Contacts

No man is an island. Some may claim they are a lone wolf, but there are always people in the background — like the guy supplying the weapons or the doc patching up wounds — who support this individual in his supposedly solo adventures. In the business of crossrunning, there is a certain risk in trusting someone else. It’s not just the money, but do you have faith that they gave you the correct information? Do you have faith that you’ll wake up when you go under the knife? At the same time, getting too close to a contact can lead to liabilities and weaknesses that can be leveraged against you. What sort of people do you have in your little black book besides a Fixer?   Maybe you have the number of a redheaded S-K admin waiting for your call. Maybe you know an arms dealer who fences guns on the side. Maybe your roommate is good enough to give you a lift anywhere in the city, including braving the Barrens. Here we’ll further expand on the details of what a contact is, what they want, and more. These rules can build more detailed and layered relationships between characters and their contacts.
 

Contacts

You are who you know. In the shadows of the universe, this is truer than you might want to believe.
 
Contacts are NPCs who serve as sources of the information, goods, and services that keep Crossers alive and well. Often, they can’t get chip-truth about what they’ve gotten themselves into from anyone else. This section will help you get the most out of these all-important NPCs.
 

Contacts by the Numbers

Crossers and their contacts are going to see an awful lot of each other. Like other important NPCs, they should be built with the Priority System.   Generally, they should be considered Inferior or Equal to the PCs. Assume that they’re going to have the basic gear and lifestyle they need to do their day job. A detective is going to have a pistol, handcuffs, and light body armor, for instance, while Mr. Johnson is going to have a fancy commlink and high-NuCred suit.   Contacts are different from other NPCs because they’re useful to the PCs. There are two Ratings that measure just how useful they are.
 

Connection

Connection measures the contact’s influence, if any, measured on a scale of 1 to 12. The higher the Connection Rating, the more juice the contact has. The Connection Rating Table describes each level and shows how they should be portrayed.   A character can’t start the game with any contact with a Connection Rating higher than 6.
 

CONNECTION RATING TABLE

Rating Description
1 Virtually no social influence; useful only for their Knowledge skills.
2 Has one or two friends with some Knowledge skills, or some minor social influence.
3 Has a few friends, but not a lot of social influence.
4 Knows several people in a neighborhood; a borough mayor or a gang leader.
5 Knows several people and has a moderate degree of social influence; a city councilman or a low-level executive it a small-to-medium corporation.
6 Known and connected across his state; a city/sprawl mayor or governor, notable Fixer, or a mid-level executive in a medium-sized corporation.
7 Knows a lot of people over a large area, and has considerable social influence; often holds a leadership position in a national corporation.
8 Well-connected across a multi-state region; an executive in a state government or a national corporation.
9 Well-connected on his own continent, with considerable social influence; a mid-level executive in a small national government or AA megacorporation.
10 Well-connected worldwide, with significant social influence; a senior executive in a small national government or a AA megacorporation.
11 Extremely well-connected worldwide, with significant social influence; mid-level executive position in a major national government or AAA megacorporation.
12 Global power-player with extensive social influence; holds a key executive position in a major national government or AAA megacorporation.
 

Social Networking

There are some tasks that may be too big for one contact to accomplish, but pooling talent/resources might help them do it together. In this wireless, technological world, a character can get his contacts together through the commlink, sharing face time and information instantaneously. If the gamemaster permits, the character makes a simple Leadership + Charisma [Social] Test, with hits being the limit on the number of contacts a character can manage for this task. The Contacts then can make a teamwork test for completing the task. The cost of social networking for the character is that he has to pay each contact individually for this service, not just their portion of it; that means the price they have to shell out is multiplied by the number of contacts it took to get it.
 

Loyalty

This shows you how much you can trust the contact. This is measured on a scale of 1 to 6. The higher the Loyalty Rating, the more the contact is willing to do for the PC. The Loyalty Rating Table gives details on each level and how it should be handled.   The Loyalty Rating is applied as bonus dice whenever a PC negotiates with the contact (or vice-versa). The gamemaster should also use it as a modifier or a threshold (as appropriate) when someone else tries to put the squeeze on a contact about the runners.
 

LOYALTY RATING TABLE

Rating Description
1 Just Biz. The relationship is purely mercenary, based solely on economics. The people involved may not even like each other, and they won’t offer any sort of preferential treatment.
2 Regular. The relationship is still all business, but the parties treat each other with a modicum of mutual respect.
3 Acquaintance. The people in the relationship are friendly, but calling them actual friends might be stretching it. The contact is willing to be inconvenienced in small ways for the character but won’t take a fall for him.
4 Buddy. There’s actual friendship here, or at least solid mutual respect. The contact will go out of his way for the character if needed.
5 Got Your Back. The parties know and trust each other, and have for some time. The contact will back the character even in risky situations.
6 Friend for Life. The contact and character will go to the wall for each other, if that’s what it takes.
 

A Test of Loyalty

If a contact is under duress, their loyalty to the character may be tested. Make a Loyalty Test to see whether the contact can resist intimidation, torture, bribes, etc. Roll the character’s Intuition + the contact’s Loyalty rating, and apply the hits as bonus dice to the usual resistance roll. Other actions done or not done by the character can also lead to Loyalty Tests.
 

Nature of the Relationship

How do you define the relationship between your character and his contact? Most of that is determined by the Loyalty rating, but there are some qualities that can be added to refine the relationship.
 
Nothing Personal, Just Business
Sure, the contact is loyal to the character (according to his starting Loyalty rating), but for how long? And while the relationship from the contact to the character is “buddy,” what about the reverse? How do you know the contact? Is he an old army buddy? Is he a victim of the character’s blackmail? Is the character just using the contact, toying with her emotions until she is no longer useful? Will the character honor favors requested by the contact or keep things strictly business? These are many questions that the player should think about when creating contacts.
 

Blackmail

Contacts with this quality cost an additional 2 XP.   The character has something that he can hold over the contact to get him to do his business. Loyalty then becomes a measure of how much leverage you have over this contact. Loyalty Tests still apply as normal, but it’s not giving up the character the contact is worried about, but having the blackmail exposed. With blackmail, a contact’s Loyalty (Leverage) doesn’t diminish, nor can a contact leave the character. The character must use intimidation in order to get this contact to do anything for him (see Using Intimidation, below). Favors with a blackmailed contact do not cost the character.   If the contact fails a Loyalty (Leverage) Test it means he doesn’t care who knows what he’s being blackmailed for. The contact then is not a contact anymore (see Burning Bridges below). The character gains a point of Notoriety (see Reputation), and there are now people out for payback (use the Connection Rating to determine the approximate Professional Rating of the people who will be coming after the contact). Any other fallout of the blackmailed information on the contact is up to the gamemaster.
 

Family

Buying a contact with this quality costs an additional 1 XP.   Blood is always thicker than water. This is true for having family as contacts. Treat contacts with the family quality as having a Loyalty one higher than their actual Loyalty when performing Loyalty Tests. The character earns 1 less chip than a normal contact when asking favors. Chips spent in improving relationships also cost one less.   On the downside, contacts are less diligent in getting things done for family, since it’s work for family. Reduce the Loyalty by 1 in performing their job. This includes extra dice, discounts, etc.
 

Maintaining Contact Relations

Contacts are maintained through the usual interaction between character and contact. If the player does not keep up some sort of interaction between character and contact (once every (Loyalty) months), then the gamemaster can make a Loyalty (2) Test to see if the contact has lost interest or given up on the character. If unsuccessful, the contact’s Loyalty Rating drops by 1. If the contact’s Loyalty drops to 0, the contact may be lost all together (see Burning Bridges below.
 

Paying off Debt

As stated previously, chips can be paid off through the contact’s preferred method of payment within the acceptable timeframe (see Cash). If a payment is not made within the timeframe, the contact makes a Loyalty Test with a threshold equal to the number of weeks that have passed. If successful, the Loyalty endures and the contact gives the character a break and another week to make a payment. If unsuccessful, the Loyalty to the character is reduced by 1. This test occurs every week until the debt has been paid. If the character turns down a contact’s request for a favor that would pay off some debt, a Loyalty Test is made with a threshold of the number of chips that would have cost. This test is made regardless of whether the player wanted to pay off the debt in a different way, as it shows how the character treats his contacts.
 

Using Intimidation

Would your character threaten/bully a contact to get what he wants? Intimidation can be used with negotiations through a Teamwork Test in order to gain a favor or service from a contact without having to pay for it or fall into debt to the contact with chips. The cost of abusing contacts in this fashion is an immediate reduction of Loyalty by 1 and removal of the player’s ability to improve the relationship between the contact and character. Every use of intimidation continues to reduce a contact’s Loyalty by 1 until the character burns the bridge between them. The exception to this loyalty reduction is contacts who are being blackmailed.
 

Using Con/Seduction

Would your character deceive/lie to their contact in order to keep the relationship going? During downtime, an opposed Deception Test can be used to maintain the Loyalty of a contact. If successful, the contact’s Loyalty remains the same even if the contact had to make a Loyalty Test in the same week. If the character gets more net hits than the current Loyalty of the contact, the contact raises his Loyalty to the contact by 1. Failing this test reduces the contact’s Loyalty by 1. This test can be made only once in a downtime period per contact. If the character fails to pay off debt in the appropriate amount of time or does not redeem a favor asked by the contact, any Loyalty Test that fails reduces their Loyalty by 2. The character also earns a point of notoriety (see Reputation) for their deception.
 

When your Reputation Precedes You

Characters with enough Street Cred or Notoriety (see Reputation) can be known by other Crossers, contacts, law enforcement, and organized criminals. When a character is recognized, Street Cred becomes a bonus to his Social limit. If the character has more Notoriety than Street Cred, it becomes a hindrance in forming new contact relations. For each 2 points of Notoriety over Street Cred, improving Loyalty costs additional 1 XP or 2 chips.
 

Burning Bridges

Contacts whose Loyalty Ratings are reduced to 0 are getting ready to wash their hands of the character. If the player does not invest any time/interest in that contact to fix the relationship, that contact is lost to that character by the start of the next job/adventure. All chips owed by or debited to the contact are erased at this point. The contact becomes part of the character’s history (see I Know a Guy sidebar). A blackmailed contact’s relationship cannot be fixed.
 

Using Contacts

Friday night socials and a beer at the local bar are all well and good, but the real value of a contact is what they can do for you. There are four major things they can do: legwork, networking, swag, and favors. While these things are helpful, they rarely come for free.   Before a character can get help from his contacts, though, he has to get hold of them. Since they live their own lives when they’re not helping the PCs, this isn’t always as easy as it might sound. For the most part, there isn’t a set process or test to determine a contact’s availability; that is entirely up to the gamemaster. It depends on the needs of his story. If getting hold of a particular contact would give the PCs information that the gamemaster isn’t ready for them to have, then that contact is caught in a meeting and can’t take the PC’s call. If the PCs don’t call a particular contact, though, and that contact has vital information that the PCs are missing, then he might call the PCs for reasons of his own. This can serve the dual purpose of helping the players out and setting up another job later on down the road.   If the gamemaster doesn’t care one way or another about a particular contact getting involved in the story, he should roll 2D6; the contact is available if the roll equals or exceeds the contact’s Connection rating. The more influential the contact, after all, the busier they tend to be. Other factors might also be in play, such as how the character treated the contact the last time they dealt with each other, or who owes whom a favor.
 

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Legwork

This is the primary function of most contacts in a Swan Song game. Typically, legwork means discovering or following up on clues, and contacts provide one of the best ways for Crossers to get the information they need.   When a character asks a contact for information, there is a chance that the contact may already know the answer. Make a skill test using any of the contact’s appropriate Knowledge skills + linked attribute to determine if the contact knows something and exactly what he knows. The contact’s Social limit applies to this test. If the test is successful and the contact knows something, the gamemaster determines if the contact is willing to share that information. If it’s inconsequential to them, contacts will generally share the info. If it’s info the contact was asked to keep confidential, or it could hurt him if the wrong people learned he knew it, he will be understandably reluctant to share it. In this case, a Negotiation Test will be necessary to get the contact to divulge what he knows; apply the contact’s Loyalty rating as extra dice to your roll.   A PC’s Street Cred can affect the Social limit for this test. You can lay out some NuCred to get the contact to be a little more willing to share; the gamemaster can set the exact parameters, but generally for each 100 x (7—Loyalty) NuCred you shell out, you get an extra die on your Negotiation Test (one of the few times you get to actually buy dice).   If the test fails and the contact doesn’t know anything, he can still ask around to learn the answer. The contact makes an Extended Connection + Charisma [Social] Test, where the interval is 1 hour and the threshold is based on the gamemaster-determined difficulty of the question/information sought, as noted on the Extended Test Thresholds table. The gamemaster can substitute an appropriate Knowledge skill for Charisma. He can also apply any modifiers he feels are appropriate, especially if the information sought isn’t something the contact would normally have access to.
 

Networking

Sometimes Crossers have to talk to someone they just don’t know. Perhaps they’re trying to convince a megacorp to stop hunting them, or they need help from a gang leader to deal with another gang. If the characters don’t know, or can’t approach, the right people, they’re going to have to go to their contacts and ask them to be their go-betweens.   If a contact is approached to network on behalf of a Crosser, determine if there is any risk to the contact in making the needed inquiries. Titans, for instance, might take a dim view of a request for a meeting if it’s handled poorly; this qualifies as a high risk. If there is risk, you might have to convince your contact first (through Negotiation, Con, blackmail, or good role-playing).   If the contact agrees to help out, the contact makes an Etiquette + Charisma [Social] Test with a threshold equal to the target NPC’s Connection Rating. Apply any appropriate social modifiers, based on the relationship between the PCs and the target NPC and a dice pool bonus equal to the contact’s Connection rating.   If the test succeeds, the contact has successfully arranged a meeting with the desired person, either in person or via the ECHOnet. Timing might be an issue; the gamemaster should use his best judgment. If the players push, tell them 4D6 hours. Once the meeting is set up, impressing the NPC, either positively or negatively, is up to the player characters. This generally ends the contact’s role in networking. If the meeting goes really well or really badly, however, it can affect the contact’s rep accordingly.   The contact might not be able to arrange a direct meeting with the desired individual, but he might be able to arrange a meeting with someone close to that person. This person, in turn, can then be negotiated with to arrange the meeting with the NPC in question. These meetings are easier for the contact to arrange, and generally entail less risk to his life, limbs, and reputation.
 

Swag

You want something, other people have it. With any luck, your contact is one of these other people. You also might be able to sell them some goods you picked up while on the job.   This is like networking, except you’re specifically trying to buy or sell something. A contact can use her connections to find potential buyers or sellers. Contacts looking for traders follow the same procedures for Availability and Fencing Tests that PCs do, using their own Charisma and Negotiation skill instead of yours, along with their Connection rating as a modifier to their Social limit. If you’re willing to sweeten the deal for the potential trading partner, let your contact know in advance—they’re good, but they’re not psychic.
 

Favors

This covers just about anything else that a contact can do for a character, from patching up a shotup vehicle to patching up a shot-up Crosser, and almost everything in between. Any kind of direct aid rendered by a contact usually counts as a favor. There are two types of favors: business services and personal assistance.
 

Business Services

Business services are those that you could obtain anywhere, from anybody, such as medical treatment or equipment repair. The problem with getting it from a complete stranger is the fact that a lot of those strangers keep records, and that’s not always a good thing for a Crosser. A contact will still charge what the market will bear for services rendered, but he’ll also do it all under the table. If you want to haggle for a lower price, you can try a Negotiation + Charisma [Social] Opposed Test, adding your contact’s Loyalty Rating to your dice pool. Net hits on either side raise or lower the fee by ten percent, as appropriate.
 

Shadow Services

This is a special kind of favor. Contacts who perform this kind of service have a job to do, and they’re using their skills on your behalf for a form of payment besides the usual cash.
 

Personal Assistance

Personal assistance is a little harder to define. It covers many kinds of aid that aren’t paid for with cash. Whether or not a contact is willing to render personal assistance is up to player and gamemaster judgment. Occasionally there might be a need for more formal guidance. Some favors, obviously, are bigger than others. The gamemaster will look on the Favor Rating Table to see how big a personal favor you might be asking for. Favor Ratings range from 1 to 6; the bigger the number, the more you’re asking their contact to take on. Contacts will normally agree to personal assistance with a Favor Rating equal to or less than their Loyalty Rating. If the Favor Rating exceeds the contact’s Loyalty Rating, you’ll need to convince the contact with a Negotiation + Charisma [Social] Opposed Test.   Of course, you’ll owe your contact at least one favor to be named later. How the favor is repaid depends on the gamemaster, but it should be at least equal in Favor Rating. Of course, a gamemaster can use a favor owed as a plot hook for a new adventure.
 

Personal Favors

This also is a special kind of favor. These contacts have power, influence, or are in a position of authority. You want them to use that power/influence/ authority to bend the rules, turn a blind eye, or whisper in someone’s ear a suggestion.
 

Support

These contacts may not have power, a job that can be exploited, or money you can borrow, but dammit they’ve got your back. Some may have some talent, a cool toy that you don’t know how to use, or maybe they just have a place for you to crash. More often support contacts are the friends and minor contacts that are not necessarily a big part of the shadowrunner’s business, but play a role in the other aspects of his life.
 

Favor Rating Table

Rating Description
1 Minor. Deliver a message to someone. Provide access to a low-level restricted security area (airport boarding area, police station).
2 Low Risk. Loan use of specialized equipment (up to 5,000 NC in value). Corporate action requiring the signature of a first-line supervisor.
3 Medium. Provide access to a mid-level restricted security area (standard corporate research lab).
4 Moderate Risk. Loan use of specialized equipment (up to 50,000 nuyen in value). Corporate requisition requiring the signature of a middle manager.
5 Serious. Provide access to a high-level security area (FBI offices, AA megacorporate headquarters, AAA regional headquarters).
6 Major Risk. Loan of specialized equipment (up to 500,000 NC in value). Corporate requisition requiring the signature of a senior manager or junior executive.
 

Glitches

When dealing with contacts, glitches can happen on both sides. When they do, the gamemaster has a number of options depending on what the contact was doing for the character. If it was legwork, for instance, he might get some facts wrong and steer the PC in the wrong direction. If he was acquiring swag, the item might be used, or have some unfortunate bugs. Otherwise, a glitch probably means that a third party has learned about what the PC is up to. The gamemaster determines if and when the Crossers learn about the information leak, and whether they can do something about it or if they find out about it the hard way.   A critical glitch, of course, tells you that things have gone completely pear-shaped. A contact provides information that is flat-out untrue. Someone in the supply chain decides to double-cross the PCs. One of the NPCs involved has taken offense at something that was said. Worse yet, word about what the PCs are doing has reached the absolute worst person it could. A character could find their arch-nemesis or a devoted officer of the law pursuing them with less-than-savory intentions.
 

Favor for a Friend

Contacts do things for you—but not for nothing. Everything has a price, remember? They’ll expect some kind of quid pro quo, usually something along the line of their Connection Rating x 100 NuCred for information or expertise, up to around their Connection Rating x 1,000 NuCred for goods or services rendered; they’ll probably lop off up to their Loyalty x ten percent if you’ve been nice to them. This doesn’t have to be a straight-up monetary donation—you could take them out for a nice dinner, or buy them a new commlink, put in some work at their favorite charity, get their apartment painted, or something else they’d like—but very few people are allergic to cash.   Of course, you can always owe them one. Which means that sometimes you find yourself doing something for a contact. Sometimes, a favor for a friend will turn into a full-fledged job, one that goes beyond the typical work-for-NuCred job. This lets the gamemaster get creative and work in plot twists, new conflicts, and other drama into their campaign.   Doing a favor like this gives you the chance to choose your own jobs instead of waiting for a call from your friendly neighborhood Fixer. It also allows you to pursue personal interests and take on opponents without worrying about being stabbed in the back by a sneaky Mr. Johnson—though that can always happen as the job progresses (who can you really trust in the universe, anyway?). As the game progresses, contacts are going to become more valuable. When that happens, they’re also more likely to ask you to repay previous assistance with a favor. As the contact becomes more useful, of course, the favors become more harrowing. And isn’t that as it should be?
 

What does a Contact want?

Contacts don’t do things for you out of the goodness of their hearts. Everything has a price. Payment doesn’t have to come in NuCred, but it has to come. Maybe it’s favor trading, maybe it’s helping the contact satisfy a particular vice, or maybe it’s supplying critical data. Each contact has a transaction type they prefer, and if their price isn’t met, the character owes the contact (see I Owe You One, below).   If the price isn’t paid in a proper time frame, the contact’s going to notice, and there will be consequences. The contact’s Loyalty to the character can go down, the character might take a hit to their reputation, or worse (see Nothing Personal, Just Business, below).
 

Cash

For many contacts, the almighty digital NuCred is acceptable, especially in transactions for services and goods. A service fee would of course be added to the price of the item or service depending on the relationship the contact has with the character and the effort to find the item (which is tied to the item’s Availability Rating).   Another alternative to NuCred is Corporate Scrip. Corporations don’t pay their employees in NuCred, they pay them in scrip to be used in corporate-owned stores for corporate-brand foodstuff and entertainment. Corporate scrip can’t be spent outside corporate stores, which limits its utility, but corporate-based contacts may be willing to be paid in this manner as it may lead to fewer questions about where they got the money.   The third alternative is the hard stuff, actual for-real currency. Not a certified credstick, but bits of plastic, metal, and cloth with a monetary value printed on them. They are still out there, but don’t circulate much. There’s no NuCred hard currency, but some of the less-developed planets and species of the world still use bills and coins. This method is favored by those who live in the backwaters where currency is still king, or paranoid types who retain vivid memories of two Matrix crashes and worry about what a glitch might do to their electronic wealth. Hard currency isn’t as traceable as a credstick, but it’s easier to counterfeit.
 
Repayment Amount Acceptable Time Frame
Up to 100 NC 4 Weeks
Up to 1.000 NC 3 Weeks
Up to 10.000 NC 2 Weeks
Up to 100.000 NC 1 Weeks
 

Services

More often contacts will offer their support, service, or intel for a character provided that the character in turn does a job for them. The services a contact may request can be grouped into the following categories: shadow work, contact-related work, and drek jobs.   Most common is shadow work, requesting a job that Crossers do best, using the skills they sell on the open market. Clearly the skills have some value, or the character wouldn’t be getting any job offers. Contacts might ask for a Crosser to assist them in classic shadow work such as sabotaging a competitor’s business, stealing paydata, retrieving something stolen from them, or more nobly, helping them get out from under the thumb of a blackmailer, kidnapper, or criminal organization.   Frequently, the contact might have a use for a character’s skills in the course of their normal job, so they call Crossers in for contact-related work. Free skilled labor is just as valuable as shadow services, and it has the benefit of being less messy. Or even legal. A street doc contact probably wouldn’t ask a street sam to do brain surgery, but could ask him to serve as a courier for medical supplies, or act as security detail at a Barrens medical office. A law-enforcement contact may send them to canvass a neighborhood. A middle management contact might engage them in some hot data entry action, though it would likely be best for this not to be the focus on an entire gaming session.   Then there’s the occasional off-the-wall drek job. There’s a cockroach the size of a car spotted in the sewer that needs exterminating, Aunt Alice needs someone to take her to samba lessons, or a contact with kids needs someone to chaperone a high-school prom. These are jobs that the contact doesn’t want to deal with, and the character is the perfect person to push it off on. Drek jobs are a catchall for stuff that needs doing but doesn’t require a Crosser’s particular set of skills and doesn’t relate to the contact’s line of work. What matters is that the contact trusts the character enough to get it done right.
 

Barter

There are contacts who do not use a bank or NuCred to keep their electronic footprint at a minimum, so they favor trading for goods, keeping everything off-bank and off-book. These trades can be directly related to the contact’s work, like a gun dealer asking for specific guns in exchange for performing repair or modification services, or they can be more wide-ranging. An intelligence source, for example, may trade some juicy information for a pack of real, honest-to-goodness Arabica beans, or a reporter may pass along information about an on-the-rise corp executive in exchange for a shiny new commlink. Sometimes the contacts want the goods they are receiving for themselves, or sometimes they want them because of the value they carry. For example, a prisoner may ask for soy chips or caffeine packets, as those serve as currency substitutes on the inside. In various cities, people craft or grow stuff to trade as they lack a convenient store where they can spend NuCred.   Some contacts are always in need of items relating to their business. Instead of fencing loot, a runner might bring guns to a weapons dealer, medicine to a street doc, or a car to a chop shop as payment for services. Such items, whose worth may change depending on the contact’s skill and opinions, work best where precise values of information and services are somewhat ambiguous.   Then you have those big contacts who already seem to have everything. What can a Crosser get them? Cash might not hold any interest for them, at least not at the level Crosser are likely to be able to offer. Their heads might, however, be turned by unique, biotic, or rare items. The Wizard of Oz wouldn’t help Dorothy go home until she brought him the witch’s broomstick—the powers of the world of Swan Song may have similarly odd requests that need to be fulfilled before they offer their services, and these requests can form the basis of a side trip or entirely new adventure.
 

Other

There’s always a back door to getting help from your contacts. To find it, here are some questions to ask: How well do you know them? Are they married? Do they have kids? Hobbies? Vices? Answering these questions can help characters find the right item or offer to unlock the contact’s services. If the contact is a family man, the character may trade a trip to virtual Funland in exchange for a big favor. The risk of doing this is, if you play off the contact’s vice, he may become less effective. How helpful will a contact be if they succumb further into their addiction that you’ve been feeding? Will the favor be worth it, knowing that the contact could be compromised in multiple ways once the payment is made? If an addiction is supplied, the gamemaster should check on a contact’s addiction to see if he further succumbs to it.
 

I Owe You One (Gaining Chips)

Say your character is in the middle of some job and you need help from a contact, but don’t have the cash to pay her. If the relationship is close enough, the character might get away with a simple promise: “I owe you one.” So what does this mean? It means that the character can work to pay the contact in cash for the service in some agreed-upon time period, or they could satisfy their debt through offering a favor. The tracking of who owes what to whom is done through a system of “chips.”   If the character successfully requests a favor from a contact, the contact gains chips with the character equal to the Rating of the favor. When the character makes some sort of attempt at repaying the contact for the favor, the contact should generally demand twice the value of the favor in payment; that is, if the contact did a Rating 2 favor, the character should have to perform two Rating 2 favors in return, or one Rating 4 favor. An agreed-upon cash payment, based on approximately twice the market value of the original favor, can also be accepted as payment. Payment with valuable goods can be used in place of cash if the contact is amenable.   When a character owes a chip to a contact, that contact can cash in that chip or several chips to gain a favor from the character, possibly pro-bono side missions that drag the other characters in as well. If the character decides not to honor the favor, the relationship between the character and contact can degrade, possibly reducing the Loyalty of the contact (especially if the initial favor was Rating 3 or higher).   In the reverse, sometimes the character can do some good work for a contact, but the character doesn’t want anything at this point (or the contact doesn’t have anything to give to the character). Or the contact requests a favor of the character and the character completes it. This is considered a chip for the character. These chips have a relatively long shelf life, and the character can collect them from any contact.   So what can a character do with chips?
 

Improve Relationship

While the gamemaster is free to roleplay how the character can improve a relationship with a contact, a factor in this could be chips that the character and contact may owe each other. The character can spend chips and time in weeks to improve the relationship up one level. The cost is equal to the loyalty level the character is trying to achieve, both in chips and weeks of time. So going from Just Biz (Rating 1) to Regular (Rating 2) would cost two chips and two weeks of downtime relating to interaction with the contact.   This may get pretty lengthy and expensive in moving from Got Your Back (Rating 5) to Buddy For Life (Rating 6), so if the character wishes to do so, the gamemaster might wish to incorporate some of the time and challenge into an adventure. If the characters are able to complete work that brings significant benefits to the contact, the gamemaster may improve both the Connection rating and the Loyalty of the contact as well at the end of the adventure.
 

Future Service

A character who is low on funds, needs help from a contact, and has some chips from them can spend chips to pay for services. The gamemaster determines just how many chips are needed to pay for what the characters want.
 

Favors

A character’s chips can also be used to get favors from a contact. Favors can be service other than those the contact normally offers, but the action must be within the contact’s abilities as decided by the gamemaster. Each chip spent adds one die to the Negotiation Test to gain the favor, up to a maximum bonus of +4. If successful, the contact gains chips equal to the Rating of the favor, minus any remaining chips the character has with the contact. If the character has a lot of outstanding chips, the favor may only partially reduce their debt.
 

Group or Organization Contact Options

Maybe a character owes loyalty to a gang they were part of before they started running. Maybe she’s an ex-soldier from a mercenary organization, or a former corp drone. Maybe he still secretly works for Black Star or is an investigative reporter looking for the inside scoop. In these cases and more, a character might have a contact that is an entire organization, rather than a single individual.   An organization is different from a single contact within the organization. It is faceless, so it cannot do the character any favors, nor can you gain or owe chips to the organization. Loyalty is limited to 1, and the character has some contractual obligation to the organization that he should not break, lest he be kicked out of the club (these can often come from Obligations).   Some organizations also require the character to have a Sin so they can clearly identify the person making he request. Group and organizational contacts are limited to legwork or networking services. The contact provides bonus dice to the character they can use in tests made during legwork or efforts to find help. This represents the character using the nameless/faceless channels within the organization. There is a downside to using this kind of contact, as it leaves a data trail and lets select people in an organization know a little bit about what you are up to.   Selecting an organizational contact is a little different than choosing other contacts. Treat the XP spent at character creation for an organizational contact as part of the expenditure for positive qualities, making it part of the limit that can be spent on qualities.
 

Organizational Contacts

Organization Connection Bonus XP Cost SIN Required
Street Gang 1 5 No
City Government 1 3 Yes
Private Organization 2 10 Depends
Organized Crime 2 12 No
Black Star / GOD 3 15 Yes
Corporation 3 20 Yes
 

Sample Contacts

Below are several contacts that a character might have to deal with, including information about their usual service/support type, Connection Rating, and preferred payment method. Some additional details (species, gender, hobbies, and personal life) are suggested, and there is a brief description provided. No armor, equipment, cyberware, or biotics is included with these sample contacts.
 

Arms Dealer

What are you looking for? Better recoil? Armor piercing? Range? How about a chainsaw accessory or a pearl handle with a clamshell holster? The Arms Dealer offers a variety of firearms, from the hold-out pistol to assault cannon along with a rainbow of ammo flavors. The Arms Dealer does business with a number of organizations. Instead of selling to the highest bidder, he makes sure there’s plenty to go around. Pricing depends on how much he likes you and what permits you already have. As a favor, he might let you borrow or purchase one of the bigger toys.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesHuman
SexMale
AgeMiddle-Aged
TypeSwag
Connection Rating4
Preferred Payment MethodBarter (hobby/vice items)
Hobby / ViceWeapons (military)
Personal LifeDivorced
StatsB:3, A:3, R:5, S:3, W:4, L:3, I:3, C:4, E:6, K:2
SkillsComputers 3, Etiquette 4 (Corporate +2), Firearms 4, Gunnery 3, Instruction 2, Negotiation 5, Perception 4
Knowledge SkillsChemistry 4, Firearms 4, Mercenary Groups 4
UsesFencing, Armor, Weapons, Modifications
Places to MeetArms Shop, Shooting Range, Private Rooms
Similar ContactsMilitary Supply Officer, Terrorist
 

Bartender

Bartenders serve drinks. They also serve as counselor and crying shoulder to nearly everyone who comes into their joint. They see and hear just about everything, which is why it’s so very important to make his acquaintance and make his tip jar a little heavier.   Bartenders know everyone, so they’ll be able to let you know who hasn’t been in for a while, whose kid has run away from home this time, whose wife is screwing some other guy—just about anything you might need to know. He can also connect you to the local rumor mill, and he might have something juicy that one of his clients let slip in a haze of gin and tonic. He can guide newbies to suppliers of a variety of goods and services. It’ll all cost you, of course—sometimes straight-up cred, sometimes a round for the house to keep the good will flowing.   He’s known for his discretion, however. He won’t just spill to anyone without a really good reason. Like we said, it’ll cost you … but it’s usually worth it to keep him (and sometimes his other customers) happy.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesGrond
SexMale
AgeMiddle-Aged
TypeLegwork
Connection Rating1
Preferred Payment MethodCash (credstick)
Hobby / ViceEntertainment (odd ECHOnet shows)
Personal LifeNone of your damn business
StatsB:4, A:3, R:3, S:4, W:4, L:3, I:4, C:5, E:6, K:1
SkillsAutomatics 1, Clubs 3, Etiquette 4 (Street +2), Intimidation 2, Negotiation 3
Knowledge SkillsAlcohol 4, Media Stars 4, Sports 4, Street Rumors 2
UsesInformation, additional contacts, back rooms for private meets
Places to MeetAny bar / nightclub
Similar ContactsBouncer, Nightclub Owner, Stripper, Waitress
 

Bodyguard

She has a job to do in protecting someone else’s life even if it means taking a bullet for them. She works in the private sector, picking up temp jobs for visiting travelers or acting as extra security during events or private parties. While not in the crossrunning business, she can always lend a pair of eyes or ears.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesHuman
SexFemale
AgeMiddle-Aged
TypeSupport
Connection Rating2
Preferred Payment MethodCash (credstick)
Hobby / ViceSocial Habit (cigarettes)
Personal LifeIn a relationship
StatsB:4, A:3, R:4, S:4, W:3, L:3, I:3, C:3, E:6, K:2
SkillsEtiquette 2 (Corporate +2), Leadership 2, Perception 3, Pistols 4, Running 2, Unarmed Combat 4
UsesPersonal Protection, Investigation
Similar ContactsBounty Hunter, Rent-a-Cop
 

Bookmaker

May the odds be ever in your favor—that’s what he says every time you place a bet. His comment is not, of course, sincere. He’s good at knowing the odds in the various games of sport across the grids and balancing them so whatever the matchup, he’ll get money put down on either side. He is also good at knowing the statistics of the sports players and who’s open for other games of chance (pool, darts, etc.). You can borrow money from him, but expect substantial interest to be added.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesVosk
SexMale
AgeOld
TypeShadow Service
Connection Rating2
Preferred Payment MethodCash (credstick)
Hobby / ViceVehicles (antique cars)
Personal LifeWidowed
StatsB:5, A:4, R:3, S:3, W:4, L:5, I:4, C:2, E:6, K:1
SkillsComputers 3, Con 3, Etiquette 3, Negotiation 4, Perception 5
Knowledge SkillsCurrency Exchange Rates 3, Gambling Sites 6, Horse Breeds 3, Sport Statistics 6
UsesInformation, additional contacts, back rooms for private meets
Places to Meetsport arenas, gambling rings, private rooms
Similar ContactsLoan Shark
 

Bounty Hunter

A Bounty Hunter will chase down a subject provided the price is right. She can track down anyone anywhere given enough time, money, and details on the person. Pricing also depends on if you want just a location, a corpse, or a still breathing subject. She is not subtle in her techniques as she works fast to get to the next target. She is one of the more refreshingly straightforward contacts with ten percent cash up front.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesYurian
SexFemale
AgeYoung
TypeLegwork
Connection Rating3
Preferred Payment MethodCash (credstick)
Hobby / ViceEntertainment (illegal gore videos)
Personal LifeSingle
StatsB:3, A:5, R:5, S:4, W:5, L:3, I:4, C:4, E:6, K:1
SkillsAthletics skill group 2, Con 3, Etiquette 2, Intimidation 3, Negotiation 3, Perception 4, Pistols 4
Knowledge Skills[City] Streets 3, Local Coyotes 3, Organized Crime 3, Safe Houses 4
Useswet work, locating persons, arresting
Places to Meetprivate rooms
Similar ContactsBodyguard, Mercenary
 

Chop Shop Mechanic

She is gifted in taking apart and putting back together vehicles of various shapes and sizes. She takes advantage of her talent by selling parts of stolen vehicles on the black market and making illegal modifications to her clients’ vehicles. For you, she can take out those bullet holes with no questions asked; she can also provide a loaner for the evening, provided you don’t tell anyone where you got it and remember to ditch it as soon as possible.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesVermir
SexFemale
AgeMiddle-Aged
TypeShadow Service
Connection Rating3
Preferred Payment MethodBarter (easy to sell)
Hobby / ViceNothing of Interest
Personal LifeSingle
StatsB:3, A:5, R:3, S:3, W:4, L:5, I:3, C:2, E:6, K:2
SkillsMechanic 8, Computers 4, Gunnery 4, Persuasion 2, Pilot Ground Craft 6
Knowledge SkillsCar Dealers 4, Combat Biking 4, Junkyards 4, Vehicles 4
Usesvehicle trade, repairs, modifications
Places to Meetworkshop, garage
Similar ContactsOutlaw-Technician, Construction Worker, Modder
 

City Official

The City Official is a typical bureaucrat who has used his charms and public image to sway the voters to elect him into a position of power. He is, however, more concerned about the needs of his boss and sponsors than those of the masses. He’s the most honest con artist you’ll ever meet. Always good for offering dirt on his political rivals and can possibly be persuaded to leverage the city’s resources for a runner if it offers a career advantage.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesHuman
SexMale
AgeYoung
TypePersonal Favor
Connection Rating6
Preferred Payment MethodService (Crosser job)
Hobby / ViceBad habit (novacoke)
Personal LifeDivorced
StatsB:4, A:3, R:4, S:4, W:4, L:3, I:4, C:6, E:6, K:2
SkillsPerformance 4, Computers 4, Etiquette 5 (Corporate +2), Leadership 5, Negotiation 5, Pistols 3, Stealth 3, Unarmed Combat 4
Knowledge SkillsDrugs 3, Drug Dealers 2, Law 6, Street Rumors 3
Usesdirt on politicians, legal favors, sponsoring
Places to Meetbureau, city council
Similar ContactsCorporate Executive, Organization Leader
 

Club Kid

She stays on the bleeding edge of fashion, keeping a finger on the pulse of the city so she always knows where the party is. She thinks she knows everybody who’s anybody and might have rubbed elbows with a few mega-power players. The club is her escape from her mundane wageslave existence.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesNeko'Mari
SexFemale
AgeYoung
TypeNetworking
Connection Rating3
Preferred Payment MethodCash (Corporate Scrip)
Hobby / VicePersonal Grooming (Fashion)
Personal LifeNone of your damn business
StatsB:3, A:3, R:3, S:3, W:4, L:3, I:4, C:5, E:6, K:2
SkillsArtisan 4 (Fashion +2), Deception 4 (Seduction +2), Negotiations 4, Performance 5 (Dance +2), Pistols 2
Knowledge SkillsCurrent Fashion 4, Night Clubs 3, Simstars 3, Street Rumors 4
Usesmaking contacts, fashion advice,
Places to MeetNightclub
 

Company Suit

The Company Suit is a special executive agent for the corporation. She is the Law above corporate security and will most often take care of corporate matters, where Crossers aren’t required. She has access to most of the corporations intelligence when required and some of its dirty secrets. However she is loyal to a fault and will not let shame fall on her corporation. She’ll even die for her company, with the belief that they can fix it. While she will not work against her company, she will provide any intelligence that the corporation has to help take down a rival down or help her beloved parent corp.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesHuman
SexFemale
AgeOld
TypeLegwork
Connection Rating4
Preferred Payment MethodCash (Corporate Scrip)
Hobby / ViceSocial Habit (alcohol)
Personal LifeDivorced
StatsB:3, A:3, R:5, S:3, W:4, L:3, I:3, C:4, E:6, K:2
SkillsBlades 5, Clubs 3, Deception 4 (Fast-talking +2), Electronics skill group 4, Leadership 4, Negotiation 3, Pilot Ground Craft 2, Pistols 4
Knowledge SkillsCorporate Rumors 4, Corporate Safehouses 4, Organized Criminals 4, (City) Streets 4
Usescorporate insider, coporate intelligence
Places to Meetbureau, corporation cafeteria
Similar ContactsCorporate Executive, Corporation Administrator, City Official
 

Corporate Administrator

Found in many corporate offices, the Corporate Administrator is the human version of Matrix software that schedules appointments, greets guests, sets up celebrations and retirements, and plans out the daily schedule for individuals or groups. While the profession is archaic, the intuition and personal connection it provides cannot be substituted by software. Because of his position, he is the go-to person for help with both personal and business subjects. This makes the Administrator the center of gossip and rumors and news around the office. You want to know who is sleeping with who in the copy room or what new project has been handed down from above, or who to talk to at some other corporate office? Call the Corporate Admin. Corporate Administrators live on gossip and office supplies as it’s how he works the system and makes himself invaluable to the other wageslaves.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesHuman
SexFemale
AgeMiddle-Aged
TypeLegwork
Connection Rating3
Preferred Payment MethodCash (Corporate Scrip)
Hobby / ViceSocial Habit (cigarettes)
Personal LifeFamily
StatsB:4, A:3, R:4, S:5, W:4, L:4, I:4, C:3, E:6, K:1
SkillsComputers 4, Deception 2, Etiquette 4 (Corporate +2), First Aid 3, Instruction 3, Leadership 2, Negotiation 3
Knowledge Skills(City) Knowledge 3, Corporate Rumors 5, Food Delivery Services 3, Hardware 2, Security Systems 3
Usescorporate insider, gossip
Places to Meetcorporation cafeteria
Similar ContactsCompany Suit, Wageslave
 

Corporate Wageslave

He is one of the faceless masses that works ten or more hours a day, six or more days a week for the great corporation. The benefits, as the corporation cheerfully states, include a corporate home, access to corporatesponsored food, and the luxurious twice-a-decade corporate-sponsored vacations. He may feel stifled, confined, and limited, but he keeps at it in pursuit of better things. He believes if he works hard and long enough, he will move up the corporate ladder.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesHuman
SexMale
AgeMiddle-Aged
TypeSupport
Connection Rating2
Preferred Payment MethodCash (Corporate Scrip)
Hobby / ViceVehicles (sports cars)
Personal LifeFamily
StatsB:3, A:3, R:3, S:3, W:4, L:3, I:4, C:3, E:6, K:2
SkillsClubs 1, Computers 4, Deception 2, Etiquette 4 (Corp +2), Running 2, Software 3
Knowledge Skills(City) Knowledge 3, Corporate Rumor 3, Local Bars 2, Sports Cars 3, Trid Shows 3
Usescorporate insider, gossip
Places to Meetcorporation cafeteria
Similar ContactsCompany Suit, Corporate Administrator
 

Coyote

For every security border, there’s someone who knows how to bypass it. For a hefty fee, he brings individuals or groups through tunnels, under fences, and/or by bribed guards from one nation to the next. For a favor, he might direct them to someone to get them the proper paperwork (fake SIN/permits) to be able to work and live in the new place.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesSiczik
SexMale
AgeMiddle-Aged
TypeShadow Service
Connection Rating3
Preferred Payment MethodBarter (easy to sell items)
Hobby / ViceNothing of interest
Personal LifeNone of your damn business
StatsB:3, A:3, R:5, S:3, W:4, L:3, I:3, C:4, E:6, K:1
SkillsAcrobatics 2, Computers 2, Con 3, Etiquette 3 (Street +2), Impersonation 3, Leadership 2, Negotiation 4, Pistols 4
Knowledge Skills(City) Knowledge 5, Magical Threats 3, Security Systems 4
Usescrossing borders, smuggling, human trafficing
Places to Meetout in the wilds
Similar ContactsBounty Hunter, Smuggler
 

Cybernetic Technician

While the street doc works the flesh, the cybernetic technician repairs the metal. Her knowledge and interest in neuro-connections and micro-optical process has her working in a body shop. He’s good at fixing worn-out and damaged parts, and if you’re tired of looking through flesh eyes, he has a discount on Rating 3 cybernetic ones.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesVermir
SexMale
AgeOld
TypeShadow Service
Connection Rating4
Preferred Payment MethodService (Crosser job)
Hobby / ViceSocial habit (smoking)
Personal LifeWidowed
StatsB:2, A:4, R:4, S:2, W:4, L:5, I:5, C:4, E:6, K:1
SkillsBiotechnology 4, Computers 3, Cybertechnology 5, First Aid 3, Industrial Mechanic 3, Influence skill group 4, Medicine 4, Software 3
Knowledge SkillsChemistry 2, Cybernetics 5, Drugs 4, Golf 4, Medical Specialists 4
Usesmodding, repairs, cybernetics
Places to Meetworkshop
Similar ContactsMechanic
 

Gang Boss

A Gang Boss has worked his way up with cunning and a gun to gain his piece of the world. He has intimidated an army of thugs, and in turn they respect him and his power. As a leader of a criminal organization, he has dealt with other criminals, so he knows more about the underworld than law enforcement. With a wealth of information and people to get it for him, a character must understand that a favor from the Gang Boss comes at a price.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesVosk
SexMale
AgeMiddle-Aged
TypeLegwork
Connection Rating3
Preferred Payment MethodService (Crosser job)
Hobby / ViceBad habit (dream chips)
Personal LifeNone of your damn business
StatsB:5, A:3, R:3, S:3, W:4, L:3, I:3, C:4, E:6, K:2
SkillsBlades 4, Etiquette 3 (Street +2), Intimidation 4, Leadership 4, Negotiation 3, Stealth 3
Knowledge SkillsBTLs 2, (City) Knowledge 4, Drugs 2, Street Gang Identification 4
UsesAll kinds of illegal work
Places to Meetprivate rooms, gang headquarter
Similar ContactsMafia Consigliere
 

ID Manufacturer

The ID Manufacturer works behind the scenes using agents to gather and create data trails as she codes new Sins for clients. With plenty of demand for people wanting to be able to have their existence acknowledged so they can buy those corporate-advertised toys and get out of the barrens, she can pick and choose her clientele. If you have her as a contact, you were one of the fortunate that she will work for. Besides Fake SINs and licenses, she knows how to get real licenses, and since behind every SIN there’s an artist, she can probably tell you the general seller of a specific SIN.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesCharr
SexFemale
AgeMiddle-Aged
TypeShadow-Service
Connection Rating5
Preferred Payment MethodCash (credstick)
Hobby / ViceNothing f interest
Personal LifeNone of your damn business
StatsB:3, A:4, R:3, S:3, W:4, L:5, I:6, C:4, E:6, K:1
SkillsArtisan 4 (Writing +2), Con 3, Electronics skill group 4, Electronic Warfare 5, Etiquette 3 (Media +2), Hacking 5, Negotiation 4
Knowledge SkillsGrids 5, Matrix Security 4, Organized Crime 5, SIN Databases 4, Software 4
UsesSINs (Fake & Real), Licenses
Places to Meetpreferably never in person
 

Informant

The informant, also known as a stool pigeon, is a person of interest with privileged information about an organization or person. She has been working with some very bad men doing very bad things. Instead of leaving, she has decided to sell what she knows. How long this will last before she is found out is hard to tell.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesSiczik
SexFemale
AgeMiddle-Aged
TypeShadow-Service
Connection Rating2
Preferred Payment MethodCash (credstick)
Hobby / ViceNothing f interest
Personal LifeIn a Relationship
StatsB:3, A:2, R:2, S:3, W:5, L:3, I:3, C:4, E:6, K:1
SkillsDeception 5, Etiquette 3 (Yakuza +2), Negotiation 3, Palming 2, Pistols 2, Sneaking 4
Knowledge SkillsDrugs 2, Gang Identification 3, Organized Crime 5, Tattoo Identification 2
UsesInformation broker
Places to Meetbars, nightclubs
 

Interplanetary Courier

Need pistols on Athenea? How about armored jackets on Tsukuyomis or orichalcum on Cherovog? The Interplanetary Courier is a trusted transporter of various goods with the licensing and paperwork so he will not get stopped at checkpoints like other travelers. He’s also good with alternative methods where bureaucracy fails. He is on the go 24/7 with some package. His time and services are valuable, so pricing goes up depending on the three words: what, where, and when.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesNeko'Mari
SexMale
AgeYoung
TypeShadow Service
Connection Rating6
Preferred Payment MethodCash (hard currency)
Hobby / ViceVehicles (drones)
Personal LifeSingle
StatsB:3, A:3, R:5, S:4, W:4, L:3, I:3, C:4, E:6, K:2
SkillsDeception 5, Etiquette 3 (Corporate +2), Impersonation 4, Longarms 3, Negotiation 4, Pistols 4, Running 2, Stealth skill group 5, Unarmed Combat 4
Knowledge SkillsCorporate Rumors 2, Geography 2, (Language) 4, (Language) 4
Usesdiscreet courier services
Places to Meetany
 

Black Star Detective

More than just a beat cop, the Black Star Detective follows up on leads and suspects after the crime has occurred. A detective is good at observation, and unlike a simple beat cop she has access to old cases to go along with rap sheets and criminal Sins. While the Black Star Detective’s job is slightly more difficult with the SINless masses and a corporate jurisdiction quagmire, she has her cultivated sources. Through her, one can follow cases, examine evidence, or see who’s in town.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesHuman
SexFemale
AgeYoung
TypeLegwork
Connection Rating5
Preferred Payment MethodService (Crosser job)
Hobby / ViceFamily Obligations (brother)
Personal LifeSingle
StatsB:4, A:5, R:3, S:4, W:4, L:3, I:5, C:3, E:6, K:2
SkillsClubs 4, Computers 3, Deception 2, Etiquette 4 (Street +2), Intimidation 3, Perception 5, Pistols 4, Stealth skill group 4
Knowledge SkillsCrime Syndicates 4, Law Enforcement 4, Street Gang Identification 4, Street Rumors 4
Useslaw enforcement, investigation work, crime intel
Places to Meetblack star station, bars, diners
Similar ContactsRent-A-Cop, Bounty Hunter
 

Mafia Consigliere

There are occasions in the shadows when one must ask a favor of the local Mafia don. Of course, one does not simply walk into the don’s office, at least not intact. To see the man on the throne, you speak to the power behind the throne, the don’s consiglieri, or counselor. He is not actually a member of the family, but he has access to their secrets by dint of being the don’s most trusted advisor. This confidence gives him information and insight on the family’s business, their plans, and their mindset. He’s also not a fool. These confidences aren’t given up lightly, since his life would be worthless if the family got wind of their secrets being told out of school. You’ll have to offer him something of value to the family to get that information. Help him deal with a problem that the family shouldn’t touch on its own, or paydata on its enemies, and he’ll be happy to reward you appropriately. Betray his trust, and he’ll likewise be happy to reward you appropriately. The consiglieri typically holds a traditional job outside the family business. Many of them are, perhaps not surprisingly, lawyers.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesHuman
SexMale
AgeYoung
TypePersonal Favor
Connection Rating5
Preferred Payment MethodService (drek job)
Hobby / ViceNothing of Interest
Personal LifeSingle
StatsB:3, A:3, R:3, S:3, W:4, L:3, I:3, C:4, E:6, K:2
SkillsElectronics skill group 4, Etiquette 4 (Mafia +2), Intimidation 4, Leadership 6, Perception 4, Pistols 5, Unarmed Combat 2
Knowledge SkillsCorporate Business 4, Law 4, Local Politics 4
UsesInformation, additional contacts
Places to MeetRestaurants, casinos, bars
Similar ContactsYarkuza wakagashira, Triad Incense Master
 

News Reporter

News Reporters are always in the face of newsworthy events with an electronic eye or ear, be it their own or a drone. And they don’t take no for an answer, especially if pursuing the answer puts nuyen on the table. They have their own host of people and databases from which they can get rumors and statistics, but it’s the real dirt, hidden in safes or behind closed doors, that they are after. So with a little trade in services, the news reporter may share vital intel in return for the runner’s hand in retrieving paydata, tailing, or wiretapping a conversation.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesHuman
SexMale
AgeYoung
TypeLegwork
Connection Rating2
Preferred Payment MethodService (Crosser job)
Hobby / ViceSocial habit (alcohol)
Personal LifeSingle
StatsB:3, A:3, R:4, S:3, W:4, L:3, I:3, C:4, E:6, K:2
SkillsComputers 2, Etiquette 3 (Media +2), Perception 4, Sneaking 4, Tracking 3
Knowledge Skills(City) Knowledge 3, Gang Identification 3, Local Bars 3, Street Rumors 3
UsesInformation, always the latest news
Places to MeetRestaurants, diners, bars
Similar ContactsInformant
 

Pawn Broker

Part of the neighborhood’s eyes and ears, the Pawn Broker sees people come in and out, hears their stories of hardship, and knows a few of their routines. While she’s good at buying and selling goods, she also has knowledge of her customers’ habits or changes in routine. And sometimes she has some wiz, if used, gear.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesVosk
SexFemale
AgeOld
TypeSwag
Connection Rating2
Preferred Payment MethodBater (easy to sell items)
Hobby / ViceSocial habit (alcohol)
Personal LifeIn a Relationship
StatsB:3, A:3, R:3, S:3, W:4, L:3, I:4, C:4, E:6, K:2
SkillsComputers 2, Etiquette 2 (Street +2), Longarms 3, Negotiation 5, Perception 5
Knowledge SkillsItem Appraisal 3, Street Rumors 2, Tech Trends 2
UsesFencing gear, getting used gear, selling used gear
Places to MeetPawn Shop
Similar ContactsAntique Dealer
 

Rent-A-Cop

While he has been given a gun and a badge, he does not have the same training or discipline as those employed with Black Star or Knight Solitude. He has been hired cheaply by some mall or minor corporation to have a presence that will deter criminals. He believes that chicks dig the uniform. Unfortunately if the shit hits the fan, his contract does not cover taking a bullet for the company. While on the job, he keeps his eyes and ears open to what is going on, plus he’s given authorization to walk around and access most spots in his assigned beat.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesKorrug
SexMale
AgeMiddle-Aged
TypePersonal Favor
Connection Rating1
Preferred Payment MethodService (drek job)
Hobby / ViceNothing of Interest
Personal LifeSingle
StatsB:5, A:3, R:3, S:4, W:4, L:3, I:3, C:2, E:6, K:2
SkillsEtiquette 3 (Street +2), Intimidation 3, Perception 3, Pilot Ground Craft 2, Pistols 2
Knowledge SkillsGang Identification 3, Local Cheap Food 4, Security Systems 2,Street Rumors 3
Usesminor police jobs, intel on their employer, rumors
Places to Meetdiners, work location
Similar ContactsBodyguard, Bounty Hunter, Black Star Detective
 

Safehouse Master

As his title states, he is the master of the safehouse. His objective is to protect the people temporarily residing there. This sometimes means protecting these people against themselves. He makes sure that they keep a low profile, including avoiding the Grid and any Demi-GODs roaming around. He is disciplined, keeps strict hours, and monitors those who enter and leave the house.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesGrond
SexMale
AgeMiddle-Aged
TypeSupport
Connection Rating3
Preferred Payment MethodCash (corporate scrip)
Hobby / ViceEntertainment (music)
Personal LifeMarried
StatsB:5, A:3, R:3, S:5, W:5, L:3, I:3, C:4, E:6, K:1
SkillsComputers 3, Etiquette 3 (Corp +2), First Aid 3, Leadership 3, Negotiation 2, Perception 4, Pistols 3, Stealth 2
Knowledge Skills(City) Knowledge 2, Corporate Politics 3, (Language) 3, Security Systems 4
Usessafehouses related
Places to Meetsafehouse
 

Script Kiddie

There are deckers, and then there are wannabe deckers, often known as Script Kiddies. They’re clever, often using homemade decks assembled from commlink parts, sweat, and chutzpah. They load them up with malware programs and coded viruses, then set about causing chaos wherever they can. While not as sophisticated or dangerous as a decker, she can still surprise you with what she can access in the Matrix.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesHuman
SexFemale
AgeYoung
TypeNetworking
Connection Rating2
Preferred Payment MethodCash (credstick)
Hobby / ViceEntertainment (action vids)
Personal LifeSingle
StatsB:2, A:2, R:4, S:3, W:4, L:5, I:4, C:3, E:6, K:2
SkillsComputers 3, Cybercombat 1, Electronic Warfare 4, Etiquette 2 (Matrix+2), Hacking 3, Hardware 2, Negotiation 2
Knowledge Skills(City) Knowledge 3, Decker Hangouts 4, Malware 3, Street Rumors 4, Trideos 4
Useshack jobs, gathering intel, social engineering
Places to Meetlocal cafe, in the Matrix
 

Taxi Driver

Need to travel around and don’t have the wheels or know all the shortcuts in the city? The Taxi Driver can help you get around. He works most of the day and his ride blends in to almost any surrounding, especially in sprawls. As a favor, the driver could pick up the contact if he’s in trouble, even if that trouble is in the barrens. But you’d better tip well.
 
AttributeValue
SpeciesHuman
SexMale
AgeMiddle-Aged
TypeSupport
Connection Rating2
Preferred Payment MethodCash (corporate scrip)
Hobby / ViceVehicles (cars)
Personal LifeWidowed
StatsB:4, A:3, R:3, S:3, W:4, L:3, I:3, C:3, E:6, K:3
SkillsAutomotive Mechanic 2, Blades 2, Etiquette 3 (Street +2), Negotiation 2, Perception 3, Pilot Ground Craft 5
Knowledge Skills(City) Knowledge 4, (City) Streets 4, Street Rumors 4
Usespublic transport, courier services, street knowledge
Places to Meettaxi station, bars

Table of Content

  1. Contacts
  2. Contacts by the Numbers
  3. Using Contacts
  4. Glitches
  5. Favor for a Friend
  6. Group or Organization Contact Options
  7. Sample Contacts
I Owe You One
Owed favors are measured in Chips.
 
Every Crosser's most Important Contact
Fixer

I Know a Guy

People come and go in a character’s life; there are people encountered at parties and conventions, ex-army buddies, neighbors with unusual hobbies, and so on. After a while in your travels, you’ll know a few people, but not well enough to be contacts, or maybe they are people who could have been contacts if you’d gotten to know them better, or people who still would be a contact if circumstances were different. Take, for example, Han Solo and Lando Calrissian from Star Wars or Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood from Raiders of the Lost Ark.   With the gamemaster’s permission, “I Know a Guy” allows the player to use Karma in pulling a contact from the character’s past. It’s expensive; players must spend Karma points equal to twice the desired Connection Rating of the contact. The resulting contact’s Loyalty starts at 1, although the gamemaster may change the Loyalty of the contact to suit the background and storyline of the adventure. The Karma spent on this contact does not refresh until the next point that the character earns XP.   After the mission/adventure, the character can spend the normal amount of XP to add the new contact permanently. If that XP is not spent, the individual fades back into the character’s past until they use Karma once more to summon them forth.
 

Fleshing out Contacts

Contacts are, by definition, important NPCs. They have names, lives, and personalities, too, and these should all be kept in mind as they are being developed. The biggest difference between contacts and most other prime runners is their ongoing relationship with the PCs. To some extent, contacts are always going to be allies to the PCs, if not outright friends. With that in mind, the players and the gamemaster should collaborate, to a point, on the contact’s background and relationship to the PC.   Contacts have lives of their own, and they don’t spend their every waking moment waiting for the PCs to call them for help. So what do they do for a living? Do they have families? Are they in over their heads with a Mafia loan shark? Is his daughter a chip-head? Once you have the answers to these types of questions, you’re on your way from a collection of numbers on a sheet of paper to a unique individual living alongside the PCs.   Being a Crosser's contact is a two-way street, though. They don’t just sit around waiting for the PCs to call them asking for stuff. Sometimes, they pick up their commlink and call the Crossers, asking them for stuff. They have lives off-stage; find ways to remind the players of this fact.
Players creating contacts at character creation must assign Connection, Loyalty, an Archetype (if applicable and desired), and a backstory. The backstory should be sufficiently detailed to give the gamemaster clear guidance on what kind of things a contact can and can't do. Think about what kind of things your contact has access to, what people he might know and what he how he can help you. Players should avoid overly broad contact backstories that grant an excessive amount of power. The gamemaster has final authority when evaluating the validity of contacts. These contacts should not have listed skills or attributes, as these will be determined during games by GMs based on the contact's archetype, backstory and the nature of the request being made.

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