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One of the things I've always had a problem coming to grips with is how much cash to throw at my players? It's a difficult ballance to master because too little and they feel cheated and too much and they're lobbing rockets like they're water ballons.

How much has your group gotten and for doing what?
I think its been around a month since the last thread about this. Use your search fu, young grasshopper.
QUOTE (Konsaki)
I think its been around a month since the last thread about this. Use your search fu, young grasshopper.

In this my search fu is weak.

Really, what am I supposed to search for? Cost? Money? Earn? I can't think of a phrase to search for that doesn't produce dozens, if not hundreds, of other hits.
I tried 'wages'. Probably not the best, but this one came up.
I generally end up kicking them about 5k or so per run...if they fence and squeeze out for more cash, they can get up near 10k.
5-25k apiece, depending on complexity, threat level, and anticipated expenses (it's very rare that I'll allow a group to negotiate for expenses to be covered, be they medical, ammunition, or whatever). Anything over 15k is a seriously badass/dangerous run, taking several sessions.
yet Another payout thread
QUOTE (Shrike30)
5-25k apiece, depending on complexity, threat level, and anticipated expenses (it's very rare that I'll allow a group to negotiate for expenses to be covered, be they medical, ammunition, or whatever). Anything over 15k is a seriously badass/dangerous run, taking several sessions.

I should have been more specific. I didn't mean the group splits 5k, I mean they each end up going home with about 5k, and can wheedle it up to closer to 10k if they reach for it.
Depends on their rep. More experienced runners will earn much more than newbies.
QUOTE (ShadowDragon)
Depends on their rep. More experienced runners will earn much more than newbies.

That's true. If you hire a team with a rep you are paying to get a job done in a professional manner. If you hire unknows you are presumably taking a signifcant chance that they job won't be done. Plus teams with a rep are likely to be able to express their displeasure to you if you forgot to mention the heavy security when you negotiated pay.
emo samurai
That means magicians will never buy their own foci, because the only economical way for them to get them is to either enchant, defeating the point of running, or stealing them from corpses, also defeating the point of running. I pay them 20,000 nuyen.gif a run at LEAST. Runners are supposed to be 1337, and if side jobs can pay them more than running, then they won't take up running.
I agree with emo. If runners can make more money going out jacking nice cars or kidnapping and extorting rich folk why would they bother taking low paying jobs with a high risk of death? Running the shadows should be more lucrative than your traditional crimes: theft, drugdealing, kidnapping, extortion, prostitution rings.
You gotta keep in mind that runners are on some independent secret agent type shit. The type of stuff that used to only be carried out by shady government agencies like the CIA and M16. There a lot of nuyen involved in the plots and schemes that these shady corporations have going, its only fair that the deniable assets get a fair cut for succeeding.
Slithery D
You should also consider it from the Johnson's point of view. What's the job worth? What are the odds of success? How many other teams could do the job in your particular locale? Difficulty of the run doesn't always have to measure up with the benefit to your boss and how much he's willing to pay for it. Give them the occasional milk run that pays well but provides little karma. Then make them earn their karma with runs gone wrong that don't pay enough worth the hassle that they take because (1) they didn't know it was going to be that bad or (2) there's nothing else going on and they need to maintain their rep.
Here's how I figure it,

Assuming the runners are in it for the money. I feel a successful shadow runner should be able to retire on a high lifestyle after 5 years of running.

I believe its 2,000,000 to buy a permanent high lifestyle and assuming 2 runs per month (120 runs in a career) that works out to that the runner would need to save about 16,500 per run on average. Expenses would probably bring that up to 20k-25k.

As that's only an average and experienced running should command a lot more than newbie, I say start the newbie runners off on 5-10k per run and gradually increase it over there career (say 40-50k near the end)
but thats kind of like comparing skill level between a runner that's around 40 years old to some punk teenagers that think they're badass. Just because a character is new doesn't mean that they're a newbie. Most people make characters that are in their late 20s or 30s. These are people that are highly skilled. Maybe awakened characters in their 40s would have a nice advantage in skill, but non-awakened characters wouldn't be that much more skilled, just better equipped. I would change the pay range from 15-20k for less experienced runners to 30-40k for prime runners. Yeah prime runners can pull in twice as much as someone greener, but they're not neccessarily worth more than that. Put two 28 year old street sams up against one 40 year old sam in a fight. Yeah it could go either way, but I'd put my money on the young bucks.
QUOTE (Adept_Damo)
Put two 28 year old street sams up against one 40 year old sam in a fight. Yeah it could go either way, but I'd put my money on the young bucks.

Yeah, and the 8 20 year olds would be still trying to fight their way into the data center while the 4 experianced runners are getting helped by the security guards to strap down the entire mainframe in their truck in the loading dock.
maybe you should read what I wrote before you comment on it, you missed the point
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Adept_Damo @ Sep 20 2006, 02:22 AM)
but thats kind of like comparing skill level between a runner that's around 40 years old to some punk teenagers that think they're badass.  Just because a character is new doesn't mean that they're a newbie.  Most people make characters that are in their late 20s or 30s.  These are people that are highly skilled.  Maybe awakened characters in their 40s would have a nice advantage in skill, but non-awakened characters wouldn't be that much more skilled, just better equipped.

Look, if you create a character with 400 BP, you got yourself the 21 year old kid trying to be badass. Perhaps he really is in a specific area, but will lack miserably in every other.
If you start with 500 BP, that's more like someone in his 30s - someone who can do move something beside his specialty.
(Note that true special-ops characters might even need more...)

Now, if you add 250, 500, 750 or even 1000 karma on that, even a mundane will play in a completely different league.
It's not about raw, specific power - it's about diversity.
Hard runs mean you'll have to improvise, switch positions and even compensate losses... and that's simply not possible for standard characters fresh out of the box.
to get to 250 karma even you're talking about someone with 60 or more runs under their belt. Thats a prime runner right there, as most runners won't live through that many. The average karma payout for a run is 4, unless your GM is outlandish with karma payouts you'll never see a runner with 1000 karma. And I really disagree with the statement that a 400 bp build is characteristic of a 21 year old. I'd put someone that young at 200-250 bp build. A 400 bp build runner is a skilled person with a decade or more of criminal/military/corporate security/magical practice experience, or someone in their late 20s/30s.
Slithery D
You're mildly nuts. Except on the young person 200-250 scale - there you're certifiably insane unless you're interested in talking about fat burger flippers at McDonald's with a GED. Any in shape moderately bright college kid would blow through nearly all of that just in attributes.

Then there's skills. Assume he was a high school athlete and grew up hunting and shooting guns as a kid. He needs 2-3 points of skill in Pistols/Longuns and Running. And probably also one of Diving/Swimming/Gymnastics or a nongame skill equivalent for some other sport. Probably a point or two in Pilot Ground Car. Ettiquette. Con for bullshitting cops when he's caught with beer or shooting over his limit. A point or two of Automatic Mechanic if his dad was anything like my stepdad, and unlike me, he paid attention. Computer, surely. A point of First Aid if he had a summer job as a lifeguard (and Swimming if he didn't already have that). He hunted, so give him a bit of Perception, maybe a point of Tracking. Have we hit 100 BPs on skills yet? Not quite, but only because we're giving him ratings of 1-3. If he's the least bit special or has a really unusual number of hobbies and interests we go over.

Now make him awakened. Or make him better than average in more than three or four skills. Or give him enough money for some meaningful cyberware. Enough contacts that would be reasonable for someone who has had a mentor in college, a close family friend who will do favors for you, and a boss who thought well of you from a job.

400 bp is indeed characteristic of a someone like you say. But such a peson couldn't run the shadows very well except at a low level. If you're going to risk your life and succeed enough to matter, you need to have considerable advantages over the opposition. Slightly better than average attributes and the same skill accumulation as an experienced but not outstanding Sergeant who's been in for ten years is nothing to be proud of, and it's not enough to hit any defended target that matters more than a handful of times before you get killed or caught.
I will list what my runners in my campaign have been paid so far...(4 runners on the team)

the first run they earned measely 2k totall, now granted it was an easy run. they were hired to find a womans son who had goblinized and got involved in a small gang and bring him back to mommy. They took the job because of the TM player in our group is female and our mage is the good guy type.. the other 2 were not happy with what they were making but the decided to go along.

The 2nd run was alot more involved and they were payed based on how successful they were.. There were 4 different things they were hired to get their hands on and bring back to the corperation that lost or at leasts the corperations MR johnson. Anyway they had a time limit in which to find the items and bring them back... in working order they payed more than if the items were destroyed. one of the items was the living scientist that took off with the prototypes that he stole and ran with because he didnt like the way the tech was going to be used. (neither did the mage in our group once he found out). Anyway they got payed the following
Scientist 5k dead 10k alive
items 2k ea. broken 5k ea in working order
total amount available to be earned was 25k. now granted the scientist no longer had the items so alot of legwork on finding them went in on this run

The 3rd run I took out of the old Mr Johnsons little black book, and it payed 5k total but was a fast run was supposed to be a cake walk but you know how that can go in shadowrun...they were hired to take a corperate wage slave on a mock shadowrun after he got a big promotion, anyway they were not allowed to take their real guns/weapons on the (fake) run which was out in the middle of nowhere and low and behold another shadowrun team shows up to kill the person they are supposed to be entertaining.. it turned nasty really quick. They almost lost their physical adept he had to burn an edge just to stay alive. and if not for the technomancer hacking and taking over one of the other teams drones and of coarse the group mage they would be pushing daisies and making new toons. Needless to say though they didnt kill the other team but did manage to get away alive.

Then I ran on the run and it payed what was stated in the book..

Now I am running their first BIG paying run... in which they are breaking into an Aztechnology Biogenetics lab for a data and sample steal.. they are getting paid 120k for this one if successful cool.gif

Also have some backstories going on some of which are causing the team problems that they are not going to get paid for. Those are usually the really fun ones cool.gif.

Anyway it really depends on a few things, complexity of the run, danger level, how successful the team is, and how much rep they have.
I generally will hand out anywhere from 5k to 50k per runner, per run. There's a lot of variables depending on the mission difficulty, the priority the Johnson puts on the run, and sometimes the degree of success.

If you read SOTA 2064, on page 84, you'll see a section about bribes and cops. The quote from the first sentence is: "Street cops pull in close to 40k a year, which is what a runner can get for a single job."

That's a basic benchmark I was using before seeing the quote, but was happy to see it to reassure me that I wasn't really far off base from what the accepted norm was.
emo samurai
I mean, really, the reason the BBB gives 25,000 nuyen.gif a force point foci is because you're never supposed to be able to buy them, right?
I look at things like cyber and cars as being deciding factors. Screw lifestyle... that's entirely up to however often your GM decides you run. If after 3-5 jobs where I'm getting shot at, gassed, my brain is getting hacked and my blood on the walls is getting sprayed with ammonia just to keep my skull from being exploded a week later by ritual sorcery I can't even afford to upgrade some of my basic 'ware to beta or get a fast car, there's a problem here.
QUOTE (Shrike30)
I look at things like cyber and cars as being deciding factors.  Screw lifestyle... that's entirely up to however often your GM decides you run.  If after 3-5 jobs where I'm getting shot at, gassed, my brain is getting hacked and my blood on the walls is getting sprayed with ammonia just to keep my skull from being exploded a week later by ritual sorcery I can't even afford to upgrade some of my basic 'ware to beta or get a fast car, there's a problem here.

Crime only pays if you are very successful. There was a study done by a University of Chicago economists (IIRC, discussion I read was in Freakonomics) where a detailed analysis of the books of a major street gangs drug distribution operation (read the book to find out how he got them) showed that the hundreds of street guys made less money than they would have made working at McDonalds, where you don’t take the risk of going to jail or being killed. You had to get at least two more levels up in the pyramid before you were making decent money (which was something like a dozen guys) and only the boss was really raking it in.

Of course, this is a game, but that how it really worked.
I think the basic assumption is that Shadowrunners are somewhat above the average gang foot soldier. I may be wrong, but between the magical ability, serious computer skills, tricked out vehicles, impressive social ability, and/or massive amounts of 'ware and weapons the average 400 point Shadowrunner gets to start with, I'd figured them for being slightly further along in the crime world than Guido, the guy who punches debtors in the face while they're taped to a chair and occasionally gets to go out and pick up Carmine's lunch from the corner deli.
emo samurai
I gave them enough to pay for lifestyle x2 on the first run of the month and after that it was all profit. Usually about 25k each per run. Most of them had a lot of risk though so, it evened out.
Average compensation for a run in my game right now is about 15-20k. When they started it was about 5-10k. They don't really need more than that. I refuse to make Barrens Princes out of my shadowrunner team. If they find they have too much money, I'll find things for them to spend it on.
QUOTE (2bit)
I refuse to make Barrens Princes out of my shadowrunner team. If they find they have too much money, I'll find things for them to spend it on.

You want to take care of their excess money?

Somehow get them a Helo or a tbird. Then charge them realistic maintenance costs. The current ones (in a training environment) for a large helo (CH-47D) is $6,793/flight hour. Presumably this includes the wages of the team of mechanics that keeps it in the air, and the periodic engine replacements, etc. And you HAVE to fly it around for a while every month to keep it running right and maintain pilot competence. It gets really expensive when people start punching holes in your bird, as this is not part of the standard overhead.

John Ringo's "Choosers of the Slain" had some interesting discussions about costs/pay of running a large team with support equipment. Of course, it's part of the series that explicitly disclaims any links to reality, but it seemed reasonable.
Well, I have three different levels of run, to try and figure this one out.

You have "Milk Runs," which crop up about every week. These are low-level things, good for a night of gaming without huge levels of research and planning. A contact needs a hand, someone needs their wife staked out, to see if she's having an affair, and so on. These are generally below the level of the character (But not always!) but have chances to earn extra Karma, boost their contact, and make a lil' pocket money. These are about 500-1000 Y per participant, if that. This level lets a 'runner live at a Low lifestyle, which is listed as a low-end criminal lifestyle, aka, what most criminals wind up at. The "Trailer Park Guy on Cops" style of living is easy, but it's what most runners want *out* of.

"Shadowruns" are a notch above, aimed at the PC level and will make 'em sweat. They can get about one of these a month, since there's legwork ahead of time and lay low time afterwards to even it out. It should provide enough money to pay for a middle lifestyle (Normal for successful criminals) with a bit left over for supplies, bribes, and so on. Call it a grand for that. This means that the pay rate should be between 5-10,000Y for a run ... making payment based on the level of completeness (Woo, performance bonuses!) can put the fate in the players. (If you want toys, you have to go beyond the call of duty.) My rule of thumb is 2K up front (some runners cut and run here, since that'd pay for a month of living space, but it isn't so big to tempt the professionals), 4K if they pull it off, then a few bonuses (Do it quietly and there's an extra 2000 ... pick up this program on the side for 1000 ... oh, and if you leave this Mitsuhama gun behind 'by accident', there's another grand for you.) ... You don't have to mention the bonuses, but, they're nice to have. This encourages the runners to work a bit harder.

Now, the 5-10K level has advantages. It encourages characters to stick to Middle lifestyle, keeping their physical level under control better. It leaves 'em hungry, willing to do the small side jobs, but leaves enough cash to recover from expenditures. Some might stick to a Low lifestyle, squirrelling money away to retire on or to buy that Big new Toy, while others might push up for a High lifestyle to live well. Just a *taste* of the high life, you know?

Toss in "Windfalls" about once every three months ... a run that drops something into their hands that's hotter than they intended, a run where the Rigger stumbles onto a garage where he gets to have his pick of escape vans, where a Spirit Focus is just sitting *right* *there*, or where the funds simply fall huge ... Bringing in a solid 20-30,000 Y for a single run. It'll be complex and a gamble ... these are the runs that cause runners to go grey early, with betrayals, "Simple run, no complications", and three or four groups all clawing at one another to get the McGuffin Device away from the team. A run like this only comes around once in a blue moon, and the team will take a month (or more!) off afterwards, to wait for it all to blow over. This is the level of Prime Runners, the guys that the PCs want to be someday but aren't yet. Players that know that runs like this will come up, but won't be common, look forward to them and won't complain too much about spinning their wheels in terms of tech. They'll be *getting* new gear/weapons/foci, but they'll have to work at it.

This general payscale results in a group akin to the crew from Firefly, lets you motivate them, but doesn't keep the carrot so far away that they expect nothing to ever get done.

Yeah, it does mean that most Shadowrunners make less than corporate suits, but, they're also a lot more free. Some may long for a cushy corp job, others would rather starve in the Barrens than wear a tie, while others might not have a choice due to education, history, or flat-out racism. There's a tradeoff in all things.
In my campaign, keeping money low just resulted in the magicly active getting better at a much faster rate then the non-magical PCs. Giving more money led to the magicly active winding up with HUGE bankrolls and nothing to spend it on, while the non-magical were perpetualy short on cash as they saved up for, or as they recovered from the latest cyber or bio implant.

Since Street magic came out, five new charicters have been created. EVERY SINGLE ONE has a magic attibute. One player even expressed to me "I am never going to make another non-magic charicter." Considering how "rare" magic is supposed to be, my roups are starting to look a little skewed. The current mission we are working on includes 3 mages (2 hermetics and a Hoogun) and a single street sam/decker who had to come along to deal with the electronics systems.
Oh, and Special Bonus Round, with notes taken from the aforementioned Freakanomics (Good book, everyone should own one.)

J.T. is running a branch of the Black Disciples gang. His crew covers a twelve block area and features about 50 members. About 20% of the money that the gang brings in is kicked up to the 'Board of Directors', the gang leaders above him. J.T. also has three officers who handle duties ... An enforcer, a treasurer, and a runner. These are the three guys he trusts, and pays, the most. Below that are the foot soldiers ... note that they sell, rather than fight, despite the name. Most *can* fight, but there's no money in taking a bullet. There's another group below the foot soldiers, about 200 people in all, that pay dues... this includes protection money and permission to operate (For example, if a pimp wanted his girls to operate in this territory, he'd pay a flate rate for permission) and wannabe gangers. Guys who wanted to become foot soldiers, so paid to be 'On the list', for when openings cropped up. On average, the gang as a whole brought in about $40,000 a month.

(Roughly $30,000 from drug sales, $7000 from dues, and $3000 from extortion)

Note that foot soldiers and officers don't pay dues, only the wannabes and their ilk.

His operating budget for that month would, roughly, look like this:

($6000 wholesale cost of drugs, $6000 Board of Directors fee, $1500 mercenary, $500 for weapons, $3000 misc) ~$18,000 gone.

Note that his weapons cost is lower than normal, due to connections with gun runners who he allowed to use his territory for smuggling. He gets a cut rate in return. The Misc fund includes money for parties, legal fees for arrested members, bribes, and community service, like helping patch up someone's air conditioner or paying for a gang member's funeral. Building up a good rep in the community meant that people were less likely to rat 'em out to the police. As it's also the community that most lived in, they also wanted to take care of their own.

Next was JT's personal pay. He's the boss so he gets a huge, HUGE cut. He makes roughly $10,000 a month a this level. (IE, about a quarter of the earnings fo rthe month go directly into his pocket) ... it's good to be th' king. This is the lifestyle that all the others WANTED, but only he could afford.

The next level was his officers, who combined to bring in about $3000 a month ... call it $1000 each for this role.

The foot soldiers made a combined $10,000, split between the fifty guys, or about $200 a month. Most of these guys lived at home with their moms or, if lucky, had a job on the side, to try and make cash. They were arrested, on average, about four times a year, worked long hours, were on the front line in terms of getting picked up by the police or being shot by other gangs, and made crap for cash, but, if tehy did well, maybe someday they'd make it to officerm or even run a gang of their own.

They all wanted to be J.T and were willing to slog through the Hellish time of being low-level grunts to get there.

That's just an example, but it shows how levels shake out and how there's a lot of crap to wade through before you can start finding nuggets of gold.

For a Shadowrunner, same thing. There are lots of 'Shadowrunners' out there who're little more thang rookies and thugs. Guys with pools of 6-8 dice in their main ability, 4-6 in backup, and will take any job that pops up. These are the majority of teh Low Lifestyle tier.

Professional runners, what the PCs try to be, are a notch above that. They have talent, probably ranging from 10-12 in their primary, 8-10 in their secondary, and several in the 4-6 level. They're not the Big Time, but they're getting there.

Prime Runners are what the PCs want to be and what the wannabes can only talk about in reverent awe. The guys with the big houses and the fancy cars, with all the toys and jetsetting ... The ones that get trid shoes made about them or underground legends. They're a tiny, tiny percentage of the whole, but stand out so much that people *think* that the glamourous lifestyle is what most have.

Reality's always a bit grubby.
The scale of the award should be based on the game style and characters should be built with the style of game in mind. There are, fundamentally, three kinds of runners.

1. Runner by necessity: this person is unable to use a SIN and probably has to avoid even the legal jobs the SINless can acquire. They take what they can get to survive and would probably be sleeping with a pistol under the pillow even if they could get a 9-5 SINless job. These people should have enemy flaws or severe paranoia.

2. Runner by choice: This person wants to be a shadowrunner for reasons other than money. Maybe they are adrenaline junkies, maybe they are fighting the corporate "machine", or just don't want to work a 9-5 job. They feel that taking the risk of getting shot one night a week is a valid trade for not working the other 6 days.

3. Runner for profit: This person could possibly find a job in a syndicate (legal or otherwise) but prefers to run solo to maximize their profit. They have their eye on a cabana in a sunny place and years of relaxation before their reflexes get too slow.

You can mix Types 1 & 2 at will and pay them drek with only minimal complaints. The type 3 runner will leave a team that doesn't turn a reasonable profit.

The GM needs to put out some guidelines at chargen to ensure they get compatible characters, both in expectations and mechanical build.
Our current team includes 2 mages (3 if the flaky player ever shows back up), 2 adepts, and a face. Of course, I expect a disproportionally high number of magically active folks in the shadows - if you want to be an adept, you can't just simply take a day job. You have to be a runner, or a corp. Unless all your points went to "Improved Ability (Accounting)."

Keeping cash low strongly penalizes the non magical. If your cybers have to fight to get 30k nuyen.gif in a month, they're never going to be upgrading. They're perpetually paying for the cost of EXEX ammo, grenades, repairs on the rigger's van, and lifestyle.

At the same time, the mage is just picking up new spells and napping.

Have to say it really really depends.

1) how often / long the runs.

2) Player and GM styles.

A possible consideration is 'what' the players do with it.

I have to admit I generally favor large payouts. The runners generally are in it for 'the money'

However, I will limit how fast gear-inflation occurs.

Availability test.

Lost / confiscated / captured good etc

Can all limit even 'large' payouts from allowing runners with three runs from having delta-wear full convsersion done smile.gif

The pay though can very widely on the GM and players.

'low-end' „1k for a day or two work is entirably reasonable (even if possibly more could be made fencing a stolen car) if relatively low risk. (thus expense).

„50-100k is also entirely reasonably for something that might take a few days to plan and execute.

It depends how well know the runners are, how 'risky' the job is, etc.

But save for the 'big' boys crime does have a far lower payout then many believe.

Jsut remember UNLESS you make karma->cash->karma rules, an inbalance in one favors mundances or magicians signifcantly.

Loads of money (compared to karma) and your sammies will dominate the scene. Low 'net' money and relatively high karma rewards and your adepts/magicians/technomancers will dominate the mundanes.

I tend to favor the 'high' payouts myself since it makes the runners feel like the are getting 'rewards' for their risks.

Although that does mean I hit them equally hard in their expenses. Be it hiring backup / secondary teams, equipment, etc.

If the 'runners' make large, then the ones that feed off runners make 'large'

I would much rather limit the 'upgrade' money from the players through expenses than 'payout'.

Hey regular new SINs can get expensive (though vastly cheaper then SR3).

Likewise if smart the runners will have atleast 2 if not more 'lifestyles'.

All your eggs in a basket is real bad when somebody aims their Alpha at that basket!
Sounds like what you need to do is make the magical stuff cheeper and keep the pay at a reasonable rate
Taste points to Wakshaani for having read Freakonomics. Fun to read!

That said:

- basic compensation for our group is 5k per runner

- boni for time and extras often yield another 2k

- additional money can be made by taking things that where not properly nailed down. Note that security RFIDs are cheap.

Can easily get to 10-20k per runner per run.

I as a GM have no problem with rich mages. I encourage the players to find ingame uses, but becoming a millionaire is a valid aim for any character. IŽll rather make the mage rich than more powerful than any mundane. Our previous GM made that mistake, and it did lead to the predictable increase in adept numbers. Most saving up for synaptic accelerators like the sammies by the way.
It likely also depends on how much you play.

I play once every two weeks, with occasionally one every month.

If I made 10k from a run, which might take 2 sessions, that's 10k in a month of gaming.

That means to save up for anything reasonably interesting would take 3-6 months of real time.

That sucks.

I also don't really want to be playing a game where our first question in every room is "What's in the room?" followed by "I roll logic+appraise to find the 10 most valuable items and stash them." Then after the run, haggling with fences to sell everything. That's no fun to me - it's like RPing the shopping.

Now if I played a couple times a week, every week? Sure. 10k is great. In a month of gaming, I'm up 80k, minus expenses. No worries.
Lorechaser I think has really hit the nail on the head there.

How often your group plays probably should impact the payouts as well, even if it yields unrealistic results. The basic goal of any RPG player is to see their character improve over time. If you only get to play once per month, then I think that its reasonable to want to see a decent reward for that time.

At the same time, playing every day means that you can go on a lot more milk runs. As a GM, you should probably look and see how much fun your players seem to be having and how frustrated they appear to be. Your players will almost certainly expect to be better off than the typical beat cop. They also should be better off than the typical ganger. While the foot soldier comparisons in Freakinomics is interesting, I would wager that the average 400 BP shadowrunner is much more advanced than the footsoldier and likely would not start out at the footsoldier level were he to join the gang. Sure, shadowrunners are criminals, but they're criminals being paid by the megacorps to be discreet, as opposed to criminals being paid for selling dime bags.

That being said, when calculating the pay out, I think its perfectly reasonable for the GM to take into consideration what the players might loot during the run. If the players run up against an opposing security force, I would imagine its pretty standard practice to strip the bodies of anything usable afterward. Additionally, if your runners are creative, reward them to the extent possible. One run that I was on saw the team manage to get paid twice for the same run. After collecting the goodies we were to collect, a second Johnson contacted the group and offered substantially more money. We accepted and took the cred sticks. Then the Johnson got jumped by another group of shadowrunners. We waited and watched the battle then finally cleaned up the last three survivors. We collected the object then went back and gave it to the Johnson.

Not surprisingly though our GM has been a little more careful with the runs since then, but at the same time he didn't stifle our creativity at the time. Our main source of gear though still comes from looting our enemies. We've been on I believe 6 runs so far which has been enough for the gun bunny to get one cyber upgrade and for the team to get a few new toys. After about one or maybe two more runs, the mages will be able to get their foci and start cashing in Karma while the gun bunny might make another trip to the cyber dealer.
Sounds like a D&D random loot table too me, Gargs. nyahnyah.gif
There are entities that will gladly pay mega-nuyen in order to feast on your hard earned karma after all. So to some extent the karma to cash conversion is built into the game mechanics.
QUOTE (Konsaki)
Sounds like a D&D random loot table too me, Gargs. nyahnyah.gif

LOL Well, lets just say we did end up with more than the GM had intended (though ironically he was running a published adventure). I will agree that we got more than we should have for the run, but we did so at the risk of potentially damaging our rep with the initial Johnson. We were just fortunate enough to have the second Johnson attacked as well. biggrin.gif
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