Shaking Down Shadows
What exactly is a milk run? It appears that it is a short adventure, but what is the difference between that and a short fiction story?
In ‘fluff,’ a Milk Run is a job you took that turned out to be easy money. A common trope in Shadowrun is that anything that’s described as a Milk Run prior to actually doing the job often turns out to NOT be a Milk Run.
In regards to the meta of Shaking Down Shadows, Milk Run refers to a means for me to grant everybody a bit of extra karma and nuyen over what is earned during the course of the Shadowruns we actually play through on the forums here (this way everyone can kind of actually build up a decent amount of karma to advance their characters over the course of the campaign). The Milk Run will be an event that your character partakes in that would end up in the character being paid, even if that ‘money’ never shows up because in the meta you chose to take the full karma allotment (fluff wise maybe it was just enough to pay for a weekend on the town or maybe you donated that money or maybe the milk run had complications and you actually had to pay out of pocket for expense incurred). We assume a Milk Run occurs whether you post about it or not.
The purpose of the Short Fictions, on the other hand, is to create depth for your character and flesh them out, as well as provide deeper insight to your character for the other players. Let us all know what your characters does, what motivates him or her, etc. These can be current stories, stories from the characters past, or whatever your creative mind desires. It can possibly describe a job as well.
So their specific purposes are different, but the results and application can certainly be conflated, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Do I have to do a Milk Run? What if I prefer to use that time for training?
No, you don’t have to complete a Milk Run. That is an opportunity that is afforded, not a requirement. If you prefer to use that time to train rather than earn nuyen/karma, you are welcome to it. ‘Everything has its price.’
What is ‘Working for the Man’ or ‘Working for the People’?
So, in Shadowrun Missions, they added this concept. Basically for folks who have a lot of cash but need karma, or vice versa, you spend a week ‘working for the man’ or ‘working for the people’. The idea is that you do some soulless work and get paid for it, but at the cost of your karma. Or you spend your money doing good deeds or pro bono work and it feeds your soul. You basically get to swap karma for nuyen at a 1 for 2000 exchange rate, up to five points of karma worth.
In Missions, you can do this once between any two shadow runs. In SDS, you can do it once a month. It takes a week of your time and the particulars of what you are doing are up to you.
For example, a character with a Corporate Limited SIN might work for the man, representing time she is spending in her corporate office. Another character who came from the Containment Zone in Chicago worked for the people when she basically took her paycheck and used it to improve the squatter’s community she lived in, buying toys for children, weapons for the guards, and other improvements.