The acquisition system that was introduced in DH2nd is… well, not without its downsides, if you ask me. While I am still not 100% sure what to make out of it, I already made up my mind about a thing or two I like to house rule.
1) Changing the requisition modifier (p. 141 DHcr)
By RAW, getting something with an Average(AV) availability is Challenging(+0). …and to me, that is just plain wrong. Is getting something average really challenging? No, due to my experience, getting something average is a rather ordinary task. Getting my hands on something that is scarce, now that becomes challenging. To put it short, I simply decreased the difficulty level by one step, all over.
2) Pomp and circumstances (further modifiers)
RAW encourages the GM to take situational modifiers into account when it comes to acquisition tests. The situation in my game usually is that some throne agents on a mission reveal their alliance to some official of the local world, asking for needed, temporal support… which I consider to be “easy(+30)”. If they try to get some support from the Adepta they belong to (Mechanicus, Arbites and Ministorum; respectively) without openly revealing their alliance, I assume that such is routine(+20) in the Imperium, same thing if they have lots of money at hand to just buy what they need. When they don´t have huge funds or have to rely on their personal influence to acquire something, they seem to be in the same situation any other ordinary(+10) citizen is in. And, as you might already expect, meager funds or a need to keep it quiet make things challenging(+0). Unlike DH1st suggested, I usually do not take the population of the community into account, unless I think it would be a limiting factor. Sure, being in a hive or in a space port does make a difference, but in my opinion, one´s means are more important when it comes to boni.
3) No means no…. does it?
What if the test fails? Does it mean that they cannot buy an autogun or that the local enforcer captain will deny the throne agents his support and men? Well… it could. But if the overall modifier to the test was positive, I would rather take the result as a reason to add some lemons… some that are not obvious right from the start. The enforcer captain will still give his support and a squad of his men… they will simply not be very motivated, which means that outside of a combat situation, they will never have “additional level of success” in what they do. It could mean that the mobilization of the platoon of guardsmen is not happening “at haste”, unless the characters spend their time overseeing the actions themselves, stepping people on the toes and breathing down their neck constantly. In short, it takes them more time and effort than it would actually have needed. In regard to gear, that gear might be of bad quality, and the characters might not even note it! Nowhere it is written that the GM needs to inform a player that the armor could fail to protect the character until it happens, right? Last but not least, the GM has one final card up the sleave: he could tell the player that his character would need to push it to get what he wants, that he needs to burn a point of personal influence to achieve THIS. Let´s see how much this service or item is really needed.
4) No trouble during my day off…
When it comes to acquisitions between two missions (“downtime”) I simply forgo the whole dice rolling but present my players with a nice little list with some options instead. Those lists are always tailored to their personal requests and don´t include anything I would out-rule at this point of the game. My players roll with this, because they have trust in me as a GM and because I am not holding back much. And I like my players for that 🙂