Contacts are non-player characters (NPCs) that gamemasters can use to make Shadowrun games richer, more unpredictable, and more exciting for players.
Contacts are vital in Shadowrun. These are the people a character knows who can reveal information important to the character’s work, legitimate or not. Contacts are the purveyors of perhaps the most vital commodity of the 2070s: information. Need to know who’s doing what to whom? What the latest street rumor is? Where a special piece of gear can be found? Ask a contact.
Contacts are not necessarily friends—many of them expect to be paid or to receive favors in turn. Contacts have their own lives and their own needs, so they may occasionally turn to the character for help (providing a new scenario basis). Contacts also vary in their dependability and trustworthiness—presumably if a character treats her contacts well and plays them straight, they can be trusted. A character will not get anywhere in the dicey world of Shadowrun if she doesn’t trust anyone. To represent these factors, each contact has two ratings: Loyalty (indicating the depth of the relationship) and Connection (how networked they are), both described below.
Player characters start off with contacts acquired during character creation. These are contacts the character has established a working relationship with based on past legwork and social interactions. It is also possible to acquire contacts during the game, but only through roleplaying. Characters cannot “buy” contacts once the game begins; they have to earn them the hard way.
This is the contact’s level of loyalty towards the character—how much the contact will inconvenience himself, protect the character, or put himself at risk for the character. See p. 285.
A contact’s Connection rating indicates how useful he is in terms of his own network of contacts and influence. Connection is rated from 1 to 6, with higher-rated contacts having a better chance of providing favors, acquiring swag, or getting the information needed. For more information, see p. 285.
For more information, see Contacts, p. 285.
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