When to veto a character idea?

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Monican Monican's picture
When to veto a character idea?
I'm starting a campaign next Friday, and I'm faced with not only being new to GMing but myself and all my players are new to EP. So it is almost impossible to tell what will be overpowered or underpowered. Frankly I think building new characters with 1000 CP is super overpowered (it's like starting D&D at level 6-8), but I'm doing everything the default by-the-book way to start with. After a few sessions I'll see what's broken and what works. One character idea I vetoed was a player who wanted to have two morphs, each controlled by an alpha fork. During character creation however he only bought skills once, for the "original", and bought two morphs to house the forks. However this looks like exploiting a loophole- he didn't have to pay for the second set of skills, yet he is functionally no different than someone who says "I will play 2 characters instead of 1" who simply have the same skills (but different gear and morphs). Was I right to veto this? I said if he really, really wants to have two forks in two separate morphs to play with, he'll have to do that in-game after we start, and then he'll have to contend with the illegality or social bias against that wasteful use of morphs (think of all those infugees who can't even get a pod!). Especially since he wanted the forks in a ghost and sylph morph, basically getting a stealth fighter and a diplomat character for the price of one skillset.
CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
A few things to note for characters of this type: When buying multiple Morphs at character creation you have to spend CP on all of them. You do not get to buy the second one with Credits. That means that multiple Morphs can be extremely expensive. In your example he can expect to be spending 110CP just on his basic Morphs. That is a lot of CP, especially if you play the game in such a way that your Morph is just equipment and there is a good chance they are going to die. Alpha forks are an extremely touchy subject to many people in the inner system. And that is just making them. Then putting them into a morph is a major social faux pas. You have a bit more leeway in the Outer System but it will still be seen as a waste of resources, especially with Titan suffering so much trying to provide Morphs to all of their citizens. Play that up. Alpha forks are their own people. If you do not want your player characters to be in control of them you are under no rules to do so. This is also true, although less so, of Beta forks. In fact the Core suggests that if a fork does deviate from the original ego that they be taken into the GM's control. So if you are really up to it, let him have both characters. But have you control the actions of the second, taking the players wishes only into consideration when deciding what he does. 1000 CP does indeed create fairly powerful characters, however it is designed for the default campaign of Firewall agents, who are supposed to be extremely well trained, extremely well equipped people with extremely dangerous missions to be done. If you want to play a lower level game you should feel free to have characters created with 900 or even 800 CP. And finally, you are the GM, it is your game, and although I do think that the GM should do everything in his power to facilitate a players choices sometimes they make decisions that are obviously not all that fair to the other players. The player is essentially going to have twice the time in the limelight as the rest of them. Is your group lacking in characters? Is he taking away from someone elses “special thing” by having two characters? If so, I think you are right to veto it.
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Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
Monican wrote:
Was I right to veto this?
There is even mentioned in the book in the fork section that you only get to play one fork. So having an extra alpha means that he just created an identical twin NPC. Generally, as a GM it is good to build trust with the players. They should trust you to be fair and produce interesting gaming, you should trust them to play along creatively. That does include occasionally pushing the boundaries by making fairly outrageous characters, but the goal must always be a better gaming experience, not getting more points. Characters that just get something for nothing are not interesting. So my rule for vetoing a character is: when it doesn't contribute anything to the game. Yes, 1000 points is potentially a lot. But more importantly, it allows *a lot* of freedom in design. EP characters can be very strange in unexpected directions.
Extropian
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
Remember that a core point of the game Eclipse Phase is to explore character concepts and ideas that are not possible in other settings and games. Forking and the use thereof is a key element of the game setting, and you might be preventing what could be a great game by stopping your players from exercising their freedoms in exploring these elements. It'd be like if during a game of D&D, the DM decided that he didn't like magic and therefore no one could play wizards... it's fine and good for any given campaign, but you might be missing out on something fun. Instead of prohibiting the character concept, why not try to make sure that he plays it right? Make sure he has a good cover story for the forks... like they are siblings, or best friends. Get each of them separate fake IDs. See if he sets up a merging schedule so they don't deviate too much... or perhaps they utilize a wireless connection so they can merge often. You might be surprised at how much thought he has put into it. One of my players has a character who has been affectionately named "Megatron". It owns 5 flexbots, which it usually keeps combined into one large robotic form. In major combat situations, however, it often forks itself, and allows each fork to take control of each flexbot independently, separating for the task at hand. It seems broken, but the character fits well within the framework of the setting, and is very interesting. You can be surprised at what your players may bring to the table.
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]
OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
Yes! You were right to Veto the character. If everyone at the table is playing two character's then that would be alowable but if he's the only one it's Smackdown time. It's simple enough for a player to make a character with a pair of synthmorps then handle the forking and merging in game. Even in that situation he still only play one at a time. [edit] the main reason I say this is because players playing multiple character's or forks tend to dominate game time. which is unfair to other players.

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
OneTrikPony wrote:
Yes! You were right to Veto the character. If everyone at the table is playing two character's then that would be alowable but if he's the only one it's Smackdown time. It's simple enough for a player to make a character with a pair of synthmorps then handle the forking and merging in game. Even in that situation he still only play one at a time. [edit] the main reason I say this is because players playing multiple character's or forks tend to dominate game time. which is unfair to other players.
The only time that multiple characters actually dominate the table's time is when you are playing a game (or a section of a game) that is separated into neat little chunks of time... like combat in EP. In almost all other cases, especially where story is present, there is no particular reason why multiple characters will take up more or less time. It's really all about player participation. But even in the case of singular characters, you can still dominate game time through the use of extra speed enhancements. Forking is only one example where the problem is present, when so many other factors contribute. For instance, one of the characters in one of my games gets 16 complex actions per full round of play, and therefore gets to do a whole lot more than anyone else at the table, irregardless of the fact that she is only one character. For frame of reference, a fully split Megatron gets only 5 complex actions a round (1 per flexbot). According to your logic, it's using up the most gametime, but my numbers disagree with you.
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]
Rhyx Rhyx's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
Quote:
In almost all other cases, especially where story is present, there is no particular reason why multiple characters will take up more or less time. It's really all about player participation.
I'm gonna have to disagree with you there. Two the characters means twice the action and twice the impact on the story so a person playing two characters will on average get twice the screen time because they be getting twice the stuff done. Then again to a lesser degree I also think the same way about characters with high initiative passe.
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
Rhyx wrote:
I'm gonna have to disagree with you there. Two the characters means twice the action and twice the impact on the story so a person playing two characters will on average get twice the screen time because they be getting twice the stuff done. Then again to a lesser degree I also think the same way about characters with high initiative passe.
It really depends on how much ACTUAL time you invest in the characters. If a player says "I fork myself, take over 100 bodies, and build a barricade", it takes up far less actual playtime than the team's diplomat having a full-on conversation with an NPC in-character (unless you force your players to roleplay out every single mundane action they do). They may be getting more done quicker, but the actual playtime investment is very, very small. In that same vein, your player is probably going to play both characters as an extension of one another, akin to the Wonder Twins; not so much as two characters, but rather like one character who happens to have two bodies. A long time ago, I was taught all the ins and outs of being a good DM/GM by an older player, who gave me plenty of guidelines to work by. One of my favorite of his guidelines was this: unless a player gives you reason to believe he is going to act like an asshole, it's safe to assume that a player isn't going to act like an asshole. If you're afraid that he's going to hog all the face-time, let him know. He'll probably make an effort to be an equal part of the story, rather than a greater part. Unless he has a history of douchebaggery, there's no particular reason to watch what he does. If he starts being a douchebag about it, you can fix it mid-campaign and solve the problem.
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]
OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
My concerns about dominating the table time with multiple characters are primarily centered around Roleplay rather than Action Phases. It's the in-character stuff that takes alot of time and is most taxing to the GM in my experience. Maybe I just happen to play with groups that empasize role play more than dice play. The other point that Decivre makes is a good one too. It's possible that a single character can also monopolize the turn system with multiple Action's per multiple Phases from a single morph. Which is yet another reason to disallow a single player at the table from playing multiple characters. I'm not against multiple characters. It's a good solution when you don't have enough players to get the job done but I am against letting one player have extra character's when the other's don't. (@ Decivre; how do you get 16 complex actions out of a single character? I coun't a maximum of 12 with 1 action & 2 mental actions in 4 action phases?)

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Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
OneTrikPony wrote:
My concerns about dominating the table time with multiple characters are primarily centered around Roleplay rather than Action Phases. It's the in-character stuff that takes alot of time and is most taxing to the GM in my experience. Maybe I just happen to play with groups that empasize role play more than dice play. The other point that Decivre makes is a good one too. It's possible that a single character can also monopolize the turn system with multiple Action's per multiple Phases from a single morph. Which is yet another reason to disallow a single player at the table from playing multiple characters. I'm not against multiple characters. It's a good solution when you don't have enough players to get the job done but I am against letting one player have extra character's when the other's don't. (@ Decivre; how do you get 16 complex actions out of a single character? I coun't a maximum of 12 with 1 action & 2 mental actions in 4 action phases?)
(By using either bonus action implant in combination with the multitasking psi sleight, while having 4 action phases. That means 1 normal complex action and 3 mental/mesh actions per action phase.) In roleplay, a player playing multiple forks of the same character is not going to necessarily take up more roleplay time at all. I can attest to this as a longtime player of Mutants and Masterminds, wherein which I've had many players who make characters that can duplicate (one such character had an upward limit of half-a-million). Most players will briefen any list of actions that all of their copies are making at any time, simply because handling that many copies is burdensome on the player as much as it is on the GM. The majority of the time, your player is likely going to be playing a single character at a time, alternating when the situation fits him (talking through one while the other does something in the background). But do note that there is nothing stopping the other players from having multiple characters. In fact, bodies in EP are more likened to equipment in other games... restricting someone's ability to have more than one is similar to telling them that they can only have one gun, or one computer at a time (especially with the computer, since all computers/ectos in EP can generally run forks). I'd recommend limiting things if abuse is ruining the game, but there's really no need for doing it prematurely. For frame of reference, this is coming from someone who has many players skirting the line of abuse. I have about 20 regular players, and of them I'm dealing with a utility combatant that uses 5 combinable robot bodies, a 24-armed octopus soldier that regularly wields 9 two-handed weapons at the same time, a hacker that forks himself into 50 ectos whenever he attacks a system, a swarmanoid assassin that utilizes contact nanotoxins, and an async that specializes in controlling people with a touch. Some people try to abuse the system, and some things just look like abuse while people try thinking outside the box. I find more of the latter than the former.
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]
icekatze icekatze's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
hi hi I would say that if you are uncertain about it as a GM, don't know how to handle the situation, it is perfectly reasonable to veto it. Perhaps once you've got some more play time under your belt you'll be more confident in the way the game works and be able to handle the situations that might arise from this. Personally, I would allow it and I would exercise my GM powers in deciding how the fork characters act and diverge from the goals of the player character's. But like I said, it isn't something I would expect someone who's not comfortable with the idea to dive into along with everything else. And besides, I find that actions taken in character and in game are generally more memorable than back story anyway.
OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
Decivre wrote:
For frame of reference, this is coming from someone who has many players skirting the line of abuse. I have about 20 regular players, and of them I'm dealing with a utility combatant that uses 5 combinable robot bodies, a 24-armed octopus soldier that regularly wields 9 two-handed weapons at the same time, a hacker that forks himself into 50 ectos whenever he attacks a system, a swarmanoid assassin that utilizes contact nanotoxins, and an async that specializes in controlling people with a touch. Some people try to abuse the system, and some things just look like abuse while people try thinking outside the box. I find more of the latter than the former.
I don't really have a problem with any of that. (Possibly excepting the 50 fork hacker; what's the point of that in the rules framework? And, assuming that the twentyfouctomorph has -30 when he attacks with all 9 weapons and only adds +1d10 for multiple melee attacks) :D None of those characters is actually two people. The hacker only forks when he's breaking into a system, the async only has 4 physical actions, the big bag of arms is still a single target for people with guns and can't really effectively target more than a couple other people. The Megatron character (why not one of the combiner's names?) is actually probably more limited than a bot jammer running 5 diferent shells and the swarmanoid is ineffective if he gets spread over more volume than a 10 meter cube. None of those character's is two people; none of them, AFAIK, are trying to fill two different roles in the party or be a one player team. :p And (what Icekatze said) none of them are playing with a brand new EP GM. :) [edited to add smiley's because sometimes sound like a jerk when I type. (how do you do that birf flipping smiley?)

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Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
OneTrikPony wrote:
I don't really have a problem with any of that. (Possibly excepting the 50 fork hacker; what's the point of that in the rules framework? And, assuming that the twentyfouctomorph has -30 when he attacks with all 9 weapons and only adds +1d10 for multiple melee attacks) :D
In effect, the hacker is a one-man botnet. By forking himself into 50 different copies on 50 different ectos, each containing their own hacking suite, he can better brute-force attack a system. The octomorph, when he switches to his melee weapons, gets +3d10 in melee combat, with a +30 bonus to defending himself (the maximum bonus on page 206). He doesn't get penalties for his first 6 shots, because he has ambidextrous 5 times. Even after his first 5 shots, he generally doesn't suffer penalties because of his choice of ammunition (he always uses zero rounds, which get a +10 bonus for every shot fired before them with zero rounds in the round).
OneTrikPony wrote:
None of those characters is actually two people. The hacker only forks when he's breaking into a system, the async only has 4 physical actions, the big bag of arms is still a single target for people with guns and can't really effectively target more than a couple other people. The Megatron character (why not one of the combiner's names?) is actually probably more limited than a bot jammer running 5 diferent shells and the swarmanoid is ineffective if he gets spread over more volume than a 10 meter cube. None of those character's is two people; none of them, AFAIK, are trying to fill two different roles in the party or be a one player team. :p And (what Icekatze said) none of them are playing with a brand new EP GM. :) [edited to add smiley's because sometimes sound like a jerk when I type. (how do you do that birf flipping smiley?)
The character that the player in question is portraying isn't playing two different characters either. Both of his characters have the same exact skillset, and he is only utilizing two bodies to partly fulfill two roles (in the context of the roles that his chosen bodies fulfill). If he had actually made two 1000-point characters, then this might be an issue... but the original post stated that he had only built a single character, spent points on two different bodies, and is utilizing them both. To me, this is no more grievous than anything my players are doing... and as I said, I've dealt with far worse in Mutants & Masterminds.
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]
Monican Monican's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
Another player submitted a character with Rep of 80 in one circle, and above 60 in two others. I pointed out that s/he'll be a major system-wide celebrity, which will make it extremely difficult to do anything secretly. I imagine Paris Hilton trying to go grocery shopping: people will be tweeting your pic and location, journalists/paparazzi will be mobbing you anytime you step out of your front door, hackers will be trying to break into your private comms to sell stuff to tabloids, and to maintain that rep you'll have to deal with all the people asking for favors/advice.
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
Monican wrote:
Another player submitted a character with Rep of 80 in one circle, and above 60 in two others. I pointed out that s/he'll be a major system-wide celebrity, which will make it extremely difficult to do anything secretly. I imagine Paris Hilton trying to go grocery shopping: people will be tweeting your pic and location, journalists/paparazzi will be mobbing you anytime you step out of your front door, hackers will be trying to break into your private comms to sell stuff to tabloids, and to maintain that rep you'll have to deal with all the people asking for favors/advice.
It also allows them the possibility of playing a celebrity that leads a double-life, like Tony Stark or Zorro. That's not necessarily a broken concept at all. Technology makes it very possible that he could very well pull this off... switching to his sentinel morph whenever he leaves his loft to do Firewall missions, utilizing an unregistered skinflex system if you only have one morph (could be masked to look like medichines to any nano-scan), and other similar techniques could be used help live this facade. It's not an impossibility, considering that firewall hires on anyone they think has the skills or resources to help their cause (and a rich man likely has the resources part down pat).
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]
CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
Decivre wrote:
It also allows them the possibility of playing a celebrity that leads a double-life, like Tony Stark or Zorro. That's not necessarily a broken concept at all. Technology makes it very possible that he could very well pull this off... switching to his sentinel morph whenever he leaves his loft to do Firewall missions, utilizing an unregistered skinflex system if you only have one morph (could be masked to look like medichines to any nano-scan), and other similar techniques could be used help live this facade. It's not an impossibility, considering that firewall hires on anyone they think has the skills or resources to help their cause (and a rich man likely has the resources part down pat).
This. Reputation is tied directly to identity. If they are working as a Firewall agent they are going to have access to some of the very best forgers in the entire system. The only time I can really see it being an issue is when that person wants to use their reputation to benefit Firewall missions, and even then they can just keep it on the down low and take the networking modifier hit. As long as they keep a good folder filled with mission identities they should be fine.
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CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
Edit: Double Post. Forums are really acting up today.
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OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
Celebrity only happens with F-rep. There are some cross-faction implications of Rep. Einstein always had R-rep but at the end he had F-rep because his ideas were published to the public and available via an F-rep networking test. So if you have a High g-rep no one knows who you are unless they have the Networking:criminal skill. Other than that your high @,C,E,g, or R rep doesn't make you famous untill it bleeds over and you get some rep in another network for haveing such a high (other) rep. I know that doesn't make alot of sence but it's best to play it this way. No one knows what your (Faction)-rep stat is unless they have the Networking:(Same Faction) skill. Once a character's (Faction)-rep reaches a certain point (I'd say 80 - 100) any further rep gains in that faction's network probably bleed over to a different faction. So You're Einstein and your R-rep score is 82 and you have a wonderous idea that you tell people about. Your game master could award you some @,F or C -rep in addition to or instead of R-rep. Probably the reason that rep is capped at 80 for starting characters is that they're not famous *yet*

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Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
CodeBreaker wrote:
This. Reputation is tied directly to identity. If they are working as a Firewall agent they are going to have access to some of the very best forgers in the entire system. The only time I can really see it being an issue is when that person wants to use their reputation to benefit Firewall missions, and even then they can just keep it on the down low and take the networking modifier hit. As long as they keep a good folder filled with mission identities they should be fine.
Plus, there's the possibility that a celebrity could use their resources to help mask the actions of Firewall. For instance, he might make his sentinel team pose as his security detail as he travels on "vacation" (which turns out to be the location of a potential existential threat). Maybe he lures a suspect to a more controllable scenario by inviting him to a major gala. Maybe he signs a few autographs for the guards so they don't scan the case full of weapons that he's bringing in. The options are vast.
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]
CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
@OneTrik. I disagree. F-Rep is not the measure of fame (little f), it is a measure of how well known they are among the media/socialites/artists/hypercorp glitterati). It might be called Fame (big f), but that doesn't mean anything. Actors would have a good F-Rep, as would people like Paris Hilton. A Sentinel with a high i-Rep will be famous (little f) among Firewall, or at least as famous as one can be among a super secret cabal of paranoid spies dedicated to keeping their identities a mystery. A fiction example would be James Bond. Although people among spy community are aware of who he is, the general public does not. A Scientist with a high r-Rep will be famous (little f) among other scientists and researchers. I do not think Einstein is a particularly good example here, a better one might be Carl Sagan. Anyone who has any interest in science has probably at least heard of him (and I imagine many have read a few of his books.) Although he was fairly well known he was not quite a celebrity. A more modern example might be deGrasse Tyson. An example of someone with a reasonably high r-Rep AND F-Rep might be Dawkins (at least right now). Many people who have no real interest at all in science are well aware of who Dawkins is.
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OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
I think we might be saying the same thing CodeBreaker. It doesn't matter how big your C,E,g,or R rep is you dont get BigF or littlef famous outside of that network. I have a little interest in sceience but I have no real Researchnet networking skill. If I've heard of a scientist its because they've been in the media, the Fame network has buzzed about them. They've been on TV like DeGrass-Tyson or they've published books you can buy at Barnes and Noble like Sagan, or they've had a mention on gizmag.com. I'm sure there were white papers floating around this afternoon that will have a bunch of eggheads talking and e-mailing all weekend and someone just make a point of R-rep but I'll never hear about it. Because I don't have any Researchnet skill. The Fame network is the biggest network in EP Every one has access to the Fame network It's a cross faction network. Because that's what the fame network does. It makes people with F-rep famous. So you don't get Cross-Faction Famous unless you have F-rep and you get F-rep by getting buzzed about on the Fame-Network.

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fafromnice fafromnice's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
I think you all forget about this little phrase : after one week we can assume that two different fork are now two different person ... the idea is simple outside stimulus will change, if you are two times in the same room you can't be at the same place (who said paradox or Ghost module ?) so with this logic you (x2) will not see(ears, smells, touched) the same thing two times but only one ... after a time personnality will changes and this is when your problem is resolve :P imagine that your are in a fire fight and your fork thinks it's not a good idea to keep fighting and run away ... now the shit it the fan, your fork really think you are a jerk and put a bullet in your sttack, surrender to your ennemis and survive ... back stabed by yourself, what a Shame ! (and what a great future Nemesis for the player) massive forking it's not well see in the solar system (the core book talk about it some where) and technically your player and their pers are direct product of there society, What if another player (say Jovian) don't like to be in the same room of another player or "she" finds love in the fork but not in the first ego (after all they are no longer the same) will this create jalousy ? or maybe hate ? and if it was the fork who want to have the familly, will it be a crime ? "Eeeeeh I'm sorry officer. I was cleaning my gun when i shot myself !" and if your fork mess really great to handle a single task and begin bitching your rep score ? if your fork are infected by Exurgent ... or worst you ! Did "he/it" become the new you ? think about this : Who wants to die ? does your fork want to ? and if it see merging like a little dead ? does it will backup himself ? the way i see it, forking it's great to handle short terme problem but when it comes to more time than a week you can have some nasty surprise when you come home

What do you mean a butterfly cause this ? How a butterfly can cause an enviromental system overload on the other side of a 10 000 egos habitat ?

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
fafromnice wrote:
I think you all forget about this little phrase : after one week we can assume that two different fork are now two different person ...
It never says that in the book. After one week, merging is not going to be smooth, but this is not simply because you are talking about two different people. Two different people can't merge period.
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]
fafromnice fafromnice's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
my point was more like a fork will eventually stop thinking like is "first" ego and at this point you can play with some funny situation, it is why it's more difficult merging with a fork one week old and more

What do you mean a butterfly cause this ? How a butterfly can cause an enviromental system overload on the other side of a 10 000 egos habitat ?

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
fafromnice wrote:
my point was more like a fork will eventually stop thinking like is "first" ego and at this point you can play with some funny situation, it is why it's more difficult merging with a fork one week old and more
Actually, I think the reason that merging forks becomes difficult has more to do with overlapping memories than a difference in personality. Imagine it. In one weeks time, two merged forks will have two sets of memories for every moment in the past week. That's 336 collective hours of memory data, crammed into 168 hours of memory space. Every time you try to remember a specific moment in your day, you'd likely be recalling two different moments at two different locations, that happened at the same time and day. I'd be surprised if that [i]didn't[/i] cause some mild problems.
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]
fafromnice fafromnice's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
I see it more like the creation of a new way of neurone i'm not sure it will be understand well but I'll do my best I fork myself. My two fork are put in the same situation but thes don't know that . The first fork decide to fight, the second to flee ... for a given situation a "identical" individu have two different reaction and this reaction will developpe new path way in the brain of each fork, this pathway will mutiply after a number of "same situation with other result" and at the end we will have to different individus so Ok we don't know what really happen and it's mostly a GM choice but ... no, no but :P and in the same idea I don't understand why i find depressing the idea of a tranhumanity make by multiple forking

What do you mean a butterfly cause this ? How a butterfly can cause an enviromental system overload on the other side of a 10 000 egos habitat ?

Rhyx Rhyx's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
Decivre I see your point but as far as I understand the way memory works it's not really an exact thing unless you have an eidetic memory (which we know they can recreate using both technology and bioware) But as we know now memory is a bit more of a simulation of events than a recall of facts. When you remember something it's actually more like you are simulating it in your head. So there's not really any kind of time date stamps involved (which is why eyewitness reports are notoriously bad evidence. If the police leads the witness even just a tiny bit they can ruin the evidence and from there on out the person will remember the event differently. This subtle leading of the suspect is why it is possible for people to give written confessions even if they in fact have not committed the crime.) So rather than being a rigid index of information it's actually more of a loose feeling of what "Saturday night" feels like. Actually having an eidetic memory or actual time indexes on memories might make it easier to sort them out in cases for fork re-integration. So there no real memory space allocation like you describe, but the fact that memory is such a loose thing is actually even more dangerous because the events will seem to have happened simultaneously and the brain may prioritize one memory set as dominant and integrate the other as event that occurred within the main timeline. So it gives you a recall that looks like this: "I was out jogging and said hello to my schoolmate who passed me by then the professor asked me a question and I didn't know the answer. There was this lady in front of me with these dogs on many leashes and they were barking, so I couldn't hear the professor. Finally someone else got the question right and I was listening closely because I knew it would be on the exam. Luckily for me the lady with the dogs took a left at the fountain so the dog's barking stopped. I could finally listen to the prof talk." While actually what happened is that the guy's beta fork was taking a class at the same time that the ego was taking a jog. So even worst than forgetting events the events may become inter mixed to give a nonsensical memory that's a synthesis of both events , giving rise to an outright lie that will be the person's perception of truth.
OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
memory loss due to forking might also be due to a fairly mechanical problem. Each clone has exactly the same neurons in exactly the same patterns with exactly the same connections to other neurons. If they go and have different experiences with different memories when you try to merge them you'll probably run into the problem of different memories being "recorded" on the same neurons in each fork. Since memory is contextual to a person's entire experience simply adding more neurons or new connections probably has very limited utility so in the psychosurgury test for merging somebody is choosing which memories are written in and which aren't.

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
OneTrikPony wrote:
memory loss due to forking might also be due to a fairly mechanical problem. Each clone has exactly the same neurons in exactly the same patterns with exactly the same connections to other neurons. If they go and have different experiences with different memories when you try to merge them you'll probably run into the problem of different memories being "recorded" on the same neurons in each fork. Since memory is contextual to a person's entire experience simply adding more neurons or new connections probably has very limited utility so in the psychosurgury test for merging somebody is choosing which memories are written in and which aren't.
Exactly what I think is the problem. Over time, more neurons are produced... and when two forks are merged, the psychosurgeon must properly map the neurons so that they don't overlap, and they are still connected properly to the neural network. Of course, I do have problems with the nature of mnemonic enhancements, which should make overlapping forks an easier affair to handle with little to no memory loss (all memories are digitally recorded, so many memories can simply be stored on drive rather than in neuron).
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OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
Decivre wrote:
Exactly what I think is the problem. Over time, more neurons are produced... and when two forks are merged, the psychosurgeon must properly map the neurons so that they don't overlap, and they are still connected properly to the neural network. Of course, I do have problems with the nature of mnemonic enhancements, which should make overlapping forks an easier affair to handle with little to no memory loss (all memories are digitally recorded, so many memories can simply be stored on drive rather than in neuron).
Do you mean the 'Mnemonic Augmentation' cyber? Because that is specifically [u]not[/u] recording memories. (memories = neural map with contextual neuronal conection architecture) The Mnemoic Augmentatin is poorly named in my opinion because it recoreds sensory data. Basicly you're getting all the data before it hits the thalmus or hypothalmus (which ever one stores short term memories to be recorded long term in neurons.) Basicly Mnemonic Augs. just record Xperia. So I don't see how that could help other than maybe a +10 to the Psycho surgury test. In my imagination, viewing my own XP recording isn't alot different from viewing somone elses if I don't actually recall being there.

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
OneTrikPony wrote:
Do you mean the 'Mnemonic Augmentation' cyber? Because that is specifically [u]not[/u] recording memories. (memories = neural map with contextual neuronal conection architecture) The Mnemoic Augmentatin is poorly named in my opinion because it recoreds sensory data. Basicly you're getting all the data before it hits the thalmus or hypothalmus (which ever one stores short term memories to be recorded long term in neurons.) Basicly Mnemonic Augs. just record Xperia. So I don't see how that could help other than maybe a +10 to the Psycho surgury test. In my imagination, viewing my own XP recording isn't alot different from viewing somone elses if I don't actually recall being there.
XP is slightly more than simply sensory output:
Core book, pg 53 wrote:
Anyone with mesh inserts can create an XP of their past experiences, and anyone with an ecto or mesh inserts can access the sensory recordings. Selling a particularly exciting XP, such as a record of the first meeting with the Factors, can bring in a lot of money or rep. Most XPs consist of both sensory recordings and the surface thoughts of the individual who made them. Many people who access XPs are only interested in the sensory recordings and feel that having another person’s recorded thoughts and emotions in their head is intrusive and uncomfortable. However, some hardcore XP aficionados feel that accessing the full XP, including the recorded emotions, makes the experience more immersive and real.
Even if the mnemonic enhancements themselves do not record this emotion and thought data that is also generally included with a memory, it is apparently possible for someone to imprint it onto XP data simply using your mesh inserts. So for all intents and purposes, XP can very much be a person's complete memories... right down to the things that were going through their head in that exact moment. However, I agree that it doesn't store the data the same way that a biological brain does. It might even improve on this process, allowing the brain to utilize things in digital form that were impossible in organic form... like allocation tables. The reason I say that this should help with the psychosurgery test to merge is because mnemonic augmentations mean the ability to store away all of two fork's memories without the potential to lose any of them. Even if the neural map does not store them properly, the mnemonic augmentations would hold a potential backup.
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]
OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
you are correct. I oversimplified my definition of XP to save a few words. So while XP is a fully experiential recording the Mnemonic Augmentaion gear (as stated on p 307) doesn't do anything more than record XP and is not the same as the Eidetic memory bioware. So Mnemonic augmentation does not record memories and the data or experience cannot be accessed the same way or with the ease or in context the way that memories can be. I agree that Having an XP lifelog would be a boon to any psychotherapist but the fact that this piece of gear is nearly tottaly redundant to both mesh inserts and a cortical stack in a theriputic setting makes me lower my estimate of how large a bonus it should grant to a psychosurguy test.

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
OneTrikPony wrote:
you are correct. I oversimplified my definition of XP to save a few words. So while XP is a fully experiential recording the Mnemonic Augmentaion gear (as stated on p 307) doesn't do anything more than record XP and is not the same as the Eidetic memory bioware. So Mnemonic augmentation does not record memories and the data or experience cannot be accessed the same way or with the ease or in context the way that memories can be. I agree that Having an XP lifelog would be a boon to any psychotherapist but the fact that this piece of gear is nearly tottaly redundant to both mesh inserts and a cortical stack in a theriputic setting makes me lower my estimate of how large a bonus it should grant to a psychosurguy test.
For all intents and purposes, the book claims that mnemonic augmentations only differ from eidetic memory in that they allow a person to share their memories with others. That seems to imply that it really does work like the eidetic memory bioware, with the added benefit of XP recording and the ability to examine things that the person did not observe closely. It also carries the disadvantage of slower access (recalling a memory takes between 2 and 20 minutes), which means that it may be useful to have both eidetic memory AND mnemonic augmentation (the former for fast recall, the latter for perfect retainment even when memory loss should occur). The main reason I said this would be a boon for psychosurgeons during a merge is because it keeps perfect record of one's memories... while a bad merge potentially causes memory loss. It stands to argue that if you upload a merged ego into a body, then immediately fill its mnemonic enhancements with the backup data from all prior memories, then no memory loss should occur at all.
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]
draxar draxar's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
Monican wrote:
I'm starting a campaign next Friday, and I'm faced with not only being new to GMing but myself and all my players are new to EP. So it is almost impossible to tell what will be overpowered or underpowered. Frankly I think building new characters with 1000 CP is super overpowered (it's like starting D&D at level 6-8), but I'm doing everything the default by-the-book way to start with. After a few sessions I'll see what's broken and what works.
Whereas I'd consider level 6-8 to be a good level to start D&D at, as you're actually a hero, you can get stuff done. I'm generally quite wary of games that start you at level one, when you have to worry about housecats.
Quote:
One character idea I vetoed was a player who wanted to have two morphs, each controlled by an alpha fork. During character creation however he only bought skills once, for the "original", and bought two morphs to house the forks. However this looks like exploiting a loophole- he didn't have to pay for the second set of skills, yet he is functionally no different than someone who says "I will play 2 characters instead of 1" who simply have the same skills (but different gear and morphs).
Actually, he's quite different from someone who gets to play two characters instead of one. While this is not actually quite accurate:
Arenamontanus wrote:
There is even mentioned in the book in the fork section that you only get to play one fork. So having an extra alpha means that he just created an identical twin NPC.
Because the book says:
Eclipse Phase Core, p274 wrote:
Gamemasters are encouraged to allow players to roleplay their character’s own forks.
However, it also says,
Eclipse Phase Core, p274 wrote:
gamemaster should not be afraid to pull a fork out of a player character’s hands and make them into an NPC if they start too diverge too greatly. Similarly, if a fork begins to learn information that the main character does not (yet) have access to, it is probably also better to run the fork as an NPC in order to avoid metagaming. It is entirely possible that a fork might decide that it will no longer obey the originating ego and carry about doing its own thing. This usually only occurs with alpha forks, who are essentially a full copy anyway, and as time passes the idea of merging back with the original ego becomes unappealing.
So, your player has two options. He can not merge the two forks, at which point they will become two characters after a while. The second character probably gets on well with the first, but it has its own drives/fears/wants that are somewhat different from the first, and it doesn't want to be merged. They're like close brothers, good friends who will protect the other (though one or both might start to think "If it dies, I can just fork myself again), but given enough time, they're not the same character. Or he can periodically merge the two forks. I'll note that since both of his morphs are biomorphs, it'll take 10 minutes to do, meaning that he'll have trouble doing it every hour, which is what's needed for the best merge roll modifier and least Stress Value. If he morphs the two forks regularly, that's taking up a fair bit of his time, and he's going to be making so many merging rolls that he will fail some of them, and pick up stress value. Indeed, unless he can constantly keep under the 4 hour mark, stress value is inevitable and at least minor memory loss eventually likely. If he merges them irregularly, then he's going to pick up rather more Stress Value, and most likely have disjointed memories. Picking up that Stress Value means that the character will have to be having a reasonable amount of psychotherapy and/or psychosurgery, which has its own costs, takes time, and so forth. Also, IC, the character may end up asking himself if it's worth all this trouble, all this stress.
nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
Re: When to veto a character idea?
IMO, the primary concern regarding playing multiple forks should be OOC. It's tough to run a group with 8 characters, whether they're played by 8 players or 1. If your group is 4 or less, and the player isn't going to hog the spotlight or make problems, I don't see any reason not to permit him to play a fork, any more than I'd not permit him to play a second character. The one caveat there is one fork must be dubbed primary and the other secondary. At any point, the GM can take over the secondary, or specify the secondary engaged in certain actions but not tell the player until later, to represent the divergence in personalities. It's easy to get stuck in the old D&D mindset regarding challenges and character 'level'. Don't. The numbers don't matter - look past the numbers. Your characters are basically immortal. They 'know' everything known by almost the entire human race. They are able to outcompete the best athletes of the modern world. They have access to more processing power than all of the combined brains of the entire transhuman race, ever. That 'trans' is there for a reason - they've transcended the old paradigm. Time to step up the game!