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xizor
i was filliping through the cannon companion and i found what i think is an anomaly.
the ultra new and shiny centurion laser crescent axe has a street index of . 5
that is less than most pistols and equal to the street index of the areas predator.

for such a high tech weapon i don't think that this is right...
just thought that i should bring this to the attention of people out in the matrix.
Misfit Toy
I've never understood why the Street Index is ever less than 1 myself. But when it comes to weapon stats, things like that are a mystery anyway.
Arethusa
A street index less than 1 indicates market saturation. I can buy a Glock for 700. I can head to a nearby town, talk to some people, and get one plus a few mags for maybe 150. That's street index.

The crescent axe is just retarded, though. You're better off ignoring its existence.
Tziluthi
IMO items would only have a street index of <1 when they are goods that you could normally buy over the counter without any legal complications, such as pocket knives, survival kits and so on. Why a laser axe would fall into this category is anyone's guess.
Kagetenshi
Items that might fall off a truck in bulk could also have sub-one SI.

Clearly, though, the Centurion Laser Axe has a .5 SI because everyone and their grandmother has a pair under their bed and a third in the closet.

~J
TinkerGnome
QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
Clearly, though, the Centurion Laser Axe has a .5 SI because everyone and their grandmother has a pair under their bed and a third in the closet.

Heh. More likely, it's because people buy them saying "wow, that's cool!" and then discover the alignment issues and don't care for them so much any more. People on the street have probably heard through the hype and simply aren't willing to pay full price for it.

Something that's supported by the Shadowtalk in the Street Samurai Catalog at least. It was SI .5 back then, too.
Misfit Toy
If the market became that saturated, the effect would be found in the "real" items, too. Because the black market would just be selling them through legal channels rather than taking a cut by selling them to a bunch of scumbags.

And I'm sure you do all your buying through the same channels you get your uranium, Arethusa. You're just that bad ass with your connections. Word.

Nevermind that what you describe is essentially a discount from friends/negotiations/used or cheap items/whatever. Becuase you can do the same thing at a pawn shop, an Army surplus store, or anywhere else they trade in used items/stolen/surplus items whether you're using a legal channel or not. Hence my lack of a decent rationale for any Street Index for equal-quality items that's less than 1.0.
Person 404
Legal channels, perhaps unsurprisingly, face risks from selling stolen goods, especially ones that require paperwork. In the case of mass thefts ("fell off the back of a truck"), it's really pretty stupid to jack a bunch of something and then try to sell it off through legal, public channels.
Misfit Toy
Yes, and you can steal a bunch of Browning Max-Powers, Remington Roomsweepers, and Ruger Super Warhawks off the back of a truck, too. Yet their Street Index isn't below 1.0 either despite having the exact same Availability. Hell, the Ares Predator II has a Street Index of 0.5 yet its not as Available as the aforementioned weapons. If items were so common on the street that they'd warrant mass loss of income, their Availability should reflect that as well.
Cursedsoul
Just because its legal doesn't mean its public. It could very well be someone who is licensed to deal out of their own home for example, but doesn't make it known to John Q. Foolhearty with a wife and two demons of his own.

However they could deal to their friends who happen to be living in society's cracks, and over time this business acquires a name on the streets for the place to go for these certain items.

As far as the IRS type suits raising questions about their income, I don't think it'd be terribly difficult to circumvent this by selling only to people with decent fake SINs, or getting a competent buddy decker plant the files.

I don't know. I'm sure you veterans can provide better examples than I, the ignorant n00b can.
Cain
QUOTE
Nevermind that what you describe is essentially a discount from friends/negotiations/used or cheap items/whatever. Becuase you can do the same thing at a pawn shop, an Army surplus store, or anywhere else they trade in used items/stolen/surplus items whether you're using a legal channel or not. Hence my lack of a decent rationale for any Street Index for equal-quality items that's less than 1.0.

Actually, Doc, that's a perfect rationale for it. The availiability rating applies to brand-new items. The street index applies to "Like new, only fired once, owned by a little old lady in Pasedena" items. Since the legal price has gone down, the street cost has gone down as well.

Now, the rules don't apply stress to most items, so an item of good used quality is functionally the same as fresh-from-the-factory. If such rules existed, then I'd consider applying them to street-bought items.

But, look at it this way. If I go to a gun store, I would find a very limited selection of brand-new pistols. I'd have no trouble finding something that approximated a streetline special, but finding a brand-new one would be trickier. However, I can find loads of used ones-- so many, in fact, the market would be glutted and I can get a very decent price on it. Now, the big retailers wouldn't bother with used guns-- anyone who's buying a brand-new gun either has so much cash as to not worry about price, or is is after something very specific-- but small-time gun shops or eBay sellers would have to worry about being undercut. Thus, the used price drops significantly, while retail remains unchanged.

In Shadowrun terms, I can walk into any gun store, and find racks upon racks of hold-out pistols. (True today, as well.) I'd have to pay full price for, say, the latest Tiffani purse gun, in this year's fashion colors and with new accessory clip. Or, if I wanted, I could slip someone a few nuyen on eBay and have them send me a gun that they've had sitting around the shop for a few years, and haven't been able to unload. They take a price hit, but at least they've cleared out some dead stock.
Misfit Toy
QUOTE
Now, the rules don't apply stress to most items, so an item of good used quality is functionally the same as fresh-from-the-factory. If such rules existed, then I'd consider applying them to street-bought items.

And thus you could buy them at the aforementioned Army surplus stores, gun shows, and pawn shops through legal channels for the exact same price.

Used does not equal Black Market. You'll also note that when the rules do talk about used items -- namely cyberware -- Street Index isn't modified, only Availability (and even then it remains exactly the same).
Cursedsoul
So does this mean I can go into a gun store and throw a brand new gun on the floor, pick it up, go up to the teller and say "this one is dented. How about a price cut?" biggrin.gif
Person 404
I think the process goes more like go into a gun store, throw a brand new gun on the floor, get kicked out of gun store.
Cursedsoul
What if I use magic to knock it off the shelf then walk over, pick it up, and say "excuse me, this fell on the floor. How about a price cut?" biggrin.gif
Cain
QUOTE
And thus you could buy them at the aforementioned Army surplus stores, gun shows, and pawn shops through legal channels for the exact same price.

Used does not equal Black Market. You'll also note that when the rules do talk about used items -- namely cyberware -- Street Index isn't modified, only Availability (and even then it remains exactly the same).

Actually, in the case of guns, the "black market" doesn't necessarily mean illegal. Pawn shops, private owners, and eBay can all equal a huge grey market. You don't seem to understand that while buying guns and weapons through those channels isn't illegal, it's not precicely legal, either-- hence the term "grey market". And while the normal market may or may not be saturated, if the grey market is, prices for used items will be driven down.

Let's use comic books as another example. (We can substitute in beanie babies, Magic cards, or the collectable of your choice.) New comics have a fixed price-- cover price-- that everyone will be selling at. You decide to sell off a few older comics that you have-- you figure, at 3 bucks apiece for retail, you should make as much back, right?

Now, having sold more than a few comics in my life, I can safely say: Not a chance in hell. Unless the comic you have is ultra-rare, you're going to be lucky to even come close to cover price. While the cover price may be more, the amount you'll get from selling it will be significantly lower-- and if the title's not especially popular, it may even end up in the 25-cent bin.

A similar thing can happen for guns and the like. New guns won't alter their price much, since those prices are set by the manufacturer. However, "like new" guns might just be glutting the market. People will still buy new guns, just like people will buy new comics-- or new Magic packs, even though there's a fair chance of repeats-- but the used market will be saturated and prices will drop.

You'll also note that for used cyber, the price is directly modified, which translates into a street index reduction. Street index only affects price, after all. We could use the price modifiers as street index modifiers insead; the math would still work out.
Misfit Toy
QUOTE
Actually, in the case of guns, the "black market" doesn't necessarily mean illegal. Pawn shops, private owners, and eBay can all equal a huge grey market. You don't seem to understand that while buying guns and weapons through those channels isn't illegal, it's not precicely legal, either-- hence the term "grey market". And while the normal market may or may not be saturated, if the grey market is, prices for used items will be driven down.

We're not talking about the "grey market" or even weapons. We're talking about the Street Index.

When you buy something with a Street Index, they are not used items (well, they can be, but they're not be default). They're every bit as brand-spanking-new as if you had bought them at the Mall of America.

The description for what Street Index is supposed to represent just makes it that much more baffling -- it's supposed to represent, at least primarily, how many "middle men" ("from thieves to their fences to black marketeers to fixers to runners") your dealer had to go through before said item makes it into your hand. Apparently, some items -- very specific items, not just general items -- are easier to get on the black market than they are through completely legal channels. So much so that it's cheaper because they go through fewer "middle men." Or something. Somehow. And only for very specific items. For some reason. That I can't fathom. Because it's stupid.

Discounts for used, stressed, or otherwise cheap equipment should be a universal modifier. A low Street Index is not an indication of any of those things by default.

QUOTE
You'll also note that for used cyber, the price is directly modified, which translates into a street index reduction. Street index only affects price, after all. We could use the price modifiers as street index modifiers insead; the math would still work out.

No it doesn't and no we can't. They're two completely seperate things. A reduction in price doesn't equal Street Index anymore than any of the other things you're trying to BS with above.
Arethusa
Is there some reason you're assuming that all items you get through a fixer were at some point purchased for full retail price? And is it at all a sensible reason?
Austere Emancipator
Arethusa said in the 3rd msg in this thread: "I can buy a Glock for 700. I can head to a nearby town, talk to some people, and get one plus a few mags for maybe 150. That's street index." And I completely agree. Other items that sure as hell have a sub-zero "Street Index" IRL, at least in Finland, include alcohol and tobacco, video games, music, (old) firearms, gasoline, cars, etc.

Goods which are easy to bootleg or steal, goods which people just "have to" get, and especially goods which are heavily taxed or otherwise restricted -- permits, etc. Such goods are often cheaper to buy on the streets, if you've got contacts, than over the counter and legally. The difference in quality is negligible as long as you have decent fixers and don't mind having bootleg items sometimes.

I'll agree that the Centurion Laser Axe Street Index is, uhh, a bit silly, as is the weapon itself. So just change the SI to 2, for example
Misfit Toy
The problem isn't that they're easy to steal (that would be reflected in Availability), or "have to get" (I doubt if an Ares Predator is in more demand than any other pistol), or heavily taxed (ditto). The problem is the exact opposite -- they're identical. There's no reason why most of the items should have a comparitely low Street Index compared to other items.

Blanket items having a low Street Index with exceptions being significantly higher... that I can almost see. Clothing in general, pistols in general, electronics in general, etc. But there's no logical reason anyone here has given me for an Ares Predator to have a lower Street Index than, say, a Browning Max Power, Remington Roomsweeper, or Ruger Super Warhawk, or any of the other pistols with an identical Availability or similar base cost.

Note also that you put firearms in the (old) category. As in used and outdated. But... oh well, nevermind. I'll give up the topic.
Zazen
QUOTE (Misfit Toy)
But there's no logical reason anyone here has given me for an Ares Predator to have a lower Street Index than, say, a Browning Max Power, Remington Roomsweeper, or Ruger Super Warhawk, or any of the other pistols with an identical Availability or similar base cost.

People've already said that it's because there are more of them. Maybe if you said why you find that unsatisfactory, it'd help.
Austere Emancipator
Okay, I was still under the impression you were saying that no item should ever have Street Index below one. Because you said: "I've never understood why the Street Index is ever less than 1 myself. But when it comes to weapon stats, things like that are a mystery anyway." Anyway...

I agree that there is no good reason why one specific item would have a far lower SI than another similar item, at least when that leads to a far lower street price as well. The 0.5 SI of the Ares Predator that you mentioned, for example, is a bit silly when most other Heavy Pistols are at 1 or more. SIs should be similar with similar items, like you said. Slight variations aren't a proble, but half the street price with two almost identical weapons is odd, since the Predator is certainly not an AK-47 of handguns.

QUOTE (Misfit Toy)
Note also that you put firearms in the (old) category. As in used and outdated.

Yes, I put the (old) there on purpose. It takes a while for firearms to end up on the streets and cheap. That's why an AK-97 should have a really low SI compared to an Ares Alpha, for example. High-tech, brand spanking new weapons that are not used in large numbers shouldn't have low SIs.

And yes, weapons sold on the streets probably are used more often than not. That has nothing to do with being outdated though. A 20-year-old AK-74 is hardly outdated. And it can be premium quality, too, assuming it's been maintained well.
Misfit Toy
QUOTE (Zazen)
People've already said that it's because there are more of them. Maybe if you said why you find that unsatisfactory, it'd help.

Because there aren't more of them. That's a reflection of Availability. As has been said multiple times. But like I said, I'm dropping it... just clarifying this one point.
Zazen
QUOTE (Misfit Toy)
Because there aren't more of them. That's a reflection of Availability.

One wonders how I could ever get ammo for my Slivergun, seeing as there are as many clips of flechette ammo as there are units of the gun! nyahnyah.gif

Availability rates how hard it is to get someone to sell you one, not how many of them there are. Quantity may have an effect on that but it isn't the sole determiner. There is still some bare-minimum difficulty (TN 3), no matter how many are out there, to buying a heavy pistol illegally.
mfb
neither Availability nor Street Index necessarily indicate how many there are. If there are 500,000 Kewl Lazer Axes in a Yak warehouse, waiting for the arrival of the promised Badass Axe Samurai Brigade from Nippon, the Availability for them might be pretty high because the Yaks don't want any of their enemies getting hands on them. however, if you're friends with the right Yaks, you might be able to get one of those Kewl Lazer Axes for only half what you'd pay at Weapons World--after all, there's only 50 Badass Axe Samurai in the entire Badass Axe Samurai Brigade, leaving 499,950 Kewl Lazer Axes that the Yaks will have to offload at some point.

the moral of the story is, economics is a subject that people spend years and years studying, and you shouldn't assume that your limited ability to count the number of dollars in your wallet amounts to a grasp of the subtleties of the economic world--more to the point, you shouldn't assume that the combination of Street Index and Availability can do more than roughly approximate that widely-studied discipline.

because i'm growing moderate in my old age, i'll note here that if you feel insulted by the above, it's because you're not grasping the humor.
Cain
QUOTE
When you buy something with a Street Index, they are not used items (well, they can be, but they're not be default). They're every bit as brand-spanking-new as if you had bought them at the Mall of America.

Actually, that goes both ways. What is true is that the items bought are considered to be of like-new quality, with no significant flaws. Rather or not they're still-got-the-original-packaging new is highly debateable-- and in some cases, directly contraindicated, as in the case of Deckers with the backstory of building their own decks.

QUOTE
Apparently, some items -- very specific items, not just general items -- are easier to get on the black market than they are through completely legal channels. So much so that it's cheaper because they go through fewer "middle men." Or something.

You've just described the entire basis for smuggling. Okay, let's go for a real-world example. Right now, there's a huge controversy, because perscription drugs cost significantly less in Canada than they do here. There's an active "smuggling" market, where either people ship the drugs here, or drive seniors up there. This is all illegal on the whole, but each step is actually perfectly legal, which complicates matters. (Technically, it's illegal to leave the country with the intent to buy drugs; but proving intent is damnably hard, especailly since simple posession isn't a crime.)

This whole mess isn't exactly "black market", but it's not perfectly legal and aboveboard either. Thus, "grey market", for things that aren't actually illegal but are transacted in a less-than-legal manner.

QUOTE
Blanket items having a low Street Index with exceptions being significantly higher... that I can almost see. Clothing in general, pistols in general, electronics in general, etc. But there's no logical reason anyone here has given me for an Ares Predator to have a lower Street Index than, say, a Browning Max Power, Remington Roomsweeper, or Ruger Super Warhawk, or any of the other pistols with an identical Availability or similar base cost.

I can see one right off the bat: cheap knock-offs. Remember, by canon, the Ares Predator isn't a specific gun-- it represents a whole lot of different handgun designs with minimal differences. If we also include a bundle of cheap forgeries, that work just as well, then the entire set of handguns will be devalued. The only problem is that by canon, we assume that all guns work identically to their brand-new condition, which isn't the case-- but in any event, that's a different lack, and not a problem with the Street Index rules.

The Ares Predator, in particular, seems to be representative of a whole lot of different handguns-- any semiauto pistol from .40 to .50 BMG would be my guess, although I'll leave it to the gun experts to tell me the specifics. The Ruger Super Warhawk seems to be the representative gun for all single-action, large-caliber revolvers. If we assume there's more semiautos on the market than revolvers, (a fair assumption, based on the last time I went to a gun store) then there's a good reason for them to have a lower availiability.
TinkerGnome
There are a lot of good points being of made. SI is, on a whole, a representation of supply vs. demand. If there is a demand for that type of item and a limited supply, there will be a high SI. If there is a low demand in relation to the supply, there will be a low SI. In the case of the laser axe, there is a lot less demand than there is supply (because of the alignment issues). It's rare that anyone actually buys one compared to how many dealers have them on the shelves.

Eventually, the dealers start cutting the prices, hoping for more buyers. Eventually, the prices dip below the MSRP and you get get a sub 1 SI.

I'd also say that the price people pay for items on a legal basis has some variation which isn't reflected in the rules. Just because a widget normally sells for 1000 nuyen.gif doesn't mean that Joe Wageslave pays 1000 for it. Take automobiles today. I recently bought a car and payed about 5% less than the MSRP. If I'd wanted a high demand/low supply vehicle (most of the hybrids these days) I could have expected to pay 5-10% or more over MSRP.
tisoz
The Centurion Laser Axe has a lower SI because when you need the laser realigned you can't take it into Weapons World and have the work done. Because you don't know if the serial numbers are going to show up as stolen and land you in jail.

Predator !! has low SI because there are so many used ones floating around driving the demand down in the secondary market.

At least that's the explanations in my game.
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (Cain)
The Ares Predator, in particular, seems to be representative of a whole lot of different handguns-- any semiauto pistol from .40 to .50 BMG would be my guess, although I'll leave it to the gun experts to tell me the specifics.

I'm not an expert, but .50BMG and pistols don't match. See here for why. That's pretty close to real size, at least on a 17" monitor. No, the .50s you get in pistols are not BMGs. This is why you should always, always use the full names of calibers. The .50 Desert Eagles are .50 Action Express (.50 AE), the .50 Barretts and M2HBs are .50 Browning Machine Gun (.50 BMG). When people first hear of .50 pistols and rifles and machine guns and then they hear about there being .50 BMGs, they are bound to make that mistake.

I blame the US military.

The lower limit of Heavy Pistols is certainly debatable, because there are no Medium Pistols, but I'd consider the "Ares Predator" entry to cover most large-frame low-priced pistols in the .357 SIG - .45 Winchester Magnum range.

QUOTE (Cain)
If we assume there's more semiautos on the market than revolvers, (a fair assumption, based on the last time I went to a gun store) then there's a good reason for them to have a lower availiability.

Sure, the differences between Ares Predators and Ruger Super Warhawks I don't have much of a problem with. Now take Ares Predators vs Browning Max-Powers. The Browning Max-Power entry covers weapons that are otherwise identical to the Ares Predator, except that they have a smaller frame, and somehow they are twice as expensive on the street, even though they are equally expensive when bought over-the-counter and they are just as available in the grey and black markets.
Cain
QUOTE
I'm not an expert, but .50BMG and pistols don't match.

My mistake. .50 AE, then.

QUOTE
Sure, the differences between Ares Predators and Ruger Super Warhawks I don't have much of a problem with. Now take Ares Predators vs Browning Max-Powers. The Browning Max-Power entry covers weapons that are otherwise identical to the Ares Predator, except that they have a smaller frame, and somehow they are twice as expensive on the street, even though they are equally expensive when bought over-the-counter and they are just as available in the grey and black markets.

I'd suggest the cheap knock-off factor. Ares being the premier gun maker, if someone's going to make a knock-off, they're going to copy the top-of-the-line product and not a midrange one. I also believe that somewhere in the books, it mentions an Ares executive who accidentally flooded the market in an attempt to gain dominance. Another thing to consider is concealability. Smaller guns with equal power would be more popular.

Finally, while I don't know guns very well at all, sometimes very small differences can make a huge difference in price. Just look at car prices for several good examples of this.
Shockwave_IIc
QUOTE (TinkerGnome)
There are a lot of good points being of made. SI is, on a whole, a representation of supply vs. demand. If there is a demand for that type of item and a limited supply, there will be a high SI.

I'm gonna use that the next time one of my players asks for a Barret 121.

Fixer: "Sure i can get one, but your like the 4th person to ask for one and there not that easy to come by to start with..."
TinkerGnome
Certainly fits with the SI of the Barret and its ammo. There are simply fewer guns on the market than there are snipers looking to buy them wink.gif
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (Cain)
I'd suggest the cheap knock-off factor. Ares being the premier gun maker, if someone's going to make a knock-off, they're going to copy the top-of-the-line product and not a midrange one.

It's a safe bet the small-frame Ares "heavy pistol" sells more than the Browning Max-Power. The entry is named after a less-common pistol of the type in order to avoid repetition. There would be tons of cheap knock-offs of those Ares pistols, too, which are statistically identical to Browning Max-Powers.

QUOTE (Cain)
Finally, while I don't know guns very well at all, sometimes very small differences can make a huge difference in price. Just look at car prices for several good examples of this.

This doesn't work too well with these particular 2 gun archetypes, because they both seem to represent guns from a great range of makers, and they are nearly identical except that the other is smaller-framed.

I think you would struggle to find an example of car prices where two cars from the same manufacturer (representing Ares), one sedan and one smaller but otherwise almost identical, cost the same amount when you buy them new and over-the-counter, but the other is half the price when you buy one stolen, smuggled or just under-the-counter. Some price variation might well be present, at +/- 10-20%, but not that much.
Cain
QUOTE
It's a safe bet the small-frame Ares "heavy pistol" sells more than the Browning Max-Power. The entry is named after a less-common pistol of the type in order to avoid repetition. There would be tons of cheap knock-offs of those Ares pistols, too, which are statistically identical to Browning Max-Powers.

Maybe, maybe not. There's a lot of cheap knock-offs of Britney Spears CD's, and fewer knockoffs of Enya. There's no accounting for taste.

QUOTE
I think you would struggle to find an example of car prices where two cars from the same manufacturer (representing Ares), one sedan and one smaller but otherwise almost identical, cost the same amount when you buy them new and over-the-counter, but the other is half the price when you buy one stolen, smuggled or just under-the-counter. Some price variation might well be present, at +/- 10-20%, but not that much.

Kia cars in general tend to run like that. The newer models tend to hold their value much better, but the low-end Rio's lose their values really quickly. As a little-known fact, the Ford Aspires were originally made by Kia, before they started their own line of sedans. So, if we compare a 97 Aspire to a 98 Sephia, we see very little difference in book cost. IIRC, they were both released as low-cost cars, so they would have been similar in price.

So, what happens when we run an eBay motors search? When checking out completed listings on "Ford Aspire", I get a top price of $1,100 for an Aspire. When ckeching out "Kia Sephia 1998", my top price is $2400. At the bottom end, the cheapest Aspire (a 97, incidentally) goes for $500, versus $1450 for a 98 Sephia.

I'm far too lazy to do a more detailed check than all that, but that should prove my point. Prices for very similar cars can vary widely. I didn't have to struggle much at all to find those cars for comparison, either-- the hardest part was digging up the exact prices on eBay. If I wanted to run a less fair comparison, I'd compare a 98 Sephia with a 2004 Optima.
Misfit Toy
"Cheap knock-offs" don't account for Street Index any more than most of the stuff you've mentioned, too. If it did, just about everything would have a cheaper Street Index. "Cheap knock-offs" would also be listed as a legal price, just like your aforementioned browsing on eBay demonstrates.

Street Index means exactly one thing: The price you pay when purchasing the exact same item on the Black Market. It's not a cheap knock-off. It's not a used item. It's exactly the same as the legal item in all ways except one: You bought it on the Black Market instead of a legal shop.

If there was a "cheap knock-off" aspect to equipment, it would be a universal modifier like "used item" would be. Neither of these are covered for most equipment in the game, however, but then again neither is "superior workmanship."
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (Misfit Toy)
Street Index means exactly one thing: The price you pay when purchasing the exact same item on the Black Market. It's not a cheap knock-off. It's not a used item. It's exactly the same as the legal item in all ways except one: You bought it on the Black Market instead of a legal shop.

You're free to see the Street Index like that, certainly. Judging from general trends in Streed Indices, the game designers did not necessarily see it like that. Sub-zero SIs are prevalent in too many item types for such a definition of the Street Index to make absolute sense. The section defining the Street Index does not say the item you buy from black or grey markets with the Street Index modifier is the exact same thing, unused and original, either.

I see items bought with the Street Index as the type of items you'd get from the grey and black markets IRL. Many items are more or less used and rare items are completely new, legal and illegal copies of varying quality are not uncommon.

QUOTE (Cain)
There's no accounting for taste.

Well, no, but the RL market for small arms would suggest that medium-frame medium-large caliber pistols are not significantly less often copied than large-frame medium-large caliber pistols. There are tons of concealable .45s that look more or less like an M1911, for example, and Taurus has as many Beretta-like pistols with medium frames and small frames as it has large frames in it's catalog. That particular argument, therefore, could not possibly account for more than the 10-20% that I mentioned, if that.

And I haven't got a fricken clue what those cars are you're talking about. Car models have completely different names around here, not to mention that american cars often use different manufacturer names around here.

What I want to see, however, are two cars which are basically the same model but of different sizes -- a Toyota Corolla hatchback and sedan for example -- which are of the exact same price as new, but one is the price of the other when bought used (or from a grey or black market, if you can provide reliable figures). I do not think your example comes even close to that.
Misfit Toy
Perhaps. But the description of what Street Index is, within the game itself as opposed to personal (my own included) interpretations, is that it almost exclusively represents the number of middlemen the item had to go through before reaching your hands. That brand new Ares Predator you bought from your fixer is a brand new Ares Predator. It's not a slightly dented Aries Preditor that's only been fired once; it's a brand new Ares Predator.

But, for some reason, because it had to go through more channels and cross more hands, it's cheaper if you buy it from your fixer than a guy at a gun store.
Austere Emancipator
Taking the definition literally, yes you could conclude that. Perhaps the SI section could be cleared up a bit, because I'm pretty sure that was not the designers' intention. Still, it never even occurred to me that a weapon bought "from the street" would be brand new and always of the exact same quality as a legally bought weapon.
Cain
QUOTE
And I haven't got a fricken clue what those cars are you're talking about. Car models have completely different names around here, not to mention that american cars often use different manufacturer names around here.

What I want to see, however, are two cars which are basically the same model but of different sizes -- a Toyota Corolla hatchback and sedan for example -- which are of the exact same price as new, but one is the price of the other when bought used (or from a grey or black market, if you can provide reliable figures). I do not think your example comes even close to that.

And prices will vary significantly by area. Basically, the Kia Sephia and the Ford Aspire are the same car, made by the same manufacturer, under a different name. The Aspire is a hatchback, and the Sephia is a sedan-- for the purposes of which we're examining it, the rest of the differences are cosmetic.

The problem is that I'd view a Browning and Ares Predator as different "models"-- admittedly models with very little difference between them, but different models nontheless. Sort of like the difference between a Ford Focus and Ford Taurus-- one's just bigger than the other.

QUOTE
Street Index means exactly one thing: The price you pay when purchasing the exact same item on the Black Market. It's not a cheap knock-off. It's not a used item. It's exactly the same as the legal item in all ways except one: You bought it on the Black Market instead of a legal shop.

Except that "Ares Predator" isn't a singular item. Check out the "Developer's Say" in the intro to CC. He lists over 60 "Ares Predator" type guns, with different manufacturers! If you can buy an "Ares Predator" that wasn't made by Ares, by canon, the cheap knock-off factor does come into play.

What's more, it's not "exactly the same". The differences are largely cosmetic, and have no affect on game play, true enough-- but there's a ton of differences between them. I mean, what's the difference between the "Ares Predator" made by Ruger, with walnut grips and a ambidextrous safety, versus the "Ares Predator" made by Ares, in blued steel with plastic grips? Or the one made by Cavalier Arms, with a matte black finish and an extra centimeter of barrel length?

With all these variations possible, why not include the "scuffed-up, cracked grip, with a replacement firing pin installed after the first ten thousand rounds, old but still serviceable" Predator? Game mechanics wise, what's the difference?
Misfit Toy
Once again: That's a trait of *all* Ares Predators, not just the ones bought with Street Index. The legal one you bought at Hank's Gun Emporium can be the very same Ruger-manufcatured "Ares Predator" with walnut grip and ambidexterous safety that you bought from Frank the Fixer. But because Frank had to go through all kinds of middlemen and get around all kinds of laws, he miracously gives you a 50% reduction in price.

Street Index does not indicate quality. Street Index does not indicate brand name or lack thereof. Street Index does not derive used status. Street Index's primary role is middlemen.

SR3 p. 173. Read it sometime.

All of your arguments are also silly when compared to any item that has a Street Index of 1 or higher. Apparently, according to your theories, that slightly used Walther PB-120 knock-off costs twice as much as a genuine brand-name brand-spanking-new Walther PB-120 does.

Oh, and just as a side note, those custom finishes you mentioned above do increase the cost of the weapon as per the Custom Finish customization option.
Cain
QUOTE
Street Index does not indicate quality. Street Index does not indicate brand name or lack thereof. Street Index does not derive used status. Street Index's primary role is middlemen.

Once again, Street Index *does* sometimes indicate used status. What it doesn't indicate is less-than-new quality. See the difference? What's the difference, game-mechanics wise, between a stress-free used item, and a brand new one?

QUOTE
SR3 p. 173. Read it sometime.

What does Astral Projection have to do with anything? nyahnyah.gif No wonder why you're confused. You should try reading p 273, BBB, sometime-- that's where the SI rules are. Didn't you wonder what Astral Space had to do with buying things on the sly? nyahnyah.gif

Anyways, if you had read the correct page, you'd see that the first paragraph indicates usage of both shadow and grey markets, and the sentence you refer to includes: "usually" "Tends to" and "if"-- a whole lot of qualifiers.

QUOTE
All of your arguments are also silly when compared to any item that has a Street Index of 1 or higher. Apparently, according to your theories, that slightly used Walther PB-120 knock-off costs twice as much as a genuine brand-name brand-spanking-new Walther PB-120 does.

Not all items have knock-offs. Heck, some items can't be duplicated cheaply. If you go wandering around a flea market, you can find all kinds of stuff-- some of which was even acquired legally. Stuff that's easily duplicated, such as DVD's, can be found for dirt cheap. Stuff that's more difficult to make-- such as big illegal fireworks-- tends to be much more expensive.

QUOTE
Oh, and just as a side note, those custom finishes you mentioned above do increase the cost of the weapon as per the Custom Finish customization option.

Wrong. Custom Finish is for making guns look especially nice, nicer than stock models, or adding a nonstandard finish. All of the finishes I mentioned are perfectly standard, and don't make the gun look any better than normal.
Herald of Verjigorm
Smuggling and fencing result in one of two outcomes.
One, the price is lower than the legal purchase price because it may have a questionable history.
Two, the price is higher than the theoretical legal price, but still less costly than going through all the nonsense to be able to purchase it legally.

If the black market wasn't cheaper or showing some other benefit, it wouldn't exist. In many items (SI greater than 1), the benefit has to do with not having a questionable item linked to your SIN or even being able to purchase it without some hard to get paperwork. With some items (SI below 1) the benefit is cost with some easily ignored extra risks involved.
RedmondLarry
In a free market with multiple sources for a given item (say an "Ares Predator") the price of the item is not dependent upon how many middle men it goes through. It will be sold for whatever the market will bear, which is controlled by supply and demand, plus the results of whatever negotiation happens between the buyer and seller.

How many middle men a particular vendor has to go through will affect his cost, and thus his profit, but doesn't directly affect what the market will bear.

In the negotiations, think about car salesmen in the USA. They spend all day, every day, negotiating a selling price. The average person doesn't stand a chance without help. Even though my Fixer finds me jobs and fences my loot, I keep in the back of my mind the idea that he's just a used car salesman without a business license.
The Grifter
Public Service Announcement:

The Centurion combat axe sucks hardcore. And so does that fraggin oral whip.


Thank You
Zazen
I don't like these interpretations for less-than-one SI's here.

The cheap-knock-off thing is lame. If it's a "cheap" knock off, then what makes it cheap? It costs the same as a real Predator, so it can't be cheap in terms of price. If "cheap" means it's not well constructed, then that's a blatant misnomer. It works exactly the same, so in fact it is well constructed.

The thing about Ares Predators not all actually being Ares Predators is also a major stretch. Is it reasonable for you to ask a contact for an Ares Predator and recieve another pistol entirely? If for some reason it were, why does one always recieve a pistol with stats identical to that of the Predator? (i.e. you ask for a Predator-like gun and recieve a Cavalier Prey-eater. Next month you ask for a Predator-like gun and recieve a Browning Carnivore. Why, if such a wide range of pistols is acceptable, do you never recieve a Colt Manhunter?)

That makes for a pretty bizarre situation, regardless of whether it is canon. ( Which I don't think it is! As I read the "Developers Say" bit about the 60-to-one ratio, I notice that he is not saying that the listed Ares Predator actually represents 60 other pistols. What he is saying is that it is unreasonable to list 60 pistols in a Shadowrun rulebook to represent guns that are very similar.)


I don't see why these interpretations are necessary, either. Why can't they simply be prolific?
Neon Tiger
The thing why Predator has S.I. < 1, is because there is 2 "updated versions" of it, namely the Predator II and III. It's the same as with mobile phones nowadays, whenever Nokia(or insert the manufacturer of choice) releases a new model, all those trendy, rich, young people go into a frenzy about getting a new phone for themselves.

Hell, I'll even tell you a real life example. I recently bought a Nokia N-Gage for 108,90 . When the N-Gage hit the markets, it's price was around 300 . Why did it's price drop so much? Because the N-Gage QD is just around the corner, and the retailers want to get rid of their old stock, that's why.

And also, I have studied some economics and I can say that S.I. and availability are both a function of supply and demand. Look at the item lists, and most easily gotten stuff has S.I. of 1. Now look at some harder to get stuff, like heavy weaponry and such, their S.I. is at least 2, if not even more.
Arethusa
There are really two separate issues being debated here. Doc did explicitly say he didn't understand why street index ever drops below 1, which, of course, has been gone into throughout this thread, starting the third post in the thread.

He explicitly questioned how street index can be low while availability fails to reflect market saturation, and the about only answer here is that availability is undeniably fucked up throughout the game and in few places as fucked up as it is with weapons (note, there are exceptions where weird availabilitis are rationalized through shadowtalk or obscure reasonings, but that's fairly rare). But that's just how it is with the canon weapons numbers (for a good time, turn to the stats for a club and take a look at availability and legality), and the only sensible thing to do is revise it for your game.
Zazen
QUOTE (Arethusa)
He explicitly questioned how street index can be low while availability fails to reflect market saturation, and the about only answer here is that availability is undeniably fucked up

The proper answer is that the availability does not fail to reflect market saturation. It simply fails, as it should, to reflect only market saturation.
Arethusa
Given that, to my knowledge, there are no other factors that are not, for all practical purposes, more or less equal to other quite similar heavy pistols, market saturation'd be the main thing in question, here.
Cain
QUOTE
The thing about Ares Predators not all actually being Ares Predators is also a major stretch. Is it reasonable for you to ask a contact for an Ares Predator and recieve another pistol entirely? If for some reason it were, why does one always recieve a pistol with stats identical to that of the Predator?

Yes, and because there's only so many configurations on the market.

When most people go gun shopping, they go for a gun to fill a role. They might walk in with a few brand names and ideas, but they'll generally settle for any gun that will fit the bill. If I need a duck-hunting shotgun, I might have my heart set on that Remington, but I'll probably settle for the SKS.
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