Regarding Gear

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Androminous Androminous's picture
Regarding Gear

I just recently found out that the new edition is discussed here. I'm really looking forward to the release, and I have a group ready. But I've said to them that I'll wait for the Gear chapter before I start anything.

In my opinion, the very detailed gear chapter was a big problem in 1st ed. I experienced numerous times that players who knew the gear chapter well and had a good knowledge of what bonuses you could get to different situations with different gear and 'wares was at an advantage. Most of my fellow players, me included, have little time to memorise page after page of specific rules for gear. Our characters on the contrary, being specialists and living in this future universe, would know quite well what things to bring on a mission.

I strongly suggest that you consider a more general approach to gear and 'wares. I would assume that there will be a number of different technologies in the future that will help us being better at our skills. So I would prefer an approach where you don't have to read through a whole chapter to find what give bonuses to your favourite skill, but a more general approach that you probably would find an item or 'ware that gives you +10/+20/+30 for a Minor/Moderate/Major cost. The player and GM could work out what exactly that item does based on some suggestions from the book and description of the technology level in general.

I would also assume that any highly skilled characters already has the necessary, and often very available, tools to get the most out of their skills. Using such tools should be assumed to be factored into their skill level already. It should not be the job of the player to search every sourcebook (as many of us has experienced in other SciFi/Cyberpunk games where EP 1st ed is far from the worst) to find the perfect pair of gloves, sunglasses or whatever that gives your marksman-character that extra +1 on his test to fire his gun. Only extraordinary accessories that aren’t available to everyone should merit a bonus. I like how smartlink now is factored in for every gun for example.

My last appeal for a shorter and more general gear-chapter is that a detailed chapter with many variants of the same tools and 'wares actually makes the universe of available gear smaller, since it is easy for both players and GMs to fall in the trap of reading such a list as exhaustive. A more overall description of what kind of technology that is available in the game-universe and some general rules to balance out what complexity different game effects would have, makes the imagination of the players and GM the only limit of what fantastic things you can acquire.

Any other viewpoints on this?

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Androminous wrote:

Androminous wrote:

Any other viewpoints on this?

In fact, we need more rules for creating new stuff. I think the only real solution for your problem is to either make packages so people who cannot read everything and think of the combos can quick-start, or to task the players who enjoy looking everywhere with having to get gear for the rest that fulfills their needs.

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
The wait for the gear chapter is killing me.

Imo the problem is that there's a bit of a conflict in setting & gameplay focus.

For RPGs in general, the way the rules makes certain elements more or less important defines how the focus lands during the game. This is most simply demonstrated through the breadth and type of Character Options - in games like Delta Green and Cthulhu the difference between characters is predominately through skill success percentages, with small amounts of gear options and no distinct/unique abilities like Traits or Feats.
This is because (and supports) the focus in these games is on the scenarios presented, with the characters being intrinsicly disposable bit-players.
In Fate and D&D on the other hand the focus is purely on the characters, and that presents itself through a wide array of mechanically distinct options, but again there's split in how it's achieved - Fate does this through the character's aspects and skills, but D&D does this more through abilities and magic items.

Eclipse Phase is stuck in the middle. The transitory and scenario-driven nature of the game has to contend with the broad and interesting nature of the transhuman themes. Likewise, the priority arguably should be on skills for defining what a character can do, but the very nature of morphs and cybernetic augmentation draws the attention and often becomes a visual basis for character creation.

My personal preference (which I tried to make into a thing when v2 was announced) was to have fewer distinct gear pieces, but with a Red Markets-esqe list of modifications and/or upgrades so different items could be represented by different combinations.

The other thing I keep pushing is for more 'gear' to exist as software/implantable traits, to put more focus on the idea that in a transhuman or almost-post-scarcity society you can theoretically have everything but not everything at the same time, so your software/blueprints/traits are the things your character prioritises /doesn't want to risk going without.

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?