Saturday, December 25, 2010

Eclipse Phase

It's been a while since my last entry, but in my defense, it's been busy - the end of the semester with papers due, the new expansion for World of Warcraft, and being down with my family in Florida for the holidays, away from most of my books - and the ones I brought, I've already done characters for. But now, after Christmas, I have at least a couple new games to enter, and tonight, I'll be doing one, called Eclipse Phase.

Eclipse Phase is a science fiction RPG, set a century or two into the future. As time went on, people developed greater and greater technology, and some even moved out into space to colonize and mine and develop there. Soon enough, seed AIs - AIs that could improve and learn on their own - were developed, and not long after, they got angry. They slowly started conflicts that spread into wars, and those wars began to consume the world - and even after humans realized it was these AIs, called TITANs - Total Information Tactical Awareness Networks - they still fought each others. When things looked worst and the TITANs were winning, people fled the earth in droves, both in human form and in digital uploads of their consciousness, and the TITANs followed - and then, for whatever reason, they disappeared through the Pandora Gates, moving into unknown areas of the universe.

Now, humans survive in forms that are often hard to see as human - they have moved into a phase of transhumanism. Minds can be transferred into new, genetically engineered - or entirely robotic - bodies. They can be stored digitally. They can be backed up, in case a body - called a morph - is killed. The mind may not even be human - it may be a carefully controlled AI or an uplifted animal. Humanity, lessened to half a billion from a population of over 8 billion, now lives among the stars, unable to return to an Earth war-torn, ecologically wrecked, and still infested with some TITAN constructs. Split into many nation-states, hypercorporations, and factions, with economies of both money and reputation, doing things as varied as exploration of planets, searching for alien artifacts, negotiating with the alien Factors, trying to reclaim the Earth, fighting for your favored faction, or trying to find out what the TITANs wanted and where they went, the characters of Eclipse Phase have their work cut out for them.

Eclipse Phase uses a percentile system, using 2d10 - one as the tens die, one as the single digit die; the aim is to roll under. For this character, I think I'll want to make an explorer-type character, because exploring this kind of setting sounds fun, and risky. Explorer will be my character concept, then. Next, I choose my Background, from a list provided; I'll make my character one of the first generation of Original Space Colonists; this means that when I get to skill selection, I will add +10 to either Pilot: Spacecraft or the Freefall skill, +10 to a Technical, Academic, or Profession skill of my choice, and then +20 to a Networking skill of my choice. Some backgrounds have a disadvantage, but not this one.

Next comes my choice of Faction; there are quite a few, but I have to choose one. I think the one that fits me best will be the Titanian faction, the faction of the Titanian Commonwealth's socialist cyberdemocracy. This gets me +10 to two Technical of Academic skills of my choice, and +20 to the Networking: Autonomists skill. As with backgrounds, factions can have disadvantages, but not this one. Now, I get to spend some points. There are 7 aptitudes: Cognition, Coordination, Intuition, Reflexes, Savvy, Somatics, and Willpower. I have 105 points to spread between them. For simplicity, I will put 15 in Cognition, Coordination, Reflexes, Savvy, and Somatics. I will put 10 points in Willpower, and then 20 in Intuition. I then gain my natural Language skill at 70 + my Intuition score; I'll take English, and so it will be rated at 90. I then start with a Moxie stat - a representation of my ability to face down challenges and overcome obstacles - of 1. I have 5,000 credits to purchase gear, and 50 Reputation Points to spread between the reputation networks of my choice - I'll put 20 points with Firewall, the default PC organization, and 30 points with the Research Network, a group of scientists, explorers, and researchers.

Now, I get to spend a lot more points - 1000, to be exact. I spend them to buy skills, Moxie, aptitude points, money, or reputation - as well as an initial body, or morph, to start in. It costs 1 points per skill point up to 60, so I'll start there. I'll take 30 points each in Academics: Astrosociology and Academics: Astrozoology, as well as Academics: Xenolinguistics - I'll designate these three as the targets for my background and faction skills, too. Then I need to take 400 points worth of active skills - those skills which require physical activity. I'll take 30 in Fray (fighting), and 20 points in Freefall. Then 40 in Freerunning (to help me get around on my own). Since I'm an explorer, I'll want a few points in Investigate; I'll spend 20 there. I'll spend 15 points in Kinesics, too. I want to be able to patch myself up, so I'll spend 25 in Medicine: Paramedic. I'll want to be able to find my way around, so I'll spend 40 points in Navigation, and 10 in Pilot: Spacecraft. I'll put 40 points in Perception, as well - nice to se what's going on most of the time, right? I'll put another 25 in Kinetic Weapons, so I can shoot at things a bit. Then I'll put 30 in Infiltration, so I can sneak around - why fight when you don't have to? I'll put 25 more in Pilot: Groundcraft, so I can make my way around on the ground, 40 in Scrounging, and spend my last 40 of the 400 with 30 in Hardware: Groundcraft and 10 in Climbing.

I'll spend 60 points to increase my Moxie by 4, up to 5. Then 50 more, to add 5 points to Somatics, to raise it to 20. I'll reserve 50 points for my morph. This leaves me with 365 points. Now, while I had to spend 400 points on physical skills, I need to spend 300 on Knowledge skills. I've already spent 90, so I have 210 left. I'll start with Interests: Gatecrashing (I want to know all I can about the mysterious Pandora Gates) at 40. I'll also take Interests: Sci-Fi Aliens at 40. Then I'll put 20 in Networking: Firewall, and 20 in Networking: Autonomists. Then I'll put 30 each in Profession: First Contact, Profession: Surveying, and Profession: Smuggling Tricks (sometimes, you just have to make ends meet). That's all my Knowledge skills, but I'll spend a few more. I'll put 20 in Language: Mandarin, and 20 more in Networking: Scientists, and 30 in Academics: Memetics. I have 70 points left; I'll spend 50 to get both of my current reputations up to 50, and the last 20 on the Fast Learner trait (I improve skills and learn new ones in half the time it normally takes) and Situational Awareness (I maintain continuous partial awareness of my surroundings, making me hard to distract).

Now, with my 50 remaining points, I choose my morph; personally, I like the Olympian morph - it's kind of like having your body be like Captain America. It has a decent Durability and Wound Threshold, and gives me +5 Coordination, +5 Reflexes, +10 to Somatics, and +5 to Willpower. It comes with the Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, and Cortical Stack implants This actually only costs me 40 points, but I'll keep the last 10 points for a rainy day.

Then I choose my gear, using my 5,000 starting credits. For armor, I'll buy a basic VacSuit, and for a weapon I'll buy a Kinetic Assault Rifle. I'll buy a few more implants for my morph - the Adrenal Boost, Direction Sense, Enhanced Vision, Medichines, Oxygen Reserve, and Temperature Tolerance. these will help me as an explorer to survive harsh environments, and sometimes harsh people. Then I'll buy an assortment of other gear - Backup Insurance for 1 month (so I can get a new body if I die suddenly), Breadcrumb Positioning System (like GPS, but in SPACE!), a Diamond Axe, Electrogravity Net, Electronic Rope (like rope, but with power!), a knife, portable lidar/radar system, radio booster, shelter dome (fancy tent), spindle with spindle climber, tactical network software, traction pads, and an ultitool (Leatherman x Swiss Army Knife + space tools).

Finally, I choose motivations. These are three ideologies, goals, or other reasons I have to do what I do; whether I follow the ideology of a cyberdemocracy, subscribe to hypercapitalism, or pursue knowledge of nano-ecology. The book has a list, but also encourages you to find your own; for this, I'll go with the book's list, and choose Alien Contact, Exploration, and Nano-Ecology. And so, at the end, my character will look like this:

Titanian Explorer
Background: Original Space Colonist
Faction: Titanian
Morph: Olympian
Motivations: Alien Contact + Exploration + Nano-Ecology

COG 15
COO 20
INT 20
REF 20
SAV 15
SOM 30
WIL 15

Moxie 5
WT 8
DUR 40
DR 60
INIT 70 (80)

Academics: Astrosociology 55
Academics: Astrozoology 55
Academics: Xenolinguistics 55
Academics: Memetics 45
Climbing 40
Fray 45
Free Fall 35
Freerunning 70
Hardware: Groundcraft 45
Infiltration 50
Interests: Gatecrashing 55
Interests: Sci-Fi Aliens 55
Investigation 40
Kinesics 30
Kinetic Weapons 45
Language: English 90
Language: Mandarin 40
Medicine: Paramedic 40
Navigation 60
Networking: Autonomists 55
Networking: Firewall 45
Networking: Scientists 35
Perception 60
Pilot: Groundcraft 40
Pilot: Spacecraft 35
Profession: First Contact 45
Profession: Surveying 45
Profession: Smuggling Tricks 45
Protocol 25
Scrounging 60

Fast Learner
Situational Awareness

Firewall: 50
Research Network Associates 50

Armor: VacSuit
Weapon: Kinetic Assault Rifle
Implants: Adrenal Boost, Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Cortical Stack, Direction Sense, Enhanced Vision, Medichines, Oxygen Reserve, Temperature Tolerance
Gear: Backup Insurance (1 month), Breadcrumb Positioning System, Diamond Ax, Electrogravitic Net, Electronic Rope, Knife, Portable Lidar/Radar Sensor System, Radio Booster, Shelter Dome, Specimen Container, Spindle with Spinlde Climber, Tactical Network Software, Traction Pads, Ultitool

1 comment:

  1. A Titanian hypercapitalist? That would make for some interesting dinner conversations :)