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Old 04-25-2022, 12:28 AM   #1
RedMattis
 
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Default Handling cinematic spaceship fights and other sci-fi stuff

I've basically got a space setting with dimension hopping (Infinite Worlds style) space-ships instead of hyperspace.

Small spaceships have costs comparable to cars and mopeds while the larger ones are basically boats as far as price goes.

First off, is GURPS Spaceships good for this? I figured it would mostly lean towards realism in terms of combat, and I'm guessing the cheapest space ships costing outrageous sums? Is GURPS Spaceships worth a buy for this kind of setting?

What I'm aiming for with the setting is more of a star wars pew-pew feeling where laser weapons and plasma guns are generally slightly _less_ dangerous than proper TL8 guns would be. And I'd prefer the space fights to be similarly cinematic.

One idea I had was to simply treat spaceship fights as if the space ships were basically GURPS characters with inflated stats and consider each hex to be 10 meters instead of 1 meter. Perhaps with DX=Piloting skill+Ship modifier, Guns be equal to a "Gunner" skill if the gun isn't forward-mounted, etc.

Here is a Google Docs document with the ships (it is one of the middle tabs), feel free to feedback anything in the doc if you wish. If you've got advice about books for cinnematic sci-fi setting I'd love that too. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing
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Old 04-25-2022, 06:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: Handling cinematic spaceship fights and other sci-fi stuff

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Originally Posted by RedMattis View Post
First off, is GURPS Spaceships good for this? I figured it would mostly lean towards realism in terms of combat, and I'm guessing the cheapest space ships costing outrageous sums? Is GURPS Spaceships worth a buy for this kind of setting?
If you're comfortable largely fiating the stats of your spaceships, and don't need a design system for players to make their own, I'd say the Spaceships series would be unnecessary. I'd suggest adapting its framework to suit your needs if you already had it, but I don't think it would be worth a purchase for this sort of situation.

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One idea I had was to simply treat spaceship fights as if the space ships were basically GURPS characters with inflated stats and consider each hex to be 10 meters instead of 1 meter. Perhaps with DX=Piloting skill+Ship modifier, Guns be equal to a "Gunner" skill if the gun isn't forward-mounted, etc.
This is roughly my intent for my Harpyias setting. I've heard there's a Pyramid article that adapts the Chase rules from the GURPS Action! series for dogfighting, so if you happen to have the relevant Action! books (I don't), that might be worth a look.
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Old 04-25-2022, 07:11 AM   #3
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Default Re: Handling cinematic spaceship fights and other sci-fi stuff

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Originally Posted by RedMattis View Post
Small spaceships have costs comparable to cars and mopeds while the larger ones are basically boats as far as price goes.

First off, is GURPS Spaceships good for this?
GURPS Spaceships will give you more realistic prices than this. If you want Star Wars-style ships that cost basically the same as cars and boats, you'll have to change the prices yourself. To keep cost a factor, rather than letting players have absolutely anything they want because nothing really costs anything, you might want to find some cost divisor to convert realistic spaceship costs into cinematic spaceship costs.

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I figured it would mostly lean towards realism in terms of combat
It does, though GURPS Spaceships 4 includes a chapter on turning the spaceship combat system into one supporting cinematic space opera.

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Is GURPS Spaceships worth a buy for this kind of setting?
GURPS Spaceships has three main uses. First, it has a spaceship design system. The design system supports all kinds of spaceships, realistic or cinematic, and any stats it comes up with can be modified to fit your setting without breaking anything. Second, it gives rules for all kinds of spaceship operations, from travel to consumables to sensors to cargo handling. Third, it gives you a space combat system. If you want spaceship design or operations to play a big part in your game, then GURPS Spaceships is worth it, even if you don't use everything it offers. If your spaceships are really more just places to be while you go from place to place, GURPS Spaceships is overkill.

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What I'm aiming for with the setting is more of a star wars pew-pew feeling where laser weapons and plasma guns are generally slightly _less_ dangerous than proper TL8 guns would be. And I'd prefer the space fights to be similarly cinematic.
GURPS Spaceships provides the combat system, but you design the ships. If you want weaker weapons, give the ships weaker weapons. If the weapons offered don't quite fall into the scales you want, change them.

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One idea I had was to simply treat spaceship fights as if the space ships were basically GURPS characters with inflated stats and consider each hex to be 10 meters instead of 1 meter. Perhaps with DX=Piloting skill+Ship modifier, Guns be equal to a "Gunner" skill if the gun isn't forward-mounted, etc.
It can be done, and it has been done, but maneuvering during such fights is difficult to keep track of using the standard character combat system.
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Old 04-25-2022, 08:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: Handling cinematic spaceship fights and other sci-fi stuff

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Originally Posted by RedMattis View Post
I'
First off, is GURPS Spaceships good for this? I figured it would mostly lean towards realism in terms of combat, and I'm guessing the cheapest space ships costing outrageous sums? Is GURPS Spaceships worth a buy for this kind of setting?

What I'm aiming for with the setting is more of a star wars pew-pew feeling where laser weapons and plasma guns are generally slightly _less_ dangerous than proper TL8 guns would be. And I'd prefer the space fights to be similarly cinematic.

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The cheapest ships you can make with Spaceships will cost aroud a million $. That's for SM+5 ships of around 30 tons such as seen in The Mandalorian.

Tech generally looks more expenisve in default Gurps but some of that is exaggerated by people not taking into account Average Wealth. That's $75,000 for TL11 instead of $20,000 for TL8.

If you want Cheaper Ultra Tech (CUT) for a Star Wars like setting just divide UT prices by 10. Divide ships by 100 if you want but you might also want to change Average Wealth.

Spaceships combat is primarily "realistic" in the damage it allows for kinetic weapons. In settings where superscience means people don't use KE space weapons it's not particularly realistic.

Especially in the book 1 abstract combat system it highly privileges maneuverability and pilot Skill with all ships basically dogfighting.
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Old 04-25-2022, 09:21 AM   #5
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Default Re: Handling cinematic spaceship fights and other sci-fi stuff

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The cheapest ships you can make with Spaceships will cost aroud a million $. That's for SM+5 ships of around 30 tons such as seen in The Mandalorian.

Tech generally looks more expenisve in default Gurps but some of that is exaggerated by people not taking into account Average Wealth. That's $75,000 for TL11 instead of $20,000 for TL8.

If you want Cheaper Ultra Tech (CUT) for a Star Wars like setting just divide UT prices by 10. Divide ships by 100 if you want but you might also want to change Average Wealth.

Spaceships combat is primarily "realistic" in the damage it allows for kinetic weapons. In settings where superscience means people don't use KE space weapons it's not particularly realistic.

Especially in the book 1 abstract combat system it highly privileges maneuverability and pilot Skill with all ships basically dogfighting.
For what itís worth, I donít think ships and tech are actually that cheap in star wars thereís just a really strong secondhand market.
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Old 04-25-2022, 11:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: Handling cinematic spaceship fights and other sci-fi stuff

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Originally Posted by RedMattis View Post
I've basically got a space setting with dimension hopping (Infinite Worlds style) space-ships instead of hyperspace.

Small spaceships have costs comparable to cars and mopeds while the larger ones are basically boats as far as price goes.

First off, is GURPS Spaceships good for this? I figured it would mostly lean towards realism in terms of combat, and I'm guessing the cheapest space ships costing outrageous sums? Is GURPS Spaceships worth a buy for this kind of setting?
I would say "Yes", but then I like a nice clean design system. As for prices, yes they tend to be expensive. However, there's absolutely nothing stopping you from simply knocking all the prices down by a factor of ten (for example) to make them fit your setting.
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Old 04-25-2022, 11:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: Handling cinematic spaceship fights and other sci-fi stuff

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For what itís worth, I donít think ships and tech are actually that cheap in star wars thereís just a really strong secondhand market.
And if we go by the movies, most characters either have the ships provided by their employer or patron, or they came by the ship in fairly questionable circumstances.

If they're like (water) ships today, a small ship of questionable soundness and considerable age can cost "You can have it if you take away. Today.", while shiny new large-scale warships are eye-wateringly expensive and unafforable to all but the richest polities.
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Old 04-25-2022, 11:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Handling cinematic spaceship fights and other sci-fi stuff

So you can extrapolate spaceships smaller than SM+5, and I do it all the time. My experience is that the spaceships books in general gives you pretty cheap ships, its just that when the smallest thing you can build in the system is 30 tons, it looks really expensive. Also, if you avoid using rocket motors, nuclear reactors, and the current armor costs drop a lot. You can also double For example, I made a Modern SM+5 Fishing Trawler that costs $183,000 dollars using spaceships. You may want Pyramid 3/34, which is essential for making spaceships do things when you're not in space. Including making habitats a lot more expansive when they don't need to provide life support.


The trick to extrapolating costs in spaceships is that almost everything across all the books scales in cost with mass. I think the exceptions are gasbags and stealth fields. So you can design a ship at any size, figure its cost at a convenient size, and then multiply up or down based on its mass. I have an article on scaling spaceship sizes and costs using SM+10 as the base size every time.



One of the main topics on my blog is how to use spaceships to make small vehicles: I call it Robots as Spaceships. You might find some of those articles useful.



On the other hand, you seem to have already worked out your spaceship stats...
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Old 04-25-2022, 11:57 AM   #9
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Default Re: Handling cinematic spaceship fights and other sci-fi stuff

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And if we go by the movies, most characters either have the ships provided by their employer or patron, or they came by the ship in fairly questionable circumstances.

If they're like (water) ships today, a small ship of questionable soundness and considerable age can cost "You can have it if you take away. Today.", while shiny new large-scale warships are eye-wateringly expensive and unafforable to all but the richest polities.
Absolutely, iíd reckon thatís also why some level of technical aptitude is so common in setting. Luke, for instance, can do all those repairs because a big part of being a moisture farmer is keeping the moisture collectors running.
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Old 04-25-2022, 12:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Handling cinematic spaceship fights and other sci-fi stuff

Star Wars technology works like pre-20th century tech, and so farmers, settlers, space jocks, and anyone else not living in an industrial centre fixes and maintains their own stuff as a matter of course. Also, apparently blaster tech is so mundane that people can make them out of little more than number 8 wire and baling twine.
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