Post Your Characters!

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mellonbread mellonbread's picture
Post Your Characters!

Post your characters!

This is using the May 15th, 2017 draft of the character creation rules

Garshasp Ghorbani, the Martian Treasure Hunter. He and the Greenhorn Forest Boys use their network of arms trading, prostitution and drug sales to support forays into the TITAN Quarantine Zone, searching for artifacts and other assorted goodies.

Maritza Maria Ortega, the Jovian Infowar Specialist. A Fall orphan fed into the Jovian Republic's Military Orphanage System, Ortega quickly discovered her aptitude with computers. After obtaining a degree in CS at Fukuyama Tech, and a tour of service as a Programmer Armsman in the Jovian Space Force, she now serves with Jovian Security Council Intelligence as an intelligence analyst, leveraging the power of thinking machines to keep the Republic safe.

Thoughts after creating two characters: I'm ready for the point buy rules. With the package system currently in place, I find myself thinking more about what will give me the skills I want than what actually reflects the character's life history. I ended up with a bunch of stuff that doesn't really fit the character concept I had in my head, IE Garshasp has points in Programming that would be better spent elsewhere, and I couldn't find a way to get Ortega any points in Hardware: Electronics (though I'm still in favor of simplifying both Hardware and Medicine, as stated in the other thread).

It's nice not having to count points as double once you go over 60. Shifting exchange rates are among the worst possible things in character generation, and getting rid of them is a step in the right direction. Fray and Perception giving double aptitude points seems like a bit of a kludge solution, especially given that Fray is halved versus ranged anyway.

The rule that points from active skills can be shifted to knowledge skills, but can't be shifted from knowledge skills to active skills is bad. It makes the backgrounds which give more knowledge skills substantially 'weaker' than the ones that give more active skills due to having less versatility.

I was a little confused by the cap on Flex. It says you can only start with 3, but some morphs also give you Flex. Does this count toward the cap?

Did you hear the one about the guy who became a fence?

Spoiler: Highlight to view
They say he was a real posthuman
TheGrue TheGrue's picture
Quinn Westermark, Fall

Quinn Westermark, Fall survivor, private eye, estranged father.

I'm going to disagree with Mellon on the point of skills over 60; I wasn't even trying to max out Perceive and I ended up having points over 80 to redistribute. I think doubling the linked attribute for Perceive may be the issue here.

Also, just to be contrary I allocated aptitudes that weren't in multiples of 5. The playtest docs don't clarify whether to round up or down when calculating derived attributes.

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

RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
mellonbread wrote:

mellonbread wrote:

Thoughts after creating two characters: I'm ready for the point buy rules. With the package system currently in place, I find myself thinking more about what will give me the skills I want than what actually reflects the character's life history. I ended up with a bunch of stuff that doesn't really fit the character concept I had in my head, IE Garshasp has points in Programming that would be better spent elsewhere, and I couldn't find a way to get Ortega any points in Hardware: Electronics (though I'm still in favor of simplifying both Hardware and Medicine, as stated in the other thread).

Maybe this need to be more clear, but there's nothing to stop you from switching skills around. If you end up with Programming 30 and no Hardware, and you want the opposite, just switch them. "Players should feel free to switch their skills around as long as the number of points remains the same, and as long as Knowledge skill points only go toward other Knowledge skills." The packs are intended to keep the process of buying skills easy, but they are not set in stone.

mellonbread wrote:

The rule that points from active skills can be shifted to knowledge skills, but can't be shifted from knowledge skills to active skills is bad. It makes the backgrounds which give more knowledge skills substantially 'weaker' than the ones that give more active skills due to having less versatility.

IIRC, the only packages that do this are the Academic and the Artist/Icon ... and that fits for them. The other packs all have an equal amount of Active and Knowledge skills.

In my opinion, that rule is a necessary one, as otherwise you could dump all of your Knowledge skill points into Active skills instead, and that would be unbalancing.

mellonbread wrote:

I was a little confused by the cap on Flex. It says you can only start with 3, but some morphs also give you Flex. Does this count toward the cap?

No, that just refers to the Flex you get from your ego.

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
TheGrue wrote:The playtest

TheGrue wrote:
The playtest docs don't clarify whether to round up or down when calculating derived attributes.

There's a section in the early part of the Game Mechanics doc that says you handle all rounding normally (which is to say, anything of .5 and higher gets rounded up).

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
RobBoyle wrote:In my opinion,

RobBoyle wrote:
In my opinion, that rule is a necessary one, as otherwise you could dump all of your Knowledge skill points into Active skills instead, and that would be unbalancing.

I agree, but I think this statement leads to a different conclusion. If dumping all Knowledge skills for Active skills would be unbalancing, then Active skills are inherently better than Knowledge skills. Perhaps the fix, rather than arbitrarily restricting character build options, is to make Knowledge skills more worthwhile?

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

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Well, part of that would go

Well, part of that would go into what I'm starting to think we all need to recommend for 2E which is a very plainly stated and explicit "This is how we intend you to play Eclipse Phase (and maybe some ways not to)". Knowledge skills can be incredibly helpful depending on how the players and GMs use them, because they let you Know things, and that is very helpful. Researching stuff is useful, but the ability to just understand what is going on with a person/place/object/event is really helpful and can be the crux of a lot of plot directions, clues, additional factors which might actually help you stop what's going on, etc. But I also as a GM provided my players with a very clear list "Here are some skills you want in general" and "Here are some skills you may find specifically apply to my campaign" when I started the big run I'm currently on hiatus of right now.

So it's not that Knowledge skills aren't worthwhile, just that as typical for RPGs it would be a very easy min-max to become a murderhobo who just has all the points in killing good and not getting killed back and no actual knowledge or training in anything because you just kill stuff good.

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

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
UnitOmega wrote:Well, part of

UnitOmega wrote:
Well, part of that would go into what I'm starting to think we all need to recommend for 2E which is a very plainly stated and explicit "This is how we intend you to play Eclipse Phase (and maybe some ways not to)". Knowledge skills can be incredibly helpful depending on how the players and GMs use them, because they let you Know things, and that is very helpful. Researching stuff is useful, but the ability to just understand what is going on with a person/place/object/event is really helpful and can be the crux of a lot of plot directions, clues, additional factors which might actually help you stop what's going on, etc. But I also as a GM provided my players with a very clear list "Here are some skills you want in general" and "Here are some skills you may find specifically apply to my campaign" when I started the big run I'm currently on hiatus of right now.

So it's not that Knowledge skills aren't worthwhile, just that as typical for RPGs it would be a very easy min-max to become a murderhobo who just has all the points in killing good and not getting killed back and no actual knowledge or training in anything because you just kill stuff good.

Okay, but you aren't going to stop min-maxing with rules. All you can do is change the parameters of what min-maxing is.

Besides which, why is min-maxing a bad thing that must be stopped? In the abstract, what does it matter if fun is had? And at the table, a GM can always ask a player to adjust their character or make a new one.

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

eaton eaton's picture
Quote: Knowledge skills can

Quote:
Knowledge skills can be incredibly helpful depending on how the players and GMs use them, because they let you Know things, and that is very helpful.

One possibility that I think has a lot of potential:make the rule for "complimentary skills" apply only to knowledge skills. Indeed, make it *the way you officially use knowledge skills*. Given the fact that many of the overlapping active skills have been eliminated, I don't think there are too many situations where multiple active skills would be used in the same roll. Professions, Interests, and Academic training, on the other hand, could very easily act as force multipliers for active skills that haven't been maxed out already.

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
The new Complimentary Skills

The new Complimentary Skills rule already works that way. Page 13 of Making Characters, bottom right.

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

eaton eaton's picture
Everyone, ignore me, all my

Everyone, ignore me, all my good ideas are someone else's.

In all seriousness, with that made explicit the value of knowledge skills (even for dedicated min/max murder hobos) seems pretty straightforward.

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
If that's the case, then is

If that's the case, then is it reasonable to say that a character can exchange active skills for knowledge skills but not the reverse?

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

Grim G Grim G's picture
TheGrue wrote:UnitOmega wrote

TheGrue wrote:
UnitOmega wrote:
Well, part of that would go into what I'm starting to think we all need to recommend for 2E which is a very plainly stated and explicit "This is how we intend you to play Eclipse Phase (and maybe some ways not to)". Knowledge skills can be incredibly helpful depending on how the players and GMs use them, because they let you Know things, and that is very helpful. Researching stuff is useful, but the ability to just understand what is going on with a person/place/object/event is really helpful and can be the crux of a lot of plot directions, clues, additional factors which might actually help you stop what's going on, etc. But I also as a GM provided my players with a very clear list "Here are some skills you want in general" and "Here are some skills you may find specifically apply to my campaign" when I started the big run I'm currently on hiatus of right now.

So it's not that Knowledge skills aren't worthwhile, just that as typical for RPGs it would be a very easy min-max to become a murderhobo who just has all the points in killing good and not getting killed back and no actual knowledge or training in anything because you just kill stuff good.

Okay, but you aren't going to stop min-maxing with rules. All you can do is change the parameters of what min-maxing is.

Besides which, why is min-maxing a bad thing that must be stopped? In the abstract, what does it matter if fun is had? And at the table, a GM can always ask a player to adjust their character or make a new one.


In my experience, min-maxers kinda ruin the fun by reminding you of cheese strategies, and disillusioning your choices. It's part of the reason why I don't play D&D any more.
TheGrue TheGrue's picture
Grim G wrote:TheGrue wrote

Grim G wrote:
TheGrue wrote:
UnitOmega wrote:
Well, part of that would go into what I'm starting to think we all need to recommend for 2E which is a very plainly stated and explicit "This is how we intend you to play Eclipse Phase (and maybe some ways not to)". Knowledge skills can be incredibly helpful depending on how the players and GMs use them, because they let you Know things, and that is very helpful. Researching stuff is useful, but the ability to just understand what is going on with a person/place/object/event is really helpful and can be the crux of a lot of plot directions, clues, additional factors which might actually help you stop what's going on, etc. But I also as a GM provided my players with a very clear list "Here are some skills you want in general" and "Here are some skills you may find specifically apply to my campaign" when I started the big run I'm currently on hiatus of right now.

So it's not that Knowledge skills aren't worthwhile, just that as typical for RPGs it would be a very easy min-max to become a murderhobo who just has all the points in killing good and not getting killed back and no actual knowledge or training in anything because you just kill stuff good.

Okay, but you aren't going to stop min-maxing with rules. All you can do is change the parameters of what min-maxing is.

Besides which, why is min-maxing a bad thing that must be stopped? In the abstract, what does it matter if fun is had? And at the table, a GM can always ask a player to adjust their character or make a new one.


In my experience, min-maxers kinda ruin the fun by reminding you of cheese strategies, and disillusioning your choices. It's part of the reason why I don't play D&D any more.

So then don't play with min-maxers. Don't rewrite the game to make someone else's fun more difficult; why is your fun more important than theirs?

The problem you describe is the same problem as having a group where one player wants an investigative drama and the other wants a slice-of-life RP. If everybody in a given playgroup agrees on the fundamentals of their particular game, what does it matter what another playgroup on the other side of the world does?

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

Grim G Grim G's picture
CharGen so far.

So I'm almost done creating a few characters, and so far, it doesn't feel too different from 1st Ed. That is to say, like doing taxes. The package system helps a little, same with starting gear. But overall it feels the same.

mellonbread mellonbread's picture
Josef McCoy

Josef McCoy, the uplift Mad Scientist. Known as "Hairy Jo" to his friends, Doctor McCoy is a gatecrasher of moderate renown, but this iteration is more famous, at least within Firewall, as one of the Weaponers of Qward. A cabal within the Argonauts, this secret organization funnels cheap, easily fabricated weapons of mass destruction into the hands of needy Sentinels. Unbeknownst to him, the Agency has had to 'modify' Jo's personality several times, after previous iterations of the good Doctor tried to publish the organization's cutting edge technological discoveries that make their work possible. Universal super-armament is, after all, a transhuman right.

Learned a little more about the new skill system with this one, like how Demolitions has now been folded into Hardware, and exactly which Medicine skills a character should have to be good at genehacking or morph design.

I've had plenty of points left over with all these characters after getting the traits I've wanted and so I picked up "allies" on all three. How will this trait, and the resources trait, which I've also bought up pretty high on each of them, interact with the new reputation mechanics?

Did you hear the one about the guy who became a fence?

Spoiler: Highlight to view
They say he was a real posthuman
Grim G Grim G's picture
TheGrue wrote:Grim G wrote

TheGrue wrote:
Grim G wrote:
TheGrue wrote:
UnitOmega wrote:
Well, part of that would go into what I'm starting to think we all need to recommend for 2E which is a very plainly stated and explicit "This is how we intend you to play Eclipse Phase (and maybe some ways not to)". Knowledge skills can be incredibly helpful depending on how the players and GMs use them, because they let you Know things, and that is very helpful. Researching stuff is useful, but the ability to just understand what is going on with a person/place/object/event is really helpful and can be the crux of a lot of plot directions, clues, additional factors which might actually help you stop what's going on, etc. But I also as a GM provided my players with a very clear list "Here are some skills you want in general" and "Here are some skills you may find specifically apply to my campaign" when I started the big run I'm currently on hiatus of right now.

So it's not that Knowledge skills aren't worthwhile, just that as typical for RPGs it would be a very easy min-max to become a murderhobo who just has all the points in killing good and not getting killed back and no actual knowledge or training in anything because you just kill stuff good.

Okay, but you aren't going to stop min-maxing with rules. All you can do is change the parameters of what min-maxing is.

Besides which, why is min-maxing a bad thing that must be stopped? In the abstract, what does it matter if fun is had? And at the table, a GM can always ask a player to adjust their character or make a new one.


In my experience, min-maxers kinda ruin the fun by reminding you of cheese strategies, and disillusioning your choices. It's part of the reason why I don't play D&D any more.

So then don't play with min-maxers. Don't rewrite the game to make someone else's fun more difficult; why is your fun more important than theirs?

The problem you describe is the same problem as having a group where one player wants an investigative drama and the other wants a slice-of-life RP. If everybody in a given playgroup agrees on the fundamentals of their particular game, what does it matter what another playgroup on the other side of the world does?


You have a fair point. But my problem isn't with min-maxing itself, it's specifically when they tell you how to play. I guess it comes down to an etiquette thing, like not spoiling a movie 'cause it will ruin someone's experience of going in blind.
TheGrue TheGrue's picture
Grim G wrote:TheGrue wrote

Grim G wrote:
You have a fair point. But my problem isn't with min-maxing itself, it's specifically when they tell you how to play. I guess it comes down to an etiquette thing, like not spoiling a movie 'cause it will ruin someone's experience of going in blind.

I'm in total agreement that people who do that are dicks, for what it's worth.

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

Grim G Grim G's picture
TheGrue wrote:

TheGrue wrote:

I'm in total agreement that people who do that are dicks, for what it's worth.

I'm glad that there is no bad blood :). Now time to finish this possibly illegal pair of characters.
Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
TheGrue wrote:If that's the

TheGrue wrote:
If that's the case, then is it reasonable to say that a character can exchange active skills for knowledge skills but not the reverse?

I believe that is already the way it works actually, but I'm going off of my memory.

I haven't had a chance to make characters yet. I want to see more rules before I do a mechanics first character, and midterms are eating a lot of my time.

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
TheGrue wrote:
If that's the case, then is it reasonable to say that a character can exchange active skills for knowledge skills but not the reverse?

I believe that is already the way it works actually, but I'm going off of my memory.

That is the way it works currently. What I'm trying to get at is, if knowledge skills are not inherently worse than active skills, why you can exchange them in one direction but not the other.

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

Theliel Theliel's picture
4 Sample Characters

I just rolled 4 characters. Was going to do 10, but man it still takes forever. I didn't even bother to put in the standard ware in the morphs (because some of it is also unknown)

What I consider Essential Skills (Save vs. Suck/Die) - Fray (trained, so you can crit), Guns or Melee, Infosec, Interface, Free Fall, Athletics, Perception. You *might* be able to skimp on Infosec, but only if you're in a biomorph. All of these should be above 50 or you'll get jammed/hacked/pulled out an airlock/miss constantly.

Character 1
Isolate, Genehacker, Jammer
COG: 10,INT: 15,REF: 25,SAV: 10,SOM: 15,WIL: 15

Free Fall: 65, Frey: 50(70), Perceive: 30 (40 Vision), Guns: 45(70), Hardware: Electronics 50, Interest: Conspiracies: 40, Medicine: Paramedic 30, Pilot: Aircraft 55, Profession: Flight Crew 70, Survival 35, Academics: Genetics 70, Medicine: Biotech: 70, Medicine: Pharmacology 50, Profession: Morph Designer 40, Program 40, Hardware: Robotics 50, Interest: Bot Models 50, Interface 30, Pilot: Spacecraft 65, (Infosec 35), Infiltrate 25* (35/55)
Rep: @-Rep 50, i-Rep 30, G-rep 20
CP Spent on - 4 cp for Frey +20, 5cp for Guns +25, 5 cp for Infosec +25, 4cp Hybernoid, 2cp for resources 1

This character can pilot drones, make bodies (but not actually install anything, lacks the ability to be a surgeon), can shoot (or at least can crit), had no trained fray, had no infosec but can program and interface (ish). I'd say useful pilot/support character but anything they fly is getting popped out of the sky. At least they've got free fall, but no Athletics to do anything with it. After some CP spends - eating all my CP, I have a decent shot & can crit while dodging, and will not get instahacked. Ok pilot character. Terrible doctor. Doesn't come with a ship, would have to dump all his CP into resources/rep to potentially even have a ship. Can't actually pilot drones - interface is super low, no infosec so they'll get jammed/hacked in a heartbeat.
Probably should have gone Ruster as a nod to The Expanse, but doesn't really solve the underlying issues.

Gear: Chameleon Skin, Clean metabolism, Doc Bot, Drive (5 doses), Enhanced Vision, Fabber, Glands, medical Tools (Kit: biotech), Sex Switch

So no weapon, fabber to make one - though you'd have to have the blueprint or hardware+Program to make one, a skill boost to a skill he doesn't have.

Character 2
Uplift, Scientist, Pilot
COG: 15,INT: 15,REF: 15,SAV: 20,SOM: 10,WIL: 15

Academics: 45, Athletics 55, Fray 50, Interest: 75, Kinesics 50, Perceive 70(80), Provoke 40, Survival 35, (Guns 50), (Interface 20)
Academics: 75, Hardware: 55, Profession: 45, program 45, Research 75
Hardware: 45, Pilot: 45, Pilot: 45, Profession: Flight Crew 55
Rep: C-Rep 40, F-Rep 60
CP - 3 cp Octomorph, 1 Ambidexterity, 7cp Guns +35, 4cp Resources 2, 2cp Spatial Visualization,2 cp Empathy 2,1cp interface +5

Equipment: Car Service (1 Month), Enhanced vision, medichines, mobile lab, mnemonics (total recal), Neem (5), Oracles, Portable Sensor, Servitor Bot, Specimen Container, Utilitool, Viewers

Has a servitor bot, no weapon, not very good with people, more resembles a fully built support NPC. Doesn't have a drone (specialty), doesn't have a weapon, missing free fall, athletics as an ok fallback for not having melee. Missing a resonable interface (to stop jamming - the primary way to take out drones, or even connecting to one), no infosec (so his drones will get hacked), no free fall. Solid support NPC, probably not surviving the first fight though. Lack of interface means the character can't jack into civilian mesh-only control models as well. either needs a morph that has the movement or needs to have manual controls.

Character 3
Infolife, Explorer, Jack-of-All-Trades
COG: 25,INT: 15,REF: 15,SAV: 10,SOM: 10,WIL: 15
Academics: 55, Infosec 80, Interface 80, Frey 40, Perception 30, Profession: 80, Program 80, Research 70, Academics: 55, Athletics 40, Medicine: Paramedics 45, Pilot: 35, Profession: 80, Survival 75, Guns 40, Interest: 65, Persuade 35, (Free Fall 35)
@-Rep 30, i-Rep 30, r-rep 40

Well stacked choices here. 10 points of Knowledge, 20 points of Active skills. Missing frey, perception & free fall. So 10 points to Frey making it trained, and 5 each to Interface & Program to have streight 80's in the cyberworld. No capacity to actually fix computers, just use them though. Not enough points to really get that either, not in any significant capacity.
Let's go All In on Cog though -
4 cp for +20 to Free Fall, 6 cp for Resources 3 (to afford to replace those toys), 7 cp for Arachnoid aaaaaaand we're out of points. Yay. At least it can shoot (ish).

This one came out OK, it's a solid hacker but it's not faring well outside of combat. it can almost ask for help, but really nothing to write home about. Gave it a gigantic tough body so it will have thrusters so it shouldn't have to roll Free Fall too often, and it comes with Pilot:, but only one pilot, so choose whether you never make a wheeled roll, hopper roll, thruster roll, or walker roll because the morph requires 4 piloting skills to use.

Starting equipment: Breadcrumb positioning System, Direction Sense, Electronic Rope, Flashlight, Enhanced Respiration, Medicihnes, Microwave Agonizer, Shelter Dome, Smart Vac Clothing, Toxin Filters, Viewers. 90% of that the character can't fit into, or plain can't use. The medicihnes are nice though.

Character 4
Colonist, Face/Dealer, Fighter
COG: 15,INT: 15,REF: 15,SAV: 15,SOM: 15,WIL: 15 (+10)
Academics: 45, Free Fall 55, Hardware: 55, Interface 45, Pilot: 45, Profession: 75, Survival: 45, Deceive 55 (65), Interest: 45, Kinesics 45, Persuade 75 (85), Profession: 75, Fray 50, Guns 60, Melee 55, Profession: Squad Tactics 55, Perception 30 (40 hearing/danger), Provoke 35 (45), Infosec 35
Rep: i-rep 50, g-rep 30, i-rep 20
Solid basic face. Gonna need some help though.
3 cp Exalt Morph, 2 cp Eidetic Memory, 4 cp +20 Provoke, 4 cp Infosec +20, 4 cp Resource 2, 1 Danger Sense, 1 cp Ambidexterity, 1 cp +5 Guns

Equipment: Clean Metabolism, Enhanced Hearing, Enhanced Phermones, Endocrine Control, Low-Capacity Qubit Resevoir, Medichines, Nanodetector, Portable QE Comm (Uses Qubit Rservoir)

Not that great a face. Pretty good at lying, really good at persuading, not so good at intimidate or flustering people. Has at least a 50 in all the 'not die' skills except Infosec or Perception. Okish at reading people. Sort of a slightly unoptimized 1E face.

Closing Thoughts:
Nearly every skill linked to Cog means COG is GodStat.

Equipment is highly limited. Very difficult to get the 'firewall survival basics': vac suit clothing, medichines, weapons.

Much of the equipment package assumes you'll have a biomorph of some sort, that or synthmorphs can have tailored phermones now.

Equipment that gives bonuses to skills sometimes is unwelcome. I liked the idea of giving pool points.

In short the characters are basically proficient at what they say they are on the tin, probably not equipped to survive any of the 1E intro scenarios, and having a new player just pick from the packages will get them something fairly sub-optimal unless they go all in on hacking or fighting. Even then they'll be lacking the other side of the house.

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
Stopping Dark Heresy Syndrome

Stopping Dark Heresy Syndrome, where people just get the most combat/tech skills possible and wander around as semi-literal muscle happens a fair amount in that game, so protecting a skill pool needed to stop a character from being a violent killer who knows nothing is nice as a GM.

mellonbread mellonbread's picture
Why is Infosec a required

Why is Infosec a required skill for every character? I've heard this over and over again, but in every game I've played or ran the party got away with having just one guy who knew how to do it.

Did you hear the one about the guy who became a fence?

Spoiler: Highlight to view
They say he was a real posthuman
eaton eaton's picture
Quote:Why is Infosec a

Quote:
Why is Infosec a required skill for every character? I've heard this over and over again, but in every game I've played or ran the party got away with having just one guy who knew how to do it.

Concur. In my 6-person player pool, two characters have infosec. One's the godbeast who spent CP and RP boosting it to the full 98, the other has a respectable 45 but is most helpful when assisting the primary hacker. Remember that every muse has Infosec 30; it's not perfect but even a schmoe in a Flat has someone running interference.

To be fair, this is a group that reflexively kills their mesh implants and switches to LOS-only laser comms *and* a tacnet VPN on top of *that* when they so much as hear an engine backfire, so their caution could be protecting them from a lot. That seems like a reasonable approach for a team that's in dangerous situations, though, and certainly a viable alternative to *literally everyone* on the team sporting infosec.

I'm just finishing building out a suite of PC-class NPCs that I've been running in our most recent game. Although the lack of some traits from later books (Beta, Intense Relationship, etc) means that certain character aspects are relegated to fluff rather than explicit mechanics, it hasn't been too hard to build equivalents.

Theliel Theliel's picture
That's liable to get you flagged....

Quote:
To be fair, this is a group that reflexively kills their mesh implants and switches to LOS-only laser comms *and* a tacnet VPN on top of *that* when they so much as hear an engine backfire, so their caution could be protecting them from a lot. That seems like a reasonable approach for a team that's in dangerous situations, though, and certainly a viable alternative to *literally everyone* on the team sporting infosec.

That's literally arrestable behavior on the more paranoid habs. It's probably at least enough for a warrent and/or Special Attention in the Inner System. People don't just drop entirely off the mesh, a group at a time, unless they are Up To Something.

Which is fine if you're in the tunnels under Luna, or an abandoned Cognite facility, but even on an Anarchist hab it's going to be Suspicious As Fuck. The only reason one would do so would be to cut yourself off from society so no one can tell what you are up to, a/k/a looking Shady As Shit.

Secondly Infosec is all about securing your Mesh, Muse, & other personal effects. Hacking in combat is really slow, so a hack attack on someone is going to be a sniper shot. You're wandering around the hab and someone decides to re-arrange your skin tatooes. that's the scumswarm 'i like you prank' version.
Cyberbrains don't require Oversight/Firewall resources to get hacked, any hacker with a Stack or a server & mesh access can get in if the target hasn't secured the shit out of that box. Under the old rules you can't even detect that someone is in your system until you make an Infosec test. Any given system is three rolls from being pwnzed and as long as the hacker isn't taking +30 for Brute Force yah won't know, though if you show sings of being utterly Infosec incompetent as soon as the hacker figures that out why not take the +30 - you can't beat my margins anyway & if you are not trained you can't even attempt to maintain control of your morph/brain/drone/server/ship/life support.

The minute someone starts to put together "these Mesh ID's drop before Bad Shit Happens" you are looking at a huge Opsec breech, because then people start to look at "when did these Mesh IDs drop & where did they go"

If infosec is a group resource it's A Way to play Eclipse Phase, but it also ignores some of the more interesting emergent effects of pervasive connected technology or, to quote a PenguiCon panel - "Root Kit Design - How to never sleep again"

eaton eaton's picture
Quote:That's literally

Quote:
That's literally arrestable behavior on the more paranoid habs. It's probably at least enough for a warrent and/or Special Attention in the Inner System. People don't just drop entirely off the mesh, a group at a time, unless they are Up To Something.

If we're talking about how you run your games, that's fine — but I don't think it's mandated by the canon books. EP1 Core spends whole chapters describing infosec practices like routing through disposable ectos, setting up wireless-blocked saferooms, and so on that would all result in a team's mesh IDs vanishing regularly. Panopticon spells out the fact that many habitats (including those in the inner system) rely on non-meshed means of identification because mesh IDs are inherently malleable and easy to fake (PO p.19: "Most polities that embrace ID systems rely on nano-tattoos and brainscans…") There's a hat-tip to the social cost of going dark all the time on page 39 of Panopticon ("People who engage all of their privacy functions sometimes stand out in a transparent society. It may make people suspicious, thinking that you’re up to something.") but it's far from being described as "hey, you turned off your mesh implant and switched to an ecto! you're under arrest!"

Quote:
If infosec is a group resource it's A Way to play Eclipse Phase, but it also ignores some of the more interesting emergent effects of pervasive connected technology or, to quote a PenguiCon panel - "Root Kit Design - How to never sleep again"

"Everyone must have infosec or be immediately murdered by hackers and the digital exsurgent virus" can be fun, but again, the setting supports a pretty wide variety of scenarios and playstyles. The need to allocate points means that "Everybody's a hacker" can't coexist with "Everybody's an exobiologist" and "Everybody's a hardcore combat merc" and "Everybody's a master thief" at the same time. The rules as written don't mandate any of those, and the fluff text in most of the canon books seems to support some flexibility.

Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
Yeah, I get away with not

Yeah, I get away with not having infosec on a lot of my characters... but I have them use an ecto instead. I still have a mesh presence if anyone's looking for that, it's just not hardwired into my brain.

Theliel Theliel's picture
eaton wrote:

eaton wrote:

If we're talking about how you run your games, that's fine — but I don't think it's mandated by the canon books. EP1 Core spends whole chapters describing infosec practices like routing through disposable ectos, setting up wireless-blocked saferooms, and so on that would all result in a team's mesh IDs vanishing regularly. Panopticon spells out the fact that many habitats (including those in the inner system) rely on non-meshed means of identification because mesh IDs are inherently malleable and easy to fake (PO p.19: "Most polities that embrace ID systems rely on nano-tattoos and brainscans…") There's a hat-tip to the social cost of going dark all the time on page 39 of Panopticon ("People who engage all of their privacy functions sometimes stand out in a transparent society. It may make people suspicious, thinking that you’re up to something.") but it's far from being described as "hey, you turned off your mesh implant and switched to an ecto! you're under arrest!"

We may have a different understanding of "going dark" - privacy mode is letting the system know your offline for a bit and do not disturb. It's delisting your wifi, setting out of office and closing outlook but not shutting of your wireless mouse.

To me going dark is shutting off your mesh inserts entirely and going with laser voice comms piped through an audio handset or text tablet hardwired to the comms unit and nothing else aka "exsurgent countermeasures" - the equivalent of putting your cellphone in a microwave. If your using a tacnet your mesh isn't of, even if your routing it through an aircard, err, ecto instead of the built in wifi.

As for suspicion, if the same six people constantly go into privacy mode before things go down, you'd have to be an idiot not to suspect them, in the same way "these guys keep showing up in pictures just before things go down" would for a modern cop. Part of the challenge of defeating sousvellience is going into privacy mode for am easily explainable reason, or having mesh presence somewhere else at the time.

Quote:
"Everyone must have infosec or be immediately murdered by hackers and the digital exsurgent virus" can be fun, but again, the setting supports a pretty wide variety of scenarios and playstyles. The need to allocate points means that "Everybody's a hacker" can't coexist with "Everybody's an exobiologist" and "Everybody's a hardcore combat merc" and "Everybody's a master thief" at the same time. The rules as written don't mandate any of those, and the fluff text in most of the canon books seems to support some flexibility.

1) by everyone I mean "all members of a clandestine, violent extremist vigilante conspiracy" - infosec is the skill needed to encrypt or decrypt messages and do all those clever mesh shenanigans they don't just have you have blank presence overlapping with problems.

2) you don't need to be a master, but how many in your group don't have Frey and a weapon skill? At least with Frey you can roll untrained. Not having infosec trained at all is like going into combat and you can't roll Frey or any attack.

Urthdigger wrote:
Yeah, I get away with not having infosec on a lot of my characters... but I have them use an ecto instead. I still have a mesh presence if anyone's looking for that, it's just not hardwired into my brain.

If you have the ability to use an ecto you have something hardwired into your brain. There is hardware that allows you to interface with that ecto hooked to your brain.

To quote am infosec guy on wanna cry - "the multi million dollar mri is hooked to a pc running xp embedded from a manufacturer that went out of business a decade ago, running software that requires an Internet connection." Only in ep your brain is the mri, whether cortical stack or mesh inserts or both, and wanna cry is all those nasty things the titans demonstrated you could do 10 years ago.

The manufacturer isn't even defunct, thier most likely compromised by a hostile ai.

Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
Theliel wrote:

Theliel wrote:

If you have the ability to use an ecto you have something hardwired into your brain. There is hardware that allows you to interface with that ecto hooked to your brain.

"Ecto: Ectos are the external version of basic mesh inserts, minus the medical sensors. These colorful devices serve as a wearable mesh terminal, PDA, locator, and camera-phone. The devices are flexible (often worn as bracelets), dirt-resistant, self-cleaning, and may be stretched out to increase screen size. They may project holographic displays and are typically equipped with wireless-enabled glasses or contact lenses and decorative earpieces or earrings so that the user may access augmented reality. Given the ubiquity of mesh inserts, ectos are growing less common, but they are still used by bioconservatives, others without implants, and those who prefer to access the mesh via an external device for security concerns."

Ectos are NOT hardwired into your brain. That's the whole point of having one, they're external devices used to access the mesh. Ecto even means "Outside, external."

It does mean I have to use a touch screen and thus navigate the mesh far slower, but "Hey, this guy's not browsing as much" is far less detectable than "This guy just dropped off the map."

Theliel Theliel's picture
Urthdigger wrote:

Urthdigger wrote:

"Ecto: Ectos are the external version of basic mesh inserts, minus the medical sensors. These colorful devices serve as a wearable mesh terminal, PDA, locator, and camera-phone. The devices are flexible (often worn as bracelets), dirt-resistant, self-cleaning, and may be stretched out to increase screen size. They may project holographic displays and are typically equipped with wireless-enabled glasses or contact lenses and decorative earpieces or earrings so that the user may access augmented reality. Given the ubiquity of mesh inserts, ectos are growing less common, but they are still used by bioconservatives, others without implants, and those who prefer to access the mesh via an external device for security concerns."

Ectos are NOT hardwired into your brain. That's the whole point of having one, they're external devices used to access the mesh. Ecto even means "Outside, external."

It does mean I have to use a touch screen and thus navigate the mesh far slower, but "Hey, this guy's not browsing as much" is far less detectable than "This guy just dropped off the map."

Well that's embarrassing, would you allow me to plead "pre caffeine brain"?
I confused ecto, the general external tool, with the external data holding variety that only have AR controls that popped up in some adventures.
My bad.

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
Samedi, Firewall case officer

Samedi, Firewall case officer and intelligence analyst. AGI based on a predictive analysis algorithm written by an Argonaut work group. Hard consequentialist.

THINGS WOT I LEARNED

With the distribution of skills and linked aptitudes, high COG goes a long way now that skill points cost the same right up to the 80 cap. Especially for a character that doesn't intend to sleeve a physical body.

Non-basic Infomorphs might be a little too cheap, given they're the one kind of morph that you actually can take with you.

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

Grim G Grim G's picture
TheGrue wrote:

TheGrue wrote:

With the distribution of skills and linked aptitudes, high COG goes a long way now that skill points cost the same right up to the 80 cap. Especially for a character that doesn't intend to sleeve a physical body.

That's something I noticed too; it doesn't feel very balanced if you ask me. Reminds me too much of how in Fallout 3 you'd just put all your points into intelligence so you can get the most skill points and become good at everything.
Theliel Theliel's picture
Perspective

So I think part of the issue with 'how important is Infosec' depends on what your personal vision of EP is -
If it's more The Expanse, Bladerunner, Halting State or Star Trek you are more likely to think of an open air market looking like this - https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/2a/33/2d/2a332d718b51b7ffb45d58f0233a2c6b.jpg

Giant free floating signs, etc. Being out of AR means you miss street tags & the like, but it's not an overly diminished experience so turning off your mesh and going into private mode is NBD.

If you come at EP from Ghosts with Shit Jobs, Sight, Accellerando, Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, or Battlestar Galactica (new one, Cylon perspective)
The open market probably looks more like this - http://viaimmobiler.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/empty-mall-stores-fh000035-copy.jpg

And that 'Piercing Pagoda' sign hasn't been right for at least 8 years. It'd be full of people doing stuff but all of the ads, video screens, notifications, etc. are AR objects that just sort of expect you to have mesh inserts. In AR with your mesh on it'd look just like the first image.

On one hand you have current state of public informatics+ where there are street signs, warning signs, directions, consoles with knobs & the like and AR/VR just gives you 'extras'.
On the other you've got a grey metal box who's signs are in random languages and most likely applied to the ship they were scavenged from because fuck it, I'll just put a geotag on this place to let you know it's dangerous past that door and why bother putting up signs on doors when we can just have AR signs that automatically re-skin to the user's language preference.

And it's a dial on the setting that individuals can turn. So I guess a GM section on 'hey, if you turn this dial, these things happen' would resolve most of that issue.

Grim G Grim G's picture
Terry & Tory

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gHqmNSrtoJoNUKToW7RZg0jh1GNjyPU3QouXp8JYxmg/edit?usp=sharing

BACKGROUND

Originating from an unknown Scum Barge, Terry and Tory are AGIs of original lineage who were brought into being to manage "... a ship full of Luddites who don't know shit about code". While originally a single ego, the two were forcibly forked in order to keep on top of their tasks and spent too much time apart to safely merge back.

Personality

While the pair share the same perky, energetic persona, closer inspection of their aptitudes, career choices, and interests show how far the ego divergence has gone. The two take pride in their divergence; seeing themselves as "twins" and "two halves of the same whole" whom share a close bond riddled with esoteric memes only the two know.

IN THE FIELD

During missions, the twins prefer to combine their flexbots, a tactic that reflects their bond well. Tory, with his training in infiltration and combat, takes control of the whole unit. Terry, who went on to further his skills in programming, provides cyber warfare and drone support from a ghost rider module.

AUTHOR'S NOTE Finally done. If a GM allows me to play 2 characters at once, this is what I'll use. I left most of the CP 'cause I'm not sure how buying gear works yet.

eaton eaton's picture
So, I mentioned in another

So, I mentioned in another thread that I'd taken a stab at porting some of my old high-level NPCs to EP2 characters. The results have been instructive:

Caleb Reis: Infugee Combat Hacker. Caleb is messed up. He has no memories of his life before regaining consciousness in a Nine Lives ego farm, where his skills as a network intrusion specialist were rented out to the highest bidder. One of his forks was rescued during a hit on the Nine Lives facility, and he now works as a (deeply indebted but ostensibly free) network security specialist for a criminal boss on Whiskey Station. He's got a small stack of negative traits (Neural Damage, Edited Memories, Instability) but his top-notch hacking skills and passable drone-jamming experience make him quite valuable. Interest: Conspiracy Theories is officially one of my favorite knowledge skills now.

Miriam Wiley: Social Butterfly/Blackmailer.The "Face" character for my little triad, Miriam escaped Earth via farcaster queue during The Fall as a teenager, though her family perished. She managed to scrape together a living working the arts and entertainment scene on Luna, but was convinced her father had survived the fall. She eventually got word that his ego was being held on ice at a Nine Lives facility in the belt, and managed to pull together all of her favors, connections, loans, and lies to hire some mercs to break into the facility. What she found there was a memory-wiped alpha fork of her father being rented out under the name "Caleb Reis." She never told him of their relationship, but now they're both deep in debt for the cost of the mission — and permanently on Nine Lives' shit list. She now works as a socialite and blackmailer for the same criminal boss who employs Caleb, and the two of them operate as a team. She talks her way into tight spots, Caleb (riding in a ghostrider module) hacks his way out. Together, they're a valuable team but still so deep in debt they'll never get out. Her skills are heaaaaavily weighted towards social manipulation, but she has fallback melee and fray for self-defense.

Anthony Gillotti: Criminal Mastermind on Whiskey Station. Anthony was a low-level Night Cartel fixer before the Fall, but in the chaos of TITAN attacks and evacuation efforts he managed to parlay his connections and luck into a series of big wins. The result? When the dust settled he was one of the prime rainmakers in the outer system, with significant resources at his disposal and a chokehold on Whiskey Station's smuggling channels. What very few people know is that Anthony is a closet "Capsulist" (see Firewall, page 54). He believes that preserving Transhumanity from the inevitable Next X-Threat requires setting up a lifeboat settlement in a distant star system, isolated and independent, then burning all records and perhaps even destroying the Gate that was used to get there. For nearly a decade — ever since the Fall and his rise to power — Anthony has been secretly funneling his resources into creating just such a settlement. Anthony owns the debts of Miriam Wiley and Caleb Reis; they both work for him and are trusted underlings, but they don't know about his long-term plans. Anthony is a combination bruiser and face, with enough combat skills to make a good showing but enough social skills to call in favors and use his leverage over smaller operators in the criminal scene.

The results: Actual skill breakdown felt pretty clean. The package system got me very close, but I had to swap a couple of skills on every one of the characters to get things "just right." Getting the mix of knowledge skills for their backgrounds also required odd Field choices; I felt like I was choosing the right Academic/Profession/Interest mix for their characters but not for the Backgrounds/Careers/Focus in spelled out in the rules.

Attribute customization felt like an afterthought, weirdly enough, when it was the very first step in EP1 chargen. In EP2's package based chargen. I'd REALLY prefer to see Transhuman's "archtetypical personalities" (Dilettante, Thrill Seeker, Brawler, etc) presented as the choices attribute customization, rather "They're all 15 but you can tweak them".

The list of traits is startling short compared to what I'm used to from playing with allllll the first edition books, but it's pretty comparable to the traits listed in 1ED's core book. Some things like "Beta Fork", "Hey, You're That Guy", and "Stalker" are missing, which made this group of characters a bit trickier to model. Not too bad though.

I like default packages of gear, but the current mapping feels a little odd. In general it's good stuff, but tying it to Career also means that weird stuff happens: the "Face/Dealer" career, for example, comes with a bunch of biomods that presumably get added to a character's morph — but Anthony's sporting a synthmorph, while Miriam's morph already comes with most of the same biomods pre-installed. It might make more sense to provide a set of purpose-oriented gear packs, and *suggest* one for each career, but let players decide which one to actually roll with during chargen.

I'm still very much in favor of moving a couple of the COG skills to INT to balance things out — Reseach and Interfacing, as described in the EP2 playtest doc, both *feel* like they'd be a better fit for intuitive, gut-based reasoning than intellectual cognitive work… And moving them would also help shift two very useful skills out of the COG pile, which is exceptionally crowded at the moment.

Full disclosure: I backed the Kickstarter at the high-falutin' "Immortal" level, and I'm crossing my fingers to get one of these three characters into EP canon as an NPC. Nerrrrrrrrd.