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Old 06-12-2022, 08:18 AM   #21
whswhs
 
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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
-The star system generation takes far too many pages in service of a ludicrous level of verisimilitude of boring, usually empty systems. But worse, it neglects to equip you with how to tailor-make plausible-but-interesting places.
That's not completely accurate. The rules in Space provide explicitly for the option of starting out by assuming that a system includes an Earthlike planet and then building the rest of the system around it.
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Old 06-12-2022, 08:23 AM   #22
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The rules in GURPS Space are also repeatedly exhort you to use the generators as a guide to choosing what you know you want rather than just rolling for the sake of randomness.
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Old 06-12-2022, 03:39 PM   #23
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That's not completely accurate. The rules in Space provide explicitly for the option of starting out by assuming that a system includes an Earthlike planet and then building the rest of the system around it.
I must have missed that. Unless you mean squeezing it out of the entirety of pp. 73-98.
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Old 06-13-2022, 01:20 AM   #24
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I must have missed that. Unless you mean squeezing it out of the entirety of pp. 73-98.
Look ahead at page 108, "Placing a Pre-Designed World":

If a world has already been designed for the star system using the basic world-building sequence in Chapter 4, then that world should also be placed at a specific distance from one of the stars in the system.

And a bit later,

itís possible for a pre-designed world to have no place to go. If this happens, consider returning to Step 15 to generate a new star or set of stars to fit, or choosing a different arrangement of gas giants for one or more of the stars.

Both of these follow from the example on p. 77:

Since the GM wants Haven to be a habitable world, he declines to roll on the tables and simply chooses the Standard (Garden) world type.
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Old 06-13-2022, 07:33 AM   #25
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-The star system generation takes far too many pages in service of a ludicrous level of verisimilitude of boring, usually empty systems. But worse, it neglects to equip you with how to tailor-make plausible-but-interesting places.
That’s just not right. The world-design sequence in “Basic Worldbuilding” (pages 74 – 98) is a procedure to do just that.
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Old 06-13-2022, 07:50 AM   #26
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The ordering of steps is also weird sometimes. "Next step: atmospheric pressure! You can't actually do this step now, though. Come back in ten steps."
You determine atmospheric type, composition, and [column] mass in step three, and it notes that you won’t determine atmospheric pressure until step six because it depends on surface gravity.

It would be more straightforward to determine the planet’s size and mass and surface gravity first, then do all the atmospheric characteristics together afterwards, but there is a very good reason not to: you’d often end up with an uninhabitable or implausible planet unless you chose type (temperature and atmospheric composition) first. The order of the steps in basic worldbuilding makes it possible to design the kind of world you want, starting with its world types and surface conditions and then working out what physical characteristics you need to get those, and then working out what orbit the planet needs to be in to get what you want. This is the very mechanism that saves you from randomly generating scads and scads of boring empty systems.
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Old 06-13-2022, 08:21 AM   #27
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So are the random-roll systems just badly organized?
There is one bit of bad organisation: tide-locked worlds are treated as a special case after the end of the main procedure, and the treatment alters hydrographics, which ought to alter habitability and everything that follows. Apart from that the steps are in the order that they are in so that you can use them to design a plausible planet with the surface conditions you want, and if you wish place it in a plausible orbit, or use the same procedures to roll up other planets at random (such as the rest of the system you designed planet is in).

I do think there are a couple of problems with the worldbuilding rules in GURPS Space. First, the instructions for how to execute the procedure are scattered through an extensive explanation of planetary science that I don’t want to read over and over while I generate multiple planets. Second, the procedure is tolerable for designing a world that you know is going to be habitable, but way too detailed and involved for generating a sector of space at random and finding the interesting places, as you do in Traveller, for instance. You would realistically need someone to turn the sequence into a computer program.
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Old 06-16-2022, 10:39 AM   #28
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Okay, by now, I'm pretty much sold on (re-)buying Banestorm for starters. I'm still itching for some kind of space campaign, but Banestorm sounds like, as a ready-made setting, it's much easier for starters.
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Old 06-16-2022, 10:53 PM   #29
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Perhaps my favorite setting for Gurps is Reign of Steel. I once played a mission from Infinite Earths with a group of "specials" with the mission to "solve the problem" of this hell world. They were all really, really powerful guys, built with 1000 CPs and a ton of munchkin supernatural mojo. My players were basically supers from several different parallels, and with that power level they had the needed power to defeat the machines.

A pity I could never finish it, since the plan from the beggining was to have the AI Brisbane to figure out it's own World-Jumping capability, and afterwards Brisbane would become their main big baddie from across the multiverse, kind like Brainiac is for Superman. I loved this world anyway.

Yrth is also a super awesome setting.

In fact, the only problem that I have about Gurps setting is that I cant play all of them at once :)
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Old 06-17-2022, 12:16 AM   #30
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It would be more straightforward to determine the planetís size and mass and surface gravity first, then do all the atmospheric characteristics together afterwards, but there is a very good reason not to: youíd often end up with an uninhabitable or implausible planet unless you chose type (temperature and atmospheric composition) first. The order of the steps in basic worldbuilding makes it possible to design the kind of world you want, starting with its world types and surface conditions and then working out what physical characteristics you need to get those, and then working out what orbit the planet needs to be in to get what you want. This is the very mechanism that saves you from randomly generating scads and scads of boring empty systems.
Space 3e does exactly that, determining size/mass/gravity first and atmosphere second. It works just fine. As it stands, splitting atmosphere into two different sections is just obnoxious. Especially when the book doesn't tell you that you can't determine atmospheric pressure until after explaining the concept to you...

Seriously, it should be intuitive that information about a planet's atmosphere is under the step labeled "Atmosphere" and not the step labeled "World Size." If world size has to be worked out first, I say work it out first instead of in the middle of some other step. This is a gaming supplement, not a textbook.

If you're worried about randomly generating too many boring star systems, then just tweak the systems you generate to make them less boring. Or design them to be interesting from the get-go. Plenty of settings and resources - including Space 4e - assume that most systems aren't going to have a habitable planet, and hence are going to be pretty boring to most players.

It seems reasonable to me to leave the boring details we don't care about to random dice rolls. If we need something to be interesting, either we just decide that it is, or we ignore dice rolls that we don't like. I do both all the time.
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