[TAG - DTotS] Money rewards

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[TAG - DTotS] Money rewards

#1 Postby Bloodwork » Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:37 pm

Just wondering how people manage money in Daring Tales of the Sprawl? I ask because even though you don't pay for cyberware, everything else has a price tag. However, the adventures in the compendium don't list monetary reward amounts, just "a briefcase full of money" or "a substantial amount". Usually I would just make something up but other things such as experience per mission and the pre-gen characters are tightly controlled so it kind of stood out.
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#2 Postby 77IM » Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:09 pm

Maybe it's like that on purpose to allow the GM to control the amount of money the PCs are getting?

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#3 Postby Bloodwork » Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:32 pm

I mean, do people who run this like to use a cashless system? The default cyberware system doesn't use cash. The pre-gen's gear doesn't change from seasoned to legendary except for the driver and hacker who get drones and a new hacking computer respectively.

I don't use cash in my current game and it works fine. Just wondering if it was recommended for the TAG pulp series.
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#4 Postby Kodyax » Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:54 am

I think I just got this yesterday. I still have to fully read it but when I go cyberpunk I'm using Interface Zero so I will be using their cash out system to reward my players.

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#5 Postby VonDan » Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:46 am

If DTOTS is supposed to be like Shadowrun you don't get paid in money ,you get hair spray and and day glo accesories

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#6 Postby Kodyax » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:46 am

VonDan wrote:If DTOTS is supposed to be like Shadowrun you don't get paid in money ,you get hair spray and and day glo accesories


LOL! Good one! :lol:

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#7 Postby Maine » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:41 pm

We didn't use money in ours; I kept the description of pay vague, and let players have whatever equipment they wanted, within reason. Everyone could upgrade or add a cyber system every advance (in addition to their advance).

Given the missions, money wasn't an issue, as players weren't micro-managing purchasing specific gear/programs/etc like in Shadowrun, they were focused more on the story. The "cool stuff" that they wanted to get was usually experimental tech which they had to earn or acquire through various means. Once, they used a Contact to pick up some different gear (some extra handguns to go around).

It worked out so well, I'd do it again in another system - in fact, I would have for Daring Tales of the Space Lanes had we run that next. We went Hellfrost instead, and I >do< make players track money, though not supplies - instead they simply pay up to resupply as I say so, and any lack of supplies will be due to dramatic event or misfortune rather than poor micro-planning on the part of the players.

I wish we had gone cashless for a Crimson Skies game, but eventually we were dealing with tens of thousands of dollars (in 1930s currency), and I was having to track paying the crews of two zeppelins, as well as resupplies... this only influenced the game slightly.

Here's the characters from the DTotS game, and how the cashless system affected them:

- Saint - a ~21 year old Very Rich spoiled BTL-addict and hacker. The Money and Face of the group. Inherited his father's biotech company, which also secretly produces top of the line BTL chips for the Yakuza. His primary focus was on Hacking, Persuasion, and Connections(Yakuza). Being Very Rich, he had a malibu estate, a yacht, a sports car, a motorcycle, an up-armored SUV, a limo, and access to corporate helicopter and a jet. He could also freely make Persuasion (Bribery) rolls. Fortunately this player is a veteran RPer and not a power gamer.

- Smoke - the adopted daughter of a street preacher, taken into protection by Saint's father, and has become Saint's bodyguard. Other than her two pistols, which belonged to her adoptive father, she has few personal possessions. She befriended an NPC I introduced as a 'character builder' adventure (tie-in to a PC background to help the players feel there characters are more part of the world and that their backstory matters), who then helped provide her with a custom grenade launcher; she would spend her money and spare time on making custom grenades for it.

- Greyhound - A courier (Mirror's Edge style), his equipment consisted of a batman-style grappling hook and launcher, programmable nano-adhesive hand/elbow/knee/foot pads, spraypaint, and flash-bangs (in addition to regular weapons). This led to some interesting events, such as climbing across a line between two vehicles during a chase, swinging between glass bridge walkways and knocking enemies down, etc.

- Missionary - An ex-arms dealer. He had a variety of standard weapons available to him. Nothing special otherwise.

- Brawns - Melee-oriented street samurai. Wore a suit, had blades in his arms. Nothing too special here either (newer roleplayer)

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#8 Postby Rohan » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:05 am

Dave B. ran us through some of these a while back, and I honestly can't remember any details about cash, I think we were just rewarded in gear and other perks.
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#9 Postby Bloodwork » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:07 pm

Thanks, this is quite helpful.
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#10 Postby paladintodd » Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:36 pm

There must be some limit on money - The hacker wants a better deck, you don't want the driver PC to have 100 drones.

Did anyone figure this out? I get that cyberware is 'free' and is limited by Spirit, but what about all the other gear?

(On the other hand, I don't want the game to revolve around how much money the PCs have, be sure to loot all the enemy bodies, how much can I sell the looted gear for? Maybe it should all be limited by some way other than funds?)

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#11 Postby Maine » Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:40 pm

paladintodd wrote:There must be some limit on money - The hacker wants a better deck, you don't want the driver PC to have 100 drones.

Did anyone figure this out? I get that cyberware is 'free' and is limited by Spirit, but what about all the other gear?


If the players don't have the Rich or Very Rich edge, turn it into an adventure. That better deck isn't something to buy on the open market, he needs to get it custom made, and there's a hot shot deck engineer to get in touch with, but he doesn't want money, he wants a favor...

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#12 Postby chadhale » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:06 pm

When it comes to a cyberpunk campaign;
I usually have the players start with next to nothing and unemployed in a world wrapped in the invisible crushing grip of faceless megacorps. Politics exist but they are mostly a sham to manipulate the proles into looking the wrong way when something is going on.
What happens is that people who are contacts of contacts of people who may (or may not be) in the know or other person with resources does some talent scouting...

looking for persons Via military and criminal records.

The contact of a contact of a contact of a fall guy (who don't know jack) serve as unwitting layers of anonymity and possible patsy for low level persons in one of these corporations who feels entitled to much more and wants to buck the system to accelerate the promotion process...

So, the corp's agent, whom you will be taking with you on your upwardly mobile climb, will act on the goals the corp agent "needs a little help with". Intro the layers of proxies, patsies, and A.I. disguise-o-tron, who hire the "talent" for a one time odd job of ethical dubiousness. If they are successful, it could mean more work for them.

What do the "Talent" i.e. the player's get?
An invite to the party; a very shady, shadowy world, filled with lies, manipulation, betrayal, illegal cyberware, bad-ass guns, and *some money and *Some favors can be earned, for successful missions.
The talent might want their record cleared, a secure home, a savings, and the "Blackware" removed from their street cyberware (crainial bombs, internal toxin injectors, controller code, suicide code, etc), Some want to do something moral to stop evil agendas. Pretty much (no matter what) the talent is going to get screwed. because no one is allowed to learn the truth or allowed to become dangerous enough to do something about it.

The talent feel like they are on a deadly, bumpy, ride to the top of the covert world complete with bad intel and failed extractions. the real truth is, they are just putting a couple of red marks on one executives performance sheet, and a couple of stars on another...
That's all.
They may think they are robin hood, changing the world for the better, or rising up in the ladder themselves, but all that is a pack of lies backed up by the weekly allowance, petty cash, or mad money of an unknown spoiled bastard who is willing to pay to get their way...

Daring tales of the sprawl? watch the original "Robocop" and imagine the cyborg as moving much faster, and being very much an agent of destruction.

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#13 Postby chadhale » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:15 pm

Your players are the "Talent". :blam:
While you are their contact who pretends to have; money, power, and connections...

who actually is only a patsy for a patsy, for the first of the real contacts, who get their orders from a disguise-o-tron A.I., which is another contact, who is a patsy...

Meanwhile, the whole world keeps going to hell as the uber elite continue to secretly wage wars amongst themselves for a slightly bigger percentage of a percentage point of a dividend...

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#14 Postby paladintodd » Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:19 pm

OK. those are very nice, abstract, story-based ideas, but I'm a noob and need hard and fast rules: How much money do the PCs start with? How much money do they get for completing a mission?

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#15 Postby Jordan Peacock » Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:28 pm

I've been handling payment in a semi-abstract way, and I've been telling the players as much. When the PCs complete a job, and I tell everyone "write down 2000 credits on your character sheet," this doesn't mean that everyone literally got paid just 2000 credits for that big, risky job they pulled off. The exact amount the PCs get paid is something significantly more than that, but a certain amount of that is going to go toward living expenses, maintenance, social life, paying off debts, etc. -- stuff that has little to no real bearing on present game-play (aside from being a motivation to stay gainfully employed) so I'd rather not even consider it in the equation.

The amount of money written down on the character sheet represents "spending money." If the group is going to go to a bar, I'll hand-wave the cost of drinks, unless one PC wants to be ESPECIALLY flashy (e.g., buying the house a round of drinks, or getting the most expensive wine so he can get a Charisma bonus for some social interaction). If the campaign takes an apocalyptic turn where life upends and the PCs are on the run, and they're forced to liquidate what assets they can and go "off the grid" indefinitely, I'd come up with some significant (but ultimately arbitrary) amount to settle the matter -- but it isn't something I'd be doing on a regular basis, as it makes for a very different feel to the campaign if the PCs have nowhere to call home.

Also, I've often allowed players to "expense" things: If you fired several bullets in the completion of a job for The Company, and didn't do so recklessly or wastefully, then you can "expense" it and conveniently just refill your ammunition, and I assume that batteries get recharged and there's some sort of a maintenance plan for all that cyberware.

I've witnessed push-back on this sort of thing long, LONG ago, back during my earliest times being in a cyberpunk campaign where we shifted the GM roles now and then. One player insisted that the GM tell him EXACTLY how much money he had in the bank, how much he was paying for an apartment, how much the furniture he had was worth, etc., etc., because whatever it all was worth, he was going to sell it all off and live in a trashy slum tenement, and eat dog food, and spend every last penny on the biggest guns and the most ammo he could get.

However, as a prerequisite for entering into a campaign I run, I assume that nobody is going to play that sort of character, or he's simply not going to fit into this group. I'm abstracting things to make this easier for myself AND the players. It's been a long time since I've run into a player who objected, thank goodness.

I don't want to completely eliminate players having a finite monetary amount to write down on their sheets. After all, there may come time when someone decides, "I'd like to upgrade my gun," or "I hate getting shot up, and really need some armor," and it's a whole lot less fuss if I just let them do their own "shopping," rather than me having to arbitrarily decide what the PCs can "afford" on a case-by-case basis.
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#16 Postby chadhale » Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:22 pm

paladintodd wrote:OK. those are very nice, abstract, story-based ideas, but I'm a noob and need hard and fast rules: How much money do the PCs start with? How much money do they get for completing a mission?


1. starting cash, character creation minus equipment. players who take noble, rich, filthy rich, should be assumed to have gotten really lucky find: like a drug dealer who was stashing cash under your window until he was arrested, or a bank robbery get away vehicle that spun out of control dumping a huge bundle of cash at the player's feet. More often than not, players end up spending this cash on street cyberware. Former military receive cyberware for their "Service".
Organized crime (i.e. everyone) tends to deal in "debts"; you get your cyberware and gear, but they own you until the debt is paid...

2. Mission pay depends on two factors; a. who hired them? b. how difficult the job?
answers for a; Who hired them?
1. charity case- no money, no favors, no up front, pretty much only Reputation... reputation opens doors.

2. Revenge jobs- No money, no favors, $5k up front, and a lot of bad people. builds street cred.

3. Street job- 10,000 credits total, subtract any upfront, no favors. satisfactory mission completion earns one minor favor, contact to another job, and this contact will add their names to the rollodex (i.e. likely to "use" them again)

4. minor league- 25,000 credits + $5k per team member, $5k up front per team member. Building rep among those with "Some" money (millionaires). Bad news is that you are now "On the radar" and may get hired for suicidal missions, or tricked into a trap to dispose of your team, like being framed and no extraction team.

5. Free lance for low tier Corp- as much as $50k,redit up front and 100K,redits for a successful mission. Failing here usually results in your "slightly used" cyberware being resold to other wannabe solos.
alternately, players can choose to forgo the $100K, Kredit pay off in exchange for two minor favors or one major favor.

6. Big league- The players have earned a great deal of street reputation and corp reputation, jobs are offered to the team constantly and they have to pick and choose their jobs very carefully usually going with the highest up front pay.
the team can get offers of $100k kred per member up front and a cool million depending on satisfaction/success. The bad news, anyone who knows you could be setting you up...

7. Corporate- The players are offered the really big bucks, as much as 1million up front per team member and ten million for desired success (or favors with enough clout to permanently remove hindrances). However, these jobs are nothing less than world shaking, and may change the balance of power among the mega-corps.

B. how difficult the job? "Multiply the base fee by the number of scenes, targets, and difficulty".

1. Admonish; defame, ruin, blackmail, a minor target.
2. Wack-a-mole; minor level wetwork of a specific target.
3. Property theft; based on the real (and potential value) of the item/data.
4. Waka-waka-waka; Anihilate a dangerous street gang or an entire mid tier security detactment.
5. Bring 'em back alive; personnel extraction with the intent to do unspeakable harm to everything and anything that tries to stop you.
6. Make them pay: the goal is to do enough damage to a rival corp in terms of reputation, resources, and projects to be worth more than ten times what the players are paid.
7. Hostile Take Over; an extreme "Hostile take over" by your unknown employers. Requiring nothing less than a small war to be fought and big buildings to be demolished.
8. Justice: righting wrongs and making things better in a cyberpunk world should be virtually impossible; I do not think there is enough ammo to do this in the whole world. This would be akin to having to destroy and entire military base or prototype weapon (or prototype cybernetics) Mega-corp, bringing down the sky scraping Headquarters of a major media, or assassinating a major political figure,

.... for their "Crimes"... good (Bleeping) luck!
:blam:

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#17 Postby raikenclw » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:51 am

VonDan wrote:If DTOTS is supposed to be like Shadowrun you don't get paid in money ,you get hair spray and and day glo accesories


Along about the fourth meeting with Mr. Johnson in the (first edition) Shadowrun game I ran, my best roleplayer asked Mr. J how much of the payment the group would be getting up-front. Mr. J replied, "Half or 50,000 nuyen."

Keeping a perfectly straight face, Dez turned to the other players and said, "Okay, guys. The job pays 50K. Think it's worth it?"

Everybody laughed, but it was true. Played as written, every SR adventure really stuck it to the PCs. :blam:
Han Solo, Wild Card: "Uh . . ." <BLAMM! Comm fizzles and dies> "Boring conversation, anyway. LUKE, WE'RE GONNA HAVE COMPANY!"

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PreGens

#18 Postby paladintodd » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:22 am

Looking at the Pre-gens equipment:

Hacker
25-30 B6 computer goes to B8 ($200)
35-40 B8 - A6 ($1600)
45-50 A6 - A8 ($2000)

Driver
25-30 LW Surv car ($400)
35-40 Armor Attack car ($800)
45-50 LW Surv Copter ($600)

The two street samurai never gain any new gear. The above is the only change the characters get - they never get new armor, guns, or electronic toys.

With cyberware costing 2000 to 7500 and new cyber being available each advance, I decided on $5000 per advance and made the players pay for cyberware.

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#19 Postby raikenclw » Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:54 pm

chadhale wrote:8. Justice: righting wrongs and making things better in a cyberpunk world should be virtually impossible; I do not think there is enough ammo to do this in the whole world.


True. Corruption is simply a given, in cyberpunk worlds. Even the "good" guys are corrupt. Everything is (on purpose) colored in subtle shades of grey.

However, the examples you give don't quite fit with the concept of justice. I can see that a certain brand of fanatic might think taking down a skyscraper full of wageslaves could be "justice" for a wrong committed by upper level management, but I rather think most disinterested observers would disagree.

Be that as it may, I've quoted the examples below, using my best guesses as to your intended meaning. I think all but the last one are doable (given sufficient resources), but they aren't all the same difficulty level. I've re-ordered them in order of difficulty, from (relatively) easy to impossible:

Easy - Any political assassination is possible, assuming one isn't concerned about collateral damage. Political figures (at least in a putative democracy) *must* appear in public and in any such venue they are hideously vulnerable, not matter how many armored cars are sitting at street intersection and/or gunships are hovering overhead. For example, a Barrett sniper rifle - an obsolete weapon by cyberpunk standards - has an effective range (given a skilled shooter) of 1.1 miles. Consider how many possible vantage points would lie within a 450 cone of that length . . .

Hard - To bring down a megacorp skyscraper, all you need is enough high explosive applied to the structural members. Put a cargo container full of HE on a cargo plane passing relatively close [after suitably bribing and/or blackmailing the security people involved], which you've rigged to allow you to pilot it remotely. Most importantly, give the megacorp's hackers a believable false trail revealing your preparations for this which they can "find" as soon as the plane deviates from it's flight plan. When megacorp security scrambles to deal with the threat, the other HE-loaded plane you "acquired" comes in from the far side.

Difficult - To quickly and efficiently destroy a military base, you're going to need a nuke. If you can't get one of those, then the only other option I can see is to engineer an attack on the site by a rival state/megacorp, by spreading sufficient relevant disinformation to the correct people.

Impossible - In a future where the Congressional Library can fit into a vest pocket and the descendant of today's Internet runs your house, car and litterbox, completely eliminating any data is just not going to happen. Period.
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#20 Postby Bloodwork » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:01 am

The Interface Zero book has a section on types of jobs and how much they pay. They are listed by Rank so it's pretty handy.
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