House Rules - Contacts and Fixing

General - Contacts and Fixing

Contacts in Denver

Contacts represent the people you know, people willing to do illegal business with you or do favors for you. Acquiring contacts after character generation is more difficult than acquiring them when you start the game, but it's by no means impossible.

To acquire a level 1 contact, you may purchase that contact from one of your existing contacts. The existing contact must have a plausible way to know the new contact. A contact has an availability of 5, a base time of 1 week, a street index of 1, and a base cost of 10,000 =Y=. Alternatively, you can run a plot in order to meet a contact; the contact will be counted as if it were gear worth 10,000 =Y=.

To raise a level 1 contact to level 2, you need to do two additional favors for the contact, each worth 10,000 =Y= or more. To raise a level 2 contact to level 3, you need to do three more favors for the contact, each worth 20,000 =Y= or more.

The valuations of the favors represent their effective value in terms of plots. The favors cannot be combined; even if it's something large, it takes time and effort to build up a contact's relationship with you.

When you run a plot, the way to ICly arrange the favor is simple. You could offer, "Well, tell you what. I'll give you ten kay off my rate if we can continue to do business after this." So long as the rating of the run you do that directly or indirectly benefits the contact is 'effectively' valued highly enough, relative to the payout from cash or other gear, then it can count toward the goal.

If you take a group or powerful NPC as a contact, the bigger they are, the less they care about you.


  • Bobby takes the Ancients (the renowned elven biker gang) as a Level 1 contact. He knows where they hang out, and might be able to get some info about recent events if he doesn't stick his foot in his mouth.
    • At a level 2 contact, he might know one or two of them by name and get to hang out around them without getting his ass kicked.
      • At a level 3 contact, he knows most of the local Ancients and some from other places that come through from time to time. They'd help him out in a pinch if he asked, and pass him info and maybe even jobs from time to time.
  • Martha takes the Republicans as a level 1 contact. She has a phone number that she can dial and get press releases and make donations with.
    • As a level 2 contact, she knows someone who can give her more than just the standard PR Flack.
      • As a level 3 contact, she knows some of the perks she can get from being a Republican, such as certain tax benefits and shelters.
  • Jazz, that soulful decker, takes the Nanonet Journal Archives as a level 1 contact. He has a lifetime subscription and can access their public archives freely.
    • At level 2, he knows the Sysop there and may occasionally get a piece of information before it's even published.
      • At level 3, he has an access code to their backup files, and can even retrieve files that other people have had deleted for some reason.

Players wishing to 'introduce' or share service contacts, such as (but not limited to) Cyberdocs, teachers, and essentially any contact performing a service directly for the other player, will incur costs.

These costs are ICly, background checking (through various means), bribery, and other expenses, amounting to either 10,000 nuyen normally or 5,000 via a plot. This money is expended, not given to the introducing player. Once this is done, the contact is then added to the other player's sheet.

If you think these looks a lot like buying someone elses contact without rolling the 5/1 week availability, you're absolutely right.

This does not apply to the purchase of gear for other players, and similar items, where there is no introduction and the contact does not need to work directly with the introduced player.

Fencing the Goods.

Items that are created or significantly altered, upgraded, or customized by a player character's skills may not, in general, be sold or traded to NPC's. This is to prevent people from sitting in their apartments manufacturing cash. Denver has no truly functioning economy, and there are a lot of potential loopholes in the rules on this.

Yes, this applies to decks. You can't build a deck, then fence it for more than you paid for the components. Likewise, it applies to enchanting — you can't buy items and make orichalcum and fence it to NPC's. The rule also applies to items created by NPC's employed by a PC.

We do allow a few exceptions to this. First, if the customization consists of combining purchased or otherwise acquired components, the total item (or the components) can be sold off for the value of those components. In other words, if you take a gun and add a laser sight, you can sell gun-plus-laser-sight for the cost of those components. However, the player does not 'add any value' by their labor.

Second, items *can* be made for NPC's as part of a plot, at which point the player is in effect trading their services. The value limits on their services are subject to the payout limits for the plot in question. For example, as part of a plot, the rigger spends some time customizing a car for the Don. The team can benefit from this in terms of payout, as long as the rest of the plot justifies the payout.

Third, an item that has been customized *can* be traded as part of an upgrade deal, so long as the player has used the item in question for a while (GM's discretion applies on this). For example, if you have a really nifty vehicle you've been using for a while, modded all to hell and back, but you want to buy an even niftier car, we might let you trade the value of your old vehicle in as part of the new one. In general, 'a while' means 'long enough that it's obvious that the item wasn't just created for resale'.

This will apply to items created from the time this proposal is implemented. Any customized item should have a voucher note created on it indicating that it was created by a player character's efforts.

Getting Gear, the long version.

The procedure here is for purchasing gear, legally or illegally. Of course, most purchase gear illegally. If you purchase it legally, you won't pay street index, but you'll have to have a valid SIN, and that SIN will be recorded and tracable from the item's serial number :)

The right contact for the right product.

The first step in the process is to determine which contact you plan to use. You must have an appropriate contact to purchase gear illegally. In some cases, zero-level contacts may exist (rules on this may be forthcoming). There are three general types of contacts:

  • General contacts: fixers, military supply contacts, talismonger. These contacts can get a broad range of equipment types.
  • Specific Contacts: gunsmith, armorer, enchanter, vehicle part supplier, deckmeister. These specialize in only one type of gear.
  • Specialty Contacts: pistol dealer, Armani salesman, etc. These contacts specialize in only a narrow aspect of a type of gear for whatever reason.

You may try an equipment acquisition once with each contact able to get a certain kind of gear. If you fail, then you may move onto the next contact. If you get even one success, then you are committed to the deal (fixers dislike people who back out halfway through). If you fail, you must wait the base time before trying the acquisition again with the same contact. Having multiple contacts increases your chances of obtaining an item you want, especially one with high availability.

The availability

Every item that is illegally acquired has an availability rating. This rating serves as the target number for your etiquette roll. Before you make the test, you may choose to reduce the availability of an item by increasing the base time and the street index. You may lower the availability of an item by 1 by increasing the base time by 2 days (48 hours) and the street index (SI) by either 0.2 or by 20% of the base street index, whichever is higher. The resulting adjusted availability, adjusted base time, and adjusted street index are carried forward to the etiquette test. You may repeat this procedure a number of times equal to your Etiquette skill plus twice the level of the contact. Repeating this procedure beyond that point raises the SI multiplier to 0.4 or 40% of the base value, whichever is higher. In no event may the availability be reduced below half its base value (rounded down).

Once you have determined the modified availability, you may make the Etiquette test by rolling your etiquette skill against a target number of the adjusted availability. The following modifiers apply:

Using a specific contact +1 die
Using a specialized contact +2 dice
Level 2 Contact +1 die
Level 3 Contact +2 dice
Essence Rating below 3.5 +1 TN
Gear acquired legally -2 TN

If the TN is lowered to 1 or below, the player need not roll at all and the item is available immediately. If no successes are gained (after using karma rerolls, if desired), then the player was unsuccessful in obtaining the item from the contact. The player may try another contact, or may try again with the same contact after the item's unadjusted base time has passed.

The +1 due to essence below 3.5 is 'optional'. If a player can make a reasonable argument as to why their low essence doesn't effect the purchase, it may be waived. See SR3, pg 93

A relevant knowledge skill appropriate to the way an item is acquired (Black Market, Military Equipment) may be used as a complementary skill. The skills must be clearly relevant, and additional relevant skills add only half their rating in extra dice on the complementary test, rounded down. As always, you need two full successes on a complementary test to get one effective success on the main test.

After the complementary test has been made, characters may then chose to purchase additional successes on the etiquette test in order to lower the base time. By multiplying the adjusted street index by 1.3, the character effectively purchases an extra success on the etiquette test, thus acquiring the item faster. The multiplication is done in series; each time you do it, you take the previous adjusted street index and multiply by 1.3 to get the new adjusted street index. A character may perform this process a maximum number of times equal to their base etiquette score. Repeating the procedure beyond this point requires multiplying the street index by 1.6. Legal gear can also be gotten faster in this manner. Treat it as having a SI of 1.

The Negotiation

Finally, the character is ready to perform the negotiation test. Legally purchased gear is not able to be negotiated, at the exchange for lack of SI and lowered avail, but illegal gear /must/ be negotiated. The negotiation test is a roll of the player's Negotiation skill versus the contact's Intelligence. The contact then rolls his Negotiation skill versus the player's Intelligence. Whoever gains net successes on this test may adjust the price by 5% per net success in her favor, up to 20%. After that, it becomes 5% per 2 net successes, up to 40%, then 5% per 3 net successes up to 60%, and so forth. One complementary skill, such as Gear Value, may be used on this test so long as it was not used on the Etiquette test. Again, it requires two full successes on the complementary test to yield one effective success on the primary test.

The following modifiers apply to the player's negotiation test:

Level 2 Contact -1 TN
Level 3 Contact -2 TN
Specific Contact -1 TN
Specialized Contact -2 TN
Essence Rating Below 3.5 +1 TN

The negotiation modifier may be determined by starting at 1 and adding 5% for each net success in the contact's favor, or subtracting 5% for each net success in the player's favor, up to 20%. After that, it becomes 5% per 2 net successes, up to 40%, then 5% per 3 net successes up to 60%, and so forth. (see +Hr general gear4)

The total cost of the item is calculated by the following formula:

<qty> * <base cost> * <adjusted SI> * <negotiation modifier>

You may perform one Negotiations test for an order to a single contact, or you may roll Negotiations tests for each item. This option must be declared before rolling. You may combine different items with availability of 8 or less and unit cost under 50,000 =Y=. You can always combine larger quantities of the same item into one roll as long as the unit cost of the item is under 100,000 =Y=.

To reduce the number of Etiquette tests required, you may choose to combine different types items together and make just one test. All items must be being purchased from the same contact in order to use this option. The availability used will be the highest availability of all items, and the base time will be the longest base time of all items, independent of one another. For example, if you have an item that is 6/1 day, and an item that is 4/4 days, then when you combine them, the total base time will be 6/4 days. This option is primarily intended for readily available items.

The availabilities and base times used in this rule are taken after any modifications to reduce availability by raising street index and base time. In other words, you use the adjusted availability and adjusted base time for the calculation.

Example: Bubba and his whip.

Bubba the Ork likes whips. He likes whips a lot. Think of it as a fetish. He wants a monofilament whip: Base Cost 3000, Availability 24, Street Index 3, Base Time 14 days. Because he likes whips so much, he has a specialty contact, level 2, who deals only in whips (Whipmeister?). Bubba decides this is the perfect contact to use.

The first step is that darned Availability. An availability of 24 is obscene, and Bubba knows it. Bubba has an Etiquette skill of 4. Adding that to twice his contact's rating of 2, adds another 4. Plus another 2, since it's a specialized contact. He can drop the availability 10 times at the lower rate, down to 14, and 2 more times, down to 12. Each time he does this, it adds 2 days to the base time — another 24 days, for a total of 38 days. 20% of the street index of 3 is 0.6 — much greater than 0.2 — so doing this ten times costs him an additional 6 on the street index; the last two times through cost him 0.4 * 3, or another 1.2, for a grand total of 10.2. His adjusted Availability is now 12; his adjusted time is now 38 days; and his adjusted street index is now 10.2.

Bubba makes his etiquette test. Bubba rolls his etiquette of 4 dice, plus 2 dice from using a specialized contact, plus 1 for a level 2 contact (total: 7 dice), and by spending 6 karma pool to reroll 3 times, he gets one success.

Bubba is elated! Now, to see if he can get any more. He has Whips Background at a 4, and Melee Weapons Dealing at a 5. He takes the greater of the two (5) and adds half of the other (4/2=2), for a total of 7 dice on the complementary test at the same target number of 12. Bubba gets a single success, even after spending a karma pool point in order to try again. TN 12 is still nothing to sneeze at.

Bubba doesn't want to wait 38 days for his toy, though. He wants it in a week. He'll need five more successes to get the time under 7 days, however, which will cost him. As it happens, his etiquette skill allows him to buy up to 4 more successes at the lower rate. Each time he does this, he multiplies the street index by 1.3. The last success will require him to multiply the street index by 1.6. So from 10.2 it becomes 13.26, then 17.238, then 22.4094, then 29.1322. The final iteration doubles this, up to 58.2644. This becomes 58.3 after rounding. Wanting it fast will cost Bubba.

Finally, poor Bubba rolls his negotiation test. His Negotiation is only a 3, and his Intelligence is only a 3 as well. In contrast, his contact has a Negotiation of 5 and an Intelligence of 5. Bubba rolls his 3 dice versus his fixer's intelligence of 5, minus 2 for a specialized contact, minus 1 for a level 2 contact (total TN: 2). He gets 2 successes on this test. He also can use his Gear Value skill of 3 as a complementary skill, rolling two successes which yields him another net success on the negotiation test, for a total of 3. His contact, on the other hand, rolls 5 dice versus Bubba's intelligence of 3, and gets 4 successes. Too bad, Bubba; it'll cost you another 5%.

The negotiation modifier here starts at 1. Bubba's contact got one net success, which raises the negotiation modifier to 1.05.

Bubba's monowhip fetish will cost him:

1 (qty) * 3000 (base cost) * 58.3 (SI) * 1.05 (neg. mod.)

A total of 183,645 =Y=. Now, if Bubba had been willing to wait the whole 38 days, this would have only cost him 32,130 =Y=. Patience pays.

In an attempt to make legal purchases more rewarding for the risk involved, and to better reflect the fact that it is easier to find legal suppliers rather than illegal shadow-community fixers, the Wait Time (listed after the Availability Number) for equipment purchased with a legal SIN or valid permit is halved. Note that fake SINs are still subject to a background test (which can be found at +hr general sins5 and 6).

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