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InfinityzeN
First off, I'm going to start this thread by dropping a bomb. My runners as a team pull in $200k to $400k a mission that they take from a Mr. Johnson. Sounds like a hel'la lot doesn't it? After subtracting mission expenses and breaking it down, the players net $30k to $50k each. They run 1 (on the high end) or 2 (on the low end) missions for a Mr J a month. Averages out to about $55k per player per month. Now I know someone is going to say that is crazy talk, but I'll break it all down for you below.

First, the average monthly upkeep for my players is around $30k. That comes out to ~$15k for lifestyle (Home, some safe houses, some 'Lock&Store' places, couple bus station/safety deposit box/PO boxs, and maybe a MILVAN), ~$5k on expendables (Ammo, treating contacts, buying their girl/guy gifts, updating programs, etc etc etc), $5k to the group fund (more on this later), and $5k to retirement (My players actually have retirement planned). Granted, that leaves ~$25k a month, which they use to get new toys, replace fake SIN, cover player driven adventures, etc.

Why do I pay them so much? They are a team of highly skilled freelance covert operatives with a reputation for being completely professional. They have a very select skillset that few can match, are a completely deniable asset, and have no upkeep cost. The last two are big reasons why Corps don't have teams in house. Even now'a'days, if you look at how common contractors are you'll realise that companies would rather go outside to save on the upkeep cost. Plus the runners are actually not that expensive if you consider the value of what they do. The value of what they extract for the Mr J on an extration is often times an order of magnitude or more over the cost of the runners. If your going to net five million on the target, paying $400k to get it isn't a big deal.

On contact runs (this includes things their fixer gets them), my runners don't make nearly as much. Mostly they get gear, favors, and higher contact ratings with only a little cash after expenses. They call these "Maintanance runs". What they get from PC driven runs ranges from negatives to pretty good, but mostly on the low end (in other words, in normally cost them money).

The $30k they are putting to the group fund between them covers their centeral facility (a fully refitted warehouse), their seceretary (yea they actually hired one, she also has quarters at their centeral facility), and the emergency fund, along with a host of other little minor expenses.

My players think any runner out there taking big jobs for a lot less then them is a poser or wanna'be. First mission for a Mr J, when he offered them $50k, the Face laughed and said "Come on guys, lets get out of here. We can make more tonight without getting shot at." and they actually walked out. They did make more money too... stole four nice cars and fenced them one a week. Even with the crappy percentage, they still made double what the Mr J was offering.

So how much do you pay your characters and if it is really low, how do you justify your players actually taking those jobs? Because as skilled as they are, they can just do freelance theft and make good money at far less risk then what seems to be the average pay scale.
Fuchs
We don't use detailed money in my campaign, just abstract "wealth". The runners run to keep their lifestyle, and to pay their debts, that's it. New toys and upgrades come after or during runs made for such.
imperialus
I'll copy paste an old post of mine that details my thoughts

QUOTE
I think the best rule of thumb (that's come up before) for starting runners at least is to give them enough money per month that it's not worth it for them to steal a Ford Americar/Murcury Comet once a week and sell it on the black market.

If you want an actual number I'd say for a starting team 5-6K per month each. Each time the groups street cred goes up by one double the amount they make.

In planning out a teams advancement here is the formula I would use.

CODE
Street Cred      Pay/month      Karma/Month
                   (x1000)
    0                 5-6            10
    1                10-12           20
    2                20-24           25
    3                40-48           30
    4                80-96           35
    5               160-192          40
    6               320-384          45


How long a team stays at a given street cred "level" is up to you. Street cred of 6 really only belongs to the gods of the shadow scene. These are the folks that Harlaquin has on speed dial when he needs to get some shit done. They're on a first name basis with Fastjack and Damian Knight owes them "favors". I can't ever see a campaign of mine reaching that level but it does allow for it.

Most importantly regardless of what "level" you base the campaign at this seems to keep the sams and riggers power level roughly consistent with adepts mages and other karma hogs. If you see one group pulling ahead of the other it is fairly easy to correct it within the framework by offering more nuyen.gif and less Karma or the other way around. It's a guide not hard and fast rules but I've found it useful.


QUOTE
well basically the difference is that street cred is something that I award to players. It works somewhat like edge but refreshes far more rarely. In line with the BBB it consists of their "rep" within the shadow scene and underworld in general. For example someone with a street cred of zero but with a run or two under their belt is still considered a greenhorn by just about everyone. Really only their contacts even know who they are.

Street cred is awarded based on performance, or at least perceived performance by a team. Everyone on the team has the same street cred and it can go up or down (even into negative numbers) based on how their runs go.

the scale basically looks like this

-3 Pariah. You've committed a screw up that is truly aw inspiring. People know you, but they also know that powerful people will pay good cash for your head on a plate. Leaving the country seems like a good idea.
-2 Write-Off. You've screwed up big time. Even your fixer is unlikely to return your calls. People with means to do so want you dead. Chances are skipping town is your best bet
-1 Fuckup. Johnsons are reluctant to work with you, jobs are going to suck and generally be few and far between. Damage control is an order.
0 No rep, You're either a relative unknown just starting out or you've done something to tick some people off. Nothing that can't be fixed but you'd probably want to get on that before things get worse.
1 Streetsmart. Johnson's and fixers are starting to take notice. You've at least proved that you won't completely fuck up jobs.
2 ShadowPunk. It's starting to look like there is something to you. You're a regular team in your fixers stable and he knows you can be trusted to be discreet and efficient. The smaller streetgangs know that it's not worth their time or broken bones to screw with you.
3 ShadowRunner. You're a pro. The jobs come fast and furious and you likely spend most of your time working for favorite Johnson's. You're pretty well known locally and for the most part well liked.
4 Veteran. By now the Johnson's are competing with each other to hire you. You can't exactly write your own paycheque but you're defiantly moving into a sellers market. Everyone but the major crime syndicates knows you're not someone to be trifled with. You probably have dirt on or favors owed from some fairly important figures though not likely anyone with much influence beyond the metroplex area.
5 Prime Runner. You're top of the heap now. Probably one of the best runners in Seattle. Some people are even starting to wonder why you haven't retired. Yakuza Oyuban and Mafia dons (not to mention some important corporate figures) are in your pocket.
6 ShadowGod. Fastjack, Hatchetman, Captain Chaos, You. Pretty much that simple.

Now as for how it works mechanically things are a bit fuzzier. First of all you can at any time add your street cred to provide a bonus to a die roll just like edge. It only applies to social tests with appropriate underworld figures. You can also lower the groups street cred permanently (or at least until you earn it back) to pull in favors with underworld figures and do stuff like get something that is otherwise beyond your reach, make some evidence or witnesses "disappear", ect. What exactly you can get from this depends on your street cred level. With a street cred of two you might be able to get a tricked out van with armour, a turbocharged engine ect. A street cred of five might net you a T-bird. Pulling in these favors lowers your rep though, if it doesn't happen often your cred usually bounces right back, but if you're calling in favors left right and center people start to look at you as a mooch.

It's more art than science but it works for me.
Ice Hammer
To me, its just up to the gamemaster's discretion how much they want to pay the runners. I allow for the runners to be able to negotiate for more. And i usually start the runners off as new runners and they have to build up their reputations and their credibility to be able to say to the Johnson that they would be worth more than other runners. But some prefer to start the runners when they are already professionals. Starting as professionals with higher skills and reputation will certainly demand higher pay. But 55k a month, plus a 30k a month lifestyle seems way too high. that's over 600K a year per runner. At some point the Johnsons will balk at paying so much for a run, and will start looking at another runner team that they can pay for less but still get the same professional results.
InfinityzeN
And if I was in your game and not getting the money I wanted for jobs, I'd just steal cars or such. Easier, safer, more money. Heh, why run the shadows if it is not worth it?

Seriously, I think people need to look at what actual highly skilled contractors are making today. If they are doing a job that his dangerous (contractors in Iraq for example), their making anywhere from $200k to $400k a year. And most of those guys are nowhere near as limited in choices to hire as proven, highly skilled, professional Shadowrunners. You don't hire top of the line talent for a little whack job. You hire them for the tough stuff or the stuff that has to be done right (because even though it might not be as tough, it is worth a lot of money if done right).

A professional Shadowrunner is not some streetpunk. He (or she) is a highly skilled, dependable, covert asset that will get the demanding jobs done with finesse and as little noise as possible. Unless you want it done loud that is...
Browncoatone
Depends on the job of course. Taking on the local mob for a couple of small business owners, maybe they can't pony up the big bucks and you have sort of an A-Team mission. Making a run for a Megacorp or government, well that can add up fast can't it?

I figure that most Shadowrunners (gunbunnies excluded*) are people with in demand skills that could settle into a low (or at least lower) threat position with an organization rather than be freelance but continue to run freelance for the better money and freedom. Think about how rare quality mages or hackers are and how many Organized Crime Syndicates or Megacorporations would love to have them on the payroll.

That in mind, I first assume that the team will generally try one shadowrun per week. I figure about every other run will be a burn, or a failure, pay below average, or one that they should be smart enough to walk away from. Then you got to figure expenses like ammo, bribes, new ids, repairs, safe houses, medical services, etc. So if we figure two good successful runs a month, and that the price of doing business is half of their income, then a run should yield an average of 5K for "middle class" runners, 10K for "high class" runners and 100K+ for your opulent lifestyle runners. If your runner is maintaining a "low class" lifestyle as his primary lifestyle then he's really not a Shadowrunner, he's more like a desperate individual looking for anything he can get to get by.

*One thing you can count on is there will always be new, young, hot females at the club and new, young, thugs with guns to replace the cannon fodder that just bled to death in the street. Skilled labor is harder to come by.
Ice Hammer
In my way of thinking, Johnsons, for the most part, are going to look for two things: whether or not a runner team can get the job done that meets their needs and expectations, and two, whether or not it is good for their bottom line. And for me, there are other teams out there that have very similar skill sets to those of the player characters'. And because of this competition, it is plausible that if the characters charge too much, than the Johnsons are free to walk away from the table as well.
InfinityzeN
QUOTE (Browncoatone @ Jan 20 2009, 07:52 PM) *
Depends on the job of course. Taking on the local mob for a couple of small business owners, maybe they can't pony up the big bucks and you have sort of an A-Team mission. Making a run for a Megacorp or government, well that can add up fast can't it?


I commented on this in my first post. My guys run jobs that net them little or no money that they get through their fixer and contacts. When I say a run for Mr J, I don't mean just anyone out to hire Shadowrunners. I mean a job from a professional Mr. Johnson who handles contracting assets to take care of special jobs for his Corp/Gov/Special Interest Group/etc.

Most of the stuff that comes through their fixers not related to paying back a favor or getting a piece of tech, is A-Team or Robin Hood style runs. My guys have done lots of Robin Hood runs, since it builds up their rep and makes life easier for them. Of course, there have been a couple of times that they got called rather then the Star getting called because of it, but when they respond to calls like that and take care of the locals around them it leads to a lot of good will and protection. That's actually worth almost as much as money in my eyes.

QUOTE (Ice Hammer @ Jan 20 2009, 07:59 PM) *
In my way of thinking, Johnsons, for the most part, are going to look for two things: whether or not a runner team can get the job done that meets their needs and expectations, and two, whether or not it is good for their bottom line. And for me, there are other teams out there that have very similar skill sets to those of the player characters'. And because of this competition, it is plausible that if the characters charge too much, than the Johnsons are free to walk away from the table as well.


Of course. It shouldn't just be runners who walk away from a deal. Sometimes the Johnson just can't pony up enough for what the runners want for the Job.
InfinityzeN
One last comment and then I'm calling it a night. Think hard on this now. How did that Sammy/Rigger/Hacker making 10~20k a month before cost of living (which eats at least half of that) earn enough money to get $250k worth of cyber and weapons that he has at the beginning of the game? If he saved every penny not going into his Lifestyle, he would have enough money to get all that in 2 to 4 years (Actually a little more time then that, but I rounded down for ease of posting).

Sure you can say he stole a lot of his gear, but what about the cyber or bio?

I'm going to bed... hope someone comes up with a good generally usable answer to that and can still support their really low monthly pay rate.
The Jake
I don't use a real table although to balance nuyen to karma, its probably a good idea.

I don't like using a measure of say, street rep 6 = godlike because at the end of the day there is always someone better (at least there should be) - plus its an arbitrary number.

My PCs atm, while highly skilled, have a low rep and they know they need to prove themselves. So they're at the bottom of the totem pole.

A job that nets them 2k better be a short, low risk, 2 hr job.
Batting average is around 10-15k each (at 6 players on average per session, that's 90k to the group).
10% goes to the party fund.
10% of the magician's salary goes to the initiatory group (one hermetic, one shaman, one mystic adept).

As you can see, that doesn't leave a huge amount.

Even in campaigns where the PCs have been the equivalent of Argent, Fastjack, Michael Sutherland, etc, they going rate was around 50k per player.

If I'm playing, I like to act as a Face, so I will negotiate on a variety of factors - duration of the job, travel required, risk factor, potential reprisals, cost of equipment and materials, etc. Think Ronin when DeNiro drastically drives up the price for the job when Diedre ('Ms. Johnson') refuses to disclose the contents of the case they're stealing.

- J.
IceKatze
hi hi

I'm starting out at around 60-70k per run with a group of 5 runners. It'll probably increase as time goes on though and they get more fame, but a lot of their wealth is liable to come from secondary acquisitions. Also, if a job comes through a fixer, said fixer gets a cut too.

As for stealing cars and fencing them as a better source of income: this is the territory of gangs and petty thugs. If your runners want to go off and join a gang, they'd probably have pretty good job security too. If they don't, they're liable to be encroaching on someone's turf. After paying protection money, the profits from stealing cars might not be so good anymore.

Starting resources: There's a neigh infinite number of explanations for a character's starting wealth. Perhaps it is the total sum of their life savings prior to their life in the shadows, 18-30 years worth sometimes. It could represent an inheritance from a wealthy relative. Perhaps the character was experimented on by corp doctors who were trying to see how much they could squeeze out of someone's essence. Perhaps the character saved a street doc's life and got horribly maimed in the process.

(Although, I did once GM an unorthadox campaign where the player characters were magicians that specialized in manufacturing orichalcum. It was a light hearted campaign that was designed more as a "what if?" scenario then anything else. They were able to hire some help around the shop and rake in millions every month.)
The Jake
I'd love to play a street level campaign with a troll face/gangster (ala Tony Montana) and build up a drug empire...

Sigh. The things we GMs lament never being able to play.... frown.gif

- J.
toturi
QUOTE (Ice Hammer @ Jan 21 2009, 08:59 AM) *
In my way of thinking, Johnsons, for the most part, are going to look for two things: whether or not a runner team can get the job done that meets their needs and expectations, and two, whether or not it is good for their bottom line. And for me, there are other teams out there that have very similar skill sets to those of the player characters'. And because of this competition, it is plausible that if the characters charge too much, than the Johnsons are free to walk away from the table as well.

It is a balance between what the Johnson can come up with and what the runners' want and a balance between demand and supply. There is a demand for skilled labor and while there is competition, generally the Johnson does not want to advertise unless he wants the whole sprawl to know he is hiring and this cuts down the number of teams he can afford to interview before there is a leak and the more time he spends looking for a team, there might be less time for the team to get the job done and thus driving up the price. Also the Johnson should know that unless there a lot less jobs than there are runners, those other teams are likely to be on another run as well and are not available.

QUOTE
As for stealing cars and fencing them as a better source of income: this is the territory of gangs and petty thugs. If your runners want to go off and join a gang, they'd probably have pretty good job security too. If they don't, they're liable to be encroaching on someone's turf. After paying protection money, the profits from stealing cars might not be so good anymore.

Given the skill sets of most PC runners, it could be more plausible that the runners become the gang or they are the ones getting the protection money. Between collecting protection and profit from stealing cars, maybe the runners do not need to run any more.
The Jake
Unless PCs are stealing Eurocar Westwinds, GMC Banshees or milspec vehicles, I have a hard time believing vehicles will net a cool 5k+ and enable them to coast their way to retirement every time.

- J.
IceKatze
hi hi

Runners may have the skills to do gang related things, but there are already gangs in existence who are somewhat territorial about other people cutting into their business. Sure, you could probably run a campaign where the players rise to power within a gang or syndicate, but I wouldn't take it for granted. It isn't like you can say "I don't have to run cause stealing cars is easier." if you try to make a living stealing cars, then you have to worry about gang/organized crime intrigues and power plays.
The Jake
Street level or not, there is always going to be opposition. If I decide to break into I'm just saying an MCT corporate research facility reknown for using lethal measures, then I have to ask - if I'm being paid 10k why would I risk my hoop when I can make 5k boosting cars for much less risk?

The pay has to be commensurate for the job and the level of risk. I just believe 5k for boosting cars is way too much. 500Y is much more reasonable. Suddenly 10k to break into a research facility sounds awesome.

- J.
Octopiii
QUOTE (The Jake @ Jan 20 2009, 08:59 PM) *
Unless PCs are stealing Eurocar Westwinds, GMC Banshees or milspec vehicles, I have a hard time believing vehicles will net a cool 5k+ and enable them to coast their way to retirement every time.

- J.


Why shouldn't they steal only valuable vehicles? They've got thousands and thousands of nuyen worth of equipment implanted in them, as well as access to magic and other uncommon skills. They could steal a GMC Bulldog and still make almost 2k if we assume a 5% rate of recompense, and I would imagine that it would be about as drama free as can be. Hell, if they want to get just a little more daring, for the effort it takes for a "bust into Corp A, steal files/extract employee/sabotage production" run, they could steal just one GMC Banshee which would net them 117500 nuyen.

Considering the skills and equipment PCs have, it's ludicrous to suggest that they should be 'happy' getting paid a pittance when they could use those same skills to freelance their way into real payment.
Muspellsheimr
Jake, you are in the mindset of the Game That Shall Not Be Mentioned; there is absolutely not always someone better. While I agree that, generally speaking, there is always someone more powerful (AAA Corporations, for example), it is entirely possible for the players to literally be the best in the world at what they do - I have personally played such characters.

Katze, a team of runners is likely capable of annihilating nearly any gang, & posing a threat to many syndicates. It is not difficult to steal a pair of Eurocar's a month; if the pay from runs cannot compete, something is wrong.


On the subject of the original post, ~2,500 Nuyen, after expenses, per point of Karma earned. Higher level games should earn both more Nuyen & Karma, lower powered games less, but to keep Awakened & Mundane balanced, this is the guideline to be used. Please note, this does not all have to be in the form of payment for the runs. Generally, it is unprofessional & often stupid to loot everything during a run, there are some times doing so is quite viable.
IceKatze
hi hi

We're rapidly entering the realm of opinion at this point. It is my opinion that stories about invincible warrior heroes are better left to Exalted or Scion: God. What has typically drawn me to the Shadowrun setting has been its gritty, on the edge nature, such that it doesn't matter who you are, you're always one mistake away from the grave.

That being said, the way the rules are set up makes stealing cars for a living not such a good idea. Lets look at the street costs table:

• Item stolen -20% (yes, it is stolen)
• Item used - 20% (unless you're stealing off the lot)
• Market flooded - 10% (there's only so many buyers to go around, and you're not the only one stealing cars)
• Price war between rival dealers -10% (eventually the flooded markets will cause a price war, if not gang war)

After a little while, it might not be as profitable anymore to steal cars, but given the ¥5000 a month pay for full time employment it still looks good. Still, lets look at another aspect of getting into the territory of organized crime, the reprisal.

In all our play-testing in Shadowrun 4th edition, I have never seen a character that has been able to survive around Reaction + Edge goons with automatic weapons. Say the mob catches word of this newcomer on the street who's been flooding the market and lowering their profit margins. They tell their thugs to keep an eye out and they ask the cop down at the DMV whom they've payed off to help them out. Once they've identified the runners MO, they set him up with a bait car and blast him away with multiple focus full auto bursts. Or perhaps they've rigged the bait car with explosives too.

Even if the character survives the encounter, they're going to have to watch their back real carefully. Perhaps they'll find out who the gang boss is and go take him out, but if ending organized crime was that easy, Lone Star would have done that years ago.

Still, bigger jobs require bigger payouts, but if a runner ever makes close to 1 million ¥, its very hard to justify not retiring.
Muspellsheimr
One of my characters, at 400 BP, can easily survive 6 Suppressive Fire goons, in everyday gear, probably without even being hit.

That same character is easily capable of wiping out half the mob single-handedly over the course of a few weeks; assuming she can locate them (which she very easily has the connections for).

A team of competent runners is a threat a gang would be incredibly foolish to fuck around with. Gang wars & territory conflicts are not an issue.
IceKatze
hi hi

6 chaps with suppressive fire is cake, try 20 fellows with focus fire.
Muspellsheimr
20 won't even get within range. Even an idiot would notice them coming, & when you roll 12+ dice for Perception...
IceKatze
hi hi

Shadowrunner walked up to them when he tried to steal the car, they were hiding on the rooftops up to 50 yards away.
Ryu
Old Thread
IceKatze
hi hi

Ack, I've been hit! Such is the life of the easy target. nyahnyah.gif
InfinityzeN
QUOTE (IceKatze @ Jan 21 2009, 01:36 PM) *
*SNIP* given the ¥5000 a month pay for full time employment it still looks good. *SNIP*


I would like to point out that a begining wage slave makes about $100k a year. After taxes (he's a wage slave so of course he pays taxes!), that's ~$69k. $60k gets sucked up by medium lifestyle (which says it is the average for wage slaves) and he is left with ~$9k a year to cover things that lifestyle doesn't cover. Car note, paying back student loans, buying a Commlink, putting into his 401k, etc. Even if the Crop paid off his student loans when he took the job and he doesn't put anything into his 401k, he will still have to save up for several months to buy a Commlink.

For that wage slave with a wife and two kids, your looking at $78k a year just for lifestyle. Granted he will have higher exemptions in taxes, but if he was making $120k a year, he would have about $85k a year after taxes. That leaves him with ~$7k a year for all the stuff the single guy paid, plus saving for his kids college fund and such. Not much better.
Malachi
QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jan 21 2009, 03:16 PM) *
One of my characters, at 400 BP, can easily survive 6 Suppressive Fire goons, in everyday gear, probably without even being hit.

That same character is easily capable of wiping out half the mob single-handedly over the course of a few weeks; assuming she can locate them (which she very easily has the connections for).

A team of competent runners is a threat a gang would be incredibly foolish to fuck around with. Gang wars & territory conflicts are not an issue.

What makes you think the Mob doesn't have a dozen of your "god-characters" already working for them?
IceKatze
hi hi

I was just going by the Day Job quality table (p. 103 companion) I'd love to know more about taxes in the sixth world though, since some of my runners are trying to keep a public face for a cover operation. You wouldn't happen to remember where that info resides?
Graushwein
As a runner starting out I'd do runs that seem like easy paydata and no combat to get my street rep up. Because I know Mr. Johnson's clients stand to earn many millions from what I will bring I'd want 5-10k per member on a job that might last up to 2 weeks. If I knew that I'd be going into a situation where combat was a real possability then I wouldn't settle for less than 20k after expenses for each of my team-mates. Hell a corporate spider probably makes about that much or more per month, including health benefits, with almost no chance of serious injury. So even 20k each is really too cheap for the risk of death. But then also added to that should be expenses. Of most all the jobs most times a team should have to shell out 10-50% of the total take on expenses. Even after that they should still make at least 20k after expenses.

A group should get paid based on how dangerous it would be if 20% of the job went wrong IMO. Hell if there is more than a 5% chance of combat that really raises the rate IMO. With the skills and equipment that all of these runners have it really doesn't make sense for them to do a job for less than twice what they'd make if they got normal jobs using those skills.

Runners are generally smart and the stupid ones get killed off quickly. So lets say that the good runners turn down jobs that will underpay. That means that it will open up more to gangs to try. I say try because this would almost always end horribly and the Mr. Johnsons would get into trouble because this would increase the likelihood that the snitches and informants would be discovered in the rival companies. And those are really expensive to maintain. Then companies would start shelling out the right of money seeing that it is in thier best interest to pay what the job is worth given the risk.

This game really only lends itself well to the shadowrunning aspect because if players decide to start thier own ventures then the game could get out of hand. Lets say a gang is extorting money from local businesses. A 3-5 man team could utterly destroy a gang in a matter of days and take most of that blackmail money. They'd take out the hackers and people with contacts first and then just whittle the rest down until they dispersed. Or just blow them up at a group party or something.

Or they could just take over a gang. They snipe the leader and leave a message that they are in charge and give instructions. If they are not followed to the letter you kill off the some of the others. Not the smart ones though, just the ones that wouldn't accept the change. Then you could have your own gang under your thumb and skim extortion money off the top.
Mx
QUOTE (InfinityzeN @ Jan 21 2009, 09:42 PM) *
I would like to point out that a begining wage slave makes about $100k a year. After taxes (he's a wage slave so of course he pays taxes!), that's ~$69k. $60k gets sucked up by medium lifestyle (which says it is the average for wage slaves) and he is left with ~$9k a year to cover things that lifestyle doesn't cover. Car note, paying back student loans, buying a Commlink, putting into his 401k, etc. Even if the Crop paid off his student loans when he took the job and he doesn't put anything into his 401k, he will still have to save up for several months to buy a Commlink.

For that wage slave with a wife and two kids, your looking at $78k a year just for lifestyle. Granted he will have higher exemptions in taxes, but if he was making $120k a year, he would have about $85k a year after taxes. That leaves him with ~$7k a year for all the stuff the single guy paid, plus saving for his kids college fund and such. Not much better.

Well i wuold like to point out few thinks:
1.The wife is most probably also a wage slave so thats 200K¥ a year or ~138K¥ after the taxes, that im not even sure that corporete citizens pay.
2.As they are most probably living in a corpore owned house, the yearly life style is only 49920¥ for the family of four.
So the family is left with ~90K¥ a year, not that bad.
Muspellsheimr
QUOTE (Malachi @ Jan 21 2009, 01:49 PM) *
What makes you think the Mob doesn't have a dozen of your "god-characters" already working for them?

While they could have some, such characters are rare. So no, they do not have a dozen, & even if they did, it is highly unlikely they would send them after minor territorial issues. Such would also be the first target to take out when I go after the mob.

QUOTE (IceKatze @ Jan 21 2009, 01:26 PM) *
Shadowrunner walked up to them when he tried to steal the car, they were hiding on the rooftops up to 50 yards away.

You do not seem to understand how it works. If you are walking up to the vehicle, you are a fucking retard. The closest I would ever get is down the street, & that rarely. The only reason I would not steal several hundred cars in a single night is because that tends to get noticed - including where they are all going.
Graushwein
QUOTE (Malachi @ Jan 21 2009, 02:49 PM) *
What makes you think the Mob doesn't have a dozen of your "god-characters" already working for them?

I'd bet that the mafia has plenty of "talent" to pull from. But until this talent has been set on alert they aren't really a huge factor.

What makes shadowrunners so dangerous IMO is the element of suprise. In most situations you have rivals. And you spend lots of money to infiltrate or watch rivals so you have a measure of safety and warning before big events. But if you can sic a team on the mafia without the mafia finding out then a team would likely take out a number of the higher ups before trying to fade away, which would be the hardest part. However if the hit leaked out then there would likely be a lot of blood spilled in the streets.

One thing about character creation is that you get so much money that you can have about anything you want and be the best at 1-2 things. You get so much for 250k that I remarked to myself "I don't know what my character will aspire to get. He already has everything he needs to be an incredible runner." Granted all of his stuff isn't top of the line but it is at worst rating 5. I guess my character is in it for the thrill of the run?
IceKatze
hi hi

QUOTE
If you are walking up to the vehicle, you are a fucking retard.
Ahh, I see how it works now. The fence will be quite upset when the car that was just sold him exploded in his warehouse ruining half his inventory and alerting the cops. Who knew you could fit that much explosive material into the panelling?

Criminal studies teach us that most people will attempt to make money through legitimate organizations. Failing that, they will attempt to make money through illegitimate organizations, and if they are unable to succeed in illegitimate organizations they will attempt to make money as a petty thug. This usually involves foolish things like robbing convenience stores and quickly getting busted by the police. Thus, in my estimation people are Shadowrunning because they either enjoy it for some reason, or they have no other choice. They might do the same work as a corp, but their illegitimacy comes at a cost, one that they have to try to compensate for with extra skill and in many cases, subtlety.
InfinityzeN
QUOTE (Mx @ Jan 21 2009, 03:02 PM) *
Well i wuold like to point out few thinks:
1.The wife is most probably also a wage slave so thats 200K a year or ~138K after the taxes, that im not even sure that corporete citizens pay.
2.As they are most probably living in a corpore owned house, the yearly life style is only 49920 for the family of four.
So the family is left with ~90K a year, not that bad.

But is child care covered? That'll each up a good chunk of change right there.

In all seriousness, the wife working would allow the family to actually have some money to set aside in a 401k to retire, to buy two vehicles, save money for the kids college fund, etc. Don't even get me started on buying a house (AKA buying part/all of a lifestyle). Actually a lot of the same reasons that the wife works fairly often in modern day.
Dunsany
I'm not sure the point of the thread is whether or not shadowrunners are better off stealing cars specifically. It's simply a good example of work that many runners could get into easily that has *much* less risk than shadowrunning in general. I don't think anyone said that it had no risks.

The original poster views shadowrunners as highly (and in some cases uniquely) skilled individuals that could be making a decent living in much lower risk work than in the shadows. Yes, certain characters *could* decide to shadowrun anyway despite not needing to for the money, but these characters would not be the norm. They may be every single PC, but they wouldn't be the norm in *this* setting. And so a Johnson could not possibly find a group willing to do a "normal" run for very little (5-10k). And a team in this setting wouldn't think of asking for so little because their cost of living and the expected value of their services is much higher.

On the other hand, it appears that many run a setting where shadowrunners are willing to provide their services for much less. Some of this could be attributed to differences in what types of runs the characters are being given. I expect that some games have groups of shadowrunners that are being paid to steal some random cars and others are being paid to steal top secret plans from some super secret corporate project. But this is a difference in the types of games being run (street level gangsters vs. high level professionals and everything in between).

I think, to keep the thread on track, you'd have to describe the work that your characters usually do in a little more detail *and* how much the characters get paid. Otherwise you're comparing apples and oranges.

Malachi
QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jan 21 2009, 04:09 PM) *
While they could have some, such characters are rare. So no, they do not have a dozen, & even if they did, it is highly unlikely they would send them after minor territorial issues. Such would also be the first target to take out when I go after the mob.

I think its a totally ridiculous idea for any starting character build to be assumed powerful enough to take a significant hit out of a major crime syndicate. If some random Shadowrunner can take out half the Mob with little effort then why hasn't it happened already? Don't you think the Yaks or the Triads have the resources to hire scads of Shadowrunners to throw at the Mob? Haven't the Yaks already hired scads of Shadowrunners to do their bidding? Have they just never thought of "Hey, maybe we should hire these god-like Shadowrunners (because we only have a small handful of people that can match their awesomeness) to go take out our major rival?" I don't care how awesomely optimized your starting character build is, what makes you think it can single-handedly take out an organization that pulls in the same nuyen in a day that equals the entirety of your starting character resources?

QUOTE (Graushwein @ Jan 21 2009, 04:17 PM) *
I'd bet that the mafia has plenty of "talent" to pull from. But until this talent has been set on alert they aren't really a huge factor.

And would "on alert" constitute the assassination of half of the Mafia in a week or two as Muspellsheimr suggests?
InfinityzeN
True Dat...
Graushwein
A well planned job could take out 2-3 higher ups in a day IMO. More likely would have to happen within a few minutes of eachother but still. Once the element of suprise it gone, so is the shadowrunner's expected lifespan.

Criminal operations are safeguarded more by informants, bribes and threatened people who provide information than they are from physical security. I'd be willing to be that in modern day a significant amount of money is spent on bribes and such to keep the sindicate one step ahead of the game. In 2070 you'd have to employ multiple riggers to scout out sniper and demolitions plots, a hacker, a mage, and many goons to keep you safe 24/7. There are just too many ways to die in 2070.

Unless you live in a heavily secure building and use decoy cars and decoy people it is to easily to get taken out. Or you could just never leave the safety of your bunker.

What I'm trying to say is that the mob isn't that secure versus physical asassination. Where it does excel is information. Which is why I would be most wary about taking a job against a mob outfit. Because it is more than likely they've been tipped off that you are coming. However if they were never tipped off you could do some serious damage.


IMO the best money that a group of shadowrunners could make would be from doing things from scratch. What I mean is finding information about something secret going down. Then stealing the data and selling it to the highest bidder. A job like that would undoubtedly net millions and takeless than 2 months. Granted the hard part would be keeping it hidden until the sale, but that would be the fun part smile.gif
The Pat
Regarding the original post:

One factor that has not yet been discussed fully is the "average" time between runs. If you make 20k per character on a run but have to wait 5 month for the next job, even with low lifestyle this will eat away half your resources. If you have 2 runs a month, then 20k in pay equals 19k in free cash on low lifestyle. (the math works as well for other lifestyle levels wink.gif )

In my campaign beginning runners get around 10-20k per run each (which equals the very good 2,500 nuyen per karma point suggestion in an earlier post). Typically I will have one run every 2-3 months, so my players really have to save cash over time to make some cool purchases. Of course this is because of the street level type of our campaign. We will be playing "Ghost Cartels" soon, so run frequency will go up and runner will have more cash on their hands.

Later in their career runner usually earn up to 50k per run each. Only jobs that would require them to take a long leave after the run (e.g. kill some very important person) will net above 100k each.

We have had a campaign where runners earned higher cash amounts. This soon led to an arms war between players and GM: Oh, all my runner now have AAA+ equipment, so the goons have to have some as well ...


Reagarding the discussion on ueber-runner gods:

You have a character that can take out half of any major crime organization? Congratulations, you have won the game!!! Now please go and play WOW PvP and leave us humble roleplayers figuring out why all our characters suck wobble.gif

Cheers
The Pat
Malachi
My runners take on "paid" jobs once per month on average. At first they were earning 4-10k per run and doing "low risk" jobs like surveillance. Now that they have a few runs under their belt they are getting some jobs with more risk and the rewards have risen into the 10-20k range. I'm giving out 3-6 Karma per run, depending on their performance.
The Jake
QUOTE (Octopiii @ Jan 21 2009, 08:36 AM) *
Why shouldn't they steal only valuable vehicles? They've got thousands and thousands of nuyen worth of equipment implanted in them, as well as access to magic and other uncommon skills. They could steal a GMC Bulldog and still make almost 2k if we assume a 5% rate of recompense, and I would imagine that it would be about as drama free as can be. Hell, if they want to get just a little more daring, for the effort it takes for a "bust into Corp A, steal files/extract employee/sabotage production" run, they could steal just one GMC Banshee which would net them 117500 nuyen.

Considering the skills and equipment PCs have, it's ludicrous to suggest that they should be 'happy' getting paid a pittance when they could use those same skills to freelance their way into real payment.


I totally agree with the freelance comment and I totally encourage it with my players (although they usually lack the initiative to orchestrate their own runs - isn't that what the GM is for?? Sigh).

But I digress.

I'm just saying that boosting cars, unless they're super valuable, isn't going to pay them large enough sums of nuyen that they can coast their way to retirement.
QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jan 21 2009, 09:10 AM) *
Jake, you are in the mindset of the Game That Shall Not Be Mentioned; there is absolutely not always someone better. While I agree that, generally speaking, there is always someone more powerful (AAA Corporations, for example), it is entirely possible for the players to literally be the best in the world at what they do - I have personally played such characters.


What game? Real life? Sorry but even in real life there is always someone better.

My job as a GM isn't to molly coddle my players. It is to run a fun game. Plain and simple.

When PCs are at the top, that just means in most cases, they can and will walk over or through a large percentage of their opposition. But to say that nobody is better is a falacy and retarded. Even if we look at SR I can think of several examples - Harlequin, Lofwyr, Blood Mages Gestalt, etc etc. The game is full of examples.

So please don't spout that crap.

- J.
The Jake
Double post.

Ignore.

- J.
JeffSz
I think the key here is that every GM has a different Runner Density in his SR world.

Low Runner Density SR Universe: Shadowrunners are few and far between, and PC's are major players in the shadows. It's likely there are two or three teams of actual honest-to-god professional Runners, tops, in all of Seattle, and they all know about each other. Jobs are dangerous and the risk is high, but the pay is VERY good and the PC's are sought after for their unique skillset. Ocean's Eleven meets Jason Bourne and Riddick, and they're being paid by the likes of Bill Gates and Rupert Murdoch. Fixers are a security measure, and one fixer might be in charge of all runners in an entire sprawl. A fixer in this case loves his runners; he knows their value and he's their man.

Medium Runner Density SR Universe: Shadowrunners are more common, but still professionals that are hard to match. They've got to bid on jobs and work hard for the best, but they'll always have some work that'll pay the bills and buy some leisure. There are probably six to ten teams of runners in Seattle, and runners from out of town would be more than willing to visit for a job. There might two or three fixers in town, and they all know each other at least by reputation. They are talent brokers, and both Shadowrunners and Johnsons are just paying clients.

Low runner Density SR Universe: Shadowrunners are very common; Mr Johnson has handfuls of runner teams he could choose from, and needs a fixer in order to decide which teams are worth anything. Runner teams don't know each other and might never meet; pay is low, jobs are scarce, and Runners are more Mercs than anything else. Fixers are many, and it's in their interests to keep the Johnsons happy, whether it means burning their runners or not. Runners are at their most expendable in this kind of SR Universe.
toturi
QUOTE (Malachi @ Jan 22 2009, 03:49 AM) *
What makes you think the Mob doesn't have a dozen of your "god-characters" already working for them?

Maybe because you already killed them on your way to being a god-character? So either they come kiss your ass or they are out of business? Or they are already out of business but just don't know it yet?

The nice thing about Shadowrun, IMO, is its free form level-less character system. The setting can accomodate anything from street gutter level to prime runner multi-metaplanar astral quests and no one can truly say that it is not within the scope of the game system.

Looking at the published Grunts who should form the majority of the population of the game world, the runners should run all over most of these guys. Looking at the published Contacts, a group of runners should have no problems dealing with these guys as well. Now we look at the Prime Runners. Well, yes, to a certain extent, there is always the possibility of someone better by virtue of the better-than-Equal Prime Runner NPCs. But it would take the GM express will to create these guys and put them in his game. It is the GM's will that they are there, not as a direct result of the default game world. I realise that not everyone will have the same vision of the setting, even if they are not consciously deliberately altering the setting. Each GM's setting is colored by his perspective, this is inevitable. So while there can be someone better, it is not set in stone that there always is.
Petrie_SMG
I've been giving my runners anywhere from 8-20k NY per run... all depends on what they're doing. Biggest thing is that they are a bunch of newbies, both in and out of character. But that's not really bad, they have been on many runs- the group has been playing since sometime during this past summer, but in game terms, they've only been operating together for about a month and a half.

So, they've had an opportunity for at least 60k NY in a month... not bad for new runners doing low-level runs. I would imagine that as they grow more experienced, they would want to do fewer runs and get paid higher sums. That sounds like a natural progression It all depends on how you play your game, really.
JeffSz
I think pay scale should be determined by:

How dangerous is it?
How long will it take?
How many other teams could pull it off?
How many laws will we have to break to pull it off?
Which laws will we have to break to pull it off?
What will expenses be?
Who will we piss off?
Who will we make happy?
Besides nuyen, what might I get out of this job?
What non-monetary gains can I get out of this Johnson if I give him a price break? (i.e. favors, ID's, medical supplies or other hard-to-find equipment. RARE or RESTRICTED items?)

And most importantly....
How much do I need to pay the bills AND pay for that fancy shmancy new cyberlimb modification I've been eying...
InfinityzeN
QUOTE (JeffSz @ Jan 21 2009, 09:36 PM) *
I think pay scale should be determined by:

How dangerous is it?
How long will it take?
How many other teams could pull it off?
How many laws will we have to break to pull it off?
Which laws will we have to break to pull it off?
What will expenses be?
Who will we piss off?
Who will we make happy?
Besides nuyen, what might I get out of this job?
What non-monetary gains can I get out of this Johnson if I give him a price break? (i.e. favors, ID's, medical supplies or other hard-to-find equipment. RARE or RESTRICTED items?)

And most importantly....
How much do I need to pay the bills AND pay for that fancy shmancy new cyberlimb modification I've been eying...


Ding ding ding!
My guys actually have a couple of pages printed out. Base Pay, Danger/Crime Pay, Special Pay, Expenses. The Matrix Spec whipped up a lil program for the face that he makes all the little selections on his internal commlink during the meet with the Mr J. The program does the math and gives him the team minimum for job. Of course, at this point he barely has to look at the pages anymore to do the math in his head.

Pretty much everything you listed in in there. Plus things like SCUBA or Airborne entry.
xandardrax
I have always wondered what the proper amount of cash for a specific run should be. I feel that each run should have the payout vary. Such as this simple little run that is basically a snatch and grab on a BTL chip exchange. The group is gonna get 30 percent of the street value (standard blackmarket rate with no modifiers) plus a 50k bonus for specific info on the distribution network or future exchanges and shipments. Now if they decide that the info is worth more in potential self employment than the 50k bonus...there are consequences but a very nice payday just before the results of their betrayal come crashing down on them.

For a showdowrun group of 4 the payout is 150k plus the 50k bonus. They can negotiate for a larger percent plus they can wait till the exchange and hit the buyers and take the buy money as well...another 150k but double the enemies.
(Nice easy intro into the shadows based on the deal in the movie The Usual suspects.)

Am I setting the amounts correctly? Does this seem reasonable?


I would a copy of a worksheet to figure the price though...something that takes into effect other factors.
JeffSz
Should provide those pages for download!
InfinityzeN
The one my players use, they made up themselves. It boiled down to "how much would we have to be paid to do this" for a lot of things. They have been updating it as the game goes on. So it is a living document for the least money they will take for a job. Every team and setting is different so no one will exactly match them.

As for your numbers, I actually like them since I have always hated the pidly little amounts they expect runners to take. You got a highly skilled guy with lots of expensive gear/cyber/magic who is very capable, willing to take jobs in which they can easily die, for almost nothing. Bla...
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