A listing of my house rules that other groups may find useful.

35 posts / 0 new
Last post
ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
A listing of my house rules that other groups may find useful.

So, I've come up with a fair share of house-rules.

I do strongly recommend that any GMs considering these rules put them to the vote, unless they feel that a given rule is something so vital to preserving Eclipse Phase as they see it that they absolutely must have it.

Also, please do remember to remind your new players of any new house rules. I forgot that, and wound up inadvertently nailing a player with a "Gotcha." I didn't mean to do that.


This is what I came up with to expand upon nanofabrication, to try and make it less of a GM judgement call and handle things like a player deciding to manufacture a Fenrir in a Desktop CM. Mainly it's meant to put some hard numbers and some general guidelines upon the vague nanofabrication rules in EP Core.

Nanofabrication


This is more a guideline than a rule, as the GM reserves the right to adjust times on particularly tricky nanofabrication jobs, but...

If the device you are using to construct a given object can build it entirely within its nanofabrication chamber, then per Eclipse Phase page 285, it takes one hour per cost category. (1 hour for a Trivial object, up to 5 hours for an Expensive one.) If it is not large enough, however, it will take longer, as the device must be manufactured piece-by-piece and assembled by hand.

Estimate the object’s volume (discount any empty space, such as cargo bay, crew cabin, or the space between armatures,) and divide by the volume of the nanofabrication bay you’re using. That’s how many construction cycles your nanofabricator will take to manufacture the object piece-by-piece. Divide the total cost by that sum, assign the result a cost category to determine how long it takes your nanofabricator to complete one construction cycle.

Constructing the object once it’s been fabbed requires appropriate tools (which you damn well should have, if for no other reason than that you’re using a nanofabricator and can have any tools you needed trivially added to any given build cycle,) space (you will have to provide this yourself,) an appropriate Hardware skill (usually), and time, depending on the size and complexity of the object, which is a pure eye-ball. A rifle can be assembled in a few minutes by someone who knows what they’re doing and taking their time, while assembling a vehicle piece-by-piece by hand is likely to take months of work. Either way, once everything is fabbed in more than one part, it needs to be built to complete assembly.

In objects which will require multiple build cycle, the character may declare they’re building while the nanofabricator is working; they will need to spend roughly all of their time attending to the fabber, but the upshot is that they’ll be ready to go shortly after the construction is complete. If not, then the GM will have to eyeball the construction time separately.

The character should roll an appropriate Hardware skill after they have spent the time on final assembly. If they fail, then somewhere along the way they have screwed up (not necessarily during the final assembly,) and must take another reasonable period of time, about 16 hours for a large, heavy vehicle, to fix it. If they critically fail, then somewhere along the way they have screwed up royally and damaged components they installed beyond repair; they must remanufacture about 5% of the device and try again.

Nanofabrication Example


You have a desktop CM, a gigantic scrapyard, black market blueprints for a Fenrir morph, and all the time in the world. The Fenrir has a credit cost of 100,000 credits. You guesstimate the Fenrir’s volume to be roughly the same as that of a Stryker IFV (ProTip: Guestimations can be done quickly by comparing to modern-day objects whose volume is known,); roughly 50 cubic meters. As with the Stryker, there is a significant amount of empty volume in that calculation; even with the legs folded up tight to the body, the Fenrir only occupies about 66% of the space of an area bounding it on all sides, so it works out as roughly 33 cubic meters.

The desktop CM has a fabrication bay volume of 40 liters, or 0.04m3. 33m3 divided by 0.04m3 divides the job into 825 parts with a cost of 122 credits each; a Low cost. It takes 2 hours to manufacture 1/825th of the Fenrir with a standard Desktop CM; assuming non-stop supply of material input and power, a desktop CM can manufacture all the parts of a Fenrir morph in 1,650 hours, or just under 69 days. (You probably would have been better off spending start-up time using your desktop CM to build a larger nanofabrication device, with which you could have built a larger nanofabrication device, with which you could have built a nanofabrication facility.)

The GM determines that this assembly is a monumental undertaking to do singlehandedly, but then, so is constructing a Fenrir morph piece-by-piece in a desktop CM. The GM rules that most of the construction has been taking place whilst pieces were produced by the nanofabber, and that it will take approximately 16 hours of work to complete the assembly. The character spends 16 hours working, and rolls their Hardware skill (Industrial, Groundcraft or Robotics would all be appropriate.) Disaster strikes, and they roll 99; a critical failure. They must remanufacture 5% of the Fenrir, because they bollocksed up the construction job somewhere along the way; they need to run off another 41 construction cycles, taking up 82 hours more, after which they spend another 16 hours and succeed on the roll, completing construction of one monster of a build project.


I came to Eclipse Phase from Exalted 2nd Edition, by way of Shadowrun 4th Edition. So when I saw players trying to submit Motivations that made little sense to me, I set out to figure out why that was. It came down to a differing conception of what "Motivation" meant; to me, a "Motivation" is the kind of thing that will motivate a person to stick their neck out, even when it's greatly unwise to do so; so a motivation of "Keeping Secrets" would make a person look psychotically unreliable, because they don't want to let any information get anywhere. Eventually, I codified this.

Motivations


Because there has been some question on this topic, I’ll clarify Motivations as I see them. I follow the rule that a character’s Motivations are those things which will motivate them to go out of their way; those things important enough to them for them to actively work towards, or to take radical action if they’re threatened.

For instance, your average, everyday apolitical workaday joe on Mars, probably has something similar to these Motivations: +Comfortable Life, -Danger, -Poverty. Workaday Joe doesn’t want any trouble. He’s not going out of his way and engaging in risky activities (such as crime or investing the majority of his resources into high-risk, high-reward hypercorp startup ventures) to earn a fortune; he’s content working a low-key nobody schlub job that puts food on his table and lets him enjoy the comforts to which he has become accustomed. He might be an asshole, but if someone calls him out on it, he’ll back down or call the cops for help. He might express general sympathy and agreement with Barsoomian goals, but if the Movement asks him to stick his neck out (donate funds more than he can afford without cutting into his lifestyle, hide a wanted member of the Movement at his place, or pick up a gun and join the insurgency,) he will refuse, possibly making up an excuse, but if pressed he’ll just say he doesn’t want any trouble. He can only be motivated to risky behavior if his other Motivations are threatened; if the war comes to his neighborhood and getting out isn’t an option, he’ll pick a side, and will probably pick the side he reckons is going to win, whether or not he thinks they’re in the right. If he loses his job and starts facing the rent coming due and coming up short, he might engage in some criminal behavior to make ends meet, and look hard to find any job that will put food back on the table, but will seek to cease criminal activity as soon as he is able to re-legitimize himself.

That’s an everyman joe, though. The sort of person who is interested in more than a comfortable, danger-free life, such as player characters, have more interesting Motivations.

Again, Motivations are not something which a character can take or leave. Someone with -AGI Rights doesn’t just make an exception for an AGI because it’s convenient to overlook this particular AGI’s existence, and someone with +Barsoomian Movement doesn’t just fail to heed the call of the Movement because he’s busy, even if he’s busy because Firewall has called upon him.

A character’s Motivations are the things that they will stick their neck out to act upon. These are the things which passionately drive them. Someone who has a -Hypercapitalism motivation doesn’t just think that the PC are a bunch of twats and go full Economic Justice Warrior on his blog: he is actively plotting the downfall of the hypercapitalist system with whatever means and allies are at his disposal. His means may be so modest and his position so precarious that he can’t afford to do more than spray-paint anti-PC graffiti on a wall, same as many who don’t like the PC but not enough to have a -Hypercapitalist motivation, but when the revolution comes he will be out there with a rifle, gunning down the filth.

Specific Effects


When a character is presented with a situation in which they can act on their Motivations, even though doing so is highly unwise (for instance, the unplanned liberation at gunpoint of an indentured servant in broad daylight,) the character receives a point of Rez, whether or not they are successful. (If they are successful, this remains the only point they earn.)

However, if a character is presented with a situation where they can act on their Motivations without immediately life-threatening consequences and choose not to do so, the character experiences an amount of stress from their failure to act. The character takes 1d10/5 stress, rounded down (minimum of zero.) Most people are probably Hardened to this particular stressor in life; choosing to be Hardened to this does not carry a CP cost, but still reduces maximum possible Moxie.

If a character finds themselves put in a position where they are torn between two Motivations which are mutually exclusive in a given situation, for instance someone with -AGI rights and +Wealth who is offered a vast sum of money by an AGI to overlook his existence, they’re in for a rough time. They can choose between their Motivations freely, but unless they somehow find a way to reconcile the split without violating either principle (such as taking the AGI’s money and then betraying her anyway,) this counts as failing spectacularly in pursuit of a motivational goal, and the character takes 1d10/2 stress, rounded down.



This rule I instituted to maintain a modicum of parity between players. Between the possibility of players coming into the game with a Rez deficet compared to the more established players, or one player doing something heroic (read: suicidal) on behalf of the team, and then losing all the Rez the group has been banking so far and have yet to spend or backup, I decided to change the rule to match the rule in all the Exalted and Shadowrun games I've run/played in: equal XP/Karma.

Pegged Rez gain


I don’t like unfairness in RPGs.

Every character, even those not participating in a session, gains equal Rez for that session. Any Rez rewards that would be highly individual in nature, such as the Rez reward for following a character’s motivation even when it is unwise to do so, or for accomplishing a major goal relating to a motivation, are shared amongst all characters. (It can be safely assumed that all characters will bear the burden of one character’s unwise actions in such an event, so they may safely share in the Rez reward.)

If a character loses Rez, for instance by being killed and unable to reinstance from their cortical stack, they still lose the Rez and are put back to an earlier backup. However, characters laboring under this Rez Debt gain 1.5x Rez per session afterward until they catch up. (This would also apply to any Rez a character cannot gain for a given time, such as being dead for a few sessions whilst the rest of the players work to reinstantiate them.)

New characters would come into the game with Rez equal to the pegged Rez value.



This is my attempt at incorporating the Stunting system from Exalted, 2nd Edition into Eclipse Phase, as I have done with every game I've run since I first played Exalted 2e and fell in love with the system (games such as Shadowrun 4th and Star Wars: Saga Edition.) Now if only my players would remember it and actually try to give me stunts...

Stunting


The GM will be observing a form of the Stunting system familiar to players of Exalted, 2nd Edition. When any roll with an actual chance of consequential failure is undertaken, the player may feel free to describe the action their character takes, inventing non-vital scenery as necessary.

In the process of crafting a stunt, some narrative control over the scenery is granted to the player, though the GM may veto any additions he disagrees with strongly. For instance, if a player is trying to free-run and cross a gap between buildings, they may feel free to stunt that they sling a length of chain over a wire which stretches from one building to the other and zip-lines to it.

After an action is taken with a stunt, the GM should call out with one of the stunt levels. If the GM is tardy on this, prompt him, please.

Stunt 3


Criteria
The description is more interesting than simply “I climb the wall” or “I shoot the Exsurgent with the backwards legs.”

Example
Zora Möller needs to climb up a smooth wall. Her player tells the GM “I take off at the wall, hitting it at a full sprint and using the momentum to get the height she needs.”

Roll Effect
The roll is resolved with a +3 bonus.

Reward
The character recovers 1 Stress if the roll was successful.

Stunt 6

Criteria
The description is very interesting, and either involves scenery (physical or digital,) aligns with one or more of the character’s Motivations, or both.

Example
Elis Menezes needs to climb up a smooth wall. Her player tells the GM “Elis slides her diamond tomahawk off her hip and dashes at the wall. She hits the wall at full speed and uses her momentum to climb up as high as she can, then buries the hatchet into the wall, using its handle to let her throw herself up to get the rest of the way up the wall, pulling it out behind her.”

Roll Effect
The roll is resolved with a +6 bonus, and in the event the roll is opposed and their roll is successful, the character is held to have rolled 20 higher than they actually did for the purposes of determining whether their opposed roll was higher. (This breaks the skill cap; a character who rolls opposed at a skill of 56 with stunt bonus and rolls 43, with an opponent who rolled 50 and succeeded, will still prevail as they are held to have rolled 63.)

Reward
If the stunted roll was successful, the character may choose to recover 1d6+1 stress points or restore a point of spent Moxie.

Stunt 9


Criteria
The GM’s jaw hits the floor.

Example
It's really hard to give an example of this level of Stunt. If the GM is left speechless picturing your character's actions, though, you've made it. (Unless the GM is rendered speechless because you did something so heinous it broke their brain.)

Roll Effect
The roll is resolved with a +9 bonus, and if the roll is opposed and the stunting character succeeds, their opponent automatically fails without being permitted to roll. If the level of the opponent’s failure matters, they are held to have failed with a MoF of 30. If that is still not enough, the player who performed this stunt may spend a point of Moxie to force the opponent to resolve their failure as though they had rolled a critical failure result of 99.
Reward
If the action benefitting from the stunt succeeds, the player may choose to recover 10 stress points, 1d4+1 spent Moxie, or receive a point of Rez (which benefits the entire group).



I found the Alienation and Integration rules in the Core Rulebook to be magnificent in their sucktitude, with effects ranging from "Good to go" to "sucking useless for over a week." This is a revamp to those rules.

Alienation and Integration Tests


This is an override to the Integration and Alienation rules in the core rulebook, which vary dramatically from “no penalty” to “suck for more than a week.” I don’t consider that an acceptable variance in something the players are expected to do not infrequently. Alienation tests remain as standard, but use this new table.

Getting used to a new body typically requires some adjustment period, especially if the changes are extreme. They must often retrain themselves to perform simple tasks, let alone train themselves to perform tasks that their new body is capable of that their previous body was not, and occasionally unlearn things their old body was capable of that their new one is not. Luckily, transhuman minds are adaptive things, especially with the assistance of neurological “patches” applied during the resleeving process.

When sleeving into a new morph (or an infomorph,) the character must make an Integration Test upon taking control, rolling SOM * 3. The bonuses for the new morph do not apply to this test. Apply modifiers from the Integration and Alienation Modifiers table (Originally Eclipse Phase 272, Modified table below,) as applicable.

Conditional Circumstance Effect
Familiar; character has extensively used the specific morph they're sleeving into.* +30
Clone of prior morph.* +25
Character’s original morph type (what they were raised with)* +20
Adaptability Level 2 +20
Adaptability Level 1 +10
Character has previously used this type of morph* +10
First time resleeving -10
Going from infomorph to physical or vice-versa.✝✜ -10
Character is sleeving into a dissimilar morph (ex. Human to New-Hominid)✝✜ -10
Going from Biomorph to Synthmorph and vice-versa, or from a pod to non-pod and vice-versa.✝✜ -10
Morph incorrectly gendered from character’s own gender identity✝ -10
Morph is heavily augmented (does not apply if sleeving into a body you’ve used before, unless its augs load-out has changed significantly.)✜ -10
Morphing Disorder Level 1* -10
Morphing Disorder Level 2* -20
First time going from physically instantiated to infomorph.✝ -20
Character knows they are a fork and are unaccustomed to forking. (Alienation Test Only.)✝ -20
Morphing Disorder Level 3* -30
Going from Exotic Morph to any dissimilar Exotic Morph, or from less exotic morph to any Exotic Morph. (ex. Octomorphs, neo-Avians, Scurriers, etc.)✝✜ -30

*Only the greatest of these modifiers is applicable, should more than one apply.
✜Only the greatest of these modifiers is applicable, should more than one apply.
✝This is a change from standard.

Integration Test Results

Critical Failure


The morph just wigs you the hell out. It doesn’t seem to work right no matter what you do, and this is potentially terrifying at first. The acclimatization period is going to be long and difficult. The character takes a -30 penalty on all physical actions, which reduces by 2 points every three hours you spend in the morph. The extreme dissonance of this morph causes you severe problems on your alienation test: degrade your alienation test result by one step. (You cannot be degraded below critical failure.)

Severe Failure (MoF 30+)


There is something fundamentally bugging you about this body, you feel clumsy, oafish. It just doesn’t do what you want to do. You may try to scratch your head and wind up poking yourself in the eye; attempting to handle a firearm in this state would be an exercise in futility at best, and a danger to yourself and others at worst. You take a -20 penalty to all physical actions, which reduces itself by 2 points every three hours you spend in the morph, and take a -10 penalty on your Alienation test.

Failure


Something about this morph just isn’t clicking with your neurology, maybe they misapplied the neural patches. It bugs you, somehow, it just bugs you, that it doesn’t seem to work right. Or maybe the morph is just stiff from a long time in suspension and they skimped on the drugs to keep it in good working order. Either way, you take a penalty of -20 to all physical actions, dropping by 2 points every two hours you spend in the morph.

Success


The morph works, it doesn’t feel unduly awkward or strange to be in. You’ll take some time to get used to it, but you’ll get there without undue burden. You take a -20 penalty on all physical actions at first, with a reduction by 2 at an interval of 90 minutes.

Excellent Success (MoS 30+)


This morph feels good, with only a slight , nagging inkling that anything at all may be amiss about it. You acclimate quickly to the physical aspects of the morph, taking a -20 penalty on all physical actions at first, which reduces by 2 points every hour you’re in the morph, to a minimum of zero after ten hours. You halve any stress you may have taken from the Alienation test, rounding down, to a minimum of zero.

Critical Success


The morph fits like a skintight smart-fabric glove. Everything feels somehow right, and your morph works entirely as advertised. It may even fit you better than the morph you grew up in. You take no penalties and require no time to acclimatize to the ‘morph, and you may skip your Alienation test entirely; there is no alienation in this body for you. You're right at home, like you always belonged here.

Hardened Armor Rule


If a given piece of armor is tough enough, you’re just going to flatten ammo against it without doing any damage. Firing more bullets at it just lets you flatten light ammo against heavy faster than before.

If an armored target of automatic fire has double or more a weapon’s armor penetration value, burst fire doesn’t add any damage to the attack, and full auto only adds +1d10. If it has triple or more a weapon’s armor penetration value, even full autofire fails to add any damage.



This rule is simply designed to keep things moving, rather than calling for re-rolls on every mutual failure and tie. My group voted it in, but "preserving the status quo on mutual failure" has been what we've been doing in any event.

Opposed Tests; Ties and Mutual Failures.


The normal rules state that in the event of a tie, or if both characters fail, they remain deadlocked.

Under this revision, ties and mutual failures are handled different. In the event of a tie, the result is awarded to the defender if the roll in question has immediately dangerous consequences; for instance, between an attacker using Blades to strike someone who is using Clubs to parry with the body of his rifle, a tied result goes to the defender without qualification, as would a mutual failure.

In events which are not immediately lethal (even if they potentially enable lethal situations,) the status quo is preserved. If someone is using Infiltration to sneak into a place and the GM calls for Perception for that person to have a chance to spot them, on a mutual failure or a tie, the sneaker remains undetected because although they failed to sneak, the perceive failed to perceive. If the person using Infiltration had been attempting to use it to shake pursuit and hide from someone who was already aware of them, the status quo is preserved and they remain known to their pursuer.



This suite of house rules was designed from the ground up to make there be a point to investing in melee skills. The design paradigm behind it being that if you're shooting at someone with a gun, it should be like playing Halo, but if you're attacking someone up close, it should be like Assassin's Creed. So far the only heading under Cinematic Combat is Called Shots, under which all the other headings lie, but it's not impossible - in fact, it's probable - that some non-called shot that would enhance the cinematic value of combat would come up at a later time. These rules were voted down in my game.

Cinematic Combat


This is a suite of house rules designed to add some flair and flavor to combat; as well as to make melee actually something you might want to consider doing if you actually get close enough to someone to use it.

Called Shots

Combined Called Shots


It is possible to combine two called shots: for instance, attempting to bypass armor and to strike the opponent exactly where you wish to do so, such as by striking them somewhere vital. This multiplies both the penalty to called shots and the required measure of success by 2. (IE, a called shot would have a -20 penalty, and would require a Measure of Success of 60.)

Called Shots to the Vitals


Making a called shot to something vital is an option, assuming you know where in your target that those somethings vital are located. These attacks, if successful, tend to disable a target immediately, assuming that what you struck was vital and they haven’t got some sort of augmentation that allows them to keep going despite the blow. (Most transhumans will be rendered incapable of fighting in short order if you rip their throats out with a combat knife or sever their spines. Some augments might allow them to fight on, depending on exactly what you struck, if only for a short time)

Called Shots at Range


With a projectile weapon, called shots will generally only be possible if the target isn’t aware that they are under attack and taking steps to defend themselves. Even if the GM rules that the shot is possible, targets defending against called shots at range is much easier than defending against being shot period.

When defending against a called shot at range, a character’s Fray is considered a Simple Success for the purposes of the called shot itself. If they fail their Fray roll, it will not help to prevent them from being attacked, but even the failed roll still sets their measure of success to which the shooter must exceed in order to succeed in the called shot.

Example


Jumbles the Chimp is confronted by a bioconservative fanatic waving a gun, who announces his intention to blow the freak back to hell. Jumbles, naturally, decides that he is uninterested in having his aged monkey ass blown away, and wisely chooses to flee. The gunman takes aim at Jumbles’ head, hoping to blow his brains out, and he fires. Jumbles musters his Fray score of 50, which is divided by 2 for defending against a ranged attack, and he rolls a 50. Jumbles does not succeed on his Fray roll to potentially avoid damage, but the attacker is not merely attempting to shoot Jumbles, he’s trying to blow his brains out. The attacker has been well-chosen and equipped by radical biocon groups such as the Jovian Junta, and has a Kinetic Weapons score of 110, so he will only fail on a roll of 99. However, jumbles’ Fray roll still counts for the purposes of the Measure of Success the attack needs. Adding in the requirement of 30 for a called shot, Jumbles only gets his brains blown out on a roll of 80+ or doubles; anything else simply strikes him and deals ordinary weapon damage. Not great, but a 26% chance of suffering instant death sure as hell beats the 72% chance he would have been facing if the attacker had simply walked up behind him and fired without announcing his intentions. Had Jumbles been wearing a helmet and the attacker attempted to both bypass his armor and blow his head off, he would have been required to make a roll of 110 on 1d100, and thus found it impossible without a critical hit (a not-insubstantial 10% chance with his 110 Kinetics score, though he would also suffer a 10% chance of failing to hit altogether with his -20 penalty.)

Called Shots in Melee


Making a called shot in melee is much easier than at range, even if the target is fighting you. If the target uses Fray to attempt to evade an attack with a called shot, the target’s Fray result is not added to the required Measure of Success.

Example


Elis Menezes is dual-wielding a diamond-hardened tomahawk and a hidden blade, and is attacking a Shui Fong triad soldier in melee combat. Unfortunately for the triad soldier, he has neglected the old ways in favor of the gun, and is hopelessly unable to parry her strikes; his only hope lies in evasion, which he is quite good at. He has a Fray score of 50, while Elis has a Blades score of 60 when using her Hidden Blade. Elis wants to finish this goon quickly, rather than stabbing him half a dozen times, so she makes a called shot to spin him around with the tomahawk’s hooked blade and stab him in the brain stem. The goon defends with his Fray score, and rolls 40! Elis will need to roll 41 through 50 or a critical success to strike him at all. However, his Fray score does not set the baseline for her measure of success with a melee called shot; she needs only to score 30 or greater to succeed on the called shot, though obviously the actual shot must also succeed as well. Elis has an 87% chance of failure, but a 13% chance of killing her foe instantly! Had he instead been defending with a melee parry (Clubs, Blades, or even Unarmed,) his result of 40 would have set the baseline for Elis’s Measure of Success, meaning that she would have had to roll a success of 70+; impossible for her. Only a critical success of 11, 22, 33, 44, or 100 would have worked out as a successful called shot, a mere 5% chance, though she still would have struck him for normal dual-wielded weapon damage on a result of 41-50.

Called Shots and Moxie


Called shots are notoriously dangerous. However, you can spend a Moxie to negate any called shot, after it is declared but before it is rolled for. The regular attack still takes place (with the called shot penalty), however.

This is a rule I've seen house-ruled in Shadowrun many a time, because sometimes the players are forgetful and their characters would not have been. This rule was eagerly voted in to in my game.

On-Hand Purchase


Sometimes your character is wiser than you are, or at least more prepared. Any time your character is in a situation which she had time to prepare for beforehand with a reasonable notion of what they were in for in the near future (IE, the current present time,) you may spend a point of Moxie to make an “on-hand purchase” to suddenly have some item(s) your character reasonably would have thought to bring but you, the player, forgot about.

Consider it to be spending a point of Moxie to warp time slightly and have another shot at provisioning for your trip. Any goods which you would have had free access to at the time and place you departed, you may pick up for free. Anything of Trivial or Low cost can be purchased, or a favor Retroactively spent to have provided.



I lifted this rule wholesale from the old Serenity RPG. Terrible system, but this was one of the few things in it I genuinely liked. This one was voted in.

Story Manipulation


(Almost literally) Taking a page out of the Serenity RPG’s book, the Story Manipulation rule allows players to manipulate events in meaningful ways by the expenditure of Moxie. These manipulations are fairly expensive, but they may be paid for collectively, if the group agrees, or individually if you have the Moxie and feel it’s important enough to spend it on. Please, no arguing; if a player feels negatively strongly enough on any story manipulation (including that paid for entirely by one player,) to argue against it, then it’s considered vetoed.

The GM, of course, has final veto over anything, and reserves the right to propose a modification to a proposed story modification if he thinks it can be worked in but not exactly as-stated. The GM’s vetoes or modifications are final, take-it-or-leave-it propositions. The GM determines how many MOX a given manipulation is worth; these prices are non-negotiable.

Story Manipulation can be used to arrange for a windfall of resources equivalent to the credit value of the manipulation level, but the GM reserves the right to abolish that option if he feels it’s being abused; same with using it to have something done which would better be done by calling in a favor.

It cannot be directly used to raise your Rep, but you can use it to have your character called upon for a Favor which, if completed, will raise their reputation, per the Favor rules. (This is a double-edged sword, in that failure or refusal of the favor will result in a reputation hit, and you don’t get to know what the favor being asked for entails until after you’ve spent the Moxie to call for a favor opportunity.)

It doesn’t let you rewrite the story in the middle, nor does it allow retroactive continuity to take place. It does, however, permit plot twists to be revealed.

Trivial Manipulation


Cost: 1-3 Moxie
Uses:
  • Determining that someone who is largely inconsequential or ancillary to the story is favorably disposed to you from the outset for some reason. (“The bartender and I flew on the same Barge for a while, and won’t mind if I run up a large tab,” for instance, or “The infomorph they have doing this file server work is really desperate for social interaction, and will gladly bump my requests to the head of her queue if I keep a chat line open with her.”)
  • Being called upon to perform a Trivial level favor or provide Common information you are in the know of. (“You look strong, young’un, and my morph’s old, could you take a half an hour out of your busy day to help me lift this heavy stuff into my truck,” or “Hey, I’m getting mixed reviews of everywhere off the Mesh, where can I get something to eat that won’t make me wish I were dead later?”)
  • Experience a trivial windfall of credits, materiel, or resources. (Your muse entered a poetry contest under your name and won a small prize. You need to find some open-source nanofabrication blueprints in a hurry, and your muse picks up a brief window of time in which you can access a Conduit hotspot and bypass the PC’s censors. You stick your hand into a dark vent out of curiosity and discover a flashlight.)

Minor Manipulation


Cost: 4-6 Moxie
Uses:
  • Determining that someone who is somewhat involved in the story is favorably disposed to you. (“The lead we’re asking questions of is a huge fan of my music, and is totally chuffed to see me at her doorstep,” or “The customs agent who could make trouble for us is tired and just wants to go home, so if we don’t present any obvious trouble, he won’t pry into our business.”)
  • Calling upon a stroke of minor good luck at just the right time. (“A brawl in the bar three doors down spills out into the streets, drawing everybody’s attention and affording us the opportunity to perform nefarious deeds unseen,” or “It turns out that minimum wage does not buy undying loyalty, and the shopkeeper’s assistant offers a very progressive portfolio of bribery packages and opportunities to buy things which have ‘fallen off a shelf and broken’”.)
  • Experience a minor windfall of credits, materiel, or resources. (Sifting the electronic dregs of the mesh, you find an unsigned cache of hypercorp stock that you can claim and sell for 250 credits immediately. Glancing around in need of a weapon, you find a flex cutter rolled up and stuck behind a drain pipe, or a diamond axe mounted in a fire box whose latch is unlocked.)

Moderate Manipulation


Cost: 10-7 Moxie
Uses:
  • Stroke of luck at just the right time. (“That guy’s weapon is going to get stuck in his holster when he tries to draw on me.” “The triad guards are smoking and playing medium-stakes mahjong rather than being alert.”)
  • Call-back. (“Remember that seemingly inconsequential girl we helped out of a jam before? Turns out that’s her in a new morph, and she’d like to pay back the favor and catch up on old times.”)
  • Experience a moderate windfall. (Your Firewall proxy managed to funnel a cool thousand credits to you on short notice.)
  • Determining that someone involved in the story is very favorably disposed to you. (“Hey there! You remember me - we lived in the same hab module a few years back, used to stay up all night getting blazed and listening to Neo-Cetecean synthcore? What’ve you been up to?”)

Major Manipulation


Cost: 11-13 Moxie
Uses:
  • Stroke of fantastic luck at just the right time. (“That idiot left the default credentials on his drone.” or “Turns out this kid just finds me irresistible and would do anything I wanted. I’m sure I can use that to my advantage.”)
  • Experiencing a Major windfall when you need it. (“I remembered reading a Firewall report on Oversight resource cache practices, and found a cache containing [insert shopping list of 5,000 credits worth of highly illegal, untraceable, Oversight-manufactured goods relevant to operative work here.]”)
  • Timely rescue. (“Broke crasher truck, broke fabricator, we vaporized our blue box when it looked like that exhuman exile was going to win, stranded god-knows how many light-years from home alone on some forsaken rock with dwindling supplies. Who would have believed that we were one gatehop from Portal and that a group of Gatehoppers just happened to come through and be able to take us back.”)

Extreme Manipulation


Cost: 14+ Moxie
Uses:
  • Determine that someone who isn’t overtly the enemy is actually on your side. (“The Oversight Auditor whose stack we popped was also investigating this Project Ozma nightmare, and wants to see it destroyed badly enough to willingly work with Firewall to get the job done.” or “This person we’ve run into has an i-Rep score; we’ve just run into another Firewall Sentinel by blind luck.”)
  • Stroke of unbelievably good luck at the right moment: (“There’s dissention in the enemy ranks; I can see in that guy’s eyes he’s not thrilled with the way of things. A good offer might make his gun turn on his erstwhile allies.” or “That guy left the default credentials on one of the satchel charges he’s carrying. I can detonate him and everybody in his general vicinity whenever I want.”)
  • Experience an Extreme windfall of credits, materiel, or resources. (“That panel van we rammed was transporting a charged-up but empty Arachnoid morph. All we have to do is cut the tie-down straps and load a fork into it.” Or “Luckily, Firewall has managed to funnel 20,000 credits in cash directly to us, actually bankrolling an operation for once.”)
  • Fantastically timely rescue. (“Out in the wilderness, pinned down in a three-way firefight between TITAN-tech smugglers, us, and god-knows-what, a live nuke on an impact trigger in the middle of the battlefield, and here come some nomads and TITAN Busters roaring in to take up arms with us. We might yet live through this.”)

Fantastic Skill


I wrote this rule because, quite simply, I was tired of seeing ridiculous situations where characters with godlike ability at a thing were failing opposed rolls with scrubs and bog-standard AIs. I instituted this rule by fiat, but I don't think the players with a penchant for punching their rolls above 100 will object.

The absurd situation can arise when a character with excellent skill ratings is forced to roll against an unworthy opponent, and through outrageous turns of luck, can fail.

It is thus that, if at any time a character with an adjusted skill rating above 100 (normally which results in turning the action into a simple success test,) is obliged to roll (usually for reasons of making an opposed test,) any overage above 100 is instead added to the character’s Measure of Success.

Example: Tenshi is an intrusion specialist almost without peer. Through a combination of skill, Eidolon bonuses, milspec hacking software and complementary skills, and after taking all penalties into account, her adjusted Infosec roll is 130. She rolls against the system monitoring agent, a bog-standard infosec AI with a roll of 40. Disaster strikes, and Tenshi, the masterful hacker, rolls only 15, while the AI rolled 40! But Tenshi’s advantage is indomitable, and her overage above 100 is 30, which is added directly to her Measure of Success. Tenshi’s result is thus 45, 5 over the AI’s best roll. Short of the system monitor having rolled a critical, Tenshi literally could not have failed with a result of 11 or greater.


Well, those are the house rules in my game. I'm sure others have input on these rules, and perhaps have interesting/useful house rules of their own they could share. Please, by all means, share!

Skype and AIM names: Exactly the same as my forum name.

My EP Character Questionnaire
Thread for my Questionnaire
The Five Orange Pips

kindalas kindalas's picture
Nice Work.

After a skim through I think this is good and I may be incorporating some of it into my games.

I'll have to read it again before giving feedback but I'm not a fan of effort not getting comments so I figured I should say something.

I am a Moderator of this Forum
My mod voice is red.

The Eclipse Phase Character sheet is downloadable here:
Get it here!

uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
I am going to try out that

I am going to try out that Story Manipulation thing. Great examples and cool idea, even if borrowed from Serenity RPG.

Exhuman, and Humanitarian.

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
kindalas wrote:After a skim

kindalas wrote:
After a skim through I think this is good and I may be incorporating some of it into my games.

Hope you find some/all of it useful! Which particular ones were you considering?

Quote:
I'll have to read it again before giving feedback but I'm not a fan of effort not getting comments so I figured I should say something.

Thanks! I was just yeterday bemoaning that nobody had commented on it. If you liked this, you should look at Bibliophile's write-up of the exoplanet of Portal.

uwtartarus wrote:
I am going to try out that Story Manipulation thing. Great examples and cool idea, even if borrowed from Serenity RPG.

I ain't too proud to steal a good idea when I see one. :) I ain't such an asshole as to (intentionally) claim credit for something wholly or largely taken from someone else's stuff, though.

Skype and AIM names: Exactly the same as my forum name.

My EP Character Questionnaire
Thread for my Questionnaire
The Five Orange Pips

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Hmmmm....

I'm not sure that the Hardened Armour and the defense of the aware against ranged called shots are good ideas. High armour scores are easy to get, and the ability to make called shots or use full-auto to push the damage are two of the main counters to this.
It also severely nerfs the SMG.

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?

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:I'm

ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:
I'm not sure that the Hardened Armour and the defense of the aware against ranged called shots are good ideas. High armour scores are easy to get, and the ability to make called shots or use full-auto to push the damage are two of the main counters to this.
It also severely nerfs the SMG.

A submachinegun is not an appropriate tool to engage heavily-armored targets with. If someone uses an SMG to engage a heavily armored target and experiences only bitter failure, that is, as far as I'm concerned, a feature, and not a bug.

You can push it by using a rail SMG and AP rail ammo for AP -10. If you're engaging a target with 20+ armor, you're engaging a military battlesuit or equivalent, and a submachinegun should be less than thrillingly effective when engaging a target wearing diamond-hardened carbon nanotube armor. If you're engaging a target which your AP Rail SMG ammo is completely bouncing off of and even full-auto isn't giving you anything, you're engaging a target with kinetic armor of 30+. That means that you're engaging an armored vehicle such an APC.

Why don't you take a Heckler and Koch Mp7 and load it with armor-piercing ammo and see how much damage you deal to a Styker by unloading the entire magazine. I'll wait.

My reasoning is simple: If you want to engage a hardened, armored target, you should bring an appropriate weapon. A shredder is not an appropriate weapon for anti-armor work, nor is an SMG. A seeker with a HEAP warhead is an appropriate weapon for anti-armor work. Or a railsniper with AP ammo. Or an autocannon. At a pinch, a heavy machine gun. (Sniper rifle with huge belt feed and full auto capable.)

But not a submachinegun, no.

Skype and AIM names: Exactly the same as my forum name.

My EP Character Questionnaire
Thread for my Questionnaire
The Five Orange Pips

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
I disagree.

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
A submachinegun is not an appropriate tool to engage heavily-armored targets with. If someone uses an SMG to engage a heavily armored target and experiences only bitter failure, that is, as far as I'm concerned, a feature, and not a bug.

Heavily armoured yes, an Industrial Casemorph no. Or a guy with light bioweave and armoured clothing.
Or a completely average Synthmorph, for that matter.

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
...Why don't you take a Heckler and Koch Mp7 and load it with armor-piercing ammo and see how much damage you deal to a Styker by unloading the entire magazine. I'll wait.

Not much of an argument, when you could just as likely be firing what are effectively tiny homing missiles.
In any case, I am not talking about problems taking out armoured cars, I am talking about problems taking out a guy in a flak jacket.

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
If you want to engage a hardened, armored target, you should bring an appropriate weapon.

But you usually don't get to pick what targets you have to fight.
You shouldn't be hosed because you brought hollowpoint rounds and the Exhuman hunting you decided to wear a hat.
You're not saying bring an appropriate weapon, you're saying bring armour piercing, because everything else is for chumps.

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?

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote

ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:
Heavily armoured yes, an Industrial Casemorph no. Or a guy with light bioweave and armoured clothing.

Light bioweave + Armored clothing = Kinetic Armor Armor 7.

That's not insignificant protection, but it's hardly insurmountable. That would probably be roughly equivalent to a modern-day heavy-duty police armor. It's also going to be quite rare amongst most people - just not amongst the sort of threats Firewall Sentinels typically do battle with. They should come armed accordingly.

You could also, by the way, ignore the Hardened Armor Rule with that armor completely just by loading Reactive ammo. Armor-Piercing or Reactive Armor Piercing completely defeat that level of protection, even out of a submachinegun or a light pistol.

Submachineguns using non-armor-defeating ammunition are for engaging light-armored targets only. SMGs with hollow-point or regular ammo are for hosing down crowds or people in completely civilian clothing. They are not ideal for assassinating moderately paranoid VIPs or for gunning down cops.

A Case has Armor 4/4. With Industrial Armor upgraded armor, that gives it armor 14/14.

That gives it a level of protection (exactly) between that of heavy mil-spec body armor and a a miniature spaceship.

If you're trying to engage that level of heavy armor with a propellant submachine gun and hollow-point ammunition, you're either stupid or desperate. That would be like trying to engage a Humvee with a submachinegun.

Industrial armor is heavy stuff.

Quote:
Or a completely average Synthmorph, for that matter.

A synth has built-in armor of 6/6. That's quite a lot, but it's not insurmountable. But it is, however, a hard target. That would be like engaging a limousine with lightly armored sides and bulletproof glass. Bring an appropriate tool for the job.

Quote:
Not much of an argument, when you could just as likely be firing what are effectively tiny homing missiles.

Homing RAP ammo out of a propellant SMG would have AP -8. That would completely defeat a Synth's built-in armor, and would still allow full damage staging even against your industrial-armored Case. You'd have to put the industrial armor on a Synth to reduce damage staging, and industrial armor on a Synth would be tougher than a Hardsuit, so I think that's justified. If you want to punch through that, load RAP into an automatic rifle, a sniper rifle, or a machine gun. Or even a Heavy Pistol, which I should remind you is fully capable of SA, BF and FA modes of fire.

Quote:
In any case, I am not talking about problems taking out armoured cars, I am talking about problems taking out a guy in a flak jacket.

A flak jacket would be 6/6 armor. Hardly insurmountable, even if you're using that eponymous SMG with regular ammo.

And quite frankly, I'm more worried about preventing a full-auto shredder being capable of annihilating a tank in two or three shots than I am at making sure improbably weak and unlikely-to-be-used-by-players weapon and armor combinations are appropriately lethal. Yes, a player in my game actually believed that getting up close to a six-meter military anthroform with a shredder was a good idea. I can't fault them for that, as the default rules kind of make that seem like a good idea; the rules needed to be corrected.

Quote:
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
If you want to engage a hardened, armored target, you should bring an appropriate weapon.

But you usually don't get to pick what targets you have to fight.
You shouldn't be hosed because you brought hollowpoint rounds and the Exhuman hunting you decided to wear a hat.

A hat alone isn't going to offer any significant protection. Even if the rules say it does, it doesn't.

But if you're hunting Exhumans, and you brought hollowpoint, you are by default the idiot, given the cheap and easy availability of quite-significant amounts of protection. Unless you know for a fact beyond a reasonable doubt your target is unarmored, don't bring hollow-point. Or bring a backup plan.

Quote:
You're not saying bring an appropriate weapon, you're saying bring armour piercing, because everything else is for chumps.

Armor, at least light armor, is very easy to get. Every Joe Blow in the setting has (literally) trivial access to 3/4 armor clothing, because it costs practically nothing. If he's really concerned with his personal protection, his skin can be upgraded to the equavilent of kevlar for the investment of 250 credits. He could also invest that money into a crash suit, which would look a little out of place in the world of business but which fits in perfectly if he has a hobby such as parkour or something, and gives him 4/6 armor - the same level of kinetic protection as an actual armored vest.

Frankly, if someone is paranoid enough to spend a grand and a half to stack all the stackable Low-cost armor options he can find, up to and including significant alterations to his body, he deserves to ignore damage staging from someone hosing him down with an SMG that couldn't even be arsed to spend twenty-five credits to bypass his armor.

Not that it would help him much anyway, because he's still going to be resisting 2d10+3 damage with 2 lower than his kinetic armor value. That's going to hurt, damage staging or not.

Skype and AIM names: Exactly the same as my forum name.

My EP Character Questionnaire
Thread for my Questionnaire
The Five Orange Pips

ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
A point I must make.

A point I must make. Submachine Guns do not use rifle caliber rounds. They use Pistol caliber rounds in what is essentially a more ergonomic carbine model designed for CQB. What makes an SMG highly lethal is its ROF and ergonomic package.

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
ORCACommander wrote:A point I

ORCACommander wrote:
A point I must make. Submachine Guns do not use rifle caliber rounds. They use Pistol caliber rounds in what is essentially a more ergonomic carbine model designed for CQB. What makes an SMG highly lethal is its ROF and ergonomic package.

Uh... Yeah.

I know.

Submachineguns use ammunition more in keeping with that of a light pistol - as evidenced by the fact that the SMG and light pistol are basically the same weapon, only the SMG has more ammo.

That's why I quite frankly think it's entirely appropriate for SMG ammo to bounce off sufficiently hardened armor; shooting more ammo faster isn't going to make it bounce less, it's just going to let you flatten light ammo against hardened armor faster than before.

Of course, it's not as if going full auto gives you nothing against those targets. If you're using a stock SMG with regular ammo and up against a guy with 6/6 armor, going full auto gives you something; +30 to hit. That ain't nothin'. He's still gonna take hurt 'cause his armor (-4 after your AP) is much less than your damage.

He just probably ain't gonna go down in one long burst.

Skype and AIM names: Exactly the same as my forum name.

My EP Character Questionnaire
Thread for my Questionnaire
The Five Orange Pips

ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
hehe shadow i was not

hehe shadow i was not pointing it out to you :P

and that +30 is a great thing for called shots to those fiddly bits that may not be adequately armored :P

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
Called Shot... At full auto.

Called Shot... At full auto.

>_<

I would have to say "Ha ha ha no."

Skype and AIM names: Exactly the same as my forum name.

My EP Character Questionnaire
Thread for my Questionnaire
The Five Orange Pips

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Aha!

Point Of Contention Located!

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
Light bioweave + Armored clothing = Kinetic Armor Armor 7.

That's not insignificant protection, but it's hardly insurmountable. That would probably be roughly equivalent to a modern-day heavy-duty police armor.
...
A Case has Armor 4/4. With Industrial Armor upgraded armor, that gives it armor 14/14.

That gives it a level of protection (exactly) between that of heavy mil-spec body armor and a a miniature spaceship.

If you're trying to engage that level of heavy armor with a propellant submachine gun and hollow-point ammunition, you're either stupid or desperate. That would be like trying to engage a Humvee with a submachinegun.

Industrial armor is heavy stuff.
...
A synth has built-in armor of 6/6. That's quite a lot, but it's not insurmountable. But it is, however, a hard target. That would be like engaging a limousine with lightly armored sides and bulletproof glass. Bring an appropriate tool for the job.
...
A flak jacket would be 6/6 armor.

We seem to be operating under completely different assumptions for appropriate armour levels.
Imo, an armour value up to about 8 is insignificant protection. It's what you can expect to protect against environmental or incidental damage, not firearms.

A basic member of the public will probably have a kinetic armour rating of 3 to 6, a biker, bouncer or rockclimber a bit more.
A completely standard doughnut-sucking beat cop is going to have a rating of at least 10/10 (Body Armour: Light), and will likely have more. A Riot cop or swat member will have Body Armour: Heavy and a Riot shield for 16/15 minimum.
A normal VIP is going to be sporting Second & Smart Skin and Armour Clothing for 7/9, with a smart Standard Vacsuit in his pocket to bump him up to 14/16.
A basic soldier will be wearing a crashsuit and Battlesuit Powered Exoskeleton for 24/25, perhaps with a riot shield.
After that you're heading into Reaper territory. For special forces I'd be tempted to add synthmorph armour mods and augmentations to the battlesuit, but that's houserule territory.

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
But if you're hunting Exhumans

I didn't say you're hunting the Exhuman, I said it's hunting you. Big difference.

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
Every Joe Blow in the setting has (literally) trivial access to 3/4 armor clothing, because it costs practically nothing.

Yes, and weapons development is going to take this into account.

That said, your player who decided to rush your Military walker should be minced.
I mean, yes, I'd say that he was using the shredder exactly as it was designed to be used... but I'd also say that the walker would have an armour of 32+, a durability of 100+, and the next turn he'll either be full-auto-shredder'd right back or receive a plasma rifle round to what used to be his face.

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
Called Shot... At full auto.

Yes, because that is what the weapon is designed to do.
Also known as "Oh god Exsurgent Kill It Kill It KILL IT" mode.

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?

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:Point

ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:
Point Of Contention Located!

We seem to be operating under completely different assumptions for appropriate armour levels.
Imo, an armour value up to about 8 is insignificant protection. It's what you can expect to protect against environmental or incidental damage, not firearms.

A basic member of the public will probably have a kinetic armour rating of 3 to 6, a biker, bouncer or rockclimber a bit more.

A completely standard doughnut-sucking beat cop is going to have a rating of at least 10/10 (Body Armour: Light), and will likely have more. A Riot cop or swat member will have Body Armour: Heavy and a Riot shield for 16/15 minimum.

Doughnut Sucker is going to be wearing an Armor Vest, not Body Armor. That's 6/6, not 10/10. Granted, it might be 9/10 if he layers it with armor clothing. But he's not going to be wearing head-to-toe body armor. That's the realm of armed incident response teams and riot cops, not doughnut sucking beat patrolmen.

Quote:
A normal VIP is going to be sporting Second & Smart Skin and Armour Clothing for 7/9, with a smart Standard Vacsuit in his pocket to bump him up to 14/16.

Nope!

A normal VIP is going to have light bioweave armor and be wearing 3/4 armor clothing. If he's really paranoid, he's going to be wearing Second Skin too, but he probably won't be wearing that unless he has reason to expect an attack on his life in the near future. Why?

Because he's living a normal life. Wearing carbonan crotch-huggers in your everyday life is not normal; it will show at the wrists and the neck, and it will carry social consequences from his peers, as well as being inconvenient when he wants to shag his secretary or his indentured pleasure pod or whatever.

Quote:
A basic soldier will be wearing a crashsuit and Battlesuit Powered Exoskeleton for 24/25, perhaps with a riot shield.

A basic soldier will be wearing heavy body armor (13/13) and a helmet (+2/+2 or +3/+3, depending.) Powered military battlesuits are the realm of front-line combat soldiers fighting in an all-out war, or special forces. He definitely won't be carrying a riot shield into combat, because he has better things to do with his other hands, like use a rifle.

After that you're heading into Reaper territory. For special forces I'd be tempted to add synthmorph armour mods and augmentations to the battlesuit, but that's houserule territory.

Quote:
I didn't say you're hunting the Exhuman, I said it's hunting you. Big difference.

If you're being hunted by an exhuman and all you have is the spacefuture equavilent of a 9mm automatic, you are in deep poodoo.

Quote:
Yes, and weapons development is going to take this into account.

And it does: even regular ammo from a basic SMG or light pistol has an AP value of -2. There's your accounts taken.

Quote:
That said, your player who decided to rush your Military walker should be minced.
I mean, yes, I'd say that he was using the shredder exactly as it was designed to be used... but I'd also say that the walker would have an armour of 32+, a durability of 100+, and the next turn he'll either be full-auto-shredder'd right back or receive a plasma rifle round to what used to be his face.

A shredder is not an anti-tank weapon. You want to kill a tank, bring a rocket launcher, bring a cannon, bring satchel charges. Don't bring a spacefuture shotgun.

Quote:
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
Called Shot... At full auto.

Yes, because that is what the weapon is designed to do.
Also known as "Oh god Exsurgent Kill It Kill It KILL IT" mode.

I'm sorry. Called shots. At full auto.

As in, sweeping your weapon across a target's position dramatically in order to make sure at least one round hits him.

And using that to benefit your attempt to put a round in the two inches of bare skin between his helmet and chestguard?

Ha, ha, ha, no.

Skype and AIM names: Exactly the same as my forum name.

My EP Character Questionnaire
Thread for my Questionnaire
The Five Orange Pips

Aldrich Aldrich's picture
Hit Chance

Isn't there a full auto option to take a bounus to hit chance instead of damage? That might make some small degree of sense - you know that your piddly auto pistol or SMG can't get through the armor, so you point it at the neck and unload, hoping that one lucky round gets through.

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
Aldrich wrote:Isn't there a

Aldrich wrote:
Isn't there a full auto option to take a bounus to hit chance instead of damage? That might make some small degree of sense - you know that your piddly auto pistol or SMG can't get through the armor, so you point it at the neck and unload, hoping that one lucky round gets through.

Yes; full auto lets you add +30 to your weapon skill, or add +3d10 damage.

The hardened armor rule was meant to prevent people from, for instance, killing a Fenrir morph (a military morph the size of a Stryker IFV today, and better armed,) with 32/32 armor, by getting up close to it and going full auto on a shredder or worse, a submachine gun, and just numbering through it.

Beyond that, I would say that an autofire mode of attack is inappropriate for making a called shot on any target smaller than a neotenic. I mean that the whole "vulnerable part" you want to shoot is that size.

Skype and AIM names: Exactly the same as my forum name.

My EP Character Questionnaire
Thread for my Questionnaire
The Five Orange Pips

LatwPIAT LatwPIAT's picture
ShadowDragon8685 wrote

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
Doughnut Sucker is going to be wearing an Armor Vest, not Body Armor. That's 6/6, not 10/10. Granted, it might be 9/10 if he layers it with armor clothing. But he's not going to be wearing head-to-toe body armor. That's the realm of armed incident response teams and riot cops, not doughnut sucking beat patrolmen.

"Body Armor (Light): These high performance armor outfits protect the wearer from head to toe. An integrated armor vest is supplemented with increased protection on the limbs and joints, while still managing to be flexible and non-restrictive. Body armor is typically worn by security and police forces, and supplemented with a helmet." (emphasis mine)

Depending on how you interpret "typically", this could be said to imply that EP Police forces regularly do wear Light Body Armor. Which, in some cases, might not be too strange; here's a photo of the French Gendarme in Paris on what seems to be an ordinary February evening, wearing body armour.

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
Because he's living a normal life. Wearing carbonan crotch-huggers in your everyday life is not normal; it will show at the wrists and the neck, and it will carry social consequences from his peers, as well as being inconvenient when he wants to shag his secretary or his indentured pleasure pod or whatever.

I'm sure you could have made your point without making this kind of crass generalization.

Also, strictly speaking, the VIP will probably wear (when they're exposed), the level of protection necessary to protect themselves against the kind of threat they expect to face. Today, that is bulletproof vests for defence against handgun calibers and armoured cars. Besides, on what basis do you say that "wearing carbonan crotch-huggers in your everyday life is not normal"? We don't have magically thin and flexible lightweight armour clothing in the real world - the one thing that is mentioned is that "some athletes use it as a uniform", which certainly does imply it is not very restrictive.

Given the 2d10 damage from a handgun, I would not be at all surprised if VIPs expecting risks would put on both Second Skin and Armor Clothing, because the hassle is probably not all that great (it's like wearing underwear and clothing - not exactly a great impediment to your daily life, fucking or not), and it increases your chance of survival greatly.

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
I'm sorry. Called shots. At full auto.

As in, sweeping your weapon across a target's position dramatically in order to make sure at least one round hits him.

And using that to benefit your attempt to put a round in the two inches of bare skin between his helmet and chestguard?

Ha, ha, ha, no.

Nope. Full Auto attacks are not necessarily sweeping. They can be against a single target (which grants either +3d10 DV or +30 to hit), and weapons in EP have magical recoil-absorbing mechanics, so keeping a burst of Full Auto on the target would be considerably easier than with real-life weapons.

@-rep +2
C-rep +1

ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
I think we are just arguing

I think we are just arguing over GM game play balancing and narrative flows. IE they will fit if you can a compelling enough reason for it to fit.

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
LatwPIAT wrote:"Body Armor

LatwPIAT wrote:
"Body Armor (Light): These high performance armor outfits protect the wearer from head to toe. An integrated armor vest is supplemented with increased protection on the limbs and joints, while still managing to be flexible and non-restrictive. Body armor is typically worn by security and police forces, and supplemented with a helmet." (emphasis mine)

Depending on how you interpret "typically", this could be said to imply that EP Police forces regularly do wear Light Body Armor. Which, in some cases, might not be too strange; here's a photo of the French Gendarme in Paris on what seems to be an ordinary February evening, wearing body armour.

That photo is completely devoid of context; the article is about a police officer who was suspended, charged with a crime and imprisoned for pointing his weapon at a moped. (Presumably there was a rider on it at the time.)

That's like grabbing a Getty stock photo of "NYPD", coming up with this image, and concluding that in the New York City Police Department, male officers wear body armor, military helmets and carry military rifles, and women wear ordinary clothing with caps.

Which is to say, wildly inaccurate. The men are from the NYPD Emergency Services Unit - that is, NYPD SWAT. That's probably just a stock photo of some SWAT-armored Gendarmes which was used to illustrate a story about the police, and almost certainly not what the average Parisian wine-swilling croissant-destroying beat cop wears for his rounds.

Quote:
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
Because he's living a normal life. Wearing carbonan crotch-huggers in your everyday life is not normal; it will show at the wrists and the neck, and it will carry social consequences from his peers, as well as being inconvenient when he wants to shag his secretary or his indentured pleasure pod or whatever.

I'm sure you could have made your point without making this kind of crass generalization.

could have, but then I wouldn't have been quoting Schlock Mercenary.

Quote:
Also, strictly speaking, the VIP will probably wear (when they're exposed), the level of protection necessary to protect themselves against the kind of threat they expect to face. Today, that is bulletproof vests for defense against handgun calibers and armoured cars. Besides, on what basis do you say that "wearing carbonan crotch-huggers in your everyday life is not normal"? We don't have magically thin and flexible lightweight armour clothing in the real world - the one thing that is mentioned is that "some athletes use it as a uniform", which certainly does imply it is not very restrictive.

Sure. And do you wear Under Armour athletic wear under a business suit?

Just because something isn't restrictive does not mean that it's convenient to wear, or that it fits into all social settings. More frankly, VIPs are going to wear armored clothing and their bioweave skin, and that's it - because they'll be travelling in armored cars and have squads of bodyguards whose job it is to step between them and harm and catch bullets for them.

Quote:
Given the 2d10 damage from a handgun, I would not be at all surprised if VIPs expecting risks would put on both Second Skin and Armor Clothing, because the hassle is probably not all that great (it's like wearing underwear and clothing - not exactly a great impediment to your daily life, fucking or not), and it increases your chance of survival greatly.

You know what else increases your chance of survival? Sleeving into a Reaper.

VIPs don't sleeve into Reapers because they're concerned about their own survivability, though they might have a few Reapers on standby for their bodyguards. They aren't going to wear armored clothing and a skin-tight set of carbonan crotch-huggers and a sheen of viscous spacefuture superfluid, because that would look absurd and thoroughly defeat any attempts at fitting in socially with their peers and immediate underlings.

Imagine showing up to a business meeting wearing that armor that the Gendarmes were wearing. You'd be thought a lunatic, a raving madman; at best paranoid and unable to trust anyone, at worst about to initiate physical violence.

Quote:
Nope. Full Auto attacks are not necessarily sweeping. They can be against a single target (which grants either +3d10 DV or +30 to hit), and weapons in EP have magical recoil-absorbing mechanics, so keeping a burst of Full Auto on the target would be considerably easier than with real-life weapons.

Nope.

There's a difference between "Keeping this entire burst focused on a person," and "keeping this entire burst focused on that person's left eyeball." That's just not in the cards.

Skype and AIM names: Exactly the same as my forum name.

My EP Character Questionnaire
Thread for my Questionnaire
The Five Orange Pips

Aldrich Aldrich's picture
Armor Penetration

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:

The hardened armor rule was meant to prevent people from, for instance, killing a Fenrir morph (a military morph the size of a Stryker IFV today, and better armed,) with 32/32 armor, by getting up close to it and going full auto on a shredder or worse, a submachine gun, and just numbering through it.

That makes sense. Now that I think about it some more, I'm inclined to agree with you.

Your hardened armor rule (which I like) is designed to prevent the sheer damage numbers from something like full-auto from a SMG overwhelming the target's armor. The problem is that you can also defeat the target's armor via called shots or rolling critical hits. The +30 to-hit from full auto is, from a mechanical standpoint, too much of a boost when combined with a called shot - it puts us right back where we were before we added in hardened armor.

Could it be a solution to just selectively disallow all called shots (not just full-auto) that bypass armor? A Fenrir probably has enough armor on even its optics and joints to stop a SMG round. If it doesn't have enough armor on the optics to stop an SMG round, then it probably still has enough behind them to stop the round from penetrating and causing structural damage. So maybe let a full-auto burst have it's +30 to blind the thing but not cause any structural damage.

LatwPIAT wrote:

weapons in EP have magical recoil-absorbing mechanics, so keeping a burst of Full Auto on the target would be considerably easier than with real-life weapons.

I agree with your intent, but disagree with your reason. The literally magic zero-recoil small arms are one of the first things I axed from the fluff (unless you've got a gyro mount). However, we do have ubiquitous smartlinks and fire control computers that could help provide a similar result.

I think I'll try allowing for full-auto, called-shots only if the weapon has a smartlink and/or gyro mount.

On a related note, this still doesn't solve the critical success problem, especially when you can spend moxie to upgrade to a critical success. There's nothing in the rules to prevent a Fury from jumping on top of your Fenrir and literally punching the thing to death with it's bare hands.

Lastly: I'm not sure why people are worried about hardened armor being too powerful when considering the commonly available armor. Take even a relatively extreme example and give your beat-cop Heavy Armor, a Helmet, and a Riot Shield: 16/15 or so, right? A standard issue Heavy Pistol is AP -4, throw in AP rounds and you're at -9 AP. So the hardened armor rule wouldn't even apply until 18 armor. A standard shredder has -10 AP, and works as normal on anything with up to 20 armor. Grab a rifle-railgun with AP rounds and you're at -14 AP and working as normal on anything with up to 28 armor. Anything with more armor than that is literally a tank and probably should be dealt with via dedicated anti-tank weaponry.

EDIT:

I also recall seeing a thread involving some weapons house-rules that I liked. The gist of it was that the existence of SMGs as a ubiquitous weapons class didn't make any sense given the proliferation of relatively heavy armor in EP. There's just not much need for a full-auto, pistol caliber weapon; especially when that role can be filled by auto-pistols and shredders. They replaced the SMG class with the Personal Defense Weapon class that, like its real world counterpart, fires a heavier caliber designed with armor penetration in mind.

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
Aldrich wrote

Aldrich wrote:
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:

The hardened armor rule was meant to prevent people from, for instance, killing a Fenrir morph (a military morph the size of a Stryker IFV today, and better armed,) with 32/32 armor, by getting up close to it and going full auto on a shredder or worse, a submachine gun, and just numbering through it.

That makes sense. Now that I think about it some more, I'm inclined to agree with you.

Your hardened armor rule (which I like) is designed to prevent the sheer damage numbers from something like full-auto from a SMG overwhelming the target's armor. The problem is that you can also defeat the target's armor via called shots or rolling critical hits. The +30 to-hit from full auto is, from a mechanical standpoint, too much of a boost when combined with a called shot - it puts us right back where we were before we added in hardened armor.

Could it be a solution to just selectively disallow all called shots (not just full-auto) that bypass armor? A Fenrir probably has enough armor on even its optics and joints to stop a SMG round. If it doesn't have enough armor on the optics to stop an SMG round, then it probably still has enough behind them to stop the round from penetrating and causing structural damage. So maybe let a full-auto burst have it's +30 to blind the thing but not cause any structural damage.

It depends on both the weight and type of the armor involved. If you've got a really heavy armor value by taking, say, heavy standard body armor, throwing on a helmet, ablative patches, second skin and smart skin (which I think is massively cheesy,) you're quite well covered, but there's still going to be soft bits that I would allow someone to shoot through and either bypass your armor completely, or severely reduce it - say, halving the heavy armor, bypassing the helmet, and any ablative patches, leaving it to be resisted by half the heavy armor and anything you're wearing under it.

If you're wearing a military Battlesuit, though? No, you cannot bypass it. Purpose-built military hardsuits don't have "weak spots," they have "normal spots" and "impossibly hard spots."

With synthmorphs, if the armor in question is called "Industrial," you can probably get through as much as 2/3rds of it with an appropriate called shot, but if it's "military" anything, the best you're going to get is facing 3/4ths of the full armor, maybe 2/3rds if it's an anthroform and has natural weak spots like joints.

If it's an armored disk like a Reaper or something? Fuggedaboutit.

That said, my rules were also written to make this kind of shenanigans more viable with melee than ranged combat, so I'd likely be (hilariously) more accommodating if a player is trying to make a called shot in melee than at range.

Quote:
LatwPIAT wrote:
weapons in EP have magical recoil-absorbing mechanics, so keeping a burst of Full Auto on the target would be considerably easier than with real-life weapons.

I agree with your intent, but disagree with your reason. The literally magic zero-recoil small arms are one of the first things I axed from the fluff (unless you've got a gyro mount). However, we do have ubiquitous smartlinks and fire control computers that could help provide a similar result.

I think I'll try allowing for full-auto, called-shots only if the weapon has a smartlink and/or gyro mount.

I don't disagree with the rheological recoil-reduction fluid's existing (and thus giving the devs a reason to not write the ubiquitous recoil rules that are in every other game with guns and never reflect reality to any degree whatsoever,) it's just that they're not going to be capable of giving your full auto rifle the ballistic profile of a laser.

So you should be able to keep the whole burst on one guy, but you're not going to be able to keep it all on his throat, and you won't even be able to reasonably aim for the throat whilst rocking and rolling.

Quote:
On a related note, this still doesn't solve the critical success problem, especially when you can spend moxie to upgrade to a critical success. There's nothing in the rules to prevent a Fury from jumping on top of your Fenrir and literally punching the thing to death with it's bare hands.

I would rule that if success is outright impossible in the first place, a critical success is equally impossible. At best, they might manage to wrench off a sensor or jam something into the missile launcher, but that's iffy.

Quote:
Lastly: I'm not sure why people are worried about hardened armor being too powerful when considering the commonly available armor. Take even a relatively extreme example and give your beat-cop Heavy Armor, a Helmet, and a Riot Shield: 16/15 or so, right? A standard issue Heavy Pistol is AP -4, throw in AP rounds and you're at -9 AP. So the hardened armor rule wouldn't even apply until 18 armor. A standard shredder has -10 AP, and works as normal on anything with up to 20 armor. Grab a rifle-railgun with AP rounds and you're at -14 AP and working as normal on anything with up to 28 armor. Anything with more armor than that is literally a tank and probably should be dealt with via dedicated anti-tank weaponry.

Exactly. If you want to kill something heavily armored, you should be using armor-piercing ammunition.

Skype and AIM names: Exactly the same as my forum name.

My EP Character Questionnaire
Thread for my Questionnaire
The Five Orange Pips

LatwPIAT LatwPIAT's picture
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:That

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
That photo is completely devoid of context; the article is about a police officer who was suspended, charged with a crime and imprisoned for pointing his weapon at a moped. (Presumably there was a rider on it at the time.)

That's like grabbing a Getty stock photo of "NYPD", coming up with this image, and concluding that in the New York City Police Department, male officers wear body armor, military helmets and carry military rifles, and women wear ordinary clothing with caps.

Which is to say, wildly inaccurate. The men are from the NYPD Emergency Services Unit - that is, NYPD SWAT. That's probably just a stock photo of some SWAT-armored Gendarmes which was used to illustrate a story about the police, and almost certainly not what the average Parisian wine-swilling croissant-destroying beat cop wears for his rounds.

Please don't misrepresent my argument. I quoted a passage from the book, and then provided an image which seemed to indicate that police may sometimes wear body armour on ordinary patrols. This is far from claiming that just because I've seen something in one photo, it must hold in general case, as you seem to imply.

In any case, you are correct, and on further research that does appear to be French gendarmes deployed for whatever reason, in riot gear, in Paris, and not their standard uniform.

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
Sure. And do you wear Under Armour athletic wear under a business suit?

Just because something isn't restrictive does not mean that it's convenient to wear, or that it fits into all social settings. More frankly, VIPs are going to wear armored clothing and their bioweave skin, and that's it - because they'll be travelling in armored cars and have squads of bodyguards whose job it is to step between them and harm and catch bullets for them.

Given that I am not a VIP and don't wear business suit, and live in the early 21st Century, where we don't yet have armoured underwear for athletes, I don't really see where you're going with your question.

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
You know what else increases your chance of survival? Sleeving into a Reaper.

VIPs don't sleeve into Reapers because they're concerned about their own survivability, though they might have a few Reapers on standby for their bodyguards. They aren't going to wear armored clothing and a skin-tight set of carbonan crotch-huggers and a sheen of viscous spacefuture superfluid, because that would look absurd and thoroughly defeat any attempts at fitting in socially with their peers and immediate underlings.

I don't think the armour-level of a VIP's underwear is going to give them problems with respect to fitting in socially, and I think the same applies to Smart Skin (which hides in a specialized nanobot hive when not in use). As far as I can tell from the text, both Second Skin and Smart Skin are very cheap ways to increase your survivability that are extremely unobtrusive.

This is not at all comparable to sleeving a Reaper.

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
Imagine showing up to a business meeting wearing that armor that the Gendarmes were wearing. You'd be thought a lunatic, a raving madman; at best paranoid and unable to trust anyone, at worst about to initiate physical violence.

Which is why I propose that VIPs don't wear full riot gear, but - when they feel at risk - fancy underwear, clothes with strengthened fibres, and a nanobot hive.

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
Nope.

There's a difference between "Keeping this entire burst focused on a person," and "keeping this entire burst focused on that person's left eyeball." That's just not in the cards.

On what basis are you saying that EP weapons are not capable of keeping a full burst aimed at someone's eyeball? Rules-wise, you can hit a housefly with a burst of Automatic Fire. Fluff-wise, guns are "virtually recoilless" because of space magic. What's stopping you from keeping the automatic fire focused?

Aldrich wrote:
I agree with your intent, but disagree with your reason. The literally magic zero-recoil small arms are one of the first things I axed from the fluff (unless you've got a gyro mount). However, we do have ubiquitous smartlinks and fire control computers that could help provide a similar result.

The version of Eclipse Phase that I actually like running involves heavy changes to fluff and mechanics, one element among many of which is removing Space Magic zero-recoil firearms in favour of Newtons Laws of Motion. However, when arguing what is/isn't possible/reasonable to expect, I try my best to argue strictly by the book, because that allows everyone in the discussion to work off a common point of reference.

@-rep +2
C-rep +1

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
ShadowDragon8685 wrote

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
Doughnut Sucker is going to be wearing an Armor Vest, not Body Armor. That's 6/6, not 10/10.

No he won't, because he isn't paintballing, riding a quad or playing American football.

LatwPIAT wrote:
Body armor is typically worn by security and police forces

This.

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
A normal VIP is going to have light bioweave armor and be wearing 3/4 armor clothing....
Because he's living a normal life.

Yes, he's living a normal life, where normal means living in a world where misjudgements in microgravity can result in broken bones (aka. damage high enough to inflict wounds), flying cars may fall out of the sky and the use of lethal force no longer faces significant ethical restrictions.

The EP universe is dangerous.
He'll be wearing a second skin because it is literally underwear – long underwear to be precise – which can likely be removed by thinking about it should shenanigans be called for. Wearing a smartskin is as disruptive for motion as wearing deoderant, so he'll either have it on but restricted to under his other clothes, or he'll have one in his pocket.
Likewise the vacsuit, he'll have one on him at all times because everyone has one, and he can afford a standard instead of a simple light one.
He won't stick out in social arenas because everyone will be wearing this sort of thing.
Kind of how people don't complain when they notice I'm wearing socks.

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
A basic soldier will be wearing heavy body armor (13/13) and a helmet (+2/+2 or +3/+3, depending.) Powered military battlesuits are the realm of front-line combat soldiers fighting in an all-out war, or special forces.

Nooo, front-line soldiers (as much as that means in space) will be at least in heavily augmented Reapers or equivalent, and probably have even more advanced gear.
Remember, “The reaper is a common combat bot, used in place of biomorph soldier”.
Note, “common."

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
And it does: even regular ammo from a basic SMG or light pistol has an AP value of -2. There's your accounts taken.

Great, so it's fine as long as they're not wearing anything tougher than denim.

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
A shredder is not an anti-tank weapon. You want to kill a tank, bring a rocket launcher, bring a cannon, bring satchel charges. Don't bring a spacefuture shotgun.

Surprisingly, it actually is an anti-tank weapon, or at least anti-armour. It has a distinctly moderate damage value, but has AP of -10 – higher than a plasma rifle or rail-enhanced machinegun.
As such, it doesn't really have a modern counterpart.

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
I'm sorry. Called shots. At full auto.

As in, sweeping your weapon across a target's position dramatically in order to make sure at least one round hits him.


No, as in aiming carefully and unloading a 10-round-burst into an area an inch across using the weapon's innate recoil/sway reduction and auto-targeting systems.
That said, I'd be fine with this being disallowed. Makes sense to me either way.

You should consider that the martian buggy - the most common vehicle on mars - has a kinetic armour of 20.
So the example of the Industrial Casemorph wasn't so much a Humvee being attacked with an SMG as a Ford Pinto.

Edit---
Okay, I just realized I'm not being especially constructive. Therefore I shall propose delicious alternatives.
1. Just increase the damage level where hardening kicks in. I'd probably put it to armour penetration plus the minimum damage that can be rolled - So 3+2+2= 7 for an smg, or 6+6+2=14 for an assault rifle.
2. Make Hardening a morph trait, where all automatic fire is reduced as you proposed with a note that armour-defeating attacks don't work.
3. Give heavily armoured morphs and vehicles a bonus to Fray and/or don't reduce their Fray vs. ranged weapons. There's more than one way to represent armour :)
4. Alter full-auto so that instead of extra dice it doubles the damage the target takes after armour is taken into account.

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?

Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
As far as keeping a full auto

As far as keeping a full auto burst on a critical target, I read the accuracy bonus as "Fire more rounds at it and pray one hits", hence why you're firing more ammo but not directly dealing more damage (unless you choose that route instead)

So, with that in mind, I'd disallow called shots with burst/FA fire if you're trying NOT to hit a target (Like, hit the bandit and not the nanite storage tank he's next to), but allow it if you don't mind hitting other targets (Spraying someone in the face and hoping one hits his eye). And as stated before, sometimes a given called shot just isn't an option. Like finding a weak spot in the armor large enough for my fist (Well... MAYBE my fist. Not yours though.)

thebluespectre thebluespectre's picture
The flip side

Thinking about the armor hardening rule and how you intend it to keep the setting on the survival-horror track it was intended to have… the opposite is true at times.

Remember that Eclipse Phase PCs can have almost anything that their enemies get, and that barring Exurgent hordes or TITAN artifacts, everything they fight can be built with the same character sheet they use. If you make the heavy armor completely impervious to small arms, the players will invest in armor over weapons every time, and THEY will be the ones impervious to small arms. The GM's probable reaction would be to either give all enemies sniper rifles or acid/thermite rounds, or have everything attack with poison gas or nano, which makes the armor useless… and we're back to square one.

The way the base game's armor is set up, player characters can be worn down gradually over two or three encounters so there is tension from their dwindling hit points. There's something to be said about inspiring dread instead of threatening instakills… and EC is all about the dread.

Edit: And as for armor-piercing crits, it's not so much about empowering the players as making sure they are never 100% secure. I know I JUST ragged on instakill threats, but funny accidents do happen sometimes. And the example of a Fury punching out a tank you gave is totally a legit threat to a player party. If they try to crash a 'Corp installation, they should expect the Medusan Shield forces to pry open their tank's main hatch with their shiny red fingernails.

"Still and transfixed, the el/
ectric sheep are dreaming of your face..." -Talk Shows on Mute

Aldrich Aldrich's picture
Gear Restrictions

thebluespectre wrote:
Thinking about the armor hardening rule and how you intend it to keep the setting on the survival-horror track it was intended to have… the opposite is true at times.

You make some good points, but I have to ask - what kind of gear are you giving your players? More importantly: is wearing that gear garnering a response from the game world?

Heavy riot armor, battle-suits, and combat synth shells are not normal. Hell, Reapers are noted as explicitly banned most places. If you walk down the street in one, you should expect the police, militia, or local gang in charge to show up with rail-snipers, anti-tank missiles, an actual tank, or whatever the hell else they require to keep the peace. The game world has to escalate, and the players need to be aware of this.

My point is that if heavy armor is freely available to your players, then it must also be freely available to most of the game world. Which means that everyone would wear it and no one would use small arms. That's not a problem with the rules about armor penetration, that's a problem with the internal consistency of your setting. I like your points about keeping the survival horror vibe - but that's also impossible to do without restricting the gear that the players have access to. Material scarcity is a huge part of that genre - would the Resident Evil games have been scary if you had the best gun and unlimited ammo? Hell no!

I think we're encountering a fundamental difference in game style here. I don't see a problem with boosting high-end armor against small arms because the only things in my games that have that type of armor are the narrative set pieces: the BBEG, the boss at the end of the dungeon, or the local heavy response team (for when the players have done something very naughty, gotten caught, and need to be squished).

thebluespectre thebluespectre's picture
Totally valid!

You're right in that EC characters should not be murderhobos who sleep in their full plate armor and carry a second greatsword in case one is broken. The problem arises when "should" does not mean that same as "can't".

Yes, a character who acts like that WILL be dog piled by an entire military force if they try gallivanting around in powered armor. But when a heavily armored but transhuman BBEG is defeated, what's to stop the players from salvaging that boss battle morph and repurposing it? Trying to punish players with consequences expressed in combat should not be the standard- the character will have zero Reputation in three different networks and be On The Run perpetually, yes, but I would not want to have invincible Game Master beatstick potentially dropping on a player character if said beatstick could be hijacked by a player with high enough Infosec and an access jack.

I don't mind having a physical threat being invincible to damage if it is clearly not going to be salvageable AND clearly not a GM's pet anti-Munchkin assassin. One good example is the Exurgent possessed mining machine in one of The Eye fanzines' adventures. You can't really damage it with a bullet or laser because it's just a giant all-consuming mass, and it's not really seeking anyone out because it is a naturalist threat to everyone in the nearby colony. Having someone like Caine from Vampire or The Freak from Unknown Armies does not work in EP, because anything with human motivations is still transhuman- the only threats that should be 100% bulletproof are the ones that don't care about transhuman life in the first place.

The player characters should have the opportunity to be badass action heroes if they want to, but guess what? In EP, anyone with the money or connections can become a badass action hero, and this will not save them in the face of personality-overwriting nanotech. Hell, anyone could potentially be super. But when everyone's super… no one is.

Real power in EP's setting comes from social connections. Morphs and equipment are ephemeral, but Reputation is eternal (and really deliciously cheap at char creation). Any player who wastes starting points becoming a death machine will be defeated the moment Firewall wants them around Uranus NOW, or when they have to deal with a problem that isn't a gunman or monster. Making already hard targets indestructible to players who aren't min-maxing will only encourage escalation of combat specialization, instead of encouraging creative solutions.

"Still and transfixed, the el/
ectric sheep are dreaming of your face..." -Talk Shows on Mute

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
thebluespectre wrote:Thinking

thebluespectre wrote:
Thinking about the armor hardening rule and how you intend it to keep the setting on the survival-horror track it was intended to have… the opposite is true at times.

I prefer action-horror to survival-horror. In survival horror games, the horror isn't coming from the setting, or the truely terrifying implications of what you're up against, the horror is coming from the fact that there's a monster right there and your ostensibly highly-trained police officer/SWAT responder/army ranger/whatever is derping around with a combat knife swinging at the air ten feet to the right of the monster clawing his face off because the controls and the camera were set up to fuck with you, and there's not enough of anything to go around.

In Action-Horror, the setting's the same as survival-horror, but the controls and camera are team players and as long as you aren't hopelessly inept, there's enough ammo and supplies. They may be tight every now and then, by on the whole you're never going to say "should I avoid killing this thing and just run because I might need my bullets later."

I like the latter, and while the enemies are tough and sometimes well-equipped, my PCs tend to be as well.

Quote:
Remember that Eclipse Phase PCs can have almost anything that their enemies get, and that barring Exurgent hordes or TITAN artifacts, everything they fight can be built with the same character sheet they use. If you make the heavy armor completely impervious to small arms, the players will invest in armor over weapons every time, and THEY will be the ones impervious to small arms. The GM's probable reaction would be to either give all enemies sniper rifles or acid/thermite rounds, or have everything attack with poison gas or nano, which makes the armor useless… and we're back to square one.

One of my PCs actually exploited the Hardened Armor Rule in my last game, she had armor strong enough that the bad guys could only get +1d10 out of full auto. But it's still good for +30 to hit, as long as you aren't trying to combine spray-and-pray with shot-to-the-left-nostril.

As regards escalation: Enemies will have what's reasonable for them to have, given their situation. If they're a bunch of street bangers with pistols and subguns who like to oppress and intimidate normal civvies, and my PCs send in the chinese girl with 2/3rds the armor protection of IFV, they're going to be having a bad day. If the bad guys are reasonably in a position where they'd have tanks with autocannons, my PCs are going to have a bad day.

If they're researching my PCs and have good (and current) intel on my PCs' equipment and have the means to do so, they will bring a weapon load-out customized to completely shaft my players, in which case my players will be having an extremely bad day.

And if my PCs have good intel on what the enemy is doing, they're going to naturally come up with some way to completely foil that.

Quote:
The way the base game's armor is set up, player characters can be worn down gradually over two or three encounters so there is tension from their dwindling hit points. There's something to be said about inspiring dread instead of threatening instakills… and EC is all about the dread.

I'm not sure that's "Dread" so much as "awh fuck."

I mean, it's reasonable for players to worry about that, but if they're wearing heavy armor, probably not from some guy with a submachinegun. A giant stompy mech with an autocannon.... Yeah. That should be scary.

Quote:
Edit: And as for armor-piercing crits, it's not so much about empowering the players as making sure they are never 100% secure. I know I JUST ragged on instakill threats, but funny accidents do happen sometimes. And the example of a Fury punching out a tank you gave is totally a legit threat to a player party. If they try to crash a 'Corp installation, they should expect the Medusan Shield forces to pry open their tank's main hatch with their shiny red fingernails.

Aldrich wrote:
You make some good points, but I have to ask - what kind of gear are you giving your players? More importantly: is wearing that gear garnering a response from the game world?

My combat monkey PC, the Asian girl in the heavy combat armor, wore it out in public - once. After that, her level of heat quickly escalated to the point where the others have had to transport her in tinted-window vehicles or opaque vehicle cabins anywhere in the city. Though, that might have had at least as much to do with the fact that every time she went out in public, she at least put a gun in someone's face, if not murdered dozens of people.

Quote:
Heavy riot armor, battle-suits, and combat synth shells are not normal. Hell, Reapers are noted as explicitly banned most places. If you walk down the street in one, you should expect the police, militia, or local gang in charge to show up with rail-snipers, anti-tank missiles, an actual tank, or whatever the hell else they require to keep the peace. The game world has to escalate, and the players need to be aware of this.

Generally speaking, the local gang doesn't want to pick a fight with someone in heavy armor unless that someone picks a fight with them first. They're not going to send in a sniper squad and risk picking a fight that will be very costly for them.

On anarchist habitats, very little is banned... But they also tend to have heavy combat morphs of their own. So, sure, they won't mind at all if you wear body armor instead of a mere vac suit habitually, and will only look at you slightly askance if you bring in an armored synth... But they have a Reaper squad on hot standby at all times,so you're politely advised that keeping your weapons safetied unless you're attacked or detect a threat to the habitat or to others would be best.

In statist habitats, where the cops give a damn anyway, you're going to have trouble. Even Titanian police would require you to power down and let their mechanics remove your Reaper's weaponry, and they'd be watching your every move with a SWAT response team on standby. In other statist space, if you tried to bring it in through customs, they'd turn you away forcefully, or just attack you immediately if you snuck on.

Not everywhere is going to react the same way. But yes, these are factors to beat in mind.

Quote:
My point is that if heavy armor is freely available to your players, then it must also be freely available to most of the game world. Which means that everyone would wear it and no one would use small arms. That's not a problem with the rules about armor penetration, that's a problem with the internal consistency of your setting. I like your points about keeping the survival horror vibe - but that's also impossible to do without restricting the gear that the players have access to. Material scarcity is a huge part of that genre - would the Resident Evil games have been scary if you had the best gun and unlimited ammo? Hell no!

Depends on where you are. In most statist space, heavy armor would draw a police (military) response, if you went anywhere they cared about wearing it. Titan wouldn't restrict armor, and anarchists definitely wouldn't.

As for who wears it, that's another matter. Just because something's available doesn't mean that everyone's wearing it at all hours of the day and night. You'd have to be a special kind of crazy to do that. Like my PCs. :)

Quote:
I think we're encountering a fundamental difference in game style here. I don't see a problem with boosting high-end armor against small arms because the only things in my games that have that type of armor are the narrative set pieces: the BBEG, the boss at the end of the dungeon, or the local heavy response team (for when the players have done something very naughty, gotten caught, and need to be squished).

High-end armor is actually quite easy to get. Honestly, I'm thinking of instituting some kind of rule limiting the effectiveness of stacking armor on a biomorph. To get much heavier than a Battlesuit, I would say that you don't wear it, you drive it, and it would have to be a vehicle. Like, say, a gigantic stompy mech. One of which my players have recently found, to their great discomfort, the opposing force who are excavating a TITAN weapon cache have brought along. Thankfully it was ridiculously undergunned, "merely" a .50 cal propellant machine gun, the equivalent of a light machine pistol compared to its size... But it's still massive enough and strong enough to rip even the combat monkey apart with its hands, armor be damned. And they didn't bring any heavy anti-vehicular weaponry, so they're going to have to be clever.

thebluespectre wrote:
You're right in that EC characters should not be murderhobos who sleep in their full plate armor and carry a second greatsword in case one is broken. The problem arises when "should" does not mean that same as "can't".

Murderhobory has a long and time-honored tradition, it shouldn't be dissed! :P

Quote:
Yes, a character who acts like that WILL be dog piled by an entire military force if they try gallivanting around in powered armor. But when a heavily armored but transhuman BBEG is defeated, what's to stop the players from salvaging that boss battle morph and repurposing it? Trying to punish players with consequences expressed in combat should not be the standard- the character will have zero Reputation in three different networks and be On The Run perpetually, yes, but I would not want to have invincible Game Master beatstick potentially dropping on a player character if said beatstick could be hijacked by a player with high enough Infosec and an access jack.

It's really hard to get to be that hated; I mean, that takes Effort. Generally speaking, if you're pissing somebody off badly enough to make the news, you're making friends with their enemies. So if you go around shooting up hypercorp headquarters until the heat gets so great that entire armies are mobilizing against you and you need to skip Mars, you'll be able to egocast onto pretty much any anarchist habitat to an open-armed welcome.

The real reason that hijacking combat synthmorphs isn't going to work out too well is because the morph is great and all, but it's on Luna and you need to be on Titan in under two days. Sure, you may be able to find the blueprints for it, but manufacturing it will be another matter. On the other hand, it should be fun for a while.

Quote:
I don't mind having a physical threat being invincible to damage if it is clearly not going to be salvageable AND clearly not a GM's pet anti-Munchkin assassin. One good example is the Exurgent possessed mining machine in one of The Eye fanzines' adventures. You can't really damage it with a bullet or laser because it's just a giant all-consuming mass, and it's not really seeking anyone out because it is a naturalist threat to everyone in the nearby colony. Having someone like Caine from Vampire or The Freak from Unknown Armies does not work in EP, because anything with human motivations is still transhuman- the only threats that should be 100% bulletproof are the ones that don't care about transhuman life in the first place.

I am not a fan of invincible threats, though there may be threats beyond reasonably accessible means of dealing them harm. But nothing should be outright invincible. Energy is energy, and even the ETIs would find the energy release of point-blank nuking or antimatter reaction pretty damn hard to deal with. (The trick is getting the nuke or the antimatter to them.)

Quote:
The player characters should have the opportunity to be badass action heroes if they want to, but guess what? In EP, anyone with the money or connections can become a badass action hero, and this will not save them in the face of personality-overwriting nanotech. Hell, anyone could potentially be super. But when everyone's super… no one is.

Not really. Money can buy the morph and the guns and the armor, but money can't buy the skill. Unless you're chipping skillwires, in which case you're going to be an hilariously inept action hero.

Quote:
Real power in EP's setting comes from social connections. Morphs and equipment are ephemeral, but Reputation is eternal (and really deliciously cheap at char creation). Any player who wastes starting points becoming a death machine will be defeated the moment Firewall wants them around Uranus NOW, or when they have to deal with a problem that isn't a gunman or monster. Making already hard targets indestructible to players who aren't min-maxing will only encourage escalation of combat specialization, instead of encouraging creative solutions.

Firewall uses the tools it has, and it doesn't assign people to tasks they're completely unsuited for. That's just asking for trouble.

And honestly, if you don't have a combat monkey on your team, you're probably in trouble when you run into that guy that really does need a combat monkey to take down.

Skype and AIM names: Exactly the same as my forum name.

My EP Character Questionnaire
Thread for my Questionnaire
The Five Orange Pips

LatwPIAT LatwPIAT's picture
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:I

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
I prefer action-horror to survival-horror. In survival horror games, the horror isn't coming from the setting, or the truely terrifying implications of what you're up against, the horror is coming from the fact that there's a monster right there and your ostensibly highly-trained police officer/SWAT responder/army ranger/whatever is derping around with a combat knife swinging at the air ten feet to the right of the monster clawing his face off because the controls and the camera were set up to fuck with you, and there's not enough of anything to go around.

In Action-Horror, the setting's the same as survival-horror, but the controls and camera are team players and as long as you aren't hopelessly inept, there's enough ammo and supplies. They may be tight every now and then, by on the whole you're never going to say "should I avoid killing this thing and just run because I might need my bullets later."

That's not the common definition of survival horror, and one that unnecessarily judges games on quality rather than actual genre conceits and elements. A rather more serious definition would be that "survival horror" emphasizes long-term survival through high mortality and resources scarcity in a horror environment, while "action horror" includes elements of horror in an action game environment.

@-rep +2
C-rep +1

GenUGenics GenUGenics's picture
EP <-> RQ/BRP Conversion

I love the EP game world, but I find the mechanics a little alien and fiddly. But I’m a simulationist enough that I’m not a big FATE fan. Meanwhile, the game system with which I am most familiar is RQ/BRP.

Love RuneQuest, and I’m a backer of the (unreleased) Open Quest River Of Heaven kickstarter and so received an advance copy of the ruleset to peek around in. The nice feature about OQ is the really meaningful difficulty modifiers—“little modifiers don’t add much to the player’s chance of success and bring needless fiddly addition and subtraction into play, breaking the player’s immersion in the game.” With that in mind, I set out to test a little EP <-> RQ/BRP conversion.

The basic aptitudes have their ready analogs: STR, SIZ and CON essentially describe the morph. INT CHA POW describe the ego, plus I’ve decided DEX (coordination, quickness) is also a portable attribute of the mind. I’ve added EDU to flesh out the non-physical attributes and yield a bit more range to character concepts.

SAN is derived from INT+POW/2, which yields a hit point range for the mind that functions very much like the traditional CON+SIZ/2 yields for the body. The higher of INT or EDU serves as the base for most knowledge-based skills, the primary difference is EDU is more elastic and easier to boost through training. The Skills list for RoH is fairly stripped down (really stripped down when you compare it to EP RAW), but I figure, in a world of ubiquitous and helpful AI, education is more a matter of knowing how to frame a question than memorize an answer.

“Most River of Heaven characters start out being able to do most things,” the rules tell us, “a skill area or two that they excel at, have a decent chance in a fight and have some technology to even out the odds.”

This yields a pretty durable d100 character that seems to merge okay with the rest of the EP ruleset with very little conversion difficulty. You can pretty much just add on the 5-&-10 morph bonuses as is without breaking anything. Not as much Moxie (Luck points), and the handling of Rez points is balanced for RQ/BRP/OQ standards. Combat is quick and pretty damned deadly, as handled under the OQ rules, as the HP average is quite a bit lower than EP, but in a world full of advanced armor and ready sleeves not unendurably so. Most of the equipment and whatnot can be used straight off the shelf, right out of the book, with no conversion necessary.

The rest is fairly pure post-singularity, post-scarcity skies-the-limit glorious EP. RoH tries to limit the transhuman madness, but I find exploring those concepts is the joy of the game.

The only thing I am really having trouble modeling is Speed. Yes, it is a force multiplier; but it is also inherently inflationary, meaning any player who enters combat without a couple of layers is terribly disadvantaged and therefore seeks maximums. This seems to be an issue in the RAW, too.

I hope people find this report useful, and not a criticism of what I consider the greatest game concept out there.

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
I'm... Not sure what bearing

I'm... Not sure what bearing it has on this thread, which is specifically about the house-rules I've proposed/implemented in my game, not revamping EP to another setting entirely.

I'm not saying there's no market for that, I'm sure there is!

I'm just saying, perhaps that post would have been better off as its own thread, with a title which will attract the people interested in it?

Skype and AIM names: Exactly the same as my forum name.

My EP Character Questionnaire
Thread for my Questionnaire
The Five Orange Pips

GenUGenics GenUGenics's picture
Actually, I thought it would

Actually, I thought it would be presumptuous and arrogant to start a new thread. Sorry if my etiquette is off.

ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
quite the opposite for post

quite the opposite for post as in depth and yours would qualify for thread jacking. but live and learn a mod should be by to split it off i think

kindalas kindalas's picture
We don't...

ORCACommander wrote:
quite the opposite for post as in depth and yours would qualify for thread jacking. but live and learn a mod should be by to split it off i think

We don't have that power yet.

But yes, GenUGenics copy your post and start a new thread.

And then I'll clean up this one with my handy delete button.

Kindalas

I am a Moderator of this Forum
My mod voice is red.

The Eclipse Phase Character sheet is downloadable here:
Get it here!

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
I updated the OP to add the

I updated the OP to add the Fantastic Success houserule, and to clarify the status of some of the proposals that were awaiting vote last time.

Skype and AIM names: Exactly the same as my forum name.

My EP Character Questionnaire
Thread for my Questionnaire
The Five Orange Pips