Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Vehicles in GURPS

Vehicles are a minor part of most campaigns, though very important in some. GURPS has covered the subject pretty thoroughly, though not without its missteps.
Third Edition GURPS Vehicles was a very well researched and well thought out book, however it had a lot of math in it and hurt the GURPS rep I think because it made GURPS more intimidating.
So how is Fourth Edition handling vehicles? Lets see...

GURPS Spaceships

This is an 8 issue series (plus some expansions in Pyramid) that has a simple approach to building a spaceship.  Simply breakdown a vehicle into three sections (Front, Core, Rear or Aft) and each section has a fixed number of spaces.  The designer simply plugs what modules they want where they want.  Very little math is required, mostly keeping track of how much the vehicle will cost. Th first book provides the rules and a good start on modules, each supplement expands the available modules and often adds a few relavant rules. The fighters book expands on dog fighting for example.
Supplements include 
Pyramid was a monthly magazine with a long history, the 3rd edition was PDF only and remains available online. A number of articles related to vehicles were published in it. An index of the vehicle related options is listed on the Spaceships page. Dont you just love a company that maintains a quality index and cross references heavily?
Expansions include adapting the rules in Spaceships to making buildings and other stuff.
Also Pyramid #3/120 Alternate GURPS V  expands on the rules and stats in GURPS Basic Set to help the GM or players quickly build a vehicle. It lacks the data for hundreds of options available in a supplement but does a great job describing what those stat lines mean and providing examples.

GURPS Supers

This book has a few pages of ideas for enhancing an existing vehicle so it becomes a souped up version as seen in comic books, Vehicle Imbuements (Pyramid #3/71 Spaceships II) is another way to empower a mundane vehicle with magic or super powers.

GURPS Vehicle Design System

This has been in the works for quite some time but not yet published. David Pulver, the author of the previous Vehicles book and the Spaceships line above (plus a host of other stuff)  is writing this one.
Its been on a slow track since sales are expected to be low compared to the massive work involved. I expect it to be detailed, well researched and not as math heavy as the previous edition. I hope it has multiple options, the complex, a simpler fast option, ways to build it from various directions (decide on your target parameter such as speed, endurance, mass, role, etc.) and options to increase survival-ability vs. heavy weapons. And if I really get my wishlist point options for vehicle allies/patrons and characters such as in a supers type game.
We dont know when this is coming out, he works on a lot of other projects to keep food on the table and though a rabid fan base will buy it right away its suspected many will be intimidated and opt to stick with the simpler methods already in place.


GURPS has a solid foundation for building vehicles, though better support for larger vehicles. The Spaceships line includes options for magitech and Basic (further expanded in Pyramid #3/120) easily handles putting game stats to vehicles we have real world stats for, or even many fictional ones.
I would like to see more though!

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