Ultimates and Reputation

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Decivre Decivre's picture
Ultimates and Reputation
There really isn't too much information on what has become my favorite faction, so I have a few questions I'd like to run by everyone, if that's alright with them. Reputation: Which reputation system would fit best with the Ultimates? I was thinking RNA, CivicNet or the Circle-A List, and I can't figure out which of those three it might be. They really are a runt culture that doesn't really fit with any of them, but there has to be one specific network they fit best in... one with a network skill best suited for making deals with fellow Ultimates. Culture: Slightly less related to the forum section, but I don't think I should open another thread, so here goes. I know they are militaristic and ascetic, but what exactly does that entail? I have a mental image of a bunch of warrior monks who believe devoutly in the concept of Survival of the Fittest, but that still leaves questions about who iss in charge, how their heirarchy is built, whether they have ranks, and what they prefer to dress like. Until I get a solid answer I set my networking skill to RNA (fits best with their eugenics-focused beliefs on bettering ourselves through technology). Hopefully someone can give me a more solid answer. Thanks!
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nick012000 nick012000's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
I would think it would vary from Ultimate to Ultimate, depending on exactly what they were doing. Ultimates who work as mercenaries for the hypercorps have C-Rep, Ultimates who do things like designing new morphs have r-Rep, Ultimates who work for organized crime have g-Rep, Ultimates who live in habitats in the outer system probably have @-rep, et cetera. As for clothes, I assume they'd probably tend towards practical clothing, rather than fashionable or artistic clothing. Most likely, their clothing is armored; a good chunk of them probably never wear anything but armor.

+1 r-Rep , +1 @-rep

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
nick012000 wrote:
I would think it would vary from Ultimate to Ultimate, depending on exactly what they were doing. Ultimates who work as mercenaries for the hypercorps have C-Rep, Ultimates who do things like designing new morphs have r-Rep, Ultimates who work for organized crime have g-Rep, Ultimates who live in habitats in the outer system probably have @-rep, et cetera. As for clothes, I assume they'd probably tend towards practical clothing, rather than fashionable or artistic clothing. Most likely, their clothing is armored; a good chunk of them probably never wear anything but armor.
I suppose that makes sense. I suppose I will stick with r-rep in that case. Thanks for the input!
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
nick012000 wrote:
As for clothes, I assume they'd probably tend towards practical clothing, rather than fashionable or artistic clothing. Most likely, their clothing is armored; a good chunk of them probably never wear anything but armor.
Maybe a few do not wear armor at all. In my game there is a small cadre of Ultimates who are more like warrior-monks than sellswords. They wear very simple, unarmored clothing but are scarily proficient at hand-to-hand and melee combat because they prefer the purity and beauty of such combat over firearms. This cadre is also well known for their performance art kata among Autonomists.
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
The Doctor wrote:
Maybe a few do not wear armor at all. In my game there is a small cadre of Ultimates who are more like warrior-monks than sellswords. They wear very simple, unarmored clothing but are scarily proficient at hand-to-hand and melee combat because they prefer the purity and beauty of such combat over firearms. This cadre is also well known for their performance art kata among Autonomists.
That's essentially the character I've designed, though his unarmed combat is more for function than beauty (he's an async with offensive psi, so touch combat is a necessary skill). I'm just trying to figure out how else to structure him in accordance with their culture. I know he has to be willing to commit fascist violence, believe in "survival of the strongest", and try to live a life of asceticism... but the material really doesn't speak much more than that about them.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
MrNay MrNay's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
The Ultimates are pretty darn neat. They seem to be quite a fluid, organic faction, like a weed they evolve and grow using adversity to become stronger. I would imagine the Ultimates would utilize whatever rep system is relevant to the local Ultimate's focus and projects.
standard_gravity standard_gravity's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
Decivre wrote:
Reputation: Which reputation system would fit best with the Ultimates? I was thinking RNA, CivicNet or the Circle-A List, and I can't figure out which of those three it might be. They really are a runt culture that doesn't really fit with any of them, but there has to be one specific network they fit best in... one with a network skill best suited for making deals with fellow Ultimates.
Like many other posters above I think they use a combination of networks depending on where they are/have been active. However, I also think there will be an Ultimate Network (u-rep?) only open to members (they like to compete with each other, after all!).
The Doctor wrote:
They wear very simple, unarmored clothing but are scarily proficient at hand-to-hand and melee combat.
Very awesome, although I’m not sure that in a world of dangerously efficient firearms, beam weapons and smart armour they will [b]Survive[/b] for very long, nor be very [b]Fit[/b]…?
[img]http://boxall.no-ip.org/img/ext_userbar.jpg[/img] "People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes." - John Dee
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
standard_gravity wrote:
Like many other posters above I think they use a combination of networks depending on where they are/have been active. However, I also think there will be an Ultimate Network (u-rep?) only open to members (they like to compete with each other, after all!).
I was thinking that, but something in me says that c-rep probably best represents their network (they are most commonly hired by hypercorps).
standard_gravity wrote:
Very awesome, although I’m not sure that in a world of dangerously efficient firearms, beam weapons and smart armour they will [b]Survive[/b] for very long, nor be very [b]Fit[/b]…?
Agreed. To me, the Ultimates are combat pragmatists. They go into battle with the best morphs, the best weapons, and the best armor... and they never hold back. After all, they are social darwinists... and believe that the weak perish. Just because they are ascetics doesn't mean they have to believe in "honorable battle".
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
standard_gravity wrote:
Very awesome, although I’m not sure that in a world of dangerously efficient firearms, beam weapons and smart armour they will [b]Survive[/b] for very long, nor be very [b]Fit[/b]…?
In my game, that particular cabal of Ultimates is not on Extropia to fight, but for the experience of being there. They believe that they are far more than mere warriors, and strive to better themselves in all ways, not just in combat. The rest of the faction probably finds them soft at best, unevolved at worst. (Perhaps I put a little too much thought into them..)
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
The Doctor wrote:
In my game, that particular cabal of Ultimates is not on Extropia to fight, but for the experience of being there. They believe that they are far more than mere warriors, and strive to better themselves in all ways, not just in combat. The rest of the faction probably finds them soft at best, unevolved at worst. (Perhaps I put a little too much thought into them..)
Not at all. Various political groups in real life have a large variety of people within who have differing viewpoints that fit within, but do not conform universally, to the faction's beliefs as a whole. I see no reason that the Ultimates would not be the same. Obviously this group puts more emphasis on the memes of asceticism, eugenics and individualism than it does on militarism and social Darwinism. That doesn't make them any less Ultimates, however. Remember, the Ultimates were the forebearers in the design of the Remade morph, and I highly doubt that the minds behind its creation were busying themselves with war at the time. That said, I still think that these Ultimates, as much as they may busy themselves with self improvement and less with the tactics of battle, are still realists at heart. They know not to bring a knife to a gunfight, and will have the Ultimates knack for combat pragmatism. While they may hone their martial arts skills, true combat will be another manner. Expect jammed combat drones and combat monks with eelware implants shocking their opponents into submission. Expect them using every trick in the book, even guns if necessary, to win. Ultimates live vehemently by the creed "survival of the strongest", and none of them are foolish enough to let their pride pull that adage from their mind.
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Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
One of the most memorable rpg combat situations in my experience occurred when our group of PCs were cornered in a garbage store by enemies with lasers. We were trapped and outgunned. My character simply fired his lousy gun straight up, at the sprinkler system. The GM looked nonplussed, and said that we were all just getting soaked. Then I pointed out what water droplets refract laser light. Suddenly the roles in the fight were reversed. The point of the story is that lateral thinking and adaptability is the key to victory. Martial arts are useless against sniper rifles, but they allow you to duck and cover into places the sniper cannot see, and quite possible sneak up on him. Often knowing a lot about different societies and options serve you more than direct fighting ability, as Lawrence of Arabia knew. I expect that the Ultimates know their Sun Tzu and Machiavelli by heart and often make use of the sneakiest possible methods of getting what they want ("To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill"). "Grasshopper 1.0, you have now mastered the forms of Krav Maga and Shaolin. Now it is time for you to learn the katas of financial warfare. We will start with basic hostile takeover and continue with leveraged buyout, as well as the defensive art of the the poison pill..."
Extropian
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
Arenamontanus wrote:
One of the most memorable rpg combat situations in my experience occurred when our group of PCs were cornered in a garbage store by enemies with lasers. We were trapped and outgunned. My character simply fired his lousy gun straight up, at the sprinkler system. The GM looked nonplussed, and said that we were all just getting soaked. Then I pointed out what water droplets refract laser light. Suddenly the roles in the fight were reversed. The point of the story is that lateral thinking and adaptability is the key to victory. Martial arts are useless against sniper rifles, but they allow you to duck and cover into places the sniper cannot see, and quite possible sneak up on him. Often knowing a lot about different societies and options serve you more than direct fighting ability, as Lawrence of Arabia knew. I expect that the Ultimates know their Sun Tzu and Machiavelli by heart and often make use of the sneakiest possible methods of getting what they want ("To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill"). "Grasshopper 1.0, you have now mastered the forms of Krav Maga and Shaolin. Now it is time for you to learn the katas of financial warfare. We will start with basic hostile takeover and continue with leveraged buyout, as well as the defensive art of the the poison pill..."
I don't know about that last one... the Ultimates don't look like a group that would shy away from a fight. If anything, they might learn conversational tactics which explicitly [i]start[/i] fights. Kicking your ass and curb-stomping your head means one less weakling to corrupt the great transhuman egopool.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
Arenamontanus wrote:
"Grasshopper 1.0, you have now mastered the forms of Krav Maga and Shaolin. Now it is time for you to learn the katas of financial warfare. We will start with basic hostile takeover and continue with leveraged buyout, as well as the defensive art of the the poison pill..."
Might I recommend the book [u]Confessions Of An Economic Hitman[/u]? While it could be said that the author may have overstated his role in things a bit, he does outline some excellent strategies for market manipulation that work well in Eclipse Phase games.
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
Decivre wrote:
I don't know about that last one... the Ultimates don't look like a group that would shy away from a fight. If anything, they might learn conversational tactics which explicitly [i]start[/i] fights. Kicking your ass and curb-stomping your head means one less weakling to corrupt the great transhuman egopool.
Why do you think a fight on the stock market is any less a fight than a fight with fists? It is all about controlling the costs and rewards of different actions so other's will behave as you want, preventing certain actions (i.e. coercion, to a greater or lesser degree), or destroying certain things. All the really good fighters I have encountered (or read about) tend to not pick fights. In real fights you have a high risk of being harmed, even if you are really good. The people with self-esteem issues, impulse control or too high zeal who do pick fights tend to weed themselves out regardless of skill levels. As I see the Ultimates, they want to be survivors. That means picking the fights *they* want, ensuring that they have all the advantages - the right ground, the right preparations, good intel, more skill and willingness to fight than the opponent and a way of escaping if things go wrong. And the fights serve the greater purpose of increasing *their* survival chances, not doing any altruistic clean-up service to the gene pool. Remember the advice that when running from a lion it is not important to run faster than the lion, only faster than the slowest member of the group. Ultimates want to ensure that they are always at least that fast, no matter what kind of lion-threat shows up. So I expect them to be versatile zen ninjas rather than samurai bad-asses.
Extropian
standard_gravity standard_gravity's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
Arenamontanus wrote:
Why do you think a fight on the stock market is any less a fight than a fight with fists?
I know your question wasn't directed at me, but I think there are differences. Having worked in the financial sector for some years, I know that although it can be a testosterone maxed, stressful and aggressive environment, it does not in essense compare to pub fights, assassinations or covert military operations. It compares better to an aggressive auction or fruit market than an army barracks or war zone. It is business, after all, and you play by rules (legal, market and customary) that are all too lacking in a fight/war. Sure, there are similarities in that both fist fights and stock market "fights" involve intense competition, ambition and, as I said, aggression (although not physical in the case of finance). But the nature of a "conflict" on a stock market, and the way in which it manifests itself, is hugely different in that it is not physically violent and "fought" by players who accept a cyclopean system of rules. But even if I concede your point (which I don't :)), I still don't see why ultimates would in any way be involved in the financial markets? Being sensible as they are, and picking their fights carefully, why would they venture into an area where they clearly are not the most likely to win? Lunar banks, Extropian financial institutions and other hypercorps will have a vast advantage over the ultimates. I believe the ultimates stick to their guns, literally speaking.
[img]http://boxall.no-ip.org/img/ext_userbar.jpg[/img] "People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes." - John Dee
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
Arenamontanus wrote:
Why do you think a fight on the stock market is any less a fight than a fight with fists? It is all about controlling the costs and rewards of different actions so other's will behave as you want, preventing certain actions (i.e. coercion, to a greater or lesser degree), or destroying certain things. All the really good fighters I have encountered (or read about) tend to not pick fights. In real fights you have a high risk of being harmed, even if you are really good. The people with self-esteem issues, impulse control or too high zeal who do pick fights tend to weed themselves out regardless of skill levels. As I see the Ultimates, they want to be survivors. That means picking the fights *they* want, ensuring that they have all the advantages - the right ground, the right preparations, good intel, more skill and willingness to fight than the opponent and a way of escaping if things go wrong. And the fights serve the greater purpose of increasing *their* survival chances, not doing any altruistic clean-up service to the gene pool. Remember the advice that when running from a lion it is not important to run faster than the lion, only faster than the slowest member of the group. Ultimates want to ensure that they are always at least that fast, no matter what kind of lion-threat shows up. So I expect them to be versatile zen ninjas rather than samurai bad-asses.
I see them as neither, being more akin to monk soldiers. They are militarized ascetics who live for a creed of social darwinism and human perfection. They strive to better themselves physically and mentally, all the while desiring to snuff out those they deem inferior, one way or another. As much as I am intrigued by their beliefs, one cannot help but make comparisons to the Third Reich. They too strive to produce perfect human beings at the cost of inferior ones. They too believe that a show of force is the straightest path to power and control. The difference being the lack of inherent racism; in a transhuman society, the Ultimates care less about one's birthplace, race or culture, and more about one's ideologies, political views, and philosophies. Moreover, they are not as philosophically tied to patriotism and national pride; Ultimates take pride in their own personal accomplishments, not those made as a group. In that sense, they are more akin to a cloister of like-minded individuals than an actual unified faction. They cooperate only to the degree that is necessary, but acknowledge achievements only on an individual scale. Lastly, they are intolerant to opposed views, and are probably the most politically radical group in the sense of social acceptance. They disregard the inner system as a herd of hedonist pigs ripe for slaughter, and they disregard the outer system as flocks of communist sheep for wolves to pick at. We don't even need to get into how they probably feel about bioconservatives, whose vehement avoidance of transhuman technologies can only be described as pure anathema to the Ultimates' way of life. Thematically speaking, the Ultimates represent the transhumanist philosophies that bioconservative groups fear. They don't have a "live and let live" mentality when it comes to those who refuse to use transhuman technologies. They don't believe that becoming transhuman should be a choice. They believe that artificial evolution is a mandatory act... one of our duties as an intelligent species. They are the manifest version of the transhuman political strawman, created as a mercenary force and ascetic order in the Eclipse Phase universe.
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King Shere King Shere's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
Andromeda is listed as a source of refrence, Ultimates have lots in common with Andromedas Nietzscheans. (Eugenics, Social Darwinism).
Quote:
[i]"Our people were meant to be living gods, warrior-poets who roamed the stars bringing civilization, not cowards and bullies who prey on the weak and kill each other for sport. " [/i] First Officer, Nietzschean Gaheris Rhade
Quote:
(When asked what he wanted,) [i]"The usual — hundreds of grandchildren, utter domination of the Known Worlds, and the pleasure of hearing that all my enemies have died in terrible, highly improbable accidents that cannot be connected to me." [/i] Sabra-Jaguar Pride Archduke Charlemagne Bolivar -Andromeda
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
standard_gravity wrote:
Arenamontanus wrote:
Why do you think a fight on the stock market is any less a fight than a fight with fists?
I know your question wasn't directed at me, but I think there are differences. Having worked in the financial sector for some years, I know that although it can be a testosterone maxed, stressful and aggressive environment, it does not in essense compare to pub fights, assassinations or covert military operations. It compares better to an aggressive auction or fruit market than an army barracks or war zone. It is business, after all, and you play by rules (legal, market and customary) that are all too lacking in a fight/war.
There are struggles that follow rules and struggles that ignore them. The first kind is preferable if you want to stay in the game indefinitely or have to care about outside considerations like your general reputation. If you start breaking the stock-market rules you get thrown out of that part of the economy, if you shoot a opponent who has surrendered you are a war criminal. Finance people usually want to keep to the first kind, but some like Bernard Madoff go over the edge. A sufficiently ruthless person might follow Clausewitz adage "War is an act of violence which in its application knows no bounds". In a physical fight, they will not hesitate to use the most appropriate means, even if they are deadly (I am strongly reminded of Ender in Orson Scott Card's books). In an economical, political or social situation they will not hesitate to use whatever underhanded tactics will get them what they want. The difference between the mere sociopath and the ideal ultimate is that the ultimate wants to play the long game. They want to win not just today but tomorrow and tomorrow. So they will consider what bridges it is strategic to burn, and what rules are worth to follow since they give access to useful systems. Like the Nietzscheans of Andromeda, I think one can interpret the ultimates in a lot of ways, and it is pretty unclear which is "right". Most likely the ultimates disagree on that too. Some might be violence-oriented, some might be pan-evolutionists who want to drag transhumanity kicking and screaming into the future, some might be ultra-survivalists, others yet self-made sociopaths or bizarre idealists. Just like the other clades the ultimates must be bristling with splinters.
Extropian
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
Arenamontanus wrote:
There are struggles that follow rules and struggles that ignore them. The first kind is preferable if you want to stay in the game indefinitely or have to care about outside considerations like your general reputation. If you start breaking the stock-market rules you get thrown out of that part of the economy, if you shoot a opponent who has surrendered you are a war criminal. Finance people usually want to keep to the first kind, but some like Bernard Madoff go over the edge. A sufficiently ruthless person might follow Clausewitz adage "War is an act of violence which in its application knows no bounds". In a physical fight, they will not hesitate to use the most appropriate means, even if they are deadly (I am strongly reminded of Ender in Orson Scott Card's books). In an economical, political or social situation they will not hesitate to use whatever underhanded tactics will get them what they want. The difference between the mere sociopath and the ideal ultimate is that the ultimate wants to play the long game. They want to win not just today but tomorrow and tomorrow. So they will consider what bridges it is strategic to burn, and what rules are worth to follow since they give access to useful systems. Like the Nietzscheans of Andromeda, I think one can interpret the ultimates in a lot of ways, and it is pretty unclear which is "right". Most likely the ultimates disagree on that too. Some might be violence-oriented, some might be pan-evolutionists who want to drag transhumanity kicking and screaming into the future, some might be ultra-survivalists, others yet self-made sociopaths or bizarre idealists. Just like the other clades the ultimates must be bristling with splinters.
I don't think the Ultimates care about being war criminals or outcasts of the rest of society. They already are a radical group with radical beliefs, especially with how they look down on the rest of humanity. To that end, this is exactly why the hypercorps hire them as mercenaries. Hypercorps have the resources and manpower to do their own dirty work and security, but they hire the Ultimates because they don't have the moral compunctions and protocols that their own employees have. They don't choose sides, they don't care who they hurt, and they don't care how they do it. They are pragmatists to the core, who see mercenary work as a means of taking lives and resources from people they already don't like... two birds with one stone. I agree that the Ultimates are interpretable, but there's only a certain degree to which they can be interpreted. At best, you can ignore individual memes, or even a couple of them... but to completely work in opposition to the groups primary goals (like participating in the stock market as opposed to a life of asceticism) seems off. Ultimates are disgusted with the hedonistic ways of the inner system, and that includes their economy. Profit isn't the aim of the Ultimates, even when they work as mercenaries. They use mercenary work to kill those who are inferior while also siphoning their resources away from them (and perhaps using those resources to better their bodies and improve their weapon stores). I don't see why they would care about the stock market in any way. At best they threaten to crash the economy with enough work, but it would require long amounts of time and a depression is not a guaranteed way to topple their social orders. To that end, I think that the core tenet of militarism is actually an offshoot of their social darwinistic beliefs. Any means of pushing forward the development of man is a good means, and eliminating those who hold progress back is one way of doing so. That doesn't necessarily mean that all of the Ultimates are like-minded in how they should go about their goals, but they all at least acknowledge that their final goal is the perfection of the human condition. Anything that detracts from that is useless. More of my opinion on the matter is a few posts up.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
King Shere wrote:
Andromeda is listed as a source of refrence, Ultimates have lots in common with Andromedas Nietzscheans. (Eugenics, Social Darwinism).
They do, but the Ultimates are lacking the familial bonds that the Nietzscheans had. They are individualists who don't necessarily take pride in reproduction. Ultimates care less about sense of family and more about sense of self. They are anything but the cluster of cooperative families that the Nietzscheans are. The Ultimates would agree with many of their beliefs, but still scoff at them for being communist fools who do not see that human perfection is a personal path that everyone has to work at on their own, while relying on themselves. The Ultimates are what the Nietzscheans might have been if they were immortals who had no need for passing their genetics onto a new generation. Each individual would be their own pride.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
Decivre wrote:
I don't think the Ultimates care about being war criminals or outcasts of the rest of society.
You can still be a ruthless mercenary without being a total outcast. Being an outcast means you have no access to the resources of society. If nobody wants to let you into their habitat, trade with you or tell you things you are seriously hampered since stealing or sneaking around under false ID takes effort. An ultimate fraction that didn't make themselves persona non grata would get better deals and more options for how they go about their own goals (hypercorps and others also likely prefer to hire mercenaries who have an incentive not to rip them off). As we discussed in the infomorph habitat thread, there is a great deal of advantage in being linked to greater transhuman society almost no matter what your ideology is.
Decivre wrote:
I agree that the Ultimates are interpretable, but there's only a certain degree to which they can be interpreted. At best, you can ignore individual memes, or even a couple of them... but to completely work in opposition to the groups primary goals (like participating in the stock market as opposed to a life of asceticism) seems off. Ultimates are disgusted with the hedonistic ways of the inner system, and that includes their economy.
You seem to think that the ultimates were in the stock market to become rich, and that they were going to use the wealth to just roll around in piles of money. But money (and rep) are just resources, and they can be used for ascetic ends too. If you want to build something like Xiphos or design radical new morphs, you need resources. Whatever your brand of survivalism, having some extra resources is useful. And if you want to be able to stomp on your enemies, attacking them economically can be pretty effective (the PCs are expecting an attack and are holed up in an impenetrable fortress. Then the lawyers start to arrive with subpoenas...) I have looked at everything that is mentioned in the core book about the Ultimates, and nothing there seems to force ultimates to piously stay away from using money or being flexible about the means they use. They are militarist and ascetic, sure, but they are also individualists and believers in social Darwinism. In fact, they get a bonus to one Networking skill of choice - if they were uninterested in occasionally dealing with the rest of transhumanity on civil terms, that wouldn't make sense. I do not see anything that makes my pragmatist take on ultimates incompatible with what is written.
Extropian
standard_gravity standard_gravity's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
I agree. You won't be militaristic or ascetic for very long if you battle everyone just for the hell of it. You will simply be dead. To survive and prosper you have to chose your fights carefully, and strike at the right place and target at the right time. Making yourself an enemy of the world at large will not enable you to do so.
[img]http://boxall.no-ip.org/img/ext_userbar.jpg[/img] "People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes." - John Dee
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
Arenamontanus wrote:
You can still be a ruthless mercenary without being a total outcast. Being an outcast means you have no access to the resources of society. If nobody wants to let you into their habitat, trade with you or tell you things you are seriously hampered since stealing or sneaking around under false ID takes effort. An ultimate fraction that didn't make themselves persona non grata would get better deals and more options for how they go about their own goals (hypercorps and others also likely prefer to hire mercenaries who have an incentive not to rip them off). As we discussed in the infomorph habitat thread, there is a great deal of advantage in being linked to greater transhuman society almost no matter what your ideology is.
To an extent, they are already outcasts for their radical beliefs. Most people seem to perceive them as immoral, fascists or elitists... and that's before they do anything to them. However, people simply can't refuse their patronage, because the Ultimates seem to be the faction-neutral mercenary force that people go to when they need military assistance. They are in a peculiar position of power, as lesser groups and isolates know that the Ultimates will assist them so long as they are willing to pay. Hypercorps know that they're willing to do the dirty work that their own employees might fear doing (like retaking the Eris gate from the Exhumans). In a sense, it grants them a degree of political immunity. Of course, that only goes so far. The Ultimates should be smart enough to know that it would only take a few antimatter weapons to annihilate everything they have worked up to until now. They know that they have to continue to present themselves as a worthwhile commodity to the rest of the system, if they plan to be as intolerable as they are. That doesn't mean they need to work toward acceptance, though.
Arenamontanus wrote:
You seem to think that the ultimates were in the stock market to become rich, and that they were going to use the wealth to just roll around in piles of money. But money (and rep) are just resources, and they can be used for ascetic ends too. If you want to build something like Xiphos or design radical new morphs, you need resources. Whatever your brand of survivalism, having some extra resources is useful. And if you want to be able to stomp on your enemies, attacking them economically can be pretty effective (the PCs are expecting an attack and are holed up in an impenetrable fortress. Then the lawyers start to arrive with subpoenas...) I have looked at everything that is mentioned in the core book about the Ultimates, and nothing there seems to force ultimates to piously stay away from using money or being flexible about the means they use. They are militarist and ascetic, sure, but they are also individualists and believers in social Darwinism. In fact, they get a bonus to one Networking skill of choice - if they were uninterested in occasionally dealing with the rest of transhumanity on civil terms, that wouldn't make sense. I do not see anything that makes my pragmatist take on ultimates incompatible with what is written.
I agree that they don't stay away from money, I just saw the movement of the stock market as something they probably would care very little about. If they did, however, they might take a more... proactive approach. There are two ways to make money on the market... predict how things will fall, or make them fall in your favor. I see any Ultimates who do work with stocks doing the latter, manipulating the market to earn optimum profits, and utilize those profits for Ultimate goals and agendas. Example: a new shipping hypercorp is formed which offers fast travel from the inner system to the Oort cloud. An Ultimate market watcher on Progress takes notice, and Xiphos transfers him credits to buy up as much stock as he can. Afterwards, the Ultimates offer their security services, and the hypercorp gains reputation as being a safe and secure means of transporting product and people throughout the Solar system. Eventually, profits cap and the company has reached the apex of it's worth to the Ultimates. The Ultimates pull their security support, claiming that the hypercorp can handle its own security at this point. They immediately begin talks to liquidate the stocks they have to whomever wants to buy them. Rather than taking credit, they barter away the stocks for weapons blueprints and vast ammunition stores. Mere hours after the deals have been finalized and the Ultimates have made off with their prize, emergency reports about company ships losing control and heading into the Sun reach the Consortium. Several days later, further reports come in of ships in the Oort cloud losing their thrusters and heading uncontrollably out of the system for parts unknown, just before comms go dead. Stocks for the hypercorp plummet, and not enough salvage from the ships exist to implicate any group for malicious acts
standard_gravity wrote:
I agree. You won't be militaristic or ascetic for very long if you battle everyone just for the hell of it. You will simply be dead. To survive and prosper you have to chose your fights carefully, and strike at the right place and target at the right time. Making yourself an enemy of the world at large will not enable you to do so.
It's not about fighting mindlessly, but the Ultimates are a group with a definite goal and purpose in mind. They definitely have plans, aims and goals that they work to. They may work towards those goals subtly when it suits them, but I'd imagine that the Ultimates are not a group that normally can be described with the word "subtle".
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
weavermount weavermount's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
About rep again real quick, I'm also in favor of thinking that the ultimates aren't coherent enough as a political force to have a rep-system of there own. However If they started forming that political block, and amassing the infrastructure to form a real axis THAT would be a great plot hook
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Ultimates and Reputation
weavermount wrote:
About rep again real quick, I'm also in favor of thinking that the ultimates aren't coherent enough as a political force to have a rep-system of there own. However If they started forming that political block, and amassing the infrastructure to form a real axis THAT would be a great plot hook
Still, you'd think that they might have a solidified presence in one of the pre-existing rep systems. I'd imagine it'd be CivicNet (since hypercorps are the most common customer for their mercenary duties), but I figured I'd ask for the sake of finding out what others might think.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]