[i]Currently working on the core backdrop for a series of adventures that will form my next campaign. I'm taking some inspiration from Warren Ellis' Planetary and leading towards a climax in which the PCs will have to destroy the gate network to prevent the exsurgent virus from using an infected group of hypercorp exhumans to colonize a "pristine" reality where the Fall never happened. Will post additional notes as updates to this first post, and discuss additional ideas if any others are interested.[/i] [h1]Snowflake? WTF?[/h1] Welcome to the multiverse, a six-dimensional matrix of collapsed probabilities we call "existence." Colloquially known as The Snowflake due to the shape of its simplest euclidean representation, the multiverse consists of 46,656 (6^6) non-intersecting universes. To avoid ambiguity around the nature of the "U-word," this document will refer to each universe as a "facet" of the snowflake. Many facets exist where the Fall never occurred, the gate-builders were never wiped out, TITANs never discovered the gates and succeeded in wiping out humanity, etc. At least three distinct systems of physics and geometry are known to exist, and researchers speculate based on the Snowflake's structure that a total of six will ultimately be found. [h1]The Multiverse Behind the Curtain[/h1] In the Eclipse Phase game world, there are three deep mysteries: the Pandora Gates, Psi powers, and the Exsurgent virus. This homebrew campaign offers the Snowflake as an underlying explanation for all three.
- Pandora Gates are *not* gates to other Facets. Rather, the gates exploit side effects of the Snowflake's structure to link distant points in the same Facet. While traveling through a gate, entities are briefly passing through one of the non-euclidean geometries of the snowflake's second known system of physics. 1 Similarly, power to maintain the gate network is driven by entanglements with the snowflake's third system of physics 2.
- The Exsurgent virus was not intentionally unleashed by an extrasolar race; rather, it is a naturally occurring parasite that exploited cross-facet contamination introduced by the gatebuilding project. The astonishing information density required by many of the virus' tricks 3 is possible only because much of its complexity exists in another facet entirely. For those familiar with the C programming language, the Exsurgent virus is effective because it exists in one facet as pointers to more complex genetic and consciousness structures in its "home" facet.
- Psi Sleights are another consequence of this facet entanglement. Common manifestations include cross-ego information bleed, spacetime distortion, and the violation of facet-local physics norms. The weird experiences Asyncs have when encountering or traveling through Pandora Gates are rooted in the cross-facet entanglement exploited by both the gates and the virus.
- In technical terms, both spacetime and magnetism are "hopelessly fucked up" in the epsilon facet-branch. Gates are knots of epsilon-space; the "coordinates" entered into a given gate are better understood as instructions to twist and pull at the knot, producing different destinations in alpha facet-branch space. ↩︎
- In the zeta facet-branch, an accelerated cycle of material expansion and collapse produces intense but regular spikes of exotic radiation. For those who care, the echoes of these spikes are measurable in other facet-branches as blackbody radiation. ↩︎
- e.g., transmission of a full viral exploit and genome alteration package via short audio bursts in a basilisk hack. ↩︎