Weak and strong spots in the rules

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Kjetilkverndokken Kjetilkverndokken's picture
Weak and strong spots in the rules

Its been to long since I lat was a GM in EP - and have gotten a hold of the 3rd printing pdf of the core (the errata shows a lot of difference from my physical Core book)

As I only had the oppertunity the host a few oneshots I've never gotten to see the real downsides in the system or its strongest points.

I could convert it to Savage World or Fate (which I love) - but have decided I want to use the actual system.

So whats the strongest points in EP's mechanics and its weakest (why, examples - how to work with flaws without needing to houserule (very important)), etc.

Thanks in advance.

The Eternal Story Guide

nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
The mechanics are very simple

The mechanics are very simple and fast, but depend heavily on the GM guiding things appropriately. The system can be easily gamed by any rules monkey (but in many missions, that won't help you very much). As a GM, the derangements rules frustrate me, because I need to think of an appropriate one up 'on the fly'. It can be hard to 'know the world' without some degree of back-knowledge or research.

Lalande21185 Lalande21185's picture
Weaknesses

The big weakness of Eclipse Phase is that it is a densly written system that has many parts that vastly change how the game plays and are easy to overlook or forget. Some examples out of many:

1. Moxie can be used to increase a success to a critical, which automatically win opposed tests such as combat.
2. Plasma rifles overheat in vacuum. Everyone overlooks the in vacuum part.
3. Called shots to bypass armor need a MoS 30+ to succeed and may be disallowed on heavily armored opponents.
4. If you are in a transitional economy and you use rep to acquire an item, you may still have to pay credits.
5. MoS 30+ gives +5 damage in combat and MoS 60+ gives +10 damage.
6. Wounds and Trauma have to be inflicted with one shot.
7. You can gain a +60 on some tests just by taking extra time.

Other weaknesses:
1. Rep refresh can be horrible to keep track of, especially if you don't carefully track time.
2. Armor can be stacked high enough to stop most small arms. Remembering the use of moxie to upgrade success to critical, the concentrated beam weapon or full automatic rules, and the increased damage with MoS rules can help with this.
3. Conversely, heavy armor can be worthless as PCs call shots to bypass armor (moxie to bypass armor is not much of a problem as it depletes a finite resource). Remembering that some armor cannot be bypassed with called shots (especially if using hollow-point ammo but that is just me :) ) and that called shots have to have a MoS 30+ (combined with the use of cover and other hit probability reducers) helps with this.
4. Some have complained about the death spiral. Remembering that wounds/traumas have to be inflicted with one hit and the numerous ways to reduce wound/trauma penalties (Grin, Medichines, Orbital Hash, etc.) helps with this.

Kjetilkverndokken Kjetilkverndokken's picture
So big weaknesses is actually

So big weaknesses is actually overcome by using common sense when interpreting the rules :-)

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NewtonPulsifer NewtonPulsifer's picture
Not so much a weakness but

Not so much a weakness but added complexity is how skill points do and don't stack with attributes.

If I were GMing I'd be inclined to go with a straight addition of stat plus skill, and simply have the skill cutoffs at 20/40/60 to represent the 40/60/80 cutoffs. So if I have an INT of 15 and a Perception of 40, my total is 55. If I want to raise my Perception skill further, it costs 2 CP per point.

"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."- Isoroku Yamamoto

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
I'd say that the strongest

I'd say that the strongest and weaker point in the rules is derived from the Gear section: it is extremely easy to abuse it, something usually compensated with the egocasting needs when in Firewall missions or the logistical troubles derived from a Gatecrashing Campaign (however, anybody who has played Minecraft knows that, having certain mods in the game -Equivalent Exchange, for example- and items on you, you can quick start a base from scratch in no time).

An overlooked detail in the character and actions is that you can get you Muse's help for a +10 teamwork bonus in a lot of situations, or use a Ghostrider module with a fork of yourself (or several), or use several ectos with cheap Muse-like "AI" to reach the +30 Teamwork bonus roof.

Also, in combat there are some details we need to have into account: a Shredder is really deadly in a spaceship, or in cramped zones (in the "Beware the WMD" adventure, a friend took out 4 enemies in a single salvo inside the contrabandist's ship), but it loses a lot of its shine in open spaces.
Not to mention Stealth can be really deadly (the mentioned toon with chamaleonic implants and a knife took out 2 bored sentinels before the rest of the NPCs noticed something was wrong in the Mars excavation of that same adventure).

Oh, and explosives are cheap. And really dangerous in space. Getting undetected to critical junction points in a space station and blowing them open (separating it into modules) and sniping the stragglers who get out seems really practical...