I'm really frustrated at Traveller 5 armor making. The Armor Making Form does not line up with the Design Instructions.
Example. it says
The deliberate design process begins with a blank Armor Fillform. In each step, the Chart Number indicates the Armor Chart from which the information is selected.
- But then it starts with Chart 4 in the form. Also, there is no Space where to put Chart 3 information in the Form.
- Chart 4 does readily have a Space where you can Put ITEM stats on it.
- Then I realize I don't know what to put in Chart 3. I want to make an Exoskeleton do I have to put an Armor? Lets just ignore Chart 3.
- Let's just figure out a way to Put Item: Unit and the Specifications. Then Apply Labor and Basic. Figured out as much as:
- Stage: Basic (TL0; Mass*1.3,Ar-5, Ca-5, Fl-5, Ra-5, So-5, Ps0, In-5, Se-5, 0.7*Cr).
- Descriptor: Labor (TL-1, Mass*0.7, Ins*6, Se*6, Cr*4)
- Burden. None
- Type; Unit (TL9, 200KG; Ar2, Ca2, Fl2, Ra2, So2, Ps1, In2, Se2, 60KCr; Str*10, Dex-2, Legged, 2-skill).
- Unit. Comms7?, Sensors3?, Controls1?, Power3(Days)
- What I have seems like TL8 Exe Skeleton, but I'm after having a TL9 one. 168KCr and182Kg. I don't know how to tweak the TL to be 9, or ways to make it practical. Like something a Working Class character can afford for his manual labor.
Traveller has been designed for people who can do all the iterations in their heads, viewing all the processes and possibilities.
My rule of thumb for designing a Process for work is How Often I have to go back and forth between pages. Right now I have to Keep Several Pages Up. I have a 21" screen SPLIT into 2, and my 15" screen Split into to JUST FOR THIS. You'll notice it with my work (inserted). I try to tackle the subject matter in the Statement Sized Pages (because I imagine the person may want to access it conveniently on their phone so its Statement sized 8x5.5.
If I encountered Traveller in HS I would feel defeated unless one of my teachers took the time to teach me to step by step. When I teach my son, I simplify each step and elaborate it with a story. Even when he can't remember 8 x 7, I remind him he knows 8 x 8 (he knows this from Minecraft) and can figure it out. Melchior was able to comprehend GURPS 3rd edition in HS and I only had the courage to read it in College.
I could understand Gurps Vehicles. How you create a Power armor was having the Volume and Surface area of a Human Body and then some fudging about How many inches over that Surface area equated to a Volume you can use for stuff.
A volume like Armor = 4-10mm of Scifi Armor. Volume for Robot Muscles and Computers.
One of the AWESOME things about GURPS is that you see the TEDIOUS breakdown of the calculation of a Power Armor. So All I needed to do was take that template and rework it. More armor, More sensors, More stuff of what I wanted.
This geometry and very light physics calculation was easy. GURPS had steps - Oh my god the STEPS were consistent because they showed you Sample Calculations. Want to make a Roman Penteconter here it is! Ok wanna make it a Trireme! Wanna make a Byzantine Kourasores, add Sails, change the profile, Etc...
It was fun, it made me realize I just needed to research the density of the fabric and get the weight of my clothes and I can Guestimate my Surface Area. It was awesome to be TAUGHT to think like that.
What GURPS did was they just got some basic measurements and extrapolated - Chain mail had this kind of Weight and Thickness per Square meter. This much Chainmail = 50lbs. Rings of 2mm moved 5mm had this much Mass change and weighed XYZ more.
Its really painful in the Eyes. He didn't use alternating colors so my eyes get easily confused if I blinked and started looking at the wrong row. He didn't keep it human Readable with commas and points (sorry I get confused if I'm looking at 6-5 digits or 4 digits). One of the lessons in my studies into ERPs is that A lot of what ERPS do is make it HUMAN READABLE. People can INPUT into a table but its PAINFUL when you do that 6-8 hours a day. Maybe 1 out of 20people can do it. But you have the other 20 people who would feel serious discomfort with a really bad layout. It is for people with capabilities far from my own.
Its sad that I have to alternate colors, break up tables with summaries, create flow charts, retell my story again and again and change it when people don't understand. Design my work so that people who are like me, simple, can follow and can CORRECT me. It's not a bad thing to make stuff for simple people like me. Or soften the grade of sophistication when dealing with science and advance math with people like me. I guess I see the dilemma -a genius can see the work of a genius. You want to attract geniuses, to be able to polish the genius. That makes sense. Why entertain the lowest common denominator? The effort is disproportionate to the returns.
This is one of my frustrations with GURPS, its not accessible. It's WAY more accessible than T5 but I was hoping it can be more accessible like Dungeon World Accessible.
Key principles Take Away.
- How much data the Reader has to Memorize or Master before understanding any Process.
- If you are able to think in Flow Charts or Visualizations of a Process: Inputs > Process > Outputs as well as Steps - How complicated is your Flow chart?
- If you say something is a Process - a BOX, how many Inputs do you need? How many references do you need? How many Judgements do you Need?
- While QREBS was not needed to be understood and some of the Armor protections were self-evident - someone had to tell me that QREBS was optional.
- Lets say that there is no Memorization needed, How often the READER has to reference the pages? How can they Reference the Pages? Do they need it side by side?
- Why would someone need the data side by side? Is the data made up greater than 2 factors. Example Every Descriptor, Type, Stage, etc... was made up of greater than 2 Factors.
- Do you index? Do you use heading and refer back to Headings/ Do you use account codes (term in PMBOK aka numbered bullets like 188.8.131.52 etc... or A.ii.b).6. ) Can someone Find exactly what piece of information supports or Input to create the next piece of information?
- What is the SEQUENCE of the process? Do you clearly state what is first, second and third? Do you explain optional or purposes of steps?
- Do you provide alternative steps? Like just figuring out Weight or TL or Cost?
- Do you provide EXAMPLES!!! Where can you find the examples? Do you INDEX?
- Does it explain Design Intent? Is there a summary of the framework?