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Okay, so I'm starting to get a much better handle on game as a whole, getting my rules down, got a decent plot in order etc. One thing I was wondering about before I started up running a game.
Fixers and Mr. Johnsons...
Alright, so as I understand it, your runners have a fixer who helps them find jobs and puts them in touch with the Johnson. They then talk to the Johnson who gives them the details of said job.
What I'm confused about is why all the running around?
Couldn't they just be contacted by Mr. Johnson? Or couldn't the Fixer had gotten all the necessary details from the Johnson for the Runners? There seems to be too many steps involved. It doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.
Of course I may be looking at this the entirely wrong way or be missing something obvious.

That's why I have you awesome guys (and gals) to help me make sense of it all.
Initiator (corp exec, yakuza boss, whatever) hires Johnson to be the his middleman. Runners have the fixer to be their middleman. For best results from both, the two middlemen should work out the details, with Johnson not meeting the runners and the Fixer not meeting the initiator. However, this level of professionalism often lacks the personal touches that players crave, so they often insist on meeting the Johnson directly. Which is why some Johnsons take the time to hire another Johnson to extend the chain...
The whole Johnson/Fixer system depends on the culture.

For example in a lot of Asian countries, you can't do business with someone you don't know. Because of this, it's impossible for runners to work with a Johnson they can't know (because M. Johnson have to be anonymous). So most of the time, the fixer will act as a middle man. The fixer will be friend with the Johnson and friend with the runners and because of this he'll be able to deal with them.
In that case, the Johnson will explain everything to the fixer who'll then take care of getting runners to pull the job.

In the UCAS, the relationship is different. You can't trust anyone so you'd rather have as few people as possible in the middle. That's why M. Johnson will just ask the fixer to get him a team, and will deal directly with the runners. Why use a fixer, then? Because the Johnson doesn't know any runners. Most of the time, he's not a professional Johnson, he's just someone who needs a job done. He's probably not very knowledgeable about the Shadows and will need the help of the Fixer to get the good team for his job.
Also something to remember is that if the Fixer just introduces the Johnson and Runners, the Runners are less likely to go after him when everything goes to hell. Also the less the Fixer knows the less likely it is for the corps to bother with him after he sells the Runners out.
Quite often Mr. Johnson IS the guy who actually needs the work being done and uses the anonymity of the Mr Johnson title to distance himself from it. As for Fixers, they are quite often information brokers first and foremost. Not just for the Runners, but for the straight world when they want to have dealings with the shadow world. The straights, including a hell of allot of Johnsons, have no idea who's who in the shadows. It's not like these people get famous or anything, except among their own kind. So they need the services of the Fixer to find the people needed to do job A. They wouldn't know who to look for otherwise.

Because the Johnson doesn't know any runners. Most of the time, he's not a professional Johnson, he's just someone who needs a job done. He's probably not very knowledgeable about the Shadows and will need the help of the Fixer to get the good team for his job.

I call this 'non-professional of the shadows' an initiator. If he doesn't know the shadows, he won't know how to get in touch with a fixer either. That's why he finds the guy that handles such things for him - the Johnson. The Johnso is a professional, and being a middleman for shadowops is his entire life.
Ol' Scratch
Fixers are more akin to Hollywood agents or casting directors than anything else. They spend their time making connections, schmoozing people, and putting their reputation on the line with the big wigs. They do it so the runners don't have to. So the runners can, in fact, be more anonymous and less visible as a whole and don't have to spend 90% of their downtime pimping themselves to would-be Johnsons.
Temp agencies often do well enough to stay in business, mainly by having a) a list of temp workers and b) being known to law offices and other corporate-style businesses.

In some situations, for a corp, it's often a lot easier to talk with a middleman; for a worker, it's often a lot easier get work through a middleman.

Apply analogy, and add desire for anonymity, deniability and avoidance of law enforcement.
The Johnson is the chapling who wants the job done.

The Fixer is the fellow who knows the team.

Sometimes they are one and the same person. Sometimes there's a chain of fixers. "Shadow Tradition" says the team will tend to want to meet the person footing the bill, and vice versa, but that's more of a narrative trope that can be chucked out if you don't want it; after all, who's to say that the "Johnson" isn't a fixer hired by the real Johnson.

Okay, gotcha.
So Corps/Yaks/whoevah has thier Mr. Johnson as midldemen, Runners have Fixers as thiers. The two middlemen meet up, Fixer say "Sure I got some guys that can handle that, lemme make sure they're open." He then tells the Runners about the job, and the gist of what needs done and who for (maybe/maybe not on the who for), and checks if they can take it. He will then put the Runners in touch with the Johnson to square out details, work out a price, etc. etc.
Sound about right?
Yup, that's what I normally do.
Coldhand Jake
Yep, you've got it. I've done alot of fixer work out of my club in LA, and when I decide I like how someone runs, I have some other folks I swap names with, and keep the stable of runners in work. When Ms. Johnson decides she needs something done, she may ask around, and figure out that other corporate types have slid over to the Divine Comedy to get deniable assets. They come in, ask me, the bartender, as to who knows what, and sometimes, they're surprised it's me. Then again, if you're lucky, the corporate wageslave ends up enamored of the whole shadow life they're brushing up against, and you get a steady contact, or in my case, a partner, roommate, and girlfriend on the side.

Personally, I love the cliche of it all. I may be an ex-banger and a combat hacker and run a three-story rave hall/restaurant/strip club...but in the end, I'm still an ex-adventurer gathering adventurers in a tavern. If you're too street to get the analogy, log into a fantasy game sometime. The parallel's hilarious.
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