Building new Tech vs. Buying it

It occurs to me that the Tech Burner mostly seems to be about finding a way to buy or aquire tech from an appropriate place. If a character with the appropriate skills wanted to make a piece of tech from scratch, how would that be handled?

The one thing I could come up with is to use the appropriate building skill (Shipwright for ships, Engineering for something like weapons or Devices) in a Building scene to provide a linked die to the Resources roll, and the Resources roll represents the ability to get the various parts and supplies needed to create the tech. This could also eliminate the need to have an appropriate set of Circles to get the tech from and possibly eliminate Regulation penalties if the parts aren’t restricted. Does this sound right?

I don’t have my brick at work, but I think you are looking for the fabrication rules. Basically splitting one large resource test into a smaller resource test and a skill test. Useful, but I think the skill is rather rare.

Since I’m a giant nerd and have my copy of BE in my backpack, you want to check page 395 of the brick for the fab rules. Basically, get the fab skill, burn up a single item and when it comes to the resources roll you get to split the ob between a fab test and a resource test. Page 396 gives a good example of it.

Though this does bring up an interesting point: it appears that, assuming everything else being equal, it is aways better to fabricate something yourself than it is to buy it on the market. Unless fabrication takes more scene economy than tech burning, but I thought both required a building scene roll.

Yes, but fabbing takes two rolls out of the building scene while buying only takes one, leaving you two to do something else.

A very good point. I was forgetting that you get three rolls in a building scene instead of one “attempt” (whatever that is) at doing something. So in my mind doing a resources + fab roll took as much time as doing just a resources roll and netted you two tests (plus was easier to succeed).

Fabrication is very useful. It’s also rare in the lifepaths.

But if you gamed it hard enough you could use general points to get and open fab, bypassing the natural scarcity of it.

But General Points are also a scarce resource. So how does that work?

Fab is an excellent use of general points. Pays to go with the union card, every time.