In the cyberpunk world, you can live or die by your friends and reputations. Contacts are friends, fixer’s, agents – people you can depend on to help, hide or ditch the body for you when the heat is on.
Reputation is what kind of cred you’ve built up with a given group or area – are you known to be some one reliable, trustworthy and on the level? Do you remember the reason for the run, go above and beyond for them? They can also help you out in a bind and have many more connections, but generally help/info/gear from the reputation group comes at a much higher price then a Contact.
While Knowledge and Etiquette skills represents how much you know about the group, reputation represents how well they know you. Most starting characters aren’t going to have a whole lot of rep, but you might have some prior connections their you can hit up.
Example: Reputation (Ork Underground) 3, Reputation (Japanesse Yakuza) 2, Reputation (Aztechnology – Denver Office) 3.
Every starting character in Shadowrun gets 2 x Charisma in starting points you can spend toward Contacts and Reputations. Up to five points can be spent on a single Reputation, but you can also spend multiple points into a single Contact to improve your relationship with this person.
Degree 0 - Dude on the Street
Isn’t going to reveal anything to the character unless she makes it worth his while. A little cred will open doors anywhere.
Advantages: None! Items and info sold at whatever price the street can support.
Degree 1 – Contact
May know information that a character needs and will probably reveal it–but may keep it to himself just because he doesn’t feel any particular loyalty to the character.
Advantages: The GM may make an Intelligence (6) Test for the contact to determine if the contact can recall information about the runner when asked.
Sells equipment and services at Base price.
Degree 2 – Buddy
Will always provide the information a runner is looking for and may even “keep her ear to the ground” for a runner if she has the time.
Advantages: A runner receives 1 extra die for any Etiquette Tests made to acquire information from Level 2 contacts. In addition, the GM may make an Opposed Willpower (5) Test for the contact to determine if the contact can successfully refuse to answer questions about the runner.
Sells equipment and services at 10% discount from Base price.
Degree 3 – Friend for Life
Knows the runner well and interacts with him or her on a regular basis. The character may not even think of his or her friend as a contact, but the runner will surely find what that person does or knows useful at some point.
Advantages: A runner receives 2 extra dice for any Etiquette Tests made to acquire information from Level 3 contacts. In addition, the GM may make an Opposed Willpower (6) Test for the contact to determine if the contact can successfully refuse to answer questions about the runner.
Sells equipment and services at 20% discount from Base price.