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Old 06-14-2020, 01:46 PM   #1
Stormcrow
 
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Default Tech books are cumulative

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Ah, no. High-Tech starts around 1715 or so. By the time the revolution starts it's been in progress for more than half a century.
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Originally Posted by Gigermann View Post
Sure, but a lot of the stuff from Low-Tech is still around and in some degree of use—specifically some of the guns described.
This excerpt from the American Revolution thread reminded me of an area about GURPS equipment that has always troubled me. Is it not the case that much of the equipment developed in the tech levels covered by Low-Tech continues to be used through the tech levels covered by High-Tech, and likewise, High-Tech lasting through Ultra-Tech?

Do you find yourself needing not only the book for the current tech level, but also the previous one? Is this generally true? If not, how do you prefer to deal with gaps that would be filled in with the previous book? Improvise? Stick to the Basic Set equipment list?
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Old 06-14-2020, 02:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Tech books are cumulative

Some tech is replaced, but yes, some technology (like the canoe) was basically perfected at a low TL. The only changes would be improved materials.
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Old 06-14-2020, 03:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tech books are cumulative

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
Do you find yourself needing not only the book for the current tech level, but also the previous one? Is this generally true? If not, how do you prefer to deal with gaps that would be filled in with the previous book? Improvise? Stick to the Basic Set equipment list?
This TL based thing does not trouble me, it is the least of GURPS equipment list problems. What I find annoying is how the equipment and rules for them are scattered over 20+ books and 30+ pyramid articles.

If it was only "low tech" "high tech" "ultra tech" and maybe 1-5 special supplements for things less likely needed, for a total of <10 instead of >50 it would be so much better.
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Old 06-14-2020, 03:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Tech books are cumulative

Personally, I've always been rather skeptical of the early start to TL5. I feel like adventuring-relevant gear even as late as the 1770s (a musket or muzzle-loading rifle to fight with, a sailing ship for long distance travel, communication limited to the speed a messanger can travel) is a lot more like that of the 1500s or 1600s (with inevitable improvements, of course) than it is like that of the the mid nineteenth century (multi-shot firearms to fight with, steamships and railway trains, the ability to send messages across continents instantly by telegraph). That a Kentucky rifle made in 1740 uses a different tech-level skill than a seventeenth century hunting rifle and the same one as a civil-war repeating rifle strikes me as grotesque, and similar comparisons could be made regarding ships. I am aware that the industrial revolution was well underway by the mid eighteenth century, but I'm not persuaded that it made a fundamental difference to equipment "in the field" until at least the beginning of the nineteenth century (to the extent a particular cutoff is needed, I might go with 1815 and Fulton's steamboat- steam engines turning looms or pumping water out of mines are a mere setting detail; steam engines that let you travel swiftly against the current mean that the technology has reached adventuring relevance).
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Old 06-14-2020, 03:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tech books are cumulative

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Originally Posted by weby View Post
This TL based thing does not trouble me, it is the least of GURPS equipment list problems. What I find annoying is how the equipment and rules for them are scattered over 20+ books and 30+ pyramid articles.

If it was only "low tech" "high tech" "ultra tech" and maybe 1-5 special supplements for things less likely needed, for a total of <10 instead of >50 it would be so much better.
It's unfortunately pretty much unavoidable, given that you just can't fit all the stuff people might want into only a few books, even if you did think of it all at once.
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Old 06-14-2020, 03:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tech books are cumulative

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Originally Posted by Anders View Post
Some tech is replaced, but yes, some technology (like the canoe) was basically perfected at a low TL. The only changes would be improved materials.
Yes, but the question is how you feel and deal with early technologies not found in later books. Do you, for instance, feel compelled to use both Low- and High-Tech when dealing with a high-tech setting?

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This TL based thing does not trouble me, it is the least of GURPS equipment list problems. What I find annoying is how the equipment and rules for them are scattered over 20+ books and 30+ pyramid articles.
Not the question I'm asking.

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Originally Posted by ravenfish View Post
Personally, I've always been rather skeptical of the early start to TL5.
Also not the question I'm asking.

Here's an example of what I'm looking at. Low-Tech has a table of containers. High-Tech has a small section on containers that emerge starting in TL5, mostly having to do with superior materials. If we imagine a game set in TL8 and a GM who has only High-Tech, then that GM won't have the containers for, say, glass bottles. So would you, as GM, feel pressured by this to have Low-Tech so you'd have "missing" items like this?
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Old 06-14-2020, 03:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tech books are cumulative

Searching for relevant rules is the killer app for game books in PDF. I like physical books as much as anyone, but when I'm trying to find a rule, searching the directory is much faster and more thorough.
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Old 06-14-2020, 03:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tech books are cumulative

To be fair, one doesn't typically run a campaign out of the X-Tech books.

I just recently ended a run of a mostly-historical campaign set in 1725 AD, and I definitely used a lot of both Low-Tech and High-Tech gear. I had to do a little research to develop an understanding of what was available at that specific year. Corrections had to be made from time to time, but we all understood that if it doesn't exist yet, it's not available.

Collecting stuff in Low/High/Ultra categories is convenient for publishing, but if you're running something in any way historical, you sometimes have to ignore that. Plus, the later the book was written, the better, more-conprehensive the rules tend to be—the "containers" are a good example of this—and in GURPS' case, they were written in reverse order.

Last edited by Gigermann; 06-14-2020 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 06-14-2020, 04:01 PM   #9
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Tech books are cumulative

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post

Here's an example of what I'm looking at. Low-Tech has a table of containers. High-Tech has a small section on containers that emerge starting in TL5, mostly having to do with superior materials. If we imagine a game set in TL8 and a GM who has only High-Tech, then that GM won't have the containers for, say, glass bottles. So would you, as GM, feel pressured by this to have Low-Tech so you'd have "missing" items like this?
Maybe not the best example, TLs 1-4 make glass bottles but they don't mass produce them. The numbers would ahve to be quite broad to deal with so many individually made bottles and exact numbers on glass bottles are a "meh" thing for actual TL8. ATE might care.

An exampel that I did end up nedign multiple books for was when I was stocking a TL9 Life Pod as a thought exercise...

http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=158442

(warning there's at least 9 pages)

I ended up needing to go to HT for modern lightweight backpacks and one-man tents. I had to go to Infinite Worlds for solar cells.

It may be unavoidable that UT is a little hit-and-miss with the potential ground it has to cover but 2 pages that updated the 2 pages of gear in Characters would be nice.
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Old 06-14-2020, 06:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Tech books are cumulative

Yes its cumulative, this is why I love the index and good section listings so I can find what Im looking for pretty quickly.Long as I have the right book open.
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