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Old 05-13-2013, 07:29 AM   #1
Gonzo
 
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Default What needs to be reinvented?

Post apocalyptic world. So wise guys have some useful skills in engineering, armoury, repair and so on. But everything at their TL 8 which was before disaster.

Now they are on a nuclear wasteland without books, internet, blueprints or whatever.

Should they reinvent a TL 3 bow, crossbow before creating one?

What about TL 6-7 technologies like gas generators, mechanics tools etc.

So, the general question is what can PC craft with corresponding skills for the items for their own TL and lower TL. And what should they invent.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:43 AM   #2
Figleaf23
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Default Re: What needs to be reinvented?

I would say if you can bring one of GURPS X Repair skills together with a matching X Engineering skill, plus proper equipment, they should be able to build anything within that Repair specialization without having to invent anything.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: What needs to be reinvented?

Food production and distribution.

Clean water and sanitation.
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: What needs to be reinvented?

If the guy has at least 1 point in armory(small arms) he could easily make a TL4 gunpowder weapon. If it is at least 2015, they could reinvent a 3d printer and with modelling knowledge and raw materials recreate many things, if it is at least TL9, they could print anything provided they have the raw materials, even another 3d printer.

Bows would be very hard to come up, mainly because it is much easier to make a gunpowder weapon.

You could make segmentata armor with steel parts easily, people with basic skills would probably make spears and axes, you could even see something like dark age warfare between poor people, while guys with knowledge would have gunpowder.

Also, Cars, if they're available, fuel would be easily made, and transforming a car into a weapon is very easy(well, you could use one to kill people as they are).
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: What needs to be reinvented?

The differing tech level penalties take care of the fact that modern knowledge isn't necessarily very detailed about how to make an older item, even though you know about it.

Realistically, making high-tech items requires more than just the knowledge of how they work. Very often, you need a whole pile of specialized tools and parts, which sometimes will include improved industrial processes for materials or precision of manufacture, before you can recreate a higher tech item. If you want to make a TL8 automobile, you need a lot more than the village blacksmith's forge. It's reasonable to build an entire adventure arc out of the need to build up some infrastructure for some item.

The invention rules might be a place to start to handle the process of creating the detailed designs and plans for such items. You might skip the concept roll, since the PCs already have the idea for their invention. But they still have to do the work. ("1% inspiriation and 99% perspiration", right?)
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: What needs to be reinvented?

This really comes down to 'what level of 'nothing' do they have available?'

Ironically being a higher TL then 4-5 may actually work against them, since a lot of the post TL5 stuff requires things like lathes, metal band saws, exactly processed steel, and the like. Before TL 5 everything is basically hand crafted and a capable machinist will be able to restart to that level from basically nothing but raw materials (wood->charcoal->ceramic->brass->lathe->steam engine->fully equipped shop)

If our TL8 scavenger has the ruined remains of a society that once way (broken cars, ruined rail lines, skeletal cities where man once lived), then they can scavenge for exactly fitting parts and mounts that they need. Once they can build the equivalent of a stick-welder, lathe, mill, forge, and foundry, they should be good to go to restore the as much of the non-electronic side of TL8 from memory as there skill will allow.
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: What needs to be reinvented?

Invention is a function of knowledge, production is a function of knowledge and resources.

Realistically, they will need to reinvent anything for which they lack personal knowledge or detailed plans, If they lack the resources you describe then they will have a very small list of items they can immediately build even if they are all engineers. Reinventing items will be easier since (a) they know it can work and (b) might have some important starting information, but it will still be a lot of trial and error.

Production is much more of an issue. Once you have the plans, you need the parts, and if you do not HAVE the parts then you need to go and invent THEM, which may well be the start of a spiral that is not solvable in a single lifetime. And remember that it may well be iterative - most modern devices require precision which may require building ever more precise tools that in turn produce ever more precise tools that in turn produce... et cetera.

Or are you asking what they SHOULD reinvent?
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: What needs to be reinvented?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzo View Post
Post apocalyptic world. So wise guys have some useful skills in engineering, armoury, repair and so on. But everything at their TL 8 which was before disaster.

Now they are on a nuclear wasteland without books, internet, blueprints or whatever.

Should they reinvent a TL 3 bow, crossbow before creating one?

What about TL 6-7 technologies like gas generators, mechanics tools etc.

.
The handcrafted items like the bows I would handle as first defaulting Armory TL3 to IQ and then teaching themselves that Skill. No invention necessary. They know in a general sense what they need to make though it may be a long time before they can make it well.

Machine tools and items crafted by them are a different matter. That bow had only 5 components (grip, limbs, notched endpieces, string) and how they go together is pretty obvious.

I have only a very general idea of what a machine lathe does and no real idea at all of how many components it has or how they fit together. Drawing new plans from scratch is necessary. Not sure if this would use the invention rules or teaching yourself the requisite skills.

I can say that it isn't something I would try from scratch. Building even a small gas motor from scratch is a job for a small factory if not a foundry, a steel mill _and_ a factory.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: What needs to be reinvented?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
I have only a very general idea of what a machine lathe does and no real idea at all of how many components it has or how they fit together. Drawing new plans from scratch is necessary. Not sure if this would use the invention rules or teaching yourself the requisite skills.
If a PC tried to recreate a machine lathe from memory and I was GMing, I'd use the invention rules and consider prior knowledge as a successful concept check. Unless the PC is a skilled machinist and has a very good idea of how all the parts fit and work together. Then, it would be a difficulty skill check to reverse engineer from memory (modified by material and tools to actually build the components).
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:57 AM   #10
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Default Re: What needs to be reinvented?

Thank you all for your thoughts.

Maybe I can clarify and extend the question a bit.

Do the Technological Skill (the ones that require defined TL) cover knowledge of previous TLs?

A quick example is Armory (Small Arms) TL8. Does it cover any consistent knowledge of crafting of TL5 Muskets? Are there just penalties to the skill check?

How would you rule out the attempt to craft (or invent first) something sophisticated that was quite popular in pre-disaster era and its working principles were known but no one has any schematics of internal construction (only the general idea). The parts for this device or some similar spare parts will be scavenged. So the task is to take this bunch of parts, use the things you need and construct a device that will work the same way as before.
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