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Non-Firewall Campaigns

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MephitJames MephitJames's picture
Non-Firewall Campaigns
I was doing some thinking about alternatives to the Firewall-by-default language in Eclipse Phase. A Firewall campaign offers a lot of benefits, namely:
  • Unified groups and a rudimentary hierarchy.
  • System-wide (really, galaxy-wide) opportunities.
  • Clear mission goals.
I know that not every campaign is Firewall (mine are 50/50) but are there other groups in the books that could hit these same benefits? A lot of them (Barsoomians, hulder) have unification and goals but are limited to a single world, while others (gatecrashers, researchers) don't have any sort of unified goals. I came up with the following list:
  • Intelligence Communities: TAHI (Jovians), Fleet Intelligence (Titanians), and Project Ozma (Planetary Consortium) all have specific missions and hierarchies, although they are limited in their politics. Still, you could get a long-standing campaign out of these.
  • Love and Rage Collective or Pathfinder: As an extension to the gatecrasher campaign, you could have an episodic set of adventures by tying the group to a larger gatecrashing entity. Take your pick, outer system or inner.
  • Ultimates or Argonauts: There's a little more structure with these, but it requires all the PCs buy into the philosophy.
What about the rest of the internet? What non-Firewall campaigns have you run and what problems did you run into? What successes? Buck the system!
ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
lol how about a subversion
lol how about a subversion campaign where you lead a team that very publicly fights x threats in the name of transhumanity all the while firewall seethes with resentment since they stick to the shadows
Quincey Forder Quincey Forder's picture
Homeland And The Man With The Iron Bladder
Really, you don't have to look further than Homeland (which is about to start all anew with season 4) and the latest 24, Live Another Day to find inspiration for a non-Firewall campaign Legends: one or more of the players get framed, or did something they don't remember, and will have to prove their innocence or undo what they did. Add in some Forks and you have, basically Orphan Black. Gotham: Forget about Batman mythos. your players return to their native habitat, and find it basically overrun by organized crime, where the law enforcement has more G-Rep than R-Rep. What will they do? blend in ("go with the program" to quote Bullocks) or stand out like Ben McKenzie's Jim Gordon? A blend of the two, or split party? (It's partly why I love this show, even only two episodes in the season) Go like Scorpions, a bunch of geniuses with little to no social skills.
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Lilith Lilith's picture
RE...
ORCACommander wrote:
lol how about a subversion campaign where you lead a team that very publicly fights x threats in the name of transhumanity all the while firewall seethes with resentment since they stick to the shadows
I feel fairly certain such a team would have a very short life expectancy.
Evilnerf Evilnerf's picture
hab security
Any kind of Habitat security would work, either say planetary consortium police, or perhaps an anarchist security team. I ran a gamw like this. The only problem I ran into was some unfortunate parallels between the PC cops and certain current events in headline news that sucked all the fun from the game I also had an idea for a game a while back where the players were politicians on Titan. Dunno how this would work in practice. Other ideas: Europan undersea explorers. Startup Extropian company Scum spaceship hijackers
Steamtonk Steamtonk's picture
Salvage
We ran a fun campaign for about a year where everyone was an employee of a salvage company. The company was based in Nectar on Luna. In the first session, the players went to salvage a spaceship drifting around Earth. On board they found several high-ranking politicians and generals from pre-Fall Pakistan as well as some interesting cargo. They looted it but when they got back to Luna someone was waiting for them... Some of their loot got confiscated. They sold some to the Reclaimers which caused complications when the synth-morphs started rioting in Old Nectar. Then the PC decided to shut down the riots. Which led the players etc., etc. I planned on eventually introducing the players to Firewall but it never happened and we had a great time playing this salvagers campaign.
Redroverone Redroverone's picture
Given that there's not much in the way of EVIL
I wonder about a Nine Lives campaign.
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thebluespectre thebluespectre's picture
The Nine Lives?
I'm not sure how you'd make a campaign out of enslaving the desperate and impoverished, but I'm sure you could do an interesting Hitman Agent 47-style assassination and extraction and have a good time with it. Plus, any time you have to put up with a crackpot mystic for a boss is hilarious.
"Still and transfixed, the el/ ectric sheep are dreaming of your face..." -Talk Shows on Mute
Panoptic Panoptic's picture
How about transhuman mercs
How about transhuman mercs hired by the Jovians as deniable assets? No direct contact, all details and payments delivered through middle-men and dead-drops. Presumably in credits as these sort of jobs may not be good for one's rep (@ and G-rep possibly excluded).
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Redroverone Redroverone's picture
Here's an idea off the top of my head.
Call the episode 'Making Quota'. Have the team have to get as many forks as quickly as possible to win a contest. Watch the hilarity ensue. Idea #2: Call this episode 'Capture the Flag'. Assign them a REALLY REALLY hard target - like a Consortium director on Mars. If they bring back the cortical stack in one piece, big prizes.
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Forseti Forseti's picture
I don't like Firewall, actually
Well, I don't really like the mission-of-the-week style games that Firewall provides. You get the message, you go on mission, return. Next time, next message, next mission in some other, completely unrelated place, return... No, I like continuity and story development. That means campaigns and while they are certainly possible with Firewall, we have all the Galaxy as playground and especially Solar System is very detailed and teeming with ideas and conflicts. I feel that it would be wasteful to limit myself to Firewall that has its scope limited to big things like X-risks and focuses on them only until they're resolved - that's shallow. So, in my campaign I decided to exploit the differences and possible conflict between Titanian Commonwealth and Extropians. While they belong to the same political bloc, their ideologies and ways of life differ so much that contrasting them could result in very rich and detailed stories. The big story is that Titanians wanted heavy metals as Titan lacks them. They wanted to haul the suitable iron-nickel asteroid into Titan's orbit but were prevented by Planetary Consortium pulling their strings. So Titanians employed the help of Extropians that after much political maneuvers managed to get 533162 Kiruna past Consortium's reach. In exchange they wanted a land on Titan - namely between Erebor Mons and Doom Mons - to locate their outposts with spaceports, ore depots and such infrastructure. Once they settled on Titan problems began: different cultures of living, different laws, different jurisdiction areas, that means organized crime paradise and such. Enter the players. No memory, no possessions, they wake in stolen bodies in the middle of Titanian nowhere (actually Bilbo Colles). This is introductory adventure, so that they could grasp Eclipse Phase in small chunks - now their job is to get to the safety and on their 3rd gaming session they are close to that. Next will be the choice - do they like to seek rescue from Extropians (seems unlikely given players political preferences, even if it would save their characters from being jailed) or Titanians (they could be jailed, then released without the bodies but with sociopsych advisors easing their integration into society). Then they could indeed be employed as deniable assets by various factions (Titanian Fleet Intelligence, Consortium working through their covert Extropian agents, Extropian businessman offering partnership, Nomic seeking to further its goals through their casus, individual hipercorp agents like some journo investigator...). As the campaign will unfold and will become wider in scope (Kiruna is very special asteroid, hiding a big surprise inside, hinted only by occasional X-ray burst) more and more factions could be involved. Having said all that, it will be players' free choice to whom they'll side. Or won't side if they'd prefer to pursue their past that was lost in deleted memories. Thus I have adventure packed with conflict, details, action and culture shock. Do you think I'd be able to get that with Firewall-style "go-there, do-that" adventure? BR, Forseti
jKaiser jKaiser's picture
The Fourth Powderkeg from the Sun
With Red Faction: Guerrilla recently free on XLB, the idea of plying the politics on Mars without being at all aligned with Firewall has really appealed to me. Players all pick some kind of Martian background and work out the complicated, cloak and dagger world of a planetary rebellion in the making. If memory serves, there's, what Barsoomians, Sufis, Makers, and your regular old colonists/civies, all of which could bring a ton of interesting interpersonal angles to the conflict, to say nothing of defectors and moles. If you're not above shaking up the status quo, you could pull a lot from Dune for such a story, and it very easily lends itself to a long campaign with visible progress and a lot of ambiguity. While Red Faction got me thinking about it, I'd probably try to avoid making the Tharsis Leaguers and Hypercorps quite so mustache-twirlingly evil, because having to face your friends and family in conflict because the other side offered them needed jobs and security that roughing it out in the red rocks. Hell, if I ever got this off the ground, I'd try to figure out some way to mechanically represent a popular support system, since weakening the Tharsis control in an area could easily mean people who need GRM support can't get it as easily, which leads to backlash and a new mission to find some way/one to circumvent the GRM. Or wrangle with the decision of whether or not to trust smugglers, if scavenging the TQZ is worth the risk for the potential advantage, etc. Firewall, if it's involved at all, could easily be alternatively friend or foe, even mission to mission. Given the nebulous conspiracy, they could be incidentally dependent on whatever your current demolition target is or want to see it turned into a crater and lend you a hand. Likewise with other groups, OZMA, etc.