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Fantasy setting for EPs system

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Laskeutua Laskeutua's picture
Fantasy setting for EPs system
Hey all, So I have a unique dilemma with my rough circle of players, in that there's some who are incredibly passionate about sci-fi an some who loathe it so hard that they will not even let the subject come up when discussing games. Makes things tense considering I'm DMing EP. But what attracted me to EP wasn't the setting per se, but the system, the idea of ego/morph being separate from each other. So I'm seriously considering penning a fantasy setting to take advantage of this, mostly to broaden my players' horizons as there's only so much pathfinder you can play before you're making min/maxed wizards as second nature. I'm aware that it would be a massive undertaking, which is why I wanted to ask: Would there be any interest in such a thing? What considerations would I have to be aware of? Thanks in advance for any input
ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
I... Honestly, the [i]system[/i] in EP doesn't exactly turn me on. It's no great shakes. Anyway, EP is entirely about transhumanism, which is ultimately about empowering the individual. That's kind of anathema to a fantasy setting - it's pretty hard to call yourself a feudal lord and say your serfs had better do what you want them to when they're all effectively immortal and can sleeve into combat 'morphs and fight you just as hard as you can fight them. I'm not really seeing how you could make a transition to a fantasy setting and keep the core concepts behind EP intact. The system, on the other hand, is pretty straight d100. Not terribly complicated, but there are so many better fantasy systems, I'm not sure why you'd want to.
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Seekerofshadowlight Seekerofshadowlight's picture
I have to agree, I love EP
I have to agree, I love EP for its setting. The system however is often clunky with a far to complex char gen. There are simply far, far better fantasy systems out there. To each his own man.
Laskeutua Laskeutua's picture
Well, long winded response
Well, long winded response incoming... Transhumanism as a concept deals with questions about the limitations of the body and the nature of mortality and technology's place in our development as a species. Technology aside, the rest are ideas that could very easily transition into fantasy. Lichdom, a rather popular trope when necromancers are concerned, is actually a very strong example of what it is to be exhuman, meanwhile many fantasy stories deal with apotheosis (ascendancy into godhood). The core notion of empowerment and the questions pertaining to overcoming limitations (replace technology with magic or faith or what have you) can transition quite easily into fantasy. As for The Lord and those serfs, how is that any different to a hypercorp with indenture contracts? Theoretically they could just revolt by sleeving into reapers and going balls to the wall, but they can't and there's in universe reasons for it. You're right though, some concepts would have a rough time being applied, but then anarcho-capitalism and anarchism work in EP due to the nature of its post scarcity world, where the issue isn't in supply and demand but in service delivery. Having said this, fantasy is typically on a 'small' enough scale that similar polities could work provided that the culture upholds those precepts. Sure, they wouldn't be anywhere near as populous as the autonomous habs in EP, but they would be a presence. As for systems: you're right, but none of them handle ego and morph, and that specifically is what I'm after
Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
You could tweak a fantasy setting with ego/morph rules. Just have Narnia/Middle Earth/Whatever's local magic rules work by a similar system. A person's soul or essence or similarly themed idea being the true person. Think of it like how many fantasy settings treat reincarnation. Only in your player's case, it's voluntary. You could give the option to "incarnate" into whatever they wish, outside of the usual selection of races. They could be dragons, ooze, lycanthropes, and a magic carpet even!
Your passion is power. Focus it. Your body is a tool. Hone it. Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!
Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
Not necessarily
There are many variations to the typical medieval European setup in fantasy. D&D's Eberron has many more modern technologies such as trains and heating devices, just mass produced through magic. Very little in the way of serfs and lords except in pre-war cultures their. Or you could have fantasy that's otherwise set in the modern world, but with the inclusion of magic. Think Shadowrun, but without the hi-tech. Or D&D's Starjammer. Which acts like a space opera but with galleons sailing the stars rather than traditional space vehicles. "Fantasy" may conjure up an image of dwarves and elves, but it can mean any impossible, wondrous scenario. Hell, a setting that employs transhumanism, as feasible as it might be, could be considered a "fantasy."
Your passion is power. Focus it. Your body is a tool. Hone it. Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!
bibliophile20 bibliophile20's picture
Over in my neck of the woods,
Over in my neck of the woods, my group and I (mostly my group) disliked the system so much that we got rid of it in favor of hacking the nWoD system. But we've also been discussing the possibilities of a transhuman-fantasy setting; it's gotten to the point where we actually have a working setting name--Tick-Tock--and some general themes and concepts. We don't have too much, but I could easily share what we do have so far if you'd like to use the ideas as a jumping off point.

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -Benjamin Franklin

Undocking Undocking's picture
EP's rules are fine for
EP's rules are fine for people who like percentile systems. I'd argue that you could definitely work the ego/morph split into other systems (like FATE derivatives or Savage Worlds) instead of dropping another setting onto EP. One of the considerations is that EP's combat revolves around the use of guns, which most fantasy games seldom deal with dispite the mediaeval period containing gonnes, cannons and handgonnes. Bringing up Eberron makes an intersting idea. Since the warforged are cyborgs with stolen/fabricated spirits, could one not make similar shells and transfer consciousness to them? D&D, though not a fan, has some great construct artwork from the prolific 3rd and 3.5 edition monster manuals throughout it that could lend to the different shell varieties. Though, I would hate to run such a game on anything but the inside of a dyson sphere (or hourglass ala Last Exile).
consumerdestroyer consumerdestroyer's picture
Phoenix: Nine Deaths
Keith Baker, who wrote what is in my opinion the best D&D campaign setting outside of Planescape, has something in the works whose flavour you might want to rip off for something using EP's system: http://keith-baker.com/phoenix-nine-deaths/
Laskeutua Laskeutua's picture
@ Steel: That kind of thing
@ Steel: That kind of thing was the main idea, 'transmigration' as a fantasy term for resleeving for example @ Bibliophile: Each to their own, I love NWoD, but it's very hands off and not all that detailed, while EP is very detailed and every invh of the setting is explained in full. I like both paths as they both have uses. I've got plenty of my own ideas for this thing already, but if you want to share any feel free. @ Undocking: Guns are a minor footnote in the grand scheme of things and EP's handling of melee weapons is adequate. The inside of a dyson sphere is a cool idea though (though I'm not sure how I'd use it). @ Consumer: I see overlapping themes. I'm going to be giving him a read. Now, if I were to go ahead with this and make it a full blown project, what's the best way of handling it? a wiki? dropbox? pastebin or similar? posting straight to here?
Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
Believe it or not, I've been working on the beginnings of a short story or novella with this very premise in mind. Taking the traditional dwarves, elves, etc. setup and having them all reach differing methods of trans-mortal levels.
Your passion is power. Focus it. Your body is a tool. Hone it. Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Transhumanism and fantasy can
Transhumanism and fantasy can be combined, but the result is very non-classical. Fantasy tends to be rooted in a somewhat particular worldview where the world is static (a "natural order"). When you start approaching the fantasy world with a transhumanist mindset you start questioning the human condition (and the elf, orc and dragon ones). You start taking advantages of the physics and magic in ways that normally would be munchkin but here applicable outside the gamer party. After all, if there is a resurrection spell, why does any king ever die? A simple elemental summoning can revolutionize industry. A perpetual motion spell (or even one that needs to be replenished every morning) and you have a magical steam engine. The end result can be interesting: we ran a campaign where characters were enhanced using magical tattoos and setting up assembly line manufacturing (consider the effect of a never sleeping, speeded up, Leonardo-level engineer), the big empire got wiped out because of innovative use of resources (elves with night vision + flying + bombs = destroyed army camps before they could reach their enemies) and undead were turned into computers (running Fortran, of all languages). It wrecked the traditional fantasy world order, producing something like a welfare state Mordor run by transhumans. In the above case the setting was exploring the collision between the different approaches. One can of course construct a setting where the approaches are more integrated. But I think it is tough to do without either forcing a stabilizing natural order, or having a dynamical setting where the natural order is being changed.
Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
Natural Order
First off I just want to say that THAT version of Mordor actually sounds pretty badass. Secondly, I think that's why such a setup might work better if one is either telling a static story rather than a game campaign. Or, you play a campaign with the emergence of these changes rather than them already being in place.
Your passion is power. Focus it. Your body is a tool. Hone it. Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!
Kremlin K.O.A. Kremlin K.O.A.'s picture
People are talking about
People are talking about transhumanist fantasy.... nWoD gets mentioned as a system... How is it I am the first to mention Exalted?
Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
Well I think it's because Exalted is like the exception that proves the rule. The Exalted have their enormous levels of power because that's just the order of the day. The same way benders in Avatar can control the elements and others . . . just don't. I think the spirit of the idea to introducing these elements into a "standard" fantasy setting is at least partly because the entire environment (ironically) represents the memeplex of how a transhumanist sees reality. Primitive tech, traditions held for the sake of tradition, forms of magic often held as "forbidden." How mind blowing would it be to have a prophecy of a king rising to defeat the deviants (our trans-racial heroes) actually fail?
Your passion is power. Focus it. Your body is a tool. Hone it. Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!