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Old 11-20-2016, 07:29 PM   #1
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Action 1 Errata (Good / Fine gear)

Checking the errata and a forum search didn't turn up a mention. But the gear section in Action 1 has a couple of errata in the descriptions of Good and Fine gear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Action1 p26
Fine-Quality*: Gives +2 to operation skill, or adds +2 to
existing modifier. If quality affects weight, x20 weight. Any
item but labs or tool kits (their bonus depends on size): +19 CF.

Good-Quality*: Gives +1 to operation skill, or adds +1 to
existing modifier. If quality affects weight, x5 weight. Any item
but labs or tool kits: +4 CF
Obviously, hugely increased weight of gear isn't something you'd pay extra for. And the x20 and x5 modifiers are just the old Basic values for the price multipliers for quality (rephrased as +19 and +4 CF later in these descriptions).

What were the weight reductions for Good and Fine intended to be? (Note that there's also a separate "Cutting Edge" modifier, giving 2/3 weight and +1 CF for being made of the latest materials.)
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Old 11-20-2016, 08:55 PM   #2
Litvyak
 
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Default Re: Action 1 Errata (Good / Fine gear)

Quality only effects weight for things like lock picks and kits, where a higher quality item represents a larger kit with a more extensive selection of specialized tools.
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: Action 1 Errata (Good / Fine gear)

As Litvyak said.

You will find the phrase 'Quality affects weight.' in the description of the items that this applies to.
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Old 11-21-2016, 07:00 AM   #4
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Action 1 Errata (Good / Fine gear)

Sure. But how much is the weight affected? The individual items don't say. To grab the first couple of examples:

Quote:
Lockpicks. Basic equipment for Lockpicking. Quality affects
weight. $50, 0.1 lb.

Disguise Kit. Basic equipment for Disguise. Quality affects
weight. $200, 10 lbs.
The x5 and x20 multipliers seem like more of a "quantity" factor than a "quality" one. You could make an argument for a disguise kit only being higher quality if it has a great variety of items from which to choose, so there's a reason it goes from 10 lbs to 200 (!). More uses out of a First Aid kit, rather than better treatment once. But there are a great many items and tools that get better without getting big, numerous, and heavy. Consider just about anything electronic, as with the Bug Detector or the Digital Camera; high quality means better features and performance, generally in the same package, not 20 separate boxes with slightly different capability, or one box 20 times the size and weight. Even for things like a disguise kit, higher quality could include features like reversible clothing or quick-change design and tailoring, for more looks packed into the same weight. The genre is generally more about clever portable gadgetry than realistic truckloads of the movie prop department.

But if that's really the intent of the rule, there we are. Thanks.
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: Action 1 Errata (Good / Fine gear)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
More uses out of a First Aid kit, rather than better treatment once.
With a First Aid it's "greater variety" rather than "greater quantity". Does the kit have liquid Iodine? Most don't. Does it have it have super glue? Most don't. Etc.

For greater quantity one would simply purchase a second kit.


Quote:
Consider just about anything electronic, as with the Bug Detector or the Digital Camera; high quality means better features and performance, generally in the same package, not 20 separate boxes with slightly different capability, or one box 20 times the size and weight.
Ahem. And that's just possible attachments for a smartphone's camera utility.
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: Action 1 Errata (Good / Fine gear)

Quote:
Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
And that's just possible attachments for a smartphone's camera utility.
Accessories are already accounted for separately. A telephoto lens for the full-size (SLR body) digital camera is one of the examples in the book, having its own weight of 8.5 lbs. It's not part of the x20 weight increase you get to the camera because you upgraded the CCD to have better resolution, or color, or low-light sensitivity / faster shutter speed, or whatever else is supposed to make the camera proper "Fine". You could say that the accessories are what takes the 0.5-lb camera to 10 lbs (that telephoto lens alone does it), but then there's no accounting for actual performance improvement for skill bonuses. It's the same stuff, just more of it.

Similarly for the first aid kit (though that's the same argument as for a disguise kit that I already acknowledged). Perhaps instead of simply more primitive stuff like iodine, you could also have more effective, modern professional gear. Having morphine instead of aspirin doesn't call for a 20x weight increase. (Not even "in addition to" would.) But it ought to give you a bonus to your stop-the-pain roll.

But then, as I said before, if that's really the intent of the rules, it's clear enough. The repeat of the price multipliers as identical weight multipliers suggested there might be a typo or proofreading sort of error.

I don't think the PCs lugging about a pickup truck full of drugstore contents fits the genre very well (except perhaps the movie "FX", where that was the point :). The Mission: Impossible (TV) disguise kit fit in a briefcase and was essentially foolproof. 200-lb packages were limited to all the times Willy smuggled Barney into the target site in a box, not Cinnamon's makeup and dresses. Or if you prefer the movies, Tom Cruise didn't take 520 pounds of climbing gear up the Burj Khalifa rather than 26 (good thing, as the encumbrance penalties would more than wipe out the benefit from being "fine"). But there's no reason to think he was poorly equipped rather than having "fine" gear. All the extra money for Q Division can't get you better stuff than what you get in the sporting goods section at Target, but only more of that same mundane stuff? Action movies are only populated by heroes that run around looking like this guy?

It's not a realistic genre in the first place, so real-world examples aren't particularly enlightening. <shrug>
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: Action 1 Errata (Good / Fine gear)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Sure. But how much is the weight affected? The individual items don't say.
Right, because it's stated at the very beginning, in the rules that you quoted.

To use meta-coding: IF an item has the note "Quality affects weight" in its description THEN (making it Good quality multiplies weight by 5 OR making it Fine quality multiplies weight by 20).
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: Action 1 Errata (Good / Fine gear)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Similarly for the first aid kit (though that's the same argument as for a disguise kit that I already acknowledged). Perhaps instead of simply more primitive stuff like iodine, you could also have more effective, modern professional gear. Having morphine instead of aspirin doesn't call for a 20x weight increase. (Not even "in addition to" would.) But it ought to give you a bonus to your stop-the-pain roll.
It doesn't quite follow the 1-5-20 rule (it's actually 1-2-10 in that case, although with TL increases in mind 1-5-20 might make sense), but take a look at the First Aid kits and Crash Kit on HT221. The TL6 small kit (basic equipment) has bandages, morphine (+autoinjector), and some sulfa drugs. The TL7 large kit adds in foot powder, insect repellant, salt tablets, ammonia inhalants, antibiotic ointment, antimalarial pills, and water purification tablets. The TL8 crash kit adds in splinting material, a bag mask, an IV kit and supplies (blood, plasma, etc), a clinical thermometer, a stethoscope, a sphygmomanometer, a suturing kit, and a micro-flashlight. All of these are useful for first aid, even if Action movies would typically glance over them, and are the justification for the weight increase (also, each progressive kit contains more of the previous kits supplies than it did).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
The Mission: Impossible (TV) disguise kit fit in a briefcase and was essentially foolproof. 200-lb packages were limited to all the times Willy smuggled Barney into the target site in a box, not Cinnamon's makeup and dresses. Or if you prefer the movies, Tom Cruise didn't take 520 pounds of climbing gear up the Burj Khalifa rather than 26 (good thing, as the encumbrance penalties would more than wipe out the benefit from being "fine"). But there's no reason to think he was poorly equipped rather than having "fine" gear. All the extra money for Q Division can't get you better stuff than what you get in the sporting goods section at Target, but only more of that same mundane stuff?
In GURPS, the best way to explain these (aside from the superscience/higher TL bits, which you could justify purchasing at a premium) isn't that, say, the briefcase disguise kit was amazingly complete - rather, the character using it had such an awesome Disguise skill she was able to make due with a Basic Disguise Kit. Another option would be that the character had a Fine-quality Disguise kit, but successfully planned out what disguises she would need in advance and only brought those (which still gives the bonus, provided you pick the right disguises). Advantages like Gadget (which lets you pull out any given item - up to a certain weight limit - that you own and declare you brought it with you; an outfit from the Fine-quality Disguise Kit in your hotel room should certainly qualify) and similar would allow the player to not need to plan in advance.
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Old 11-21-2016, 02:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Action 1 Errata (Good / Fine gear)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Irather, the character using it had such an awesome Disguise skill she was able to make due with a Basic Disguise Kit.
That's appropriate when you want to emphasize the characters rather than the gear, a problem which higher-tech games can often have. Not that low-tech fantasy games are immune to the "what you are carrying" rather than "what you can do" problem, but it seems to have come up more for me with high tech, particularly in SF games. But then, in those games, Q wouldn't get his cameo appearance in the first place, nor does anyone brag about their "McNeal descender" or "LTX-71 concealable mike" as in those pull quotes in Action 1, as that's just part of that distraction from the character's ability, replacing it with gear quality. And of course you'll want to bump the campaign point limit, so everyone can put 8 extra points into six or ten important skills to have that +2.

A times-20 weight multiplier comes pretty close to making gear simply unavailable in practical terms, unless the team is always operating close to home ("CSI", maybe?), or the GM is willing to be pretty generous with that anticipation suggestion, and you never hit two different tasks or locations instead of just one, without first returning to base to pick through your stuff again. (I brought the telephoto lens for surveillance photos of the building, but now I need a macro lens for the closeup detail on the circuit board...) They'd have to revise the intro to "Leverage" from "Hitter, Grifter, Hacker, Thief, Mastermind" to add "Teamster" or "Roadie" as a vital core member of the team.

(All too often poor Willy Armitage's actual job in "Mission: Impossible". There's a reason Dan and Jim always pulled his strongman dossier out of the IMF file. Somebody had to carry everyone else's stuff. :)
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: Action 1 Errata (Good / Fine gear)

Seems really weird to me too to confuse quality ratings with having a larger kit. Wasn't there already First Aid Kit vs. Doctor's Bag? Variety and quantity of tools, as well as specific other items (e.g. morphine over aspirin) are not the same thing as quality. Just seems like an inappropriate/confusing misuse of language and game terms.
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