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Author Topic: New GM Looking for some Advice - Eclipse Phase  (Read 1671 times)

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Offline Ace FlyerTopic starter

New GM Looking for some Advice - Eclipse Phase
« on: July 18, 2012, 10:49:03 AM »
Hello all,

I'm fairly new to GMing, I only have a two D&D 4e sessions under my belt (I've been a player in many more, though), but I've ended up as the GM for a new group. We were going to give the Eclipse Phase system a try. I'm all for that, as I've read through the core book and everything looks like it will be a lot of fun...I've just never handled a sci-fi setting before, or had to devise conspiracies and plots and so on.

So I was just wondering if anyone around here knew the system, or if I could just get some pointers in general. Like I said, I'm fairly new to GMing, so any and all adviceand help would be greatly appreciated, even if it doesn't particularly deal with the EP system.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: New GM Looking for some Advice - Eclipse Phase
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2012, 10:41:42 AM »
Most important advice, don't rely on combat challenges, and use the fact that combat seldom solves a thing by itself in the setting, and the really dangerous people are those with InfoSecurity, Psychosurgery, and high Reputation ratings in various nets ;).
The setting book suggests a lot of conspiracies, so you could just pick which ones apply to your game, and have others be untrue.

It would also help if you asked more specific questions, since I'm not so sure what kind of advice you're asking about ;D!

Offline Ace FlyerTopic starter

Re: New GM Looking for some Advice - Eclipse Phase
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2012, 08:14:59 PM »
Thanks!

Um, more specifically...I'm actually not sure. As I think about it, I was basically just asking how to be a DM in a setting like this, but, I don't really think that's something where advice can be given...Such as what to say, how to handle information and how the players learn it, and so on.

What would you recommend doing, if combat challenges aren't usually the way to go? The people I play with are used to games more or less where things just focus around combat, crawling through the dungeon and killing everything and collecting the reward. Should I work on more RPing challenges?

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Re: New GM Looking for some Advice - Eclipse Phase
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2012, 09:23:55 PM »
If you and your players are all happy with combat heavy sessions, that's probably what you ought to run. If they want combat, and you give them nothing but puzzle solving, you're going to end up with unhappy players.

Offline Endorphin

Re: New GM Looking for some Advice - Eclipse Phase
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2012, 03:09:28 AM »
Iím unfamiliar with that system, so Iíll talk in generic D&D terms...

First of all, you need to decide what your groupís gaming style is. Do they like combat, puzzles, interactions, politics, shopping, scheming, spending time in taverns etc? Sure, you want a well balanced game, but thereís no point spending weeks plotting a game of political intrigue if all your players want to do is hack down enemies. Just keep things in perspective.

Then, Iíd suggest that you encourage your players to create characters with personality. Make sure they have purpose. Make sure they have a solid background and some kind of driving force. That way, when your players come across a situation in the game where they are unsure how to respond, they can look within and respond in a way that their character would, which is not necessarily the way they might as a player. That can only happen when you have a character that has a separate identity and not when they are just a walking cardboard cut-out with a set of stats. That kind of thing is much easier when you start from Level 1 or something close.

When you have that nailed, you can create a game that is more meaningful. You know what drives the characters and you can create rewards they will seek and challenges that suit them.

It can even be as simple as using less random encounters and more encounters that tie in with the storyline. For instance, take the same olí dungeon crawl with a bunch of fodder and random treasure and turn it into an incursion into the underground lair of a goblin tribe or the temple of a cult that worships an evil deity in order to recover some kind of talisman or other valuable artifact that was recently stolen from the party's employer. That way, even the endless hacking actually has a purpose and each time your party gets through a fight, they are moving closer to their goal.

That'll do me for the minute, though there are hundreds, nay thousands, of ways you can get your players more involved with the game and create something enjoyable and much more memorable.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: New GM Looking for some Advice - Eclipse Phase
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2012, 09:27:42 AM »
Guys, all your advice is probably quite right for the games you're running, but Eclipse Phase isn't this game. Let me start with this paradigm shift for you.
Nobody in the setting can actually die! Well, almost nobody, with the citizens of a retrograde authoritarian republic being the exception. The rest just sleeve into a new morph. Yes, this means a "villain" being killed doesn't solve the problem with him. He's going to be back, possibly before the end of the day.
Psychological stress has more long-term repercussions than being killed, although you take stress from this event. OTOH, this applies to PCs as well, so a TPK isn't the end of the campaign, it's just a roadbump!
I'd say it requires its own set of tricks for making combat relevant. But as it is, you can have whole campaigns with no combat. A pacifist is actually a viable character concept, and not the sign of a guy that's trying to screw over the dungeoncrawling party.
Quite simply, it's not D&D, and that's part of why the fans love the setting to bits.

Thanks!
You're welcome ;).

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Um, more specifically...I'm actually not sure. As I think about it, I was basically just asking how to be a DM in a setting like this, but, I don't really think that's something where advice can be given...Such as what to say, how to handle information and how the players learn it, and so on.
On the contrary, advice on GMing can and should be given! It's just that it helps when it's more concentrated.
Fine, let me give you a couple of pointers. If they aren't enough, maybe they'd be enough so you could formulate more specific questions. General GMing advice takes more space, and more time to write.

First, re-read the setting book, and take notes on the power structures and any possible conspiracies. Second, pick an answer, but don't tell it to the players. Decide how these conspiracies manifest, and they should manifest in some way - finances not going as they're expected, unexpected rebellions, new technologies that shouldn't be possible.
Each and every one of those should get the attention of Firewall. Having the PCs being sent to investigate is a no-brainer after this.
Just remember, Eclipse Phase isn't a "zero to hero" game. Forget that stuff. The PCs can well start at the human maximum for the skills they specialise in, and they can only get slightly better later by acquiring a morph that gives them a bigger boost, and buying more moxie. But even starting characters are quite capable in what they choose to be good in!
That's not a bug, it's a feature! Your characters attracted Firewall's attention, didn't they? There's a reason for that 8-)! They can still get better, but it's done by diversifying, getting better but expensive equipment, and better but insanely expensive morphs!
Also, knowing the right people cannot be overestimated. Having contacts with a high-ranking financist beats even having a hacker when you need to track finances. Of course, the hacker can steal some blueprints that the financist's company might want, so they might be the reason you met at all.

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What would you recommend doing, if combat challenges aren't usually the way to go?
Non-combat challenges, which may or may not involve combat >:).
Yes, it sounds like I'm contradicting myself, but I'm not. In Eclipse Phase, combat is just part of a grander scheme, and you may not even be present for it. It might be your alter-ego fighting.
Simple question, who's more dangerous in combat in an industrial facility, the guy with the combat morph created for use in commando raids, the guy in the infomorph with hacker skills, or the psychic who can fuck up your brain?
Most people would give the wrong answer. The guy in the infomorph has no physical body you can target. Unless you jam communications, he can just make the facility itself fight you. He has no physical body, BTW, so... anyone having a "meat" morph? If so, how does he or she deal with this section of the habitat decompressing all of a sudden ;D? And don't even get me started about what this guy can do if there's a storage for angels nearby - fancy fighting a remote-controlled angry mob of killer robots >:)? If you die, the recording of your death will become a hit on some illegal channels for a week or so. And then people are going to forget you and move to the next shiny thing.
That's your problem, though. The infomorph guy, again, can only be beaten by a superior hacker, by tampering with communications, or by blowing up the whole habitat. Otherwise, he can just GTFO by uploading himself to a remote location, and maybe leave a beta-copy behind, just so you wouldn't get he's not there. The industrial incidents keep trying to get you, like in a horror movie with animated machines, and he's not even there any longer.
Just imagine that guy as antagonist. There are tens of thousands like him, BTW. Just note how many people were stuck in an infomorph after the Fall.
Or you can have a guy who fights the PCs. But let me point to you the morph modifications that allow you to destroy any traces of your identity, and upload your identity as it existed before the final bullet, to a remote point. Have a team of antagonists that have both. There's an organisation that's actually likely to have such teams.
Now, that's a combat challenge, but it's not generally because they can die. They have Firewall insurance, so they can't, re-sleeving from last save is what they can expect. The enemies also have insurance, generally, so just shooting someone isn't even enough to guarantee you wouldn't have to deal with him or her in the future. If anything, it means you're going to have to deal with them more!
No, in EP, people fight for two reasons.
First, to carry out their plans or to disrupt someone else's plans. Maybe to stop a mutant infestation, maybe to sneak in and our of a corporation, leaving a bug behind, maybe to obtain secret documents, maybe to keep secret their network of spies that prepare a rebellion on Mars. Possibilities are endless.
The second stake is to keep their own memories, and to get the opponents. Lose, and the opponents can retrieve your stack first. Given psychochirurgy, this mean the enemies might very well have access to your plans, the passwords for your banking accounts and so on.
And since we said accounts, what happens if someone who claims to be you starts acting in weird ways? He is you, but he's on the other side now. What happens to your reputation in the social medias? Remember, it acts as your money in some habitats!
How about 12 such guys, all of them having different personality quirks to distinguish them from "you", but all of them sharing all of your memories up to the day you lost that fight 8-)? When you meet them, they would be entitled to tell you "you and I aren't so different". Because you aren't, and science can only confirm it!
Who's the real "you"? Who's the friend your friends have been drinking with? If they have to choose, who are they going to pick for being friends with? Who's married to your spouse, if they all claim it's them >:)?
Whether such things are going to happen all depends on who you pissed off. Some people might do it just to see what resources you can muster that they didn't learn about.
And does a PC has something they wish for? Actually, we already know they do, it's part of the character generation. What do they do if each of them gets approached, separately, by whatever comminication channel it is they use, and someone offers it to them?
Would they betray their other ideals, their friends in the party, and their mission? Because remember, someone now knows what you wish for >:)!

If the enemies aren't using such tactics, combat isn't generally a problem. Win and the NPC is likely going to be re-sleeved in another body by the insurance company, from last available save. He can even testify against the PCs for killing him - although, depending on habitat, it might not be "manslaughter" charges, but "destruction of private property: morph, slightly used" and "inflicting psychological stress, with possible long-term repercussions". Being killed is traumatic; and surprisingly, the "stress" might get them an even heavier fine.
Or it might be "manslaughter", and the penalty might get them thrown out of the habitat in the space without a suit, and having their memory records in this habitat being destroyed. This is one of the few ways to kill off a PC or NPC, and it only works if there aren't other records.
Again, it depends on where you are, punishments for killing vary. As a general rule, though, Eclipse Phase is a setting where Chaotic Stupid gets you killed and destroyed.

OTOH, how do they get what they want if fighting is to be absolutely the last resort?
Media campaigns, publicity stunts and getting high reputation are actually more efficient. Divide the task in sub-segments. Half of them might well be accomplished by knowing the right people. That's what Reputation in the right network is for ;D!

Want some info? There's a reason there are hacking rules. As a GM, you should get good at multi-tasking, because it's quite likely the other players would be doing something else while the hacker works.

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The people I play with are used to games more or less where things just focus around combat, crawling through the dungeon and killing everything and collecting the reward. Should I work on more RPing challenges?
As pointed above, yes. Killing stuff tends to get you destroyed morphs, and new stacks, but there's little point in it otherwise. None of those are particularly valuable, unless the people with these stacks knew anything important. Investigations, gathering resources, building and destroying reputations and relationships, are all more important than your PCs physical powers. They come in handy at times, but I can side-step the need for them with simply having enough resources to buy what I need for my morph, so killing me doesn't affect me.
And BTW, are you sure you want to kill those people? There's no black and white morality in this setting. You're likely to end up fighting people that have a common goal with you, but your ideas on the best way to achieve it are radically different. Don't believe me?
The Jovian Republic has the goal of saving humanity, just like Firewall. Except they do it by refusing people even the right to have their own stacks, and there's no guarantee their approach is going to work - because neither they nor you really can understand the enemy! However, they'd consider you an abomination just for having re-sleeved, ever.
Sounds really likely that the PCs would end up fighting them, doesn't it? And yet you do have common goals. You might end up allying with people that couldn't care less about your goals, in order to defeat the Jovians.
Cue the sounds of black and white morality being shot in the head ;D!


Well, hope that helps. If you need more help, ask about whatever might be unclear 8-)!
« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 06:24:21 AM by Thufir Hawat »

Offline Ace FlyerTopic starter

Re: New GM Looking for some Advice - Eclipse Phase
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2012, 10:09:11 AM »
First off, thanks again for everyone giving me advice, I really appreciate it!

@HarryHeretic: It's not so much that they're all happy with it, as that's what they all are used to doing. The GM they started with only wanted to do combat, so that's all they did, and they never got much practice with the storytelling and RPing aspect. I was introduced into tabletops by a very storytelling-heavy group, as well as another new addition to the group, and we've slowly been trying to introduce more RPing aspects. They're enjoying the new stuff, but there are still a few hold outs that just want to charge in and wreck stuff, as they know the books inside and out and have broken characters, which the others have, well...normal, balanced characters.

@Endorphin: Thanks for the general tips. I know the biggest issue will be getting people to invest in their characters and flesh themselves out, instead of having a sheet with numbers. It's, at worst, an annoyance in D&D. In this system though, the issue could be almost crippling, as character backgrounds and motivations actually have a fairly important role in the game.

@Thufir Hawat: I...am increasingly thinking I may have bitten off more than I can chew. ^^;; So, reading all you've said, a few more questions:
--1.) So, should I encourage the players to specialize their characters then? Since they have to have done something to catch Firewall's attention, they're likely extremely skilled in an area? So we should have someone who has rather high hacking skills, and one that's a combat master, the scientist, and so on? To put it in typical D&D terms, let them know that they aren't starting at Level 1--it's more like they're starting out at Level 15 or so, as already established and skilled heroes? Of course, "hero" doesn't quite apply in EP, but I think the point would still get across.
--2.) Those tactics you mentioned that the enemy can use...Should I use them often, or keep most combat situations simple? Enemies that the players likely won't run into again, and save the hard, tricky stuff for people that will be a constant pain? Like that other Firewall-esque group...I forget their names. Project [Something], I think. So, for example, if they're investigating an issue on Mars...They might just deal with miners, or rednecks at first, no real threat. But when they stumble upon this other covert squad in a mine itself, then things get tricky, because, well, this is a competent, highly trained squad.

Essentially, simple combats, spiced up every now and then with one where they'll actually have long-term issue to deal with?
--3.) Speaking of morphs, simply question. If someone plays a Lost character, the book says they need to start with that special morph. Can they change morphs, afterwards, or do they need that specific type? I was just wondering what to do in the event that characters need to travel quickly, and have to abandon their current morphs for new ones, if a Lost character gets screwed...Although, I was considering going a bit easier on the PCs, and allowing the world to have faster means of transportation, so they'll rarely have to worry about losing their morph outside of combat.
--4.) Another smaller question...Seeing as I'll likely have to be multitasking a lot, I assume it's a bad idea for me to have a character for myself?

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: New GM Looking for some Advice - Eclipse Phase
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2012, 10:44:15 AM »
@Thufir Hawat: I...am increasingly thinking I may have bitten off more than I can chew. ^^;;
Frankly, I quite doubt that ;). New setting requires a new approach, that's all. Take it as an useful exercise in GMing ;D!

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So, reading all you've said, a few more questions:
--1.) So, should I encourage the players to specialize their characters then? Since they have to have done something to catch Firewall's attention, they're likely extremely skilled in an area?
I found it pretty much impossible not to get an extremely skilled character, but that might be just my internal optimisation expert talking. Think about it, you've got a total of several hundred points for the starting character, on top of the ones from backgrounds, and that's on top of most skills starting in the 15-20 range due to attributes! Why not get one of them up to 90% at the start, when it's simply an issue of paying 110 points with a 20 in the attribute? Then add a morph that gives you a +10 in this, +15 or +20 are better but more expensive. Even most splicers can go that high, and it means you literally can't fail that skill more often than 1% of the time, and might have the points to even soak up penalties. Only penalties lower it, and there are likely quite a few things to add bonuses to off-set them. And if you still fail, you've got moxie!
That's what I mean by "competent starting character". Sounds good? Well, it gets better. You can get the related skills you need less up to 60% for 40 points apiece, and with the morph bonus, you're rolling something like a 70-80% skill, before other equipment.
And then you invest the rest in other skills, because ultra-focused characters are too weak ;D. Really, they are. There isn't
And no, you don't need to go to these amounts just to have attracted the attention of Firewall. A well-rounded generalist that gets better and better until he almost reaches the specialists is a fully viable character concept.

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So we should have someone who has rather high hacking skills, and one that's a combat master, the scientist, and so on? To put it in typical D&D terms, let them know that they aren't starting at Level 1--it's more like they're starting out at Level 15 or so, as already established and skilled heroes? Of course, "hero" doesn't quite apply in EP, but I think the point would still get across.
A single character can easily fill more than one of those roles. And everyone, I mean everyone, should have some minimum social skills, reputation and networking. Saving points on them likely to lead to more issues than most disadvantages in the system.

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--2.) Those tactics you mentioned that the enemy can use...Should I use them often, or keep most combat situations simple?
It depends on who they fight, so don't overuse them.
OTOH, the players can use them as well.

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Enemies that the players likely won't run into again, and save the hard, tricky stuff for people that will be a constant pain?
That's not my style, but my style isn't the only one that fits the setting ;). If your group would like recurring opponents to be harder to put down, you should definitely do so!
Besides, not everyone has the training, inclination, resources or just plain paranoia to have prepared so extensively. Most people aren't prepared.

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Like that other Firewall-esque group...I forget their names. Project [Something], I think. So, for example, if they're investigating an issue on Mars...They might just deal with miners, or rednecks at first, no real threat. But when they stumble upon this other covert squad in a mine itself, then things get tricky, because, well, this is a competent, highly trained squad.
Yes, the Project are the ones most likely to adopt the "shoot first, ask questions later" approach I've mentioned. And yes, they're serious, business-minded teams of experts.

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Essentially, simple combats, spiced up every now and then with one where they'll actually have long-term issue to deal with?
That should work, and it makes sense.

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--3.) Speaking of morphs, simply question. If someone plays a Lost character, the book says they need to start with that special morph. Can they change morphs, afterwards, or do they need that specific type? I was just wondering what to do in the event that characters need to travel quickly, and have to abandon their current morphs for new ones, if a Lost character gets screwed...Although, I was considering going a bit easier on the PCs, and allowing the world to have faster means of transportation, so they'll rarely have to worry about losing their morph outside of combat.
It says they've got Lost morphs, but their abilities only require a morph from flesh and blood. So I'd say that no, they can exchange their morph, and it would still work if they can get at least a splicer on the other side of the transmission. IIRC, that's also the opinion of the authors in the discussions on RPG.net.
Above all, it's your setting! Do what would be most fun. I wouldn't allow FTL transportation of morphs, until and unless the PCs steal the technologies from another species, and succeed in finding a way to mass-produce it. But that's me. Your Eclipse Phase may very well differ!

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--4.) Another smaller question...Seeing as I'll likely have to be multitasking a lot, I assume it's a bad idea for me to have a character for myself?
I'd avoid it, personally. You could try, and have the character transferred to another habitat if it doesn't work. Or you could try and see whether you'd have enough downtime to actually play another character.
After all, you've already got all the NPCs, and these tend to be colourful ones. Just consider that everybody in the setting is a survivor of the apocalypse!
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 10:49:30 AM by Thufir Hawat »

Offline Ace FlyerTopic starter

Re: New GM Looking for some Advice - Eclipse Phase
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2012, 12:39:27 PM »
Frankly, I quite doubt that ;). New setting requires a new approach, that's all. Take it as an useful exercise in GMing ;D!

Ah, well, thanks for the vote of confidence. I'm sure I'm just psyching myself out. ^^;;


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I found it pretty much impossible not to get an extremely skilled character, but that might be just my internal optimisation expert talking. Think about it, you've got a total of several hundred points for the starting character, on top of the ones from backgrounds, and that's on top of most skills starting in the 15-20 range due to attributes! Why not get one of them up to 90% at the start, when it's simply an issue of paying 110 points with a 20 in the attribute? Then add a morph that gives you a +10 in this, +15 or +20 are better but more expensive. Even most splicers can go that high, and it means you literally can't fail that skill more often than 1% of the time, and might have the points to even soak up penalties. Only penalties lower it, and there are likely quite a few things to add bonuses to off-set them. And if you still fail, you've got moxie!
That's what I mean by "competent starting character". Sounds good? Well, it gets better. You can get the related skills you need less up to 60% for 40 points apiece, and with the morph bonus, you're rolling something like a 70-80% skill, before other equipment.
And then you invest the rest in other skills, because ultra-focused characters are too weak ;D. Really, they are. There isn't
And no, you don't need to go to these amounts just to have attracted the attention of Firewall. A well-rounded generalist that gets better and better until he almost reaches the specialists is a fully viable character concept.

Okay. I'll admit, I haven't messed with character creation, so I didn't realize how long those points lasted. I just saw the large pool, and figured it was one of those tricks where you think you have a lot, then dump them all in to be extremely skilled at something, only to find doing that made you pretty mediocre in everything else. Once I get my book back (my buddy wanted to check out the lore), I'll make some practice characters and see how they turn out. 

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It depends on who they fight, so don't overuse them.
OTOH, the players can use them as well...Yes, the Project are the ones most likely to adopt the "shoot first, ask questions later" approach I've mentioned. And yes, they're serious, business-minded teams of experts...That should work, and it makes sense.

Oh, I'm not planning on over-using the tactics. I'm fairly certain I'll keep most battle more or less straight-forward (depending on the scenario, of course), and save the advanced tactics for run-ins with the Project or other well-prepared forces.

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It says they've got Lost morphs, but their abilities only require a morph from flesh and blood. So I'd say that no, they can exchange their morph, and it would still work if they can get at least a splicer on the other side of the transmission. IIRC, that's also the opinion of the authors in the discussions on RPG.net.
Above all, it's your setting! Do what would be most fun. I wouldn't allow FTL transportation of morphs, until and unless the PCs steal the technologies from another species, and succeed in finding a way to mass-produce it. But that's me. Your Eclipse Phase may very well differ!

Okay, I was just wondering if there was something about the Lost I didn't understand that required them to be in those special morphs all the time. As for FTL...I'll see how the group responds to the fact they'd be changing morphs as they travel around. While I could always GM that the place they're going just so happens to have a morph similar to the one they have now, that just seems fake, and not fun...I had the idea of the Firewall providing a very experimental, FTL capable craft to get the team to an emergency quickly, but the chances of the craft being available again afterward slim to none. Stealing the tech from aliens is an interesting thought, though...After all, who knows what's on the other side of some of those wormhole gates?

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I'd avoid it, personally. You could try, and have the character transferred to another habitat if it doesn't work. Or you could try and see whether you'd have enough downtime to actually play another character.
After all, you've already got all the NPCs, and these tend to be colourful ones. Just consider that everybody in the setting is a survivor of the apocalypse!

You have a good point, I'll be fine without a specific character for myself. I can always just tailor an NPC to my liking if I feel like having a bit more play...

Last questions for now, but I might end up pestering you in the future, if that's alright:
--1.) I know there are a few supplemental books, as the store I bought the core book from mentioned some others. Are there any scenario, or plot seed books as well? I read a few email blurb in the book that could be fun jumping points for a game (some things with a possible virus outbreak on Mars, for example...the shady dealings of a company for another), but nothing already somewhat fleshed out. Are some beginner's scenarios printed anywhere, so someone new to the system has something to start off on, before forging their own scenarios?
--2.) Would practicing via play-by-post be a good way to get some experience with the setting? Before I play with my friends, I kind of want to get a feel for what I'd be doing, so I'm tempted to see if I could get a game going here on E (with or without me as the GM, I think simply playing would help me get a feel for it too). But I know some people who warn about practicing for RL game with forums ones, for one reason or another, so...Any thoughts on that one?

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: New GM Looking for some Advice - Eclipse Phase
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2012, 03:06:10 PM »
Ah, well, thanks for the vote of confidence. I'm sure I'm just psyching myself out. ^^;;
That was my guess, yeah ;D!

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Okay. I'll admit, I haven't messed with character creation, so I didn't realize how long those points lasted. I just saw the large pool, and figured it was one of those tricks where you think you have a lot, then dump them all in to be extremely skilled at something, only to find doing that made you pretty mediocre in everything else. Once I get my book back (my buddy wanted to check out the lore), I'll make some practice characters and see how they turn out. 
Totally not my experience, although different archetypes might require more or less skills.

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Oh, I'm not planning on over-using the tactics. I'm fairly certain I'll keep most battle more or less straight-forward (depending on the scenario, of course), and save the advanced tactics for run-ins with the Project or other well-prepared forces.
Then it should all work just fine.

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Okay, I was just wondering if there was something about the Lost I didn't understand that required them to be in those special morphs all the time.
Many people are still to be reinstated. Who could afford to give them new morphs just because?
Now, if they purchased another morph out of the character creation, they could sleeve into it in the first scene, and sell the Lost morph to some infomorph with enough money and a burning desire to feel flesh again, or anyone who simply doesn't care. But that's if they have the resources, and resources are character creation points.

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As for FTL...I'll see how the group responds to the fact they'd be changing morphs as they travel around. While I could always GM that the place they're going just so happens to have a morph similar to the one they have now, that just seems fake, and not fun...
Yeah, it is fake. So don't do it. Not every place is going to have morphs crafted to their specifications, unless those specifications simply say "splicers" or "pods" or "mechanical morph". And even then, some habitats only allow mechanical morphs, and others have rampant prejudice against "the clanking masses". It's part of the setting.
Also, the reason I wouldn't allow FTL is it's a transhumanist horror game. And it plays strongly with questions of identity.
The feeling that there's almost nothing you can call your own, including your body, really helps with that. And you might have to leave the body behind.
And your mind is only unique at the moment. But there might be 12345667890 other minds that share your feelings, attitudes and experiences to 99.999999%, courtesy of having forks. That means a person you face might remember your first kiss... from the same side. Your first formative experience was his, as well. And there are X such people in the Galaxy.
Did I mention questions of identity and horror? Most people take pride in being unique. In Eclipse phase, they're not.

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Stealing the tech from aliens is an interesting thought, though...After all, who knows what's on the other side of some of those wormhole gates?
You know it, as a GM ;).

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You have a good point, I'll be fine without a specific character for myself. I can always just tailor an NPC to my liking if I feel like having a bit more play...
That's what I'd do. Also, it allows me to change PCs at will, basically ;D!

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Last questions for now, but I might end up pestering you in the future, if that's alright:
--1.) I know there are a few supplemental books, as the store I bought the core book from mentioned some others. Are there any scenario, or plot seed books as well? I read a few email blurb in the book that could be fun jumping points for a game (some things with a possible virus outbreak on Mars, for example...the shady dealings of a company for another), but nothing already somewhat fleshed out. Are some beginner's scenarios printed anywhere, so someone new to the system has something to start off on, before forging their own scenarios?
It's alright, but in other days, I might not be quick to answer.
There are such books, though. Here's a list to everything released about the game so far.
http://eclipsephase.com/releases
As you probably know, you can get them in PDF under Creative commons. The authors showed confidence the fans wouldn't simply take their material without paying them, not if they like it - and those who really like it are paying them about material they could get for free, so they would produce more of it.
So, you can even download the adventures for free, legally, but if you use them, it's generally recommended to buy them. The reasons are purely ethical, though. And there's no reason not to check the adventures out.
Sorry, can't help you with that, as I don't use pre-made adventures.

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--2.) Would practicing via play-by-post be a good way to get some experience with the setting? Before I play with my friends, I kind of want to get a feel for what I'd be doing, so I'm tempted to see if I could get a game going here on E (with or without me as the GM, I think simply playing would help me get a feel for it too). But I know some people who warn about practicing for RL game with forums ones, for one reason or another, so...Any thoughts on that one?
I don't see what problems could exist with the transition between PbP and tabletop games. But given the glacial speed of Eclipse Phase, I'd advise you to look for an IM game, or your game could be delayed by a few months, if the game is successful ;D!

Offline Ace FlyerTopic starter

Re: New GM Looking for some Advice - Eclipse Phase
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2012, 03:19:56 PM »
Alright. Thanks for all the help! I really appreciate it.

Offline Endorphin

Re: New GM Looking for some Advice - Eclipse Phase
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2012, 05:22:44 AM »
@Endorphin: Thanks for the general tips. I know the biggest issue will be getting people to invest in their characters and flesh themselves out, instead of having a sheet with numbers. It's, at worst, an annoyance in D&D. In this system though, the issue could be almost crippling, as character backgrounds and motivations actually have a fairly important role in the game.

If you're expecting that to be an issue, I'd suggest providing some kind of incentive for your players to flesh out a background and motivation. Perhaps give them something that will benefit their character if they provide you with what you, as the GM, want to see from them. An example would be to give them some kind of attribute bonus or a personalised item in exchange for a few paragraphs of backstory that you can work with.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: New GM Looking for some Advice - Eclipse Phase
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2012, 06:11:11 AM »
Alright. Thanks for all the help! I really appreciate it.
And once again, you're welcome! Please, tell us how it went and what the players think of it, after you play the first session ;D!

If you're expecting that to be an issue, I'd suggest providing some kind of incentive for your players to flesh out a background and motivation. Perhaps give them something that will benefit their character if they provide you with what you, as the GM, want to see from them. An example would be to give them some kind of attribute bonus or a personalised item in exchange for a few paragraphs of backstory that you can work with.
The Eclipse Phase system already requires motivations, and rewards sticking to them with in-game currency. Also, picking a backstory is the first step in the character creation process ;).
From the discussions with the authors, I strongly suspect these steps are there for a reason. Namely, I strongly suspect they didn't want characters without backstory or motivations in their games, either >:)!

Offline Endorphin

Re: New GM Looking for some Advice - Eclipse Phase
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2012, 06:15:37 AM »
I'm glad to hear about a character creation system that encourages that kind of thing. More focus on that would certainly breed a better class of roleplayer, IMO.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: New GM Looking for some Advice - Eclipse Phase
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2012, 04:03:42 AM »
It's by far not the only such system, but I agree they all have beneficial effects on roleplaying the characters >:)! I guess few people would object to such systems, of course.

And since we've already got a thread, anyone else got other questions about the specifics of Eclipse Phase that I might be able to answer ;D?
« Last Edit: July 25, 2012, 04:07:44 AM by Thufir Hawat »

Offline AndyZ

Re: New GM Looking for some Advice - Eclipse Phase
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2012, 11:25:40 PM »
I'm getting into an Eclipse Phase game and some of these rules are very confusing.  The GM doesn't want us to know too much about anything in the GM's section (though anything before that is okay) but I'd love to have someone who can just answer a whole bunch of random game questions if anyone wouldn't mind doing so.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: New GM Looking for some Advice - Eclipse Phase
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2012, 03:30:35 AM »
The GM doesn't want us to know too much about anything in the GM's section (though anything before that is okay)
I'm afraid that's exactly how the game advises the GM to act.
No, I'm not recommending it as "good GM advice", as you can notice, I'm recommending the setting ;D!

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but I'd love to have someone who can just answer a whole bunch of random game questions if anyone wouldn't mind doing so.
Ask away, but remember, the above GM might have changed them without telling you, and might well be fudging at some points 8-).

Offline AndyZ

Re: New GM Looking for some Advice - Eclipse Phase
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2012, 02:39:57 PM »
Do you have Skype, or another messenger program where I can send you hordes of questions as I go through things and try to put together a character?  If so, please PM me the details.

And yeah, not giving the GM a hard time on that part about secret info.  I mention it as a plea not to be told any of that info.