Shadowrun

Shadowrun Play => Gamemasters' Lounge => Topic started by: Adder on <01-26-15/1310:05>

Title: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Adder on <01-26-15/1310:05>
I have a couple players trying go the ultra-cheap (squatter/street) route when it comes to lifestyles. They don't really have any material possessions so the lack of physical security doesn't bother them.

I'm thinking about how to get them to upgrade, especially since they have enough money and the rest of the group is getting jealous. I'm running through ideas like negative dice modifiers due to malnutrition and anxious sleep, or possibly subjecting them to physical attack (don't want to push this one too far).

Anyone have ideas or have run into this problem before?
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Csjarrat on <01-26-15/1333:37>
run faster has some rules about fatigue damage if your necesseties/comforts are lower than a given threshold and its very easy to penalise matrix heavy chars with -ve mods for noise to represent poor connection at their residences.
Lack of decent hygeine facilities could impose a situational -1 modifier to social test for wearing mucky clothing or being a bit "ripe" smelling, or you could have them be mugged on their way to/from home or have their vehicles vandalised/broken into/stolen to represent the dangerousness of the locale the squat is in. Have them draw some heat from the local gang for building protection money perhaps? plenty of leeway for developing story through that too if they decide to "opt-out" of their payment plan lol.
Noisy neighbours could prevent decent sleep, impacting on healing times.
there are plenty of options open to help "encourage" them to move on up to a better lifestyle :-)
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: All4BigGuns on <01-26-15/1347:28>
Or you can do the right thing and not try to force your players into doing something that they obviously do not wish to do. It is not your place nor is it the place of anyone other than a particular character's player to determine what is done with said character.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Kincaid on <01-26-15/1349:54>
Have a really good-looking girl or guy invite themselves over.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Csjarrat on <01-26-15/1401:20>
Or you can do the right thing and not try to force your players into doing something that they obviously do not wish to do. It is not your place nor is it the place of anyone other than a particular character's player to determine what is done with said character.
I think its more about encouraging the players to move away from what is seen at their table as a money saving exploit. Run faster gives leeway to do so under RAW by using fatigue tests based on comforts + necessity ratings so that's where I'd start.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Emperors Grace on <01-26-15/1517:42>
I'd think the smell would also keep better Mr. J's away, that could lead to peer pressure to literally clean up their act (or at least an invite to crash with another player)..
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Bagels on <01-26-15/1609:42>
Or you can do the right thing and not try to force your players into doing something that they obviously do not wish to do. It is not your place nor is it the place of anyone other than a particular character's player to determine what is done with said character.

I agree that a GM shouldn't force players into something they don't wish to do. On the other hand, all decisions have consequences. As long as the GM is applying reasonable consequences to the player's choices, it's all fair game.

Another idea: There's nothing set in stone about where you can squat (no lease, title, etc). Have someone move into the player's squat and force the player to find a new place.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: The Wyrm Ouroboros on <01-26-15/1948:53>
Or you can do the right thing and not try to force your players into doing something that they obviously do not wish to do. It is not your place nor is it the place of anyone other than a particular character's player to determine what is done with said character.
Force?  No.  A player makes a choice, decides to do something with said character.  The GM, in the person of the entire rest of the world, shows them the consequences of that choice, both the good (hey, you saved money!!) and bad (you got nasty people knocking on your car window at 3AM, leering at you; the cops harrass you; gangers use your vehicle for target practice; etc.).  The GM is supposed to run the world, and that means enforcing the consequences of bad, or just dumb, decisions.  Adder believes - rightly, in my view - that there are negative consequences to living a street/squatter lifestyle, like getting harrassed, or just murdered in their sleep.  He may have expressed it differently, but he clearly wants ideas on how to ensure that the characters are aware of those negative repercussions - consequences which will, no doubt, enamour them to higher lifestyle choices.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Orffen on <01-26-15/2041:38>
Like Csjarrat mentioned, Street and Squatter lifestyles are no guarantees. Maybe the local gang decides whatever arrangement you have with them isn't cutting it anymore, or another squatter moves in. Likewise maluses as a result of fatigue and lack of facilities makes sense in-universe. I haven't seen the Run Faster rules for these but dropping the Physical/Mental/Social limits if you're playing SR5 seems to me more elegant than just dice pool modifiers.

No doubt the equipment dealers would take offense at the clothes and smell too and could well refuse to deal with them until they wash :)
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Reaver on <01-26-15/2126:02>
Ahh Lifestyles... How little thought some people put into just what this means.

Your lifestyle does a lot for you that's hidden behind the scenes that people don't realize. This isn't just "where you hang your" hat, it reflects on in society, provides small bonuses and has repercussions for those choices.

Lets look at what each one is telling you in that block of text...

Quote
Luxury
This lifestyle offers the best of everything: ritzy digs,
lots of high-tech toys, the best food and drink, you
name it. The character has a household staff, maid service,
or sophisticated drones to do the chores. She gets
by in her massive mansion, snazzy condo, or the penthouse
suite in a top hotel. Home security is top-of-theline,
with well-trained guards, astral security, and quick
response times. Her home entertainment system is
better than that in public theaters and accessible from
anywhere in the home. Sheís on the VIP list at several
exclusive restaurants and clubs, both real and virtual.
This is the life for the high-stakes winners in the world
of Shadowrun: high-level executives, government big
shots, Yakuza bigwigs, and the few shadowrunners
who pull off the big scores (and live to spend their pay).
Cost: 100,000 nuyen a month and up!


What's that saying to you? I am hearing provided mode of transport. Although is would be an asset, it's also not the car the Runner uses on runs. This is a registered car to the property that is used for daily day to day activities that don't involve criminal acts. I am hearing the best clothing. While this doesn't mean they get a Berwick great coat to wear on runs for free, it does mean that this character can assume to have several outfits of various quality (medium, high, tres-chic) ready at a moments notice, in all the latest fashions (at the generic level). Eating out for this character is just a fact of life, doesn't matter how often or where, their lifestyle covers it. (and their soycafe too!). Getting into a club, restaurant, or party is as simple as a name drop (I'm Mr.Smith. I AM the list) And Security? well they are on beck and call to deal with problems, including the police. (So no, "Bash 'n' shoot for them! it's going be warrants, and procedure all the way as they got someone looking over their shoulder the whole time!)

On a side note, for the players that actually get this lifestyle (and manage to pay it!), I include small other things that could be reasonably be considered included... like small bribes ($100 or less), or gifts for contacts (again under that $100 mark)

Quote
High
A High lifestyle offers a roomy house or condo, good
food, and the technology that makes life easy. The
character may not have the same perks as the really big
boys, but neither does she have as many people gunning
for her. Her home is in a secure zone or protected
by good, solid bribes to the local police contractor and
gang boss. She has a housekeeping service or enough
tech to take care of most chores. This is the life for the
well-to-do on either side of the law: mid-level managers,
senior Mob bosses, and the like.
Cost: 10,000 nuyen a month

Again, what is this telling you? I am seeing transit (in this case, more moderate. And no, they can't use it for runs for free.... or a Taxi account or transit pass.) They enjoy eating out (even if they have to make a reservation at the REALLY nice places in advance), so any food the characters get "on the go" is covered. Clothing again for the most part is covered, even if the number of Tres-chic outifts is limited to a half dozen in total. Again Their place is secure (even if that security comes from criminals) so unwelcome guests are not going to be too frequent. Basically, moving around the city for this lifestyle is about as easy as it gets, as every thing about them says "success".

Quote
Middle
The Middle lifestyle offers a nice house or condo with
lots of comforts. Characters with this lifestyle sometimes
eat nutrisoy as well as higher-priced natural food,
but at least the autocook has a full suite of flavor faucets.
This is the lifestyle of ordinary wage-earners or
reasonably successful criminals.
Cost: 5,000 nuyen a month

Average. everything about this says average... and Average is good. This is probably the lifestyle you (as in you the reader) have if you are a working professional. while you may not have everything you want, you have everything you need. Getting around the town is probably a transit pass (maybe a economy car...). Eating out at fancy restaurants isn't going to break the bank if you go out once or twice a month, but you don't think twice about picking up a soycaf or sandwich on the go on those busy days. (small, cheap meals are free for this character). Outfits are more limited to the "Joe Average" lines of fashion, so while you won't be wowing anyone  in your lifestyle provided attire, you are clean and presentable. you may even have a high quality outfit lurking in the back, but sadly it's not current.

Quote
Low
With this lifestyle, the character has an apartment,
and nobody is likely to bother her much as long as
she keeps the door bolted. She can count on regular
meals; the nutrisoy may not taste great, but at least itís
hot. Power and water are available during assigned rationing
periods. Security depends on how regular the
payments to the local street gang are. Factory workers,
petty crooks, and other folks stuck in a rut, just starting
out, or down on their luck tend to have Low lifestyles.
Cost: 2,000 nuyen a month

Remember when you first moved out of your parents place? (if you are that old) Well THIS is probably just like your first apartment  ;) As long as you keep your door bolted at all times, you might get broken into once a year. And you definitely have a "Night-pistol" close to the bed (if not under your pillow) in case that break in happens while you're sleeping. A transit pass would be nice, but probably out of reach. But hey, at least your shoes are good! if you're lucky, you have one suit in your closet that might be taken for a "power suit" as long as they don't look too closely. But sadly, most of your clothing comes from Value Village and other second hand stores, with some better items picked up at the Kong-Mart. Food? Well a cup of soycaf from Sarsmucks once a week isn't going to bankrupt you, it's not a daily thing. But it's not all bad... every Tuesday you get a piece of real (tm) fruit!

Quote
Squatter
Life stinks for the squatter, and most of the time so does
the character. She eats low-grade nutrisoy and yeast,
adding flavors with an eyedropper. Her home is a squatted
building, perhaps fixed up a bit, possibly even converted
into barracks or divided into closet-sized rooms
and shared with other squatters. Or maybe she just rents
a coffin-sized sleep tank by the night. The only thing
worse than the Squatter lifestyle is living on the streets.
Cost: 500 nuyen a month

Hmmm.... Well you don't own anything nice. And if you did, The Pawn shop owns it now if you left it behind! your means of conveyance is.. your feet. (if only you could afford good shoes.. and not the used ones from value village). But really why would you want to go anywhere? Everyone hassles you and tells you, you stink (because, well, you do!) Cops are always hassling you and asking what you are doing here (or there, or over there) whenever you leave your barrens level housing unit, abandoned factory, or other unused building. MMMMmmmm!!! Rat for dinner! Again! And that's all you get, and if you are (un)lucky, the rat eats you! What you are wearing, and what you have in a bag is all the clothing you got.. and none of it is going to get you very far in polite company.

If this is your lifestyle by choice, then expect to get nickled and dimed for EVERYTHING! Got a meeting downtown? $5 for the bus. each way. Want a coffee today? $3.50. A Sandwich? $10. an Actual MEAL? $30. Businesses in B zones don't serve bums. (go away!). And you are not allowed in an A zone. (And if the nice police man has to tell you again, you will lose more then your teeth next time!) Did I meantion you stink? Go shower. That'll be $10 for the water and soap and towel rental. But at least you don't have to worry about starving to death (that $500 buys enough soy to keep you going, and enough yeast to keep you feeling full)

Quote
Streets
The character lives on the streetsóor in the sewers,
steam tunnels, condemned buildings, or whatever temporary
flop she can get. Food is wherever the character
finds it, bathing is a thing of the past, and the characterís
only security is what she creates for herself. This
lifestyle is the bottom of the ladder, inhabited by downand-
outers of all stripes.
Cost: Hey pal, life ainít all bad. Itís free

If you think you were being nickeled and dimed at Squatter.... yea.. everyday you HAVE to by food... to steal it. Or kill and eat it. what you got on IS the best of your wardrobe. And that is all you get (for free). transportation is your feet again. And chances are, getting attacked by someone or something in the night is a weekly ritual.

*****

This is going to sound incredibly "wrong", but it is also very, very much true:  The way you look is the way people respond to you. 

Now every time I say that, I get flooded with negative responses, yet, everyday what I see proves this true on a almost universal level. If you don't believe me, go people watching for a time. Actually go out and find a street person and observe them for a day. 95% of the people that see that Hobo will pretend they didn't. If we calls out to them, they ignore him or even a terse one-word response (sometimes 2 words. The first starts with "F" and the last one end in "F"..). A good many will actually adjust the angle of their walk to increase the distance between them and the Hobo. And some will actually cross the street to avoid them entirely!

What about when you see some guy standing on the corner waiting to cross the street. Only his entire face is covered in tattoos, he's got on a black leather jacket covered in metal studs. His hair is Mo-hawk spiked and different colors. His jeans are more holes then Denim and he's got on a pair of shit kickers. Do you feel comfortable standing next to him? Or do you stand a couple of feet behind or to the sides?

You're at your place  of work and someone comes walking through the front door. Their hair is a mess and hasn't been washed for several days. You can see the collection of a few days worth of grime on his face and clothing, indicating that neither have been washed in several days. Are you happy to see this stranger? Or does he make you uncomfortable? Sure you might not say anything, but what are you thinking?

Ever gotten all dressed up during the day and gone downtown? Seen how differently people treat you?

Now, are you applying that all of this in game? Meaning, are you hitting up that street lifestyle person for food costs PER day, EVERY day? Is the squatter and street lifestyles packing everything (and I mean everything! every bullet every bandage, every sock!) around with them? If not, chances are those items are GONE. Are you giving your higher lifestyle guys the "free-rides" they desire (based on the lifestyle descriptions). Are you having NPCs exclude the squatter and street lifestyle people from places (like bars, clubs, restaurants). How ARE they getting around the city? Can't really walk from one end of Seattle to the other in a reasonable amount of time.

Are Fixers or Johnsons undercutting them in the initial bargaining when the squatter and street lifestyle are present? Cause after all, when you live on the streets (and look like you do!) the Johnson doesn't feel obligated to offer street scum top wage. ("Dude, you have worn that shirt for at least 3 weeks. And I can smell you from the doorway. Normally I pay $10,000 for this type of work. But I will throw you a bone, cause you need it. Do the job and I'll pay you $3500. Yea sure you're a hot shot professional looking like that. Yea uh-huh "by choice" you live in the streets. Sure, I get it. Like I said $3500 is all I'll pay you. Take it, or go back to your street. Maybe you can get work on your knees... or on your hands and knees.")
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Glyph on <01-26-15/2140:30>
Another idea: There's nothing set in stone about where you can squat (no lease, title, etc). Have someone move into the player's squat and force the player to find a new place.

I agree that a street/squatter lifestyle should come with its own unique flavor - having to use public pay-showers for hygiene, lacking privacy in other areas, probably having a bit of an "off" smell despite their best efforts, facing possible harassment from gangers, Knight Errant officers looking for bribes, ghouls, or other down-and-outers.

But an otherwise-successful runner who still lives on the streets would kind of be the 900 pound gorilla of squatters.  If the whole point is that someone raking in big money but living in a squalid dump is unrealistic, then it undermines it a bit if you have someone even more badass doing the same thing.


I think the GM needs to look at why the players are doing this.  Is it because they like the whole idea of being hobos with shotguns?  Roll with it, although you should still play up the above, not to punish them but to add a bit of flavor.  It is because they don't make quite enough for their character's goals and a good lifestyle?  Maybe give payouts that are a bit higher.  Is it because they think of their characters as cardboard cutouts, and care more about having plenty of APDS ammo than whether their character eats steak or stewed devil rat?  Maybe give payouts that are a bit lower (since they are spending so little on lifestyle), while you brainstorm some ways to make the NPCs and setting come alive for the players (it may or may not be doable - it depends on whether they are just new to the game, or locked into powergamer mode).
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Adder on <01-26-15/2144:32>
A lot of people got my intention perfectly, which was the "demonstrate negative consequences" part. I never intended to force any of my players to do anything- I just want to make clear that every choice has a consequence.

There are multiple driving factors behind this. One is the interpersonal jealousy. I have one player who's a rigger strapped for money, trying to buy new drones while maintaining her medium lifestyle. She sees another player scrounging around in a squatter lifestyle and flaunting it. She looks down on them for both in character (which is fine) and out of character (not so good) reasons. "What's the point of me bothering with this nicer, more expensive lifestyle if there isn't any actual impact?"

The second reason is for roleplaying. I try to emphasize the differences between the lifestyles. For example, quality of food, dress, feeling of safety when you go home. But sometimes it's hard to get that message across. I've had them meet with a Johnson and get offered real meat (!!!) which they're like, uh, okay, whatever, let's get down to business. Telling them they get real fruits and veggies if they upgrade for another 4000•/month is a hard sell. Some players even find it entertaining when I tell them how bad they smell, the shabbiness of their clothes and how others look down on them ("what do I care? I could kick their ass anyway"). Sometimes you have to sting them a little harder to appreciate the difference.

The third is for economy control. I'm intentionally trying to keep them in the "every nuyen counts" phase as long as I can. I give them larger than average payouts but disguise the final net payout through a series of expected bribes, contact payments and specialized gear purchases such that the runs always look very appealing on digital paper but end up moving their bank accounts forward only a bit. A large part of this is because I'm trying to emphasize roleplay and decision-making at a "street" level. e.g. "your neighbor's heat is broken and it's a bitterly cold night. It'll cost 300• for emergency repairs. Do you help them out?" That kind of decision feels trivially easy when (if) you're making a lot more, but when you're already scrounging to purchase a new rifle and still make rent, something like that bites into your budget hard. It helps cement in their minds who their characters are, especially their generosity/altruism. I believe those little decisions help shape their personalities in a game where you have no defined alignment, and will influence future, bigger, morally-gray actions.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: ScytheKnight on <01-26-15/2144:32>
An interesting post Reaver... and definitely got me thinking about lifestyles as my Chicago based team goes to Seattle (Sprawl Wilds) and maaaybe London (London Falling) while the fallout from their last botched job settles down and they can return (Missions Series 5)... would you mind if I copied this over? Sounds a great way to fill out the lifestyle system without having to dive into the Advanced Lifestyles (which kinda go over my head I'll admit)
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Reaver on <01-26-15/2148:41>
Feel free.

As usual, anything I post that doesn't come with a direct quote is my opinion, and I have no problems with people using anything I post to help their games. (hence why I post it  ;D )
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: The Wyrm Ouroboros on <01-26-15/2200:34>
It's always been that way.  Reaver's post is a good way of reminding people what they get - or don't get - though.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Glyph on <01-26-15/2250:25>
The third is for economy control. I'm intentionally trying to keep them in the "every nuyen counts" phase as long as I can. I give them larger than average payouts but disguise the final net payout through a series of expected bribes, contact payments and specialized gear purchases such that the runs always look very appealing on digital paper but end up moving their bank accounts forward only a bit. A large part of this is because I'm trying to emphasize roleplay and decision-making at a "street" level. e.g. "your neighbor's heat is broken and it's a bitterly cold night. It'll cost 300• for emergency repairs. Do you help them out?" That kind of decision feels trivially easy when (if) you're making a lot more, but when you're already scrounging to purchase a new rifle and still make rent, something like that bites into your budget hard. It helps cement in their minds who their characters are, especially their generosity/altruism. I believe those little decisions help shape their personalities in a game where you have no defined alignment, and will influence future, bigger, morally-gray actions.

You might want to look at this and possibly fine-tune it.  It sounds (albeit from a limited picture, so I might be drawing the wrong conclusions) like they are dissatisfied with barely eking by, and that might be part of the problem with the street/squatter lifestyles.  The problem is, if they are antagonistic about in-game rewards that they see as too low, they will be prone to see the problems with living on the streets as GM railroading, rather than realistic consequences or roleplaying hooks.  It depends on how they react to it all.  If you do something like the aforementioned neighbor's broken heater example, and they snort and roll their eyes, then it might be a sign the low money payouts are hindering, rather than enabling, the roleplaying.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: The Wyrm Ouroboros on <01-26-15/2321:15>
There's a reason why Wealth is taken so often in games that have it as an ability, like the HERO system - because it's nice to a) not have to worry, and b) be able to spend a lot without any care.  "What brings you to New York?"  "A cello, actually.  I heard a rumor that the Piatti-Prieto Strad was coming to auction at Christie's, and I wanted to decide whether I should bid or not."
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: rednblack on <01-26-15/2327:34>
I'm having a hard time with this one.  I understand why lifestyles matter, and there's a reason why so much space is devoted to them in the core book, but I'm not terribly comfortable with the way the OP is playing it either.  So, for the chars who are still living street/squatter, what are they spending their • on? 

I'll also say, riggers are a very resource-intensive archetype to play, but if your players are having a hard time moving up the ladder at all after a handful of successful runs, there's a problem with resources beyond 2 players playing it on the cheap. 
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Adder on <01-26-15/2335:45>
You might want to look at this and possibly fine-tune it.  It sounds (albeit from a limited picture, so I might be drawing the wrong conclusions) like they are dissatisfied with barely eking by, and that might be part of the problem with the street/squatter lifestyles.

It's definitely something I'm keeping an eye on, and they have expressed pleasure with the relative scarcity of money (I mean it's really not THAT bad, I expect that it still net averages out to a typical group) and how it affects their roleplaying choices.

There's just this one player in particular is a technomancer so he's really flush with cash (I'm not sure he even owns a pistol, and has cheap armor to boot) and is still living as a squatter. He's got ~25,000• and still lives like a bum. The other party members have between 2,000-10,000• at any time, and it's hard not to throw a glance in his direction and think, "hey if there's no reason not to, why don't I downgrade my lifestyle?". So it's not like this guy is trying to save up for some big purchase and resents the lack of money. He literally complains about not having anything to do with his money. He's just min/maxing and picking the lowest lifestyle option since there haven't been any drawbacks that actually bother him. I want to nip that sentiment in the bud before it spreads and everyone thinks about doing the same- especially since everybody else actually needs that money.

(edit) I should clarify that I am by no means artificially starving the players of cash, merely diligently monitoring intake to prevent rapid depreciation of value for nuyen. If you follow the recommended baselines and modifiers given by the book, they're probably right on track if not a little ahead due to secondary bonuses earned due to excellent play. However, lifestyle (and how often your runs happen in in-character time) can change how that feels. If two characters got paid 10,000• this month but one has a 5k medium lifestyle and one has a 500 squatter lifestyle, that dramatically changes their net profit.

I expect nuyen to naturally inflate over time- after all, if you're a great runner with a fantastic rep, why would you bother on small payout jobs- but I want to make sure that at present they appreciate how valuable that nuyen is, especially to the common folk. Nuyen does not exactly convert at a 1:1 ratio with US$ so it's tricky solidifying its meaning in their minds.

Quote
So, for the chars who are still living street/squatter, what are they spending their • on? 
Literally, nothing. They actually approached me and asked for suggestions, and we've come up with ways for them to spend it to develop their contact networks.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: firebug on <01-26-15/2339:40>
Copying and saving your answer, Reaver.  It seems like a good summary and something GMs should look over and keep in mind.  In my play group, the runners are both street rats (they paid Squatter to live out of their cars) but their characters reflected this, and they are still (about half a year into running) dealing with fixers and Johnsons too easily dictating their pay and them getting regularly tricked with the details of their jobs.  And unless they both shape up (and one of them learns some social skills) that's the way it's gonna stay.

Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: All4BigGuns on <01-26-15/2349:16>
You think that the guy who happens to have a Squatter lifestyle having 25,000 nuyen is "flush with cash"? Please. That is chump change. Until you seriously increase payouts, expect lifestyles to stay or become lower.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: ScytheKnight on <01-26-15/2352:06>
You think that the guy who happens to have a Squatter lifestyle having 25,000 nuyen is "flush with cash"? Please. That is chump change. Until you seriously increase payouts, expect lifestyles to stay or become lower.

Taken in isolation yes, but remember that this is 10x-20x the amount of cash the other players in the group have.

Kinda surprised that even a technomancer has 'nothing to spend money on'... high end armor, a personal vehicle, hell even a Cyberdeck and Agent program to handle Matrix Security for the group.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Lethal Joke on <01-26-15/2357:19>
You think that the guy who happens to have a Squatter lifestyle having 25,000 nuyen is "flush with cash"? Please. That is chump change. Until you seriously increase payouts, expect lifestyles to stay or become lower.

Taken in isolation yes, but remember that this is 10x-20x the amount of cash the other players in the group have.

Kinda surprised that even a technomancer has 'nothing to spend money on'... high end armor, a personal vehicle, hell even a Cyberdeck and Agent program to handle Matrix Security for the group.

True. The technomancer is still the chosen boogeyman of the popular media in the Shadowrun universe around 5th edition. There are corps that'll pay for him, living or dead. If he doesn't even have an apartment? Yeah. Next time he sleeps, he should get a rude awakening. Other bums or ghouls find out he's got that much spare jing? He's a target on that merit, too. 25K is a lot to the guy living out of a cardboard box.

If nothing else gets through your players' heads, the inherent danger of not having a safe (relatively) place to sleep should do that quite nicely. Best part is that isn't even unrealistic.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: The Wyrm Ouroboros on <01-27-15/0004:30>
I expect nuyen to naturally inflate over time- after all, if you're a great runner with a fantastic rep, why would you bother on small payout jobs- but I want to make sure that at present they appreciate how valuable that nuyen is, especially to the common folk. Nuyen does not exactly convert at a 1:1 ratio with US$ so it's tricky solidifying its meaning in their minds.

Actually, you SHOULD think of nuyen-to-current-USD as being a 1:1 propositon.  In-game it's a different story, of course, but SR has in general tried to keep steady on that 1:1 ratio.

Given the specifics of what you're talking about, though, I would have to say that you should definitely bring out the issues and impacts of 'having a better lifestyle' to the players.  Give them Reaver's spiel, then every session ask them questions, the answers upon which their lifestyle impacts.  Ask them what they've been eating for the last few days, and if they tell you something that's 'out of zone' for their lifestyle, charge them for it.  It may only be 5-20• per diem, but that can add up - and if they DO say 'I'm eating found-food from behind the Stuffer Shack', don't even ask them - make a Body roll for them, for something minor but unpleasant.  "Ah, I see.  *roll*  Blake, hate to tell you this, but the E-Mancer has the runs.  Sorry - perils of eating out of dumpsters."

Ask them how they've been getting around town.  Ask them what they've been doing for entertainment - and if the E-Mancer has been hacking VR entertainment, roll his Edge for a 'luck' test, to see whether or not HE'S been vandalized.  And again, each time they give answers out of zone for their lifestyle, hit 'em with a surcharge.  Very soon they'll realize that if they don't want to end up with 'DUMBASS' painted in fingernail polish on their foreheads by ganger chicks, or going around on the bus, or showering at a truck stop (if the truck stop even allows them!!), they'll need to pony up for at least a Low lifestyle.  Especially since a lot of those 'added surcharge' bits can really add up over a month.

You think that the guy who happens to have a Squatter lifestyle having 25,000 nuyen is "flush with cash"? Please. That is chump change. Until you seriously increase payouts, expect lifestyles to stay or become lower.

It depends on what your lifestyle preferences are to start with, A4BG, and what the run preferences - including the player preferences - are.  Clearly his people are GOOD with the amounts they're having, but as he said - the people with decent lifestyles are not seeing the value of having that lifestyle, as compared to saving 4k or whatever on a cheaper one.

So the discussion isn't about 'should I give my players more money'.  It's 'how do I bring the effects of a chosen lifestyle to life for my players'.  If you have a suggestion, we'd be glad to hear it - but saying that the party needs to get more money when they're all clearly okay with what they've got so far really isn't what anyone here is looking for.

Addendum: remember that 'squatter' is shorthand for 'I found a dry place where I can maybe put a lock on the door'.  It doesn't mean 'nobody else is gonna try taking it over.'  For my money, you should simply have him harrassed.  If it's in a lower-end zone (C or worse), make it by a local gang, ghouls, or Bubba the Troll fresh out of prison who used to squat there and wants his place back.  If it's a better area, then maybe he gets harrassed - read 'kicked out' - by the owner of the property, by Knight Errant doing a routine check, or even just by the neighbors.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Namikaze on <01-27-15/0017:25>
I think the advanced lifestyle rules from Run & Gun help to incentivize people to pick higher lifestyles, while de-incentivizing the lower lifestyles.  With that said, consider what neighborhood and security the runners have.  If they're in a Z-zone, they're going to get harassed, jumped, mugged, their place will get broken into, etc.  If they have phenomenal security, they will at least find bodies and get alerts when something bad happens.  Eventually, the poor and destitute around them will gang up and try to take their stuff by force.  If nothing else, this encourages them to move to a new neighborhood, stay mobile, and/or keep a close eye on their things.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Reaver on <01-27-15/0139:41>
will say one thing though Adder;

Please be careful about how you go about doing things. From what you have posted, it sounds like you got a good group of players and things are running (for the most part) smoothly. And I think you are correct in that the issue is mostly setting as opposed to substance. This is a common problem for many players. And I blame that a little one Shadowrun's 25+ year living history. things get glossed over as time goes by and things don't have as much impact.  Also, player's persona lifestyles (Hey! there's that word again!) play into this. The PnP game crowd generally comes from the "better off" tiers of the social strata, so it's hard to imagine poverty. And I mean Real poverty.

Some of us that have travelled have seen this and can convey that a bit better. I have had the unfortunate luck of working a broad and being in the "gleaming towers behind the pearly gates" while everyone else wallows in the literal muck. (And, if you have a soul, its heart wrenching) What a lot of people don't realize is that places like Africa are hot beds of industrial work. It just doesn't go to Africans (by jobsite %). They pull in people like me, with a certain skill set to build, maintain, and work in this sites due to the lack of education in most of Africa. (I am happy to say, that despite some people's effort's, that education is getting through). But you should see the look of absolute vile and hatred we get from the locals (and with good reason. We earn in an hour, what they make in a year in some cases). And along with that comes the despair of deep poverty... child prostitution, sexual slavery for food, murder, and a host of other ills.

Now, take that and apply that to Seattle. Because in reality, THAT is the Seattle of Shadowrun. The line between the rich and the poor is so wide, and the walls so high, each side can not see each other. Read that "Low Lifestyle" again. Water and Power within allotted ration time. You are paying taxes, working 50 hours a week. All your bills are paid up, and YOU are on a ration for water and power? you go look out the window of your 25 floor 350 sq foot apartment at the lights 6 blocks over. The lights that are on 24 hours a day. all that neon and LED. All those holographic displays showing the latest fashions or gizmos. THEY have fountains of water shooting 20 feet in the air every damn 2 minutes! And YOU are on a ration. With all your bills paid up. Sucks to be poor.

Now take your average Squatter. if they are lucky, they can find a place with other squatters, maybe someplace mostly dry. Hopefully it's the number of people there that will keep the real things that go bump in the night away. And there are really REAL things that go bump in the night! Hopefully it's only a stray dog and not a pack. Hopefully it's not a Devil Rat, because if the rat doesn't get you, the diseases it has will. Hopefully it's not ghoul, and a raving mad on at that, those ones try to eat you while your still kicking and screaming... Yea hopefully the numbers will keep the monsters away. But what about the monsters in the camp? We your meal has been dirt mixed with soy for the last 10 days, sickly John in the corner starts looking less like John, and more like steak... And it's not like he was going to live much longer anyways. And when winter rolls around, and the snow starts to collect, and you can feel the frost bite on the edge of setting in taking hold of your finger tips and toes... suddenly Ted's used Jacket isn't Ted's Jacket. It's a tool of survival that you need. Or you Die. Food out of a trash bin would be great, if your neighbours actually threw out anything edible. But knowing them, if they got something in a plastic wrapper, they licked the wrapper clean, several times. Of course, 10 blocks over where all the lights and real people are, restaurants are throwing plates of food away! Too bad there is a 10 meter high cement wall topped with mono-wire and patrolled by drones to keep  you out between you and that trash can. All the roads have check points into that gleaming "castle" of full trashcans. Any car can pass, but a person on foot has to go into the checkpoint and show ID (you HAVE a SIN, right??) and the reason for going in. Too bad "Dumpster diving" is against the zone's policies. And the last time you snuck in and got caught, it cost you 3 broken ribs and a black eye. That rattle in chests stuck around for months too...

And then there is Those IN that gleaming city.  Working your ass off for a boss in a high stress job. You have to schedule "appointments" with your wife for sex, between the 60 hours paid work, the 20 hours from your home and the 4 to 5 hours sleep you get a night, your a wreck. Every penny you've earned has gone to moving you from that crappy condo you started out in, to the next less crappy condo. Now, after years of work, you own a house! Well, you own a mortgage on a house! And a car even if your knees are next your ears, it's a car! And it's all yours, as long as you make the  payments. Oh those payments! Just when you thought you were ahead, every time you bought a new house, it took more time at the office. The circle that never ends.... You need a job to buy shit, Once you have shit you need a better job to afford that shit, you get a better job to afford shit, then you buy more shit... and thus the circle you are running in. So when that one day off a week rolls around and you get to unwind, you actually "go out". And there it is All the bright lights of the city, your reward for all your hard work. And just beyond that is the wall. The wall that keeps those that want to hurt you just because you work for a living. You used to go to Tourist Town with your college mates to "slum it up" when you were younger, but one night you got a good look into the faces of the people that actually live down there... They were full of barely contained rage. Rage at being treated like animals because of circumstance, rage at being taxes and denied for those that actually had SINs, or just plain old denied if they didn't. You thought about trying to explain that it isn't your fault, it's.. jus the way things are. But you can see that they don't care, to them, you personify everything they can't have. Your worry is if the boss will like your report. Their worry is if they will live through the night. You live in the same city as these people, but your are worlds apart. So you are glad that wall is there. Leave the homeless and the SINless on the other side of the wall, they are dangerous, deranged, "They must like to live that way" you tell yourself. And you keep telling it to yourself until you believe it.


*****
Remember, a lot of the social safety nets we think of today are just not there in Shadowrun. Vitas epidemics have slaughtered a quarter of the world population and destroyed the economy in the 201x to 202x's. Then, just when things got stabilized and moving again, Along came the CRASH of 2029(?). And along with that crash of the computers, so did the economy. And so it was again in 2064. If you are looking for a good case study in what a single recession can do to a country, Check out Greece 2002 compared to Greece 2013. Governments are strapped with debt, Corporations only spend where there is an investment and return (so, definitely NOT on welfare programs for non-workers.) The Private Unions are Broken (teamsters, construction, etc) Government Unions are bankrupt either through a series of strikes to get concessions from governments that just couldn't pay, or from attrition of the workforce as governments unload Unionized Public Sector jobs to the private sector.

This means that means that more of the strain for government tax dollars also often falls on the public sector middle class and the private sector lower class. As, generally speaking those of middle class or higher that work for a AA+ rated corp often get Extra-territoriality housing and taxing. (thus removing them from the government's burden, but also taking away from their tax revenue). And, as that strain gets to heavy, and services are cut, those that are marginalized, fall off the tax system, cease contributing to government coffers and putting more strain on the social safety net. Eventually it breaks and services get cut...... And, you get the picture.


Trying to convey THIS breach and interactions that do exist between the "haves" and "have nots" away from our 21th century understanding of social welfare and consciousness, is what your job as a GM is. And if you are able to convey both sides through your NPCs are your PCs interactions with them, you will only help your cause of enriching your players in the SR lore and setting but also show then the real value of the Money they are making and just what other would be willing to do for even some of it (And what they are willing to do, can be and often is, much, much worse then you could possibly imagine) 


 
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: The Wyrm Ouroboros on <01-27-15/0154:56>
And that, my friends, is what you really should copy-and-paste.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: firebug on <01-27-15/0208:42>
Again I really gotta thank you for that, Reaver.  This kind of knowledge is gonna go a long way in dramatic roleplaying and better representation of the hardships of the poor in Shadowrun.  Which is a big deal considering how common it is for runners to come from those parts (aside from real world moral reasons to not misrepresent any group).

And believe me, Wyrm, I'm saving that too.  *nods*
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Spooky on <01-27-15/0227:21>
Totally agree, reaver. I have been in some places like that myself, even been the target of discrimination because I was not the right nationality. I put some of that experience in my game, but I always try to remember that it is just a game that gets played to have fun.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Namikaze on <01-27-15/0300:40>
Great insight, Reaver.  *kudos*
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Shaidar on <01-27-15/0304:03>
Yup, in SR Seattle is a 3rd World Country with a few remaining 1st World sections.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Glyph on <01-27-15/0312:49>
Okay, so the problem is a bit clearer.  One character is hoarding money and living like a bum, and you are worried the other players will follow suit if there don't seem to be any negative consequences.  I think in addition to playing up the perils and inconveniences of a street/squatter lifestyle, you should also play up the perks of the higher lifestyles.  Even a low lifestyle should mean cheap (but multiple) locks on your door, a sign on the building indicating protection from the local gang, the occasional trid matinee or dinner of fast food,  actual  spare clothing, and maybe even a cheap suit.  You can go to sleep on a futon in a place with no missing walls or broken windows, have an actual functioning sink and toilet of your own, etc.  Go through Reaver's post on the lifestyles again, and pick a few things to mention, or play up, about another character's higher lifestyle.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: The Wyrm Ouroboros on <01-27-15/0335:10>
"Wow, this is ... what is this??"
"This is flavored soy."
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Shaidar on <01-27-15/0442:01>
You might try to nail the point home by offering to feed all of your Players. Don't tell them they will be eating based upon their Character's chosen Lifestyle.

You cook in front of them and eat a T-bone steak with a salad and dessert.

Any player which chose a Middle Lifestyle order pizza delivery. Don't eat the crusts.

Any player which chose a Low Lifestyle gets a slab of Tofu over Rice with a single quarter-sized glob of Teriyaki sauce.

Any player which chose a Squatter Lifestyle gets 1/2 of an MRE.

Any player which chose a Street Lifestyle gets the pizza crusts at the end of the game session after having watched the rest of the players eaten their fill.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: The Wyrm Ouroboros on <01-27-15/0533:45>
*laughs*  That's painfully cruel.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Spooky on <01-27-15/0910:40>
Should be effective in driving the point home, though. Still, has potential to backfire, so be careful in application. Good luck....
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: rednblack on <01-27-15/1130:19>
Reaver nails it.  Namikaze also makes good points, though I'll add one alternative to staying on the run is to build connections with the poor and destitute in said techo's area.  Spreading around a little money and a little food can go a long way to making a hellhole a good place to hang your hat -- assuming you remember to pick it back up before you head outside.

I'm less inclined to go the taxation route.  That runs the risk of turning murder hobos into accountants with guns, and while I hate murder hobos, I'm more likely to want to play in that game than the latter. 

I also feel that there is an assumption that the techo is out to game the system.  That may well be true, but it's a dangerous assumption to make.  Let's go with the bias against technos as a thought experiment.  One could make the argument that a techno living a Middle Lifestyle would be faced with a greater chance of being abducted, killed, or extracted than one living in a squat, or on the street.  If a run against a corp gets said techno's face on video feed, that can be cross-referenced with the cameras that will undoubtedly litter the middle lifestyle areas, and then it's just a matter of time before someone sees which apartment building s/he enters and makes a move.  Living in the Barrens, though?  Chummer crosses over from Bellevue, and s/he's gone.  Chummer makes nice with the local hoods, poses as a decker who will hack in Urban Brawl for the neighborhood to watch, and otherwise keeps his nose down, and he stands a relative shot at peace.  Not only that, but s/he's playing the char in 1 of myriad "right" ways to do so.  Technos don't need those fancy gadgets, so if the techno is looking for a way to spend some hard-earned •, doesn't want to leave the streets, and is playing up the slightly off and unusual cliches for the archetype, I say go for it.  That's RP gold.  The OP said the player in question approached to talk about how to spend some money; I don't see why the only answer is to improve the lifestyle, when it's possible to effectively raise one's lifestyle -- including the expenses that come with it -- while RPing the char in a way that the player wants to.

Also, if you really want to tax the player, and make him/her think twice about living on the street, just have a random hood try to mug the PC.  Maybe the PC gets lucky, and runs off, or bests the thug, but s/he'll certainly think twice about walking around with 25k.  And if the PC doesn't doesn't get off that lightly, well hard lesson learned.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Namikaze on <01-27-15/1217:00>
You might try to nail the point home by offering to feed all of your Players. Don't tell them they will be eating based upon their Character's chosen Lifestyle.

You cook in front of them and eat a T-bone steak with a salad and dessert.

Any player which chose a Middle Lifestyle order pizza delivery. Don't eat the crusts.

Any player which chose a Low Lifestyle gets a slab of Tofu over Rice with a single quarter-sized glob of Teriyaki sauce.

Any player which chose a Squatter Lifestyle gets 1/2 of an MRE.

Any player which chose a Street Lifestyle gets the pizza crusts at the end of the game session after having watched the rest of the players eaten their fill.

ROFL!  I love this.  This is just cruel and awesome.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Rift_0f_Bladz on <01-27-15/1648:42>
Better make sure you pick the right MRE's. Having a father that spend nearly 20+ years in military service, I was able to eat them almost whenever I wanted. Some of them are actually better than most school cafeteria food. Now, some are ok, and they do get old after about a week. Also, 1/2 a MRE has a large amount of calories, 3 MREs equates to 3000 Cals.  Otherwise, I like the the meal idea, but would switch the squater and low meal idea.

Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: MijRai on <01-27-15/2137:29>
Make sure they get a cold Veggie Omelet MRE main meal.  They'll really know the difference then.  That or Veggie Burger are generally the lowest tier when I was in; Veggie Tortellini and Brisket were some of the best. 
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Sterling on <01-28-15/0306:39>
Make sure they get a cold Veggie Omelet MRE main meal.  They'll really know the difference then.  That or Veggie Burger are generally the lowest tier when I was in; Veggie Tortellini and Brisket were some of the best.

The cold Veggie Omelette - is that the one that looks like someone has already eaten it once before and it disagreed with them?
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: MijRai on <01-28-15/0444:40>
Make sure they get a cold Veggie Omelet MRE main meal.  They'll really know the difference then.  That or Veggie Burger are generally the lowest tier when I was in; Veggie Tortellini and Brisket were some of the best.

The cold Veggie Omelette - is that the one that looks like someone has already eaten it once before and it disagreed with them?

Pretty much.  I know the few times I had it, it disagreed with me. 
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Longshot23 on <01-28-15/1120:38>

Addendum: remember that 'squatter' is shorthand for 'I found a dry place where I can maybe put a lock on the door'.  It doesn't mean 'nobody else is gonna try taking it over.'  For my money, you should simply have him harrassed.  If it's in a lower-end zone (C or worse), make it by a local gang, ghouls, or Bubba the Troll fresh out of prison who used to squat there and wants his place back.  If it's a better area, then maybe he gets harrassed - read 'kicked out' - by the owner of the property, by Knight Errant doing a routine check, or even just by the neighbors.

To further screw with your PCs, switch Bubba for Mungo . . .  :o  ::)
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Emperors Grace on <01-28-15/1249:31>
You might try to nail the point home by offering to feed all of your Players. Don't tell them they will be eating based upon their Character's chosen Lifestyle.

You cook in front of them and eat a T-bone steak with a salad and dessert.

Any player which chose a Middle Lifestyle order pizza delivery. Don't eat the crusts.

Any player which chose a Low Lifestyle gets a slab of Tofu over Rice with a single quarter-sized glob of Teriyaki sauce.

Any player which chose a Squatter Lifestyle gets 1/2 of an MRE.

Any player which chose a Street Lifestyle gets the pizza crusts at the end of the game session after having watched the rest of the players eaten their fill.

My college used to do this back in the early 90's.  As part of a world hunger course (anthropology) they held a dinner where you bought a ticket ahead of time but only found out what country you represented at the dinner.  End up with a first world country and you might get appetizers, salad, and a nice steak/potato.  End up with a third or fourth world country and you're probably eating a yam or small bowl of rice.

If he likes the neighborhood but wants to spend, he could always fix the inside up (make it a Middle lifestyle place that looks squatter on the outside).

Or, if he really likes the neighborhood, he could start brokering some deals (through a fixer to avoid scrutiny) to fix quite a bit of the neighborhood.

(For example, arranging for the building to be sold to him, and then paying to have the water, electricity, and matrix repaired and outfitting the local protectors with new gear.)
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: DigitalZombie on <01-28-15/1520:07>
I hated when my players/ fellow runners chose street or squatter lifestyles. 80% of the time they did it because they didnt care about RP part, and would rather just spend the cash on better gear. And now with "hobo with a shotgun" quality you not only have more money for gear, you also have more karma.

What I did to counter it: At low  lifestyle the player got a free rating 2 SIN, at middle, he got a free rating 4, and at high he got a free rating 6 (or 5 if he chose not to give his DNA to strangers)

That way you could still choose to be a hobo, you just got rewarded a bit if you didnt.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Shaidar on <01-28-15/1526:32>
For choice of MRE I'd say a barely palatable one would be preferable, for illustrating the point.

Quote from: SR5 Core pg369
the nutrisoy may not taste great, but at least itís hot.

I chose Tofu because I felt that was the closest modern analog to Nutrisoy.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Rift_0f_Bladz on <01-28-15/1550:25>
Then yeah, the nasty omlet thing mention earlier. Mm, Tutu (not) make sure it is low quality tofu as well.

Also, the idea of a free sin based on low + does help counter some of the benefits of choose street/squatter other than RP/GM fiat. But honestly, Hobbo with a shotgun is the funniest NQ I have found (and my Sum of 10 Troll Mage has it).
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Emperors Grace on <01-28-15/1649:51>
What I did to counter it: At low  lifestyle the player got a free rating 2 SIN, at middle, he got a free rating 4, and at high he got a free rating 6 (or 5 if he chose not to give his DNA to strangers)

Also makes a bit of sense as to how one got the lifestyle.

It never made sense to me that someone could have a high lifestyle with no clean high level SIN.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: rednblack on <01-28-15/1753:57>
What I did to counter it: At low  lifestyle the player got a free rating 2 SIN, at middle, he got a free rating 4, and at high he got a free rating 6 (or 5 if he chose not to give his DNA to strangers)

That's a fucking bargain.  1 month's rent and a level 4 fake SIN for half the price of the SIN by itself.  Sign me up.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Reaver on <01-28-15/1802:44>
Have to admit, those in my games that take "Street" and "squatter" lifestyles generally don't stay there for long... But then again I play up the dystopian setting a fair bit and make sure it is there in the face for all to see...


For those who don't want/like the RP side, it eventually sinks in from a mathematical side. The cost of the lifestyle upgrade out weighs the cost of replacing lost gear from theft. Over comes the hassle of paying for travel. And covers their food costs which they would be deducting every day, all day long. (or deducting a larger flat "food and crap" tithe daily). 
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Shaidar on <01-28-15/1817:20>
What I did to counter it: At low  lifestyle the player got a free rating 2 SIN, at middle, he got a free rating 4, and at high he got a free rating 6 (or 5 if he chose not to give his DNA to strangers)

Correct me if I'm wrong but SR4's Runners Companion gave a SIN (real or fake) as a prerequisite for Lifestyles.

Quote from: RC pg160
BEING SINLESS
Being SINless in the Ď70s severely limits a characterís lifestyle. Neighborhoods at a Middle rating and above will require all metahumans to broadcast their SINs and IDs in all public places. In addition, to legally rent or buy any apartment requires a SIN, as do a myriad of other activities of daily lifeósuch as buying groceries, riding the bus, downloading sims, and having utilities.  e only way to get around this basic fact of life is to live in a neighborhood where you can pay by certi ed cred or barterógenerally Street or Squatter neighborhoods, with the occasional small gang-controlled territory.
Because of this, having a fake SIN is a necessity to get out of the barrens and slums of the Sixth World. However, the level of your fake SIN and ID restricts your ability to access the nicer things in life. In game terms, you can only choose categories that are one point higher than the rating of your fake SIN. A runner with a Rating 2 fake SIN could only live in a Middle (3 LP) Neighborhood and could only take the other categories at a rating of 3.
A character with no SIN (real or fake) is limited to a total lifestyle cost of 7 Lifestyle Points or less, including qualities.

I have as of yet been unable to find the corosponding passage in Run Faster.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: rednblack on <01-28-15/1826:18>
Have to admit, those in my games that take "Street" and "squatter" lifestyles generally don't stay there for long... But then again I play up the dystopian setting a fair bit and make sure it is there in the face for all to see...

Do you play up any dystopian downsides for higher lifestyles?  I ask because dystopian lit is in my field of study, and most protagonists in dystopian novels are from middle or higher levels.  Winston from 1984 is the obvious example, and he goes to hang with the proles to get out from under the watchful eye of Big Brother.  In The Handmaid's Tale, Offred exists entirely in a High lifestyle area, which makes her potential involvement with Mayday much more dangerous.  Ditto that for the MaddAddam trilogy, which covers characters from all walks of life

For those who don't want/like the RP side, it eventually sinks in from a mathematical side. The cost of the lifestyle upgrade out weighs the cost of replacing lost gear from theft. Over comes the hassle of paying for travel. And covers their food costs which they would be deducting every day, all day long. (or deducting a larger flat "food and crap" tithe daily).

This makes perfect sense to me.  Unless there's a really good reason for being on the streets, why would a successful runner do otherwise?  There's a part of me, though, that thinks a bunch of runners in a Middle lifestyle area is also kinda like a bunch of runners who are awakened.  In a corp-run dystopian future like SR, the middle class has got to be exceptionally small, I would think.

I ask the above because I've really appreciated and learned from what you've offered in this thread so far.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Reaver on <01-28-15/1849:19>
Have to admit, those in my games that take "Street" and "squatter" lifestyles generally don't stay there for long... But then again I play up the dystopian setting a fair bit and make sure it is there in the face for all to see...

Do you play up any dystopian downsides for higher lifestyles?  I ask because dystopian lit is in my field of study, and most protagonists in dystopian novels are from middle or higher levels.  Winston from 1984 is the obvious example, and he goes to hang with the proles to get out from under the watchful eye of Big Brother.  In The Handmaid's Tale, Offred exists entirely in a High lifestyle area, which makes her potential involvement with Mayday much more dangerous.  Ditto that for the MaddAddam trilogy, which covers characters from all walks of life

For those who don't want/like the RP side, it eventually sinks in from a mathematical side. The cost of the lifestyle upgrade out weighs the cost of replacing lost gear from theft. Over comes the hassle of paying for travel. And covers their food costs which they would be deducting every day, all day long. (or deducting a larger flat "food and crap" tithe daily).

This makes perfect sense to me.  Unless there's a really good reason for being on the streets, why would a successful runner do otherwise?  There's a part of me, though, that thinks a bunch of runners in a Middle lifestyle area is also kinda like a bunch of runners who are awakened.  In a corp-run dystopian future like SR, the middle class has got to be exceptionally small, I would think.

I ask the above because I've really appreciated and learned from what you've offered in this thread so far.


As to playing the Up side? Depends. It's easier for someone from a high lifestyle to pass in a lower lifestyle then it is the other way around. After all, anyone can shop at Value Village for some used clothes, throw some dirt and mud on them, piss on them, then let them dry for that Hobo look. (especially if they don't bath during that week). But it takes money to shop at Ares-Gucci, Money that the hobo doesn't have. (of course, players are different, and one of the OP's character could buy the tres-chic lines if he wanted. Keeping them looking good would be the problem there)

However, if they foolish to wear a Tres-chic outfit to the Barrens? Violence will probably ensue. But just plain old bigotry? Yep. As you move farther away from the "Norms" that you look like you fit into, the more problem you will have. Especially as the sun goes down. 
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: farothel on <01-29-15/0503:05>
What I did to counter it: At low  lifestyle the player got a free rating 2 SIN, at middle, he got a free rating 4, and at high he got a free rating 6 (or 5 if he chose not to give his DNA to strangers)

That's a fucking bargain.  1 month's rent and a level 4 fake SIN for half the price of the SIN by itself.  Sign me up.

Maybe, but you have to keep that SIN completely clean, or you loose your lifestyle with it.  So you will need others to do the actual runs.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Mr. Black on <01-31-15/0247:51>
I have mentioned before that I use Life Style tests for my players. Street is 1 dice, squatter is 2 dice, etc. Critical glitches mean bad things happen (flat tire, cops pull you over, gangers attack, etc.). I use it when the character is traveling around, especially in neighborhoods that do not match the character's life style. One of my reasons is having lived through some Low to High times myself. Low lifestyle people just don't have the money for car repair/maintenance, nor do they have prepaid tow/start systems, such as AAA. A breakdown/flat will strand them for hours. Middle can afford regular oil changes and such, and generally have AAA. High and Luxury have back-up cars, people who attend to regular maintenance, and tend to avoid "bad" neighborhoods. A GM who is feeling lenient could make it a Life Style+Edge test.

This test could also be reversed for poor neighborhoods, i.e., Luxury Life Style in the barrens rolls 1 dice, High 2 dice, etc. This could represent the increased attention flashy cars get in rough areas. Gangers are sure to know that a real nice car has occupants with real nice jewelry and gear, making robberies more enticing.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: halflingmage on <01-31-15/2205:21>
I would have a bigger problem with a player intentionally staying at street rater than squatter.  Street is literally homeless, you are living in a cardboard box or under and overpass.  You are filthy, half starved, and generally pathetic.  You would have to be borderline mentally ill to stay at street if you had money for better, physical hunger if nothing else would drive you.  If a player really insists, hit him with consequences.  The bouncer won't let you into the club or restaurant for the meet.  The Johnson gives you one look and refuses to pay a nuyen more no matter what you roll on negotiations.  You get penalties to your healing rolls because you can't get any decent sleep.  Want to get really nasty?  Don't let them spend karma on anything that requires practice or study, because they don't have the means or the focus to do it.  You aren't going to initiate if you are begging in front of the stuffer shack for a mircowave burrito.  Another place to hit them where they live- no comlink service for street lifestyle.  And everything, everything, they consume, every beverage, water, decent food, bus ticket, cab ride, etc, will come out of their operational funds.

Also, keep in mind that a character who depends on a magical lodge, or external gear like drones or vehicles need to a place to keep them and work on them.  Are you a decker?  If anyone  from under the overpass catches on that you have a honest to spirits cyberdeck they will get ten of their friends and beat you to death in your sleep because the parts from it, broken and split ten ways still fences for more money than they will see in a year. 

Squatter I can almost live with as a GM however.  A character that is constantly on the move, alternating between living in a vehicle, grabbing a sleep cube now and then, and taking a weekly or twice weekly shower at a truck stop is probably living a squatter lifestyle.  You have the same magic lodge/drone workshop issues as the street guy does, and you can't own anything that doesn't fit in the trunk of a car, but you have at lock between you and the world when you sleep most of the time.  It has the advantage that you are hard to find.  By being constantly on the move  you never have KE kicking in the door to your doss (well, maybe not never, its just less likely). 

A way to combat both of these conditions as well is to have some playtime devoted to things that happen between runs.  Runners have friends, hobbies, downtime activities, etc.  If there is no work for a few weeks the street guy is going to get very tired of doing nothing but running from devil rats and eating from a dumpster. 
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: brasso on <02-07-15/1535:23>
I have mentioned before that I use Life Style tests for my players. Street is 1 dice, squatter is 2 dice, etc. Critical glitches mean bad things happen (flat tire, cops pull you over, gangers attack, etc.). I use it when the character is traveling around, especially in neighborhoods that do not match the character's life style.

*Like* This adds a bit of in-game consequences to lifestyle decisions. A filthy street rat walking around downtown would soon attract attention of the nightstick variety I think, and this could simulate it nicely :)
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Tarislar on <02-08-15/0011:25>
There's just this one player in particular is a technomancer so he's really flush with cash (I'm not sure he even owns a pistol, and has cheap armor to boot) and is still living as a squatter. He's got ~25,000• and still lives like a bum. The other party members have between 2,000-10,000• at any time, and it's hard not to throw a glance in his direction and think, "hey if there's no reason not to, why don't I downgrade my lifestyle?". So it's not like this guy is trying to save up for some big purchase and resents the lack of money. He literally complains about not having anything to do with his money. He's just min/maxing and picking the lowest lifestyle option since there haven't been any drawbacks that actually bother him. I want to nip that sentiment in the bud before it spreads and everyone thinks about doing the same- especially since everybody else actually needs that money.
So he's living on the streets & doesn't own a pistol?
Yeah, that's just asking for some "after hours" gang violence if you ask me.




I have mentioned before that I use Life Style tests for my players. Street is 1 dice, squatter is 2 dice, etc. Critical glitches mean bad things happen (flat tire, cops pull you over, gangers attack, etc.). I use it when the character is traveling around, especially in neighborhoods that do not match the character's life style. 

*Like* This adds a bit of in-game consequences to lifestyle decisions. A filthy street rat walking around downtown would soon attract attention of the nightstick variety I think, and this could simulate it nicely :) 
Agreed, I like this one.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Glyph on <02-08-15/0243:26>
You might seem a bit of a dick if you pick on him too much, but really, someone without the ability to defend himself choosing to live on the dangerous streets, just out of frugality, is asking for it.  Forget gangs, crooked cops, devil rats, and ghouls - even a pack of street kids, or another squatter who wants that nice dry spot under the bridge, are a danger to him.  On the bright side, after he gets inevitably mugged by someone, he won't have that problem of not knowing what to do with his money any longer.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: north on <02-08-15/0905:49>
Is it possible that he just doesn't know what he wants to spend his cash?  I mean maybe he doesn't want a higher lifestyle because he doesn't think his PC should be in the upper part of town.  Maybe he's trying to lay low.  Has he looked up in run faster about how lifestyle works?  What he may want is a traveler lifestyle like as in "on the run" , "pay with cash", "don't leave a data trapeople.  After all he knows how to track people using the grid, and TM's do have a reason to be ... shall we say valuable to the right people.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: prismite on <02-09-15/2309:52>
After having read through this thread I wanted to offer my (often wrong) feelings on the matter.

Firstly, I feel that its in bad form to caution the GM not to take action. You can already tell that the GM is bothered by players actions and, for my part at the very least, what the player is doing is not only munchkin-like but downright unrealistic. Nobody in their right mind remains homeless, carrying $25,000 in their wallet. I'm paraphrasing and slightly warping the story, but my point is still the same. The player (and all players, really) need to have the understanding that Lifestyle exists for a reason. Now, I could totally see someone having a "Squatter" lifestyle but be living with another one of the players who is eating the brunt of their presence in the face (for double costs, mind you, but whatever). I saw A4BG say that he wouldn't bog the players down with forced lifestyles (paraphrasing again, there) but honestly ... SR really loses some of its zest when money is no longer a concern.

In fact, a good friend of mine and I have argued this point until we were exhausted many times ... but why would a guy with $25,000 in his pocket and nothing to spend it on keep putting his life in danger to run? He obviously doesn't need the money and apparently holds zero value/utility to him.

Personally, when "rent" time comes around and my "squatter" and "street" lifestyle players decide not to upgrade to at least a LOW lifestyle, bad things DO start happening. At low I just play up how bad life is ... make it really suck to be where they are and hopefully convince them to reach for that "Retire rich in a mansion" mentality that so many dream of but never reach.

Btw Reaver, I've read your posts and good job! I grew up poor and fought my way up the corporate ladder to where I am today. The difference is so vast that I feel particularly qualified to comment on lower lifestyles and I found your discription of the dregs pretty accurate. Again, good post! For what its worth, I was often forced to eat portions of MRE's growing up ... and to me and my siblings those things were better than the way I might look at Olive Garden now. I would not have traded those things for ... well ... anything. It was like prime-rib for us back then. THATS poor.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: All4BigGuns on <02-09-15/2337:21>
SR really loses some of its zest when money is no longer a concern.

No it doesn't, and this idea is the one that needs to be squashed with prejudice because it leads to ridiculously low run payouts which end up preventing expedient advancement for non-Awakened characters.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: farothel on <02-10-15/0504:45>
I agree that lifestyle choices should be played out (in our game, we all had something between low and middle using the 4th edition advanced lifestyle rules so there wasn't much of a problem), with all positive AND negatives attached to it.  But I do caution: if you haven't been doing this until now (I don't know how long the game has been running), be careful if you suddenly introduce big changes, as it might lead to player resentment.  Either talk to your players, saying that after the next run you will start implementing these things (so you give them time to change their lifestyle), maybe showing them the post by Reaver on lifestyles to indicate what you're going to do to them.  Or otherwise introduce the changes gradually.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: prismite on <02-11-15/0003:33>
SR really loses some of its zest when money is no longer a concern.

No it doesn't, and this idea is the one that needs to be squashed with prejudice because it leads to ridiculously low run payouts which end up preventing expedient advancement for non-Awakened characters.

I said "when money is no longer a concern". I didnt isolate any specific type of character. A non-awakened cyber-guy (or gal) that no longer needs money in my experience is identical in enthusiasm towards money as a Millionaire mage. Yes, cyber guys depend on money more than a magic user, typically, and as far as I can tell, I never indicated low run payouts.

Plus, A4BG, I'd further suggest that in a world where your employer is more than likely going to dick you over, you should consider a payday (however minor) a godsend.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Rift_0f_Bladz on <02-11-15/0957:46>
Always remember the Americar rule. If the Runners' can make more boosting an Americar (~20k) than you are being way to damn stingy with payouts. They should be paid well, otherwise why be a Shadowrunner?

Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Herr Brackhaus on <02-11-15/1028:59>
An Americar is 16k; fencing one to a loyalty 6 contact running a chop shop yields 30% of the items value, or 4.8k in this case, no questions asked. Divided by a team of 4 runners that's 1.2k for a single Americar.

I don't know where you're getting ~20k from, Rift, but boosting cars is unlikely to be a very lucrative trade if you ask me. Besides, if your players would rather boost cars than run the shadows as part of the game, then I'd say the problem is with the player and not the GM. The game is supposed to be about having fun and participating in a story, playing a role. If the player creates a car thief instead of a runner, I'd say he's doing it wrong as far as the game is concerned.

Misunderstand me right, I agree that runs should be paying out appropriately in terms of karma and nuyen, but I don't necessarily agree that there needs to be a set limit for said payout. A high-life team is going to be paid way better than a street scum team, after all.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: MijRai on <02-11-15/1041:48>
And the Street Scum team is going to have to be paid better than what they can make while not risking their lives like a 'runner does, otherwise they won't do the job.  Would you try to run the Korean DMZ for 10k?  That's a good example of a Zero Zone, if you ask me. 

As far as having fun and playing a role goes, that only goes so far if you don't get any room for improvement due to a lack of reward. 

Boosting cars can be quite lucrative if you've got the set-up for it (that high loyalty contact as a chop-shop owner or something, for example).  And if most 'runners can't manage to steal a car...  Well, I'm going to assume they're not at the top of their game by any stretch. 
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Rift_0f_Bladz on <02-11-15/1224:36>
First off, the ~20k was before chop shop, etc. Also, I was making a rough estimate of the price, so being 5k off is not bad. Actually, a good rigger with a shop (doable at character creation) could run his own chop shop, all he needs is a decker to change ownership, then he could sell the car, not the parts. So ~15k ų 4 = 3.75k for a party of 4, or if decker is contact and charges .33% of retail value, each runner makes 2.5k for a party of 4. So my point still stands, If it is safer and makes you a similar or greater amount of money, why run the shadows?
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Reaver on <02-11-15/1235:59>
Are we really going to get into another 15 "chopshop better than running" argument? If you want to see the out come of thag one (including the bans) just search the forums...
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Rift_0f_Bladz on <02-11-15/1315:06>
Was not trying to start an argument, but make a point. Thanks for the warning though, Reaver.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Herr Brackhaus on <02-11-15/1743:56>
I still don't understand how you manage to sell anything for close to retail value, Rift. 16k is showroom price for all intents and purposes; how can you even come close to 100% of full value on stolen property?
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Spooky on <02-11-15/1915:08>
Well, my table managed to do it by stealing a fully loaded ready for bear banshee, having the rigger, decker, weapons specialist, and technomancer go over it for a couple of days (essentially a complete factory reset),  and then when the face negotiated the sale, he had a margin of success of 10 hits, and the arms dealer glitched. Sold for 3 million. That money went fast, too.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: The Wyrm Ouroboros on <02-11-15/1915:48>
By selling it yourself, of course.  The 30% etc. comes from selling it to someone who's going to get all the hassle done for you, move it out of the way (maybe out of town), chop it up, sell it, etc. - in short, selling it to someone else who's going to do all the work.  For getting it and selling it to them, you get 10-30%.  Doing all the hard work yourself, though, means you can sell it for as much as you can get for it - which can be up to retail.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Herr Brackhaus on <02-11-15/2006:22>
Three issues with fencing goods yourself.

First, as per page 418, items with no availability cannot be fenced "as a rule", and this includes the Ford Americar. The wording of the statement implies to me that this is more of a guideline, but the text is still there for GMs to consider.

Second, time. Presuming a GM allows fencing an Americar, finding a buyer is an extended Etiquette + Charisma [Social] (10, 1 week) test because of the vehicles 16k base value. Even a proficient face could struggle getting 10 bits consistently, so you're more than likely looking at at least 2 weeks to find a buyer.

Third, price. Once you've found a buyer, its an opposed Negotiation + Charisma [Social] test to agree on price. Success gets you 25% plus 5% per net hit. You would need 15 net hits to get 100% of retail value for your item. That is certainly not insignificant.

In summary, taking the book value of an item and saying that a team should be able to earn as much as the retail value of said item per run is a grossly oversimplified statement in my opinion, as it fails to account for a number of factors beyond the purely mechanical ones.

Once again, I believe that a team should be earning an appropriate reward that befits table expectations and the story. I do not believe in the claim that boosting cars is an adequate benchmark for what is appropriate, however, as successful car thieves are likely good at what they do and I do not think it is given that runners will automatically possess those same skills.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: The Wyrm Ouroboros on <02-11-15/2015:14>
And this is the difference between taking the rules as a guideline and taking the rules as absolute.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Rift_0f_Bladz on <02-11-15/2327:57>
Even with your numbers Herr Brackhaus, 1.2k per car is decent. And how many cars do you think decent car jackers can take a night, let's say 4, one per person, cause anyone can drive. That is 4.8k a night. Or even one car a night 3 times a week is still 3.6k a week. How often do your runners go on runs in a week? A month. Yes, those should be guide lines in the CRB, but for many case they are to low. With that I am done.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Emperors Grace on <02-12-15/1241:08>
If 12 cars per week disappear in a neighborhood, you can expect local (and official) protectors to notice and start diverting resources...

How long is that 12 cars per week sustainable before you need to move to better areas with better protection? 

How much can the chop shop actually sell in parts without official investigation as to source given the recent rise in thefts?  (I can't see places buying lots of hot parts if the KE are asking around heavily.)

Branching out into other neighborhoods can yield more interested parties and even turf wars.

I think even if they intended on avoiding runs, they'd end up on runs anyway to try to solve such issues.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Csjarrat on <02-12-15/1636:08>
you don't sell em locally if you're pulling that shit. you steal them to-order and have them on a container ship heading overseas by midnight.
once that's done you bail and head to another city.
That's how I would do it anyway...Not that i do or anything. Honest!
Looks around suspiciously....
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Reaver on <02-12-15/1720:38>
you don't sell em locally if you're pulling that shit. you steal them to-order and have them on a container ship heading overseas by midnight.
once that's done you bail and head to another city.
That's how I would do it anyway...Not that i do or anything. Honest!
Looks around suspiciously....


which is a lot different then "boosting 4 cars a night 4 nights a week" crap.

What you are talking about is leg work. Lots and lots of leg work.

First you have to find your international buyers.
Then you have to locate the cars that THEY want.
Then you have to steal said cars.
THEN, you have to get them to the location of transport. (which, if international means a harbour, or airport) and over come their security to get your stolen goods just in the door,
THEN, you have to load and ship....




Yep sounds like a shadowrun to me... and all for what? 25% for the value (if you are exceedingly lucky... as everyone involved in this venture, and you are talking about DOZENS of people that all want their cut....


And what happens when your shipment sinks? Or goes down in a ball of flames? Or Interpol catches it? Or a rival organization takes it? I somehow doubt those sponsors are going to say "Hey, yea, we didn't get our merchandise, but you go a head and keep that money from our missing goods that we have no idea if you ratted out on or not..."

Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Herr Brackhaus on <02-12-15/1729:47>
Gone In 60 Seconds, 2075 Edition. Actually sounds like it could be good fun.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: brasso on <02-12-15/1800:29>
Gone In 60 Seconds, 2075 Edition. Actually sounds like it could be good fun.

Was thinking the same thing! It started as a one-off job, just to make ends meet...

There was actually a documentary on this a while back, and they were all going to foreign countries in containers. There'd be plenty of work to keep the whole team busy - decker for licensing and shipping manifests, face for making the deals, sammy and the mage for muscle. And the rigger? Well...

Although I guess we are getting a little off topic...   ;)
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: MijRai on <02-12-15/1925:11>
Y'all are forgetting that places like Seattle don't need to ship the vehicles that far; the Salish-Shidhe Council surrounds the city, and it's a different nation.  Europe and parts of Asia have a lot of close borders that don't require long-distance travel to avoid authorities. 
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: halflingmage on <02-12-15/2106:55>
I will weigh in on the whole stealing cars for a living thing.  It is something to keep in mind that characters have other options than just waiting around for someone to hire them.  Hijacking, car theft, simple burglaries in middle class neighborhoods are all things that a team capable of hitting a secure corporate lab and getting out alive should be able to handle in their sleep.  And they are a darned bit safer.  You don't want to have the players so rich that they stop taking runs and are turning down business, but at the same time if the pay is crap and the johnson always double crosses you, there are other ways to turn a nuyen as a criminal.

I have no idea how much a real world car thief gets paid for a given car.  But i can tell you it is a thriving business.  The 'gone in 60 seconds" bit is a nice movie, but its not the way it works.  You don't go after ultra expensive cars then then ship them out of the country.  You steal popular middle class cars a few years old.  Why?  There is a huge market for parts.  Stolen cars don't get resold as complete cars, they get turned into parts and sold under the table to mechanics who buy on the cheap and charge the price for a part from the factory.  A good decker or a rigger with hardware and locksmith could burn through such vehicles like wildfire.  If you have both the car is unlocked, powered up, and off of grid guide before the wheelman opens the door.  To anyone else around it looks like a normal keyless entry. In a world where your toothbrush has wireless no one would bat an eye.

Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Glyph on <02-12-15/2300:13>
A lot of it depends on the play style and character creations of the players.  Some players might like cunning plans, while others might be stymied by a locked door that can't be kicked down.  Character creation can make characters all up and down the scale when it comes to experience and ability.  I think a shadowrunning team that is actually capable of doing runs against corporate compounds should get paid commensurately, but a lot of "runners" might merely be small-time criminals.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: farothel on <02-13-15/0642:28>
And a lot of criminals call themselves runners so they don't have to call themselves criminals.  Just like a lot of terrorists call themselves freedom fighters.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Leevizer on <02-17-15/0623:36>
Hey, what about coffin motels and the other possible options with a squatter lifestyle, like, say, renting a garage space? I find both of those to be quite interesting alternatives (which might even work!) Compared to the hobo-lifestyle. If you don't have any possessions other than what you can fit in a bag, a coffin motel is actually a viable lifestyle for you. Even if you have a bit more gear but you sleep with it, there shouldn't be much problem (as long as the cubes aren't, you know, actively in use by others or have actual manned staff who might get upset at you sleeping with your AK-97.

But when thinking of other possibilities such as the garage, it has it's own perks, too. First off, it has a door with a lock (and the player can be encouraged to buy a better one by himself), and lots of storage space. I'd be aghast if in God's year 207X you couldn't manage to cook food, sleep and maybe have a bio-toilet in that place. A shower might be harder, though I could see it happening, provided there'd be a drain in the room... Mainly why this would be a squatter instead of a low lifestyle would be that it isn't an apartment, it's a single room. And even if the player CAN live there, it's a hassle and he shouldn't. For example by saying that he needs to shower and bath somewhere...

And after all this I present to you: The GarageCube lifestly (1000 nuyen a month). You rent yourself a garage for holding your gear, privacy and the ability to cook food with your portable cooker and a Cube from a coffin motel nearby, allowing you to stay sanitary, use a toilet and sleep there too, if you want!

...And we shouldn't forget Cyberpunk 2020's "life is disposable" attitude either.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: farothel on <02-17-15/0644:16>
I knew a player who had bought a truck/trailer combo and in the trailer she had managed to put a cozy appartment.  You can park wherever you want (every day another location if you're really that paranoid) and you have quite a bit of room in the trailer as well and you can install a bit of security yourself.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Froggy711 on <02-18-15/0411:25>
I think descriptive disincentives can be pretty motivating.

You're asleep. And wet. This is, in and of itself, isn't surprising. You have spent countless nights just like this one, curled up beneath a trash-heap in an alley, cradling your commlink, dreaming of all of 100,000 nuyen you have saved. You slip into a dream about how stupid your comrades must feel, spending their hard earned nuyen on things like beds fancy trid movies and showers... showers... a shower would be really good about now.

You imagine yourself taking a shower. the warm hot water, running over you, your muscles relax. Yeah. Showers are just as good in your dreams as they are in real life. Yeah. The clean smell of the shower. You breathe it in... but the smell of sour meat, rotting garbage and piss assaults your nose. Piss. That's a new one, You didn't remember that smell when you went to sleep.

You open your eyes and look up. A bleary eyed elf is standing over you, oblivious. The bottle of cheap liquor in his hand and his staggering stance suggests that he has just spent the greater part of the night in the bar across the way, and has chosen to use your alley as his own personal restroom. And chummer, I'm sorry to say that you are the toilet. What do you do?
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: The Wyrm Ouroboros on <02-18-15/0922:23>
Nicely written.  And a good example of the Street Lifestyle.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Namikaze on <02-18-15/0954:47>
Oh that is very nicely written.  Fortunately for me, my players don't want anything to do with being hobos.  Even if they're sitting on a credstick with 100,000• on it, they'll refuse to sleep in an alley.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Sendaz on <02-18-15/1015:03>
@Froggy  Very well written and certainly gives a good example of a street lifestyle.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Rotten_Emu on <02-19-15/0703:59>
That would certainly motivate my character to get a shack to call his own. :P I just wanted to say that all the different explenations and in depth analysis of the lifestyles will really help me liven things up for my players in the future! Thanks everybody!
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Froggy711 on <02-19-15/1821:33>
It might be a little extreme, but there is a reason why only the most deranged individuals will choose a lifestyle of abject poverty when they have access to money that would allow them to live comfortably. The vast majority do so only because they have no other choice.

I think so long as the discussion is in the land of mechanical penalties(which can work as a deterrent as well) it kind of turns what should be a roleplaying decision into a purely mechanical one. And once the player can mitigate any mechanical penalties associated with a particular lifestyle he will take that lifestyle if it saves him money... because to that player it is only an exercise in mechanics. Once they witness what their choice actually means, then they can go, "Oh, so Shadowrun really isn't a magical place where a person can live on the street and everything will be fine... Living on the street is just as shitty in Shadowrun as it is in real life. Maybe an upgrade in lifestyle is worth it after all..."
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Glyph on <02-19-15/2124:50>
If someone is choosing a street lifestyle purely for monetary reasons, then the GM simply needs to have logical consequences, and their subsequent costs, happen to the player.  Getting mugged, paying a street doc to treat illnesses or injuries arising from living on the streets, paying for everything as it comes up instead of having it be covered by a lifestyle - eventually, the player will realize that, as the Brits would say, he is being "penny wise but pound foolish".
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: PiXeL01 on <02-20-15/0551:18>
One reason why samurai usually live in the gutter or abandoned houses is they are saving up for that new implant or upgrade and will see any money thrown towards lifestyle has ball-and-chain around their legs that the awakened do not have. The latter can hoard their money because they really don't need it as much as the mundanes do. That is why many don't. Also the payout for runs are really low as of raw plus the setting itself.

But the dilemma is always "why would a 1 mil $ samurai choose or is forced to a life on the streets?"
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: MijRai on <02-20-15/1149:22>
The real trick is to take those modifiable lifestyles to make a custom one; cut down on everything that's 'superfluous' while boosting security. 
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: The Wyrm Ouroboros on <02-20-15/1345:08>
One reason why samurai usually live in the gutter or abandoned houses is they are saving up for that new implant or upgrade and will see any money thrown towards lifestyle has ball-and-chain around their legs that the awakened do not have. The latter can hoard their money because they really don't need it as much as the mundanes do. That is why many don't. Also the payout for runs are really low as of raw plus the setting itself.

But the dilemma is always "why would a 1 mil $ samurai choose or is forced to a life on the streets?"

Yep, it's really simple there. Get a good lifestyle and keep it up to date on payments or actually advance the non-skill portions of your character. The smart player will choose the latter and the good GM will accept that and not punish them for it.
... why is it, Guns, that you see it as 'punishment' when every other GM in the world would see something like this as 'enforcement of your choice'?  If the player doesn't want to pay for security, heat, steady food, and the rest, then fine - as a GM, you're directing the rest of the world, and there are consequences for choices, both good and bad.  Good consequence - they save up money.  Bad consequence - they have to deal with other squatters, devil rats, and the occasional ghoul looking for a meal.  You pay money in order to not have those little problems, or you save your money and you accept that you are going to have those problems on an irregular basis.  That isn't punishment, that's enforcement of choice.  If you're going to 'not punish' - enforce - a player's choice of a lower-end lifestyle, then why don't you simply give everyone in the group a Middle Lifestyle for free??  Because that's what you're allowing.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Herr Brackhaus on <02-20-15/1347:29>
One reason why samurai usually live in the gutter or abandoned houses is they are saving up for that new implant or upgrade and will see any money thrown towards lifestyle has ball-and-chain around their legs that the awakened do not have. The latter can hoard their money because they really don't need it as much as the mundanes do. That is why many don't. Also the payout for runs are really low as of raw plus the setting itself.

But the dilemma is always "why would a 1 mil $ samurai choose or is forced to a life on the streets?"

Yep, it's really simple there. Get a good lifestyle and keep it up to date on payments or actually advance the non-skill portions of your character. The smart greedy, mechanically-only oriented player will choose the latter and the good GM that doesn't really care will accept that and not punish them for it.
Fixed. My opinion only, just like your statement was.

If there's no consequences for living on the street, why would anyone spend money on lifestyles?
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Namikaze on <02-20-15/1649:54>
Any time that a GM does anything that reinforces the idea that a choice has consequences, A4BG makes it into a "punishment" and claims that the GM is a "bad GM."  I like to think of myself as a "good GM" and consequences are something that all of my players must deal with.  This is what makes the game real, and probably 90% of the players I've played with have appreciated that sense of realism.  The other 10% of those players probably had the impression that the game was going to be something ridiculously unrealistic.  Like Shadowrun-themed Dragonball or some stupid thing like that.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: MijRai on <02-20-15/1743:34>
Agreed with the last two folks.  You have to have consequences; otherwise, nothing could go wrong.  It applies to far more than just Lifestyles too (though, any character who thinks they could just live on the street without a care is one of the few I'd allow to have Logic 1).  Corp-Sec showing up is a consequence of you tripping the alarm, a hitman coming after you for doing a job is a consequence of taking that great paycheck, addiction is the consequence of taking drugs.  Consequences are a part of the game and life itself.  Should a person who racks up Notoriety with every mission for collateral damage out the ass and posting trideos of his killing sprees onto the Matrix be getting Robin Hood or discrete job offers?  No, just like how a person who lives on the street without running water, hygiene supplies, or even a door with a lock shouldn't be doing well. 
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Sendaz on <02-20-15/1818:24>
To be fair, part of the issue is tied in with the SIN system.

If you are SINless you are not supposed to be able to go out and rent a regular apartment or all the other normal day to day stuff.

For some the Squatter lifestyle is how they see their characters being, since even a Low lifestyle requires some kind of SIN in play.
So they are renting a coffin at the motel for the night or hanging out in some abandoned corner in the Barrens they carve out for themselves.
It's less about crowing about how much money they are saving and more about being stuck in the bottom rungs that money alone can't buy your way out of.

Should Squatter be easy living? Hell no, you have to scrap for what's yours and travel pretty lightly, but it still miles about living on the streets entirely.
I had a period in my life where I fell between those cracks and lived like that for a time. It's somewhere you don't want to stay, but for some it is not so easy to claw their way back.
One buddy basically burned his life thanks to a short temper and loads of outstanding warrants resulting from same so he will never be coming back out of that lifestyle because jail time would be the only thing he could look forward to.

Thankfully the Keys are not the worst place to be homeless, least the weather is survivable and there are plenty of folk who pay cash under the table for odd jobs.
But it is still a shitty way to live, so yeah a GM should play up those aspects to reflect the hazards of that style of living, but don't make it totally unsurvivable either. 


Of course the answer for a Player is to just go get a SIN, which for most runners is usually a fake, but then you need a minimum of three really- one for your day life and a separate one you use when running and the third for when things go tits up and you make a run for the hills. And that is not taking into account the usual turnover in burning a SIN or two along the way.

It does sometimes seem like the heavy prevalence of fake SINs (I mean you are not just getting one, but 2 or 3 at least) just sort of undermines the dystopian feel though.
So you do get more runners who can go grab a better lifestyle, but some will still want that grittier feel to their character living on the edge rather than basically playing Zorro- bandit by night, respectable person by day.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: The Wyrm Ouroboros on <02-20-15/2101:04>
... people purchase fewer than three SINs??
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Glyph on <02-21-15/1644:08>
I have a hard time buying a shadowrunner who has the connections to make a living pulling in big paydays as a professional criminal, but lacks the connections to have a fake ID.  Shadowrunners (or wannabe's thereof) who can't get a fake SIN should also be stuck in the Barrens doing low-rent thug work.

If the situation was as All4BigGuns described (either make rent on a decent place, or save up for improving your wired reflexes eventually), I would advise the GM to pay the characters more money.  But the OP is describing a character who is sitting on a pile of money, wondering what to spend it on, who still lives on the streets.  So yeah, the GM needs to show that living a homeless lifestyle on the streets is not all sunshine and roses.
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Namikaze on <02-21-15/1651:16>
So yeah, the GM needs to show that living a homeless lifestyle on the streets is not all sunshine and roses.

Is it ever sunshine and roses?  I suppose one could be homeless at say... the National Rose Garden, but then they've got to be in Louisiana.  That presents its own set of problems.  :P
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Peter_M_Andrew_Jr on <02-21-15/1652:33>
Yes people buy less than three SINs, but do they all buy a Rtg. 1 Fake named Inglbert Humperdink? With a backup of Tutti Fruiti? That's the real question about fake SINs.

Then again, in my game Knight Errant auctions off the naming rights to criminal SINs on an hourly basis, so names can get amusing at times.

Peter
Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: Angelone on <02-23-15/2203:29>
Voice#1 "Iz telling you Mungo this is the best squat Iz ever had"
Voice#2 "Okayz, okayz Bubba letz go check it out"
GM: Suddenly your door bursts open. Two very large and very angry looking trolls are looking at you.
Voice#1 "Waz you doing here squishy!"





Title: Re: Disincentives for Squatter/Street lifestyles?
Post by: gyrobot on <03-01-15/2158:49>
one way to make the best out of it is maybe use the Nuyen to get the local homeless as spies, scavs and other useful contacts in the barrens. Nothing says loyalty like a bag full of cheap beer From the stuffer shack.