TL: DR Do you think it’s acceptable to test Scavenge as a Graduated Test?
My group (or at least one of the Players) and I are having trouble wrapping our heads around the Scavenge skill, and how it works with the foundations of Intent and Task plus Failure. The game revolves around a Nautical setting and one of the Characters is a diver/salvager (he took some initial homebrew traits that improve his swimming abilities). The party also still happen to be quite poor, with only one of the four having a Resources of B1, and the rest are at B0.
The Player has written Beliefs that revolve around finding ship wrecks and searching them for valuables and weapons (canons), and then used circles and social skills to research potentially interesting ship wreck sites. The group have then sailed off to these locations to allow the diver to wreck dive and search for valuables. The player states his Intent, “Search the Wreck for anything that is interesting”, with the Task, “Using my Scavenge skill”.
This is where the problem arises. As GM, I don’t envision the game’s long term focus being “Underwater Treasure Hunter”, and so I haven’t being putting any of my (limited) time and effort into creating detailed shipwrecks. On the other hand, I don’t have an issue with the PCs scrounging up some extra Cash Dice to help them break out of the B0 Resources pit. My understanding of the RAW is that a standard test would require the Player to state a specific, obstacle based, type of item to search for. The Player finds this frustrating, since he wants to search for anything that catches his eye. And I should mention that this game is, by my intent, somewhat sandboxy, in that the “metaplot” is loose and flexible, more about possible challenges than an evil villain with a schedule for world domination (or what have you).
Having just perused the rules again, it seems a Graduated Test might cover this situation fairly well. One success? You find rags! Four successes? Nice bag of Cash! As for Failure, no successes would mean dire consequences (stuck in the wreck, attacked by a school of rabid guppies…). And stuff is always happening in the background, so spending a week sailing about and wreck diving, well… that has larger plot consequences. (I guess I just answered my own question, but after writing all this, I figured I’d post it for both feedback and to help anyone else that bumps into this)
And I suppose I could roll a die to randomly determine the ‘maximum value’ of each wreck as he decides to salvage dive…