1. #1

    Using Gear & Weapons Availability?

    I've noticed that each item has an Availability field, but none have anything filled in for it. In the past I've noticed this entry for Availability in the SWADE Wealth section:

    "If an item isn’t commonly available, finding it on the black market, via a private dealer, or in an internet chat room requires the Research skill or Networking (page 133).
    The GM can also simply decide the item isn’t available or she can assign a modifier to the hero’s roll as she sees fit. Finding a firearm in modern-day Europe, for example, is at least a −4 penalty, with serious consequences if the roll is failed.

    I'm currently adapting a Military SciFi setting that's more near than far future (late 22nd century) and entirely set within the Solar System. In it, scarcity and the demand for goods and weapons will play a big factor. I'll be running with the SciFi Companion and will be using its supply & demand + commodities rules and tables, or something similar. Those rules read like this:

    "Trade goods are relatively mundane cargoes such as food, ore, timber, or raw materials. More exotic cargoes should be customized by the Game Master.
    Trade goods are measured in “cargo spaces” of 120 cubic feet, or 5 ’5’5’. Assume this is equal to one unused Mod space for ships without the bulk cargo superstructure.
    The base value of each cargo space worth of goods depends on what kind of good it is, as shown on the commodities Table.
    The actual value depends on local supply and demand, as determined by the Supply and Demand Table. Successful traders buy goods in plentiful supply and resell them where they are in high demand.
    When the group heads to a new settlement or world, the Game Master can roll on the Demand Table to see the value of each category. Roll once for each type of commodity and record the result. Buying from a world with no demand and selling it on another with high demand can be extremely profitable.

    I definitely want some sort of availability ranking on items, but the Wealth rules in SWADE don't give any concrete examples of what availability ranks should be. While those in the SFC are in a way opposite to what you'd typically expect; i.e. its "high" to "very high" rank would equate to uncommon and rare in some RPGs. I'm leaning toward using the Wealth system in SWADE, with a Wealth dice type stat instead of currency on hand. Players in my adaptation will often be conscripted in military service where much of their basic gear and support costs will be covered - seems that the optional Wealth system might work better. if I opted for it, the commodity prices in the SFC table would probably have to be converted to something more appropriate, like modifiers.

    I noted that the SWADE firearm purchase used in modern Europe example describes a -4 penalty, so I've pondered whether a numeric modifier might work best in the Availability field. It would seem that going by how supply & demand works in the SFC, that the terms "None", "Low", "Normal", "High", "Very high", "Extreme" and "Desperate" would be the ones to use. Or perhaps terms like "commonly available", "black market" and "private buyer" as described in the SWADE Wealth-Availability paragraph might work?

    So other than the standard terms of "common", "uncommon", "rare" and "very rare" used in D&D settings (I want to avoid those), I'm wondering what others GMs have come up with?
    As well, is there any SW extension out there that adds a Wealth stat field to a character sheet, such that a player can change the Wealth die type as necessary?

    Any feedback or suggestions would be appreciated.
    Last edited by kronovan; July 31st, 2021 at 22:32.

  2. #2
    Doswelk's Avatar
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    It is a setting specific field, that was used a lot in earlier settings, the After (the newest setting I have seen using availability) uses Everywhere, Common, Uncommon, Scarce, Rare, Very rare
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Doswelk View Post
    It is a setting specific field, that was used a lot in earlier settings, the After (the newest setting I have seen using availability) uses Everywhere, Common, Uncommon, Scarce, Rare, Very rare
    OK cool - thanks for the reply. I don't think it was ever used in any of the settings I own, with perhaps the exception of Interface Zero 2. Those are good terms and close to some I've come up with.

    Sometimes it helps to just play around. So...I copied the SciFi Companion's Supply & Demand table, and then added another column which I labeled Availability. I then came up with Availability terms I though corresponded to the descriptive terms for the Demand rows. For each Availability row entry, I included what I thought was an appropriate modifier -bonus or penalty. I also included some descriptive text on how much of a Research or Networking effort rarer items might require in hours or days. With the idea that the roll result would give the player(s) an idea of time & effort required and the modifier could be applied to the Wealth rolls the player(s) roll for purchases. I also listed where and how easy it be likely to find an item in terms of markets, retailers, black market and Private Sellers. Anyhow...with minimal effort (didn't even change the name of the table yet), here's a screen shot of what I have so far


    I could split Availability and Demand into their own tables, but I kind of like you get both results in just 1 roll. If players are going to buy and sell to retailers and distributors in the same community, both results would be necessary if using SWADE Wealth + SFC Supply & Demand rules. I still want to add a "Wealth" stat to the character sheet and noticed that my SciFi Companion extension adds "Strain." So my thought was, that using it an an example I might be able to unravel it to create a Wealth equivalent. Of course unlike Strain, the Wealth stat would need to be a user-selectable dice type like the Skills fields.

    [Edit] Actually, now that I've put a bit more though in it, I could just create a new skill called Wealth and use it - saves me a lot of initial effort. As well, being a skill that begins with the letter 'w', it's going to end up at the end of the skill list and the bottom of the traits window, which could give a sense that it's something apart from the others.
    Last edited by kronovan; August 1st, 2021 at 01:38.

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