Saturday, September 24, 2011

GT:ISW spreadsheet update: formats

Spreadsheets have a problem with formatting. The way it looks in my LibreOffice set up, may not be how it will look like when someone else checks it out with their MS office excel or Open Office Calc. I'm not aware of the "best practice" in terms of formatting tool-kit for RPGs or interactive "worksheets". Right now, I'm very open to suggestions.

For the sake of practicality and ease of understanding, I'll probably adopt a professional open standard for layout or format to these things when I can find it.

If you know of any please let me know.

Other than the format, the spreadsheet is getting there. I'm at Step 5: Drives, the first part: Maneuver Drives. Originally there is a lot of guesswork and there are no guidelines. Before playing around with different configurations ate up a lot of time. I had to go through all the existing ship designs in the book (which had some internal consistency problems) and make up my mind how many M-Drives without a clue what the final Accel is going to be (and it needs to greater than 1G after being fully loaded).

To make things easier, like what I did in the very start of the worksheet, I gave benchmarks and it was based on something substantial. So I gave a theoretical final mass based on how most ship masses turned out depending on their type: civilian, armed civilian, heavily armed civilian, light Warship, heavy warship, and capital ship. Again, there are very sparse trends which gives very little to go on, and the warships build favor "beam vs beam" instead of missile combat.

This should make the decision pretty straight forward, about the time to scan the options and reflect on the concept behind the decision.

Oh yeah, I gave armor some benchmarks also. I looked at all the ships and their armor. I also made some tables regarding average damage per weapon (and as there is more dice, the mode gets closer to the median) so I used these values against expectations of how the ship should fare given their roles. This also should speed up the decision making process.

I remember the original 3e visual basic(?) Gurps Traveller starship creation made had no benchmarks, nor notes what should be there and how much of it. So ships I made varied widely and failed to consider alot of practicalities. the "doctrine" the way things are done should always be accessible, IMO, even the best of us forget. If the Doctrine Changes, add those notes as well and to why.

I mean I see why the habit is a big deal at work, but being a bit more obsessive compulsive in GMing, it should be a natural thing to do when improving a process.

I guess I failed to Toot my own horn, when I was fixing the spreadsheet. one of the obsessions that derail me is improving on stuff constantly. The benchmarks and notes is important in making any decision.

Burying the Hatchet with Missiles.
I can't seem to let go of this damn bone of the missiles. I'm swinging pro and con like a pendulum. I really want to fix the damn missile system cause its been bugging me so badly.

My preliminary notes are overwhelming. I'm just correcting the internal inconsistencies with regards to missiles:
1st - There really should be a Mil-grade and Civ-grade set of missiles.  
2nd - Detail the difference in performance of TL8 to TL11 missiles
3rd - Allow for sub-series within a TL to have improvements. Even if these bonuses are just 5% to 10% improvement or worth +1 in some dice roll, if not the attack roll. As long it does not violate the consistency of TL leaps of improvement.
4th - Detail the dedicated computer systems and the powerful las-comm system that guide each missile through the edges of sensor range (14 hexes and beyond). This is important when determining what has changed since the TL improved.
5th - Special Warheads: Sensor or EW Drones, Jammers, EMP, or EW-Penetrator and how they affect the game rules.
6th - how ISW Vilani missile Doctrine works and why it is very formidable. The Vilani Missile Doctrine was very good, it was just so good there was no point to improving things. How Terran doctrine shook things up for a while and why, and how missiles came back to fashion at TL11* (this part is for me).
7th - Automated systems and Naval Combat. this has to be addressed IMO.
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