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Starting to play in a new SR4 game and the ref mentioned how SR4 now requires players to create stats/skills for their contacts. I was a little stunned. I have my own opinion about this but wanted to get a feel for everyone else's take before tainting the discussion.

So, do you interpret the rules such that players are required to create stats/skills for their contacts?
Nope, too wierd. Does a higher Connection rating mean they get more BP? Then which connection rating is standard? Because the average generated character could score anywhere from 1 to 4 on that scale.
And pointless. We only call up our contacts for the most part, and if they NEED stats, it can be based on the Connection rating.
James McMurray
I don't have a book handy, but I think he may be misreading something. I don't remember ever seeing that contacts need their stats generated by the players. there are some sample contacts you can use though.
I thought I remembered reading somewhere that Players were exclusively responsible for generating Contacts, but this is from pg. 278:
"Making contacts into fully realized characters—“fleshing them out”—is the key to getting the most from them. To achieve this, gamemasters (with some input from the players) must spend a little time creating a background for each of their players’ contacts."

All of the contacts in our game are necessary components of each character's backstory. I.e. The Street Sam's Street Doc, The Hacker's S-K Mr. J, The Mage's Sage, and everyone has a Fixer. That's as much as we've needed after 3 runs and probably 12 gaming sessions.
(Posted from my PAN =)

We usually just start out with the basics and flesh them out as we play.

For example, when I run a game, I have a section of notes for each runner's contacts. Each contact starts as a name, occupation, and minimal stats, and then l add further notes as the game progresses and either I add details for plot or the player adds details through role-playing.

Of course, this method requires you to leave some space if you are quaint and use archaic hard-copy notes ... =)
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