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Hi, I wanted to ask everyone’s opinion on something. I’m toying with giving the players bonuses to their street cred from high level starting skills.

Street cred (supposedly) “represents a character’s lifetime accomplishments. The longer he’s been around, the more he’s done or seen, the more respect she’ll get from her peers.? It also mentions that, at the GM’s discretion, additional points can be awarded for various exploits and accomplishments.

The above section, for me, comes second to the actual skill level descriptions. In almost all cases, the level 5 and 6 skills are things that I believe would garner an individual reputation with their peers.

For example, level 5 skills are things like: published in peer-review journals, an incumbent politician, NBA or NFL athletes, or having run the Seattle shadows for over 5 years. Even less public feats, like being a member of the Special Forces, would get an acknowledgement, if it were known. Level 6 skills are even more so. Heads of State, the Wright Brothers, Shaq, or a member of the Blue Angels.

So what I’ve been thinking is giving a starting character 1 point of street cred for a level 5 starting skill, and 2 points for a level 6 skill. I do strictly enforce that the person needs to have heard about you (I’m not going to know someone is in the NFL unless someone tells me), and I allow players to reject the street cred if it doesn’t work with their character concept (a monk raised in seclusion, that just moved to Seattle), or “leave it behind them? if their character started anew.

So, I wanted to ask other people’s opinions about how they feel about this. I just don’t like that someone can be one of the best martial artists in the world (for example), and yet they seem to live in a void. I also don’t know yet how I wish to treat level 7 skills. 1 more point of cred is a possibility (the person is, after all, Michael Jordan or Albert Einstein).
The trouble is, you can start with two skills of 5 or one skill of 6 at char-gen, and any character who has not picked an extremely generalist profession (such as technomancer or cover ops specialist) is likely to do so. And it's not cheesy, either - it's the logical result of the char-gen rules. So in a way, this rule equates to: "Most PCs get two bonus points of street cred."

I am not sure that a skill of 5 or 6 would automatically get you a reputation. For one thing, you would have to also have a high linked Attribute to really stand out. For another thing, not every skill will be obvious, or be the kind of skill that someone would get a repuation for. The guy who's a killing machine might be the quiet guy who doesn't brag. The brilliant cybersurgeon might only be known within the megacorporation that he used to work for. I think it's only after they have successfully used those skills as a runner for awhile, that they will start getting noticed for it.
Jack Kain
Here's a middle ground.

If you have a skill rank of 7 you gain a bonus to your street cred for being all legendary.
Glyph, the way I see it "street cred" isn't just for Shadowrunners. It's the respectabilty and acknowledgement that you gain over time from your peers.

So your cybersurgeon probably would only be known within his corp, and a few outside interests. And the quiet gunslinger archtype is the player who chose to forgo the street cred at character creation.

Yup, alot of characters will probably start with a point or two of street rep. But as I mentioned I do impose the "they have to have heard of you" rule. Just because a man in black with a mask shows up, doesn't mean you'll realize he's the Dread Pirate Roberts.

Maybe the groups I'm involved with is unique, but we have a sword adept who doesn't advertise, an ex-assassin who has left her life behind, a technomancer and a hacker who are both fairly hush hush in RL about thier abilities, and so on. (Seems kinda unhealthy to brag. After all, most gunslingers were gunned down or shot in the back. If people know your good, they'll probably start looking for you.)

But yeah, I haven't quiet reconciled stats in relation to skills. So far (and until I have to deal with it) I'm working from the idea that unless your gifted (stats) you probably won't bother learning a skill to a really high level (skill). A pilot doesn't become a Blue Angel unless he has a good Reaction stat.

(The exception to this, so far, is when you run into the swordmaster who is crippled. But even then, probably earlier in life he had good physical stats.)

Thanks for your imput!

P.S. Maybe a point of public awareness to counterbalance... hmmm.
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