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Old 10-30-2021, 06:56 PM   #1
Jareth Valar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Default Ultra-Tech help/question...

Going over Ultra-tech, I get the differences and all between the levels and types as well as the introduction of Superscience.

My question is, if a higher TL piece of gear were to fall into the hands of a lower one (1-2 TL lower). how long do you think it would take to successfully reverse-engineer the device successfully and then possibly regularly replicate it? Any other modifiers in addition to the standard TL variance ones? What about a Superscience device from 1 TL up?

example...
Say a landspeeder or jetbike from everyone's favorite/favorite-to-hate grim dark/derp setting (assuming TL10 for most of the heavy tech) fell into the hands of someone from a TL9 cyberpunk world (Cyberpunk, Shadowrun, Johnny Mnemonic, etc).

What modifiers would be suggested? How long would/should it take? Would it even be possible?
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Old 10-30-2021, 07:45 PM   #2
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Ultra-Tech help/question...

For superscience it's very easy to answer - ask the GM/setting creator because nobody else can say.

Some superscience is a perfectly straightforward machine that anybody could put together, it just has results we consider impossible. Some superscience is a straightforward machine wrapped around a piece of unobtanium, so it's only possible to build if you've got a supply of the relevant magic material. Some superscience is made with straight-up magic and can't be replicated unless you're a wizard yourself.

For stuff that's merely beyond your tech level, there are canonical rules in Campaigns. Inventions and gadgeteering, starting from p473. Without a Gadgeteer, you can't 'invent' something more than one TL ahead. Having a working copy of the thing you're trying to 'invent' is a +5 bonus to your Concept and Prototype rolls.
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Old 10-30-2021, 09:14 PM   #3
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Ultra-Tech help/question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
For superscience it's very easy to answer - ask the GM/setting creator because nobody else can say.

.
Also, when you're worldhopping you can easily find superscience that doesn't work at all in other worlds. Besides all the wackiness from Gernsback there's Infinity's own "Projectors" They only work on Homeline, presumably Centrum Prime, and probably Shikaku Mon.

Soemtmes the Superscuce is highly portable like Centrum's tiny "stunners" (see Infinite Worlds) but even Infinity can't replicate those.

At any rate even if we're talking "portable" Superscience the answer is a minimum of _years_ without a Gadgeteer. Unless it's some sort of very special Superscience that the GM wants to spread wildly.
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Old 10-30-2021, 09:43 PM   #4
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Ultra-Tech help/question...

In GURPS Powers: The Weird I came up with a Cosmic variant of Gadgeteer that let you create a device that violated the natural laws of a particular universe, and I think a further variant that let you permanently change those natural laws to make such devices possible. That might be relevant here.
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Old 10-31-2021, 01:32 AM   #5
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: Ultra-Tech help/question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jareth Valar View Post
Going over Ultra-tech, I get the differences and all between the levels and types as well as the introduction of Superscience.

My question is, if a higher TL piece of gear were to fall into the hands of a lower one (1-2 TL lower). how long do you think it would take to successfully reverse-engineer the device successfully and then possibly regularly replicate it?
If it was two tech levels higher...it just ain't gonna happen without the intervention of the Gadgeteer advantage. Figuring out how make essential components of such a device would be quite beyond their power. If the margin is just one tech level...well the boundary between one tech level and the next is a fuzzy one. It depends on whether you are talking about a mature TL 9 or one less completely advanced. And it gets trickier if you are a conservative TL 9 examining a super-science artifact which may be based on totally undiscovered physics.
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Old 10-31-2021, 02:17 AM   #6
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Ultra-Tech help/question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Also, when you're worldhopping you can easily find superscience that doesn't work at all in other worlds. Besides all the wackiness from Gernsback there's Infinity's own "Projectors" They only work on Homeline, presumably Centrum Prime, and probably Shikaku Mon.

Soemtmes the Superscuce is highly portable like Centrum's tiny "stunners" (see Infinite Worlds) but even Infinity can't replicate those.

At any rate even if we're talking "portable" Superscience the answer is a minimum of _years_ without a Gadgeteer. Unless it's some sort of very special Superscience that the GM wants to spread wildly.
Superscience doesn't tell us that something is complex or difficult. It just tells us that it's impossible, but works anyway. Trivial reverse engineering and impossible reverse engineering are equally appropriate.
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