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Old 01-14-2022, 08:30 PM   #1
ravenfish
 
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Default Rules help request: operating an undermanned vehicle

Something that I am sure exists, but which for the life of me I cannot find in my extensive GURPS library, is what happens when the available crew for a vehicle (the particular use case is a sailing ship) is somewhat less than the value listed under Occupancy for the size of the crew. Realistically, such operations should not be completely impossible, but, logically, there should be penalties to the Control rolls if there are too many crewmen missing. Are there rules anywhere for the size of such penalties?

[In the absence of a specific ruling, my instinct is to take (man hours available) divided by (man hours required) and plug that into the "Time Spent" rules. Does that strike people as reasonable? This doesn't produce sensible results in all cases (the penalty for a pilot-and-copilot plane being landed by a single pilot would be -5, which doesn't strike me as reasonable), so does anyone have any better ideas?]
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Last edited by ravenfish; 01-14-2022 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 01-14-2022, 08:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Rules help request: operating an undermanned vehicle

I just used -1 per 10% down of the crew needed to a minimum of -9 for only 10% of the needed crew. Worked well for me.
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Old 01-14-2022, 08:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Rules help request: operating an undermanned vehicle

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Originally Posted by Christopher R. Rice View Post
I just used -1 per 10% down of the crew needed to a minimum of -9 for only 10% of the needed crew. Worked well for me.

Which, come to think of it, is a simpler equivalent to my suggestion. If you have run it and not had problems, I'll probably go with it unless someone dredges up an official ruling.
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Last edited by ravenfish; 01-14-2022 at 09:05 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 01-14-2022, 09:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Rules help request: operating an undermanned vehicle

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Originally Posted by ravenfish View Post
Which, come to think of it, is a simpler equivalent to my suggestion. If you have run it and not have problems, I'll probably go with it unless someone dredges up an official ruling.
It worked fine for me. Simple problems with simple solutions. :-)
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Old 01-14-2022, 10:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rules help request: operating an undermanned vehicle

Remember that over the longer term, you will get problems from inadequate maintenance. Sorry, no idea where rules for that are.
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Old 01-14-2022, 11:41 PM   #6
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Rules help request: operating an undermanned vehicle

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Remember that over the longer term, you will get problems from inadequate maintenance. Sorry, no idea where rules for that are.
I've never applied the rules for maintence from ve2 to Age of Sail vessels but in theory they should cover it.
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Old 01-15-2022, 08:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: Rules help request: operating an undermanned vehicle

It seems to me that a typical sailing ship has two watches. If it has only 50% of its usual crew requirement, that's enough to make up one watch. They could, in an emergency, all be called on deck and allow the ship to function at full efficiency for at least a four-hour watch, and perhaps for an eight-hour workday, after which they would start to function less efficiently and make mistakes. So the issue would not be immediate loss of performance but long-term degradation.
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Old 01-15-2022, 10:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: Rules help request: operating an undermanned vehicle

Alternately, you could just say "we don't need (insert vehicle system here)" and leave it inoperable, freeing up crew to keep more immediately vital equipment fully (or at least not as badly under-) manned. Then when they inevitably need the neglected equipment and it has broken down, they have to improvise.
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Old 01-15-2022, 09:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: Rules help request: operating an undermanned vehicle

Bear in mind that if you are looking at age of sail stuff, the crew for a warship was the manpower needed to work the guns, not that needed to work the ship - sail handling could be undertaken by a fraction of the crew. Or at least it could for basic operations - higher performance work, and jobs like hoisting and striking additional masts needed more manpower, but that was nothing on the number of men it required to work the guns. Speaking of which, the most manpower intensive part of gunnery was running out - most of the other jobs on a gun could be performed by one man given enough time, although he'd also need help if you insisted on aiming (which was optional for most of the period).
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Old 01-16-2022, 05:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: Rules help request: operating an undermanned vehicle

It's worth realizing that labor requirements on board a ship aren't particularly constant -- you have your all hands on deck situations such as storms or battle, but for routine operations most of the crew is not doing anything directly relevant to the operations of the ship, they're just on call while idling, doing maintenance, or busywork. As such, the likely result is "fine until an emergency happens, and then the ship wrecks".
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