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Old 09-26-2013, 12:38 AM   #1
PTTG
 
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Default Alternatives to base Spaceships?

I admire the Spaceship ruleset for making rocket science something that can be done with no counting device more complicated than fingers (and, potentially, toes). It's quite flexible, as well; I think the basic system might serve for naval vessels, zepplins, or whatever thematic vehicles people invent for various other settings.

However, there are a few flaws... Firstly, small vessels, particularly extremely small fighters and mechs, are too fine for the granularity of the system. Second, extremely large vessels are forced to be somewhat specialized. In fact, this is most notable with medium ships; the Millenium Falcon (A smuggling, cargo, combat, passenger speedster) is harder to simulate than the Death Star (A really big gun).

Those are more thematic issues than practical ones. The only real practical issue with Spaceships might be the difficulty of figuring out loaded weight vrs. unloaded weight and effective speed. The fact that the rocket equation is built into the fuel tank system is impressive and useful, but not entirely accurate, especially with modern, realistic ships that are mostly fuel and have much higher accelleration empty than full.

These are certainly reasonable sacrifices! It would be formidable to say the least to have players calculate acceleration and delta-V over time for their ships, and recalculate for their current cargo and missile loads...

I've seen the Spaceships Spreadsheet, and it looks good, but it doesn't address these shortcomings. Is there are similar spreadsheet or computer program that allows for a more fine-grained spaceship simulation? I'm imaging that it would allow a ton-by-ton breaktdown of systems aboard a ship (300 tons of fusion pulse engine, 10 tons sensor equipment...) and a results tally (Ship is SM +8, X00 yards long, 700 dHP, has following attacks...).

If not, does anyone else want a more detailed ship building system?
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:08 AM   #2
Irenaeus
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Default Re: Alternatives to base Spaceships?

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Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
I admire the Spaceship ruleset for making rocket science something that can be done with no counting device more complicated than fingers (and, potentially, toes). It's quite flexible, as well; I think the basic system might serve for naval vessels, zepplins, or whatever thematic vehicles people invent for various other settings.

However, there are a few flaws... Firstly, small vessels, particularly extremely small fighters and mechs, are too fine for the granularity of the system. Second, extremely large vessels are forced to be somewhat specialized. In fact, this is most notable with medium ships; the Millenium Falcon (A smuggling, cargo, combat, passenger speedster) is harder to simulate than the Death Star (A really big gun).

Those are more thematic issues than practical ones. The only real practical issue with Spaceships might be the difficulty of figuring out loaded weight vrs. unloaded weight and effective speed. The fact that the rocket equation is built into the fuel tank system is impressive and useful, but not entirely accurate, especially with modern, realistic ships that are mostly fuel and have much higher accelleration empty than full.

These are certainly reasonable sacrifices! It would be formidable to say the least to have players calculate acceleration and delta-V over time for their ships, and recalculate for their current cargo and missile loads...

I've seen the Spaceships Spreadsheet, and it looks good, but it doesn't address these shortcomings. Is there are similar spreadsheet or computer program that allows for a more fine-grained spaceship simulation? I'm imaging that it would allow a ton-by-ton breaktdown of systems aboard a ship (300 tons of fusion pulse engine, 10 tons sensor equipment...) and a results tally (Ship is SM +8, X00 yards long, 700 dHP, has following attacks...).

If not, does anyone else want a more detailed ship building system?
I think the "smaller systems" rules provide a lot of granularity, and use it all the time. Your example SM+8 ship can have 200 SM+6 systems at 5 tons each, which is far more than I need at least. I seldom end up utilizing more than three or four systems at reduced size.

You'd probably have to make your own spreadsheet, though.
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:09 AM   #3
Agemegos
 
Join Date: May 2005
Default Re: Alternatives to base Spaceships?

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Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
In fact, this is most notable with medium ships; the Millenium Falcon (A smuggling, cargo, combat, passenger speedster) is harder to simulate than the Death Star (A really big gun).
It's nothing to do with the Millennium Falcon's size. The problem arises out of its designers' confusion of purpose. A combination of cargo lighter, subway car, and express elevator is hard to stat, too.

Otherwise I agree with Irenaeus: the base rules in GURPS Spaceships were a little bit awkward at times, but the "smaller systems" rules on p.4–5 of Spaceships 7 provide plenty of fineness in the grain where it is wanted.

Last edited by Agemegos; 09-26-2013 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:54 AM   #4
Flyndaran
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Default Re: Alternatives to base Spaceships?

The only one glaring omission in the rules I find is the lack of aerial propeller motive systems. I mean, we have jet engines, and screw propellers for Spaceships!, but no way to write up basic prop planes?
Realistic blimps would need them too, as just having gas bags won't get you far or at least the direction you may want.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:01 AM   #5
SCAR
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Default Re: Alternatives to base Spaceships?

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
The only one glaring omission in the rules I find is the lack of aerial propeller motive systems. I mean, we have jet engines, and screw propellers for Spaceships!, but no way to write up basic prop planes?
Realistic blimps would need them too, as just having gas bags won't get you far or at least the direction you may want.
With Helicopter Rotors, Ornithopter Wings, and Ether Propulsion options all in SS7, it does seem like an omission - even as an Option/Design Switch for one of those systems.
There have been extras for ther Spaceships system published in Pyramid - I can't see Propellers in the issues I have, but I am missing the Vehicles issue at least.
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