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Wakshaani
Cross-posting this on another forum, but since Dumpshock's filled with dedicated Shadowrunners, I figured I should ask here as well.

***

I'm not looking for how *much* you pay your 'runners as that opens a whole war of people, so, table that part of your thoughts and keep reading.

I'm curious how you handle a few subsets of the Shadowrunner ecology. In particular:

Pay. Do you dish out pay on a per-runner basis, or do you pay out a lump sum for them to divide as they see fit?

The Fixer. Are they involved in the negotiations at all or do they point the team at a Johnson and go, "Here he is. Good luck." Does the fixer get a "finder's fee" and, if so, how is it done? Do the runners pay teh Fixer? Does Johnson? Does the fixer get a share of the team hire? Does your team *use* a fixer or do you cut out the middle man and have the team face deal only in Johnsons?

Mr. Johnson. Is Johnson usually the client or is Johnson there to *represent* a client? Does Johnson talk in code at a meeting or do they lay details out openly? Does Johnson recruit only your team or do other teams jockey for jobs? Does Johnson take a second meeting to give full 'run details or does he present everything up front?

Do you have several different fixers for a team or do they mainly stick with one? Do your fixers "headhunt" from one another to get good runners?

Do you use the same Mr Johnson several times or is each one a one-and-done?

On the issue of pay, how often do you pay in corp scrip rather than nuyen? Of those, how often is the hiring corp the one paying out instead of "planting evidence" by using another cor's scrip? How often does your Johnson offer 'perks', such as gear, stock, or access to Beta clinics, as deal sweeteners?

Been chatting with a few people here and there and gotten some interesting answers that are quite a bit different than my own game, and I'm curious how the rest of you lot handle it.
Dolanar
This is different for every game/set of players I think. If a player has a fixer contact, depending on loyalty/connection he will dish jobs for that player or team if the player mentions them. If multiple players have fixers, then there are multiple types of jobs available.

Pay: This can depend on the job, johnson, corp, etc. Some jobs are a flat amount because that is all the johnson can manage for the job, some jobs are more specific, such as if a team is already set, per person might be better. As for how they are paid, usually nuyen on a untraceable cred stick. Occasionally offering incentives as needed.

Johnson: This depends, if it is a corp client then the johnson is usually an expendable "Agent". For non corp clients, the johnson is probably the client themselves.

Fixer: the fixer is a contact usually so the team pays the fixer (or is handled behind the scenes)

This is my personal method anyway.
rythymhack
Regarding the fixer's pay, I think they could get away with charging both sides in some instances. If the fixer is approached by the Johnson to find a team then the johnson pays the fixer for that. The pay he offers the team may involve him taking a cut as a "referral fee". For example the johnson says the job pays $120,000. The johnson tells the team it pays $100,000.
ShadowDragon8685
Hooo boy. You've asked a lot of complicated questions that have no one-and-done answer.


QUOTE (Wakshaani @ Aug 24 2014, 05:57 PM) *
Cross-posting this on another forum, but since Dumpshock's filled with dedicated Shadowrunners, I figured I should ask here as well.

***

I'm not looking for how *much* you pay your 'runners as that opens a whole war of people, so, table that part of your thoughts and keep reading.

I'm curious how you handle a few subsets of the Shadowrunner ecology. In particular:

Pay. Do you dish out pay on a per-runner basis, or do you pay out a lump sum for them to divide as they see fit?


This depends largely on the Johnson and the circumstances surrounding the job. Generally speaking, though, Mr. Johnson has a set budget to get a job done. Mr. Johnson ideally wants to come in underbudget, because he can pocket the difference. Exactly how the mercenaries he hires distribute their money is usually not his concern; that said...

Some Johnsons may do things differently. They may want to pay per-head, not per-job, especially if he's had trouble with teams fighting each other over laying claim to his payment rather than focusing on the job instead. They may simply be so inured in an employee-wage mindset that they can't concieve of how to deal with a team of Runners as a singular, independent contracting entity. On the other hand, if the group instructs him that they want their payment in some specific way, he'll probably oblige. It's a very minor request, after all, and the cost of the credsticks if they all want their own is trivial.


QUOTE
The Fixer. Are they involved in the negotiations at all or do they point the team at a Johnson and go, "Here he is. Good luck." Does the fixer get a "finder's fee" and, if so, how is it done? Do the runners pay the Fixer? Does Johnson? Does the fixer get a share of the team hire? Does your team *use* a fixer or do you cut out the middle man and have the team face deal only in Johnsons?


Depends on the team and the Fixer and the Johnson. Typically, the Johnson pays the Fixer the finder's fee, and the group is never appraised as to the fixer's cut, lest they decide he deserves less of a cut and they deserve more. It's not unheard of for other ways of doing things to emerge, mind you, but generally speaking, Runners react very poorly (IE, violently,) to being told that they're being paid X, and now when it comes time to pay up, their Fixer shows up to take Y% of X. (That's another reason the Fixer's cut is typically handled seperately.


QUOTE
Mr. Johnson. Is Johnson usually the client or is Johnson there to *represent* a client? Does Johnson talk in code at a meeting or do they lay details out openly? Does Johnson recruit only your team or do other teams jockey for jobs? Does Johnson take a second meeting to give full 'run details or does he present everything up front?


This depends on the particulars of the job. Sometimes, the Johnson is the client himself, sometimes the Johnson is representing the client. Sometimes the Johnson lies about which is which. Usually, though, the Johnson will not under any circumstances be speaking in some kind of code. He is, after all, hiring mercenaries to have a specific job done, and if he is vauge, let alone uses insinuation, euphemism, and code to convey his desires, he is likely to find the situation blowing up in his face when the runners either deliberately or accidentally misinterpret his words - or when they just plain didn't understand, or when he has an agenda with limitations on what must be done that he didn't make clear.

Example: Johnson works for Soft Drink A's Fizzy Orange Pow division. His Division has a rivalry with the Standard Cola Division, and he wants a launch day embarrassment by preventing the first batch of New Cola X from getting out the door. He pretends to represent Soft Drink B, and tells the Runners that he wants the New Cola X Launch to go terribly, but not in a way that causes anybody in the public to get injured or killed, and he suggests they sabotage the factory, and leaves, content in that they'll probably do something like overclock the distilling vats to turn all of New Cola X into a sticky roofing tar-like substance, or spill it all on the floor. Instead, they plant mnogo explosives and raze the factory and adjoining warehouse to the ground. Johnson is apocalyptically furious and doesn't want to pay, but he told them that as long as no members of the public were hurt, he didn't care what they did. He either has to pay money he doesn't want to pay (because they caused millions of nuyen.gif of damage to his company,) or they'll tear him apart.

It's also rare for the Johnson to make follow-up meetings other than the one where they give the Runners the job details. Occasionally they'll leave some channel with which they can be reached, but generally speaking, Johnsons won't want that.


QUOTE
Do you have several different fixers for a team or do they mainly stick with one? Do your fixers "headhunt" from one another to get good runners?


Depends on the team. In some games, everybody knows their own fixer.

QUOTE
Do you use the same Mr Johnson several times or is each one a one-and-done?


Depends on the Johnson and his needs. If he has several consecutive operations going on, he might continue to hire a group which has so far proved competent.

QUOTE
On the issue of pay, how often do you pay in corp scrip rather than nuyen? Of those, how often is the hiring corp the one paying out instead of "planting evidence" by using another cor's scrip? How often does your Johnson offer 'perks', such as gear, stock, or access to Beta clinics, as deal sweeteners?


Very rarely would a job pay in scrip, and most players would demand payment in nuyen only, and would tell a Johnson he could cough up nuyen or pound pavement. Perks are another matter, and I would say, "fairly often." That said, many players who are properly paranoid would refuse "perks" affiliated with the company which is above the level of, say, a piece of equipment they can thoroughly search, and discard if necessary. But not always.
hermit
I tend to go by a mix of gut feeling and GTA factor: pay has to be consistently better than what a runner could make as a car thief. I also tend to modify according to the runners' reputation, according to an expansion on Crusher Bob's GTA rule by AAS (German only, sorry). A brief translation:

QUOTE ("Raben-AAS")
Reputation and professional manner of course should play a role in how rnners are paid. Hence, the pay per person determined with GTA guidelines has to be modified according to the runers' standing in the shadows, as follows:

Pariah - the runner has fucked up good. Epic. Their name has replaced Wilson's on the streets as synonym for failure. Pariahs are not called for all but the most dire, bad-paying, or suicidal jobs. Any job offer to them is a generosity and should be taken as such (and, in case they survive, will have to be repaid with interest). You know about beggars and choosers, right? Pariahs can expect 1/10 of regular pay - if their employer means to pay them at all, which isn't very likely.

Scum - the runner screwed up bad (tried to screw over Johnson and got caught, blew a run through sheer stupidity), but "only" once or twice. Employers rightfully consider themselves merciful for considering Scum for employment, and a job granted is a favor that will have to be repaid. Pay is 1/4 of the regular sum.

N00b - The character is a total greenhorn, unknown by any means, nobody knows if they're worth anything. N00bs are not paid better than scum, because hey, who knows, they might just be posers, right? Pay is 1/4 of the regular sum.

semi-Professional - With a few easy jobs under their belt, N00bs are recognized as promising, upcoming talent, diamonds in the rough. They may lack skills, training or equipment, but they can look forward to a future as bright as the shadows have to offer (which isn't very, but hey, it's better than mortgaging your organs for sloppies without taste additives). The same rank is given to professional runners who fucked up once, the idea being they may actually not have been that professional after all. Pay is 1/2 of the regular sum.

Why do people choose to become runners if entry pay is below the GTA factor? Beause of the promise that, later, they will get a lot more than they could by stealing Americars. Car jackers make 1K per car forever, but top-league runners? They can make it big time. Dare to dream big!

Shadowpunk - The character has shown to be able to handle themselves and their job with some professionalism, and has succeeded notably more often than failed, and delivered no real blunders (so far). Not outstanding, nothing to impress Mr. Johnson, but enough to be paid the full standard sum.

Shadowrunner - The character has impressed their employers by adopting a cooler, more business-like manner. Purely by skill, there may be little difference between chain-smoking Shadowpunks wearing studded leather who try and provoke Johnson with thuggish machismo, and cool, collected business runners, but appearance matters in the corporate world, and Johnsons tend to honor that by offering business-oriented runners 3/2 of the standard sum - that's a 50% bonus just for being housebroken and wearing a 100 Nuyen DeButton business suit. Appearance matters that much.

Veteran - the runner is a professional and well known among Johnsons, to the point where they can affortd to walk on job offers they don't like. Their rep is spotless (or nearly so), and their talent is in good demand. Their pay, therefore, is twice the standard rate.

Elite - Shadowrunners belonging to this elite cathegory are well known enough they attract jobs from abroad. Lucrative jobs. Elite runners will often work outside their home region. On top of four times the standard rate, transport and all associated costs are on Johnson.

Shadowgod – Fastjack, Dodger, Hatchetman. Whoever is spoken of in that tone has made it big time. They're the criminal idols of the Sixth World. Their names inspire aspiring young criminals to forego car jacking for shadowrunning and to put up with the bad initial pay. They can demand any price they want for their services, but 10 times the standard rate is a good enough guess for those dreaming big.
ShadowDragon8685
I'd be very careful, if I were a Johnson, about thinking I can (a) call a job a "favor" which demands repayment - the job is already a risk on the runner's part, they're not going to be so grateful to you for giving them a risky proposition that pays dogshit that they'll then do another risky proposition for free. That's the kind of thing that ends with Johnsons laying dead in a gutter in the Puyallups. Even if they have fucked up royal, after all, they can always go carjacking again.

Generally speaking, only modify up. A veteran runner who winds up in the cyberdoghouse might find himself being paid GTA prices, but it will not be less than that. You should never, ever, try to pay a Runner less than they can make freelancing their skills and selling off random stuff they steal. Not unless you're sending them at a very rich target environment and the opportunity to loot is explicitly part of the payment.

Ex. "Here's the deal, the target is a CrashCart hospital, in the heart of Seattle. In this hospital is a vault of medications and drugs that are extremely valuable, and I can tell you exactly what has the best street-value-by-weight, and what has a lower street price than soybeer. But the vault's not the job, the vault is the payment, in addition to two thousand nuyen up-front for expenses: I want you to break in, with me and my sister, so I can use the imaging diagnostic center one floor up and find out what the hell Renraku did in my sister's brains. Oh, and I get a share of the loot, but if you can manage to hit the vault efficiently, we'll all be raking it in afterwards. (What did you want, originality?)

The only time you can get away with paying someone less than they could make by stealing Ford Americars is if you have reason to believe they are not, in fact, capable of stealing Ford Americars - for instance, if they're a bunch of high school-attending teenagers of unproven skill. On the other hand, you wouldn't give a bunch of teenagers anything that you'd call a real Shadowrun anyway, they're more likely to be outsourced legwork or the guys you pay a thousand nuyen to for them to set up the Matrix connectivity to your safehouse in the barrens.
Wakshaani
Let me head that line of talk off. NOT about pay rates. Blood falls everywhere when that comes up.

Talking about the fixer-Johnson paradigm, not the volume of pay.

Seriously want to avoid that discussion.
Hexariah
I haven't played much Shadowrun yet, but so far all the Mr. Js have given us a per-head estimate. If I had my druthers, I think I'd want it to be something like "Mr. J offers a lump sum, the cost of ammo and medical supplies and such are subtracted from that sum, then it's evenly split amongst the runners." I currently have a rigger and a street samurai, and I go through ammo like crazy. But I'm doing it for the sake of the mission! So having to pay for each EX-Ex shell myself, when I could be using cheaper shells to save myself money, feels peculiar. I dunno. Maybe I'm just upset that so much of my money seems to go to ammo while that smug mage tosses lil' balls of doom around.

That got off-topic. Ahem.

I haven't had to pay a fixer for setting up a meet with Mr. J yet, because that was sort of the adventure hook to get us to this point. I presume his nuyen pay was taken care of, and that part of his reasoning for bringing us into contact with the Mr. J was to take care of a debt we may have owed him. "Go help this shady Johnson who definitely doesn't pass any standard of paranoia" rings of "repay me that time I got you out of prison without a criminal SIN" to me.

Again, that's pretty specific to the campaign I'm in, but that's all I can say. Parting with my nuyen to pay an NPC for making sure the game gets to happen would probably upset me more than is reasonable, so I'm much happier for the Fixer and the Johnson to have settled that up before we ever got on the scene. I'll pay the 5%+ extra on items when I use him to get me items, sure, but that's a tax I know about going in. It's really not that much different, I guess... I dunno. I'm not making much sense.
ShadowDragon8685
QUOTE (Hexariah @ Aug 24 2014, 10:33 PM) *
I haven't played much Shadowrun yet, but so far all the Mr. Js have given us a per-head estimate. If I had my druthers, I think I'd want it to be something like "Mr. J offers a lump sum, the cost of ammo and medical supplies and such are subtracted from that sum, then it's evenly split amongst the runners." I currently have a rigger and a street samurai, and I go through ammo like crazy. But I'm doing it for the sake of the mission! So having to pay for each EX-Ex shell myself, when I could be using cheaper shells to save myself money, feels peculiar. I dunno. Maybe I'm just upset that so much of my money seems to go to ammo while that smug mage tosses lil' balls of doom around.


This sounds like something you should discuss with the rest of the team, if you're going through ammo fast enough for it to be a problem for you. Tell them point-blank that if they don't start taking expenses off the top before the money is divided, you're going to start using the cheapest, grimiest fourth-hand Soviet surplus ammo you can buy. Do they want to enjoy a little more nuyen all the way to the grave because their drone controller was putting belts of cheapass ammo in his drones, or do they want to continue to enjoy the benefits of full-auto EX-EX.
kzt
First of all, Runners are deniable assets. Why should they ever talk to the guy paying for the illegal actions that he wants accomplished? To have something to turn over to KE when they get caught? The runners should only ever talk to their fixer, who is also the person who pays them. However the whole Johnson meet is a shadowrun meme that people have come to expect. So whatever.

The Johnson wants a job done. He has a budget for getting it done. Does he really care whether 1 runner, 2 runners or 5 runners are involved in getting it done? Is the job worth less because fewer runners know about this job that he really wants to keep secret, or should he pay 27 times as much if SuperRunner brings 26 of her closest friends to the meet?

So no, the Johnson is paying a negotiated amount to the runners for them to do with as they want. If they negotiate that he provide the payment in x separate and equal chunks he can probably arrange that. But he really doesn't care what they do with the money. If they instead want to have a knifefight to determine shares then, as long as they don't get any blood on his suit, he's cool with that. He also doesn't provide an IRS form 1099, doesn't pay into their IRA or provide dental coverage.
Wakshaani
See? Here we start to see some interesting differences. KZT has Johnson as the client and the fixer as Johnson, negotiating terms with the PCs. That's a twist that I've seen one or two people mention, but it's really rare and always neat to see. I've also had teams back in older days who never bothered getting a face, who just asked their Fixer to negotiate with Johnson for them, then they'd take whatever teh Fixer said wa sthe payout.

So, you know, documenting these differences is very interesting. Keep 'em rolling!
JesterZero
Ok, here goes:
  • Pay (Lump vs. Per Capita): In general I tend towards lump-sum for ongoing games where I can expect the same players week after week and their interaction with each other actually manages to climb out of the backseat and sit up front from time to time. When you've got a team that functions as a team, then sliding extra nuyen to someone for something that benefits the team is something that happens. Passing the hat around for hospital bills is something that happens. And so on. For pick-up games, shop games, missions, etc., you're dealing with a group of strangers who show up at a particular time and need to leave in a few hours to pick up kids (if they have kids) or finish their history homework (if they are kids). So in those cases, it's much easier for all concerned for the Johnson to pay per person. Yes, the economics of that fall apart if you think about it for a few seconds, but it gets hand-waved in the name of fun. Since the GM has to adjust opposition levels on the fly as well, adjusting the payout is something that happens too. Players intuitively get that in my experience.
  • Pay (Currency vs. Benefits): I have never played in a game where different currencies were in play simultaneously. I have played in games where different forms of the same currency were tracked separately (for example: digital funds vs. pile 'o cash) and there were exchange rates between the various mediums and whatnot. It's also pretty common in most games I've seen for the Johnson to incentivize a particular style of play (a bonus if you shoot extra people, a bonus if you don't shoot people, etc.); that's basically just the GM giving you a hint as to how you might want to approach the job. I also used to have the Johnson pay in product, but I've moved away from that over the years.
  • Fixers: Again, two major approaches here. For ongoing games with a stable group, there's usually a number of fixers in rotation, and turning down a job here or there, or evaluating competing but mutually exclusive runs is totally a thing that happens (you can get hyper-detailed with this: tracking days when rent is due, house rules for GTA-style wanted stars, etc.). For shop games, turning down a run doesn't happen, and doing so would result in significant stink-eye. Because again, when you've got 2-8 strangers around a table, the only common factor is that they want to play Shadowrun, so the assumption is every mission is something of a fight-of-the-week-one-off. Having a character turn down a job would result in wasting other people's time in real life, which quite frankly is rude.
  • Johnsons: On this, I try to make a point to mix it up quite a bit. All the permutations you described (and more) are possibilities in Shadowrun, and especially in long campaigns it's nice for the players if you inject some variety in how jobs come their way, who the representatives of those jobs are, who the middle-men are, and how that affects what happens. You can do this for shop games as well, but having your fixer be the Johnson has more impact if that's an established NPC. That being said, typically the default assumption is that the Fixer is there to introduce the team to the Johnson, and the Johnson is usually either a cut-out for a third party or an individual/representative taking direct action. That's what most people expect, and so that's what they get the majority of the time. It also provides a baseline for all the variants.
tl;dr version: often these answers will depend largely on if it's a campaign with friends or semi-random shop games. And even then it depends on what kind of game your friends want to play.
hermit
Alright, Wakshaani, I didn't get your post the first time. In my defense, it was 4 am and I was desperately trying to remain awake while waiting for a call.

Anyway, for more appropriate answers to your post.

QUOTE
Pay. Do you dish out pay on a per-runner basis, or do you pay out a lump sum for them to divide as they see fit?

Per runner. Lump sum tends to encourage team infighting, and most Johnsons want their jobs to get done. Occasionally, I have inexperienced Johnsons or rich people thinking they can just hire runners like that pay a sum or the team to split as they want; usually because I, as a GM, want to emphathise the Johnson is less than top professional.

Some Johnsons - racists usually - pay certain runners better than others. This is usually communicated by note or private message as a bonus to the pay everybody is said to receive.

QUOTE
The Fixer. Are they involved in the negotiations at all or do they point the team at a Johnson and go, "Here he is. Good luck." Does the fixer get a "finder's fee" and, if so, how is it done? Do the runners pay teh Fixer? Does Johnson? Does the fixer get a share of the team hire? Does your team *use* a fixer or do you cut out the middle man and have the team face deal only in Johnsons?

In a hiring context, Fixers generally act as go-between between Johnson and Runner, informing runners that a job is available, informing Johnsons what kinds of runners they have on offer. Since I tend to play mix-and-match teams (ad hoc, not fixed teams, since people tend to be all 'I'm just not in the mood for this character now' far too often, so it's 'I have a job where a mage and a hacker would be quite helpful; choose characters' with me, usually), Johnsons shop around with fixers, picking runners they want, who are then informed by their respective fixers that there's a job offer at [time] in [place].

The fixer ususally charges the Johnsons a fee for their services; though players very rarely notice, it's assumed to be 1/10 of the runner's pay. Some of my fixers take a cut out of the runner's pay as well (along the same lines usually), but that's not all of them. Depends on the fixer.

Fixers also, depending on their relationship with the runners, can inform them on the Johnson as best as they know (and will be more or less detailed and truthful, depending on how they and the character get along). Some fixers charge extra for this service, some don't. As a rule of thumb, a Loyalty 1 fixer will charge you and take a cut out of the runner's pay, Loy 2 will only charge you or information OR take a cut, and rom Loy 3 up, it's "free" as far as the runner is concerned. Fixer's cut out of the runner's pay is paid on completion, so fixers have a vested interest in the runners not screwing up.

QUOTE
Mr. Johnson. Is Johnson usually the client or is Johnson there to *represent* a client? Does Johnson talk in code at a meeting or do they lay details out openly? Does Johnson recruit only your team or do other teams jockey for jobs? Does Johnson take a second meeting to give full 'run details or does he present everything up front?

That depends. Some Johnsons ARE the client - those are usually the less professional ones, though not always (I have a game going where a higher-up from Saeder-Krupp did the hiring, who is the same person responsible for the operation, because micromanagement). Mostly, though, it's quest giver characters like the lady who runs a farm where the runners are stranded or a few days because issues, who will let them stay i they solve this tiny problem or her.

Johnson tend to shop around with me - since I usually leave character choice up to my players for an adventure, the Johnson may be recurring but hire diferent characters of the same player. Some are not though - most notably, another GM in my circle of players runs a horror-themed campaign that uses only the same charscters, but in general, locking characters with employers isn't all that popular.

Johnsons with me are vague until the job has been accepted, which is when they lay the acts, such as they are willing to and/or are aware of them, on the table. There's rarely a second meeting.

QUOTE
Do you have several different fixers for a team or do they mainly stick with one? Do your fixers "headhunt" from one another to get good runners?

Several fixers, which tend to stay static. The headhunting idea is interesting though. I might use that.

QUOTE
Do you use the same Mr Johnson several times or is each one a one-and-done?

Depends. I have recurring Johnsons, but there are also one-shots. Generally, Johnsons are tied to an employer with me, and hence, to a metaplot - I have, or instance, a rather creepy Johnson who's ronting or Proteus AG, another GM has a NAN Truth Dancer fronting or his horror themed campaign.

QUOTE
On the issue of pay, how often do you pay in corp scrip rather than nuyen? Of those, how often is the hiring corp the one paying out instead of "planting evidence" by using another cor's scrip? How often does your Johnson offer 'perks', such as gear, stock, or access to Beta clinics, as deal sweeteners?

I rarely use corp scrip. It's too much of a hassle to players, and would drive prices up significally or the corp, which usually isn't in their interest even if it's technically money they print themselves (I do assume corp scrip volume is CC mandated though, or else this system would produce ridiculous economic conditions).

That said, I don't always pay in Nuyen. I like to use valuables a lot - uncut diamonds or gems, gold, orichalcum, or even weed (my runners were recently paid in weed for saving a farm that uses Chicago Grey to clean contaminated soul in the blight near the Black Mountains). Product is also well possible, though I tend to only offer this as an option or in negotiation ("10 K is my limit, I'm sorry, but I could arrange for you to get access to equipment or implants worth 15K). Access to beta (or delta, in some cases) clinics, stock options and other things (or 'cross the border in this tricked-out van; you can keep the van as payment) happen regularily too, to liven up things, and unprofessional Johnsons might well only have their products to deal with, like the weed-producing farmstead in the middle of nowhere.

Regularily, Johnsons will beef up payment on the target's expense - encouraging runners to steal from the target in ways not related to the job.

QUOTE
Been chatting with a few people here and there and gotten some interesting answers that are quite a bit different than my own game, and I'm curious how the rest of you lot handle it.

Now I'm curious - how do you handle it?
bannockburn
These are a lot of interesting questions. Most of them I can answer with "depends". More detailed answers under the relevant quotes smile.gif

QUOTE (Wakshaani @ Aug 24 2014, 11:57 PM) *
Pay. Do you dish out pay on a per-runner basis, or do you pay out a lump sum for them to divide as they see fit?

Depends on the Johnson in question. Some pay a total, some pay per nose (no, sorry, even if you got multiple noses, Surgeling, you only get one share), others even negotiate in 1 on 1 talks, just like they learned in HR school.

QUOTE
The Fixer. Are they involved in the negotiations at all or do they point the team at a Johnson and go, "Here he is. Good luck." Does the fixer get a "finder's fee" and, if so, how is it done? Do the runners pay teh Fixer? Does Johnson? Does the fixer get a share of the team hire? Does your team *use* a fixer or do you cut out the middle man and have the team face deal only in Johnsons?

The regular fixer I use is paid a finders fee by the Johnson. The fee is usually 10% of the overall payment for the team. She also vets the Johnsons to give the team she contacts a heads up on what they can expect.
Other situations call for other approaches though.
E.g. if a team has a confident face, that character can very well use their connections to find Johnsons directly and cut out a fixer. This may lead to problems with the fixer population, of course, but complications are spice.
I have multiple Fixer NPCs ready to go and every one of them is slightly different in how they handle their business. Your examples are all used.
One thing though: Usually, the fixer is not involved in the negotiations between team and Johnson, except in a few exceptional cases (like how I handled Survival of the Fittest).

QUOTE
Mr. Johnson. Is Johnson usually the client or is Johnson there to *represent* a client? Does Johnson talk in code at a meeting or do they lay details out openly? Does Johnson recruit only your team or do other teams jockey for jobs? Does Johnson take a second meeting to give full 'run details or does he present everything up front?

Johnson's client-ness (this is now a word) usually directly corresponds to their professionalism. The higher in the food chain they are, the less they are the clients themselves. Meaning: hooding runs almost always are arranged by Johnsons as clients, high-level corporate stuff or draconic conspiracies rely on middle-men Johnsons. Sometimes even multiple dummies.

QUOTE
Do you have several different fixers for a team or do they mainly stick with one? Do your fixers "headhunt" from one another to get good runners?

I have several NPC fixers, as mentioned above, but my team usually sticks with a main one, unless they make acquaintances and are contacted by those for a job outside their comfort zone. Headhunting is in my background frowned upon, but it happens. There may be repercussions for the runners if they 'cheat' on their regular fixer.

QUOTE
Do you use the same Mr Johnson several times or is each one a one-and-done?

There are the professional and slick go-betweens, whom I use more than once, often representing different clients.
Others come and go. If a team often deals with Corp X, they'll usually have the same handler.

QUOTE
On the issue of pay, how often do you pay in corp scrip rather than nuyen? Of those, how often is the hiring corp the one paying out instead of "planting evidence" by using another cor's scrip? How often does your Johnson offer 'perks', such as gear, stock, or access to Beta clinics, as deal sweeteners?

I usually don't deal in this kind of micromanagement. The runners get their pay in Nuyen or I'll mention it's corpscrip in the equivalent of an amount of Nuyen, which they can then exchange. Sometimes it's foreign currency, or something like diamonds or other easy-to-fence stuff, but I usually give them an amount.
Corp runs may offer to pay the runners in a higher equivalent amount of some of their specialty gear, but the runners are free to decline.
E.g. when I ran SotF, Buttercup offered to pay the runners in access to EVO's delta clinic in Vladivostok and a marker for bio- / cyberware amounting to 20% more than the pay in Nuyen. Two of the runners took the offer, the others took the money.
Wakshaani
My way is a tad odd, and I adopted it after watching too many players bully Johnson. "You need this done and we're the only ones who can do it, so cough up the cash."

Mr. Johnson should always be in control and sitting in the big chair. So, I had to change things up.

First off, there are three different people to talk about.

#1 - The Client. This is the person who needs something done, usually a corporate type but sometimes a governmental, a cult, a private organization, or whatever. Regardless, teh client is where the money comes from and gets transferred to a certified credstick (most often) that will eventually be the runner pay. The Client has needs and wants someone to meet them. This is where we get:

Mr. Johnson. Mr. Johnson is rarely a powerful executive, but is a mover and shaker chosen for two things: First is that they have shadow connections and second that they know how to keep their mouth shut. They represent the client, but are there to act as a wall between teh client and the "Talent". Breaching this wall is a huge trust issue and Johnsons that get dug into take it very, very personally... after all, if you uncover who they are, then you get a lead on the client, and that's a no-no. A good reflection of Mr Johnson is a made man for the Mafia (The Don doesn't give you the job, a trusted man does) or Mercy Graves from the Superman Animated Adventures.

Between the two and off to one side is "Mrs. Smith", a generic name for a client who's hiring a runner. These aren't professionals like Mr. Johnson, and often, but not always, are clueless about how this all works but have no where else to turn. The classic is someone whose husband has been murdered and who wants the Shadowrunners to find out why, who did it, and (if her credit holds out), have that person punished for the deed.

The Fixer is kind of like escrow ... Mr. Johnson and teh Fixer know who one another are, but they don't let this information go further. If Johnson screws the runners, the Fixer makes sure that the Johnson pays for it. If teh fixer screws the client, Mr. Johnson is there to make sure that the fixer pays for it. Each side is representing someone else (The Client or teh Shadowrunners) and act as a safety valve for the entire process.

The fixer, by the by, is paid a finder's fee by Mr. Johnson, separate from the payment fo rthe Shadowrunning team. This is usually 5% for getting the job, and another 5% upon completion of the job. Fixers and Johnsons hover around one another in a "Frenemy" status, each trying to get an advantage on the other but also not pushing terribly hard since they need one another.

Johnson will get a job from a client, then go to his list of fixers and call around. WHo has teams available? Can they handle mission type X? They then make arrangements to meet at a certain location, such as a bar, a zoo, a restaraunt, etc. Johnson gets a private, or private-ish area for himself and his bodyguards, then fixers start having teams present theselves for a basic job interview. Can they handle themselves in a civilized manner? Did they bring heavy artillery in public? Do they speak the right language? How many are there? Johnson bounces questions off them and talks in vague hints and code, since the area's public and he doesn't know them. He might talk about gardening, or taking out the trash, or otherwise drop hints in a roundabout way while asking teh team questions, like "Are you fond of the beach?" (IE, can you handle an underwater operation) or "Have you been to New York?" ie, this mission will take you out of your current city, without giving anything away if possible.

Once Johnson has met several teams, and has discussed to some degree payment (Usually "Standard rates, with bonuses for being promp/delicate/etc), he'll pick one, give the fixer a finder's fee, and tell them where to meet him for a briefing.

At the SECOND location, code is dropped and Johnson gives details in full, with dossiers, photos, or whatever other information/supplies he might have. The team can back out at this stage, but their rep will take a hit and Johnson will *not* be amused, but, sometimes, it happens and when it does a second team gets hired to take the job instead. Assuming that they don't back out, a portion of the pay will be given, with the majority upon completion, and bonuses will be laid out in better detail.

After that, teh runners do the job, then call their fixer when it's done. Fixer contacts Johnson, Johnson arranges a meeting, and everyone gets together, exchanges goods for money, and they go their separate ways. Johnson keeps tabs on the fixer and teams, giving pluses and minuses depening on how things went, as do fixers, who will pass on to some runners (IE, anyone higher than a 2 loyalty) tidbits like "This guy's legit. He never misses payment" or "I have a bad feeling about this one, but the pay's great. Your call." or "Mrs. Smith, proceeed with caution." and so on.

Johnsons come in layers, by the by. A corporation (Say, MCT) will have one person in charge of "Extra activities", who in turn has three-ish seconds, eachof whom has three-ish lieutenants of their own. MCT tells the top man, he grabs one of his seconds, who in turn have their lieutenants go out and look for leads. Thsoe with good records get promotions and pay raises, those with poor history get thanked and wished well in their future endevours.

As teams successfully carry out missions for Johnsons, they get promoted as well. Do five solid runs for MCT and teh Lieutenant kicks you up to his boss, who give syou better perks and better contracts. Do enough runs for him, he might pass you up to the main man himself.

Teams that work for one Johnson, or one corp, enough times start getting aligned with such. Do several runs for Ares and you might start getting Are-related bonuses. Keep doing them and you might become a "Bought team", a Shadowrunning team that only works for one corp as they're placed on retainer. This is teh Big Leagues of Shadowrunning, regular gigs with perks, room, board, a 401 K plan, and so on, but soem runners see this as "Selling out" and won't deal with you anymore.

As for headhunting, fixers want good results (since they get paid more) and are always scouting for talent. Each has a team or three under their umbrella but also anywhere from three to a dozen solo operators who can be hired on an ad-hoc basis (You need a rigger for this mission? Just so happens that I have one on speed dial...) or even sticthed into a long-term team. Fixers are known to offer better contracts to one another's workers here and there, trying to lure top talent their way. Corporations also keep an eye out, sometimes recruiting a single team member but leaving the rest behind. This is especialy true of magical talent or high-level deckers.

Faces often become fixers, but other archetypes sometimes fill the role as well. Fixers sometimes grow up to be Johnsons, starting on a lower tier, but working their way up the chain. It's entirely possible for a team that has a regular, trustworthy Fixer see them "go legit", put on a suit, and start working for the corps. Those former-fixers probably send a lot of work back to their old "stable", and sometimes bump up a member of said stable to fixer status, having trained them as an understudy or trusted them enough to pass on the "little black book" of contact information.

...

I've probably prattled on for too long. It's ... gadzooks. 5:30 AM? Oh my.
bannockburn
QUOTE (Wakshaani @ Aug 25 2014, 12:38 PM) *
My way is a tad odd, and I adopted it after watching too many players bully Johnson. "You need this done and we're the only ones who can do it, so cough up the cash."

Interesting. I usually head this off with the team's fixer sending them to the meet. If they go that way they'll embarrass one of their most important contacts, which in turn means that they can't pay the rent soon enough, need to look for another individual willing to deal with their bullshit, and amassing bad rep.
Sure, time-critical jobs can still elicit such behaviour, but on the other hand I let those Johnsons state clearly something like "due to the time-sensitive nature of this job, the pay already includes an appropriate bonus."

QUOTE
The Fixer is kind of like escrow ... Mr. Johnson and teh Fixer know who one another are, but they don't let this information go further. If Johnson screws the runners, the Fixer makes sure that the Johnson pays for it. If teh fixer screws the client, Mr. Johnson is there to make sure that the fixer pays for it. Each side is representing someone else (The Client or teh Shadowrunners) and act as a safety valve for the entire process.

A bit different again to my approach. A fixer will not really make sure that a Johnson pays, if they double-cross a team. The fixer will probably blacklist the Johnson, or give the team (should they survive) a carte blanche to do with the Johnson whatever they like, but that's about it. Or, the fixer may even be in on the ruse, maybe to get rid of a troublemaker team (see above wink.gif) in a ... diversionary run (AKA trap).

QUOTE
The fixer, by the by, is paid a finder's fee by Mr. Johnson, separate from the payment fo rthe Shadowrunning team. This is usually 5% for getting the job, and another 5% upon completion of the job. Fixers and Johnsons hover around one another in a "Frenemy" status, each trying to get an advantage on the other but also not pushing terribly hard since they need one another.

This is almost exactly how I handle it, but this happens behind the scenes, so the players or their characters don't really get in contact with these proceedings. The characters know how it works, though.

QUOTE
Johnson will get a job from a client, then go to his list of fixers and call around. WHo has teams available? Can they handle mission type X? They then make arrangements to meet at a certain location, such as a bar, a zoo, a restaraunt, etc. Johnson gets a private, or private-ish area for himself and his bodyguards, then fixers start having teams present theselves for a basic job interview. Can they handle themselves in a civilized manner? Did they bring heavy artillery in public? Do they speak the right language? How many are there? Johnson bounces questions off them and talks in vague hints and code, since the area's public and he doesn't know them. He might talk about gardening, or taking out the trash, or otherwise drop hints in a roundabout way while asking teh team questions, like "Are you fond of the beach?" (IE, can you handle an underwater operation) or "Have you been to New York?" ie, this mission will take you out of your current city, without giving anything away if possible.

Most of this will be possible, but my Johnsons don't talk code. It's too tedious to explain all these possible codes out-of-character, and since my players aren't career criminals they usually don't pick up on such subtle talk. If the meeting is public or semi-public (maybe for testing purposes like how the team handles themselves in such a situation), the negotiations are usually handled by a single member (the face or leader) and details are communicated via hardcopy (most often chips), or at a second meeting.
Most often though there is one business meeting in a discreet boardroom, and the second one is for receiving payment.

On a sidenote: Advance money is handled on a case-by-case basis, as is the actual payment. Escrow accounts are one of many possibilities.
Beta
Iím curious too to see what other groups are doing. Iím less than 30 karma into the single player game that Iím running, and so far jobs have mostly come
(directly or indirectly) through contacts. After all, why would Mr. Johnson hire a no-rep newb? But over time it has become increasingly clear that working for amateurs provides a lot of poor intelligence, weak briefings, and so on. The player is now eager to deal with professionals, and has done enough to start getting some rep, and Iíve gradually introduced a fixer and had some quick side jobs in a supporting role for the PC to prove himself).

(Pay has also been on the low side--until this last mission where he helped an NPC contact steal an item that ended up being coveted by more than one dragon. This resulted in his first Mr. Johnson interaction where one of Masaruís representatives offered a flat 100k if they could get the object from Seattle to an office in Vancouveróastral cover could be provided north of the old border, and a team would meet them in Vancouver, take it or leave it. The player took it, rather than just walk away from the object and let the other dragon have it. (both dragons manifested their astral form at some point, but neither was close enough to work other than through hastily arranged proxies, so eventually wounded, exhausted, out of reagents and riding a damaged bike the PC finished the gauntlet run and delivered). That big payday balances out the low pay to this point and should let the PC gear up a bit more professionally, now that he has more of an idea of what he wants and needs. In short, Iím right at the point of shifting to a more classic fixer/Mr. Johnson mode, and have to figure out how I want to handle it.)

So a big thank you for starting this thread, and to everyone who has provided answers.
Shemhazai
What if it's done per runner and some of the runners die on the run? What happens to the money?
kzt
Mr Johnson has more to spend on hookers and blow. Which is why you don't want that arrangement.
Hexariah
QUOTE (kzt @ Aug 25 2014, 03:03 PM) *
Mr Johnson has more to spend on hookers and blow. Which is why you don't want that arrangement.

I am of the opinion that such an outcome is more reason for you to want the arrangement -- it prevents shadowrunners from shooting each other in order to increase the total percentage of the loot they'll come out with.

Of course, on the one hand, having a reputation of killing your partners is bad. (Although who is going to give you that reputation? There were no survivors -- the mission must have just been that difficult!) On the other, for a large enough score, it might be worth burning a few bridges to get 100% instead of 20%.
DrZaius
I have played where the Fixer deals with the Johnson, and gets a substantial portion of the run's fee (for both setting up the team and for completion). As their rep is on the line (and what is a fixer but their rep?) they are able to negotiate with the Johnson for a budget to present to the team.

Of course, the characters (and by extension, the players) don't really know that. 30,000 for a run- wow! What a great take! Little do they realize the fixer is pocketing 270... It's good to be the matchmaker.

Another way I would run it (although I haven't run a game in a while, so take what I say with a grain of salt) would be the fixer would negotiate with individual members of the team on the pricing, and the meet with the Johnson is just a "go/no-go" depending on the specifics of the job. After all, certain characters have more valuable talents / expenses compared to other members of the team (Riggers require drones, whereas Trolls are a dime a dozen).

From a metagame perspective; it really would be ideal to eliminate the negotiation completely. Runners, as a rule, are terrible at estimating their own value. Additionally, everyone wants to do the run because frankly, that's what your friend the GM has prepared. Holding out for more fake money for the fake job you're considering delays the actual game, unless arguing over virtual nickels and dimes excites you (if so, try Eve Online!)

A good balance would be to have the fixer negotiate with the individual runners for their run-fee, while the Johnson negotiates with the team for upfront costs and bonuses to be awarded to the team as a whole. I feel like a lot of the contentious nature of the game would be eliminated if the team's face is negotiating on everyone's behalf to get upfront costs raised while not worrying about if the run itself is worth the amount they are negotiating for. Plus, it has the added bonus where when you get paid at the end you haven't already lost 25% getting the actual run done.
Nath
On pay
Some employer pay each runner separately, some pay the team. I'd say the latter is slightly more frequent. The runners are supposed to be the ones with the expertise on how the objectives can be fulfilled, and thus the actual manpower required, if they need extra. I play upon that aspect slightly more often than your typical game, as the group is kinda "freeform" with players occasionally mising the first session, or arriving late.
I almost never offer corp scrip. The closest I ever got was a job for Knight Errant Security Systems who got SNAFU. M. Johnson did not have the fund to motivate the runners to stay onboard, so he offered them a "line of credit" in corp scrip to be used with the military services arm of KE (starting right then to get armament and airlift).

On fixer
A fixer trade is trust. They know who M. Johnson is and they know who the shadowrunners are, and vouch for both. They guarantee the job is not trap and will be paid, and that the runners are up to the task and won't leak information elsewhere.
Typically, the Johnson will contact one or several fixers, on what the nature and localization of the mission, the risks and the timeframe. The fixer will not get any unnecessary detail (like the name of the target or the content of the file to look after) and will not ask for them. The fixer will select a team that match the criterion and check they're available at the right time. There is no requirement for the fixer to be present at the meeting, though he can. But if possible, only the runners will get every details about the mission. It can happen that M. Johnson ask the fixer to represent him, but then a good fixer should be open about it and not try to take his cut on pay.
The very fact the fixer made M. Johnson and the runners meet means both side will find the amount offered and asked within their expected range. Runners don't haggle. But they can negotiate. They are supposed to be the ones with the know-how on clandestine work. So they may point out once they got the mission details what they feel may bring unexpected problems ("Hitting an Aztechnology operation in Denver? It's not just some random black ops shop in Mile High City. We're talking about a secret, highly protected facility, probably moved every two weeks, with top notch operatives..."), or offer additional services ("For that sum, you get him a week. Now, if I can contact the right person and get the right gear, I can get him to you under three days. But I will have bills to pay."). From the gamemaster's point of view, the PC asking for more money are just asking for a harder mission.
If one party fails to deliver, the fixer will either provide the other side what information they need for a payback (possibly a lethal one), or do it themselves. Fixers know each other, and spread the information on who's ok and who is not fast and far enough for a team to never find a job again in any major sprawl, and require a corporation to fire its entire shadow assets department if they want to ever hire someone again. Doublecross is supposed to be and is extremely rare with me (the thing you only see in movies...), at least with established fixers. But any contact can act as a one-time fixer to get the runners and the employer in touch, without having checked all the credentials. Then anything can happen.
Since fixer know both sides, a number of them also double as a money laundering service, receiving payment from whatever cover M. Johnson is using, and sending another one to the runners' legit or blackmarket account.

On M. Johnson
As far as the runners are concerned, he is the client. I consider each megacorporation has his own take on how runs should be handled. An Ares Macrotechnology Johnson will take his orders from top executive management and have near total control on his operations, shifting assets from one objective to another or putting entire teams on retainer. On the other hand, a MCT Johnson will merely be a mouthpiece from whoever actually ordered a run this week, filling the required paperwork and meeting the runners. And a Renraku M. Johnson will be just a regular executive on daytime, who happen to be the only one in his department to have followed courses 1A2 and 1A3 on shadow assets management - level A.
In turn, this pave the way for some Johnson to work several times with the same runners. Ares Johnson will be likely to use the same team in a row of interlinked missions, while a MCT Johnson may rather offer them completely unrelated jobs, as he get orders from different divisions.
Paul
I tend to over plan just about everything, but I like detail. So what follows is just the broad strokes:

  • Mr. Johnson may or may not meet with the players. This depends on what he or she needs done, and what sort of privacy concerns they might have.
  • If Mrs. Johnson meets with the players, and he or she can afford it, they will almost certainly bring security of some sort. I usually like a back up team to consist of what would be internally consistent for the position of Mr. Johnson-so a general laborer might bring his buddy with a hold out pistol, where as the CFO of an Ares Macrotech subsidiary might bring a strike team, with multiple surveillance options, magical and fire support.
  • Pay is something the players negotiate at our table. Sometimes they negotiate a price as a whole, individual deals and even different deals. I encourage, and enjoy, alternatives to actual pay. As a general rule if it's internally consistent Mrs. Johnson will offer 150% the original price in barter-so goods and services.
  • Internally consistent consequences. If the players wax everyone who sits down to the bargaining table with them then people stop sitting down with them, and eventually they might end up being the hunted.


We enjoy the back and forth of negotiation and like playing that out.
Temperance
QUOTE (Wakshaani @ Aug 24 2014, 02:57 PM) *
Pay. Do you dish out pay on a per-runner basis, or do you pay out a lump sum for them to divide as they see fit?


Generally, my group is lump sum and divide as necessary. Often, we try to negotiate a lower fee than what Mr. Johnson is asking, but Mr. Johnson pays expenses. This is situational. We're pretty good at coming in under "budget" though.

QUOTE (Wakshaani @ Aug 24 2014, 02:57 PM) *
The Fixer. Are they involved in the negotiations at all or do they point the team at a Johnson and go, "Here he is. Good luck." Does the fixer get a "finder's fee" and, if so, how is it done? Do the runners pay teh Fixer? Does Johnson? Does the fixer get a share of the team hire? Does your team *use* a fixer or do you cut out the middle man and have the team face deal only in Johnsons?


Fixer gets a finder's fee he negotiates with Mr. Johnson. We never see it, but we know it happens. We also know he only gets paid once, so if we back out of a potential run and he has to find another team matching Mr. Johnson's requirements, our fixer will have words (or bullets) with us if we do it too often. If the run isn't paid for up front, our fixer holds the money in an escrow account, of sorts. (In a form that minimizes a data trail.) After that, the fixer is mostly hands off.

Our fixer also provides us with a general reputation report on Mr. Johnson and the basic run parameters. For example: This is an extraction. Mr. Johnson tends to have shoddy or out of date security info, but doesn't have a hidden agenda and doesn't deliberately screw his hired runners. Or our fixer might tell us: This is wetwork. Mr. Johnson is known for top shelf data and jobs, but he expects a high degree of professionalism and has no problems burning teams if they don't do the job to the letter. He's also vary particulars regarding the meet. Or this Mr. Johnson only sponsors runs against Ares and doesn't negotiate fees; it's a take it or leave it. And so on.

On the basis of the information he provides us, we decide if we want to meet with Mr. Johnson.

QUOTE (Wakshaani @ Aug 24 2014, 02:57 PM) *
Mr. Johnson. Is Johnson usually the client or is Johnson there to *represent* a client? Does Johnson talk in code at a meeting or do they lay details out openly? Does Johnson recruit only your team or do other teams jockey for jobs? Does Johnson take a second meeting to give full 'run details or does he present everything up front?


It depends on the Johnson. We assume he is the client unless he says otherwise. And even then, we are never sure.

No code, because as players we find it cumbersome. Everything is laid out openly. Jockeying may happen, but it depends on the Johnson. My GM likes to switch things up on that front.

Usually fee negotiation and information is all done in one meet. The idea being that without information, we can't determine how well we should be paid. (Though we try not to learn anything that might get us killed if we decide to back out. Our rep precedes us, so that is rarely an issue.) Generally, we only ever have two meets with Mr. Johnson; one when he hires us and once when we provide the deliverables. On some occasions it's only once, when we are hired.

QUOTE (Wakshaani @ Aug 24 2014, 02:57 PM) *
Do you have several different fixers for a team or do they mainly stick with one? Do your fixers "headhunt" from one another to get good runners?


Our fixers are varied. We usually have a primary fixer who serves as an employer of sorts. We trust him, he trusts us, that sort of thing. Our professionalism reflects on him and he gets paid more because he can provide top shelf runners. He's the one who gets us jobs and the first contact to give us a price on goods we may need to offload. But our fixer usually specializes in certain products, so we know we'll get a smaller cut if we try to fence certain things through him. Usually, this fixer is the one the GM provides to the team for free after character creation.

We also have secondary fixers that provide different services. For instance, if we need a decker, we might have a fixer that we hire deckers through. We might have a fixer we use for our travel based needs, like coyotes or smugglers. This is assuming we don't have the contacts we need for a specific task or don't have a regular need for those types of services, like coyotes or smugglers. We usually pay said fixer a finder's fee based on our needs, and then the coyote or smugger (or whoever) for doing the job. These fixers we look at as "we know a guy who knows a guy." Sometimes our secondary fixers are just information brokers.

On occasion our secondary fixers provide us jobs, but that's extremely rare and usually relates to their specialty. We're usually the Johnson in transactions with our secondary fixers.

QUOTE (Wakshaani @ Aug 24 2014, 02:57 PM) *
Do you use the same Mr Johnson several times or is each one a one-and-done?


Depends. If we like Mr Johnson, he plays us straight, and gives us good info, we let our fixer know we'd be willing to do more work for that Johnson in the future. Of course, the reverse is also true. If he's a shit Johnson, we'll tell our fixer we refuse all further jobs from him. For the most part though, it's one and done.

QUOTE (Wakshaani @ Aug 24 2014, 02:57 PM) *
On the issue of pay, how often do you pay in corp scrip rather than nuyen? Of those, how often is the hiring corp the one paying out instead of "planting evidence" by using another cor's scrip? How often does your Johnson offer 'perks', such as gear, stock, or access to Beta clinics, as deal sweeteners?


I don't think we've ever been paid in corp scrip. I can't remember if it was something we arranged with our fixer, but I recall that our policy was if the Johnson offers it, we walk. I'd say nuyen is the preferred form of payment about 75% of the time. The rest is deal sweeteners like gear or cyberwear/bioware.

-Temperance


Glyph
Runners who are a team are likelier to accept a lump sum, and divvy it up in such a way as to cover some of the expenses of gear-focused characters (riggers with getaway vans and drones, mages with binding materials, etc.). But for a team that is thrown together, it tends to be per person - even if it is a lump sum payment, it will tend to be divvied out evenly. Everyone is at the meet, and all of them are looking out for their own interests, so you won't see the troll muscle accept less money than the mage gets, even if the mage would normally be considered a more valuable commodity.

One thing I don't see much of, which would probably happen more in an actual shadowrunning community, is subcontracting. Maybe the drek-hot mage and cutting-edge hacker get hired for a subtle job, but they want some muscle to take along as insurance. So they hire a couple of tough ork street samurai as bodyguards, for less than they are getting paid.

It would be one way to resolve the wildly different expenses that different archetypes have, and to reflect the wide disparity in ability and experience that you can see in characters with the same number of build points.
Moirdryd
May I recommend Mr Johnson's Little Black Book from 3rd edition that covers this in great detail and goes into a wide variety of options.
Wakshaani
QUOTE (Moirdryd @ Aug 26 2014, 06:52 PM) *
May I recommend Mr Johnson's Little Black Book from 3rd edition that covers this in great detail and goes into a wide variety of options.


Oh, I have it, I'm just curious to see how assorted playgroups do it. The array of answers are awesome, but there's pretty much one universal constant:

If teh Fxer gets handed a cut of the PC''s cash, that table's gettin' flipped. biggrin.gif
ShadowDragon8685
QUOTE (Wakshaani @ Aug 26 2014, 07:54 PM) *
Oh, I have it, I'm just curious to see how assorted playgroups do it. The array of answers are awesome, but there's pretty much one universal constant:

If the Fxer gets handed a cut of the PC''s cash, that table's gettin' flipped. biggrin.gif


Yeah. Generally speaking, players are not going to be happy if they get quoted a price to undertake felonious behavior, and then the Johnson tries to hand them a lesser sum - or the middleman steps up at the hand-off and demands his cut.

On the other hand, you could use this as a greedy trick by a scumbag Fixer, or a new one; he shows up at the hand-off and tries to claim that they owe him 10% or something, you know, trying to double-dip.

Don't do that with any Fixers that the players paid build points for, though, but maybe one of their own Fixers calls them up and says "Hey, I don't have any jobs for you right now, but I know a guy who knows a guy who's putting out the word he could use some talent for a client's job. He's kind of a douche, but he alleges he has paying work for a team at the moment, which is more than I can say for myself. I'm not sure if I'd talk to him if everything was going okay, but my rent's not due at the moment, I dunno about yours."

Have him try to claim his 10% at the end. If the players object, he can tell them that their fixer took his first cut as his finder's fee, and he expects something for having set this up. If they're smart, they'd call their Fixer (who will tell them he did no such thing,) or surmise that he's lying; if they just take him at face value, they'll be the butt of jokes in the Shadows for the next week when it gets out that they got suckered by a dickbag. On the other hand, if they pull guns at the meet, even if they aren't pointing them at Mr. Johnson, the Johnson's security will get itchy trigger fingers real quick...
toturi
It depends on the setup of the business.

Does the fixer have an understanding with the runners that he will be taking a cut off their pay for find them the job, that is if they get a job through this fixer he will get a cut?

Does the fixer charge the Johnson the finder's fee that is independent of the job success?

Does the fixer accept the job on the runners' behalf and the fixer selects from his stable of runners and pays them accordingly?

Or maybe the fixer sets the Johnson up with the runners for free in return they run their purchases through him? That is the fixer is not primarily about fixing people up with jobs but has an alternate avenue of income.
Glyph
I honestly don't see many fixers trying to pull that sort of thing. Shadowrunners can fade into the shadows after a job; their fixer will usually have some way (or several ways) of contacting them, and that's it. Johnsons are similarly anonymous, and most of them cover their tracks, and/or use misdirection, as a matter of course, since part of their job is making sure that there is no way a shadowrun can be traced back to the Johnson's true employer.

A fixer, on the other hand, is fairly visible, and comparatively easy to find. Sure, they will have both high security and lots of connections. That's a given. But if it gets out he screwed over a team and stole from them, then a group that hits hard targets for a living will have a strong motivation to retaliate with a disproportionate amount of violence. Even if they can laugh off the loss of money, they will almost be obligated to do something, just to save face, and demonstrate that dicking them around like that is a bad move.
cndblank
I've always played the fixer gets his cut from the Johnson.

A few points on Fixers IMHO,
Some just provide the introduction between the Johnson and the runners that can met his requirements. They take their fee and they are out. The only thing they know about the run is what skill sets the Johnson needed for the run and who the runners are (and they like it like that). At most they will provide an emergency line of communication between the runners and the Johnson and possibly help to dispose of any extra loot after the run.

The point of using runners is they are deniable assets. A good fixer can increase the deniability if the Johnson uses the fixer as a cut out. He could replace the Johnson as the contact to the runners and make the deal with the runners. He could then handle all the contact with the runner including payment or at the initial meet provide the runners an encrypted pocket secretary if they need to contact the Johnson.

Another way is when the Johnson contracts the fixer to support the runners. The fixer reputation relies on his ability to FIX a problem. A good fixer can be trusted to provide untraceable and reliable equipment and services with no fuss in a timely manner. That means any additional resources, transportation, or information that the runner need won't lead back to the Johnson. This is especially common if the runners are working internationally and don't have their own contacts locally.

Finally it is well to remember that the fixer is in the employ of the Johnson unless they have a preexisting arrangement with the runners. The runners are assets to the fixer, but runners come and go. A well funded Johnson builds a very profitable relationship with the fixer and his eventual replacement is likely to continue the relationship since while the faces do change, the corporation remains.
Pendaric
In our games the fixer gets his or her 10% from the runners for the hook up to the job and for each service or piece of gear. Better fixers may get more. The Johnson also pays a retainer to the Fixer but with any line of cred going back and forward, depends on results. Same for the runners as it is for the Fixer, in their Fixer/runner relationship.

I think I get away with this, as am of the opinion on pay, that runners can expect to upgrade cyber, foci etc without Johnson deals on a run. So cred heavy with fewer jobs and more overheads.

These run deals happen though. We've been playing a long time and like fluidity.

I have also stiffed the team with corp script. smile.gif
They may, say, get 150% MCT scrip on Nuyen price but the Johnson being a Koyobun knows its all coming back to his gumi as their the only ones on the street to deal/exchange it. For a price/mark up of course.

Who said life was fair?

The dysitopian punk theme, with the system grinding you down and everyone out for themselves, plays pretty heavy in our game.
ShadowDragon8685
One thing that's important to remember when you're thinking about having the Fixer be the only contact the Runners meet is that that simply is not how Shadowrun culture works - I mean the street culture. Sure, it might be safer for the Johnson, but the "Runners meet the Johnson" paradigm has been in play for so long that it's likely ingrained. If you try to use the Fixer as a cut-out, well, you're likely to find that only desperates and newbs are willing to take your jobs.

Same with Fixers who try to screw the talent coming and going (IE, taking a fee from the Johnson and a fee from the Runners, and charging them a mark-up on things they buy through the Fixer.) They're not likely to stay in business long.
toturi
QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Sep 1 2014, 10:55 AM) *
One thing that's important to remember when you're thinking about having the Fixer be the only contact the Runners meet is that that simply is not how Shadowrun culture works - I mean the street culture. Sure, it might be safer for the Johnson, but the "Runners meet the Johnson" paradigm has been in play for so long that it's likely ingrained. If you try to use the Fixer as a cut-out, well, you're likely to find that only desperates and newbs are willing to take your jobs.

Same with Fixers who try to screw the talent coming and going (IE, taking a fee from the Johnson and a fee from the Runners, and charging them a mark-up on things they buy through the Fixer.) They're not likely to stay in business long.

I think some Fixers can work along the Fixer cut-out paradigm. For example, your Face is the guy that does most of the interfacing with the other street people. He has the most contacts. In my experience most of the time, the contact goes to the Face even if the group has him as a Contact, unless the character has the Contact at a higher Loyalty.

So in effect sometimes, our Face is our fixer. But the job doesn't really require his Social talents. So he takes a smaller cut, makes sure the Johnson isn't screwing us over or pulling a double cross, whatever.
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