Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Karma For Money
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
YQM
Can anything think of a ratio or scaling ratio that would allow people to exchange money for karma but not so much that they level themselves to high to quickly?

(I want this for the mages, technomancers and adepts in my game who sometimes feel that they have no use for money and get bored with the game.)
fistandantilus4.0
well the SR3 SR Companion suggests 5k for one point of karma . I used 25K, but that was also for a game with higher karma PCs. I think 5K is cheap. You could try 10K.
Grinder
Back in SR3 we had a 15,000 nuyen.gif for 1 Karma point ratio which turned out to be very balanced.
Ophis
I run on a sort of sliding scale, my current game uses 2500 for a point, this number will increase along side pay amount. I also limit it to no more than double your last karma award, given the team gets betweem 5and 10 grand a run and about 5-6 karma I haven't run into any problems.
mattvo28
I am running a game that's a bit higher powered with lower/inconsistent rewards (due to the fact that they are almost pick-up games in the same world each time) and I use a 1K=1 Karma. I wouldn't really recommend this amount it for a game that's a magic heavy party, but it works for that group I'm running (most of who are new to the game and aren't looking to exploit it).

I think it really depends on the power level of the baddies you're going to send at them. I wanted my group powerful because I've sent Force 12 free spirits at them, and Armored Suits in the first game (the characters were starting with 400BP, 40 Karma, and 100,000 nuyen/100 Karma). No one died but some came pretty damn close.

I also have a money for contacts system in place to have them spend money too.
Moon-Hawk
It depends on how much money and karma they're making per run. A balanced exchange rate in one campaign will be hopelessly broken in another, because we all hand out different amounts of money and karma.

In my current campaign, I let them buy a point of karma for 5000Y each, but they're limited in how much of that they can do. (This is for a lower-powered campaign, and 5000Y is a hefty chunk of change for them)

If I had to nail down my rule of thumb for balancing karma payouts to cash for the campaign, I'd aim so that if they convert almost all of their income into karma they'll be getting about 50% more karma than normal. If you want to tweak that, tweak the percentage and then calculate the cost from there; that's my advice. I also recommend putting an absolute limit, so that if they get a windfall run and end up with a lot of money for whatever reason they can't buy an obscene amount of karma. Maybe saying that can't buy more than 50% or 100% of the run's karma award in extra karma. (Again, I go with 50% IMG)
IonMage
In both of the campaigns I've been in thus far, the GMs haven't allowed such a thing, and to be quite honest, if I was a GM, I'd be against it myself. If you really need a skill/attribute boost that badly, there are easily various functions available for it without resorting to that; from skillsofts for skills to performance-enhancing drugs for attributes. Only major thing beyond that is spells, and those are cheap enough karma-wise as is.
deek
Or, you just give enough karma to the players so this isn't an issue:)
Lantzer
QUOTE (deek)
Or, you just give enough karma to the players so this isn't an issue:)

Enough Karma....
Enough Karma....


Is there such a thing?

To be honest, Karma is the limiting factor to team power. It is in fact the only limiting factor for many character types (basically anyone who isn't heavily into cyber or vehicles).

Generally this needs to be granted carefully and gradually because while Nuyen and contacts can come and go, Karma just keeps building. And it transates directly into stats, skills and magic power.

And there is no upper limit to the use of karma. I can always find something to spend karma on.
deek
QUOTE (Lantzer)
QUOTE (deek @ Apr 20 2007, 12:11 PM)
Or, you just give enough karma to the players so this isn't an issue:)

Enough Karma....
Enough Karma....


Is there such a thing?

To be honest, Karma is the limiting factor to team power. It is in fact the only limiting factor for many character types (basically anyone who isn't heavily into cyber or vehicles).

Generally this needs to be granted carefully and gradually because while Nuyen and contacts can come and go, Karma just keeps building. And it transates directly into stats, skills and magic power.

And there is no upper limit to the use of karma. I can always find something to spend karma on.

Well, honestly, I balance that by using training rules...I agree, there is plenty of stuff you can always spend karma on, but not all of it is instantaneous. Finding a spell takes time, even if you have 50 karma to spend. Same with skills...takes time and money...

Attributes are the first thing that come to mind that allow characters to just dump karma in them...but, once you get a handful of attributes up, you are then going to want to hit the skills and other things that also take time and money.

Plus, what I did with my group was take a look at how often we would meet to play, and about how long, on average, players would want to play the same character and story arc before wanting to change (which I figured at 2 years) and then got myself a base karma per session that I would always award...so, with my bi-weekly game, I grant 10 karma base + normal karma rewards per RAW and we have a lot of happy players, that actually have a lot of karma they still save up to spend...

So, while karma is not much of a limiting factor in my game, training time and nuyen certainly are...but everyone is having fun and after playing a year already, the group will probably be ready to retire or change things up in another year or so...
Kyoto Kid
QUOTE (deek)
Plus, what I did with my group was take a look at how often we would meet to play, and about how long, on average, players would want to play the same character and story arc before wanting to change (which I figured at 2 years) and then got myself a base karma per session that I would always award...so, with my bi-weekly game, I grant 10 karma base + normal karma rewards per RAW and we have a lot of happy players, that actually have a lot of karma they still save up to spend...

...that is actually not a bad way to do things when your group meets on less than a weekly basis. In the last group I played with I became frustrated since we met every two to three weeks, and then, traded off GM duties every three sessions or so. This really made for slow character advancement particularly since I was running an adept. 34 karma for that seventh Power Point could mean three or more months passing in RL using the Karma award level based on RAW. You kind of lose focus a bit. I will have to consider something along these lines this since I am running my Rhapsody campaign on an every two week basis and bring this to the discussion table with the rest of the group.
deek
Yeah, it has worked nicely for us. As a group, we kinda polled one another to get a feel for how quickly we wanted to advance...so I definitely think it is a good idea to make it a group decision. For bi-weekly, the 10 karma base + normal adventure karma gives a solid progression...I wouldn't say quite hi-end, because the nuyen doesn't flow as freely as the karma...
Kyoto Kid
...I actually did a Karma for Cash deal once. The total was somewhat obscene (50,000 per Karma) but the team had hijacked and actually managed to fence a Russian heavy cargo aircraft. With all those Euros jingling in their pockets they were at a loss as to what to do.

Out of the blue, one of them decided to donate their gains to an NPC's relief foundation (a relief fund for refugee children orphaned by the ongoing Balkan war). Figuring that it was a noble gesture on the character's part I decided to give him Karma in return. Suddenly nearly everyone else jumped on the bandwagon & suffice to say, the foundation came out very well off in the end. At the point we were at in the campaign, the Karma went very quickly and had at most, a minor impact on the campaign. Everyone who donated also got the NPC as a contact as well at a level based on their contribution. This was good and bad depending on how you looked at it.
nathanross
You know KK, Its not always a good idea to post about previous campaigns you are GMing again, just too much of a temptation for your current players. wink.gif
Kyoto Kid
...yeah, that was a one shot I placed in the middle while I was making the necessary adjustments to the storyline based on the characters' actions. It was not a part of the actual Rhapsody campaign but more of an "obligatory action scene" filler run.

Keep in mind, with several overly powerful mages & players who really knew how to run them better than I could. I had to do a lot of reworking (more than I expected to do) to make challenges they couldn't simply walk through with spirits, elementals, & spells. We had arrived at such a juncture & I wasn't ready to resume the next segment, so I dropped the filler run in which actually was taken from an older (SR2) campaign & tweaked to fit the timeline.

Any commentary that directly pertains to Rhapsody will be contained inside a [ Spoiler ] tag and a have warning to not read. I believe we have a very good and conscientious group of players here and am going on everyone's trust.
Therumancer
The Karma/Money aspects of the game have been an issue in all editions of the game, and a touchy subject. This is ONE of the reasons why I think Shadowrun (for all it's coolness) has had a spotty, and heavily varying, following through the years.

Strictly speaking it all depends on the objectives of the players and what they are reaching for. If my character's goal is to retire in Luxury in The Tir or NAN or something, then I'm looking at a goal of a Million Nuyen a month lifestyle, with the right skills and investments you can set things up to be self sustaining (ie it takes money to make money, the rich get richer, etc...) but your probably looking at needing at least 25-100 million nuyen you want in "Savings" to get the process started and have a guarantee of never having to work again (especially if your a long lived race like an Elf Or Dwarf).

Some characters kick all their money into their gear and such since they are "playing" and the players don't think in the long term. For others building up the huge bankwad is how they measure their character's success and eventually they just say "nope, I'm done. My guy retires... have fun". Of course goals can vary.

At any rate, having lots of excess money that isn't invested in 200 heavily customized assault weapons (or whatever) is also what lets mages live well compared to many of their Shadowrun counterparts, which kind of fits the portrayal in a lot of the books.

Also I'll admit that being a Decker/Rigger tends to be the easiest character to keep going with, especially if they are tech obsessed. You use the money to build your latest vehicle or whatever, and your Karma to learn how to use it. I don't play such characters very often, but I once had a Rigger who for example built a really deadly boat that would have been uber in a "Cyberpirates" type campaign, and had the skills to use it all by himself (heavy automation). Of course he never had a call to use it, other than the occasional referance that my character's residence (which was the boat) would probably give the Harbour Patrol and Coast Guard nightmares if someone actually tried to move on/arrest him there. smile.gif

DireRadiant
Karma and money are both rewards, as are in game items like contacts and special gear.

There's no single thing as a GM that works for everyone. All PC teams handle splitting money and gear differently, and karma si different too. All of these thins are rewards and tools for making the game fun! And giving incentive for more fun!

So what's the correct formula? Whatever works. Be flexible!

For X number of players there are X + 1 ways of rewarding them.
Kyoto Kid
...@Therumancer: On the retirement angle. One of the more unusual (and I think best overall) was my character Leela's. Aside from being a Runner who in her backstory was a technician and Demolitionist for the Croat Resistance, she was also a brilliant musician. As a child she amazed audiences with piano performances that were far advanced for someone of her age. Unfortunately witnessing the death of her family caused her to suffer from a kind of "stage paralysis" which interfered with her playing in front of an audience.

For the next six years she was cared for by a Resistance cell in Zagreb where she turned her creative energies to the destructive arts of Demolitions. After an 18 month stint in Seattle where she led a double life as a shadowrunner, she was taken to the UK & placed back on the track to her true calling by a British noble who adopted her As part of her recovery a large amount of her Karma was redirected to overcoming her flaw. This was accomplished through applying it to improving her performance skills, music knowledge, and improving her Charisma (in a way coming out of her shell).

The end result was a debut concert at new Royal Festival Hall in London. Rolling the performance impact (using the rules from Shadowbeat) she achieved a Novastar performance rating. For this one concert, she pulled in far more than she ever could even in years worth of runs. In short, Leela became a smash hit in the "classical" sense and had finally reclaimed her rightful place in the Euro arts community retiring from the shadows for good.

At times, money alone is not the only reason.
bibliophile20
@KK: That's pretty cool, and a nice wrap-up for a character.

Also, that brings up something that I've been wondering about: I've noticed that there aren't any performance skills in SR4, with the exception of Dance being a specialization of gymnastics. I assume that in other editions there were rules for musicians, jugglers, fire-breathers, singers, and other performers? (An NPC concept that I've had going through my head is an mystic adept street performer, who uses her magic to entertain and amaze--and she refuses to work for the corps, despite her talent)
Kyoto Kid
...@bibliophile20: Thanks, I feel it was the best compared to some of the forced retirements I had to do with other characters (usually a Great Dragon was involved)

Unfortunately, it didn't last long.

First off, after Leela's retirement she became an NPC for a campaign I had started. This was all fine for she was my character and I now had her deeply absorbed in her music career. I had also made some NPC Karma adjustments to her as well all of which went towards her performing skills. However, the original GM had different ideas and kept hinting at having me bring her out of retirement. Well she ended up becoming involved on two runs where I tried my best to keep her in the background as much as possible (I was actually running a second character who was supposed to be my main focus).

Both were related Survival of the Fittest and dealt with my least liked personalities (from a PC perspective), Dragons. In the first she was hoodwinked to be party for breaking into Lady Snowdon's caves to get some of that natural Orichalcium. Second she was set up as the diversion (and fall girl) for a data steal run on Rhonabwry's lair. Seems the welsh GD took a shine to her playing even though according to Dragons of the Sixth World his only musical interest is in Welsh choral music. Needless to say when he got wind something was amiss it was poor little Leela who ended up standing face to snout with him to explain herself. Not a very good scene, particularly since my campaign was set to enter its next stage.

As a part of both of these a really bad situation was also set up with one of Leela's best friends as well (who I developed during her retirement and who was taken totally out of context by the GM - very ugly story). When push came to shove, and everyone was at the docks getting ready to leave the UK & telling her to "get a move on" (they were eventually headed back to Seattle), Leela turned her back on everyone saying she was done with them, then got in the car and went home to the Grande Estate for good. Now she Is retired as a PC.
Demon_Bob
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
well the SR3 SR Companion suggests 5k for one point of karma . I used 25K, but that was also for a game with higher karma PCs. I think 5K is cheap. You could try 10K.

Must have missread that we were using 3d6*100 nuyen.gif 3 Karma max buy per run. But then the GM had tons of ways of seperating us from cash so it didn't seem to game breaking. The only player who went for it was the Karma Sink mage.
laughingowl
IN mine (as player and GM) I have alway done (or required) more a reason for karma - cash (or more importantly cash - karma).


If Player X tells me he is spending 50,0000 on hiring the leading intructor in Akido to teach him unarmed combat.

Well presuming he can meet the availablility, then I probably would allow the money to be converted over into karma (towards unarmed combat).

Now it would likely also earn some publicity and possibly have other ramifications.

Likewise if Technomancer Jane, says she spends 30,000 nuyen on buying one each of every kind of old commlink she can find and proceeds to play with them I would likely allow her to gain a few karma (towards harware, or perhaps resonance, or any TM/hacking skill).


If the shaman spends 100,000 nuyen on rare weeds and smokens them during his down time and communnes with the sprits, I have no problem with him getting a few extra points of karma (towards something shamanic related).

In short I allow cash - karma rules.

But players have to tell me how much (money and time) they are spending and what exactly they are doing.

I then tell them they get X. (how much karma and or what they can spend it on. I may completely spend it myself, or may say you have 4 points you can spend it on: Maigc, initiatiation, learning spells, or any spell casting group skill).


Peace
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012