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Old 02-21-2022, 08:37 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Vermont, USA
Default [Spaceships] Additional Equipment

Unlike in "some other systems" where chapter introductions tend to be inspiring fluff, chapter introductions in GURPS tend to be very important, introducing terms and assumptions that will be used throughout the chapter. So occasionally I like to go back and re-read chapter introductions from books I've been using for years, because I sometimes find something I've overlooked.

I did that recently with Spaceships, and "Additional Equipment" caught my eye:

"GMs with Ultra-Tech … may install extra equipment from these books into Cargo or Habitat systems. Large items use up space based on their mass in tons." (GURPS Spaceships, p. 10)

And I immediately though of Specialized Rooms for Habitat systems and said to myself, "Wait a minute…".

Instead of a Lab (SS1-18, $1M, 15 tons*) which can be used by two people and grants a +1 bonus, you could set up two Mobile Labs (UT67, $75k, 200 lb. each) in a cargo space or habitat to give two people a +2 bonus, and using only 400 pounds. Even if you applied the Rugged option (UT15) to bolt everything down securely, that's still only 480 lb. (Cargo Holds surely already have ways to secure things though).

And I'm not sure why you can only get four hibernation chambers per cabin (SS1-18). They do require access to external life support systems (UT198, $20k, 200 lb. each) but "the occupant uses up one-tenth the normal life support requirement" so if a Bunkroom can support four people, I would think a cabin could support 40 hibernation chambers. 40 chambers would mass 4 tons, or about half the cabin tonnage, which seems consistent with the option to double occupancy if you remove life support. Maybe drop that to 20 chambers if you need to count the occupants against the mass limit (another 200 lb. per occupant, p. B463). But still, a lot more than four.

An automed only weighs 250 lb. (UT196-197), but I suppose you could easily fill up a full cabin's tonnage with additional medical supplies so the automed can be topped off after use.

So, anyway, the labs were the big thing since I've been spending a lot of time recently thinking about planetary surveys and colonization (SS5).

* Let's just stick with the 7.5 tons per "cabin" of the SM+7 spaceship, since that number's easier to work with than the 8.33 tons of SM+8, and continues to be true for larger odd SM spaceships, unlike the 5 tons of an SM+6 cabin (or the implied Sickbay of any spaceship), or the 4.5 tons of an SM+5 Larger System cabin. /rant
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