Goods and Branding

THIS RULE VARIANT IS NOT SET IN STONE, INPUT IS WELCOME

The solar system is full of goods and services constantly being bartered. Where most of these are standard, there are also many knock-off and copycat version of dubious quality, as well as artisinal makers of high quality products. This variant rule is intended to reflect that variety, and provide some interesting flavour to acquiring new gear.

Due to the variety of gear, a large amount of GM adjudication will likely be required to implement this rule, as well as a certain amount of player/character separation (which I know you’re all good at).

Rationale

The aim of this rule variant is to introduce flavour to the adventure in the form of new manufacturers and groups, while also making gear a little more varied and interesting.

The other reason is one of my emerging rules of GMing, which is to never deny players things they need because of die rolls. Using this rule, you will always be able to get what gear you need from a place (provided that it is actually available there), but there is still a penalty for failure, and one that might contribute to the story.

Gear Quality

Gear can come in various qualities. Sometimes this is obvious (the famous “Munton” knockoff of Cognite’s signature morph), and sometimes less so.

Mastercraft This item is exceptional. It is beautifully crafted, and perhaps beyond its time. Mechanically it may provide +10 to actions taken with it, and/or have additional significantly beneficial effects.
High-Grade This item is good quality. Mechanically, it may provide +5 to actions taken with it, and/or provide small additional beneficial effects.
Regular This item is standard for its kind. It works exactly as specified in the source material.
Poor Quality This item is shoddily made, ineptly designed,, or just plain bad. It may impose -5 penalties to actions taken with it, and/or have irritating additional penalties.
Catastrophic This item is either dangerously poorly made, or made with malicious intent. It may impose -10 penalties to actions taken with it, and/or have dangerous additional effects.

Goods Cost

Mastercrafted and high-grade goods are generally more expensive than the regular item, due to the amount of time, exotic materials, or proprietary cutting edge tech included.

Poor and catastrophic items made cheaply can often be bartered down to lower than market costs, though those masquerading as regular goods will often have an asking price in line with the current market.

Mastercraft 150% market price (although some may reach 300% or greater)
High-Grade 120% market price
Regular Price as in sourcebook
Poor 70% market price
Catastrophic 50% market price

Morphs

Morph bonuses and penalties work a little differently, and will likely be the addition of psudorandom positive and negative morph traits. As morphs are a little more important, the variance will be a bit less.

Mastercraft This morph is exceptional, very few likely exist. This morph may have increased aptitudes, skills, or a number of additional positive traits.
High-Grade This morph has been made well. Add 1 positive morph trait.
Regular This morph is standard for its make and model.
Poor Quality This morph has had some corners cut. Add 1 negative morph trait.
Catastrophic This morph is terrible, and may even be a lemon. It may have a number of negative traits, lowered skills, or decreased aptitudes.

Finding Gear

When characters search for vendors of a particular set of goods (eg Weapons, Morphs, Narcoalgorithms), make an appropriate Networking check (remember that certain vendors may stock combinations of goods). It is also important to note that the regular availability of goods still applies. (eg banned plasma weapons or antimatter devices)

If you have a related skill (Academics:Chemistry, Profession:Gatecrasher, Kinetic weapons) that would provide knowledge of the goods, you can gain a bonus to this check. This represents the character’s discernment when dealing with their fields of expertise.

40+ in related skill +5 to gear acquisition Networking check
60+ in related skill +10 to gear acquisition Networking check
80+ in related skill +15 to gear acquisition Networking check

The result will determine the quality of vendor you find:

Critical Success 1 Mastercraft item, 1d10/3 High Grade items
Excellent Success 1d10/3 High Grade items
Regular Success Regular market items
Regular Failure Vendor carries 1d10/3 (round up) Poor quality items.
Spectacular Failure Vendor carries 1 Catastrophic item, and 1d10 /3 (round up) Poor quality goods.
Critical Failure Vendor carries 1d10 / 3 (round up) Catastrophic goods, all other items Poor quality.

Goods that deviate from market standard quality are in finite supply. Therefore each vendor will only have the specified amount of items, the rest will be regular items of that type.

But Which Items?

Good or mastercraft items are optional, you can have them if you pay the extra cost for that quality. However, as poor or catastrophic goods result from failure, these will always be included in the items you acquire.

Example Manufacturers

I have a bit of a table of companies for various items, here are some examples.
Some part of this will be about various firms masquerading as others, some will be about discovering the quality of various manufacturers as you go.

Singularity Works Beam Weapons A small outfit that trades regularly on Extropia, Singularity are known for manufacturing the best beam weapons that money can buy. Using advanced rare composites to construct these weapons mean they are precision crafted in limited runs, making them rare and in high demand. They more than make up for it in stopping power, however, and many egos have nightmares about staring the barrel of a Singularity plasma rifle.
Wu Shipping Utility Gear A pre-fall conglomerate that managed to haul itself up out of the gravity well through sheer numbers, Wu has a decent line of products that regularly feature in the supplies of more professional outfits in the Planetary Consortium.
Wu Construction Synthmorphs Another arm of the Wu conglomerate, Wu Construction synths are the creators of what have been called the “worst synths in the system”. Plagued with software issues and mechanical faults, only the most desperate will knowingly sleeve into a Wu Case.
Media System Intrusion Software Media System is a security group that operates from the mesh, rather than any physical location. They are known for having programs with poor user interfaces, muse conflicts, and occasional glitches.

Goods and Branding

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