We use a slightly modified version of the RAW Run Faster and Cutting Aces contact systems. This guide will walk you through how to use it. There are also sample contacts on pages 182-195 of Run Faster and community contact examples are linked here.
- 1 Creating a Contact
- 2 Buying Contacts
- 3 Upgrading Contacts
- 4 Using Contacts for Services
- 5 Contacts and Gear
- 6 Contact Restrictions
- 7 Group Contacts
Creating a Contact
Choose a Contact Type
Under the ShadowHaven contact system, every contact - in addition to the stat block - possesses a type which gives them certain characteristics and affects how they use their stat block. Every contact on ShadowHaven is one, and only one, of the below types.
Swag (Generalist): These guys are able to hook you up with anything on the black market. They roll 15+Connection dice to find gear, but do nothing more.
Swag (Specialized): They’re the folks who find you that wiz new gun or the fancy new focus. They are able to use Negotiation to find you gear at no markup, and to fence gear for you based on their loyalty within their specialization, but are (generally) unable to do anything else for you. You must choose for them to be specialized in a type of gear, leaving them unable to get gear outside that type. Some specialized swag contacts can use select active skills. They roll 19+Connection to find gear.
Tailors:Armor/Clothing: Can use Armorer
Chemists or Drug dealers: Drugs/Toxins
Gun runners: Weapons/Ammo
Bomb cookers: Explosives and explosives accessories
Talislegger: Magic gear
Mechanics and sleazy car salesmen: Vehicles/Drones and mods, can use mechanic skills
Nerds: Electronics/Software: Can use Hardware
Breeders: Animals/Animal Gear
SIN Forger: SINs and Licenses: SINs rating 4 or lower and burner SINs have an immediate delivery time.
Street Docs: Medical and biotech gear, ware. Can Also use First Aid and Medicine
Additionally, for every loyalty you have a swag contact at above one, they get a free cumulative hit only for the purpose of determining delivery time.
Fixers: Everyone needs one. Fixers are able to do just about everything… as long as they can fit it into their busy schedule. Aside from being necessary to find you jobs, they are able to use any of their knowledge skills to help you, they are able to network for you, and they are able to find you gear using 10+connection dice but finding gear is going to cost you a markup of 30%-(Loyalty*5%) added to the final cost of the item. They don’t have the dedicated networks swag contacts do, and they gotta get their cut.
Shadow Services: Everyone else, pretty much. They’re not able to use Negotiation to find you gear, but they’re able to network, use knowledge skills, and use active skills for you. There are a couple exceptions - they’re not willing to risk their hoop enough to craft you anything that’ll have their signature attached to it. No fancy explosives, no alchemical preps, and no other fruits of artificing. That stuff’s gotta go through a Swag contact finding someone *else’s* stuff to pawn off on you, keeps everyone safer that way. Except the poor sap getting picked up by KE because his focus was used in a terrorist attack… And you wonder why foci are so expensive.
These guys offer you a cumulative 10% discount on their services for every loyalty above 1, ending up at a 50% discount at loyalty 6.
Specify your contact's sex, age, metatype, preferred type of payment (p. 173-176, Run Faster; p. 180, Run Faster), their hobbies or vices and their personal life (p. 181, Run Faster).
Choose your contact's connection and loyalty
As per normal rules at character generation. Contacts at connection 7 or higher must be approved by the Thematics department, and can only be gained as run rewards.
All contacts have attributes starting at metatype minimum. Add the number of attribute points equal to the value listed in the table below. Deduct 3 from the total listed value if they have a Magic or Resonance Rating.
Assign Special Attributes
Contacts that are Human gain one additional special attribute point.
Starting with your contact's metatype base attribute array (contacts will have one edge and no Magic/Resonance to start), increase the amount of the contact's Edge, Magic or Resonance, Initiations or Submersions until the sum of those attributes or number of Initiations/Submersions is equal to the amount listed in the table below. A contact cannot both have a Magic and a Resonance rating, as the two are mutually exclusive. Likewise, a contact with a Magic rating cannot gain Submersions, and a contact with Resonance cannot gain Initiations. You must choose the type of Awakened the contact is (Adept, Magician, and so on). Ex: You have a Connection 6 Awakened Contact, meaning you have five points to increase between the previously mentioned characteristics. You choose to raise Edge to two, Magic to three and give them one initiation, which equals the five available points you had.
Adepts receive power points equal to their magic rating.
If you choose not to give your contact a Magic or Resonance rating, meaning they are mundane, they cannot gain any Initiations or Submersions.
Contacts cannot be Mystic Adepts.
Assign Active Skills
Add active skills to your contact. Each skill rank is worth 1 point, each Specialization is worth 1, each Skill Group point is worth 2. Do this until the number of points is equal to the skill listing in the table below. Skill ratings are limited to the contact's Connection+4. Deduct 6 from the total listed value if they have a Magic or Resonance Rating.
Assign Knowledge Skills
Add Knowledge Skills to your contact. Each Skill Rank is worth 1 point, each Specialization is worth 1. Contacts get 1 native language for free. Knowledge Skill Ranks are limited to Connection+4.
You may add gear such as cyberware, vehicles, weapons and so on up to the Nuyen value listed on the table below. The contact may purchase up to Connection+12 Availability items. Assume items such as Fake SINs, Fake Licenses, all Decker Programs if they are a Decker Contact (not including Program Carrier), and the like are already in possession. Only include items that may come up in play or could be borrowed. Awakened and Emerged contacts who install cyberware, bioware, geneware, etc. lose essence and Magic/Resonance normally. Ex: You spend 4 Special Attribute points to to make your Contact Resonance 4, and they install a Standard Gastric Neurostimulator. They lose the appropriate .2 Essence and 1 Resonance, making their final Resonance Rating; 3.
Awakened Contacts have their total Nuyen reduced by Magic*20,000 Nuyen. Calculate the penalty after any Magic lost. This penalty still applies even if Connection is upgraded/lowered (to a minimum of a total 20,000 Nuyen), however gaining or losing additional Magic after the initial creation of the contact does not increase or decrease initial the penalty. Emerged contacts have their total nuyen reduced by resonance*20,000 nuyen.
The max Force of a Focus allowed on a Awakened Contact is Magic+1, with the exception of a Power Focus, which has a max Force of Magic/2, rounded down. Ex: A Magic 3 Contact could have a Force 4 Sustaining, Health Focus and a Force 1 Power Focus. They are automatically considered bound to the contact.
Choose Spells or Complex Forms
If your contact has at least one point in the skill needed to cast spells or use Complex Forms and is Awakened/Emerged, they may choose spells or Complex Forms appropriate to their Magic/Resonance. Note that this does not mean those with a Magic Rating can use Complex Forms or vice versa, as Magic and Resonance Score are mutually exclusive.
An Awakened contact who is capable of casting spells knows Magic Rating*2 in spells. An Emerged Contact knows Resonance+3 number of Complex Forms. Adepts, of course, have the normal power point limits.
Contact Stat Table
|Connection||Attribute Points||Special Attribute Points||Active Skills Points||Knowledge Skill Points||Nuyen for Equipment|
Make a Wikipage
After you create your contact, make a wikipage for them and link them to your PC's wikipage. Decide if you want the contact to be public or private. Some community contact examples are linked here.
You may buy a new contact in several ways.
- Negotiation with your Johnson with a value of 1 RVP per connection will gain a contact. The loyalty, in this case, is set by your GM.
- You may also buy contacts for 1 RVP per connection and 1 loyalty outside of runs.
- You may spend 20 faction reputation (Page 160, Cutting Aces) to buy of contact with a connection equal to that faction's connection.
- Contacts with a connection rating greater than 6 may only be gained as run rewards.
Contacts tend to stay at the same connection, however, they can be upgraded using the faction contact upgrade rules (p. 159 Cutting Aces), or by a GM due to actions in a game. When upgrading connection, inform the thematics department. The change is global for all players.
To upgrade the loyalty of a contact, you must pay the new loyalty in karma, it takes new loyalty weeks, and can only be done one interval at a time. Upgrading a contact to loyalty 5 or 6 requires a run, and cannot be done simply with karma.
Upgrading Contact Connection
As the result of a run, a a public contact's connection rating might increase by 1, due to player action. This upgrade is for all players who have the contact, not just the players who are responsible. For this to happen:
- A Probational GM must seek approval from the Thematics Department
- A standard GM must seek approval if the contact's connection is being increased over 6
- An Advanced GM is free to do as they wish
Using Contacts for Services
Contacts will perform services for you in exchange for a favor. We use the "chips" system, as described by the "Favor" system (p. 388-389, Core; p. 176, Run Faster). Consult the Favor Rating Table (p. 389, Core) for the value of a particular favor; the GM, as usual, is the final arbiter for the rating of a favor. Favors that involve loaning goods to a character have the following ratings, reproduced for convenience below:
|Favor Rating||Value of Goods|
Favors owed can be paid down at twice these rates, or they may be worked off with in-kind payment (as described on p. 176, Run Faster).
The use of an Active skill follows a different set of rules. Contacts can be paid for their labor according to the formula (p. 162, Cutting Aces):
cost in nuyen = (dice pool / 4) x hours worked x 150
Contacts will bill you for materials needed to use the skill, as well as any additional time not directly related to the use of the skill. For example, an Awakened contact that casts spells for you will charge for the time they spent healing any drain incurred.
Contacts will refuse to do work that is likely to result in physical harm to them. To continue the previous example, an Awakened contact will not agree to cast spells for you at a Force that might cause lethal amounts of drain for them.
Any dice gained from assistance, including the Leadership skill or situational bonuses determined by the GM does not factor into cost, only the base dicepool comes into play. Things that give constant/permanent modifiers, such as Power Foci to Magic tests, factor into cost, as they are considered part of the base dicepool.
An opposed Negotiation test can be used to lower the final cost of the service. Each net hit you receive lowers the final cost of the service by 5%.
Contacts and Gear
Although fixers can pick up the Negotiation skill to find gear, Swag contacts are specifically tailored to do so. All contact negotiation pools for the sole purposes of acquiring gear are the following: 10+C for fixers, 15+C for generalist gear contacts, 19+C for specialist gear contacts. When you use a non-Swag contact to find you gear, weapons, etc. you pay them an extra amount according to the table below.
|Fixer Contact Finder's Fee|
|Loyalty||Finder's Fee Markup|
- Contacts may not have qualities.
- Contacts tend not to use their edge for the players, but the GM may rule they can for certain rolls.
- Contacts may not be current or retired player characters, infected, spirits, AI, Drakes, Dragons, or Named NPCs from a Shadowrun sourcebook.
- Contacts will only operate in the way specified by the GM.
- Contacts are people as well and are not at the beck and call of the PCs. GMs should portray them as such and the contact might require payment/favors for some tasks.
- All off table gear rolls are not counted as in person, therefore tailored pheromones, suit bonuses, some adept powers, etc, do not apply.
Diverging from RAW, group contacts have been redesigned to fit more neatly into an LC setting, and to be dynamic, changing with player action. Group contact will have 4 stats, health, connection rating, player joinability, and type.
New group contacts should be suggested to the Thematics Department, and cannot be player created. Factions can be player created, but must gain approval from thematics to be joinable.
Health: Health is a direct measurement of how this group is currently doing, it goes from lowest to highest: Maimed, Bruised, Maintaining, Boosted, and Invigorated, each giving -2, -1, +0, +1, and +2 to all actions done by or through the faction. This can be changed through runs benefiting or hurting the faction, or overall events happening in the Shadowrun world, and will head back or forward one point towards the middle every 2 months, barring significant events or faction destruction. For example, the Halloweeners have not been featured in any recent runs or lore, so they are assumed to be going about business as normal or whatever those gangers would consider normal. NeoNet, on the other hand, is not doing too well, so is on the lower side of health, even though there haven’t been any runs against them. Finally, a GM has been running a series of games featuring the Black Lodge, and they have been doing very well, bringing them up to invigorated.
Connection:This represents the power, influence, and assorted other connections a group has, expanded from 1-3 to 1-5. These are the bonus dice a PC gets when using the faction for legwork or networking, as per RAW. The ratings roughly represent as follows
1: A group with little power or influence, if any. A book club, small mage study group, or things of that nature would fall under this category.
2: While not a true power player, this group has quite a bit of influence at a local level, and can sway things in that area. Groups include street gangs, small policlubs, and the like.
3: Considerable power in an area and even abroad, this includes A level corporations, major criminal syndicates, Shadowhaven itself, etc.
4: This is where the true power players are, Nations like the UCAS, Canton Confederation, or Amazonia, along with AA Corps, would fit here.
5: This is solely the realm of the AAAs.
It is up to the GM how much of the connection rating a PC has access to. If a Neonet citizen PC wishes to dig up info on a SK executive without being noticed, for example, they would not get the full bonus as they are not using the entirety of the group’s resources. These ratings can only change for player created groups, and even then, will require a lot of effort. In addition, PCs with Made Man gain 2 automatic hits to tests done through their group.
Joinability: Not all factions are joinable, though all group contacts are. However, there are some requirements.
To join a corporation, the Corporate Limited SIN or Corporate SIN negative quality is required.
Those with the Made Man and Prime Datahaven Membership qualities are automatically a member of their factions, and do not have to spend any additional karma.
Join a group at Character Generation: At character creation, players can join groups by spending karma equal to the group’s connection times two plus 1 as if the group contact was a positive quality. They may also join an organized crime faction by taking the Made Man quality or a Datahaven by taking the Prime Datahaven Membership Quality.
Join a group after Character Generation: After character creation, players can join groups by spending karma equal to the group’s connection times four plus 2 as if the group contact was a positive quality. Those taking the Made Man quality must first demonstrate a long standing relationship with the organized crime group. Those taking Prime Datahaven Membership must demonstrate their worth to the Datahaven.
Barring qualities, loyalty starts and ends at 1.
Group type: This should be fairly obvious, a gang is a gang, a Corp is a Corp, a secret death cabal is a secret death cabal, and thus outlines what a group can and can’t help with. For example, using the Halloweeners to help find a local ghoul nest would gain benefit of their connection rating, but connecting a PC with a reclusive hermetic archaeologist would not gain any benefit. This is all GM fiat.
Additionally, separate group contacts will have tenets, for example, the Vory forbid cooperating with authority, that PCs will have to visibly abide by to stay in the group. Individual group contacts might also gain bonuses, such as the Red Hot Nukes allowing for easier requisitioning of explosives. These bonus will be decided on a group by group basis.
Group Contact Examples
Rogatty Vydra is a vory enforcer with the made man quality. He calls his Vory friends looking for a place to lay low, rolling Shadow Community to find a place. The Vory is making a lot of nuyen with the syndicate war, so their health is at boosted. He rolls intuition (5) + his knowledge skill rating (4) + his group’s connection (3) + the group health bonus (1) or 13 dice. He rolls and gets 4 hits which add onto his 2 autohits from being a made man for 6 hits. He is able to find one of the best hidden places in the shadows.
The group is having trouble learning about their extraction target. Photon, a member of the Grey Wolves, tries reaching out to her network. She rolls her intuition (4) + her knowledge skill in notable matrix specialists (5) + her spec in technomancers (2) + her group’s connection (3). She gets 5 hits on 14 dice and learns a lot about their target, including the fact they are in vacation in London at the Grand Hilton. However, the Grey Wolves are allied with Spinrad Industries. In preparation for becoming SpinGlobal, they need expert matrix sculptures. A member of the Grey Wolves offers Photon 15K nuyen to each member of her team to screw over their Johnson. At stake is plus or minus reputation with the Grey Wolves.