Sunday, April 16, 2017

Cross-Post Highlight: GURB, the Generic Universal Roleplaying Blog

I think I've mentioned several times that I regularly use material from other blogs to power Psi-Wars, and 90% of the time, I mean I'm using GURB.  He regularly dives into all parts of Ultra-Tech and pulls out more nuance that you can add to your setting and gadgetry, which is exactly the sort of thing I need.  If I'm honest, give GURB a year, and I won't need GURPS Vehicles 4e anymore.

I want to highlight two things.  First, GURB has put together an extensive modification of the article "Blaster and Laser Design" from Pyramid #3/37 "Tech and Toys II."  Erik, the writer of GURB, promises that at some point, he's going to compile all of his material, but I thought I would at least compile a set of links, for my own convenience, and for yours!

Second, I've noticed that Erik is a fan of Star Wars and, hoping that he was a fan of Psi-Wars, I asked if he'd be willing to donate some guns.  I gave him no constraints other than to allow him to create what he wanted to create and to follow the conventions of Psi-Wars, which meant he had to discard his alternative rules for Star Wars-style blasters (a rule I have in place to avoid more house rules than necessary, but I happen to think it's a good one, as removing the surge modifier from blasters would make some kind of EM disruptor an interesting weapon to wield against robots, so I might institute it anyway, but he's been kind enough to leave everything as backwards compatible as possible).  You can check out the weapons here: Psi-Wars: A Blaster Grab-Bag.

Blasters and Laser Design: Modified

As I find more, I'll note them. The pertinent links for GURB are:
Some of my favorite sci-fi has a weird, mish-mash feel, something that has organically grown over decades.  One of the reasons I asked Erik to write some material for me was, first of all he's really good at it, second of all I wanted some additional publicity, but last and most importantly, I wanted something in the setting that doesn't come from me.  A lot of my Patreon stuff is similar, and by pushing in slightly incongruent pieces from different authors, I'm hoping to put a bit of a patchwork feel.  By having things from different minds without all looking at the same notes, we get something more like the real world.  Some of his material won't mesh perfectly with my setting as written (because Erik wasn't privy to all notes) but it's up to me to adapt either his work or, better, my material, to make them fit!

So, here it is (again): The Psi-Wars Blaster Grab-Bag.

Hot-Shotting and Turbo-Blasters

I don't mess with overheating much in Psi-Wars because it's the sort of book-keeping detail that the Action genre seems hell-bent on avoiding.  I've already ditched reloads as much as possible by including super-science cells, so forcing people to wait for their gun to cool down seems inappropriate. That said, I really enjoyed his Liquid Cooling Systems, and I'm curious what a "steam blaster" might look like, some kind of hot-shot weapon that after so many shots, needs to vent steam when it's finished.  Might make a nice "older" piece.

The hotshotting section, though, really just expands on hot-shot options, which is to say, you trade having Malf 14 for having some kind of benefit, and he's expanded those benefits.  That arguably makes this a piece I should include in my Blaster and Laser design section above. He also adds Turbo-Blasters, which alas probably won't make it onto my spaceships (how do I emphasize their weight? Are they already handled by "Improved" blasters at TL 12?), but they're great for hand-held blasters.  Imagine a turbo-blaster on a tank!  Or even in a pistol!  It's exactly the sort of "Elite" or "Advanced" weapon that I'd like to see.

Stellar Dynamics PB 9

Erik made a fascinating choice here. Instead of going with something unique, he just gave me a standard pistol.  That's interesting because most of the material I've worked on has been explicitly moving away from the "de facto standard," mainly because I assumed that would exist in GURPS Ultra-Tech.  This gives me a weapon that can replace the Ultra-Tech basic, but with more personality, more flexibility (it has four subvariants) and is printable.  It becomes a standard for non-Imperial cops, or for punk criminals, and a good basic choice for PCs.

InVid Designs Works Short-ranged Weapon, Ordnance Disruptor (SWORD)

Oh man, this weapon! It's such a brilliant design and full of character.  It deals an average of 45 damage with an armor divisor of 5, which will one-shot someone in Elite Guardian armor, and will ruin most Imperial Security vehicles, though it will fail against most Imperial Naval vehicles.  The result is a weapon that's not really that useful to the Rebellion (though being able to fend off Security forces is not bad), but a weapon I expect that a Boba Fett-type Bounty Hunter would love, as well as most players.  Picture a character with one slung over his back, with a bandolier of b-cells around his chest, and a heavy blaster pistol in a holster at his side. That's not a guy you want to mess with, and it sounds like PC-material to me!

Cray Tec  Elite Sight 2960

This one violates some unstated rules of my design: no computer-assisted targeting and no Hyperspectral. I chose the former to prevent ranged characters from dominating melee characters, and I avoided Hyperspectral to reduce the number of "stealth vs vision" tiers, for simplicity.  On the other hand, it explicitly represents a highly unique rifle, one that's objectively"better than the rest."  At $140,000, it had better be!  It becomes a blacker than black ops rifle, something used by wealthy assassins to make sure the job is perfect.  The only "problem" with this one is that if I include it, I should include some Hyperspectral goggles somewhere... perhaps from Cray Tec again!

Scattershot Blasters

I don't remember if I commented that Psi-Wars often follows old Western themes, or if Erik just picked up on it on his own, because scattershot blasters are something I've been trying to figure out for ages.  Erik gives me three:
  • The Outlander, a classic cowboy or criminal shotgun
  • The Enforcer, a "cop" shotgun
  • The Suppressor, a mil-spec shotgun (perfect for Security raids)

Startrodder HRX 888 Heavy Repeating Blaster Rifle

This is a really strange weapon, from its weird belt of c-cells to its pump action "super-blast" and its considerable weight, but I know what it's meant to represent: the weapon of Baze Malbus.  I think Erik did a great job here, and what's popped out is a great "Rambo" weapon, and a weapon I'm honestly tempted to give to the Rebellion.

Wald and Tac PBC Mk VII Crew Served Blaster Cannon

Surprisingly, an explicitly imperial weapon.  This reminds me of my own Overtech 242 Blaster Cannon, but perhaps I should ditch it in favor of this, as they perform a largely similar function, but the 6dx3(5) is definitely a superior anti-armor weapon than my 6dx2(3).

There you have it, the weapons Erik introduced into Psi-Wars!  I'll likely need to make some modifications to make them fit (for example, I need to decide what I want to do with the company names), but where possible, I'll try to leave them as untouched as possible.

Thanks, Erik!

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