Archive for the ‘Eclipse Phase’ Category


Space. The Final Frontier. Locally, sci-fi has not had much luck getting off the ground (bad pun, I know.) That said, there’s a wealth of games that are worth checking out with their own (often dark) visions of the future.


Eclipse Phase by Posthuman Studios
Taking place in a transhumanist future where mankind has transcended the constraints of a physical body, Eclipse Phase has players taking the role of agents of Firewall, a secret society of agents dedicated to stopping Extinction-Level threats. The technology level of this game is almost staggering, as being able to switch your mind from body to body to suit a given situation is almost commonplace, and conspiracies and strange alien horrors born of our own technological advancement haunt humanity.


Shadowrun 4th edition by Catalyst Game Labs
Magic came back, and the future is weird. Dwarven hackers and Elven street samurai conduct clandestine missions for mysterious corporate benefactors in this no-holds barred cyberpunk meets fantasy rpg. Having been around for 20-something years, Shadowrun is no pushover, and has a massive metaplot full of opportunity for the enterprising party with a quick trigger finger.


Dark Heresy by Fantasy Flight Games
Innocence proves nothing. Take on the role of the agents of the Inquisition in this dark future rpg set in the world of Warhammer 40k as you try and root out the devious machinations of humanity’s countless foes. While the rest of the world fights for mankind’s survival, you’re there to purge corruption from the inside.


Rogue Trader by Fantasy Flight Games
Leave the witchhunt to the Inquisitors, Rogue Trader puts you in the helm as one of the starfaring space pirates of the Imperium. Money is the only thing that matters in Rogue Trader, and it is your duty to the empire to make a profit no matter what, even if it means dealing with the Xenos while the Inquisition isn’t looking.


Deathwatch by Fantasy Flight Games
Enter the Adeptus Astartes, mankind’s angels of death against their enemies. As one of the fabled Space Marines of the Imperium, take on the missions that no other can handle. Armed with the very best equipment, and genetically modified to become superior to any normal human the Deathwatch are a special team of mixed Space Marine Chapters sent to take on only the most dangerous of missions.

Tomorrow, we tackle Alternate History and Pulp!

If you’re interested in picking up any of these in hardcover, you can order them directly from Gaming Library.

To place an order, please go to Gaming Library’s special order express page : http://www.gaminglib.com/pages/special-order-express-page

Take note that placing an order there doesn’t mean you’re committed, rather the Gaming Library team will be giving a quote and you can now choose whether to push through with the purchase or not.

Advertisements

Today’s post is an Actual Play report from Mappy, who ran Eclipse Phase for us last week. Let’s see what he’s got to say about being behind the screen this time around:

The great thing about first time GM play reports is that, if you are a first time GM, you learn a lot.

THE INTRO:

Last weekend I ran Glory for the group, which is an Eclipse Phase starter scenario. Generally it is meant for newer players to the Eclipse Phase scene since it follows the Briefing-Investigation-Resolution pattern and it showcases some of the quirks of the setting like egocasting, resleeving, and actual physical travel. Also that it allows the GM to gauge his players and react accordingly.

If you’re planning to run, or play Eclipse Phase in the future with this scenario, I will mark out where the spoilers are.

For the characters, I made some of my own characters and just let the group pick which they wanted to play. Mainly because character generation in Eclipse Phase isn’t exactly easy without computer help.

(side note: I’m not too creative with names so most of these will appear somewhere on a simple internet search)

THE CAST:

Romanov (played by Pointyman2000):

Infolife criminal inhabiting a Swarmanoid morph, hacker/infiltrator.

Infolifes aren’t exactly birthed, they’re artificial intelligences that have reached sentience (but not too much as to be a seed AI, meaning he can’t edit himself). A thrill-hacker out for fame and glory, inherited his criminal status from his creator, the original Romanov.

Alejandra Alquezar (played by shiemaruen):

Scumborn inhabiting a Fury morph, the group’s muscle.

When Earth was evacuated and all the refugees dropped off on other colonies (Luna, Mars, Venus), the ones that preferred to stay on the freighters became the Scum.

Alejandra’s concept is simple: party hard, or break faces, or both.

Danny Greer (played by Hikkikomori):

Original space colonist(OSC) criminal inhabiting a Sylph morph, con artist.

OSCs were already up in space before the Fall. It doesn’t mean that they were safe from the TITANs though.

Danny Greer is such a great con man, he can sell water to fish and convince himself into situations that aren’t generally in his best interest (like getting into Firewall)

Eli Grodd (played by Paulo):

Uplift Anarchist inhabiting a Neo-Hominid, another hacker.

Uplifts are a catch all term for the other intelligent life on Earth that wasn’t quite up to sentience, hence we “uplift”ed them to sentience.

Grodd is an old-school hacker with a habit of going into robotic sculpturing and an strange interest in old-earth graphic novels. Yes, that isn’t his birth name.

THE PLAY: (WARNING: SPOILERS ABOUND! Its also long.)

(more…)


Last weekend I had the chance to play through the Eclipse Phase module “Glory” that was generously run by Mappy, who some of you may recognize as one of my group’s longtime players. He’s a big fan of hard sci-fi and cyberpunk so I figured it would be a good chance for me to catch a break, and let him clock some extra GMing hours and learn what it’s like to GM.

I won’t go into great detail on “Glory” given that I don’t want to spoil it unintentionally for anyone else who might be looking to play it sometime in the future, but I did find the adventure to be a good start. It had a bit of everything, with a bias towards investigation. The nature of the adventure was one that lets the players freely immerse themselves to the rather tricky facets of the Eclipse Phase setting, especially with the use of Rep and the nature of the various technologies like Egocasting and Sleeving Egos into Morphs.

Overall, I think that Mappy did a good job GMing, and the module helped immensely. He still was a bit rough around the edges, but that’s to be expected, as running a game of that length wasn’t exactly something that people are used to doing on their first try. I felt that the names tended to be rather confusing, but that’s really just us getting used to a multi-cultural setting with societies very different from what we consider normal. A lot of the time the players were floundering on what to do exactly as we didn’t have a good idea of what it was that we could do.

Still, it felt good to be a player for a change, and I certainly didn’t mind taking a break. If any of my players want to run a one-shot or two like this, then I certainly wouldn’t stop them from doing so again.


Eclipse Phase is one of the newest Sci-Fi tabletop rpgs to have come out, and I must say that it has taken me quite by surprise.  Set in a future where mankind has made staggering amounts of progress in technology along the lines of Transhumanism.  Through the use of advanced science and technology, mankind has transcended beyond his former limitations.  Diseases, old age even death has been overcome, but that doesn’t mean that it’s all sunshine and rainbows.

Perhaps a better way to introduce the game is through the Eclipse Phase website’s opening blurb:

Eclipse Phase is a pen & paper roleplaying game of post-apocalyptic transhuman conspiracy and horror.

An “eclipse phase” is the period between when a cell is infected by a virus and when the virus appears within the cell and transforms it. During this period, the cell does not appear to be infected, but it is.

Players take part in a cross-faction secret network dubbed Firewall that is dedicated to counteracting “existential risks” — threats to the existence of transhumanity, whether they be biowar plagues, self-replicating nanoswarms, nuclear proliferation, terrorists with WMDs, net-breaking computer attacks, rogue AIs, alien encounters, or anything else that could drive an already decimated transhumanity to extinction.

As you can see, the threats that are put up against the player characters aren’t just common goons, or a local crime ring.  The threats that Firewall deals with are way beyond that.  These are the things that can end all of transhumanity in one fell swoop.

Eclipse Phase bills itself as a Post-Apocalyptic Conspiracy Horror game, and certainly it delivers on all three fronts.  However, from all three parts, I think I’ll focus on the Conspiracy portion of the game more for my Campaign Concept.


Campaign Concept:

“Thanks for coming over on such short notice.  Sit down, I’ll try to make this quick.

Two weeks ago, a luxury aerospace cruise liner vanished in mid-flight, taking over a hundred people.  All known records, backups and forks of the missing persons were purged from our systems in the minutes that followed, resulting in panic and confusion as these individuals were effectively erased from existence.

Until of course, the incident this morning.”

The tactical augmented reality overlays flared to life, displaying footage of a lone woman in a black cocktail dress, standing in front of a cortical stack backup facility.  Her elfin features and picture perfect body betrayed the Sylph biomorph she was wearing.

“Isn’t that Amira?  The pop star?”

“Not anymore, Williams.  She was one of the people reported missing on the flight.”

The woman turned to face the camera and a direct audio feed kicked in with a distinctly non-human voice.  “We’ve returned to finish what we’ve begun.”

“At this point -all- the cortical stacks in the building that were connected to the network were purged.  Every single one of the people in there are now wiped, leaving nothing but empty morphs.  Similar incidents have been reported in at least three other colonies.  Whoever it was in Amira’s morph then disconnected from the network, leaving her body empty on the ground.”

“Wait, they said they were going to return?  Who’s they?”

“We’re not certain.  But whoever they are, they must be stopped.”

—-

Again nothing too ambitious.  Eclipse Phase has a setting so advanced that I have trouble even understanding some of the concepts.  I’m hoping that by sticking to more local issues and threats, I can slowly get acquainted with the rest of the setting while escalating the conflict.

PS. Forgive my writing, I’ve been blogging for a while but I suspect my fiction writing skills are really rusty.