Ultimates & Mercurial Beings

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Unity Unity's picture
Ultimates & Mercurial Beings
Well, I just got done reading the Uranus portion of Rimward, with all of the tasty information on the Ultimates and their attitudes and structures. Great stuff, guys! Kinda scary, but I can see why it would appeal in an environment where people can make themselves objectively more competent than others with enough effort and access to resources. One thing I've been wondering about though, which was not addressed there, is the question of how they'd handle and view Uplifts and infolife. Obviously they don't have a monolithic bloc of opinion going on here, but I'd like to know if anyone had some insight into the matter.
Decivre Decivre's picture
The only real reference for
The only real reference for AGI I saw was in the section on Aspis, where it talks about how AGI are not permitted on the station. Whether that is because of a wide distrust of advanced AI among the Ultimates, or a specific rule for Aspis, I cannot say. As much as I would like to portray them as relatively tolerant, I don't think this is the case. Part of me says that the Ultimates have a wide sense of discrimination against these clearly non-human entities. It might be a rather secret discrimination, however… an unspoken disdain among the Ultimates.
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]
Patrick Northedgers Patrick Northedgers's picture
Consideration of corebook Ultimate faction choice
Considering that choosing Ultimate faction precluded you from taking an uplift morph ("May not start with Flat, Splicer, uplift, or pod morphs" - Corebook p. 134) suggests that they do have an issue with uplifts, or at the very least, consider uplift bodies inferior (maybe something along "You should grow as a trans[b]human[/b]"; on the other hand, there is no ban on synthetic bodies). As for AGIs, there indeed is a mention about them being banned on Aspis - which can be simply a PR move ("We are very much against AI research") - after all, combining Ultimates ideology of growth with AGIs leads straight to seed AIs.
"Normal" does not exist anymore. I consider it a good symptom, though.
Re-Laborat Re-Laborat's picture
I've seen at least one Uplift
I've seen at least one Uplift character using Second Skin and the Ultimate faction...a neo-raven sleeved into a Ripwing. Certainly NOT the norm. There is a bit of fiction regarding said character in the last issue of The Eye.
Unity Unity's picture
Yeah, the Aspis thing was
Yeah, the Aspis thing was actually what inspired me to ask; it gave an odd impression that wasn't mentioned again anywhere else.
NewAgeOfPower NewAgeOfPower's picture
It does sorta fit in
If you think of the Ultimates as people who strive for Transhuman growth... And are opposed to inhuman competition. They're kinda like the Jovians in a way, I suppose. I did like the Uplifted Ultimate in the Eye's issue number 4 (I think it was issue 4, yes?). Interesting psychosurgical challenge as well, although I'd think an Ultimate would be far more paranoid, and revert to a backup simply to avoid hidden triggers.
As mind to body, so soul to spirit. As death to the mortal man, so failure to the immortal. Such is the price of all ambition.
Patrick Northedgers Patrick Northedgers's picture
Opposition
That would put the at odds with mercurials, but not every uplift and AGI is mercurial - quite the opposite, most of them are rather human-like, trying to blend in (forced antrhopomorphisation of their mind is a great factor here, of course). Indeed, there is a neo-raven Ultimate in fiction, with pretty fleshed out psyche, fitting an Ultimate. I can imagine an Ultimate whose way to perfection leads thorough mastering several forms, including more challenging ones - a pod, some unusual uplift, a swarmanoid, maybe? Or would that be against Ultimate logic?
"Normal" does not exist anymore. I consider it a good symptom, though.
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re-Laborat wrote:I've seen at
Re-Laborat wrote:
I've seen at least one Uplift character using Second Skin and the Ultimate faction...a neo-raven sleeved into a Ripwing. Certainly NOT the norm. There is a bit of fiction regarding said character in the last issue of The Eye.
But the Eye is player-made material; it does not necessarily have to fit with canon. Plus at the time that material was written, there was little info available regarding the Ultimates.
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]
Xagroth Xagroth's picture
I'd say that the Ultimates
I'd say that the Ultimates consider certain types of morphs either sub-par (like the flat) or irrelevant when it comes to a starting character (in the case of the pods or uplifted). As for their views on the egos with another origin than human, then we have to consider that unless they do a very thorough mental scan, it is relatively easy to join the faction as "human". I doubt they are human-only, thought. Self-supperation is important to everybody, after all, and a strive for perfection is meaningless without variety (or not as efficient). That being said, there can be factions who see better (or worst) the joining of non-human sapients to the faction. Milk it for more interesting histories!
Re-Laborat Re-Laborat's picture
Decivre wrote:Re-Laborat
Decivre wrote:
Re-Laborat wrote:
I've seen at least one Uplift character using Second Skin and the Ultimate faction...a neo-raven sleeved into a Ripwing. Certainly NOT the norm. There is a bit of fiction regarding said character in the last issue of The Eye.
But the Eye is player-made material; it does not necessarily have to fit with canon. Plus at the time that material was written, there was little info available regarding the Ultimates.
Which is why I stated the provenance. However, from what I recall, I don't see much trouble with the new material (in fact the added Indian elements fit rather well with what she was doing, I think). I was inserting it more as an 'I have seen it done, and done with style in a fashion that seemed to fit the setting.' comment, if that wasn't clear, not some attempt to establish 'There is RAW for it!' (although technically, it's easily doable with RAW, using Second Skin, so in that sense there IS...But simply because one can do something with the rules doesn't always mean one should).
Decivre Decivre's picture
Xagroth wrote:I'd say that
Xagroth wrote:
I'd say that the Ultimates consider certain types of morphs either sub-par (like the flat) or irrelevant when it comes to a starting character (in the case of the pods or uplifted). As for their views on the egos with another origin than human, then we have to consider that unless they do a very thorough mental scan, it is relatively easy to join the faction as "human".
If you have an intent to join them, then deep mental scans are a possibility. AGI are forbidden on Aspis (which would be an odd rule if there were AGI members of the Ultimates), and uplifts are forbidden for bodies. I think this was an intentional misinteraction of the background and faction mechanics, for the purpose of forbidding those character types (for the same reason you wouldn't want to allow a Jovian Infolife, despite the fact that it isn't [i]explicitly forbidden[/i] in the character creation rules; the same is true for Jovian Uplifts if you take the Second Skin trait).
Xagroth wrote:
I doubt they are human-only, thought. Self-supperation is important to everybody, after all, and a strive for perfection is meaningless without variety (or not as efficient). That being said, there can be factions who see better (or worst) the joining of non-human sapients to the faction. Milk it for more interesting histories!
Actually, I made an interesting argument in one of the IC threads about how genetic heterogeneity is no longer necessary when evolution is no longer natural. A varied gene pool is helpful when we rely on mother nature to guide our development, but not so much when we are doing it ourselves. And if they have one specific view of what is "perfect", then the gradual elimination of variety is an inevitable part of the process. It's kind of a tough thing. It's like with Jovian Uplifts and AGI. [i]Technically[/i], you can make such a character in accordance with the rules. But does it really make sense?
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]
Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Decivre wrote:Actually, I
Decivre wrote:
Actually, I made an interesting argument in one of the IC threads about how genetic heterogeneity is no longer necessary when evolution is no longer natural. A varied gene pool is helpful when we rely on mother nature to guide our development, but not so much when we are doing it ourselves. And if they have one specific view of what is "perfect", then the gradual elimination of variety is an inevitable part of the process. It's kind of a tough thing. It's like with Jovian Uplifts and AGI. [i]Technically[/i], you can make such a character in accordance with the rules. But does it really make sense?
Caught you there, Ego variety was what I had in mind (thus the use of "sapients", like the Autonomists do), not genetical one :P Anyway, I agree that absolute perfection is an estatic state of being, where all your actions are not only predictable but preordained, because while there are lots of ways of doing stuff, the number decreases the more efficient you want to be, until you reach perfection: kinda like climbing a mountain... which is, funny enough, the usual comparison :P In fact, I remember that one of the tactics to beat Deep Blue at chess was to use suboptimal movements, to force the computer to calculate the moves tree from scratch every time (it was timed chess). Quantum-Fu ftw! :P
Decivre Decivre's picture
Xagroth wrote:Caught you
Xagroth wrote:
Caught you there, Ego variety was what I had in mind (thus the use of "sapients", like the Autonomists do), not genetical one :P
Even then, variety does not necessarily have all the advantages. Which is better, one ego that knows everything, or a million egos that know one millionth of everything? Do note, you can fork that one ego that knows everything a million times, in theory. :D
Xagroth wrote:
Anyway, I agree that absolute perfection is an estatic state of being, where all your actions are not only predictable but preordained, because while there are lots of ways of doing stuff, the number decreases the more efficient you want to be, until you reach perfection: kinda like climbing a mountain... which is, funny enough, the usual comparison :P In fact, I remember that one of the tactics to beat Deep Blue at chess was to use suboptimal movements, to force the computer to calculate the moves tree from scratch every time (it was timed chess). Quantum-Fu ftw! :P
The problem is that people often have different definitions of the concept of perfection. I have no doubt that the Ultimates will have varying interpretations of what the concept means with regards to how they hone themselves as well. But that's why competitive individualism is embedded into the Ultimate mindset; they don't determine perfection by debate, but by actually putting their bodies and minds to the test. The survivor of any scuffle is clearly the fittest, and the closest to the ideal of perfection between two competitors.
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]