16 October 2010

4th Edition Problem

I'm working on reviving an old campaign and I'm trying to decide what to do with a problem with being 100% compliant with 4th edition rules. I would stick with the old rule from earlier editions but new sourcebooks are based on the new edition so I may have to change.

I'm not talking about D&D 4th edition; I'm talking about GURPS. The fourth edition of GURPS has messed with the higher tech levels. In old GUPRPS tech level 7 was the modern day and was projected to last until about the turn of the century (2001+ was listed as the time TL 8 would begin). New GURPS has TL 8 starting in 1980..... 1980 to about 2001 or so being TL 7 in old GURPS. Sure we may have some Tech Level 8 technology making its way into our civilization, we may be at the early stage of TL 8; but then again it's 2010 so that's where we should be in the old scale.

Additionally the higher tech levels had gone to 16 in the old Ultra Tech book; the new one has the anti-matter weapons and super tech that was 15-16 at TL 12. So now the tech level starts one higher than it used to and we have lost four levels at the other end of the scale. So from today's digital technology it is now only four steps to near god-like powers.

If I update to the new tech rankings I'll have to bump the campaign base tech level to 9. There will be annoying little bookkeeping things to do like update all the NPC character sheets so their skills reflect the proper new tech level. That way as new GURPS books are released with higher tech gear I wont' have to go back and figure out what tech level it would be in old GURPS. Either case is a pain.

Since I was running an alternate worlds campaign there is also the high technology and special tech from various alternate worlds that have to be adjusted as well. I like having more tech levels because that helps make some of the super tech very difficult for the PCs to use or figure out.

Would it have been too difficult to just leave the tech levels the same? What benefit is there to changing it and reclassifiying a pile of ultra tech gear to lower tech levels?

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