RogerBW's Blog

GURPS Vehicles: Steampunk Conveyances 17 August 2017

Vehicles aren't the defining image of steampunk, but they're certainly one of the important aspects of it, whether it's personal carriages or massive airships. This book lists a number of historical, speculative and fantastic vehicle designs, with stats for use in GURPS.

Disclaimer: I received playtest credit in this book and therefore did not pay for it.

The bulk of the book is quite simply a list of vehicles, each with multiple paragraphs of description, divided roughly into land, water (and below it), and air and space. Land vehicles are further broken down into the historical (Stephenson's Rocket, the de Dion-Bouton steam tricycle, etc.) and the fantastic (iron horses and Land Ironclads), with notes on how long it takes to get a steam engine working from cold and why the pedrail wheel never took off.

Watercraft cover steam launches and yachts, the torpedo ram (clearly the ultimate naval weapon), and pre-dreadnought battleships. Submersibles are both real (Fulton's Nautilus of 1801 and the British B-class submarine) and fantastical (Verne's better-known Nautilus). Side notes include rules for torpedoes.

Aircraft start with unpowered balloons (I know Phil has read Richard Holmes's Falling Upwards, because he recommended it to me), and progress to early powered balloons, Zeppelins, and an aerial battleship. Gliders, and historical and fantastic heavier-than-air craft, lead into spacecraft and a solar-powered steam rocket.

A final short chapter lists weapons for these vehicles, mostly guns with some consideration of bombs and torpedoes.

Some of these vehicles are the same as those that appeared in GURPS Steampunk, though of course with current stats, and the descriptions have been rewritten. I know from the playtest that there's been a fair bit of effort put into getting the numbers right for the historical vehicles; it's surprisingly hard to get good information on the performance of e.g. a steam lorry of the 1930s. I'm particularly pleased to see an emphasis on the sort of small vehicle that carries a PC party (steam carriages and such), as well as the big flashy stuff; more generally, the descriptions emphasise the interesting historical quirks that make these vehicles more complex and interesting than just a car with some clouds of white stuff coming out of it. GURPS Vehicles: Steampunk Conveyances is available from Warehouse 23.

See also:
Falling Upwards, Richard Holmes

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Search
Archive
Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio tech base commerce battletech beer boardgaming bookmonth chain of command children chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 existential risk falklands war fandom fantasy film firefly first world war flash point food garmin drive gazebo geodata gurps gurps 101 harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life kickstarter learn to play leaving earth linux mecha museum mystery naval non-fiction one for the brow opera perl photography podcast politics powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha quantum rail ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1