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I've got a player that wants to create a character that is a Sam Spade type of detective with no magic or cyber. He intends to spend a cubic buttload of nuyen.gif on contacts and various equipment, the idea being that he's a kind of mundane face/detective. He came up with the idea of using the Home Ground merit for the building he has his office/appartment in, and that's alright with me. He also thought that he'd have a bunch of destitute orks, dwarves, and humans in the building too, where he'd have lots of the low-level contacts he buys. Again, I like the idea, so I say great; I like the idea of a block-size gang being pals with the guy who helps out in the community and is on good terms with most everyone.

Here's where things get sticky, though. He thinks, with the 1mil nuyen.gif he purchased at character creation, that it would be an even cooler thing if he actually owned the building that all these low-class sorts were huddled up in. He rationalized this by asking to take the Dependents flaw, along with Day Job, to reflect the fact that he feels the need to look out for them, they are demanding, and he has to act as the Super for the building if necessary.

On the surface I like the idea, because the way he has tied it into the merits, flaws, and general character concept. I figure that a Mundy has a hard enough time in the Awakened world without cyber, so an "extended family" is a pretty good leg up. My questions are:

1. Would you allow the P.C. to own the building, and if so, how much money should it cost him, remembering that this place is in the ghetto?

2. What merits or flaws should I ask the character to take, and should I allow the limit of these to surpass the +/- 10 rule listed in the SC?

3. Is it my imagination, or could this not provide a ton of opportunity for roleplaying from the group, as well as more than a few story hooks? In the same vein, is having a character that is extremely well connected just asking for the focus to go on that character?

Thanks for your thoughts.
Ol' Scratch
The Lifestyle rules in the Sprawl Survival Guide could be used to do this. It would require creating a single Low Lifestyle that fits the basic apartment found in the building, then using the rules for multiple roommates. He'd then have to arrange to have everyone pay their share of the rent, else he'd have to pocket the difference himself.

I'd say that'd be enough of a burden without having a flaw. If you want to insure he's on good terms with all of the people living there, buy a few Level 1 Contacts and use them and their FoFs to represent those residents.
I seem to remeber something in 2nd edition were you could buy your lifestyle out right for like 10 times cost. Then it was yours for good. Like you owned it and had enough in investments to pay the bills.

any one remeber this?

If so you could just use this for low life style * the number of apartments that are in the building. I guess... LOL.

Just an idea.
You can do it in 3rd ed to. It is in the lifestyle section.

I would slap a price on the building, like 800K or something and then have him have to pay a set fee every month to cover it. Have the fee (which covers maintenence, taxes, insurance) be equal to or just below the amount he gets if everyone pays there rent on time.

Then if you guys are really in to this Sim City meets Shadowrun, you can have there be problems with the rent, rival gangs and the such.

Bottom line though is he shouldn't have any real benefit for owning the building (like free income).
QUOTE (GaiasWrath8)
I seem to remeber something in 2nd edition were you could buy your lifestyle out right for like 10 times cost.

It was (and still is) 100 times the monthly lifestyle cost.
Crimson Jack
I really like your player's idea. Its nice to see someone designing a character for the story value of it all, rather than the munchkin value. cool.gif
QUOTE (Shadow)
Bottom line though is he shouldn't have any real benefit for owning the building (like free income).

And why not? It is his building and he is renting the place out.
Kanada Ten
QUOTE (toturi)
QUOTE (Shadow @ Nov 17 2004, 08:03 AM)
Bottom line though is he shouldn't have any real benefit for owning the building (like free income).

And why not? It is his building and he is renting the place out.

Renting out a building is nothing like free income. Other than expected expenses one must undergo a plethora of government red tape and taxes, they must deal with tenants and supervisors, they are liable for anything that happens on the premises, and the feds charge income tax on all the rent earned. The whole idea of paying the permanent cost is to show the investment, not the actual capital. So unless they agree on some hourly interference (like the day job flaw), one can assume that all the money from renting is reinvested.
Ol' Scratch
Like I said before, the Sprawl Survival Guide has all the rules you need to do this. You can always charge more than the lifestyle is valued at, thus giving you some profit, but chances are your clients would likely move somewhere else if that were the case (but only if you charged too much; this set up is actually significantly cheaper than a normal Low Lifestyle).

'Course, you could take the Day Job flaw and claim the cash flow is coming from the building. The time requirement could be covered for doing handywork or hiring people to do the handywork, dealing with the residents, maintenance work, and all that razmataz.
At Dr. Funk:
'Fraid I don't have the SSG yet, so I'm just trying to improvise. And the main idea behind this isn't for the character to become a slum-lord, rather I was hoping to use it as a plot devise and to explain a LOT of contacts. That's why the player (and you nailed this on the head) took the Day Job flaw, and only at lvl 1, to reflect the small amount he makes off the building. The tenants aren't just folks, they are an extended family of sorts.

I just need to figure out a number to quote this guy so we can go about doing the rest of his contacts and equipment.

Thanks all, for your response.
Ol' Scratch
In that case, I'd go with what everyone else said -- just buy a bunch of Low Lifestyles and call it a building -- then steal a rule from the Matrix's cyberdeck creation rules and add a 10% discount for "buying in bulk." That should be a nice incentive, I suppose, since he can rent them all out at standard Low Lifestyle cost and still get a 100 nuyen per Lifestyle per month as his "profits."
Perhaps you'd want to take a page out of the SRComp for gangs. Every 50000 nuyen.gif spent at chargen gets him 1D6 "gang" members.

Ohhh, good idea. I'll mention that to him. I'm sure he'd dump at least 150k on that, and it would make a lot of sense within the confines of the character concept. Killer! Thanks.
I would allow him to do the by the permanent lifestyle dividing the cost appropriately to have only location, space and maybe security (as SSG allows) describe this as he owns the building. Now he can collect the rent from the however many tenants he has. The rent will be 1% of his initial investment every month if the place is full and everybody pays on time. There will also be expenses and he can ether have day job style time spent chasing down rent or have bigger expenses paying a property agent.

For a different way to describe it have him be the fix it man fro the building. He doesn’t own it but he gets reduced rent (the amount his day job should earn him) in exchange for organising to have any necessary maintenance done on the building he lives in and collecting the rent for the person that dose own it. For mechanics that is just a simple day job flaw.

I'd completely allow this, and applaud the player.
It's a rare thing for an SR player to get so creative like that.

Pat him on the back for me would you? Way to go for him to turn his scope of vision from down range to the other parts of the SR atmosphere that exist as viable role playing aspects for characters.

One of my fellow players had a NICE pad that completely decked out with SO many cool things in it that it quickly became out HQ for a good while...until we got traced back to it and had to ditch it...that made us all cry.
It had "shops" a plenty in it, about 3.
One for vehicles, one for guns, and one for explosives.
It was like we were running our own little version of MI hq in there.
We had computers, and we had a "buddy" hook up who was a decker who ran all the computers for architectual layouts of anything we needed to get our hands on (because we simply didn't trust Mr. Johnsons stuff) and the Troll in the group was an explosives expert with an engineering degree who would look at the floor plans for structural week points and decide what type of explosives we needed.

That place was sweet.
Oh, and we got all those shops in there because all of our character backgrounds worked together as a team that had ran for a long time together so we all chiped in on the shops that were in there.

Anyways...yeah, stuff like what he's doing is even better because it's not even an HQ style. It's extra bagage that he has to handle.
If he is legit you could also say it was purchased on credit. Baring plot points after paying the interest and repayments he is making what his day job flaw should make him.

But then you still have the problem of how much it goes for if he needs to sell it (or wants to borrow against it if it is official enough for a bank).

Run the building manager day job idea past him.

This kind of reminds me of the Marvel Super Heroes RPG. Part of the game was buying and decking out a lair. That was great fun.

I would love to do that with SR but one character usually can't have enough money without sacrificing other important things.
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