Author Topic: Eclipse Phase - What happen in the first 24hrs of the Fall? - Thoughts?  (Read 8822 times)

MrWiggles

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So I am working on a pre fall Primer for new players to the game. I'm making limited characters, to try and introduce them to all their possible actions through some characters.

My thing will be set in West Coast USA, in the Antelope Valley. (Bit south of Edwards Air Force Base.) And Edwards get nuked. The players are stuck in the starting of the fall, and have to either make their way up to Bakersfield, California to its Egocasting facility, or down to Mexico City, Mexico to its Space Elevator.

I am really curious what other thinks would be happening in the first 24hrs of the Fall? Basically, the players will see stuff and then run away from stuff. Solving problems to get to their destination.

I want a Buddy Brick to make an appearance to totally vaporize an apartment. I want head hunters. I want one Fractal, unless there a strong opinion that that too early for fractals. 

The pregens I have mostly done are thus: Field IT Tech, EMT, Psychologist, PHD in Middle Ages weapons, and Firefighter. Also ideas for pregens along these lines would be neato to.

RadioactiveBeer

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(I happened to be replying to this on the EP forums when I saw you posted it here as well, so I'm posting it here since I use this more often)

Well, "the Fall" was already well underway before the first nanomolecular nightmare ate the first baby. The TITANs had encountered something weird in space, gone a bit loopy and covertly repurposed much of the US military-industrial complex' digital and manufacturing infrastructure to serve its own purposes. This probably took place over a period of at least weeks.

This all takes place against a backdrop of geopolitical tension and environmental, uh, "issues". In that regards, the first few hours of The Fall Proper would be a confusing mess of sudden strikes and then finger-pointing. Not everyone KNOWS that the TITAN AI's have gone rogue and nom-nom-nom brains; they're detonating WMD's and making it look like Pakistan finally nuked India, so that India fires a response, watching everyone dance the Mutually Assured Destruction tango and do the heavy lifting for them. Since they're wormed into the military communications network, it's going to be a while until people figure out that this isn't actually the case.

So your players are probably going to experience, say, an attack by unmanned drones that appear to have crossed the Pacific from (let's say) North Korea. Uh oh, better get to safety. (Except this is when the TITANs start preying on the mass of people heading to "safe spots") When the players evacuate to a safe location, they have to contend with dust storms blown in from the Second Dust Bowl in the Midwest (which also happens to blow in dangerous nanoswarms). They get delayed by the storm and by the time they reach the safe point, it's fallen to headhunters. At this point start throwing full on "what is this I don't even" tier awfulness proper at them to suggest that this is more than just human militaries - fractals, exsurgents. WMD's start going off; the TITAN stranglehold over communications is sufficiently subverted that people are now able to talk to each other properly and GET TO THE SPACE ELEVATOR GO GO GO.

My two cents at least.

MrWiggles

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Ah yea, I almost forgot about the whole mass confusion of the world thinking its attacking itself thing. I havent really consider where the Nuke came from that hit Edwards Airforce base but I will have an answer for that now.

So they should be facing a lot of conventional stuff, before the scary mind fuckery starts. So then fractals are bit too early, though I dont think head hunters are. Those would be confused for just drones, do weird things.

Redroverone

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 I wrote up a mini EP campaign set in the Houston area. The key for me was the section in Firewall talking about how the TITANs didn't have a lot of physical assets to start the Fall - they mostly used subterfuge and gaining access to factories and such.

What I came up with was pretty simple in it's execution without needing WMDs and mass extinctions as detailed in the New Orleans stuff. Well, not much. I simply decided that a tsunami in the Gulf of Mexico would do a lot of damage combined with a century plus of water level rise due to climate change to completely screw over the metroplex. They had a low-yield nuke start a landslide a couple hundred miles offshore. Add to that some limited robot attacks which were foreshadowed from the beginning, and the TITANs screwing with power supplies, communications, and Mesh shutdowns, would cause tons of confusion while giving the players some kind of heads up and time to get off planet by various means.

Jace911

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The book is understandably scarce on precise details, but I never got the impression that the Fall happened overnight or even in the course of a week. Even discounting the protracted World War Three that preceded the actual rise of the TITANs I always imagined the Fall as a slow-motion apocalypse happening over at least a few months. It's not like most apocalypse movies where the family wakes up, has breakfast, and then sees "END OF THE WORLD!" on the news and realizes things are going to shit in front of their eyes. It wasn't jarring or sudden, but gradual and telegraphed and above all else inevitable--everyone knew they were witnessing the end of the world, and everyone knew there was nothing they could do to stop it. And they had to come to terms and live with that knowledge day in and day out, wondering if they would wake up the next day or if it would all be gone the next time they opened their eyes.

And then, somehow, miraculously, the end of the world that everyone saw coming and accepted...didn't happen.

MrWiggles

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Well, I dont know if this Nuke, was the first act of the Fall. So. Hrm. So then I need to reframe my question.

What happen during the first 24hrs when the Fall went from soft to hard. Or the first 24hrs when the Titans started to take off the gloves.

sinanju

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I always thought started small, and got worse at an exponential rate.

From "Hmm, that's odd" from a military tech at seeing some strange behavior by drones/computer systems/whatever to "Houston, we have a problem," when they realize the strange behavior/malfunctions are a) widespread, and b) not malfunctions but instead deliberate actions by the machines, to "Oh God! It's the Apocalypse!" in a matter of hours. (One of the first signs: all the automated factories around the world murder the (few) humans who still work in them, and pretend via comm channels that everythings' just fine so nobody knows for hours or days that they're turning out war machines now instead of cars and appliances....)

I envision some particularly forward-thinking government types hitting the alarm button early on, but being shot down by their superiors for being alarmists. Some continued trying to convince them. Others knew a lost cause when they saw it and ran for the hills (or for the nearest farcast facility to get the hell out of Dodge ASAP.

For most people, though, I expect it went from Just Another Day to The Apocalypse in the seeming blink of an eye. By the time the uprising (for lack of a better word) by the machines became visible to the public, the war was already lost. All that was left was running and screaming and genocide.

So, yeah, the world's nuclear arsenals get hacked and launched to sow chaos, mistrust, and megadeaths. But also, "Emergency Broadcast System" announcements full of basilisk hacks to turn neighbor against neighbor, citizens against the authorities, etc. And then the drones. And THEN the nanoswarms. All in a carefully calculated series of attacks so people are thinking, "Oh God! It can't get any worse. OH GOD, IT"S WORSE!"
« Last Edit: May 10, 2016, 03:41:05 PM by sinanju »

Redroverone

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^ Pretty much that. I made some little RSS feed type news items for my players to get into the world (because players never read the book) that are mostly up over at the EP forums, several of which talk about AIs acting weird, strange occurrences, and even some downright hostile 'edge of perception' stuff that wouldn't be recognized as part of a Continuing Problem until much much later.

Two samples:

Quote
76.   "Mass confusion and rioting reigns in the streets of Mombasa as reports surfaced that the President of the country, Laurence Mbibi, and several of his top ministers were seen leaving on several private jets three days earlier. This comes on the heels of what appeared to be the complete disappearance of hundreds of troops in an area approximately 40 miles from the city where antiguerrilla raids were taking place. A mass exodus has started north after rebels also failed to make an appearance or even a proclamation after the complete disruption of civil authority in the region."

43.   "Robots are going missing at an increasing rate in Oregon, officials said. Speculation that a large scale criminal effort to steal them was downplayed, although officials did not rule out smaller rings being involved with a number of cases."

MrWiggles

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The Pre Fall news item thread?

Redroverone

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Yep, hopefully to be finished in the next year. The ideas came so quickly 1-50, and then it became very hard to come up with new ideas 50-100. In the end, not one of my better ideas.