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Old 04-26-2022, 12:27 PM   #21
Stormcrow
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Default Re: Handling cinematic spaceship fights and other sci-fi stuff

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Originally Posted by Pomphis View Post
And it should make cars and everything else manufactured also much cheaper than before. Whether a computer is in a spaceship or a car or a home does not really affect it´s price after all. The OP could simply increase income and wealth by a factor of 30.
Here's the benchmark I go by — film reference only!

Han wants 10,000 whatevers in advance. Luke balks, saying they could almost by their own ship for that. Let's take him literally. So a simple spaceship costs more than 10,000, but not much more.

Luke sells his used landspeeder, an old model that isn't in demand anymore, for around 2,000, the amount of money they agreed to pay Han in advance. If we suppose this is comparable to selling an older model used car, then a new speeder might cost 10,000 to 15,000 easily. That is, its price is probably comparable to that of a simple, used spaceship.

So if you set the cost of a simple spaceship as about five times the cost of a ground vehicle, you're probably in the ballpark. Buying a spaceship would be comparable to buying a boat.

So if you want spaceships as common as they appear to be in Star Wars, just set their prices at about the same cost as an equivalent boat. This explains why some guy can afford to fly around in an old freighter but only military forces can afford cruisers and destroyers.
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Old 04-26-2022, 12:40 PM   #22
DeadParrot
 
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Default Re: Handling cinematic spaceship fights and other sci-fi stuff

The Star Wars universe materials imply that space travel tech is fairly static and very old. Any time some organization creates a gizmo that grants a large advantage, some other group comes along and blows the thing to bits.

In current tech terms, think how cheap a smart phone would be if the tech didn't change much for 100 years. No reason your universe can't have had the same thing happen to space travel tech. If you also assume that like the Star Wars setting, your universe has a large used ship market, prices will be further depressed.

To the question about Starships, Depends on how valuable your time is. If Starships saves you several hours in designing somewhat consistent ships and weapons, very likely worth the price. As others have posted, just ignore the book prices and use some of the other parts.

Might consider using some of the wealth of Traveller ship layouts if you are picturing combat onboard a ship. Some of the smaller "non-starship" Traveller ships might work well for personal starships in your universe. There is probably a similar wealth of Star Wars ship designs and floor plans out there.
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Old 04-26-2022, 12:59 PM   #23
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Default Re: Handling cinematic spaceship fights and other sci-fi stuff

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And seem reasonable compared to other stuff. A spaceship laser should be more expensive than a laser rifle. A sensor with 10,000 miles range should be more expensive than one with a range of 1 mile. A spaceship power plant should be more than expensive than the one of a car.
In setting a typical size shuttle is just a bit bigger than a pickup. And stuff like non-warp capable station-transport ships can be the size of a small forklift.

Ship cannons (if mounted) on something as small as a shuttle might be just be comparable to an anti-tank rifle mounted on an army jeep. The kind of thing a big cyborg solider might straight up run around shooting people with (if he doesn't mind blasting holes through ship hulls from the inside). That kind of cannon obviously won't do much to a large military capital ship of course, but a similar-sized target would take a serious beating, similar to what you'd expect to happen if an armored jeep took a hit from an anti-tank rifle.

The engines for something like a shuttle is considered "basic" stuff in setting and just run on generic energy cells. Perhaps both the energy cells and engines are technologically advanced, but their manufacturing isn't expensive at all. For something like a shuttle the engine isn't terribly much more expensive than their volume in scrap metal to produce; they aren't really using any resources that are terribly rare, so the main cost is the factory itself.

Meanwhile, without reading GURPS Space, based on what I'm reading here I'm guessing they assume space ships are custom built by specialists and have a complexity similar to building a nuclear reactor, rather a random back-water auto-assembler factory pumping out passable heavy shuttles at a rate of 5 ships per minute. Heck, large capital ships might build various fighters on them fast enough that it is relied upon to resupply mid-combat.
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Old 04-26-2022, 01:27 PM   #24
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Handling cinematic spaceship fights and other sci-fi stuff

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Meanwhile, without reading GURPS Space, based on what I'm reading here I'm guessing they assume space ships are custom built by specialists and have a complexity similar to building a nuclear reactor, rather a random back-water auto-assembler factory pumping out passable heavy shuttles at a rate of 5 ships per minute. Heck, large capital ships might build various fighters on them fast enough that it is relied upon to resupply mid-combat.
From what I understand, the Spaceships pricing basically assumes production models built in factories (or equivalent mass-production scheme), with all the cost savings that implies - building something like the Space Shuttle in Spaceships will result in a markedly lower price tag than the actual vehicles cost, because they were a rather limited run. It's just that building something that will reliably hold 1 atm of pressure in a vacuum and withstand the sort of force a powerful reaction engine would put on it (in addition to all the other issues of building something that will keep people alive in an environment as hostile to life as outer space) requires high-quality materials and rather exacting manufacturing tolerances, so it's tough to make things cheap (also, reaction engines themselves have tolerance requirements that make them rather expensive as well). Superscience drives and life support force field generators that can be built in someone's garage would make things markedly less expensive, as you could more-or-less toss those onto something like a modern van and go fly around in space. That's honestly one of the methods I've considered to make spaceships more affordable in my Harpyias setting (which is loosely inspired by Star Wars).

EDIT: If you wanted Spaceships anyway, what you'd basically need to do for your setting is take a look at each module, figure out why it's expensive, then come up with a reason why it isn't in your setting (maybe there's a really cheap way to produce the durasteel that's used for armor plating, the drives rely on One Weird Trick that's actually pretty cheap and easy to do once you know it, for life support force fields need some material that is unknown to Earth but abundant in you setting, etc). Or maybe there are ubiquitous nanofactories and you just need feedstock (scrap metal) to make the ships. But it could readily have other effects on the setting (realistically, if armed and armored spaceships are dirt cheap, human-scale arms and armors are going to be virtually free).
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Old 04-26-2022, 01:34 PM   #25
Pomphis
 
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Default Re: Handling cinematic spaceship fights and other sci-fi stuff

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So if you set the cost of a simple spaceship as about five times the cost of a ground vehicle, you're probably in the ballpark.
But then a spaceship shouldn´t be much more capable than five cars. Or nobody would buy cars, they would buy smaller (one fifth size) spaceships.
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Old 04-26-2022, 01:39 PM   #26
Pomphis
 
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Default Re: Handling cinematic spaceship fights and other sci-fi stuff

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Superscience drives and life support force field generators that can be built in someone's garage would make things markedly less expensive, as you could more-or-less toss those onto something like a modern van and go fly around in space. That's honestly one of the methods I've considered to make spaceships more affordable in my Harpyias setting (which is loosely inspired by Star Wars).
Yes. Of course, then spaceships will not be very unusual and many middle class people will have a spacegoing SUV for a weekend on mars.
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Old 04-26-2022, 02:05 PM   #27
Stormcrow
 
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Default Re: Handling cinematic spaceship fights and other sci-fi stuff

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But then a spaceship shouldn´t be much more capable than five cars. Or nobody would buy cars, they would buy smaller (one fifth size) spaceships.
How many cars do you see in Star Wars?
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Old 04-26-2022, 02:21 PM   #28
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Handling cinematic spaceship fights and other sci-fi stuff

A separate but very important issue is size of ships. It's a basic principle of Spaceships that cost will increase linearly with mass. Plus 1 SM will be 3x, 2 SMs will be 10x.

I tell you very seriously that the Space Shuttle was SM+6 and not one bit more. I will alsop tell you that judging from the size of human figures relative tot eh Millenium Falcon it was no bigger than the Space Shuttle. Because of its' eculair shape it might have been smaller.

As a second check an X-Wing ought to be SM+4 and that would make the Falcon 10x larger which again looks likely to me.

Yet with expectations set by Traveller grognards setting out to build a "stock light freighter" wil make it SM+8 and that is absolutely 10x larger than the Space Shuttle.

Traveller's art doesn't agree with its' numbers either. The art for the Beowulf and Empress Marava ought to be only a little larger than the Falcon rather than 10x.

Traveller has little sense of scale generally. I live in a 1000 sq ft house (3 bedrooms, 2 baths) and it may be a little smaller than the US aveage now but 1000 sq ft x 10 (and my ceilings aren't 10 ft high) gives you less than 10,000 cubic ft. There are 500 cu ft to a the Traveller dTon so i live in a 20 dton (or less) house. A Beowulf is 10 x the size of my house.

Your ships will be cheaper if you don't build them to oversized standards.
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Old 04-26-2022, 02:30 PM   #29
newton
 
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Default Re: Handling cinematic spaceship fights and other sci-fi stuff

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Yes. Of course, then spaceships will not be very unusual and many middle class people will have a spacegoing SUV for a weekend on mars.
Honestly in a particularly humorous campaign that could 100% work.
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Old 04-26-2022, 02:34 PM   #30
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Handling cinematic spaceship fights and other sci-fi stuff

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But then a spaceship shouldn´t be much more capable than five cars. Or nobody would buy cars, they would buy smaller (one fifth size) spaceships.
I mean, there's a minimum size you can make a car. Fred Brackin noted the X-Wing as being SM+4, so something 1/5th the size would be SM+0. That's not a car - it's more like a motorcycle (although an SM+0 GoKart might be doable).

That said, the car equivalent in Star Wars, the speeder, does tend to be fairly small... and lack anything to keep the wind out, for whatever reason.
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