Game Mechanics - Open Discussion

305 posts / 0 new
Last post
Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
Nope

No it cannot. It can be used for the dice changes and for the narrative ones. It cannot replicate:

Quote:
• Take an extra quick or complex mental or mesh action in an action turn. This action may only be taken after everyone else has gone. If multiple characters choose this option, they go in Initiative order after everyone else has taken their turn.
• Acquire a clue through investigation, research, or analysis of the facts at hand, without needing to make a test.
• Avoid making an Infection Test when using a psi sleight (asyncs only).

or

Quote:
• Ignore the effects of 1 trauma. • Refresh rep network favors at a cost of 1 point per favor level (refreshing Level 3 favors would cost 3 points).
• Acquire a clue by gathering information via social interactions without needing to make a test.
• Negate a player’s social gaffe that the character wouldn’t make.

or

Quote:
• Go first in an action turn. If multiple characters choose this option, they go in Initiative order before everyone else.
• Take an extra quick or complex physical action in an Action Turn. This action may only be taken after everyone else has gone. If multiple characters choose this option, they go in Initiative order after everyone else has taken their turn.
• Ignore the effects of 1 wound.

Which is where a lot of the power of the pools is. To make it extra clear, here is the quote for what Flex can be used for:

Quote:
Flex pool is a wild-card pool. It can be used to affect dice rolls for
any tests and for narrative control.
eaton eaton's picture
OOooo. Good catch, I'd

OOooo. Good catch, I'd misunderstood that. Thanks!

GreyBrother GreyBrother's picture
eaton wrote:Quote:I don't

eaton wrote:
Quote:
I don't think Flex really will because the other pools are stronger IMO. The narrative "mother may I" stuff with the GM and dice roll ranges don't really match up the neo-speed, trauma/wound ignoring, and the other things. Especially with it probably coming in smaller numbers. If I'm going for a smart character I'd value my ability to auto-pass investigation checks much more than my ability to pull a handgun at a convenient moment or whatever. Similarly for a fighting character, I'd value neo-speed and ignoring wounds, more than calling on the help of trustworthy or powerful/useful NPCs.

Sure, but Flex points can be used *in place of* any other point type, in addition to providing Flex-specific options. So they're a sort of catch-all point that highly, ahem, *flexible* characters would benefit the most from.


Not quite, Flex can only be used for the dice roll related stuff (ignoring negative modifiers and such), but you can't use flex to get another physical action for example.
Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
Yeah I ended up writing it

Yeah I ended up writing it all out because this is the second or third time I've pointed it out, so I think it's a common misunderstanding that makes people overvalue Flex.

I'm personally a little iffy on narrative mechanics, IMO they don't really need to be resource based, but I'll wait until I can play to really decide.

Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
I still think flex is a

I still think flex is a little bit powerful, seeing as when I've played in the past Moxie was primarily used for dice modifications and it effects ALL rolls for that rather than the limited aptitudes the other pools have... but seeing that it tends to be given in smaller amounts (I believe someone with a fuller playtest remarked on having 3 flex max while others went up to 8), I think that works out well.

Ian Argent Ian Argent's picture
Gearing at character generation

One thing that nags me about EP is that you expend character resources on gear, only to leave it all behind, down to your morph, when you egocast; and when you arrive at the far side, your gear options are entirely in the hands of the GM. Even if you brought blueprints, you need a fabber to run them on, time, and materials. And there's the "gear" you can't fab at all (certain morphs, mainly, but some other things as well).

And even if you are in a campaign where you're not egocasting willy-nilly across the solar system every week; your body is almost as expendable as your guns - eventually you're going to be forced to resleeve; and all the-GM-as-Firewall will guarantee you is "a body." On the one hand, it's a pretty cheap move for the GM to dump you out of your top-of-the-line heavily-customized Fury into a run-down Case, but on the other hand, you popped your stack on some tiny tin-can hab out in the Martian Trojans, why would there be a convenient front-line combat morph available?

I'm leaning towards "everyone gets their chargen morph "free" and they're all more or less balanced." This may require some morphs be unavailable at chargen, I don't know. But as long as egocasting means you arrive without your chargen stuff, I have a problem with making people pay for their stuff with chargen resources.
(Once play has started, other issues start to raise their heads, but those are long-standing issues of different characters use different resource pools to advance)

MrWigggles MrWigggles's picture
Well EP is different from

Well EP is different from various RPG, where equipment is reward and character progression. In EP equipment are just tools, you use in the moment.

Nother concern, is forensics. They keep using the same body, same stuff, it gets easier to tie those ego to these neferious events.

Ian Argent Ian Argent's picture
MrWigggles wrote:Well EP is

MrWigggles wrote:
Well EP is different from various RPG, where equipment is reward and character progression. In EP equipment are just tools, you use in the moment.

Nother concern, is forensics. They keep using the same body, same stuff, it gets easier to tie those ego to these neferious events.

Another reason not to charge chargen resources for gear, including morphs

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
Ian Argent wrote:One thing

Ian Argent wrote:
One thing that nags me about EP is that you expend character resources on gear, only to leave it all behind, down to your morph, when you egocast;

That's not a problem with Eclipse Phase. It's a problem with players who haven't calibrated their expectations about what they "get" from character creation. If you're playing a campaign where egocasting is going to be common, you shouldn't be spending lots of CP on non-transferrable physical gear.

Thermonuclear Banana Split - A not-really-weekly Eclipse Phase campaign journal.

Decivre Decivre's picture
TheGrue wrote:That's not a

TheGrue wrote:
That's not a problem with Eclipse Phase. It's a problem with players who haven't calibrated their expectations about what they "get" from character creation. If you're playing a campaign where egocasting is going to be common, you shouldn't be spending lots of CP on non-transferrable physical gear.

To some extent, it IS a problem with the game. I would argue that character creation should be different depending on the type of game you are playing. If you're local sentinels defending your region from threats, you have different expectations than a group who is literally body-hopping from world to world. Creation should probably cater to both possibilities, perhaps having a gear-free creation system for body-hoppers.

Mind you, the same is true for other games. Spelljammer had totally different gear expectations than Dark Sun, yet both were D&D.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

MrWigggles MrWigggles's picture
It doesnt need to be

It doesnt need to be different. Just tell the players, "Hey, there gonna be lots of ego casting." Problemed solved.

Decivre Decivre's picture
MrWigggles wrote:It doesnt

MrWigggles wrote:
It doesnt need to be different. Just tell the players, "Hey, there gonna be lots of ego casting." Problemed solved.

Agreed, but I think the book should actually state it openly. Tell players the "permanents", so they know that Aptitudes, Skills, Traits, Software and Sleights stay with you forever.

In other words, I want the book to actually state game expectations for the most likely play styles. Make it a part of game lingo, so players know what character sheet to bring when they jump in an online game. If the GM can just say "this is a body-hopper campaign", and players know exactly what to spend their choices on, it works out perfectly for everyone.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

bblonski bblonski's picture
I'm pretty happy with what I

I'm pretty happy with what I'm seeing in the playtest. Extremely happy about the reduction of skills and aptitudes. I'm excited for the pools, even flex pools. They remind me of Numenera pools, mixed with fate or gumshoe. I like the superior success/failure mechanics. Reminds me of FFG Star Wars mechanics. I like the changes to the action economy. The rest mechanics caught me off guard, but after thinking about it I like it.

One complaint is that the 33/66 rule seems a bit inelegant. It's a perfectly workable solution, and I like dice mechanics that determine more that binary pass/fail, but it feels like trying to hack something on to d100 mechanics that would work better in a dice pool system. The other problem with it is that it's not possible to succeed with disadvantage or fail with advantage, which I think are some of the most interesting results. I'd love to be able to succeed, but find out it takes longer than anticipated, for example.

I've actually thought about solutions to this in the past, when playing with Fate's Succeed with Cost mechanics. One idea I had was that you get advantage when your 1s digit is less than your 10s digit and disadvantage if it's greater than the 10s digit. Chances to get a superior success increase with skill rank. The drawbacks is all rolls become either crits, advantage, or disadvantage. And you can only get 1 superior result as opposed to 2 now.

Another option is to determine superior results just on the value of the second dice. 0-2 is disadvantage, 6-9 for advantage. I think this spreads out chances to get superior results a bit regardless of skill level and allows for non-superior results.

My only other complaint is that the system still appears to rely on copious difficulty modifiers. The Taking Time and Rushing the Job rules seem to be redundant to Superior results, but also far more powerful. If I take -30 to reduce a task time 75%, then get a Superior results, can I reduce it an additional 25% to 0%? Or does the 25% reduction apply to the time remaining after the 75% reduction? Also a 25% reduction in task time seems really powerful compared to needing a 33% margin to get a superior success.

I'd prefer a unified mechanic leveraging superior results. Like being able to take a negative effect in exchange for a positive one. For example I could take a poor Quality result in exchange for -25% task time before I roll. Then if I manage to get a Superior Success when I roll, I could negate the poor Quality, or further reduce the task time another 25%. I think this adds a lot of interesting combos while simultaneously removing the need for special rules like the taking time rules. I'd like a rule that I could exchange a critical result for 2 superior results in situations where those effects are more desired.

I'm also the type of GM who would rather say, "it's a Challenging task to do it before the cops arrive" rather than having to figure out how long exactly before the cops arrive, how long the default task length is, and then the modifier necessary to make the task length less than the time before the cops arrive. That's not everyone though and I guess it's better to have default task times that I can ignore than to not have them for people who want them.

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
Decivre wrote:Agreed, but I

Decivre wrote:
Agreed, but I think the book should actually state it openly. Tell players the "permanents", so they know that Aptitudes, Skills, Traits, Software and Sleights stay with you forever.

Does the book not already do this?

Thermonuclear Banana Split - A not-really-weekly Eclipse Phase campaign journal.

MrWigggles MrWigggles's picture
The book is Implicit, its not

The book is Implicit, its not Explicit. It tells you that folks when traveling often just email their Egos, as its faster. Which implies that physical things, like their bodies, gears ect doesnt come with.

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
But how do you know that's

But how do you know that's the case, if the book doesn't explicitly say it?

Thermonuclear Banana Split - A not-really-weekly Eclipse Phase campaign journal.

Decivre Decivre's picture
TheGrue wrote:But how do you

TheGrue wrote:
But how do you know that's the case, if the book doesn't explicitly say it?

Because all information on Egocasting starts at page 275, while character creation ends on page 152.

So about 127 pages after the last page players will look at during creation, and almost 20 pages before gear starts. That's really the only place the corebook informs you that egocasting is common, and does not allow you to take physical things with you. It's only mentioned casually through A Time of Eclipse.

I'm arguing that this information should be in the character creation section, perhaps right around when the player starts spending on gear (for example, on page 137 under the heading "Purchase Gear"), and not just in the section on egocasting because of how fundamental a part of the setting egocasting can be.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
I second the notion that

I second the notion that egocasting needs to be talked about at the start of the Gear section, likely as a sidebar. Warn people not to over spend, or at least match the rest of the group. Also to talk about Blueprints for those items you do plan to actually rely on.

A slight smell of ions....

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
We've gone 'way' beyond this thread's intended purpose...

TheGrue wrote:
That's not a problem with Eclipse Phase. It's a problem with players who haven't calibrated their expectations about what they "get" from character creation.

It's the game's responsibility to establish those expectations.

I find this issue aggravating because it's really easy to solve.
First, give rules for players to sell their old gear and morphs, because when they egocast their old stuff doesn't just vaporise.
Second, change the gear costs around so that buying the blueprint is the default, and then list the reduced cost to 'rent' a piece during play.

I hjaven't put this in the Wishes thread because it would be a major game design point, but I'm really hoping the economic rules make a concrete difference between gear you always have (blueprints) and gear you have 'at the moment'.

CordialUltimate2 wrote:
They're very central now. And as means of differentiating morphs they are not the way to go IMO. You exchange the 7 differentiating stats for 4.

I'm fine with Pools being important, but I don't want the whole game to become about pool management.
An example: let's say a character can buy advanced targeting software. This could be represented by a bonus to attack skill rolls, or it could provide an extra pool point only usable for those rolls.
I'd much rather see the former than the latter, the later depends on the Pool mechanics, the former interacts with them.

Even with the brief segment we have access to we have multiple interacting game mechanics (off the top of my head; Gear Complexity, the d100 mechanics, the 33/66 system, the Pools, and the Action economy), and focusing on one to the exclusion of the others would be a disservice.

--- Regarding Morph differentiation.

We seem to be hitting a catch 22.
If the primary difference between a Battlesplicer and Reaper is their pools, then the question is whether gear can negate that difference.
If not, then the Battlesplicer is somewhat screwed because of the advantages Pools bring, but if not then there's no reason to ever pick a Reaper, so neither option is palatable.
The Reaper comes with Gear as standard, but this is only meaningful if the Reaper can provide the gear for fewer game-resources than buying them individually... and even then they're only useful if the Gunmonkey doesn't have the gear as blueprints anyway (I'm looking at you, Neurochem!).

I don't see a way out of this except for morph-specific abilities, even if it's stuff like 'The Daitya gets a bonus to lifting/moving objects'.

As for rarity, I wonder if a certain level of flexibility between similar types might be useful – maybe say the Reaper is a Sphere variant, with an 'upgrade pack' blueprint available, and genetic packages for Biomorphs.

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

LatwPIAT LatwPIAT's picture
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:I

ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:
I find this issue aggravating because it's really easy to solve.
First, give rules for players to sell their old gear and morphs, because when they egocast their old stuff doesn't just vaporise.

There are rules for selling and renting out morphs in EP1E. It was still a loser's game to invest in morphs and gear because you could lose your investment by engaging in high-risk activities, and the value of a used morph was less than the purchase price of a new one.

@-rep +2
C-rep +1

Ian Argent Ian Argent's picture
Gearing up in character creation

I'll be honest about where I'm coming from: I'm a moderately experienced GM who is interested in EP, but never run or played it. I backed the KS for EP2 because the universe intrigues me. So I'm moderately familiar with the universe, but only vaguely familiar with the mechanics. And the universe says "physical stuff outside of "uniques" and morphs is unimportant and irrelevant, and morphs are only important because there's a "temporary" shortage some places, at least if you want to be fleshy" but the chargen rules, at least when skimming, say "your morph is super-important (the EP1 chargen actually says that in so many words), and here's how you buy your gear (oh, and BTW, you can buy blueprints, but you have to go hunting down a chain of references to figure out how to do so in chargen, kthxbye). "

So, my request/suggestions are, so that fluff matches rules:
Costs differences for chargen-available morphs be tightened up (which necessarily means their mechanical balance differences be tightened up; this appears to be happening); and maybe not every morph is available at chargen in a "default" campaign.

But, more radically, the default assumption for "buying gear in chargen" is that you get the blueprint and one (or more in some cases) instances of the gear, and that you pay chargen resources for blueprints you start with (regardless if you could have programmed them up in play), this is for chargen game balance.

This matches with the fluff, where unless it's unique or requires rare resources, the only limiting factor on "stuff" is "access to a fabber," and that despite the best efforts of the people trying to impose artificial scarcity, blueprints can be had without outrageous difficulty if you know where to look (which the characters, as part of firewall, ought to). Instancing another copy of something is something the GM is still almost entirely in control of, even if the player character has a fabber or a CM, and the advice to GMs of "you are the final arbiter of what a PC can get in chargen" can apply to blueprints as well as gear.

More generally, I suppose I'm asking for the "default cost" be "the cost of the blueprint" and if all you want is one instance, then say "step the cost down one" instead of the default cost being "an instance" and the advice being "step the cost up one for a blueprint." That seems to fit more with the world as presented.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Ian Argent wrote:More

Ian Argent wrote:
More generally, I suppose I'm asking for the "default cost" be "the cost of the blueprint" and if all you want is one instance, then say "step the cost down one" instead of the default cost being "an instance" and the advice being "step the cost up one for a blueprint." That seems to fit more with the world as presented.

Seconding this. It means that when a player -wants- to dump all their CP into gear, then they aren't totally messed up just because of one Egocast.

Or, equivalently, when in the first session of the game the GM has us investigate a bombed out factory and the entire party manages to get infected with the Exurgent virus. Entire party had to restore from backup, and the different members of the party did -not- all spend the same CP on gear. I was a bit middle of the road, with two flexbot modules and a portable fabber, but non of them were set to Blueprint grade because doing so for even a decent synthmorph is really expensive, goodness forbid if you want the BP to a fabricator with the Modularized upgrade.

On a related note, the default Backup Insurance in EP1 is only a basic insurance, it just assures a similar morph class to what you lost, not a proper backup. Bye bye implants if you're not already aware of that rule and you get your fancy combat morph into the wrong fight (or out the wrong airlock). This is particular common with players used to a DnD or a Shadowrun mindset where, simply by virtue of being first timers to EP, they presume that cool futuretech is where all the action is at. They may be wrong, but why do we need to aggressively punish them right in the CP totals for the entire rest of their campaign for a mistake like this?

These are really annoying newbie traps. This isn't a roguelike dungeon crawler where it's easy to just start a new game, a player who goes through this could very easily be turned off by the experience and just stop playing EP altogether. But it's not even hard to fix. Even just allowing a refund of CP on destroyed gear would come pretty close to the same thing.

A slight smell of ions....

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
I do so enjoy it when people

I do so enjoy it when people who have never run or played a game of Eclipse Phase lecture the rest of us on where the problems with the rules obviously lie.

Thermonuclear Banana Split - A not-really-weekly Eclipse Phase campaign journal.

Decivre Decivre's picture
TheGrue wrote:I do so enjoy

TheGrue wrote:
I do so enjoy it when people who have never run or played a game of Eclipse Phase lecture the rest of us on where the problems with the rules obviously lie.

When those same people are agreeing with veterans of the game, however, it's probably something to note.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
Decivre wrote:TheGrue wrote:I

Decivre wrote:
TheGrue wrote:
I do so enjoy it when people who have never run or played a game of Eclipse Phase lecture the rest of us on where the problems with the rules obviously lie.

When those same people are agreeing with veterans of the game, however, it's probably something to note.

No it isn't, because discarding the opinions from a given source unless they agree with your own is what's known as a confirmation bias.

Thermonuclear Banana Split - A not-really-weekly Eclipse Phase campaign journal.

Decivre Decivre's picture
TheGrue wrote:

TheGrue wrote:

No it isn't, because discarding the opinions from a given source unless they agree with your own is what's known as a confirmation bias.

Can you honestly tell me right now that the corebook explicitly states "physical gear and morphs are poor choices when your character egocasts frequently"? I'm not asking whether the corebook mentions how egocasting works or what can go with, but whether it explicitly states to the player that this makes certain character creation choices suboptimal.

Because the latter is what we're asking for, not the former. Is there some other opinion that you feel we have dismissed?

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

AdamJury AdamJury's picture
The argumentative subthread

The argumentative subthread ends now. Thank you.

ApSciLiara ApSciLiara's picture
I've seen house rules that

I've seen house rules that essentially say "any CP you spend on your morph or gear is refunded when you resleeve/egocast, to use on whatever". Why not just throw something like that into the 2E rulebook? That might solve the problem ^-^

MrWigggles MrWigggles's picture
It breaks immersion. Gear and

It breaks immersion. Gear and morphs acquired during CG, is from your character past. How are they getting equal market value for used, and probably highly speclized morphs and gear thats probably been used in conjunction with neferious shanigans. At that point, you might as well play star trek and give everyone replicators.

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
I mean, nanofabs aren't *that

I mean, nanofabs aren't *that* different from replicators.

I agree though, but from a perspective of wanting to be able to modulate the amount of gear the party has from mission to mission. Speaking as a GM being able to let the players run rampant with drones and ~100k credits worth of gear is a lot of fun for a little while, but it's nice to be able to slow that down and play as a group of low grade worker pods infiltrating something. Both speeds are fun, but if you have a refundable budget it becomes a lot harder to switch between them.

I'm not 100% certain how I'd handle it. I think if the new edition makes it easier to acquire a lot of gear without GM fiat (which I think it does), then simply having a modest pool to buy starting gear with which cannot be spent on other things would be best. Let background adjust it some, but make it such that you don't choose between better skills and better gear directly.

MrWigggles MrWigggles's picture
Nother option with that set

Nother option with that set up is why bother have them select different gear and treat ego casting like just going down the city block and keep everything? Why are they bother with switching out at all.

Ian Argent Ian Argent's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:I

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
I mean, nanofabs aren't *that* different from replicators.

I agree though, but from a perspective of wanting to be able to modulate the amount of gear the party has from mission to mission. Speaking as a GM being able to let the players run rampant with drones and ~100k credits worth of gear is a lot of fun for a little while, but it's nice to be able to slow that down and play as a group of low grade worker pods infiltrating something. Both speeds are fun, but if you have a refundable budget it becomes a lot harder to switch between them.

I'm not 100% certain how I'd handle it. I think if the new edition makes it easier to acquire a lot of gear without GM fiat (which I think it does), then simply having a modest pool to buy starting gear with which cannot be spent on other things would be best. Let background adjust it some, but make it such that you don't choose between better skills and better gear directly.

You control access to gear by controlling access to fab time and fab capabilities at the adventure location. That's one of the advantages of "all you stuff stays home" to me as a GM; I can set whatever limits I like on what gear the PCs have available to them at the adventure location, and its backed up by rules and fluff.

(Incidentally, I'm posting as a "new" person to the system deliberately, to make sure the "I saw this on the shelf at the FLGS/in an ad on DTRPG, let's try it out, hope it doesn't suck" viewpoint is added to the dev feeds. I'm not trying to say the veterans are doing it wrong, I'm trying to say "this is how the newbs can do it wrong." I don't have the perfect newb viewpoint, but I can try and play the 5-year-old child in that entry on the Evil Overlord's List.)

Decivre Decivre's picture
The way I would do it is this

The way I would do it is this....

  • With the new complexity mechanic, make a complexity that represents blueprints and templates.
  • Make it so that purchasing blueprints and templates is the default standard at creation.
  • Characters get to start with any number of incidentals... legal items of moderate value (or its equivalent) or less. This represents their life before Firewall.
  • Characters also can receive one item of high quality and one item of expensive quality (again, or their equivalents), neither of which is hindered by restriction. Further items cost points as usual.

This way, players start out with a decent amount, but nothing too significant. And they won't necessarily feel bad if they discard their stuff to go murderhobo-ing across the system.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

eaton eaton's picture
In the adventure I'm

In the adventure I'm currently running, I gave the team access to a cracked grey-market fabber with its own built-in blueprints library: they have to roll a d10 whenever they fab something, with Medium requiring a 4 or higher and High requiring a 6 or higher. If they fail, the fabber just spews out brochures promoting illicit casino mesh sites.

There are a lot of ways, as a GM, to restrict access... ;-)

LatwPIAT LatwPIAT's picture
eaton wrote:There are a lot

eaton wrote:
There are a lot of ways, as a GM, to restrict access... ;-)

The GM has pretty much the ultimate authority to do whatever they please. They can make up any rule they want to enforce or restrict things.

Ideally, they shouldn't have to make up rules when using a rule-system other people have made. Preferably, they should be given the necessary rules by the rulebook.

@-rep +2
C-rep +1

eaton eaton's picture
Quote:The GM has pretty much

Quote:
The GM has pretty much the ultimate authority to do whatever they please. They can make up any rule they want to enforce or restrict things.

Ideally, they shouldn't have to make up rules when using a rule-system other people have made. Preferably, they should be given the necessary rules by the rulebook.


As GM, I'd rather the core book offer suggestions for ways to restrict access to exotic gear based on different scenarios than impose it via explicit rules. The tension between post-scarcity and gameworld constraints is tricky, and different settings inside the EP world work very differently.

I offered the "hacked fabber with odds of failure" as one example of a way I've restricted access, not a reason why clearer explanations in the rulebook aren't needed. I do think that those KINDS of approaches are more effective and feel better integrated into the gameworld, at least IME.

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
All hail GM fiat

My understanding is that Firewall usually foots the bill for egocasting so as to maintain opsec, sometimes loan out your original body for the duration of the mission to recoup (some of/more than) the cost, and will provide weapons if they can. So keep/loan your original morph while on a mission, then you give up your new toys when you go back.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Dilf_Pickle wrote:My

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
My understanding is that Firewall usually foots the bill

Broadly true, but not all games are Firewall games. Gatecrashing or being a criminal enterprise being other good cases, potentially where the PCs form the bulk of their organization. Even in a fFirewall game, you might not have told your Proxy that you're about to get up to something they don't like.

I also feel like I only have a loose understanding of how expensive an [Expensive] item really is in terms of hit to somebodies budget, though I suppose in that case I should pay more attention to the retry intervals and the odds of success at various rep levels. Which reminds me, as sweet as fabbing your gear is, it's far from the only way to get hold of things.

A slight smell of ions....

lets adapt lets adapt's picture
Decivre wrote:Can you

Decivre wrote:
Can you honestly tell me right now that the corebook explicitly states "physical gear and morphs are poor choices when your character egocasts frequently"? I'm not asking whether the corebook mentions how egocasting works or what can go with, but whether it explicitly states to the player that this makes certain character creation choices suboptimal.

Page 172 of the core book, the start of the chapter on Skills, definitely steers players towards their purchase. I'd say the whole preface before the Skills Overview counts as explicit enough.

You must consider that your character creation choices are only 'good' or 'bad' relative to the scenario. Creating a small arsenal upfront is fine when you're confining your operating theater to a single local. Blueprints are only useful if can find a fabber with feed stock and have the time to print. It's all relative. And, hell, that's half the fun; you're not going to always have the right tools for the job.

Anyhow, this issue boils down to player understanding of the setting. I've been running EP for several years, for many different groups, and I've not once had a player flip out about not being able to magically cart their old gear around after an egocast. Why? Because I make sure they understand the basic conceits of the setting. Most of the time I let the players know upfront when we're starting a new campaign if they're going to be casting around a lot. If I can't let them know, well, that's what favors/rep/blueprints/operational budgets, etc are for. Players casting to a new place and clandestinely having to set up from scratch offers so many role play opportunities that I'd hate to see it handwaved away because of some weird default 'refunding CP' rule. And before anyone says, 'tough luck, house rule it,' I'm fine with that when I'm running my own games. But, in the rare instances I am a player character, it'd be nice to be able to play a game that makes sense out of the box. It'd be just as easy to create a fixer NPC that takes care of your egocast accommodations for your players and call it a day.

Everything the player needs is already there, IMO. If you want to add a big, red disclaimer stating that they'll be fucking themselves in certain situations, sure, go ahead. This sounds perfect for the player's handbook stretch goal! But to add rules explicitly to combat a problem that can be solved by saying the words "you will lose all material items on egocast!" to your players seems heavy-handed.

Edit: I started thinking about a fixer NPC that explicitly handles gear offloading for players. NPC sells your gear to other parties on your behalf. Maybe the amount of [insert currency] you recoup should be modified by your rep level somehow? Maybe bundle this service in with the morph broker rules? I want to play around with this idea now. :P

Kojak Kojak's picture
I'd just like to co-sign the

I'd just like to co-sign the above, if that's alright, because that pretty much echoes my experience.

"I wonder if in some weird Freudian way, Kojak was sucking on his own head."
- Steve Webster on Kojak's lollipop

LatwPIAT LatwPIAT's picture
lets adapt wrote:Anyhow, this

lets adapt wrote:
Anyhow, this issue boils down to player understanding of the setting. I've been running EP for several years, for many different groups, and I've not once had a player flip out about not being able to magically cart their old gear around after an egocast. Why? Because I make sure they understand the basic conceits of the setting.

[...]

Everything the player needs is already there, IMO. If you want to add a big, red disclaimer stating that they'll be fucking themselves in certain situations, sure, go ahead. This sounds perfect for the player's handbook stretch goal! But to add rules explicitly to combat a problem that can be solved by saying the words "you will lose all material items on egocast!" to your players seems heavy-handed.

Fucking over players because they lack understanding of the setting, or because the GM lacks the wherewithal and foresight to impress these details of the setting upon them, is an incredibly poor design choice. Fact is, "oh whoops I lost a seventh of my CP from resleeving!" has been a recurring experience for first-time players of Eclipse Phase for nearly a decade, and is one that consistently degrades their experience of the game - especially their first-time experience with the game.

This is bad, because it means that a lot of people are coming into Eclipse Phase by trudging through a lengthy character generation process only to have their efforts quickly invalidated by the game's design choices. This shouldn't happen, and really the only way to make sure this doesn't happen is to make it (nearly) impossible for it to happen. Warnings hidden away in the Skills chapter are certainly not enough, and saying the words 'you will lose all material items on egocast!' won't be enough. A character generation process that lets player pick perishables communicates by its very presence that they're supposed to pick perishables.

The game should be playable - and enjoyable experience - by inexperienced players and an inexperienced GM, and the present state of CP disappearing down the drain on resleeving is add odds with this.

@-rep +2
C-rep +1

lets adapt lets adapt's picture
LatwPIAT wrote:

LatwPIAT wrote:

Fucking over players because they lack understanding of the setting, or because the GM lacks the wherewithal and foresight to impress these details of the setting upon them, is an incredibly poor design choice.

This is a weird place to launch this argument from. If you're saying you can't trust the people involved with basic setting information then how can you assume they'll pay attention to a new rule designed to help with this particular situation? At some point there has to be buy in by the people involved. I'd argue that normally buy in starts at the setting information, in which egocasting (and its inherent limitations) is, in my opinion, clearly housed. If anything your argument is an argument for outlining the core tenants of the setting in a way that would be impossible to miss. To blame the situation on design seems disingenuous.

LatwPIAT LatwPIAT's picture
lets adapt wrote:This is a

lets adapt wrote:
This is a weird place to launch this argument from. If you're saying you can't trust the people involved with basic setting information then how can you assume they'll pay attention to a new rule designed to help with this particular situation?

It's only a "new rule" to people who've played EP1e. To people starting with EP2e, it would simply be the rules.

@-rep +2
C-rep +1

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
When does it become 'dumbing down'? (not being sarcastic)

LatwPIAT wrote:
A character generation process that lets player pick perishables communicates by its very presence that they're supposed to pick perishables.

A character generation process that includes leafing through 55 pages of gear communicates with crystal clarity that they're not supposed to pick everything. So pick judiciously. That's one of the fun parts!

I don't have personal experience GMing EP, but those above seem to have proposed pretty simple solutions to the complexity issue that allow EP1 to fully retain its character.

LatwPIAT wrote:
The game should be playable - and enjoyable experience - by inexperienced players and an inexperienced GM, and the present state of CP disappearing down the drain on resleeving is add odds with this.

Being newbie-friendly is a fine ideal, but if a proposed solution to the problem is ham-handedly dictated in game mechanics without attending to in-universe logic, it violates one of the principal attractions of hard sci-fi: that it inexorably makes sense.

-----
PS. Are you the same LatwPIAT who posted a review of Phoenix Command somewhere online? I can't find it now, but it was pretty damn funny, and informative.

Ian Argent Ian Argent's picture
Just re-read Transhuman

Perhaps all that is necessary is for the Making It Up section to be condensed down to a page or so, and, in particular, the last bit of advice in it needs to go into chargen:

Quote:
When you really get down to it, you don’t need all of that stuff. You just need a fabber, or really, access to a fabber. Have gear hanging around that you don’t need? That’s called “junk.”...No, there’s no reason to keep all this crap around. You know what you can carry with you when you egocast? Blueprints. Skills. Expertise. That’s where the real operator lives. Not in the physical implements, but in the program running on the metal or the meat.

Inexperienced GMs need hand-holding from the system. Experienced GMs know when to break the rules. Chargen is a one-and-done thing, it's not an ongoing part of the system. It can (and usually does) break the logic of the world in aid of fun.

Decivre Decivre's picture
lets adapt wrote:This is a

lets adapt wrote:
This is a weird place to launch this argument from. If you're saying you can't trust the people involved with basic setting information then how can you assume they'll pay attention to a new rule designed to help with this particular situation?

That's not what he said.

One of the biggest complaints about 3.5 Edition D&D was the trap options that existed. Feats were not equal in power; some were potentially game-breaking (Divine Metamagic), and some were almost completely worthless to get (Toughness). Value was not informed by the book, so to find out was trial and error, which ultimately led to a lot of problems for players.

This sort of hidden game of false difficulty should not be part of any game. Filling any game's rules with poor options that trap players is a terrible means to structure play. And while it's fairly fine for my group since I did all the informing during 1st Edition, that doesn't mean every GM is me, or you... nor does it mean that players should be expected to navigate those trap options on their lonesome with no exposure to play.

The core book (and by proxy, the players book) should inform players how to properly create characters. That's not just providing the rules, but also making sure those rules inform the players about game expectations. That's why I think that the game would be best served by explicitly stating that there are effectively two ways to play that matter for gear selection; local sentinels (for which regular gear purchases are fine and good), and egocasting adventurers (for which they are not). OR why I also pitched the idea of a creation system that gives a lot of freebie items.

Either one eliminates the issue. Leaving things as they are in 1st Edition does not.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
A character generation process that includes leafing through 55 pages of gear communicates with crystal clarity that they're not supposed to pick everything. So pick judiciously. That's one of the fun parts!

It does not inform you what trap options are, and that's the problem.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
Being newbie-friendly is a fine ideal, but if a proposed solution to the problem is ham-handedly dictated in game mechanics without attending to in-universe logic, it violates one of the principal attractions of hard sci-fi: that it inexorably makes sense.

I would agree with the point refund concept; while a simple solution to the problem, it serves to create a point value of free stuff you get as you go... which takes away from some elements of play, especially the horror aspect.

But I still say a solution exists beyond "just let the newbs find out the hard way". I've already lost a few players to the worst aspects of the game, don't want to lose more.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Even if a Problem is solvable it remains a Problem.

This really needs to be said:

All but one of the arguments against Refunds for Gear/Morphs are literally irrelevant.

Arguing that how gear acquisition can be a real plot driver are certainly valid... but those arguments don't care about selling stuff for Cr/CP because they're solely concerned with gear acquisition.

The only one that actually applicable is this;

MrWigggles wrote:
It breaks immersion. Gear and morphs acquired during CG, is from your character past. How are they getting equal market value for used, and probably highly speclized morphs and gear thats probably been used in conjunction with neferious shanigans.

… to which the response is “Healing Vats, Cornucopia machines, Biomods” and generally the entire setting.
For morphs in particular, unless they've gained/lost traits there's absolutely no difference between one with a previous owner and one fresh out the box, and morph customisation is a huge part of the setting and rules.
A biomorph can literally be a severed head and be worth as much as one without a mark on it.

The reason the lack of a refund mechanic is such a problem is that it only affects players who buy gear at character creation and only in a negative way.
The setting makes a huge deal about how gear is temporary and disposable, but the rules treat as though it were a persistent acquisition with the associated character balancing resource loss.

I posted this on the Wishlist, but I'm really hoping the economic system runs along the lines of “Your character has X pieces of gear, of which N can be Complex, Y can be Rare and Z can be Restricted”, with those values either derived from character abilities or defined by the Habitat.
BP or Licences could then alter which restrictions apply to the piece of equipment in question.

o11o1 wrote:
I also feel like I only have a loose understanding of how expensive an [Expensive] item really is in terms of hit to somebodies budget, though I suppose in that case I should pay more attention to the retry intervals and the odds of success at various rep levels.

If it's something you bought in-game, it's aggravating – you'll probably recoup the loss at the end of the scenario.
If you bought it with CP you're probably better off creating a new character – it depends on how generous the GM is, but you just lost 20CP and the default assumption is you get 4 to 7 CP per scenario... assuming you don't lose any because you restored from BackUp.
We're talking weeks or months of playtime just to get back to where you were.

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

lets adapt lets adapt's picture
Ian Argent wrote:

Ian Argent wrote:

Inexperienced GMs need hand-holding from the system. Experienced GMs know when to break the rules. Chargen is a one-and-done thing, it's not an ongoing part of the system. It can (and usually does) break the logic of the world in aid of fun.

I can appreciate this.

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Personally, I think the point

Personally, I think the point is kind of moot since we're moving to Complexity for everything, and the game has yet to be clear on specific "costs" for physical goods in that sense. 1E totally has rules to "refund" things, you can calculate the costs of morphs and gear and sell them back (or you can be like some of my players who for RP reasons actually sink more imaginary resources into storing their original morphs so they can use them later) but these could be completely irrelevant because we don't know how the game tracks cost.

But, to the point of not "losing" CP, I think that's not the right way to think about it. Like, the game does kind of clarify to the players to spec more on skills and traits as less ephemera because physical items are supposed to be discarded and interchangeable ("Your body is a shell, change it" - that's pretty fundamental conceit right there). Once you transfer that from CP into other resources, moxie/cred/rep whatever you have exchanged it for it's value in something else in the mechanics and cannot get the CP back. Skills are like this too, if you get a swimming of 80 and never see a body of water, you have "wasted" those points. If I spend CP on starting Credit and then I have to spend it to buy lunch or to pay off a favor to get intel, that money is gone. I invested the CP in a resource, which I have then spent. As a player you have to spend your resources wisely and accept sometimes you might "lose" them, and your GM should as just general "being a good GM person" steer you toward making relevant choices but sometimes your character just needs to have a lot of points in Swim.

Of course, that is already "fixed" in 2E with fewer generalized skills replacing more specialized ones - and until we actually see the CC outline and what that looks like we probably shouldn't build theoretical framework for what 2E should be doing vis a vis investment of starting resources. We don't know what the resource pool is.

H-Rep: An EP Homebrew Blog
http://ephrep.blogspot.com/

o11o1 o11o1's picture
UnitOmega wrote:Of course,

UnitOmega wrote:
Of course, that is already "fixed" in 2E with fewer generalized skills replacing more specialized ones - and until we actually see the CC outline and what that looks like we probably shouldn't build theoretical framework for what 2E should be doing vis a vis investment of starting resources. We don't know what the resource pool is.

Right, I don't mean to sound like I'm just bellyaching. Those changes, moving cash into a $-Rep (or whatever it gets called, I know what I'm gonna be calling it around the table) and compressing the skills down to a smaller set are both reasons that I'm excited for the 2nd edition.

I mostly just want to make it known that I hope the process of "buying" a morph sees a similar level of... streamlining. I think I'd actually be most happy if we don't use CP at all to buy them, perhaps picking from a list depending on the packages we assemble in char-gen.

Even if we do end up having to spend CP towards our morphs and gear, I'll be ok with it. I've played enough Eclipse Phase now to understand how much overinvesting in one thing can really backfire on you, be that because you're playing a hyper-upgraded Fury morph in an egocasting game or because you've decided to roll a Neo-beluga gymnast and then end up in a Venus campaign.

Actually, now that I think about it, the new char gen process (so we've heard on the google plus sector) now being Package-based will probably make a lot of our newbie-trap concerns sort of just go away, presuming that the packages work out more-or-less as intended. (IE, no weird trap packages like, i dunno, a package dumping everything into strange interests and no adventuring skills).

If someone decides they want to break that down into point-by-point XP building, they're on some level declaring they have the system mastery to be able to handle that.

You know, having written that all out, I think I'm a lot more chill about morph costs and the CP-related risks in EP2 now.

A slight smell of ions....

Pages

Topic locked