Saturday, 29 October 2016

GURPSGen: ArmourGen and BeamGen released!

I've posted before about my Github repositories for releasing my little generators (random and otherwise) but in the past few weeks I've been slowly grooming them for a proper release as real, honest-to-god software. I now have a page on this blog that introduces them, describes the current release and points towards the Github pages, newly-revamped as actual programs for release rather than a dumping ground for code.

To lower your expectations somewhat, the programs both run in a terminal and need Python3 installed. If you're not familiar with interacting with programs in the terminal, it'll probably be too complicated to open and run for you. My top priority with development now is to implement a graphical interface so more people can use it. To that end, I'm in contact with the developer of the GURPS Star System Generator to see about using the same web-based GUI. In an ideal world, I'll be able to host it on a webpage rather than force you to download it, making it 1000% more accessible. The only issue I foresee with this is with importing generated items to GURPS Character Sheet but I'm more than willing to sacrifice that for a drastic increase in usability.

I'll make posts for further updates as and when they come.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Worlds-R-Us: The Rift at Ayyadieh

I'm not a fan of the "rightous Christians,
sinful Muslims" vibe of this image but it's
the only depiction of it that I could find.
WARNING: This content has been "inspired by" (i.e. shamelessly ripped off from, then expanded on) the game Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader from Reflexive Entertainment and Black Isle Studios. 

In the Year of Our Lord 1189, Pope Gregory VIII calls the Third Crusade against the Ayyubid Sultanate, lead by Saladin, who had conquered the holy city of Jerusalem and looked poised to wrestle the entirety of the Holy Land from Christendom. Kings marched to the Holy Land; the situation so dire that even the kings of England and France called a truce in their war to march together to retake the lands from the Saracens.

In 1191, the long and brutal Siege of Acre is broken  the garrison surrenders. King Phillip II of France and King Richard the Lionheart triumphantly march into the city, taking the Muslim garrison into captivity. King Phillip leaves shortly afterwards, having to attend to a succession crisis within France caused by the death of an important duke while on campaign in the crusade. King Richard stays, intending to ransom several thousand prisoners in exchange for money to continue the crusade, important Christian captives held by Saladin, and a piece of the True Cross. Saladin stalls for time; he sends the first instalment of the ransom but draws out further negotiations, likely intending to raise an army to storm Acre and retake the city from the exhausted Christians. His hand forced, King Richard takes his advisers' counsel and ascends to the hill of Ayyadieh, in full sight of nearby Saracen encampments, and slaughters over three thousand Muslim captives.

In our world, the crusade continued on, resulting in a costly campaign for the Christians that ended with a treaty providing unarmed Christian pilgrims with the right to enter Jerusalem free from hassle or toll. This didn't succeed in ending the contention over the Holy Land, and the disastrous Fourth Crusade begun merely ten years later, resulting in the infamous Sack of Constantinople.

But what if the massacre unleashed something otherwordly?

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Eidetic Memory: Ultra-Tech Armour Design... Review

I had recently begun a post here where I updated David Pulver's articles Eidetic Memory: Low-Tech Armour Design and Eidetic Memory: Cutting Edge Armour Design from Pyramid #3/52 and #3/85 to work for TL10 and up, having reverse-engineered armouring materials from the items in GURPS Ultra-Tech.

If you've seen the latest Pyramid (#3/96 - Tech and Toys IV) you'll know that unfortunately for me, Pulver has beaten me to the punch! I was working on something a little more extensive than his materials, trying to generalise his more-detailed approach to TL9 armours up to TL12. That post isn't quite ready yet, since I still have some fiddling and noodling to do with some values of them, so instead I thought I'd do a quick test/review of Ultra-Tech Armour Design by building a few armours with it.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Equipment Locker: Gyroladar Launch Pistol

A friend and I regularly pick each others' brains for GURPS concepts, ideas and advice and one of our recent discussions was a kind of "enchanted weapon" for a boss to wield in a semi-hard TL10 space opera game where humanity fell then rose again (somewhat like Traveller). The idea of "boss loot" is tricky to do in science fiction, since the vast majority of objects are mass-produced (or 3D printed) but fall-and-rise-again space opera gives you a certain amount of wiggling room if the previous civilisation was more advanced than the current one. The other constraint was that it can't rely on special ammo, since the specialness of the weapon degrades a bit if you can just stuff it's ancient 10mm rounds into your modern gun.

The idea I came up with was a gyroc pistol with an active targeting sensor on it, that uses it to auto-adjust itself. I didn't get time to build it in detail at the time (since anyone who regularly reads this blog should know I'm fond of using the combination gadgets rule to make new items) but I took some time to do it properly, so here's the entire process, as well as the result.

Rogues Gallery: Junker Exo

Something like this but with more taped-on scrap metal
Boss fights are a staple of traditional fantasy RPGs. As you may have noticed, I heavily lean towards science fiction rather than fantasy but the concept of a boss fight sometimes has difficulties making that transition. Especially in games like GURPS where the fragility of individual humans is relatively constant, boss fights will often tend towards one of two extremes. Either the fight is an anticlimax, with the Big Bad going down from a few well-placed shots like most people do; or the Big Bad seems perfectly fine after taking a full power cell's worth of laser shots to the chest, ruining the players' suspension of disbelief that they are in fact a regular human and not some kind of thinly-disguised killbot. Although a thinly-disguised killbot would actually make a pretty good boss fight...

But there's an idea that I've had brewing in my head for a while that allows a little bit of both and it involves Ultra-Tech's exoskeletons, relying on them to provide the two things that make many traditional boss fights: an enemy that's both big and tough.