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Old 02-20-2006, 10:56 PM   #11
Ed the Coastie
 
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Default Re: Low-Tech vs Fantasy-Tech

Counting index, Low Tech came in at the old standard of 128 pages. Add in stuff from the various historical worldbooks and Pyramid articles, update everything for 4e, and add in a chapter or two focusing on fantasy materials and equipment and there should be enough for new standard of 240 pages. If there isn't, you can always add a chapter of weird or anachronistic items that otherwise don't fit.

But I think the name Low Tech should stay. While a fantasy campaign GM will readily identify a book named Low Tech as a useful resource, a name like Fantasy Tech might cause that same book to get overlooked by a GM working up a historical campaign. (Yes, I know that historicals are only a small percentage of what fantasy is...but we are out there nevertheless.)
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Old 02-20-2006, 11:10 PM   #12
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Default Re: Low-Tech vs Fantasy-Tech

Although it might be considered as padding by some, one thing that I think could be added to Low-Tech is something that many people overlook as a driving element of low-tech times, architecture. Illustrations with detail and schematics will be needed.
Matt Riggsby did his GURPS architecture, but with some to the sharp minds that SJ has on the hook, that work could be expanded.
As for the arguement that Low Tech shouldn't include Fantasy Tech, please consider that although its basis may come from reality elements, GURPS needs to remain a Universal system and there are going to be people running a variety of games, everything from non-fantasy to high fantasy that need Low-Tech. For the elements that deviate from reality, the good old TLX+Y nomenclature will keep things clear and provide good quality material for a wide variety of players.

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Old 02-20-2006, 11:19 PM   #13
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Default Re: Low-Tech vs Fantasy-Tech

I'm curious about the fantasy stuff -- Kromm wrote 100 pages, ouch! What would you include?
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Old 02-20-2006, 11:21 PM   #14
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Default Re: Low-Tech vs Fantasy-Tech

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding
  • 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
Agreed, that should be the core of the book.
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Old 02-20-2006, 11:31 PM   #15
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Default Re: Low-Tech vs Fantasy-Tech

I liked the format and coverge of material in GURPS Low-Tech much better than GURPS High-Tech. The latter read like Progress of Weapons with some little bits on how the rest of technology and how it works (and with society) and progressed. So for 4e I hope that *both* Low and High tech are more than just lists of weapons and armor. Perhaps more material on alternative tech possible at each tech level but not found on Earth (or not really developed) and more detailed examination of some of the tech in Low-Tech, along the lines of 3e High-Tech and more guidelines on how to use the book for exceptions (cultures like the Aztecs with several TLs present at the same time) and for cultures that don't develop the same as Earth.

A problem with combining Fantasy tech with Low tech is that to me, not all Fantasy tech is low tech. What about sub-genres like Urban Fantasy, Planetary Romance, and Science-Fantasy? So is the intent to split Fantasy bits up into each X Tech book, based on TL?

Personally I'd split all the Fantasy stuff into a seperate book (Fantasy Tech or Magic Tech or Magic Items?) along with more coverage of creating magic items, etc. if needed, if the Tech books can be beefed up. That would mean a fantasy gamer might be buying a Fantasy book with 1-2/3rds of material they may not want though. ><

Last edited by Casey; 02-20-2006 at 11:37 PM. Reason: fleshed out first paragraph
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Old 02-20-2006, 11:42 PM   #16
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Default Re: Low-Tech vs Fantasy-Tech

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed the Coastie
Counting index, Low Tech came in at the old standard of 128 pages. Add in stuff from the various historical worldbooks and Pyramid articles, update everything for 4e, and add in a chapter or two focusing on fantasy materials and equipment and there should be enough for new standard of 240 pages. If there isn't, you can always add a chapter of weird or anachronistic items that otherwise don't fit.
You aren't going to gain much from the historical worldbooks. Believe me, I went through every single worldbook I owned—which was the great majority of the historical sourcebooks—back when I was revising Low-Tech, picking out useful information from the chapter on gear. There isn't much material to be found there that didn't get into the existing version of Low-Tech. Except for the really wild stuff in GURPS China, hardly any of which was properly authenticated.
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Old 02-20-2006, 11:45 PM   #17
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Default Re: Low-Tech vs Fantasy-Tech

I like the idea of Fantasy Tech and think it would be a smart move on marketing such a book in terms of what types of campaigns people tend to play. But I do agree that the name Fantasy-Tech kind of is misleading.
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Old 02-20-2006, 11:51 PM   #18
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Default Re: Low-Tech vs Fantasy-Tech

I certainly hope that the new Low Tech will have even more of the sorts of goodies that the old one had (the 3e Low-Tech was good but a bit brief, and armour weights weren't fixed, for example). I wouldn't mind some fantasy/cinematic technology in it, as long as it is clearly marked and doesn't take up too much space from the real world things. Making up fantasy equipment is relatively easy compared to doing the research for the everyday aspects of a preindustrial society. Low Tech may have less gadgets to cover than the other tech books, but the details of preindustrial society, economics etc. should make up for it.

If worldbuilding advice etc. will go somewhere else, of course, I wouldn't mind more of Low Tech going to fantasy gear.

I am very hopeful about a real High Tech, rather than GURPS Guns getting written, incidentally. The firearms rules were interesting and covered some gaps in the rules, but as several have said they drowned everything else out. The lack of generic weapons didn't help matters.
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Old 02-21-2006, 12:10 AM   #19
Kromm
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Default Re: Low-Tech vs Fantasy-Tech

Hey, please remember a few things:
  • I simply suggested that this was one possible strategy. We haven't an author, a firm title, a concrete plan, or anything. I only even suggested this because people were poking around and I'm not fond of keeping secrets.
  • I did not say that the Low-Tech material would get less space than in 3e. Au contraire . . . we could boost it from 128 pages to 140-150 pages and still have almost 100 pages to fill.
  • Contrary to what everyone but Bill Stoddard has said, the low-tech material in the 3e historical worldbooks is included in that 128 pages of Low-Tech for 3e. Bill is right, and he should know -- he compiled it all.
  • Historical gamers are few and far between. We barely broke even on historical worldbooks (and didn't, on some . . .). Fantasy gamers are legion. Trying to sell a book on low-tech economics and demographics in the current games market would be laughable. Sorry, but it's true.
If you analyze all of that, you'll realize that the extremely hypothetical book would have more low-tech content than Low-Tech for 3e, cover all the tech material from 3e historical worldbooks, and still add fantasy material. The main benefit of calling it Fantasy-Tech would be that, you know, people would buy it. This doesn't mean that less of the tech would be realistic . . . for most gamers who aren't demographics and economics nuts -- that is, almost all of them -- "low-tech armor, tools, transportation, and weapons" = "fantasy armor, tools, transportation, and weapons."

Those who want realistic analyses of crop yields, etc., are welcome to write e23 or Pyramid items. Fixing adventure-useful gear -- like armor, tools, transportation, and weapons -- was always on the agenda for Low-Tech for 4e. Specialized historical economics and demographics were never on said agenda. The entire Tech series always was and always will be catalogs of gear. That's what those books are for. Specific historical info is topical for historical worldbooks, which are now potential e23 material.
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Old 02-21-2006, 12:23 AM   #20
Kromm
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Default Re: Low-Tech vs Fantasy-Tech

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding
  • Fix the armor weights once and for all
  • Have weapon and armor customization rules
  • Cover non-military (medicine, agriculture, manufacturing ect.) technology at each TL
Of course. Just like Low-Tech for 3e, it'll cover armor, weapons, and non-military tech. And sure, it can make fixes. So far, we're still playing within the 128 pages of Low-Tech for 3e, though. We're just tweaking a few numbers and stats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding
  • Cover demographics to some extent
Not just no, but hell, no. It's a tech book. Tech books are catalogs of tech. Demographics no more belong in Low-Tech or its replacement than in High-Tech. And High-Tech will be a catalog . . . just not "all guns, all the time" this time around. The place for analyses of crops, towns, etc., is appropriate historical worldbooks on e23.
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