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Player generated plot

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Antique

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« on: <10-20-21/1538:01> »
Your player have decided to be their own Johnson for once. Based on some info they gathered during one of their run, they figured a way to either
1. Score a massive amount of ny
2.get their hand on something they really want
3. Advance one of their agenda

So how do you handle it when it really is outside what they should be gaining  BUT it make perfect sense, reward their use and nurturing of contacts and skills

It could be
1. They find out that  X is really needed in lets say Toronto. They have contacts in Detroit that have X, everyone is afraid to make the trip AND  don't have the gear to do do. They do.
2. They find that Corp A has bet a fortune on a presentation of new tech Z, they know the presentation is going to be a disaster, they are short changing the stock AND making sure the disaster  is EPIC.
3. They found that the info from project K they found during a run, would be MUCH more valuable if they happened to use it themselves  to make product V that they know where to get the equipment to make.

So how do you handle these?

MercilessMing

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« Reply #1 on: <10-20-21/1741:58> »
I will usually roll with it if it leads to a good story or a run.  I will squirm out of it when it's free money.  Some players enjoy a more sandbox campaign, and start thinking beyond the run that falls in their laps. 

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1. They find out that  X is really needed in lets say Toronto. They have contacts in Detroit that have X, everyone is afraid to make the trip AND  don't have the gear to do do. They do.
X is needed in Toronto and they know where to get it; this sounds like a perfect self-started run and I would roll with it.  In fact, you should take credit as the GM for seeding those opportunities, which you totally did on purpose and wasn't at all a dumb coincidence.

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2. They find that Corp A has bet a fortune on a presentation of new tech Z, they know the presentation is going to be a disaster, they are short changing the stock AND making sure the disaster  is EPIC.
Shorting the stock of the company they just ran against for a quick, massive payday?  Nope, I will not abide.  This is just one variation on get rich quick schemes that entrepreneuring players could come up with.  Shadowrun is not a nuyen engine building game.  Rewards in my game follow narrative and dramatic rules.  Big payouts for big risks or big moments.  My solution to the stock trading scheme:
      1 - Record how much nuyen is on the bet and which SIN is involved
      2 - Run happens, players go to cash in on their bet
      3 - Have the bank inform the SIN owner that "some irregularities were identified when processing this transaction; these funds are not currently available".  which is nice-speak for "your SIN has been flagged by law enforcement and these assets are frozen". 
      4 - The fallout from that would either be a burned SIN and money lost, or, the seed for another run against the bank to free the cash.
You can do the same thing with underground betting markets.  Whoever runs the betting ring notices the transaction, and either does not honor it, or extracts a price - "You seem to have a kind of prescience for corporate disasters; you'll get your money when you do X Y and Z for me".
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3. They found that the info from project K they found during a run, would be MUCH more valuable if they happened to use it themselves  to make product V that they know where to get the equipment to make.
another nuyen engine building situation.  Other RPGs that feature crafting run into this problem too.  If your players can make more money crafting cyberware or enchanting potions, are they done running the shadows?  I sometimes allow this, if it's a one time thing and it leads into a run - for example, the equipment to make the product has to be procured from a suitably high risk place, and can only be used once.  If the players are looking for a repeatable production situation, and you don't want to do that, you just have to talk to your players about the kind of game you want to play - a game about shadowruns, not a business tycoon simulator. 
In game, you can squash repeat productions by saying the equipment only has enough ingredient X for one use, but more could be procured on the black market.  Of course, the owners of project K are on the lookout for people asking about ingredient X, and set a trap for the runners.  Should they survive, they should get the idea that this path carries considerable risk.
If you and your players DO want to play a campaign about building a little criminal empire, I'd suggest trying to adapt the ideas in Blades in the Dark to a Shadowrun campaign.  For that to work, you need to have concepts like rival gangs and factions in play that can threaten the players' holdings.


Tecumseh

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« Reply #2 on: <10-26-21/1355:50> »
A bit late to the party here but I thought I would chime in.

In short, I agree with most of what MercilessMing says.

Perhaps the bigger, broader answer is to have a conversation with your players about what sort of game they wish to have. As a GM, I love sandbox campaigns where the world is alive and dynamic and the players come to me with ideas and we figure out how they play out and what the consequences are. Other players just want to sit back, turn their brains off, and react to whatever the GM throws at them.

So, step one: figure out what's fun for your players. My advice is to run with that, because that's where they will have the most energy and enthusiasm, which best keeps them engaged with the game, which gives the game vitality and a chance to really tell some stories.

Over the years I've seen every flavor of campaign, where the PCs are Lone Star detectives, to Doc Wagon medics, to corporate assets and problem solvers, to criminal syndicate members, to bounty hunters, to soldier-mercenaries, to hooding punks, to Infected on the run, to amnesia campaigns where the players don't know who they are. Now that we're sitting on top of 30+ years of lore, the Sixth World setting is more than broad enough to accommodate all those stories and many more. My favorite campaigns that I've ever run have been ganger campaigns, which are closer to what MercilessMing describes as "business tycoon simulator" games than a more traditional game about shadowruns, but they were wildly fun and gave the players opportunities to hatch plots, conduct diplomacy, form scatterbrain plan, to generate revenue, etc.

Circling back to the original question(s), my answers are similar to MercilessMing's:

1. This is awesome, a perfect foundation for a session, and I would run with it.
2. Yes BUT... consequences. Again, very similar to what MercilessMing outlined. Congrats, you made a bunch of money! But, oh, it's all on paper and now the feds would like to have a word...
3. Yeah, just what Ming said. Or, you know, let it work! But having it work paints a HUGE target on the players. The original owners of Project K are displeased and have something to say about it. Now the players have to burn through the nuyen they earned just to stay alive and one step ahead of a seriously pissed-off corp.

As an aside, my general experience is that a significant amount of nuyen does not break the game. If anything, it can often inject new life into it, making things less predictable. If you've been running for a while, it can break you out of routine and give the game fresh legs. Plus, if you have gear-intensive PCs like riggers or deckers or samurai, it can help them close the gap with the adepts and mages who can improve by leaps and bounds simply through karma alone. I've dropped six-figure paydays on my players before and found that it didn't really affect things nearly as much as I thought that it would. I once received a seven-figure payday and in my opinion it really took the game to new heights. I applaud the GM for being brave enough to do it.

As Ming says, don't give them the money for free, but if they earn it - either through intrepid entrepreneurship or through horrible horrible consequences - then I say go for it!

farothel

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« Reply #3 on: <12-07-21/0909:48> »
For 1 and 2 most things are said.  For 3 I would allow it, but as said, with an ingredient they have to find.  Of course, the corp who created the project also needs that ingredient and as soon as they figure out the players have a lead on where to find it, they will come knocking on their door (politely at first, less polite later depending on players actions).  They will 'ask' the players to let them in on that ingredient and then build a big wall around the finding spot so they and they alone can use it. 

This works quite well if it's a magitech item and you need awakened components.  Then you can even do without the corp finding out, as going into the Lagos jungle every three weeks or so for some rare plant or animal will wear on your players quickly.
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