Thursday, September 29, 2016

Have Gauss, Will Travel

While dealing with projectile weapons has been on my to do pile... it wasn't something I planed on tackling just yet. But then Refplace had a request for some stats for new Gauss weapons for his GURPS Traveller campaign over on the GURPS forum so I figured what the hey, might as well give it a try.

Now for this, while I could of used Ol' Douglas Cole's ballistic spreadsheet I decided not to. What kind of crunchmeister would I be if I didn't take a crack at seeing if I could reverse engineer how GURPS stats Gauss weapons?! So, are you all excited to have more electromagnetic death dealing fun in your lives? If so click on the link to read on after this jump (I finally figured out how to do this!)!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

I Can See Clearly Now That The Hyperspectral Goggles Are On! I Can See All Obstacles In My Waaayyyy!

I seeeee yoooouuuuu.
Human sight is an amazing thing and is among the keenest in the animal kingdom. It can see in a wide range of colors and with amazing detail. However, it is not without limitation. We do not see well in the dark, we cannot see the heat emanating from the objects around us and we only see a very limited spectrum of the light available to us.

Thankfully modern technology has given us all sorts of passive visual sensors as the tools needed to overcome these limitations and the up coming ultra-technology around the corner is set to blow them out of the water!

GURPS Ultra-Tech gives a surprisingly good range of options for passive visual sensors, at lest at the human scale, and even gives options for higher tech level version of them. But as is normal for the book, if you want something specific or a wider range of options... well you're kinda out of luck. Once again I can not stress how much of a bad idea it was to cut the custom gear angle that this book was originally supposed to have. But I degrees.... 

It also doesn't line up with some of the options in GURPS High-Tech which are points brought up in Tactical Shooting: Tomorrow by Hans-Chirstian Vortisch in Pyramid 3/55 Military Sci-Fi.

So being the crunchmeistier I am, I decided to fix this little problem.

The below rules lets you create any of the types of passive visual sensors listed in Ultra-Tech and updates how they are designed to bring them more in line with Ultra-Tech. As always, keep in mind that my numbers could be off and even if they aren't Ultra-Tech's numbers can be iffy at times. Also updating some things to how things are handled in High-Tech could also thrown of some factors so not everything designed with these rules will line up 100% with what's in the book.

Passive Visual Sensor Design System (Yeaaaay for creative names!)

Tech Level
First pick the Passive Visual Sensors Tech Level, either 9, 10, 11 or 12. The higher its Tech Level, the lighter it can be made for a given level of magnification.

Example: Let's make a next generation TL9 rifle scope.

Passive Visual Sensor Type
Next pick the type of Passive Visual Sensor you are going to use. See GURPS Ultra-Tech pg. 60-61 for the full rules for each type of Passive Visual Sensor. It should be noted that all TL9+ Passive Visual Sensors are variable-power optics that can zoom between 0 and their max magnification.

Night Vision Optics (TL9)
These use light amplification technology to increase the apparent levels of ambient light. They can also be use as a normal day light visual optic as well. Even in this mode they still gives the Night Vision Advantage at level 1 .

All other type of Passive Visual Sensors can set to be used as a Night Vision Optic if needed. Doing so doubles the duration of the power cell powering the sensor if using a Infrared Imaging Sensor, quadruples it if using a Hyperspectral Imaging Sensor and by a factor of eight if using a Passive Electromagnetic Sensor Array.

Night Vision Optics give a given level of the Night Vision Advantage based on their Actual Vision Bonus. Night Vision 7 if +0, Night Vision 8 if +1 and Night Vision 9 if +2 or higher.

Infrared Imaging Sensor (TL9)
These build up a false color imagine of the surroundings based on the levels of infrared radiation it picks up. This sensor will work even in total darkness.

Hyperspectral Imaging Sensor (TL9)
This is also known as a sensor fusion or a multi-spectral sensor unit in the real world and represents the next generation of real Passive Visual Sensors and is set to be a game changer. They work by building up a false color image though the blending of imputes of an array of different visual sensors which in turn often reveals more detail then if just using them independently. Their downside is that that they are heavier for a given level of magnification then Infrared and night vision optics, use more power and are very expensive.

Passive Electromagnetic Sensor Array (TL10)
A more advanced version of the Hyperspectral Imaging Sensor that increases the frequencies of electromagnetic radiation it can see across. This of course makes it even heavier and power hungry.

Example: Looking through the choices, a Infrared Imaging Sensor seems like the best choice for making a rifle scope at TL9.

Base Passive Visual Sensors Aim Bonus
Now pick the Base Aim Bonus you want for the sensor. Its Base Aim Bonus is simply the best bonus a given platform can give for its weight.

One thing to keep in mind is that realistically, while the sensors will get lighter as technology improves, the actual size of their lens will not (at lest not by that much) since there is a limit to how small you can make a lens and still have enough area to collect the necessary amount of light.

Example: Since this we want to mount this to a relatively normal sized rifle platform we don't want our optic to be too big so a bonus of +5 seems about right.

Base Magnification Level
Now that we know the base bonus we want, we can then figure the maximum base magnification we can get.

Base Magnification Level = 2^Ab

Ab is the Base Passive Visual Sensors aim bonus.

Example: Since we want a Base Aim Bonus of +5, this means our optic is going to have a Base Magnification Level of 2^5 or 32×. 

Or if you want you can choose your Base  Passive Visual sensors Magnification level first and figure its Base Aim Bonus from that.

In that case, Aim Bonus = Log2(Ml)

Ml is the passive visual sensors magnification level.

Example: If we decided to choose the Base Magnification Level of 32× first we could figure our Base Aim Bonus taking the Log2 of its Magnification which is +5.

Visual Range
Next we figure how much we want the sensor to restrict our range of vision. This will also effect the sensors cost.

Tunnel Vision
This is typical of most telescopic scopes. A Passive Visual Sensor with this Visual Range option gives the Tunnel Vision Disadvantage when being used.

120° Restrictive Vision. 
This is typical of many modern optic goggles, it gives you more visual range then a typical scope but you still have blind spots. This gives the No Peripheral Vision Disadvantage when in use.

Full Binocular Vision
This option does not restrict a users vision at all.

Example: Since we are building a rifle targeting scope giving it the Tunnel Vision option makes the most sense.

Passive Visual Sensors Weight
Now that we know its Tech Level, the type of Passive Visual Sensor it is, its Base Magnification Level and its Visual Range we can figure the sensors weight.

Weight = (((Mlb/48)^2)×Su×Uc)/TL

Mlb is the passive visual sensors base Magnification Level.

Su is the type of passive visual sensor you are using. It is 1 for a Standard Visual Sensor, 2 for a Infrared Visual Sensor, 4 for a Hyperspectral Sensor and 8 for a PESA.

Uc is 1 for a passive visual sensors that grants Tunnel Vision, 2 if it has 120° Restricted Vision and 3 it has Full Binocular Vision.

TL is 1 if TL9, 2 if TL10, 4 if TL11 and 8 TL12.

Example: Since this a TL9 32× power Infrared Visual Sensor scope that gives Tunnel Vision it weighs ((32/48)^2×2×1)/1 or 0.97lbs which we round up to 1lbs.

A TL9 A cell will power the Passive Visual Sensor for (1/Sw)*TL hours. Note that the figures in Ultra-Tech seemed to be rounded off to the nearest power of 10. For example a B cell should only power a given sensors goggle or visor form factor for 6hrs but it is round up to 10hrs.

Sw is the Passive Visual Sensors weight.
TL is 1 at TL9, 4 at TL10, 16 at TL11 and 64 at TL12.

 For longer durations use bigger or more power cells.

Example: Since our infrared scope is TL9 and weights 0.5lbs a single C cell will power if for (1/1)*1 or 1hrs. This is a bit low so bumping up the power cell to a B cell will increase duration to 10hrs. This will add 0.05lbs to the scopes weight. 

Lens Quality
Now that figured out how much your Passive Visual Sensor weighs its time to figure how high its quality is. This will effect the sensors cost, the lower the level of magnification is for its size the cheaper it will cost to buy.

Best Quality
This lets you use the scopes full magnification and bonus but makes the scope expensive.

Excellent Quality
This halves the scopes Base Magnification and drops the Base Aim Bonus by 1.

Good Quality
This quarters the scopes Base Magnification and drops the Base Aim Bonus by 2.

Fair Quality
This drops the scopes Base Magnification by a factor of 8 and drops the Base Aim Bonus by 3.

Poor Quality
This drops the scopes Base Magnification by a factor of 16 and drops the Base Aim Bonus by 4. 

If the quality level you pick drops your Base Aim Bonus below 0, you can not take this quality level, pick the next higher quality level up. 

So this makes your Passive Visual Sensors actual Magnification Level = Mlb/Lq

Mlb is the Passive Visual sensors Base Magnification Level.

Lq is 1 if best Quality Lens, 2 if Excellent Quality, 4 if Good Quality, 8 if Fair Quality and 16 if Poor Quality.

Example: Our scope with have an actual Magnification of  32× if Best quality, 16× if Excellent Quality, 8× if Good Quality, 4× if Fair if Fair Quality or 2× if Poor Quality.

And its actual Aim Bonus = Ab-Lq

Ab is the Passive Visual Sensors Base Aim bonus.
Lq is 0 if best Quality Lens, 1 if Excellent Quality, 2 if Good Quality, 3 if Fair Quality and 4 if Poor Quality.

Example: Our scope with have an actual Aim Bonus of  +5 if Best quality, +4 if Excellent Quality, +3  if Good Quality, +2 if Fair if Fair Quality or +1 if Poor Quality.


Cost = $250×Sw×Lq×Su.

Sw is the Passive Visual Sensors weight.

Lq is 1 if Best Quality lens, 0.8 if Excellent Quality, 0.6 if Good Quality, 0.4 if Fair Quality and 0.2 if Poor Quality.

Su is 1 if Night Vision Optics or Infrared Imaging Sensor or 8 if Hyperspectral Imaging Sensor or Passive Electromagnetic Sensor Array.

Example: Since our scope is a Infrared Imaging Sensor and weighs 1lbs it cost $250×1×1×1 or $250 if Best Quality, $200 if Excellent Quality, $150 if Good Quality, $100 if Fair Quality or $50 if poor Quality.

Optional Rule: Lens Diameter
If you want a little extra detail then the diameter of a lens should be at lest 7mm ×the Passive Visual Sensors Base Magnification (not it's actual one). It is possible to make smaller lens but you start to run into resolution problems and issues with night vision. This does not go down with with TL! While we are not able to make perfect lenses yet and there *IS* some room for improvement... it's not by much and we're talking fractional differences at most.

Example: Since our scopes Base Magnification is 32× this means its lens needs to have a diameter of at lest 32×7 or 224mms.

Optional Rule: Form Factor
Ultra-Tech pg. 60 has some good guidelines for what extra gear you should add and Visual Range options you should choose based on the type sensor you want. Below I will give some extra notes on some of the options that might need further clarification with these rules as well as add a new option.

Goggles, Visor, Video Glasses or Video Contacts
These should be built with the Binocular Visual Range option.

Targeting Scopes
These are used for giving the best magnification possible for long distance shooting. They used the Tunnel Vision Visual Range option.

Optional Rules: Sensor Turrets and Periscopes
Some things seems a bit off with the weight of Sensor turret and Sensor Periscope.  The hold a 10× Hyperspectral Imaging Sensor and a 10 mile range Ladar which should weigh less then 3lbs combined and cost less then $20,000 yet the turret weights 70lbs and costs $300,000 and the periscope weighs 150lbs and costs $350,000!

Needless to say, these figures seem more then a little off to me. Keep in mind that these figures don't take into account the possibility that the Combination Gadget rules weren't used which would make these figures even more wonky. So as a fix I propose that turrets weigh and cost 1.2 × more then the combined weight and cost of the sensors used in the turret and that periscopes weighs and cost (1+(0.1×how many yards tall the periscope is)) times more.If you want it to be both a turret and a periscope multiply the weight and cost by both.

Example: If we wanted to make my 1lbs scope a sensor turret it would now weight 1.2lbs and cost (assuming a Best Quality lens) $300. If it was a 5 yard periscope it would now weigh 1.5lbs and cost $375. If it was both a turret and a 5 yard periscope it would weigh 1.9lbs and cost $450. 

Warping it up
All you have left to do is think up any equipment modifiers and or perks/quirks you might want to add, write up the stat line and think up any flavored fluff text you might want to add.

Example: To add some flavor to this scope let's say it's a military grade scope made to last and there for counts as rugged and made by a company called Hugues Optics. 

Hugues Optics Oracle XL-5 224mm Infrared Imaging Scope (TL9)
The Hugues Optics Oracle XL-5 224mm series of infrared imaging scopes are built to military specs and designed to last (counts as rugged). They are available in  32× (+5) power for $500, 16× (+4) power for $400, 8× (+3) power for $300, 4× (+2) for $200 and 2× (+1) for $100.

The unit weights 1.25lbs and is powered by  a B cell for 10hrs. DR 8 HP 4 HT 12.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

My Review of GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 19: Incantation Magic

While I'm primarily a sci-fi gamer that doesn't mean I shun all of fantasy's tropes and wouldn't play in a fantasy campaign if offered a chance to.  In fact my one of the major campaigns I'm working on is what can be best called a quasi-hard science fantasy one (yeah I know, but quasi-hard and fantasy aren't totally at odds with one and another so long as you treat the fantasy like a good sci-fi writer treats super science)  that's to have three major magic systems, Sorcery, Magery and Wizardry.

For Sorcery I wanted it to be something that was innate and flexible and... well what do you know, that has been handled by the good Rev. PK's GURPS Thaumatology: Sorcery!

For Magery I wanted it to be half way between Sorcery and Wizardry. I wanted it to be a trained version of Sorcery that traded some flexibility for power and finding a GURPS fit for this was easy enough, that's pretty much handled by GURPS default magic system.

Lastly for Wizards I wanted them to be hella powerful but limited. They couldn't caste spells on the fly but they could make spell scrolls and the like meaning they had to spend a lot of time on making spells but the trade off was they rocked the house when they did caste! However, unlike the first two styles I couldn't find something that quite fit. GURPS Thaumatology had some ideas that could of kinda work but... it would of taken a lot of work  to make the ideas it suggested match what I had in my head. Then there was GURPS Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic, a more detailed version of the system first introduced in GURPS Monster Hunters which emulated the style of magic seen in shows like Supernatural. This came close, real close and I was just about to settle on it when Ghostdancer dropped GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Incantation Magic... and well... holy crap... it was like he read mind my mind! I was as perfect for what I had in mind as it was going to get for a system not custom written for me!

So I figured, might as well help my mans out a little bit and do a review it. The more coverage he gets, the more likely he'll get more books deals and that means more GURPS goodness for all us. Sounds pretty win/win to me!

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 19: Incantation Magic
Now to be honest, I've never written a review or really ever gave much thought to writing one before. There's tons of people who do it already and probably do a better job of it then I could do (I'm looking at you pseudo boo) so what could I add to the argument? 

Well... no point in staying in ones comfort zone, ones echo chamber. So I'll give this the old collage try (even though I never tried collage >.>). Also for full disclosure , this is very much a first impressions review. I haven't had the time to really get in there and run the system through the ringer yet but given who wrote it I'm pretty confident that my opinion of the system would only get better once I do.

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 19: Incantation Magic is the latest release in the GURPS Dungeon Fantasy line of book that brings that good ol' beer and pretzels murder hobo fun in a convenient GURPS package which in turn makes it a great way to con I mean convince new blood to dive into the system! 

I gotta say, this book adds some much needs variety to the line. Before it's release all magic casters in it just used the GURPS default magery system and just had the numbers of spells they could use cut down to was in genre for a given character archetype. Now this was fine and all, after all even D&D handles their all their spell casters the same way but... it's hardly the GURPS way of doing things! GURPS is all about giving the player options and chooses so having more then one way of casting magic is hardly a bad thing!

So what is Incantation Magic and how does it differ from Magery?  

At it's core it is a variation of the Ritual Path Magic system optimized for Dungeon Fantasy. For example in Ritual Path Magic, spells are broken down into greater and lesser effects. Spells that count as lesser effects are those that have effects that at lest are some what probable such as giving someone a slight boot in their ST, something that could be explained away as hysterical strength for example, while greater effects are out and out magical and fly right in the face of natural laws but are harder to cast because of it. Incantation Magic does away with that, all effects are greater effects in it! Now this adds nuance to the system and lets casters make spells that might not be noticed as such by normal people (which is important in a Monster Hunters type campaign from which Ritual Path Magic came from) so at first this might seem like a dumbing down or over simplification of the system. To this I counter that it's a streamlining that lets the basic idea of the system work along side magery. Think about it, how fair would it be to make a  Incantation Magic user how to worker harder to be awesome with their spells when mage's get to by default? This streamlining is there for necessity and makes the system work better for the line. 

Incantation Magic also gives both the player and GM a greater range of choice. As it is the magery system isn't very flexible, much like classic D&D spells they're pretty closed box and there's no real easy way to make new spells with it (though to be fair, given that magic in magery is supposed to learned like skills this does make sense) so having a magic user that can switch up on the fly adds versatility. 

Oh and speaking of versatility, Incantation magic gives it's casters, called Incanters, several different options in how you can bring you magic to bear. You can just out and caste the magic but that takes time or you can make scrolls and even "bound" spells to your aura to give so quick access spells in a pinch. 

Alright, but doesn't all this  make it OP compared to Magery then? Well no, there is a big trade off in that casting a spell in Incantation Magic take a LONG time. Yes you have scrolls and bound spells but you still need to put the time in to make them in the fist place and once you use them, they're gonna to you make more! This also helps to give Incanters a very different feel then a typical Magery user, they're not going to be there just pop of fyaa ballllz! and other quick spells. They're goning to tend to more fall under large scale strategic spells, buffing the entire party, creating large scale effects and so on. This casting time can also be used for dramatic effect and as we all know, anything that adds good drama adds being awesome to the situation! Just think about it, you have a set up were the group is fighting a massive demon and the groups Incanter is trying to caste a banishment spell but that spell is gonna take several minutes to pop off! This means the group has to hold the line and protect them while they are in the background channeling arcane energies, chanting and building up their spell! Or it could be the fiendish orc archmage trying summon his demonic deity to smith the relm and the group has to stop him before hell is unleashed! Yeah, you could just pull a spell time out of your butt but Incantation Magic gives you the tools to really make it a spell and that could add a lot of detail and enhanced the fells of the game. 

So, what about using this in a non-Dungeon Fantasy setting? How would it stand up? Well if you just need one flexible magic system for your campaign then I'd suggest Ritual Path Magic since it gives you more things to bring to the table if you are running a more down to earth or "realistic". If you're running a GURPS Action type game with magic then this rocks on toast, giving you tactical flexibility and a system that can still pass as being subtle (well for an action movie that is) and if you want to have more then one magic system for you game (like in my situation) then as I pointed out at the start,  Incantation Magic is perfectly balanced for that. So all in all, it stands out even outside of the Dungeon Fantasy box!

So in closing this system brings you options, both in terms of how many magic casting style you can have, in how many spells you can caste AND in how you can caste them. This flexibility is the systems greatest strength and with the fat trimmed down compared to it's parent system it's a viable contender to use along side GURPS other magics options. So if you are planing on running any type of setting were you either want something a little more in depth then magery but not as crunchy as Ritual Path Magic or Sorcery or you want to have more then one magic style in play then this system is for you and at $7.99, it's a pretty good deal.

Well that's my honest thoughts on the system and why I'm gonna be using it. Hope I gave it a good pitch... oh... and did you know that it's going to be included with the Powered by GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Starter Box that's being crowd funded on Kickstarter right now? Go check it out and if you have a few bucks to spare then think about supporting it. This box set is a pretty big deal... 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Highly Mobile Infantry

                                                    100 Years of Force by the super talented ukitakumuki 

Earth Republic High-Mobility Infantry
The Earth Republic High-Mobility Infantry is an elite, powered suited, orbital drop deployed, highly mobile strike force sent primarily on deep penetration missions behind enemy lines. Deployed from drops pods (Ultra-Tech pg. 232) launched from troop corvettes, the high-mobility infantry are not meant to take or hold territory but rather to strike the enemy strong and hard taking out strategic targets and forcing the enemy to redeploy forces letting the more conventional forces do their thing.  

The current enemy of the high-mobility infantry is a race only know as the pseudo-scorpiones, a race of aliens that vaguely resemble terrestrial scorpions. The war is currently over contested planets both the Earth Republic and the pseudo-scorpiones have laid claim too, or at lest that is what EarthGov Intelligence thinks. They so far have done little to communicate their actions outside of using alien and human POWs as third parties and little is know about what kind of culture they have or even what they call themselves! 

Below is a list of the powered suits and weapons used by the high-mobility infantry as well as break down of the average pseudo-scorpiones warrior. The Earth Republic is largely TL10 but can produce some TL11 tech in limited quantities for 5× the normal cost.

MAA Mk 12 "Gorilla" Infantry Suit, Powered  (TL10)
The Man Amplifier, Armored Mark 12 "Gorilla" is the baseline infantry powered suit used by the high-mobility infantry. The suit is large and bulky standing 9ft 4in tall (SM +1); between this and the suits name, the men who wear them the are nicknamed "apes".

It's armor is made up of high toughness, high hardness titanium nano-composite and carbon nano-tube reinforced ceramic plates with heavy curving in the front to increase it's effective thickness without any increase in weight. It also have nanoweave fabric covering the exposed gaps and joins such as the back of the knees, inner thighs, elbows and neck giving those locations DR18/6* (use the higher DR against piercing and cutting damage and the lower against all other types).

Its high output artificial muscles gives +22 to Lifting and Striking ST and when powered, does not encumber its wearer and do to it's size it gives +1 to their basic move and grants Super Jump 2. Its powered by a back mounted radiothermal generator that can power a suit for up to 10 years.

Its  has an integrated helmet that includes a filter mask (Ultra-Tech pg. 177), an inertial compass (Ultra-Tech pg. 74),vision and hearing protection (Ultra-Tech pg. 171), a 2× hyperspectral visor (Ultra-Tech pg. 61), a small laser comm (Ultra-Tech pg. 44) and three medium 200 mile radios  (Ultra-Tech pg. 44). Two of the three radios are dedicated to handling data with one usually being dedicated to uploads and one dedicated to down loads to make sure all suits stay connected to the Tacnet system.The helmet can not move but it is designed so that its visor is wide enough that the  wearer can turn their head and still see out of the sides.

Built into is body includes biomedical sensors (Ultra-Tech pg. 187), a  fast, harden, high-capacity, small complexity 7 computer (Ultra-Tech pg. 22), trauma maintenance (Ultra-Tech pg. 189), a provisions dispenser (Ultra-Tech pg. 187) with a week’s provisions (Ultra-Tech pg. 73), tactical ESM (Ultra-Tech pg. 62), and a waste relief system (Ultra-Tech pg. 187). The suit also has infrared cloaking (Ultra-Tech pg. 99) and radar stealth  (Ultra-Tech pg. 100).

The suit also incorporates a cluster of high thrust jump rockets with half a ton of thrust that lets the suit stay mobile and "on the bounce". It's inertial fuel tank carries 78 liters of  liquid hydrogen which gives it enough "juice" for 40 jumps. When firing the jump rockets the levels of super jump it gives your double to 4. While internal, the tank has an extra DR6 protecting it if hit.

The suit is sealed, and has climate control (absolute zero to 500°F), pressure support (50 atm.), radiation protection (PF 20), and vacuum support. It has four large air tanks which holds 144 hours of  supply at TL10 (Ultra-Tech pg. 177).

The Gorilla has three hard points, two 80lbs ones on the back of each shoulder and one  100lbs one on the center of the back, and two 50lbs internal storage thigh holster. 

On one of its shoulder hard point it usually mounts the Mk 217 64mm MLAWS Missile Launcher system attached to an Articulated Weapons Harness that folds the weapon against the suits back when not in use. It's usually used with TL 10 64mm HE and HEDP rounds and sometimes 1kt mini-nukes are given to higher ranked infantrymen when a little extra "persuasion" is needed. Use the stats for the TL10 64mm MLAWS (Ultra-Tech pg. 145-145) with a Articulated Weapons Harness attached (Ultra-Tech pg 150-151).

The other shoulder mount is usually loaded with either loaded the GGU Mk 97-R Heavy Battlesuit Gauss Rifle or the HEW Mk 8 Heavy Flamer, both of which will be attached to a Gyrotabilized Weapon Harness as their main side arm. Some units will be given the GGU Mk 97-L Squad Automatic Gauss Rifle  (also attached to a Gyrotabilized Weapon Harness) to provide heavy fire support.

Their back mount is usually loaded with the IFSG Mk 12 "Double I-rack" double barreled 64mm Gauss Grenade Launcher to provide some mobile motor support.

Their hip mounted internal hostlers usually hold a Mk 2 mod VII Battlesuit combat vibro-blade in one and either a GGU Mk 97-C PDW or a HEW Mk 5 Battlesuit Heavy Hand Flamer to use as a side arm in the other.

Also depending on the mission they tend to be equipped with a variety of externally mounted 64mm Grenades (Ultra-Tech pg. 146) armed with different TL10 64mm warheads (Ultra-Tech pg. 152-159) depending on the mission. Grenades armed with pys-op "message bomb" warheads are quiet popular with the troops do to rather dark sense of humor their messages tend to have.

MAA Mk 12 Mod II "Silverback" Command Suit, Powered (TL11)
The Silverback is a variant of the Gorrilla made for command and control. It is an elite model made from effectively TL11 technology which makes it very expensive and do to it's complexity it has two levels of the Hanger Queen quirk meaning it has a lot of down time when being maintenance.

It has all the same equipment as the Gorilla but use their TL11 stats with the exception of its radiothermal generator which is still TL10. 

It also has the following changes:

Gives +26 to Lifting and Striking ST, 2 levels of Super Jump with out its jump rockets and is equiped with a more powerful 1,500lbs of thrust rockets that gives  5 levels of Super Jumps with a boosted jump with 40 uses (Fuel Tank has DR 8), the 4 air tanks hold 8 days worth of air climate control (absolute zero to 1,000°F), pressure support (55 atm.) and radiation protection (PF 25). The armor that covers it gaps has DR24/8* (Use the higher DR value against piercing and cutting damage, the lower number against all other types).

The Silverback has all the same hard points as the Gorilla but do to its mission its seldom armed with more then a side arm and a Mk 2 mod VII Battlesuit combat vibro-blade.

MAA Mk 15 "Gibbon " Scout Suit, Powered (TL10+1)
The Gibbon is a light weight scout variant of the Gorilla. Made on a similar but lighter frame, it trades front line fighting ability for being able to fit into smaller areas and hide. Unlike the other suits it stands only 8ft 6in tall but is still just barely SM +1.

It has all the same gear and abilities as the Gorilla with the follow changes:

Gives +19 to Lifting and Striking ST, its infrared cloaking  and radar stealth are both TL11 versions and it gives 2 levels of Super Jump with out jump rockets and 5 levels of Super Jumps with a boosted jump do to it's higher powered 1,500lbs of thrust jump rocket. It also has enough fuel for 40 jumps. The armor that covers the gaps are the same as on the  Gorilla suit.

Gibbon suits also have the same hard points as the Gorilla but typically are much more lightly armed and usually have one of their shoulder hard points taken up by the GSS Mk 32 mod V Cyclopes sensor fusion unit (a TL11 version of Tactical Sensor Turret on Ultra-Tech pg. 66 with 5× the listed cost). 

Battlesuit Table
TL Armor                               Location          DR            Cost             Weight   Power     LC
10  Mk 12 Gorilla                      All                 180/120    $420,000       615       10 yr.          1
11  Mk 12 mod II Silverback       All                270/180    $2,500,000    710       10 yr.           1
10  Mk 15 Gibbon                      All                135/90       $370,000       550       10 yr.         1
Use the higher DR values against hits to  the front torso, the lower protects all other locations.



Gauss Rifles
GGU Mk 97-R 12.7mm Heavy Battlesuit Rifle (TL10)
The Gauss Gun Unit Mark 97-Rifle is a heavy, high powered fully automatic Gauss rifle capable of being fried in semi-auto, three round limited burst or full auto. It fires a 12.7mm EPAP sabot round that deploys a 2.5mm sub-caliber penetrator made of bulk-amorphous tungsten.

Their magazine holds 50 rounds and contains the three TL10 D-Cells (Ultra-Tech pg. 18-19) needed to power the weapon.

The weapons are attached with a Gyrotabilized Weapon Harness (Ultra-Tech -pg. 150, stats and cost already added into the weapons stat line below) which help stabilize the weapon and folds the weapon up against the suits back when not in use.

Fires a 1120 grain projectile at 5,077 feet per second with a length to diameter ratio of 8, Muzzle Energy is 87kJ, drains 174kW per shot.

Gauss Light Machine Gun
GGU Mk 97-RL12.7mm Heavy Battlesuit Squad Automatic Weapon (TL10)
The Gauss Gun Unit Mark 97-Light Machine Gun is heavy barreled version of the Mk 97-R designed for a higher rate of fire. It also uses a Gyrotabilized Weapon Harness, its stats have already been adjusted to reflect this. 

The weapon is feed from a 115lbs, 150 round drum magazine that is attached the suits back and connected to the weapon with a flexible ammo chute and holds the 8 D-cells needed to fire all the rounds. Infantrymen using this weapon must be careful not to get the chute caught up on terrain features. It can also use the Mk 97-R magazine as well if needed.

If you are using the sustained fire rules form High-Tech (pg. 85-86) then it has a sustained fire fire multiplier of ×4.5 do to both being TL10 and having a heavy barrel.

Fires a 1120 grain projectile at 5,077 feet per second with a length to diameter ratio of 8, Muzzle Energy is 87kJ, drains 174kW per shot.

Gauss Sub Machine Gun
GGU Mk 97-S 12.7mm Heavy Battleusit Sidearm (TL10)
The Gauss Gun Unit Mark 97-Sidearm is a cut down, PDW version of the Mk 97-R designed as a back up or weapon to use in less intense  or built up situations. It fires the same round as the the other Mk 97 builds but at half the velocity and does not make use of a Gyrotabilized Weapon Harness. Also to keep compatibility up and logistics down it uses the same magazine as Mk 97-R but only drains a forth as much of the power cells per shot..

Fires a 1120 grain projectile at 2,540 feet per second with a length to diameter ratio of 8, Muzzle Energy is 21.8kJ, drains 44kW per shot.

GUNS (SMG) (DX-4 or Most other Guns -2)
TL   Weapon   Damage       Acc    Range              Weight   ROF    Shots    ST    Bulk  Rcl   Cost               LC
10    Mk 97-S   11d-1(3) pi    5      2,9000/12,000      35/24      10         50(5)   19    -4       3      $10,100/$437   1

GUNS (RIFLE) (DX-4 or most other Guns at -2)
TL   Weapon   Damage        Acc    Range              Weight   ROF    Shots    ST    Bulk  Rcl   Cost                 LC
10    Mk 97-R     7d×3(3) pi    7      5,800/24,000    67/24     10          50(5)   9†   -8      2       $27,000/$437    1

GUNS (LMG) (DX-4 or Most other Guns -2)
TL   Weapon   Damage        Acc    Range              Weight   ROF    Shots    ST    Bulk  Rcl   Cost                 LC
10    Mk 97-L     7d×3(3) pi    7      5,800/24,000    81/115p   20        150(5)  10†   -8    2       $50,000/$2,200   1


IFSG Mk 12 "Double I-rack" double barreled 64mm Gauss Grenade Launcher (TL10)
The Indirect Fire Support, Gauss Mark 12, nicked named the "Double I-Rack" do to its shape, is a 64mm Gauss grenade launcher used by powered suits to provide short ranged, point heavy fire support while on the "bounce". While the 64mm electromagnetic grenades it fires can use any TL10 grenade warhead, it is normally armed with either HE or Thermobaric warheads.

It is powered by a TL D-cell built into its 20 round magazine.


TL   Weapon   Damage     Acc    Range              Weight   ROF    Shots    ST      Bulk  Rcl     Cost               LC
10    I-Rack     5d pi++     4          150/1,250         99/49      2          20(3)    19M      -6     2       $50,000/$715   1

Electromagnetic Gun Ammunition Table
TL Round     WPS   CPS
10  12.7         0.16   $1.60
10  64mmG    2       $20

Beam Weapons
Plasma Flamers
HEW Mk 5 Battlesuit Heavy Hand Flamer (TL10^)
Originally designed as a heavy deforestation device for clearing our areas for new colonies, the High Energy Weapon Mark 5 got pressed into limited military service as a particularly successful use as one as an improved weapon during a round of "aggressive diplomatics". It has since been pressed into common service as a powered suit side arm after it was found to be a very effective weapon when high-mobility infantrymen are sent out on scorp-hole clearing operations. Its success in these operation spurred the development of the HEW Mk 8 Heavy Flamer.

It fires a 64kJ plasma beam and for increased compatibility, it uses the same Plasma D-cell disposable  magazine as its bigger brother the Mk 8.

HEW Mk 8 Heavy Flamer (TL10^)
A fully militarized version of the Mk 5, the High Energy Weapon Mark 8 is a powered suit sized flamer "rifle" used as the main long arm by at lest 2 infantrymen in a squad on a general mission into  pseudo-scorpiones territory or as the main long arm by units sent to clear "scorp-holes". 

The weapons are attached with a Gyrotabilized Weapon Harness (Ultra-Tech -pg. 150, stats and cost already added into the weapons stat line below) which help stabilize the weapon and folds the weapon up against the suits back when not in use. 

It fires a 216kJ plasma beam and is powered by a plasma D-cell which contains a non-rechargeable power cell and 16 liters of hydrogen.

BEAM WEAPONS (PROJECTOR) (DX-4 or other Beams Weapons -4) 
TL   Weapon           Damage       Acc    Range         Weight   ROF    Shots     ST    Bulk  Rcl   Cost                 LC
10^    Hand Flamer   8d burn         3      130/390      14/D       1          140(3)   11     -5      1      $9,400/$100      1
10^    Heavy Flamer  6d×2 burn    6       290/870    74/2D      1            82(3)    8†   -10    1     $39,000/$200     1

Melee Weapons
KNIFE (DX-4, Force Sword-3, Main-Gauche-3, or Shortsword-3)
TL Weapon        Damage                Reach   Parry  Cost               Weight    ST   Notes
10   Mk 2 Knife  sw+1 +1d(5) cut   C,1      -1          $7,200/$10      4           10    [1, 2]
                    or    thr+3 (5) imp        1

[1]A built in C-cell powers the weapon for 86 seconds. With the vibro function shut off drop the +1d from cutting damage and the drop the armor divisor to (2) for both cutting and impaling damage.
[2] The weapons counts as Super Fine, this give the weapons a (2) armor divisor, adds +2 to damage and gives it +3 to resist breakage. See Ultra-Tech Too by Kenneth Peters from Pyramid 3/51 Tech and Toys III pg. 9-10 for updated rules for Super Fine and Vibro-Blades.

Pseudo-Scorpiones Warriors                                                 362pts
The pseudo-scorpiones come from a world much like our own with a similar atmosphere and slightly higher gravity (1.23G). However despite the similar environment they evolved in,  they only resemble earth scorpions in silhouette. They have six legs, what appear to be two large claws and a long tail and that's were the similarities end. In actual appearance they look quite alien, like some mad scientist's rendition of a giant scorpion. One of the primary differences is that they have an actual muscle-skeleton system and while their outside looks like it's encased in an exoskeleton it's actually covered in bony armor similar in nature to those on member of the ankylosauridae family. This similarity continues into their tails that originally held a bony spiked club rather then a poisonous stinger. Their claws are actually segmented and have evolved to unfold into what are effectively hands. Rather then fingers, each claw segment holds hundreds of semi-prehensile hair like fibers that give them roughly the same manual dexterity as humans though their warriors have their hands reengineered back into a more claw like form. Their heads are not merged into their bodies but rather are mounted on oddly skinny necks that can fold back to the point their heads can touch their bodies were it rests if they are not looking about. Their heads are two ovoid lopes with two sets of eyes, one large and bulbous the other about normal sized, each. Their "mouth" is a enlarged sack that unfolds into tube like structure that envelops it's food. 

Not as much is known about their society, in fact their names for themselves or what they call their world or government is unknown as is the fact if they even have a concept of what a name is. What is known it that they have a class based society of sorts with a ruling caste which seems to be the closest to what they originally looked liked, a science/engineer class which develops their technology and a worker and warrior class that have been heavily generically and cyberengineered to suit their roles. They also have made no attempts to communicate directly, instead they have only used third parties such as allied alien races or human prisoners instead. Their technology is also roughly on par with the Earth Republic's being effectively TL10+1 with the big differences that they make heavy use of bio-mechanical tech and rather then being TL11 in a large range of tech, their +1TL is focused on bio-mechanical tech, energy generation (including nuclear devices) and beam weapons. 

Their warriors have been heavily modified into fighting machines, originally though eugenics then through genetics and finally through bio-mechanical upgrades. Their natural armor has been engineered to to highly resilient naturally and further bounded with advanced metallic laminate plates and their muscle structure greatly boosted for greater strength. Weak points in there body have been reinforced and several "back up organs" have been added to help keep fighting even with massive damage (Reflected in their high HP for their size). Their hands have been "devolved" back into claws with artificial diamondoid tips bounded to them and extra high impulse muscle fibers have been added to greatly increase their shearing strength. And finally their tail cub has been replaced with a cyberneticlly implanted Heavy Blaster (Ultra-Tech pg. 123) and they have pockets added into their bodies that holds 4 bio-mechanical TL 11 D-cells that can fire it for 80 full powered shots. But despite all these upgrades they are seen as disposable by the ruling caste and even have been engineered to only have a max life span of a few years and have any part of their brains not deemed needed for their purposes removed or atrophied giving them very little in the way of emotions, creativity and greatly reducing their over all intelligence.  

Despite having all these fearsome upgrades a warrior is still not quite a match in one on one combat with a High Mobility Infantryman. Their claws are not quite strong enough to pierce the armor on even the standard infantry suit but a lucky hit on a joint can be fatal and an ambush or a overwhelming rush can spell the end for even the best fighting man. Range combat on the other hand, they are quite deadly while a single shot from their implanted Heavy Blaster only has a slight chance of piercing a powered suits front armor, the warriors make up for this by firing hot shotted blasts which can cause a fatal hit from any angle.

Pseudo-scorpiones warriors prefer to both use ambush  and overwhelm tactics and will often have workers bore tunnels under the battle field where they will place 15kt thermonuclear mines for nasty surprises (use Explosives/TL11 (Demolition) skill for placement but they are usually told by their ruling caste commanders in advanced were to place them) or create tunnels to the surface with hidden portals where they can weight and swarm ambush unsuspecting soldiers. Even without workers or tools the warriors can still tunnel at reasonable speeds if they need to being capable of boring through 10.5 cubic feet of soil per minute do to their claws. Since workers have been engineered to be passive to the point that they will not attack even to defend themselves which means they are often paid no mind, another tactic of theirs is to hide among groups of workers, pretending to be them until a group of soldiers walk by and then strike.

Basic Attributes: ST 28 [162]*; DX 11 [20]; IQ 6 [-80]; HT 14 [40].
Secondary Characteristics: Dmg 3d-1/5d+1; BL 157; HP 28 [0]; Will 12 [30]; Per 10 [20]; FP 14 [0]; BS 6.25 [0]; BM 6 [0]; Dodge 9; SM +1, 800lbs. 

Advantages: Absolute Direction [5]; Arm ST +3 (Two Arms; Striking ST only, -30%, Claw attack only, -20%) [9]*; Combat Reflexes [15]; Damage Resistance 20 [100]; Damage Resistance 15 (Directional Top (Counts as front),-20%) [60]; Extra Arm 1 (Weapon Mount, -80%) [2]; Extra Attack 1 [25]; Extra Legs (6 legs;  Cannot Kick, -50%) [5]; High Pain Threshold [10]; Infravision [10]; Natural Weapon: Shearing Claws (Cutting Attack; Armor Divisor 2, +50%; Heavy 3, +30%; Increased Damage +2, +60%; Resilient, +10% ) [18];  Payload 2 (31.4lbs) [2]; Racial Skill Bonus +2 (Stealth) [4]; Racial Skill Bonus +3 (Acting, Optional Specialty only to act like a worker) [6]; Telecommunication (Radio, 10 miles; Secure, +20%) [12].

Perks: Burrower [1].

Disadvantages: Appearance (Monstrous) [-20]; Blood Lust (Self Control Number 12) [-10]; Callous [-5]; Clueless [-10]; Ham-Fisted 3 [-10]; Hidebound [-5]; Horizontal [-10]; Incurious [-5]; Low Empathy [-20]; No Sense of Humor [-10]; Oblivious [-5]; Short Livespan 4 [-40]; Slave Mentality [-40].

Skills: Area Knowledge (Local Colony Territory) (E) IQ+4 [16]-10; Acting (Optional Specialty, only to act like a worker) (E) IQ+2 [4]-11; Brawling (E) DX+3 [8]-14; Gunner (Beams) (E) DX+1 [2]; Navigation/TL10+1 (A) IQ+5 [24]-11; Solider/TL10+1 (A) IQ+4 [20]-10; Stealth (A) DX+0 [2]-13†.

*Includes the -10% special limitation for being SM +1.
†Includes the +2 Racial Skill bonus for Stealth.
Includes the +3 Racial Skill bonus for Acting (Optional Specialty, only to act like a worker).

Attack                 Damage     Reach    Parry      Notes
Shearing Claws  4d(2) cut     C              0           [1,2]
[1] Their claws count as having a weight of 4.4lbs for parrying. If their ST is raised, divide it by 7 rather then 10 when figuring their new weight.
[2] Their claws count as Fine for the purposes of weapon breakage and have DR 40.

EXPLOSIVES/TL11 (DEMOLITIONS) (IQ-5 or Engineer (Combat) or (Mining) -3)
TL   Weapon           Damage                               Wt.     Cost
11    Nuclear Mine  6d×7,500 cr ex                     4     $150,000
                    linked  6d×7,200 burn ex rad sur
Divide the thermonuclear mines cr ex damage by 3 × distance in yards from the center of the blast.
Divide the thermonuclear mines burn ex rad sur damage by 2× distance in yards from the center of the blast.

New Systems
Here's two new systems I've added to help stat up the powered suits.

Jump Rockets
How could you not have drop infantry suits and not have jump rockets? 

Rocket Weight 
This covers the rockets actual weight. It can be one large rocket or (more likely) several smaller ones spread out around the suit to help minimized the stress exerted on the it. 

Weight = TL×Tw in pounds.

TL is 0.017 at TL9, 0.011 at TL10, 0.0085 at TL11 and 0.0057 at TL12.
Tw is the rockets thrust in pounds.  


Cost = Rw×$20

Rw is the rockets weight in pounds.

Jump Points
Think of how many times you want the suit to be able to jump before needing to be refueled, this is the amount of Jump Points (JP) you need. Note that each Jump Points covers both the initial firing to start the jump and the breaking jump at the end, for those who want more detail then double the amount of Jump Points a suit has. Each jump now takes 1JP to start and 1 JP to break to a safe speed at the end.

Use the formula below to figure the weight of the fuel needed to provide that many Jump Points.

Weight of Fuel = JP×Rw×0.000306

JP is the desired number of Jump Points. 
Tw is the rockets thrust in pounds.

Cost of Fuel = Fw×$0.40.

Fuel Tank
Fuel Tanks Have DR 4 at TL9, DR 6 at TL10, DR 8 at TL11 and DR 12 at TL12. If you want you can split the fuel into several different tanks. To do so divide up the weight of fuel into an amount of portions you want and stat up a tank for each one separately. They can be stored internally giving them extra protection but this increases the suits surface area when figuring the suits armor. Add 1/5th of the weight of a full tank to BL when figuring the suits surface area. If stored externally the makes the tanks more vulnerable but also lets you jettison empty tanks to reduce weight.  

Weight of Fuel Tank = (Fw×1.2)-Fw.

Fuel Tank Cost = Tw×$0.30.

Hard Points

A simpler version of the Articulated Weapons Harness that contains just the connections and wiring  needed to hook up pods and gear to the suit. 

Weight =Hw×TL in pounds.

Hw is the maximum weight the hard point is rated to hold. 
TL is 0.1 at TL9, 0.07 at TL10, 0.05 at TL11 and 0.03 at TL12.

Cost = HPw×$5

HPw is the hard points weight.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Blogs and Posts That I like

This is going to be an on again, off again series where I go over blogs and individual post that I find interesting, helpful or must reads. The reason for why I'm doing is something I feel everyone knows deep down but I figured it wouldn't hurt to a talk a litte on it anyways.

The way I see it, all us GURPS bloggers aren't lonely island out in the chaotic seas of the interwebs. We're all connected, comrades in arms, and we all have the same goal in the end: To see GURPS grow both for the choir and to help those who aren't yet become so. So by spending a little time getting the word out on the blogs I can cover, I'm not only helping them grow, which in turn help me grow, but it will help grow the entire community and GURPS as a whole.

So to start this off I'm going to cover the three GURPS bloggers who have been there supporting me from the start (well outside of Doug and Ghostdancer... they both popped on my blog less then an hour after I made my first post to give me a little nudging... holy crap they move fast!). I think spending a few words on them is the lest I can do to repay the favor.

Fist up it's GURPS forum regular Daniel Dover, who goes by the handle Mailanka online. His blog Mailanka's Musings has some great stuff on it and more specifically his top notch work on his Psi-Wars setting. 

He not only goes over in detail a setting that is pretty much Star Wars with the serial numbers filed off but go overs why he thinks why it's better to make a setting that's inspired by rather directly copying an established work and does a blow through blow account of just about everything you need to think about, everything you need to cover and how important it is to play test, play test, play test! 

Basically it should be pretty much be called How to Write a GURPS Campaign and I can not stress how much this is a must read for anyone who is working on a campaign, hell even if it's not a GURPS one most of what he says still applies.

Next up is a blog that needs a little more love, Chain Link and Concrete by Michael Eversberg II. He's been especially awesome to me and has comment on almost all of my articles.

He's got a cool article covering converting the US NIJ rating standred to GURPS DR levels here.

A detailed Write up of the M2 Bradly IFV family that's almost on par with Han's writes up like The Devil's Chariot from Pyramid 3/57 Gunplay here.

And he's been working on doing a conversion of Command and Conquer to GURPS, which is pretty freakin' awesome . 

And lastly there's Let's GURPS by another forum regular Pseudonym. He was one of the first people to add me their recommended blogs list and oh boy does this man have some content for ya! He made a pledge to write a post to his blog a day, every day for this year and he deserves some mad props for that commitment!

A few of my favorite posts:

Here's one of my favorites that goes not only into good advice on how to flesh out a character but how to do it in a way that lets the other players know at the general idea of your character as early as possible so they can take that into account as they make theirs.

A couple of farming/plant related sorcerer spells here. Sorcery is fast becoming my favorite magic system and I got a player for a sci-fi campaign I'm working on that has some quasi-fantasy stuff in it who wants to be a geomancer so stuff like that is very useful.

 A really handy Ritual Path Magic cheat sheet pdf here.

A Dungeon Fantasy write up of Jiggly Puff that amuses me to no end here.

And some cool Legend of Zelda write ups here, here, here and here.

So yeah, it would really awesome if you guys  would go over and check them out.

Friday, September 9, 2016

My Thoughts On The GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Kickstarter

Better late then never...

The Dungeon Fantasy Kickstarter has been the talk of the GURPS town as of late with post about it from Jason Packer's RPG Snob to Joseph Linden's Collaborative Gamer to Pete Dell'Orto's Dungeon Fantastic  to good Ol' Douglas Cole's Gaming Ballistic and Pseudonym even has a tracker widget for it on his blog!

It's also making some good tracking as well. As I post this it has collected a little over 75% of its goal and still has 21 days to go!

I... on the other hand... have been pretty quiet about it.

Part of this have been a lack of free time. My job has eaten up most of my time for the past 2 months and its gotten worse, I haven't had a day off in almost two weeks since I type this (supposed to have day off today... but I was also supposed to have had a day off last Friday as well  so we'll see >.>). This means for the past two weeks about 80% of all my free time has gone into writing the last two GURPS Day articles and I've had little time for anything else.

The other part is.... well... I'm not too big into fantasy.

I'm a sci-fi guy.

My first encounter with role playing was Palladium Book's Robotech RPG series. I was and still am a huge Robotech fan and the thought of being able to run around in a game setting piloting an Alpha Veritech fighter, waging a guerrilla war against the Invid invaders blew my little child mind! Yeah.... the system was damn near unplayable and megadamage... ugh....  just megadamage... but still... the setting more then made up for it at the time (that and I didn't know any better heh). I dived head first into sci-fi gaming and never looked back. 

That and there's the fact that I play GURPS to get away from D&D and in the Dungeon Fantasy line, the GURPS system seems to take a step back to those dark, dark day.... (Note, I don't got a problem for what it does but there is a reason for me why this is a GURPS blog and not a D&D blog heh)

But despite this, despite not being fan of fantasy or the Dungeon Fantasy lin this kickstater needs more coverage, it needs all the coverage!

While I'm not a huge fan of fantasy games... the sad true is the vast majority of RPG gamers are and given that the point of this kick starter is to get make GURPS accessible to a larger audience... and that audience is in love with fantasy games... it just makes the most sense to use their Dungeon Fantasy line. It's what the players want and it's already made and a good seller as it!

And this is what makes me excited about this kickstarter in the end. While I might not be excited for the product its self, it what the product represents, it's end result that does. I try to do my best to  get the word out about GURPS and this is going to shout the that word out to the world through a freakin' mega phone set to 11! 

It's the perfect "gate way drug". It'll let the masses see that all the stupid memes and negative BS put out the vocal minority of  true GURPS haters are just nonsense and the system really is easy to pick up and only complicated if you try to turn on all the advanced rule before you're ready for them. And once get hooked on the Dungeon Fantasy line,  once they get brought into the fold, we got a whole universe of possibilities for them to move on to...

And,  if this line is successful.... maybe we'll even see some more niche settings get some love...

But yeah, if you're a GURPS fan haven't gone over to support the kickstarter please do! Once I pick up my check later (and assuming I don't get called in when I do >.>) I plan on supporting it (and picking up Christopher Rice's, A.K.A Ghostdancers first full on book, GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 19: Incantation Magic, which by the by has been added to the kickstarter, since he needs some love too!).

If you're new to GURPS and stumbled on my humble blog, while I don't expect you to throw money at a product, take a look at the kickstarter I think you'll like what you see. 

Here's the link to it once more time:

Whooo-whooo! I'm now a official backer! Wasn't able to afford much but still heh.
Also DF 19 is DLing as I type.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Power Armor, Powered Up!

From the grand daddy of amplifying armor used by E.E "Doc" Smiths Galactic Patrol to the standard setting powered suits of Robert A. Heinlein Starship Troopers to the super powered sleekness of Marvels Iron Man, power armor has long been a staple of of military science fiction. At lest in comic and novels that is. I think that classically it's been a combination of special effects consideration, actors not wanting to potentially have their face covered by armor for most the movie as well as dealing with the difficulty of acting through a bulky costumes and directors having World War II stuck in their head when envisioning future wars is what has kept power armor out the movies for the most part. But besides that, over all it's simple to see why. It turns man into super man without needing the evoke gods or magic. It lets a normal man wield weapons that normally only a vehicle can, shrug off small arms fire, fight war machines on equal footing. It lets your heroes be grander and greater or it gives your heroes mighty villains to overcome. It also carries an air of romance with them letting writers invoke the knights of old.

Needles to say for these very same reasons power armor has also become a staple in RPGs and tabletop wargaming.

GURPS, of course, is one of those RPGs (Hell, it's practically in its DNA; just look at GURPS creator and RPG wunderkind Steve Jackson's earlier works like Ogre) and GURPS Ultra-Tech came packing with five kinds of unarmored full body exoskeletons, two partial coverage exoskeletons and sixteen examples of full armored power armor including variants. Now, this is some pretty good coverage but the problem here is the same one that plagues a lot of the gear in the book. Namely the lack of customization. While 23 types of exoskeletons might seem like a lot, a lot of those are just slight variations of each other and are split across four tech levels. Only the TL9 Powered Combat Armor and the TL10 Heavy Battlesuit get higher TL version.The book also makes assumptions about what suits will be viable or obsolete at a given tech level which works for a setting book.... but not for a generic tech book. What if you wanted a TL11 version of the combat walker? What if you wanted a suit of power armor with heavier or lighter armor? Sadly GURPS doesn't have an answer for you, at lest not yet.... or does it?

While not covered in Ultra-Tech for whatever reason, if all you want is a higher tech level version of a given suit of power armor the Basic Set has you covered. Well, at lest if you want higher TL version of the basic power that is. If you look at pg. 285 of the Basic Set (remember this one again heh?) you will see it has the rules for updating the generic TL9 Battlesuit it has listed there and if you paid attention to the TL9 Powered Combat Armor and the TL10 Commando Battlesuit you'll see that they're are just more detailed write ups of the Basic Sets TL9 Battlesuit both as is and with the listed TL10 upgrades. So that makes TL11 and TL12 battlesuits pretty easy... well almost easy... it doesn't cover how to upgrade climate control (since the basic set version doesn't cover that) and what about the other examples of power armor?

Well, some of TL upgrades, like armor and endurance (well kinda, more on that below), work regardless of armor type, armors that give you super jump go up by 1 per TL and things like sensors, air supply and other equipment can just be figured by using the examples in Ultra-Tech. How to upgrade the ST bonuses on the other hand isn't so clear cut at first but it's not to hard to work out if you compare how strong the base line battlesuit makes a ST10 Joe Average guy per TL and look at their basic lifts.

At  TL9 the battlesuit gives Joe a +10ST bonus for a ST 20 or basic lift (BL) of 80. At TL10 the suit gives him a +15 for ST 25 or BL 125, at TL 11 it becomes a +20 for ST 30 and BL 180 and finally he gets a +25 at TL112 for a ST 35 and BL 245. Taking a look at those basic lifts,  you'll see that they go up by about 1.5 times per TL increase which is pretty much THE standard progression multiplier in GURPS. So all you have to do to upgrade any other suit of power armor is to take the basic lift a given suit would give a ST 10 person and then multiply the modified BL by 1.5 per TL increase.

Endurance is also a bit of a hard one since not all of the suits listed lined up with the formula on Pg. 285 of the Basic Set. While at this point I can't be 100% sure, but it does seem like if you tweak the formula a bit it lines up with the listed stats. I list the formula I used to figure the higher TL version of the suits in their write ups below. However note that as I mentioned in Plasma Weapons, Re-Energized! the base line formula used in the Basic Set is a bit outdated. By the time Ultra-Tech came out David settled on a 4× increase per TL for power cells so as an optional rule, assume that the listed endurance for a suit is right for its base TL and multiply its endurance by 2.7 per TL increase (that's the 4× increase divided by the 1.5× a suits output goes up by). And for one last note on endurance, I'm retconning the Powered Combat Armor/Commando Battlesuits power cell down from a E cell to a D cell and the Light Exoskeleton from a base 12hrs endurance at TL9 to 18. The reason for changing the E cell to a D is two fold. First off take a look at the Combat Walker, it's a much bigger and stronger suit then the Powered Combat Armor. It also uses a E cell and gets 24hrs off of it.... the Power Armor however only gets 18 off of the same cell! Secondly I'm pretty sure that the base exoskeleton frame for the Powered Combat Armor is a militarized version of the Light Exoskeleton (more on this later), this is also why I'm upping the Light Exoskeleton's endurance-they're pretty much the same thing. 

For a suits Climate Control, it seems that it doubles per TL increase.  

Now at this point I could just go and say, "Well you all have what you need to upgrade any battlesuit you want." but what kind of person would I be if I made you do all the work your self? Below I'm going to go over every exoskeleton and battlesuit in Ultra-Tech and stat out the higher TL versions for you. For each suits endurance, I'm using my adjusted RAW numbers just to keep things in line with what's published. I'm also going to count the Dreadnought and Warsuit battlesuits as the TL11 and TL12 versions of the heavy battlesuit since that's pretty much what they are though I will show upgrades for the command and scout versions. I'm also not covering the Zero-G Worksuit since it's not really power armor. Lastly, for obvious reason, I'm also not going to cover suits that are either already TL12 or already cover upgraded version that go up to TL12.

Heavy Exoskeleton
ST bonus is +6 to lifting ST and +8 to striking ST per TL. Power is (TL-5)×6 for a E cell.

TL10: Lifting ST +18/Striking ST +12. DR30/0, Power E/30hrs

TL11: Lifting ST +24/Striking ST +16. DR40/0, Power E/36hrs

TL12: Lifting ST +30/Striking ST +20. DR60/0, Power E/42hrs

Light Exoskeleton 
ST bonus is +5 to lifting ST and +3 to striking ST per TL. Power is (TL-6)×6 for a D cell.

TL10: Lifting ST +15/Striking ST +9. DR15/0, Power D/24hrs

TL11: Lifting ST +20/Striking ST +12. DR20/0, Power D/30hrs

TL12: Lifting ST +25/Striking ST +15. DR30/0, Power D/36hrs

Ranger Exoskeleton
ST bonus is +5 per TL. Power is (TL-8)×6 for a D cell.

TL11: ST +17 and Super Jump 3. DR30/0, Power D/16hrs

TL12: ST +22 and Super Jump 4. DR40/0, Power D/24hrs

Stealth Exoskeleton
ST bonus is +3 per TL.Power is (TL-9)×4 for a C cell.

TL11: ST +7. DR18/0, Power 2C/10hrs

TL12: ST +10. DR24/0, Power 2C/12hrs

Lower Body Exoskeleton
Power is (TL-6)×4 for a D cell. 

TL10:  105lbs of payload. DR12/0, Power 2D/32hrs

TL11: 236lbs of payload. DR16/0, Power 2D/40hrs

TL12: 354lbs of payload. DR24/0, Power 2D/48hrs

Power Sleeve
ST bonus is +3 per TL. Power is (TL-7)×6 for a C cell.

TL10: ST +9. DR12/0, Power C/18hrs

TL11: ST +12. DR16/0, Power C/24hrs

TL12: ST +15. DR24/0, Power C/30hrs
Combat Walker
ST bonus is +7 per TL. Power is (TL-5)×6 for a E cell.

TL10: ST +27. DR300/180, Power E/30hrs, Climate Control (-40°F to 280°F Base model/
-40°F to 300°F marine/absolute zero to 600°F)

TL11: ST +34. DR400/240, Power E/36hrs, Climate Control (-80°F to 560°F Base model/
-80°F to 600°F marine/absolute zero to 1,200°F)

TL12: ST +41. DR600/360, Power E/42hrs, Climate Control (-160°F to 1,220°F Base model/
-40°F to 300°F marine/absolute zero to 2.400°F)

Powered Combat Armor/Commando Battlesuit
ST bonus is +5 to lifting ST per TL. Power is (TL-6)×6 for a D cell. Note: As I said above, I'm retconning the power cells used by the Powered Combat Armor/Commando Battlesuit from the listed E cell to a smaller D cell.

TL11: ST +20 and Super Jump 3. DR150/100, Power D/30hrs, Climate Control (absolute zero to 1,000

TL12: ST +25 and Super Jump 4. DR225/150, Power D/36hrs, Climate Control (absolute zero to 2,000

Command/Scout Battlesuit
The Command Battlesuit and Scout Battlesuit ST bonus is +6 per TL. Power, DR and Climate Control upgrades as are for Dreadnought Battlesuit at TL11 and as for Warsuit at TL12.

TL11:  Command Battlesuit has ST +24 and Super Jump 3. Command Battlesuit has ST +22 and Super Jump 4.

TL12: Command Battlesuit has ST +30 and Super Jump 4. Command Battlesuit has ST +28 and Super Jump 5.

HEX Suit 
ST bonus is +4 to lifting ST and +3 to striking ST per TL. Power is (TL-6)×21 for a E cell.

TL11: Lifting ST +12/Striking ST +7. DR210, Power 2E/1.25 weeks, Climate Control (absolute zero to 1,600°F)

TL12: Lifting ST +16/Striking ST +10. DR280, Power 2E/1.5 weeks, Climate Control (absolute zero to 3,200°F)
Military  Cybersuit
ST bonus is +5 to lifting ST per TL. Since it's powered by a radiothermal generator its endurance isn't going to go up at TL12 since there's probably no realistic way to improve efficiency past TL9 for these things. "Upgrading" to fusion or antimatter would actually be a downgrade!

TL12: ST +15 and Super Jump 2. DR120*, Power 10yrs, Climate Control (absolute zero to 2,000°F)

 Ok, now having versions of each suit across higher tech levels is good and all but what if you want a little more customization? What if you want a suit that's a little bigger or smaller? What if you want a suit that has heavier armor? 

Well I have some good news for you.

While it's clear that the suits stated up for Ultra-Tech weren't built with a design system, David did at lest seem to do some back of the envelope calculations for them to give them some kind of consistency. How do I know this? Well... I don't, not 100% anyway... but given that I can crunch the numbers and get results that are within the right ballpark I think I might be on to something. 

How did I come to this? Well Powered Combat Armor is 150lbs sans helmet and wearer, is described as having metal-matrix composite armor and makes the wearer about 7ft tall. 

Now given that, we also know that:
  • Metal-Matrix Composite has a WM of  around 0.1 on average.
  • The default ST10 human in GURPS is about 5'10'' and 150lbs (which matches the global average pretty well) and has 18.55ft^2 of surface area sans head and neck. 
  • The Powered Combat Armor has DR 50.
  • Now as a bit of reasonable conjecture it seems that the reason that the frontal armor of the Powered Combat Armor has a higher DR is do to shaping, it' more slanted or rounded, rather then do to the front having thicker armor.
Given this a 7ft human would have 1.13× the surface area of a five foot ten one, making their surface 20.9ft^2 sans head and neck. That means that suits armor is going to weigh DR50 × 20.9ft^2 × 0.1 or 104lbs. This goes down to 84lbs if we assume that armor follows the 0.8 multiplier for being optimized. That just leaves about 66lbs left. Now if we just look over at the light exoskeleton, we find that it's 50lbs loaded with a D cell. All we have to do here is assume that the Powered Combat Armor uses a militarized version that has full striking ST. This just leaves 16lbs left over and if you add up the the suits air tanks, infrared cloaking, waste relief and bio-medical sensor you get a 15.2lbs total.

At 149.2lbs, I think that whether on purposes or not, there is some sense to how it was stated. David more then likely then just took this base and used it to stat up of the other suits. 

To give you two examples to further show my case, scaling up a TL10 version of this suit up to the size of a Heavy Battlesuit gives it ST+20, DR 100 a frame that weighs about 107lbs and ups the weight of the armor to 199lbs. Adding in the weight of D cell used to power it's electromagnetic armor, SM+1 stealth systems and other gear adds another about another 41lbs for a total of 346lbs. Now that does leave it 100lbs short but taking a look at most of the portable power generators on pg. 20 of Ultra-Teach so them to weigh in at a 100lbs so I'm gonna guess the Heavy battlesuits radiothermal generator takes up the remaining weight. On the smaller end of the scale the TL12 Nanosuit comes in at 3lbs for the frame, 9lbs for the armor and 5lbs for the power cell for a total of 17lbs, pretty close to me. 

Based on this I was able to throw together a simple power armor creation system which I will detail below. Note that while this will get you close to RAW, this being based on Ultra-Tech however... not everything is going to line up 100% in all cases. One thing that I've changed from RAW though is that I based the suits endurance on the way power cells are currently handled so suits designed with this system may have different endurance from the ones in Ultra-Tech. Also keep in mind that since it's a simple system it's designed around producing power armor designed to fit human shaped characters though I you guys want I can expanded the system later on. 

Note that I use the terms "suit", "battlesuit", "power armor" and "powered suit" rather interchangeably and loosly below. When I capitalized a type of suit (for instance, Battlesuit rather then battlesuit) I'm speaking in the specific but if it's lower case I'm speaking generically. 

Suit Type
First pick the type of suit you want to build from the options below. All suit types give a bonus to Striking and Lifting ST, for simplicity sake if a suit gives an equal bonus to both types they are just referred to as a ST bonus in these rules. See Ultra-Tech pg. 181 for the full rules concerning exoskeletons and Battlesuits.
  • Exoskeleton: This just the frame without the armor. It can not be made sealed and it only protects against swinging melee attacks, falls and collisions. When designing a Exoskeleton at TL9 and 10 you must specify a max and minimum user weight the suit was designed to fit. The max weight can any amount you choose (though 10× the suits Basic Lift at TL9 and 15× the suits Basic Lift at TL10 are good upper limits) but the minimum weight can be no lower then ×0.8 max weight at TL9 and 0.5× at TL10. 
  • Battlesuit: A exoskeleton covered with armor. It is sealed, vacuum rated and has climate control for free. They have a limit on how much armor they can have and still be usable by a human shaped pilot. Has the same max/min size user limits as Exoskeletons.
  • Combat Walker: A large suit of power armor that boarders on being a mini mecha. Its body blends into its head and it has not waist or neck articulation. The wearer must rely on sensors to see behind them. Combat Walkers are sealed, vacuumed rated and have climate control for free but don't need helmets (though all the sensors and equipment normally carried by a helmet needs to be added to the suit) and can fit a pilot of any weight (with in reason now). They are bulky adding +1 to the suits base SM but because of this they have no limits on how heavy their armor can be. At TL9 they have bad grip 2 and can not crawl or get up from a prone position, they have bad grip 1 but can crawl and can get up from prone at TL10 and have no issues at TL11+.
  • Cybersuit: A light "muscle suit" type power armor. Only available at TL11+. Cybersuits can set to only apply enough force to counter its own weight, in this mode it does not need the battlesuit skill to operate. They also have a built in responsive clothes feature (see Ultra-Tech pg. 39) and so are "one size fits all" and take only 3 second to put on or take off, retracting into a small backpack when not in use. At TL12 they need a neural interface to use but grant a +2 equipment bonus to the BattlesuitTL12 skill and can be given smart suit options (Ultra-Tech pg. 189).  They are sealed, vacuum rated and has climate control for free (but have a smaller system then full sized suit). They have a limit on how much armor they can have and still be usable by a human shaped pilot. Any armor they have must be flexible.
Example: Let's make a companion to the Powered Combat Armor meaning this will be a battlesuit. It will be slightly heavier  and stronger then the Combat Armor and act a heavy support variant. Let's call it the Powered Combat Armor, Heavy Support.

Tech Level
This one is simple, just think of what TL you want your Ultra-Tech campaign to be. The suit can be 1 TL higher then the baseline for 5× the cost or 2 TL higher for 20× the cost.

As an optional rule, if your suit has a higher TL you can give it a few quirks to represent the fact it's untested technology. If you're not sure how many quirks to give them try this:

  • If 1TL higher roll 1d. If it comes up 1-3 then the suit has no quirks. If a 4, it has 1 quirk, if a 5 then it has 2 quirks and if you roll a 6 it either has 4 regular quirks or 1 major disadvantage level problem (such as it tend to have a 1 in 6 chance of shutting down in combat, it burns through its power 4 times as fast as it should and so on). 
  • If 2 TL higher roll 1d. If it comes up 1 then the suit has no quirks. If a 2 it has 1 quirk, if a 3 it has 2 quirks, if a 4 it has 3 quirks, if a 5 it has either 4 quirks or 1 major disadvantage or if a 6 it has either 8 quirks or 2 major disadvantages or 4 quirks and 1 major disadvantage. 
This quirks should not effect price, its the down side of using cutting edge tech. 

Example: Since the Powered Combat Armor it TL9, this battlesuit will be too. 

Suits ST Bonus
To get your suits ST bonus think of how Strong you want an normal man to be in the suit and then subtract 10 from that. Civilian suits normally have limiters in place on how much it can boost someone's striking ST, their striking ST bonus is normally 2/3rd of the suits normal ST bonus.

For those who don't mind a little more math in play and want more realism skip the giving the suit a ST bonus, instead just add the suits Frames Basic Lift to the characters Basic Lift and recalculate their encumbrance levels for that and then use their new Basic Lift to recalculate their new Striking (That is take this new Basic Lift, times it by 5 and then take the square root of that).

Example: We want the Powered Combat Armor, Heavy Support to make a character stronger then the base Powered Combat Armor but not too much stronger. So let's make it boost a normal mans strength by a factor of 5 meaning that ST10 person would have ST22 in the suit. This means the suit gives a bonus of 22-10 or +12 to the users Lifting and Striking ST. A civilian version would would give +12 to lifting ST but only 2/3rds as much or +8 to Striking ST. 

If you'd like a little more detail then instead of giving +12 to Lifting and Striking ST, add the Frames Basic Lift of 77lbs to the characters Basic Lift and recalculate the characters ST from that. If the wearer had a ST of 11 and a normal Basic Lift of 24lbs, in the Powered Combat Armor, Heavy Support his new Basic Lift would be 101lbs and he would have a Striking ST of square root of (101×5) or 22.47 which we'll round down to 22. If this was a civilian suit you would use the suits fulls Frames Basic Lift to calculate encumbrance levels but it's reduced Frame's Basic Lift of 45 to figure Striking ST.

Frames Basic Lift
To figure the suits basic lift, take its ST Bonus and add 10 to it (or just think of how strong it would make a ST10 character if using the more detailed Basic Lift rules) and figure what the Basic Lift would be and subtract 20 from it, that is the frames Basic Lift.

Example: A ST10 person would have the suit ST bonus of  12+10 or  ST22 in the suit. This gives us a BL of 97lbs. Subtracting 20 from that gives us a Frame Basic Lift of 77. 

If you're using the more detailed Basic Lift Rules and designing a civilian suit you're going to have to figuring a separate Basic Lift for the suits Striking ST bonus. Just take the normal Frames Basic Lift and multiply it by 0.58.  The civilian version of the Powered Combat Armor, Heavy Support would have a Striking ST Frame's Basic Lift of 77×0.58 or 44.66lbs which we'll round up to 45lbs. 


Frames Weight
A suits frame weight, in lbs, is (0.75×BL)/TL

BL is the suits  Frame Basic Lift.
TL is 1 at TL9, 1.5 at TL10, 2 at TL11 and 3 at TL12. 

Example: Our suit is TL9 and has a Frame Basic Lift of 77lb. This gives it a weight of  (0.75×77)/1 or 57.75lbs which we round up to 58lbs. A TL10 version would weigh (0.75×77)/1.5 or 38.5lbs which we'll round up to 39lbs. 

Maximum and Minimum User's Weight
For Battlesuits and Exoskeletons there is a practical limit to how big or small of a person they can hold. This 4 times the frames weight and no less then 2.4 the frames weight at TL9, 6×/1.8 × at TL10 and any weight at TL11+.

Example: Since the suits frame weights 58lbs and is TL9 the max weight its wearer can be is 58×4 or 232lbs and the lightest they can be is 58×2.4 or 139lbs. 

Frames Cost
Cost is Frames weight×1,047

Example: The Powered Combat Armor, Heavy Support Frame costs 58×1,047 or $60,726.

Choose if your suit is going to be powered by power cells or an power generator.

If powered by power cells, a single D cell will power it for  (18×(60/BL))×TL hour.

BL is the suits Frame Basic Lift.
TL is 1 at TL9, 4 at TL10, 16 at TL11 and 64 at TL12. 

See Ultra-Tech for other power cell sizes and costs. 

Example: A single D cell will power our TL9 suit for (18×(60/77)×1 or 14hrs. While this is slightly less endurance then the standard Powered Combat Armor, it's still good enough for typical operations. According to Ultra Tech this will cost $100and weight 5lbs. 

If you choose a power generator then one that can power your suit needs to be (37.5×(BL/60))/TL pounds. For TL10+ only.

  •  At TL10 this is a radiothermal generator which lasts 10years. 
  • At TL11 this is a fusion generator that lasts 10 years. Note that while the reactor is running any thermal stealth systems are nullified, be sure to install a back power cell to run the suit if stealth is a factor. I takes 1hr to cool down the suit after the reactor is turned off. 
  • At TL12 this is a matter/antimatter reactor which lasts 5 years. As with the fusion reactor, while the reactor is running any thermal stealth systems are nullified, be sure to install a back power cell to run the suit if stealth is a factor. I takes 1hr to cool down the suit after the reactor is turned off.

BL is the suits Basic Lift.
TL is 1 at TL10, 2 at TL11 and 10 at TL12. 

Generator Cost
Cost is the Generators Weight×TL

TL is $50 at TL10, $200 at TL11 and $1,000 at TL12. 

Example: A TL10 version of our suit that had a generator would need a radiothermal one that weights (37.5×(77/60))/1 or 48 lbs which in turn will cost $2,400 and will last the suit 10 years.

Here you got two options, the simple option that will give you results close to the books and the advanced option which is just some guidelines on how to adjust the options given in the articles Cutting Edge Armor Design from Pyramid 3/85 Cutting Edge and to a lesser degree Low-Tech Armor Design from Pyramid 3/52 Low-Tech II to fit battlesuits.

But first a few notes.

TL 9, 10 and 11 armor is counted as laminate but the armor needs a minimum thickness for its effects to work. TL9 needs at lest DR 88, TL10 needs at lest DR 110 and TL11 needs at lest DR 124. 

TL12 armor is a little odd, the write up for the Warsuit gives it 3 levels of harden rather then laminate... but this is the only place hyper dense armor gets any harden so I have to wonder if this was just some early installment weirdness. So make a choice, either give TL12 armor 3 levels of hardness no matter the thickness (though if you do, be sure to do the same for all hyper dense armor) or just make it laminate were it needs at lest DR 490 to be counted as such.

A battlesuit should have  a DR of around (50×square root of (BL/60))×TL. Half that for civilian battlesuits or cybersuits, quarter that for civilian cybersuits. 

The frontal armor of combat suits is usually slanted or curved giving them 1.5× the DR against attacks from the front. 

BL is the suits Frame Basic Lift. 
TL is 1 at TL9, 1.5 at TL10, 2 at TL11 and 3 at TL12. 

Battlesuits and cybersuits should have a DR no higher then TL×square root of (BL/60)

TL is 57 at TL9, 64 at TL10, 80 at TL11 and 627 at TL12. 
BL is the suits Frame Basic Lift.

Simple System

Armors Weight
The suits armor weight is (DR×1.68×(BL/60)^(2/3))/TL pound.

DR is how many points of DR you give the suit.
BL is the suits Basic Lift.
TL is 1 at TL9, 1.5 at TL10, 2 at TL11 and 3 at TL12. 

Example: We want our heavy support suit to have heavier armor then the regular suit but not too much so. Do to it's size it should have a DR of at lest (50×square root of (77/60)))×1 or DR 57 but no more then 57×square root of (77/60)  or DR 65 so a DR of 60 seems about right which will weigh (60×1.68×(77/60)^(2/3))/1 or 100.8lbs which we'll round up to 101lbs. Its frontal armor will have 1.5× more DR or DR 90.
Armor Cost
Armors Weight×300 dollars. 

Note that while it seems that 0.8 multiplier for optimized armor existed at the time Ultra-Tech but the 5× cost modifier didn't so the armor on the suits in Ultra-Tech cost the same amount as simple slab of armor. 

Example: The suits armor weighs 101lbs so therefore it costs 101×300 or $30,300.

Advanced System
If you want a little more detail for doing thing such as adding more armor to just the front of giving the arm, legs and torso different levels of protection or even armored with different materials all together then this option is for you.  

For this system you will need the coverage table from either  pg. 18 of Pyramid 3/85 Cutting Edge or pg. 16 of Pyramid 3/52 Low-Tech II.  Figure the armor material you want to use or just use one you made specific your games setting, you will need to know it's WM, DR per inch and CM. Ignore any listed maximum DR.   

  • Metal armor has a maximum DR of DR/inch×0.35.
  • Ceramic armor has a maximum DR of DR/inch ×0.7.
  • Flexible armor has a maximum DR of DR/inch×0.86.   

Next you have to figure out how much surface area a suits frame has. This is figured by takes the desired base surface area from the coverage charts and multiplying them by (1.13×(BL/60)^(2/3)).

BL is the suits Basic Lift.

Example:  A normal human torso has a surface area of about 7ft^2 but since our suit has a Basic Lift of 77 its torso surface area with cover 7×(1.13×(77/60)^(2/3)) or 9.3ft^2.

Then you just multiply the needed surface area by how much DR is going to cover it and then by the armor materials WM and then by whatever construction type modifier you choose (not that more suits are going to use the plate option). For the armors cost just multiply its weight by its CM and then by any construction table cost multiplier. Once again note that battlesuits and the like don't seem to use the 5 × cost multiplier for optimized plate armor in the book so your choice if you use them with this system.

Armor Gaps
Realistically, in order to limit restricted mobility,  power armor covered in no flexible armor is going to have the same kind of gaps as the armor worn by nights of old had so to bring Ultra-Tech's battlesuit rules in line with this you should look over the more detailed treatment of armor gaps featured in the GURPS Low-Tech series of books. There should be some form of flexible armor covering these gaps on Battlesuits and Combat Walkers however. 

For simplicity's sake assume that:

  • The gaps are covered by DR12/4* at TL9.
  • The gaps are covered by DR18/6* at TL10.
  • The gaps are covered by DR24/8* at TL11. 
  • And by DR30* at TL12.
In all cases the larger number before the slash is against piecing and cutting damage only and the second lower number after the slash is against every other type of damage.  

Exoskeleton Armor
Exoskeletons have some innate, built in protection. This only protects the user against falls, impacts, collisions and swung melee attacks. 

The amount of innate DR a Exoskeleton gets is TL×square root of (BL/60).

BL is the suits Frame Basic Lift. 

If you want to use the more detailed armor system to give an Exoskeleton some more protection, uses only half frames surface area when computing the armors weight. 

I'm not including rules for electromagnetic armor since from my noddling around I can't seem to find a weight or cost associated with it! A while back I PM'ed David about the stuff and he sadly didn't remember what his thoughts on it were at the time so right now I got nothing solid. If you really want to add it to your suit then just  hand wave and do so, it's avible at TL10+ and seems a D cell will provided suit with 1,500/DR "shots". This should go up by 4 at TL11 and by 16 at TL12 but in the book it seems to follow the outdated power cell progression form the Basic Set which means that TL11 gets only ~1.25× more ad TL12 gets 1.5× more. 

Environmental Controls
I can find no cost or weight for this and there's not enough data points to see if there's there some kind of design system behind the choices that were made or if they were just pulled from a hat.

So I'm just going to have to give you some rough guidelines for now.

  • All armored suits are sealed, vacuumed rated and assumed to have some form of climate control for free. 
  • It provides Temperature Tolerance (absolute zero to 250°F) at TL9. Not sure why some of the entries say absolute zero while others show -459°F which is the same thing.
  • Double the high end of the tolerance per TL past 9.
  • Suits meant for hostile environments have their high end increased by 20%. 
  • Civilian suits are treated as having 1 TL lower climate control. For TL9 suits, I'd just give them the same climate control as the Combat Walker. 
  •  Cyber Suits have simpler climate control. Treat them as having TL9 climate control at TL11. 
  • This still leaves leaves out the Combat Walker, all variants but the space one has a really primitive climate control compared to the other TL9 examples. I'd peg it as either being a very early borderline TL8 design or that it just uses a "cheaper" system, your choice.

  • Example: Since our suit is an armored TL9 military suit it is sealed, is vacuumed rated and has a climate control that grants Temperature Tolerance (absolute zero to 250°F).

At some point I'll see if I can find more information based on this forum post and do a proper write up of environmental systems. 

Go through Ultra-Tech and add in basics like waste management and bio-medical sensor along with any stealth systems and other gear you want to add. Total their weight and cost and add them to the suits. Oh, and don't forget to add a computer like the ones in Ultra-Tech did!

Then pick a helmet of your choice unless you are building a combat walker. For a combat walker pick out the sensors, comms gear, filter mask and other things you want and just add their weight and cost to the suits running total.

Example: Since this suit is meant as a companion piece to the Powered Combat Armor it should include all of the same feature. It will come equipped with Biomedical sensor ($200, 0.2lbs), waste-relief system ($1,000, 2lbs), infrared cloaking ($1,500, 3lbs for SM+0), fast, harden, high-capacity, small computer ($6,000, 1lbs), a tactical ESM ($1,000, 2lbs) and a large air tank ($200, 10lbs). This adds a total of $9,900 to the suits cost and 18.2lbs to its weight. Though optional, it will normally be equipped with the same helmet as the Powered Combat Armor ($10,000, 15lbs).

Perks and Quirks
Don't be afraid to add some extra flavor to your suits by using the ideas and options I outlined in my post Brand Loyalty.

Here's a few extra Perks and Quirks to use

Quick Swap: Do to a well thought out internal lay out and higher quality parts, this piece of gear can be repaired or maintenance 10% quicker then normal.

Red Ones Go Fasta! (Vehicles and battlesuits only): Do to some lucky break with either settings or power ratios your vehicles goes a little faster (about 10%) or if its a battlsuit your basic lift in it is 10% greater.

Hanger Queen: This piece of gear internals are a hot mess or it just has high out put components with lower tolerances which means it needs more down time during repairs or maintenance . Increase time needed by 10.


Just add up the weight of the frame, armor and all accessories that will be built into the suit.

Example: The suits frame weighs 58lbs, it armor is 101lbs, it carries a 5lbs D cell and has 18.2lbs of gear built in for a total suit weight of 182.2lbs round down to 182lbs.

Add up the cost of the frame, the armor and all accessories that will be built into it.

Example: The suits frame costs $60,726, its armor costs $30,300 and it has $9,900 worth of gear built in it for a total cost of $100,926.

Size Modifier
To find out a suits Size Modifier first we need to figure its height.

A suits Height is 6.5×square root of((BL/TL)/60)!

BL is the suits basic lift
TL is 1 for TL9, 1.5 for TL10, 2 for TL11 and 3 for TL12.

 If this brings the suits height to lower then 6ft then treat the suits height as being 6ft. This just means that the over all motors and support equipment are smaller then a man sized object on there, the suits frame will space them out enough to fit. 

Example: Since our suit has a Basic Lift of 77lbs it should stand 6.5×square root of ((77/1)/60) or 7.4ft. This is well above the minimum 6ft height limit.

From that we just need to to a little scary base 10 logarithmic math to get its SM.

Size Modifier is 6×log10(Height/3)-2, round off towards the nearest whole number. Since Combat Walker are bulkier then normal suit they get +1 to their Size modifier.

A suit can be no larger then SM+2 (or SM+3 for Combat Walkers) if it is to fit a human sized pilot. Any bigger and it's piloted and not worn.

Example: Being as out shit is 7.4ft tall it has a SM of 6×log10(7.4/3)-2 or 0.3 which we round down to SM+0. This is well under the maximum Size Modifier of SM+2.

Basic Move Modifier
Since Basic Move is effectively a function of stride length for creatures with legs, a suit should only increase it if its large enough to increase the effective length of your legs. Instead any increment to your mobility do to the suit giving you a greater strength to weight ratio is covered by giving you levels of Super Jump.

Cybersuits for some reason go against this and give wearers a bonus to their basic move without any explanation as to how. You can either just ignore this and give them the same restriction as normal suits or you can just handwave it as it being given that the Cybersuits can change shape, perhaps the suits legs are stretching as you you run, increasing your stride. 

To figure a suits Basic Move bonus take (Square root of (the suits height/6)×SS)-5. If the difference is less then one then the suit isn't large enough to increase your Basic Move, if it is larger then one then round the number off and take it as the suits bonus. 

SS is 5 for Exoskeletons, Battlesuits and Combat Walkers and 6 for Cybersuits.

Example: Since our suit is 7.9ft tall its Basic Move Modifier is (square root of (7.9/6)×5)-5 or 0.7. Since this is less then one the suit does not give a bonus to Basic Move.

Super Jump Level
Since powered suits amplify your strength you get faster. This should mean that your Basic Move gets higher but what actually ends up once the amount of force you exert starts to exceed your weight is that you end up moving in a series of long hops. This is better modeled by giving your character levels of Super Jump. Of course the levels of Super Jump that some of these suits give doesn't quite make sense for their strength to weight ratio but I think that's more do to the fact that for some odd reason Super Jump doesn't have half levels like Enhanced Move does. That being said for this right up I'm assuming that Battlesuits, Exoskeletons and Cybersuits have some kind of mechanism to boost their jumps so that things line up better with the books.

To figure how many levels of Super Jump your suit gives, log2((( BL+20)×JB)/SW)+1, round off. If (BL+20)×JB is less less then SW then suit cannot jump. Yes, I know, more scary logs.

BL is the suits Frame Basic Lift.
JB is 1.15 for Battlesuits, Exoskeletons and Cybersuits and 1 for Combat Walkers.
SW is the total loaded weight of the suit and helmet plus 150lbs to stand in for the average pilot divided by 5.

Example: The suit weights a total of 337lbs with a 15lbs helmet and the 150lbs human stand in and has a SW of 67.4 so it gets log2(((77+20)×1.15)/67.4)+1 or 1.4 levels of Super Jump which we round down to 1. 

For those who want more realism try (( BL+20)×JB)/SW and just multiply the jumping distance by this formula, rounded to one decimal place.

Example: Using this options, the justs jumping distance is multiplied by ((77+20)×1.115)/67.4 or 2.7 times. 

Pressure Support
Being made of harden armor, Battlesuits, Combat Walkers and Cybersuits over some protection for crushing pressure.

How this seems to be figured for the suits in the book is this: Maximum safe atmospheric pressure is equal to (10×TL)/SM.

TL is 1 at TL9, 2 at TL10, 10 at TL11 and 100 at TL12.
SM is 1 for SM+0 suits and 2 for SM+1 or larger suits.

Example: Since our suit is TL9 and SM+0 it has a Pressure Support of (10×1)/1 or 10 atmospheres.

Of course there are exceptions to this like the Nanosuit which has more DR then the Military Cybersuit, they are both flexible but some how has a lower Pressure Support then the Military Cybersuit. The Combat Walker also seems to be an exception as well.

This is of course a bit simplistic (and of course I might be wrong as well) so here a slightly more detailed way of figuring how many atmospheres the suit can handle.

Pressure Support is figured as (((DR×50)/SH)/SM)/33

DR is the suits DR. Use the lower number for Battlesuits and Combat Walkers. For armor built using the more detailed options use the average of the highest and lowest DR.

SH is the suits height in feet.

SM is 1 for SM+0 suits and 2 for SM+1 or larger suits.

Example: Use this option the suit has a Pressure Support of (((60×50)/7.9)/33 or  11.5 atmospheres.

This formula doesn't 100% match the book but it seems to give better results.

Radiation Protection Factor
This one seems all over the place in the books and it's hard to tell where the actual figures begins and the outright errors and early version weirdness ends. For example, the 150lbs Commando Battlesuit has PF(10) but the 480lbs Heavy Battesuit has only PF(5)!

That being said, 20×log10(suits weight/40) seems to get close results. TL12 suits (made from Hyper Dense armor) seems to get around 5× the PF. Round numbers off to the nearest multiple of 5 to match the book.

Example: Since our suit weighs 172lbs it has a PF of 20×log10(172/40) or 12.7 which we round down 10 since it's the closest multiple of 5.

Wrapping it all up
Once you got everything finished up, total up the cost, do a write up detailing your suits functions and then do it's stat line and you're all ready to suit up and kick some ass. 

Titan International M4 Powered Combat Armor, Heavy Support (TL9)
 Designed as a companion to the companies successful M3 series of  Powered Combat Armor, the Powered Combat Armor Heavy Support was designed to be slightly larger and stronger then the base line suit as to fulfill the roll of heavy weapons support. It is based on a enlarged version of the M3's frame and have 80% compatibility in parts. This not only makes logistics and repairs for the suit easier but means the soldiers can quickly learn to adapted between them (familiarity penalties are only -1 for solders going between the two suits as well as mechanics working on them and logistic officers used to supping them). The suit stands 7ft 11in tall (SM+0) and weighs 182lbs. While the suit is activated its weight does not count as encumbrance.

The suits gives the wearer Lifting and Striking ST +12 and Super Jump 1. The suit also has an integrated biomedical sensor (Ultra-Tech pg. 187), waste relief system (Ultra-Tech pg. 187), infrared cloaking (Ultra-Tech pg. 99), a fast, harden, high-capacity small computer ( Ultra-Tech pg. 22-23) and tactical EMS (Ultra-Tech pg. 62).

With a Helmet on the suit is sealed and vacuum rated. It provides climate Control (absolute zero to  250°F), pressure support (10 atm.), radiation protection (PF10). It has a large air tank with 24hrs of air at TL9.

The suit can hold a wearer who weights now more then 232lbs and no less then 139lbs.

The suits normally uses the Power Combat Armors Helmet. 

Battlesuit Table   
TL   Armor                                Location    DR          Cost           Weight        Power           LC
9    Powered Combat Armor,        all           90/60        $100,926    182lbs         D/14hrs         1           
                     Heavy Support

Use the higher DR value against hits to the front torso; the lower value protects all other locations

Fixed two major mistakes I made! The formula for figuring the battlesuits height was flawed and I omitted major information on how to figure Super Jump level!

Edit 2:
A major thank you to CTA for taking the time out of his life to give this battlesuit design system a thorough checking out!

Going over them he found that that both my min/max user size and suit height rules were off. Thankfully they were easy fixes.

For minimum and maximum suit user sizes I changed the rules to be no longer tied to the suits own size and weight. In stead for the max size you just choose whatever weight limit you want with the suggestion it be no more then 10× the suits BL at TL9 and 15× at TL10+ -but that is just what it is, a suggestion. The minimum weight a user can have is 80% the max weight at TL9 and half of it at TL10.

For the suit's height I added a note that stated that if the suits height ends up being less the 6ft, treat the suit as being 6ft.

Over all I'm happy that only two relatively minor flaws have been found so far and I once again want to thank CTA for his help. I really do appreciate feed back! If you see anything I messed up on don't be afraid to let me know so I can fix it!