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Old 10-09-2011, 11:35 PM   #1
OneSeventeen
 
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Default Smuggling and Search

I read this post about searching skills, then I read the whole thread. I must admit, I'm still a bit fuzzy. From the description in Characters, it seems clear that Search is small-scale. You use it to pat-down a person or poke about in a brief case. However, it also mentions vehicles, which seems like a slippery slope. I could see how a big steamer trunk and the back of a sedan would be about the same kind of thing to search, but what about the trailer of an 18-wheeler? Or the hold of a ship? Specifically, I have two wonderments:

Malcolm Reynolds and crew have hidden some illegal Bobbley-Headed Geisha Dolls in the wall panel of Serenity's cargo hold (they've used Smuggling to hide them I suppose). Before they can get the dolls where they're going and get paid, they get pulled over and boarded by Alliance soldiers, who toss the ship out of general spite (or maybe they even got a tip off and are specifically looking for the dolls). What skill are the Alliance goons using? Search? Or, like, a Per-based shipping skill of some kind (like... Professional Skill(Stevedore), or maybe Smuggling)?

Later, Mal has tracked Yo/Saf/Bridge to some sleezey saloon on a border world and is trying to thwart her plan to, you know, do something bad and kind of slutty. She's hidden the Secret Thing behind the dresser in her room. This is Smuggling, too, right? B221: "You can also hide an object in a room or a building." So is it Search for Mal to find the Thing behind the dresser? This is implied by Smuggling's description on B221 ("In an active search, the searchers must win a Quick Constest of Search vs. your Smuggling skill to find the item."), but refuted by Kromm's statement in the linked thread ("He would have Search, but for patting down suspects, not for poking in cupboards. They're not really closely related."). I guess another alternative is that Mal's player would have to tell the GM that he's specifically looking behind the dresser. Another would be to just roll raw Per.

Maybe I'm reading too much (or not enough) into the wordings of various sentences, here, but to me, they look like they contradict. And Search's description doesn't seem to include the case that Smuggling's description implies it should. In short: Can Search be used to find an item hidden in a space the size of a building?

Thanks in advance for all opinions.


Ben
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Smuggling and Search

On a bit of further thought, I guess one could make an argument for Per-based Traps to find a smuggling compartment on Serenity, if the catching mechanism for the compartment's door is hidden like that of a trap. However, that seems weirdly specific to the manner in which the compartment is concealed. What if it were that the mattresses in the crew quarters all lifted up like cedar chests full of contraband?


Ben
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: Smuggling and Search

Quote:
Originally Posted by OneSeventeen View Post
Maybe I'm reading too much (or not enough) into the wordings of various sentences, here, but to me, they look like they contradict. And Search's description doesn't seem to include the case that Smuggling's description implies it should. In short: Can Search be used to find an item hidden in a space the size of a building?
Search is the counter to Holdout and Smuggling. Holdout works for one's own or another's person; Smuggling for a vehicle, room, or building. So yes, you can.

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