Game Mechanics - Open Discussion

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eaton eaton's picture
Quote:Hardware, Medicine etc

Quote:
Hardware, Medicine etc should totally stay field skills. Much like the Knowledge skills, de-fielding them makes a focused character way too good at very broad, differently scaled things. With Gunnery now covered by interface, Guns compiles a lot of tools which variables would be handled per the piece of gear (I/E, Beam weapons have intrinsic limitations vs a railgun) but fundamentally what you do with the skill is all the same. You roll it to hit people with personal-scale weapons at a distance.

If Hardware was not a field, you could have somebody focus down points to get an 80 in the ability to masterfully fix small electronics, heavy industrial machinery, weapons and spaceframes - basically they would be the ultimate tool box and would masterfully be able to solve all problems. Medicine and Piloting have similar problems - if the skills are not diversified then it makes characters less diversified and allows way too much swiss-army knife characters. I don't think it's very on-genre if characters can be magically omnidisciplinary in so much that your field medic would also be a master veterinarian, psychiatrist, forensic pathologist, virologist and cyberneticist.


Hmmmmmmmmmm.

I'm almost convinced you're right on the Medicine/Hardware front, but I think 'Pilot' is still a crap skill for Field tratment. Splitting out individual kinds of vehicles feels like the equivalent of 1E's kinetic/beam/spray/seeker skill division; with transhuman technology, the skills are transferrable enough that specialization is better than totally different fields.

And, if Pilot were made 'normal', all Field skills would be COG-linked, which satisfies the pattern fetishist in me…

Quote:
COG has been the skill to get for broadest distribution (though I agree with some of Eaton's points - especially as Gunnery for instance was INT before, Interface could easily be INT as a whole) but with no direct aptitude bonuses and it seems the overall cap is 30 total that's not as big of a deal.

I agree that the preponderance of COG-linked skills isn't a problem for game balance as much as it leads to frustrating aptitude neglect. WIL and SAV in particular are grossly under-represented in the skill breakdown, especially with the collapse of Psi skills into a single skill and the elimination of Networking. Even assuming Hardware and Medicine remain Field skills, nudging a few things into other attributes makes the list of active skills *feel* quite a bit more balanced. With pool points being linked to underlying attribute pairs, that's even more important because the vast majority of rolls can easily end up depleting just one pool.

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
UnitOmega wrote:TheGrue wrote

UnitOmega wrote:
TheGrue wrote:
I think I've demonstrated above that Swiss Army Knife characters are already a concern. They're called "High COG characters who stack modifiers and use Complimentary Skills".

Naturally, the one exception seems to be IT because those are the only two skills you can't default on.

You might have to break that down for me again - I'm not sure it's actually that easy, the Complementary Skill rules are actually pretty strict now. You can only complement Active with Knowledge and it has to be an area where they don't overlap - I/E it explicitly says Academics: Engineering does not complement Hardware: Industrial to make a habitat repair, as the basic engineering knowledge required for that task is already part of your Active skill test.

This rule seems more restrictive, but it's really not. For one, while Academics: Engineering might not compliment Hardware: Industrial for habitat repair, Interest: Pre-Fall Spaceflight might compliment Hardware: Industrial for repairing an archaic LOX chemical rocket. The rule is so broad that it is only as good, or as restrictive, as the GM allows it to be. It would work if there were a list of allowed synergies, but such a list cannot be exhaustive because of the nature of field and knowledge skills.

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UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Pilot's kind of a weird space

Pilot's kind of a weird space. Until we actually see vehicle rules, we might have to leave off on detailed suggestions, to see how things like Handling might apply or any other mechanical distinction. Assuming defaulting doesn't change, there should be vehicles which have intrinsic handling which makes them easier or harder to handle on their own.

In the "logical"/verisimilitude camp, if I sat you down and put you through driver's ed, then stuck you in a helicopter, you'd probably be in a pretty poor spot. On the other hand, things I've read in the past have indicated that you can put a high school kid in a professional simulator for a fighter jet and let them play with it they can figure out the basics in a few minutes (though obviously there's less pressure there). At the moment, at best I'd say Pilot maybe should be an "essential" skill like Fray and Perceive and start at REF x2 and then let clunky vehicles be clunky - as the game has already simplified piloting in fields to avoid some hairsplitting - but some hairs still need to be split. But again, this might need revisiting after we actually see vehicle/drone rules.

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TheGrue TheGrue's picture
UnitOmega wrote:On the other

UnitOmega wrote:
On the other hand, things I've read in the past have indicated that you can put a high school kid in a professional simulator for a fighter jet and let them play with it they can figure out the basics in a few minutes

I've heard this as well. And, at the risk of beating a dead horse, the same is true of programming.

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Londoner Londoner's picture
Temporary morph, permanent resource

When you buy a morph it's temporary, but when you buy resources you're buying a permanent lifestyle for your character (unless you burn it ...). It seems a bit inconsistent. I get that EP is has a firewall / horror angle and that you don't get to hold onto things in that sort of campaign. But since there is a points buy system, it'd be nice to have the option for a consistent build where your morph is semi-permanent too.

Or maybe a package. Eg You have the equivalent of resource X and a morph up to 4CP. If you die, you're temporarily entitled to a splicer &or your resources are constrained until you've had a bit of time to build your resources back up to normal. (Or you get a rez credit if you're taking a permanent hit.)

If you get hold of a great morph (or stuff) during play, you can keep it temporarily, but you want to keep it you have to spend your rez paying off the debt (or take some sort of catch, like people wanting it back).

Relevant quotes from the playtest are:
1. Don’t get too attached to your morph, because you are likely to move to a new one at some point during gameplay.

2. 'While Resources is an abstract measurement, players and gamemasters should use it as a rough benchmark for a character’s personal assets and lifestyle. ... Your Resource trait may be affected by events in game. If your home is destroyed or you come across a secret cache of riches, the GM should adjust your trait level accordingly. You must pay the extra cost in Rez Points if your trait goes up, but you receive an RP credit if your wealth goes down.'

Ian Argent Ian Argent's picture
Pilot fields

The Pilot fields listed in the Movement Types section seem to be granular "enough" to me, namely Naval, Groundcraft, Aerospace. With the systems assistance that's going to be found in anything not Jovian-built (or deliberately made "dumb" by thrillseekers), I don't see piloting even a rotorcraft being terrifically difficult; with most vehicles and morphs being provided at the factory with a set of AI-driven "instincts" to that the pilot doesn't have to think about the mechanical aspects of moving.

And let me add my voice to the call for allowing the IT skills to be defaulted.

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
I actually quite like the

I actually quite like the idea of SOM being a morph stat, and COO being the ego equivalent. If that's the case though, what should be rolled for wound checks?

If it's SOM you have a game where it doesn't matter how hardcore you are personally, a flat with half its blood missing just won't work work well no matter what kind of pure aggression exhuman
ego is sleeved in.

If it's COO, than a hardcore ego can stretch a morph a lot further than a less hardcore ego.

I think both have things going for them, but I think that strong combat egos being able to get more out of cheap morphs would be good.

morph-SOM (or just called strength really) should also be able to go higher than 30, so that Reapers, Daityas and other heavy lift morphs can really mess people up with melee weapons. STR+COO/10 would possibly work as well, but could require for recalculation.

Leetsepeak Leetsepeak's picture
Londoner wrote:When you buy a

Londoner wrote:
When you buy a morph it's temporary, but when you buy resources you're buying a permanent lifestyle for your character (unless you burn it ...). It seems a bit inconsistent. I get that EP is has a firewall / horror angle and that you don't get to hold onto things in that sort of campaign. But since there is a points buy system, it'd be nice to have the option for a consistent build where your morph is semi-permanent too.

Or maybe a package. Eg You have the equivalent of resource X and a morph up to 4CP. If you die, you're temporarily entitled to a splicer &or your resources are constrained until you've had a bit of time to build your resources back up to normal. (Or you get a rez credit if you're taking a permanent hit.)

If you get hold of a great morph (or stuff) during play, you can keep it temporarily, but you want to keep it you have to spend your rez paying off the debt (or take some sort of catch, like people wanting it back).

Relevant quotes from the playtest are:
1. Don’t get too attached to your morph, because you are likely to move to a new one at some point during gameplay.

2. 'While Resources is an abstract measurement, players and gamemasters should use it as a rough benchmark for a character’s personal assets and lifestyle. ... Your Resource trait may be affected by events in game. If your home is destroyed or you come across a secret cache of riches, the GM should adjust your trait level accordingly. You must pay the extra cost in Rez Points if your trait goes up, but you receive an RP credit if your wealth goes down.'

I'm pretty sure the Resources trait given in the playtest discusses losing it or having it increase in play.

Theliel Theliel's picture
Skill Breakout

Quote:
The Pilot fields listed in the Movement Types section seem to be granular "enough" to me, namely Naval, Groundcraft, Aerospace. With the systems assistance that's going to be found in anything not Jovian-built (or deliberately made "dumb" by thrillseekers), I don't see piloting even a rotorcraft being terrifically difficult; with most vehicles and morphs being provided at the factory with a set of AI-driven "instincts" to that the pilot doesn't have to think about the mechanical aspects of moving.

Spoiler - The Pilot Skills are not the same as the morph listings. They're a fair bit more granular.

Honestly I'd be fine with Knowledge skills staying freeform Field, but Hardware is just a gigantic pain in the ass. That needs to be locked down because I've seen & listened to plenty of sessions where the character really should have been able to Fix The Thing but the rules required some obscure or overlooked hardware field.

Basically - Active skills should be predefined, and trimmed a fair sight more than they are.
Free fall being distinct from athletics or pilot turns a single roll into a double roll for double the chance of failure and whee, isn't failing and doing nothing for a turn up to just flat out dying extra fun kids?

The primary issue now that we have character creation is that fighty characters only have to invest in 3 core skills + the survival essentials (Free Fall, Infosec), Hackers invest in the core 3 info skills + a weapon + frey+ free fall, and everyone else is looking at covering the 5 core skills (Infosec, Interface, Free Fall, Frey, Guns/Melee) and then trying to get the skills to let them do what the character is supposed to do. Unlike the Hackers or Fighters social is broken up in to a mere 4 skills, Piloting is 6 (with some overlap into infosec and interface), and trying to be a guy who fixes things? Good luck with that. Just to keep a starship running you're looking at: Hardware: Aerospace, Hardware: Electronics, Hardware: nanofabrication, Hardware: Industrial. You'd think Hardware: Aerospace would cover repairing comms kit on a space ship, or the life support, or the maintinence fabber but nope. Three separate skills that let you fix things. You'll need Infosec, Interface & Program to do anything after that. Then you'll, y'know, need some sort of skill so you can actually move about in space, and maybe something to fight & not die with.

What's even better is that with Academics: Physics, Academics: Chemistry, & Hardware: Electronics you have the actual skills of demolition, but are rolling default Hardware: Demolitions.

The skills weren't simply collapsed enough. You shouldn't have to try to figure out if it's an attribute roll vs. skill the player has vs. skill the player doesn't, especially since attribute rolls are attribute x 3 which is way better than most default skills.

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
I'll reiterate my example for

I'll reiterate my example for medicine with Hardware. If Hardware is a singular "fixing" skill this means a character with a high enough ranking in it can theoretically with the same set of tools go from fixing industrial airlocks and static fission reactors, to repairing stealthed combat drones or exoskeletons, to assembling a plasma rifle, to repairing a rocket motor, etc, etc. To me it's a very off-genre and verisimilitude challenging level of simple mastery for tasks which have very different scales, focuses, etc.

And, quite frankly, the "not being able to fix the thing" is entirely a GM's barrier and the rule zero. Who says for sure you need Hardware: Aerospace vs Electronics to fix the comms suite in your space plane? In this case, either could be applicable. However, electronics would probably be applicable to fixing many small radio devices anywhere - while your Aerospace would not - but in turn you probably can't use Electronics to fix the main drive of your ship. This could probably be clarified by adding a line or two explaining the context of Hardware better, maybe - the field is based entirely on the type of device or component you want to build/break/fix. Moreso than it is, anyway.

(Also, as a point of order, "Hardware: Nanofabrication" isn't a thing - nanofab direction is still handled under Program, just like in 1E)

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ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
This old Chestnut..

Ghostwalker wrote:
Strenght tests use SOM. If SOM is purely a mental characteristics, so, why Strenght tests would use that? So, a Neotenic body with a Ego with 30 SOM would be stronger than a world weightlifter champion with a Ego with Som 15? That's weird.

We need to clarify what Aptitudes are. The mechanical diferences between body and mind shoud be clear. If Aptitudes only represent your "soul", the system can't have a physycal test using only a SOM or REF.

-Snip-

If someone is stronger, what this mean mechanically speaking?
If someone is smarter, what this mean mechanically speaking?
If someone is faster, what this mean mechanically speaking?

It's not how big your muscles are, it's what you do with them.
SOM is your ability to capitalise on your physical abilities – someone with a low SOM trying to lift something will just be using a few muscles, whilst someone with a high SOM can employ leverage and multiple muscle groups at once.
So your Weightlifter with SOM 15 has huge muscles but has almost no experience lifting weights, whilst the Neotenic is inhabited by a Kung-Fu Master.

That said, there is a stat that makes a lot of sense to represent physical strength: Durability. A higher durability means the morph can be put under more stress without breaking, and your SOM can provide a bonus.

More generally regarding pools, it helps to remember that a single Roll can represent multiple activities over time, so a single spend can represent a sustained period of Transhuman-level activity, as well as brief moments of Posthuman exertion.
It's also important to remember that the pools refresh quickly and often, meaning these improved capacities can be capitalised on multiple times per day.
Put together with how tests work, this means that Egos who are performing tasks outside of their personal skillset will succeed more often then they would otherwise, whilst those working on their specialities will on average perform tasks quicker and with a greater quality.

TLDR: A Pool-Morph at it's worst is as good as a normal human at it's best.
Stronger: Will often succeed at strength-based tasks when normal humans would fail.
Smarter: Will often succeed at inteligence-based tasks when normal humans would fail, or if they would succeed anyway they often take less time to do it.
Faster: Will often take less time to perform a task than normal humans.

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?

Theliel Theliel's picture
UnitOmega wrote:I'll

UnitOmega wrote:
I'll reiterate my example for medicine with Hardware. If Hardware is a singular "fixing" skill this means a character with a high enough ranking in it can theoretically with the same set of tools go from fixing industrial airlocks and static fission reactors, to repairing stealthed combat drones or exoskeletons, to assembling a plasma rifle, to repairing a rocket motor, etc, etc. To me it's a very off-genre and verisimilitude challenging level of simple mastery for tasks which have very different scales, focuses, etc.

And, quite frankly, the "not being able to fix the thing" is entirely a GM's barrier and the rule zero. Who says for sure you need Hardware: Aerospace vs Electronics to fix the comms suite in your space plane? In this case, either could be applicable. However, electronics would probably be applicable to fixing many small radio devices anywhere - while your Aerospace would not - but in turn you probably can't use Electronics to fix the main drive of your ship. This could probably be clarified by adding a line or two explaining the context of Hardware better, maybe - the field is based entirely on the type of device or component you want to build/break/fix. Moreso than it is, anyway.

(Also, as a point of order, "Hardware: Nanofabrication" isn't a thing - nanofab direction is still handled under Program, just like in 1E)


I'm trying to run a uat here, going by letter of the rules and talking about problems is the point. Not going to rule 0 anything as that defeats the purpose of the test. Bringing up unwanted, counter intuitive, or confusing emergent properties of the rules add written is the point.

Nanofab is the hardware skill used to fix or build fabbers, not program them. It's probably under industrial now.
As for overlap, if I can fix a space ship radio, why can't I fix a small radio anywhere? Why couldn't I handle life support of any type? Radios don't change because they're hooked to a car instead of a plane. A good idea would be to assess a penalty, but that's not what's on the skill description.

Like medicine the slices are indestinct. TheY either need to be firewalled or embrace the overlap in the text.

Ian Argent Ian Argent's picture
Theliel wrote:Quote:The Pilot

Theliel wrote:
Quote:
The Pilot fields listed in the Movement Types section seem to be granular "enough" to me, namely Naval, Groundcraft, Aerospace. With the systems assistance that's going to be found in anything not Jovian-built (or deliberately made "dumb" by thrillseekers), I don't see piloting even a rotorcraft being terrifically difficult; with most vehicles and morphs being provided at the factory with a set of AI-driven "instincts" to that the pilot doesn't have to think about the mechanical aspects of moving.

Spoiler - The Pilot Skills are not the same as the morph listings. They're a fair bit more granular.

Yes - and the "suggested fields" under Pilot in the chargen section chaps my crawfish, both because they don't match the ones under Movement Types in the "core mechanics" section, and because they've been sliced too finely. Even with the broad fields under Movement Types, a dronemaster needs 2 pilot skills plus athletics.

Theliel wrote:
Honestly I'd be fine with Knowledge skills staying freeform Field, but Hardware is just a gigantic pain in the ass. That needs to be locked down because I've seen & listened to plenty of sessions where the character really should have been able to Fix The Thing but the rules required some obscure or overlooked hardware field.

I'd say this is a symptom of bad GMing, but there are plenty of bad GMs out there, and while good/experienced GMs will work this issue out, the rules should be a framework for bad/inexperienced GMs and guidelines for good/experienced ones. Agreed.

Theliel wrote:
Basically - Active skills should be predefined, and trimmed a fair sight more than they are.
Free fall being distinct from athletics or pilot turns a single roll into a double roll for double the chance of failure and whee, isn't failing and doing nothing for a turn up to just flat out dying extra fun kids?

I can see a reason to separate Athletics and Freefall; in that you might not want every random Venusian who's an expert free-runner but never been outside atmo being awesome on Extropia, but, honestly? The PCs are exceptional people who do exceptional things. To handle the case of a "flatlander" who actually can't handle themselves in microgravity, take a negative trait. (Actually, there's a case to be made for an "Incompetence" negative trait to handle cases like this, where a character is unable to use their skill in a subset of its field where the field is a "common" occurrence in the campaign. If the campaign never leaves Mars, incompetence in free fall is worthless, but if you're out in the Martian Trojans, it's worth a fair bit.)

Theliel wrote:
The primary issue now that we have character creation is that fighty characters only have to invest in 3 core skills + the survival essentials (Free Fall, Infosec), Hackers invest in the core 3 info skills + a weapon + frey+ free fall, and everyone else is looking at covering the 5 core skills (Infosec, Interface, Free Fall, Frey, Guns/Melee) and then trying to get the skills to let them do what the character is supposed to do. Unlike the Hackers or Fighters social is broken up in to a mere 4 skills, Piloting is 6 (with some overlap into infosec and interface), and trying to be a guy who fixes things? Good luck with that. Just to keep a starship running you're looking at: Hardware: Aerospace, Hardware: Electronics, Hardware: nanofabrication, Hardware: Industrial. You'd think Hardware: Aerospace would cover repairing comms kit on a space ship, or the life support, or the maintinence fabber but nope. Three separate skills that let you fix things. You'll need Infosec, Interface & Program to do anything after that. Then you'll, y'know, need some sort of skill so you can actually move about in space, and maybe something to fight & not die with.

What's even better is that with Academics: Physics, Academics: Chemistry, & Hardware: Electronics you have the actual skills of demolition, but are rolling default Hardware: Demolitions.

The skills weren't simply collapsed enough. You shouldn't have to try to figure out if it's an attribute roll vs. skill the player has vs. skill the player doesn't, especially since attribute rolls are attribute x 3 which is way better than most default skills.

The way I see it, Infosec is the Guns & Fray equivalent of infolife/hackers and Interface the Athletics/Freefall equivalent. On balance, I don't have that much of a problem having these two be separate skills, but I'm not sure I like that Infosec can't be defaulted to in a world where almost everyone has a certain base level of 'net savvy simply to function in the world, and where it's as necessary for infolife as washing hands is for meatlife.

As far as the distinction between academics/profession/interest, and hardware/programming, that gets down to the difference between (book) knowledge and (practical) experience. OTOH, I'm planning on allowing pretty broad Fields for the field skills, as I've noted in my comments regarding Piloting. And I expect almost every character to have a Profession skill to go with their background and chosen career - conveniently (hah) all the career packages come with Profession.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Theliel wrote:Spoiler - The

Theliel wrote:
Spoiler - The Pilot Skills are not the same as the morph listings. They're a fair bit more granular.

Honestly I'd be fine with Knowledge skills staying freeform Field, but Hardware is just a gigantic pain in the ass. That needs to be locked down because I've seen & listened to plenty of sessions where the character really should have been able to Fix The Thing but the rules required some obscure or overlooked hardware field.

Basically - Active skills should be predefined, and trimmed a fair sight more than they are.
Free fall being distinct from athletics or pilot turns a single roll into a double roll for double the chance of failure and whee, isn't failing and doing nothing for a turn up to just flat out dying extra fun kids?


I agree, some of this granularity is very unnecessary. ALI assistance should be so ubiquitous with vehicles that Pilot should be more a measure of one's ability to utilize the vehicle's neural structure than traversing a specific travel frontier. There's little reason to have many pilot skills when flight has been merged with athletics... if daily jogs help improve my ability to fly in a different sleeve, and practice with a pistol also teaches me how to use a gauss minigun, then learning the ins of a spaceship in 10 AF should give me some knowledge on other vehicles too.

Theliel wrote:
The primary issue now that we have character creation is that fighty characters only have to invest in 3 core skills + the survival essentials (Free Fall, Infosec), Hackers invest in the core 3 info skills + a weapon + frey+ free fall, and everyone else is looking at covering the 5 core skills (Infosec, Interface, Free Fall, Frey, Guns/Melee) and then trying to get the skills to let them do what the character is supposed to do. Unlike the Hackers or Fighters social is broken up in to a mere 4 skills, Piloting is 6 (with some overlap into infosec and interface), and trying to be a guy who fixes things? Good luck with that. Just to keep a starship running you're looking at: Hardware: Aerospace, Hardware: Electronics, Hardware: nanofabrication, Hardware: Industrial. You'd think Hardware: Aerospace would cover repairing comms kit on a space ship, or the life support, or the maintinence fabber but nope. Three separate skills that let you fix things. You'll need Infosec, Interface & Program to do anything after that. Then you'll, y'know, need some sort of skill so you can actually move about in space, and maybe something to fight & not die with.

A pilot really only needs the Pilot skill of their vehicle of their choice, Fray and Interface. You might say that repair skills are essential for a pilot, but that'd be like saying medical skills are essential for being a human being.

That said, it is ridiculous that a person would require so many hardware skills to maintain a ship. You can't simultaneously fill the game with broad skills and granular ones. The granular ones will be underpowered by a wide margin. I feel like most field skills would work much better if fields were treated more like specializations (Interest, Academics, Profession and Exotic Skill are fine).

Theliel wrote:
What's even better is that with Academics: Physics, Academics: Chemistry, & Hardware: Electronics you have the actual skills of demolition, but are rolling default Hardware: Demolitions.

The skills weren't simply collapsed enough. You shouldn't have to try to figure out if it's an attribute roll vs. skill the player has vs. skill the player doesn't, especially since attribute rolls are attribute x 3 which is way better than most default skills.


I like to think that aptitude rolls are raw power checks against the aptitude, in contrast to the finesse of skills. Athletics is for doing fancy things with your body, while SOM*3 is for pushing a rock. Persuasion is for using the right words, while SAV*3 is relying on raw charm without delicacy.

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

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Current Defaulting Setup is Odd

Having only two skills prevented from defaulting just feels like the wrong number of skills to have that trait. We need it either more common or less.

Ian Argent wrote:
The way I see it, Infosec is the Guns & Fray equivalent of infolife/hackers and Interface the Athletics/Freefall equivalent. On balance, I don't have that much of a problem having these two be separate skills, but I'm not sure I like that Infosec can't be defaulted to in a world where almost everyone has a certain base level of 'net savvy simply to function in the world, and where it's as necessary for infolife as washing hands is for meatlife.

I concur, having only two skills in the game be "no defaulting" is odd, double so for them to be so highly adjacent when the entire Hardware and Medicine skills, and the Psi skill lack that tag. Even for programming, you might not really know it yourself, but it doesn't take a lot of programming training (couple hours) to be able to copy paste free code and get something that kinda works half the time.

I feel like either you can always try to default (even if that means frantically flipping through meshpedia for what you want to do) or the rule should also apply to Field skills in general, with the caveat that some fields might "allow defaulting". If you know Nanofabber and are faced with an Industrial task for example.

I personally favor the answer where you can always Default on a task, and some skills are prone to harsher penalties for doing so. Perhaps that * on a skill should instead say "Default on this skill at -20 if you have no complimentary skills". Then, on easy tasks at least, you have the option of putting together a crude hacky answer. Or "you always include an Inferior Penalty when defaulting" if we want to bring in some of the features of the 33/66 rule here.

Decivre wrote:
That said, it is ridiculous that a person would require so many hardware skills to maintain a ship. You can't simultaneously fill the game with broad skills and granular ones. The granular ones will be underpowered by a wide margin. I feel like most field skills would work much better if fields were treated more like specializations (Interest, Academics, Profession and Exotic Skill are fine).

Generally agree, overall, I think the Hardware skill in particular should have an "exhaustive" list of what fields can be taken for it, and where the gaps are. "Can attempt but with a negative modifier if you only have the adjacent skills" might be a good answer here, or the options i mentioned up in my defaulting comments.

I'm thinking Hardware should probably be about 4-5 fields: Industrial (including nanofabs), Aerospace(including habitats), Electronics, Armory (weapons/armor in general)

The rolls for building a morph would probably focus on Industrial for things like basic worker pods, or Electronics if it's intended to be a high-smarts synth. Maybe even a roll on each. Most groundcraft would be industrial, tanks might be in Armory, boats could be a specialization from Aerospace.

Hmmm, looking at what I've just written, I see a lot of edge cases andarbitrary splitting. I don't think I've managed to cut the skill up along it's natural seams. Does anyone have some alternative approaches to this? I suspect the devs actually do have a mostly complete list of Hardware fields laying around in their notes, it'd be nice to see the full spec.

I amgoing to try for the same pass on Medical, but now I feel less sure. I'd in general suggest laying out the possible types of rolls that would be made on it, and then trying to divide those roughtly evenly. Two different types of healing (physical/mental, so Surgery/Psychosurgery?), something to handle the invention of new implants/morphs (Bioengineering?), and perhaps also a skill for making infomorph eidolons (um, Mental Architecture?). Again, this is only a roguh pass, and I could see Pharmacology being important too, giving how many booster drugs are running around the setting.

Pilot is straightforwards: Aerospace, Groundcraft, Watercraft. Any more than that is cutting things super fine, and I'd be ok with either merging Pilot into a single active with specializations, and/or pointing out you can always substitute Interface and have the Device AI do the heavy lifting.

A slight smell of ions....

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
I, too, would like to see

I, too, would like to see Field skills as exhaustive lists, to avoid the problem of too fine a distribution. With perhaps the possible exception of Interest and Profession.

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Ian Argent Ian Argent's picture
TheGrue wrote:I, too, would

TheGrue wrote:
I, too, would like to see Field skills as exhaustive lists, to avoid the problem of too fine a distribution. With perhaps the possible exception of Interest and Profession.

Academics, Exotic, Interest, Profession can be exemplary, coincidentally enough, these are the Knowledge (or the catch-all) skills. Hardware, Medicine, Pilot should have exhaustive and limited lists because they are Active skills with mechanical consequences. I've already noted the discrepancy between Movement Types and the Pilot Fields list, but Hardware [field] will almost certainly be specified for repair tests and non-combat challenge types; and medicine [field] for healing checks (physical vs mental, short vs long term care), and for different types of non-combat challenges.

And, as far as I can tell, Programming was pulled out of being a Hardware field so it could have the "non-default" tag added to it, and for aesthetics. Collapse it back in and rename the skill.

RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
Others have already made the

Others have already made the arguments for why we have the Hardware, Medicine, and Pilot fields separated out.

The fields included under the skill listings are the recommended fields, and the ones we will be sticking with going forward. They are listed as "Samples" because your preferences as a GM may vary.

Pilot fields should be listed as Aerospace, Ground, and Naval. Despite the interfaces being similar, I still feel like the environments you are piloting on/within are different enough to warrant separate fields.

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Honestly, I'm playing devils

Honestly, I'm playing devils advocate for no defaulting at this stage - I think it's totally an acceptable drift if you want to house rule it.

And if Posthuman Studios has no real response to the issue of the "weirdness" of no defaulting it's probably time to kill their darlings and just discard it. You can always caveat that certain complex functions can't be defaulted in the specific skill descriptions. If that's not a rule already I just missed.

I think the issue of "sample" fields is that, especially since some field skills are really free form PS doesn't necessarily want to enforce the idea on the minds of players who have no idea what they're doing that you can only ever pick from the sample list. Technically that's covered on rule 0 but as we can increasingly see from the playtest, potential players often have no clear idea at what you're trying to convey unless you explicitly tell them. If the game has to lean toward being idiot-proofed or not, it apparently must go all in on the idiot-proofing (Not that I'm explicitly calling anybody else in the discussion an idiot - I'm just saying the trend of discussion seems to be leaning toward the "We must warn the player the coffee is hot, we can't just let the GM sort it out because we can't trust them to know the coffee is hot either" sort of thing).

So on the like, technical subject of Hardware I will not be moved from the hill that the active Field skills should be Field skills - because that really hurts character individuality and EP has always been pretty easy to get the skill points you want - especially since we know Point-Buy will be present, and Hardware is inherently super broad (You can build, break, fix and modify objects). It would mean the fix-it guy only needs 1 skill ever, and creates a lot of redundancy with other PCs who might want just a smidge because they have a specific knowledge. Why bother to take that 40 points in fixing things to fix your guns when the fix everything guy has 80 in fixing everything? If we want to more explicitly outline it, I'd say the best way would be to frame it kind of as a scope and scale thing. Electronics is for personal, small scale electronics stuff which is portable or has small components, Robotics is bots and synthmorphs which are all roughly in the same scale as "morphs", Aerospace covers flying passenger vehicles of any stripe up to large scale bulk carriers, Industrial is any large-scale component associated with a hab or station (Keeping in mind cities are habs too) which are basically non-mobile installations, etc. Armorer is a bit of an outlier for purposes of weapons because weapon tech is a little more niche, little more specialized but has very clearly defined limits. And then add some text to very clearly state that if there is a situation where they overlap, either field might be used at the GM's discretion with or without penalty.

(And program isn't a Hardware because it explicitly deals with creating software - that'd be kind of goofy)

EDIT: And then Rob basically just ninja'd me with an official statement.

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

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
RobBoyle wrote:Pilot fields

RobBoyle wrote:
Pilot fields should be listed as Aerospace, Ground, and Naval. Despite the interfaces being similar, I still feel like the environments you are piloting on/within are different enough to warrant separate fields.

Ground and Naval have way more in common than Air and Space, so I'm not sure why you drew the divisions there.

EDIT: To expand on this a little, from the Wikipedia article on space rendezvous;

Quote:
The first attempt at rendezvous was made on June 3, 1965, when US astronaut Jim McDivitt tried to maneuver his Gemini 4 craft to meet its spent Titan II launch vehicle's upper stage. McDivitt was unable to get close enough to achieve station-keeping, due to depth-perception problems, and stage propellant venting which kept moving it around.[5] However, the Gemini 4 attempts at rendezvous were unsuccessful largely because NASA engineers had yet to learn the orbital mechanics involved in the process. Simply pointing the active vehicle's nose at the target and thrusting was unsuccessful. If the target is ahead in the orbit and the tracking vehicle increases speed, its altitude also increases, actually moving it away from the target. The higher altitude then increases orbital period due to Kepler's third law, putting the tracker not only above, but also behind the target. The proper technique requires changing the tracking vehicle's orbit to allow the rendezvous target to either catch up or be caught up with, and then at the correct moment changing to the same orbit as the target with no relative motion between the vehicles (for example, putting the tracker into a lower orbit, which has a shorter orbital period allowing it to catch up, then executing a Hohmann transfer back to the original orbital height).

tl;dr learning how to fly airplanes does not teach you the orbital mechanics necessary to fly spacecraft

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

Ian Argent Ian Argent's picture
RobBoyle wrote:Pilot fields

RobBoyle wrote:
Pilot fields should be listed as Aerospace, Ground, and Naval. Despite the interfaces being similar, I still feel like the environments you are piloting on/within are different enough to warrant separate fields.

As a compromise between playability and realism, I'm good with this. My main point has always been that the rules that call for field skill checks be consistent with the (suggested) fields in the skill descriptions.

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
As outlined above I think Air

As outlined above I think Air, Space and Surface would be more appropriate - but I personally don't have an issue with field skills existing, especially if we still have the "default to another field skill" rule.

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

Ian Argent Ian Argent's picture
TheGrue wrote:As outlined

TheGrue wrote:
As outlined above I think Air, Space and Surface would be more appropriate - but I personally don't have an issue with field skills existing, especially if we still have the "default to another field skill" rule.

I'd be OK with that as well, as long as it's consistent with the usage in the rules that call for skill checks; and for pilot specifically, that there are only 2-4 fields.
Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
I wouldn't mind Air Space

I wouldn't mind Air Space Ground Sea as a four way split personally. I like having liquid stuff demarcated out a little bit for aquatic uplifts, sea exoplanets, and places like Europa.

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Water stuff is really

Water stuff is really submersibles (which probably should have it's own mechanics seperate unless you really want to bundle Sea/Air but that doesn't sound intuitive to most people) since "boating" is probably incredibly niche but PS doesn't want to sell you short if you do actually end up in a surface boat.

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

Grim G Grim G's picture
Resource Trait

So I went over the resource trait, and so far I'm confused and unimpressed.

I understand the need to simplify economics, but forcing your players to cough up a res point every time you reward them with loot for a mission accomplished seems unfair, and giving them rez for taking away their stuff takes away an important means of creating tension for characters when they seriously fuck up.

I'm also confused about is why this is a trait. In terms of common sense, a talented hacker from the rim with no money in his pocket could hack into a corporation, inform them of the system flaw, and get hired by them in less than a week (This is actually a legitimate, real life tactic to getting hired for cyber security), then BOOM he has a steady flow of income without having to spend a single point.

On a related note, I hope there would be a way to inflate the price of an item by small amounts (There's no way two helmets can cost the same when one has an air filter, higher armor and a goddamned ecto installed).

Theliel Theliel's picture
RobBoyle wrote:Others have

RobBoyle wrote:
Others have already made the arguments for why we have the Hardware, Medicine, and Pilot fields separated out.

The fields included under the skill listings are the recommended fields, and the ones we will be sticking with going forward. They are listed as "Samples" because your preferences as a GM may vary.

Pilot fields should be listed as Aerospace, Ground, and Naval. Despite the interfaces being similar, I still feel like the environments you are piloting on/within are different enough to warrant separate fields.

Is there going to be guidance on how to employ Hardware effectively?

LibraryDrone LibraryDrone's picture
TheGrue wrote:UnitOmega wrote

TheGrue wrote:
UnitOmega wrote:
On the other hand, things I've read in the past have indicated that you can put a high school kid in a professional simulator for a fighter jet and let them play with it they can figure out the basics in a few minutes

I've heard this as well. And, at the risk of beating a dead horse, the same is true of programming.


To a degree. It depends on the level of programming your talking about. You probably couldn't make something from scratch but even without training you could probably figure a few things out based on logic and observance. At least with the assumption that a basic everyday high school level education includes the very basics of programming in the eclipse phase world, which would only make logical sense considering the level of tech.

“Science fiction is very well suited to asking philosophical questions; questions about the nature of reality, what it means to be human, how do we know the things that we think we know.”
― Ted Chiang

Decivre Decivre's picture
LibraryDrone wrote:To a

LibraryDrone wrote:
To a degree. It depends on the level of programming your talking about. You probably couldn't make something from scratch but even without training you could probably figure a few things out based on logic and observance. At least with the assumption that a basic everyday high school level education includes the very basics of programming in the eclipse phase world, which would only make logical sense considering the level of tech.

On the other hand, it would also make sense that exposure to code is much more common in this setting than it is today. The ubiquity of the mesh, combined with the fact that Muses can aid you in designing software, make it rather difficult not to have some exposure to the field.

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

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

eaton eaton's picture
Of course, having 20 points

Of course, having 20 points or so is equivalent to a very basic education, so most characters would need just 1CP / 5 skill points to get to that level. "Really useful" skills in EP start at 40 or so, and 50-60 is generally understood to be the range for skills you rely on.

The question with Piloting, I think, is really about how transferable piloting skills are across different types of vehicles. Anecdotally, I was at a friend's party when we buusted out a quadrocopter, and the guy who picked it up and started doing tricks after a few minutes' practice was unsuprisingly a professional airline pilot. He didn't have any prior experience with rotorcraft, but familiarity with basic flight controls got him pretty far.

Similarly, I was professional software developer for about two decades; the skills to write (say) a shell script versus a device driver versus GCODE for a 3D printer's onboard controller are very different, potentially radical enough to justify Field treatment if we go full on simulationist. But for gameplay purposes, broad field + specialization feels totally reasonable.

LibraryDrone LibraryDrone's picture
Grim G wrote:So I went over

Grim G wrote:
So I went over the resource trait, and so far I'm confused and unimpressed.

I understand the need to simplify economics, but forcing your players to cough up a res point every time you reward them with loot for a mission accomplished seems unfair, and giving them rez for taking away their stuff takes away an important means of creating tension for characters when they seriously fuck up.

I'm also confused about is why this is a trait. In terms of common sense, a talented hacker from the rim with no money in his pocket could hack into a corporation, inform them of the system flaw, and get hired by them in less than a week (This is actually a legitimate, real life tactic to getting hired for cyber security), then BOOM he has a steady flow of income without having to spend a single point.

On a related note, I hope there would be a way to inflate the price of an item by small amounts (There's no way two helmets can cost the same when one has an air filter, higher armor and a goddamned ecto installed).

I think maybe you're misunderstanding the point of the trait. The recources trait seems to be represenitive of your ability to get ahold of the things you want at any point (buying stuff doesnt drop it ater all) if your rewarding your players with loot just do it with specific pieces of gear as opposed to "Bad guy X has Y number of space dollars in his wallet" since as far as I've understood even the old world economy system in ep doesn't involve actual physical money. you arent meant to be handling rewards in general in ep with "X number of space dollars" you do it with an improved relationship with characters/factions, of a blueprint for a specific cool item that can be carried around with you and therefore doesn't require anything more that the time it takes to fab in order to get (as opposed to resource bought things which would include time spent to find someone that has the the thing you want first) The game is kind of asking you as the gm to be more creative in your reward granting than hands player money good job" which makes sense seeing as this is supposed to be a post scarcity society. physical rewards aren't the point

“Science fiction is very well suited to asking philosophical questions; questions about the nature of reality, what it means to be human, how do we know the things that we think we know.”
― Ted Chiang

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Alternatively, EP is so

Alternatively, EP is so advanced it's wrapped around the other way. It's noted in the game that due to nanofabrication and in some polities' pervasive IP concerns/regulations that a lot of technology is "black boxed" - it's sealed in fabrication and is not intended to be opened to be repaired or studied. Many of them have onboard AI so you don't even have to learn to use them. If they break, you buy a new one, possibly literally just feeding the old device to a fabber to recycle the remaining materials. Given that digital goods are even easier to distribute and have had this problem for much longer, they might also suffer from similar effects, a return to obscurity of underlying code - UIs are very integral to transhuman life, but is the actual understanding and breaking of the code which governs it?

That's really more of a question of what PS wants to imply about the setting - and how much the mechanics inform the setting (which in EP is a very key component, especially when all we have of 2E right now is the mechanics). Like Eaton notes, It only takes 1 CP on average to hit what the game considers a basic education in a skill.

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

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
"I'm a [Doctor], not a [Vet/Field Medic/Botanist/Executioner]!"

Partial cross post with the CharGen thread, but how about we allow auto-defaulting within Active Field skills?
Essentially, you only get one which act's as the character's primary focus (Take that, annoying character sheet layout issues!), but can always make rolls outside that field with a predefined penalty.

For the fluff-justification, there's enough distinction between fields that making them universal is tricky, but in this Marvelous Transhuman Future there's enough overlap that moonlighting is expected: Your combat medic has to be able to treat human-analogues, giant cyborg crabs, alien squirrels and unually mobile plants - being able to deal with a Housecat is not that big a leap.
Likewise, an Aircraft pilot is capable of flying in different atmospheres of different densities, in vehicles both with and without aerofoils. Flying in Space or Underwater is different but not out of the realm of plausibility, especially with muses and onboard AI presenting custom control configurations and helping 'translate'.

I really want Knowledge Fields to go away. Breaking them into Profession/Interest/Academics just creates unnecessary complications. Just turn Sample Fields into Sample Skills - no fuss, no muss... and once again the Character Sheet becomes simpler :P

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?

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
Grab Bag of Responses

Simulationism vs. Narrativism


eaton wrote:

Using different skill pools for different kinds of “stretches” — pushing a character beyond what they’re normally able to do in a given situation — feels very solid. I don’t really share the concerns others have expressed about the in-game flavor implications of moving away from hard stat bonuses; in-game, no one was should’ve been talking about a morph’s “+5 to COO” anyways, just “enhanced cognition” or “neural boosts” or what not.

Wherever human performance goes, hard numbers follow. They might not use the terms "COO" or "SOM", but they will absolutely quantify performance metrics.

CordialUltimate2 wrote:

Say you want to perform flanking manouver, basic tactics really. You and your enemy both have 3 speed. Pretty reasonable for high stakes covert operatives. If you run for the cover 15 meters from you, you have to accept -20 modifier to your shooting for movement and be out of cover for 2 action phases. In this action phases you are out of cover and you are shooting worse.

Even if you have someone covering you the other side has to just accept making some Fray roll to shoot at you. They would be doing this anyway.

An interesting idea, but this would entail things like suppression rules that would belong in some sort of advanced combat document, IMO. I forget if SquireNed's AUGC has those.

Gear and Morphs vs. Egocasting


Trappedinwikipedia wrote:

I'm hoping the new rules for gear acquisition help with this actually, because it's kind of lame having a lot of cool and more "out there" bodies, but knowing that basically all of them except the budget powerhouse Pods are sub-optimal choices, and basically exist for flavor purposes like the fun Interest skills.

Have you never enjoyed aspiring to something, and through personal achievement finally getting it? This is the fundamental mechanism of character advancement.

Ian Argent wrote:

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)

I think this would be a nifty solution to Newbie Morph Mania Syndrome. Much like optional point buy, optional morph buy could be a thing for more advanced players.

Skills and Rolls

atamajakki wrote:
Is there any chance of changing the Initiative mechanic? It's (AFAIK) the only d10+modifier roll in the game, and that's always upset me.

What about stress tests and weapon damage?

ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:
I really want Knowledge Fields to go away. Breaking them into Profession/Interest/Academics just creates unnecessary complications. Just turn Sample Fields into Sample Skills - no fuss, no muss... and once again the Character Sheet becomes simpler :P

I don't mind the Field skill system. In fact, I quite like its flexibility. Specialisations might make a decent stand-in though. But I don't see them used a lot, maybe because they're limited to 1 so people don't want to hinder themselves by making the wrong irreversible choice? Idunno.

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
Indubitably

QFT

Moon-Hawk wrote:

This doesn't sit right with me. I get that aptitude modifiers required too much recalculation and had to go. However, to push this example even farther, if at the end of a long adventure, a tuckered-out Remade is no different from a Flat, that feels to me like the mechanics are working at cross-purposes to the transhumanist feel of the setting. Obviously the remade was a bigger badass during that adventure, but that feeling that a better morph is intrinsically better, faster, stronger, smarter than baseline is an important part of the setting, I think. The old mechanics, while cumbersome, reinforced that, and I'd hate to see the baby thrown out with the bathwater. I'm eager to see the morph/sleeving rules, and very hopeful that there is a way to work in some kind of static or passive bonuses for morphs (beyond just health), in addition to the pools, to reinforce that intrinsically superior feel for morphs that warrant it.

^^^^

So much this. We're no longer buying superior strength or beauty or intelligence. We're renting it a couple of Rounds at a time.

Ghostwalker wrote:

The thing is concept. For me, it doesn't matter the impact of the Aptitute in the system so much. My concern is how the rules emulate the concept. If Transhuman are stronger, smarter, and faster than a normal human being, and the main core mechanic that represent those things are the Aptitudes, so, the "transhuman races" should have some king of bonus in those things - the pool system is not enough, at least for me.

The Vigor vs SPD thing is particularly jarring to me, since Vigor represents some sort of speed and some sort of toughness. It's not mechanically possible to make a speedy cat-burglar guy who isn't somehow also a tank.

eaton wrote:

I think reflexes still makes sense as an ego skill, but I really do like the idea of making COO the 'physical ability' state for egos, and SOM the 'physical strength' stat for morphs.

Me three. The +10 SOM of the neo-gorilla always seemed a little off to me; gorillas are much more than twice as strong as the average Flat.

Decivre wrote:

LibraryDrone wrote:

To a degree. It depends on the level of programming your talking about. You probably couldn't make something from scratch but even without training you could probably figure a few things out based on logic and observance. At least with the assumption that a basic everyday high school level education includes the very basics of programming in the eclipse phase world, which would only make logical sense considering the level of tech.

On the other hand, it would also make sense that exposure to code is much more common in this setting than it is today. The ubiquity of the mesh, combined with the fact that Muses can aid you in designing software, make it rather difficult not to have some exposure to the field.

Good points both. I could see this justifying the 'defaultability' of the Programming skill. I'm not sure the same applies to the InfoSec skill, but I'm open to being convinced.

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
Speed Demon... or Toughness Demon?

eaton wrote:

Eliminating SPD is probably the biggest and most (potentially) controversial byproduct of the pool system, but has the most potential to make EP’s combat rewarding for… less-optimized players.

Less-optimised players clearly didn't see fit to invest in combat abilities. And what of more-optimised players?

eaton wrote:

However, SPD is intimately related to the problem of combat that's unbalanced to the point of boredom and frustration. I've got a 6-player group that's been campaigning together for nearly 3 years now. I would say they're *fairly* experienced with EP, and they realize that combat is brutal and unforgiving. One player, however, has SPD 4 while most of the others have SPD 1. In a recent combat scenario, she *literally murdered a TITAN Warbot* before half the other players had a chance to take a turn.

I don't see how that would even be possible with SPD in EP1:

EP 1ed4pr p.189 wrote:
Every character starts with a default Speed stat of 1, meaning they can act in the first Action Phase of the turn only.

Ironically, that scenario would be possible in EP2 by spending all your Vigor in the first Action Phase/Round on extra actions.

eaton wrote:

There's nothing inherently wrong with that kind of burst performance in a pinch, but the EP1 speed mechanic ensures that it applies to *literally every single combat engagement the players participate in*. If we're concerned about realism, that doesn't track with a fundamental problem in nature and technology: speed is energy and resource intensive. Cheetahs can hit 80mph sprint speeds, but they can only sustain it for a short period of time. Electric cars can do 0-60 in a heartbeat, but they burn through an entire battery charge doing so unless they're economical with their acceleration.

SPD doesn't affect movement rate.

eaton wrote:

Both SPD and the Vigor Pool are just mechanics that model the same world-concepts in different ways.

They're not quite the same concepts. Vigor does "everything physical". SPD has a niche effect.

eaton wrote:

IMO the idea that a Fury (to use the popular example) is 'no better' than a flat because it's not running double-time 24/7 isn't about gameworld realism, but attachment to the particular mechanic from EP1. There's nothing wrong with that, but let's at least stop arguing that it makes Transhumanity less Transhuman?

The concern isn't that "a Fury is no better than a flat because it's not running double-time 24/7". It's that a Fury can only kick ass for ~36 seconds a day. If gear fixes this by replenishing pools, that's all well and good, but now I have to track pool refreshes on top of everything else. +10 SOM was way simpler than that.

LibraryDrone LibraryDrone's picture
Dilf_Pickle wrote:

Dilf_Pickle wrote:

Decivre wrote:

LibraryDrone wrote:

To a degree. It depends on the level of programming your talking about. You probably couldn't make something from scratch but even without training you could probably figure a few things out based on logic and observance. At least with the assumption that a basic everyday high school level education includes the very basics of programming in the eclipse phase world, which would only make logical sense considering the level of tech.

On the other hand, it would also make sense that exposure to code is much more common in this setting than it is today. The ubiquity of the mesh, combined with the fact that Muses can aid you in designing software, make it rather difficult not to have some exposure to the field.

Good points both. I could see this justifying the 'defaultability' of the Programming skill. I'm not sure the same applies to the InfoSec skill, but I'm open to being convinced.

WEll InfoSec is cyber security right? leapfrogging off of things being common knowlage in teh age of eclipse phase... Wouldn't that be even more true for infosec? heck I know more about infosec than programming and have no official training. again maybe untrained you cant build a complex security system from scratch but even people today know basics like like "don't write you password on stickynotes or use your birthday. don't click on the flashing porn adds in the sidebar, don't open email attachments if you dont know who sent it, change your password once in a while" There's stuff that falls under the purview of infosec that include basic life skills in a technologically advanced society.

“Science fiction is very well suited to asking philosophical questions; questions about the nature of reality, what it means to be human, how do we know the things that we think we know.”
― Ted Chiang

Decivre Decivre's picture
Dilf_Pickle wrote:So much

I'm starting to think that Pilot and Free Fall should be SOM skills. Pilot represents not only how well you use the vehicle, but how well you can push its limits... and that's more SOM. And I've noticed that microgravity involves a lot of crawling, climbing, and jumping.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
So much this. We're no longer buying superior strength or beauty or intelligence. We're renting it a couple of Rounds at a time.

I disagree. Even without aptitude bonuses, transhumans are transhuman. You say that a Remade without his pool is the same as any human, but I dare you to find a human that could mainline a cyanide IV bag during a 10-minute autoerotic asphyxiation session in 140 degree weather and walk away from it.

I'll wait.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
The Vigor vs SPD thing is particularly jarring to me, since Vigor represents some sort of speed and some sort of toughness. It's not mechanically possible to make a speedy cat-burglar guy who isn't somehow also a tank.

Implants provide the fine-tuning you need for your expertise. That tank might not have chameleon skin, or grip pads.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
Me three. The +10 SOM of the neo-gorilla always seemed a little off to me; gorillas are much more than twice as strong as the average Flat.

I believe the difference between points must be some sort of exponent. Otherwise we have to believe that a posthuman intelligence is just a triple-mind.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
Good points both. I could see this justifying the 'defaultability' of the Programming skill. I'm not sure the same applies to the InfoSec skill, but I'm open to being convinced.

Do you think anyone would let their child have a muse if that muse didn't teach their kid the absolute basics of mesh security?

Dude, I would totally get a refund if someone's kid's muse just let them send their password over the internet, or be talked into posting something disgusting. Every company would have incentive to put at least that much security in as a tutorial, so kids know not to give out codes and passwords, and know not to trust people off their contact list, and so on.

And in a world threatened by the exsurgent virus, basic intrusion detection is must know knowledge. Like "this is how you dial 911 if mommy or daddy aren't waking up" must know.

Maybe there could be a negative trait for someone who was in cold sleep during the Fall, and they can't default on it?

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

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
I don't think Exsurgents are

I don't think Exsurgents are even needed for that. In a world where computers and computer crime have been around for hundreds of years basic security practices should be very common. Sort of like how most people know about locking doors and have a basic idea of how to break into their house.

Programming is similar, I'd expect it to be a skill that everyone has some ability in, sort of like literacy today. There was a negative trait in 1E eclipse phase for not being literate, so not being computer or security literate could return as one under a similar premise. It'd need a larger penalty, like not being able to default, and not being table to take the skill.

I just don't really think non-defaultable skills make much sense with a heavily pared down skill list and defaulting being much less crippling.

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
Flirting with danger

Decivre wrote:
Dilf_Pickle wrote:
So much this. We're no longer buying superior strength or beauty or intelligence. We're renting it a couple of Rounds at a time.

I disagree. Even without aptitude bonuses, transhumans are transhuman. You say that a Remade without his pool is the same as any human, but I dare you to find a human that could mainline a cyanide IV bag during a 10-minute autoerotic asphyxiation session in 140 degree weather and walk away from it.

I'll wait.

I'll wait for you to quote me saying "a Remade without his pool is the same as any human".

In the meanwhile, I'll point out that your example of Remade transhumanist awesomeness is also acheivable by a Case.

Decivre wrote:

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
Me three. The +10 SOM of the neo-gorilla always seemed a little off to me; gorillas are much more than twice as strong as the average Flat.

I believe the difference between points must be some sort of exponent. Otherwise we have to believe that a posthuman intelligence is just a triple-mind.

Triple-mind would already be pretty goddamned impressive, but I can put the above in the 'maybe' camp. The idea of a 20-base-SOM Neotenic beating a 10-base-SOM Neo-Gorilla in an armwrestling match tickles me, though.

Decivre wrote:

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
Good points both. I could see this justifying the 'defaultability' of the Programming skill. I'm not sure the same applies to the InfoSec skill, but I'm open to being convinced.

Do you think anyone would let their child have a muse if that muse didn't teach their kid the absolute basics of mesh security?

Dude, I would totally get a refund if someone's kid's muse just let them send their password over the internet, or be talked into posting something disgusting. Every company would have incentive to put at least that much security in as a tutorial, so kids know not to give out codes and passwords, and know not to trust people off their contact list, and so on.

And in a world threatened by the exsurgent virus, basic intrusion detection is must know knowledge. Like "this is how you dial 911 if mommy or daddy aren't waking up" must know.

Maybe there could be a negative trait for someone who was in cold sleep during the Fall, and they can't default on it?

I generally agree with what you've said above, but I'll note that the character in question wouldn't be defaulting, as they actually learned the InfoSec skill.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Dilf_Pickle wrote:I'll wait

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
I'll wait for you to quote me saying "a Remade without his pool is the same as any human".

In the meanwhile, I'll point out that your example of Remade transhumanist awesomeness is also acheivable by a Case.


My point is that what makes a transhuman amazing is more than just those pools. It's a bit disingenuous to state that the new system doesn't still take that into account to some degree.

That said, as the person who wrote up the early homebrew rules for carrying capacities and strengths for first edition, I am bothered that there isn't some guideline on physical capacity as your max vigor pool and durability should influence it.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
Triple-mind would already be pretty goddamned impressive, but I can put the above in the 'maybe' camp. The idea of a 20-base-SOM Neotenic beating a 10-base-SOM Neo-Gorilla in an armwrestling match tickles me, though.

I like to believe that Eclipse Phase is a setting where transhuman minds make the seemingly-heroic possible.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
I generally agree with what you've said above, but I'll note that the character in question wouldn't be defaulting, as they actually learned the InfoSec skill.

I like to think that the basic education we get as children is the thing we don't consider a skill. And I actually am starting to agree with the "every skill should be defaultable" camp, because we are truly underestimating the amount of things that transhuman children will be exposed to in 10 AF.

Unless you were born an old-fashioned human, note that you were probably born with mesh inserts.

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

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

gleech gleech's picture
Decivre wrote:Dilf_Pickle

Decivre wrote:
Dilf_Pickle wrote:
I'll wait for you to quote me saying "a Remade without his pool is the same as any human".

In the meanwhile, I'll point out that your example of Remade transhumanist awesomeness is also acheivable by a Case.


My point is that what makes a transhuman amazing is more than just those pools. It's a bit disingenuous to state that the new system doesn't still take that into account to some degree.

For the record, to the extent that we're voting, I agree with Pickle's assessment. You're right up to a point, though.

Decivre wrote:
That said, as the person who wrote up the early homebrew rules for carrying capacities and strengths for first edition, I am bothered that there isn't some guideline on physical capacity as your max vigor pool and durability should influence it.

I also had the idea of adding an STR stat, besides the existing DUR stat. =)

Decivre wrote:
Dilf_Pickle wrote:
Triple-mind would already be pretty goddamned impressive, but I can put the above in the 'maybe' camp. The idea of a 20-base-SOM Neotenic beating a 10-base-SOM Neo-Gorilla in an armwrestling match tickles me, though.

I like to believe that Eclipse Phase is a setting where transhuman minds make the seemingly-heroic possible.

Yeah, but a Scurrier having no advantage over a Remade at arm-wrestling? A Case having fair odds against a Remade in a freerunning contest (well, other than movement rates, I guess)? Sleeving a Hyperbirght, a morph with a water-cooled hyper-brain, giving you no edge on problem-solving?

Decivre wrote:
Dilf_Pickle wrote:
I generally agree with what you've said above, but I'll note that the character in question wouldn't be defaulting, as they actually learned the InfoSec skill.

I like to think that the basic education we get as children is the thing we don't consider a skill. And I actually am starting to agree with the "every skill should be defaultable" camp, because we are truly underestimating the amount of things that transhuman children will be exposed to in 10 AF.

Unless you were born an old-fashioned human, note that you were probably born with mesh inserts.

That's true, but it's still possible for a skill to focus on very specific competencies, involve skills that most people won't have developed, or require years of constant practice to refine to a usable degree. I'm absolutely in favor of not letting basically everyone take a running go at surgically replacing a kidney, designing a fusion motor, or writing a kernel module (which is to say, not only am I ok with non-defaulting skills, I'd like to see Medicine and Hardware make the list).

You could render the discussion somewhat moot - and directly represent what you're talking about - by including 10 Infosec in some of the starting packages.

Actually, did the guide mention muses and the skills they get? Because my take on how education in EP worked was that Muses got Interfacing, Infosec and Programming in small amounts exactly because it wasn't practical to try to teach everyone a functional amount of programming (f.ex.) in school.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
The concern isn't that "a Fury is no better than a flat because it's not running double-time 24/7". It's that a Fury can only kick ass for ~36 seconds a day. If gear fixes this by replenishing pools, that's all well and good, but now I have to track pool refreshes on top of everything else. +10 SOM was way simpler than that.

Aptly stated and I completely agree.

I said it in the other thread, but that's my major complaint: my Remade only gets to be superhuman in K discrete bursts throughout the day. I don't necessarily demand that we keep morph apt-bonuses exactly, but I do want a system where my Remade is superhuman all the time.



Decivre Decivre's picture
Here's an odd thought, and it

Here's an odd thought, and it would still eliminate the need to adjust stats and grant a second purpose for the pools. Also, it gives an additional use for d6s.

What if you rolled d6s along with your percentile dice, equal to your remaining appropriate pool, and added it to your roll for purposes of determining height of success?

The bonus would be relatively low: for the reaper morph say shooting their gun, that's an additional 6d6, which will average a mere +21, as a bonus. This would also mean that you could, for example, get a success total of 66+ even if you only have a skill of 60, so long as the raw percentile dice result is below your target number.

What do you guys think?

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

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
Decivre wrote:Here's an odd

Decivre wrote:
Here's an odd thought, and it would still eliminate the need to adjust stats and grant a second purpose for the pools. Also, it gives an additional use for d6s.

What if you rolled d6s along with your percentile dice, equal to your remaining appropriate pool, and added it to your roll for purposes of determining height of success?

The bonus would be relatively low: for the reaper morph say shooting their gun, that's an additional 6d6, which will average a mere +21, as a bonus. This would also mean that you could, for example, get a success total of 66+ even if you only have a skill of 60, so long as the raw percentile dice result is below your target number.

What do you guys think?

I don't consider a "mere +21" as a low, meager bonus. That essentially guarantees a superior result on ALL som/ref checks in this example.

gleech wrote:

Yeah, but a Scurrier having no advantage over a Remade at arm-wrestling?

Ok, I had to laugh a bit at this. I love the race and like to espouse the advantages of it all the time... but it's only about 2 feet tall. Sure it's got four arms, but pretty sure arm-wrestling only lets you use one, so I'd expect it to get trounced pretty hard unless it's the most jacked space rodent you've ever seen.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Urthdigger wrote:I don't

Urthdigger wrote:
I don't consider a "mere +21" as a low, meager bonus. That essentially guarantees a superior result on ALL som/ref checks in this example.

Yes, but that's also the most extreme example, picked specifically for that reason. Most pools tend to be much lower, resulting in much lower overall results.

Note that a key element of the mechanic I'm proposing is that it does not affect actual success odds. The percentile dice still determine success and criticals by themselves. It only modifies chance for superior successes (shouldn't count for failed results unless we want transhumans to fail as hard as they succeed).

Oooh! And it means you can have actual pools of d6s to represent your morph pools. Different colors for each pool type. Throw them in a spent area when you sacrifice them to swap rolls or take extra turns.

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

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Moon-Hawk Moon-Hawk's picture
Decivre wrote:Note that a key

Decivre wrote:
Note that a key element of the mechanic I'm proposing is that it does not affect actual success odds. The percentile dice still determine success and criticals by themselves. It only modifies chance for superior successes (shouldn't count for failed results unless we want transhumans to fail as hard as they succeed).

I think that this, or something along these lines, is a really interesting idea. It appears to addresses the concerns of both "camps" in this conversation in a really elegant way.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
+[Pool]d6 is interesting.

Moon-Hawk wrote:
Decivre wrote:
Note that a key element of the mechanic I'm proposing is that it does not affect actual success odds. The percentile dice still determine success and criticals by themselves. It only modifies chance for superior successes (shouldn't count for failed results unless we want transhumans to fail as hard as they succeed).

I think that this, or something along these lines, is a really interesting idea. It appears to addresses the concerns of both "camps" in this conversation in a really elegant way.

I have a nagging feeling that there are some deeper issues with this approach, but it does have a certain appeal. I can't put my finger on why it wouldn't work, which to me implies that it's at least worth playtesting. Even if not something that made core, it could be a nice varient rule if/when that book comes around.

It would seem to make Flex slightly less valuable, but the "wildcard" function it would still have can be quite nice as a way to flipflop without spending your Vigor pool.

A slight smell of ions....

Decivre Decivre's picture
o11o1 wrote:It would seem to

o11o1 wrote:
It would seem to make Flex slightly less valuable, but the "wildcard" function it would still have can be quite nice as a way to flipflop without spending your Vigor pool.

I figured the wildcard function, plus the fact that it doesn't reduce roll pools, was a counterbalance to that. After all, if I am in a Remade with a maxed Flex pool of 5, I'm very incentivized to just spend Flex to retain the bonus 2d6 for each roll.

Thus, the primary reason to spend other pools is for their unique bonuses (extra actions, for example), and when you don't have the Flex.

My only worry is making people reconsider spending points. That's why the benefit is relatively small, but still significant enough that those dice will matter.

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

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Surly Surly's picture
Movement

Movement
The movement rules are complicated, and need to be carefully analyzed.

Hopper seems extremely good. If you’ve got a 4 movement Basic Move, it lets you spend your Quick Action for another 4 movement. So effective 8 per turn, or 12 in low g. A swarmanoid alternating hopping and using its rotors can run circles around any walker morph, and arachnoids are blisteringly fast.

Should it be the case that roller and wheeled systems have no trouble on stairs? Making going up stairs Difficult Movement for them sounds fair. Otherwise I know I'm gonna get setting questions like "why isn't everybody cars."

I notice none of the Movement Types list Freefall.

Does the note on grip pads under Walker imply grip pads let you run along walls in micrograv? I definitely like the edge that would give bouncers.

Decivre wrote:
I'm starting to think that Pilot and Free Fall should be SOM skills. Pilot represents not only how well you use the vehicle, but how well you can push its limits... and that's more SOM. And I've noticed that microgravity involves a lot of crawling, climbing, and jumping.

I partly agree with this, since Pilot now includes handling non-humanoid morphs. The question is whether one attribute should make you good at handling all morphs. I can see it being interesting if Ref pushes you to specialize in micro-g and synths and Som pushes you to specialize in normal-g and biomorphs. However, since Ref is key for combat now, that'd also strongly reinforce the "optimal fighters use synths" thing.

Skills
Re field skills: what if Hardware and Medicine normally can't be defaulted on, but having one Hardware or Medicine field lets you default on others?

Simulspace refresh

TheGrue wrote:
Surely you can't load up a simulspace in the middle of combat, crank the time acceleration to max, and get 24 hours of mental relaxation in the span of a single action. I'm curious how the game mechanics are going to disallow this without also breaking verisimilitude.

Short recharge is 10 minutes, 60x simulspace would take 10 seconds for that. I can’t decide if taking a 4-turn tactical nap is stupid or amazing. It’s not a cheap trick, since it wrecks your action economy! I kinda think it should be allowed. Like combat hacking in 1E, it strikes me as funny but not broken.

eaton eaton's picture
Quote:Short recharge is 10

Quote:
Short recharge is 10 minutes, 60x simulspace would take 10 seconds for that. I can’t decide if taking a 4-turn tactical nap is stupid or amazing. It’s not a cheap trick, since it wrecks your action economy! I kinda think it should be allowed. Like combat hacking in 1E, it strikes me as funny but not broken.

If the point pools represent the depth of the resources your morph has to push itself beyond normal specs (or something like that), I'm not sure simulspace — which is by definition all about the ego — would make sense as a way to accelerate refresh…

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