Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tech Week Part 2: Armor Revisited (A Patreon Post)

It's Tech Week! Based on feedback or elements that have come up as I've worked on setting design, I've come up with some additional details on technology that I've been using to refine my material from the third iteration. Eventually, I'd like to separate the tech material off into its own little book, but there's still quite some work before I can do that.

Why is this on Patreon and not on my blog? Well, first, I don't want to interfere with the flow of my setting material and, second, this gets a little rambling and acts as something of a design journal.

Today, I revisit armor. Action stories love fist fights, which make no sense in GURPS when fighting guys with armor, and the realism of this is questionable. Today, I look at some optional house rules to fix that, and then I dive deeper into the armor design systems offered in various Pyramid articles, including rules for using Battleweave and Cerablate Resin with them.

This is available to all $1+ Patrons.  If you're a patron, check it out!  If you're not, I'd love to have you.


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Monday, May 22, 2017

Tech Week part 1: Weapons Revisited (a Patreon Post)

It's Tech Week!  Based on feedback or elements that have come up as I've worked on setting design, I've come up with some additional details on technology that I've been using to refine my material from the third iteration.  Eventually, I'd like to separate the tech material off into its own little book, but there's still quite some work before I can do that.

Why is this on Patreon and not on my blog?  Well, first, I don't want to interfere with the flow of my setting material and, second, this gets a little rambling and acts as something of a design journal.

Today, I revisit weaponry.  Specifically, I look at some house rules suggested by other blogs, take a look at fears regarding accuracy, recoil and rof combining to make supremely lethal weapons, and and then I explore EM disruptors (Utinni!), Stunners (why I haven't really talked abou them), Stingray Rounds, and Psi-Swords


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Friday, May 19, 2017

Patreon Post: The Rebellion of Grist

Junk World by Mark Molnar
For today's Patreon post, I've finished off my series on Insurgents by letting you, my dear Patreons, design the Rebellion of Grist, via a series of polls, including who leads the rebellion, what their great assets are, their great weaknesses, and what sort of rebellion they are.  These polls are available to all Companions ($5+).  If you're a patron, go check it out!  If you're not, I'd love to have you.

For the rest of you, I've included a cultural discussion of Grist below, which is a copy of Grist's culture from Iteration 5, which may have slipped past people unnoticed.


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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Insurgency Summary and Retrospective

When I started writing the Insurgency, I really had no idea where to start.  I had to dig around.  How are rebellions fought?  What are some good examples of rebellion?  What popped out, and I hope this doesn't reflect too badly on my material, were terrorists, from the IRA to the Taliban to the Vietcong, which served as the primary resources for my material, plus general discussions on how guerrillas win wars, and a look at the French Resistance.  I didn't use more classic inspirations, such as the American Minute Men or the various rebellions of the Americas, primarily because the technology, and thus the needs of war, differ so much.

One element that I find fascinating about the whole affair is how few changes I had to make to get these elements to fit into Psi-Wars.  Perhaps I'm not thinking about the technological differences enough, but I happen to think that's the strength of Psi-Wars: as it's essentially modern action thrillers with a thin, space opera veneer, our rebels don't use molotov cocktails and clubs, but plasma cells and neurolash batons, but otherwise everything looks very similar.  I think you have to knock the setting for originality, but at least give it marks for ease of entry.

The hardest part of this exercise was the realization that there's no such thing as a "typical" insurgency.  The Vietcong, French Resistance, Taliban and IRA all fight very differently, so your insurgency should fight very differently from my insurgency.  When I hit upon the design of four arbitrary "types" of insurgency, though, that made it work well in my mind, as well as a "grab bag" of various insurgent characters and tactics that you could grab for designing your own.  When I worked on the Empire, I came up with "Tactics" to help me sort out my thoughts on how the Empire fought.  I had initially dismissed doing the same for insurgencies, as they all fight so differently, but then I realized I could show those differences, use them to contrast.  The result is, perhaps, a bit long, but hopefully useful in giving you, my dear reader, how an insurgency might conduct itself and why it might actually be a serious threat.

So, how are we doing? Is the insurgency useful, appropriate and fitting?  Let's take a look, with a bonus "Insurgency Summary" for those who want to jump right in.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Patreon Post: Dirty Ultra-Tech

As I wrote up the rebel insurgency tactics, especially the hand-made munitions, I realized that many insurgents would be excellent bomb-makers and, in fact, that you might see improvised blasters, bombs and armor as part and parcel of gameplay in Psi-Wars, in the same way that it fits into GURPS Action.

GURPS High Tech has side-bars named "Dirty Tech," and I cribbed some notes from them to create a few ideas for home-made ultra-tech weaponry appropriate to psi-wars, and I offer them up to in Dirty Ultra-Tech!  This post will eventually make it into my final documents, and as such, it is now available to all $3+ patrons (my fellow travelers!).  If you're a patron, go check it out!  If you're not, I'd love to have you.


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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Insurgency Tactics

Unlike the Empire, insurgencies do not have a single, cohesive doctrine. Each has their own strategy, approach and tactics. Thus, the following list of tactics represents suggestions of tactics and agendas that an Insurgency might use to fight the Empire. No insurgency will use all tactics, rather, they are offered so that a GM can pick and choose from among them when designing his insurgency movement.

Each contains common insurgency types associated with the tactics. These are offered only as suggestions, to allow a GM to pick an insurgency type or two and quickly get an idea of how it might operate; GMs who wish to mix and match strategies and ideologies are free to do so! Each tactic also contains a list of suggested contact skills, which represent the sort of training necessary to carry out the tactic. Consider adding some of these to an insurgencies contacts or personnel.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Insurgency Personnel Part 2: Veteran Insurgents

Amateur Insurgents with sufficient experience or training, or Insurgents who come from more violent walks of life pose considerably more risk to security forces than their amateur counterparts, but still don’t represent the full lethality of a completely professional fighting force. Some insurgencies have just a few veterans sprinkled among amateurs, while others are composed entirely of veterans.
Some insurgencies are rumored to have even more elite agents, usually associated with the leader, and have ominous names like “the Black Hand” or “the Twelve Apostles.” These tend to be named NPCs or player characters, but the GM may instead treat them as skill 15 minions instead.
As before, each insurgent comes with a suggested insurgent type.  I provide these as guidelines, to get a perspective on different ways insurgencies might fight, and to emphasize that not all veteran insurgents appear in all insurgencies.  Feel free to mix, match and adjust.

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