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whswhs 01-22-2022 07:08 PM

Vacc Suits
 
In my campaign set on Mars, I had been assuming that people wore the vacc suits in GURPS Ultra-Tech to go outside. But all of those are skintight, using direct pressure on the skin to prevent air loss. The setting of my campaign, Pavonis Portal, is culturally Brazilian and has not undergone 20th-century modernization; women mostly wear skirts or dresses, and even men wear elaborate layered clothes—and there are ideas about modesty that would hinder taking off one's clothes in an emergency to put on a vacc suit.

But I can't see anyplace in either High-Tech or Ultra-Tech that lists the more rigid, less maneuverable vacc suits discussed briefly in Ultra-Tech. Is there a gear listing anywhere for these? How much do they cost, how much do they weigh, and what penalties do they impose on the wearer?

thrash 01-22-2022 07:29 PM

Re: Vacc Suits
 
I think you're looking for Space Armor, pp. UT179-180. You could probably reduce the DR and weight somewhat for a "civilianized" version, but note that the TL9 Vacc Suit already comes in at 56% of the Space Armor's weight. Edit: Also shows up on p. B285.

Fred Brackin 01-22-2022 07:46 PM

Re: Vacc Suits
 
A possible solution is to go all the way to the TL9 Skinsuit and wear it as underwear.

The TL10 Biosuit can be had with morphwear capability (see p.189). As the first line there says the suit can reconfigure itself to mimic normal clothing, even becoming part of a skirt. Parts of it can even become transparent.

Some very high TL fiction I read has space navy officers wearing something between a skinsuit and a biosuit as a base layer with a "normal" jacket over it as a uniform.

whswhs 01-22-2022 08:29 PM

Re: Vacc Suits
 
Page B285 seems to give the information I was having trouble finding. But I'm not sure about the huge jump from TL7 to TL9 vacc suits. Do you think the Basic Set TL9 version is applying mechanical counterpressure, rather than being inflated? Even on Mars, the TL7 suit is going to weigh about 85 pounds, which looks like heavy encumbrance. I'd like to assume a lighter suit, but one that's still inflated and can be worn over clothes.

I'm inclined not to use the biosuit, because I see this as a safetech setting. But could it be used as the foundation for a vacc suit with similar construction but air tanks?

Fred Brackin 01-22-2022 08:56 PM

Re: Vacc Suits
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whswhs (Post 2412716)
PDo you think the Basic Set TL9 version is applying mechanical counterpressure, rather than being inflated?

Yes, this is by far the most plausible avenue for advanced vacc suits. Inflated suits just don't work very well and they probably never will. You could reduce the weight of the life support part of the TL7 suit but I don't know what the percentage is.

If you really can't stand MCP suits I think your next best option lies with very small vehicles such as the Zero G Worksuit from UT. You would of course have to add a ground locomotion system for Mars use. It's the only option that you can wear dresses under.

I am rather puzzled by these conservative Brazillians. For all of my life Brazil has been known for skimpy beachwear and carnival costumes.

Ulzgoroth 01-22-2022 09:18 PM

Re: Vacc Suits
 
I think there's a couple mistakes here...

One is the statement that a counterpressure suit uses pressure on the skin to prevent air loss. It prevents air loss by having any air-filled compartments being air tight. The purpose of the compression is to keep the wearer's body operating under sufficient compression not to cause too much trouble.

Real versions of these suits are not airtight over most of the body! In GURPS terms they provide Vacuum Support but not Sealed. Unlike most SF depictions of 'slim' spacesuits including the Basic Set and I think Ultratech. They rely on the fact that apparently human skin is quite adequate at directly tolerating hard vacuum, it just isn't sufficiently taut on its own to avoid unfortunate amounts of decompression of soft tissues.

The other is the idea that you can put on a pressurized-interior space suit over whatever bulky clothes you're wearing. The suits may be bulky but I don't think that means having enough space inside to keep your elaborate layered clothes on underneath without significant problems.


One approach would be simply wearing the counterpressure suit as a regular undergarment all the time. Layering dresses or suit jackets or whatever over it won't be any problem for the basic suit function. You probably want versions that have switchable tensioning though so wearers aren't unduly squeezed while in a pressurized environment. Obviously you need to pop on a helmet and maybe some extremity-wear to complete the vacuum protection, but that's a lot less than needing to strip down and suit up even aside from the modesty issues.

whswhs 01-23-2022 12:15 AM

Re: Vacc Suits
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth (Post 2412723)
The other is the idea that you can put on a pressurized-interior space suit over whatever bulky clothes you're wearing. The suits may be bulky but I don't think that means having enough space inside to keep your elaborate layered clothes on underneath without significant problems.

That is exactly why I thought they wouldn't work.

Quote:

One approach would be simply wearing the counterpressure suit as a regular undergarment all the time. Layering dresses or suit jackets or whatever over it won't be any problem for the basic suit function. You probably want versions that have switchable tensioning though so wearers aren't unduly squeezed while in a pressurized environment. Obviously you need to pop on a helmet and maybe some extremity-wear to complete the vacuum protection, but that's a lot less than needing to strip down and suit up even aside from the modesty issues.
I had thought of that as a possible option.

whswhs 01-23-2022 12:21 AM

Re: Vacc Suits
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Fred Brackin (Post 2412720)
I am rather puzzled by these conservative Brazillians. For all of my life Brazil has been known for skimpy beachwear and carnival costumes.

Well, I'm just guessing at the cultural evolution. But it did diverge around 1600 and went down a very different path than ours.

On one hand, Mars doesn't have beaches. On the other, its colonists spend nearly all their time in controlled climates, usually caves with very stable temperatures. So there's no need to put on clothes to keep warm. On the other hand, there's putting on layered clothes to display your wealth, in a society where average monthly pay is $5600 and envy of the rich is considered a sin.

warellis 01-23-2022 12:41 AM

Re: Vacc Suits
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whswhs (Post 2412739)
Well, I'm just guessing at the cultural evolution. But it did diverge around 1600 and went down a very different path than ours.

On one hand, Mars doesn't have beaches. On the other, its colonists spend nearly all their time in controlled climates, usually caves with very stable temperatures. So there's no need to put on clothes to keep warm. On the other hand, there's putting on layered clothes to display your wealth, in a society where average monthly pay is $5600 and envy of the rich is considered a sin.

What is the current year in your setting and how advanced is it?

EDIT: Are the Brazilians your characters are from the Brazilian Empire of Shikaku-Mon?

whswhs 01-23-2022 01:35 AM

Re: Vacc Suits
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by warellis (Post 2412740)
What is the current year in your setting and how advanced is it?

EDIT: Are the Brazilians your characters are from the Brazilian Empire of Shikaku-Mon?

Yes, they are, and the year is 2240. Brazilian culture is partly Roman Catholic and partly Orthodox Jewish, with dashes of Muslim, Protestant, and African pagan; Brazilian political culture is intensely capitalistic, but with a framework of Jesuit economic analysis rather than the Protestant ethic, and in a world where the main equivalent of socialism is clearly top-down rather than bottom-up, so the conflicts are framed differently.


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