Monday, January 13, 2014

My Review of GURPS Spaceships

It deserves its glowing review and ratings. It simplifies a lot of work when creating ships in GURPS. I have one big problem tho, its that you have to still build doctrine from scratch.... and thats a contestable failing if there was one. That being said, its a great book, but you have a lot of work ahead of you if you want to have Ship combat, encounters, and Naval centric adventures in the future. 

So in a simulationist point of view, its simplified - I agree with the cost benefit of simplification in order to get some ships down and the Game ON!. Unfortunately you will need to have some form of doctrine to build in order to give guidance and internal rationale to methods and decisions. Best Practices has to be developed so that real creativity and problem solving can occur, and that's the real fun for me.

Otherwise, if there is no Doctrine its a Narrative Game (as someone who like and plays narrative mechanic games) and I'm not looking for that flavor of fun and I'm not as "Gaming High" as I am in problem solving fun. 

Why don't I just throw away my setting premises and just adopt the ships in the Series?

This is the first thing that comes to my mind when I look at all the ships (from just the Table of Contents of the Gurps Spaceship Series). F*CK my setting premises and just adopt the ships and just make a doctrine out of that... then they should have made such a book in the GURPS Spaceship series and doctrine happens WHILE building sample ships. I'm sure their making it, I'll just wait for that but while thats on its way I'll work on my own given my own premises. 

We start with simple assumptions and move on to complicated ones. Like a Gardener Writer, you let Interesting elements you want into the premises and you tie them together when they grow to a particular direction. Its hard being an Architect of an entire doctrine, especially when you want to start playing ASAP. Its not like a novel which can be planned in years lolz. 

Building Doctrine - the Analyst Compulsion

I'm a fan of Honorverse and love the doctrine element of the story. You can simplify the battles as Honor kicks everyone's ass, but then you can look at what it took for the Manticore and Havenite Navy to get where they are and the costs they paid. Simple is great, its better when applied where it counts and the focus in the elements that matter to the audience. 

Then again how many RPGamers have the same "turn ons" lolz? First thing about doctrine is that its really just for the GM who happens to get a big hadron in such things. Honestly I know of only one other person I know who likes this kind of stuff, and he's playing slots are full (and so are mine) I'm most likely trying to please myself lolz (there is a term for this). Hate it when reality and perspectives ruins an pedantic argument lolz. 

Still, I'm a big boy and I like the Doctrine and I'm unashamed of that. So with my self justification, on with some points about it particularly in GURPS Spaceships. 
  • OMG the assumptions. The design switches really make GURPS Spaceships - GURPS. the options are dizzying and really aim to please those with a hadron for Sci-fi. if your a Sci-fi author wanna be you would love this (and I'm a BIG Wannabe). So get them all down. 
  • Be Patient. There is a lot of ships to build and many sample combats to run! 
    • The method I'm using is working on the basic premise that SM+8 1000tons is a 200dton free trader. I did some research on Liberty ships and Economics so I'm just going to use some economic assumptions that will have my professors pestering in my head. A note 1945 USD is 10x the value presently. a Liberty Ship is $20M currently. It fits SM+10 but has lower density as 85% of it is cargo hold at 14,000 longtons/cu m or 1,000dton ship with 10,000 longton capacity or  700dtons cargo. Using the economic implication of City Stats for System Economies. Using WW2 economies with some assumptions regarding Common Good Spending (particularly in Interstellar Trade and Industry; basically the Imperial Economy heavily subsidizes it and makes it its primary commodity, taking the liabilities of its subsidized cost - its basically entrepreneurship instead of WAR as channel for political will and aligning economies. Kinda my thesis as to why I think the space program is good for the world economy). I can just hear my wife shouting out NERD!
  • So you got your research material and you have made about 12 ships in the course of 16 hours lolz. Funny, without doctrine you don't know what is important and what is expected or practiced. So in the first bunch of ships you make and as you learn the system you are going to be studying how to make things work, or a good BS excuse why things work the way they are. Still these are all happening in your head and you have no one to talk to about it to air the ideas to see if forgot some rule or failed to see an assumption (since your myopic). Then hopefully you know how I feel and why I want to talk to other gamer in Hangouts and send me a msg and take my offer to talk about this kind of crap that will test your spouses's or players patience lolz. 
  • After talking to someone or getting to talk to someone Be ready for a lot of Notes to digest and after writing it all down and having your Final IDEA let it sit for a MONTH before getting back to it to add some perspective. If you don't find yourself kicking your own ass with what you wrote then proceed to make a ton more ships until the next WALL hits you and everything looks like crap and you wasted your time... then Call me again and lets figure out some BS reason why we can make it work LOLz. Otherwise revise with the clearer and objective voice you have after you gained some space from your work and have someone critique it lolz. 
  • After you accomplish basic logistics and economics, basic commercial level threats and the broad brush strokes of Naval (with a few Naval Engagement Demos under your belt) then you have achieved a King of the Nerds award which you have to Claim after submitting your final thesis and had it peer reviewed (by fellow Nerds of your Peers). There will be a ceremony in onAir, with a couple of Puppets with Sesame street rip-off voices handing the virtual award. Be sure to invite the spouse for the false praise and heaps of sarcasm. Tell your spawn that Daddy did something great and there will be icecream and chocolates. 
Well hope this helps, if anything it just made me really depressed and should put adequate alchohol or some recently legalized herb in my to buy list or better yet spend some more quality time with the spawn. 

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