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“What’s That Smell?”
Scavengers in Combat Zone
by Danny Stevenson

Some people have so little that they have nothing to lose. They are very dangerous, and they are everywhere. They are called Scavs.

photo credit: Piotr MikiansLegend says they can find a way in or out of any place, and that you are never more than ten feet from one. Every gutter, roof, sewer or derelict building could shelter a Scav lurking in the shadows. They are in the towns, cities, the Corporate zones and combat zones. There is no escaping them.

Scavs often work in small teams or alone, scouring battlefields, ruins and rubbish tips looking for items for trade. They will steal anything and they are very slippery, cut-throat customers. Chances are they will break in and rob you as soon as your back is turned.

Scavs are looked down upon by and victimised by everybody, as dirty, smelly thieves, wearing torn clothes scattering garbage wherever they go.

The truth is quite different: Most Scavs are merely survivors, doing what they must in order to live. They raise families, and teach their children to survive. If they are sly or brutal, it is because that is their life.

In spite of this, clan/gang loyalty is strong, and inter-group rivalry is fierce. Bands will wage war to the knife over a small pile of scrap or loot that no one else would even notice.

photo credit: Piotr MikiansScav gangs can be drawn from the gang lists in the rulebooks.

  • Scavs may have one Hero quality individual.
  • Scavs may also have a Tech or two in the gang.
  • Scavs may have a street doc in the gang.
  • When targeting a Scav they get an additional -1 to hit bonus if they are in cover. This represents the fact Scavs spend a lot of time outdoors digging and picking. They also have a nose for trouble.
  • Scavs get a +1 bonus for any rolls to spot traps or security devices.
  • Scavs may not be equipped with robots.
  • photo credit: Kenneth Greening Scavs may spend 10% of their total points allocation on security devices. Generally they will not use high-tech security devices as they are great trade goods, but will go for low-tech traps and alarms.
  • Use a hero level scav to spice up games (can be played by an umpire). They are ideal for attempting to steal items from the battlefield whilst the battle is still raging.
Scavs can be fierce protagonists or sly nuisances: In a larger game, a lower-strength group of Scavs can use their stealth skills to remove useful loot and to disrupt the efforts of either or both sides in return for whatever bribes they can negotiate. - R