Why were delta forks removed from the game?

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chaos_forge chaos_forge's picture
Why were delta forks removed from the game?

Both from a gameplay and a lore perspective, I don't really understand what the rationale for removing delta forks is.

From a gameplay perspective: the niche of "fork that's about as capable as an ALI" seems like a useful one to have filled, especially for fire-and-forget tasks where you don't plan on reintegrating with the fork, or where the fork is likely to die and players don't want to deal with the guilt of sending another sentient being off to die.

From a lore perspective, ALIs are canonically neural nets, so it isn't clear why a transhuman neural net couldn't be pruned down to the level of an ALI. Also, Fetches are still described as "a delta fork of a TITAN," which doesn't make sense if delta forks don't exist in the universe any more.

Having four types of forks instead of three doesn't make the system that much more complicated. What do we gain from taking that option away from players and making the setting slightly more incoherent?

Franwax Franwax's picture
Delta, gamma, etc

I see what you’re saying... but playing devil’s advocate here, the rules on Beta forks already include a lot of leeway on the amount of pruning you can do before the fork devolves into a vapor. There is the default one, and then you can further reduce skills, constrain behavior and curtail memories... It seems to me that you can perfectly reach the level of what was called a delta fork with the process described for beta fork creation.
So maybe delta forks still do exist and are just a sub category of beta forks. (And while we’re at it, why did we skip gamma? And we could conceive of an epsilon level that just shy off vapor status...)

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Not having delta forks made

Not having delta forks made me a little sad. :(

ICU2 ICU2's picture
Franwax wrote:And while we’re

Franwax wrote:
And while we’re at it, why did we skip gamma?

This is the best question.
As is, alpha forks are full-on reproductions, beta forks are functional reductions (but the level of reduction can vary tremendously), and vapors are flawed reproductions. Everything really can fit into these categories (and Fetches are therefore just heavily pruned beta forks of ASIs).
chaos_forge chaos_forge's picture
Franwax wrote:the rules on

Franwax wrote:
the rules on Beta forks already include a lot of leeway on the amount of pruning you can do before the fork devolves into a vapor. There is the default one, and then you can further reduce skills, constrain behavior and curtail memories... It seems to me that you can perfectly reach the level of what was called a delta fork with the process described for beta fork creation.

The book says you can reduce skills and memories, but not behaviors. So the rules as written work for creating forks that are less capable, but not for forks that are less sentient. For example, the 1e book describes delta forks as "more akin to AI templates upon which the ego’s surface personality traits are imprinted" (page 273). I guess it's easy enough to houserule that something like that can also be achieved via neural pruning as described in 2e, but IDK. Something feels missing.

Franwax wrote:
And while we’re at it, why did we skip gamma? And we could conceive of an epsilon level that just shy off vapor status...

I'm not sure what you mean? As far as I can tell, in both 1e and 2e, gamma forks and vapors are the same thing.

ICU2 wrote:
As is, alpha forks are full-on reproductions, beta forks are functional reductions (but the level of reduction can vary tremendously), and vapors are flawed reproductions.

See, that's not the way I was thinking about it. I was thinking about it in terms of capabilities: Alpha forks are highly capable (skill max 100), Beta forks are moderately capable (skill max 60), and delta forks and ALIs are slightly capable (skill max 40). If you think about it in those terms, the lack of a fork that fits the "slightly capable" niche seems apparent. I suppose you're right that they're technically capable of being created from the rules for beta forks, but it'd be nice to have it listed as an explicit option, especially for the fluff about delta forks being only barely sapient (similarly to ALIs), which isn't really covered by the fluff for beta forks.

Franwax Franwax's picture
chaos_forge wrote: Franwax

chaos_forge wrote:

Franwax wrote:
And while we’re at it, why did we skip gamma? And we could conceive of an epsilon level that just shy off vapor status...

I'm not sure what you mean? As far as I can tell, in both 1e and 2e, gamma forks and vapors are the same thing.


I was just hinting at the order in the Greek alphabet ;)
If Alpha, the first letter, is the most faithful reproduction of an Ego, Beta slightly less so, then the next level should by right be gamma, THEN delta... sorry, it was just a Greek geek jab.
uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
Gamma for ghost, like vapor,

Gamma for ghost, like vapor, geist.

The order did bug me too though.

But maybe despite being glitchy (another G!), a gamma fork is more true to an ego than the very basic delta? Like a delta fork is just an AI that thinks like you. A gamma fork is a beta but all messed up and glitching. Just my musing on the subject.

Exhuman, and Humanitarian.