Archetypes Shooter Boomer Scrapper Hacker
Driver Breaker Patcher Facilitator
Xander Chaz Beckett
Sarge Knockout Redline
Facilitators are the best archetype to play because they are the brains of the whole operation.
Without a Facilitator a Runner team is adrift and will run aground more often than not.
It's also sweet to be able to call most of the shots -- it's always better to be the man with the plan than a minion.
Facilitators are movers and shakers, face men, planners, and leaders.
Often times the difference bewteen a successful Runner team and an unsuccesful (or dead) one is a good Facilitator.
While Facilitators typically also have a small selection of some other Archetype's abilities, they lack the focus necessary to be truly successful in that line of work in the long term.
It's their ability to facilitate the success of a Run in the setup & planning phase that makes or breaks them, and determines the level of esteem in which they are held by Runners and Fixers.
Facilitators need to be able to wheel and deal, make intelligent decisions, develop game plans, and otherwise inject a method to the madness of Running.
They also need to be generally capable and able to win the respect of often times fractious Runners.
Facilitators must have people skills, plain and simple. If they can't finesse a supplier, make nice with neutral parties, grease palms smoothly, and otherwise interface with the human element of a Run, they will not be successful.
This isn't to say that they have to be personable, but it definitely helps to not piss off people who can put a team in a bad place through either action or inaction. Contacts and networking are crucial.
Aside from that, Facilitators can't afford to be liabilities in the actual execution of a Run, and tend to be decent at several things.
An ability to fill in wherever a team is weak by being a generally capable individual is an excellent asset for a Facilitator to have. Mechanically Overall Levels are very handy for Facilitators with a broad skill base as they allow them to be decent at anything they have basic ability at, including combat.
Facilitators need to be able to communicate and stay in touch with their contacts, and should start with enough gear to ensure that they can do so. Aside from that, the usual basics of some armor and a gun are also useful.
The line between Facilitators and Fixers can seem a little blurry at times, but while they have some of the same basic operating principles in theory, and in fact a few Facilitators are also Fixers and many Facilitators retire into being Fixers, they are in fact different in practice.
To understand where Fixers and Facilitators overlap and where they differ, it helps to think of Runs in terms of tiers. At the bottom tier you have the simplest, lowest payoff Runs. Some of them are even solo Runs, like simple courier missions, some bodyguard / escort missions, the occasional gumshoe mission. Things like that. Others require a few people to carryout like simple extractions, simple raids, simple reprisals, and so on, but at the end of the day these types of missions don't take a lot of planning or close management.
In case it slipped your attention, the emphasis here is on simple.
These types of missions don't require a crack team of Runners; they can be staffed by the equivalent of Runner day labor, and they can usually be summed up in a simple directive or two. Fixers handle this sort of contract entirely.
More complicated Runs require a degree of planning and direct management that a Fixer can handle, but can also offload to a freelance Facilitator. Basically in this scenario a Fixer subcontracts or hires the Facilitator to handle the planning and execution of the Run and the Facilitator is looking out of the best interests of the Fixer rather than the Runners. The Fixer might handle recruitment or might not. This is a practice that is becoming more popular in recent years as SecForces get better and having a decision maker close to the action becomes more important.
Freelancers always have their asses on the line and are in the unenviable position of being purely middle management -- thus disliked by the work force (Runners) and frequently bent over by upper management (Fixers). However, on the pro side their options are always open.
Then you have the classic role of the Facilitator, which is in the context of established Runner teams that function with something between semi and full autonomy.
Most Facilitators feel safest and seek success as part of a Runner team.
In this scenario the Facilitator is aligned with the Runners of their team, and the Fixer is merely a source of work. In many Runner teams the Facilitator is the leader, but in others they are just one of the crew and either represent the collective will of the group or take their orders from whoever happens to lead the team.
One of the things that blurs the line a bit between Fixers and Facilitators is that some Facilitators get some or all of their work directly from one or more sources rather that from a Fixer. This is referred to as "wholesaling" or "cutting out the middleman". This can be lucrative since the Fixer's cut isnt paid out, but its also dangerous.
Established Fixers have built up support networks, wracked up favors, and when all else fails can contract some work on their own behalf to wreak vengeance on an contractor that frags them over. Fixers also have avenues of inquiry to collect enough information to determine if a suspicious contract is bogus or not. Facilitators rarely have farflung enough contacts to provide themselves with the same security.
This can be done by either freelance or team Facilitators, though it is even more dangerous for freelancers...unless they are really "Company Men". And the potential for a freelance Facilitator doing some Wholesaling to really be a Company Man makes it much more difficult for the freelancer to pull this off.
Some Facilitators work directly for a corporation, though usually outside the normal hierarchy of a line and block chart (not always though). Company Men, which is a unisex epithet, are many and varied in their M.O., openness as to what they are, and the level to which they work with Runners. At the end of the day though, they have an agenda and their loyalty is not to their fellow Runners.
Most Company Men handle the really sensitive stuff that their employers want resolved completely off the radar. This sort of thing is usually high level shenanigans, very black and often very wet, and it can be correspondingly very dangerous for mere mortals such as Runners to get involved in them even by accident.