in the ways of re-balancing the game IMHO.

So in the currently starting campaigne it will be cash only, buy your karma as a trial. We'll be using a sliding scale with a random component.

Birdy
Bira
Another way of looking at karma "metaphysically" is as a sort of cosmic reward for following one's nature (rather than for doing good deeds, as has been discussed here). If you want your shadowrunners to be able to spend cash to get karma in interesting ways, you may require each player to pick an obsession for his or her character. This obsession could be anything that fits with the character's background, and isn't deemed disruptive by the GM. Thereafter, "buying" Karma with nuyen can be represented as the character indulging in his or her obsession.

Let's say, for example, that Joe Runner is a gun nut (not an unreasonable assumption). Whenever he "buys" karma, it can represent Joe spending hours locked in his room poring over his new Deluxe "Guns n' Ammo" Collection chip, cutting it loose at a shooting range (and spending ammo), or buying antique target pistols.

Someone obssessed with conspiracy theories would spend his time and money researching them and following red herrings, a gambling junkie would just toss it away at some underground casino, etc. The Karma earned form these activities could be spent anywhere, since it doesn't come from any incidental "training" that the character may go through in the course of wallowing in his or her obssession, but rather from being true to this part of her nature.

It also helps that this device may lend some special color to the character smile.gif. An obsession doesn't need to be something negative - a character could be obsessed with helping the poor and making the world a better place. They also provide plenty of adventure hooks, since some obsessions can drag the whole group into a lot of trouble.
Crimson Jack
None. I don't like the idea of nuyen magically turning into karma. Life experience turning into cash doesn't make much sense either. Karma and nuyen awards are the one thing a GM can count on to help pace the story. I prefer to keep a tight reign on this.
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