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GURPS Spaceships

 
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Mazza
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Joined: 25 Jun 2007
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Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 5:04 pm    Post subject: GURPS Spaceships Reply with quote

I've been reading on the SJGames forums about a forthcoming product series apparently titled GURPS Spaceships which will include starship design and combat rules. I was wondering whether the release of such a book might see a GPD release which converts SFU ships over into GURPS, or whether there might be an equivalent product released specifically for Prime Directive.
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rkbrown1800
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Joined: 19 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 6:27 pm    Post subject: Re: GURPS Spaceships Reply with quote

Mazza wrote:
I've been reading on the SJGames forums about a forthcoming product series apparently titled GURPS Spaceships which will include starship design and combat rules. I was wondering whether the release of such a book might see a GPD release which converts SFU ships over into GURPS, or whether there might be an equivalent product released specifically for Prime Directive.


I sure hope so. As far as I know the Gurps Spaceships series is currently in playtest and will only be released in pdf form via http://e23.sjgames.com/. Of course I'd buy the Prime Directive version even if it was pdf only.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's pretty much a given that once the generic gurps version exists, Gary Plana will do the specific SFU version.
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Mazza
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent! I'd love such a book, especially if it also had a profile of various SFU books which covered some of their non-combat capabilities which would be more relevant in an RPG than in a combat simulation game like SFB or FC.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That would be something for you to take up with Gary.

For me, RPGs might as well be written in Lower Urdu.
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rkbrown1800
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:03 pm    Post subject: Gurps Spaceships is out Reply with quote

The first volume of the Gurps Spaceships PDF series is out now. Has anyone at ADB had a chance to look at it and see whether it includes enough rules to convert SFU ships to Gurps or if such conversion must wait for later volumes?
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Mazza
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I now have GURPS Spaceships and at first glance they look complete enough for most gamers who didn't want to use SFB or FC to provide their starship rules. I note that SJGames plans to do a supplement coverying map based combat - I wonder whether Prime Directive players who didn't want to use SFB as their ship's combat system didn't want to use it because it required a map, or for other reasons of complexity. Guess we'll find out by whether they use the map based GURPS Spaceships expansion or not Smile

I am going to try to whip up some stats for a Free Trader and try to answer your question for you, even though I am obviously not an ADBite Smile
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Mazza
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Joined: 25 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How I built a Free Trader using GURPS Spaceships

I started on page 8 of GURPS Spaceships and worked my way through. The first thing to do was to pick a hull Size Modifier (SM). I compared the dimensions from the Hull Size Table to find the row which best matched the Free Trader as described in the GPD rulebook. A Free Trader is 68 metres long, which is just under 75 yards. Comparing the length column in the Hull Size Table, this makes the Free Trader SM+9. This would make the Free Trader's loaded mass 3,000 tons, which seems incongruous with the 3.1 million cubic feet of cargo, passengers and other the Free Trader can push. Some amateurish fumbling converting 3.1 million cubic feet of water into tons suggests to me that SM+12 (loaded mass up to 100,000 tons) might be more appropriate for the Free Trader, however, the "Scaling Up Spacecraft" box suggests that, when emulating spacecraft, you should pick the hull size closest to the known mass or dimensions. Since my fumbling with cubic feet conversions was, as I said, amateurish at best, I decided to stick with the known dimension of length, making the Free Trader SM+9.

Free Trader So-Far
SM+9, dST/HP 100, Hnd/SR -1/5

The next thing to do was to pick systems. The most obvious system on everyone's favourite freighter is the Cargo Hold, which goes in the Rear Hull as system [Rear 1].

There is also the forward Cargo Hold, which goes in the forward hull as [Front 1].

We also have a Control Room system for our bridge, which goes in the Forward Hull as system [Front 2]. The bridge has comm/sensor 8 (TL10 - 2), 6 control stations, and a C8 complexity computer network.

There is an Engine Room located in the Rear Hull [Rear 2], which has 2 Workspaces.

The deck plans show a maintenance shop, represented by a Factory in the middle of the shop [Core 1]. I think a Fabricator level factory best represents this shop, requiring components equal in mass and costing 40% of the value of the product to be manufactured. This factory can make $150K and 15lbs worth of product per hour.

The Free Trader also has light shields, represented by a Light Force Screen. I don't know where this should be located, so I went with it being controlled in the engine room and thus [Rear 3!]. This gives the Free Trader 100 dDR worth of shields.

The ship has two fuel tanks, both located in the central hull, making them [Central 1] and [Central 2]. Each has a capacity of 150 tons worth of fuel.

The ship's Habitat has four luxury cabins to represent the staterooms, and twelve other cabins of which 6 are converted to steerage cargo, leaving 6 bunkrooms. This works out at an equivalent of 20 cabins providing 30 extra tons of cargo space. The Habitat is in the forward hull, so it is [Front 3].

We will also need another Habitat system to cover the extra living space not included in the Habitat above. This includes the briefing room, the recreation rooms, the lounges, the customised rooms, the brig, the medical room, kitchen, mess hall, security office, and so on. This habitat is [Core 2].

The ship's Hangar Bay is located in the rear of the ship [Rear 4], has a 100 ton capacity, and can launch 50 tons of craft per minute. If a shuttlecraft is 50 tons, then this is a perfect shuttle bay for our Free Trader.

The ship's warp engines are represented as Stardrive Engines in GURPS Spaceships. The ship has two nacelles but that doesn't make the Free Trader twice as fast, so I still think this counts as just one Stardrive Engine, which is [Rear 5!]. Since engines in the SFU are the ship's main source of power, we have to merge the capabilities of this system somewhat with an Anti-Matter Power Plant/Reactor system, providing a base of four Power Points. This needs to be de-rated significantly so that the Free Trader doesn't have just as much power available as a Heavy Cruiser, so I have de-rated it by two, so that two Power Points are available from the warp engines.

The ship's impulse engines are represented as Fusion Torch Reaction Engines. This system is [Rear 6]. I haven't "built-in" a reactor here because impulse engines provide so little power, and Power Points are generally used to power things which take warp power only in SFB, so at least on the Free Trader, it seems simpler if the only Power Points available are warp energy.

The two phaser 3s on the ship are turrent mount weapons with a 360 degree firing arc, and the phaser 2 in the front is a fixed mount. I wasn't really sure what sort of batteries to use to represent the different sorts of phasers. I thought it would make sense if the major battery was used to represent heavy weapons, the medium battery used to represent main phasers, and the secondary battery and tertiary battery would then be used to represent less powerful phasers. Ultimately, I decided that phaser 3s would be best represented as beam-weapons in a tertiary battery. This was to allow other SFU ships which have phaser 1s, 2s and 3s to have a differentiation in phaser power using GURPS Spaceships. Tractor beams also count as a weapon - I have arbitrarily used a tertiary battery for the Free Trader's. That said, the weapon configuration of the ship is as follows:

Phaser 3s: Weapons, Tertiary Battery, Beam output (2 x 30MJ), turret mounted with 360 degree firing arc [Central 3!]
Phaser 2: Weapons, Secondary Battery, Beam output (1 x 300MJ), fixed mount with forward firing arc [Front 4!]
Tractor Beam: Weapons, Tertiary Battery, Tractor Beam, turret mounted with 360 degree firing arc [Central 4!]

The ship also has a transporter room, which has no system in GURPS Spaceships, but which I think needs to be represented. It is in the middle of the ship and needs power to operate [Central 5!]. There are 6 transporter pads.

Unexciting systems - we have the cargo holds for the water and air supply [Front 5]. We have to have six systems in each non-core hull section, so the Front and Central will each get another cargo hold for good measure. I am unhappy about this because more cargo holds should be located in the rear of the ship, according to the deck plans, but at least our Free Trader should be able to actually carry some cargo as a result.

To sum up ship's systems:

Front Hull
[1] Cargo Hold
[2] Control Room
[3] Habitat
[4!] Phaser 2 battery (weapons, secondary battery)
[5] Cargo Hold
[6] Cargo Hold

Central Hull
[1] Fuel Tank
[2] Fuel Tank
[3!] Phaser 3 battery (weapons, tertiary battery)
[4!] Tractor beam (weapons, tertiary battery)
[5!] Transporter Room
[6] Cargo Hold

Rear Hull
[1] Cargo Hold
[2] Engine Room
[3!] Light Force Screen
[4] Hangar Bay
[5!] Stardrive Engine / 2 Power Point antimatter reactor
[6] Impulse Engine (Fusion Torch engine)

Core
[1] Factory
[2] Habitat




Half way done! I'll make a follow-up post to conclude the Free Trader!
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Mazza
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 114
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Free Trader so far
SM+9, dST/HP 100, Hnd/SR -1/5

Front Hull
[1] Cargo Hold
[2] Control Room
[3] Habitat
[4!] Phaser 2 battery (weapons, secondary battery)
[5] Cargo Hold
[6] Cargo Hold

Central Hull
[1] Fuel Tank
[2] Fuel Tank
[3!] Phaser 3 battery (weapons, tertiary battery)
[4!] Tractor beam (weapons, tertiary battery)
[5!] Transporter Room
[6] Cargo Hold

Rear Hull
[1] Cargo Hold
[2] Engine Room
[3!] Light Force Screen
[4] Hangar Bay
[5!] Stardrive Engine / 2 Power Point antimatter reactor
[6] Impulse Engine (Fusion Torch engine)

Core
[1] Factory
[2] Habitat

Design Features
The Free Trader has Artificial Gravity and Gravitic Compensators

Design Switches
FTL Comm/Sensor Arrays
Warp drive is a Pseudo-Velocity drive - if turned off, the Free Trader will lose all speed gained as a result of acceleration while under pseudo-velocity

Cost
The following is the total of the cost of all the systems in GURPS Spaceships which go into our surprisingly expensive Free Trader. I am not sure whether this is the real SFU price, but here it goes!

Control Room - $6M
Engine Room - $1M
Factory - $150M (which makes me uncertain that the Free Trader's workshop should really be regarded as such an expensive system!)
Light Force Screen - $50M
Fuel Tank x 2 - $1M x 2 = $2M
Habitat x 2 - $3M x 2 = $6M
Hangar Bay - $300K
Impulse Engine - $30M
Warp Engine - $30M
Phaser 2 Battery - $1.5M
Phaser 3 Battery - $1M
Tractor Beam - $500K
Artificial Gravity and Gravitic Compensators - $3M

I suggest that the Free Trader's factory isn't large enough to actually manufacture products for sale, only for spare parts necessary to repair the ship. I think that the cost can therefore be reduced significantly - say to the cost of the engine room. The price given for the factory in GURPS Spaceships is clearly used to balance the fact that the factory in those rules can be used to manufacture products for sale. My tally therefore includes only $500K for the workshop.

Total price of the Free Trader: $131,800,000

Final Free Trader Statistics Block
TL: 10
dST/HP: 100
Damage Threshold: 10
HT: 12
Hnd/SR: +2/5 (+3 for 1000G+ acceleration)
Move: 0.5G, 15mps delta-V (impulse engine), FTL-1 (warp engine)
SM: +9
LWt: 3,000 tons (seems in appropriate but this is taken from the table)
dDR: 100 [all]
Occ: 50
Load: 630 tons
Cost: $131.8M

Observations about using GURPS Spaceships for Prime Directive
At its core, GURPS Spaceships is a good product but it is quite generic, and as such, one is often forced to pick the "most appropriate" system to represent a certain SFU ship's system. GURPS Spaceships gives a huge variety of setting and tech-level appropriate systems and variants, from which it is usually possible to pick the SFU-like option, but it provides poor differentiation between different levels of SFU-like systems. It needs some adaptation and can be confusing to use, but it is doable. It seems like a product which, if adapted or expanded to be SFU-specific, could be much more useful to GPD players.

While I think the Free Trader's stats I did up using the book are OK, they certainly aren't up to the rigorously playtested standards of SFB or FC, so it would be very hard to claim that my Free Trader is balanced. I definitely think that for campaigns where space combat is common, it would be better to use Star Fleet Battles or Federation Commander, but my feelings might change if a future GPD product adapted GURPS Spaceships to be more SFU-specific, and included a good fistful of statistics blocks for SFU ships. Very Happy


Last edited by Mazza on Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mazza
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a typo in the stat block - the Free Trader is TL 12 in GPD.
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dataweaver
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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point about the Stardrive Engine doubling as a power plant. However, the Impulse Drive should be treated as a Reactionless Drive, with a Subwarp option. In the Star Fleet Universe, impulse drives are capable of providing warp-speed travel; they're just not able to provide tactical warp capabilities - i.e., no maneuvering at warp speeds.
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Mazza
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Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 114
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a good point. I've been rethinking some aspects of my example Free Trader.

By the way, GURPS Spaceships 2 is now out and I like it a lot. It has a lot of rules about the operation of freighters and civilian ships which I think are quite useful for GURPS Prime Directive.
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