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Author Topic: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!  (Read 2625 times)

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Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2013, 03:29:54 PM »
I bolded the first mentions of commonly used terms in the "Ego and Morph" section, for easy access and reference to common Eclipse Phase terms.  Also briefly defined "forking" and its controversy.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 03:32:11 PM by Skynet »

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2013, 03:43:39 PM »
My question is more one of source rather than of factuality.

Oh, I edited my previous response to include my answer instead of posting a new reply.  Sorry!

Here it is again.

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
That's part of it, but not the whole story.

The Singularity Foundation, an organization which would go on to form a part of Firewall, developed the first seed AIs known as Prometheans.

Much of the devastation wrought to Earth and its populace was inflicted by transhumanity itself.  TITANs played their role as well, of course.  The Promeheans fought back against the TITANs and managed to limit the exsurgent virus' effects.  The Prometheans' actions, at the least, saved millions of transhuman lives, potentially all of transhumanity at most.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2013, 03:44:35 PM »
I know that there is a scenario that messes with the idea of Forks a LOT. The players are all forks of the same persona. Not all of them are are 'legal' of them.

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2013, 03:48:20 PM »
Is it just me, or do you get the odd feeling that the Scum faction was tailor-made for Elliquiy players in mind?

Offline Ephiral

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Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2013, 03:59:57 PM »
My question is more one of source rather than of factuality.
In the corebook's DO NOT READ section. Not on my own machine ATM or I'd have pagerefs.

I know that there is a scenario that messes with the idea of Forks a LOT. The players are all forks of the same persona. Not all of them are are 'legal' of them.
IIRC, that would be Continuity. Also worth mentioning is Anders Sandberg's fan material, which includes several excellent story seeds and at least one for an entire campaign, a number of settings and people, and even usable porkchop plots for getting from place to place.

Is it just me, or do you get the odd feeling that the Scum faction was tailor-made for Elliquiy players in mind?
I have the feeling that a large segment of E would feel very at home on a Scum barge.

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Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #30 on: May 17, 2013, 05:01:54 PM »
I have the feeling that a large segment of E would feel very at home on a Scum barge.

What's that?  Hive of scum and villainy?

Offline Blythe

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2013, 05:08:18 PM »
I want to play, and I've gotten Blythe hooked hard. The real problem is finding a GM - which I'm atrocious at. I can run mechanical support and assistance for a GM, but I for one suck at developing plot.

See, I love building plot, but mechanics make my brain hurt. I'm pretty hooked on EP, and I'm slowly going through the books I have, trying to read through at a slow pace so I can appreciate the setting. Although I'm rather addicted to the idea of the Pandora Gates and and obsessing over those right now. One day I'll actually update my world building thread for EP here on E.  8-)

I know that there is a scenario that messes with the idea of Forks a LOT. The players are all forks of the same persona. Not all of them are are 'legal' of them.

I've read about criminal groups that are actually just the forks of one woman, and I rather enjoyed that idea. Although I couldn't help but feel the narcissism levels regarding that were astronomical. *chuckles*


Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #32 on: May 17, 2013, 05:09:07 PM »
What's that?  Hive of scum and villainy?

Minus the villainy, with the exception of a few devious ones!

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #33 on: May 17, 2013, 05:33:19 PM »
Hypercorps

Below is a list of the most prominent hypercorporations.  Most of them are part of the Planetary Consortium, but there's a few Extropian ones as well.

Cognite:  Specializes in the field of cognitive science.  Known for mental augmentation, nootropics, the menton biomorph, and psychosurgery.  They were involved in the scandalous Lost project, psychic children put into an accelerated growth pattern (most of whom ended up as thrill-killer sociopaths).  They're also rumored to research TITAN-influenced technology.

Comet Express: Specializes in delivery services, supply chains, shipping, and related fields.  Has a major presence in almost every habitat.  They focus on inter-planetary import/export business, and the Jovian Republic has a shoot-on-sight policy on their ships.

Direct Action: Mercenaray company noted for managing Post-Fall refugee populations.  Known for highly efficient shock troops and uses paranoia-based marketing to make people want their protection and services.  Accused of war crimes in some corners.

Ecologene: Specializes in living systems, environmental genetics, smart animals, bioarchitecture, and the like.  Had a massive archive of most living life forms which got devastated during the Fall.

ExoTech: Specializes in uploading, AIs, electronics, and mesh software systems.  Has a very progressive stance on AGI rights, resleeving, and ego simulations.

Experia: Major news, media, and entertainment industry.  Controversial for its pro-AI stance and having an AGI on its board of directors.  Produces educational XP and infomorph and AI tutors.  Responsible for directing PC propaganda through viral memes.  Has thousands of live journalists scattered across habitats to report on the news.  Is rumored to perform illegal never-ending simulation experiments on indentured infomorph workers.

Fa Jing  Industrial powerhouse, presence in energy production and biotech manufacturing.  Quickly adapted to reputation-based New Economies thanks to networking and shared social responsibility.  Engaged in mining operations in the asteroid belt.

Gatekeepr Corporation:  Responsible for exploration of solar systems and planets beyond the Martian Pandora Gate.  Collects a share of revenue made of profit and new discoveries beyond.

Go-Nin Group: Based off of a traditional Japanese keiretsu, a conglomerate of companies with interwoven relationships and shareholdings.  Does not dominated any single industry, but significant presence in banking, agritech, robotics, and services.  Controls the Pandora Gate on Eris, a cold planet beyond our solar system, which is secured by Ultimate mercenaries.

Gorgon Defense Systems: Based out of Extropia, major powerhouse in design and manufacture of weapons, vehicles, sensors, and defense technologies.  Main arms supplier to autonomist and brinker habitats.  Their subsidiary Medusan Shield offers mercenary work, composed of all-female combat morphs.

Nimbus:  Produces key components for Mesh infrastructure.  Dominates network of farcaster links through the system.  Rumored to control a secret Pandora gate and engage in ego-smuggling (basically human trafficking).

Omnicor: Specializes in nanotechnology, antimatter research, alternative fuels, and chemical refining.  Is in a corporate 'war' with Starware.

Pathfinder: Exoplanet colonization corporation.  Established several exoplanet mining and resource exploitation projects.  Frequent target of eco-terrorist attacks.

Prosperity Group: Creates cheap, efficient faux-meats and protein enhanced nutrition, dubbing their goods "the poor man's food and drugs."  Lost an entire habitat to a resurgent TITAN outbreak, although some think that this is a cover story for something more sinister.

Skineasthesia: Leading designer of biomorphs.  Best known for breakthroughs in genetic engineering and enhancements.  Also specializes in sophisticated combat morphs and pleasure pods sold discreetly through seemingly unafiliated shell corporations and local distributors.

Skinthetic: Extropian hypercorp, lead designer in morphs with a sleazier reputation than Skineasthesia.  Responsible for many extensive and radical biomodifications under the manle of morphological freedom.  Go to them if you want something weird.

Solaris: Leading banking and financial investment hypercorp.  Each bank is a mobile virtual office with no physical assets or offices.  Rumored to have a secret base where they run simulations on the economy of the entire solar system on a giant blueprint.

Somatek: Leading pharmaceutical and animal/uplift research.  Controversial among mercurial activists for various reasons (strict controls on uplift reproduction, lack of input on installed modifications, and focus on anthropocentric mind-sets taught to uplifts).

Starware: Luna-based hypercorp, blood fued with Omnicor, so neither have PC membership.  Starware specializes in robotics, habitat construction, and aerospace engineering.  Getting very unpopular on Luna, forced to bring in extra security due to sabotage.

Stellar Intelligence: Born from the pre-Fall UN-government Terran Intelligence Cooperative.  A virtual collective, its director is a mysterious infomorph known as Syme.  Offers services on intelligence services, data mining, think tanks, memetic mapping, and more.  Also has services for espionage, data theft, media manipulation and infiltration.  Specializes in pre-empting civil insurgencies and uprisings.  Criticized by civil rights groups and anarchists.

TerraGenesis: Expertise in developing sustainable biospheres through terraforming.  Unique in that it's a worker-owned cooperative.  Collects data for simulation on Earth revitalization.  Receives much support from Reclaimers.  Possesses control over the Vulcanoid Pandora Gate.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 05:54:09 PM by Skynet »

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Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #34 on: May 17, 2013, 07:06:53 PM »
If a GM could be found I'd be interested in giving the game a shot.  I'm liking what I'm seeing so far. 

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #35 on: May 17, 2013, 07:48:26 PM »
Aside from the 6 major criminal organizations and more in-depth Reputation system, I think I've pretty much covered the major aspects of Eclipse Phase.  Someone else can choose to cover these two avenues, or I can do so later.

Offline chaoslord29

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #36 on: May 17, 2013, 07:49:04 PM »
If a GM could be found I'd be interested in giving the game a shot.  I'm liking what I'm seeing so far.

Therein lies the problem. Eclipse Phase is an immensely enjoyable game that is regrettably underfunded and undersupported, especially since it is incredibly cumbersome to GM. I've tried to get three separate Eclipse Phase games off the ground irl, even with modules, and each time they explode in the hangar because the group can hardly swallow the depth and complexity of the rules; let alone the GM (I've tried it myself even!)

Offline Blythe

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #37 on: May 17, 2013, 07:50:17 PM »
I think the easiest route to go with for an Eclipse Phase game would be to have more than one GM, at least two GMs working in tandem to reduce the stress of running such a complex game.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 07:55:29 PM by Blythe »

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Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #38 on: May 17, 2013, 07:57:58 PM »
What's that?  Hive of scum and villainy?
Less villainy, more hedonism. The basic ethos of the Scum is "Hey look, you're immortal and have easy access to everything you'll ever need, so why not have fun with it?" Carnivale, which I quoted an except from earlier, is the one fixed location they have.

I think the easiest route to go with for an Eclipse Phase game would be to have more than one GM, at least two GMs working in tandem to reduce the stress of running such a complex game.
I have zero issue with this, and would volunteer to do mechanics... except that, dammit, I have a character I want to see come alive. ;_;

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #39 on: May 17, 2013, 08:57:57 PM »
Criminal Factions

While there are many small-time and local criminal organizations in the solar system, there are a few widespread ones which deserve mention.

Intelligent Design Crew: Specializes in electronic crimes such as credit and rep fraud, identity counterfeiting, ego trading, data theft, and forknapping.  Origins are unknown, but they're believed to have sprung up from pre-Fall hacker gangs under the leadership of an infomorph consortium.  They have a minimal physical presence, although they have a presence in the Mesh habitats of major stations.  Their line of work rarely comes into conflict with the Triads and Night Cartel, although they have a feud with Nine Lives.

Night Cartel: The refugee diaspora of multiple nationalities post-Fall broke apart many of the traditional ethnic-exclusive organized crime syndicates.  Faced with obsolescence or mutual cooperation, the remnants of the South American drug cartels, the Italian Mafia, and the Yakuza formed under one syndicate.  They tend to specialize in crime which requires the threat of force, such as kidnapping, extortion, slavery, and prostitution.  They're in conflict with the Triads over the drug and nanofab piracy markets.  Sometimes they maintain an open presence in some habitats where they have power over the authorities, and also supplement their income with legitimate businesses as well.

Nine Lives: Feared and hated even by rival criminal standards, Nine Lives is a powerful conglomerate of people who specialize in trading the egos of people.  They do this by stealing backups, forknapping, kidnapping, forced uploading, and so on.  They're known to run illegal infomorph slave colonies as well as organize pit fights using a variety of physical bodies with a variety of consciousnesses.  Given the 'immortality' of transhuman consciousness, many people can remain slaves effectively forever.  It's estimated that the asteroid of Legba, the Nine Lives stronghold, has excess of 10 million transhuman slaves.  Only the truly desperate look to the organization to be smuggled out of a habitat.

According to Rimward, many Nine Lives members are religious, their beliefs based off of forms of animism and voudoun, where they view egos as spirits which can be bound to service and used for personal empowerment.

Pax Familae: This criminal organization shares much in common with the Night Cartel, expect that all of its members are forked copies of one woman, Claudia Ambelina.  Since they're all technically the same being, they're utterly loyal to the organization as a whole, and regular re-assimilation of old forks and XP updates keep them in touch with each others' goings on.  Once you've met one version of Claudia, the others will soon know.  The Familae participates in a diverse amount of criminal operations and legitimate businesses depending upon the habitat, although common ones include loan sharking, venture capitalism, reputation network gaming, info brokerage, financial consultation, and stock manipulation.

Space Pirates: Most pirates attack automated cargo ships and long-range supply convoys, with the occasional raid on an asteroid mining station, research outpost, or brinker habitat. On rare occasions they have been known to attack commercial cruisers to rob the wealthy or kidnap socialites. Many pirates take advantage of scum fleets as cover, trading with them and using their limited maintenance capabilities. Quite a few also make sideline profits as smugglers and/or free traders, often utilizing connections to one of the crime syndicates or political outcasts.

Triad: The Chinese Triads are the only major Earth-based criminal operation to have survived unscathed post-Fall.  China and its citizens had a major presence in space before the Fall, and many Triad gangsters followed them and set up enterprises in space habitats.  They are more insular and xenophobic than the other 5 groups, relying upon Chinese cultural and social cues to maintain their exclusiveness.

There are 4 major subdivisions in the Triads:

The 14K maintains operations in the gambling industry and affords its private police force in many habitats.  They're heavily involved in money laundering, loan sharking, and credit/rep fraud.

The Shui Fong profits off of the vices of indentured workers, miners, and other laborers with drugs, prostitution, pit fighting tournaments and gambling.  They have a hateful rivalry with the 14K.

The Sun Yee Ong maintains legitimate nanofab and blueprint facilities, while selling cheap copies of blueprints and rigged nanofab machines on the black market.  Illegal goods are created with the help of enslaved infomorphs in virtual Mesh sweatshops.  They also make a lot of money through fake Earth nostalgia items supposedly predating the Fall.

The Big Circle Gang is the smallest Triad faction, which controls a large part of the solar systems drug trade.  They produce their goods in secluded habitats and abandoned mining and processing facilities.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 09:11:50 PM by Skynet »

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #40 on: May 17, 2013, 09:28:36 PM »
A Brief Note on Reputation

Thanks to the innovations of nanofabrication, access to artificial morphs which don't require food and water, omnipresent Mesh social networks and media, potential longevity with backups and resleeving, and sousveillance, more traditional forms of currency became less useful to maintain a comfortable life.  This is especially true in the outer system, where many habitats can indefinitely sustain a small number of occupants.  A new form of economy arose in the outer system from Saturn outwards.

However, material abundance did not hamper the need for companionship, innovation, the desire to work together and coexist, and performing necessary maintenance and upkeep of habitat equipment.  Do you need someone to perform gene therapy on your morph?  Or to track down a long-lost family member?  You call upon your social network.  If your reputation is good enough and your network is sufficiently deep and numerous, someone will help you out.  In the inner system, the reputation economy does not replace the need for money to exchange goods and services, but it does make one effective in their network's area of influence.  Contacts and information gathering rely upon your networking skills.  The term 'rep' is often short for Reputation.

There is a complicated system of redundancies, procedures, algorithms, and interactions which govern Reputation, but for the purposes of the game it is boiled down into a simple 0-99 numeric value, separated into 5 levels.  The higher your rep in that network, the more credibility and respect you have.  This allows you to call in favors of higher magnitude, and smaller favors are easier to accomplish.  A score of 0-19 puts you at Level 1, and you can call in trivial favors.  20-39 puts you at Level 2, for minor favors; 40-59 is Level 3 with moderate favors; 60-79 Level 4 with major favors; and 80-99 Level 5 with the most prestigious of favors.

There are 7 standard social networks and 2 non-standard ones detailed in rulebook supplements:

  • The Circle @-List, used by anarchists, barsoomians, Titanians, Extropians, scum, and people living in the outer system.  Measured in @-Rep.
  • CivicNet, used by hypercorp employees and CEOs, Jovians, and people living in the inner system.  Measured in c-Rep.
  • EcoWave, used by nano-ecologists, preservationists, environmentalists, and Reclaimers.  Measured in e-Rep.
  • Fame, used by socialites, the media, artists, and pop culture figures.  Measured in f-Rep.
  • Guanxi, used by criminals of all stripes.  Measured in g-Rep.
  • The Eye, used by Firewall and its agents.  Measured in i-Rep.
  • Research Network Associates, used by scientists, researchers, and technologists.  Measured in r-Rep.
  • X-Rep, used by Gatecrashers.  Found in Gatecrashing.
  • U-Rep, used by the Ultimates.  Found in Rimward.

Edit: Since this is a very useful aspect of Eclipse Phase, especially in the outer system, I'll incorporate it into my 3rd post which details general setting concepts.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 10:17:28 PM by Skynet »

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #41 on: May 17, 2013, 09:41:26 PM »
I do not know the names of the Gatecrasher and Ultimate social networks, nor can I recall seeing either of them mentioned.

And now I've pretty much covered it all aside from descriptions of major habitats and geo-planetary locations.

Anything big I'm missing?
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 09:51:11 PM by Skynet »

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #42 on: May 17, 2013, 10:04:32 PM »
Although a team of Firewall agents ideally covers a large range of social networks, not all of them are necessarily equal in terms of overall versatility and campaign suitability.

Keep in mind that this doesn't mean that situational social networks are to be avoided.  In the right kind of game they can be useful indeed.  They just won't have as broad a reach as the others.

Highly recommended, if not essential for many campaigns:
  • @-rep: Vital if your game sessions spend any amount of time in the outer system.  Since the entire economy of autonomist habitats revolves around @-rep, this means it has a really broad reach in potential services rendered.
  • g-rep: black markets, smuggling, covering up activities and dirty work.  Very broad and can apply to all sorts of situations.
  • i-rep: The default is that you work for Firewall.  Having trust and sway in Firewall is good.

Useful:
  • c-rep: If you spend a bunch of time in the inner system, or need to interact with the hypercorps in any way, c-rep is great to have.
  • r-rep: given how tech-based Eclipse Phase is, getting the help and assistance of knowledgeable types is great.

Situational:
  • e-rep: environmentalists and Reclaimers are rather specific and focused groups.  They don't have as wide a reach as the other social networks
  • f-rep: Useful if you need to pull some sway in Elysium (the Martian Hollywood), or a media blackout (which is actually pretty good for Firewall agents!)

Highly situational:
  • u-rep: are you an Ultimate?  Will you be interacting with Ultimates on a regular basis? Avoid if you say 'no' to both.
  • x-rep: useful only if you're going to do gatecrashing campaigns.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 10:10:04 PM by Skynet »

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #43 on: May 17, 2013, 10:15:56 PM »
Today I learned that I wrote about 7,265 words about Eclipse Phase's setting.  Only a few passages were direct quotations, most of it paraphrased.

I'm very proud of myself.


Offline Inkidu

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Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #45 on: May 18, 2013, 06:20:44 AM »
That's an awful lot of pages for a core rule book, unless it's combining the player side and the GM side of things into one book. :\
Still, I downloaded it and probably going to read through it.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #46 on: May 18, 2013, 07:01:52 AM »
That's an awful lot of pages for a core rule book, unless it's combining the player side and the GM side of things into one book. :\
Still, I downloaded it and probably going to read through it.
It is, yes. Standard practice in EP is to handle everything together, except for one setting-secrets chapter near the back of each book. It's also on the thick side because it's got a lot of concepts to introduce.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #47 on: May 18, 2013, 09:06:22 AM »
It is, yes. Standard practice in EP is to handle everything together, except for one setting-secrets chapter near the back of each book. It's also on the thick side because it's got a lot of concepts to introduce.
I just thought it was a little odd. Most core books tend to be smaller because they try not to bog down people with new info. Your core books are your first impression. So creators have to be careful. The human mind has an amazing ability to ignore massive amounts of jargon. Larger is possible, but you usually have to work hard to create retention-aiding language.

Don't get me wrong, I'm going to read it, definitely. I like transhumanics and cosmic horror. 

Offline Ephiral

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Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #48 on: May 18, 2013, 09:51:24 AM »
I just thought it was a little odd. Most core books tend to be smaller because they try not to bog down people with new info. Your core books are your first impression. So creators have to be careful. The human mind has an amazing ability to ignore massive amounts of jargon. Larger is possible, but you usually have to work hard to create retention-aiding language.

Don't get me wrong, I'm going to read it, definitely. I like transhumanics and cosmic horror.

On further examination, it's... really not that huge. 400 pages, including a huge amount of setting, basics on antagonists and GM-only info. By comparison, the D&D 4e PHB alone is 320 pages; the entire core set is 832. Shadowrun 4 is 352. Exalted 2e is 400. It's on the high end, but hardly off the scale.

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Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #49 on: May 18, 2013, 10:13:18 AM »
On further examination, it's... really not that huge. 400 pages, including a huge amount of setting, basics on antagonists and GM-only info. By comparison, the D&D 4e PHB alone is 320 pages; the entire core set is 832. Shadowrun 4 is 352. Exalted 2e is 400. It's on the high end, but hardly off the scale.
Fair point, I guess it's just me. When giving people information I approach it from a minimalist perspective. I also don't count back material (indexes, glossaries, and appendices) because that's meant to be referenced. For instant the Player Handbook for 3.5 is two-hundred and something, but the new material ends at 172.

Still, you're right, on closer examination, for a combo book it's not too bad. Though, they do have a lot of stuff they want you to cover.