So I was reading the Eclipse Phase facebook profile's mention of collective minds, and it got me to wondering: if you can merge forks that have been separated for an excess of a week (to which the game considers you the most separate form of a mind that there can be, and there are no further penalties for merging), wouldn't merging two completely different minds essentially render a similar effect? Let's go with a theoretical character we'll call Legion (as if this pans out well, that's the name my hive mind will have). Legion's key skill is psychosurgery, which he uses to take other people's forks (alpha, beta, delta, whatever... he isn't picky) and merge them with his consciousness. Now the real question is what this entails for his character's development. There are no real cohesive rules on how to merge minds, no matter how long they have been separated. All we know is that there will be "memory loss". What are the direct mechanical effects that this will have on the character? Even if you were merging the minds of two long-lost forks of the same person, what would be the outcome if, say, one of them spent the while that they were separated learning to be an implant surgeon, while the other mastered the Japanese language? How much of each skill would the final being retain? It could really be an interesting concept for a character. The effects of merging could even be a double-edged sword, having both detrimental and positive effects. For instance, while this collective mind could theoretically learn skills simply by merging with minds that have said skills, the lack of a truly cohesive mind may make it near impossible for him to really focus on learning anything the classical way. He may never gain rez anymore, essentially forcing him to resort to merging with more minds to develop himself. The other more obvious problem would be the potential for multiple personality disorder, as each of the subsumed minds manifests on occasion, until they are actually absorbed into the collective consciousness. Essentially this could be represented as the stress, derangements and disorders that the merging causes always results in various personality quirks, which heal through therapy or over time as the personalities actually merge permanently. In fact, maybe that provides the motive for which he has to merge with others. Maybe the original personality deals with issues of loneliness, for which normal companionship simply doesn't suffice. Maybe he [i]likes[/i] having multiple personalities, and the gradual merging of the personalities into one manifests as a sort of "hunger" for merging with someone else. Legion grows despondent as he goes from many to one, and he begins looking for a means to become many again. When he gets truly desperate, he may even stop going for willing minds and forcibly merge with others, as a means to sate his desire for comrades-in-mind. However, this doesn't necessarily mean he has to be a negative being for the other players. Thanks to the modern advent of forking, his craving never need to necessarily consume another. He might ask for a person's backup as payment for services rendered, or even cash in favors to get more minds. Perhaps he even runs a backup center as a means of both making a living and supporting his hunger, never letting anyone know what he does with copies of their minds on the side (or maybe he does, and he gives discounts to those who agree... maybe even keeping their backups for free). So, what does everyone else think? How should such a character work in the EP mechanics?
—Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]