Monday, July 28, 2014

Terrible excuse for an engineer

Not a grump post. I've made it a whole 24 years, and even owned some books with recipes (memorized, the book long lost), but have yet to build so much as a spud gun. Not even a living room warfare catapult. Nothing.

I'm sorry, fellow engineers, I've failed you. I'll endeavor to correct this soon, finding a place to fire it is and always has been the biggest issue.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Kick in the teeth

I'm not the strongest of people, even though I'm bigger and stronger than many. But one thing that's always been something of a point of pride for me was my ability to punch FAR beyond my weight class. I'm talking keeping up with people who could squat, bench, or curl 2-3 times what I could, when it came to dishing out damage with punches, throwing things, etc.

Tried to do one of those Ring the bell with the hammer game things at the Renaissance Faire. Despite perfect technique, perfect accuracy, and giving it everything I had, I couldn't ring the bell. I should have been able to ring the bell, but I've been having trouble getting back into shape due to sleeping trouble (light sleeper + combat reflexes + high perception + insomnia = bad) and the lack of a proper gym (apartment complex has a fitness center, but the all-purpose weight machine is broken in essentially every way it's possible for it to be busted).

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some borderline psychotic rage energy to burn off from having a hearty combination of my berserk buttons pushed. I'm going to go run, lift (I do have a thing for working out, it just isn't the same type of workout as proper weights), and train, until the urge to beat people to death with their own detached heads goes away a lot.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Drills and pocket pistols

Of the training variety, specifically dry fire. Anybody got some good ones? I'm probably going to pick up a training barrel for my Glock in a bit, since my present apartment doesn't really have any good safe directions (Previous apartment was halfway underground, and had walls not shared with other apartments (empty storage).

I'm also pondering a pocket pistol, because despite being 6'3" tall and just shy of 200 lbs, a glock 17 isn't exactly dainty. Leaning towards a PF9 or a Glock 26, to take advantage of having a bunch of 9mm glock magazines already. Going to be getting the BF his carry permit shortly, and the PF9 is half the price of the Glock 26, and smaller and slimmer to boot. Open to other suggestions, or I wouldn't be asking. Boberg is nice but weird. If I get something that isn't 9mm, I'd totally dig 10mm auto in a pocket pistol, because I don't mind recoil and want a Noisy Cricket.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Post in progress

Working my way through building a ton of weapons for GURPS Metro, I'm up to 5 pages and nowhere near completion. I predict the total post will be somewhere between 10 and 15, possibly up to 20 pages if I have to tweak some formatting to get stuff to display nicely.

I think that once I have everything done for GURPS Metro and Crossroads (new name for The Wastelands, which was always meant to just be a portion of the world, rather than the world itself), I'm going to collect them into worldbooks (GURPS Metro can largely stand alone in any setting with mild fantasy elements or slight superscience).

Of course, I'm apparently one of what seems like 5 people left on the planet who GM things in GURPS (or have even heard of GURPS), so I'm probably not looking at a real big audience for it...


Just signed up for the "learn to ride" class. Not planning on getting a motorcycle anytime soon, even if I can out of pocket a used one for cheap. I have plans for motorcycle mods to make them safer (as in, having an appreciable safety rating, instead of just "N/A"), but those will require time and a proper workshop to fabricate, things I presently don't have.

If nothing else, I'll be able to ride if the need comes up for some reason, and can test out the Elio when that finally drops.

Friday, July 18, 2014


Finally wore out the battery on my Streamlight, time to hunt for some new ones. Recheargables sound kind of nice. What also sounds nice are those tactical flashlights I've seen that just take an AA.

Will be placing an order soon, gotta pick out some. Modern batteries have a blessedly long shelf life, at least, so if I get a multipack I'll probably get to use them properly. This battery lasted me about a year of regular use.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Plotting against them

Typically my games I gm are like a tour, with gunfire as a tour guide. I try to keep the illusion of mortal danger, but typically can keep anyone from actually dying. This is in part because my usual suspects are barely able to work through chargen

This group,  however,  has actually learned the system. This time,  I'm truly plotting against them.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tech Tuesday

Tab clearing. Had these building up since the last time I did one and now I have a bunch. Bypassing damage to get the brain to control parts it's lost connection with. Having that capability also means that a similar capability with prosthetics isn't far behind. biorobots. We'll see where this goes, it's mostly just interesting. Too tired to ramble about applications and stuff. It ignores the human immune system, from the sounds of it. Made for study, because science. Birth control with a remote control on/off. Handy, if it works. Genemods. The potential uses and abuses are both significant. Not the video lenses that I predict will be the real proto-cyberbrain interface, but health monitoring contacts are probably more useful for people that need them. Touch seems to be a big thing interfaces are moving towards. 3D touch will be interesting.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Gurps ammo modification

For GURPS Metro,  I want to reduce the power of most rounds to represent crappy materials. But I also want to have at least 3 rounds available,  good at different things. With 7.62 tokarev (3d-1 pi-), 9x19mm (2d+2 pi) and .45 acp (2d) I have a nice spread of armor piercing ability,  all around utility, and anti-flesh performance. My problem is finding even rules to weaken 7.62 tokarev without making it unable to punch through stuff.  I don't want to just nerf it less than everything else, but that's looking like I might have to to keep it actually worthwhile

Friday, July 11, 2014

GURPS Metro: Armor and Equipment

This, and the weapons post to follow will detail the majority of weapons and equipment available in the Metros.

Much was lost in the Calamity, but survival was sure enough to prevent losing much. The means to make a great many things have been forgotten or rendered unavailable, but that it can be done and a vague notion of how to do it has not. Retained knowledge and production capacity generally sits at TL6, but prices listed in High Tech assume factories, assembly lines, and other modern production systems. However, in a world where most people have nothing but time, labor is cheap. Any equipment that is TL6 costs 1.5X list price to represent difficulty in obtaining materials, lack of production streamlining, and other such niceties normally available to TL6 societies. TL7 equipment similarly has the same penalty due to lack of mechanized and modernized production and such, and is harder to manufacture. Building a TL6 version has the usual 2x price and weight penalty if the main differences between it and lower tech equipment are simply design refinement and higher quality material components or manufacturing techniques. New equipment requiring specialized equipment or rare resources costs 5x or more, with potentially massive penalties, if it's available at all for new production. Surviving TL7 gear from before the Calamity almost always has the Rugged enhancement, for 2x cost and 1.2x weight.

Equipment from before the calamity is highly prized, with a particular interest in medical gear, things that can be reverse engineered, and old world media for entertainment. A number of items have been developed that would normally be treated as higher TL gear, but developed early out of necessity.

Batteries are a significant problem in the Metro, but are required for a large amount of useful lifesaving equipment. Disposable dry cells are rarely used, but new production of reasonable quality rechargeable batteries has been mostly perfected. Due to problems with materials, the total cost of batteries is 10x list price; because they can be reclaimed and remanufactured, a completely worn out battery retains a substantial portion of its value as scrap.

Armor in the metros tends to be rough around the edges. High end synthetic fiber armors tend to degrade with age, and the chemistry to manufacture new ones isn't presently available. However, most guns tend to be lower power, and high tech versions of old fashioned armors are available. Leather, both from metro-bred livestock and various surviving creatures, tends to be common and reliable, used either as a base to which other armor is sewn, or simply as a covering with just a bit of additional durability. Armor incorporating steel uses High Tech Low Tech rules, offering either 1/2 weight and cost at no loss of DR, or 2x DR at no weight or cost penalty. Because quality steel is so widely prevalent even as salvaged scrap, the only difficulty is space and fuel to work it, for a mere 1.1x price. Armor listed in High Tech already incorporates these rules, apply only to gear purchased from Low Tech or Basic Set low tech armor.

Shields are of moderate commonality. Thanks to the improved toughness of high TL steels, steel shields have a good chance of absorbing the entirety of the common pistol rounds used by most Metro inhabitants. Damage to Shields rules are in effect; shield will eventually at least need the dents pounded out and a bit of re-tempering, even if it is not penetrated by damage.

Custom gear: 

Compact Battery Charger (TL6+1), $100, 4LB
Combination gadget, incorporating a refined Portable Muscle Powered Generator (High Tech 14) and a Survival Flashlight (High Tech 52). Using a squeeze, crank, pull cord, or other mechanism, it can charge a battery or provide external power. Sometimes combined with a bank of Small batteries or a Medium battery, and wired to worn equipment to provide power, rather than carrying a number of individual batteries for each device. Operating the generator can power the dynamo to the survival flashlight, or provide a slight boost in power supplied to connected devices being powered by the battery.

Miniature Radiation Warning Device (TL6+1), $150, .2LB
Using a miniature Geiger-Mueller tube without any additional circuitry beyond what is absolutely required, this device provides an audible or visual alert in the presence of moderate quantities of radiation. Lacking any gauges, it counts as improvised equipment for science rolls relating to radiation requiring more detail than determining whether something is emitting some manner of measured radiation. The device is about the size of a pack of cards or a pager, and typically is purchased/built with the Rugged enhancement. Alone it is clipped to a belt or other equipment. It often includes a slot for a single use Radiation Badge (High Tech 49). Uses batteries, 2xXS/2 months

Radiation Warning Wrist Kit (TL6+1), $225, .3LB
A combination version of the above device incorporating and possibly concealing a number of other small gadgets of negligible weight (pick 2), such as a watch, compass, detachable multi-function knife, cigarette lighter, wire saw, magnifying glass, pocket torch, very tiny light, etc. Almost always ruggedized if possible (always applied to the radiation warning device, optional on combined gadgets).

Breath-EZ Matches (TL 6+1), $.25, neg weight, per 50
Regular waterproof strike anywhere matches with an extra bit of alchemy in their creation. A simple "detect poison" spell worked into the mix, they burn and smoke purple in the presence of poisons, toxins, and anything else airborne that's hazardous to a humanoid system. They're still a light and ignition source, though.

Chemstrips $75, .5 lb
Paper strips treated with various chemicals to react in the presence of different chemicals, sold as a stack similar to sticky notes. A kit will have 25 strips of each kind for the various chemicals they react to. When it reacts, the paper will turn black. Tear the strip that reacted off when you think you're clear of the hazard zone to check if it's safe to breathe. Improvised equipment for scientific purposes when determining what's actually in the air or water. Reaction is instant on exposure to chemicals.

Chempatch $150, .5 lb
A bit of alchemy and the principle behind chemstrips gets you the chempatch, a small badge that reacts in the presence of ANY harmful airborne contaminants. It goes from green to yellow to red to black. What makes it special is that it turns back. It will wear out after about a year of exposure to hazardous conditions, but most people will never accumulate that much time (either by virtue of avoiding it, or failing to survive).

Chem Detector $300, 1 lb
Combines a chempatch with a bit of simple electronics to produce light or sound on exposure, giving a distracted traveler a better chance of noticing the hazard. Can be set to Light, Sound, Both, or Visual Only. Sticking a radiation warning device in it adds negligible weight, and costs an extra $100. 2xS/2 months.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

New Shooter and Range Time

Took my bf to the range (one of the first things I do, actually, whenever I start dating someone. Or just get to know them. Or they indicate they'd like to go to the range. You get the idea), and taught him to shoot. Got him started on my 10/22, and then let him give the Glock 17 a try. He was surprised at the recoil on the pistol, and how difficult it was to shoot accurately, but thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

I also got in some much needed range time. It has been far, far too long. Because the range I was at is a cool outdoor range, I was able to work on my draw from the holster. One of those times I hadn't seated the magazine properly, so drawing the gun (very quickly, I might add) led to the magazine skipping partway down the range we were using. Since this place has multiple lanes separated by huge dirt berms, this wasn't an issue, but it was still slightly embarrassing. I remained a very fast shot with the 10/22, but my accuracy suffered from disuse. I need to get some aperture sights for the thing, gotten used to them from all my years with the S2K.

I definitely need to get one of those laser pistol trainers, and take advantage of the fact that I now make enough money to buy ammo, and ammo is once again buyable (mostly. Still need a .22 pistol... and for .22LR to stop being rarer than hen's teeth)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Throwan noifs

Been doing a lot of calculations for throwing knives for GURPS Metro as an option for silent ranged sentry removal, determining if that was feasible for a 1 hit knockout.

Thinking about this reminded me that I rather enjoy weapon throwing. And then I realized that most places in WI that have no-carry signs up specify no guns only.

Now the stupid part of my brain wants to get some throwing knives as a backup in case i have to go to a GFZ (I prefer to avoid businesses that say they don't want my money,  but sometimes it can't be helped)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

GURPS Metro: Crunch Time

I've talked about all the story setup of the world, now it's time for the crunch. Numbers, extra rules, and whatnot.

Pre-calamity, times were up to 7+1. Post calamity, things are knocked down to 6.5. TL7 gear is moderately available if you can find it, or spend extra to make the steel for it, but generally things are at about TL6 due to restrictions on resources and space to use them. Due to the calamity, most of the extra weirdness that normally permits areas in and adjacent to the wasteland to be at +1 TL is not presently working in this region, leading to a regular TL6. Much of the atmosphere is treated as Toxic (B.429)

Characters for this campaign start at 75 points, -30 disadvantage cap, and -5 quirks. Average starting wealth is $2000. Wealth spread is 30% stationary, 70% carryable (housing is extremely small, ranging from barracks style up to a whole room of your own).

TL7 steel weapons are available at 1.5x cost, no weight penalty for higher TL gear. TL7 gear in general is available at usual penalties, with pre-calamity gear generally coming with the Rugged enhancement, for a total of 4x cost. TL6 gear, being priced assuming the presence of factories and mechanization, is at 1.5X cost. TL5 equipment and below is available without any price increase. Due to the presence of smaller races and leftover bits of super science, certain gadgets are available at sizes small enough to be integrated into other things where normally not allowed at this TL (Geiger counter watch, etc). High tech low tech armor rules are in effect, metal armor is 2x DR for same cost and weight, or same DR for 1/2 cost and weight.

Fuel is semi-prevalent due to species with natural flame weapons, but is low octane and dirty, and generally unfit for use in internal combustion engines. Most powered vehicles, both pre and post calamity, operate using recirculating steam engines of various sizes. Surviving and new production vehicles can usually be operated without power, but include standard lead-acid batteries for powering such things as headlights and radios.

Firearms, due to difficulty with manufacturing and a limited pre-calamity supply in this region, are at 2x price for new manufacture guns (stats and details coming soon). Cheap guns can be improved to good with an armoury roll and some time to improve the fit, and improved again to fine (reliable) per rules in High Tech, requiring more time and money for replacement parts. Pre-calamity guns or very high quality reproductions are available at 3x price.

Ammunition is primarily poorly made handloads. A few stations in ammunition manufacturing towns were able to salvage equipment for proper primer making, progressive reloading dies, and other such things that permit the production of standard quality ammunition.
Cheap handloads: 2x High Tech list price, -1 malf in self-loading guns, -1 damage per die, exploding gun rules remain in effect for malf table rolls. Cheap shotshells use 2.75" shell stats, but 3" weight and cost, at 1.1x list price.
Standard quality ammunition: 5x High Tech list price, no other changes.
Specialty ammunition: Can be made from either type, adjust from adjusted price/size/weight.

Standard calibers (game book equivalents): 7.62 Mauser, 9mm parabellum, .45 ACP, 12 gauge shotshell, 7.62x39, 7.62x54r, 12.7x108.

Rules in Effect:
Tactical combat rules, all rules for environmental hazards, time use during periods without activity.
Routine shopping and similar things, while simplified by equipment listings, will be handled out of game unless there's good reason. A small amount of text chat based RP will take care of rolling if needed.

Optional Rules In Effect:
Modifying Dice + Adds: (B269)
Gun Malfunctions: (B279)
Maintaining Skills: (B294)
Optional Jumping Rules: (B352)
Extra Effort in Combat: (B357)
Changing Posture In Armor: (B395)
Tech Level Specialization: (High Tech 11)
Partial Armor Coverage: (Hitting 'Em Where It Hurts, High Tech 69)
Weapon Handling and Maintenance: (High Tech 79)
Pistolero: (High Tech 84). Additional mod, at Guns (pistols) at DX+2 or higher, 2 hand shooting always counts as braced.
Optional Wounding Rules: (High Tech 162)
Sheaths (High Tech 198)
A bunch of stuff from Tactical Shooting (Tactical Shooting)

Additional non-book rules: Luck Points, treated as a single use token good for a reroll using the Luck advantage rules (B66). Luck may be gained by pulling off a lucky roll, pulling off fantastic tasks, and whatever else I feel warrants a reward. These points are primarily to offset the sheer lethality of GURPS with realism rules in effect.

Special Extras:
A supplementary character sheet will be provided with space for tracking injury by location, armor and equipment by location, and equipment specialty stats (DR, HP, HT, specialty notes). A cheat sheet of common but hard to remember rules and optional rules will also be provided.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Summerfest, world's biggest music festival,  is right in my backyard.  I'm also fairly certain that it's a GFZ. A few problems have happened in years past. I'm not sure if I want to go or not.