Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Mounted Combat: Taking a Step

A while back I ran an old west sample combat that involved a lot of horses, and a lot of shooting from horseback while moving. One rule we noticed is that "If you are controlling a vehicle or riding a mount, take a move maneuver to spend the turn actively controlling it". But what if you aren't actively controlling your mount? what happens then? A trained warhorse has a lot more initiative than a motorcycle, and is both able and willing to make its own decisions. And they don't exactly stop moving just because their rider is no longer spending all of their energy moving them forward. We ended up allowing players to use their "Steps" to send subtle adjustments to their mounts.  Here is our system:

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Robots as Spaceships: Winches

The whole robots as spaceships line was started by my first attempt at cyberpunk, which learned very much on "cyber" and didn't do much with the "punk". The game had a heavy focus on machine combat in very urban environments. When I was designing different robots, I had this image come to mind of a robot firing a gun through a skyscraper window while suspended from a cable.

The cable and grappling hook are somewhat cinematic, with the most famous user of them being Batman, but robots that go up and down sky-scrapers exist today, primarily to wash windows. They typically are hung on the skyscrapers by some other means and then start moving around. 

This is a spaceship system to do that...

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Metatronic Generators In Low Tech Settings

Historically, I've always looked at Metatronic generators funny. They provide a direct translation from points to cash, and that often gives funny numbers. The base version also has this weird assumption that you will be using electricity baked into it, and they're generally based off of Psychotronics, which are intentionally an area of weirdness. 

 I just realized that I'm using them for a TL1 fantasy game.

Not intentionally, but the more I look at the "Magic System" the players have access to, the more I'm convinced that it can be usefully expressed in terms of Metatronic generators. So what's the system, and what settings do I use to make Metatronic generators useful at TL1?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Robot Brains: The Skill Budget Model

In Gurps, perhaps the simplest way to give AI's skills to give them skills for being functioning minds. Which is to say, just like any other character. The skills are an intrinsic part of who they are. They can learn new skills the same way any other mind does, by studying, practicing, and through hands on experience. They can no more download a new skill than a human can purchase one in the form of a book.