Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Runners Compensation / Payment
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
Are there guidelines for runner's compensation? I know the old editions had guidelines but I haven't yet found it in 4th. And I figured the old school stuff is probably off since the economy changed (Wired Reflexes is cheap, the max starting nuyen is 1/4 it use to be, etc). Thanks gang.
QUOTE (Ayeohx @ Mar 7 2009, 09:05 AM) *
Are there guidelines for runner's compensation? I know the old editions had guidelines but I haven't yet found it in 4th. And I figured the old school stuff is probably off since the economy changed (Wired Reflexes is cheap, the max starting nuyen is 1/4 it use to be, etc). Thanks gang.

Personally, I use the Table rating from the SR Missions and the nuyen range for the corresponding level of credstick. And you can always use that number as a guide line for gear or other such favors.
Doc Byte
As the lower end living cost have even increased, I see no reason to pay a runner less than in SR3.
Put yourself in the criminal mind set and think to yourself, What is the risk of death or serious injury? What type of gear upgrade's will this cost the team? Then think if you had similar skills & abilities would you risk death for the price your thinking on paying. The risk always has to be worth the reward. As a player if i can't receive decent compensation I walk, as a GM if I offer good nuyen.gif you should expect death. lol
It really depends on what you are doing, I find 2-3k per point of karma is usually pretty good. Occasionally I give less, but I make up for that by giving more at a later run. You need to give a good amount of money so the riggers and hackers of the world can gain power like the awakened folk.

If you are talking professional shadowrunners, they won't even get out of bed for at least a couple thousand a piece, and anything that involves breaking into a secure facility or risking capture by the star should pay for a month of middle lifestyle at the very least, and possibly a good deal more. Shadowrunning is dangerous biz and since runs are usually between a week and a month apart(for heat to die down and such), the runners need enough money to upgrade their gear and pay the bills.
I've always started at nuyen.gif 1,000 and then added or subtracted nuyen.gif based on how dangerous the tasks were. I also tried to make the reward appropriate to the situation. I did one run once where the SR where hired by a Orc community to hit a construction company that was threatening to "develop" their neighbourhood. The pay was nuyen.gif 100 each plus the SR got a free low lifestyle home in the neighbourhood (with a high lifestyle security level). The place became vital in a later run where the guys needed to avoid Lone Star but couldn't trust any "normal" neighbourhood to not turn them in.
On a related note, what is appropriate for karma? I usually start at a base, decided on the fly as the run progresses, based on participation and the enthusiasm of the given night, and at the end of the night, allow the players to list the exceptional acts they feel should entail them to an extra karma or two.
My friends and I always just eyeballed it, but it went something like this:

Low-end missions, little security or chance of harm. (Breaking into Ms. Fruity Pie's Ice cream factory to taint the latest batch.) 1000-5000 per person

Low-Mid range: some security or chance of harm(Chasing down some Go-gangers who stole something, Low-profile assasination) 4000-7000 per person

Mid-High range: Decent Security or chance of being harmed (Breaking into a restricted AAA facility, High-profile bodyguarding) 10000-15000 per person

High end missions: Crazy Security or chance of being harmed (Breaking into an Aztec Nuclear facility and launching the nuke) 25000+
I would say the prices depend on a combination of risk, value of the run to the Johnson, surplus or lack of shadow talent, the level of specialization required and local economy. I've been thinking of making some tables for this. Something like a table for developed and another for developing nations, with run levels modified by market factors. Not crucial, so not done yet but it could be fun for having the runners deal with a variable economy of dry spells and boom.
I can't remember which book it was in (Candidates: SR2, SR3, SR3 Shadowrun Companion) but it laid out a very good way to give out karma:
* One point for each completed story item (killed the target, got the document, extracted the target, etc)
* 1/2 point for each bonus story item uncovered (ie exceptional roles on info gathering tests, or going to secluded offices to find out more dirt for down the road)
* One point for staying in character the entire session (I try to always do this one)
* One point for helping make the RPG experience pleasant for everyone (make everyone laugh or go "good one") (use this sparingly but give about one point per session to the person most deserving of this)
* One point to the person that bought all the refreshments for the session (this ties in with the point above).
This topic comes up every few weeks and I don't think there is any general consensus on what the payout should be. A lot depends on where you want the game to go and the ambitions of your players. There's no right or wrong way to pay out your players. Things that should be kept in mind is the Karma vs. Cash ratio. Make sure your TM's and Awakened characters get enough karma to maintain a balance with the street sams and their ware.

When I determine payouts I try to, at a minimum, make sure that the group should net the average lifestyle cost of the group after "expenses." Expenses vary a lot per game and per players as they all have different priorities. Some players re-chamber their guns or run down to the local crime mall and grab a new boomstick after every session. Then there's bills from the Street Docs, bribes to various people for information or services, etc. But in a month's worth of game time runs, as long as they didn't go out on a novacoke binge, they should at the very least have enough to pay their rent and utilities. Try not to micromanage every expenditure they come across. Need to buy ex-ex ammo? sure no problem let them go through the process of acquiring the goods. Buying a burrito from the Stuffer Shack, as long as they aren't squatter or street level, should be handwaved as part of their lifestyle.

It takes some tweaking, but you will eventually hit a happy medium. though it is fun sometimes to see what happens when they players can't make rent because of their mismanagement of funds. This could spawn a fun session of the player trying to beg/borrow/steal/pawn to keep his lights on, krill in his belly, and prevent the local gang from burning down your apartment complex because you and your neighbors came up short for the "Homeowners Association Dues"
As for karma payout, just think of how quickly you want your team to gain power. Most characters will have 5 in lots of attributes that they wish to raise to 6. That costs 18 karma. So as a GM, how many sessions do you want it to take for them to cap off an attribute. You may want a fast leveling campiagn, great for short school quarters, where you award 6-7 karma a run(3 runs total), and on the other extreme you may want capping an attribute to be a long term goal that happens rarely, then giving 3-4 karma(5-6 runs usually).

In fact, how much karma you give them will determine how they spend it as well. If you give lots of karma players will tend to save it for big upgrades making their characters more powerful and deadly(getting agility to 6, raising their firearms group to 5, ect), while giving a little bit will make players spend their karma on cheeper things, making them branch out and keeping their power level lower.

Same goes for nuyen. Giving them lots(8-10k a run) encourages them to save up and buy expensive powerful gear(force 4 health sustaining foci anyone?) while low nuyen(1-3k a run) will make them worry more about lifestyles and ammunition and make them upgrade their gear in smaller increments.

It's all about what feel you want. The only definate thing I can say is to make sure that you are giving you players enough to make them feel some advancement. Giving out 2-3 karma may keep your character low on power, but they will rarely get any sort of advancement, which will make them care less about their characters. Similarly, giving them 1k or less a run may prevent all the powerful gadgets from getting into their hands, but then they will be struggling to maintain a low lifestyle. I would suggest 3-4 karma a run and 2-5k nuyen a run as a lower limit.
We do it with total average karma earned for the characters, /10, x1000 as a rough base to work from. Then altered depending on how tough the run is. With a minimum of ten.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Ayeohx @ Mar 7 2009, 06:05 PM) *
Are there guidelines for runner's compensation?

High. Very high. Start with five didgits per person and go up:

The people you want to do a job for you most likely can get by without doing it - that is especially true for hackers and mages.
It's always a hard point in the game for all of us that try and stay in character. I'm a pretty hard negotiator, cause i always think this worth death or imprisonment. Check augmentation for next surgery cost...yep it's worth
QUOTE (Wombat @ Mar 7 2009, 12:28 PM) *
Personally, I use the Table rating from the SR Missions and the nuyen range for the corresponding level of credstick. And you can always use that number as a guide line for gear or other such favors.

Where is this Table for the SR Missions?

QUOTE (Ayeohx @ Mar 8 2009, 02:13 PM) *
Where is this Table for the SR Missions?


It's usually in the beginning section for GM prep. Here are my guidelines:

Table Rating - Karma
1 - 19 or less
2 - 20-59
3 - 60-99
4 - 100-159
5 - 160-249
6 - 250+

Table Rating - Payment
1 - ¥5,000 or less
2 - ¥5,001 - ¥20,000
3 - ¥20,001 - ¥100,000
4 - ¥100,001 - ¥500,000
5 - ¥500,001 - ¥1,000,000
6 - ¥1,000,001+

Table Rating - (NPC Profession Rating Range)
1 - (0 - 3)
2 - (2 - 4)
3 - (2 - 5)
4 - (2 - 6)
5 - (3 - 6)
6 - (4 - 6)

Table Rating - Typical Run Sponsorship
1 - Gangs and Other Street Level Fixers or Johnsons
2 - Organized Crime or Police, Highly Connected Street Level Fixers or Johnsons
3 - Corp. Sponsorship for Low Priority Assignments, also Politicians and Radicals
4 - Corp. Sponsorship for Standard Priority Assignments, also Government or Military Organizations
5 - High Level Corp. Sponsorship for High Priority Assignments, also International Assignments
6 - Top Level Corp. Sponsorship for Top Priority, also International Assignments

Table Rating - Number of Runs
1 - 4
2 - 8
3 - 8
4 - 12
5 - 18
6 - 2

This is the system I use.

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.

Street Cred      Pay/month      Karma/Month
    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.

And the explaination of how I use Street Cred.

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.
The payout depends entirely on the type and level of game your running. However, it should always be high enough to make the runners think about taking it. If they can earn as much money doing something else, without high risk of life, limb or expensive gear, then why would they be taking your little piddling job?

Seriously I always want to smack GMs who think paying a couple of grand to skilled Shadowrunners (which 400BP characters are) is fine. Now in a street game, such as gangers, money is a different story. I finally got to play again since one of my players is running a gang game. We don't take jobs in the normal SR sense, but the money we make from stealing/protection/etc is far far less than the 450BP +~150 karma game I'm running. Of course, we're a bunch of low skilled and low starting resources thugs, with only one magic type (an Adept bike rider).
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012