Availability and Time
Having the money does not always guarantee the
desired goods or services are at hand. Squalid
medieval worlds are a lot less likely to have expensive
goods than the marketplaces of a hive city. Moreover, finding
a high-quality weapon on a backwater planet is far more
difficult than locating such a weapon in a teeming metropolis.
To reflect availability, each piece of equipment or service has
an associated Availability, ranging from abundant to very rare.
GMs can use the following guidelines as a starting point for
determining whether a place has such an item or not.
Characters searching for a particular item or service must
make a successful Inquiry Test modified by the Availability of
the item, Table 5-3: Consequences of Availability on page
126 provides a baseline modifier for Inquiry Tests to find an
item in a community of 1,000 people or less. For communities
larger than 1,000 people, reduce the Difficulty for finding an
object by one step for communities of 10,000 or less, or two
steps for communities of 10,000 or more. If the community has
100 people or less, increase the Difficulty by one step. Table
5-4: Availability by Population, page 126 shows how the
Difficulty changes based on population size.
Just because a large community actually has the item a character
seeks does not necessarily mean that it is easy to locate. The larger
the community, the more time it takes to track the item down. A
community’s size determines the base time it takes to find the item.
Each degree of success reduces this time by a certain amount (minutes,
hours, days, weeks, or months, depending on the base time). See
Table 5-5: Availability and Time. The GM should make the roll
in secret for particularly dangerous or costly items, to emphasise the
struggle and possible risks entailed by such searching.