Sep. 15th, 2016

Warp-Cycle

Sep. 15th, 2016 05:07 pm
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Many years ago, Steve Jackson Games was going to publish a companion volume to their comprehensive rules set for specifying vehicles for the GURPS RPG, GURPS Vehicles (GV), listing a multitude of, well, vehicles, statted out for play. This was mostly because math-phobic GURPS fans were not attracted to the involved processes of GV, and demanded some more example vehicles than the paltry few in GV.

This volume was to be called, appropriately enough, GURPS Vehicle Companion. In playtest, as I recall, it went through three, or maybe four, authors before finally running aground and sinking with the decision to update GURPS to 4th Edition, which would require an all-new version of GV at some point (still waiting).

Contributions were invited from gearheads. I submitted a few. Here is one of them, converted to 4e:

Warp-Cycle (TL12)

The Warp-Cycle is a muscle-powered FTL vehicle. Although slow by interstellar standards (only 2.5C), it has a quite nippy performance for an in-system vehicle. The first warp-cycles were patched together using scrap grav-cycle frames and surplus life-boat warps, but warp-cycling has caught on as a leisure activity all along the Perseus Arm and many minifacs have a design in their databases.

Warp-Cycles typically have a small thruster (powered, like the warp engine, by muscle), but the acceleration is very low, and only used for fine-tuning velocity. The standard way of matching velocities with a planetary body is by warping close to the body (but still out of the atmosphere) and allowing the planet’s gravity to accelerate the warp-cycle, while warping at a low rate in the opposite direction. When velocities are matched, the vehicle is then warped to the appropriate point on the planet’s surface or in orbit. Old-school warp-cyclers like to do this with only simple navigation instruments, trusting to their skill and judgement to avoid accidents, but most modern warp-cycles come with a tiny, dedicated computer with navigation and vehicle-handling programming.

Typically warp-cycles come with a small rechargable power cell capable of storing the energy from 10 minutes' hard cycling. Top-of-the-line designs come complete with a pressurised capsule, but these are generally scorned by those who prefer nothing between them and naked vacuum (except a pressure suit).

TL ST/HP Hnd SR HT Move G LWt Load SM Occ DR dV Cost Locations
12 30 -5 0 7 0.02/2.5C 0.002 1.8 0.6 +2 2 0 F $56K O


Explanation of terms: TL, Tech Level; ST/HP, Strength/Hit Points; Hnd, Handling; SR, Stability Rating; HT, Health; Move, realspace acceleration in yards/sec/sec, warp speed in multiples of C; G, acceleration in Gs; LWt, loaded weight in US tons; Load, load in tons incl passengers; SM, Size Modifier; Occ, Occupancy; DR, Damage Resistance; dV, delta-V (F indicates that it depends on the Fatigue of the cyclists); Cost, in year 2000 dollars; Locations, what bits the vehicle has (O indicates that the structure is Open)

Context.

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