In the Shadowrun Trilogy, you play a Runner, making a living in the shadows of the Sixth World, taking on more or less any job that pays.
Your runner starts off already embroiled in this lifestyle, and only becomes more competent over time. But a runner isn’t only judged by how well they can walk the walk. Talking the talk comes in handy too.
Being able to cut through the chaos and appeal to a character’s personal history is almost always going to lead to a positive outcome. And that’s where Etiquettes come in.
Shadowrun Trilogy: What are Etiquettes?
Etiquettes function similarly to backgrounds in other RPGs. While the Shadowrun Trilogy mostly leaves the details of your runner’s past to your imagination – with Shadowrun Hong Kong being the notable exception – Etiquettes serve a similar mechanical function, without the associated story baggage.
Unlocking specific Etiquettes for your character offers bonus dialogue choices when interacting with groups and individuals associated with those Etiquettes. Even if your character didn’t necessarily belong to a group associated with an Etiquette in the past, they know how to behave and lie convincingly enough to be mistaken for a member of that group.
Shadowrun Trilogy Etiquettes and Their Uses
The Shadowrun Trilogy offers several possible Etiquettes at character creation, with more unlocked as you invest more points the Charisma stat. Below, you’ll find a list of the Etiquettes available in the Shadowrun Trilogy, as well as the associated groups most amenable to you if you’ve unlocked them.
The Academic Etiquette is maybe the most surprising for a down-on-their-luck runner. But it’s also among the most valuable. Speaking Academic allows you to impress the more educated characters you come across in the trilogy.
It’s more often used for information gathering than for talking your way out of combat. It also allows you to negotiate better prices at fences in certain scenarios, as the Academic Etiquette allows you to better understand the value of what you’re haggling over.
The Corporate Etiquette is very similar to Academic. Its primary uses are acquiring more Nuyen, impressing high-status characters, and occasionally skipping past combat encounters. As behaving like a Corpo is unlikely to endear you to many Runners, this Etiquette mostly comes up when negotiating payments.
In your work as a Runner, you’ll frequently come into contact with Lone Star and other police organizations. The Security Etiquette allows you to smooth over tensions between these groups and ‘independent contractors’ such as yourself.
From talking your way into crime scenes to smoothly negotiating bribes, the Security etiquette makes dealing with the Sixth World’s law enforcement much less of a hassle.
Gangs are a constant presence in a Runner’s work. Having the Gang Etiquette means allows you to defuse a lot of situations that might otherwise turn violent. It allows you to talk down gang members that might not take kindly to your presence, or use a gang’s reputation to intimidate your way through encounters with non-members.
The Socialite Etiquette lets you pass as a high-class smooth talker. This option increases your Nuyen pay-out from certain sources, but can also be handy when dealing with clients and competitors outside of street-level runs. Socialite tend to come up less than some other Etiquettes, but it’s useful where it counts.
The Shadowrunner Etiquette lets you come across as a professional runner, regardless of how well you might actually be doing. Knocking other runners down a peg, smoothly negotiating a deal with clients, or keeping steely-nerved in dangerous situations, having the Shadowrunner Etiquette is almost always a boon in your line of work.
That wraps up our guide to Etiquettes in the Shadowrun Trilogy. Now you’ve got all you need to turn your runner into a silver-tongued charmer.