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Old 11-02-2018, 12:12 PM   #1
Kromm
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Default GURPS Steampunk 2: Steam and Shellfire

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Steampunk is many things to many people. For some, it's a quasi-historical genre defined by its look, feel, and style, which are explored at length in GURPS Steampunk 1: Settings and Style. For others, it's about a world made smaller by extraordinary vehicles that riff on trains, ironclads, and airships; for a catalog of these, see GURPS Vehicles: Steampunk Conveyances. But for many, the essence is technologies that might have been, the people who invent them, and the adventurers who use them – and that is the topic of GURPS Steampunk 2: Steam and Shellfire.

This tour of actual and speculative technologies of the late 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries focuses on innovations steampunk heroes and villains can use on their adventures – or invent. It tackles the fundamentals, including steam power, mechanical computers, and telegraphy. It covers everyday items, such as clothing, fashion accessories, and tools. It offers arms and armor, from the plausible to ray guns and clanking battlesuits. And it dabbles in all the rest: clockwork prosthetics, mechanical men, gadgets and chemicals based on caloric, élan vital, ether, N-rays, and phlogiston, . . . and more.

If your vision of steampunk involves whirring, clacking Analytical Engines, steam-powered everything, and a soupçon of mad science, this is where to start!


Store Link: http://www.warehouse23.com/products/SJG37-0344
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Old 11-02-2018, 01:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: GURPS Steampunk 2: Steam and Shellfire

Yay! Finally the crunch to go along with Steampunk 1!
  • I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of detail computers got—more detail, it felt like, than Ultra-Tech had. I noticed it used the same robot DX = (Complexity/2) + 8 rule that Traveller: Interstellar Wars has, have we settled on that as a cross-setting 4e rule for robots?
  • The clothing rules seem important to have, though a bit bewildering for someone who didn't have much prior knowledge of Victorian fashion. I'm not sure I'd know where to draw the line between different degrees of embellishment or layering—more examples might have been nice.
  • Wee, steampunk battlesuits! I think I would have preferred examples with even higher DRs. Cross-referencing with High-Tech, it looks like the "defensive battlesuit" will make you nigh-invincible until circa 1870 or so, then stops really being adequate.
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Old 11-02-2018, 02:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: GURPS Steampunk 2: Steam and Shellfire

Whee! One more step (Steampunk 3: Gothic Bio-Tech for the Drs. Jeckyl and Frankenstein types), and we'll be set to play Not-Girl-Genius-Really! :)
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Old 11-02-2018, 03:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: GURPS Steampunk 2: Steam and Shellfire

Awesome! Exactly what I was needing.
I've been running a DF campaign with an Artificer who keeps wanting to make Steampunk/Clockwork stuff. It will be perfect for him & the bad-guy cult of clockwork artificer enemies.
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Old 11-02-2018, 03:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: GURPS Steampunk 2: Steam and Shellfire

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
Whee! One more step (Steampunk 3: Gothic Bio-Tech for the Drs. Jeckyl and Frankenstein types), and we'll be set to play Not-Girl-Genius-Really! :)
This book actually has a sidebar on Jekyll & Hyde, though it's somewhat tilted towards replicating the account in the original novel, with only brief notes on versions where Hyde is a Victorian version of Dr. Banner's alter-ego.
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Old 11-02-2018, 03:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: GURPS Steampunk 2: Steam and Shellfire

A hint: GURPS Steampunk 3 is subtitled Soldiers and Scientists, so you can perhaps expect more mad science there, at least in the "scientists" portions.
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Old 11-02-2018, 03:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: GURPS Steampunk 2: Steam and Shellfire

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Whee! One more step (Steampunk 3: Gothic Bio-Tech for the Drs. Jeckyl and Frankenstein types), and we'll be set to play Not-Girl-Genius-Really! :)
What makes you think that isn't covered by this volume?
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Old 11-02-2018, 05:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: GURPS Steampunk 2: Steam and Shellfire

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Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
Wee, steampunk battlesuits! I think I would have preferred examples with even higher DRs. Cross-referencing with High-Tech, it looks like the "defensive battlesuit" will make you nigh-invincible until circa 1870 or so, then stops really being adequate.
Not really - it's only DR20 on the head and torso - everywhere else is DR10, and the TL5 rifles of the 1850s and 60s will handle that (especially the Enfield P/1853 with its SAPLE ammo). I find it amusing that 'primitives' using muskets will be more of a threat (higher base damage) than moderns with rifles until the late TL5 cartridges rifles enter service.

If you want even heavier version, a simple extrapolation would give Move 3/2, 1485 pound weight, $67,500 cost, and DR 30 head and torso with DR 15 elsewhere. That'll resist early-mid TL5 rifles to the limbs, and TL6-7 small arms to the body and head (aside from those using AP ammo).
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Old 11-02-2018, 05:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: GURPS Steampunk 2: Steam and Shellfire

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Not really - it's only DR20 on the head and torso - everywhere else is DR10, and the TL5 rifles of the 1850s and 60s will handle that (especially the Enfield P/1853 with its SAPLE ammo). I find it amusing that 'primitives' using muskets will be more of a threat (higher base damage) than moderns with rifles until the late TL5 cartridges rifles enter service.

If you want even heavier version, a simple extrapolation would give Move 3/2, 1485 pound weight, $67,500 cost, and DR 30 head and torso with DR 15 elsewhere. That'll resist early-mid TL5 rifles to the limbs, and TL6-7 small arms to the body and head (aside from those using AP ammo).
Eh, I was mostly looking at torso armor, but it's true that a headshot with an Enfield (even with non-SAPLE ammo) could easily ruin your day. Not sure I'd want to extrapolate on weight—at some point, you logically need to increase SM, and you have a mecha rather than a suit. I might just add a free bonus to DR, anywhere from 25% for late TL5 to doubling DR in a TL6 game.

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Old 11-02-2018, 06:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: GURPS Steampunk 2: Steam and Shellfire

To be honest, the power armour in the book is based on that in the old GURPS Steam-Tech, which in turn embodies some assumptions involved in applying some genre fudges to the old Vehicles design system.

If you prefer, you could always, say, attach phlebotonium-powered period-superscience motors to a more refined version of Ned Kelly’s body armour (as in the book), and get yourself DR 22.
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