Contacts by the Numbers

Maintaining full sheets for contacts is a level of bookkeeping that we’re not interested in at my tables. Instead, all contacts roll some multiplication of their Connection rating to perform tests.

When a contact is chosen, the player makes a few choices for this NPC:

  1. A skill group or three individual skills in which the contact is proficient.
  2. Four knowledge skills (of any type) in which the contact is proficient.

If a contact has to make a test that falls within their proficiencies, they role (Connection × 4). For all other tests, they roll (Connection × 2).

Loyalty operates as a dice pool bonus to the player’s negotiation test when working with a contact or for other uses as described in the core rulebook on pages 386 through 390.


Popcorn has a friend who’s a bartender named Shots. Shots is proficient in Etiquette, Negotiations, and Leadership as well as the knowledge skills of Mixology, Current Events, Gang Identification, and Police Procedures. Shots has a Connection rating of 3 and a Loyalty to Popcorn of 4.

Popcorn and her team were jumped by a members of a gang they don’t recognize. They take photographs of the gang’s colors and symbols to Shots. Because Shots knows all the local gangs, he rolls (Connection × 4), i.e. 12, dice to figure out who they were. This information, he’s willing to share with Popcorn for free; she could have learned it anywhere and sharing it doesn’t really put Shots in any danger.

But, she asks Shots to set up a meeting between her, her team, and the gang. This puts Shots in an awkward position because he tries to stay neutral in street fights. Popcorn would roll (Charisma + Negotiation + Loyalty) against Shot’s (Charisma + Negotiation). As stated in SR5 on page 388, Popcorn slips Shots 600 nuyen to add two dice to her pool as well. Popcorn wins, and Shots will set up the meet. But, he wants her and her team to be ready to come to his rescue if this all blows up in his face!