Author Topic: Eclipse Phase  (Read 543872 times)

red eric

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #450 on: June 05, 2014, 05:58:24 PM »
Okay - I just finished the last episode of your game, and thought I ought to commend you all for creating such an entertaining story.

As someone who has run a few sessions of EP I must say that my hat is really off to Caleb. Eclipse Phase is a rich and complex setting, and he did a great job of weaving in a lot of the game's most interesting themes and concepts without ever bogging down the story.

What I'm most impressed by, though, is that you all were able to give the game a proper ending. At least in my own experience, it is far more common for campaigns to just fizzle out or continue indefinitely. It takes some real narrative discipline on the part of both the players and the GM to produce a satisfying conclusion, and Know Evil really did not disappoint there.

Also, as someone who has been following the EP community for a few years (lurking, not really posting), I really appreciated seeing how skillfully Caleb incorporated some of Anders Sandberg's brilliant (and twisted) ideas. I've read all of those adventures but it's awesome to hear the reactions of the group as everyone is running in terror from a Snowflake or hunting down a contagious quasi-personality.

Kudos to all the players too, for creating a set of characters that changed and evolved over the course of the story another rarity in the world of RPGs. And for doing such a job of pretending to be scared shitless on a regular basis ;-)

Personally I think the highpoint of the campaign was the (first) botched mission to Earth, the doomed trek through Tokyo. I think that really did justice to the despair and terror that underly the setting.

Are you all planning any more campaigns in the EP universe?

PS  Caleb, I rushed off to purchase the PDF of "The Devotees" once I saw it had been published by Posthuman, but will you ever be publishing Know Evil in some form? I will steal liberally from it regardless, but I'd happily support these efforts by buying any sort of supplement that came from this too.

Thanks for sharing such a great game with the interwebs; just thought I'd come out and say that instead of anonymously appreciating it!

Eric

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #451 on: July 02, 2014, 05:14:15 AM »
Useful bit of data from xkcd



LARGER IMAGE HERE
Gorkamorka (Fridrik)

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #452 on: July 13, 2014, 10:47:21 PM »
I really like Eclipse Phase, it's probably become something of an obsession at this point...

Currently IRL running a game set around Luna, playing in an online game and trying to drum up interest in more EP goodness on the forums..

Jace911

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #453 on: July 14, 2014, 11:32:03 AM »
So apparently the Morph Recognition Guide is out (Or else someone got an early copy somehow) because I just found this little gem:



I just have no words.

clockworkjoe

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #454 on: July 14, 2014, 12:48:41 PM »
Yaaaay, I designed the Samsa!

Transhuman KS backers got the PDF of the guide.

Jace911

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #455 on: July 14, 2014, 11:23:56 PM »
Yaaaay, I designed the Samsa!

Transhuman KS backers got the PDF of the guide.

Really? Neat, was there anything else from Transhuman that you came up with?

Also since I had the day off from work today I decided to pen down some scenario ideas I've had bouncing around in my head for a while. Here they all are:

No Space Like Home
[spoiler]The crew of an outer system asteroid mining vessel stumbles across a seemingly-derelict brinker habitat in the middle of open space. When they find nothing of interest aboard they initially dismiss it as a failed rimward habitat before continuing on, only to find the exact same habitat directly in their path some time later...and it's no longer empty. There is now a single transhuman occupant who cheerfully invites them aboard, and if they refuse and continue on they soon find the habitat in their viewport once again. Each time they refuse to board the station the next one they find is noticeably more "realistic" than the last, the occupants losing their uncanny valley features and mannerisms and becoming more lifelike and familiar to the crew. The miners must get to the bottom of the station's secret and find a way to escape it before they either succumb to its lure or go insane from the looping iterations.

[The miners are trapped in a honeypot simulspace after stumbling across an early-model TITAN probe in meatspace; it hacked their ship's mesh and forcibly linked them into the simulspace, which is a conversion program designed to force transhuman minds into a state to allow them to be more efficiently uploaded into a gestalt consciousness. Every time the miners reject the habitat offered to them, the next one adjusts itself to be more tempting by scanning their memories; station inhabitants might remind the miners of loved ones or friends, the interior itself might change to resemble childhood homes, etc etc. If any of the miners give in and remain on one of the habitats their minds are flagged as "ready" and placed in cold storage; if any of them lose too many SV from the endless cycle and go insane they are flagged as "broken" and placed in a separate server in the probe to be dissected for useful information. The only way to escape the simulation is to reject its offers in some radical or violent fashion, ie: ramming their ship into it, gunning down everyone inside, spacing the habitat, etc etc. When they manage to break out of the honeypot they may choose to A. get the fuck away from the probe B. attempt to destroy it with the ship's mining charges or C. trace its signal back to the hub controlling it to destroy that with mining charges.][/spoiler]

Ruster Roulette
[spoiler]The player characters are mesh friends from across the inner and outer system who egocast to Olympus on Mars for their annual meatspace get-together. During the debauchery and partying, however, they are horrified to discover that one among them has been violently murdered in the night and their stack is missing. When the Tharsis League authorities prove to be less than helpful, the group takes it upon themselves to track down the killer and recover their stack...but they soon find themselves in entangled in a much greater web of conspiracy and betrayal. How does the killer know so much about them all? Is one among them the culprit? Why can none of them remember exactly how or when they all met, and why are they so surprisingly proficient with guns and explosives?

[The "mesh friends" are actually well-pruned beta forks of a team of Firewall sentinels sent to Olympus to investigate a hot spot in the TQZ; in order to avoid attracting further attention after a mishap with the local Rangers, the team forked themselves into rented bodies with implanted false memories so that the betas could act out their cover as partying offworlders while the alphas drove off into the desert to take care of business. The main team didn't expect to be gone long, a few days at most, but something went wrong and they were nearly two days overdue; while preparing to blast a rediscovered Fall-era bunker off the face of Mars one among them became infected with a YGBM hack (Known in Firewall as Friend/Foe) that disrupted their brain's ability to assign emotional responses to familiar faces. This resulted in the sudden onset of severe paranoia in the infected sentinel, followed by the delusion that all their teammates had been 'replaced' with Exsurgent clones somehow. The infectee killed their teammates one by one and took their stacks for interrogation, but when they could find no evidence to support their theory they decided to hunt down the beta forks in Olympus as well-they have to have missed something. The infected alpha fork is the killer, and at some point during the game of cat and mouse they will attempt to contact their beta in secret to try and convince them of their delusion; furthermore, a backup sentinel arrives in Olympus when the original team does not report in to investigate and attempts to get in touch with the betas, but they do not remember what Firewall is and thus have no reason to trust this mysterious new stranger who seems to know them. This should be a paranoia-heavy game, with the GM attempting to subtly play the PCs off one another and drop hints that one or more of them might know more than they're letting on while also playing up the mystery of "how the fuck do I have 80 in energy weapons? I've never held a plasma rifle in my life!"][/spoiler]

Original Sin
[spoiler]This scenario is actually a three-part arc:

Part One: "Paradise Found" make a spot hidden check to find it
After receiving word of a black market salvage auction set to take place on Paradise, Firewall dispatches a hastily-assembled team of sentinels to infiltrate the various attending parties and ensure that none of the items up for bid could be dangerous TITAN relics. When the team learns that one of the lots is a Fall-era ark ship loaded with terraforming devices and genetic samples of every living species on Earth, however, their mandate is suddenly overridden from above their local Proxy: secure the location of the ship, track it down, and destroy it at any cost. Doing so could be easier said than done, considering the varying factions all seeking to get their hands on such a valuable prize: hardcore reclaimers, barsoomian extremists, Lunar triad gangsters, and Oversight counterespionage agents all want a piece of the pie.

Part Two: "Out of the Garden"
After capturing and interrogating the beta fork of the Argonaut attempting to auction the location of the ark ship, the team catches a shuttle to the scientist's home habitat of Mitre to track them down and question them properly. The Argonaut is one step ahead of them, however, and finding him or her won't be an easy task; especially not if one of the prospective auctioneers from Paradise also manages to get a bead on their quarry. With multiple disgruntled buyers on their tail the Argonaut attempts to flee to a passing scum swarm for safety, and the sentinels have no choice but to track them aboard and capture them without incurring the wrath of the Assclown Rodeo.

Part Three: "And Gnashing Of Teeth"
Having finally secured the spatial coordinates of ARC-001 from the Argonaut, the team egocasts out to Saturn's orbit before acquiring a suitable vessel for their "salvage op" of the lost ark. When they approach the drifting vessel they discover that someone has beaten them to the punch; another vessel has already docked with the ark and presumably boarded. Upon reporting this new information to Firewall, their orders change once again: they must board the ark before destroying it, find out who the would-be salvagers are, and see if they have transmitted any information from the derelict's mainframe. After boarding the ghost vessel the team is confronted with a bizarre alien ecology in a bottle, complete with flora, fauna...and a food chain that places them near the bottom. The sentinels must call upon every element of their training and experience to survive the horrors of the ark, learn who or what discovered the ship before them, and face the darkest secret of Firewall's history.

[The 'secret' Firewall is so keen for the sentinels to bury by destroying the ship is the existence of the Prometheans, one of whom was supposed to be operating the Ark during its voyage out of the solar system in the height of the Fall. Despite the AI's best efforts, it became infected with the Exsurgent virus and was forced to cut off portions of its own code in order to prevent itself from becoming a full-blown TITAN; these amputated bits of code were cordoned off into relatively minor systems aboard the Ark, such as the environmental controls and body bank (Left over from the ship's hasty conversion from bulk freighter to colony ship), hence the Pandora-esque interior. The ship attached to the Ark belongs to a group of exhuman brinker salvagers who just happened to stumble across the Ark as it drifted within range of their habitat; the sentinels will undoubtedly be wary of the surviving exhumans if they manage to make contact, but the hostile environment of the Ark might force them into teaming up with them in order to accomplish their objective...although even if they manage to blow up the ship there's always a chance one of the exhumans could escape with a bit of proto-TITAN code using the ship's egocasting array, setting up a potential threat for a future game or campaign.]

Apologies for the pretentious names on this one, I was having a hard time coming up with something fitting.[/spoiler]

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?

RadioactiveBeer

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #456 on: July 15, 2014, 09:09:36 AM »
I like the idea of the ark ship, though I don't know if you need the Promethean element to it. It could just be "an" AI.

Jace911

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #457 on: July 15, 2014, 04:07:49 PM »
I like the idea of the ark ship, though I don't know if you need the Promethean element to it. It could just be "an" AI.

I went with a Promethean for a few reasons:

1. I wanted there to be some sort of link to Firewall's origins (ARC-001 was commissioned, funded, and launched by the Singularity Foundation) and its dirty secrets, such as the fact that the conspiracy is actually run by Seed AIs.
2. There needs to be a strong sense of urgency to the mission, and Firewall discovering that a Promethean thought long dead might be floating around the outer system waiting to be discovered certainly makes things urgent.
3. So that there's a legitimate reason for the sentinels to have their mission change from "nuke the ark" to "board and search the ark"; Firewall can't afford to leave loose ends, and if the Promethean is no longer aboard then they'll want the sentinels to see where it farcasted out to.

Basically I want the players to experience a bit of uncertainty and paranoia regarding their own side; what isn't Firewall telling them, and why? What's so important about this ark?

Gorkamorka

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #458 on: July 29, 2014, 06:30:38 AM »
Here something appropriate as a soundtrack for your EP game.

Planets Electromagnetic radiation converted to sounds
<a href="" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win"></a>
« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 06:37:24 AM by Gorkamorka »
Gorkamorka (Fridrik)

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #459 on: August 15, 2014, 07:32:45 PM »
Running a PbP game for some friends and looking for some ideas to help flesh out a scenario/campaign.  I haven't read too much of the lore, but feel reasonably familiar with the setting and the ideas and what I guess I am looking to crowdsource is putting meat on the bones of the story seed I am starting with.

This is designed to be an introduction to the setting and get the characters "into" Firewall.  What I am toying with is them working as gatecrashers for one of the hypercorps and heading through to help out with an expedition/research run already in progress (but not a fully established colony).  They will arrive and find it wrecked/abandoned and will have no way of contacting back until the link is reestablished later.  I suspect I will have some sort of ex-threat that brought about the downfall.  I want the big twist or reveal of this story arc to be that this wasn't the first time that they have been sent through, but they have just been restored from a backup that was made right before they stepped through the first time.

Things I like:
  • The idea of a hypercorp "throwing money at the problem" by shelling out for morphs to just send the same batch through until they take care of the problem and return.
  • The possibilities of encountering other versions of themselves or finding old stacks and the decision of whether to reintegrate or not (since to my understanding it would essentially be like alpha forks, but it wasn't really a copy?)
  • The isolation aspect (no way to get more help) and the panic to reach the rendezvous, especially after they discover that the hypercorp will likely just throw another set through if they aren't at the gate at the appointed time

Hiccups/Things to work through:
  • Egos not realizing that time has passed since they supposedly arrived (e.g. if they are the 3rd sleeved set, how to trick them into thinking everything is on the level)
  • If it even makes sense that a hypercorp would do this sort of thing to keep it on the DL
  • What the hypercorp would plan to do to the egos if they did return (likely kill and restore from backup with claims of great heroism I suspect)
  • How to structure the settlement as I want to have it be fairly large and abandoned (one of my players likes the idea of atmospheric exploration and investigation which also works well for PbP)
  • If gates are isolated enough for something like this to happen (solar system side that is)
  • Any other issues I missed

So I may regret this, but please give me any feedback you can think of.  None of my players are too familiar with the setting (which I why I want it to be intro and thought putting it out of system would make it less overwhelming since they are contained) so it should help introduce them to a lot of the concepts.  At the end I will have them approached by Firewall to induct them, but other than that, I just want input on how to make this a really interesting (and hopefully unsettling/creepy scenario).  If that means saying that something sucks or doesn't make sense, let me know that too.  Thanks!

Dom

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #460 on: August 18, 2014, 05:19:56 PM »
Sounds like a cool idea! There's not too many details, but I can try and help out with some of your doubts.


Egos not realizing that time has passed since they supposedly arrived (e.g. if they are the 3rd sleeved set, how to trick them into thinking everything is on the level)

The easiest way to do this would be to keep resleeving them on the other side of the gate, I think. This would be unlikely to happen in the gates in the solar system unless the hypercorp has a lot of pull (IE Pathfinder, Direct Action, etc.) or if they are sponsored by even large forces (ex: Firewall, Oversight or Ozma, etc.) It would be easier to resleeve backupos and send them through gates from a gate nexus outside the system, but then again biomorphs are probably a luxury in those places.

 
If it even makes sense that a hypercorp would do this sort of thing to keep it on the DL

Sure. Hypercorps can be as evil as you want them to be most of the time. Even more so if its indentured egos, doing jobs out of desperation and with the promise of riches and their bodies they can call their own. It could also be a test of some sort. Or a way to keep the situation contained by only using a few egos, for example it makes them much easier to hunt down if they defect.


What the hypercorp would plan to do to the egos if they did return (likely kill and restore from backup with claims of great heroism I suspect)

What if they find another gate and they have the controls to operate it? What if when they go back through the gate they end up somewhere else entirely? Or if they get the chance to escape when the hypercorp captures them, perhaps Firewall or a rival hypercorp wants to smuggle them out to get the information they glimpsed in the ruins.


How to structure the settlement as I want to have it be fairly large and abandoned (one of my players likes the idea of atmospheric exploration and investigation which also works well for PbP)

That depends on how big you want the game to be. From experience, I can tell you that PbP tends to drag out a bit so you want to have them get to the action as quick as possible, in which case a single research station would be best.


If gates are isolated enough for something like this to happen (solar system side that is)

Probably not the anarchist gates, because they won't get on well with the hypercorps. The Martian gate could be a safe bet. You can just say that, because the mission is of such a high clearance, not many questions are made about the whole thing.

Gorkamorka

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #461 on: September 18, 2014, 04:51:00 AM »
It's going to be a lot like this:
<a href="" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win"></a>
Gorkamorka (Fridrik)

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #462 on: September 20, 2014, 04:19:15 PM »
Got signed up to GM a game at my local college and I really want to do something using the Outer System, so here's what I've figured out.

  • AF 8:PC's are reinstatiated infugees from the Fall
  • Their egos are recovered by the Titanian Commonwealth
  • Part of character creation involves their "interrogation" by TC security
  • Sleeved, given lodgings in Nyhaven and all, one way or the other, come to know Magnus Ming
  • Ming keeps an eye on them as potential Firewall assets
  • Ming taps them to investigate a missing friend who got involved in Oligarch gangs

From there, the Reboots trail leads them to a smuggling ring that sells ice-circuitry from Iapetus to singularity seekers and exhumans and the operation will serve as their introduction to Firewall, ideally before the mid-semester break and then the second half is broader Saturn orbit dealing with x-risks.

Depending on the group, I might have one of the re-instatiated egos is actually a Firewall mole working for Ming to keep a close eye on them.

Dom

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #463 on: October 16, 2014, 12:01:40 AM »
Eclipse Phase in a nutshell.


RadioactiveBeer

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Re: Eclipse Phase
« Reply #464 on: October 20, 2014, 11:57:21 AM »
Had the first session with the college group recently and that was... an experience.

I tweaked some things around to change how they all knew each other - they're all members of the same therapy group for Post Apocalypse Stress Disorder (thanks Caleb!) which is actually a way Firewall on Titan keeps an eye on People of Interest. One of them, an uplift professor, gets tapped by Ming to investigate a missing post-doc of his who ended up running afoul of Etemenaki 157 as he was contracting with the work group on creating the skillsoft for the language.

I wasn't expecting half the group to upload it, willfully ignore the fact that it was eating away at their sanity really effing fast, and deliberately and willfully attempt to eradicate humanity with it. No, seriously. They went from "we have to find this guy" to "this is doing bad things to my brain, LETS EMAIL IT TO EVERYONE" with no reason. College players, right?

The game ended with the few members of the group who DIDN'T instantly form a spontaneous doom-cult fleeing for safety, calling for help and Firewall intervening properly to wipe out the infected PCs with an exploding spaceship. The surviving PC's have become sentinels, the dead ones resleeved and shanghai'd into the organization so their 'friends' can keep an eye on them (with kill-switches secretly installed in the replacement morphs in the event that Etemenaki is incidental and no, THEY'RE the actual x-risks) and they've been reassigned somewhere less populated to minimize damage if they go off the rails again.

I'm going to have to come down a bit Dick GM on them to prevent this kind of thing happening again and pretty much say that right now Firewall has their balls in a vice and further bullshit is going to lead to them being permanently wiped from all back ups, make new characters.