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Old 07-10-2015, 07:08 PM   #1
Mcoorlim
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Chicago
Default Engineer (Mechanical)

The basic set does not list "Mechanical" as one of the example engineering specialties. I know the list isn't all inclusive, but I was wondering if it was omitted because Engineer (Mechanical) is too broad.

Is that the case? Because almost every player I've had who takes the skill wants the Mechanical specialty, and I've been telling them to take more specific versions.

How would the rest of you handle it?
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:00 PM   #2
Calvin
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Calgary
Default Re: Engineer (Mechanical)

Engineering in GURPS is the skill to design or examine the design of a certain class of objects. That's why the other specialties are stuff like Combustion Engines or Firearms, it's the skill to design such things. Mechanical Engineering is actually what GURPS seems to be talking about when we're dealing with the Engineering skill, something like civil engineering would be one of the social skills or a combination of a few.

So when your player says they want to have Engineering (Mechanical) I imagine that they want their character to have a Mechanical Engieering degree, and that's great. Your follow up question then would be "What did/do they use that degree for?" Because then that's probably going to tell you their specialty. Otherwise if they've only got the degree and haven't actually entered the workforce, maybe they're a student, they probably have an Expert Skill that you should let them respec at some point into a proper Engineering skill.
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:50 PM   #3
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lawrence, KS
Default Re: Engineer (Mechanical)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
Engineering in GURPS is the skill to design or examine the design of a certain class of objects. That's why the other specialties are stuff like Combustion Engines or Firearms, it's the skill to design such things. Mechanical Engineering is actually what GURPS seems to be talking about when we're dealing with the Engineering skill, something like civil engineering would be one of the social skills or a combination of a few.
Ah, no. If that were true there would be no place in GURPS for the Civil, Combat, Electrical, Electronics, Materials, or Mining specialties, all of which are in the Basic Set.
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:55 PM   #4
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Engineer (Mechanical)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
Engineering in GURPS is the skill to design or examine the design of a certain class of objects. That's why the other specialties are stuff like Combustion Engines or Firearms, it's the skill to design such things. Mechanical Engineering is actually what GURPS seems to be talking about when we're dealing with the Engineering skill,
Uh, neither of those is a specialization of Engineering in the Basic Set. On the other hand, Electrical and Electronic are.

Honestly, Mechanical not being there seems like an oversight. There's no example specialization suitable to building mechanical contraptions that aren't clockwork, unless they're vehicles or artillery.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
something like civil engineering would be one of the social skills or a combination of a few.
What? No. Civil engineering is a skill of designing things. It's also one of the specializations enumerated in the Basic Set!
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Old 07-10-2015, 09:36 PM   #5
Calvin
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Calgary
Default Re: Engineer (Mechanical)

I just realized that I was thinking of the Armoury skill. Disregard everything I said, I r dum.
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Old 07-11-2015, 01:30 AM   #6
Mailanka
 
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Default Re: Engineer (Mechanical)

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Uh, neither of those is a specialization of Engineering in the Basic Set. On the other hand, Electrical and Electronic are.
Small arms is actually a specialization of Engineering. Combusion Engine isn't, but "Vehicle Type" is. For example, Engineer (Automobile).
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Old 07-11-2015, 10:11 AM   #7
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: Engineer (Mechanical)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
Engineering in GURPS is the skill to design or examine the design of a certain class of objects. That's why the other specialties are stuff like Combustion Engines or Firearms, it's the skill to design such things. Mechanical Engineering is actually what GURPS seems to be talking about when we're dealing with the Engineering skill, something like civil engineering would be one of the social skills or a combination of a few.
Civil engineering is the art of piling rocks - it covers stuff like road building, city walls, dams, flood control, canals, harbor dredging, breakwaters and the like.

There is a missing mechanical engineering specialty though. I call it Engineering (Mechanisms) and it finishes out the progression that goes Nanotechnology, Microtechnology, Clockwork, Mechanisms. You'd use it to design stuff like machine tools, mills, pumps or siege engines, but it doesn't cover the sort of environmental interactions that would be the primary constraint on a vehicle design.
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Old 07-11-2015, 10:50 AM   #8
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: Engineer (Mechanical)

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
There is a missing mechanical engineering specialty though. I call it Engineering (Mechanisms) and it finishes out the progression that goes Nanotechnology, Microtechnology, Clockwork, Mechanisms. You'd use it to design stuff like machine tools, mills, pumps or siege engines, but it doesn't cover the sort of environmental interactions that would be the primary constraint on a vehicle design.
Siege engines belong to the Artillery specialization, though at TLs where siege engines are largely mechanical in nature they should probably get a favorable default from Mechanical.
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Old 07-11-2015, 04:18 PM   #9
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Engineer (Mechanical)

Don't those semi-mobile fortresses used to attack castles and the like count as siege engines? I doubt they should fall under Artillery.
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Old 07-11-2015, 04:39 PM   #10
benz72
 
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Default Re: Engineer (Mechanical)

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Civil engineering is the art of piling rocks - it covers stuff like road building, city walls, dams, flood control, canals, harbor dredging, breakwaters and the like.

There is a missing mechanical engineering specialty though. I call it Engineering (Mechanisms) and it finishes out the progression that goes Nanotechnology, Microtechnology, Clockwork, Mechanisms. You'd use it to design stuff like machine tools, mills, pumps or siege engines, but it doesn't cover the sort of environmental interactions that would be the primary constraint on a vehicle design.
There are pumps used at many different scales.

q.v. microfluidics pumps https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micropump

Scale is a possible axis along which to divide mechanical engineering, but so is material focus (Polymer Engineering - heavily interacts with ChemE), Environmental Implementation (Biomechanical Engineering - heavily interacts with Biology) or process focus (Corrosion Engineering - heavily interacts with chemistry)
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