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Cognitive Resonance
Allright, here's the word on the street:

I've always let people create their own contacts, but I'm thinking of creating a huge pool, and letting people pull out of it, thus giving me a bit more controll, is this a good/bad/ugly idea?
given a large enough supply, i think this is a fantastic idea. The problem is the huge amount of diversity that can be demanded by players
Samaels Ghost
And the amount of work involved. After all that work only a ew are going to be picked. Later material, maybe. but too much and they'll never get used.
Maybe talk to the players individually and get an idea for the kind of contacts they'd be interested in. Get maybe 3-5 ideas from each player. Then create one or two versions of each contact and let all the players pull from that pool. If you want players to have a common contact, don't remove it from the pool when the next player picks.
It's brillant in a manic, compulsive way.

I could never do it! I'd get tired by number 5.

For the current campaign I designed two central contact and handed them for free. If I create it, it's gonna be used!


Beside, even if the player 'create' them, it's still up to me to put the meat on. Usually player only have a job description and two line worth of description of how the contact is related to them. Still plenty of room for creative tinkering.
For contacts I generate a set of "Personalities", set's of character traits and quirks I want to use. I do about four or five of these. e.g. One will be a rude elf hating dwarf, but willing to give discount rates easily.

Then the actual type of contact I leave open, if the team decides they need an electronics fence, then the rude dwarf is a an electronics fence when the PC meet the new contact.

The PC won't meet more then a few NPC contacts in a single session, and thus I can accomodate any type of contact, but be prepared with a memerable character to interact with.
When I work with contacts as a GM I usually let the players come up with a basic framework for the contact.

"A gruff bartender that grew up in the same neighborhood as my character."

Something like that, with maybe an idea of what their connections are. Then I'll flesh the contact out into a full NPC as the game goes on, etc.
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