More contacts to flavor your game.
Most folks who work in fields where a Task Pool comes in handy will be given encephalons and even cerebral boosters. Mnemonic enhancers are similarly helpful for people in jobs that require keeping track of large amounts of data. Math SPUs are common among people who need to deal with scientific and finanical data. In general, a corp will find it worthwhile to invest an amount on the order of a person’s annual salary in cyberware and bioware for them (though this involves the person being in a binding contract for several years, so they can reap their investment).
Many of these contacts are there to make characters think: “That could be me, living well, far away from the shadows in a low-stress job.” With these options clearly spelled out, players should come up with good reasons as to why their character is risking their neck in the shadows.
A Fire Adept (or Sorcery Adept or appropriate-totem Shamanic Adept) who has a variety of combat spells that put out fires, create firebreaks, and so on. Alternatively, an Earth Adept (or appropriate-totem shaman) who uses manipulation spells to put out fires and can use telekinesis to rescue people from burning buildings, and Water Adepts can even work with combat and manipulation spells that have water effects. High lifestyle. This archetype can also be a demolitions expert who uses magic in place of explosives. Spells: Levitate Person, Physical Barrier, Smother, Waterhose, Anti-Gas Barrier, Treat.
An Air Adept (or Sorcery Adept or appropriate-totem Shamanic Adept) who has staked their professional reputation on reporting the results of his spells. Several different ones may be present at a meeting, casting Analyze Truth or Translate for pay. These people can also find work using spells such as X-Ray Vision for building inspection (or helping police investigations), analyzing the stresses on structures, or using analysis spells to perform diagnoses in hospitals. Such people also use ritual magic to trace lost people and items, and may find it useful to have runners owing them a favor to guard them on the astral, in case they find something that doesn’t want to be found. High lifestyle. Spells: Analyze Truth, Analyze Device, Analyze Magic, X-Ray Vision, Mind Probe, Translate.
A Sorcery Adept who specializes in spells such as Fashion, Makeover, and Healthy Glow. Such people command impressive salaries, as they can walk into your home and give you a complete makeover, transforming clothing into a unique creation or picking it out of a catalog. (Earth Adepts can work this way without Healthy Glow.) Luxury lifestyle.
An Earth Adept (or Sorcery Adept or appropriate-totem Shamanic Adept) who specializes in movement manipulations. Movement spells designed to handle bookshelves full of breakables make life much easier than packing for moving; another spell to distribute acceleration uniformly over a truck’s cargo area continues the work. People living at High and Luxury lifestyle will pay the 500¥ to 1000¥ fee for this person to take a day to move their nice clean house to a truck and into a new location. (The truck probably has a spell lock for the uniform acceleration.)
A Sorcery Adept (or appropriate-totem Shamanic Adept or a Healing Adept, if your game has these) who specializes in healing spells, some of which will be heavily adapted for performing various different surgical feats (such as liposuction, reshaping flesh and bone, removing scar tissue, and so on). Most large hospitals have at least one on staff. High to Luxury lifestyle.
The Machinist is usually a Sorcery Adept, but sometimes a full magician, who can craft relatively modern technological items using magic. She is accustomed to casting spells at very small objects, with magnifying glasses and microscopes to let her operate in such a small world, using micrometers and laser interferometers to attain the kind of precision normally available only by machining. Good scores in Physical Sciences and Electronics B/R are necessary for this kind of work, along with a plethora of spells that can shape small objects, alloy metals from their constituent elements, adjust the crystalline or amorphous structure of materials, separate a chunk of ore into its constituent elements, and polymerize plastics out of monomers. Other appropriate skills are various Weapon B/R skills.
The Sorcery Adepts of this type can produce handmade telesma; the full magicians can enchant items as virgin telesma (and you better be willing to be at their beck and call to supply the karma). These are the folks that understand metallurgy well enough to make the spring steel for that switchblade Weapon Focus, and have the extremely specialized spells to dikote blades out of raw carbon. Their services are extremely expensive, as very few magicians have the appropriate orientation toward scientific matters and the patience to work in fabrication like this.
Such mages cannot produce anything requiring extensive microcircuitry and definitely cannot produce anything requiring 2050-level optical computing. Small microcircuits can usually be replicated at a macroscopic level using transistors. These mages can make that orichalcum-laced compound bow with the pulley system for the Zen archer in your group. (The arrows won’t hurt spirits, but the item ought to add to the skill for shooting the bow.) A pistol or machine-gun should be possible, but any smartlink will have to be external.
This contact is not likely to give much in the way of discounts to the PC. Skills this rare will lead to a lifestyle easily in the High to Luxury range, and many such folk will have enough money to be living it up on the interest from their investments, only taking projects that are actually interesting to them. This person is the equivalent of a delta clinic for mages.
The variation of species has produced a diversity of voices that composers before the Awakening only dreamed about. Elves produce incredible sopranos and countertenors, Dwarfs and Trolls impressive bassos, and Orks superb resonant baritones; Ork and Troll women can carry the color of an alto voice well into the low baritone range. Low to Luxury lifestyle, depending on the fame, with an appropriate range of social connections. (Inspired by Bull’s Dwarven opera singer.) Some of these may be Physical Adepts concentrating on their art; others may have mnemonic enhancers to help them memorize scores.
Someone with their finger on the pulse of the global market, invaluable to runners who want to arrange additional profit off a run or buying a lifestyle. Cyberware: Commlink-IV, Encephalon-4, Math SPU-4, Display Link, Cerebral Booster-2, Mnemonic Enhancer-4. High to luxury lifestyle. This archetype can also work well for mutual fund managers and so on.
A person who knows the ins and outs of accounting and tax law, who can help you camouflage your ill-gotten gains from the eyes of the government. Middle to High lifestyle. Cyberware: Math SPU-4, Datajack, Display link.
Some riggers endanger their lives working in security, and some take vehicles through high-threat situations. Many, however, live relatively safe lives controlling factories. Machinist riggers jack into entire factories the way that security riggers jack into buildings, and their work allows fine tuning of robot-controlled manufacturing devices. With a vehicle control rig, a person can use teleoperated systems in a clean room without going through all the trouble of getting into a special suit. These people can end up working anywhere from the assembly line to training robots to run unattended. Middle lifestyle. Cyberware: Vehicle Control Rig-1. High lifestyle: Vehicle Control Rig-2, Encephalon-4.
Most programmers never bother with serious decking. The industry producing IC to keep deckers out of hosts is only a small segment of a huge market for computer games, device controllers, information filters, encryption devices, and development tools to help make more of these. Programmers vary from Low-lifestyle grunts who do basic work to the brilliant designers who command High and Luxury lifestyles. Cyberware: Low lifestyle: datajack. Middle lifestyle: datajack, display link, 100Mp headware memory, encephalon-2, math SPU-4. High lifestyle: datajack, encephalon-4, math SPU-4, 100Mp headware memory, display link, cerebral booster-2, mnemonic enhancer-4. Luxury: as high, but alpha, beta, or delta grade cyberware.
The Good Humor Ork drives an armored truck through low class neighborhoods, playing jaunty tunes; he dispenses hot and cold treats from behind a layer of armor glass. Children love to hear the music coming through the neighborhood, because even if they have no cred, they can get treats if they give the fellow good information. If they give the wrong info, though, no more treats again, ever— there’s always some kid in the neighborhood who made something up and never got any ice cream again. In rainy Seattle, he serves hot chocolate and other warm treats as well as the frozen stuff.
Grown-ups with a street rep can get other things from the Good Humor Ork: information, and low-Availability weapons. (He usually has a few Ares Predators and a variety of ammunition available in a hidden compartment in his van.)
Cyberware: little to none.