Before getting benefit out of a Contact, you have to get in touch with them. Generally speaking, each Contact has a preferred means of getting in touch with them. Some Contacts have multiple means, sometimes rated by Loyalty - a friend can just drop by, but those who they barely know had best call first (as an example).
Gaining information is the main function of most Contacts.
- Active Knowledge: A Contact rolls an appropriate Knowledge Skill (0) [Social] Test, with a bonus equal to their Connections. Each hit indicates a Threshold of knowledge on a given target.
- Willing to Share: A Contact is willing to give away a number of Thresholds of the information they know equal to the hits on your Etiquette + Charisma [Social + Loyalty] Test.
- Willing to Sell: When a Contact knows more than they are willing to Share, they are usually willing to Sell it. Each Threshold of their knowledge goes for a price of 500¥, reduced by 100¥ per rank of Loyalty (minimum 100¥).
- Asking Around: A Contact that doesn't know something - or doesn't know enough of something - can find out more information by hitting up their own network. This costs 1000¥, reduced by 100¥ per rank of Loyalty (minimum 200¥).
- Asking Around is an Extended Knowledge Skill + Charisma [Social + Connections] Test, with an interval of 1 hour. Hits grant the Contact access to Threshold, but this is separate from the Contact's own Threshold of knowledge - if he already knows 2 Thresholds of the information, he must still cover those with this check.
Contact are also excellent at connecting you with others that might be useful or necessary. If making contact is dangerous for your Contact, you will need to convince them in some manner (Negotiation, Con, blackmail, bribery, etc).
- Setting Up a Meet: Your Contact makes an Etiquette + Charisma + Connections (target NPC's Connections) [Social] Test. If successful, the Contact has arranged a meet of some kind with the NPC (or possibly a representative), either in person or via the Matrix.
Contacts can be used to acquire and fence black market goods. See the rules on gear for these details.
Favors are tasks the Contact is able to perform. There are two types of favors: business services and personal assistance.
- Business Services: Your Contact is willing to perform whatever their normal occupational tasks are on your behalf, while leaving behind no records of having done so. This costs the normal amount for that service, though you may engage an Opposed Negotiation + Charisma [Social] Test; you may add your Contact's Loyalty to your dice pool. Net hits on either side raise the baseline price by 10% per hit.
- Personal Assistance: Your Contact may be willing to do favors that are a little harder to define, usually based around specialized access or knowledge that they have, which are not usually given prices and offered up in a business model. These include things like the loan of equipment, granting access to secure areas, corporate actions or requisitions beyond their normal scope, etc.
- These Favors are given a rating - if the Favor is rated equal to or less than the Contact's Loyalty, they will perform the task. Otherwise, you must make an Opposed Negotition + Charisma [Social] Test. Success usually results in a Contact being willing to do the task in exchange for a future favor from you, or for an amount of nuyen equal to (Connections x 1000)¥, with a discount equal to (Loyalty x 10)%.