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Arsenal gives detailed descriptions of how to modify your own vehicle. However there is no info on how to go about hiring a mechanic and paying for the work. This has become an issue in our Missions group, where several players want to do this.

Can we have a standardized recommendation please?
My GM would charge 10-30%(depending on what was being done) of the total cost of the upgrades added on to the unit costs. I considered that an acceptable amount.

I would charge a fee per hour of work.

QUOTE (Tycho @ Mar 9 2010, 07:14 AM) *
I would charge a fee per hour of work.


Agreed. Pull out something like the 'day job' quality, and see that you work 10 hours a week, 4 weeks a month, for a monthly pay of 1k. 1k/40 hours is 25 credits an hour. You figure the skilled mechanic is going to be making more than that because day job has no skill requirements. Likely somewhere in the 50-100 an hour, depending on how good of a mechanic you get (And thus how quickly he'll finish).

Feel free to up the hourly cost for any restricted (10ish%) or forbidden(50ish%) type upgrades to help the mechanic remember not to let it slip while he is enjoying a beer at the local dive.
Here are numbers from SR3 if you want to use them:

From Cannon Companion
Work 8hrs/day 5days/wk
Lvl 1 contact or friend of a friend - 100/hr (150/hr OT)
Lvl 2 50/hr (no extra for OT)
Lvl 3 25/hr (no extra for OT)

From Rigger 3
Work 8hrs/day 5days/wk
Lvl 1 contact or friend of a friend - 100/hr (150/hr OT)
Lvl 2 50-75/hr (may waive OT)
Lvl 3 25-50/hr (no extra for OT)

Now of course, using these numbers means there's a lot of book keeping and you have to know the skill numbers of the mechanic/armorer.

Robert (aka Spanner)
I remember from somewhere that Cyber&Bio'wares prices did include the surgical team & location-equipment, it' a bulk price. It also explains why you sell back brand new 'ware at 20% of its book value. Maybe like half of the book cost is for the Doc & help + clinic stuff, the other 30% may be for the "i found that in the back alley, are you interested ? it's brand new!" and its lack of legal documents for it.

I'd say that applies to upgrade costs from book' prices on vehicles (as drones too)

Those costs listed could be for simple general care & usual repairs from "accidents", etc.
Thanks for the suggestions above. What I'm really looking for is a simple formula or table to show the the mechanic's cost, perhaps based on the upgrade's cost and the availability (including restriction).

Robert's point about contacts is a good one: higher loyalty mechanic contacts might charge a slightly lower fee.
I have been considering this over the last few days. Here is a simple formula that should work:-

The customer obtains the upgrade using the regular availability & cost rules. The mechanicís fee is dependent upon several factors: the base cost of the upgrade, the threshold of the modification, the tools required, the restriction of the upgrade, and the mechanicís loyalty to the customer.

Take the threshold as a percentage of the basic upgrade cost.

This value is multiplied according to the other factors:-

Tools required
Kit _______ x 1
Shop _____ x 1.5
Facility ___ x 2

Upgradeís restriction
None _______ x 1
Restricted ___ x 1.5
Forbidden ___ x 3

Mechanicís loyalty
1 ____ x 1
2 ____ x 0.9
3 ____ x 0.8
4 ____ x 0.7
5 ____ x 0.6
6 ____ x 0.5

Using this formula, manual control override (drive-by-wire) would cost • 30 (subject to the mechanicís loyalty). This is 6% of the base upgrade cost. A workshop forge installation would cost • 30,000 (60% of the base upgrade cost). Improved takeoff & landing (level 2) for a Piper Brat would cost • 64,800 (72% of the base upgrade).

"We recommend a
fixed interval of 2 hours for weapons/firearm modifications
and 6 hours for vehicle modifi cations."

I'd simple charge a base 50 - 100 nuyen an hour which works out:
Vehicle mod threshold = 300 - 600 per threshold
Weapon mod threshold = 100- 200 per threshold

I'd charge the higher, and lower it subject to a Negotiation test (- 10% per net hit), with a lower limit of the lowest figure.

A mechanics loyalty will come into play on the negotiation test as a social modifiers, Typically +2 for friendly and +1 for advantageous.

Wherever possible I like to use existing structure and pattern and not add new formulas.

The threshold and interval times are from the arsenal tables, 50 -100 nuyen is a range based on personal services* hourly rates, and contact loyalty is part of the existing social skill tests.

* I had a group of players who decided their base unit of currency was "Hooker Services" for all goods, so you can look at p. 314 SR4A to see where I would have derived a 50 - 100 nuyen per hour rate.

NOTE: for those of you concerned about the contact's B/R skill roll, that's the Contacts profit margin. The sooner they complete the job, the earlier they can do the next and charge someone else for the time they already charged you. If the delivery time is important, the contact will charge more since they will be losing out on other work.
Just buy a Renraku Manservant-3 and get Technical Autosofts. That's what my Rigger did.
Or a Lockheed Vulcan. They're purpose built for technical work. Load up a good autosoft, maybe coax a machine sprite into residence if you've got the right kind of TM available (a tutor sprite can also work as long as it's rating 3 minimum to get the needed technical skills in its powers list). In any case, it gives you a one-off cost for repetitious mechanical tasks instead of needing to bug your mechanic contacts for anything less than emergency work.
my suggestion would simply be to look at the end of unwired where there's the Hackers fee breakdown for various services...

some of the services are the same, like changing id

everything else find the closest equivalent, but in general its an amount x the mechanics skill
DireRadiant, thanks for your recommendations. I had a closer look at Arsenal, as you suggested. By multiplying the interval (two hours or six hours) by the cost per hour, you are implying that the time required is directly proportional to the threshold. [I made the same mistake in my simplistic suggestion above.] However the extended test leads to a diminishing dice pool (with SR4A rules). This means that a modest increase in threshold leads to a disproportionately large increase in the time required.

If we imagine an average mechanic with (say) a dice pool of eight, and we buy hits at four dice per hit:-

Threshold ___ Total dice required ___ Rolls required
___ 1 ___________ 4 __________________ 1
___ 2 ___________ 8 __________________ 1
___ 3 __________ 12 __________________ 2
___ 4 __________ 16 __________________ 3
___ 5 __________ 20 __________________ 3
___ 6 __________ 24 __________________ 4
___ 7 __________ 28 __________________ 5
___ 8 __________ 32 __________________ 6
___ 9 __________ 36 __________________ 8

Our generic NPC mechanic cannot achieve modifications with a threshold higher than 9. This then requires teamwork and further costing complications. Even an excellent mechanic with a dice pool of 12 cannot achieve a threshold higher than 19.

The diminishing pool is simply one version that can be used. It's optional. It's recommended for dramatic tension situations. See p. 64 SR4A.

If you're going to add modifiers and change things to make it more complicated, you should also consider modifiers for conditions, teamwork, tools, and other sundry items. For each extended test die roll the mechanic could get an extra 4+ dice quite easily. See p. 138 Sr4A

Since a threshold is given for each vehicle mod for the express purpose of indicating the amount of time it takes I would skip all the added math and complexity and use the simple approximation. It's "good enough" for my game playing purposes. It's not worth the time to get quite so complex.
Hmm, yes you're right. "The gamemaster can also limit the number of rolls ... [by applying] a cumulative -1 modifier to each test after the first". The examples shown also agree with your interpretation. Our group has been applying this rule to all extended tests, including simple shopping. indifferent.gif

If our average NPC mechanic has a dice pool of eight, he would buy two hits per interval. With your recommended fee of 50-100 nuyen per hour, the vehicle modification fee would be 150-300 nuyen per threshold point. The weapon modification fee would be 50-100 nuyen per threshold point. If, as you suggest, ďthe mechanic could get an extra 4+ dice quite easilyĒ, the fee would be further reduced.

[Double post]
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