Thread: Gurps Vehicles
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:13 PM   #39
David L Pulver
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: In the UFO
Default Re: Gurps Vehicles

Vehicle Design is moving on. A major revised draft was created, and has been undergoing extensive playtest and multiple revisions the last few months. Still some bugs to iron out. (This draft DOES include complete vehicular weapon design, based on a simplified version of the small arm design rules draft I worked out with Hans a while back.)

One of the reasons for delay is I've been concerned the rules are too complex. However, SJ Games tell me that feedback favored complex rules aimed at people who like tinkering with the system, and have indicated that's what people want, so complexity is good. The current rules are similar to the previous system in the complexity level. In fact, the combination of cramming material from all the supplements and aspiring to greater realism means it is certainly more complex than the original book on its own; some of the math formula are actually a tad beyond "cube roots" (like "raise it to the power of 0.2") in a few small instances - mainly in the formula for water vehicles, in order to properly handle how the combination of water resistance and wave making resistance affect speed, to give better results. (There are also a chapter full of guidelines for simplifying things, chucking the whole approach, and just assigning stats). As always, these rules are, however, just a simplified model. They''re complex and long because they try to do everything and get somewhat reasonable (one hopes) results in the process.

The VDS rules do generate the stat block from 4e. (They also add a few optional stats for extra detail, and because you need them to find out why vehicles were built that way.) They also add a number of rules variations and options.

For those who HATE HATE HATE! such complex systems and fear that they will pollute the simplicity and/or effect-based nature of 4e, don't worry about it. When I was designing 4e with Kromm, I made sure that the rules had simple stat blocks and advantages that replicated vehicular effects to ensure that people could build vehicles without such complexity. And SJ Games remain committed (as of their last correspondence with me) to making the VDS rules purely optional add-on, only for those who LIKE to play with this stuff. The authors of LOW TECH and HIGH TECH did not use VDS when calculating their stats; VDS is not intended to precisely replicate the values and stats in the Tech books, which are based not on formula but on the author's best guesses based on their own research. That won''t change in the future. Just like GURPS has several different ways to build magic spells, all yielding somewhat different results, so can it have multiple ways to come up with vehicle stats.

I hope to do a SPACESHIPS-type system for much faster design of vehicles (and indeed have a rough draft of that for cars and tanks), but SJ Games would not want me to proceed with that sort of thing until VDS is done.

(VDS takes a while since it's a huge project, taking thousands of man hours; it earns me no money at all while I work on it, so I have to alternate working on occasional other books and articles in the mean time to support myself.)
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Last edited by David L Pulver; 12-30-2010 at 06:24 PM.
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