• Why Percentile?

    There's a new thread about Eclipse Phase over at Some questions were raised about Eclipse Phase's percentile system, and I thought it'd be good to repeat/summarize my responses over here.

    As we've noted elsewhere, Eclipse Phase uses a d100 roll-under mechanic, with some tweaks from traditional percentile systems. To some folks, this may seem an odd choice, and the trend is for new games to have their unique systems, to stand apart from others.

    Our intent with Eclipse Phase, though, was to go for "complex setting, simple
    mechanics." So we opted to go with a d100 system since such mechanics are fast and easy, it's not
    difficult to gauge odds when the gamemaster needs to fudge numbers,
    most gamers know the system already, and it's super easy to each. There's a lot of heavy concepts and
    advanced technology in the setting that can be overwhelming to people
    unfamiliar with the genre, and we wanted players to be able to focus on

  • End of the Week, End of the World 10-24-08

    It's been a while since we've ended our week on an apocalyptic note, so here are some thoughts on why we're all in trouble. My favorite line:

    Accepting the threat of superintelligence involves 1) understanding
    that human intelligence is finite, understandable, and ultimately
    engineerable, just like the body (surprise!), and 2) humans are [...] actually close to the dumbest that a species can be and
    establish a civilization.

  • Interesting Conferences

    If you happen to live in California, there are two upcoming events that may be of interest:

    * The Singularity Summit is this weekend, Oct. 25, in San Jose. It will cover topics like artificial intelligence, robotics, and nanotech.

    * Convergence08 is taking place November 15-16 at the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley. There are presentations on a number of interesting transhuman concepts plus debates on artificial intelligence, longevity, and synthetic biology.