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I'm wondering how extensively other folks out there make Contacts. I find that a good 80% of the time, I'm GMing by the seat of my pants with my players in terms of their contact negotiations.

For example, one character wanted to use a hacker contact of his to come up with some fake SINs. Obviously the hacker isn't a SIN forger herself, so she had to go out and use her own contacts. Since this contact was a hacker, I really hadn't ever assigned her a "Negotiation" skill, so I just had to make it up, and gave her a point in it.

When fleshing out your contacts, how do you decide which active and knowledge skills such a contact should have? Should the contacts have a ton of skills? Only a few?

I'm already finding out my list of player contacts and all their skills is getting exhaustive.
Just throw out whatever seems appropriate for them. Usually mine have 4-5 skills total, 2-4 points in each, and maybe a spec in what they're good at.
All depends on how much the GM is bribed. vegm.gif
I fly it just jot down what the can do then if I CBA I put some numbers to it. some times I role for show while I think things up. The big movers and shakers or when i need full stats i do them if not I fly it.
Ah, I see I'm in good company with a lot of other GMs in this department then smile.gif
smile.gif RL means I (witch is odd as I'm between education atm) cant put the time I want to in to my GMing but i do take notes and write up cool-ish summary storys when I can none for SR so far but i have them for the other games I've run and played in.
I generally have notes on the character's personality. I run SR3, but track contacts using the SR4 method.

My general rule is characters will have 5-7 in skills in their primary skillset (i.e. - what they do for a job). They'll have 3-5 in their secondary skillset, and 2-4 in their 'skills everyone should have' skillset (firearms, negotations, etiquette, etc.) Same for attributes. All of these numbers are increased by +1 if the character's Connection rating is 3-4, and by +2 if the connection rating is 5+.

Of course, that's just general ballpark numbers, not something I restrict myself by. Bribes certainly do help.
Wesley Street
I just use the contacts stats from the BBB, Sprawl Sites, Mr. Johnson's Little Black book and/or the Contacts & Adventures sheet that came with the GM screen as a base starting point then make appropriate changes as needed. I used to flesh out contacts a lot more but my players have this nasty habit of dying. Which means I have to make new contact NPC sheets! Yargh!
Seat of the pants all the way. In my opinion the example contacts in the BBB have dicepools that are too high. Especially if they get to add their contact rating as well. We have a unwritten rule that if a player provides about a paragraph of easily usable background and mannerism on a contact it will get a small bonus to its pools (which tend to range from 4 to 10, with 8 being the most common for their speciality).
I try to get the players to create their own contacts. It makes the contacts much more 3D and gives them the type of backstory, and a connection to the character, that means players feel invested and want to work with their contacts. Give them build points equal to connection x 100 and let them do it.
well I give them about
A- 7 dices + connetion level in their speciality fields
B- 3 to 4 dices + connection level in their passtime or side jobs (one side job and one hobby choosed randomly or by the master)
C- 2 dices + connection level in fields connect to them but that they usualy never touch exemple; a brain surgeon who is asked to annalyse a new ingeneered virus
D- connection level in not related to the NPC

If the said hacker contact happen to be in the illegal software programing ... he is not an id forger... well it's a 2+contact level dices to get one ... (level of loyauty and bribes money spend influence the roll or the motivation)

what I do to flesh out NPC;

a name
an archtype (street doc, blogger, mechanic, lawyer *never under-estimate those)
a job ; (the street doc may cover it by a vet clinic or a tatoo shop ... and give's insight on street gangs lol) blogger may well work in a place like a library or in a obscure archive of a mega corp.
a hobby; yes people do other things beside their jobs or role and may love to go in the front row of the next football game or maybe is the best fan ever of Neil the orc barbarian.

and sometime a manerism .. just to let it be unforgiven ... like smoking 1 cigaret by every 5 minutes ... allway's talking... trying to flirt with any woman or man (specialy when meeting new people)

so in my game a contacts is recorded in 4 to 6 words ;
name, what you expect from it (fixer, hacker, id forger, fence etc etc.) is real job and is hobby... no block stats needed
SR3 for me, so I use the relevent profile as a guide or the character concept to suggest abilites. I prefer to plan but I utilize improvisation rather than slavish aderence to doctrine.
I also let the player create their pc's contacts. That would let the play have a little more control over their part of the story. Plus it took some of the grind off of me.
QUOTE (Bashfull @ Jul 24 2008, 03:19 PM) *
I try to get the players to create their own contacts. It makes the contacts much more 3D and gives them the type of backstory, and a connection to the character, that means players feel invested and want to work with their contacts. Give them build points equal to connection x 100 and let them do it.

I like that, but it is to variable - try with 200 + (Connection x 50). I have a feeling that will work better.
Thanks for the number crunching, Muspellsheimr. I would add that other similar rules to chargen should be added: no skills or abilities above a certain number, for example. Perhaps also insist on a social score equal to their connection score (you don't get to the top without being either polite or, at least, a good liar).
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