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Old 06-14-2020, 07:37 PM   #11
Stormcrow
 
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Default Re: Tech books are cumulative

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Originally Posted by Gigermann View Post
To be fair, one doesn't typically run a campaign out of the X-Tech books.
I don't know about that. I previously asked a question in this forum about whether people typically just hand players the tech books, create customized equipment lists out of the tech books, or do something in between. A lot of people seemed to respond that creating lists was too much work, and they just gave players the necessary parameters and let them look for themselves.

So how do YOU use the tech books? Do you use them to build custom equipment lists? Do you find it necessary to use the books from previous tech levels to fill them out?

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
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.
I'm not worried about whether published rules miss something. I'm trying to see whether people consider the tech books as a single catalog — you need the previous one before you can fully stock equipment of a given tech level — or whether people are content just to have the tech book covering the tech level of their game.

To put it yet another way: If someone told you they were interested in running a game set in World War II and wanted recommendations on which books to get for equipment rules, would you recommend just High-Tech or both High-Tech and Low-Tech? And you're not recommending something just because it would be nice to have it. It would be because you thought they needed it to accomplish their goal.

I guess the question just isn't very clear, since most people seem to be drifting off topic. Sorry about that. I'm not sure how else to put it.
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Old 06-14-2020, 07:51 PM   #12
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Default Re: Tech books are cumulative

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
So how do YOU use the tech books? Do you use them to build custom equipment lists? Do you find it necessary to use the books from previous tech levels to fill them out?
To answer the OP specifically:
  • I use them all as if they were one. If something's missing from a later one, it's covered. If detail is better in an earlier one, use it.
  • I don't make a list—too much work. I just look over the PCs' starting equipment and make appropriate corrections/suggestions as needed. After the start, they only get what the GM makes available, so it doesn't matter as much.
  • Just like using Low-Tech with High-Tech, we end up using High-Tech with Ultra-Tech. Pretty rare to use all three, but it's possible, I suppose.
  • We all use GCA, so most of the time, the player doesn't even know what book whatever-it-is came from.
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Old 06-14-2020, 08:00 PM   #13
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Default Re: Tech books are cumulative

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
I'm not worried about whether published rules miss something. I'm trying to see whether people consider the tech books as a single catalog — you need the previous one before you can fully stock equipment of a given tech level — or whether people are content just to have the tech book covering the tech level of their game.
I focus on the needed equipment but as the GM I have all the relevant books so just tell my players the stats for whet they ask for.

A tech book for the right period has most of whats needed, especially combat gear as that changes rapidly.
For much equipment the stats change little except for price so reprinting would be seen was wasted space for most readers.
Long as I have the references of Table of Contents, Index, and with PDF a search function plus I can use the section outline in my left nav bar I am content.
Its Pyramid searches that kill most of my time, luckily thats not a lot of hear though. Pyramid gave us a lot of material we would never have seen though and the themed issues help so worth that to me.

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
I guess the question just isn't very clear, since most people seem to be drifting off topic. Sorry about that. I'm not sure how else to put it.
It happens a lot and we have lost many good regulars who still play or write for GURPS that visit the forums less or not at all because of it.
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Old 06-14-2020, 08:50 PM   #14
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Default Re: Tech books are cumulative

Considering the order the books were written and published in, historical cumulativism doesn't mesh well. They came out in antichronological order after all...

My view is generally less that you need all of them to fill in the more persistent bits of primitive tech than that you need (or at least want) all of them to fill in the upgrades to basic concepts and previously-overlooked subject matter. Which really generalizes beyond the *-Tech series.
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Old 06-15-2020, 08:42 AM   #15
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Default Re: Tech books are cumulative

I tried to use the Tech books as a GM, but it is a lot of work, as my players don't have any GURPS books and are more interested in DnD.
I read a little but in the end I used only the Basic Set. Or some specific list, as seen in Action or the fan made Fallout.
I think that if my players were interested in equipment, we would probably use the tech books as needed. but it was not my case.
I generally stick with only the Basic Set because it is less work for me.
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Old 06-15-2020, 10:53 AM   #16
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Tech books are cumulative

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
To put it yet another way: If someone told you they were interested in running a game set in World War II and wanted recommendations on which books to get for equipment rules, would you recommend just High-Tech or both High-Tech and Low-Tech? And you're not recommending something just because it would be nice to have it. It would be because you thought they needed it to accomplish their goal.
.
In your specific example I do not believe you need LT to run a WWII game. Items found in LT but not HT or Basic are few beyond some relatively exotic weapons.

You're also right in the middle of modern industrial warfare. Pretty much all the stuff you need is going to be mass produced in huge quantiies in distant locations and shiped to where you are, also in very large quantities. Sometimes it's going to fall out of the sky as if you were part of a cargo cult.

I can imagine a WWII game where you sort of needed LT but it would be on the margins of the genre. Maybe you're stuck behind the lines in the Phillipines are are cut off from TL6 civilization. You still might spend more time stealing what you needed fro the Japanese or scavenging it from tL5 scrapyards than going back to the Stone age.

People at TL5-8 use _categories_ of things that were invented at TLs 1-4 but specific items are normally highly updated and mass produced as well. No, you don't ned LT as a genral thing for higher tL games.
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Old 06-16-2020, 12:48 AM   #17
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Default Re: Tech books are cumulative

1) You don't "need" any of the Tech books to play in any setting. They're just very useful. You can just wing it, using the lists in Basic as a beginning frame of reference. Google/Wikipedia the real world objects when something comes up you didn't foresee. Future tech you need to give some thought to, but you can just pick a favorite sci-fi book or series and go by what they have and don't have.

There are hundreds of RPGs in different settings that have a tiny fraction of GURPS's equipment info (if any), and it's never stopped anyone from playing them.

2) Even if you have all three books, I guarantee that at some point you'll want info that none of them have. You'll have to do one of those things up there anyway. One book, two books, or all three, the only thing that changes is how often you have to wing it.

Last edited by transmetahuman; 06-16-2020 at 12:49 AM. Reason: Typos
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Old 06-16-2020, 05:21 AM   #18
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Default Re: Tech books are cumulative

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Originally Posted by transmetahuman View Post
You don't "need" any of the Tech books to play in any setting.
Yes, I know that. I've run plenty of games without them. "Needing" isn't the point here. If I said "need," it was only shorthand for "decided that a large equipment selection is desirable and that a pre-published source would be preferable to just making stuff up."
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Old 06-16-2020, 05:44 AM   #19
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Default Re: Tech books are cumulative

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
So how do YOU use the tech books? Do you use them to build custom equipment lists? Do you find it necessary to use the books from previous tech levels to fill them out?
I don't build custom equipment lists. I let the players loose on them, and consider if stuff is available if it's marginal. I don't often need the earlier tech book.
Quote:
To put it yet another way: If someone told you they were interested in running a game set in World War II and wanted recommendations on which books to get for equipment rules, would you recommend just High-Tech or both High-Tech and Low-Tech? And you're not recommending something just because it would be nice to have it. It would be because you thought they needed it to accomplish their goal.
Martial Arts plus High-Tech seems quite adequate.
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:31 AM   #20
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Default Re: Tech books are cumulative

In most games, I only NEED one tech book, and in a low-combat game, basic can suffice just fine. One player might go and seek out a custom weapon from a non-core book, but they write down everything on their sheet and then we're done.

The exception is bio-tech, which usually needs ultra-tech to go with it, but that's to be expected.

Some Genre's require more books, but you expect infinite worlds to use more of the tech books than other settings.
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