"Roles" in Eclipse Phase parties?

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Libertad Libertad's picture
"Roles" in Eclipse Phase parties?

In Dungeons & Dragons and Shadowrun, there are common archetypes the average party contains. With Shadowrun, you have the negotiator, or "Face," the security expert, or "Hacker," the combat expert, or "Street Samurai," and the magical expert, or "mage." No group is required to have these archetypes, and can mix and match skill sets for individual customization, but it's highly recommended for parties to have at least one character adept in such abilities for the game.

What archetypes would you say Eclipse Phase has, especially in regards to Firewall operatives?

Here's what I identified so far for an ideal Firewall group:

The Fabber:

Nanofabrication is an integral part of technological progress and the economy in Eclipse Phase. Cornucopia machines and blueprints can create just about every commonly available item (and many restricted ones as well). A nanofabrication specialist can be an integral asset to a Firewall team for all the gadgets and equipment they can create and customize. The Fabber is also trained in various Hardware abilities and engineering-related Knowledge skills for integral understanding of the various tools he can create.

The Mesh Specialist:

With the omnipresence of the Mesh and millions of people living entirely as software, navigating online is almost a requirement for any sort of in-depth investigation work. And it's not just for sousveillance and computer hacking; understanding memes, online etiquette, and other aspects of Mesh culture can determine whether or not your Firewall agent blends in with the crowd or sticks out like a sore thumb.

The Soldier:

From terrorists to TITAN creations, Firewall's list of enemies is vast. Violent conflict is inevitable in an Agent's career. While most agents are trained in firearms and Fray, the Soldier lives for combat. From reaction-boosting implants to grenade launchers, this archetype's skills and equipment are designed around taking punishment and neutralizing the enemy with extreme force.

The Favorman:

While successful Networking skills are vital to every Firewall agent, the social game's the Favorman's specialty. He's got high Rep in the Hypercorp boardrooms and the criminal underworld, plus several covert, high-security Extropian bank accounts. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but he's got no problem using pheromonal implants and drugs to enhance his persuasive talents.

The Survivalist:

Sometimes Firewall must leave the sprawling habitats of transhumanity and set foot in the Martian wilderness or the forlorn terrain of an exoplanet. The Survivalist knows how to set up shelter for freak weather, scavenge workable technology from the bare essentials, plot the day-night cycle and geography of alien planets, and is well-versed in all manner of probable scenarios of possible first contact with new alien species.

The Ghost:

Named after the stealth-based Morph, the Ghost not only infiltrates restricted areas and evades security, they know how to "go off the grid" and assume new identities. With resleeving, chameleon cloaks, social networks and sousveillence, the world of spying and black ops got a whole lot more complicated. Ideally a Ghost will be able to smuggle restricted items past physical security, have enough hacking skills to foil Mesh AI, and well-versed in picking up new identities and personalities through Morphs and software implants (and help others do so, too).

Do you think these provide a good overview of "recommended" Eclipse Phase archetypes?


"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it."
~George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950

Madwand Madwand's picture
Interesting. My PC was the

Interesting. My PC was the top 3 there.

I'd add "scientist", too. Firewall agents run across lots of stuff that needs to be analyzed. As there are lots of kinds of science, there's lots of room in this category in a team.

nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
IMO, I'd go with:

IMO, I'd go with:
2 soldiers
1 Face
1 Scientist
1 Engineer

Secondary roles (i.e., for characters who wear two hats) would be:
Ghost
Mesh hacker

uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
2 combat-soldier types

2 combat-soldier types
--variations including melee, DUR soak, high damage, long range
tech/hacker type
--including scientists etc.
stealth/infiltration
--both literal stealth, and the getting around a sousveillance society type as well
2 face types
--too many rep networks and factions to depend on just one!

Mixing these roles among a smaller group is ideal. Like a combat-face(crime), and a hacker-stealth, combat-face(hypercorp), etc.

A firewall team would probably benefit from an Async of some variety too.

Exhuman, and Humanitarian.

Libertad Libertad's picture
I personally think that the

I personally think that the Scientist archetype can be folded into the existing roles. More so since spending 300 construction points on Knowledge-based skills is built into the system.

Geographic/xeno-scientist? Survivalist.

Engineering/technology scientist? Fabber.

As for the "learning stuff" aspect of scientists, access to the Mesh and information-gathering equipment is very common to Firewall. A "reporter/investigator" character would be closest to the Mesh Specialist and Ghost archetypes.

As for asyncs, they don't seem to do anything unique that can't be replicated by the other archetypes; most of their powers appear to be "psychic" equivalents of existing abilities (psychic persuasion to enhance social skills, psychic damage and shields for combat, etc). They're also quite rare and not as large a feature of Eclipse Phase as magicians are to Shadowrun. And their powers appear cheap enough overall that the "async" can be folded into other existing archetypes.


"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it."
~George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950

uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
Libertad wrote:As for asyncs,

Libertad wrote:
As for asyncs, they don't seem to do anything unique that can't be replicated by the other archetypes; most of their powers appear to be "psychic" equivalents of existing abilities (psychic persuasion to enhance social skills, psychic damage and shields for combat, etc). They're also quite rare and not as large a feature of Eclipse Phase as magicians are to Shadowrun. And their powers appear cheap enough overall that the "async" can be folded into other existing archetypes.

Perhaps, but I add them only because a couple of the Firewall adventure hooks in the books' sidebars detail situations where it seems like Asyncs can sniff out exsurgent stuff, etc. Plus the ability to appear inconspicuous, even with nanotechnology, and use sleights that deal damage straight past armor with a touch, or that can cause subliminal commands... seems pretty useful. But truly not nearly as essential as the Magicians of Shadowrun I will admit.

Exhuman, and Humanitarian.

Libertad Libertad's picture
The async can be useful, but

The async can be useful, but I don't associate it with what a "core" Firewall team needs.

I also edited the Fabber entry to be skilled in Hardware and engineering-related knowledges so that he can further take advantage of tool customization and creation. The Fabber should not just be a walking blueprint and fabricator carrier; he should also have an integral understanding of how stuff works.


"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it."
~George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
While in computer games you

While in computer games you have the "holy Trinity" (Tank, healer & DPS... and DPS breaks into pure DPS, Controller and Debuffer, while healer breaks into buffer, pure healer, and damage mitigator, with tanks breaking finally into unpredictable avoidancers and the meat sacks), in RPG games the situation gets a lot fuzzier.

Usually, I break it in "specialists" (or "skill focused"), "combatants", and "socials". However, the more tehcnologically advanced a game is, the more interesting it gets to invest in computer-related skills (in Star Wars d20 it was exceedingly imbalanced: a lv 10 character can wreack havoc into an imperial Star Destroyer as soon as he subtly reaches a computer...), to an extent where you end having the combatants take on enemies under terrain-limitating conditions or on "bosses".

As for Eclipse Phase, I'd say that all toons are combatants to an extent, even more than in any other game: start with Kinetic Weapons at 60, some Fray and few more things and you are set. Experts? Yeah, that too (Infosec, 300 CP worth of non-active skills, etc...). "Faces", however, are still a niche by themselves, since while it is easy to have some networking skills and reps, to manage all them can be... impossible, so to speak.

OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Bot Jammer?

no one has mentioned the equivalent of SR's Rigger. The bot Jammer. A hacker with multiple piloting skills can do some impressive things along the lines of surveilance, infiltration and causing massive amounts of havok. Especially with the hab hacking rules and skills from panopticon.

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

Quincey Forder Quincey Forder's picture
the Mercenary should be present too

While some soldiers can be mercs themselves, Mercenaries, with capital M, are the hand for hire, from security detail to body guard, to assassin, to messenger etc

Two examples, out of one (in)famous horror franchise
-Miss Get Things Done. Aka Ada Wong. She's one resourceful bitch, that one! You give her a task, and free reigns, and she's going to do the job, discretely and with style...most of the time. But when the slag hit the fan, she's as deadly as it get, be it with a sniper riffle (a certain chainsaw totting zombie can testify that!) or going hand to hand with spetnatz turned chief of state. She's either your best friend (hopefully with benefits. C'mon! She's hot!) or the worst enemy you'll ever make.

-The Carrier. Aka Jake Muller. He comes as rude, greedy and a downright asshole. But once a deal is struck, he'll get through hell and back to bring the package to destination. If you're the package, you can count on him to watch your six at the peril of his own, and deliver you where you are supposed to go. At any cost, even if it's a city or a whole habitat.

A variation of the carrier is the Johnny Mnemonic type, a data or biological messenger. He'll take your goods from point a to b, no question ask. Professional, dedicated and driven. Just dont' double cross him or he's gonna drop you (and or your reputation) deader than a doornail.

Q U I N C E Y ^_*_^ F O R D E R

Remember The Cant!

The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Libertad wrote:I personally

Libertad wrote:
I personally think that the Scientist archetype can be folded into the existing roles. More so since spending 300 construction points on Knowledge-based skills is built into the system.

I think that I have to agree with you. Starting characters in Eclipse Phase, if you break the stats down, are the equivalent of three or possibly more Einsteins or Olympic medalists, and everyone does their character ages a little different (in my game, the youngest PC is 380 Earth years old, the oldest pushing 700) based upon their interpretation of the advancement of technology. There is little reason that a single PC cannot be a specialist in three or more areas of endeavour. Their stats certainly reflect the basic intelligence to accomplish such a thing before, during, and in the years after the Fall.



rogue-z rogue-z's picture
Where does infolife fit?

How would you handle these roles as infolife instead of physical stuff?