Thursday, March 3, 2016

Psi Wars: the Gear List

GURPS Action 1 includes a catalog of items available to its heroes, starting on page 26.  Psi Wars should include a similar list, allowing player to select non-combat items appropriate for their characters.  By having such a catalog, we can trim the inappropriate options from Ultra-Tech, and customize anything that we include to be specific to our particular setting.  So, all we need to do is go through the items, one for one, in the Action list, and replace them with appropriate Ultra-Tech items.

Most items can be replaced directly with ultra-tech equivalents, but sometimes, we need to adjust them. Ultra-Tech is intended less as a catalog of items, and more as a gadget-design system.  Thus, where I have had to alter, fiddle or redesign gadgets, I have included a full description (and perhaps a page reference to the original gadget I derived the new gadget from).

The list in Action includes weapons, clothing and armor, but we'll revisit that at a later time, as it is worthy of its own post.

Unlike the Action list, the following list includes legality class, a page reference and (if necessary) further discussion because, unlike in Action, we cannot take for granted that our players will automatically know these details.

The Psi Wars Gear Catalog


Page 26 of Action includes a list of gear-modifiers and their cost-factors. Use this directly in Psi Wars.

Arson and Demolition

Detonators: UT 89. $20, neg. weight.
Detonator Remote: For setting off a detonator or a plasma charge. $40, 0.04 lbs, 2A/50 hours, LC 3.
HEX-6: High-Energy Explosive (UT88) that is malleable. Requires a detonator. See Pryamid #3-51 p8 for additional rules (toxicity, etc). 8dx4 cr ex, $50, 1.25 lbs.
Small Plasma Charge: UT88. Includes a detonator. Deals 6dx4 cr ex sur. $50, ½ lb.  This can also be a limpet mine for $100 and 1 lb.
Heavy Plasma Charge: UT88 Includes a detonator. Deals 8dx5 cr ex sur. $500, 5 lbs


Players will expect communicators to work more-or-less like radio, so we should oblige them: Psi Wars communicators can broadcast or narrow-cast, electrical storms can interfere with them, others can intercept their communications and so on.  Nonetheless, Psi Wars clearly has superior communication technology: Relatively small communicators can communicate with ships in orbit, or even send real-time 3D images!  Thus, treat communicators as radio for purposes of options and potential problems, but for the purposes of range and bandwidth, treat them as gravity-ripple communications (UT 45).  All communication systems in Psi Wars can talk to all other communication systems, as they all use the same, nebulous "Ultra-tech communication technology" technobabble.

Wrist Communicator: A small, two-way, sound only communicator. Range 100 miles. $200, 0.05 lbs. 2A/50 hours, LC 4.
Hand-Held Holographic Communicator: A small, two-way communicator that transmits your 3D image, and shows you a hologram of the other party. Range 100 miles, $300, 0.15 lbs, 2A/30 hours, LC 4
Man-Portable Holographic Communicator: A large holographic communicator able to contact people in space or on another continent. Shows a full-sized image of both participants. Range 10,000 miles, $12,000, 6 lbs, 2C/30 hours, LC 4, UT45.
Security Encryption Chip: Encodes your communications. $500, LC 2, UT 88.

Criminal Tools

Communication Jammer, Area: Forces a quick contest between Electronics Operation (Communications) and Electronics Operation (EW) to get a message out, This also applies to tracers and bugs. 2 mile range, $500, 5 lbs. LC 2
Communication Jammer, Expendable: -10 to to Electronics Operation (Communications) in 100-yard radius for next 30 minutes. $50, 0.25lbs. LC 3
Disguise Kit: +1 Disguise. $200, 10 lbs, LC 3, UT97.
Distortion Chip: -8 to active sensors. $500, 0.5 lbs, LC 2, A/20 hours, UT99
Document Fabricator: +1 to Forgery. $4000, 10 lbs, 4C/50 hours, LC 2. UT97
Electronic Lockpick: Picks any lock in Psi-Wars except biometric locks. UT 95, $1500, 0.2 lbs, A/10 hours, LC 2
Voice Mask: $200, 0.1 lb, B/100 hours, LC 3, UT98

Expedition Gear

Air Mask: Comes with 8 hours of air in a tank small enough to attach to a belt. $150, 3 lbs, UT 177.
Compass, Inertial Navigation: +3 to Navigation (Air, Land, Sea). $30, 0.05 lbs, A/neg, LC 4, UT 74-75.
Expedition Suit: UT 178 for details. DR 5 (flexible). $1500, 6 lbs. 2C/neg.
Gecko Gear: Gloves and socks. +5 to climb. $5000, 1.5 lbs, 2A/neg. LC 3. See Pyramid #3-12 p6
Light Tow Cable: fires a molecular suction cup up to 100 yards away, and then pulls the carrier upwards at a rate of 2 yards per second. Can support 400 lbs. Uses 1/8” rope. +1 Climbing. $650, 5 lbs C/1 hour or 15 shots (treat each shot as -4 minutes, if it matters). See Pyramid #3-12 p6-7.
Parachutes: Use those from GURPS Action 1 page 28.
Rope, 1/8”: Supports 400 lbs. Per 10 yards, $2, 0.1 lb UT 81
Rope, 3/16”: Supports 1000 lbs. Per 10 yards, $5, 0.25 lb UT 81
Swimsuit: +3 basic move in water, -1 move outside of water. DR 5 (flexible). Comes with airmask, and provides its own air so long as the power lasts: $2250, 12 lbs, D/5dy, UT 39 & UT 177
Vaccsuit: Comes with 8 hours of air. DR 6 (Flexible). Visored Helmet DR 30/20. $7000, 20 lbs, 2C/5dy. UT 179-180.

Light Sources

Use the light sources from Action 1 p29, only increase the duration of all electric lights to 5+ days.

Medical Equipment

Anti-Toxin Kit: As Action 1 p 29
Crash Kit: +2 First Aid. $200, 10 lbs. UT 198.
Drugs: All TL 9-10 drugs from UT 205 are available.
First Aid Kit: +1 First Aid. $50, 2 lbs, UT198
Surgical Kit: As Action 1 p 29.


Binoculars, IR: IR Vision, 64x magnification. $2500, 3 lbs, C/2 dy, LC 4, UT 60-61
Visor, IR: IR Vision, 8x magnification, $500, 0.6 lbs, B/2dy, LC 4, UT 60-61.

Personal Accessories

Attache Case: DR 16. Has a simple electronic lock, otherwise as Action 29. $100, 2 lbs.
Backpack, Small: As Action 29.
Belt, Utility: Carries up to 5 lbs. $50, 0.5 lbs.
Data Reader: UT 51. $20, 0.1 lbs.

Security Gear

Bug Detector: Uses Electronics Operations (Surveillance) and can detect any bug or beacon in Psi-Wars, otherwise treat as RF Bug Detector UT106. $200, 0.1 lb, A/neg, LC4
Crediline: UT 205. $250 per dose. LC 4.
Cuff-tape: See UT 107. $10, 0.5 lbs, LC 3.
Electronic Cuffs: See UT 107. $40, 0.25 lbs, A/neg, LC4
Neuronic Restraints: See UT 108 & 122, Agony Option only. $250, 0.5 lbs, B/10 mins, LC2
Pocket Analyzer: Can be used to detect particular chemicals or biological signatures, etc, from 1' away. $500, 0.6 lbs, 2B/24 hr, LC 4. UT 67
Power Damper Collar: See UT 108. $2000, 0.1 lb, B/neg, LC 3
Privacy Field: See UT 106. $5000, 4 lbs, C/2 dy.

Spy and Surveillance Gear

3D Pocketcam: UT 51. +1 Photography or Electronics Operation (Media). $200, 0.25 lb. B/2 dy
Tracer: This device combines the functions of the homing beacon, an audio/visual bug, and a com/computer tap: It can show what it sees/hears, transmit whatever the electronic system it's attached to is doing, and it can signal its location. It is SM -12. It can transmit its data up to a mile away, and it can transmit its code signal (not data, just a basic transmission for determining where it is) up to 2000 miles away. $200, neg, AA/neg, UT 105
Hyperspace Tracer: This device acts as a homing beacon, but sends its signal out over hyperspace. It is SM -6. Generally, these devices are fixed to the ship secretly using Electronic Operations (Surveillance) or Electronic Repair (Surveillance). Engineer (Starship) or Electrician might notice the drain on the power, and Electronics Operation (Comms) might pick up the disguised signal. Such attempts are rolled as a quick contest against the planter's Electronics Operations (Surveillance) skill. $50,000, 5 lbs, external power. UT 105.


Grav Ram: 4d cr to doors and such. One D cell gives an hour of hammering. $1000, 10 lbs. UT84
Plasma Torch: 2d(5) burn per second One C cell is good for a hour. $250, 5 lbs. UT 80
Plasma Torch, Mini: 1d+2(5) burn per second. One B cell is good for 15 minutes. $100, 1 lb. UT 80
Sonic Probe: Ridiculously useful for everything. $500, 0.25 lbs, B/3 dy, UT 84.
Tool Kit, Mini: As Action 1 p30. $400, 2 lbs.
Tool Kit, Portable: As Action 1 p30. $1,200, 10 lbs.
Tool Kit, Worshop: UT 82. Armoury, Electrician, Machinist, Mechanic: $15,000, 200 lbs. Electronics Repair, Armoury (Force Screen): $30,000, 100 lbs.


We lack a proper vehicle design system, and many of the vehicles in Ultra-Tech aren't exactly appropriate.  That said, we can adjust them in quite a few ways: We can add or subtract gadgets, we can adjust armor for TL (grab your copy of GURPS Spaceships, find an armor value of the same TL as the original vehicle, then find the same armor value in a more advanced armor entry.  For example, a TL 9 vehicle with 150 DR is equivalent to the SM +8 entry of Metallic Laminate Armor (TL 9).  If we look at the SM +8 entry of Diamonoid Armor (TL 11) we see that the TL 11 equivalent would be 300 DR), and we can more-or-less guess at how to adjust things for the propulsion system.  I had originally said that I wanted to use hover-tech rather than grav-tech, but I said this because I didn't want flying tanks and I wanted something similar to Luke's hover car.  However, having seen a lot more of Star Wars, as well as reviewed quite a lot of fiction similar to it, I've decided that most people expect flying cars... so go ahead and use full grav vehicles, just slow the tank down.

Where the chosen vehicles are identical to something in Ultra-Tech, I have left them alone and simply included a page reference. Where they are substantially changed, or represent something "new," I have included full entries.  I have also included military vehicles, not because I expect that characters will have access to them, but because they may well fight them.

Hovertank: Similar to the Grav Tank on UT 266, but with slower speeds. It includes IR Imaging Sensor, a medium gravity-ripple comm (see the communicator rules above), tactical sound detector, a small tactical ultrascanner, IR cloaking, a main turret with a fusion cannon or blaster cannon, and a smaller turret with a field-jacketed X-ray strike laser for point defense.

Assault Transport: An adjusted version of the Armored Hovercraft on UT 267, using contravravity technology in place of ducted fans, and brought up to TL 11. It includes IR Imaging Sensor, a medium gravity-ripple comm, tactical sound detector, a small tactical ultrascanner, an inertial navigation system, IR cloaking, and typically carries a fusion gatling cannon and an MLAWS missile launcher.

Reactionless Jetpack: A compromise between the Nuclear Jetpack and the Contragravity Belt, both on UT231.  It has a 1d plasma backblast, and has the same problem with stealth systems as the nuclear jetpack, but only adds a +1 to detection.

Nuclear Vertol: Contragravity systems and reactionless thrusters bring the cost of this vehicle down, but all other stats remain the same.  Non-military models include a medium gravity-ripple comm and a medium ultrascanner.  Military models replace the ultrascanner with a medium tactical ultrascanner, IR Imaging Sensors, and IR Cloaking.

Piloting (Contragravity)

Vehicle ST/HP Hand/SR HT Move Lwt. Load SM Occ DR Range Cost Locations
Grav Jeep
See UT 266

10,000 $400,000 O
Grav Bike
See UT 230

5,000 $25,000 E
Hover Tank 150 +1/5 11 5/50 30 1S +5 2SV 1000/500 2,500 $4,000,000 Tt
Hover IFV 130 +1/5 11 10/80 20 2 +5 2+8S 300/150 7,500 $1,000,000 tX
Utility Vertol
See UT 229

75 NA $6,000,000
Military Vertol
See UT 299

150 NA $12,000,000

Piloting (Flight Pack)

Vehicle ST/HP Hand/SR HT Move Lwt. Load SM Occ DR Range Cost Locations
Reactionless Jetpack 14 +2/1 12 10/40 0.22 0.2 -3 1 10 3,000 $30,000 E


Vehicle ST/HP Hand/SR HT Move Lwt. Load SM Occ DR Range Cost Locations
Underwater Jetpack
See UT 228

$600 E


Vehicle ST/HP Hand/SR HT Move Lwt. Load SM Occ DR Range Cost Locations
Nuclear Minisub
See UT 228

$50,000,000 2Argst

Character Information


Characters need the right skills to use the appropriate technology, so we need to make sure our templates include everything we need.  The following skills use or deal with the above technologies:
  • Beam Weapon (Projector): For using torches or Grav Ram
  • Chemistry: Lets you improvise HEX-6.
  • Climbing: To use Gecko Gear or the Tow cable
  • Cryptography: To break codes.
  • Disguise: To use a disguise kit
  • Electrician: Lets you improvise plasma charges from power cells (a c-cell gets you a small charge, a d-cell gets you a heavy charge), or to notice a hyperspace tracer
  • Electronics Operation (Communication): To use the above in difficulty circumstances, such as dealing with interference or exceptionally long range, or to notice a hyperspace tracer.
  • Electronics Operation (EW): Intercept communication or to use an area jammer.
  • Electronics Operation (Media): For taking pictures
  • Electronics Operation (Security): To pick locks.
  • Electronics Operation (Surveillance): To plant a hyperspace tracer or to operate a bug detector.
  • Electronics Repair (Communication): Lets you build a detonator or a remote, or improvise or repair any communication device.
  • Electronics Repair (EW): To improvise an area jammer.
  • Electronics Repaair (Surveillance): To improvise a bug detector or a tracer, or to plant a hyperspace tracer.
  • Engineer (Starship): To notice a hyperspace tracer.
  • Forensics: Lets you uncover taggants and trace the charge back to its original factory.
  • Lockpicking: To pick locks (Though I am inclined to remove this in favor of Electronics Operation (Security) as nobody ever picks a mechanical lock in Psi Wars).
  • Navigation (Land): To use the inertial navigation compass
  • Photography: For taking pictures
  • Pilot (Contragravity): For the above noted vehicles.  Given that starships are contragravity ships for all intents and purposes, make the default between Pilot (Starship) and Pilot (Contragravity) -2 instead of -4.
  • Pilot (Flight Pack): For the reactionless jetpack
  • Research: As with forensics.
  • SCUBA: To use the swimsuit or the underwater jet pack.
  • Shiphandling (Submarine): To use the submarine above.
  • Swimming: To use the swimsuit
  • Vaccsuit: To use the vaccsuit.


Most skillsets work well-enough as written, with a few obvious changes (Replace Drive (Automobile) with Pilot Contragravity, replace Guns (Pistol) with Beam Weapons (Pistol), etc).  The following skillsets have changed substantially enough that I feel it worthwhile to note them completely.

Construction 25 points

See Action 4 p 13 for the original. Construction characters generally spend their time constructing spaceships rather than buildings.
Advantages: Artificer 1 [10]
Perks: Equipment Bond (any one toolkit or construction vehicle) [1]
Skills: Either Architecture (IQ/A) [4] or Engineering (Starship) (IQ/H) [4]; Two of Beam Weapons (Projector) (DX/E) [2], Electrician, Machinist or Mechanic (Any) all (IQ/A) [4]. Either Area Knowledge (City or Starport) (IQ/E) [4] or Urban Survival (Per/A) [4]

Demolitions 25 points

See Action 4 p 14 for the original. This needs to adapt to the fact that characters will try to blow up starships, and that psi-wars demolitions is substantially different from standard demolitions.
Advantages: Fearlessness 1 [2]
Perks: Either Cheaper Gear (Explosives) [1] or Equipment Bond (any one tool kit) [1]
Skills: Either Architecture (IQ/A) [4] or Engineering (Starship) (IQ/H) [4]; Armoury (Heavy Weapons) (IQ/A) [2]; Explosives (Demolition) (IQ/A) [8]; Choose two of Electrician, Electronics Repair (Communications) both (IQ/A) [4] or Chemistry or Engineer (Combat) both (IQ/H) [4].

Underwater Operations 25 points

See Action 4 p 23-24 for the original. This removes the crossbow in favor of blue-green lasers, and removes submarine (characters will just use SCUBA and an underwater jet pack).
Secondary Characteristics: Water Move +1 [5]
Advantages: Breath-Holding 1 [2]
Skills: Aquabatics (DX/H) [2], Beam Weapons (Pistol or Rifle) (DX/E) [2]; Explosivs (Underwater Demolotion (IQ/A) [4], Knife (DX/E) [2], Scuba (IQ/A) [4]; Swimming (HT/E) [4]
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