Monday, November 28, 2022

 High-Tech/Ultra-Tech Ultra Quickie: Have a seat while I blow you off your feet.

Blast Resistant Seating

Blast effects from mines, IED (Improvised Explosive Device, i.e. home made boom-booms) and near hits from artillery rounds have been found to have a much greater effect the people inside a vehicle even if the blast fails to penetrate the vehicles armor then GURPS assumes. 

Well, they're having a blast.
This is largely because advancements in blast protection has lead to situations where a vehicle survives where it would of been blown to scrap in the past leading to the crew being killed anyways. So now we're finding that even if the blast can be mitigated enough to prevent complete destruction of the vehicles, the shock waves can still be transmitted through the hull into the spine of the poor crew doing nasty, nasty, neurological damage. 

So if you're ok with some extra crunch and want more gritty realism, use the following rule:


Blast Damage Through Armor

If a blast fails to penetrate a vehicles DR, use the rules for HESH rounds found on GURPS High-Tech pg. 170 but change the cutting damage to crushing. If using the Lasting and Permanent Injury rules from GURPS Martial Arts pg. 138 (and if you're going gritty you should be heh!) use the Skull Wounds Table. 

So there you go, another way for you, the GM, to make your party dead, dead, dead!


Oh right... wait... *slaps forehead* We're trying NOT to kill our PC's.... what was a I thinking?! 

Thankfully after they figured out that concussive blast were turning our troops brains into scrambled eggs they quickly figured things out. If you isolate the chairs they're sitting on from the hull by putting them on a shock absorber style damping system you can can reduce the G forces being exerted on the crew member by a factor greater then 10, turning an impulse that would crush internal organs and slam your brain into the top of your skull into something that might break some ribs and bruise you badly instead. Still sucks buuuut given the alternative I know which I would choose. 

Soooo, you might be wondering, how good are these things? Take a good look at the photo below.

This Styker flipped over and rolled several times after it got hit and an IED. Despite the level of damage you see, no one was killed or even severely injured. So pretty damn good it seems. 

Mobius Protective Systems Advanced Protection System

So as a counter to the Blast Damage through Armor rules, might want to equip your combat vehicles with some of these things. So here's the rules.

Blast Resistant Seating

Blast Resistant Seat (TL 8). These seats isolate the person sitting in them from the frame of the vehicle they are in and uses shock absorber like dampeners to help dissipate the energy from shock waves and impacts. Provides DR 15 vs collision damage (see Whiplash and Collisions Basic, pg. 432) and shocks damage from none penetrating blast damage. Increase DR to 20 at TL 9, 30 at TL 10, and TL 50 at TL 11+. $1,500, 44 lbs. 

If you are adding the seats to an already stated vehicle such as a TL 8 Humvee (GURPS High-Tech pg. 242) or a TL 9 Wheeled ATV (GURPS Ultra-Tech pg. 225), add +24 lbs and +$1,300 per seat to the vehicles states. This will come out it's normal payload limits.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Ultra-Tech Firepower: Ramblings on Ultra-Tech Missile and How to Make them I Guess

Hey everyone! 

Guess what?!

It's that time once again! Time for your favorite crunchmeister to beat upon my favorite dead ultra-horse! This time trying my hardest to wack out the wonkieness behind how Ultra-Tech designed its missiles!


Sunday, May 22, 2022

GURPS YouTube Channels You Should Be Checking Out

While GURPS content is sparse on the ol YouTubes there are actually a few channels that are dedicated to our favorite system. Check these guys out. If we can help these channels spread we can help the system grow. While blogs are good, YouTube is the best way to get new blood into the mix. 

The first two channels are by fellow blogger who blogs to much, Enraged Eggplant of the Generic Universal Eggplant blog.

Enraged Eggplant and The_RyujinLP. 2022, colorized



Just the Parts You Need

This channel covers some deep dives into various GURPS topics covering its rules and concepts. He's been doing this channel for a few years now and has a ton of content to dive into. 


Dungeons and GURPS

Eggplants newest channel, this covers how to run D&D in GURPS and acts as a dive into some of his blog topics. One thing I like is that he really gets into the nitty gritty behind his decision making process on how he decides to cover D&D mechanics. 



Bill Cypher's cooler brother


Another new channel. Still in it's finding it's self stage but I think it has a lot of potential. It also had a unique angle as the channel is CG and based on the character of Diceyed which resembles a mix between Bill Cypher and a D6. He's work has been sporadic up to now do to working on a video game professionally but it seems he now has more free time to create content. I think seeing some support from the community would help booster his moral.


Edit! Can't believe I forgot to add this one, thanks to Enraged Eggplant for reminding me!


Chris Normand

One of the main guys working on the massive GURPS VTT mod for Foundry, besides showing off the amazing features they are adding he also covers general GURPS content as well. Also a good friend of The Mook (RIP my friend, RIP).

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Ultra-Tech Ultra-Quickie: What the Heck is a Payload Rifle Anyways?

It's always kinda puzzled me why I keep seeing people who just don't understand what the Payload Rifle from Ultra-Tech is supposed to be... Then I realize, oh yeah, most people don't quite have my level of unhealthy obsession for obscure next gen weapon technologies (if the FBI ever saw my harddrive.... I'd have some questions to answer). Then I take a look at the WPS of the ammo it fires... JEBUZ! 1 pound?! That's roughly the weight of a modern full sized 25mm autocannon round like the Bushmaster fires! Then I look as the stats, only 10d of penetration when a 25mm should have almost 2.5 times as much. And it kind of makes sense this weapon baffles people.

Of course it doesn't help that the same ammo used for it is listed under machine guns as a 25mm assault cannon (it's... it's not, not even close to an assault cannon buuuuuuut we'll get back to that).

Well I can tell you THAT there is a typo. The weight of the round it fires is nowhere near 1lbs. How do I know? Well, for one the so called "assault cannon" has a magazine weight of 12lbs but holds 34 shots. That's a thing. Guess TL 9 is the era we become Time Lords. Neatto. Then there's the fact that the ammo the payload rifle uses has stats in another book, High-Tech. Hell even the "assault cannon" has stats in that book as well (though even in High-Tech they're slightly off, but we'll get back to that). 

So just what in the seven hecks is this thing then? Follow me after the break to find out! 

Friday, February 11, 2022

Real Life Ultra-Tech: Gauss Guns Get Real

Praise be to Gun Jesus! 

The absolute mad lad Ian McCollum, curator of Forgotten Weapons (for the 3 of you who follow my channel and somehow don't know who this man is heh), not only landed an interview with ArcFlash Labs who have a prototype commercial friggin' gauss rifle but managed to get one of the prototypes to go over it features but also get some live firing of it at the gun range. He also took it to a BUG match (not sure how a 20lbs brick is a back up gun but I mean he has a gauss rifle. Your objections are irreverent). 

So yeah, I'm geeking out a bit so just a fun little post today. Here's the two videos he has up right now covering the interview and the firing. Tech Level 9 is getting closer and closer lads. 

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Ultra-Tech Firepower: SAA GU 384 Boomslang, 50mmCRH (TL 9)

SAA GU 384 Boomslang, 50mmCRH (TL 9)

The trend since just before the turn of the century is for light armored vehicles to get, well, not so light with each generation getting heavier  and with beefier armor. This has in turn driven the need for bigger and bigger gun armaments that they need to mount in order to keep them competitive with their pears; going from 20-25mm in the beginning to 30mm today and even some designs going for 40mm+! Of course the ultra-tech armors of the future will only compound this factor further. Though as guns get more powerful, their recoil gets worse and you start to run into issues where your near tank level firepower is starting to become to much for the platform to handle and accuracy starts to suffer and the added stress causes the frames life space starts to drop.

Suid-Afrika Bewapeningskorporasie, the South Africa Armaments Corporation, developed the SAA GU 384 Boomslang to help counter this limitation. Named after the boomslag, a large venomous snake endemic to the area, as a way to single that this was to be weapon system with a deadly bite! 

William Wilson Passed Away on January 26th. He will be missed.

I have some horrible news guys and I feel so bad I only found out about this over a week after the fact. William Wilson, better known to us as Mook, passed away on January 26th. I'm still trying to process this. While I wasn't on a personal level with him, I did know and interact with him on what I guess I can call a professional level so this does hit a bit hard. There are few that have done as much to spread GURPS out there and try and make it accessible to the masses. From his excellent book, How to be GURPS GM, to his blog (and it's many very usual game aids), he added so much quality and character to our little gaming community. He will be missed. If you have faith, please say a prayer for his family and if you have the means there is a gofundme to help with medical and funeral costs.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Ultra-Tech Firepower: Big Guns Never Tire



Bigger in fact does seem to be better when it comes to the future of main battle tank guns. Rheinmetall already has a 130mm tank gun model it's shopping around and the US is even looking into the possibility of going up to a massive 140mm gun in some of it's next generation MBT concepts. While the safe money is on the 130mm seeing wide spread adoption, it's not only already is a working model at this point but also it's  largely based on it's already successful RH-120 line of tank guns (and it being the cheaper options doesn't hurt either) making it easier to retrain crews to use and maintain it. The 140mm , while still in development at this point, does still have some advantages in its favor do its larger warhead giving it some more flexibility in munitions and it's greater penetration power will help keep it at over match capacity even against advancements in armor technology.

Well, if you want to seriously up the dakka quotient in your game, follow me after the jump.

Sa-bow indexed!

Tank identified, Twelve-hundred-up! On target!  Fire!

Round away!

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Now You're Shunting With Power








Welp, Star Wars Squadrons came out a while ago and it's kinda great. It not only brings us a much needed spiritual successor to the classic X-Wing/TIE Fighter PC space simulators from the 90's but shows some small degree of proof that EA can actually make a good game that isn't a thinly veiled guise to violate your wallet, intelligence, dignity, and probably you personally if they could figure out a way.   

The game also brings back the ability to shunt power from one system to another letting you prioritize  one system while taking a hit to others. This was an amazing game play feature that defined the original game. It let you adjust the ship you were were flying to not only be better able to take on the current challenge but also to suit your personal preference.  Need to chase down that pesky TIE? You can risk lowering your shields to up your speed. Need to get close to a capitol ship? You can trade firepower to up your shields to better survive the barrage of incoming turbo-lasers. It even made replaying mission more interesting as you could try out different power settings and see what works or purposely gimp yourself for extra challenge. It was also very true to the source material as angling your deflector shield and having an astromech droid divert power were a common troupe.  

Now while Spaceships already has a design switch option that allows you to angle your force screen (GURPS Spaceships, pg. 32), it doesn't have an option to simulate shunting power from one system to power up another one. Of course this is not without good reason as this does add a good deal of paper work to keep tract of and some extra math while designing ship. However if you're not afraid of a little extra crunch (and if you're following this blog there's a good chance you're up to the challenge, do you even crunch bro?) and want to add a little more more variety for the space jockeys in your sci-fi campaign to play around with then I give you a new design switch option: Power Shunting.


Power Shunting   

Many sci-fi series depict the heroes carefully husbanding power from one system to another in a critical moment, boosting its effectiveness at the expense of one that is less important in the current situation. This design switch lets you simulate that troupe. You can only shunt power between high-energy systems and must have at least two usable power points available. All powered system start at level 0, which is the baseline power level. Pick a system you want to boost and select a level you want to boost it to from level 1 up to level 4. Multiply that system's effects or stats by the amount shown in the column that the system you are boosting falls under. You then have to drop another system down to a negative level equal to the level you raised the boosted system to, from level  -1 to level -4,  and multiply its effects and stats by the amount shown in its corresponding column. If you have three or more boost compatible high energy systems plus enough power points to power them all and you boost a system two or more levels you can choose to spread the drained levels across them rather than just lowering the level of one system.   

If you have more high-energy systems then power points to use on them all, you can also use a power shunt to provide some level of power to these systems. For every level you drop a powered system, raise the unpowered one up one level treating level -4 as being unpowered.   

Different kinds of systems are affected in different ways when feed more power. There are three ways a system can be boosted. Systems are either affected in a linear way, by the square root of the increase in power, or by the cube root of the increase. Though there are some systems that can be affected in more than one way, for example increasing the engine power of a craft in atmosphere will increase its thrust linearly but it's top speed will only increase by the square root of it.

Because of this the shunting chart shown below is broken down into three columns with each one corresponding to one of the ways a system can be affected by a power shunt.

Power Shunt Chart
Power Level: This column shows the range of settings you can set a systems power level to; from a level of -4 up to a level of +4 with a power level of 0 being the normal operating level for a given system. Each level represents an power increase or decrease of 25% with a level of +4 being a doubling of power and a level of -4 being no power.

Colum 1: Square Root
These systems are affected by the square root of the set power level.

-Kinetic energy weapons or beam weapons if you are using the square root of destruction optional rule (Alternate Spaceships, Pyramid 3-24 Alternate GURPS, pg. 9).

-Top speed of jet and ornithopter powered aircraft.

Column 2: Cube Root
These systems are affected by the cube root of the set power level.  

-Beam weapons if you are using the standard rules.

-Top speed for helicopters and surface water and underwater craft.

Column 3: Linear
These systems are affected by a one to one increase in the set power level.  

- Contragravity lifters.

-For any types of propulsion and FTL systems not covered in other columns.


-Factory and Mining/Refinery output.
Power Level       Square Root      Cube Root        Linear    
-4                       ×0                      ×0                      ×0
-3                       ×0.5                   ×0.6                   ×0.25

-2                       ×7                      ×0.8                   ×0.5
-1                       ×0.9                   ×0.9                   ×0.75
0                        ×1                      ×1                      ×1
+1                      ×1.12                 ×1.1                   ×1.25

+2                      ×1.22                 ×1.14                 ×1.5
+3                      ×1.32                 ×1.21                 ×1.75
+4                      ×1.4                   ×1.25                 ×2         

On a sheet or paper or spreadsheet write down the power level column as you see above and set up a different column for each high powered system that can be power shunted then under them multiply their base effects by the multipliers under the column the column that corresponds to the given system.

For Example: Let's say you have a SM +5 space fighter that has two linear systems, a hot TL 11 reactionless thruster and a TL 11 deflector screen and one cube root system, a 10MJ major battery. It's stats would be be affected as below:

Power Level      Hot  Reactionless    Deflector Screen     Major Battery       
-4                       0                                      0                            0                     
-3                       0.5G                                5 dDR                    2d+2 (2)
-2                       1G                                  10 dDR                    3d+1 (2)                  
-1                       1.5G                               15 dDR                    3d+2 (2)                 
0                        2G                                   20 dDR                    4d (2)                      
+1                      2.5G                               25 dDR                     4d+2 (2) 
+2                      3G                                  30 dDR                     4d+2 (2)                
+3                      3.5G                               35 dDR                      5d-1 (2)                
+4                      4G                                  40 dDR                      5d (2)             

Longer Term Effect
While in most combat situations keeping track of how long you shunt extra power into a system is not needed; however if you are doing this during a long chase or similar situations you do risk straining or even blowing out a system if you run it a higher output then i';s normally rated for for too long.

You can run most systems for a minute or get off 10 shots in succession (at a weapons full ROF) without any issues but for every minute or 10 shots afterwards you need to make a HT roll. On  success the system is fine.  On a failure, the systems safeties kick in and shut the system down for 1d minutes per minute/10 shots the system was used. On a failure of 5 or more the system is damaged in the shut down procedure and will not work again until repaired (see Damage Control, GURPS Spaceships pg. 64). On a critical failure the power was too much for the system to handle and it blew out completely. It is a total wash and needs to be replaced.

If you let the system rest for 30 seconds per minute/10 shots it is boosted it cools back down to normal uses and can be used for 1 minute/10 shots without needing a HT check again.

Hotshotting and Power Shunting
If used, these rules also replace the normal hotshot rules (GURPS Ultra-Tech pg. 133). It is assumed that the more robust power supplies as well as the fact that the weapon can tap into the vehicle's cooling system allows it to fire at a higher output far more safely then you could with a small arm.