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mattvo28
Are there rules for buying Karma (with nuyen) in Shadowrun 4.0? I'm told there were rules in ver3 but don't remember them at all.

supplementary question:
Do you think that implementing a Nuyen for Karma rule would unbalance the game? How would you implement it if it doesn't unbalance the game?

Thank you for your help,
Matt
Serbitar
There is no such rule.

If you implement a karma to cash and vice versa ratio that fits your game, then by construction it will not unbalance it.

1.) Find your typical amount of money per gaming sessoin X
2.) Find your typical karma award per session Y

-> Karma for Cash is X/Y *1.2 Nuyen for 1 Point of Karma
-> Cash for Karma is X/Y * 0.8 Nuyen for 1 Point of Karma
Azralon
QUOTE (Serbitar)
-> Karma for Cash is X/Y *1.2 Nuyen for 1 Point of Karma
-> Cash for Karma is X/Y * 0.8 Nuyen for 1 Point of Karma

How'd you derive your suggested constants?
Serbitar
Pure imagination.
whitezero
SR4 Wonka edition.
Konsaki
Umpa Lumpa, Bioch. biggrin.gif

I give Serbitar some credit for finding good numbers most of the time.
Azralon
QUOTE (Serbitar)
Pure imagination.

I see.
Steak and Spirits
Karma to cash is one thing.

Cash to Karma, however, can turn into a pretty slippery slope.
Konsaki
How so? Helping out your awakened and TMs?
Demerzel
Cash to Karma, like buying indulgences?

be careful it could cost you a second Protestant Reformation.
Eleazar
I like that system and I don't see any reason why that wouldn't work. Though at a 20% extra cost, I don't think I would be doing it. I think 5%-10% would be much more reasonable. Just enough to have the player realize a penalty. The only problem is the typical amount per gaming session. This will change dynamically based upon the campaign. I am thinking of something a little more predictable and thus static. What do you think about having 3,000 nuyen=1 karma? You could bump this up to 3500 nuyen but I wouldn't go any than that. 1BP=5000nuyen and karma gets you a lot less.
Konsaki
It would depend on the type of game you are running really. If its a street game, your characters wouldnt be getting much more than 5000 a month to survive on and wouldnt be able to take advantage of the Cash->Karma thing unless you put the X/Y at a low ratio.

Maybe 500 to 1 for a low end game.
2000 to 1 for a high end game maybe.

Like I said, it all depends on how much the GM is paying the players and how much he wants to help out the awakened players.
Steak and Spirits
QUOTE (Konsaki)
How so? Helping out your awakened and TMs?

Well yes, actually.

Without sounding like a broken record to the last decade+ of Shadowrun, Karma is used for character advancement, and does not have a -direct- In-Character explanation. There have been numerous threads around describing what karma 'may be', or how an In-Character player may understand karma. Cash on the other hand is pretty clear. Our character's know what it is. It's used to buy things. Character's get it when they sell things. And sure, it's nice to have, but cash by it's definition, is transitory.

Karma on the other hand, is not transitory. When you get it. It's yours. And it isn't leaving except in what are usually extremely rare circumstances.

By allowing Karma to be purchased, you're opening up a can of worms. Why? Because now, suddenly, geeking some corporate guards and selling their bodies is worth karma. Stealing a car is worth karma. Being a successful financial guru is worth karma. Karma, karma, karma. It's everywhere there's a dollar sign.

Karma to cash? A bit more believable. A bit of good fortune means someone left a wad of cash floating around in the washer you use on 4th street. The wrong briefcase got delivered to your address, from the Macy's catalogue - This one has a grand in it. Hell, you won the lottery, but burned a bit of that unexplainable substance called 'karma'. Cash to karma, though... You donated some money to character, after robbing a bank, and you're better with your assault rifle because of it?

Enh.

If one of the biggest complaints about awakened character's is that they have nearly limitless potential, but the commonly cited response is that they rarely receive enough karma to reach those Godlike realms, then why would it ever sound like a good idea to 'Help them out' along the way? And really, this last paragraph here is my biggest problem with it.

If the point of 'balance' between a mundane and awakened character is directly porportional to the amount of karma they receive, then whenever you jack around with that relationship, you risk introducing an unbalancing factor into the game.
Steak and Spirits
QUOTE (Eleazar)
I like that system and I don't see any reason why that wouldn't work. Though at a 20% extra cost, I don't think I would be doing it. I think 5%-10% would be much more reasonable. Just enough to have the player realize a penalty. The only problem is the typical amount per gaming session. This will change dynamically based upon the campaign. I am thinking of something a little more predictable and thus static. What do you think about having 3,000 nuyen=1 karma? You could bump this up to 3500 nuyen but I wouldn't go any than that. 1BP=5000nuyen and karma gets you a lot less.

Apologies for the double post.

You'll note that 1BP = 5k is in -Character Creation-. Comparing that directly to Character Advancement is not a fair comparison.

For instance, that 5k can only be used to buy equipment in a certain range of availability, and can only be taken to a certain cap. Would you include the same range of availability and cap in your Post-Character Creation rules? No? Then it isn't a fair comparison.

That 5k equilavent (1BP) can only be used to raise skills, attributes, etc, inside a certain range inside Character Creation. Would you limit the use of that karma in the same way? No? Then it, likewise, isn't a fair comparison.

But above all, the single -worst- thing about Cash-To-Karma is that Karma is the GM's tool to regulate character advancement inside of their compaign. By eliminating that tool, a GM is willingly castrating themselves.
Mr. Unpronounceable
Not really - the GM has to keep track of both the karma and the money he gives out...since the road to advancement depends entirely on the build of the character:

Mage: lots and lots of karma, some money

Heavily cybered sam: keep the karma coming - they sacrificed skills at chargen for the money to buy their cyber (money will eventually be more important - when they start upgrading cyber)

Skill monkey: money, money, money (this character could rapidly outpace a chargen-cybered character 250,000 nuyen.gif usually won't come close all the extra dice this guy can throw (assuming he survives being slow his first few runs)
Konsaki
Well, one of the best things about being a Skill Monkey is the fact that, if played right, it will be rare that you actually get into combat at all, but I degress.

Your assesment of the Karma and money requirements are pretty accurate.
Serbitar
QUOTE (Mr. Unpronounceable)
Not really - the GM has to keep track of both the karma and the money he gives out...since the road to advancement depends entirely on the build of the character:

exactly
Leaf
The way our group dealt with Cash for Karma in 3rd Ed. was to charge 25k for a D6 of karma, and each subsequent Cash for Karma added 5k to the cost of a D6. Most of these runs paid well so the cash wasn't a horribly large amount for some characters... You could figure out what you feel is an appropriate amount of Nuyen for 1 karma in your campaign multiply it by 5, and have your players roll a D6 for it.

So if you feel that in a low powered campaign full of gangers, 1 Karma= 500 nuyen.. then Cash for Karma could be 2500 per D6 (Edge doesn't apply obviously). With that you'll get some rolls where the karma will cost more and a few where they get more than expected.

...just a thought.
Wakshaani
Buying Karma with Cash is tricky, but doable. (I'm gonna slip teh orphanage 10K on teh sly.)

Buying cash with Karma is *extremely* easy. (The Free Spirit, Barter, can create gold ... GOLD! ... out of thin air. He'll happily do it for you, too! All it'll cost is a tiny thing, something so small that you'll never miss it! A lil' piece of your soul. Not much! Just a taste. And in return? GOLD!)

There's hundreds of spirits out tehre that'll give you anything you want in exchance for that sweet, sweet taste of Karma.
Serbitar
Cash for Karma examples: gambling, betting, stock market speculations
Karma for Cash examples: relaxing holidays, giving money to the poor, paying for practice
Garrowolf
My group came up with a different way to deal with the mage problem. Seperate karma from XP. It works just fine.

XP goes to skills and attributes.

Karma goes to edge and bonding costs.

You get a little of both each game.
Pthgar
In my group's SR3 game, we did 1 karma for 10,000 nuyen and vice versa. In addition, we only allowed it once per month. This was also convenient because we could tack it on to the lifestyle cost. It gave the players a real incentive to keep track of game time, taking some of the burden off the GM (me).

We will probably come up with something similar in our SR4 campaign, right now we aren't making enough surplus money to pay for karma.
laughingowl
Since by the rules, Karma has nothing to do with {i]karma[/i}... I will refer to it for the rest of this as 'life expierence'.

I allow cash to buy 'life expierence', as long as the character can rationalize it.

Mage: I take this worthless 1,000,000 nuyen I have and go to Ebay and buy every book ever written by Alister Crowley, during my down time I study them religiously to find the true 'magic' in them.

(The character would get a significant karma boost over time. towards 'magic', perhaps I directly reward the points, perhaps I tell him he has X extra that he must spend on: Y or Z.

The Bonus might last for my than one karma reward. (the above example would probaly be a moderate payout for a long time).

They also could go the 'fast' route: "I pay this Guinn Harley guy 1,000,000 for a weekend of intense magical study." Here they might get 3-4 times the 'reward' of the first example but a 'one-time' bonus. (rather then for 5-10 'sessions'). Quicker karma, but overall 'less for your nuyen').


Likewise I allow 'life expierences' to buy cash indrectly. They can be used to buy 'edge' and 'edge' (or luck) can be burned to buy cash.

The exact ratio for 'edge' to cash that I varies exactly the same way the cash for life expierences vaires. I had fairly detailed 'gambling' charts worked out for SR3, but havent converted them over to SR4 yet.
mintcar
QUOTE (Serbitar @ Nov 10 2006, 06:57 PM)
Cash for Karma examples: gambling, betting, stock market speculations
Karma for Cash examples: relaxing holidays, giving money to the poor, paying for practice

Exactly.

And not only does it help make players happy with their rewards, it's also grounds for defining what characters do in the time between runs and settles matters on the effect of those activities as a bonus.
Wakshaani
As a rule of thumb, I use two-for-one.

To get as much Karma as a run would generate, they have to pay twice what the run would earn in terms of cash.

To get as much money as a run would earn, they have to pay twice what the run would in in terms of Karma.

For example, if teh average run was giving 4 Karma and 2000Y, then it'd cost 4000Y to get 4 Karma or 8 Karma to get 2000Y.

Works fairly well, but, Rules of Thumb and all that.
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