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Old 01-11-2019, 04:40 AM   #11
Refplace
 
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Default Re: Spaceships as characters容dge cases

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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
My reasoning is that you shouldn't get a cost break for something that doesn't limit your use of the abilities. As the abilities cannot be used at the same time anyway, allowing one to be bought at a huge discount in exchange for the abilities locking each other out is more than a little dodgy, IMO.

Would you let someone buy normal ground Move and Swimming Move with one the AA of the other?
Consider multiple versions of Innate Attack. You can only use one of them at a time too.
How is that different from two different modes of movement?
The AA mechanic is just a way to group abilities with the limitations that only one can be used at a time and if one burns out or is neutralized they all are.
It like Hero Systems multipower.
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:52 AM   #12
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Default Re: Spaceships as characters容dge cases

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Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
Flying robots in Reign of Steel: Will to Live have Maximum Duration.
Micro Designer's Notes time: for the RoS robots with Maximum Duration, their Flight fuel supply is separate from their general power supply. Increased Consumption would mean that, if the robot runs out of fuel, it shuts down immediately and completely rather than eight hours after its last recharge.

The Hoplite is a good example of this: it has a rocket pack for flight, but how many of those twelve minutes of flight it uses doesn't affect how long it can fight on the ground. Contrast the Spybot, which doesn't have maximum duration because its rotors run off the same battery that powers the rest of the chassis. (One might have justified Increased Consumption there, but my feeling is that it can stay aloft for its full charge duration its entire job is to stay aloft, after all, not to perch on a rooftop and watch people.)
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:01 AM   #13
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Default Re: Spaceships as characters容dge cases

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Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
Consider multiple versions of Innate Attack. You can only use one of them at a time too.
But you have a choice - they are usable in a similar circumstance. The cost reduction is because of that. The movement modes have no overlap where you might choose one over the other.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:22 AM   #14
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Default Re: Spaceships as characters容dge cases

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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
My reasoning is that you shouldn't get a cost break for something that doesn't limit your use of the abilities. As the abilities cannot be used at the same time anyway, allowing one to be bought at a huge discount in exchange for the abilities locking each other out is more than a little dodgy, IMO.

Would you let someone buy normal ground Move and Swimming Move with one the AA of the other?
By the rules, yes.

As the GM, I'd then ask for an explanation for it, and only accept it if it makes sense within the context of the setting, just as I do for any ability, whether an AA or not. The "just because" explanation wouldn't fly in my game, but if it was part of speed power - and thus can be neutralized - sure.

While not being able to use all the AA abilities at the same time is a potential drawback of using AA, it's not a guaranteed drawback and doesn't always apply. After all, an AA of a bunch of instantaneous effects is legit, and you can't use those at the same time anyway, so what's the drawback of AA in those cases? And using AA for multiple Innate Attacks is a legitimate build mentioned in the rules.

It's even easily explainable in the specific example of the spaceship movement we're debating: power is diverted from one motor train to another, and you can only power one at a time. This is the equivalent of where you are assigning your Power Points for High-Energy Systems in GURPS Spaceships (p.9). If the intention is to keep to the spirit of GURPS Spaceship design parameters, it's almost a mandatory that you build all High-Energy Systems of your robot as a multiple slots of an AA or Modular Ability.. unless you have enough power to power everything at once, in which case, they're all purchased at full price.

The often overlooked drawback of AA or Modular Ability, that would apply even in this case, is that if any ability is neutralized, it neutralizes the "slot", not just the ability. You therefore can't change it to something else.

The question you need to ask is what neutralized these effects. In the case of a robot/spaceship, it would be a variation of paralysis, sleep, unconsciousness, etc., defined with a variation of the special effect of "drain power." (i.e., affects machines) Someone drains the power from your ship's flight ability, the power is gone and can't be moved to other forms of vehicular movement.

I think what you're discussing is therefore a potential legit build using AA or Modular Abilities.

To me, what I always examine before I decided on whether to allow AA or Modular Ability is whether I can come up with a rational explanation for locking a slot if an ability is drain. For example, before allowing a "magical powers" Modular Ability, I see if I can explain why a "drain fire powers" used on your magical fireball ability when it's in the slot of a magic Modular Ability suddenly stops you from using your magical flight, ice storm, shapeshifting, mage armor, etc. Now, I can see blocking the slot with a "drain mana/magic" attack, but not a "drain fireballs". But by the rules, the drain fireball would lock the slot. However, this illogical effects are rare. I think it's only happened twice in all my campaigns since 4E came out. And in the magical Modular Ability, I do have drain mana effects, so ultimately I allowed it. The two times the strange effect did come up, I handwaved it away and told the player "that's why you got the point discount, just accept it."

You might, depending on what Neutralize powers or effects are available in the setting, come up with similar logic issues to address for your robot spaceship... but then again, for this example, you might be able to use the good old Star Trek principle and state that the strange enemy phaser shot that just grazed the ship's hull overloaded the power relays and have shut down a whole bunch of systems across the ship (i.e., you can't move the power to what you need, thus the slot is locked down).

So, long story short, yes AA is a legitimate build. But is it a built you should use? That depends on a lot on the setting. In this case, I'd rule yes as well as all the abilities have a "technological" power source and can all be affected by things that affect tech.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:46 AM   #15
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Default Re: Spaceships as characters容dge cases

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Originally Posted by RogerBW View Post
Micro Designer's Notes time: for the RoS robots with Maximum Duration, their Flight fuel supply is separate from their general power supply. Increased Consumption would mean that, if the robot runs out of fuel, it shuts down immediately and completely rather than eight hours after its last recharge.

The Hoplite is a good example of this: it has a rocket pack for flight, but how many of those twelve minutes of flight it uses doesn't affect how long it can fight on the ground. Contrast the Spybot, which doesn't have maximum duration because its rotors run off the same battery that powers the rest of the chassis. (One might have justified Increased Consumption there, but my feeling is that it can stay aloft for its full charge duration its entire job is to stay aloft, after all, not to perch on a rooftop and watch people.)
This is useful clarification. I guess some of the finer points of how this works is ignored for gasoline powered vehicles whose batteries (for lights, radio, etc) can last for a bit after they run out of fuel, but not very long? I guess it could be an Accessory if you're being picky about it. But any kind of long-range craft built using Spaceships probably has Reduced Consumption or even Doesn't Eat or Drink even if that only represents "auxiliary power".
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:03 PM   #16
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Default Re: Spaceships as characters容dge cases

Here's something that I think would be a useful sample spaceship for stating as a character, a suborbital rocket plane that should surface many of the trickier points of spaceships-as-characters. It's a TL8 design built on a SM+5 streamlined hull:

[Front]
[1] Armor, Metallic Laminate (2 dDR)
[2] Control Room (C2, comm/sensor 2, one control station)
[3-6] Passenger Seating (Eight seats)

[Central]
[1] Armor, Metallic Laminate (2 dDR)
[2-3] Hangar Bay (3 tons capacity total)
[4-5] Fuel Tanks (1.5 tons jet fuel providing 1 hour of operation each)
[6, core] Fuel Tanks (1.5 tons rocket fuel providing 0.18 mps delta-V each)

[Rear]
[1] Armor, Metallic Laminate (2 dDR)
[2] Chemical Rocket Engine (3G acceleration)
[3] Jet Engine (1G acceleration in atmosphere)
[4-6, core] Fuel Tanks (1.5 tons rocket fuel providing 0.18 mps delta-V each)
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:33 PM   #17
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Default Re: Spaceships as characters容dge cases

Going to reserve this space for building up the above design as a character, one bit at a time. Expect frequent edits. I'm going to assume batteries siphon energy from the jet engines, and don't last very long with the engines turned off (enough for a short suborbital flight, or sitting on the run way a bit, but not enough to cost points).

Attributes: ST 200 (NFM, -40%; Size, -50%) [380]; DX 0 [-200]; IQ 0 [-200]; HT 12 [20].
Secondary Characteristics: Basic Speed 3.00
Advantages: Air Move +4 [8]; Air Move +30 (Maximum Duration, 1 minute, -65%; Nuisance Effect, increases top speed by square root of increase in acceleration, -10%) 3*]; Enhanced Move 7 (Air Move 1250) [140]; Enhanced Move 5 (Space Move 1920; Newtonian Space Flight, -50%) [50]; Flight (Newtonian Space Flight, +25%) [50]; Space Move +24 [48].
Disadvantages: Increased Consumption 2 [-20].
* Alternative Ability of Enhanced Move (Space)

Last edited by Michael Thayne; 01-11-2019 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:16 PM   #18
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Default Re: Spaceships as characters容dge cases

Thinking about the Alternative Abilities issue擁f you're using Newtonian space flight, making Enhanced Move (Air) and Enhanced Move (Space) looks dubious謡hen you run out of delta-V, do you lose Enhanced Move (Air)? OTOH it's more reasonable to make the benefits of using a rocket in atmosphere an Alternative Ability of Enhanced Move (Space). I did that in the above build, bringing down the increased Air Move from using the rocket in atmosphere down to a mere 3 points.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:27 PM   #19
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Default Re: Spaceships as characters容dge cases

One issue is the fact that even "stealth" aircraft aren't very stealthy by the standards of commandos. I've seen this represented as everything from Nuisance Effect, Exhaust, -5% to Temporary Disadvantage, Noisy 10, -20%. The latter is for a rocket. For jets, I've seen Temporary Disadvantage, Noisy 5, -10% show up in a couple places.

(How to represent infrared/radar stealth is also not terribly clear悠 think I've seen Obscure used for this, but it's not a great match for realistic stealth aside from chaff and other decoys.)
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:07 PM   #20
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Default Re: Spaceships as characters容dge cases

Proposed new modifier for Flight: Low-Performance Space Flight. Requires Space Flight or Newtonian Space Flight. It limits your thrust in space to below 1 yard per second per second, but does not affect top speed or delta-V. Worth -10% for no more than 0.1G, -20% for 0.01G, and -30% for 0.001G or less. Halve limitation value unless you have Space Flight Only. Thoughts? Does this seem fair?
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