So I was reading the “Getting Spare Parts” on the Hard Life Amongst the Stars chapters (p. 200) and had some thoughts. Now I worked for years in the aerospace industry both military and civilian with US and foreign firms. I can tell you that many times civilian versus military and amongst countries (even if following standardized protocols like STANAG) that you wont be able to cannibalize much between platforms.
However, I do realize the RPG provides for a smooth, easy approach to scavenging. I like it – it is elegant, fast and simple. After some thought I did come up with I think a way to introduce a bit of the real world into this mechanic that is not overly burdensome.
Vessel, etc. scavenged is from same nation-state (i.e. UPP, UA, etc.) – no modification
Vessel, etc. scavenged is from a different nation state - -1 base die
Vessel, etc. being scavenged is military vs civilian or vice versa - -2 base die
Scavenging opposing environment units (i.e. scavenge a ground base to try to repair a spaceship or vice versa)- -2 base dice
Vessel, etc. being scavenged is from same manufacturer - +1 base die
Vessel, etc. being scavenged is same model - +3 base die (Note: Supersedes the “Same manufacturer” bonus)
Also I feel if you fail roll while scavenging you don’t get to try again – you instead “lose” that salvage slot. You searched for parts but found nothing that could really help. Example: Players try to salvage a Mechanical unit from a potential of 2 units but fail the roll. They found nothing helpful losing that slot leaving them with one potential Mechanical unit left to scavenge.
General salvage: If players are more interested in potential scrap for cash versus spare parts they can roll as normal for a hull slot. Each success after the first gives them additional X monetary amount of general salvage to sell. Each unit of salvage takes 1 ton of cargo space. Players must tell the GM how many and what slots (mechanical or electronic) they are giving up from spare parts for general salvage.
NOTE: X amount is up to the GM as to how much the general scrap is worth.
The above is what I came up with just sitting on the couch brainstorming. Run with it if you like, modify as you see fit or totally ignore it.