Steve Jackson Games Forums Bulk and SM
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 07-10-2015, 03:16 PM #1 Ulzgoroth   Join Date: Jul 2008 Bulk and SM I noticed recently that the Bulk stat rather desperately needs to interact with the size of the wielder. A giant might have a 'tiny' backup pistol bigger than a heavy machine gun, and a pixie will find a human-size pistol to be more an artillery piece than a sidearm. Unless I'm overlooking something, by the book the giant would be labor under tremendous penalties if they were to run-and-gun with their compact gun, while the pixie (assuming enough BL to move the thing) would have no problem doing so with their outsized weapon. So, Bulk effects need to adjust for scale. But how? Bulk is one of the somewhat black-box stats in GURPS, as far as I know. But based on the beam weapon design article (Pyramid 3/37), it goes with the square root of weight. Now, that's a bit of a curious thing. Is it the square root of weight because that's how ST relates to BL? Or is it the square root of weight because for some reason it's supposed to follow the 1.5 power of dimension? Either way, since Bulk is clearly not a logarithmic scale, the adjustment will have to be multiplicative using the SSR table. So the straightforward thing would be to divide the Bulk stat by half the linear measurement in yards of the user's SM, or the user's SM times 1.5, depending on which way you go on the previous paragraph. Round to the nearest integer. Tiny weapons clearly will need some resolution between Bulk 0 (which would remain zero all the way down) and Bulk 1, which becomes very cumbersome by SM -4. The most consistent approach might simply be to record such Bulks as fractions, but it's probably more straightforward to give an integer value for Bulk and then note the SM that the weapon goes with. __________________ I don't know any 3e, so there is no chance that I am talking about 3e rules by accident.
07-10-2015, 03:25 PM   #2
vicky_molokh
GURPS FAQ Keeper

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyïv, Ukraine
Re: Bulk and SM

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth So, Bulk effects need to adjust for scale. But how? Bulk is one of the somewhat black-box stats in GURPS, as far as I know. But based on the beam weapon design article (Pyramid 3/37), it goes with the square root of weight.
It should probably be noted that it scales like that for non-turreted beam weapons; it is not clear whether the same formula would apply to other weapons, and in fact I suspect that at least some found in the three Techbooks will not match the formula.
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07-10-2015, 03:31 PM   #3
Ulzgoroth

Join Date: Jul 2008
Re: Bulk and SM

Quote:
 Originally Posted by vicky_molokh It should probably be noted that it scales like that for non-turreted beam weapons; it is not clear whether the same formula would apply to other weapons, and in fact I suspect that at least some found in the three Techbooks will not match the formula.
I'm not sure why you put 'non-turreted' in there. The design system includes cannons suitable for use in turrets.

But I certainly would not be surprised to find this model doesn't actually fit the existing stat lines. I would be somewhat surprised to be given a reason for such a mismatch that isn't the stats having come before there was an actual model.
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07-10-2015, 06:54 PM   #4
Peter Knutsen
Banned

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Europe
Re: Bulk and SM

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth So, Bulk effects need to adjust for scale. But how? Bulk is one of the somewhat black-box stats in GURPS, as far as I know. But based on the beam weapon design article (Pyramid 3/37), it goes with the square root of weight.
I initially assumed that in GURPS 4E, Bulk was based on the SM scale, and so I became quite disappoined to see that it wasn't so. It was a massively missed opportunity.

But why not unify the 2 scales?

GURPS' SM rules already - unless I'm imagining things - include some provisions for how gross object shape modifies SM, which means they're basically suitable for item concealability.

Then it's just a question of what to do with Bulk, since that's not only about concealability but also interacts with the combat rules. My inclination would be to say that all weapons are of roughly the same density (few grams-per-cubic-centimeter, as opposed to many grams or one gram) and therefore there's no need to look at weapon density: It's an almost lossless simplification to ignore that issue.

 07-11-2015, 07:53 AM #5 Humabout     Join Date: Aug 2008 Re: Bulk and SM If you want to link the two, Id just add them to determie effective bulk. So a SM+3 giant can treat a SM+0 M4A1 as having Bulk -1...basically a holdout pistol for him. That assumes he can get his pudgy fingers in the grip to squeeze the trigger of course. __________________ Buy My Stuff! Free Stuff: Dungeon Action! Totem Spirits My Blog: Above the Flatline.
07-11-2015, 09:14 AM   #6
vicky_molokh
GURPS FAQ Keeper

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyïv, Ukraine
Re: Bulk and SM

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth I'm not sure why you put 'non-turreted' in there. The design system includes cannons suitable for use in turrets. But I certainly would not be surprised to find this model doesn't actually fit the existing stat lines. I would be somewhat surprised to be given a reason for such a mismatch that isn't the stats having come before there was an actual model.
That was me clumsily trying to say 'may be mounted on a turret and controlled by a person-body, as opposed to being a turret that is self-controlled and works without a person-body'. As I seem to recall fully-automated turrets not even having a Bulk value in SS.
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The Eye of Eclipse Phase. A Discord server focusing on Roleplaying, Sci-Fi, Transhumanism, and discussion of other assorted topics, from tech to boardgames, from politics to philosophy.

07-11-2015, 10:22 AM   #7
Ulzgoroth

Join Date: Jul 2008
Re: Bulk and SM

Quote:
 Originally Posted by vicky_molokh That was me clumsily trying to say 'may be mounted on a turret and controlled by a person-body, as opposed to being a turret that is self-controlled and works without a person-body'. As I seem to recall fully-automated turrets not even having a Bulk value in SS.
Bulk has no function in the Spaceships system, so I would not attach any meaning to that lack. (In pure GURPS-theory it might make sense for a single mind with a suitable interface to be able to Move and Attack to fly the ship and shoot one of the turrets at the same time, but the Spaceships system doesn't cover that.)

Mounted guns probably should never care about Bulk, but that's not rules-supported.
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 07-11-2015, 03:11 PM #8 Flyndaran Untagged   Join Date: Oct 2004 Location: Forest Grove, Beaverton, Oregon Re: Bulk and SM Ignoring bulk for mounted weapons makes my contrary mind conjure the image of a tank cannon strapped to a motorcycle. __________________ Beware, poor communication skills. No offense intended. If offended, it just means that I failed my writing skill check.
07-11-2015, 06:11 PM   #9
Ulzgoroth

Join Date: Jul 2008
Re: Bulk and SM

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Flyndaran Ignoring bulk for mounted weapons makes my contrary mind conjure the image of a tank cannon strapped to a motorcycle.
There is really no problem with that idea that has any relation to the Bulk stat...
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07-11-2015, 06:54 PM   #10
evileeyore

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: 100 hurricane swamp
Re: Bulk and SM

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Flyndaran Ignoring bulk for mounted weapons makes my contrary mind conjure the image of a tank cannon strapped to a motorcycle.
Something like this:

Vespa 150 TAP

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