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Okay, I'm sure everybody's thought of "Bartender," "Lone Star Beat Cop," and "Mafia Don" before. But who's your favorite off-the-wall, little-known contacts?

For me, it's the chief medical examiner at the city morgue.

This man knows everything there is to know about deaths going down. Every sidewalk sleeper, bum, and general gang-banger, up to all of the highest-rated Important People come through his doors, if they're dead. He's the man to talk to if you want to know what's going down as far as lethalities.

So, for example, your buddy CME Morris (Or whatever your DM names him,) knows that you have a Narcojet pistol you use to bring people down non-lethally. He also knows that the recent serial homocide is all connected by one thing: Narcojet pistols.

So, after sidling up to the bar with you and discreetly asking if you've used that pistol of yours recently, and getting a No answer, (hopefully!,) he tells you you might want to not only not use it, but ditch it, and tells you why.

This does two things. One, if your Shadowrunner team is a good samaritan team, it gives them something to do; tracking down a serial killer. There may even be a reward they can collect. Two, it tells the player in question to ditch his narcojet, ASAP.

So, you're in the know about what's lethal and what's not. He can give you a heads-up sometimes if trouble is coming your way. "A Lone Star beat cop went down Line of Duty near your favorite doss. They're about to go ape and start door-to-dooring it, and they won't be knocking politely from what I hear. You might wanna be in Aruba or somewhere when that happens."

Plus, he can be a valuable resource, if you jack his level up to 3 or so. Not only is he likely to have a grab bag assortment of Cyberwear lying around you might be able to browse, but the corpses themselves. Lots of Jane and John Does come through his doors. So, say you need to 'dissapear' because Renraku has put out a bounty on you. You go down the morgue, shop around until you find a Jane or John Doe who matches your general build and looks. You pay your friend, 'claim possession' of your 'dearly depared relative''s body, take them down to your doss, put a couple of things on the corpse that will be easily identified as yours, and torch the place to the ground.

Then you high-tail it to a plastic surgeon's, and spend awhile someplace quiet with your new face, wait for the Corp to be convinced you're really dead.

That's just my take. That also explains part of my sig. What do you think? What about you? Who're your interesting contacts?
My favorite has been the gargoyle shaman information broker.

The character , Gabriel, is a gothic style character, living in a high rise in dowtown in gargoylw shaman style (lots of reds and blacks and long coats too wink.gif ).
But since he's more interested in knowledge than moeny ( and since he already ahs a lot of it anyways) he deals purely in information, because that is what truely interests him. Knowledge is power after all.

He is skilled in divining and psychometry (although he rarely gets the chance t ouse it , as he rarely leaves ), and has excellent computer skills (uses a trode). THe only pay he will take is in information, and exchange . The information offered must be equal to at least to the information that he provides.

If his contact doesn't have anything worth while, there are always things Gabriel wants to know, and so is also an excellent source of shadowruns.
Among the wierder contacts I've had, or had sprung on me, include the following:

Semi-autistic media junkie: the guy who watches all the pirate trid feeds, the corporate newsfeeds, the scuttlebutt on the 'net. Because if you need a guy to give you the head's up on everything that's fit to print (and you don't need very many specifics) this is the guy to go to. A player had this one, and also...

The Pirate Trid Broadcaster: Because when you need to shout to the world, shout to the wold in mono and over a scratchy feed. And besides, nothing to sew misinformation than a station that only broadcasts 'the truth.' <G>

Exotic Pets Dealer: This one was pure genius, I have to admit. The PC who had this one was a lawyer-psycho along the lines of Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. He had this guy for three reasons:
1) Very few people look for criminals in a pet store.
2) Many exotic animals are poisonous, and therefore good to have around in case you need someone dead.
3) He had a penchant for torturing people using animals. His snake-and-unruly-hooker escapade is still legendary.
No, this was not a moral man.

Tailor: I had a character once who was a very James-Bond type of guy. And Bond? He's ALWAYS well-dressed, yet his clothing always has those secret pockets, buttons connected by monowire, concealed bombs in his shoes, et cetera.
Actually the one that brought the house down for me was the one character who had two Level 2 "Ho"s. He actually tried to use them for distraction, but due to a freak roll by me they both were occupied at the time...

Had us in stitches tho...the amount of level 2 contacts he had was incredible (around 15-20 if I remember correctly...he had a LOT of extra money to blow at startup). I was tempted to say he had a day job (errr night job) keeping the ho's busy...
The most esoteric contact we had was a professional gambler. I houseruled he had a lot of Mafia knowledge skills, but wasn't connected. And there was never a time that he was not found playing at his table in the casino. Never.
Sasquatch BTL dealer. You don't speak, instead you just sign, but the character doesn't know sign language, so they try to communicate, but it doesn't always go so well. Yeah, they could just write stuff down, but what fun is that? So miscommunication happens and the character sometimes gets these weirdo, off the wall BTLs, like back-in-the-womb recreations or nude skydiving into a thunderstorm, instead of normal stuff like sensory loops or standard personafixes.
Lady Door
The flaming, flamboyant gay weapons dealer at the crime mall. His name is PJ Manning. EVERY time I have to deal with him I end up laughing myself into near tears.
QUOTE (Plan B)
The flaming, flamboyant gay weapons dealer at the crime mall. His name is PJ Manning. EVERY time I have to deal with him I end up laughing myself into near tears.

who is a very dapper, well dressed dwarf with a bow tie, handle bar mustache, and a tendacy to say "Heeeeelllloooooo" the the waiter from the Simpsons
Out of sheer niceness, I gave one of my PCs the owner of a surplus electronics store as a contact. Why is he so great? Simple: He can identify and fix all of the goodies that the runners pull out of places.
Cynic project
Manager in the PG&e repair and trouble shooting department. Think of all the mishaps and naughtiness one can do when there happens to be no power in a given area.
I tend to give "Mom" of "Mom's Diner" on I-5 as a fre contact to my players. Don't mess with Mom. Don't get her place dirty. Don't come in if you're still bleeding. Have a piece of pie.
Somewhat odd contacts my Face currently has -

-Pop singer
[ Spoiler ]

-Used car dealer
-Mask maker
[ Spoiler ]

[ Spoiler ]
A recently played face in a group I GM for has a number of exceptional contacts including (but not limited to):

A professional forger who operates out of a business card supply store. The contacti himself is fairly bland (as far as someone who is never seen by his custormers can be considered bland), but the fact that my players have dropped as much money on business cards as they have on fake IDs is priceless.

Four professional hookers. Topping the previous record of two for this thread.
The icecream man, think about it drives around all day, noone pays too much attention, plus he can get all the kids in the neighborhood to act as lookouts.

EDIT- Also a lawyer be handy just in case. Be funny to see the look on your GM's face when you announce you're going to sue a Corp. because you got shot up on a run against them.
Except for that whole pesky niggling Extraterritoriality thing, that'd be perfect, Angelone. smile.gif
QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685)
Except for that whole pesky niggling Extraterritoriality thing, that'd be perfect, Angelone. smile.gif

Is it only Corps that have standing in the Z-O court, or is that open to citizens stupid enough to try sue a Corp?
AJ, the ex-oil driller turned astronaut who saved the world and doesn't pay taxes.
Corps. have some kind of responsibility or the world would be wrse than it is. They aren't allowed to just dump radioactive wastes ect. I think you could possibly sue one even if you had to go through the CC.
My players have had:
Real-estate broker (Makes it easy to move a lot)
Delivery Boy (Doesn't look suspicious when he does things around town)
Antiques Dealer (Can fence bizzare things)
Collage Professor (No one knows magic theory like the guy with the doctorate in Thaumolgy)
Otaku info broker (Only contact to schedule a meeting at chucky cheese's, very disturbed child, belives he is a norse god)
Network Admin for a large research company (Nothing like having a friend who can get you a compile farm)

These are the best ones from our group.
Been watching Armageddon much, eh? smile.gif
QUOTE (Angelone)
Corps. have some kind of responsibility or the world would be wrse than it is. They aren't allowed to just dump radioactive wastes ect. I think you could possibly sue one even if you had to go through the CC.

I respectfully disagree. The world really is that bad. There are areas of the Scandnavian Union where there is flora and fauna that only exists because of the horrible waste. Large areas of the Yuccatan are horrible because of the waste. If I remember correctly you need a breath mask for Los Angeles.

Also there is no justice for the little guy. The coperations are governments (kinda) As long as they did it on their grounds, they can do whatever they want, be it torture you to death for kicks, or dump murcery into the air. Besides you need to be a citizen to sue, and if you are a citizen you are probabbly allready a serf to a large coperation. The corperate courts exist to keep the coperations in power, not help people go up against them.

Of course you can disagree with me, no big deal smile.gif
I'm talking about the UCAS and CAS. Sorry I wasn't clear, but those two countries have laws in place to protect against blatent pollution, I remember in one of the books(BBB?) Shiawise got smacked because it was just dumping wastes in rivers and burying it in an unsafe manner so it was gettng into the groundwater.

Corps. are only governments inside of corp. property. You could possibly do a damn fine frame up job with a corp uniform and a TV crew. Have a buddy in the uniform beat the snot out of you outside of corp. property with the uniform on, while your on camera, and presto. The resulting lawsuit settlement could make you millions. You'd have to get your buddy into the corp system though, or Phys. Mask him as someone who is.
Crimsondude 2.0
QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685)
Except for that whole pesky niggling Extraterritoriality thing, that'd be perfect, Angelone. smile.gif

No one ever said that is was due to their actions on extraterritorial property.
My understanding is that a corp can legally dump any watt hay want on there own extraterritorial land. If it leaks but dose not leave there land there still doing nothing wrong but if it seeps outside of there land then they can be prosecuted. Of cause proving such a case is all but imposable.

Crimsondude 2.0
Depends on which venue you're suing them in.

QUOTE (Bandwidthoracle)
If I remember correctly you need a breath mask for Los Angeles.

Nope. Tenochtitlán.
Street doc, Doc Carver, who was actually a vet that had had his veterinary license revoked due to gross incompetence. A real Plan B contact. smile.gif

Two hookers that one of the team pimped for. In most situations they were far-and-away the most effective infiltrators the team had. They were to the pimp like drones to a rigger. The pimp was run by my SO, and the depravity levels that were reached...are simply shocking.

The same (mage) pimp also had a Mafia family contact, only he wasn't a contact so much as a liability. Constantly shaking down the pimp for fictious debts. He came part and parcel with the hookers. smile.gif

An semiretired face 'runner that acted as a smalltime fixer, mostly booking Johnsons. He wasn't so much an issue, but his receptionist was a pension drawing granny with a paraniod personality, wired-reflexes, and an Uzi III holstered to the underside of her desk. She never actually pulled it on the team, but she did have a habit of putting her hand close to it every time she was a bit confused. biggrin.gif

I won't even get into the Russians. eek.gif
QUOTE (Crimsondude 2.0)
Depends on which venue you're suing them in.

QUOTE (Bandwidthoracle)
If I remember correctly you need a breath mask for Los Angeles.

Nope. Tenochtitlán.

Doh, Well I got the land mass of the Americas right. biggrin.gif
Lone Star Dispatcher. not on the street but gets all the gossip especailly of the corp and has better access to records.

Consession Stand worker- that person behind the scenes at all the Baseball/football games. sells beer and hotdogs and knows the ins and outs of the bnig complexes and maybe can score tickets for the big events/concerts, and can get the dish on the media and the players.
No shit about the Dispatcher contact. I actually had a contact like that IRL growing up.
When you're a teenager out raising a little hell it's nice (hell it was fucking sweet!) to have someone to call and warn you to get the hell off the streets so you can stay one step ahead of the police once they've been alerted to your shenanigans.
Actually having a Lone Star officer who works in Records is just as good for finding out info a decker could burn his brain out getting...
SCUBA instructer is not a bad choice depending on where the campaign is set. Could teach the characters how to do it, and "lose" some equipment if they need it.
Organleggers and chop shop owners are great for making some extra money. Also, for international runs, nothing beats an airline pilot or manager, or a smuggler. Free spirits can be good too, although they won't always be willing to work for plain old money. I just got a good idea just now, too: a foreign embassy official. Need a place to hide? Just go into his embassy and hide in another country for a while.
Actually, police contacts are superb. No-one knows more about gangs and criminal enterprises than Organised Crime officers, who are also particularly excellent sources in relation to who is who in the shadows. Drug Squad (in SR, DED) officers are a superb source on anything drug related, obviously, but can also link to many other departments because the saga of the modern era is that so much crime is drug-related. Dispatch/comms officers are also excellent, as are Police Intel people (access to records, including last known addresses, criminal histories, photos and biometric data, known associates, known aliases and so on), Burglary squad officers (underfunded, undermanned, doing a job no-one appreciates with an appalling clearance rate just because that's what the job is, but also a group of officers who have forgotten more about lockpicking, security bypassing and security systems generally than any player will ever know) and finally the "police police", Internal Affairs, for obvious reasons. My face characters always have at least one of the above because they are just so fantastic as contacts.

But I digress ...

Crazy contact wise, I've had/seen a troll prostitute transvestite in an elf-heavy game - "you're not interested? WHY aren't you? have you got a problem, muthaf****r? I'm more woman than you can handle, dammit! I'll slap some taste into you! etc"

Because I'm a lawyer, I also enjoy the lawyer contacts, especially the lawyers of the fixer. Overworked, underappreciated ("what do you mean they have a warrant! fix it!!!") and with a literally life-threatening job. I say this as a prosecutor myself - it's still funny. I see these guys as having a serious drug habit to handle the stress, and being constantly red-eyed and on edge from all-nighter drugs trying to weasel the fixer out of legal liability for the latest fiasco.

It's always fun to put in former or current runners who haven't done well, to keep things in perspective. To steal someone else's idea, for example, a runner who screwed up so bad that they are paying the debt off at the rate of 1 nuyen per day for not less than 100,000 days, working as a bartender and general slave.
It would be nice to have an engineer or architect on file as well. If you cantt go through the door, they can get you to the right part of the wall to make a door more easily. The ability to read plans and interperet them is not something Joe Average runner has the training or experience to do.
Contacts i've used and had as characters:

Arcade Owner. A fellow who works at a run down arcade in a seedier part of town. Just does his thing, but because he sees so many people coming in and out, he tends to always have a bit of info on him. In addition, the younger kids that come in might not have cred to he'll treat them to a few games to keep their ears out and do things like 'rememeber' when the black car drives by, etc.

Club Chick. Someone who might just see her as a girl who likes booze, Novacoke, and hanging(and picking up guys) at her fav nightclub...however, with drinking, hooking up, etc, again comes 'hearing things accidently.'. Also, being at the club nearly 7 days a week lets her pick up on info that others might miss.

I can think of some more of the offbeat ones i've used given some time. I've ran an ex rocker turned samurai and had the gamut of roadies, groupies, and fans as contacts, along with slimy record execs. The latter will do about anything for money, and the former, if convinced right, will do stuff to help their old 'hero' out.
My favorite contact was the brain eater LT my character kidnapped and tortured for information, he was really helpful.
Here's a new one I'm waiting to inflict on my players:

Chip Douglas (AKA: The Cable Guy)
Chip is an installation technician that works for Universal Telecast, a local matrix service provider, and a wannabe shadowrunner. Chip has some problems relating to people, and has very few (if any) friends. In his overactive imagination he fancies himself as an up-and-coming new shadowrunner, and will jump at any chance to make his fantasy life a reality. Chip can provide valuable serves to a decker by setting up disposable MSP accounts or boosting service for a small fee, but he will automatically assume that anyone who proposes such illegal transactions is a shadowrunner. It just so happens that in this case he’s right. He will “befriend” any such character and become an almost constant nuisance him.

Just imagine:

You show up to the meet, trying to look all tough and professional when you hear a familiar voice:

"Hey, Buddy!!! I thought I might run into you here..."

Chip looks around and then then says in a loud voice so everyone can hear:


ork.gif ork.gif ork.gif
That last one sounds like it would be a -1 point flaw, 'Extra Contact.' grinbig.gif
- A "psychological consultant" - a man who can get people to tell things, at any cost.
- Grandmother, a spider shaman taken from some book .... and one player's standard contact. He loves creepy information brokers
- College Student girlfriend (of a character, a mage professor at UoS who moonlights as a shadowrunner)
- Three paranoid Techies, straight from X-Files. great for our tech wiz/face character.
- The guy who hands out chemicals for experiemnts at UoS. The above mentioned tech wiz is also a chemist.
- Rich high society guy who's hot for the character (the face/tech wiz/chemist again, she's got some 20 connections) and who loves to gossip and brag about how cool and connected he is.
QUOTE (Plan B)
The flaming, flamboyant gay weapons dealer at the crime mall. His name is PJ Manning. EVERY time I have to deal with him I end up laughing myself into near tears.

This guy reminds me of the one from Beverly Hills Cop II. Man, that guy was funny.

One of my favorite is a former corporate spy. I realize it's a traditional contact but with a twist. He's a drunken bum. He's homeless and smells like liquor so most people won't listen to him. He's also been out of the game so long most of his information is out of date and public knowledge. However, occassionally he'll know something for an ongoing project. Besides, it's always great when you go back to meet your crew with information and they're like, "You smell like liquor. Is there something you want to tell us about your 'source'?"
Shanshu Freeman
College librarian decker.
- Insane immortal elf bum (one of those who had less luck than Erhan and Harley). Never used him so far, but love the idea.
- Mantis shaman former Firewatch battlemage. Fled Chicago, got to be part of that Ares breeding project mentioned in threats 2, ran for it, now lives under a cover ID in Seattle and breeds insect-attracting flowers. Matis waits for pres to come to her, after all, not the other way around.
Depends on which venue you're suing them in.

IIRC, in Tir Tairngire corps don't have extraterritoriality at all - they're only legally allowed to set up wholly Tir-owned subsidiaries, and the TIr government has to be a shareholder. I'd need to check to be sure.

But back on track. Odd contacts...

There was one I actually got from a published adventure, I forget which one. SHe's the kindly old lady who runs the often-ignored but startlingly useful paper records for Seattle. Her grand-daughter is Kerry Taylor, the journalist and metahuman rights activist, and she's always trying to set male runners up with the lass. When it came to playing her, we borrowed from Esmerelda, the librarian in Zodiac who "contained within her bionic hairdo all knowledge or the ability to locate it". To this day she's still a fave rave with the players.

Lately, I have a contact called Silk. Silk is an older otaku, and pretty socially inept; he tries to cover this up by putting on what he fondly believes is a mature "man of the world" image. Unfortunately for Silk, his idea of the experience man of the world draws heavily on such inspirational figures as Noel Coward. Every time I ring him, my brain goes twang trying to deal with the image of this 16 year old geek with a silk dressing gown and a cigarette holder...
Kayos Frawg
My favorite contact that I’m actually fleshing out completely to be a PC is called Doc. He’s a paranoid pediatrician/street doc/humanitarian with amnesia. He can’t remember his original ident, but that doesn’t matter because he killed it off before he lost his memory (his paranoia stems from how he got his amnesia, of course cliché, a botched killing). He now has many ID’s that he uses to do everything he can. His main ID is a pediatrician, which has a free clinic in Redmond funded by his two legitimate practices that is the face for his black ware clinic. He knows everyone high and low, his big function other than being the money. He’s also involved in smuggling, money laundering, and his humanitarian pursuits.
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