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Now, in some games there is a really stupidly big difference between equipment costs. In certain hypothetical games, a normal weapon might cost 10 gp (that stands for, ah, "generic points," by the way), while a slightly shiny version of it would cost literally 200 times as much. This is nonsense. But even in Shadowrun, there are some things which seem completely out of anyone's budget.

For example, in talking about Smugglers, it says their favorite ride is the t-bird. But seeing as that clocks in at 2.35 million nuyen, I can't imagine any smuggler being able to buy one, can't imagine anyone willing to rent them out to illegal and dangerous activity, and considering the payment rates that seem to be going around these days, the smuggler would probably be better off investing in the stock market - ten percent annual returns aren't anything to sneeze at. Can you make 235,000 nuyen.gif in a year? I didn't think so.

Then there's that procedure in Augmentation that fills essence holes. It's something like 75,000+ nuyen.gif I think. That's around half a year's worth of runs, give or take a couple months. All that for the little datajack I had removed? Sheesh.

And then, needless to say, there's anything betaware or deltaware, at all, or cultured bioware.

There are also plenty of fun, mostly fluff things you can do with stupidly large sums of money, even though of course you wouldn't because you'd be busy buying yourself Synapses 3. So I'm wondering, does anyone ever actually get enough money to buy these things? And if so, how do you balance everything?
Seeing as I just got paid 4,500 nuyen for wetwork (mind you fairly easy wetwork), I dont think Ill ever see any of that stuff. Kind of makes me mad. GMs need to not think in the sense of "how much would I pay to have something done in real life" as opposed to, "how long should it take them to get their goodies".

How much nuyen is paid for a given job is completely dependant on the GM.
Yep, I'm finding the same. When our GM picked out Wetwork, Pure and Simple one night, the Johnson told us something like 4K apiece, and we looked at each other, laughed, and walked out.
The T-bird example is a particularly odd example, as it makes no sense to use for smuggling unless you are smuggling something with the value of high purity street drugs, that is 10,000+ nuyen.gif per kg.

T-bird range is absurdly short. Like several hundred KMs. And fuel in SR4 would be on the same absurd pricing as ammo, so you'd be dealing with a cost of several nuyen.gif per km, quite possibly significantly in excess of 10 nuyen.gif per km. Plus the maintenance cost, which is SR has always been ignored, would be huge. There is a reason why there are quite a few more aircraft mechanics than pilots in airlines and air forces. And replacement jet engines are not cheap. That's why the cost per hour of operating most jet engined aircraft is several thousand dollars per hour.

It's kind of hard to justify risking a 3 million nuyen.gif vehicle on a job that pays 20,000 nuyen.gif and when the maintenance cost of the vehicle will use up over half the payment. You should be getting more like 600,000-1.5M nuyen.gif to do anything, as you eventually will lose it.
Kyoto Kid
...this is my issue with "Big Ticket" items.

I have already mentioned about some bioware costs seeming a bit high compared with the adjustment in starting resources. In effect, at chargen those Synaptic boosters have actually gone up in price as has some of the other pricier bio. Meanwhile, the cost Cyber for the most part has dropped dramatically and some augmentations (such as vision & hearing mods) can now be bought in convenient wearable form at a fraction of the implant cost & no essence cost.

Vehicles are another disappointment. Outside of a handful of cars the only van is the Bulldog at 35K. Nice wheels and all but still a pretty big chunk of change (I am hoping that Arsenal will have a better variety of vehicle offerings). Thunderbirds, APCs? I agree, no character is going to be able to get one of those (unless they jack one). I always wondered why they put such hardware, which obviously no runner would ever be able to buy, in the general gear lists . These should be in a "GM's Only" section as only NPCs would usually have them. Should a team happen to "liberate" say a Rhurmetall Leopard MBT, the price should only be there to determine the basic value for fencing (of course adjustable for condition, market, and how generous the fence if feeling that day).

The biggest haul I ever had a character come out with was during Survival of the Fittest where we were given a healthy payment that included stock. Tomoe kept the stock on the board and when it peaked in value she would sell. In all she made out like the proverbial bandit garnering better than a half million nuyen.gif in the whole deal. This is very rare and usually would lead to the character considering retirement to some nice secluded south sea island. However, she was interested in purchasing a minor league baseball franchise and then retire. This was a nice nest egg for that.

Yeah, she could have afforded some pretty nice hardware or a kick butt vehicle & I thought about it but such purchases would not have been " ic.gif ". `
I think the prices for vehicles are correct in that Shadowrun is supposed to be a street level game. The characters are supposed to be zooming around the sprawl on Suzuki crotch rockets, not VTOL warcopters.
Well, sure. But you can.

My gaming group once ended up with a t-bird and a large helo. We'd spent our group money on a large isolated building (a failed geothermal station on the lava planes IIRC) and licenses as a security company. We used the t-bird occasionally. It was a pain, as it required a pair of semis and a large van to stage the thing (a covered lowboy, a 20,000 liter tanker truck and a repair shop) but we did it for runs where it was worthwhile. Which usually wasn't as for as much money as it would have taken to get us to use it if we had to buy the damn thing instead of getting it as a prize, but it was still big money runs, not $5K/person BS.

But the characters were all a bit crazed. Retirement wasn't in the cards for us. One of the samis ended up with really good B/R and operation skills.
Ol' Scratch
Stolen T-Bird that you can't find any street-level fixers willing to take off your hands = cheaper than buying a Suzuki Mirage.

Shadowrunners are professional criminals. It's worth stating that as, while blatantly obvious, it's something that seems to be overlooked on so many occasions on these forums. And just because you can steal something, that doesn't mean you're going to find someone willing to buy it off you.
Kyoto Kid

"...whaddya mean you have a six engine Russkie super transport in a hanger at an old Airbase? Now do I look like FedBoeing surplus?"
Some items would be outside the runners range IF THEY HAD TO BUY IT in the market.

a t-bird or some high grade cyberware, for example, all cost in excess of millions

The problem in some games would be that if the runners got their hands into so much nuyen the entire team would be forced to retire and stop playing. Acting IC is an important concern, why would anyone shoot people in the face for money if money wasn't a problem? Of course, there are "solutions" like the personal vendetta angle, etc, but most of times this would not work for a whole team of runners. Besides, once the monetary incentive to keep shooting people in the face is removed, the game simply isn't the same game anymore...

However, and I am talking from the Gms perspective; there are other ways to work around high availability and high price items, if you consider they would fit your game.


A group I am Gming for was doing a pretty nasty run in Yucatán when things got -more- fucked up and they had to bail out. They managed to hijack an Azzie military "Ares Dragon" -"Aztechnology Quetzalcoatl"?

After the jungle was behind they had to hide real low in Nicaragua until they finally fixed transport back to Seattle in a Wuxing container freighter The group decided against selling the chopper because

a. they would not get so much money

[ Spoiler ]

b. It would be much too dangerous.

[ Spoiler ]

So the chopper got nicely converted into a "rescue" chopper and got a fake SIN in the name of a fictional NGO; all of this courtesy of some Wuxing favors and 10k nuyen. Now the team's NPC rigger has a chopper on demand for the rest of the group. The runners are still shadowrunners and maybe they can get now into some smuggling runs... oh the possibilities.

I actually hadn't planned they would end the run with a military chopper in their hands, but the moment the run turned out that way I decided to let it happen, adapt and see what happened.
I must say I am glad they didn't sell it, I was of course prepared to let the chips fall their way if they decided to go the nuyen way, but the present outcome is much more enjoyable and the game was quite memorable, particularly for the other two runners who couldn't make it to the hijack zone and were left in the jungle...


We've discussed this one before. Pretty much as soon as most runners are able to afford a permanent High Lifestyle, there isn't a lot of reason to run anymore. Not true for all, but true for most.

My original rigger was a smuggler who got pulled into shadowrunning, as he hadn't broken into the big time smuggling circles yet. We did eventually steal a GMC Banshee. Never used it in the game. It was just way too obvious and just *screamed* "Bring out the military grade defenses to get that guy!" Less conspicuous vehicles were much more effective. Although, back-up high cover from a Wasp was handy now and then.

There's a really simple answer for how to fence a T-bird, or some other equally difficult to move vehicle: Part it out. Tear it down to components and sell those. Much easier to fence, even if you won't make quite as much off the sale.

T-birds are most usefull in smuggling on borders between the UCAS and NAN, where you have large amounts of reclaimed wilderness, few roads, and little security. The usefulness of the ability to move fast, stay below radar, and land anywhere far outweighs the fact that it would be obvious to anyone with a pair of ears in that sort of situation, simply because there won't be any people around to notice it.
They're more likely to be used in people smuggling than anything else, due to NAN's strict immigration rules and the extremely high probability of being eaten by paracritters when crossing the unprotected wilderness on foot.

As for stealing expensive stuff, I suggest you ask yourself one thing. "What would Sean Connery do?" Sean Connery would steal the flying tank, blowing up the enemy base behind him to cover his tracks. Then he would set the autopilot and have sex, with a woman.
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
... and have sex, with a woman.

That's only because he doesn't have a Dikoted™ Ally Spirit. wink.gif
Essentially all of these replies are in service to a single basic phenomenon: Large Ticket rewards are very rarely left in players' hands (and for good reason).

As I had discussed in a previous post, anything worth over ~¥50,000-100,000 in my games is given a wide berth by most of my PCs. I have had a PC "acquire" some goods of value in that gradient that came home to an "old friend" sitting in his dining room with a suppressed Ares pred leveled at his head. The end was messy.

These should be in a "GM's Only" section as only NPCs would usually have them.

This is basically backed up by the story above. Any item with a value roughly 5-10 times the value of anything that the players have access to is a death sentence and is for all intents and purposes "GM Only". Only under very rare and extenuating circumstances do I allow players to keep large ticket items. Those times that I do, they are generally arranged through some serious RP and are linked to the character's intentions, the storyline and are "in kind" rewards for services rendered. If a Sammy in my game wants to get Synaptic Boost (3) after character creation, much less at grades above cultured alpha (which they often do as a result of the high essence strain of "leveling up" in SR as a street sammie type), they are generally paid off as a bonus for doing a particular service on a particular run. Maybe their contacts had a hand in arranging it, maybe they just put the word out, maybe its kismet. Either case, such procedures are done "in kind" and "in house" by the suppliers. Off-the-shelf, over ¥150,000 is rarely a financially viable investment for a runner. But who says it costs Ares or Yamatsu or whoever to do the procedure in their facility? Who also says that they have to use the real deal and not some experimental stuff?

Essentially, the effect that I am alluding to is that the larger the cost in nuyen any goods are, the less they are directly in the hands of the player one way or another. If a sammie manages to get 300k worth of cyber slapped into him by a thankful corp, it often comes with strings attached. If a player manages to jack a T-Bird or something enormous like that... Well, they PCs are not Pilots, they are runners. Pilots are Pilots because all they do is fly T-Birds or whatever... Players don't know the people to keep it fixed, in fuel and parts, much less the nuance to flying them (unless they, too, are pilots... and if so, why are they PCs anyways?).

See what I am getting at?

The nature of the goods themselves naturally draw the line between PC and NPC. A cybered out essence .001 nutjob with delta in him is not much of a human being anymore, much less someone that a PC would actually play. Someone flying a 2 mil aircraft spends all of their time in the air, prepping to go into the air, or doing workups after being in the air... Very little time for the drama of a shadowrun. The list goes on.

Large scale economic investment implies several things: stability and security. Two things that shadowrunners, by definition, are not, can not have and do not have. If they were stable, they would probably not be engaged in sociopathic enterprise... If they had or valued security, they would not go around compromising theirs and others for the sake of a few nuyen. If the nuyen does not matter, they are enough of a fringe personality that the nuyen literally does not matter.

I very, very rarely worry about nuyen reward levels in my games... ¥¥¥¥ = NPC. Period.

- der menkey

Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter.
~ Ernest Hemingway
As far as how much money it takes to retire... That depends on the character. There are lots of reasons a major player might stay 'in the game.' I'll leave that to the thread that was created for it.

When it comes to big ticket items, in my games, they are typically present for the players to drool over and see what the maximum potential of the current state of technology in the game is. I know. That's a lot of page count for shock and awe.

As the game rolls on though my players tend to get (sometimes temporary) access to some of those items. Expensive augmentations are pretty typical. They cost a lot, but they cost (a little) less to someone... and that someone could owe you a favor. I'll discount some fancy chrome as an extra reward for a job well done, if the discount makes sense within the campaign.

I'm all for letting the team hijack some high end vehicles. Selling it might be an issue, and finding a place to store it and keep it may be too... I had a two player group a while back (3rd Edition) who wanted to play a rigger and a decker. I was playing with the idea of giving them a Tbird to start (the property of a wealthy smugglling ring, which they would have to answer to if the vehicle was lost) and centering the initial adventures on vehicle-combat heavy smuggling runs. That never got off the ground though.
Like all games you pick the scale you play at and adjust accordingly.

What's your campaign theme?

High BP street level gangers trying to move up in their hood? (High skills, little equipment)

Moderate BP characters jets setting all over the world doing MI99 missions for their various corporate clients? (Ooh shiny)

Low BP Mercenary combat team struggling to get hired in the latest round of the Desert Wars? (Lots of gear, low skills)

Your game, Your choice.

P.S. The SR Missions are deliberately set at a certain level and scale and therefore do not fit everyone's concepts and play style.
The economics in SR have always been a little unrealistic. Mainly because the dev's have to balance the game mechanics rather than the monetary scale.
It is an unwritten rule that that the ref has to adapt the pay scale to the group and some how make it make sense.

The same applies to T-birds. They have ridiculously short range and massive running cost. A classic dump stat fuel economy. Also if they do get detected the tank hunter jets get scrambled.
That being said, in the hands of a syndicate smuggling operation running BTL's. They make the right pay offs, the state of political boarders in north america, it can with some suspension of critical analysis, make sense.
One thing I did recently:
They were helping out a fairly high-powered Johnson. I gave them some time to think about it, but basically the payment for the run was, "What do you want?" and they negotiate from there. Mr. Johnson is a powerful guy, and has access to lots of corp assets that he can get at cost, or can be written off somehow. If they ask for cash, well fine, he can give them maybe 40,000Y, but if they want stuff/favors/etc, it could be stuff worth potentially much, much more.

And the best part is, if Mr. Johnson's resources haven't been clearly established already, then anything they want that I want them to have, he can get easily. Anything they want that I really don't want them to have, he just can't get his hands on. smile.gif
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