"Suicide" flats

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Moracai Moracai's picture
"Suicide" flats

I noticed that during character generation one could take the Flat morph and give it over 200 points worth of morph related disadvantages. Only about a quarter of those could be used for credits to buy a decent morph.

A real powergamer could then proceed to commit a "suicide" and buy a new, much better morph for himself and still have about 150cp worth of extra stuff.

I personally don't like point-buy systems that feature disadvantages that grant more creation points, but this "mistake" is so easily dodged that I thought to give everyone a notice of it.

It is easily houseruled, I know, and I intend to disallow players taking morph related disadventages altogether. Also I'm contemplating limiting the point amount of how much disadvantages can be taken, but I'm not sure about the actual number yet.

Apologies if this topic has been discussed before. If it already has been, I couldn't find it easily.

GreyBrother GreyBrother's picture
Re: "Suicide" flats

Let him wake up from the backup to overhear the following words:
"Yeah, we did a great job on this customer. We even cloned his old body in record time!"

HappyDaze HappyDaze's picture
Re: "Suicide" flats

You can't spend more than half of you Trait CP (typically 25 CP) on Morph Traits. This applies to negative too, so you can't generally take more than 25 CP of negative morph traits by the rules. This means your problem is much less of an issue than you made it appear to be.

Moracai Moracai's picture
Re: "Suicide" flats

HappyDaze wrote:
You can't spend more than half of you Trait CP (typically 25 CP) on Morph Traits. This applies to negative too, so you can't generally take more than 25 CP of negative morph traits by the rules. This means your problem is much less of an issue than you made it appear to be.

OK, thanks. I missed that bit. I just got my copy yesterday and I'm frantically trying to get the gist of it :)

Ramidel Ramidel's picture
Re: "Suicide" flats

Also, I honestly think that disallowing morph disadvantages is a bit much, but that's a personal opinion. So long as the morph is still positive-value, disadvantaging a morph simply means that the morph is a less useful morph than it otherwise would be, which is the whole point of a disadvantage. (Yes, you can use another morph. Another morph also doesn't have all the custom-tuning you put into your personal hot-bod.)

Besides. Why -shouldn't- the Menton morph bodysculpted especially to my AGI's tastes have Uncanny Valley?

Moracai Moracai's picture
Re: "Suicide" flats

Now I am in a suboptimal group IMHO for background/roleplay heavy RPGs, like EP.

There's at least two guys in the group that prefer another style of play. One is a minmaxer and another is a monsterbasher.

Because of that single minmaxing player I am forced to consider all these types of options. Even with the 25 point limit in morph disadvantages, I'm not too sure if it would be enough deterrent for the minmaxer from making a suicide flat.

Although I'm more inclined to believe that he'd first make a fury or a remade. When that morph goes down or he is somehow forced out of the morph without having a decent chance of getting it back soon, he'd probably kill off the character and proceed to make an ego-heavy character.

Thenagain I probably shouldn't care about these things, but even a single player who plays "to win" is enough to poison the rest of the players enjoyment of the game, because they'd feel that they can't contribute as much as the cheese-monster.

Moracai Moracai's picture
Re: "Suicide" flats

HappyDaze wrote:
so you can't generally take more than 25 CP of negative morph traits by the rules.
I know that you wrote "generally take", but that same CP amount is given in page 136.

Now comes the wide-eyed confusion part (again). Bad Luck, Morphing Disorder and Unattractive can be taken as a 30cp negative traits...

Perhaps when considering the direction this thread has taken, this could belong better in morphs section.

Ramidel Ramidel's picture
Re: "Suicide" flats

If you've got a minmaxer playing in your group and you fear they may abuse rules loopholes to the detriment of other players, then...

A: Don't let him take a morph that's a net disadvantage, obviously (counting morph disadvantages against advantages and morph cost). A zero-point flat, fine in theory, and if he wants to work his way up -from- a flat, that's well within the setting's schticks, but a body that's a disadvantage is just asking for a reinstantiation into a superior charity morph. Of course...

B: Depending on where your crew is located, you may have grounds for questioning why he's in a flat in the first place. Flats -really- aren't common outside the Jovian Junta and when they exist elsewhere they're usually indentured. (Of course, that means you're requiring him to roleplay, but this is Eclipse Phase...) Saying "no flats, sorry" would not be out of place on Titan, in particular, since the Titanians go out of their way to put anyone who's worth anything in at least a splicer or synth.

C: Also, if he tries to make an overstrength flat (as in, take a stat that's above flat limits), whack him. An ego born in a flat is subject to the limits of flat capability, at least until that ego becomes part of transhumanity and exercises its abilities in a superior morph. (Yes, this is a personal ruling.)

Of course, all of this may drive Twinkie out of your group, but let's be honest: anyone trying to make a combat-twinked cyberbadass in Eclipse Phase doesn't know what the hell they're doing. If I were a player in a group with someone like that, I'd outright encourage them to get a Reaper morph; they make excellent cover.

HappyDaze HappyDaze's picture
Re: "Suicide" flats

Moracai wrote:
HappyDaze wrote:
so you can't generally take more than 25 CP of negative morph traits by the rules.
I know that you wrote "generally take", but that same CP amount is given in page 136.

Now comes the wide-eyed confusion part (again). Bad Luck, Morphing Disorder and Unattractive can be taken as a 30cp negative traits...

Perhaps when considering the direction this thread has taken, this could belong better in morphs section.

My own take on that is when playing with higher CP character types, the limits are increased in proportion to the CP value. For example, a high-end game with 1,200 CP characters would allow up to 60 CP in Traits (no more than 30 CP in morph Traits) along with a minimum of 480 CP in Active Skills, a minimum of 360 CP in Knowledge Skills, and a maximum of 120 CP could go into Credits. In-game limits - like no more than 60 in a skill before 2:1 and 80 in a skill at 1:1 before a hard limit (unless a Trait allows higher) 80 in a Rep - are not adjusted. Higher CP characters are not really too much better in such areas, just more diverse overall.

Moracai Moracai's picture
Re: "Suicide" flats

Thanks for the advise Ramidel! :)

Ramidel wrote:
Of course, all of this may drive Twinkie out of your group, but let's be honest: anyone trying to make a combat-twinked cyberbadass in Eclipse Phase doesn't know what the hell they're doing. If I were a player in a group with someone like that, I'd outright encourage them to get a Reaper morph; they make excellent cover.

I really don't know what I'm worried about, although I am clearly worried about something. All I know is that he will try to abuse the system and should he fail, much whining will ensue...

It would be quite funny to see him make a Reaper as his primary morph, but he probably knows my GMing style well enough to avoid such a pitfall.

Should he get into his mind that a strong ego is the way to go, he could try to go with a Psionic of some sort, although Futura probably wouldn't be his first choise of morph. But psionics might be too "weak" for him, as he wouldn't be able to pwn non-biologicals very easily.

Also a hacker type might emerge. I'm not absolutely certain why hacking takes such a long time in EP. Last time we played the new Shadowrun, I thought it to be a real improvement that the hackers are able to participate in "real-time" and not much of their screentime is wasted. Or more accurately, other PCs screentime is wasted on hackers account.

That S-run hacking timeframe would be the ideal way to go for me, but it might be playing right into the minmaxers corner, should he decide to make such a character. Anyway I think that a hacker character for that player would be ideal in my case, faster than thought hacking or not. Thenagain hacker as a concept is very much dependent on GM fiat and that is something that the minmaxer tries to avoid at all costs.

I probably should take all of the players for one on one discussions before trying to start the game. Too bad that EP will hit the physical world so soon, because that guy I'm talking about has real talent for spotting any loophole, no matter how small it is, in matter of minutes :)

He could have been a valuable source of feedback about the rules!

We probably won't be starting EP anytime soon, because we are in the middle of another campaign, that will last for quite a while still, according to the GM.

And HappyDaze, thanks for the clarification. I suspected that there must be something like that going on there, but I couldn't pinpoint that bit from the rulebook.

HappyDaze HappyDaze's picture
Re: "Suicide" flats

Ramidel wrote:
but let's be honest: anyone trying to make a combat-twinked cyberbadass in Eclipse Phase doesn't know what the hell they're doing.

That's a very biased and judgmental statement. Playing EP as a combat game isn't out of the question - the rules for combat are more robust than the rules for any other type of actions (including interactions) in the system, so catering to that angle is hardly wrongbadfun.
Ramidel Ramidel's picture
Re: "Suicide" flats

Didn't say it was, though it appears I was misinterpreted (mea culpa there).

What I meant is that the kind of combat focus that will work in D&D will get you -1 morph in Eclipse Phase. Trying to build yourself for a straight-up fight doesn't work when Security drops a dozen battle drones on you. I may, of course, be looking at Eclipse Phase more from a Shadowrun angle; if you're not trying to infiltrate some kind of installation or somewhere where a security force will be the problem so much as "wandering Exsurgent/xeno threats," then a Fury cyber-samurai may have more to do than provide cover for the rest of the players and help salvage the mission when the players have blown an alarm.

Deflare Deflare's picture
Re: "Suicide" flats

You can't take more than 50 CP's worth of negative Traits (at least, not for points; I'd be entirely willing to let a player take 60 or 70 CPs' worth for RP purposes and not for points), and up to 25 of those can be in your morph.

For many of the fancier morphs the Credit cost of any non-CP-bought morph is generally much higher than the 25-CP bonus you hypothetically get from offing a flawed-out flat morph.

At the core of the issue is a player very blatantly gaming the system to get an advantage in a way that doesn't in any way reflect any sort of reasonable in-game justification (well, I suppose I could see a newly ex-patriated Jovian going, "My flat sucks; now that I'm not in a bioconservative regime, I'm getting a new one!", but the point that this is cheap and gamey stands). Were I running a game and a player attempted to do this, I would give them a level gaze and politely ask them not to purposely break the system and to just get on with the game. Refusal to comply results in removal from the game; I've had to put up with too much crap from powergamers to deal with them anymore.

Moracai, my advice is this: If a player seems inclined to poison the fun of the group, kick them out of the group. Life's too short and gaming time's too precious to waste it with generators of anti-fun. Eclipse Phase, while made of awesome in most regards, doesn't have the most balanced and airtight character-creation system; someone willing to go forth and purposely break it isn't worth your time and effort.

Zophiel Zophiel's picture
Re: "Suicide" flats

I'm always the big proponent of "easy come, easy go", so I thought I'd chime in on this with a bit different viewpoint. If you can have up to 25 CP worth of negative morph traits, then the game has a sort of built in 25 point bonus. Any morph, whether its 100 points or -5 (the aforementioned flat with -25CP in morph flaws) can and probably will die or become unavailable at some point.

Here's some things to consider with your Flat, though (and to make sure the player considers):

1. No cortical stack. Flats have to back up the old fashioned way, by going to the Dollhouse, sitting in the chair and getting Tofer to make a copy. Depending on your location, this can be difficult so keep very careful track of the last time the character made time for a backup.

2. Similarly, no endo by default. This means that even if the character dies, no one will know to re-instance a backup until the body is found and identified. The people of EP seem quite paranoid about accidentally having two of the same person running around. Hide the body and the character may have to wait a year, or five, or seven before being reinstanced.

3. No engineered immunities and low stats to boot. Flats get tired, sick, hungry etc and have a harder time dealing with it than anyone else.

4. Availability of replacement morphs. Sure, you can get a lot of money taking a negative value morph, or even just an infomorph. You can also get a lot of rep. New morphs are an extremely high demand item. Getting one takes both and possibly more. Everyone has the same hurdles to go through, whether its an infomorph, a suicide flat or a remade.

GM's may say that flats, splicers, pods and low end synthmorphs are available to anyone with the cash but the more advanced morphs are going to require more than just cash. Even in transitional/old economies the powers that be don't want just anyone running around in combat remade or reapers. Your Firewall provided morph replacement insurance only covers roughly equal value. In the case of a severely damaged (lots of negatives) flat, that value might be two clips of ammo and a pack of cigarettes.

If you're a GM who doesn't like to seperate people from their gear and/or morphs because they paid for them with points, the obvious solution is to require that every new morph have -25CP worth of flaws until the player buys that off. They may be different flaws, but if they get to keep their positive points, they should keep their negative ones, too.

7thSeaLord 7thSeaLord's picture
Re: "Suicide" flats

I see the original problem as more of a GM judgement call than anything else. Based on what other people have said here, it isn't legal anyhow.

A Player could load up a Morph with a (moderate) range of Disads and then use the points gained to otherwise tweak things, but it is all gone forever if/when that Morph buys the farm.
Of course, given a chance, that Player can always build a replacement Morph along similar lines from scratch, but it will take time - this arguably being a custom-build, after all.

"Do it? ... Dan, I'm not a Republic serial villain. Do you seriously think I'd explain my master-stroke if there remained the slightest chance of you affecting its outcome?
I did it thirty-five minutes ago."

Ozymandias, The Watchmen

Zophiel Zophiel's picture
Re: "Suicide" flats

Yeah. Since flats are the only morphs that can effectively go negative cost, I can see where GM's might specifically limit flats to 20CP in morph flaws (rendering them cost neutral). In the final analysis a 20 CP flat with 25 CP in morph flaws only nets the player an extra 5 points (for a gain of 0.5%) over playing an infomorph. . . and in a flat, he's gonna need 'em. S As much as I like my real life, all human body, everything else in EP outperforms it by a mile.

7thSeaLord 7thSeaLord's picture
Re: "Suicide" flats

Assuming that rules don't already cover this sort of nonsense (and it sounds like they do), I would (if GMing) House Rule that any extra CP garnered this way can ONLY be used on the Morph with all the Disads - NOT on the Ego or other Morphs or anything else.

You lose that Morph, you lose everything that came with it, can't be simpler or fairer than that.

"Do it? ... Dan, I'm not a Republic serial villain. Do you seriously think I'd explain my master-stroke if there remained the slightest chance of you affecting its outcome?
I did it thirty-five minutes ago."

Ozymandias, The Watchmen

Deflare Deflare's picture
Re: "Suicide" flats

Um... Has there been errata, or something? In my book, flats cost 0 CP, not 20, hence the concern--any negative traits cause it to be worth negative points, and they were clearly intended to be able to have negative traits if the Genetic Defect trait is any indication.

Looking at the rules, I've increasingly come to realize that a lot of the morphs listed are more expensive in CP than they would be in credits gained from CP; for example, the Remade cost 60 CP, but if you were to buy it with money, it'd cost 40,000--40 CP's worth of cash. Possible fixes include tinkering with CP cost, tinkering with morphs' financial costs, or simply saying that morphs are bought with money that players purchase during character creation (which would probably require tinkering with the costs anyway).

Zophiel Zophiel's picture
Re: "Suicide" flats

Deflare wrote:
Um... Has there been errata, or something? In my book, flats cost 0 CP, not 20, hence the concern--any negative traits cause it to be worth negative points, and they were clearly intended to be able to have negative traits if the Genetic Defect trait is any indication.

Looking at the rules, I've increasingly come to realize that a lot of the morphs listed are more expensive in CP than they would be in credits gained from CP; for example, the Remade cost 60 CP, but if you were to buy it with money, it'd cost 40,000--40 CP's worth of cash. Possible fixes include tinkering with CP cost, tinkering with morphs' financial costs, or simply saying that morphs are bought with money that players purchase during character creation (which would probably require tinkering with the costs anyway).

My mistake most likely. I didn't actually look up the point total. You're right about prices. . .sort of. In an old economy with a surplus of every type of morph, cost would be the only determining factor in what you could resleeve into. Remember, though, that millions of infomorphs are busting their ass and signing indentured contracts for Splicers and Rusters. Futuras aren't manufactured anymore. Reapers are illegal in many places. In other words there's more to getting a morph than just money. Networking rolls and rep may be required just to find the morph you want. If you want an expensive custom it may have to be designed and grown/built. The added CP cost at the beginning is basically a way of opting out of those rolls, wait time, permit applications etc.