Obscuritus.ca A nerd making a nerdy blog

Reputation in Shadowrun

The reputation mechanics in Shadowrun suck.

They have always sucked.

There. I said it.

Shadowrun has always had Public Awareness, Street Cred, and Notoriety. Street cred is the one where you're a badass criminal, and everyone knows it. Public awareness is the one where you're a known criminal. Notoriety is the one where you're known to be the callous slot everyone expected. Shadowrun says that when your reputation is known, you add your Street Cred as a limit modifier, ok great. Your Notoriety goes up from negative/positive qualities, and from doing heartless things, but it doesn't DO anything. Public awareness might go up, and there's a table about how likely it is someone knows you. I hate this.

My plan is to rework specific mechanics on each piece - I will not change how you gain these numbers - just what you do with them. So.

Street Cred

This is the core of the new system, Street Cred is a runner's new best friend. Firstly, I want to systemize what it means to have your reputation be known. A runner can, if they want, roll their Street Cred, and each hit on the Street Cred role gives the person you are rolling for some information about you. Instead of you making the role, the target can make an Intuition + Street Knowledge + Street Cred roll - typical skills used for this are Shadowrunners, Shadow Community, Gangs, Magical Organizations, Matrix Community, or something else of that sort, depending on the type of runner.

Typically, if they get a single hit, you can apply your Street Cred limit bonus, two or three hits means that the target knows who you are, and some of your skills (typically your role), and 4+ hits means the target can list off some of your accomplishments, and runs your street name has been associated with.

However - they will get a penalty based on how likely they are to know you:

In terms of country - assume Seattle is in the UCAS, Salish Shide, and Tir Tairngire, since it's a special case.

Public Awareness

You continue to get Public Awareness the same way. The big difference is that Public Awareness is added to each of your Street Cred rolls - meaning people are more likely to know you. Make sure to roll Public Awareness with a different colour of dice, since, if you get any hits on those dice, the person you're talking to knows the name of your primary SIN.

The the problem with Public Awareness is also that you don't get a choice if you roll them. Whenever you meet a new person, you must roll Public Awareness to see if they recognize you. This means that non-specialists might recognize you. Also, the civilian penalty on Street Cred rolls doesn't affect Public Awareness.


Talis, a Cat Shaman has recently gotten caught and fingerprinted by Lone Star and her mugshot is in the news. Frag! She's young so she only has a Street Cred of 2 and now has a newly minted Public Awareness of 1. She comes across a wageslave as she's trying to get home to Redmond, who immediately rolls a single die of Public Awareness, but luckily doesn't recognize her. She then manages to get to a Fixer she's heard of in Downtown, and wants him to know who she is. Unfortunately, this is a Downtown fixer, so she rolls 2 dice, Street Cred 2 -1 for Different District and +1 from Public Awareness, one of the dice is Public Awareness, one is Street Cred. He might know her, but he also might know her as Janet Watts, the name on her newly minted Criminal SIN.


Notoriety is different from Street Cred and Public Awareness in that it's not rolled. It's a modifier on the roll. For every hit, up to the Notoriety of the Runner, the contact gets a single piece of negative information on the target. Most of the time, this information will be about the negative qualities, bad contacts, or shoddy previous behaviour of the Runner. The things that earned them their Notoriety.

Continuing the example:

Talis has picked up a criminal SIN, and therefore a single point of Notoriety (it has been a bad day, ok). When the Fixer rolls their two dice, they get a single hit, they know the SIN is criminal, even though Talis is broadcasting a fake one.

Rounding it back up

A runner earns Street Cred by gaining Karma. When they do things that are overly public, they earn Public Awareness. Based on their positive and negative qualities they earn Notoriety, and then they earn Notoriety for actions that are bad even in the context of the Shadows. Each Street Cred gives them a die they can choose to roll, and each Public Awareness gives them a die they must roll. For every hit, the person they are talking to will know a little about them, for each of their Notoriety, the person will learn one bad thing. If they get any hits on the Public Awareness dice, their most prominent SIN is also known.