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Old 11-09-2008, 11:37 AM   #18
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Re: Sailing Ships -At least until CCoI (Low-Tech) arrives

Originally Posted by Mgellis
Far more important, could you write up a few dozen of these and send them into SJG and get them published (probably by e-23) as GURPS Sailing Ships of the World? Seriously, you should do this. It would sell. Your details are accurate and useful and your descriptive prose is both informative and quite readable.

The problem is that while the details are reasonably accurate (as accurate as I can make them), each vessel is based on one or at most two primary sources and maybe a few secondary ones.

I demand more rigorous historical research and bibliography than that from SJ Games authors, so it is inconceivable that I should do less. If I ever submitted anything to SJ Games, I'd be forced to buy four or five reference books for each era that I planned to cover. And that would cost far more than I'd ever get paid for such a work.

The stats are also guesstimated when it comes to Acceleration and Cost. I don't have a system for calculating motive thrust, weight and finese ratio and thereby arriving at a precise Acceleration. I can find Move from reports of top speed for replicas, but those testing those replicas don't measure second by second Acceleration. And Cost has to figured by comparing the vessel to other similar ones, except that I don't really have a pool of similar vessels to compare it against, which makes my figures there shaky. I have the least confidence in the Cost stat in my write-up.

I'd also have to spend much more time than a quick write-up like this takes. I'm fine with using five hours of my day off to knock up something that I and others can use in a game, but for an actual publication I'd have to polish the prose. I'd also have to add more information about each vessel (beam, depth of hold, DR on more locations, etc.), some of which I already have, but some of which I might have to do considerable digging in order to find.

In order for such a book to be useful, there is also a need for at least simplified sailing rules, dealing with the speed rose and points of sailing, the weather gauge and similar subjects. Am I expected to write that too?

I might be willing to do this if SJ Games was prepared to pay me the same as my regular job. Depending on what I'm doing, I charge $50-$100/hour, but I'd be willing to give them a favourable rate. If I thought that I'd get a return of more than $25 for each hour that I spent, I'd do it.

But that's out of the question. Role-playing authors do not make a living wage. Even the big and popular ones have to struggle. And I'm not a noble artistic soul that is willing to suffer for my chosen profession.

I'm a lawyer who chose what I do based on the ratio between actual work and the reward. ;)
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