Determining availability of morphs?

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Spidey88 Spidey88's picture
Determining availability of morphs?

Hey, folks! Thanks for having me on board.

I've been reading Eclipse Phase for some time now, enjoying it a great deal, and I'm FINALLY gearing up to run it (1st edition). My group is really keen on the setting, and we've all had a good time going through the random lifepath generator in Transhuman. While there's a ton of questions that I'm sure will come up over the next little while, this is the major one that's been poking at my brain: how do you go about determining if a particular morph is available at the other end of a destination via farcasting? What are the general demographics of morph models in various locations?

Now, I am reasonably certain that there aren't any real definitive answers in the books beyond "this area is 55% biomorphs, 32% synths, etc" - and that level of detail isn't even uniformly described for all areas/planets/habitats either. I expect a certain amount of GM fiat will be required no matter what I do as well, but I'm hoping that this is a question that many of the rest of you have had to answer for yourselves, or at least have had to figure out how to adjudicate it.

For example: The player group needs to egocast to Elysium on Mars. Player 1 requests morph A while contacting his rep network, player 2 requests morph B, player 3 requests morph C. How do you determine their success rate? Obviously some morphs are are rarer than others, and this varies by location (eg. uplifts might be harder to come by in most of the inner system due to prejudice forcing them out, or possibly easier in some cases with some incentive because many egos won't want to be stuck in one; a Steel morph would be easier to track down on Luna vs. Ganymede, an octomorph is more likely to be found on Ceres than on Mercury, etc.) - but it'd be nice to get some details.

How have you handled this? MoS determines how far you can swing a random roll on the morph table one way or the other (allowing players some agency without just outright picking), creating some general modifiers to a Networking test to track down what morph you want (eg. uplifts are -10 in the inner system, no modifier in rimward systems, +10 in specifically uplift-friendly habitats), or something else? While obviously an answer to this can be "The GM decides" (as always), I'm hoping for something more specific than that if you've got some info that can help me out - but I'm open to any and all input the rest of you may have.

Thanks in advance for your time and assistance!

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Well... This was a point of

Well... This was a point of contention the first times I ran an EP game with custom characters, one of my players went for a cheap morph with a really good ego (a la Takeshi Kovacs in the first novel), while another spent nearly 100CPs in a very customized Ghost. I broke the game to them by using the Beware the WMD game... which meant they would use their own morphs in the first part, and another, Firewall-Provided, in the second part.

I decided to be "mostly fair", and gave them morphs similar to those they had, with not all of the tweaks for the Ghost, but some extra ones to the Alpiner I assigned to the other player.
Regardless, the Ghost's player breezed through the adventure, the NPCs were not prepared for a phantom moving around and popping stacks while the other player went for sniping on overwatch using some gear. The rest of the team was unnecesary, frankly.

Since then, I apply a maxim like a religious zealot: BE AWARE of the future, try to identify those routes that will lead to be against a corner eventually, and change the route as fast as possible.
In the case of morphs, I simply start by limiting to 50CP tops, and that ALL players will be within a 10% margin of one another regarding *starting* morph mods.
When you manage to impart to the players that they will have to leave their gear (and a morph is gear, after all!) behind very often, and that experienced sentinels go with storing extra morphs around, keeping several ones "clean" from ops to escape notice (some even with a beta fork, edited and doing menial jobs to establish cover identities), players tend to value less the bodies.

As for what will they find themselves sleeved at their destination, the answer is "whatever you (the GM) have considered is more appropiate for the next part of the adventure". In this, remember Firewall has people specialized in acquiring morphs, in collating data and "predicting the future", and specialists in burning everything, so the players won't be given Reaper morphs by the org unless things are VERY VERY wrong and they should expect neither backup, nor recovery.

If they try to get whatever they want, however, it depends on the story of where are they going, since the target hab, if described in Rimward/Sunward or the other supplements, will have one that will define what you can get.

Also, minor modifications to the Firewall-given morphs are possible, as long as the installation time (and recovery) is short enough they are ops-ready with not much variation afterward (for example, a ghostrider module for running infosec-specialized beta forks).

Spidey88 Spidey88's picture
Thanks for the input! I

Thanks for the input! I appreciate it. Trying to anticipate the ways your choices can affect future play running off the rails is tremendously important in a setting with such potentially powerful technology, eg. forking and resleeving!

Spidey88 Spidey88's picture
Quote:If they try to get

Quote:
If they try to get whatever they want, however, it depends on the story of where are they going, since the target hab, if described in Rimward/Sunward or the other supplements, will have one that will define what you can get.

My primary conundrum is that, AFAIK, this explicitly isn't the case, except for the absolute broadest of strokes (eg. Luna has a lot of synths). Granted, I can hardly expect a detailed breakdown of the exact morph demographics for every single anarchist hab or scum swarm or what have you, but things are so vague that I, personally, would like some more detail to fill in some of the blanks with. For example, we are told that uplifts are often not given full rights in much of the inner system, and that Venus/Morningstar Constellation is more accepting of them, attracting more of them (esp. neo-avians) - that's about it. A couple of lines here and there with some additional tidbits (eg. Clever Hands on Luna has about 20,000 uplifts working there, Elysium is quoted as having 55% of its population as biomorphs and freed uplifts often try to get acting parts there), but actual data is very sparse.

Now - I can absolutely, fully accept that there AREN'T official answers to this, and that I'll be making it up myself. It'd just be nice to hear what other people have thought of this in their own games.

syberwasp syberwasp's picture
I run it as follows...

I run it as follows, if the player goes thought the effort to make contact and set up a given sleeve it can be there when they cast in, assuming that it makes since to the setting. If they don't have time they get a similar morph to what they have, again within reason to setting, however some used morphs have interesting ticks.

Don't hesitate to give your PC a sleeve with some mileage. I gave my wife in a game, a male bio-morph with a smoking habit, all because he character went by George went her name was Georgia, and Bio-morphs are highly prized on Luna for a ego refugee.

Poe

Automata Automata's picture
Something I'd like to know is

Something I'd like to know is why it takes a week to make a case, or even a spare? At this point I have to assume it is purely game balance because there's no reason I can see why it takes a week to make one case, when during that same week you could make a half dozen drones and mods them to be as good as some morphs, certainly better than a case or spare, even having superior senses.

Is there any in setting reason for synthmorphs to take so long to make?

Tallcastle Tallcastle's picture
short answer ... no

long answer, not relay. However, if I was GMing a game and felt I needed to come up with one, I would go with...

Case morphs do not take that long (or take much) to make, however they are the standard low budget option for mars and lunar habitats. Habs in these sectors tend to regard those sleeving into morphs like this with disdain and contempt, sometimes even to the point of violence. This problem is especially bad in Lunar habs. The week long waiting period (likely) has nothing to do with constructing the morph, and everything to do with either legal processing and anti copyright measures (consortium) prejudice and bigotry (LLA) suspicion of outsiders (brinker) or lack of metallic resources (Titanian). In most other circumstances however, I would think they would have half a dozen case bodies lying around at any given time.

If I was GMing, I would allow a player to use his rep score with whatever faction to reduce both cost and time it would take to get this specific morph. And absent the above reasons (or if the player was making the case with available parts) I would reduce the cost accordingly.

We tinker with metal, to give it life, and suffer those who scoff at our efforts. But who's to say that, if intelligence evolved in other forms, the ancestors of these beings would not scoff at the idea of intelligence residing within meat?

Automata Automata's picture
I think I just realised why a

I think I just realised why a Case takes so long. Assuming cyberlimbs are of similar complexity to those of a morph the construction would take about half a day per limb, plus a full day for the cybercortex alone. When you add in the torso, head, sensors etc it adds up to be a pretty reasonable timeframe.

Spares still don't make sense though, being small and limbless. They also don't have a mobility system as written, though someone else can stick it to something that can move, like a drone.

Other morphs may not hold to this very well though, since each mp adds an entire week to the construction time. That's probably just game balance. I suppose your explanation may hold up too. In the inner system you have copyright and parts deliberately designed to be hard to fabricate either from bigotry or due to DRM introduced complexity. In the outer system it may take longer to get the special feedstock for particularly delicate parts, or going through open source designs until you get one that actually works to an acceptable degree.