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Hi all,

On our french board ( we have a discuss about the number of shadowrunner a Seattle. Someone post a quote of the Aztlan Sourcebook saying :

let's talk size. nattionwide the aztlan shadow community is pretty fragging big mayby 500 "A llist" players live in tenotlitlan and a matching proportion live in the other major cities...

the import community is much smaller, more like the numbers you'd expect in Seattle. take San diego about the same size as seattle, right? the import community is well under 100, including the wanabees. Pure A list players, figure maybe 50, maybee less.

So he says runner in Seattle are under 100.
I Don't understand this paragraph like him. For me the paragraph say that Aztlan have a big community of local runner but the import community is not so big. The example is San Diego wich have the same size as Seattle but in San Diego the import runner are 100. So it mean that the import community in Seattle is higher than 100.
Am I misunderstood something ? What is your feeling and how many runner do you think we have in Seattle ?

- Daegann -
Well, for one thing he says there are maybe 500 'A' list players... meaning top Shadowrunners. Seeing as there are also many freelancers, thugs, mercenaries, guns for hire, hit men, bodyguards and such who might do some Shadowrunning on the side, the total list would probably be higher. Considering the majority of runners are SINless makes it hard to track how many there are... As a ballpark percentage, so that crime is kept to an acceptable level, I'd say the precentage of Shadowrunners in the community could be as high as 3% of the population - specially in a port city where smuggling can play such a big factor.
SL James
Previously, in TT, Seattle's "real" runner community was pegged at around 150--about the same number as were in all of the Tir.
I've come to oppose having set numbers for this type of thing.

As a GM, there are however many I need there to be.

As a player, trying to find out would likely result in death.

Any PC or NPC may speculate IC about it, but that's just what it is, speculation.

I view that Aztlan information as just that, IC speculation based on personal opinion that, viewed at its best, is simply an educated guess. (It may be canon, but that's how I personally view it.)
I have about the same take as Rain of Steel. Arbitrary numbers for stuff like this take the fun out of things.
Maybe not arbitrary numbers, but IMO this does deserve a short paragraph in the rules. Maybe something like:

The numbers depend on the place in question and your personal definition of 'shadowrunner', but generally speaking they are not too great. In cities like Seattle the 'true runners' are probably less than 0.05% of the total population. Sure, there are *many* criminals there, but most of them lack the skills and abilities that make the difference. It is (relatively) easy to find a bunch of guys and gals willing to pump lead into whatever you need dead or destroyed... But the numbers of SINless people willing and able to defeat sophisticated security systems and trained guards - and such things are common in places that many shadowruns target - are limited. A Johnson does *not* need people wiling to *try* - he needs people able to actually accomplish his goals. Gangers are a dime a dozen, and there are literally tens of thousands of criminals (and more) in any big city - but most of them lack the skills and resources commonly associated with the word 'shadowrunner'.

Dranem: 3% of the population?!? Reality check here?!? 30000 runners in a city of one million?!? Leave out kids and seniors and you end up with something like one in fifteen adults is a shadowrunner?!? Who would pay them?!? It would be something like 'One shadowrunner into every family' plan, wouldn't it?!?
Why put a paragraph? Wouldn't all of the stuff be up to the GM? And haven't you just put more arbitrary numbers in the middle of a bunch of text?

I'm just full of questions today.
As others have mentioned: Define Shadowrunner (please note, of course, that the following are all my own (mostly) humble opinion).

If you're asking how many people in Seattle regularly meet with an employer and undertake an illegal mission at his or her request, the number is relatively huge (perhaps as high as ten thousand), because it includes made men, gangbangers, bodyguards, company men, etc. If you mean people whose only means of support and whose primary employment is taking extremely difficult, illegal jobs from often anonymous, high-powered employers (ie Corps, large-scale groups like the Draco Foundation, government agents, etc) and completing them successfully, then the number is probably much lower, around the 100-150 number being quoted by others. If you're including every level of "Shadowrunner," from those who intimidate squatters to those who run the Arc by choice, but only including those who are independent operatives, then the number is probably closer to one or two thousand.

I think that the key here is that not every player character is a Shadowrunner, and not every illegal operative that they meet is a Shadowrunner. I've played characters who would have been insulted to have been called Shadowrunners; one considered himself a bodyguard, the other an Environmental Expert (mercenary jungle fighter). In the end, I come up with a rather annoyingly useless conclusion: the number depends entirely upon your definition of what a Shadowrunner is and your character's definition.
I'm with RainOfSteel here. The numbers don't really need to be set in stone. As a GM, I'm pretty flexible with whatever is going to be able to provide a fun night of roleplay.
Slithery D
And in SR3, at least, not all runners are equal. You've got to wonder how many of any "official" numbers were deckers, when it's not a big deal to hire a decker on the other side of the world to hit a site housed down the street from you. I'd also tend to think deckers are by far the most common kind of runner, but that's more iffy.
Further muddying the clarity of this discussion is the concept of A-list shadowrunners.

We established informal A through D ratings for shadowrunners.

D is your average disposable asset, they have no rep, or their rep is shite. Anyone can and will use and abuse these runners. The majority of newbie runners die here.

C is for smart, but still expendable assets. Runners who have survived a few runs and not made an arse of themselves. I'd say about 10% of all D rating runners make it to this grade.

B is reusable assets. People who can get the job done reliably and according to mission specs. Not many johnsons will screw these folks over. Maybe 20% of C rating runners make this grade. Most either cannot make the grade to move up, retire, or simply choose not to enter the A-league.

In our campaigns, A-list usually covers the big name npcs; Argent, Fastjack, etc. People reknowned in the shadow community. Perhaps 1% of all B runners make the A-list.

Start counting your figures from there. Say, a thousand, lets be generous 2500 D-list shadowrunners in Seattle from a constantly replenishing pool. 250 make it to the C-list, again from a constantly replenishing pool. 50 of them make it to B-list. Which leaves us with just 1 lonely A-lister in semi-permanent residence.

Rough figures, but it means pcs have a use for their shadow knowledge skills. "We need a reliable decker who specialises in 'X'. [roll] I heard about a guy, Silver Bandit." "He good?" "His rep is solid. But he only works in teams with at least one Ork." yadda yadda.

Numbers are a rough guide. After a tough month or two you could end up with a substantially larger C-list and an almost empty D-list.

Well, thats our view. Flame it or leave it. biggrin.gif
If you work those numbers backwards using the quote of 100 A-list shadowrunners in seattle from the azzie source book.

then there are:

Five hundred and sixty thousand shadowrunners in seattle. Wow eek.gif

The games I run usually are less serious games, I've had my runners have to take a table on the floor because all the booths by the walls were taken up by more important shadowrunners (every shadowrunner uses a booth by the wall). People have to take names they don't like because some more famous shadowrunner has the original. One fixer they had was named Spotty on the John because Johnny on the Spot was already taken (the fixer conducted his business in a bathroom as well).

I think that there would have to be maybe 1000-2500 full time shadowrunners (a through d list) to support the demand of the corps not to mention attrition from being in a dangerous occupation.
There's normal people in Shadowrun? nyahnyah.gif

Seriously though, I think 200-250 A listers. Like was said before the lines of what a shadowrunner actually blur somewhat. In one of the BBBs Newsnet or something defines a shadowrun as "a criminal operation performed for for money" or something like that. It might have mentioned being hired but I can't recall and I don't have the book handy.
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