Are the information technology rules Different from SR4's?

6 posts / 0 new
Last post
weavermount weavermount's picture
Are the information technology rules Different from SR4's?

Hello I was really excited when I found this game, but honestly "From the creators of SR4" didn't inspire much confidence in me. I couldn't stand the SR4 matrix rules. For my they failed to sufficiently encapsulate the factious system or model the genre conventions and fluff. I wont go into that further on a different game's boards(I fought that fight on Dumpshock for years). I made SR work for me largely by ignoring and abstracting the matrix rules but that doesn't seem to be an option for this game.
So my question is this: if you didn't like matrix might you like the mesh? Also I did search for this thread and couldn't find it. If I missed, apologies.

CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: Are the information technology rules Different from SR4's?

Yes, they are quite different. Its a much more streamlined system and I find it works quite well in game. However I really liked SR4 Matrix rules so I might not be able to give a real opinion.

-

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Are the information technology rules Different from SR4's?

weavermount wrote:
Hello I was really excited when I found this game, but honestly "From the creators of SR4" didn't inspire much confidence in me. I couldn't stand the SR4 matrix rules. For my they failed to sufficiently encapsulate the factious system or model the genre conventions and fluff. I wont go into that further on a different game's boards(I fought that fight on Dumpshock for years). I made SR work for me largely by ignoring and abstracting the matrix rules but that doesn't seem to be an option for this game.
So my question is this: if you didn't like matrix might you like the mesh? Also I did search for this thread and couldn't find it. If I missed, apologies.

Eclipse Phase's handling of the Mesh is far more abstract from the mechanics of the Matrix. For instance, rather than software replacing your attributes for your pools (like in Shadowrun), software simply allows you to make certain hacking or mesh actions, with superior or inferior software granting modifiers. The d100 mechanics of the game are significantly more fluid and faster-running than a dice pool mechanic, but it doesn't have the same feel in statistics... so you may like it more, may like it less. One major difference is that matrix users do not have an extra set of stats to handle; there is no "system health", nor software attributes to play with. This also extends to AIs and AGIs (the Eclipse Phase equivalent to Agents/IC and AIs respectively) who have the same statblocks as every other character in the game, and don't have stats like Firewall, Response or System to toy with.

Setting-wise, VR is handled quite a bit differently. For one thing, you cannot hack in VR. All hacking tasks are done via AR. In VR (or as it is known, simulspace), play is treated similarly to Ultraviolet nodes in Shadowrun; you use the same skills in VR that you do in real life. Also, you cannot surf the web in VR (though while in a simulspace, the virtual world can provide you a browser with which you can still interact with the net... but it is nothing like in Shadowrun). As such, there are no metaphor programs, reality filters, and the Mesh is generally very similar to the internet today. Also unlike VR in Shadowrun (and hacking in Shadowrun in general), biofeedback is not a risk in a simulspace. Any pain and injury, no matter how severe, does not translate to physical injury to your real body (of course, your mind doesn't know that, and being tortured in VR is just as traumatic as torture in real life). This is not to say that you cannot create feedback, but it isn't a threat of VR ("scorchers" are programs used for cyberbrain hacking which are designed to cause damaging neurofeedback... mental, not physical, damage). Dumpshock still occurs from VR (if forced out without preparation, as always), but does not cause physical harm.

All in all it is more akin to the internet, far more immersive but not as immersive as the Matrix. One of the best parts of this is that much of the knowledge you might have about how the internet works translates far better into how the Mesh works, than it does to the Matrix. One disadvantage is that the Mesh isn't as big a threat to you or your enemies' lives as the Matrix can be. This means no real lethal combat between hackers, and hackers might be a more difficult fight... Mesh combat is more akin to two people trying to hack into each other's systems, than a sword fight where each character exchanges injurious blows.

Take of that what you will. I hope it answers your questions.

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

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

standard_gravity standard_gravity's picture
Re: Are the information technology rules Different from SR4's?

Decivre wrote:
One disadvantage is that the Mesh isn't as big a threat to you or your enemies' lives as the Matrix can be. This means no real lethal combat between hackers, and hackers might be a more difficult fight... Mesh combat is more akin to two people trying to hack into each other's systems, than a sword fight where each character exchanges injurious blows.

I understand what you are trying to say but still feel inclined to add that in the one EP campaign I've been running a lot of the conflicts have been centered around the mesh and many have been resolved simply through the mesh. It's not that the PCs/NPCs have been directly hurting each other in the mesh, but per the mesh. Examples include preventing/ensuring access to habitat sections, turning off/on automated (meshed) weapons, taking control over meshed bots, destroying servers etc.

"People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes." - John Dee

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Are the information technology rules Different from SR4's?

standard_gravity wrote:
I understand what you are trying to say but still feel inclined to add that in the one EP campaign I've been running a lot of the conflicts have been centered around the mesh and many have been resolved simply through the mesh. It's not that the PCs/NPCs have been directly hurting each other in the mesh, but per the mesh. Examples include preventing/ensuring access to habitat sections, turning off/on automated (meshed) weapons, taking control over meshed bots, destroying servers etc.

Of course. Mesh combat is more subtle, and has more to do with control than force. Whether you control their system, control the area, or control a group of bots that you reprogram to shoot at him, control is the bigger factor. And when I say it's not lethal, I mean directly lethal as Shadowrun was. A smart hacker can shut down an enemy hacker's life support system on his ship, or force him on a crash course and lock his controls, or set his smartgun to fire the minute they are in front of the barrel. It can still be indirectly lethal, but you have to be a bit more crafty to make it so... it isn't like the Matrix, where you can use an attack program in a Matrix fight like you would a gun in a real fight. It is literally a different battlefield.

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

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Sunchaser Sunchaser's picture
Re: Are the information technology rules Different from SR4's?

I really hated the SR4 Matix rules. At first they seemed cool enough but it became apparent that things like data fortresses in that game were glass houses and that the hacker/technomancer was king. TMs could literally walk through any standard defense, firewall, etc like it wasn't even there which of course meant that any data the TMs or hackers wanted were taken at whim.

It got to the point we were abstracting the entire Matrix system down to a few rolls of the dice rather than waste time on the rules overly much. And I never once felt like my own data was secure no matter how much money I spent on it even against relatively casual hacks.

EP's Mesh though...that really does feel like an environment where you have to work for your gains, that doesn't make NPC or PC data fortresses paper tigers, and lets you be very useful as a hacker without a dense set of alternate stats and systems.