Weapon and Equipment Requests & Proposals

Star Fleet Universe Discussion Board: Prime Directive RPG: Weapon and Equipment Requests & Proposals
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By Robert Herneson (Rherneson) on Monday, November 17, 2003 - 08:28 pm: Edit

Steve, could I post the expanded version of the Universal Translator I submitted, that you made more conscice?
None of it conflicts with you you published, it just describes the TL variations & 'color' descriptions.

RH

By Steve Cole (Stevecole) on Monday, November 17, 2003 - 11:42 pm: Edit

Whatever.

By Loren Knight (Loren) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 01:04 am: Edit

"Police have their own tactical units which are not marines."

So, specifically, Police ships Boarding Partys are not Marines?

Probably a silly question but I've never heard it actually defined.

By Robert Herneson (Rherneson) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 02:27 am: Edit

Here is the Universal Translator in nausium, before Steve wizely trimmed it down to avoid it being half the MPA issue. Enjoy.

- - -

Universal Translator

Communication is one of the biggest challenges that any interstellar race has to confront. The earliest contacts used linguists but technology soon offered a faster, more available solution, the Universal Translator.


TL-10

Audio only ear piece Interpreter – With the ability to interpret most known languages, this specialized, easily portable unit is highly favored as it can contain most known languages. Because of the nature of the unit, only audible pickups are available, so languages or conversations with a great amount of visual context may translate with minuses. This unit is unable to translate unknown languages. The audio only ear piece Interpreter provides specific language interpretation at Skill level 14 or at a +2 to the character’s skill, which ever is greater. Up to 50 languages can be available and data disks are changeable. 2.5” long, 1” wide, .75” max diameter. Weight is 1/2 lb. Cost $2,600. Runs for 1 years on one A cell.

Interpreter PADD – This is a specialized PADD with full audio and visual pickups built into a unit optimized for language interpretation. This unit will only serve as a complexity 3 computer for non-language applications and cannot function as a real time interpreter while doing non-interpreter related tasks.
This unit is favored in spite of its larger size by many people for its ability to include non-verbal language elements in its interpretation. It can also scan and interpret printed text as well. With 100 gigabytes of storage, virtually unlimited amounts of visual, audio, and text can be stored for later review or archiving. This unit is unable to translate unknown languages but provides specific known language interpretation at Skill level 15 or at a +2 to the character’s skill, which ever is greater. Up to 50 languages can be available and data disks are changeable. 7” long, 4.5” wide, 2” width (averages, exact varied by race). Weight is 1 lb. Cost $2,850. Runs for 2 years on one B cell.
(Note, TL10 Tricorders can also do interpretation functions in the exact same way as this unit, but do not obviously have the restriction on additional functions that this specialized unit does. The interpretation data disk/chip for a Tricorder costs $2,500.)


TL-11a

Audio only ear piece Interpreter – Same as TL-10 unit, but skill is now at 15. Runs for 18 months on one a cell.

Interpreter PADD – This still specialized unit can now multitask with non-interpreter applications if necessary, but as a complexity 4 computer and can perform as a real time interpreter while doing so.
Storage is now increased to a terabyte of storage, facilitating full holographic recording. Intended for common commercial or private use, this unit is unable to translate unknown languages but provides specific known language interpretation at Skill level 16 or at a +2 to the character’s skill, which ever is greater. Up to 50 languages can be available and data disks are changeable. 5” long, 3” wide, 1” deep (averages, exact varied by race). Weight is 1/2 lb. Cost $1,250. Runs for 2 1/2 years on one B cell.
(Note, TL10 Tricorders can also do interpretation functions in the exact same way as this unit. The interpretation (only) data disk/chip for a Tricorder costs $1,000.)

Universal Translator – This unit actually functions as both a translator and interpreter. It is the first unit to be able to analyze and translate entirely new languages. With as little at 10 minutes exposure to conversation, this unit will provide skill level 5 in an unknown language and add a point to skill for each additional half hour of exposure, up to a maximum of 11. Units for Easy languages usually only have audio pick ups, however advanced units that can translate Average, Hard, and Very Hard languages will have a full range of sensors, all part of this specialized unit.
The universal translator also provides Interpretation at Skill 16 or at a +2 to the character’s skill, which ever is greater. Additionally, this model has 1 terabyte of storage and can also interface with library computers at up to 9 feet (3 hexes) away.
Federation models are wand shaped, 11” long, 1.75” in diameter. Weight is 1 lb. Klingon Universal Translators are rectangular with beveled corners & edges, 6.5” long, 4” wide, and 1” thick. Kzinti & Lyran units are an irregular hexagonal shape (made to wear on a belt) 3” long, 7” at the widest point, and 1” thick. Cost varies by maximum language complexity able to be translated: $6,250 for Easy only, $8,750 for average, $11,250 for Hard, and $26,250 for Very Hard languages. When confronted with a language above its program level, (for instance Mental/Hard when it is programmed only to Mental/Average) the machine may refuse to attempt translation, turn our gibberish, or make dangerous errors. A roll against the operator’s Computer Operations skill may determine the result.
(Note, TL11 Tricorders can also do Translation and Interpretation functions in the exact same way as this unit. The Translation data disk/chip for a Tricorder cost varies by maximum language complexity able to be translated: $5,000 for Easy only, $7,500 for average, $10,000 for Hard, and $25,000 for Very Hard languages. The interpretation (only) data disk/chip for a Tricorder costs $1,000.) Runs for 2 1/2 years on one B cell.


TL-11b

Interpreter PADD – This unit can now interface with library computers at up to 9 feet (3 hexes) away.

Universal Translator – This unit will now warn its user when it is unable to Translate a language of too high a Skill level. It can also link multiple ear receivers together to receive Translation/Interpretation.


TL-12 (a, b, & c)

Audio only ear piece Interpreter – Same as TL-10 unit, but skill is now at 16. Runs for 2 years on one A cell.

Interpreter PADD – This unit actually functions as both a translator and interpreter, just like the Universal Translator, but for the same cost as a TL-12 Universal Translator, essentially replacing the Universal Translator in situations where it will not receive rough treatment. Cost is the same as the TL-12 Universal Translator.
An Interpreter only model of this unit is still available, storage is up to 10 terabytes now and it provides language interpretation at Skill level 17 or at +2 to the character’s skill, which ever is greater. Non-interpreter applications perform on this devise as if it were a complexity 5 computer. 5” long, 3” wide, 1” deep (averages, exact varied by race). Weight is 1/2 lb. Cost (Interpreter only) $1,250. A Skill 18 Interpreter PADD is available for $2,250, but can only do language functions. Runs for 3 years on one B cell.

Universal Translator – Military people and other individuals that require a more durable device prefer this sturdier model. Maximum Translation skill is now up to 12, Interpretation Skill is up to 17 or at +2 to the character’s skill, which ever is greater. It has 10 terabytes of storage and can also interface with library computers at up to 90 feet (30 hexes) away.
Federation models are wand shaped, 6” long, 1” in diameter. Weight is 1/2 lb. Klingon Universal Translators are rectangular with beveled corners & edges, 3” long, 2.25” wide, and 1/2” thick. Kzinti & Lyran units are an irregular hexagonal shape (made to wear on a belt) 2” long, 3” at the widest point, and 1/2” thick. Cost (Translator and Interpreter) varies by maximum language complexity able to be translated: $3,750 for Easy only, $5,000 for average, $6,250 for Hard, and $13,250 for Very Hard languages.
(Note, TL12 Tricorders can also do Translation and Interpretation functions in the exact same way as this unit. The Translation data disk/chip for a Tricorder cost varies by maximum language complexity able to be translated: $2,500 for Easy only, $3,750 for average, $5,000 for Hard, and $12,500 for Very Hard languages. The interpretation (only) data disk/chip for a Tricorder costs $1,000.) Runs for 3 years on one B cell.


TL-13

Audio only ear piece Interpreter – Same as TL-10 unit, but skill is now at 17. Translation Skill (maximum Skill 12) is offered now too. Cost for Translator skill varies by maximum language complexity able to be translated: $2,500 for Easy only, $3,750 for average, $5,000 for Hard, and $12,500 for Very Hard languages. Runs for 2 years on one A cell.

Interpreter PADD – This unit is now the standard Interpretation/Translation device and has supplanted the Universal Translator where a specialized unit is needed. Storage is up to 100 terabytes and can also interface with library computers at up to 900 feet (300 hexes) away. An Interpreter only model of this unit is still available, and it provides language interpretation at Skill level 18 or at +2 to the character’s skill, which ever is greater. 5” long, 3” wide, 1/2” deep (averages, exact varied by race). Weight is 1/2 lb. Costs (Interpreter only) $1,250. Maximum Translation skill is now 13. Cost (Translator and Interpreter) varies by maximum language complexity able to be translated: $2,500 for Easy only, $3,125 for average, $3,750 for Hard, and $7,500 for Very Hard languages. Interpreter Skill 19 units are available for $1,000 more. Runs for 3 1/2 years on one B cell.
(Note, TL12 Tricorders can also do Translation and Interpretation functions in the exact same way as this unit. The Translation data disk/chip for a Tricorder cost varies by maximum language complexity able to be translated: $2,500 for Easy only, $3,750 for average, $5,000 for Hard, and $12,500 for Very Hard languages. The interpretation (only) data disk/chip for a Tricorder costs $1,000.)

GENERAL NOTES: At TL-9, non-portable (ship, base, etc) computers can run Interpretation programs at Skill 16+. At TL-11 non-portable (ship, base, etc) computers can run Translation programs at Skill 11+, but each additional increase will consume vastly greater amounts of computing power. Consult GURPS Ultra Tech Computers section for exact factors of Increased program complexity verses Computer ability.
Costs presented here for Interpreter skills assume the language to be interpreted is well know and a full database is available. If a new data base for an up till then unknown language is made available the costs change drastically, starting at $10,000+ for a skill 14 database of that language.

By Gary Plana (Garyplana) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 05:14 pm: Edit

Robert: most alien languages are Hard, and the remainder are Very Hard; see GPD page 76 under Language skill. I don't think we're going to have much need for Easy and Average models -- in fact, I doubt we'll ever need them in GPD. In a different GURPS universe, yes, but other than for completeness, do we even need to mention the Easy and Average models?

By Robert Herneson (Rherneson) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 05:50 pm: Edit

Rather than decide for the GMs what was needed, I decided to give them the option.
Considering that some people hold the idea that Federation Standard is an evolution of Esperanto (an Easy language) and the bulk of most Terran languages are Average difficulty & only "Alien languages that cannot be pronounced with your natural vocal equipment or simple mechanical aids" are the Very Hard ones, I decided to err on the side of complete possibilities & let the GMs take the decisions for their groups.

Personally, since SVC distilled the required essence from this for official use (and saved several pages in doing so! :) ), my opinion of the above is that its just an unofficial musing and at most an example of TL enhancements. If it is too detailed it’s a personal fault I have as a GM, that I color big.

RH

By Gary Plana (Garyplana) on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 12:16 am: Edit

I see your point, Robert. I guess I'm just being a rules purist here.

By F. Douglas Wall (Knarf) on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 01:47 am: Edit

Actually, there's nothing to keep an alien language from being Average or Easy. Most human languages are considered Average (even greek and chinese), and languages that are intended to be easy (such as Esperanto and various pidgins) are Easy.

Standard Terran English (is that still being used?) has probably been revised quite a bit from modern English to make it more regular and easier for more people to learn. If the Vulcans underwent logical language reform as I proposed in the GURPS Romulans board, then the resulting language is probably Average and may even be considered Easy.

By Loren Knight (Loren) on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 01:56 am: Edit

Indeed, when you watch the TV shows, galactic standard is translated to English.

Also, when some one refers to "Galactic Standard" it is sometimes translated in English as "English".

As in...

"?Do id sprek Gal'stan?"
translates to
"Do you speak English?".
but only on American and British TV.

Ah...ya right. :)

By Ken Humpherys (Pmthecat) on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 08:24 am: Edit

Gary,
As a "Universal Translator" is not a simple mechanical aid, I think that an Alien language could be hard for you to speak (aka Very Hard skill type) but could still be Easy to translate.

By Robert Herneson (Rherneson) on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 11:27 am: Edit

I think Gary's observation is very accurate. Alien languages are noted in the rules as most of them being hard. Linguistically, I have no problem with this when you look at our Earth situation.
A majority of the language used on Earth derived from Germanic, Romantic, Latin, and Old English origins. Because of this we have a language base that is of relative 'Average' difficulty for most of us.
But let's toss a totally linguistically 'alien' language into the mix, say, Mandarin Chinese. For what most of us speak, Mandarin Chinese had no serious influence in its development. There are sounds and word concepts that most westerners cannot grasp, let alone master, yet there are humans who speak it as their native language.
Does the fact that there are humans that speak Mandarin Chinese change the difficulty rating of the language? No, it is still different from the 'common' family of Average difficulty languages.
Vulcans are humanoids, as are Klingons and most other races in the SFU and have very similar vocal instruments to work with. The difficulty of the language usually does not come from the language itself but from the few component differences and the different concepts it has.

Remember, the points system in GURPS is designed from the idea of the Human standard template. Any difference from the standard yields positive or negative adjustments. If following the core rules, I'd suggest that most alien languages remain Hard or Very Hard for the reasons above.

For your own group, you may want to consider that known common races of your empire have contributed to the language development and evolution of each other's languages (or of the 'standard' language for your empire), then you might reasonably say that those languages no longer count as alien and consider them as Average difficulty, but only for members of the empire you are using. As an example, anyone speaking 'Federation Standard' might, at their GM's ruling, be able to count Any of the Federations major member race's languages as only having an Average difficulty, but other Empires or aliens would not receive this benefit.
This optional idea would only be a 'house rule' and applicable for your group. For the official rules, I think the language difficulty ratings, as Gary noted them, are appropriate.

RH

By Dwight Lillibridge (Nostromo) on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 11:31 am: Edit

I personally would suggest that to a vulcan an older vulcan dialect language may be hard while a modern dialect is average, at the same time very hard for a human to learn an older dialect of the vulcan language and the modern form of the vulcan language is hard as an example.

By Gary Plana (Garyplana) on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 02:16 pm: Edit

I think this argument is moot.

Steve Jackson Games has already specified in the GURPS rules that alien languages are either Hard or Very Hard. This is not something we/ADB can change, nor, I suspect, will SJG allow us to change it "locally" for GPD.

I do not have the authority of various Steves around here, so that I can put my foot down and say forgetaboutit, but I really feel this is a waste of time.

By Robert Herneson (Rherneson) on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 02:32 pm: Edit

It's just discussion, Gary. I think everyone here knows we're not talking about official rules changes and I havn't suggested anything as an official rules change.
It's in no one's interest to banish talk of ideas for local or house rules with a command, official or not, to forget about it. If it is egregious to people or inappropriate for this topic, then perhaps a seperate 'house rules' topic should be created or the discussion can be taken to a totally different site. That of course means probably fewer participants and less ease for SVC to see if anything discussed might be usable somewhere or somehow. As I said, a situation generally not in anyone's interest.
It's understood that you are correct about the official rules, if the balance of the discussion is of no interest to others but not to you, then don't waste your time, forgetaboutit.

By F. Douglas Wall (Knarf) on Thursday, November 20, 2003 - 02:35 am: Edit

Actually, Robert, GPD page 76 lists Chinese as an Average language.

By Robert Herneson (Rherneson) on Thursday, November 20, 2003 - 09:45 am: Edit

Is it? Dang, I musta meant that very obscure dialect of Chinese. :)

By Gary Plana (Garyplana) on Thursday, November 20, 2003 - 11:38 am: Edit

I have no problem with house rules either, Robert. But people were discussing a change to the GURPS rules that would be printed; we cannot do that, and THAT was the point I was trying to make.

Which I guess I've done. Forgetaboutit. :)

By F. Douglas Wall (Knarf) on Sunday, November 23, 2003 - 03:41 am: Edit

Actually, if we were to tell SJG that Vulcan was an Average language, they would have no way to tell us we were wrong ;)

By Mark Norman (Mnorman) on Sunday, November 23, 2003 - 04:12 am: Edit

I had always imagined that alien language meant the language of a being with significantly different vocal apparatus from our own, while the languages of thos beings with similar vocal apparatus would be the same as any human language from a different root.

By Steven E. Ehrbar (See) on Monday, November 24, 2003 - 12:46 am: Edit

"Hard: Basque, Navajo, and most alien languages

Very Hard: Alien languages which cannot be pronounced with the character's natural vocal equpment or simple mechanical aids."

Beyond the standard of the rule, it would seem natural to expect that Vulcan languages (for example), evolved by alien minds over thousands of years in total isolation from Earth, would be sufficiently different to be at least as hard for most humans to learn as Basque or Navajo.

And remember, the difference between Average and Hard mental skills comes to a maximum of two character points for the same skill level. If you're playing a linguist who needs a lot of languages (resulting in those two points really mounting up), you're better off buying levels of the Language Talent advantage anyway.

By Spencer Rathbun (Spencerr) on Saturday, April 02, 2005 - 02:51 pm: Edit

would a swiss army knife for each empire/race be wanted/needed? I thought it might be a neat piece of equipment and I'm curious if anyone else thinks so too.

By Steve Cole (Stevecole) on Saturday, April 02, 2005 - 03:01 pm: Edit

I would think they'd all be more or less the same, convergence of function.

By Loren Knight (Loren) on Saturday, April 02, 2005 - 07:54 pm: Edit

I would think that back pre-Y100 the popularity of the OMFG (Orion Multi-Function Gear) which included a Swiss Army type knife would have had all races that didn't already have such a thing copying it from then on.

By Gary Plana (Garyplana) on Monday, August 15, 2011 - 08:14 pm: Edit

I recently picked up a new TREK paperback book:

CAST NO SHADOW by James Swallow, the front cover has portraits of Spock and Valeris on it.

The storyline involves Starfleet Intelligence and the "official canon" version of the Klingon ESS.

Overall a good read, filled with lots of hardware goodies that any PD GM or player would like; thus this post in THIS topic. :)

By Jean Sexton (Jsexton) on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 01:22 am: Edit

And thus probably ones we cannot use officially. :)

By Patrick H. Dillman (Patrick) on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 04:36 pm: Edit

Okay, does anyone have a good estimate to the length, width and depth of the Orion Slaver?


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