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Old 10-26-2010, 09:59 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Vermont, USA
Default [Spaceships] Compact Systems

Designing spacecraft within the constraints of the GURPS Spaceships system can be fun, but sometimes you just need to fit more than 20 systems on a spaceship. Thus, a new customization option:

Compact Systems

Miniaturization and engineering advances can allow systems to occupy smaller spaces without reducing their capabilities. A compact system occupies a smaller system slot (see Smaller Systems, pp. SS7:4-5), but provides the same benefit as a standard-sized system. The GM decides which compact systems are available in the setting.

Compact systems become available one TL after the standard system becomes available (e.g., Nanofactories are TL11, so compact Nanofactories are TL12). If a system’s statistics vary with TL, a compact system uses the statistics of a system one TL behind (e.g., a compact TL11 Standard Reactionless Engine provides only the 0.5G acceleration of a TL10 Standard Reactionless Engine). A compact high-energy system has the power point requirements of a standard system. A compact system has the workspaces of a smaller system. Despite being one SM smaller than usual, a compact system costs as much as a system one SM larger (i.e., a compact system in an SM+7 slot provides the capabilities of an SM+8 system and costs as much as an SM+9 system).

Multi-Function Systems: Compact systems can also be used to represent new systems which combine the function of multiple other systems – at a price. For example, a ship’s brain which can negate gravity on the spacecraft can be represented by three smaller systems: a compact Sapient Brain, a compact Contragravity Lifter, and a compact Power Plant. Treat multi-function systems as a single system for the purposes of damage, disabling, and destruction. If any of a multi-function’s components is volatile, the entire system is volatile.

Some systems require special treatment:

Control Room or Sapient Brain: A spacecraft with a compact Control Room or Sapient Brain has no penalty to its Handling or Stability Rating (or DX for a Sapient Brain). A compact Control Room has the control stations of a smaller system.

Force Screen: Compact Force Screen systems become available at TL12 and provide the dDR of a standard-sized TL11 Force Screen.

Power Plants: A compact Power Plant system provides power points which can power a standard-sized system, a compact system, or three smaller systems.

ST-Based Systems: Compact systems whose capabilities are based on the spacecraft’s ST – such as Maw, Robot Arm, and Tail systems – use the spacecraft’s standard ST.

Banned Systems: Armor, Reaction Engines, and systems with mass or occupant capacities – including Cargo Hold, Digestive System, Engine Room, Fuel Tank, Habitat, Hangar Bay, Jump Gate, Open Space, and Passenger Seating systems – can be smaller but cannot be compact. The GM might allow systems with mass rate capacities, such as Mining and Refinery systems, to be compact. A compact Enhanced Array determines its array level as if it were one TL less, which provides no benefit over simply using a smaller system.
munin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2010, 10:00 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Vermont, USA
Default Re: [Spaceships] Compact Systems

Design Notes

In addition to the increased options for designing spacecraft, one of the big advantages that compact systems offer over smaller systems is that full-spacecraft-affecting systems (Contragravity Lifter, Exophase Field, Stasis Web, Stardrive Engines, etc.) can now be smaller -- at a price. Three compact Extradimensional Interface systems in each core slot = a Fantastic Voyage.

It shouldn't break anything if you want to waive the rule that compact systems become available one TL later than standard systems.

Some reasonableness checks:
Propulsion: A single SM+8 Standard Reactionless Engine (1G acceleration at TL11-12, $1M) can be replaced by three compact SM+7 Standard Reactionless Engines (1.5G at TL11 or 3G at TL12, $9M), but a TL11 Super Reactionless Engine (50G, $6M) would be a better choice, if available.

Weapons: A single SM+6 Major Battery (6d damage, $600K) can be replaced by an SM+6 Medium Battery (3 4d damage) at the same price, or by three SM+5 compact Major Batteries (3 6d damage) at a much higher price ($4.5M).
Extra Credit: If you replace one system of an SM+10 spacecraft with three smaller/compact systems, how do they get maintained? The SM+9 systems have no workspaces and the spacecraft has no Engine Room. If any of the systems would have required workspaces if larger, then add one workspace to cover all three smaller systems?

Thoughts? Criticisms? Too cheap? Too expensive? Not enough TL gap between standard and compact?
munin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2010, 11:55 PM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Canberra, Australia
Default Re: [Spaceships] Compact Systems

Good idea, thanks for proposing.
My suggestion may be too complex to implement due to the variety of systems...

If the objective is to increase a system's functionality/performance by paying more for it (assumption: items manufactured at lower tech levels are cheaper) perhaps you could look at a variation of the:
1. Equipment Modifier - B345 & Equipment Bonuses - UT17.
2. Melee/Ranged Weapon Quality - B274 & B277

For example; SM 9, Hot Reactionless Engine (TL10^) = 1G Acceleration, $10M:
Cheap - 0.2G, $1M
Basic - 0.5G, $2.5M
Good - 1G, $10M - the baseline
Fine - 2G, $40M
Best - 5G, $100M

My inspiration for this is the comparison of a Porsche sportscar to a small Hyundi sedan.
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