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Old 02-20-2006, 08:58 PM   #1
sir_pudding
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Default [PURE THEORY] Low-Tech vs Fantasy-Tech

From over here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm
Currently, there's no assigned Low-Tech author. The last I heard, we were realizing that there's less content here than for High-Tech (people can quibble, but it's fairly undeniable that more widgets exist at TL8 than at TL0-4 put together) and so needed a strategy to get a 240-page book out of it. As of last autumn, that strategy involved creating a Fantasy-Tech book to cover TL0-4 plus low-tech fantasy. That isn't set in stone, and isn't even officially acknowledged, so that's about as much as I can say about it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm
That's exactly what I'm saying. We're wedded to 240-page books. While it's no problem to fill that many pages with unique, distinctive TL5+ gadgets in High-Tech or Ultra-Tech, it's pushing things for Low-Tech. High-Tech for 3e was "all guns, all the time" while Low-Tech for 3e was "everything," so the problem is even more pronounced than mere technological diversity would suggest: there's entire realms of stuff to add to 3e's High-Tech, while those categories are already part of 3e's Low-Tech. Doing a Fantasy-Tech book -- title very tentative -- with all the Low-Tech stuff, expansions, and 100-odd pages of fantasy gear would let us fill 240 pages and not split up battleaxes from mithril battleaxes. As I said, it's hypothetical . . . we haven't settled on it, much less a writer. But it's sound logic, I think. Historical gaming as a genre accounts for a few percent of the sales of fantasy gaming, which needs all the same stuff plus more.
If Low-Tech also covered political organization, economic systems, everyday crafts, medical technology, military tactics, and maybe even some population dynamics couldn't it pad out 240 pages?
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Old 02-20-2006, 09:38 PM   #2
Luther
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Default Re: Low-Tech vs Fantasy-Tech

Oh My Good Lord, No!

Kromm hypothizes Low-Tech will be replaced by Fantasy-Tech (or something like that). I can't hide my disappointment, and I must contribute to spread my little word.

I was so eagerly waiting Low-Tech, it's about research and accuracy. Now I'm scared as hell. What's Fantasy-Tech? How can you prevent it being a mess, with all kinds of (weird, fantasy) ideas mixed together: mithril? It's sooooo setting dependent!

I don't want 100 pages of material I'm not going to use. And I don't want the book to turn into a fantasy gear collection -- tied to very specific, arbitrary assumptions. I want solid information on economy, agriculture, society and technology. Also mixing real world and fantasy will inevitably change the tone of the book, sort of D&Desque compendium -- with virtually no hope to get armors made right.

You say there is not enough material?

You can add Pyramid articles (Matt Riggsby and Mortimer wrote a lot of good articles) and material from the historical (TL0-3) sourcebooks; review, revise and update them to fourth edition. There are plenty of good informations about society, technology and human sciences in the following:
  • GURPS Egypt
  • GURPS Greece
  • GURPS Imperial Rome
  • GURPS Celtic Myth
  • GURPS Middle Ages
  • GURPS Arabian Nights
  • GURPS Camelot
  • GURPS Robin Hood
  • GURPS Ice Age
  • GURPS Japan
  • GURPS Russia
  • GURPS Vikings

Also you can include a Mass Combat system for archaic warfare.

Please give GURPS Low-Tech the treatment it deserves. Please.
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Last edited by Luther; 02-20-2006 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 02-20-2006, 09:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Low-Tech vs Fantasy-Tech

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luther
Oh My Good Lord, No!
You tell 'em!

Quote:
mithril? It's sooooo setting dependent!
Didn't Stoddard say that the reason he included orichalcum in Fantasy was to have a more generic/mythic version of mithral? Besides isn't mithral part of the Tolkien estate?

Quote:
I want solid information on economy, agriculture, society and technology.
This is where I'm confused. You could write 240 pages on the gathering patterns of stone-age tribes, or the development of the guild system or social organization in the Roman Empire. I think Hal has written 240 pages on the economics of medievil villages in this forum alone! Really I don't see how there is a shortage of this kind of useful information.
Quote:
Also mixing real world and fantasy will inevitably change the tone of the book, sort of D&Desque compendium -- with virtually no hope to get armors made right.
If this version of Low-Tech does not finally fix the armor weights, I predict there is going to be one seriously PO'd Dan Howard.
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Old 02-20-2006, 10:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: Low-Tech vs Fantasy-Tech

One more thing:

I personally would find a gamer oriented discussion of agriculture, economics, medicine, social classes ect. much more useful than weapon stats. It is a lot easier for me to look up the weight of a pollarm in the Wallace collection than it is for me to figure out how many surgeons there are in a 8th century kingdom, what they can do, who they treat, and how they are paid. Information on military esoterica is much more accessible than sociological data, IME.

Which is not to say that I don't want the sharp n' pointies. I do. I just don't think that a lot of fantastical gear is really needed. After all, it's setting dependent and it can be extrapolated from real equipment.
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Old 02-20-2006, 10:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Low-Tech vs Fantasy-Tech

At this point, I've given up hope that the SJG team can be influenced to alter their decided-upon course(s) of action (or rather, publication) by virtue of posts made to this message board. There are undoubtedly many reasons for this, not the least of which is the fact that everyone always wants something different.

So . . . is this just a bull session, or does anyone think that their opinion will have any effect upon what does or does not get published? I'm just wondering, because I see a lot of posts like this, and they never amount to much more than mental masturbation.

I'm not trying to be a party-pooper, but I think you should consider the potential fruitlessness of this debate before you devote too much time to it.
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Old 02-20-2006, 10:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: Low-Tech vs Fantasy-Tech

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doktor Teufel
So . . . is this just a bull session, or does anyone think that their opinion will have any effect upon what does or does not get published? I'm just wondering, because I see a lot of posts like this, and they never amount to much more than mental masturbation.
As Fantasy-Tech doesn't even have an author assigned yet, it is certainly possible to influence it. GURPS books have been changed due to playtester concerns after they've been written, for cryin' out loud.
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Old 02-20-2006, 10:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: Low-Tech vs Fantasy-Tech

Doktor,

Kromm was pretty esplicit, they haven't settled with Fantasy-Tech, so I think our feedback can mean something to SJG. I'm not surprised they do not changed their mind when a project had already started. But now the situation is different.

Give feedback, folks.
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Old 02-20-2006, 10:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Low-Tech vs Fantasy-Tech

I hate to be a voice of dissent among those opposed to Fantasy-Tech, but I think FT is a good idea in all but name. I'd prefer the concept of Fantasy Tech, but to retain the Low Tech moniker. The additional fantasy material should be clearly marked as such, by sidebox or chapter as necessary. The name Fantasy-Tech to me implies something like TL5+1, rather than TL0-4.
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Old 02-20-2006, 10:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: Low-Tech vs Fantasy-Tech

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahak
I hate to be a voice of dissent among those opposed to Fantasy-Tech, but I think FT is a good idea in all but name. I'd prefer the concept of Fantasy Tech, but to retain the Low Tech moniker. The additional fantasy material should be clearly marked as such, by sidebox or chapter as necessary. The name Fantasy-Tech to me implies something like TL5+1, rather than TL0-4.
Look, if it has some fantasy stuff, I'm not going to have kittens but if it doesn't at least:
  • Fix the armor weights once and for all
  • Have weapon and armor customization rules
  • Cover demographics to some extent
  • Cover non-military (medicine, agriculture, manufacturing ect.) technology at each TL
then I will be very disappointed.
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Old 02-20-2006, 10:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: Low-Tech vs Fantasy-Tech

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding
Look, if it has some fantasy stuff, I'm not going to have kittens but if it doesn't at least:
  • Fix the armor weights once and for all
  • Have weapon and armor customization rules
  • Cover demographics to some extent
  • Cover non-military (medicine, agriculture, manufacturing ect.) technology at each TL
then I will be very disappointed.
Yep, I definitely agree.
A chapter or two on fantasy stuff is fine, as long as it's clearly marked, but the prime juicy parts of the book should be those four.
As well as more information on things like X-bows at different TL levels, after all a TL2 X-bow is not the same as a TL4 X-bow.

Besides, Fantasy-Tech is a lousy name.

Last edited by Ze'Manel Cunha; 02-20-2006 at 11:01 PM. Reason: Fixed post
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