1) What can I buy legally? (i.e. without contacts or Negotiation rolls)
If an item is completely legal (no R or F in the rating), you do not need a special contact to buy the item.
If an item is Restricted (R in the rating), you can buy it legally if you have a license. You’re going to go through some serious background checks if it’s high availability, though. Any false credentials involved in the purchase must have a rating of (Availability / 4), rounded up. Keep in mind that this links the purchase of the item to the License used, and the SIN on that license, and the combination makes you a lot more traceable, so be very, very careful what you buy this way.
If an item is Forbidden (F in the rating), you cannot buy it legally. Period.
For legal purchases, if it’s over availability 8 you’ll have to pay extra to get it “rush” ordered, and if it’s over availability 12 you’re unlikely to be able to get it on “short” notice at all.
Over an extended downtime there is no limit on the amount of items you can purchase in this manner.
1b) Fake SINs and Licenses are Forbidden, so how do I get those?
Fixer contacts generally have the network to acquire you generic Fake SINs and Licenses up to their Connection rating with little trouble. Ratings higher than that will require some negotiation.
2) What can I buy through my contacts?
A contact can generally leverage their network to find you things up to (1.5 x Connection) availability. If they specialize in a certain type of Swag, they can find up to (3 x Connection) availability in that specific department. Going higher than that takes a good bit of legwork and negotiations on their part, and they’re usually willing to stretch those availability numbers to +Loyalty for you. There’s usually a (Connection x (11 – Loyalty) x 100¥) cost to going this route, but it really depends on the contact. Contacts you’re just doing business with will charge you extra, such as a 10% markup plus the “finders” fee, but a friend who happens to run an arms dealership may be willing to give it to you at cost in return for a sizeable favor later.
Restricted or Forbidden has no bearing on purchasing items through contacts.
2b) So, I can just buy this availability 20F weapon through my 2/6 contact?
If it’s something they explicitly specialize in, probably. Just keep in mind the 10% markup, plus the 5,400¥ “favor” cost. It’ll also take a while – roughly as long as it would take to roll 14 dice against 20 until a tie or better happens, so place your order early! They’re only going to go hunting for one big ticket item at a time for you.
All “big ticket” purchases are subject to GM approval, too, of course.
3) What are the rules for buying things from The Duchess?
The duchess can find you anything up to availability 21R, and will do so once for each of you between missions. 14R or less will be at cost, for each point above 14 you’ll owe a 20% markup. This will change as you build loyalty with The Duchess, but keep in mind that the man doesn’t have a lot of free time.
Note that this assumes one “big ticket” item. If you’re buying ammunition or a bunch of smaller things, that can probably be negotiated.
And, of course, if it’s got an “F” in the rating, no dice. Unless you can make a really convincing argument. The Duchess likes to be convinced. ;)
4) What are the rules for buying things myself?
Negotiation + Charisma + BONUS [Social] v. Availability. You need to tie to find the item, and delivery time depends on price. You may add 25% extra to the price you’re willing to pay per point of BONUS you would like, up to 12 BONUS dice.
5) What about upgrades? I already have a thing, but it would be nice to have a higher rating.
- Cyberware: Pay the difference, plus 10% of the new total cost.
- Bioware: Pay the difference, plus 20% of the new total cost.
- Cultured Bioware: Pay the difference, plus 30% of the new total cost.
- Foci: Pay the difference, plus 10% of the new total cost. You must use the same talismonger for this, so if you did not buy your focus through a contact or lost that contact, you’re out of luck.
“Difference” and “Total Cost” are always based on the rulebook prices. Extra costs incurred due to the difficulty in finding it are separate from the upgrade fee.