From Jackpoint

This is a complete lift of Shadow Haven's Contact Rules, but also changed a bunch to remove their other houserules. So read this one, but feel free to look at theirs too.

Capability (Dice Pool)

A contact’s dice pool describing how well they can and are willing to perform a particular service for a particular character. Add the following together to form a contact’s dice pool:

  • The connection of the contact,
  • The loyalty of the contact (Including penalties applied to Loyalty due to favors owed to the contact,
  • 2 dice for every aspect that applies to the check,
  • The dice pool modifier for the contact’s archetype,
  • If cashing in favors owed to the player, a bonus equal to the number of chips being cashed in,
  • And the dice pool modifier for the contact’s faction should it apply.

Connection Rating

As described on page 386 of the core rule book, Connection Rating describes the capabilities of a contact.

A contact has a number of Aspects equal to their Connection Rating plus one.

Loyalty Rating

As described on page 386 of the core rule book, Loyalty describes the relationship between a contact and a player character.

To reflect a contact’s motivation to go above and beyond, Loyalty will, together with Connection Rating and Aspects, determine a contact’s Capability for any given service.

Loyalty also factors into whether a contact will accept compensation other than Nuyen.

Loyalty may be affected by favors owed.


A number of keywords equal to their Connection Rating plus one, signifying areas of expertise and specializations applicable to the contact’s services. If you want your contact to be awakened/emerged you have to put one of their aspects as something related to the magical or resonance nature. This can be fairly freeform from 01 follower to security aware. Some examples:

  • A C2 Weaponsmith with the Aspects: Maces, Troll Weaponry and Krime
  • A C2 Investment Banker with Corporate Finance, Executives and EVO
  • A C3 Punk Band Frontman with Puyallup, Street, Anarchist and Music
  • A C2 Street Doc with Awakened Patients, Toxins and Drugs
  • A C3 Hermetic Mage with the aspects Hermetic Magician, Health, Manipulation and Ritual Spellcasting

The Flavor of a Contact and their Relationship to the World at Large

In this system, the flavor of a contact and their mechanical attributes are intended to go hand-in-hand. When writing a contact’s motivations, aspirations and vices, consider including hooks for Complications as Payment. When writing a Contact’s social ties, background and career path, try to develop their Aspects from it.

Contact Archetype

In addition to aspects, each contact has an archetype that modifies their dice pool for a certain type of action.

  • Service contacts focus on active skills.
  • Gear acquisition contacts get a bonus to finding stuff.
  • Legwork contacts get a bonus to their knowledge skills.
  • Generalist contacts balance their abilities but are weaker overall.
  • Fixers are special. (See below)
Contact Archetype Dice Pool Modifier
Fixer Service Gear Legwork Networking Generalist
Knowledge Checks 0 4 -2 8 4 2
Active Checks -2 8 0 4 -2 2
Gear Acquisition Checks 4 0 8 -2 0 2
Networking Checks 8 -2 4 0 8 2


Fixers have invested time and nuyen into your runner and as such they are more firmly in your corner and will not give up information about you except under exceptional pressure. They will organize rescue runs in the event you burn edge and generally ensure you won’t be screwed over by your Johnson. They also vet you to your Johnson, putting your J at ease. Your success is their profit, so they will ensure you can get to a meet and can complete the run.

Custom Archetypes

Custom Archetypes may also be created, assigning the +8,+4,0,-2 bonuses however you like. They are denoted on the contact page using the following:

For example, Custom(K,A,G,N) for +8 knowledge, +4 Active, 0 Gear, -2 Networking.

You also may have a custom Fixer array denoted as Fixer(K,A,G,N).

You may swap the order to change the array.

Contact Actions

Knowledge Checks

Ignore the contact legwork mechanics in core, pages 387-388.

Players may ask their contacts questions. What Aspects a contact has will define what areas they are knowledgeable in, a contact with the Aspect of ‘Gang member’ would know about other gangs, what their turfs are and who is who among gang leaders.

Contacts roll their Capability against the normal thresholds for knowledge tests as outlined in Core.

Contacts will freely give away information up to loyalty hits. However, if the contact gets hits over their loyalty, they may ask for nuyen or favors according to the table below with time equal to 1 hour. Consider the risk to the contact in providing this information, but generally, every hit over the loyalty is a favor.

Contacts can take up to connection rating in teamwork dice. If you help your contact, this does not apply to the dice pool when calculating costs.

Networking Checks

Ignore the contact legwork mechanics in core, page 388.

Contacts roll their dice pool to see if they know a person that would be in a position to be of use to the players, the test has a threshold of the desired Connection rating of the person being sought after. Their dice pool is based on their Capability, determining Aspects valid to the type of person searched for. If no existing contact exists and therefore no connection is established, the GM set alter the threshold as they deem thematically appropriate, a janitor might be C1 or C2 while the personal assistant of the mayor could be C5 or even higher.

Contacts will freely introduce you to other contacts whose connection ratings are equal or lower than your loyalty rating to that contact. Otherwise, it is considered a favor and the contact will want nuyen or a service for the connection according to the table below. Consider the risk to the contact in providing this connection, but generally, every hit over the loyalty is a favor.

Gear Acquisition Checks

Contacts roll their Capability to see if they can find gear for characters with applicable aspects applying.

Loyalty 6 contacts apply a -4 dice pool penalty to the availability of gear.

Loyalty 5 contacts apply a -3 dice pool penalty to the availability of gear.

Loyalty 4 contacts apply a -2 dice pool penalty to the availability of gear.

Loyalty 3 contacts apply a -1 dice pool penalty to the availability of gear.

Loyalty 2 and up include discrete delivery.

Contacts can assist the runner in acquiring the gear in order to give the runner the benefit of reduced availability, instead of the runner assisting the contact, however this a favour equal to Availability÷Loyalty (contacts wont bother with favours greatehr than Rating 6 of course).

Example: Trash Panda has the contact Scrap, a gear acquisition contact, at Connection 2, Loyalty 5. She wants to buy a R6 area jammer from her contact for the run. Scrap has the applicable aspects: Electronics and Black Market Connections. Trash Panda would roll 2 (Connection) + 5 (Loyalty) + 8 (Gear) + 2 (Electronics Aspect) + 2 (Black Market Connections Aspect) for a total of 19 dice. The Area jammer normally has an availability of 18F; however, because of Trash Panda's high loyalty with the contact (5), we impose a -3 penalty to the availability of the gear giving us a total of 15 dice in the opposed test.

Active Skill Check

A contact’s dice pool is equal to their Capability, a contact with the Aspect of ‘Infobroker’ would add that Aspect to their dice pool for the purposes of doing a matrix search.

Contacts can take up to connection rating in teamwork dice. If you help your contact, this does not apply to the dice pool when calculating costs. Easy tasks with low favor ratings may be done freely by the contact up to loyalty rating. Everything over loyalty rating must be paid for as a favor.

Lend Gear and Services

Contacts lend gear based on their aspects. What gear a contact has is based on GM fiat. Follow the table to determine the max value of gear a contact will freely lend out.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Loyalty 1 ¥94 ¥781 ¥2,188 ¥2,734 ¥3,516 ¥3,906 ¥4,297 ¥4,688 ¥5,469 ¥6,250 ¥7,031 ¥7,813
2 ¥375 ¥3,125 ¥8,750 ¥10,938 ¥14,063 ¥15,625 ¥17,188 ¥18,750 ¥21,875 ¥25,000 ¥28,125 ¥31,250
3 ¥1,500 ¥12,500 ¥35,000 ¥43,750 ¥56,250 ¥62,500 ¥68,750 ¥75,000 ¥87,500 ¥100,000 ¥112,500 ¥125,000
4 ¥6,000 ¥50,000 ¥140,000 ¥175,000 ¥225,000 ¥250,000 ¥275,000 ¥300,000 ¥350,000 ¥400,000 ¥450,000 ¥500,000
5 ¥24,000 ¥200,000 ¥560,000 ¥700,000 ¥900,000 ¥1,000,000 ¥1,100,000 ¥1,200,000 ¥1,400,000 ¥1,600,000 ¥1,800,000 ¥2,000,000
6 ¥96,000 ¥800,000 ¥2,240,000 ¥2,800,000 ¥3,600,000 ¥4,000,000 ¥4,400,000 ¥4,800,000 ¥5,600,000 ¥6,400,000 ¥7,200,000 ¥8,000,000

For gear over that price, a contact will lend it out at a rate of (7-Loyalty)*5% the remaining worth. Contacts expect their gear to come back in the same condition; make sure to patch up any bullet holes before returning it.

If you get in trouble, higher loyalty contacts will use this pool of money to try to bail you out. They do expect to get paid back ASAP.

Tests of Loyalty

This section overrides the RAW test of loyalty. Run Faster, Page 177.

Sometimes, your contact is holding the bag or otherwise finds themselves in a slotted up situation where throwing you under the bus would help them. If that is the case, roll 13-C with a threshold of (6-loyalty). If you beat the threshold, the contact will attempt to use their active skill dice pools and nuyen to help you out, risking themselves and their reputation. If you fail, under the bus you go.

Paying your Contacts

Services and Favor Rating

Capability can be rolled to determine a contact’s willingness and ability to provide a Favor, using the Favor Ratings table in Core 389. Use the rating given as a Threshold for the test. The roll can be bypassed with GM Fiat determining success or failure. The test may, at GM discretion, receive some of the modifiers applicable to Social Tests (Core p140):

  • Projected outcome appears advantageous to Contact: +1
  • Projected outcome appears annoying to Contact: –1
  • Projected outcome appears harmful to Contact: –3
  • Projected outcome appears disastrous to Contact: –4
  • Character has a heavy bargaining chip / highly desirable favor to trade: +2

GMs are free to add additional modifiers as they feel appropriate to the situation.

If a contact is tricked into acting against their own interest and finds out, GMs may choose to to dock one or more points of loyalty rating as they feel appropriate and/or have the contact demand a favor in recompense.

Service Costs

Favor Ratings are also guidelines for the costs of getting help from a contact. These numbers are guidelines and GMs are free to adjust them to better fit with the payscale of the run (especially hooding runs, high risk of retaliation runs, etc). The suggested cost is based on the favor rating (as determined by the GM), and the dicepool of a the contact (A more skilled contact will charge more for their expert services.)

Favor Rating
1 2 3 4 5 6
Payment Type Hits (Nuyen) (DP/4)*100¥ (DP/4)*250¥ (DP/4)*600¥ (DP/4)*1,500¥ (DP/4)*6,000¥ (DP/4)*10,000¥
Extended Service (DP/4)*hours*100¥ (DP/4)*hours*250¥ (DP/4)*hours*600¥ (DP/4)*hours*1,500¥ (DP/4)*hours*6,000¥ (DP/4)*hours*10,000¥

Magical/Resonance Services

The cost of magical and resonance services is up to the GM based on the risk of said service. GMs should account for the service’s drain/fading values while determining the risk to the contact. Magicians and technomancers are rare and know their worth, double the nuyen cost in the table above for their services.

Generally, 3 drain/fading is a rating 1 favor. 18+ drain/fading is a rating 6 favor. Double the nuyen cost again if the drain/fading exceeds 50% of the contact’s dice pool since that is generally when these things change from stun to physical damage. However, the favor rating can also be increased by circumstance. Sustaining a spell to go geek some rats is very different from sustaining a spell to go geek an Aztech blood mage in a Aztech pyramid. These are just guidelines and the favor rating should be both a discussion between the GM and player along with the contact and runner.

Complications, Side Objectives and Runs as Payment

GMs should have contacts who take payment in services or goods seek repayment for their services. This repayment can be in nuyen or tasks using the nuyen value to negotiate (via Cutting Aces or the Run Rewards table).

Favors and Chips

Some contacts may agree to work for free in exchange for a favor, or may agree to owe a character a favor. These are tracked with "Chips". A Positive number of chips means the Contact owes the PC a favor. A Negative number means the PC owes the Contact a favor. This may affect your contact's Capability, Service Costs, ect. A contact is less willing to help out if they are owed, especially if the character isn't interested in repaying the debt.

  • If the contact has a positive chip value (i.e. Contact owes the PC a favor) and the player is calling in that favor, add the value of the favor as a dicepool bonus to the test.
  • If the contact has a negative chip value (i.e. PC owes the Contact a favor), apply the number of favors owed as a penalty to the Contact’s Loyalty. If the Contact reaches 0 Loyalty in this way, they will still assist, but will always charge for help, and may charge extra until such time as they have been repaid.
    • Note that this modification of loyalty will affect Capability rolls, as well as Contact Availability Checks
    • If the negative chips drops the contact to 0 loyalty, they are not lost. Instead, the contact will refuse to assist the runner any more until the debt is repaid.

GMs are encouraged to find opportunities for contacts who prefer Favors as payment to either ask for favors, or offer a chip in the form of a favor in the future.

Player Actions with Contacts

I Know A Guy Adaptation

Ignore the rules on RF 177. Instead use the following rules: Spend a point of edge, describe the contact, how you know them, and why they aren't your contact currently. The GM should assign a connection between 1 and 6 and loyalty of 1 to this contact, granting more connection for better or more entertaining flashbacks to the contact. You temporarily gain the contact for the run. You may later buy the contact by getting a chip on them, and making them a contact.

Personal Contact Tags

Players may apply the following tags on their contacts without paying karma. They function exactly like RAW unless otherwise noted.

  • Blackmailed - Follows RAW rules (RF, 178)
  • Family - Treat this contact as having -1 loyalty for all tests except tests of loyalty, which are +1. You also earn one less chip than normal when doing favors for your family contact.
  • Intimidated - Follows RAW rules (RF, 178). You can not remove this tag once applied outside the use of memory magic or drugs during a run.

Contact Availability Checks

Contacts have their own lives. A GM can make a contact available or unavailable due to a situation where a runner can intervene. Generally, higher connection contacts are more busy.

If a GM doesn’t care either way, ignore the core rules (SR5 Core, 387) and instead roll 2d6+Loyalty (Connection). Note this works like an initiative roll, not hits; if the total of the two dice and your Loyalty exceeds the contact’s Connection, the following applies:

On a tie, the contact isn't immediately available but will get in contact with the character after what the GM deems a thematically appropriate delay. They will also have a reason or complication regarding why they couldn’t return the message.

With 1 higher than the threshold, the contact will immediately answer the runner but explain a situation or complication that they need to resolve before helping the runner. The runner may intervene in these situations.

With 2 or more higher than the threshold, the contact is immediately available with no complication.

Add the number of chips you owe to the connection threshold. Subtract the number of chips you are owed from the connection threshold.

Negative Aspects

Adding a negative aspect to a contact grants it an additional positive aspect. GMs are encouraged to leverage the negative aspect of contacts a player involves in a run to make said run extra spicy. You may only use the aspects listed below. The lifespan of contacts with negative aspects is also questionable. Obviously the list of negative aspects is non-exhaustive.

> "You may only use the aspects listed below." "Obviously the list of negative aspects is non-exhaustive." This is a contradiction, I'm not sure which is the intent.

  • Wanted
  • Blissfully Unaware - This is someone who doesn't think that their contacts are runners and doesn't understand the whole runner thing. If they find out you are a runner, immediately make a test of loyalty. If you fail the test of loyalty, they will think you are a terrorist, burn you and contact law enforcement. If you succeed in a test of loyalty, they will be willing to listen to you explain yourself and even help you leave the runner life. You may be able to convince them to associate with the Shadows. Gear contacts with this contact will only sell you legal gear, or restricted gear with the appropriate licenses unless you conduct a social test to convince them the lack of paperwork is for a benign reason.
  • Toxic Magic/Dissonance
  • Hard to reach - Always do an availability test for this contact with their connection +3 than normal.
  • Unreliable - The GM rolls in secret a 1d6. If the roll a one the contact will say, with complete confidence, that they will do the request or that they have the right information. They will then flake out or their information will be wrong. They will say they got the gear then accidentally sell it to another person.
  • Overworked - Services may take longer. Every time the contact provides a service, roll 2d6. The normal amount of time that it would take to provide the service is multiplied by the resulting number.

Positive Aspects

List of potential positive Aspects

Aspects can stack, but should not be synonymous for the same thing already on the contact. Ideally, they should get more specific the more you go.

Good example: Weapons Dealer > Firearms > Krime > Shotguns

  • This example is good because while they are going to be REALLY good at finding you a Krime Wave, their specializations tend to branch off of each other and they won’t all apply in all attempts at acquiring gear.

Bad Example: Arms Dealer > Weapons Smuggler > Armaments Expert > Supply Sergeant

  • This example is bad because all 4 aspects are basically the same thing, and all 4 would always apply to every roll made to acquire any weapons.

A few positive aspect examples are listed below. You may create your own as well.

  • Service Type (Armorer, Doctor, Smuggler, etc.)
  • Drones
  • Cyberware
  • Bioware
  • Blades
  • Blunt Weapons
  • Automatic Firearms
  • Handguns
  • Longarms
  • Heavy Weapons
  • Drugs
  • Electronic Accessories
  • Commlinks
  • Cyberdecks
  • Rigger Command Consoles
  • Milspec Gear
  • Consumer Grade
  • Ammunition
  • Equipment Brand, e.g. Ares, Krime, Shiawase
  • Magic Tradition (Dark Magic, Missionist, Vodou)
  • Magic Category (Combat, Illusion, Detection, Manipulation, Health)
  • Spirit Type (Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Man, Beast, etc.)
  • Focus Type (Qi, Power, Sorcery, Conjuring, etc.)
  • Fake SINs
  • High-Fashion Armor
  • Tactical Armor
  • Firearm Accessories
  • Armor Accessories
  • Explosives
  • Software
  • Extreme Environments
  • Vehicles
  • Medical
  • Blackmail
  • Private Info
  • General information
  • Building layouts