"A person's memory is everything, really. Memory is identity. It's you."
Stephen King, Duma Key
"You are what you do. A man is defined by his actions, not his memory."
Kuato, Total Recall (1990)
Hello, I'm the Blue Screen of Death and I'm late to the party. I can't believe I have missed this fantastic RPG for three years.
There are many reasons I love this game, some of them are:
- Eclipse Phase is perhaps the most realistic future RPG out there, almost every other science-fiction RPG imagines that Mankind will transform whole universes but never Man himself.
- These futurists have such faith in an evolved, reputation-based economy they offer the game for free hoping you will pay for it.
- I was so impressed I bought the dead-tree core book and am amazed at its sheer physical quality (very Luddite for a future Transhuman :-) ).
But the main reason I love this game is that Eclipse Phase is really all about identity. I believe that all stories are really about identity, even the stories we call campaigns and tell with rules and dice.
I'm so inspired, I would love to run a game for my 'real world' players (who are EP newbies like myself) and then use the same material to run a PbP for y'all that are interested. Unfortunately, I don't have the time right now to do a game justice. What I do have time for is to slowly develop a campaign and I will put my notes on this board for anyone to use. If you let me pick your brains, I figure the end result can only be improved.
So here's the High Concept of my campaign; tentatively called "The Persistence of Memory":
The best way to introduce modern players to the future of Eclipse Phase is to introduce modern characters to the future world of EP. In other words, the player characters are from the year 2012 (or earlier) or at least, they believe that they are. They are suddenly thrust into the brave new world of Eclipse Phase.
So how do we get such a conceit to work without straining the game setting? I can think of about four ways offhand:
- The characters are not from the past but from an agrarian commune that existed peacefully on Earth before the Fall. The commune perished indirectly from a distant attack from the TITANS but were found by human survivors quickly and their egos were scanned and uploaded and stored for eventual integration into futuristic space-dwelling society (AMISH...IN SPACEEEEEEEEEE!!!!). Strictly speaking, these are not characters from the distant past but from a past way of life.
- The characters died in the past but their corpses were preserved in such a way that a very advanced ego bridge could salvage their memories. This could be due to cryogenic suspension or due to a death that somehow froze the brain in an unlikely particular way (a la Captain America). Very Buck Rogers but I'm willing to stretch a little (OK, a lot) for this campaign.
- The character is an unknowing infomorph, raised believing they 'lived' in a different past time. The infomorph can be a virtual recreation of a historical character or a character from historical fiction. Why would a such a deluded and backwards infomorph be of any use to anyone? The best answer I have so far: The AI the character is based on is so popular that years of fanboy cloud tinkering have given the character a skillset no hypercorp lab can match, even given the archaic outlook of the character.
- The characters are from an alternate or rival project to the Futura experiment. It was believed that force-growing children in virtual-reality was stressful enough without adding the identity-bending aspects of sleeving, forking and other experiences needed to understand the post-Fall age. The best 'year' to grow the subjects to was guessed to be 2012 (at which point, the subjects would be carefully weaned from accellerated, virtual 2012 to real, current AF10). Things went badly, the 'Misplaced' may or may not have the same psi/barking mad complications of the Lost but still, something went wrong and the rejects were uploaded into cold storage.
These are all the ways I can think of to get 'retro' characters into the game. I welcome your ideas. In any case, the game starts with Mysterious Forces collecting all of these antique egos in storage for equally Mysterious Reasons. But outrageous fortune happens and the characters awake accidently in what they believe to be their real bodies (actually carefully created flats) ahead of the Evil Plan's execution. What happens after that is up to the players.
Let me know what you think. Thanks for your time. :-)
Coming up: Historical Morphs (sport some classic DNA). P.S. should I make this a separate thread or keep all campaign notes in this thread?