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Old 12-01-2021, 10:12 AM   #21
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Vehicle hit points

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
That's a matter of TL and game style.
No, the scaling issue is not dependent on TL. If it takes three hits to destroy a SM+6 ship with a SM+6 major battery, it should also take three hits to destroy a SM+10 ship with a SM+10 major battery. It's possible 'three' is wrong in both cases, but you shouldn't wind up with a case where it takes 3 SM+6 hits to kill the SM+6 ship and 15 SM+10 hits to kill the SM+10 ship, which is what happens if you use the Path of Cunning rule.
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Old 12-01-2021, 10:51 AM   #22
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Vehicle hit points

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
If it takes three hits to destroy a SM+6 ship with a SM+6 major battery, it should also take three hits to destroy a SM+10 ship with a SM+10 major battery. It's possible 'three' is wrong in both cases, but you shouldn't wind up with a case where it takes 3 SM+6 hits to kill the SM+6 ship and 15 SM+10 hits to kill the SM+10 ship, which is what happens if you use the Path of Cunning rule.
I'd say that's a good design goal*, but it's not the only legitimate one. One where vehicles become proportionally more vulnerable the larger they are may encourage smaller vehicles (like fighters) and/or result in large vehicles using proportionally smaller (but more numerous) weapons than the smaller vehicles (perhaps your SM+6 fighters typically have Spinal Mounts, while your SM+10 capital ships typically favor Medium Batteries), and weapons for use against smaller vehicles are still useful against larger ones. In the opposite case - as would occur with the Path of Cunning rules - you may see larger vehicles being more favored, and they may well have dedicated anti-fighter weapons that are largely insufficient to damage other capital ships (and the fighters have difficulty damaging the capital ships as well, potentially encouraging them to serve as boarding vessels). So it may well depend on what works best for you setting.

*Looking at things purely from a gamist perspective; I'm not qualified to say which - if any - scheme would be realistic.
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Old 12-01-2021, 11:19 AM   #23
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Vehicle hit points

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
It's possible 'three' is wrong in both cases, .
When you're talking different TLs 3 can be right in one case and wrong in another.

I love the smooth way Spaceships has "sliding" ability with SMs but it's not a very strong choice when dealing with transformative technologies. Even when one of those technologies is "exploding shell".
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Old 12-01-2021, 11:31 AM   #24
DemiBenson
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Default Re: Vehicle hit points

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
You should avoid things that boost vehicle hit points that don't similarly boost the damage output of large weapons. The problem isn't that vehicles are too easy to kill in general, it's that they're too easy to kill with small weapons.
I think it’s a scaling issue, in that GURPS is centered around a human scale, and doesn’t take into account scales that are vastly different.
As an example, if you take a (human-scale) hypodermic needle and gently pierce an ant to a depth of a few mm, even the largest ant is going to die from that wound. But the same needle and same action on a human is basically nothing; and even doing so dozens of times to the human is still basically nothing (except annoying).
Why? Because the hypodermic needle is too small an injury to a human, but a huge injury to an ant.
Humans are SM 0, roughly 4.5-6 feet tall; even the biggest ants are 1.2-1.6 inches, so about SM-12. Ant-scale damage should be divided by a factor based on the size difference when applied to SM 0 humans.

Similarly, with a car vs a human - a car is much larger than a human. Even with a hammer and full swings (two-handed, Telegraphic, AOA, etc to get past DR and do max damage), bashing a car is never going to render it “dead” unless you hit something vital because the car is much larger, and so would divide damage until the damage is too small to matter individually. You can bend the frame and make it look awful, but it will still function as a car. To really see the effect, think of one of those mining ore haulers - the scale is so huge, that no human-scale weapon will be able to damage it… unless you hit it in a vital spot.

GURPS already has the start of a mechanism to do this: piercing damage comes in several flavors based on size/scale and the effects depend on which one it is.
It would be great to extend this to include all forms of damage, and with small adjustments, that info could be included right in the damage tables, e.g. instead of just “imp”, “burn”, etc, use “imp-0” for human-scale (and allow the default to be human-scale if the scale designator is left off), “cut-12” for a dinoponera ant’s jaws, “pi++” would become “pi+2”, “pi-“ would become “pi-1”, “cr+4” for a cannonball hit, etc. Creatures with over-sized jaws (like crocodiles) could have their damage-scale adjusted right in the stats.
Oh, and I’d add “tbb” for tight-beam burning, and tie that effect to something similar to impaling vs crushing damage.

I haven’t run the numbers, but I’ll bet the divisor and multiplier for scale would line up pretty sell with the SSR table, so in-play it would turn into a quick multiply or divide of damage based on a table everyone has around anyways, and a round down or up based on which way the scale goes.

That damage-scale ties in nicely with Spaceships - d-scale is just a +6 size adjustment. And it works out nicely for things like swarm attacks: a swam of ants (call it SM-12 through SM-14) can’t do significant damage until you have enough of them (like 100) to shift +12 on the damage-scale, and they get pretty dangerous if you have 1000 of them giving +18 on the damage-scale.
Similarly, you get a small cut? Trivial. Get 100 small cuts? There’s going to be a lot of blood and maybe the blood loss gets you for 1-2 HP. Get 1000 small cuts? Serious risk of death, even though each one was trivial.
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Old 12-01-2021, 11:41 AM   #25
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Vehicle hit points

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Originally Posted by DemiBenson View Post
It would be great to extend this to include all forms of damage, and with small adjustments, that info could be included right in the damage tables
That's pretty much what I did with expanded wound size modifiers.
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Old 12-01-2021, 11:41 AM   #26
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Vehicle hit points

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
When you're talking different TLs 3 can be right in one case and wrong in another.

I love the smooth way Spaceships has "sliding" ability with SMs but it's not a very strong choice when dealing with transformative technologies. Even when one of those technologies is "exploding shell".
Yeah, I'm pretty certain a comparable weight of weaponry (proportionally) on a modern battleship will sink its counterpart faster than those on an Age of Sail vessel. There can also be interesting jumps as SM increases, when you hit the minimum effective size for a better weapon option; I think most conventional explosives can be made small enough that any decent-sized vehicle can mount a delivery system (particularly if you accept lower velocity - a motorcycle-sized vehicle probably can't mount a cannon that fires HEAT rounds, but a HEAT grenade launcher would be doable), but some energy weapons might have a minimum size that calls for a fairly large vehicle (IIRC, the Accelerator Tube Limits optional design switch limits things like grazers to weapons of the same size or larger than an SM+10 Major Battery - and if armor is a serious consideration, that's going to cut down the number of needed shots markedly). There may also be cases where larger ships must mount proportionally smaller weapons than their smaller counterparts - I don't think any of the largest Age of Sail ships had the option of mounting a cannon that made up a full 5% of the vessel's mass (that is, a Major Battery), in no small part because the recoil may well have shivered her timbers (yar), but some of the smaller ones may have been able to.
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Old 12-01-2021, 11:57 AM   #27
DemiBenson
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Boston, Hub of the Universe!
Default Re: Vehicle hit points

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
That's pretty much what I did with expanded wound size modifiers.
Oh nice! Yeah, thatís what I was suggesting.
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Old 12-01-2021, 12:20 PM   #28
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Vehicle hit points

I believe that Kromm had a reasonably elegant solution to the problem of large targets getting quickly destroyed by small missiles. It was in his "10 Things He'd Fix" article, but I can't remember where or when it was published.
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Old 12-01-2021, 12:28 PM   #29
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Vehicle hit points

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Originally Posted by Pursuivant View Post
I believe that Kromm had a reasonably elegant solution to the problem of large targets getting quickly destroyed by small missiles. It was in his "10 Things He'd Fix" article, but I can't remember where or when it was published.
The article is "Ten for Ten," from Pyramid #3/70. The preview, unfortunately, doesn't include the rule in question, so I'll have to wait until I get home to my personal computer to check it (or wait for someone else to find and mention it, at least).
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Old 12-01-2021, 01:59 PM   #30
Kallatari
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Default Re: Vehicle hit points

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
That's pretty much what I did with expanded wound size modifiers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DemiBenson View Post
Oh nice! Yeah, that’s what I was suggesting.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but does that article not basically say for every +1/-1 in SM difference between the attacker and the target (assuming the attacker's weapons are designed/scaled for his size), you divide or multiply injury - or in other words, apply an additional wounding modifier - along a 6-step log scale of the Range/Speed Table of 1.5, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, etc.? Wouldn't that be an easier way to define it instead of trying to rate weapons as pi+6 or cut-5?

Since most of GURPS is geared for the human scale (SM+0), does that then not translate into - on most occasions other than when using vehicular weapons - a target of SM +1 divides injury by /1.5, SM +2 by /2, SM +3 by /3, SM +4 by /5, etc. That makes it an easy "rule of thumb" to apply for most gaming situations with human-sized PC.

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