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Old 01-19-2014, 02:37 AM   #1
scc
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Thaumaturgic Automata and Draw Power

OK, I was going through Fantasy and came to the Thaumaturgic Automata section (Page 67) and at the end it talks about how a machine trying to cast a spell has a problem in that it doesn't have FP or HP, and coupled with the picture of a laptop above something occurred to me: GURPS has methods for mages to draw FP from electrical sources.

So I opened up both Magic and Spell Charts and found Draw Power (M180), that in turn referred me to pages 178-179, which is where the trouble begins.

GURPS for some reason prefers to define it's energy conversation equation in terms of the killowatt hour, which makes some sense in that it's a unit of energy from a physics perspective, but because of it's innate temporal component it's hard to work with (So I need to stand around for an hour to see any benefit?)

There's also no guidance on figuring out how much energy you can draw from common sources, in this case RL batteries. For example I dug out an old laptop battery to try and get an idea of how much power a laptop battery might provide, it provides 14V and 4AH, how much is that in GURPS terms? And in per-electrical societies you'll have to deal in units such as horsepower. And while the amount required may make sense from a balance perspective in industrail locations, I doubt that PLAYERS have frequent access to those sorts of power supplies, most countries supply electrical energy at 240 Volts with a cap of 10 Amps, which works out to 2,400 watts
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:01 AM   #2
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Default Re: Thaumaturgic Automata and Draw Power

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Originally Posted by scc View Post
OK, I was going through Fantasy and came to the Thaumaturgic Automata section (Page 67) and at the end it talks about how a machine trying to cast a spell has a problem in that it doesn't have FP or HP, and coupled with the picture of a laptop above something occurred to me: GURPS has methods for mages to draw FP from electrical sources.

So I opened up both Magic and Spell Charts and found Draw Power (M180), that in turn referred me to pages 178-179, which is where the trouble begins.

GURPS for some reason prefers to define it's energy conversation equation in terms of the killowatt hour, which makes some sense in that it's a unit of energy from a physics perspective, but because of it's innate temporal component it's hard to work with (So I need to stand around for an hour to see any benefit?)

There's also no guidance on figuring out how much energy you can draw from common sources, in this case RL batteries. For example I dug out an old laptop battery to try and get an idea of how much power a laptop battery might provide, it provides 14V and 4AH, how much is that in GURPS terms? And in per-electrical societies you'll have to deal in units such as horsepower. And while the amount required may make sense from a balance perspective in industrail locations, I doubt that PLAYERS have frequent access to those sorts of power supplies, most countries supply electrical energy at 240 Volts with a cap of 10 Amps, which works out to 2,400 watts
If an object can provide one kilowatt for one hour than it will provide one kilowatt-hour.

If the same object can provide its full power in 1,000th the time, then it provides one kilowatt-hour in about four seconds.

14V and 4A-hr is 61 Watt-Hours. It might be less if you try to drain it quickly, this depends on the battery. 61 Watt-Hours is 0.061 Kilowatt-Hours.
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: Thaumaturgic Automata and Draw Power

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If the same object can provide its full power in 1,000th the time, then it provides one kilowatt-hour in about four seconds.
Yes, exactly. A kWh is not actually specific to any particular time; it's just expressed in those terms because we're familiar with the kilowatt, which is a unit of power—that is, of rate of energy flow, rather than of energy. You can just as well call it "3,600,000 joules."

If you earn $100 an hour for your work, and you work for an hour, you have earned 100 dollar/hour-hours; but someone who earned $10 an hour could earn the same amount in ten hours, and someone who earned $1000 an hour could earn it in six minutes. Because in the last analysis it's just $100, whether you earn it fast or slow.

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Old 01-19-2014, 09:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Thaumaturgic Automata and Draw Power

Fourteen volts and four ampere-hours is (14 V) x (4 A h), which is 56 V A h, which is the same as 56 W h, or 0.056 kWh. Because the watt is simply a volt times an ampere.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: Thaumaturgic Automata and Draw Power

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There's also no guidance on figuring out how much energy you can draw from common sources
To be honest, I recommend against trying to determine that. The Tech spell rules for converting physical energy to spell energy are in some ways fundamentally broken by the fact that spells violate conservation of energy all the time, so you are going to get ridiculous results, and that spell "energy" isn't really a kind of energy anyway, but a measure of how much it strains the caster. It makes as much sense to try to measure it in hours of sleep as joules, and nobody ever asks how many hours of sleep a battery holds.

Quote:
, in this case RL batteries. For example I dug out an old laptop battery to try and get an idea of how much power a laptop battery might provide, it provides 14V and 4AH, how much is that in GURPS terms?
AH is ampere-hours. 14 volts x 4 ampere-hours = 56 volt-ampere-hours = 56 watt-hours = 0.056 kilowatt-hours, i.e. not a lot.


Quote:
And in per-electrical societies you'll have to deal in units such as horsepower.
1 horsepower is 0.746 kilowatts - and actually a good deal more than a real horse can produce for any significant length of time - James Watt is thought to have deliberately set it high to sell you a bigger engine.

Quote:
And while the amount required may make sense from a balance perspective in industrail locations, I doubt that PLAYERS have frequent access to those sorts of power supplies, most countries supply electrical energy at 240 Volts with a cap of 10 Amps, which works out to 2,400 watts
The main circuit breaker for my house is 200 amps (at 120 VAC, which is the US standard and probably about as common as 240 V), so 24 kilowatts, not 2.4. But if you are going to convert electrical power linearly, you *need* game balance to be set for industrial lines, or maybe what's available from a full power plant, because it is not hard enough to obtain one you can keep mages from buying or sneaking into one if it will allow them to do something game breaking.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Thaumaturgic Automata and Draw Power

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OK, I was going through Fantasy and came to the Thaumaturgic Automata section (Page 67) and at the end it talks about how a machine trying to cast a spell has a problem in that it doesn't have FP or HP,
They do have HP. It's just up to the GM as to whether or not to allow them to burn it for spells. If you're already conceding machines with Magery, there's no real reason to disallow them that option, although repairs might be a problem. Access to Energy Reserves or mana batteries (Powerstones, for example) are also good alternatives.
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:56 PM   #7
scc
 
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Default Re: Thaumaturgic Automata and Draw Power

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The main circuit breaker for my house is 200 amps (at 120 VAC, which is the US standard and probably about as common as 240 V), so 24 kilowatts, not 2.4. But if you are going to convert electrical power linearly, you *need* game balance to be set for industrial lines, or maybe what's available from a full power plant, because it is not hard enough to obtain one you can keep mages from buying or sneaking into one if it will allow them to do something game breaking.
US and Japan are the only countries to have a 120 V mains supply and while the circuit breaker is rated for 200A, wouldn't people be limited to drawing from the power points?

And while you might not need to spend an hour to get a kilowatt hour how many people know that?
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:21 PM   #8
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US and Japan are the only countries to have a 120 V mains supply
What, Canada and most of Latin America don't count? There are probably close to a dozen somewhat different voltage and frequency standards in use in the world though. Depending on how far along Chinese electrification is, the world's most common standard could be neither of them - it's 220 V there.

Quote:
and while the circuit breaker is rated for 200A, wouldn't people be limited to drawing from the power points?
I could take off the panel and touch the points you can pull 200 A through if I were feeling suicidal. So no, not really.

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And while you might not need to spend an hour to get a kilowatt hour how many people know that?
All of them who know what the difference is between power and energy? Which I'll admit is far fewer than one might wish, but I'm at a loss for what you think the alternative would be if you want to maintain a relationship to energy at all. I don't think really think megajoules would be any more familiar. Calories might be I guess, but no electrical stuff is going to be labeled in them, and you get the wonderful confusion between gram and kilogram calories, so I doubt anybody would be any better off.
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: Thaumaturgic Automata and Draw Power

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And while you might not need to spend an hour to get a kilowatt hour how many people know that?
Anyone who understands the definitions of the units. Physicists, engineers, electronics technicians, electricians, and various sorts of hobbyists.

In any case, the real question is not if people understand it, but if it's true.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 01-19-2014, 03:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Thaumaturgic Automata and Draw Power

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Fourteen volts and four ampere-hours is (14 V) x (4 A h), which is 56 V A h, which is the same as 56 W h, or 0.056 kWh. Because the watt is simply a volt times an ampere.

Bill Stoddard
Sorry, just a math mistake.
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