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Mendrian
So I'm a new Game Master, and I have one big question:

When starting a new game, what is the average payout, in nuyen, from a run? I understand there are variables based on length and danger, and there are payouts that might not even be money but... I'm concerned about giving out too much or too little out of the gate. I've heard 10k is common, but I worry for players with less ambitious wish-lists, that'll be pretty much everything they want in one go. Of course, there are things that cost ten times that much too so... I'm having difficulty finding a balance.

What do you think?
Red-ROM
it also depends on the number of players and their lifestyle. if your runner needs 10,000 a month to pay bills, how many runs will he be willing to do for 2,000? thats just me though, I tend to swing wildly in pay.
Tachi
Yeah, like Red-ROM said, don't let them get away without paying for Lifestyle and run expenses, that should take a decent chunk of at least one of the runs they take per month. Just a thought. If you're worried about them getting to powerful to fast, well, a runner needs to stay on the bleeding edge to stay alive.
AllTheNothing
It dependes also on the skills required, if your runners are able to take only low level runs they shouldn't make alot of money and if this means that they can't mantain a certain lifestyle it means that they need to learn to manage their money better, let them learn the hard way after all the 6th world is supposed to be a distopian place. (I was tempted to say "Shadowrun is not an happy place" but that would have been WAY too much!)

Mercer
You can also play with the timeline a little bit. Big paying runs might only come along once a month or so (if that, depending on your campaign).
etherial
Um, is anyone going to answer his question? I'd like to know, too - I'm sending my players on their first run in about 12 hours.
Mercer
Starting out, two to ten grand. Figure 1-2k per runner, depending on the time, risk and finesse involved.
LurkerOutThere
Honestly I don't have enough info to answer your question as there is a lot of play depending on how long the job will take and how stiff the resistance is expected to be. A mission taking weeks of surveypance capped by a run against a secure megacorp facility should pay betterthe one night spent shooting up a tempo den in the barrens. One solid piece of advice I can offer always overpay vice under pAy
Nifar
I tend to give my players runs that average out to 5k per person. These tend to be moderately challenging runs like breaking into a warehouse. 10k tend to be for stuff like corp extractions/assassinations.

I also once had them knock over a safety-deposit box place. That run involved fighting the FBI and payed 50k per.
Method
This question comes up about once every other week. Do a search using keywords "payment" and/or "typical".
Medicineman
QUOTE (Method @ Nov 28 2009, 01:19 AM) *
This question comes up about once every other week. Do a search using keywords "payment" and/or "typical".


And the Answer is mostly: It depends on Your Groups Playstile. Some like lowlevel Runs ,were the Runners have to Scratch up every ,even selling dead bodies for their Cyber,some get so few Money that stealing Cars is a more profitable alternative some get several Thousand per Run and some prefer the High-Level Run with several 10Ks of .
I Prefer to give away a little more Money because it keeps the Players happy and the Characters able.I never had one Player complain, that there Chars had too much Money

with a little more Dance
Medicineman
Wounded Ronin
The real answer is "not enough". Payments in the tens of thousands of nuyens can add up and before you know it some of those PCs might have a cool million. Then it just becomes asinine in terms of the resources they can bring to the table on a run and the game becomes a bit silly.
limejello10512
you know I brought this up once before. My father was a warden so I have more information on how much this stuff pays than most. I know at least one suggested price is wrong.

For example in real life a hitman makes 50k for a standard joe shmoe hit and 250k for something high profile like a president (but that almost never works out...they got profesionals to kill degaul ant not only did they get caught but they didn't even pull it off)
Tachi
QUOTE (limejello10512 @ Nov 29 2009, 01:46 AM) *
you know I brought this up once before. My father was a warden so I have more information on how much this stuff pays than most. I know at least one suggested price is wrong.

For example in real life a hitman makes 50k for a standard joe shmoe hit and 250k for something high profile like a president (but that almost never works out...they got profesionals to kill degaul ant not only did they get caught but they didn't even pull it off)

Are you referring to the Legion's attempt on Charles de Gaulle? Because those weren't professional hitmen. They were Legionnaires.

Though the skill set is similar, the mindset of soldiers and hitmen are different.
LurkerOutThere
And you know this how? Both kill people as a profession, that's an awful definitive statement for such a small distinction.

QUOTE
The real answer is "not enough". Payments in the tens of thousands of nuyens can add up and before you know it some of those PCs might have a cool million. Then it just becomes asinine in terms of the resources they can bring to the table on a run and the game becomes a bit silly


Well as stated above I strongly disagree, well paid runners should be facing corp level opposition, anything runners can purchase corps can purchase and outfit their forces with. Further if properly utilized the availability tests and the controls in place on what gear you can get into where means a GM ultimately has authoirty on what kinda toys are on the playing field.
Tachi
You're right, the distinction is small, but in this case important. A professional hitman will normally get his orders, then go dark until the job is done. Whereas the Legionnaires in this case, maintained communications the entire time, including calling in for a 'go code', which was when they were finally pinpointed shortly before the hit was to take place. Military units almost always maintain communications before an operation, unless they are black ops. An unfortunate mistake in my opinion. While the skill sets were similar, the mindsets and SOP caused a serious mistake. Plus, it's kinda hard to keep a secret when most of a mutinied regiment knows about it.

For those of you who don't know which Legion I'm referring to, it's La Legion etrangerre, or the French Foreign Legion, who attempted to kill Charles de Gaulle in the 60's, because of some, ahem, "policy" decisions.
limejello10512
As I said My father was a warden so he tended to spent lots of time around hitmen, it's his job to know such things.

But that being said No I was speaking about therir's attempt and he was an airforce engineer who plotted it using profeionals (I didn't mean profesional hitmen...but they certainly could have been if they ever wanted to persue that as a career) though the 1961 general's putsche was more a coup I suppose they did plot his death so that is an example too. In anycase they'd all probably be better trained than your typical mafia hit man and failed to pull off the assasinations.

my point is usually profesionals don't take down high profile targets. It did work for pablo escobar....I'd imagine the men who assiasinated luis carlos galan were paid that 250k or so and they got away with it. But usually hit men don't go after presidents and get away with it.

anyway 50k is alot less than suggested... and I think a nuyen might be worth less than a modern dollar too
PBI
There is no hard and fast answer to the question because there are too many variables. At best, following the principle of keeping the runners just hungry enough for the next run should serve you well. First, take a look at their lifestyle costs, then factor in a reasonable estimate of what you expect them to spend on the run, add a bit in for profit, and there you go.

See how that turns out after a few runs and if you're awarding too little, up the awards; if too much, tone things down.
Jericho Alar
We negotiate it at the meet, generally; I have an idea of what I would like to pay them (usually both a 'starting offer' and an 'ideal amount' ) and then let them tell me what they want; we do opposed negotiating rolls and then I usually give them my ideal amount (if it's less than their requested) for 1 net hit, halfway between ideal and requested for 3, and any excess net hits go to their other perks (expenses, extra time, extra info, etc.) if they edge it I'll let it go all the way up to their requested; if they blow the test they get halfway between starting offer and ideal; and if they glitch and have less than 1 net hit they get just starting offer and an insulted Mr. J.


we play so-called 'prime runners' mostly though - we're frequently out of town experts and do a large number of extractions or subtle structural hits; so an example of this style in action at that level is ~100k starting, 250k ideal (five guys; an extraction; on my end) and 1 month to do the job; and they'll respond with 500k and 3 weeks, + expenses.

after negotiating rolls and some roleplay it'll usually wind up at around 250k at 3 weeks with another 50k in expenses etc.

Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (limejello10512 @ Nov 29 2009, 02:40 AM) *
As I said My father was a warden so he tended to spent lots of time around hitmen, it's his job to know such things.

But that being said No I was speaking about therir's attempt and he was an airforce engineer who plotted it using profeionals (I didn't mean profesional hitmen...but they certainly could have been if they ever wanted to persue that as a career) though the 1961 general's putsche was more a coup I suppose they did plot his death so that is an example too. In anycase they'd all probably be better trained than your typical mafia hit man and failed to pull off the assasinations.

my point is usually profesionals don't take down high profile targets. It did work for pablo escobar....I'd imagine the men who assiasinated luis carlos galan were paid that 250k or so and they got away with it. But usually hit men don't go after presidents and get away with it.

anyway 50k is alot less than suggested... and I think a nuyen might be worth less than a modern dollar too



Okay, Have to do it, it is the Conspiracy Theorist in me...

Ever Hear about JFK?

Okay, Done...

and another point, the dollar is extremely devalued agains tthe Nuyen... 1 nuyen is worth mulitiple Dollars...

Keep the Faith
Wounded Ronin
QUOTE (limejello10512 @ Nov 29 2009, 03:46 AM) *
you know I brought this up once before. My father was a warden so I have more information on how much this stuff pays than most. I know at least one suggested price is wrong.

For example in real life a hitman makes 50k for a standard joe shmoe hit and 250k for something high profile like a president (but that almost never works out...they got profesionals to kill degaul ant not only did they get caught but they didn't even pull it off)


But wouldn't those prices depend on what part of the world we're talking about? I think the point is that for SR there could be quite a lot of variability. It would be hard to be "realistic" about the fees because the world then would be very different from today's.

Also, LOL at 250K USD for a suicide mission.
imperialus
QUOTE (etherial @ Nov 27 2009, 09:17 PM) *
Um, is anyone going to answer his question? I'd like to know, too - I'm sending my players on their first run in about 12 hours.


It's not that they aren't answering the question, it's that he asked the wrong question.

How much to pay runners is really a nonstarter. Shadowrun isn't like D&D with wealth/level tables and stuff like that. A GM needs to decide how much to pay his runners based on his individual group and playstyle. Like others have said, a 'street' level campaign where the PC's pay 100nuyen a month for a squatter lifestyle and loot half full clips off of dead enemies because they will probably need that extra ten rounds of ammo is going to see a lot less cash than a 'prime runner' campaign where the PC's maintain a high lifestyle and spend their time debating between dropping 500K on a slick new piece of ware or buying an armoured SUV.

With that said, a far more critical question is "how do I balance Nuyen to Karma" and here's where things get ugly. A lot of GM's equate karma with experience points and will often dole out too many, sometimes far too many as compared to how much cash they hand out. The problem crops up when the adepts and the mages start investing that karma into initiation and the like.

As a general rule of thumb you'll want your mage initiating at about the same time as your Street Sam buys his first piece of high end ware. I'd err on the side of giving too much money than too little since all things considered it's a lot easier to make your runners poor again than it is to suck karma from them.

If you're looking for hard numbers? I'd say start with the assumption that the runners are established professionals pulling in 15-20 K each per run. It's too easy to give too much karma to compensate for low payouts in lower level campaigns. Give them 7500:nuyen: - 10,000:nuyen: for each point of Karma you plan on awarding. This means that by the time the mages should be initiating for the first time (at around 20 karma) the Sams will have banked around 150K. Assume that they'll have spent about 50K each on various expenses over the course of the game so far and that leaves the sams with about 100K. That's enough to start really working at upgrading their ware while the mages initiate.

In other words, for a run that you expect to net 2 karma for pay a group of five 75-100 thousand.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Wounded Ronin @ Nov 29 2009, 11:58 AM) *
But wouldn't those prices depend on what part of the world we're talking about? I think the point is that for SR there could be quite a lot of variability. It would be hard to be "realistic" about the fees because the world then would be very different from today's.

Also, LOL at 250K USD for a suicide mission.



Yeah, the payment better be up front... as you would probably never live to collect after the fact... of course, there are professionals that might just take on that hit, just to prove that it COULD be done... but not for 250K USD...

Keep the Faith
Tsuul
QUOTE (imperialus @ Nov 29 2009, 01:59 PM) *
It's not that they aren't answering the question, it's that he asked the wrong question.

<...>

As a general rule of thumb you'll want your mage initiating at about the same time as your Street Sam buys his first piece of high end ware. I'd err on the side of giving too much money than too little since all things considered it's a lot easier to make your runners poor again than it is to suck karma from them.

If you're looking for hard numbers? I'd say start with the assumption that the runners are established professionals pulling in 15-20 K each per run. It's too easy to give too much karma to compensate for low payouts in lower level campaigns. Give them 7500:nuyen: - 10,000:nuyen: for each point of Karma you plan on awarding. This means that by the time the mages should be initiating for the first time (at around 20 karma) the Sams will have banked around 150K. Assume that they'll have spent about 50K each on various expenses over the course of the game so far and that leaves the sams with about 100K. That's enough to start really working at upgrading their ware while the mages initiate.

In other words, for a run that you expect to net 2 karma for pay a group of five 75-100 thousand.

Basing cash around karma is an excellent idea for all the reasons you mentioned. But don't karma gains remain pretty static?
Jericho Alar
QUOTE (Tsuul @ Nov 29 2009, 04:56 PM) *
Basing cash around karma is an excellent idea for all the reasons you mentioned. But don't karma gains remain pretty static?


yes but cash returns suffer from *nasty* diminishing returns for the cash limited characters (much faster than karma does); particularly samurai. Riggers/Deckers can usually hang on a little longer by 'buying more' instead of buying better; but once that sam hits the <0.5 essence boundary the only way he's improving at even the same order of magnitude as a physical adept is by buying higher-grade *everything* - which is exorbitantly expensive.

in the very long game both groups are hit hard by diminishing returns (contrast initiation #6 costs with deltaware MBW for instance.) but the cash guys are already looking at multi-hundred k layouts right out of the gate.

In games that don't include cash for karma/karma for cash it's not uncommon to see magic types living in luxury lifestyles because they have nothing better to spend the cash on while sams are still squeaking by in squatter or low lifestyle trying to save up for that next beta upgrade to wedge another piece of 'ware in.. - this sort of discrepancy happens regardless of how much or how little cash you hand out of course, but you don't want the magic types to be out ahead of the 'ware users in all categories - which is what too much karma vs. cash does.

the 7~10k rule of thumb is about in line with what my group ends up earning as well, although I don't usually structure it that explicitly (there are definitely runs that are heavier on one or the other.) on a typical 250k run (50k per player) each player will see 4-6 karma.
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