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Author Topic: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!  (Read 2642 times)

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Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #75 on: May 23, 2013, 07:36:47 PM »
I'd like to announce that the Transhuman Kickstarter reached its $100,000 stretch mark at the last hours.

In addition to the player's guide, we will get:
  • 8 new sample characters
  • an Argonaut sourcebook
  • commissioned artwork for all of the morphs printed so far in a PDF sourcebook
  • Illustrated reference cards for the morphs
  • 2 new adventures, one set in the TITAN Quarantine Zone (Doctrine)
  • Singularity (a cross-platform character generator)
  • 6 quick reference sheets
  • Eclipse Phase in ePub form, separated into a setting book and rules book
  • and a conversion guide to the FATE RPG system!

Back on the Jovians, the fact that the Republic allows freedom of speech (in regards to government criticism) rather sets it apart from many real-world tyrannical dictatorships.  I suppose this has to do with its US origins.  I guess it's a way to make them more sympathetic, but it comes off as odd given the previous characterizations.  This information's in Rimward, BTW.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 07:53:24 PM by Skynet »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #76 on: May 23, 2013, 11:37:00 PM »
That's great news.

I always thought the freedom-of-speech thing was a matter of pragmatism. No state has successfully enforced speech laws since at least the Cold War, if not earlier; the existence of these laws just drives dissidents underground and radicalizes them. This has gotten more true as technology advances, and technology in Eclipse Phase is very advanced indeed. In light of this, it makes sense to be seen to allow a major and fundamental liberty that just happens to help you compile dossiers on known subversives.

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #77 on: May 23, 2013, 11:58:01 PM »
The fact that most Jovians don't have Mesh Inserts probably also helps a lot with information control.

Rimward also mentioned that political reformers are a rapidly growing faction in Jovian politics.  Specifically in regards to technology which can help with healthcare and improve the standard of living.  The fact that they're distrusted as opposed to rounded up and imprisoned means that the Republic is not as hardcore bioconservative as it appears to the rest of the system.  Or maybe they're tolerated to give the illusion of tolerance.  Public opinion isn't on their side, so the government can focus on more dangerous subversive elements.

Edit: Hacking in Eclipse Phase is a complicated affair.  Here's a cheat sheet for quick resolution on all your infosec-related needs.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 12:05:19 AM by Skynet »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #78 on: May 24, 2013, 12:31:05 AM »
I'd say the latter. My Jovian Republic is... well, it's less about tyranny and more about ruthless realpolitik. The only way they can hope to compete with H+ is by being more focused and efficient as a society. Why waste resources and public goodwill suppressing the ineffective?

Offline KaylaM

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #79 on: May 24, 2013, 09:07:18 AM »
In the end, I tend to side with the fandom treatment of the Jovians and adding those things that make them less gratuitously evil and more like a viable alternative; the re-sleeving for the naturally born being the best of them. I like that idea, as it adds an air to them that is otherwise lacking. In my RPG settings, I prefer more grey approaches, and bad guys who are bad because the author tells you they are is one of my top hates.

In the end, sadly, the Jovians are the end product of Eclipse Phase's writers, their beliefs and their sledgehammer-subtlety level methods of presenting them. Since they represent what the authors don't like, they have to be as evil and unlikeable as possible. It's unfortunate, as EC has it in it to be a really, really good setting, but I think the writers really need to get over themselves first.

Offline Oniya

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Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #80 on: May 24, 2013, 09:25:18 AM »
Part of being a good GM is knowing when to implement GM authority.  In my opinion, it is no less of an issue to portray the Jovians as 'flawed' instead of 'evil' as it was for Salvatore to suggest that there could be drow who weren't evil (and not just Drizzt 'Gary Stu' Do'Urden.)

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #81 on: May 24, 2013, 01:52:54 PM »
The Jovians as is would be hard to play in a mixed group if the player's trying to remain consistently bioconservative.  Given that Eclipse Phase's major selling points are the use and ramifications of signature technology, rejecting all of it is unsuitable for most campaigns

If you don't believe in egocasting, you'll have to travel to planets the extra-slow way, on space-ships.  No mesh inserts means that you'll need to wear ectos all the time in order to interact with society.  No back-ups or resleeving means that once your character is dead or driven insane, he's done for (this is a major hindrance in a lethal horror game where death is more of a mission failure than a final fate).  No implants and access only to flat and splicer biomorphs means that your character will overall be very limited in what he can do.

@KaylaM: I've seen some fandom remakes, but they focused more on making them less authoritarian as opposed to less bioconservative (from what I saw).  If you remember the threads, can you link them to me?

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #82 on: May 24, 2013, 03:44:37 PM »
I've found a few threads re-imagining the Jovian Republic into something less evil and more nuanced.  Most were written before Rimward's release.

Sympathy for the Jovians

Re-imagining the Jovian Republic.

Making the Jovians Non-stupid.

Infodump Jovian Republic.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 12:15:24 AM by Skynet »

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #83 on: May 24, 2013, 04:27:19 PM »
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 04:29:44 PM by Skynet »

Offline Blythe

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #84 on: May 25, 2013, 09:28:06 PM »
I just got a hold of "The Stars Our Destination." I'm vaguely looking forward to having time to read it.

Also, can anyone here tell me if the Quickstart Rules are actually useful in terms of making the rules more accessible and easier to read? Long story short, is it concise?

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #85 on: May 25, 2013, 11:19:46 PM »
I'd say it's quite good.  The first 8 pages cover common setting concepts for new players, 9-22 cover the most common rules aspects, 23-29 cover a sample adventure, 30-37 have sample characters (I heard that there might be miscalculations, but I didn't give them an in-depth look), 38-40 cover game rules summaries.

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #86 on: May 26, 2013, 07:29:55 PM »
So I've looked over the official adventures.

Will be discussing adventures here, don't read if you're going to play in them
Of them all, I found Ego Hunter to be the most fascinating.  The "PCs as forks" idea is a good way to illuminate the setting's core issues of identity and autonomy.  Stopping the original ego from infecting a habitat with an exsurgent fungus is a good way of showing players just how scary and dangerous the world of Eclipse Phase is, and how much is at stake for transhumanity.

Bump in the Night wasn't bad, but it didn't feel extraordinary.  It was primarily concerned with stopping a Night Cartel soul-trading operation in the pleasure city of Parvati.  It did not have x-risks or horror-based weirdness, and Firewall does not have a presence at all.  The adventure's completion might ring hollow for more goody-two-shoes PCs who want to stop the ego trade entirely or track down the kidnapped people.  The good ending is that the Night Cartel's operations are curved.  Bad ending, and the Consortium swoops in and the city loses its political independence.

Glory is, well, I don't like it.  There's no real way to take care of the exsurgent virus without it eventually contaminating the entire solar system, and the exhumans are very dangerous.  They are armed with plasma guns and have high weapons and fray skills (in the 80 range), and their bodily fluids are tainted with the exsurgent virus and coat their melee weapons.

I understand that Eclipse Phase is meant to be a lethal horror game where death happens, but Glory's too difficult for beginning players (it's meant to be an introductory adventure).

I haven't fully read Continuity yet.

Edit: Continuity's link does not work, neither Rob Boyle's Dropbox nor his torrent magnet link are picking up the adventure.

2nd Edit: Put in working link for Continuity.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 10:35:53 PM by Skynet »

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #87 on: May 26, 2013, 10:28:47 PM »
Good news, found an alternative website.

Unpossible Labs has the big 5 books under Game Books.  The adventures, Stars Our Destination, and NPC File 1 are under GM Aids.

I'd like to note that all versions of NPC Files 1 have typos in the stat blocks.  The Jovian Soldier's stats are the most readily apparent.  Hopefully the one for purchase on Drive-Thru RPG has corrected these errors!

Edit  Added new alternative Jovian thread in the relevant post.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 12:16:07 AM by Skynet »

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #88 on: May 27, 2013, 01:40:57 AM »
There's an old, but good thread using faction-specific slogans based off of the main Eclipse Phase one.

Slogan Samples
Eclipse Phase Main Slogan:

Your mind is software.  Program it.
Your body is a shell.  Change it.
Death is a disease.  Cure it.
Extinction is approaching.  Fight it.

Jovian Slogan:

Humanity is disappearing. Protect it.
Programs are stealing the future. Fight it.
Death is what makes you human. Embrace it.

or

Your mind is original. Preserve it.
Your body is a temple. Maintain it.
Immortality is an illusion. Forget it.
Your death makes you human. Embrace it.

Ultimates:

The world is a trial. Fight it.
Humanity is imperfect. Improve it.
Perfection is a goal. Reach it.
Death is failure. Defeat it.

Mercurials:

They created us. Find your own way!
They nearly destroyed themselves. Save your own!
They still enslave your friends. Free them!

This got my creative juices flowing, and was thinking of adopting this model for other factions as well.  I'll come up with some soon.


My Slogans
Anarchists:

Humanity is inherently altruistic.  Encourage it.
Your freedom is precious.  Defend it.
Capitalism is bondage.  Break it.
The State is a lie.  Deny it.

Argonauts:

Knowledge is free.  Share it.
Progress is positive.  Build upon it.
Augmentation is liberating.  Advocate for it.
Transhumanity is divisive.  Unite it.

Extropians:

Incentive is a virtue.  Encourage it.
Government is coercive.  Discard it.
Property is a right.  Respect it.
The free market is ideal.  Pursue it.

Reclaimers:

Earth is humanity's origin.  Remember it.
The Fall was our defeat.  Learn from it.
TITAN remnants maintain their hold.  Reclaim it.
Our planet is dying.  Save it.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 02:44:13 AM by Skynet »

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #89 on: August 17, 2013, 05:58:32 PM »
Long overdue update.

Transhuman is out now.  You can buy it on Drive-Thru RPG, or find it somewhere via Creative Commons.

I'm looking at it right now.  It's part Player's Guide, part expanded options.

I love the alternate chargen systems, especially the Packs system.  Both are much simpler than the standard one in the corebook.

Packs is where you have 11 points.  You spend points on packages related to faction, background, and skill sets.  For example, spending 3 points in Fall Refugee: Underclass gives you can "mean streets survival" abilities, while spending 3 points in Argonaut gives you technical and investigative abilities.  Packages mostly give skills, but some can give you moxie and ability score increases (example: +5 Cognition for 5 points in Hacker).

I sort of feel mixed on the new morphs.  A lot of them feel superfluous, situational, or will just overwhelm new players.

Offline Blythe

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #90 on: August 17, 2013, 09:28:37 PM »
I just downloaded it. My first impression is that they have a few too many animal-based uplifts in backgrounds, and some of the new morphs are a bit contrived. I think the rules for morph variants, enhancements, and upgrades are more on the money than some of the new morphs offered. I'm liking some of the new factions and traits, though, and the character creation overview is actually allowing me to approach creating a better detailed design and history for the setting. Might be back to offer more of my opinion as I do more than just skim. :-)
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 09:41:14 PM by Blythe »

Offline ChaoticSky

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #91 on: October 14, 2013, 10:05:39 PM »
I just downloaded it. My first impression is that they have a few too many animal-based uplifts in backgrounds, and some of the new morphs are a bit contrived. I think the rules for morph variants, enhancements, and upgrades are more on the money than some of the new morphs offered. I'm liking some of the new factions and traits, though, and the character creation overview is actually allowing me to approach creating a better detailed design and history for the setting. Might be back to offer more of my opinion as I do more than just skim. :-)
I would posit that the Uplift options are warranted. The Background skills and the like are supposed to be based on their origins... but a gorilla, cetacean and octopus will have lead very different lives and be mentally predisposition to different skillsets, for example Octos start with Hardening(solitude), which makes perfect sense for a solitary predator, but wouldnt have made a lick of sense among any of the primates or cetaceans. Saying 'Uplift' is like saying 'Fruit' a apple and a orange have little in common other than the fact they both grow off trees... treating them as indistinct would make for some very strange beverages. So it makes sense to expand the overly generalized 'Uplift' into 'Uplift - Race', and the same logic applies to AGI, though the specifics of agi origin were only delved into in Transhuman its self, i find it makes a excellent means of diversifying them.

As for the morphs.... well, its a mixed bag, but i would imagine that ICly morphs are also a mixed bag. Some are clearly designed to fulfil roles that a particular clade lacks, like the social robot Galatea, wet-brain Biocores and earth-walking Theseus. Others look like they were more designed to fill in the setting rather than be directly useful to players, ive heard people asking who takes care of the kids since the game was released, since culturally Transhumans are not disposed to parenthood and tossing the rugrats in a VR simulation and letting it raise them has been proven fantastically disastrous (ie, the Lost), but now we have a answer; indentures or AI in Ayah Pods. In a similar vein, the Daitya is a construction vehicle, like a loader or crane, not something youd expect a player to use... unless they wanted to do some large scale construction.


Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #92 on: October 15, 2013, 12:39:57 AM »
Hey, a new post in 2 months!  Woohoo!

Offline ChaoticSky

Re: This thread is about Eclipse Phase!
« Reply #93 on: October 15, 2013, 05:30:41 PM »
EP must never die! :P