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Old 05-15-2021, 03:45 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: near Seattle WA USA
Default physical simulation in various weapons rules

Question for weapons gearheads:

I just got the T4 CD, and I see that it includes an edition of Fire, Fusion, and Steel and lots of other good stuff like the Milieu 0 setting (which was the main reason I bought it).

Of course I have lots of GURPS books, including Vehicles 2 and most or all GURPS Traveller books.

So, if I'm looking in terms of physical simulation (as opposed to things like ease of use), which sources most accurately represent weapons that conform with real world physics, particularly real or plausible slug-throwers?

- The T4 FFS rules
- Rules from another Traveller edition
- GURPS Vehicles 2
- Some other GURPS edition (All I have of 4th are the core books.)
- Some other game altogether

I know that a weapons gearhead in this group made a spreadsheet that goes beyond Vehicles 2 in physical simulation; I probably still have a copy of it somewhere, but wouldn't mind a fresh link. That's probably the right answer if the answer is in GURPS territory.

Obviously when it's time to make the final translation from physics to game rules (to-hit dice and hit point damage) the simulation diverges from pursuit of physics to pursuit of game play. So I'm only asking about the portion that remains in the physics domain.
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Old 06-08-2021, 08:47 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: physical simulation in various weapons rules

You might be thinking of Douglas Cole's ballistics spreadsheet, which was based on an old Pyramid II article he did.

The most current version of the spreadsheet is available here:

Note that there are numerous limitations to this spreadsheet, but it is still extremely useful since it provides a good formula for converting Kinetic Energy imparted by high speed projectiles into GURPS dice of damage.

Another good GURPS ballistics program is here. It's major limitation is that stats are heavily modified to fit the author's house rules.

Between these sources and FFS and possibly the BTRC G3 supplement you ought to be able to stat out just about any GURPS Traveller weapon.
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Old 06-10-2021, 03:03 PM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: near Seattle WA USA
Default Re: physical simulation in various weapons rules

Yes, I meant the Douglas Cole spreadsheet. Thanks for the link.

And double thanks for the Panoptesv link. Lots of good stuff there!

The one additional thing that would be nice would be The Deadly Spring. I may have downloaded it whenever I last had a Pyramid subscription, but it might just be easier to subscribe again. I know Guns, Guns, Guns has a section on mechanical "guns", but I'm not sure which coverage is better. To my surprise, Guns3 also covers melee to an extent; that was a pretty big hole in my research.
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Old 06-10-2021, 03:40 PM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: physical simulation in various weapons rules

The big problem with physical simulation in rules for Traveller is that a lot of Traveller weapons are total nonsense. I would say that 3G3 is probably the most accurate published weapon design system for gaming, though you can certainly give honorable mentions to FF&S, FF&S2, and VE2, and of course if you don't limit yourself to published sources or gaming sources you can go a lot further though with a considerable risk of either substantial data entry problems or math that isn't really viable without a computer and decent programming skill.

I'm not very fond of TDS; it adds a bunch of complexity that doesn't actually increase accuracy because of the stuff it doesn't add.
My GURPS site and Blog.
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weapons physics

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