Salvage Tech is the bizarre science that is the purview of the Underworld. Using junk that they have found in the tunnels, or purchased from traders who have carried it below from the surface, Underworld inventors bend reality to their will, warped through the Radiance – producing inventions that physical science could never envision or achieve.
The first step in building Salvage Tech is to determine the operants of the invention. Operants are what the item in question is intended to do upon completion. There is no limit to the number of operants that can be featured in a single invention, but each operant adds a level of difficulty to the construction. The seven basic operants for Salvage Tech inventions are: Destruction, Transportation, Repair, Creation, Transmutation, Manipulation, and Communication.
Any Salvage Tech weapon uses this Operant as its primary. This operant is the ability to deliver damage to a target. The form that delivers this damage is defined by the player creating the invention: electricity, pure Radiance, ready-whip spray cheese, it doesn’t matter – the mechanics are the same. You determine the range and the damage delivered by the item to determine the difficulty level it will cost.
Personal – A device that does damage to the wielder (0 difficulty)
Melee – A device that deals damage to adjacent targets (5 difficulty)
Distance – A device that causes damage to targets at range (5 difficulty per 10ft range)
1d4 lethal (1 difficulty)
1d6 lethal (4 difficulty)
2d6 lethal (6 difficulty)
1d8 lethal (5 difficulty)
2d8 lethal (8 difficulty)
1d10 lethal (10 difficulty)
So a gun that fires bolts of electricity siphoned off the third rail with a distance of 20ft and a damage of 2d6 would cost a total difficulty of 16.
This operant governs movement from one location to another. Difficulty is based upon the mode of transportation (transports may have multiple modes – each one adds its difficulty to the whole), as well as the size of the transport in question which is rated in the amount of space for passengers (although this may be cargo space depending on the role of the vehicle).
Mode of Transportation
Ground [wheeled, tracked] (5 difficulty)
Ground [legged – can climb] (8 difficulty)
Water [floatation] (5 difficulty)
Water [submersible] (8 difficulty)
Air [flight] (10 difficulty)
Personal [user only] (5 difficulty)
Small [user + passenger] (6 difficulty)
Medium [user & 4-6 passengers] (8 difficulty)
Large [user & 6-20 passengers] (10 difficulty)
Huge [user & 20 passengers] (14 difficulty)
So a wheeled transport intended for personal use would have a total difficulty of 10. The same wheeled vehicle built for 4-6 passengers would have a total cost of 13.
The returning of an item or person to their natural, undamaged state. This operants cost is based upon the intended target of the repair (machine or person), as well as the amount of damage it is meant to repair. Repair devices intended for machines or inanimate objects use technology to repair damage, while devices intended to function of living beings are powered by Radiance.
Machine (5 difficulty)
Person (10 difficulty)
1d4 (2 difficulty)
1d6 (4 difficulty)
2d6 (6 difficulty)
1d8 (5 difficulty)
2d8 (8 difficulty)
So a healing ray that mends wounds on a living person for 2d6 has a total difficulty cost of 16. The same ray intended for machines has a total difficulty cost of 11.
This operant governs the creation of something from nothing, and is one of the hardest to pull off (this is the operant which is used in the creation of Junkmen, for example). The difficulty of this operant is based entirely upon the complexity of the objects being created, and must be determined by the GM, with the following guidelines.
Materials to be created
Simple materials of no real use (3 difficulty)
Simple, useful materials (13 difficulty)
Complex compounds [food for instance] (16 difficulty)
Complex systems (18 difficulty)
Minor living machines [Fizzers] (20 difficulty)
Major living machines [Junkmen] (30 difficulty)
For example: a player wishes to build a device that creates a liquid which hardens into stone. The GM rules that rock is a simple material, but a hardening liquid form is definitely useful, and so the difficulty cost is 13.
Transmutation is the changing of one thing into another. This operant is another of the more difficult ones in the Salvage Tech arsenal. Again, the GM will have the final word regarding difficulty of constructing inventions using this operant. General guidelines for determining difficulty are based upon the similarity of the objects in question.
Objects to be changed
Variations of the same object (5 difficulty)
Similar objects (6 difficulty)
Dissimilar objects (8 difficulty)
Usable against living targets (x3 difficulty)
For example: A character wants to build a “Change-O-Ray” – a weapon that will transform any person struck by its beam into a duck. The GM rules that people and ducks, while worlds apart, are both living beings, and hence could qualify as “similar objects” (the GM reasons that if the character wished to turn people into Scandinavian living room furniture, that would qualify as dissimilar). The difficulty level for similar objects is 6, and the multiplier for use against living targets is x3. The finale difficulty cost for the “Change-O-Ray” is 18.
This operants usage is twofold. First, it can be used for the physical manipulation of objects – creating robotic arms for lifting, as an example. Second, it can be used for manipulating individuals, via the domination of willpower. Difficulty is based upon the intended manipulation, as well as the intended target of the manipulation. The GM has final word on the difficulty of creating devices with this operant.
Target of Manipulation
Object manipulation (5 difficulty)
Living manipulation (10 difficulty)
Type of Manipulation
Physical Manipulation (x2 difficulty)
Mental Manipulation (x3 difficulty)
For example: A wicked character constructs a helmet that allows him to brainwash his targets into doing his bidding. The helmet targets living creatures with mental manipulation giving it a total difficulty cost of 30 (an almost impossible device to create). A different character wishes to create a pair of mechanical arms for lifting heavy objects, an object target with physical manipulation, giving it a total difficulty cost of 10.
This operant governs the transmission, receipt, or exchange of information. It is most commonly used to construct devices which allow distance communication in the Underworld (a location which is not kind to radio waves, and in which cellphones can fritz at a moments notice). Difficulty is based upon the range and the method of communication.
Local [same domain] (5 difficulty)
Intermediate [same part of borough] (8 difficulty)
Long [entire underworld] (10 difficulty)
Text (5 difficulty)
Voice (6 difficulty)
Image (8 difficulty)
No reciprocity (x2 difficulty)
For example: A character constructs a communication device. He decides to pull out all the stops. He makes it capable of transmitting his image, anywhere in the underworld…and decides the receiving party does not have to even have a similar device on their end (no reciprocity). This device would have a total difficulty cost of 36 (nearly impossible to create). He rethinks his device, and instead builds a long-range voice communicator that requires reciprocal units, for a total difficulty of 16.
To lower the construction DC of a Salvage Tech item, limitations may be attached to it. There are two common categories for limitations, limited use and unreliable. The specifications for these limitations are listed below.
Limited Use (runs out of fuel or ammo)
After Single Use (-10 Difficulty)
After Multiple Use Determined at Creation (-5 Difficulty)
After One Day (-8 Difficulty)
Fuel or Ammo is Rare (-5 Difficulty)
Unreliable (-5 Difficulty)
Any time a player rolls a natural 1 when making an attack roll or skill check using a piece of Salvage Tech, the item breaks and requires repair. The task being attempted (or attack being made) automatically fails. The player must then roll 1d6 to determine how badly the item is damaged. The result determines the difficulty of the repair check.
1-2 Simple Repair (10 DC)
3-4 Moderate Repair (20 DC)
5-6 Complex Repair (30 DC)
The second step in building a Salvage Tech device is the gathering of the necessary materials. These materials generally take the form of debris, trash, and bits of junk from the World Above. They can be gathered from almost anywhere, or they can be traded for through members of the Traders Guild. The builder of the device must make a scavenge check. The difficulty of the check is determined by the difficulty of the device’s construction as listed below.
Crafting difficulty 0 – 10 (Scavenge DC 10)
Crafting difficulty 11 – 20 (Scavenge DC 15)
Crafting difficulty 21 – 30 (Scavenge DC 20)
Crafting difficulty 31 – 40 (Scavenge DC 25)
The final step in building a Salvage Tech device is construction. To craft a Salvage Tech item the player must succeed at three separate crafting checks using the items total construction DC. First is a Craft (mechanical) check to construct the physical object. Second is a Craft (electronic) check to build the insides of the desired item. Finally a Craft (chemical) check to inject the alchemical fluids necessary to attune the item to the Radiance and make it functional. The player must succeed at all three checks to craft the desired item. Failure of any of the three checks requires the player to restart the entire process.
Sample Salvage Tech – Under Construction