[RPG] Are there any official guidelines for Shadowrun payouts


I'm trying to figure out how much to pay Shadowrunners for a job, and how to balance the NPCs. I couldn't find anything in SR4A (though I could've missed something).

I've only played in a couple of other tabletop SR games, and I honestly can't remember how much other GMs paid for runs.

On the Awakened Worlds MUD (awakenedworlds.net), SR3, a typical job pays out somewhere in the vicinity of 2500-5000 'yen. Tougher jobs involving a lot of wetwork go up to about 12,000. These are normally solo jobs. The MUD is purposely designed to lowball players (I think), because it's much easier to accumulate cash when the runs are automated.

I figured that 4,000 per player was a pretty good payout – more than you usually get on the MUD, but not excessive. I got a couple of complaints when I offered 4K per PC in the runs I hosted at Dreamation, so I'm going to bump up the payouts for next time.

The two canned examples on the official site that are fleshed out (both 3E) pay 50k each and 10k each, respectively.

Is there any rhyme or reason to determining pay for a Shadowrun job? If anyone has a system for it, particularly an official one, please share. =)

Best Answer

You're absolutely right, MUDs/MUSHs tend to low-ball players on cash in an effort to slow growth. In my experience running and playing in Shadowrun I've used two different scales:

  1. For high-power games with lots of cyberware, big guns and tons of excitement a normal run nets out around 10,000-20,000 'yen per player, usually leaving the group with enough cash at the end of the game to make one big purchase or several little ones. Most players found this satisfying as they then felt that you could actually get decent gear after chargen.

  2. For more gang-level gritty games where players didn't start off with a lot of cyberware and couldn't buy every gun they wanted we tended to keep things much lower. 3,000-5,000 'yen per player was about right for a good run, but in order to keep the flavor there were also a lot more sessions when the runs didn't pay at all.

So, while it does depend on the tone you want to set, those are some guidelines that worked well for me in practice.

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