Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: 4e - Wheres the sample run payouts?
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
Im starting a new 4e game and I can seem to find the sample payouts that are usually in one of the books. I could easily use 3e as a base but I know the nuyen cost on some gear has changed.

Thanks in advance!
Costs in Shadowrun increases in a non-linear fashion, and depend on what your starting point is. I think the books suggestion is "not enough money to do anything, because upward mobility isn't very cyberpunk." That doesn't really acknowledge the want for characters to advance as part of the story.

You can try figuring out how many karma and nuyen each character needs for a reasonable upgrade. The mage may initiate then increase their magic by 1 to get a +1 to everything they are likely to do and a neat power from initiation, but the samurai likely has to remove or upgrade some ware to fit in anything additional. Maybe they upgrade wired reflexes 2 to synaptic booster 2 for 160k (maybe getting some of the 32k from the wired reflexes back), just so they can add another level of muscle toner for another 8k (assuming you allow direct upgrades). That gets the Sam a +1 for about half of the things they do. Maybe throw in better cybereyes and ears for +1 perception? Then later, the mage pays an extra 3 karma to initiate, and 5 karma more to increase magic again, and the same has to pay to upgrade everything to alphaware and then buy new stuff on top.

Whatever works for your game, but you'd want those to come online at about the same time. Even more fun; your mage can probably afford a power focus for another +1 to everything they do, where the sam could buy some skill up for the 30 + 13 karma the mage spent, but not enough to equal a +1 to everything/nearly everything they do. How do you measure the value of adding another spell to a mage? Adding a new drone for the rigger? The sam becoming a cyberzombie? What if they upgrade lifestyle?

That's a bit of rambling, but my points are: The answers aren't easy. Find out what the players/characters want to upgrade, and try to find a way to get them those upgrades at about an equivalent rate. Close enough that they players are happy with it. Pay them 1/x cost (karma and nuyen) of each of the upgrades per mission on average, or just have Mr. Johnson pay in equipment that fell off the back of a truck to catch someone up. I think the 1/x cost worked out where they got decent upgrades at the halfway point, then they earned 1/Y cost for the next set of upgrades right before the finale. I also added the lifestyle costs to they payout, and varied the karma/nuyen ratio of each run enough that it wasn't overly obvious how closely everything was divided.

To be fair, the recommended Karma/Nuyen figures in every edition where they were given were a disaster nobody in their right mind used.
To answer the initial question:
Nowhere. SR4A doesn't give sample payouts, except suggested Karma awards on p. 269.

This being said, I'm personally using the conversion rate from Karma to Nuyen for the Karma build system from the Runner's Companion, i.e. 2500 per point of Karma earned during the run, based on my planning beforehand, of course, not including roleplaying and other bonuses from the table on p. 269, except the one for fulfilled objectives (and corresponding deductions if they're not fulfilled).

From an earlier thread on the topic:

QUOTE (bannockburn)
A Johnson in my games would [...] allow for another 10-20% depending on negotiation successes.

Concrete example: Ace Team X takes 20k each for a standard run. The Johnson is in a bind and needs it done NOW! He offers 22,5k (nice round numbers) and the runners can go up to 27k (translated to between 500 and 1000 Nuyen more per net success).
I also use similar modifiers as were already posted and approve of those wholeheartedly. Extra wishes cost extra money, after all and that should be understandable for a professional Johnson looking for a pro team.
Now, here's the kicker: I look at what the Johnson is paying in total. In the example above, taking a team of seven, this would amount to 189k nuyen, if we assume max hits and the J. maxing out his credit limit.
WHY is there a credit limit? Because the illegal operation needs to be worthwhile for the Johnson. He pays someone to commit a crime for him, and this is dangerous. So, in my eyes, he needs to make at least 3 times what he offered, or, in the given example around 570k nuyen, be it in money, favors, knowledge or whatever. If his profit margin falls below that, he'll simply tell the runners "Thank you for your time, now take a walk."

Usually, I plan payment in a run according to the karma I'll be giving them in the end, to eyeball the amount. A relatively easy run worth 4 Karma may pay 10k nuyen, while a hard one may pay up to 30k. This figure is further modified by a) street rep (the higher it is, the higher the base payment, I usually eyeball 1k per point) b) notoriety (same as with street rep. a team known for sometimes going overboard with their violence will suffer in their payment when they're offered a stealth job) and c) the environment I want the run to play.
Examples for c) may be:
- A ship on open sea. Difficult to get there means higher payment.
- Offered by a dragon. Runners don't like to work for the lizards, higher payment may soothe the nagging feelings of doubt
- On another continent. Travel arrangements, comfort zone, getting gear, all modifiers.
- Hostile environment. If you go to a toxic zone, special equipment is needed and health hazards abound.

Another concrete example of my thought process in creating an adventure:
Ace, the super pro gunslinger has 10 street rep. He also has a knack for leaving signs of his involvement, because he's arrogant. So far his arrogance has not caught up with him, but he's got 3 notoriety.
He's offered a run. By Hestaby. He needs to go to Chicago and get a thingamajig.
I expect the adventure to rake in between 8 and 10 Karma, so I go with 9 as an average. 9*2500 = 22500 base value.
Now, this is a dragon offering it, so I'll add 10% to the base value, getting us up to 24750
Chicago isn't the friendliest of places, but the runners are able to bring their own gear at least. Another 10% => 27000
Then we have Ace's street cred of 10, bringing the final number to 37k? That's a bit much. Let's go with 500 this time, 32k. His notoriety won't get in the way, being in Chicago he doesn't need to be real subtle.
So, 30k is what the Johnson finally offers, because Ace has another 4 guys in his team and 150k looks good on the spreadsheet. Maybe they'll negotiate him up to 35k, but this is the Johnson's limit in this case and he won't go higher, as he needs to make half a million for his boss.
I'll say to never forget The SedanRun Principle ™.

No team will work for less than they could get by just stealing a car and selling it to the local chop shop.


Here's some other threads on run payouts you might find useful/entertaining:
SedanRun has always been stupidly oversimplified, for a variety of reasons.
QUOTE (bannockburn @ Sep 3 2019, 01:54 PM) *
SedanRun has always been stupidly oversimplified, for a variety of reasons.

It's still not a bad general yardstick. If it's way more profitable (and a lot safer) to just boost a car, then your run payouts are too low.
I'm saying it is indeed a bad general yardstick. But agree to disagree.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012