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Spider
Hi everyone,

I've took a look around the topics and i don't see anyone discussing the payscale in SR4. I've got the PDF book and i don't seem to find any suggestions. In SR3, i was used to give low payment on simple street level run (barely enough to live and a little extra) and average difficult run were payed around 20,000 nuyens per runner. In my campaign the difficult run goes up to a maximum of 50,000Y per runner or more (but that's extremely rare, i'm use to give contact, other resources, or info instead of nuyen).

Now i've try to create some runners using SR4 system and the first thing i've realise is the cheapness and availability of the cyberware/Bioware/Matrix Gear. It's so cheap that everyone get their hands on them (my players for example) and i can't blame them. On the other hand, if i use the same payscale (or the one that they suggest in printed module adventure like brainscan, or Survival of the fittest) it look like my players will just have every single pieces of ware, get 3 initiatives pass, be hard as thank and want to do no more shadowrunning.

On the top of that, if you had the fact that the NPC grunts aren't really cybered in SR4 BBB (look at the corpo security guards, the lone star or even the Yak) it make me a little nervous about my first campaign in SR4. If it's suppose to be street level, how come you can have wired-reflex 2 so easily and no one around got them? What is the point of getting started with heavy gear that the average run will feel like a cakewalk if you put the regular suggest opposition? I know my player will have problems seeing the payscale suddently go flying out the window because of a price drop on the cyberware...

So do you got any suggestions? How do you handle it?(or plan handling it?) Maybe i'm just plain wrong and i didn't notice some specification in the rulebook(no more streetindex but a kind of circumstance table...)?

Thanks

PS(My english is so what limited, so please no flamefest wink.gif
mintcar
Ill limit availability of my starting characters to 8, allow for 200 bp in attributes but only 300 total, limit bp in nuyen severely and start of with a real street level group. The standard starting level may be rather street compaired to SR3, but its still full fledged shadowrunners were talking. My starting characters wont be this time.


(As for the price drop for runs, Im lucky enough that I never payed well before, and theyll do more small time stuff now so even less will seem appropriate)
Spookymonster
Add the lifestyle costs of all characters together. That should be the team's minimum fee (which the team will negotiate upwards, no doubt). Let the team decide how the money should be split up; it isn't the Johnson's job to make sure each team member gets a fair cut.

Lastly, make sure the job deserves that much money. A poor couple looking for someone to return their kidnapped daughter aren't going to have the kind of money that a nuyen.gif 50K per job team would expect.
the_dunner
Comparing costs between SR3 and SR4:

Low and Middle Lifestyles have increased.

Ammunition has stayed the same.

Most gear has gotten cheaper.

My intuitive reaction is that if you were following the payscale from SR3Comp, those numbers should still be OK. If you were paying higher than the old scale, you'll probalby want to tweak things back a bit.
blakkie
Ya, if you keep similar pay it looks like it will be OK unless you had increased the pay enough that your runners were actually able to afford meaningful upgrading to their SR3 cyber/bio. Or buying spare permanent lifestyles, Carribean islands, genuine Great Dragon-skin handbags, etc.

Of course this means that your runners will now likely be able to afford a piece of new cyber, or maybe even some bio, on a semi-regular basis. If you have a problem with that.....well i feel for your players. cyber.gif
Zen Shooter01
Never mind payment...have you noticed how awash in nuyen starting characters are?

I know, you can only max your resource nuyen at 1/4 million, while in 3E you could go as high as 1 million...but with the high nuyen options in 3E, you just ended up trying to make up for deficiencies in attributes and skills with the gear.

Now in 4E, it's really easy to start with 100k nuyen, and the most expensive commlink is 8k, a cyberarm 15, wired reflexes 2 32...
mintcar
But the incredible wealth that a SR3 character with A in resources without cyberware could have is unatainable now (characters like the face could end up basicly millionaire playboys). With BPs theres no reason to have any money that you cant use for things that fit the character.
blakkie
...and a Westwind is still 6 figures, weapons and ammo are priced very similarly, etc. EDIT: Don't forget about those lifestyles, the lower end ones actually cost more.
Mal-2
QUOTE (Zen Shooter01)
Now in 4E, it's really easy to start with 100k nuyen, and the most expensive commlink is 8k, a cyberarm 15, wired reflexes 2 32...

Er, in cash? I don't see how. You don't get to keep any left over nuyen from character creation. Starting cash is determined based on your lifestyle (see chart pg 86). A street lifestlye starts you with 1d6 x 10 nuyen.gif, a Luxury lifestyle starts you with 4d6 x 1000 nuyen.gif.

You actually can get a little extra money by having unspent nuyen from character creation. +1 to the die roll for every 100 nuyen.gif unspent, up to a maximum of 3 times the number of dice rolled.

So, a Luxury lifestyle with 1200 nuyen.gif left from chargen gives you (4d6 + 12) x 1000 nuyen.gif starting cash (average 26,000 nuyen.gif , maximum 36,000 nuyen.gif ).
Zen Shooter01
Mal-2: No, not in cash, of course not. In gear - lifestyles, fake IDs, vehicles, safe houses, implants, magic, etc., whatever.

Mintcar: What I said about 3E stands for all characters. A totally uncybered face, for example, would spend the money on safehouses and fake IDs and so on, but still have comparatively low attributes and skills.
Spider
You got some nice idea. I guess i entered the "panic" mode when i just realize that converting some of my player SR3 character in SR4 would make them really really whealty. When i run a chronicle, i usually permit improvement to my player. So they can (over time) move from wired reflex-1 to wired reflex-2 with the nuyens i gave them. Of course, the better they get, the greater the opposition and the more nuyens they score. I roll for SOTA every 2 months and i apply the rule concerning the technology curve.

I was just afraid that they could just turn into uber-monster when transferring their resources in SR4. Suddently, 100 000 nuyens can buy you a world of things... And i'm just wondering if anybody need to go to the hospital anymore, i mean roll bodyx2 to heal?! (of course you got dice penalty). I don't know it just seem that the characters don't have to spend much nuyens to get through the run anymore...

Well i guess i'm just gonna test it and see...
Shadow
The other question you should ask is 'are these bums worth a lot'. From what I can tell characters in SR4 are untested street urchins compared to the trained professionals that are starting characters in SR3.

A few hundred nuyen a job would be expected when the skills the employer is getting is subpar. Let them work up to the big jobs.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Spider @ Sep 7 2005, 01:10 AM)
I was just afraid that they could just turn into uber-monster when transferring their resources in SR4.

Perhaps stuff-wise.

In all other respects, your players will probably cry in pain figuring out how to create and re-advance their characters in a way so they will even remotely resemble what they had in SR3.

When it comes to heavily modified individuals. both with bioware and cyberware, having beta and cultured ware, they will most likely require delta now...
Space Ghost
As for the mundane, uncybered opposition, you should probably use them for now and see how it goes. At first glance, it seems like it's harder to dodge/soak a firearms attack down to nothing than it was in SR3. If the opposition is more numerous, wounds will likely be taken. They may be converted to stun due to high armor, but that doesn't really help much.
OSUMacbeth
QUOTE
Shadow:
From what I can tell characters in SR4 are untested street urchins compared to the trained professionals that are starting characters in SR3.


Why do people keep saying this? My friend and I tested out *two* bog-standard starting characters out yesterday against a team of five Tir Ghosts and a Lieutenant and I don't think either of us took a physical wound. Yet, look at the "street" level grunts in the book. Those characters would have been slaughtered. It seems like people are comparing numbers between two separate rules systems and saying "The numbers are lower. Looks like shadowrunners are barely better than sprawl gangers now." Can someone help me understand?

OSUMacbeth
snowRaven
Yeah...with costs the way they are, and skills starting at 4, 5 and 6, starting characters in SR4 seem to be teh 133T ber monsters who will be at the top of the runner food chain (skillwise) after, say... 20 average runs? 50 runs and they will be legendary Prime Runners a la FastJack, Dodger, Argent and pals.

Hmmm, lemme go check the stats for a dragon...they could be alot easier to take down now, with a moderately experienced team...

(They did say they were bringing SR to a grittier, more street level, right?)
FrankTrollman
QUOTE
Why do people keep saying this?


I have no idea what your characters did against 5 Ghosts and a Ghost Hacker that made them win without taking any serious harm. Seriously, I have no idea at all. But I can tell you as a matter of fact that it was not a typical or meaningful test situation.

A standard Ghost Team has 295 build points of attributes and skill groups higher than a starting character is allowed to have. Direct Combat isn't their specialty, and nevertheless they are capable of throwing around dice pools in any aspect of it that are equal or greater to what a PC can muster in their specialty.

That's six men who each have a respectable pile of dice and use submachine guns that inflict up to 14P before we even factor the crazy ammo that they are doubtless using (which is in turn probably APDS - the character sketches on page 276 don't mention such mundane details as ammunition used or chosen skill specializations). Even the 43 dice of body and armor Invulno-Troll is looking at taking a couple of wounds off of that. A starting group of 2 or 3 Runners is just going to die, especially when you take into account the fact that Ghosts have Infiltration pools substantially higher than most players' perception dice pools.

---

That being said, despite the fact that Ghosts are individually better than a player character is allowed to be, a single punk kid could take them all out in the right circumstances. Some 12 year old Ork in the ghetto who happens to have a Fragmentation Grenade or two has a seriously good chance of killing everyone in a McHughs whether they are a Ghost or not. The system is really lethal, and anyone can be killed with relative ease by just about anyone else.

So a Player Character is not the equal of a Red Samurai. They can't be. But they can probably beat the crap out of any individual in a triad posse.

-Frank
Spider
I personnaly can't beleive two starting characters beat the crap out of 6 ghosts and their lieutenant. Initiative pass, skills and attributes of the ghost are high. If they use cover and tactic in combat... they can actually get confused, slow down, or wounded by clever starting character but in my game there's no way starting character will geek all of them especially without taking a wound!
Wintermancer
One option may be to use Lifestyle as a guideline as well, but in a bit of a different way.

Look at the lifestyle and equate the prestige/difficulty of the job. Essentially equate Squatter to "Easy Difficulty", Low to "Normal Difficulty" Medium to "Medium Difficulty", High to "High Difficulty", and Luxury to "Legendary Difficulty".

Take the appropriate lifestyle rate, multiply it by the number of team members, and use that as a base point for negotiation with Mr. Johnson. Raise and lower from there as negotiation dictates.

Winter
Slacker
Interesting idea Wintermancer. I think I might just adopt it for my own games.
Wintermancer
W00t! I feel useful now! rotfl.gif
Crusher Bob
Well, you should actually be paying out more than the lifestyle costs, as the runners will incur expenses on the run, etc.

A more reasonable number would be based on lifestyle + expenses + profit
blakkie
Expecting to see a profit margin on what Mr. J pays?

Nah, that's why every 'runner team carries leakproof bags. Collecting body parts for the organ leggers like a pack of hobos dumpster diving for pop cans. lick.gif
Wintermancer
QUOTE (Crusher Bob)
Well, you should actually be paying out more than the lifestyle costs, as the runners will incur expenses on the run, etc.

A more reasonable number would be based on lifestyle + expenses + profit

That's what negotiation is for. smile.gif

Winter
Doomclown
QUOTE (Crusher Bob)
Well, you should actually be paying out more than the lifestyle costs, as the runners will incur expenses on the run, etc.

A more reasonable number would be based on lifestyle + expenses + profit

Profit should, I think, equal extra money for acquiring this particular team. If the team has nothing to offer that another team couldn't, then it isn't worth paying Profit. The "lifestyle" portion should serve as sufficient Economic Profit as far as compensating the runners for their time.

Put another way, I would expect (to use W's formula) that "realistically" you'd see Lifestyle + Expenses as the base (or an easy negotiation roll), and Profit to be the subject of further negotiation.
Wintermancer
QUOTE (Doomclown)
QUOTE (Crusher Bob @ Sep 7 2005, 01:42 PM)
Well, you should actually be paying out more than the lifestyle costs, as the runners will incur expenses on the run, etc.

A more reasonable number would be based on lifestyle + expenses + profit

Profit should, I think, equal extra money for acquiring this particular team. If the team has nothing to offer that another team couldn't, then it isn't worth paying Profit. The "lifestyle" portion should serve as sufficient Economic Profit as far as compensating the runners for their time.

Put another way, I would expect (to use W's formula) that "realistically" you'd see Lifestyle + Expenses as the base (or an easy negotiation roll), and Profit to be the subject of further negotiation.

Yeah, I can see your point Doom. I would probably personally have the plus expenses by the lowest form of success on negotiation of payment. Seeing as these re shadowrunners, and it ain't like they got a union. wink.gif But Lifestyle + Expenses is definitely a doable take on it that still keeps things reasonable.

Winter
Clyde
Are you guys talking about setting up an "expense account" or having runners bring in receipts afterward for the ammo they shot off? wink.gif
Conskill
Depending on how "gritty" you want to be, Winter's formula works fine even without further accounting for expenses. A cruel fact of the shadows that the runners need to pull off High-lifestyle crime to pay for a Middle lifestyle life.

I seem to be more generous with money in my campaign, for two reasons.

1) Shadowruns are, in the grand scheme of time, fairly rare in my take on the setting. A team can expect to go a month or two between jobs, so you're just not paying for this month's rent. Flurries of high shadow activity are rare and valuable times to build up nest eggs.

2) Shadowruns take extraordinary effort. If a shadowrunner is risking life and limb, enduring all sorts of pain, and commiting hiddeously illegal acts...just to get the same pay-check a corp wage-slave in a Middle lifestyle gets, then crime really doesn't pay. Since the PCs are, to a man, criminals, that seems anticlimatic.
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