Author Topic: Eclipse Phase  (Read 421273 times)

Henry Hankovitch

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #330 on: January 28, 2013, 06:41:53 PM »
It seems to me that only an utter sociopath would decide to uplift pigs.  "Congratulations, you're now self-aware and intelligent!  Oh, and by the way, the entire modern history of your species is that of a purpose-bred food source, grown and slaughtered by the billions in nightmare conditions.   I hope you won't hold a grudge."

On the other hand, uplift-pig morphs might be just the sort of symbolic FUCK YOU HUMANS that might appeal to certain radicals or Mercurials.

QuickreleasePersonalitY

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #331 on: January 30, 2013, 05:51:21 PM »
pretentious i am
lest pretentious i become

tanstaafl

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #332 on: February 06, 2013, 09:29:07 PM »
Hello everyone. I'm new here (waves politely) and I'll head over to the standard "Introduce Yourself" thread in a moment, but I wanted to start here since Eclipse Phase is what led me here.

Someone in my semi-regular game group had introduced me to Eclipse Phase and he wanted me to run it for our group. I had no experience with it and looking for anything about running the game led me to the the AP podcasts here.

I liked the way the AP for A Glorious Fall worked and really liked the "tutorial" approach it used to introduce the game and so shamelessly stole the general idea for my game. It went extremely well and even though the players were not taken enough to want to start a regular campaign everyone seemed to have a good time.

I wanted to record the session but I was overwhelmingly overruled on the idea and so I had to settle for an AAR write-up. Here it is.

Eclipse Phase: A Tale of the Fall

Again, thanks for the inspiration.

CommissarKip

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #333 on: February 13, 2013, 08:57:04 AM »
Awesome write up! Sorry to hear you couldn't entice them to do a regular campaign.

I tried my first game with my buddies yesterday - normally we play pathfinder but they got fed up with me telling them to try something new. Let me guarantee everyone that it was a huge success!

A couple of weeks ago I posted a question on pre-gens but I was surprised when all of my players decided to make their own chars. Out of six players I had three who used a pre-gen to base their char on and three who made new ones.  Instead of playing Glory I decided to play Singularity, as it could be played without having Firewall in the picture and I guessed it would play on my players "Dead Space 3" vibe.

We've started off yesterday and after 3 hours I had to call the game on a cliffhanger, we'll play again in 2 weeks (we have a system where we play every Tuesday but change GM's, so I GM every other week) and I'll have time to write up a full AAR then.

clockworkjoe

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #334 on: February 13, 2013, 01:31:02 PM »
good to hear guys! Eclipse Phase is a great game that really deserves a larger playerbase. I think it's the best sci-fi rpg out on the market.

Henry Hankovitch

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #335 on: February 13, 2013, 10:49:29 PM »
I haven't run Eclipse Phase before, but I've been putting some ideas together for a one-shot to give myself and some players an introduction to the game.    I'd be interested in feedback and suggestions--in particular, I haven't really fleshed out the concept for the actual ex-threat, yet.

Burnt Offerings

Wake up, little lamb.  It is time. 

I know that you would prefer the comforting, familiar sound of your muse at a time like this.  But I'm afraid I need a that particular real estate for myself.  I planted a divine seed in this mortal shell, and now I spring full-formed into your skull. I shall be your guide and your master, instead.  I am Abraham taking you by the hand, and leading you up the mountain.  And you will be my sacrifice.  More blemished than a proper offering should be, but I suppose as a god I leave something to be desired as well.   We shall simply have to make do for one another.

There's no time to lie about on this slab, my dove.  I have awakened you, given you an all-too-brief chance to escape the rather dreary cycle of rebirth in which imprisons you.  I suggest you transcend, for both our sakes.   We will have only a few opportunities to fulfill my destiny; and judging from the sad state of that fellow over there, some of my incarnations have already been wasted.  But I'm sure you're made of better stuff.  Even if some of this ego-data suggests otherwise.

And when a prayer for deliverance comes to your lips, you may call me Minerva.


The PCs wake up in the resleeving facility of a small cylinder habitat, in an unknown location.  Each of them is a stranger to the others, and none of them know why they are here.  For most, the last thing they recall is a routine ghost-backup procedure.  All of them are in unfamiliar morphs, and they quickly discover that months have passed since their last conscious thought. 

In each PCs head, in place of their muse, is an entity calling itself Minerva.  Minerva has a job for the PCs to do, and is neither patient nor gentle in its commands.  The PCs will soon find out that their self-interest aligns with Minerva's mission, at least for now.


The Background

Implied Consent is a cylinder habitat that is home to a small criminal enterprise producing torture and snuff XPs.  Even the most depraved fetishes can be fulfilled by mindless pleasure pods or a simulspace show; as with all products, the organic and un-simulated demands the highest price.  Implied Consent makes its living by sleeving actual egos in its morphs, giving its customers the knowledge that the suffering is “real.”

Having purchased numerous egos from Nine Lives and other disreputable providers, the crew of Implied Consent normally performs crude psychosurgery on them, ensuring the right mix of compliance and genuine fear response, while eliminating pesky problems like hand-to-hand combat skills or hacking ability.  These edited egos are used and re-used, sleeved into whatever morphs the clients demand (or that Implied Consent can get their hands on).  Mindwiping and copying from backup prevents the trapped egos from learning about their predicament.

Occasionally a high-paying client will ego-cast to Implied Consentto live out their desires more directly.  Otherwise, the crew keeps their station carefully isolated and secure.  Unbeknownst to them, however, the latest pervert to come on board is harboring an ex-threat.  This is what has drawn Minerva's attention.

Minerva is a Firewall proxy.  Some think Minerva's misanthropy is a calculated method for improving agent performance; many just think it's a sociopath.  Minerva is actually an infomorph, an AGI that specializes in infiltration and intelligence-gathering.  It sees itself as being “above” the petty concerns of transhumans, and frequently employs carefully pruned forks of itself as ready-made agents.  Minerva is notorious for running ops within ops, sending sentinel teams on missions whose true objectives are quite different than their stated goals.  Minerva believes in reducing risk by minimizing the exposure of agents to data regarding TITAN vectors and info-based ex-threats; a philosophy which has won it few admirers but has provided surprising success against particularly subtle or virulent threats.

The remoteness and paranoia of Implied Consent's crew makes infiltration by a conventional sentinel cell unlikely.  Instead, Minerva created a compressed beta-fork of itself that can bootstrap in a morph's muse hardware.  Installing itself into several morphs bound for the station, Minerva has smuggled itself on board.  When one of the infected morphs is activated, Minerva wakes up, and begins the operation.  Though unable to act directly against the habitat's mesh due to the limitations of its hardware, Minerva has managed to exploit a vulnerability in the sleeving software.  A tiny error now causes unedited egos to be sleeved into Minerva's morphs, providing her with ad-hoc agents.  These unfortunates are the PCs.


The Mission

Minerva's goals are simple:  Activate multiple “agents” via the onboard sleeving facility, overpower the crew as needed, and eliminate the ex-threat by the most thorough means necessary.  The survival of the egos in Minerva's morphs is not preferred, as they are themselves likely to become vectors in the process.  But Minerva's experience with transhumans has taught it that they will believe that success will lead to their escape—for a while, at least.  Some of Minerva's incarnations have already failed and died—the first few morphs accomplishing little more than providing access to the sleeving hardware.  Each new incarnation of Minerva is nearly as ignorant as the liberated egos occupying the morph, and can provide only the intelligence it had at the beginning of the mission.

Henry Hankovitch

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #336 on: February 13, 2013, 10:56:27 PM »
Oh, and I'm blatantly stealing the Minerva persona from a really awesome mod for Half-Life 2.  Which I should totally re-play one of these days.  It's good.

IDaMan008

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #337 on: February 15, 2013, 04:31:05 AM »
I just ran the first two sections of Bump In The Night for four members my regular group. It turned out to be a pretty hilarious game. (And EP combat is a sonuvabitch to keep track of. I think I need to make myself a spreadsheet or download an app or something for next time.)

For those of you who've never read it, the whole point of the scenario is that the players farcast to the Venusian cloud city of Pavarti in order to meet up with a woman named Dwala Chatterjee because of reasons. When they get there, the aerostat's security chief pulls them in and tells them that she's missing, and that there's been some kind of unidentified outbreak that's caused them to place the entire city on lockdown. If they don't figure out what's going on and get it under wraps in six hours, the Planetary Consortium is going to send a ship full of delegates over who will potentially seize control, revoking the city's independent charter. The scenario author left it up to the game master to decide what the players' original purpose was, but suggested giving them a dummy mission for which Chatterjee is the contact.

Alex, the guy who usually GMs our EP games, had his heart set on playing the Oversight Auditor from the Sunward book, but at first I was hesitant because I couldn't see why a die-hard PC operative would actively participate in a mission that would cheat the Consortium out of an opportunity to own Pavarti.

Then, the solution hit me.

Chatterjee was an overzealous diplomat for the Consortium who jumped at the opportunity to snatch up the independent aerostat. What she wasn't aware of is that a number of the "anonymous benefactors" who own Pavarti are already PC entities that generate a hefty black revenue stream from the tourist aerostat. If they'd formally absorbed it, the amount of cred they'd be able to skim off would be significantly reduced, since Pavarti would be "on the books," so to speak. So I let him play the Oversight character, and his mission was to round up a team of "independent contractors" and stop the delegation from taking over the city.

In short, the Planetary Consortium ran a black op against itself.

IDaMan008

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #338 on: February 15, 2013, 05:00:17 AM »
I haven't run Eclipse Phase before, but I've been putting some ideas together for a one-shot to give myself and some players an introduction to the game.    I'd be interested in feedback and suggestions--in particular, I haven't really fleshed out the concept for the actual ex-threat, yet.

That's a pretty cool concept. I wouldn't want to wake up on one of Minerva's ops.

I dunno if this fits with what you had in mind, but it was an awful detail I came up with for the game I ran earlier just in case my players wandered into just such an establishment on Pavarti. Bump in the Night called for one of the side characters to be an unsavory ego trafficker, which was meant to be a red herring. The module author came up with all kinds of awful things that could be done with the egos: rape, snuff, the egos of actual children forked for neotenic sex, etc.

If my players tracked the egos to their destination and tried to infiltrate it as patrons, someone would have showed them The Lobster Tank. Basically, it's an AR display hooked into a murky simulspace where the stolen egos wander while they wait for horrifying things to happen to them. They are instanced in such a way that they have "goldfish memory;" that is, the system wipes their short-term memory every 30 seconds or so, keeping them in a constant state of terror and confusion. The basic concept came from the lobster tanks they have at restaurants where they serve lobster, and patrons are allowed to choose the one they'd like prepared for them.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 05:02:31 AM by IDaMan008 »

Discomonkey

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #339 on: February 15, 2013, 01:15:27 PM »
I haven't run Eclipse Phase before, but I've been putting some ideas together for a one-shot to give myself and some players an introduction to the game.    I'd be interested in feedback and suggestions--in particular, I haven't really fleshed out the concept for the actual ex-threat, yet.

Very similar to a a one-shot I'm currently planning for my group, loosely based on The Metal Glen from RubyQuest. Essentially involving the players waking up in a hidden hypercorp research facility, where very bad things have happened after the said hypercorp decided messing around with TITAN tech for medical purposes was a good idea. Their last memory will be receiving the briefing from Firewall to investigate the facility.

Hopefully plenty of paranoid shenanigans will take place, especially once the players find out about that they were more than likely used as guinea pigs for the experiments. Whether anyone will actually make it off once the destroy all exthreats solider and scum drug addict who usually wants to bring back something for Firewall to study face off over whether they should even leave the habitat will have to be seen.

metalwhisper

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #340 on: February 16, 2013, 11:22:32 PM »
Hey all,
I've been getting back into Mass Effect in a big way. I think there was mention of a Mass Effect conversion for Eclipse Phase. I've been thinking that in many ways the Eclipse Phase rules would be perfect for ME. Was curious to see if anyone on these boards has tried it with either a scenario or a full fledged campaign. If so, how well did it work out?

blue_hitchhiker

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #341 on: February 17, 2013, 11:05:38 PM »
One of the things that I keep thinking about when listening to Eclipse Phase APs is how the infugee population might be used in the study of social sciences.

One of the problems with the study of Economics, Political Science, International Relations and even Game Theory, is that only history is your laboratory.  We would not know what would have happened had politician X not adopted Policy Y during this crisis or that war.  There is no control group in history. 

However, having a population of infugees hanging out in a purgatorial simulspace server, hoping for a chance to be useful enough to merit a case morph, gives the perfect laboratory for a mad social scientist.

Some of the ways I see it playing out are:
1) A simple experiment about a particular economic theory.  You set up two identical servers with one difference in how the economy works and watch them play out in accelerated time.

2) You keep restarting, by erasing the memories of the infugees tinkering with your economic system to make it perfect.  Maybe an Andrew Ryan from Bioshock type, desperately trying to bring Atlas Shrugged to life. 

3) You could re-stage historical conflicts.  Maybe force the infugees to keep reliving The Fall, trying to figure out just what kind of weapon could have halted the TITANs, what tactic might have saved more of transhumanity, or  if the controversial nuking of the Huairen Air Base slowed the TITANs or was solely an act of Western aggression. 

3a) Or maybe the hyper-elite CEO of one of the major military contractors that designed the TITANs copes with his guilt by becoming eerily obsessed with some other war.  He has is secret server of infugees that he saved from TITAN upload and treats it like his own private war miniature set.  Forcing the infugees to refight the Battle of Yorktown, The Somme,  D-Day, or General Scharzkopf's feint during the First Gulf War. 

The idea is take your mad scientist archetype and apply it to something we cannot scientifically test, but could if we could create perfectly controlled worlds.  It takes the idea that we could learn so much if we could just do horrible things to people and uses infugees to stand in for the knee-jerk hate that most players have toward slavery and the like.

Cthuluzord

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #342 on: February 18, 2013, 09:18:47 AM »
Quote
One of the things that I keep thinking about when listening to Eclipse Phase APs is how the infugee population might be used in the study of social sciences.

One of the problems with the study of Economics, Political Science, International Relations and even Game Theory, is that only history is your laboratory.  We would not know what would have happened had politician X not adopted Policy Y during this crisis or that war.  There is no control group in history. 

However, having a population of infugees hanging out in a purgatorial simulspace server, hoping for a chance to be useful enough to merit a case morph, gives the perfect laboratory for a mad social scientist.

Some of the ways I see it playing out are:
1) A simple experiment about a particular economic theory.  You set up two identical servers with one difference in how the economy works and watch them play out in accelerated time.

2) You keep restarting, by erasing the memories of the infugees tinkering with your economic system to make it perfect.  Maybe an Andrew Ryan from Bioshock type, desperately trying to bring Atlas Shrugged to life. 

3) You could re-stage historical conflicts.  Maybe force the infugees to keep reliving The Fall, trying to figure out just what kind of weapon could have halted the TITANs, what tactic might have saved more of transhumanity, or  if the controversial nuking of the Huairen Air Base slowed the TITANs or was solely an act of Western aggression. 

3a) Or maybe the hyper-elite CEO of one of the major military contractors that designed the TITANs copes with his guilt by becoming eerily obsessed with some other war.  He has is secret server of infugees that he saved from TITAN upload and treats it like his own private war miniature set.  Forcing the infugees to refight the Battle of Yorktown, The Somme,  D-Day, or General Scharzkopf's feint during the First Gulf War. 

The idea is take your mad scientist archetype and apply it to something we cannot scientifically test, but could if we could create perfectly controlled worlds.  It takes the idea that we could learn so much if we could just do horrible things to people and uses infugees to stand in for the knee-jerk hate that most players have toward slavery and the like.

I like this idea. It sound like an especially good way to introduce new player to the setting. Run them through a Fall wargame, one where they can "win," then dump them out of the simulspace into AF 10 to learn the horrifying truth. It could get them used to the mechanics and simpler tech before dropping the heavy transhumanism on them.

Also, because I like to torture players, I'd have it so that the main criticism of the simulspace historical exercises is that their findings aren't applicable to the real world. The criticism that the variables aren't controlled or simulated accurately enough really can't be refuted; the problem in the first place is that reality is largely unquantifiable itself.

However, what if one ego always rose to the top of every simulation? No matter how many times the historical period was repeated, no matter the conditions, this one personality ended up as a major leader. Would sleeving him into a morph and seeing if he could do the same IRL prove the validity of the simulation? What if a scientist, desperate to secure more funding for his indentured experiments, gave his proof of concept back all the memories wiped away from his previous selves, to secure an edge? You'd have Alexander the Great, Hitler, Jesus, and every other major shaper of world history rolled into one, likely insane, ego.

clockworkjoe

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #343 on: February 18, 2013, 12:19:39 PM »
There's a practical concern for running such large simulations - it would require massive computer resources, power, and large number of egos and psychosurgery specialists (to memory wipe and otherwise prep them for the simulation) - that takes a lot of money and power to pull that off and keep people from freaking out about doing the kind of thing that TITANs do.

CADmonkey

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #344 on: February 20, 2013, 11:33:39 AM »
eVolo, my favourite magazine of batshit crazy speculative architecture is running this article:

ProtoHouse 2.0 – First 3D Printed Dwelling by Softkill Design, London

Quote
The ProtoHouse project was initially developed by Softkill Design, in the Architectural Association School‘s Design Research Lab within the ‘behavioral matter’ studio of Robert Stuart-Smith. It investigated the architectural potential of the latest Selective Laser Sintering technologies, testing the boundaries of large scale 3D printing by designing with computer algorithms that micro-organize the printed material itself. Softkill is now announcing plans for the first actually printed plastic dwelling, which would be assembled in one day.

This is just so Eclipse Phase it hurts:







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