Utinni And You

Are there any specific scavenging rules anywhere?

What skill do you use for scavenging? Perception?

What’s the difficulty based on? Maybe the size of the area scavenged. Scavenging a crashed super star destroyer for “stuff” is easier than scavenging a wrecked speeder bike.

Your thoughts on scavenging?

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At Friday’s game, the PCs happened upon a firebombed landspeeder. They wanted to scavenge it for “whatever [they] could find.”

Not knowing what else to do, I simply had them make a Perception check against an average difficulty.

The player rolled a success with three threats. So, he found a code cylinder but disturbed a mound of devil ants which came swarming over the sides of the speeder. He took 3 Strain.

It worked fine, but I’m wondering if there is something I’m missing about scavenging rules-wise.

I would use Survival for scavanging, maybe Mechanics for scrapping parts in a junk.
Finding specific items, I often refer to the rarity table, determine the difficulty according that and increase/decrease difficulty based on my impression how available that item would be.
If they just want to find “something” give them a check based on the setting (easy for searching meds in an Infarmary, but daunting for looking for weapons on a civilian ship) let them find smaller items that is narratively appropriate. Stimpacks, reload packs, similar stuff.

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I have some basic rules on scavenging in the Repairs section of Vehicle Ops: Repairs & Wear.

On second glance of what you wanted, it doesn’t seem to be exactly what you are looking for. It’s more about scavenging for repair parts, then finding left over stuff in storage within an old vehicle.

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Perception with Simple success means you find something that would be considered normal for the location you were scavenging. As in, if you are scavenging a medical speeder, you would find Stimpacks. Advantages can give a greater amount. Disadvantages can result in Strain, possibly a Wound from cutting yourself on something, or cool things like your ants. A Triumph (with a Success) would result in something rare and/or surprising for the location.

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The way I handle scavenging is that I assign a credit value for the area and a difficulty to search the area, then call for a Perception or Mechanics check. For each net success, they get the base credit value’s worth of parts. Advantage and Threat can reduce/increase the time it takes or provide additional bonuses and maluses.
The PCs can perform basically as many checks as time will allow, but I might add Setback or eventually just tell them that the well has run dry, so to speak.

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Here are my scavenging house rules:

Scavenging Rules: Subject to GM approval (not all Scavenging checks are possible everywhere), a player with adequate tools may roll Perception, Mechanics, Survival or other skill to make a Scavenging check to find and obtain crafting components to craft gear, items, weapons and vehicle components. Difficulty is Rarity upgraded once for each point above 5 plus two setback dice. Length of time is Rarity in hours but maybe shorter or longer with GM approval and environmental circumstances. Base success is 33% of raw material cost for crafting plus 5% per additional success, +15% per Advantage and +33% per Triumph. Only one Scavenging check per crafted item. Skilled and unskilled assists are ok with GM approval and sensors and other gear can also improve the check. In addition, the difficulty of the One Person’s Trash talent and Another’s Treasure talent is as set forth above, not Rarity divided by half rounded down as set forth in the book (Rise of the Separatists).

Utinni! Is an odd talent, as it really has an almost non-existent effect mechanically. From my memory, the GM basically determines everything (save the half time to make a check). One Person’s Trash is essentially what Utinni! should have been (which by the way, how many people pay attention to the fact that you have to repair the item after finding it with One Person’s Trash). I think, when the system first started, they did not really know how to handle scavenging (as it can break any systemic attempts to artificially control the economy). However, as the system matured, they seemed to figure a few things out, scavenging included. Thus, Utinni! is great alongside One Person’s Trash, but by itself, it is of a somewhat dubious value as the mechanics are so nebulous.

That is my 2 cents, however, I regularly blather at the moon, so listen at your own peril! :smirk:

It isn’t exactly non-existent, it’s just not exactingly defined. The only question for the GM is what checks count, and it’s pretty clear that it’s for “checks made to scavenge.” A GM could expand or contract that as he sees fit, such as extending it to selling the scavenged items or even sorting through scavenged items from which the PC wishes to purchase.

It’s also worth mentioning that scavenging doesn’t have to mean searching for a specific item. Like I mention earlier, I often abstract it as a credit value, either for “parts” to use in crafting, ship repair, and the like or for sale (a la Rey).

As for “scavenging mechanics being nebulous,” that misses the point a little bit. While literally correct, there is not intended to be exacting rules for scavenging. Like many things in this game, the mechanics and methods are left up to individual groups. For example, there are no precise rules on forgery. I think this is important because if you try to cover everything in a ruleset, you will inevitably miss things, you make the ruleset incredibly dense (and it will often get bogged down in minutia), and the psychological effect is to paralyze some GMs who are hesitant to make mechanics for a gap in the rules.
Additionally, it runs into a “spaghetti code” issue in that with so many sets of rules, it becomes much harder to keep them all aligned.

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If I remember correctly, the results of checks based on Utinni! have zero concrete data. If you succeed, what exactly does it do for you? With One Person’s Trash, it is clearly defined, you find a broken item that you must repair. However, with Utinni!, it simply defines removing setback from checks to find or scavenge items or gear. That is rather nebulous, especially compared to a lot of the talents in the game. There is no real definition of what those checks are, what they can obtain, etc. it is just sort of left open. Sure, for a lot of people, that is a good thing, however, without even any real examples, it is still very unclear what the scope of Utinni! is, and how it is beneficial to a character verses a talent like Cyberneticist or Gearhead, where the benefit is very clearly stated.

As for your response to my response on the nebulous nature of scavenging… They could at least drop some examples to give players and GMs an idea of where to start. Yes, rules should allow for customization and flexibility, but providing some context is always a good idea.

Scavenging in this system is a rather barren portion of the rules for a facet of the galaxy that is so vital to the setting. Again, One Persom’s Trash is an excellent example of how to handle scavenging, and it would be easy to create a talent that did not require specifying the items sought. Utinni! would be a great talent, with just little support and some examples to aid in defining the scope of the effect.

In the end, I think what I am saying is that Utinni! Is one of the least defined talents in the game. That has positives and negatives. I just feel all the negatives could have been removed with a tiny bit of extra work, that’s all.

I think we mostly just differ on the meanings of words and applicability thereof. I think the talent is fairly well defined—what isn’t well defined is the mechanics of scavenging. I obviously agree because they are not defined. Your disagreement with my argument for why that’s a good thing is fair, and I’m sympathetic to some of your points.

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Yes, I guess what I am saying is that scavenging is too nebulous. For searching for sources to buy or obtain gear, Utinni! is clear as a bell. As soon as you ponder the scavenging side, it all just gets murky.

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