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DETAILS:


NOTE: A mind map based on the role-playing gameEclipse Phase: The Roleplaying Game of Transhuman Conspiracy and Horror byPosthuman Studios, LLC, available under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.


See the License subtree of Metadata for copyright attribution and licensing information.

LACK


NOTE: Lack names a piece of fiction. See the Core Book for the actual piece.

ENTER THE SINGULARITY...Edit

NOTE: We humans have a special way of pulling ourselves up and kicking ourselves down at the same time. We’d achieved more progress than ever before, at the cost of wrecking our planet and destabilizing our own governments. But things were starting to look up. With exponentially accelerating technologies, we reached out into the solar system, terraforming worlds and seeding new life. We re-forged our bodies and minds, casting off sickness and death. We achieved immortality through the digitization of our minds, resleeving from one biological or synthetic body to the next at will. We uplifted animals and AIs to be our equals. We acquired the means to build anything we desired from the molecular level up, so that no one need want again.


Yet our race toward extinction was not slowed, and in fact received a machine-assist over the precipice. Billions died as our technologies rapidly bloomed into something beyond control … further transforming humanity into something else, scattering us throughout the solar system, and reigniting vicious conflicts. Nuclear strikes, biowarfare plagues, nanoswarms, mass uploads … a thousand horrors nearly wiped humanity from existence.


We still survive, divided into a patchwork of restrictive inner system hypercorp-backed oligarchies and libertarian outer system collectivist habitats, tribal networks, and new experimental societal models. We have spread to the outer reaches of the solar system and even gained footholds in the galaxy beyond. But we are no longer solely “human” … we have evolved into something simultaneously more and different—somethingtranshuman.

STARTING OUTEdit

NOTE: Eclipse Phase is a post-apocalyptic roleplaying game of transhuman conspiracy and horror. Humans are enhanced and improved, but humanity is battered and bitterly divided. Technology allows the re-shaping of bodies and minds and liberates us from material needs, but also creates opportunities for oppression and puts the capability for mass destruction in the hands of everyone. Many threats lurk in the devastated habitats of the Fall, dangers both familiar and alien.

What Is A Roleplaying Game?


NOTE: Have you ever read a book or seen a movie or a television show where a character does something really stupid, like heading into a basement at night when the character knows the serial killer is around? The whole time, you’re thinking: “I wouldn’t walk down those creepy stairs to the dark basement, especially without a flashlight. I’d do X, Y, or Z instead!” Since you’re in the passenger’s seat for the plot you’re reading or watching, however, you simply have to sit back and let it unfold. What if you could take hold of the driver’s seat? What if you could take the plot in the direction you’d choose? That is the essence of a roleplaying game.


A roleplaying game (or RPG, for short) is part improvisational theater, part storytelling, and part game. A single person (the gamemaster) runs the game for a group of players that pretend to be characters in a fictitious world. The world could be a mystery game set in the 1920s that takes you adventuring around the globe, a fantasy realm inhabited by dragons and trolls and sword-wielding barbarians, or a science fiction setting with aliens and spaceship and world-crushing weaponry. The players pick a setting that they find cool and want to play in. The players then craft their own characters, providing a detailed history and personality to bring each to life. These characters have a set of statistics (numerical values) that represent skills, attributes, and other abilities. The gamemaster then explains the situation in which the characters find themselves. The players, through their characters, interact with the storyline and each others’ characters, acting out the plot. As the players roleplay through some scenarios, the gamemaster will probably ask a given player to roll some dice and the resulting numbers will determine the success or failure of a character’s attempted action. The gamemaster uses the rules of the game to interpret the dice rolls and the outcome of the character’s actions.


As a group exercise, the players control the storyline (the adventure), which evolves much like any movie or book but within the flexible plot created by the gamemaster. This gamemaster plot provides a framework and ideas for potential courses of action and outcomes, but it is simply an outline of what might happen—it is not concrete until the players become involved. If you don’t want to walk down those stairs, you don’t. If you think you can talk yourself out of a situation in place of pulling a gun, then try and make it happen. The script of any roleplaying session is written by the players, and the story, based upon the character’s actions and their responses to the events of the plot, will constantly change and evolve.


The best part is that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to play an RPG. Some games may involve more combat and dice rolling-related situations, where other games may involve more storytelling and improvised dialogue to resolve a situation. Each group of players decides for themselves the type and style of game they enjoy playing!

What is Transhumanism?


NOTE: Transhumanism is a term used synonymously to mean “human enhancement.” It is an international cultural and intellectual movement that endorses the use of science and technology to enhance the human condition, both mentally and physically. In support of this, transhumanism also embraces using emerging technologies to eliminate the undesirable elements of the human condition such as aging, disabilities, diseases, and involuntary death. Many transhumanists believe these technologies will be arriving in our near future at an exponentially accelerated pace and work to promote universal access to and democratic

control of such technologies. In the long scheme of things, transhumanism can also be considered the transitional period between the current human condition and an entity so far advanced in capabilities (both physical and mental faculties) as to merit the label “posthuman.”


As a theme, transhumanism embraces heady questions. What defi nes human? What does it mean to defeat death? If minds are software, where do you draw the line with programming them? If machines and animals can also be raised to sentience, what are our responsibilities to them? If you can copy yourself, where does “you” end and someone new begin? What are the potentials of these technologies in terms of both oppressive control and liberation? How will these technologies change our society, our cultures, and our lives?

Post-Apocalyptic, Conspiracy, and Horror Themes


NOTE: Several themes pervade Eclipse Phase, some of which the reader may not be intimately familiar with. The following helps define these themes so that as players read further into this rulebook, they gain a solid understanding of how Eclipse Phase builds on such themes to create its unique setting.


Post-apocalyptic is a term used to describe fiction set after a cataclysmic event has ended human civilization as we know it (usually accompanied by loss of human life on an almost unthinkable scale). The exact mechanism of the disaster is usually unimportant: nuclear war, plague, asteroid strike, and so on. The importance of the theme is the human condition. If the world we know is torn away from us and humans suffer horrors beyond imagining in this transformation to a post-apocalyptic setting, how does humanity cope? Do we survive and thrive and overcome? Or do we lose our own humanity in the process, or ultimately fall to extinction? Those are the questions that drive this genre.


To conspire means “to join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or to use such means to accomplish a lawful end.” As such, a conspiracy theory attributes the ultimate cause of an event or a chain of events (whether political, societal or historical) to a secret group of individuals with immense power (including political, wealth and so on) who hide their activities from public view while manipulating events to achieve their goals, regardless of consequences. Many conspiracy theories contend that a host of the greatest events of history were initiated and ultimately controlled by such secret organizations. Of equal importance is the silent struggle between clandestine groups, waging a secret war behind the scenes to determine who influences the future.


Horror takes many forms, but in Eclipse Phase it is more psychological than gore. It is the uncertainty of survival, the suspense of finding malevolent things among the stars, the fear of the unknown, the dread of facing Things That Should Not Be, the revulsion when encountering alien things, and the sickening realization of the wrong and ghastly things that transhumans are capable of doing to themselves and each other. Horror also arises both from the comprehension that there are scary things beyond our understanding inhabiting our universe and that transhumanity may be its own worst enemy. Despite all of the technological tools and advances available to future transhumans, they still face terrors like losing control of their own identities, their perceptions, and their mental faculties—not to mention their future as a species.


Eclipse Phase takes all of these themes and weaves them together in a transhuman setting. The postapocalyptic angle covers the understanding of all that transhumanity has lost, the fight against extinction, and how much of that is a struggle against our own nature. The conspiracy side delves into the nature of the secret organizations that play key roles in determining transhumanity’s future and how the actions of determined individuals can change the lives of many. The horror perspective explores the results of humanity’s self-inflicted transformations and how some of these changes effectively make us non-human. Tying it all together is an awareness of the massive indifference and the terriblealien-nessthat pervades the universe and how transhumanity is insignificant against such a backdrop.


Offsetting these themes, however,Eclipse Phasealso asserts that there is still hope, that there is still something worth fighting for, and that transhumanity can pave its own path toward the future.

But How Do You Actually Play?Edit

NOTE: To play a game of Eclipse Phase, you need the following:

  • A group of players and a place to meet (real life or online!)
  • One player to act as the gamemaster
  • The contents of this book
  • Something for everyone to take notes with (notepads, laptops, whatever!)
  • Two 10-sided dice per player (or a digital equivalent)
  • Imagination

A Group of Players and a Place to Meet


NOTE: While roleplaying games are flexible enough to allow any number of people, most gaming groups number around four to eight players. That number of people brings a good mix of personalities to the table and ensures great cooperative play.


Once a group of players have determined to playEclipse Phase, they’ll need to designate someone as the gamemaster (see below). Then they’ll need to determine a time and place to meet.


Most roleplaying groups meet once a week at a regularly scheduled time and place: 7:00 PM, Thursday night, Rob’s house, for example. However, each group determines where, how they’ll play, and how often. One group may decide they can only get together once a month, while another group is so excited to dive into the story potential ofEclipse Phase that they want to meet twice a week (they decide to rotate between their houses, though, so as not to overload a particular player). If a group is lucky enough to have a favorite local gaming store that supports in-store play, the group might meet there. Other gaming groups meet in libraries, common rooms at their school, bookstores that have generously-sized “reading rooms,” quiet restaurants, and so on. Whatever fits for your gaming group, make it work!


When getting together for a game, most RPGs use the phrase “gaming session.” The length of each gaming session is completely dependent upon the consensus of the playing group, as well as the limitations of the locale where they’re playing. The particular story that unfolds in a given session can also impact a session’s length. If playing in a game store, the group may only have a four-hour slot and the gamemaster

and group may have determined—through several sessions of play—that this is a perfect time frame to enjoy the story they’re participating in each week. Another group, however, may want an even shorter length of time. Yet another group may decide that while they’ll usually do four-hour sessions, once a month they’ll set aside an entire Saturday for a great all-day gaming session. Players will need to dive in and start playing and be flexible to decide what will provide the ultimate enjoyment for their gaming group.


While the camaraderie of a shared experience of playing face-to-face with a group of friends remainsthe strength of roleplaying games, groups need not confine themselves to a single mode of play. There are myriad options that can be used. Email, instant messages, message boards, video chats, phone/voip calls, text messages, wikis, (micro-)blogs: any and all of these can be utilized to play the game without having

warm bodies in seats directly across the table from one another.


Finally, when playing groups meet for the first time, they should generate their characters (as opposed to generating characters by themselves). While a gaming group can decide to generate characters individually, often it is far easier once the players are together. This allows those more experienced in roleplaying games to help those new to RPGs. Even more important, it enables the entire group to tailor the characters so there is not too much overlap in capabilities and style. After all, with the wealth of character opportunities available, you don’t want to show up at the table with an almost identical character to the player next to you.

The Gamemaster


NOTE: Once a group has been organized, someone needs to step up and take the reins of the gamemaster. Some groups have a single gamemaster that runs all their gaming sessions month after month. Other groups rotate a gamemaster, with a single gamemaster running a given portion of the unfolding story for several sessions before handing the work off to another player. Once again, the participants should be flexible. Some groups may have the perfect person who loves the work involved and is more than willing to run session after session, while other groups may decide that they all want to take turns both as the gamemaster and as players.


The gamemaster controls the story. They keep track of what is supposed to happen when, describes events as they occur so that the players (as characters) can react to them, keep track of other characters in the game (referred to as non-player characters, or NPCs), and resolve attempts to take action using the game system. The game system comes into play when characters seek to use their skills or otherwise do something that requires a test to see whether or not they succeed. Specific rules are presented for situations that involve rolling dice to determine the outcome (seeGame Mechanics, p. 112).


The gamemaster describes the world as the characters see it, functioning as their eyes, ears, and other senses. Gamemastering is not easy, but the thrill of creating an adventure that engages the other players’

imaginations, testing their gaming skills and their characters’ skills in the game world, makes it worthwhile. Posthuman Studios will follow the publication ofEclipse Phasewith supporting supplements and adventures to help this process along, but experienced gamemasters can always adapt the game universe to suit their own styles. In fact, sinceEclipse Phaseis published under a Creative Commons License (see p. 5), players are encouraged to tailor the universe to their style of play and also to share that with other players. You never know when a specific choice you’ve made in the running of a campaign is exactly what another gamemaster and his group is looking for.

The Contents of this Book


NOTE: Whether you have purchased the print or electronic version, this book is specifically organized to present the information you need to know to start telling your stories in theEclipse Phaseuniverse. Below you’ll find a summary of each chapter of the book.


A Time of Eclipse:A comprehensive history and setting fully describes the Eclipse Phase universe and how humanity transitioned from here to there. See p. 30.


Game Mechanics:The player’s desired actions become reality within the universe through quick and easy-to-use game mechanics. See p. 112.


Character Creation and Advancement:Creating a unique character can be one of the most enjoyable experiences of roleplaying. Even more rewarding is watching that character evolve and grow across numerous gaming sessions, far beyond anything your imagination first envisioned. See p. 128.


Skills:Beyond a character’s innate abilities, their skills are what set them apart. This is what your character knows and what they know how to do. See p. 170.


Action and Combat:What is a dramatic story without action and violence? When words fail, weapons will blaze. See p. 186.


Mind Hacks:The unusual possibilities offered by psi abilities and mental reprogramming. See p. 216.


The Mesh:The all-pervasive nature of the mesh ensures that it is a key element to any story telling. See p. 234.


Accelerated Future:The wonders of advanced technologies and how they work. See p. 266.


Gear:Personal enhancements, weapons, robots, and everything else in between. See p. 294.


Game Information:The quintessential set of insider secrets for gamemasters. See p. 350.

Taking Notes


NOTE: Whether a gamemaster or player, you’ll need a way to track information. Players will be generating characters and making changes to those characters from session to session. Meanwhile, the gamemaster will have a host of information to track: notes on how the story is unfolding due to player character interaction that you’ll need to fold into next week’s session; changes to NPCs; changes to player characters that the players are not yet aware off (such as a character has been mind hacked but doesn’t yet know it); and so on.


Additionally, some groups enjoy a synopsis of each session that can be compiled and read at a later time in order to enjoy and share their exploits, just as you might fileshare clips from your favorite video game to show off your skill in taking the bad guy down (traditionally this has been called “bluebooking”). This can be particularly useful if a player was unable to attend a given session, providing a quick re-cap that they can read before attending the next gaming session and thus avoiding a bog-down up-front as that player tries to catch up on current events in the game. The session scribe can be a shared responsibility or assigned, all based upon what a given playing group finds works best for them. Likewise, some gaming groups audio-record their entire game session, both for later reference and for “actual play” podcasts.


The old standard of a pencil and paper still works wonders. A host of additional technologies, however, provide many new options for players. From a text file on a laptop to a shared wiki, the ability to track large amounts of information in a quick and useful fashion—while simultaneously making appropriate information available to each player from session to session—significantly decreases how much time everyone needs to spend tracking information. That time can now be redirected into the enjoyment of participating in a great story.

Dice


NOTE: As described in theGame Mechanics section (p. 112), two ten-sided dice are required to playEclipse Phase. While most players enjoy the feel of tossing dice onto a table, there are many other mechanisms for rolling two ten-sided dice to achieve a 00 to 99 result. Players who make heavy use of any online technologies for game play—such as using online chatting or video blogging—should find it easy to track down and implement a quick dice-rolling program.

Imagination


NOTE: All too often, it’s easy for someone looking at an RPG to be intimidated. So many concepts to grasp, so many ideas that seem overwhelming. Just as described underWhat is a Roleplaying Game?, however, how often have you read a book or watched that movie and decided that you would have done it better? That’s your imagination at work. Just dive in and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can immerse yourself in theEclipse Phase universe. Soon you’ll be spinning stories with the best of them.


Also, don’t forget to tap your resources. Your gaming group is your best resource. What’s going on, ideas for how to handle a situation, or how to take on a bad guy: these are just some of the things that can and should be discussed by the gaming group in between sessions, and each is an opportunity to strengthen your imagination.


Another resource is simply watching TV or reading a good book. Pay attention to how the story is put together, how the characters are built, and how the plot unfolds. Push your imagination and soon you’ll be figuring out subplots and who the bad guy is long before it’s revealed. Knowing how a story is put together enables you to put together your own stories during each gaming session.


Finally, eclipsephase.com is the official site forEclipse Phase. If you have questions about the game or want to see how another group of players handles a given situation, post on the forums. The online community can be just as helpful and enjoyable as a local gaming group.

What Do Players Do?Edit

NOTE: The players can take on a variety of roles inEclipse Phase. Due to advances in digital mind emulation technology, uploading, and downloading into new morphs (physical bodies, biological or synthetic), it is possible to literally be a new person from session to session. With bodies taking on the role of gear, players can customize their forms for the task at hand.

The Default Campaign


NOTE: In the default story (also known as “campaign setting”), every player character is a “sentinel,” an agent-on-call (or potential recruit) for a shadowy network known as “Firewall.” Firewall is dedicated to counteracting “existential risks”—threats to the existence of transhumanity. These risks can and do include biowar plagues, nanotech swarm outbreaks, nuclear proliferation, terrorists with WMDs, netbreaking computer attacks, rogue AIs, alien encounters, and so on. Firewall isn’t content to simply counteract these threats as they arise, of course, so characters may also be sent on information gathering missions or to put in place pre-emptive or failsafe measures. Characters may be tasked to investigate seemingly innocuous people and places (who turn out not to be), make deals with shady criminal networks (who turn out not to be trustworthy), or travel through a Pandora’s Gate wormhole to analyze the relics of some alien ruin (and see if the threat that killed them is still real). Sentinels are recruited from every faction of transhumanity; those who aren’t ideologically loyal to the cause are hired as mercenaries. These campaigns tend to mix a bit of mystery and investigation with fierce bouts of action and combat, also stirring in a nice dose of awe and horror.

Alternate Campaigns


NOTE: When they’re not saving the solar system, sentinels are free to pursue their own endeavors. The gamemaster and players can use this rulebook to generate any type of story they wish to tell. However, the following examples provide a brief look at the most obvious opportunities for adventure inEclipse Phase.


After each campaign variant below, a list of “archetypes” forEclipse Phase are provided in parenthesis. Archetypes are the names applied to the most common character types featured in those scenarios. For example, in a traditional detective story, the archetypes would be the Detective, the Damsel In Distress, the Hard-bitten Cop, and so on. In a cowboy movie, the archetypes would be the Gunfighter, the Bartender, the Marshal, the Indian Brave, and so on. Players will note that some archetypes fit into multiple story settings. The character creation system (p. 128) allows players to create any of the suggested archetypes. Just as roleplaying games are designed for players to build their own stories, however, these archetypes are just suggestions and players can mix and match how they will.


Salvage and Rescue/Retrieval Ops:The Fall left two worlds and numerous habitats in ruins—but these devastated cities and stations contain untold riches for those who are brave and foolhardy enough. Potential hauls include: weapon systems; physical resources; lost databanks; left-behind uploads of friends, family, or important people; new technologies developed and lost in the brief singularity takeoff; valued heirlooms of immortal oligarchs; and much more. Outside of these once-inhabited realms, space itself is a big place and lots of people and things get lost out there. Some need to be saved and some are beyond saving. This option lets players explore the unknown or seek out specific targets on contract. (Archeologist/Scavenger/Pirate/Free Trader/Smuggler/Black Marketeer)


Exploration:There are plenty of opportunities to be had as an explorer, colonist, or long-range scout—perhaps even as one of the few lucky or suicidal individuals who explore through an untested Pandora’s Gate. Even the Kuiper Belt, on the fringe of our solar system, is still sparsely explored; there may be riches and mysteries still to be found. Many dangers also lurk in odd corners of the system, from isolationist posthuman factions to secretive criminal cartels, as well as pirates, aliens, and others wishing to remain out of sight. (Explorer/Archeologist/Scavenger/Singularity Seeker/Techie/Medic)


Trade:While the majority of inner system trade is controlled by sleek hypercorporations, many of the smaller or more independent stations rely on small traders. In the post-scarcity outer system, trade takes on a different form, with information, favors, and creativity serving as currency among those who no longer want for anything due to the availability of cornucopia machines. (Free Trader/Smuggler/Black Marketeer/Pirate)


Crime:The patchwork of city-state habitats and widely varying laws throughout the system create ample opportunity for those who would make a living from this situation. Black market commodities and activities include infomorph-slave trading, pleasure pod sex industries, data brokerage and theft, extracting/smuggling advanced technologies and scientists, political/economic espionage, assassination, drug and XP dealing, soul-trading, and much more. Whether as an independent or part of an organized criminal element, there are always opportunities for those with a thirst for adventure or profit and questionable morals. (Criminal/Smuggler/Pirate/Fixer/Black Marketeer/Genehacker/Hacker/Covert Ops)


Mercenaries:The constant maneuvering of ideologically-driven factions, the squabbling over contested resources, and the rush to colonize new exoplanets beyond the Pandora Gates all spark new conflicts on a regular basis. Some of these simmer and seethe as low-intensity conflicts for years, occasionally flaring into raids and clashes. Others break out into all-out warfare. Women and men willing to bear arms for credits are always in demand for good wages. Players can engage in commando and military campaigns in habitats, between the stars, or in hostile planetary environments. (Merc/Security Specialist/Fixer/Bounty unter/Ex-Cop/Medic)


Socio-Political Intrigue:The corporations and political factions that span the solar system do not always play nice with each other, but neither is it wise for them to openly confront each other except under extreme circumstances. Many battles are fought with diplomacy and political maneuvering, using words and ideas more potent than weapons. Even within factions, social cliques can compete ruthlessly, or heated class conflicts can come to a boil, tearing a society apart from within. In this campaign, the players can start as pawns of some entity who rise through the ranks as they become more enmeshed in the intrigues of their sponsor, play a group of ambassadors and spies stationed in the opposition’s capital, or can play a group of activists and radicals fighting for social change. (Politico/ ocialite/Covert Ops/Hacker/Security Specialist/Journalist/Memeticist)

Where Does It Take Place?Edit

NOTE: WhileEclipse Phaseis set in the not-too-distant future, the changes that have taken place due to the advancements of technology have transformed the Earth and its inhabitants almost beyond recognition. As players dive into the universe, they’ll generally encounter one of the following settings.

Humanity's Habitats


NOTE: The Earth has been left an ecologically-devastated ruin, but humanity has taken to the stars. When Earth was abandoned, so too were the last of the great nation-states; transhumanity now lacks a single unifying governing body and is instead subject to the laws and regulations of whomever controls a given habitat.


The majority of transhumanity is confined to orbital habitats or satellite stations scattered throughout the Sol system. Some of these were constructed from scratch in the orbit or Lagrange points of planetary bodies, others have been hewn out of solid satellites and large asteroids. These stations have myriad purposes from trade to warfare, espionage to research.


Mars continues to be one of transhumanity’s largest settlements, though it too, suffered heavily during the Fall. Numerous cities and settlements remain, however, though the planet is only partially terraformed.Venus, Luna, and Titan are also home to significant populations. Additionally, there are a small number of colonies that have been established on exoplanets (on the other side of the Pandora Gates) with environments that are not too hostile towards humanity.


Some transhumans prefer to live on large colony ships or linked swarms of smaller spacecraft, moving nomadically. Some of these rovers intentionally exile themselves to the far limits of the solar system, far from everyone else, while others actively trade from habitat to habitat, station to station, serving as mobile black markets.

The Great Unknown


NOTE: The areas of the galaxy that have felt the touch of humanity are few and far between. Lying betwixt these occasional outposts of questionable civilization are mysteries both dangerous and wonderful. Ever since the discovery of the Pandora Gates, there has been no shortage of adventurers brave or foolhardy enough to strike out on their own into the unknown regions of space in hopes of finding more alien artifacts, or even establishing contact with one of the other sentient races in the universe.

The Mesh


NOTE: While not a “setting” in the traditional sense, as the sections describe above, the computer networks known as the “mesh” are all-pervasive. This ubiquitous computing environment is made possible thanks to advanced computer technologies and nanofabrication that allow unlimited data storage and near-instantaneous transmission capacities. With micro-scale, cheap-to-produce wireless transceivers so abundant, literally everything is wirelessly connected and online. Via implants or small personal computers, characters have access to archives of information that dwarf the entire 21st-century internet and sensor systems that pervade every public place. People’s entire lives are recorded and lifelogged, shared with others on one of numerous social networks that link everyone together in a web of contacts, favors, and reputation systems.

Ego vs. Morph?


NOTE: The distinction between ego (your mind and personality, including memories, knowledge, and skills) and morph (your physical body and its capabilities) is one of the defining characteristics ofEclipse Phase. A good understanding of the concept right up front will allow players a glimpse at all the story possibilities out of the gate.


Your body is disposable. If it gets old, sick, or too heavily damaged, you can digitize your consciousness and download it into a new one. The process isn’t cheap or easy, but it does guarantee you effective immortality—as long as you remember to back yourself up and don’t go insane. The termmorphis used to describe any type of form your mind inhabits, whether a vat-grown clone sleeve, a synthetic robotic shell, a part-bio/part-synthetic “pod,” or even the purely electronic software state of an infomorph.


A character’s morph may die, but the character’s ego may live on, assuming appropriate backup measures have been taken. Morphs are expendable, but your character’s ego represents the ongoing, continuous life path of your character’s mind and personality. This continuity may be interrupted by an unexpected death (depending on how recently the backup was made), but it represents the totality of the character’s mental state and experiences.


Some aspects of your character—particularly skills, along with some stats and traits—belong to your character’s ego and so stay with them throughout the character’s development. Some stats and traits, however, are determined by morph, as noted, and so will change if your character leaves one body and takes on another. Morphs may also affect other skills and stats, as detailed in the morph description.

Where To Go From Here?


NOTE: Now that you know what this game is about, we suggest that you next read theTime of Eclipsechapter (p. 30), to get a feel for the game’s default setting (which you are, of course, free to change to suit your whims). Then read theGame Mechanicschapter (p. 112) to get a grasp of the rules. After that, you can move on toCharacter Creation and Advancement(p. 128) and create your first character!

  • [Terminology

A TIME OF ECLIPSEEdit

NOTE: This chapter provides a complete overview of the Eclipse Phase universe. It starts with a history, goes into detail on the setting, covers factions, and then wraps up with a system gazetteer.

A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF AN UNFORTUNATE UNIVERSEEdit

DETAILS:


NOTE: The followg is a transcript of a recovered audiofile recovered after the catastrophic decompression event on Walther-Pemborke Station. The audiofile is believed to have been created by Donovan Astrides and to be a summation of his unpublished workA People's History of an Unfortunate Universe.


[Sounds of scratching on the microphone, creaking of furniture, the noise of a woman clearing her throat]


What?


[Indistinct murmuring]


Fuck you. I do this how the fuck I want, though it was nice of you to put me in this nice young woman’s body.


[Sounds of hands running along fabric]


Does my vulgarity shock you, corporate lackey? No matter, I’m sure you can edit it out for your proles.

Now—you asked about my book? Is it a history book you ask? No. It is an anti-history book. I shall tell you about the future.


[Mumbling, questioning tone]


What does it hold? The future, you mean?


[Indistinct “Yes.”]


No. I don’t think you care about the future. What you really want to know is: will you get the future you want? And that is an easy question to answer. No. No, you will not get the future you want. Because you are stupid enough to ask this stupid question about the future.


[Silent pause]


I remember reading a scan of an old real print comic once. The character in it was railing against

the imaginary people of his imaginary world, taking them to task about their dissatisfaction with the future they lived in. But it was really aimed at the stupid people who wanted their stupid little futures and who were too stupid to see that the future is now. It’s always now. Except it isn’t anymore. The TITANs changed that. The future is now yesterday, and last week, and ten years ago. Especially ten years ago. But the future is also back on poor old Earth—it’s a legacy of where we’ve been and what has come before.


Do they teach you history on Venus, in your sealed compounds and resort aerostats? No, don’t open your mouth, I could really care less what they teach you. For it is most certainly lies. I’ve lived in the inner system. I know the rules and the deceits told in the name of civil order and “national security.”


Nations! Ha! Even at the onset of the 21st century, nations were starting to go into decline. It just took everyone a while to realize they were obsolete.


Do you remember the great nations of the world? Are you old enough to remember how they sat around and debated whether the major climate shifts they were creating were even real? Even when many of them agreed that something needed to be done, none of them stood up to do it. The leaders of the world carried on with business as usual, secure in their privilege, as droughts ravaged Africa and Central Asia, Europe froze, and severe weather wreaked havoc everywhere. People across the globe were feeling the pinch of starvation or rampant epidemics, but the leading nations were more concerned about the refugees pouring over their borders and polluting their lily white paradises with their customs and languages and willingness to work for a pittance just to survive.


The wars over oil and energy were only worsened by wars over the weather and water that followed. Unstable regimes rose and fell or were pushed over the edge, all in pursuit of precious liquids. The great nation states transformed into fortresses, steeled against the twin threats of the barbarians threatening them on the outside and the masses of their poor and dispossessed internally, all of them wanting to come in only for a little drink.


You know, I’ve actually heard some conservatives refer to that period as a golden age, a peak time for the corporations and the rich. It’s certainly true that it was a golden age for repression—and profits. If you were in that lucky fraction of a percent of the population who could afford it, it was certainly a good time, but for the majority of humanity it was a time of horrors. Global inequality was larger than ever before. Robots were taking jobs away from human hands.


This was a time of radicalization for many. Failing governments no longer supplied people’s basic needs. The globalized poor turned to local tribes, fundamentalist groups, political radicals, and criminal networks for the means to survive. Insurgent groups flourished, but they depended on the black market to survive, and soon their leaders were more concerned with making money than making change.


The nation states, as always, resorted to repression. Civil liberties were restricted and surveillance increased. Automated weapons systems were deployed first against guerrillas and terror cells, and then against agitators and demonstrators. I remember the first time I saw those police drones, at a demonstration in support of a worker’s strike in Long Beach. The drones ordered us to disperse once, only once, before they opened fire with their “nonlethal” weapons. Nonlethal my ass. Three people died that day and dozens were injured. The mainstream media ignored it even if the bloggers didn’t.


Meanwhile, the privileged elites continued to prosper. Longevity treatments expanded lifespans—for those who could afford it. Major crackdowns swept up off-brand pharma and bootleg procedures by pioneering biochemists, even while worldwide life expectancies dropped for the first time in decades. Why extend the lives of so many poor people, when expert systems as smart as any human could be built in a fraction of the time it would take to educate an actual person, and robotics and drone technologies allowed menial jobs to be turned over to uncomplaining and unpaid labor. And the rich had their high-price tag designer chimeric pets to keep them company anyway. Not all of the upper classes were wallowing in opulence while the planet around them starved and drowned. A few were looking ahead at the changes on the horizon, scheming how to stake their claim. Some of these worked to expand their dominion, building a space elevator in sub-Saharan Africa and sending robotic probes out to map the solar system in detail. They even founded the first stations on Mars and Luna then, more than fifty years before the Fall.


The ecopocalypse wasn’t going away, however, no matter how much those in power tried to ignore it. Severe winters and droughts continued to pound at us. Rising ocean levels devastated coastlines worldwide with massive flooding. A few last-ditch efforts to undertake mega-scale geoengineering projects created as many problems as they fixed. These were viewed with cynicism anyway, as some were thinly-disguised test runs for terraforming techniques being prepared for off-world deployment.


It often seemed as though the eyes of the fortunate were no longer focused on the world around them, but rather on the heavens above them. The completion of the first space elevator and the first mass driver on our moon kicked off a new space race and the competition was on to stake claims around the solar system. All this new expansion was powered by the first mass-produced efficient fusion power plants and the establishment of Helium-3 mining enterprises.


Back on Earth, though, the hammer finally fell. Insurgents adopted fifth generation warfare techniques, sharing open source methods of resistance, utilizing swarming attacks on critical systempunkts. People crushed under years of oppression rose up in these opportunities and smashed at the state and corporate apparatus that had held them down. Nation after nation fell to insurgencies manned by those who had fought in thousands of little wars over fuel, ponds, and bread crusts.


Most states fought back by becoming more totalitarian and repressive, but the tide of rebellion spread off-world as a series of outposts and stations declared themselves in sympathy with their earthbound compatriots and announced a manifesto for a more humanistic approach to solar expansion. Even numerous scientists and engineers, who had previously worked as pawns in corporate expansions, adopted a technoprogressive stance. That’s how the argonauts were born, you know, taking their name from a previous group of scientists who advised the US government and Pentagon on science and policy called the Jasons. Faced with reprisals from their corporate masters, a number of argonauts defected from the hypercorps, in some cases taking key resources and research with them, while others went underground.


This is when the hypercorps really took off, though, those shark-like bastards. They let the nation-states and lumbering multinationals of old take the brunt of the global rage and assault. They took advantage of the chaos to slip free of the old moral and ethical restraints on human experimentation and from the legal purview of the nationalities that had birthed them. They embraced the opportunities of numerous new technologies and the drive into space. It was their research labs that cooked up the first sentient artificial intelligences, the first genegineered human clones, and the first true uplifts, chimps and dolphins brought into awareness as corporate experiments and slaves.


As the last of the old states became increasingly desperate to cling to their power and land, the hypercorps extended a helping hand. They offered debt bondage terms to those who were willing to sign over their rights and humanity for a trip off-world, to work as indentured servants on corporate colonies and stations. Hundreds of thousands took the offer as an alternative to the crushing poverty and chaos on Earth. The business of resource exploitation exploded across the solar system, as stations were established as far out as the Kuiper Belt. Voices that spoke of respecting biodiversity and natural ecologies were ignored as the hypercorps toiled to reshape various planets and moons to their will.


This was the state of things until about 20 years before the Fall. Though many of the old oppressor states had been struck down, new ones arose, and the various global insurgencies oscillated between making radical changes and falling into the same old tribal warfare traps. Reactionary religious and political forces on Earth also railed against the hypercorps’ agenda, resulting in some terrorist attacks and sabotage strikes, and culminating in a failed attempt to disable the space elevator by an Islamist suicide cell. The hypercorps were quick to retaliate, ordering an orbital bombardment using high-density objects against the headquarters and compounds of several key opposition leaders. Though effective in decapitating several terrorist networks, the mass destruction sparked outrage against the hypercorps, creating a deeper rift between Earth and off-world interests.


The hypercorps remained out of reach, however, though they were not completely immune from Earth’s troubles. The workers and colonists brought from Earth transported many of their ethnic, political, and socio-tribal grudges with them, leading to several outbreaks of violence in habitats and orbital stations. Some also harbored allegiances opposed to hypercorp interests, illustrated by isolated acts of preservationist sabotage and religious terrorist attacks. Various criminal networks also came along for the ride, expanding their black markets and vice trades wherever humans went.


As the hypercorps expanded, so too did their political opponents: the anarchists, socialists, argonauts and others who worked diligently to establish their own independent presence, mostly in the outer system, further from hypercorp reach. The hypercorps even contributed to this growth by sending their criminals and undesirable elements into exile beyond Mars.


Both sides invested heavily in research and new technologies. Advances in biotech, nanotech, AI, and cognitive science were now moving so rapidly that major breakthroughs were made on a yearly basis. Developments in one field created a recursive boost in the others, creating a feedback loop that spawned immense technological improvements. Off-world, genetic modifications were widely adopted, and new transhuman adaptations became a common sight. We even created new synthetic life forms that were part biological and part robotic. Despite some being so repulsed by this development that they dubbed these new types of beings “pod people,” it certainly didn’t stop pods from being rapidly absorbed into corporate workforces and brothels, nor did many people care enough to support claims that, as sapient beings, pods should have their own civil rights.


Two breakthroughs in this period deserve specific mention, not least because of their impact on our human—now transhuman—society. The development of the first nanotech assemblers signaled a paradigm shift for economics. Available only to the upper strata of the hypercorps at first, these elites jealously guarded these machines, capable of building almost anything from the atoms up. They placed all sorts of restrictions on their usage and availability, claiming that the capability to construct drugs, weapons, or other restricted items was a security risk that required them to be strictly controlled. Open source advocates promptly set to work undermining blueprint controls and seeding their own open source designs, of course. Likewise, within months, criminals and anarchists liberated their own assemblers, and suddenly an economic conflict was born. Some were put to use feeding the black market trade, while others were used to establish habitats and colonies with post-scarcity economies that no longer relied on wealth, property, or greed.


At the same time came the ability to map the human brain and digitally emulate the mind and memories, making “uploading” possible—followed closely by the ability to download back into a separate human brain of course. The already long-lived hypercorp masters no longer had to fear death by accident or injury. This technology also made its way into the hands of others, despite the costs. Experimentation with other bodies—both biological and synthetic—became a new playground for culture. And let’s not forget those who willingly shook off the shackles of the flesh to experience the virtual life and dive deep into their own dreamscape realities.


While we all enjoyed our new toys, though, Earth, poor Earth, continued to die a slow death. I can still recall the speculation that it might take centuries for the Earth to totally slide into ecological devastation. It was frustrating, everywhere you turned it seemed that someone was lamenting the state of the motherworld, but no one wanted to do anything. It was too expensive, or too far away, or too dangerous. We all have blood on our hands from that time. We stood by and watched from our places in orbit as the world burned around our brothers and sisters. We thought we had time, we thought the world was slowly dying and that we could find the cure. We didn’t plan on the TITANs.


We all remember the Fall. It was only ten years ago, but I never cease to be amazed at how confused people’s memories are of that time. Part of that is propaganda perpetuated by people like you, of course, and part of it is that most of us are afraid to really look back and examine how we humans managed to fuck it up so badly.


We like to pretend that the TITANs exploded on the scene, wrecked up the place, and then disappeared as quickly as they appeared. The truth, as always, is more complex. We claim to know that the TITANs somehow evolved by accident from a military netwar system, or so the theory goes. That is what their name means: an acronym for Total Information Tactical Awareness Networks. No one knows for sure where these first seed AIs came from, though—or if they do, they’re keeping quiet. Perhaps the TITANs were intentionally designed to be a recursively improving, selfaware digital intelligence. Perhaps the military boffins thought they could keep such an intelligence under their control, and that it would give them the edge they needed. Perhaps there was only one at first, and it quickly created hundreds if not thousands of copies of itself. No one even seems to know how many of them there were.


According to the written history—vetted by the hypercorps natch—we now know that the TITANs took several days after they “woke up” to scan the world around them, to learn about us. In their initial stage they were relatively benign, leeching network power and resources only where there was enough to spare and extending their senses beyond their cradle on Earth. Perhaps they were absorbing everything they could to understand us. Perhaps they were indifferent. Or maybe they really were planning to destroy us, as the vids all say.


I remember this time. I remember that when this new round of conflicts re-ignited on Earth, there was no word of anything about seed AIs or TITANs. For months and months, it was a simple escalation of hostilities. It started with claims of netwar operations and major intrusions, sparking some alarm and retaliatory attacks. Aggressive stances led to incriminations, then border conflicts and raids, followed by missile strikes and outright hostilities. Old grudges and sleeping enemies suddenly awoke and turned their renewed wrath against old foes. Brush wars, corporate rivalries, and ideological disputes flared up as insurgencies and rebellions were suddenly everywhere. At the time, it seemed like a not-so-unusual spate of violence had taken a drastic turn and was rapidly spiraling out of control.


According to the party line, this was all a carefully concerted effort, the first stage in the TITANs plans. Perhaps it was, though I remember some military officials once claiming that the TITANs were brought

online because of this violence, and not before then—an opinion that was quickly silenced. Then again, maybe we really were played—played by greater intelligences who could barely be bothered to deal with us themselves when they knew we were more than willing to murder and annihilate each other.


When the first reports of strange automatic factories cranking out large numbers of robotic weapons systems broke, no one knew who to blame, but clearly something was wrong. This was a turning point, a chance for humanity to realize that we collectively faced a new enemy, but the finger-pointing and direct conflict continued. Even when the first open attacks by the TITANs came in earnest, crashing major systems, taking control of critical infrastructures, and wreaking havoc and destruction, we treated it as a new front in the war, and never stopped taking shots at each other.


There is still debate over whether we should have tried to talk to the TITANs, whether they would have been willing to listen to us, whether they even saw us as something more than we see rats and roaches and other forms of vermin. But it’s all academic. The fact is we didn’t. The people who made the decisions, the ones who had to put it all on the line at the time, saw the TITANs as a threat. And they acted accordingly, trying to purge them from their systems or capture them for future study.


The philosopher Thomas Hobbes once spoke of the war of all against all. Whatever he imagined could not have been anything close to the conflict ignited by the TITANs. We killed ourselves by the millions, wielding the nuclear fire and the silent death of bioplagues indiscriminately. Among this carnage walked the TITANs, taking control of our machines as though we were children, harvesting millions of minds with forced uploads for unknown purposes. Every strike we launched against the TITANs was met with untold disaster and ruin, all our artifice and devices turned against us in our moment of need.


The Fall was a horror. Factories sprang up like a blight in the most ravaged and deserted places on Earth, pumping out legions of dread war machines. Advanced nanoswarms—far beyond our own capabilities—infested everywhere, mutating to deal with any threat they encountered. Biological nanovirii ripped through human populations, inflicting irreversible neurological damage. Potent infowar worms penetrated even hardened systems, shredding our crucial networks with ease. Prisoner populations were rounded up for forced mind emulations, suffering a luckier fate than those who were merely decapitated by head-collecting drones or pierced by robots with neuro-scanning proboscises. Neuropathic virii turned some humans into pawns of the TITANs, turning them against the rest of us. Other reports spoke of strange, alien happenings and unimaginable terrors. We found ourselves fighting a rearguard action against coming extinction. The plot of a hundred novels and movies made manifest in our lifetimes, the doom of transhumanity at the hands of the machines.


For over a year they stalked and destroyed us. There seemed to be no hurry on their part to bring us to an end, and why would there have been? Nothing we did affected them. They were data and information, they were thought and impulse, they were everywhere and nowhere, and there was nothing we could do that they could not turn back against us. Their influence spread outward from Earth, with outbreaks in orbit, on Luna, Mars, and many other places. Everywhere we had a foothold, the TITANs followed.


Perhaps you remember that point when it became clear that transhumanity might not survive. I do. Millions must have seen the signs. And so the great diaspora began, the teeming masses doing whatever they could to flee Earth. Ships were diverted, even built, to help people escape. Those who could not buy their way off the planet did their best to send their digital backups, in the dim hope they could acquire a new body. Perhaps one in ten escaped.


You might hear that we banded together to stop the threat, that in our darkest hour we forgave ancient grudges and simmering hatreds in the face of extinction. That would be a lie in the face of the ten thousand shot down over Buenos Aires by North American forces as they sought to escape, or the compromising of network security on over two dozen habitats in Lagrange orbits by corporate competitors as their rivals strove to fight off a TITANs attack. We were just as gleeful to destroy ourselves.


Then, as quickly as they appeared, the TITANs vanished. Over the course of a week, the attacks and disturbances trailed off and then stopped but for an occasional outbreak. The retributions and attacks by our own kind continued for a few more months, but the damage we did to ourselves was nothing compared to what the TITANs had done.


In the aftermath, we stood among the smoking ruins of transhumanity and surveyed all that had been lost. Of all the billions that existed before the Fall, fewer than one in every eight survived, and of those fewer still retained a corporeal form. Nevertheless, the surviving habitats and stations were overcrowded, with tensions high. Vast numbers of infugees circulated in storage, as there were simply not enough bodies on hand to accommodate them all. Some were placed in permanent storage, where they remain forgotten. Others were shunted into virtual reality, given no choice but to live their lives in simulated environments. A lucky few were given the chance to work as indentured servants, often to build new habitats, working on the promise of a body of their own someday. You’ve no doubt seen them, working in cheap mass produced synthmorph bodies in menial or dangerous tasks kept out of sight of the rest of us.


Those left dead or bereft of a body were the least of our problems. Our war with the TITANs had left the Earth a smoking, irradiated, toxic wasteland, still populated by dangerous machines and plagues. The newly formed Planetary Consortium, composed of hypercorp interests among the Martian and Lunar colonies, placed Earth and the space around it under quarantine. The official reason is that it’s for safety reasons, allegedly to keep any remaining threats from escaping Earth’s confines. Or perhaps we could not stand to look at our homeworld in such a state and face what we had done to ourselves.


Even now, ten years later, we are told that the Earth is dangerous, that it holds risks and surprises. That’s partly true, I believe—there are surprises alright, but the Planetary Consortium wants them all for itself.


[Rustling noises, murmurs]


Of course I’m talking about a Pandora Gate. The one the TITANs left behind on Saturn’s moon was just the first. You’re a fool if you think that there are only five in the entire system. I’d be willing to bet nearly anything that there’s one down there on dear old Earth.


Have you ever seen a Gate? No? Of course not. The hypercorps keep them locked down. Not like out in the wild, wild outer system. Sure, the Gatekeeper Corp lets anyone with a death wish and the minimum training take a jaunt through the original on Pandora, but if you’re lucky enough to come back, they own everything you find on the other side. I suppose it’s the chance for a certain type of adrenaline junkie “to boldly go” and all that nonsense.


The extrasolar colonies—now, those are an all new frontier. You inner system types are so predictable with your rush to colonize and expand and own everything, as if the universe is just there for your rich overlords to claim for themselves. I expect your extrasolar colonies are expanding quite nicely, given the sheer number of poor debt-conscripted souls you toss through. You probably have grand schemes of building galactic empires. Us. Transhumanity. A galactic civilization.


Well, galactic squatters at least. That was made clear when the solemn crossing guards of the cosmos showed up and issued us a warning that we were dabbling in Things What Ought Not To Have Been. Maybe the Factors are telling us the truth, maybe they are acting as ambassadors for a collection of spacefaring alien species that want to warn us away from Forbidden Technology— y'know, the technology we’ve already been burned by and of course have no plans to actually abandon. Think about the Two Commandments they have given us: thou shalt not create self-improving AI, and thou shalt not use the Pandora Gates. Oops. Do you think they know? About what happened with the TITANs? That even we don’t know where they went and that we’re kind of afraid to find out? Surely they know that we’ve been using the gates and have spread beyond our little backwater, and maybe that’s their real fear. But why do we even listen to what some highly-evolved slime mold tells us to do anyway?


Taking risks, that’s the price of progress, no? Let’s face it, we need some hope. We need a new Earth to replace the one we destroyed, a place where we can go and breed like rabbits and fuck it all up over and over again. We need to know that we can expand beyond this solar system, because right now it’s feeling a little confining, like we could be easily trapped and wiped out if the TITANs ever return. We need to know that we have a future. We need to know that we can make it through our own efforts. That we won’t do ourselves in on our own.


The Lost proved that. It was a noble objective, to speed a new generation of children to adulthood, but the process was flawed. Taking force-grown clones, raising them in VR, and then dumping them into adult bodies after they’ve only been alive for a few years of objective time—but over eighteen years of their subjective time? An entire childhood, having only each other and AIs for company. It’s enough to fuck anyone up. It was a grand experiment, but it failed, and now we have another reminder of our failures living among us.


That’s us, in all our glory. Ten years after the Fall and we remain a broken, squabbling mess, jailed by slime molds, beaten by uppity software, and yet our own worst enemies. Spreading out from a home we don’t even have any more. Our numbers reduced and dwindling further with each passing day. Who will save us? We don’t even want to save ourselves most of the time. Or so it seems. But if we don’t, there’s no future. And I, for one, have not lived this fucking long to give up now. You, me, we’re effectively immortal. The entire galaxy is waiting out there for us. We’d be stupid not to go see it.


End Transcript

ECLIPSE PHASE TIMELINE


NOTE: All dates are given in reference to the Fall. BF = Before the Fall. AF = After the Fall. (e.g., BF 10 = 10 years before the Fall.)


BF 60+

  • Crisis grips the globe in the form of drastic climate changes, energy shortages, and geopolitical instability.
  • Initial space expansion creates stations at the Lagrange Points, Luna, and Mars, with robotic exploration of the entire system.
  • Construction begins on a space elevator.
  • Medical advances improve health and organ repair. The rich pursue gene-fixing and transgenic pets.
  • Computer intelligence capabilities equal and exceed that of the human brain. True AI not yet developed.
  • Robotics become widespread and start to replace/invalidate many jobs.
  • Modern nations expand their high-speed wireless networks.


BF 60–40

  • Efforts to undertake megascale geoengineering on Earth cause as many problems as they fix.
  • Major colonies established on the Moon and Mars; outposts established near Mercury, Venus, and the Belt. Explorers reach Pluto.
  • First space elevator on Earth finished. Two others in progress. Space traffic booms.
  • Mass driver built on the Moon.
  • Terraforming of Mars begins.
  • Fusion power developed and working plants established.
  • Genetic enhancements, gene therapies (for longevity), and cybernetic implants become available to the wealthy and powerful.
  • First non-autonomous AIs are secretly developed and quickly put to use in research and netwar.
  • Experience playback (XP) technology developed and put into public use.

BF 40–20

  • Violence and destabilization wrack the Earth; some conflicts spread into space.
  • Argonauts split from hypercorps, taking resources to autonomist habitats.
  • Space expansion opens up legal/ethical loopholes for tech development and allows for increased direct human experimentation.
  • Human cloning becomes possible and available in some areas.
  • Development of first transhuman species.
  • First dolphins and chimpanzees uplifted to sapience.
  • Fusion-drive spacecraft enter common usage.
  • Extended colonization and terraforming of Mars continues. Belt and Titan colonized. Stations established throughout the system.
  • The starving masses volunteer themselves for indentured servitude on hypercorp space projects.
  • Augmented reality becomes widespread.
  • Most networks transformed into self-repairing mesh networks.
  • Personal AI aides become widespread.

BF 20–0

  • Earth continues to suffer, but the pace of technology allows for some interesting developments.
  • Expansion throughout the system, even into the Kuiper Belt.
  • Transhuman species become widespread.
  • Nanotech assemblers become available, but are strictly controlled and jealously guarded by the elite and powerful.
  • Uploading and the digital emulation of memory and consciousness made possible.
  • More species (gorillas, orangutans, octopi, ravens, parrots) uplifted to sapience.
  • Pods see common usage, amid some controversy.

The Fall

  • The TITANs evolve from a high-level distributed netwar experiment into self-improving seed AIs. For the first few days, their existence is unsuspected. They advance their awareness, knowledge, and power exponentially, infiltrating the mesh both on Earth and around the system.
  • Large-scale netwar incursions break out between rival states on Earth, sparking numerous conflicts. These attacks are later blamed on the TITANs.
  • Simmering tensions on Earth escalate into outright hostilities and warfare.
  • Massive netwar breaks out and major systems crash as TITANs begin open attacks, also using autonomous war machines.
  • Conflict quickly spirals out of control. The use of nuclear, biological, chemical, digital, and nanotech weapons reported by all sides.
  • TITANs engage in mass forced uploading of human minds.
  • TITAN attacks expand to other parts of solar system, heaviest on the Moon and Mars. Numerous habitats also fall.
  • TITANs suddenly disappear from system, taking millions of uploaded minds with them.
  • The Earth is left a devastated wasteland, a patchwork of radiation hotspots, sterile zones, nanoswarm clouds, roaming war machines, and other unknown and hidden things among the ruins.

AF 0–10

  • A wormhole gateway is discovered on Saturn’s moon Pandora, left by the TITANs. Four others are later found (in the Vulcanoids, on Mars, on Uranus, and in the Kuiper Belt); these are collectively referred to as “Pandora Gates.”
  • Expeditions are sent to extrasolar worlds via the Pandora Gates. Numerous exoplanet colonies established.
  • First contact with the aliens known as the Factors shocks the system. Claiming to act as ambassadors for other alien civilizations, they provide little information about life outside the solar system and warn transhumans away from both seed AI and the Pandora Gates.
  • An attempt to raise a generation of children using force-grown clones and time-accelerated VR fails miserably when most of the children die or go insane. Dubbed the Lost Generation, the survivors are viewed with repugnance and pity.

AF 10

  • Present day.

THE SOLAR SYSTEM AFTER THE FALL


NOTE: Before the Fall, the solar system had a population of approximately eight billion, with all but five million of these people living on Earth. The Fall wiped out almost ninety-five percent of transhumanity, and today the population of the solar system is slightly less than half a billion, with almost all of these transhumans living off the Earth. The lifestyles of these people were almost unimaginable thirty years earlier—the vast majority are immortals living in sealed habitats on hostile alien planets or in sealed space colonies, the largest of which hold more than a million inhabitants and are many kilometers long.


In this vastly changed setting with its vastly changed inhabitants, the core concerns of humanity remain much the same. People seek both material abundance and social status, and they wrap themselves in various public and private ceremonies. Like generations of humans before them, transhumans separate themselves into different cultures and subcultures, all of which enjoy a wide variety of physical and virtual entertainments. Politics and economics remain vitally important and as always, those who are wealthy, powerful, and famous have a large degree of control over the lives of those who are poor, relatively powerless, and unknown.

TRANSHUMANITYEdit

NOTE: Humanity as a concept has been replaced withtranshumanity. Most people now alive left Earth as

infomorphs and were subsequently resleeved into new morphs. Bodies are things that can be modified and replaced, much as someone can alter or exchange a suit of clothing. Identity is centered in the mind, which can exist as a disembodied infomorph living in virtual worlds or dwelling in a vast array of strange and exotic morphs. While there are bioconservatives who resist these many changes to identity and physicality, they are very much in the minority.


To most people, transhumanity has also been expanded in scope to factor in non-human persons such

as AGIs and uplifts, though the rights and status of these sentients is sometimes contested. As transhumans continue to absorb the ramifications of this new way of life, they face a new crop of problems and issues. Two of the largest and most important are the increase in inequality and the splintering and separation of transhumanity into many different clades.

INEQUALITY


NOTE: The technologies first developed in the decade before the Fall and refined in the decade after its end have transformed humanity. In all but the most backwards, impoverished, and repressive regions of the solar system, the vast majority of humanity is smarter, healthier, and richer than any humans

have ever been. Additionally, individuals can improve their minds and their bodies in almost any fashion their imaginations can dream up. Those who can afford the right augmentations can think faster, never forget anything they have ever learned, become mathematical savants, and heal from injuries many times faster than an unmodified human. When resleeving is combined with implants, transhumans can gain even more amazing capabilities—but these benefits are far from free.


During the first decade after the Fall, most of the surviving population was relatively poor. Many were grateful to have any morph at all. While the economic situation has improved, significant

inequalities remain and seem unlikely to change. Hundreds of millions of people must make do with very basic splicers (p. 139), worker pods (p. 142), cases (p. 143), or synths (p. 143), while a few million are wealthy enough to have custom-designed morphs created for them, complete with

all the augmentations they desire. These same members of the elite live in luxurious villas and mansions, and in a few cases privately-owned asteroids, while most other people must make do with

a few hundred cubic meters of dwelling space. However, while inequities of living space are ancient, the issue of economic inequality producing inequities of physical and mental capacities is both relatively new and considerably more problematic.


In regions using the old and transitional economies (see p. 61), differences between the rich and the poor are expressed in terms of money. In habitats using the new economy (p. 62), wealth is meaningless and status and opportunity are denoted with reputation scores. In all three economies, some people have more than others, and because of this, technology allows the better off to be better than the people around them. Skillware lets people buy knowledge and expertise, while multi-tasking and mental speed implants allow individuals to get more done at once. Someone fortunate

enough to acquire large numbers of such augmentations is capable of significantly more than someone who lacks them, and so can do even more to increase their money or rep, thus serving to further perpetuate inequality. This problem is less serious in the reputation-based economies of the outer system, however, as it significantly easier to build reputation through hard work and dedication, as opposed to the rigidly-controlled monetary economies of the inner system and the Jovian Republic, where class stratification is institutionalized and upward mobility is largely a myth.


As many supporters of the status quo are fond of pointing out, even the “havenots” are smarter and healthier than any previous generation of humans and carry as much potential immortality as the wealthiest member of the elite. It is equally true, however, that in many ways the divisions between rich and the poor are significantly greater than they have ever been, especially in the inner system. In the past, the members of the elite might be somewhat healthier and better fed than the have-nots, but both rich and poor still lived in relatively similar and fundamentally human bodies. Now, the

very nature of humanity has been called into question. The least fortunate can be forced to inhabit bodies designed specifically for the pleasure of those wealthier than them or even denied any body and forced to live as infomorphs until they can find some way to acquire a new morph—typically by selling their services to the highest bidder. Meanwhile, the well-off can customize their bodies and their minds, enabling them to accomplish far more and to be considerably more impressive and charismatic than anyone lacking their advantages. These inequalities may seem insurmountable, but some anarchistic groups and even some entire habitats have dedicated themselves to reducing inequities by producing low cost (and occasionally highly unreliable) versions of many of the more impressive morphs and augmentations.

CLADES AND SEPARATION


NOTE: In many habitats, hyper-augmented elites rule a mass of humanity that is stuck using low-end morphs and minimal augmentations, or even infomorphs living in rented morphs, but this is not the only option found in the solar system. Transhumanity has splintered into a wide variety of subcultures, some of which are based upon an individual’s choice of morph. Some of this separation is due to the necessity of inhabiting difficult environments. From aquanauts living in Europa’s aquatic environment or rusters on Mars to the fact that zero-g habitats are relatively inexpensive and are best inhabited by microgravity-adapted morphs like bouncers, many unusual environments require those living in them to choose from a very limited range of morphs. Sometimes, though, this separation is ideological in nature, such as the rise of groups like the ultimates (p. 82) or some of the separatist uplift communities that seek to define their own space separate from human cultures.


There are dozens of specialist morphs and an even greater number of habitats or other settlements that are inhabited largely or exclusively by individuals using a single type of morph or a limited number of specialist morphs. In the asteroid belt and in the rings and smaller moons of Saturn, there are more than one hundred habitats that do not rotate, with all portions in zero or near-zero gravity. The inhabitants typically use bouncer or novacrab morphs, along with a small number of synthetic morphs and other pods.


There is also a vast number of other habitats that are segregated in various other ways, including ones where all permanent residents are uplifts inhabiting one of the various transgenic morphs, like the octomorph or neo-avian morphs. Other habitats are only open to residents with various enhanced morphs like exalts or mentons. There are even habitats where all residents must inhabit morphs that are all clones of one another. In almost all of these habitats, residents are free to add whatever augmentations they wish to their morphs, but some habitats forbid residents from changing their morph’s external appearance, and individuals who violate this rule are forced to leave the habitat if they refuse to reverse these changes.


Some habitats do away with the necessity of both life support and gravity. In these locations, all residents are infomorphs who either inhabit their own synth bodies or, in a few very eccentric cases, where all of the inhabitants are infomorphs who spend most of their existence in the habitat’s central computers. When they need to interact with the physical world, these infomorphs are free to use one of the many synthmorphs that the habitat owns and that the residents share among themselves. Although considered quite eccentric to many and horrifying to bioconservatives, habitats inhabited solely by synthmorphs or infomorphs are among the least expensive to build and maintain and are a low-cost way for groups of infomorph refugees from Earth to gain independence. Because individuals who choose this way of life have often spent a decade or more as infomorphs, this option often seems both familiar and in many ways more comfortable than inhabiting a living morph. As Earth becomes more distant in transhumanity’s collective memory, its traditions and social norms hold less sway and people feel more free to create and use new bodies and new ways of life to go along with them.

FIRST CONTACT: THE FACTORS


NOTE: Ironically, the first contact between transhumanity and alien life was made by a group of isolates with no interest in the rest of transhumanity. A brinker doomsday cult habitat in the Neptunian Trojans, patiently waiting out the prophesized return of the TITANs, suffered a severe life support systems failure. Not expecting anyone to respond to their distress signals, they were simultaneously relieved and shocked to have an alien starship come to their aid.


Shortly after this event, three unknown ships of alien design simultaneously approached Mars, Luna, and Titan, logging on to local networks to announce their presence and peaceful intentions. Though their presence initially raised alarm and panic, their rescue of the brinkers and assurances of non-hostility allowed cooler heads to prevail. Coming just three years after the silent hostility of the TITANs, the new aliens were pleasantly non-threatening.


Quickly dubbed “Factors,” both because of their claims to act as ambassadors for an assortment of alien civilizations and because of their interesting biology, initial communications between species were confusing and jumbled. The Factors made a number of veiled warnings and expressed concern over certain technological developments, particularly unrestrained artificial intelligence. They have refused entirely to deal with digital entities and broken off negotiations with anyone currently engaged in AGI development or utilizing the Pandora Gates. The Factors have implied that they were aware of and watching humanity for some time, but chose to wait to make contact … implying some implicit fear of the singularity.


Dealing with multiple factions, the primary relationship between the Factors to transhumanity is a commercial one. Though they are often dismissive of transhumanity’s technological achievements, they are interested in our scientific development and breakthroughs, particularly in the biosciences, as well as our art, history, and culture. They remain tight-lipped about their own civilization and other xenomorphs, though they have on occasion traded alien artifacts of unusual design and peculiar function. It is widely assumed that these are simply trinkets of limited value and that the Factors are careful not to share anything of true worth to transhumanity, particularly anything that might drastically affect our growth.


Biologically, the Factors appear to be some sort of evolved slime mold colony. As far as is known, they communicate purely by chemical signals and receptors, requiring any interactions with transhumanity to be computer mediated. Several different types of Factors have been sighted, implying that they engage in heavy biological modification.


Factor starcraft appear to be lighthuggers capable of near-light speeds. Due to the frequency of their visitations to the solar system (2–3 times a year), however, it is speculated that they either have a nearby base, or that they possess the capabilities for faster-than-light travel—or possibly they have Pandora Gates of their own.


Given the wide dissimilarities in psychology between transhuman species and the Factors it would be presumptuous to speculate concerning their true feelings and agenda towards transhumanity. It is hoped, however, that by continuing negotiations with them, transhumanity may learn more about the nature of the galaxy—and possibly even our own history.

CULTURE AND SOCIETYEdit

NOTE: The Fall and its aftermath continues to be a major influence on transhuman culture and society. Prior to the start of the evacuation, more than ninety-nine percent of the people who survived the Fall had never been off Earth. For them, space was a distant realm where other, more daring and adventurous people lived, a place Earth dwellers only saw on videos. Earth was their home. Then, in the course of a few short

years, hundreds of millions of people were forced to leave Earth. The fortunate few first evacuees left with no more than a dozen kilograms of possessions, while the vast majority were infomorph refugees who left Earth with nothing, not even their bodies.


Today, transhumanity is divided into three groups. The first group contains the true veterans of space life, the less-than-one-percent of humanity that was already living in space before the Fall. The second group is the ten percent of the population that was either born after the Fall or is too young to remember living on Earth. The remaining eighty-nine percent of the current population of the solar system lived generally happy and prosperous lives on Earth before the Fall forced them to flee for their lives. These refugees from Earth form a powerful social force, but as time goes on memories of Earth grow dim, and people adapt to their new homes and lives.

THE LONGING FOR EARTH


NOTE: Most of transhumanity, especially those who were forced to flee from the dying Earth, still mourn their former home. Their longing for and nostalgia of Earth has profoundly affected transhuman culture. Artifacts from Earth, including ones as trivial as coins or bits of dried vegetation, are considered to be treasured mementos that have great economic and emotional value.


The interdiction of Earth makes acquiring such artifacts quite difficult and dangerous. As a result, the trade in Earth artifacts is a lucrative portion of the black market, enough so that fearless scavengers are willing to risk being shot down by a patrolling killsat just to get to Earth, where they also face death from numerous lingering dangers. The mesh is peppered with stories of daring explorers who traveled to Earth to retrieve all manner of priceless relics, as well as an equal number of stories about explorers who died or simply vanished on such expeditions. More than one team of gatecrashers has funded their expedition through a preliminary relic-hunting expedition to Earth, whihc serves to test their mettle while they work to raise funds.


Nostalgia for Earth also affects the way transhumanity has redesigned itself. In the decade prior to the Fall, humanity had begun to freely alter itself, with both radical body modification and the first commercial resleeving resulting in a growing number of obviously non-human morphs. The vast majority of current morphs, however, are relatively human in appearance (if not in internal structure). Even for people too young to remember the Fall, asserting individual humanity is an important part of post- Fall culture. Some people keep a resemblance to the traditional human form as a remembrance of Earth, while others do it to celebrate humanity’s victory over the monstrous and inhuman TITANs that attempted to destroy them. With the exception of a few eccentric groups like the ultimates, the majority of humanity values looking human and preserving human traditions and institutions. Also, even the ultimates’ current version of their remade morph is considerably more human looking than the versions their predecessors designed before the Fall. As a result, while synthmorphs are relatively common, most are made to look humanoid. There are a few radically inhuman morphslike the novacrab, the arachnoid, and the flexbot, but they are almost exclusively used for highly specialized purposes. Until recently, anyone who used one as their primary morph was considered deeply eccentric (or worse), but attitudes have gradually begun to soften, and these morphs are gradually becoming more acceptable for regular use.


This mixture of reverence and nostalgia for Earth sometimes has a darker side. Individuals who choose to have morphs that look visibly non-human experience a mild degree of prejudice in many habitats, and militant bioconservatives denounce those who look sufficiently non-human as being covert allies of the TITANs. Uplifted animals also face significant discrimination from many humans. These prejudices are relatively common in the inner system and can be quite extreme among bioconservatives. As a result, uplifts and individuals who prefer inhuman-looking morphs often live in separatist communities in the outer system. In much of the inner system, uplifts and individuals using a visibly non-human morph as their primary or only morph are viewed with suspicion and occasionally treated as second-class citizens. While most habitats have laws mandating morphological freedom and many also have laws making prejudice based on morphological choice illegal, these attitudes remain quite resilient.

NOSTALGIA JEWELRY


NOTE: As both a reminder and a visible marker of their lost homeland, a significant number of refugees from Earth wear jewelry containing a coin or, more rarely, an old stamp from transhumanity’s former home. Popularly known as nostalgia jewelry, most of these items are made into pendants or lapel pins, but a few are rings. Before the Fall, coins and stamps were largely curiosities primarily of interest to collectors, having fallen out of use forty years BF. Already scarce, few were saved during the Fall as carrying such useless mass off Earth during the evacuation was discouraged or forbidden. A few extensive collections already existed off-world, however. Even so, less than a million authentic samples survived, meaning the vast majority of people wearing such items make do with exact copies made in cornucopia machines. Actual coins or stamps are very expensive, meaning that some daring scavengers are willing to risk the interdiction of Earth for the express purpose of salvaging relics.

FEAR AND PARANOIA


NOTE: The Fall left behind a persistent legacy of fear. This has faded over the past decade, but a great many humans still unconsciously expect the other shoe to drop and the TITANs to return at any moment. Others worry that their agents are already among them, preparing for the complete destruction of humanity. The arrival of the Factors caused widespread panic, and even today a substantial minority of people assumes they are cat’s paws for the TITANs—or possibly their creations.


There are a few (often insane or deeply eccentric) people who worship the TITANs or otherwise support their agenda (including self-described “singularity seekers” who hope to find and be uploaded by the TITANs to join their ascension to super-intelligence), but all of them must keep their beliefs carefully hidden.Even now, expressing any support for the TITANs or advocating the creation of self-improving seed AIs

is illegal in most habitats. Anyone who does so runs the risk of becoming the target of mob violence that the authorities are unlikely to investigate too closely. Merely being suspected of being a supporter of the

TITANs, or worse, someone who has been secretly infected by them and is now their agent, is enough to get someone shunned or even killed. While such incidents are now far rarer than they were in the first

few years after the Fall, people who act too eccentric and who lack someone with a sufficiently high rep to defend them or explain their actions are occasionally killed, typically by being thrown out an airlock. Those responsible for these “spacings” are dealt with quite harshly in most habitats, since in almost all cases later investigation reveals that the victim had no connection to the TITANs.


There are also periodic rumors in many habitats, especially small and isolated habitats, that one or more other habitats have been taken over by the TITANs, leading to a variety of inter-habitat problems. Such

rumors are usually resolved fairly quickly, but the most persistent can seriously harm relations between habitats. Claims that other habitats are infested with or even controlled by agents of the TITANs are frequenly employed by extreme bioconservatives hoping to demonize radical habitats populated entirely by infomorphs or synthmorphs. As more people manage to put the fear and horror of the Fall behind them, such claims are less likely to be believed. Unfortunately, on very rare occasions, people are still infected by TITAN-created relics and actually become their unwilling agents. Since such incidents are rare, however, they have become easy to dismiss.

AN EXSURGENT THREAT?


NOTE: [Incoming Message. Source: Anonymous]


[Public Key Decryption Complete]


Ok, you asked, so I’ll tell you. There are some elements within Firewall that don’t buy into the TITANs-ran-amok-and- considered-us-a-threat idea, or even that the TITANs are solely responsible for the Fall. These people think that the TITANs found or encountered something when they started their takeoff toward the singularity—something that changed them. They point to the wide range of multi-vector virii that ran loose during the Fall, and how even many of the TITANs seem to have succumbed to these infections. They also reference a disturbing number of accounts of events during the Fall that are inexplicable … things like people being transformed into strange, alien creatures … or phenomena that seem to defy certain physical laws, as if something was at times ignoring what we know of physics and just doing whatever it felt like … Some of these voices within Firewall even think that the TITANs may not have been responsible for the Pandora Gates … They have a name for this mystery infection. They call it the Exsurgent virus.

REAL AND SOCIAL DISTANCE


NOTE: The vast distances between most habitats give all communications—with the exception of those using the rare and expensive QE communicators (p. 314)—a significant time lag between asking a question andreceiving an answer. In most cases, the time lag ranges from ten seconds to several hours, and it makes realtime communications between distant habitats difficult or impossible. Communication problems only serve to further isolate habitats from one another, and as a result people socialize primarily with members of their own habitat (or habitat cluster, if their habitat is part of one of the various groupings of between two and twenty habitats that abound throughout the solar system).


Within a habitat or habitat group, communication between residents is effectively instantaneous, thanks to the omnipresent wireless grid known as the mesh (p. 234). Anyone wearing a mid-range ecto (p. 325)

or using basic mesh inserts (p. 300) can communicate with others in ways that go far beyond mere voice contact. Both devices allow AR communications that are in most ways barely distinguishable from in-person

communication, so people can effectively spend in-person time with anyone in their habitat at any moment when both of them are free and interested in communicating. Unless someone deliberately wishes to turn off communication because they are sleeping or otherwise busy, people can always get in touch with one another. Many close friends and romantic partners regularly communicate anytime they have a spare moment, sharing comments and jokes. This communication is far more awkward and distant if there is a time lag of several minutes between every comment, so inter-habitat communication is never as informal or close.


Although travel via egocasting (tramsitting an ego to another habitat, where it is resleeved) is as easy, if not as cheap, as communication, a trip to another habitat is considered to be a significant journey with a range of costs. Individuals traveling to a different habitat will no longer be able to engage in real-time communication or shared real-time entertainments with people back on the habitat they left, so the traveler will have to find a new social environment. In addition to the trouble and expense of acquiring a new morph in the new habitat, the social distancebetween individuals and the social network they leave

behind is part of the cost of travel. Before the Fall, refugees from Earth were accustomed to being able to easily communicate with anyone else on Earth. Wealthier individuals could easily journey just about anywhere on the planet in a few hours while still being able to communicate with everyone back in their home city with no noticeable change. The exodus of transhumanity from Earth, though, means that an individual’s social world is only as large as their habitat. Even a relatively brief communication lag, such as the two to thirty seconds that is the average time lag between any two of the Jovian or Saturnian moons, greatly hinders the flow of back-and-forth communication. When time-lags are involved, most communication consists of messages rather than any attempt at continuous conversations. In situations where a more in-depth discussion is necessary and time is limited, someone can send a fork of themselves—a digital copy (p. 273)—to hold the discussion remotely on their behalf, and then return for reintegration. Since there is already a large time lag between sending a message and obtaining any possible response, most people do not hurry to answer messages from distant habitats except in the most urgent circumstances, further isolating people residing in distant portions of the solar system.

SOLARCHIVE SEARCH: SINGULARITY SEEKERS


NOTE: Singularity seekers are those with an unhealthy fascination in so-called singularity events, such as the hard takeoff of the TITANs to super-intelligence. Some are part of a radical sect of “exhumans” who believe that transhumans are destined to become godlike superbeings and are determined to get there first. Others act on a defensive impulse, believing that the only way humanity can survive another threat from beings like the TITANs is by becoming as hyperintelligent as their enemies are. Still other singularity seekers are researchers and spiritual seekers who are frustrated with the limitations of their own minds and seek to become something greater. Some of these people become gatecrashers, searching for advanced alien artifacts to help them in their quest. Others experiment with employing conventional technologies in new and exotic ways, such as creating mentally linked networks of forks or incorporating extra-fast and powerful computers into synthmorphs and pods.


A few of the most daring seek artifacts left behind by the TITANs, hoping to incorporate techniques and technologies created by these inhuman beings into their minds. This last group is the most notorious, in large part because of the spectacular nature of some of their failures. On occasion, these artifact hunters have awakened devices that have lain dormant for a decade and caused local outbreaks of TITAN technologies. These incidents have caused many people to regard singularity seekers as everything from potentially dangerous eccentrics to unknowing pawns of the TITANs.

THE RISE OF CULTURAL REGIONS


NOTE: The only exception to the social distance between different habitats occurs when colonies are located on or in relatively close orbit around the same planet or moon. The inhabitants of Mars can all communicate

with one another instantaneously, as can everyone on Luna or in Lunar orbit. However, the rivalry between the various Martian city-states—and between the primary hypercorp domes and the rural Martian poor—imposes its own social distance. Individuals from different city-states do socialize, but among the elite social cliques, spending too much time communicating with members of another city-state is viewed as somewhat odd and potentially even disloyal. As a result, Martians tend to be relatively isolated even from their close neighbors. Nevertheless, the short distances between the Martian city-states and the orbiting habitats mean that there remains a general Martian culture that is different from the cultures of the rest of the solar system. Distance barriers have produced similar levels of cultural differentiation in other portions of the solar system.


The colonies in the vicinity of both Jupiter and Saturn each form a separate cultural unit, as do the colonies in Earth orbit and on and around Luna. The same is true for the Jovian Trojan and Greek asteroids. In each of these regions, people communicate and travel more between habitats and settlements than they do with outside regions. Social scientists refer to the different sections of the solar system as separate cultural regions. The different regions of the belt also each form a similar culturalregion, but because asteroids in different orbits eventually drift quite far apart, the cohesion and unity of these cultural units is somewhat weaker. Habitats on the edge of the solar system (around Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) form very small cultural regions, but the few habitats in the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud have no cultural region since the distance between them is so extreme.


Though communications between habitats within the same cultural region is somewhat awkward due to intra-regional cultural differences and small timelags, it is usually fast and easy enough for people on different habitats to keep in regular contact with one another. In addition, most habitats within the same cultural region are sufficiently close that egocasting between them is affordable by most people. In contrast, egocasting between cultural regions is relatively expensive. Many social scientists predict that within one or two decades, different cultural regions will be at least as different from one another as distant nations of Earth were from one another during the first half of the 20th century—perhaps even more so due to the physical alterations that cultures introduce as they continue to evolve.

CULTURAL EXPERIMENTATION


NOTE: While nostalgia for Earth remains a powerful social motivation, the break from Earth led many inhabitants of the solar system to experiment with new forms of culture and society. Since the Fall destroyed physical links with the past and the defeat of the last old-Earth governments ended ideological ties with the old political and social forces, many transhumans saw themselves as living in a new, free era where the past was dead. Even people who always wear nostalgia jewelry and spend several hours a day in simulspaces set on old Earth are very interested in the possibility of social and political experimentation. Those without criticisms of Earth’s nation-states and their many failings still rue the day when Earth fell.


Many of the most extreme social experimenters moved to the numerous small outer system habitats that were created in the decade after the Fall, but people interested in social and cultural experimentation can be found throughout the solar system. In addition to playing with various interior structure and design ideas, the inhabitants of many stations experiment with all manner of unique social and political rules. A few habitats do so quite deliberately, either because the members are interested in social innovation or because researchers associated with a hypercorp or university have offered them goods or services in return for testing one of their latest theories. Such experiments have included establishing stations where all of the residents are sleeved in hermaphroditic morphs in order to measure the impact on customs and language when gender is abolished or spurring the residents of a particular station to freely switch their morphs based on the responsibilities and duties they have on a given day. Such staged experiments are however, relatively rare—the vast majority of unique customs and social structures that have come about since the Fall naturally evolved from groups of likeminded individuals living together in the same habitat and working, consciously or not, to make life better fit with their aesthetics or ideology.

GENDER, SEXUALITY, AND RELATIONSHIPS


NOTE: To many transhumans, gender has become an outdated social construct with no basis in biology. After all, it’s hard to give credence to gender roles when an ego can easily modify their sex, switch skins, or experience the lives of others via XP. Though most transhumans still adhere to the gender associated with their original biological sex, many others switch gender identities as soon as they reach adulthood or avidly pursue repeated transgender switching. Still others examine and adopt untraditional sex-gender identities such as neuters (believing a lack of sex allows greater focus in their pursuits) or dual gender (the best of both worlds). In many bioconservative habitats and cultures, however, more traditional gender roles persevere.


Sexuality has also expanded into new frontiers and taboos. With basic biomods providing contraception and protections from STDs, casual sex is the norm. Many people pursue careers as well-paid companions and escorts. In fact, sexual experimentation is standard thanks to several new technologies. Virtual reality allows sexual encounters without physically touching a partner, not to mention bringing all manner of

fantasies to life. For those that prefer the touch of real skin, AI-driven pleasure pods can fulfill any and all needs and are a legal form of prostitution in many habitats. Sex-switching also lends itself to new experiences, whether via bio-mods or a new sleeve. Even AGIs, having been socialized as humans, exhibit sexuality and desire.


The extension of lifespans and the decline of religion have drastically impacted social institutions like marriage. Given the possible changes to both cognition and biology over a transhuman’s lifetime, lifelong relationships are no longer considered realistic. The idea of long-term relationships as a social contract has grown exponentially. While this has resulted in a number of marriages that are political or like a business transaction, most people continue to view marriage as a bond of emotional attachment and trusts—in particular a bond that transcends bodies, as either partner may change morphs at any time.

The Diversity of Habitats


NOTE: The ability of a few thousand like-minded people of moderate means to acquire a small habitat where they can create their own society resembles the ability of inhabitants of the United States in the 19th century to set out for the West and found their own ideologically based communities. The primary difference is that creating such communities is faster and easier in the modern era. The mesh is filled with all manner of virtual communities where members hope to eventually gather the means to create their own habitats. In most cases, these are merely idle dreams; most participants are not willing to sacrifice the time and rep or money needed. Occasionally the members try, only to find out that some of the people promoting this effort are con artists. Occasionally virtual subcultures manage to raise the necessary dedication and trust to build their own habitat and begin the process of creating their own physical society. A decade of this sort of cultural experimentation by many hundreds of habitats has produced a number of unique and strange societies.


As an example, there are habitats where the inhabitants wear garments and AR images that cover their bodies—and, in the most extreme cases, their faces—and residents only reveal their morph’s true appearance to their closest friends and immediate family. There are also stations where all members use cosmetic modification to adopt the same ideal look, as well as ones where all residents use morphs that are clones of one another. Some of the most eccentric habitats are populated by extreme bioconservatives overcome with nostalgia for the past, leading them to model both their society and all visible technology

after some earlier period in history, typically some time between zero and 50 years BF.


There are even a few habitats that totally disregard commonly held feelings about forks and merging. Such community members regularly split off multiple forks when they awaken and plan their day and then merge the various forks when they go to sleep that night. Some forks remain infomorphs for the day, while others use one of the various morphs the individual owns or rents, which means that each resident typically lives between two and six separate lives every day. A few societies, like the home of the infamous Pax Familiae, go even further—all residents are forks of the same individual. In some of these solipsistic habitats, the forks are all expected to use cloned morphs, while in others each fork is considered a separate person who should go and forge their own unique life. Some of the less extreme manifestations of this type of habitat include places inhabited by families that are partially or entirely composed of forks of one of the members (the various forks tend to be treated as siblings).

TECHNOLOGYEdit

NOTE: Technology pervades all aspects of existence in Eclipse Phase. Most individuals understand that unless humanity suffers another event like the Fall or they personally suffer some very serious and unlikely accident,

they are unlikely to permanently die. More people are now planning for a very long future. For most people these schemes are fairly minimal, but they often include an awareness that few, if any, relationships are likely to last an entire lifetime. However, functional immortality is only one of the many wonders of the modern world.

LIVING WITH INFOTECH


NOTE: For anyone with basic mesh inserts (p. 300) or an ecto (meaning about ninety-six percent of the population), life is filled with data. For people with the best implants, all information available on the mesh is available at a thought. For everyone else, it only requires a brief pause to access and understand it. When someone pauses and looks a bit distracted in the midst of a conversation, everyone understands they are accessing data and lack the implants to allow them to do this subconsciously or via multi-tasking. As a result, when a group of people are discussing a topic and no one immediately knows an answer to a question, such as the title of a performer’s first vid, within a few seconds everyone has this information. Similarly, when someone walks through a garden, with a glance and perhaps a brief thought or small finger motion, they can call up detailed data on each and every species of plant that sits in front of them. Individuals going to remote areas that are out of normal mesh broadcasting range almost always either carry a farcaster-link with them or download truly vast amounts of data into their implants or ecto so they can continue to access all the data they might need. Since even a basic implant can hold vast amounts of data, lack of storage space is rarely an issue.


Access to such a vast amount of easily available information has resulted in a variety of cultural responses. Being able to quote from any vid, old movie, book, or historical speech is now trivially easy and can be done with a few seconds of thought. While children and young teens often play by interjecting large amounts of semi-appropriate famous quotes in their speech, most adults only do so for emphasis and in moderation. People who quote from other sources too often are considered dull and unimaginative. Recognizing such quotes is quite easy, since someone can simply set their muse to alert them to the nature and

identity of all lengthy quotes they hear.


All experienced mesh users also learn (typically as children and teens) how to avoid taking too much time out from conversations to check facts or access information via the mesh. Teens regularly mock their fellows who pause too often or too long in conversations to look up further information on a topic someone mentioned, or who spend too long trying to assemble facts to support an argument. Terms like “meshed out” or “drooler” are used by teens to mock each other into learning how to be both discreet and faster in their information searches, at least when also interacting with others. While adults rarely engage in the same sort of direct and obvious mockery, people who get too lost in casual or conversational meshbrowsing are widely viewed as socially inept. As a result, implants that allow multi-tasking or temporarily speed up thought are in great demand, since they allow individuals to do extensive research and rehearse each statement they are going to make without a moment’s pause. People who can afford such software almost always seem more suave, charismatic, and intelligent than those who do not.


All this means that those who lack all mesh and AR access—individuals known as zeroes—present a stark contrast to the rest of transhumanity. To most people, zeroes seem slow, forgetful, and almost unbelievably dense, while to zeroes, even people who only possess ectos or basic implants seems brilliant, witty, and able to comprehend things with almost inhuman speed.

OPENING PANDORA'S GATE


NOTE: The discovery of the first Pandora Gate on Saturn’s moon Pandora shortly after the Fall was a watershed moment in transhuman history. The prospects this discovery raised were simultaneously fascinating and terrifying. On one hand, technologies far beyond anything transhumanity was capable of were now in our hands. This raised visions of a horizon far beyond the horrors of the Fall, where transhumanity would

expand across the cosmos, visiting wonders that seemed perpetually far out of reach, even for nearimmortals. On the other hand, the possibility that these gates were relics of the TITANs could not be discounted. Their existence opened the possibility that the TITANs might one day return, or that transhumanity might still encounter them out in the galaxy at large. The alternative was even scarier—that the gate could be of extraterrestrial origin, and the things more dangerous and frightening than the TITANs might stalk the space between the stars. Various hypercorps, governments, and other factions threw their brightest minds into solving the mystery of these “wormholes.” Numerous scientific communities pooled resources—backed by private sector funds—and cracked the code of the Pandora Gate in just over a year. Not only was the gate activated, but it could be programmed to open connections to numerous distant star systems (one at a time). Though these controls were unreliable at best—connections sometimes closed without warning, and others could not be recalled though they had been opened before—the functionality was stable enough to use them in earnest. At the same time as their very public announcement concerning this seminal achievement, the Gatekeeper Corporation was formed overnight: a merger of those same scientific communities and their financiers.


Less than a year from its first operation, the hypercorp opened the gate to “gatecrashers:” explorers who risk their lives to see what lies beyond. Many of these died horribly; some were even lost forever, but a few made fantastic discoveries such as new worlds and new life. Though none of the (living) alien lifeforms encountered so far have been sapient, many of the worlds are habitable or within the possibilities of terraforming. Along with these wonders were found more disturbing things: evidence of a long-dead alien civilization (the Iktomi), and signs that the TITANs had passed these ways before.


Additional gates were soon discovered throughout the system. Unlike the spirit of cooperation that surrounded the first gate’s discovery, these others were seized as hotly contested resources. Initially used for

research and exploitation, many of these gates are now being tasked for colonization purposes. Dozens if not hundreds of exoplanet stations and colonies have been established, some with significant numbers. There has been no lack of poor or desperate individuals willing to risk life on an alien world, if it means an iota of improvement in their lives.


Though it is now widely accepted that the gates are the means by which the TITANs evacuated the solar system (a hypothesis which fails to answer why they did so), they appear timeless in their construction. Regardless of their origin, the gates remain one of the most prized and dangerous of technologies.


The five known Pandora Gates within the solar system, their locations, and their controlling entities, include:

  • Vulcanoid Gate: Caldwell (Vulcanoids)—TerraGenesis
  • Martian Gate: Ma’adim Vallis (Mars)—Pathfinder/Planetary Consortium
  • Pandora Gate: Pandora (Saturn system)—Gatekeeper Corp.
  • Fissure Gate: Uranus—Love and Rage Collective/Anarchists
  • Discord Gate: Eris (Kuiper Belt)—Go-nin Group/Ultimates

GOING BEYOND THE KNOWN


NOTE: One of the oddest experiences for gatecrashers and others who explore unusual environments such as the ruins of Earth is the unavailability of data. They look at an alien plant or a TITAN-mutated person, and their search returns various error messages meaning that there is either no data at all on the subject or that the only data is purely speculative and should be regarded as dangerously unreliable. This can be especially troubling when the subject in question is a small creature that has just landed on the person’s shoulder and the individual wants to know if it’s harmless or deadly. Most people who are less than sixty years old have never been in an environment where they could not gain basic information about everything around them at a glance. Learning to overcome the shock of not knowing anything at all about something is one of the first and most crucial skills all gatecrashers must learn.

MUSES


NOTE: Most individuals have a dedicated AI that serves as their media agent. Commonly known as a muse, this AI has been a lifelong companion for most people less than seventy years old. Muses learn their owners’

tastes, habits, and preferences, and do their best to make life and technology use as easy as possible. Muses can be alarm clocks, data retrieval gophers, appointment schedulers, accountants, and many other

functions often limited only by their owners’ imaginations. Some of their tasks do not even need to be assigned them—muses are skilled at figuring out people’s needs and acting on them. For example, the muse’s

scheduling function may tell it when its user needs to be up in the morning, and it will act as an alarm clock without any additional instructions from the user. If a muse is uncertain about its owner’s preferences, it asks, but after working with a user for a few decades muses rarely need to do this. Most people keep multiple back-ups of their muse, because the loss of a muse can be almost as traumatic as the death of a loved one. Using a generic muse who must be informed about all aspects of a user’s individual preferences and fed a constant stream of instructions helps people appreciate the value of their own personal muse agent. Muses generally learn the basics of a new user’s preferences in a month or two, but during that learning period the user tends to be irritable and forgetful, since the tasks they generally trust their muse to do automatically are not being taken care of.

ATTITUDES TOWARDS AGIs


NOTE: The vast majority of transhumanity blames the Fall on rogue seed AIs (self-improving artificial intelligences). As a result, any AIs that are not crippled or somehow limited from improving themselves—including the AGIs (artificial general intelligences) that were common and growing in number before the Fall—are completely illegal in many habitats, or at least heavily regulated. The Fall ended only slightly more than a decade ago, and many transhumans consider AGIs and the TITANs that murdered their homeworld to be one and the same.


In addition to strict anti-AGI laws, there have been occasional riots and mass panics surrounding facilities still performing AGI research, which has pushed most such research into isolated settlements. Nevertheless, there are still people passionately devoted to AGIs; some see them as the next step in posthuman evolution, others value all sentience, and still others actually worship them. However, AGI supporters have learned to keep their opinions private in mixed company, lest they be branded an agent of the TITANs.


In some spots, mostly in the more anarchistic outer system, attitudes towards AGIs are more relaxed and AGIs may even be openly welcomed. These places recognize that AGIs are not the same threat posed by

seed AIs and it is unfair to punish one for the actions of the other. Naturally, these places are havens for the AGIs active in transhuman society, who otherwise must disguise their true natures.


In the tightly-controlled inner system, the hypercorps and the Planetary Consortium foster anti-AGI sentiments both as safety measures and as protection against possible competitors. This latter point is one of the things that makes them attractive to some people in the outer system; they understand the great advantages their factions gain … assuming, that is, that those AGIs share your goals and ideals.

ATTITUDES TOWARDS MENTAL ABERRATIONS


NOTE: In the post-Fall solar system, technology can alter people’s minds; controversy about many of these alterations remains. Few people have trouble with the idea of creating short-term forks using the multi-tasking

augmentation or some similar process that insures the forks will be re-integrated within a few hours. However, the idea of long-term forks, and especially of allowing forks to gain access to their own separate morphs, troubles many people. Since there are not enough morphs to go around in the first place, providing morphs to a fork strikes many people as selfish and wasteful. As a result, on the rare occasion that people sleeve one of their forks, they typically provide it with a synthmorph to avoid the social stigma associated with using more than one body at a time.


Forks that exist for more than a few hours inspire discomfort in many people because the forks begin to diverge slightly in personality. Most people find the idea of two different and distinct versions of themselves

to be somewhat disturbing. While there are habitats (mostly in the outer system) where forking is a regular part of daily life and forks often exist independently for a day or two, most visitors find such habitats distasteful and bizarre.


However, while voluntary forking is still regarded as somewhat odd, involuntary uses of this and the associated mental technologies are so horrifying that they form the basis of much lurid crime fiction. Someone being unknowingly mind-napped and having an involuntary—and often secret—fork created is something that people regard with abject terror, despite it being quite rare. Similarly, while mental surgery to correct psychiatric problems or as punishment for various serious crimes is frightening and disturbing in its own right, illegal brain hacking draws horror and disgust from almost everyone in the solar system. Penalties for involuntary forking and mind hacking are exceptionally high. In many habitats, they are among the few crimes punishable by death (including the destruction of all backups and forks).

TRAVEL


NOTE: Travel between habitats and other transhuman colonies is both exceedingly easy and fairly costly. Long-range egocasting is expensive, as is acquiring a morph at the destination. Travelers have developed various ways around this obstacle; for example, if someone only needs to visit another habitat for a few days and is visiting primarily to engage in real-time communication, they often choose to remain an infomorph for the duration of their visit and to communicate via AR, thus saving all resleeving expenses. For visitors who require a morph but will not be staying long, most habitats offer the option of renting a generic splicer or synthmorph or, for a slightly higher cost, a generic exalt morph. Habitats or worlds with unusual requirements, like Mars, Europa, or the various zero-g habitats offer ruster, aquanaut, or bouncer morphs instead of splicers. These morphs can be used for up to a week without much difficulty, and using one for up to a month is usually possible with sufficient negotiation and payment. Meanwhile, the traveler's previous morph is kept in medical stasis back in their home habitat, waiting for their ego to return.


Another technique is morph trading by people from different habitats who know each other and who are traveling at the same time. A few people do this with strangers they meet on the mesh, but vids and other

entertainments are filled with tales of people having their morphs or their identity stolen. A few of these horror stories are based on actual accounts. Very few people are willing to let anyone they do not know and trust use their body, and many people simply will not lend out their morph to anyone at all.


Some people, however, are willing, for a fee, to act as a living “taxi” for a visiting infomorph, carrying it around with them. In these cases the “ghostriding” infomorph is not permitted to control their host’s morph directly and is simply a passenger along for the ride, issuing directions and communicating with their transporters electronically.


Travelers who wish to either immigrate to a new habitat or visit one for several months or longer must acquire their own morph. Usually, they reduce the cost of acquiring a new morph by selling their previous morph to a body bank. Alternately, some individuals sleeved in expensive custom-designed morphs who are traveling relatively short distances will rent a generic shell for several weeks and arrange to have their old morph shipped to them on a fairly rapid freighter. Doing this is rarely more than a moderate expense, which makes it less expensive than the costs of buying or replacing high-end custom modified morphs.

PRIVACY


NOTE: Privacy is a prized possession for most inhabitants of the solar system, but it is so rare that for many people it might as well be a foreign concept. In the 20th and early 21st century, privacy consisted of two concepts that are now completely separate—the ability to remain unnoticed or anonymous and the ability to avoid unwanted intrusion. The first is largely absent from the lives of most people in the present day. Anyone who uploads anything to a non-private portion of the mesh understands that anyone who wishes to do so can gain access to it. Likewise, anyone who spends time in a public place understands that anyone can learn where they went, what they did, and what they said due to the ubiquity of meshed, sensor-enabled devices. As a result, everyone’s public life, both on the mesh and in person, can be transformed into an easily searchable database. Almost everyone keeps such a record of their own lives, commonly known as a lifelog. Most people allow their lifelogs to be public, understanding that anonymity is now an archaic concept.


While the interiors of private dwellings remain free from continuous surveillance, almost all habitats have emergency sensors in every building providing a full record of events to emergency service workers and AIs in case of problems such as dangerous chemical leak, a sufficiently large fire, an explosion, loss of air pressure, or some other equally dramatic and potentially dangerous event. Both the events of the Fall and the fact that almost all of humanity now lives in habitats surrounded by hostile environments mean that such sensors are standard fare. A few habitats do not allow emergency sensors in private dwellings, but most people regard these habitats as potential death traps. These emergency sensors do not record anything other than the absence of potential dangers if they are not triggered by specific events. This limitation allows individuals privacy within their own residences—as long as they are certain no one has planted a secret recording device in their home. Ultimately, remaining unobserved is a matter of both care and trust, and everyone understands that most of the time everything they do will be part of the vast public record.


In vivid contrast, the freedom to avoid unwanted intrusion is carefully prized by the inhabitants of the post-Fall era. Unwanted personal or data intrusion into someone’s private dwelling or personal electronic files is a crime in most habitats and a serious crime in many. Also, while both the mesh and augmented reality are filled with all manner of AI-mediated adware, most of it has evolved to be relatively benign and to provide non-intrusive suggestions about goods, information, and services that are likely to be of legitimate interest to the targeted person. An individual’s muse filters out unwanted advertising. While it is certainly possible to create advertising that can hack through any muse’s filters, doing so is usually illegal.


Unwanted AR intrusions are similarly limited. During the early days of AR technology, there were serious problems with users being overwhelmed with unrequested and distracting input—as many said, the mist got very thick indeed, so both law and custom changed to prevent such invasions. Today, most people expect to only experience data that they are looking for or that they might be interested in, and that any data they are not interested in will quickly vanish. Being surrounded by a large amount of unwanted AR data is not just annoying and distracting, it is also deeply frightening, because it means that there is a serious problem with either the habitat’s mesh or the person’s electronics—it could even mean that the entire habitat is under direct attack by infowar weapons.

INCAPACITATING INPUTS


NOTE: During the Fall, the attacking TITANs used a variety of AR and online intrusions that interfered with or even incapacitated their targets. The most basic of these were deceptive AR illusions made to convince people that their physical environment was very different from what it actually was. This fooled people into attacking their fellows or simply instigated mass panic. More advanced versions targeted the empathic elements of AR, triggering fear or other emotional responses. Still others blasted their targets with overbearing sensory input, so strong that it bypassed filters and inflicted neurological damage.


Despite rumors and fears of so called “basilisk hacks”—visual or other sensory-input attacks that allegedly subverted transhuman minds by exploiting the way brains processed such data—no credible reports have

been verified.

LOW-TECH EXISTENCE


NOTE: More than ninety-five percent of humanity inhabits artificially created morphs. Most of them also possess basic implants, and the vast majority of the rest wear ectos with retina displays and other simple peripherals that allow the user to fully perceive and interact with the vast network of information around them. However, slightly less than four percent of the remaining population inhabit flats or splicer morphs without basic implants and also lack access to ectos and other basic technologies.


Since an ecto is both a relatively trivial expense and a piece of equipment vital to existence in the solar system, the only individuals who lack such technologies stand on the very lowest rungs of the social ladder. A few are the poorest members of the most marginal habitats, but most are slaves or the next best thing to them. The lowest social classes in the Jovian Republic lack personal infotech access and so do the lowest class of people indentured to the hypercorps and the Planetary Consortium, particularly on Luna and Mars. These individuals are either indentured criminals or people sufficiently lacking in useful skills that they are assigned mindless physical tasks that cannot be more efficiently performed by AIs.


The lack of mesh access makes these unfortunate “zeroes” into mental and social cripples, unable to perceive the vast wealth of AR that most people take for granted. They are also unable to communicate with anyone beyond the range of their voice or to access almost all information, including traffic signals and shop displays. When necessary, the managers and overseers in charge of groups of zeroes allow them access to handheld meshbrowsers. These devices resemble the handheld terminals common in the early 21st century and have limited functionality, typically forbidding communication and restricting mesh research to carefully filtered topics.


Because of their inability to access AR or the mesh, zeroes are almost completely isolated from everyone else, meaning they are also unable to organize effectively or to otherwise cause trouble for the people who control them. In much of the outer system, the existence of zeroes is considered one of the greatest crimes against transhumanity perpetrated by the Planetary Consortium and the Jovian Republic.

LIFE, DEATH, AND MORPHS


NOTE: While death is no longer a certainty for transhumanity, it remains a possibility. During the decade preceding the Fall, most of humanity was growing used to the idea that immortality was in their grasp. Then, in just a few short years, the TITANs wiped out more than ninety percent of us. Faced with the horror of so much needless death, efforts to insure the lives of surviving humans became a top priority. Now, the technology of immortality—uploading, cortical stacks, and other related wonders—is commonplace.


Today, most of the residents of the solar system have adjusted to this fact (except for the most extreme bioconservatives); everyone expects both to live forever and to have their friends, loved ones, and enemies do the same. While death is rare, though, it is still possible. Severe accidents can destroy someone’s cortical stack as well as their brain, and egos can also be wiped away in punishment for sufficiently heinous crimes—though the process of execution is considerably more difficult than it had been a few decades earlier.


For most people (with the exception of those too poor to afford a new morph), non-permanent death is an annoyance equivalent to events that most people in the late 20th century regarded as moderate misfortunes, like a bad stomach flu or a broken arm. In almost all habitats, if anyone is responsible for someone’s temporary death, either accidentally or on purpose, they are also responsible for paying for the person’s resleeving in an identical morph, especially if that person does not have some form of resleeving insurance. People who have temporarily died can expect to receive visits from everyone they are at all close to after their resleeving, as well as a host of e-cards and perhaps a few gifts from their acquaintances and colleagues, all expressing sympathy at their death and welcoming them back to the world of the physically embodied. Exchanging such “life gifts” is an accepted part of belonging to many professions such as emergency service workers, where members regularly risk temporary death.



Deliberately choosing to change morphs or to temporarily become an infomorph is treated differently. People typically spend at least a day or two between deciding to change morphs and actually doing so. During this time, it is considered polite for someone to inform everyone they know well or work with about their upcoming resleeving. Along with personal visits, as well as calls and e-cards detailing the time of the upcoming event, the person who is resleeving is expected to include an image of what their new morph will look like, so people they know will be able to easily recognize them. However, it is considered gauche for someone who is upgrading to a better morph to include details about their new morph. Within a few days of resleeving, a “resleeving party” is typically held to introduce everyone they know to their new morph. Depending upon how well-off, well-known, and social the individual is, these parties range from lavish affairs held in hotel ballrooms to small intimate gatherings in the person’s home.


Permanent death is treated very differently. Because it is both relatively rare and no longer expected, the old funerary rituals surrounding death have faded and new traditions have grown in their place. Since every death reminds many people of the billions who permanently died during the Fall, most of the few funerals that are held honor both the person who just died as well as the victims of the Fall.

ENTERTAINMENT AND MEDIA


NOTE: A substantial amount of media survives the Fall of Earth, and a significant number of modern transhumans make their living creating new songs, stories, reports, or other media. All of this is easily and swiftly accessible through any basic implant, ecto, or (on very rare occasions) archaic handheld terminal. However, most of this media is not to the taste of any particular individual, and vast amounts of it are mediocre. As a result, most humans keep two layers of evaluation between them and anything they might consider exposing themselves to.


The first layer is based on popularity and critical reviews. Every piece of media has a rating, often weighted by the opinions of critics with high rep scores who comment on their virtues and faults. Specialized AIs

also evaluate the responses of consumers, so individuals can use reviewers they trust or they can seek out media that is either widely or specifically popular in their particular demographic and subcultural niche.


The second filter layer is the individual’s muse. Muses learn their owner’s tastes and moods and automatically search out and recommend various sorts of media. Individuals can do everything from asking their muse to select something they will enjoy, to asking for a something that will challenge their opinions, to looking at all current events news that will be of interest to them. Muses use their understanding of their user’s preferences, mixed with ratings and reviews, to make their decisions. Individuals can even set their muses to edit all media so that they better fit with the person’s interests and preferences. In the most

extreme cases, this process can twist and edit news so that it bears no relation to real events. This same process is used to make the characters and dialog in novels and vids more appealing. More commonly, the muses merely edit out aspects of a news story or article in which the individual is not interested.


Ratings, reviews, and muses allow individuals to avoid media overload, but they also reinforce subcultural barriers. A great many people only seek out media and news that reinforces their existing opinions and beliefs. Xenophobic individuals who distrust all non-humans, from uplifted octopi to the Factors, regularly view news stories and AR dramas about evil aliens and devious uplifted animals who commit heinous crimes. Similarly, individuals who are only interested in their own habitat have all external news altered by their muses so that it refers only to the effects outside events will have on their station.


In a very real sense, individuals from radically different subcultures and demographics inhabit completely different worlds. The one force that works against this separation is the fact that many people wish to follow the lives and opinions of those with the highest reputation scores. In many cases, a large portion of these individual’s high rep scores comes from their interest in and willingness to interact with (or at least acknowledge) a wide variety of different sources of information. As a result, listening to opinions by a high-rep celebrity can expose people to information that they might never encounter otherwise. Also, in many habitats, AIs responsible for media distribution tag some news as being sufficiently important that it should be immune to filtering by muses. This tagging is a regular and expected occurrence in some habitats, while in others it is reserved for only the most important and potentially life-saving information. Bypassing muses for any less important reason in these stations is considered a gross invasion of privacy or even a crime.

LOST LORE


NOTE: The accumulated knowledge and media of Earth, spanning the history of human intelligence, is a vast and impressive amount. Even before the Fall, many orbital settlements had acquired complete records of all previous human lore and creativity, including copies of every book, painting, song, film, TV program, console game, newspaper, and magazine article that had ever been translated into digital format, as well as backups of Earth’s entire internet archives. Numerous destructive programs unleashed during the Fall corrupted much of this information, however, in some cases permanently wiping it from existence.


This means that what remains of Earth’s archived history and data is patchy and incomplete. Much survives, but some treasures have been lost. In particular, media from the era of the Fall itself is particularly hard to come by, given the consistent attacks the TITANs were making on information systems. Proprietary data that was withheld from the public domain behind electronic gates on Earth is even more likely to have been lost, except for a few hypercorps that managed to transfer their Earth-bound data off-world in time.


Retrieving lost data is a lucrative task for scavengers and archeologists, though looting the dangerous confines of Earth or derelict habitats destroyed during the Fall is a risky proposition.

METACELEBRITIES


NOTE: As the culture industry quickly discovered, biotech and resleeving technology clashed with the media’s ability to focus the spotlight on specific icons. When everyone can be bodysculpted, the beautiful people need to be more than glamorous faces. More to the point, the public’s interest in celebs faltered when famous people repeatedly changed their looks and were no longer immediately recognizable.


One of the ways big entertainment has responded is to promote metacelebrities—icons based on characters rather than real people. Each metacelebrity has their own (very expensive) unique customized morph, but the person sleeved within that morph often changes. The actress Angelique Stardust, for example, once existed as a real person, but is now a character who has been played by over a dozen people since the original rose to stardom in AF 3 and promptly sold off her celebrity character rights to Experia. Likewise, award-winning heart-breaker Juan Nguyen is a constructed persona based entirely on the action hero star who died and was lost during the Fall. Many metacelebrities are modeled on fictional characters; notorious bad girl Sun Mi Hee is no different offscreen than the ass-kicking villain role that brought her to fame, never traveling anywhere without her iconic pair of glowering smart leopards. Actors taking on a metacelebrity role often undergo psychosurgery to better play the part.


Metaceleb personas are strictly managed and marketed as a media product to appeal to specific consumer groups. Though they play an active role within hyperelite circles, many of the genuine glitterati view them with humor at best, disdain at worst—though some have learned the hard way not to underestimate or mess with the small armies of media engineers behind each metaceleb’s carefully crafted image.

POPULAR TYPES OF ENTERTAINMENTEdit

NOTE: The most popular forms of electronic entertainments are vids, vidgames, VR worlds, XP, and AR games.

VIDS AND VIDGAMES


NOTE: Vids are passive entertainments that can be enjoyed either as high-resolution audiovisual entertainment or as a fully immersive experience where the viewer can augment their experience with smell, touch, and taste while experiencing the point of view of one of the major characters. Viewing them purely via sight and sound is much like watching an old 20th-century film, except that it’s interactive and in 3D. In contrast, full sensory viewing is much like actually being present in the story.


Most modern vids have variable theme and preference settings enabling viewers to adjust the content of what they are watching, including the level of violence, the amount and type of sexuality they prefer, as well as the appearances of some or all of the major characters. In addition, many vids have several alternate endings for people who prefer happy, bittersweet, or grim endings. As a result, two people watching the same vid could have very different experiences if they use radically different settings.


Vidgames are like vids, except they are much more flexible. In vidgames, the viewer not only experiences the story with the protagonist—they become the protagonist, shaping the story through their own actions, similar to sophisticated early-21st-century console games. Some games allow the participation of up to a dozen individuals or link thousands of players via the mesh, while others are designed for a single player The degree of freedom in vidgames varies. Some are almost fully interactive realms similar to many VR worlds with all but a few characters controlled by AIs, while others are considerably simpler and more limited, with player interaction limited to a few crucial decisions. The precise dividing line between vids and vidgames is blurry, but both media have the common trait of being designed for either solitary use or for use by a ew players or viewers who are all located relatively near one another. Vids and vidgames are the most popular forms of entertainment, with vids and vidgames set on Earth before the Fall being especially prevalent.

XP


NOTE: Experience playback (XP) is a specialized type of vid that consists of the recorded sensory impressions of a single individual. Almost all of the inhabitants of the solar system lead relatively quiet and risk-averse lives and are naturally eager to be able to vividly experience adventures such as climbing Olympus Mons, spending a day in one of the most luxurious and exotic private habitats, going on a scavenging mission to Earth, or gatecrashing. There is also a thriving fringe market in less savory XPs, including records of people committing all manner of violent or dangerous crimes and XPs of actual gun battles between well-armed criminals and law enforcement personnel, which often end with the death of the morph providing the point of view.


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.


A significant minority of XP fans becomes fascinated with one or two daring people who regularly sell XPs, known as X-casters, viewing all of their clips, including both the experiences and the accompanying thoughts. Some of these XP fans become more interested in the person who recorded the clip than in the individual experiences, and they often come to believe that they have a special, clear understanding of this person, to the point where they strongly identify with this person or even fall in love with them. In addition, individuals who access XPs from a single person often enough sometimes begin to mimic various habits or figures of speech of this person. Particularly popular X-casters are sometimes rather disturbed when they see tens of thousands of people imitating one of their more idiosyncratic expressions or habits.


A few serious fans—known as Xers (pronounced “ex-ers”)—alter their morphs to resemble their favorite X-caster. Some obsessive Xers actually attempt to contact and stalk certain X-casters, perhaps hoping to become part of an actual XP clip. In most habitats and subcultures, Xers are widely regarded as having particularly dull and meaningless lives. Hardcore Xers are often viewed as being insecure and potentially unstable.

AR GAMES


NOTE: Augmented reality (AR) games involve players interacting both with events in the physical world and with augmented reality imagery that recasts the people and objects the players see. For example, instead of seeing another player in a splicer morph and ordinary clothing, a player of an AR game might see a horrific rotting zombie, a bizarre alien life form, or a well-armed soldier. These games tend to be locally focused within a particular habitat or city as they allow players to interact when they are within physical proximity, but some games link habitats within the same cultural region.


The nature and intensity of these games varies widely. Some are long-term games involving people imagining that they are deep cover spies or some other exciting and unique role. Players may pretend to be anything from time travelers attempting to prevent some horrible disaster to covert agents attempting to uncover plots by TITAN-infected people on their habitat—who happen to be camouflaged as snack designers, personal assistants, etc. During their daily lives, players exchange messages with each other as well as with the people running and maintaining the game. Some of these long-term AR games have gone on for many years, with the oldest being almost twenty years old.


Short-term AR games, on the other hand, last between several hours and several days. The people running these games typically rent out a hotel or a park and various public buildings for the duration. These games are almost always highly dramatic and consist of everything from the players having to deal with a massive zombie attack or alien invasion to them participating in some simulation of an event on Earth, like the storming of the Bastille during the French Revolution. While such AR games can be considerably less detailed than VR worlds or vidgames, many players value the “realism” of being physically present during the game.


Since participants in AR games take actions in the real world, including actions that could be disruptive or even dangerous, designers of AR games take great care to prevent problems. In some early AR games,

most of which took place more than twenty years before the Fall, players were occasionally seriously injured. A few unscrupulous AR game designers used their game as a cover for an actual robbery or act of terrorism that was abetted by unwitting players who thought their actions were simply part of a game. Since that time, law enforcement observation drones have kept careful track of people playing AR games. In almost all habitats, people running AR games must register their games with local law enforcement or face serious fines.

VR WORLDS


NOTE: Virtual reality (VR) worlds are entertainments that involve the creation of a large and highly immersive simulated environment—a simulspace—where many major characters are played by transhumans or other sentient beings. Unlike vids or vidgames, simulspaces are specifically designed for a large number of participants. VR worlds consist of everything from duplicates of various eras of Earth history to elaborate and strange fantasy worlds with magic, dragons, and similar wonders. All manner of alien worlds or settings based on oddities like time travel are also common. As is the case with vids, the most popular simulspaces are those set on Earth some time before the Fall.


VR worlds can have from dozens to tens of thousands of participants. For the best experience, many users prefer to access simulspaces through hardwired server connections as they offer better quality and less disruptions than accessing wirelessly via the mesh. Since people immersed in virtual reality are cut off from their bodies and often thrash around, most users ensconce their morphs in a tank or special couch for the duration. VR parlors typically offer private hardwired pods for participants to physically jack in. Many habitats also have hardwired systems used just for this purpose, so users can experience VR from the comfort of their own dwellings.


Due to distance and communication lags between habitats, even the most popular online simulspaces run each habitat as a separate realm, limiting interaction with users in other habitats/realms. The popularity of VR worlds like Gilded Empire, set in England in the 1880s, means that someone moving from one habitat or world to another could continue playing in the same game, albeit with a new set of players. One of the other unusual features of VR settings is that a large number of infomorphs, including many infomorph refugees, play these games. As a result, while even most novice players can learn to easily tell the difference between a character played by an AI and one played by an actual person, there is no way to know if the person playing a character has a physical body or not.

PHYSICAL ENTERTAINMENT


NOTE: In addition to a vast array of electronic and electronically-mediated entertainments, people also still enjoy a wide variety of physical sports, ranging from soccer to new sports like low-g air races, where the participants strap on wings and engage in tests of speed and acrobatics. In addition, the ability to both heal any injury in a healing vat and to remove a cortical stack from a dead or dying body and place it in a new morph has given rise to a new variety of extreme sports. Starting a decade before the Fall, various individuals began realizing that, barring unlikely circumstances, they could not die unless they wanted to. This set off a brief trend in extreme sports and even a few wealthy suicide hobbyists, who repeatedly killed off their current morph in a variety of unusual ways. The Fall and the permanent death of more than ninety percent of humanity greatly reduced the interest in playing with death for many years. Killing yourself just to experience death is considered at least mildly distasteful, and many believe such actions belittle the mass deaths of the Fall. Though interest in risking death in the line of entertainment has been growing, deliberate suicide remains an eccentric and dubiously regarded hobby.


In some subcultures, dueling has been a popular fad for almost a decade. Swords, knives, and pistols firing single-shot soft lead bullets are all popular choices, because none of these weapons poses any threat to a cortical stack and most do not instantly kill someone hit by them. However, there are other more exotic options, including aerial duels with microlights fitted with blades on their wings. On rare occasions, duels take place in space, with the participants wearing non-armored vacuum suits. Certain criminal groups make money with underground dueling circuits, pitting biomorphs against robots against uplifts. The seedier circuits engage in distasteful pit fights featuring illegally-acquired backups sleeved into non-sentient animals, often outfitted with lethal cybernetics. Such creatures are typically quite mad.


In addition, dangerous non-combative sports are also popular. The highest levels of competitive rock climbing on Mars are regularly done with no safety equipment. There are similar climbing competitions in many habitats using artificially constructed climbing walls as well as regular free-running competitions through almost every city and habitat. Also, there is an entire class of sports, including both diving and parachuting, where perfection of form is seen as a far more important goal than avoiding injury or even death. As a result, current high dive records for morphs not specially modified to survive high impacts are held by individuals who required either time in a healing vat or resleeving immediately after their successful breaking of a previous record.

POLITICS AND POWEREdit

NOTE: Politics is just as important in the colonies spread throughout the solar system as it was back on Earth, but it is also radically different. Each habitat or cluster of stations is a separate political entity, and many of these habitats are fiercely independent. The only locations where large political entities can exist are on the marginally habitable worlds of Mars and Titan, and the population of Titan is significantly smaller than that of many of the largest pre-Fall cities on Earth.

THE INNER SYSTEMEdit

NOTE: Though nations no longer exist, they have been replaced by new political-economic entities that may well have been on the road to dominance even if the Fall had not occurred: the hypercorps. While there are many independent habitats and settlements in the inner system, it is largely dominated by the hypercorps. To reduce conflict between themselves and promote the survival of transhumanity, some of the hypercorps have formed an alliance known as the Planetary Consortium. This alliance governs most of Mars and is in charge of the ongoing Martian terraforming project.


It also controls several dozen other habitats and many Lunar bases, mostly ones that are in some way involved with the massive Martian terraforming effort. Since Mars is home to more than forty percent of

the surviving transhuman population, most of the human population lives under the rule of the hypercorps or the Planetary Consortium. In the aftermath of the Fall, the hypercorps established three important goals: rebuilding the solar system, protecting themselves from any further attacks (either by the TITANs or any other threats), and growing in both wealth and power. By extension, the second goal means they also help protect the people living in the habitats and settlements against any repeat of the Fall. The hypercorps and the Planetary Consortium are exceedingly skilled at attaining all of these goals. Since popular rebellion and widespread dissent are not helpful in the least in attaining these goals, the hypercorps are also adept at making certain the inhabitants of the habitats and planetary settlements they control are safe, relatively content, and, ideally, unable to cause serious problems.


As the largest and most well organized entities in the solar system, the hypercorps, and especially the Planetary Consortium, are in an excellent position to protect the people living in their habitats and settlements. However, this protection comes at the price of freedom. Living in habitats that use transitional economies (p. 61), the inhabitants of hypercorp-controlled settlements are relatively well off and need not fear starvation or serious want. Also, the hypercorps strongly oppose bioconservatism, and so anyone who can afford various augmentations or morphs is free to obtain them, as long as none of these augmentations or morphs is equipped with weaponry that can be used to harm the habitat or large numbers of its inhabitants. In return for safety and relative prosperity, however, inhabitants give up any ability to voice more than token criticisms of the hypercorps of the Planetary Consortium.

THE POWER OF THE HYPERCORPS AND THE PLANETARY CONSORTIUM


NOTE: The hypercorps and associated Planetary Consortium are the only major non-local political entities in the solar system (with the possible exception of the Autonomist Alliance, which is more of a mutual aid pact than a unified political entity). All of the other political entities are based in a single specific location. The various hypercorps transcend location, however. They have offices and branches all over the solar system, serving the needs of people from Pluto to Mercury and all places in between. While most hypercorps have large manufacturing and processing installations on Mercury or Venus, making use of the abundant energy of the first and the complex chemistry of the second, much of the work performed by all of the hypercorps involves developing new technologies and new cornucopia machine templates, both of which can be done in any place that has meshbrowsing access.


In addition to bases on Mercury, Venus, and other equally resource-rich locations, all hypercorps maintain dedicated research and manufacturing stations scattered throughout the solar system. Well-known facilities include Starware’s vast shipyards, the largest of which are located on Luna and the asteroid Vesta, and Omnicor’s huge antimatter factory orbiting Mercury. There are many other lesser-known facilities, including the automated mines that the mysterious Zrbny Group maintains in the main asteroid belt and Saturn’s rings, and the qubit factory Nimbus maintains in Mars orbit.


In addition, there is an even larger number of secure and often secret research installations, some of which are so well hidden that they are normally only accessible via highly secure egocaster connections. All manner of mysterious and often highly dangerous research occurs in such locations, ranging from experiments with the relics of the TITANs to attempts to create self-replicating nanotechnology or artificial miniature black holes. Vids and vidgames are filled with stories both of exotic disasters in such research stations and of heroic thieves stealing amazing wonders from them. While the reality of secret corporate research bases is normally far more prosaic, sometimes wonders are created—and there have been occasional disasters, often involving TITAN relics.


Some corporate headquarters are similarly secure and secret, including the corporate headquarters of the fabled Zrbny Group. There are a wealth of rumors and stories about such locations. Intrepid spies, thieves, and reporters regularly attempt to gain access to these facilities, generally without success. Many such attempts, especially by would-be thieves and spies, end with distinctly negative consequences, including the thieves’ temporary (and on some occasions permanent) death.


Hypercorps also own and manage a number of habitats. Many are primarily homes for hypercorp employees, but in many of them at least half of the population are simply ordinary residents of the solar system who simply happen to live there. Though far less regulated than hypercorp research or manufacturing facilities, these colonies are also subject to greater regulation and security than some of the autonomist-controlled habitats on the edges of the solar system.


These stations are exceptionally safe places to live. Residents have access to all of the latest products produced by the ruling hypercorp and its corporate allies. The hypercorp habitats all either possess their own security companies or have some form of defense contract with a private security company, typically Direct Action or Medusan Shield, who agree to protect the inhabitants against potential threats by agents of the TITANs, fanatical saboteurs, or other threats.


These same security forces also protect the hypercorps from any threats to their interests. In most of these habitats, residents have fairly open freedom of expression and biological self-determination. However, all potential threats to the hypercorp and its personnel, ranging from attempted sabotage to simple civil disobedience, are dealt with quite harshly, with serious offences resulting in forced indenture and occasionally forced mental editing (see Psychosurgery, p. 229). Almost all of these habitats use a transitional economy (p. 61) and most residents have a high standard of living to compensate for the limits on their behavior. Many inhabitants of the more independent colonies in the belt or the outer system complain about the repressive nature of the hypercorp-controlled habitats, but inhabitants of these habitats prefer the safety and security found there to the intimidating freedom of the outer system.


To help reduce dissent, residents of settlements and habitats controlled by the Planetary Consortium as well as those controlled by hypercorps can vote on a wide variety of issues. The results of these votes, however, are only binding on issues that are not considered “matters of habitat survival,” “corporate policy,” or “security-related issues,” which effectively includes any issue related to the security, profits, and productivity of the hypercorps involved. Votes on these issues are used in a purely advisory fashion, meaning that they are utterly ignored when the result of the vote is at odds with the hypercorps’ agendas.


While residents of these settlements and habitats can vote about adding a new holiday to honor some important figure or the location and design of a new park, laws regulating indentures, habitat security,

law-enforcement, or other important concerns remain under the control of the hypercorps. This does not mean, however, that the results of elections are completely disregarded. If more than two-thirds of the population strongly supports a particular issue, the Consortium or the hypercorp controlling the habitat usually finds ways to modify their current policies to address these concerns without harming their own interests. In contrast, if only a small number of residents are upset by certain policies, then these wishes are ignored and habitat security forces keep an eye out for possible civil disobedience or other forms of resistance.


In addition to these dedicated installations and ypercorp-controlled habitats, many hypercorps maintain offices in stations and planetary settlements. Almost every habitat has a Nimbus office with a farcaster and, in the case of larger habitats, QE communicator facilities for instantaneous communication. Both facilities are open to anyone whocan pay Nimbus’s fees. Ecologene, Skinaesthesia, and several other hypercorps also have offices on most habitats. Every habitat interested in interacting with the rest of transhumanity has at least one automated Experia media node. In smaller habitats, these offices are unobtrusive and managed by limited AIs or indentured infomorphs. The existence of these offices, however, is vitally necessary for the continued happiness and existence of transhumanity. Most hypercorps also maintain a number of employees in every large habitat and most of the smaller ones.


Due to the large number of remaining infomorph refugees, most Experia media nodes are managed by indentured infomorphs. These infomorphs monitor the local news-finding AIs and keeps track of any important or interesting developments. They also serve as on-site reporters for any important events that might occur. While postings in small habitats are often rather dull, the infomorph usually has a contract guaranteeing them a morph of their choice and resleeving in the habitat of their choice in return for a term of service, which typically ranges from three to five years.


Similarly, all but the smallest habitats have Medusan Shield or Direct Action offices, where individuals can hire both security consultants and bodyguards ranging from simple AIs to highly trained mercenaries in fully-equipped fury morphs. These mercenaries live on the station and often hire short-term contractors to help with especially large or difficult assignments. Skilled mercenaries may eventually be hired full-time by Medusan Shield or Direct Action, but since contractors are usually given the most dangerous and thankless parts of any assignment, many soon lose interest in hypercorp contract work.


Other employees working out of local hypercorp offices range from ecosystem designers to for-hire scientists and technicians to personal financial advisors to the wealthy and powerful. In important habitats and planetary settlements, as much as twenty percent of the population consists of hypercorp employees or private contractors who are hired on a short-term basis when the local workload exceeds the capacity of the regular staff. These hypercorp employees are in the unique position of having dual loyalties—to their habitat and to their hypercorp. Despite what hypercorp propaganda preaches, the two interests do not always overlap.


Because of the delays involved in normal communication, local heads of hypercorp offices usually have a great deal of autonomy, since asking for instructions from their superiors on another habitat or installation requires either dealing with a time-lag or using expensive qubits for instant QE communication. As a result, except for the most important or difficult problems, local directors deal with all local matters on their own, reporting any unusual or potentially problematic decisions afterwards.

THE OUTER SYSTEMEdit

NOTE: Out beyond the orbit of Mars, the influence of the hypercorps and the Planetary Consortium is far more limited. With the exception of the rigidly authoritarian Jovian Republic, the inhabitants of the outer system have considerably more freedom than those living in the inner system. However, even out here the struggle between the desire for freedom and the longing for lssafety form an important part of the political discourse.

THE LIBERTARIAN AND UTOPIAN LEGACIES


NOTE: Various forms of anarchism and similar libertarian ideologies were quite common among the first transhumans who settled space in the two decades before the Fall. Many settlements in the outer system have inherited this legacy of freedom. The new frontier opened by space colonization presented a fantastic opportunity for those with a strong desire to avoid the authoritarianism of the hypercorp-controlled inner system and Earth to pursue social organizations more based in equality and collective action, or even to simply experiment with new social models. Out beyond the belt, hypercorp influence was weak and preoccupied, giving resourceful colonists a chance to explore their interests unmolested. The more radical of these elements grew out of or maintained ties to progressive, anti-authoritarian, and left-wing social movements and insurgencies on Earth, drawing support where they could. Others simply stole hypercorp resources from the inner system, smuggling them to their secret projects. In a few cases, entire ships or stations mutinied, refusing corporate orders and pursuing their own path. It was rarely feasible for the hypercorps to pursue and punish such subversion.


Even among these radicals, differences existed, so that those adhering to similar socio-political tendencies tended to group together. Over time these have developed into four rough groupings: the anarchists of Locus, the techno-socialists of Titan, the anarchocapitalists and mutualists of Extropia, and the nomadic free-for-all societies of the individualist scum. These factions form a loose alliance, a united front against the hypercorps and Jovian Republic—or as they call it, the Jovian Junta—and a pact for mutual aid and support, known as the Autonomist Alliance.


Among the more anti-capitalist habitats, the centuries-old doctrine of “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need” is a living and vital philosophy. The ready availability of cornucopia machines ensures that no one wants, and the use of reputation systems encourages people to be active participants towards the common good. Equitable access to morphs and augmentations is also available for residents, though the demand from so many infomorphs in need of a body means that infugees must contribute and build up social capital. However, even for an infomorph, egocasting across the solar system is expensive, and the Planetary Consortium produces large amounts of propaganda about the dangers of these habitats to discourage infugees from considering escape.


Many autonomists consider themselves to be engaged in an ideological conflict with the inner system, a memetic cold war that sometimes extends to physical actions. Some willingly pursue campaigns of sabotage and subversion against hypercorp and other authoritarian affairs, such as smuggling cornucopia machines into habitats where such machines are strictly regulated, like among the Jovian Republic. The hypercorps and their allies occasionally strike back, though open conflict is rare. Even though the inner system and Jovian Republic could field enough military might to subdue the autonomist factions, an uneasy detente exists. Rumors abound that the anarchists have some sort of card in their pocket that keeps their opponents at bay, perhaps even some threat of mutually-assured destruction.


Concerns over security and potential future attacks by the TITANs also impact matters in the outer system, but most people resist attempts to seriously restrict their personal freedoms in any manner not directly related to maintaining their safety. Inhabitants of the outer system still remember how the old governments’ demands of adherence to bioconservativism and allegiance to distant and often unresponsive leaders did nothing to prevent the Fall from happening, and that memory fuels their mistrust of those states.s Those powers were undone by failing to deliver what they promised—when they could not provide the security that they claimed their authoritarian measures would bring, the seeds of their defeat in the outer system were planted.

SPACE FOR EXPERIMENTATION


NOTE: Both social and political experimentation are common in many of the smaller habitats of the outer system. Because collective decision-making is fairly easy in stations with populations of less than ten thousand, direct democracy is a common method of government. A number of ideologically-based habitats have used this ease of making collective decisions as a way to get all members to agree to some unusual forms of

government.


The individual variants that have been tried are too numerous to list, though they generally fit into a few general categories. A few relatively small habitats employ limited forms of authoritarianism. Some have a single leader who has great power, but who is (ideally) kept from abuse or excess through the use of limits such as a list of constitutionally-guaranteed rights or the ability of a relatively small number of people to call an election or a vote of confidence. Some colonies using this model have elected dictators who serve for a limited term, while others are ruled by a single charismatic leader who transforms their habitat into a cult of personality.


Other habitats choose their leaders by random lot, with every adult who can pass a relatively easy competency test being eligible to be the colony’s leader for a period that usually ranges from six months to five years. A few habitats are governed by powerful specialized AIs, which in very few cases are actually hyper-intelligent AGIs or even seed AIs that the colony has secretly created. Several colonies populated by purely informorph or synthmorph inhabitants use special high-bandwidth connections to give their members access each other’s surface thoughts and emotional reactions, allowing them to hold vast democratic political meetings where everyone present can feel the general emotional reactions of all of the other members as easily as they can feel their own.


There are a vast number of different types of government, many of which have never existed before, moving (and sometimes fumbling) ahead in the outer system. Some work far better than others, allowing successful colonies to thrive and making much of the outer system a vast and complex political laboratory.

KEEPING THE PEACEEdit

NOTE: Each habitat is responsible for dealing with its internal affairs. As a result, standards of justice vary widely from the oppressive police state of the Jovian Junta to the free market judicial courts of the Extropians in the belt to the community justice policies of the anarchists out beyond Saturn. Travelers are strongly encouraged to check up on the legalities and policies of stations they are visiting so as to avoid unfortunate incidents, though muses are generally quite good about maintaining awareness of local conditions so that they can warn their users before straying into gray or illegal territory.


In the inner system, standards of justice and law enforcement tend to be uniform and very familiar to the majority of the population that lived on Earth prior to the Fall, where most nations had relatively similar standards of justice. Across the entire solar system, certain similar standards can be found. Though local laws may differ, there is widespread respect for the idea that punishments for religious or ideologically based laws only apply to residents. Visitors who violate such restrictions or other minor laws are simply deported to their home and forbidden to return. Standards of evidence for criminal investigations are also common. Modern forensic technology makes collecting and analyzing DNA and other trace evidence an exceptionally swift and easy process. Likewise, with almost all habitats having what amounts to total surveillance of all public places, any potential offenses committed there can be carefully analyzed.


Standards of privacy vary widely from one habitat to another, so during emergencies or crime investigations, law enforcement officials may or may not have total access to detailed recordings of the events in any portion of the habitat including recordings from sensors in private dwellings. In some stations, law enforcement officials can compel everyone who might have been present during an alleged crime to provide downloads of their sensory experiences from the time of the crime. While individuals can edit their memories, discrepancies between various people’s sensory recordings are just another form of evidence. Requiring sensory downloads from witnesses and suspects is common practice in habitats controlled by the Planetary Consortium, the Jovian Republic, and most hypercorps. However, in most habitats in the outer system, law enforcement officials have no access to such records and can only compel sensory recordings from people who have been charged with serious crimes.


The power of modern forensics is such that a sufficiently careful examination of people and places can often determine the nature of a crime and the perpetrator(s) with relative ease. Decisions of innocence or guilt rarely rely upon suppositions, circumstantial evidence, eyewitness testimony or any of the other notoriously unreliable forms of evidence common in past centuries. The best way for someone to avoid being convicted of a crime is to either prevent anyone from learning about the crime or to make certain that no one suspects them as the perpetrator. Once someone guilty of a crime becomes a suspect, there is a very significant chance that law enforcement officers will be able to uncover reliable evidence connecting them to the crime. However, if there is no obvious evidence connecting a specific suspect to a crime, the criminal has a greater chance of escaping discovery.

LAW ENFORCEMENT


NOTE: Law enforcement in the solar system consists of a vast patchwork of separate jurisdictions, occasionally united by various treaties. Most habitats have signed the Treaty of Uniform Security that requires either extradition or on-site trial of criminals who are accused of especially serious crimes such as attempted habitat destruction, use of incapacitating infoware (including basilisk hack attacks), or any attempt to aid the agents of the TITANs in taking over or destroying a habitat. Only the Jovian Junta and a few especially antisocial or anarchic habitats have not signed this treaty, but many habitats in the outer system maintain the right to try offenders accused by other habitats rather than extraditing them. In addition, most habitats require a significant amount of evidence before they are willing to extradite one of their residents.


Outside the Treaty of Uniform Security, there is nothing remotely resembling a uniform code of justice and no widely recognized police force. Instead, each habitat or cluster maintains their own code of laws and law enforcement officers. In most areas, law enforcement is a respected and honorable profession paid for by the government, but in a few, the only options are private security agencies that only protect individuals who subscribe to their services. Among the anarchists and scum, residents are largely responsible for their own protection, which means they may be constantly armed when in public (depending on local conditions). Depending on the stations, the most someone who is the victim of a crime can do may be to go after their attacker or post a bounty. In others, mechanisms exist for community or collective problem-solving that often involve assembling an ad-hoc grouping of peers to assess the situation, offer non-biased judgment, and sometimes pursue collective action.


The only widely-accepted law enforcement officers that attempt to maintain jurisdiction across the solar system are bonded investigators and security consultants from companies such as Medusan Shield or Direct Action. Both organizations have contracts with various hypercorps and inner system stations to provide security. However, in the outer system and in other regions not controlled (directly or indirectly) by the hypercorps, the status of these officers is far more tenuous. In habitats that do not have security contracts with their organization, the best these agents can do is act as bounty hunters.


Due to extensive stories of excesses in the inner system, many colonies frown on freelance bounty hunters—often referred to as ego hunters—and may ban them entirely. Others allow agents from licensed security hypercorps to act as ego hunters, but forbid them from extraditing or otherwise restraining or punishing the criminals they are pursuing. Instead, agents are required to turn over evidence so that the habitat’s own judicial system may hold a trial, in which case a convicted person may be remanded to the agent’s custody. Law enforcement officers experience similar difficulties attempting to apprehend a suspect who has fled to another habitat.


Closely allied habitats in the outer system usually allow full or at least limited legal powers to visiting law enforcement officers from their allies. There are also various small private security organizations that work closely with local law enforcement offices to provide inter-habitat security between habitats that are not closely allied. The members of these organizations attempt to maintain sufficiently high rep to

earn the respect of all the habitats with which they work. They act as both bounty hunters and unbiased investigators in situations that involve the laws of several habitats. All of these security companies are

located in the outer system, and none has jurisdiction extending beyond a relatively limited location, like the middle belt or the Saturn system. Any such organizations that attempt to grow larger come into direct competition with Medusan Shield and Direct Action and are subsequently either bought out or undercut and discredited by one or both of these organizations.


There are also several private bounty hunters and private investigators, some of whom are highly reliable. Others are known for their extreme moral and ethical flexibility, especially if the pay is sufficiently high. On some of the autonomist stations and scum ships, these private contractors can be hired to simply go on board and abduct or execute a resident as long as this person has a low enough rep. Attempting to abduct or kill a respected member of the community, however, rapidly earns the ire of the entire habitat. The various small-scale or private security organizations from the outer system can sometimes pursue subjects to habitats controlled by the various hypercorps or the Planetary Consortium. Doing so requires background checks, security screenings, and often moderately large payments.

PUNISHMENT


NOTE: Among the autonomist colonies, forced exile or repaying the victim with an equitable amount of goods or labor are the principle [sic] punishments for all but the most heinous crimes (such as attempted mass murder, habitat destruction, attempting to create seed AIs or similarly extreme actions). In the collectivist anarchist habitats, antisocial behavior typically involves expulsion or penalizing reputation, though solutions that involve making amends are often pursued over standard punishments. At the other end of the spectrum, people convicted of more serious crimes in the most violent and lawless habitats are executed and all of their known backups destroyed. In many others, exceedingly serious crimes are usually dealt with by giving the criminal a choice of forced uploading into a humanely outfitted but closed computer or mandatory personality modification—assuming that someone has not simply killed the criminal before they were brought to justice (such killings are generally treated as matters of self-defense). Mandatory personality modifications are generally limited to the absolute minimum necessary to prevent the individual from repeating similar crimes.


At the other extreme, punishments in hypercorp controlled habitats and settlements controlled by the Planetary Consortium range from fines paid in either money or labor to periods of involuntary indentured servitude ranging from several months to many years. Violent crimes, especially ones threatening either important hypercorp employees or the habitat as a whole, also result in mandatory personality modification. Such modifications often include the creation of a strong sense of loyalty and obedience to the hypercorp.


Punishments are even more draconic in the Jovian Republic, where permanent execution and the destruction of all backups is the most common punishment for serious crimes against the leaders or large groups of the populace. Since the rulers of the Republic are strong bioconservatives, personality editing and forced uploading are rarely used. Forced indenture is very common, however, as are more standard forms of imprisonment. The Republic is one of the last places in the solar system that has physical prisons.


The vast majority of other habitats fall somewhere between these extremes. Punishments for non-violent crimes consist of enforced repayment, where the offender must work off a debt to their victim or victims or face more serious punishments. Instead of enforced indenture, offenders usually must only work between five and twenty hours a week for their victims and only need to do so until the crime has been suitably repaid. The typical repayment is between two and three times the value of the good or service taken from the victim.

THE ECONOMYEdit

NOTE: Leaving aside the struggles of bands of primitives to survive on the ruins of Earth, all of humanity has at least some access to the wonders of nanotechnology. This access is highly variable and the economic benefits it produces can be divided into three broad categories—the old economy, the transitional economy, and the new economy.

THE OLD ECONOMY


NOTE: The old economy is essentially the same sort of industrial consumer capitalism that has been in place since the late 19th century, a system centered on manufacturers who create material goods and sell them to consumers. Modern manufacturers now make their goods in cornucopia machines instead of factories, but the essential pattern is the same one that has existed for over two hundred years. Due to the high level of inefficiency and unfairness in this economic system, poverty is relatively common. The poorest individuals often face hunger, homelessness, lack of medical care, and similarly dire problems.


Ordinary members of this society never have direct access to cornucopia machines. Instead, they purchase their goods from corporations, governments, or wealthy individuals who control them. Some old economy societies have planned economies, where the corporations or the state determine what options the citizens may choose or occasionally what goods they must have. Others claim to have a free market, where citizens have more options, but the residents must still pay to obtain goods that are essentially free for the corporations or government to produce.


In the present day, almost no one willingly lives in old economy societies. Very few individuals even visit such societies. The oppressive Jovian Republic holds most of the remaining old economy societies in the solar system. The few other surviving examples are totalitarian regimes where the wealthy elite maintain absolute control of all cornucopia machines and private ownership of one is a very serious crime. Since cornucopia machines can be used to create more cornucopia machines, maintaining strict control over them requires constant vigilance.


Residents of old economy societies tend to look at residents of transitional and new economy societies with envy, while residents of habitats that use both transitional and new economies look upon residents of old economy habitats with a mixture of horror and pity. Since the Fall, almost a third of the remaining old economy-based habitats have transformed into transitional or new economies by various means, often involving violent revolution. Most social scientists predict that unless there are further catastrophes, all but the most repressive old economy societies are almost certain to transform to transitional economies within twenty to thirty years.


Old economy societies are unique in that money is the society’s only acceptable means of exchange. While reputation networks exist, they are informal and serve as an unsanctioned means of exchanging favors.

THE TRANSISTIONAL ECONOMY


NOTE: The transitional economy is a far more stable and easily maintained system than the old economy. Transitional economies blend old and new economies, and habitats using this system feature both private ownership of cornucopia machines as well as public fabbers and makers that are freely accessible. These public machines are strictly limited in the goods they can produce. In addition, the raw materials for various complex goods are also strictly regulated. Mars, Venus, and Luna are all examples of transitional economies, as is most of the rest of the inner system.


For the inhabitants of a transitional economy, creating food, non-smart clothing, furniture, and most other simple, non-formatible objects is a trivial matter. However, the public nanofabrication machines can only create objects that either contain no electronics at all or contain only simple circuits that report on the object’s condition and location. Manufacturing any of these items requires little more than the machine and a supply of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, silicon, iron, aluminum, and tiny amounts of various trace materials. All of these materials are sufficiently abundant that acquiring them is easy and inexpensive.


Using the elements that are freely available to all tax-paying citizens, nanofabbers can produce a vast array of goods like exquisite suits of silk clothing, tables with the appearance of finely polished ebony and mahogany, beautiful colored glass goblets, or painted porcelain tea cups. They can also create a gourmet dinner and a set of fine plates and cutlery on which to eat the meal. To pay for the small amounts of energy and resources needed to create these goods, all inhabitants pay a small tax.


Once the usage tax has been paid, food, clothing, furniture, and similar goods are all free. Raw materials, old, worn-out or unwanted goods, and various waste products are recycled into new goods. Residents of transitional economies need never experience hunger or any of the many other sorts of deprivation that much of humanity faced before the mid-21st century. Additionally, basic medical care is free in almost all transitional economy societies, to help insure that the populace is healthy, content, and productive.


While many goods are freely available, there are also goods that residents must purchase from corporations, their government, or other producers. Smart clothing and smart furniture that can change shape, color, and pattern, depending upon the user’s wishes, cannot be manufactured in any of the personal nanofabricators. Any goods made from highly durable composite materials, batteries, electrically-powered devices including all augmentations, and all nanotechnology must be acquired in the same fashion. These goods are considerably less common as they require access to an unrestricted nanofabricator and exotic raw materials.


Transitional economies tend to be relatively safe places, since inhabitants cannot manufacture weapons more dangerous than knives, clubs, or similar primitive armaments. Everything from firearms to plasma weapons requires restricted cornucopia machines and exotic materials to manufacture. The proliferation of these items is strictly controlled.


Some habitats in the outer system have transitional economies because residents prefer the safety that comes from centralizing control of potentially dangerous technologies. Other habitats have transitional economies by default, because they have limited stocks of many of the more rare elements required for manufacturing various complex modern technologies. Regardless of the reason, outsiders from new economy habitants often see them as somewhat poor and deprived, while many residents of transitional economies consider new economy societies both exceptionally wealthy and somewhat frightening.


Despite these differences in perception, both economic societies have a great deal in common. Food, clothing, and similar goods are easily available to all residents. An individual’s status, taste, wealth, and reputation are measured by the kinds of clothing, food, and furnishings they possess. While there are a vast number of templates for different styles of food and consumer goods, forward-thinking designers develop new designs every month and use copy protection on these designs to keep them from being pirated for at least a month or two (and often longer). As a result, for the first few months after their release, the only people who can gain access to new designs in clothing, tableware, food, or similar goods are those who pay a premium to the designer to download the templates that allow their cornucopia machine to manufacture the item.


Since one way of defining a transitional economy is a system where both reputation and money are in widespread use, most have developed ways to accommodate both forms of payment. While residents primarily use money for purchasing goods, purchasing cornucopia machine templates involves rep, especially among residents who regularly visit new economy societies or have significant contacts there.

THE NEW ECONOMYEdit

NOTE: Slightly less than forty percent of the human population lives under some version of what social scientists refer to as the new economy. In the outer system, alternative economies are becoming increasingly rare. New economies are much better than old or transitional economies at supporting a decentralized populace, which has led to more than half of all habitats and settlements adopting this model.


In new economy societies, individuals can freely manufacture and use almost anything they want, assuming they can acquire the correct templates and raw materials. As a result, the residents’ need for food, clothing, medical care, information access, and other basic needs are all easily met. However, there are still items of value that individuals work very hard to obtain. Though these are commonly described as “post scarcity” societies, some types of scarcity remain very real.


In most new economy habitats, common goods are freely available to all residents—or at least to all residents who meet certain criteria. These criteria usually take one of two forms: citizenship or public works. In wealthy and prestigious habitats, free access to all common goods is offered to residents who have official citizenship. Citizenship can be earned in a variety of ways, but the most common involves either being considered a strategic asset due to some singular expertise, performing an exceedingly valuable service to the habitat, or working for the habitat for some period of time. Once an individual is a citizen, the energy, living space, and raw materials they use in thecourse of their daily lives are all freely available.


In many collectivized habitats, residents are expected to pull their weight by contributing to ongoing public works in the habitat, typically requiring between four and eight hours every week. Depending on the nature of the colony, this work may be selected by the government, the collective syndicates that oversee the management of resources, or by a high rep individual who controls access to large amounts of energy and raw materials. Unless someone has especially valuable skills, this labor is often dull but safe work that can be done more easily by humans than AIs, such as checking the habitat for flaws and performing maintenance tasks.


Assuming an individual has acquired citizenship or put in their share of work for the collective wellbeing of the station, they will have access to a supply of energy and raw materials that allows them to use their cornucopia machines to manufacture what they need. Visitors are generally also allowed access, though anyone staying long is expected to contribute to the habitat if they don’t want to see their reputation slashed.

VALUE AND SCARCITY IN NEW ECONOMY SOCIETIES


NOTE: While basic citizenship allowances cover most necessities and even some luxuries, the allowance has limits. With the allowance, individuals receive a quota of goods and energy they can use every day. This usage is impressively lavish by 20th century terms, allowing residents to create a dozen suits of clothing and provide food for half a dozen people every day. Creating elaborate food, furniture, and tableware to serve a party of a dozen people is within the means of any individual. However, doing the same thing for a party of two hundred people is outside the bounds of the basic allowance.


Individuals who wish to exceed their basic citizenship allowance can either use rep to obtain more access to resources and energy, or they can pool their resources with others to accomplish their goals. There are many goods that are fairly complex to create—including many of the best morphs and highly specialized and intricate pieces of gear like advanced augmentations—that exceed the resources available in a basic citizenship allowance.


The allowance also limits the amount of travel that residents can easily undertake. Residents of most new economy habitats own good quality spacesuits, and many can use their rep to create a small and very minimally equipped travel pod to travel to a nearby habitat. However, even the smallest actual spacecraft are far too large and difficult to create to be available on an ordinary citizenship allowance, or even on the amount of rep an ordinary individual can acquire in a reasonable amount of time.


In addition to large-scale uses of resources and difficult-to-manufacture goods, there are goods that are intrinsically scarce, such as relics of Earth and handmade goods. While exact copies of everything from the Mona Lisa to a pressed daisy are exceptionally easy to acquire, genuine physical relics of Earth are prized possessions. The vast majority of refugees could take nothing with them, but almost everyone wishes to have some token to remind them of Earth. A single dried flower, coin, or piece of stone from Earth can be exchanged for almost any morph or other good that is moderately difficult to create. Actual historical artifacts, like a famous person’s hat or autograph, is worth far more, as are original works of art by famous artists. Two years ago, one of the last three remaining paintings by Leonardo da Vinci was traded for a large and well-equipped spacecraft, and a small piece of the Liberty Bell was traded for both a custom-designed morph and a fully outfitted one hectare villa in one of the more prosperous habitats orbiting Saturn.


While less expensive than Earth relics, handmade goods also command a high price and are in great demand by the wealthy. Though most people cannot distinguish between a fine wine grown on one of the Martian vineyards and a duplicate of the same wine produced using an average cornucopia machine, some connoisseurs claim they can taste the difference. There is also much prestige to be gained by serving

hand-grown food. As a result, while anyone can drink nanofabricated wine, hand-produced wine is a rare good that can only be enjoyed by a few, and thus it commands a moderately high price. In almost all cases, handmade goods are expensive because of their rarity and because many people enjoy the status associated with owning and using them.


There are three other items that are scarce and are thus quite valuable: living space, skilled sentient labor, and novelty. The majority of humanity lives in standard-sized dwelling units, which typically range from one hundred cubic meters on smaller or poorer habitats to two hundred cubic meters on wealthy and prosperous habitats. Since each cubic meter of a habitat must be manufactured and the process of manufacturing or expanding a habitat is far from simple, space is at a premium. The only exceptions to this scarcity are on Europa and Mars, which can be inhabited by properly adapted morphs without the necessity of complex life support or the danger of vacuum waiting just outside every exterior wall. As a result, owning a larger dwelling space in a habitat is worth a significant amount, and large villas and private asteroids are luxuries possessed by only the highest rep individuals.


While transhuman labor has become relatively cheap due to the large number of infugees who must sell their services or indenture themselves to obtain morphs and habitat space, skilled labor is far more expensive. Buying a unique custom morph design, for example, crafted by a skilled biogeneticist, can cost as much as a small spacecraft depending on how much this morph deviates from standard models. The same is true for everything from custom-designed clothing to complex pieces of technology designed for a single specific usage. While the actual manufacturing costs of these items is no more expensive than any other similar item, the time and effort needed to design them can make them exceedingly expensive.


The final commodity that is both scarce and valuable is novelty. While anyone can drink a fine wine or wear a wide range of designer clothing, other commodities are kept deliberately scarce. Cutting-edge fashion, new music, and even haute nosh (bold, exclusive snack food designs) are harder to find because the templates needed to manufacture them are encrypted and cannot be copied. The copy protection used on the templates for newly created goods automatically expires within three years at most, and most habitats reduce this to one year. In addition, this copy protection is never perfect; someone always manages to create pirated versions of these new goods within two to six months. However, from the time templates are created until the time that someone pirates them, these items are only available to individuals who are

willing and able to pay for them. Popular new templates command a good price in the new economy, and a large number of transhumans make their living designing and marketing such templates.

THE ECONOMY AND INFOMORPH REFUGEES


NOTE: During the last phase of The Fall and the evacuation of Earth, more than four hundred million refugees were uploaded and egocast to orbital databanks. From there, infomorph refugees were beamed to databanks throughout the solar system. They were forced to flee Earth without any of their possessions, even their bodies. Instead, they became infomorphs who had nothing beyond their minds and memories—the most destitute group of refugees ever to exist in human history. In the years since the Fall, large numbers of these infugees have been resleeved. Anyone with valuable skills was first to gain a morph, followed by anyone with friends or relatives already living in orbit who could take responsibility for the person’s resleeving.


Those two groups accounted for only half of the refugees. The remaining found themselves in a far more difficult situation. Lacking either personal contacts or vital skills, they had no one else to help them. In the first few years, many of these infugees signed contracts promising their labor or other services in return for resleeving and a guarantee of some form of income sufficient to support them. Because of the critical labor shortages in the first five years after the Fall, another thirty percent of the refugees managed to regain bodies (usually cheap synthmorphs). These indentured servants performed all manner of critical tasks, ranging from scavenging ruined habitats for useful devices to mining or asteroid herding. Others became servants or bodyguards for the rich, or performed less moral services for criminal syndicates. Most took on orbital construction jobs, helping to construct the new habitats that would eventually become their home. Some infugees found work performing services like data-mining, monitoring automated factories, or other jobs that could be done by infomorphs. After the Fall, infomorphs were used to take over numerous tasks previously handled by AGIs, who were no longer trusted.


Unfortunately, some infomorph refugees made bad or unlucky deals and ended up working for years only to find that their employer either kept finding ways to delay or reduce the payment or vanished before they delivered on their promise. As a result, slightly more than twenty percent of the original infomorph refugees remain infomorphs; some by choice, but most because they have not been able to acquire the means to resleeve themselves or are still working long contracts to gain their morph. The problem with obtaining bodies for these infugees goes beyond simply providing a new morph for resleeving; living beings require living space as well as a steady supply of consumables. For this reason, many infugees have been morphed in synthetic shells and housed in areas inhospitable to biomorphs, such as the unenclosed portions of Venusian aerostats. With space in short supply, the waiting list for infugees looking for a habitat to call home is quite long.


Both the hypercorps and the Planetary Consortium were quick to make use of this vast labor pool, especially on Mars. Mars has large amounts of open space and resources and is sufficiently close to habitable that Mars-adapted morphs like the ruster are inexpensive to create. As a result, the Planetary Consortium has been responsible for the employment of almost half of all remaining infomorph refugees. For the past decade, the vast majority of infomorph refugees who want bodies have found that indenturing themselves to the Planetary Consortium or one of the associated hypercorps involved in Martian terraforming is the most reliable way to find both a morph and housing, since both are guaranteed at the end of the contract. The work involved is particularly difficult, however, and the contracts are normally quite long.


The Planetary Consortium is also particularly adept at adding charges that prolong indenture—though most indentures carry five to twenty year contracts, in reality these indentures typically last between eight and twenty-five years; some go on even longer. This large population of indentured servants on Mars—many of them now free and resleeved—is becoming a force in its own right, adhering to the Martian wilds and rural areas and disdaining the elite hypercorp domes. Adopting the name Barsoomians from an old Earth fiction series, this resentful lower class is increasingly becoming a thorn in the Planetary Consortium’s side.


Even though it is highly automated, terraforming and agricultural work on Mars is both tedious and physically demanding labor. Indentured employees are regularly sent into the regions that were most affected by the Fall. As a result, these employees occasionally face attacks by life forms mutated by the TITANs, nanotech war-swarms, or similar still-active and dangerous exotic technologies. Indentured employees are not charged for damage to or destruction of their morphs caused by such dangers, but the experience of even reversible death from such causes is highly traumatic.


Other refugees found that they enjoyed life as infomorphs, reveling in complex simulspaces and otherwise living up the virtual life. Some found work that paid for the ability to egocast throughout the solar system. Ten years after the Fall, there is a thriving infomorph culture. While exact data is difficult to obtain, many researchers believe that at least a third of all current infomorph refugees have no plans to place themselves into a morph, instead enjoying the freedom of virtual existence. Especially in the outer system, these infomorphs have become increasingly involved in habitat politics; many habitats have officials who are infomorphs. Most researchers predict this infomorph culture will increasingly diverge from physical cultures as time progresses.

THE CLANKING MESSES


NOTE: With so many infugees acquiring cheap synthmorph shells—particularly cases and synths—and being unable to afford anything better, synthmorphs have become associated with poverty throughout the solar system. This lowest strata of the poor are often referred to as “the clanking masses,” and compose one-sixth of the transhuman population. Most of these people strongly desire to acquire a biomorph, even if it is only a splicer or worker pod. As a result of their presence, however, many synthmorphs are now viewed with distaste, especially in elite social circles. Even those who have expensive, lovely, custom-designed synthetic morphs fitted with all of the latest augmentations are considered to be eccentrics with poor taste.


The social stigma against synthmorphs is strengthened by the fear that, in the event of another attack by the TITANs, their robotic shells could be rapidly co-opted to become a deadly TITAN-controlled army. This has led to some habitats going so far as to actively segregate their synthmorph populations, rationalized by the fact that synthmorphs can easily inhabit unheated and unpressurized portions of various habitats. This segregation and social stigma, however, has produced the beginnings of an emergent synthmorph culture. There are already numerous habitats where all of the inhabitants are sleeved in synthetic shells and conventional life support exists only for the few visitors wearing biomorphs.

RESTRICTING DANGEROUS TECHNOLOGIES


NOTE: Most societies in Eclipse Phase see good reason to restrict access to some dangerous goods, especially military hardware. Few people living in a sealed habitat surrounded by hard vacuum enjoy the idea of easy access to biowar plagues or devices that can make large holes in their habitat’s outer hull. Though such incidents are quite rare, the memories of horrors like the recent Branson-Vesta disaster are still quite fresh. In that incident, a radical bioconservative cult manufactured several plasma bombs and accidentally destroyed the entire habitat when their attack on the local government caused a cascading blowout, cracking the spinning habitat in half. More than 50,000 residents had to be resleeved, and 400 permanently died when their backups and cortical stacks were destroyed in the explosions.


As a result, standard procedure is to restrict access and heavily encrypt templates needed to create military-grade weapons and similar dangers, though sufficiently dedicated individuals can eventually decrypt or reverse-engineer such designs. Even nanofabricators in anarchist habitats may be blocked from creating such things or at the very least will alert the local public mesh if anyone instructs them to do so. Habitats that possess almost no other laws regarding possession of various objects and devices usually have laws against weapons that can do serious harm to the habitat.


Many dangerous technologies are specifically designed to make use of various exceptionally rare or human-made elements, including radioactive elements and artificially created transuranic elements. Therefore, many habitats will restrict access to these elements to limit the manufacture of these weapons. Since detecting radioactive elements is simple using standard environmental sensors located throughout every habitat, security authorities can easily learn when someone has acquired significant quantities of such elements, or catch them if they attempt to bring them on board.

IRREPRODUCIBLE GOODS


NOTE: In an age when digital material is easily copied and physical goods are reproducible with nanofabrication, concepts like copyright, trademark, and intellectual property are fighting a losing war. Despite the best methods of encryption, DRM, and similar anti-piracy measures, very little escapes the clutches of pirates for long. It’s not unheard of for copies/blueprints of new goods to be shared on pirate networks before they’re even officially released.


In response, some manufacturers, designers, and artists attempt to produce goods that are irreproducible—and thus more highly valued. Possible approaches include transgenic living sculptures with built-in obsolescence and terminator genes, energy art, items made from extremely rare materials (e.g., a chair crafted from titanium mined from the Mead crater on the harsh Venusian surface), or intangibles such as skilled performances.

HABITATSEdit

NOTE: With Earth now uninhabitable, transhumanity survives in a variety of off-world habitats. There are two major types of these habitats: settlements on planets or large moons, such as those on Luna, Mars, Venus, Europa, or Titan, and space habitats that are built on or near an asteroid or other useful source of raw materials. Most of these space habitats spin themselves to provide gravity, with Earth and Mars gravity being the two most common choices. There are also a large number of zero-g or microgravity habitats, consisting of either non-spinning habitats or stations built into small asteroids or moons.

PLANETARY SETTLEMENTS


NOTE: The Martian and Lunar city-states and other planetary settlements contain environments most familiar to refugees from Earth. This similarity is one reason that two-thirds of all infomorph refugees live on Mars, Luna, or Titan. The exact type of settlements depends on the planet or moon on which they are located, with some being far more similar to Earth cities than others. Most Lunar settlements, like those on Ganymede, Mercury, Titan, and Callisto, consist of a network of subsurface tunnels and chambers excavated with plasma drills. These tunnel settlements differ slightly from one world to the next. In most of these tunnel cities, the floors of all open areas and many dwellings are composed of geneticallymodified grass designed for both comfort and durability, with light panels covering the ceiling providing bright full-spectrum lighting.


A few of these buried cities further enhance their natural appearance with the addition of trees and, in some cases, specially engineered ecosystems, in both public areas and private dwellings. A few of these urban tunnel forests and jungles are home to numerous flowering vines and bright tropical butterflies. In a small number of settlements on both Titan and Luna, colonies of small monkeys and parrots with metabolisms and habits modified for modern ideas of cleanliness and sanitation thrive, giving some of these tunnel cities the feel of a buried jungle.


All of the older or more prosperous tunnel cities also contain large open areas that are typically between one and twenty hectares, with ceilings at least ten meters high. Some are parks, others are public plazas, but all offer the residents of the tunnel cities a chance to experience open spaces. Also, with the exception of Mercury, all of these tunnel cities are on moons where gravity is no more than one-sixth of a g. Some of these open spaces are constructed with roofs between thirty and one hundred meters high and are designed so that residents can use them for flying by strapping on a pair of specially-designed wings.


The cloud cities of Venus are among the most unusual habitats in the solar system. Their exotic nature is enhanced by the chance to observe the many recently introduced floating and flying life forms modified to live in the clouds. Though located almost fifty kilometers above the most deadly environment in the solar system, life in these cloud cities is among the most Earth-like anywhere in the solar system, with gravity, temperatures, and atmospheric pressure all being very near normal Earth levels.


By contrast, the settlements on Mars look the most like the cities of lost Earth, built on the surface rather than underground or in the skies. Some of the more recent settlements are designed for use by inhabitants in ruster morphs or synthmorphs and feature no life support. Older Martian cities and other settlements are typically covered with low domes of flexible polycarbonate and filled with a completely breathable, if

somewhat low pressure, atmosphere. Some, however, are collections of sealed skyscrapers, connected by skywalks and tunnels. If current terraforming efforts continue on schedule, the last sealed Martian cities will be opened to a Martian atmosphere breathable by all morphs within sixty years.


The most unusual planetary settlements are the ocean cities of Europa. These are among the most exotic locations in the entire solar system and are quite disorienting for individuals not used to underwater cities. From a distance, most appear to be complex Christmas tree ornaments hanging down one hundred meters or more below the ice crust above. A few are built deeper, plunging under the icy surface near the various hydrothermal vents that host the native Europan life clusters.


Many of the residents of the Europan cities find them familiar because they previously lived in one of the underwater cities on Earth and so were used to both the conditions and to living in an aquatic-adapted body. Europan cities all contain sealed buildings with normal atmosphere, both because some activities work best in air instead of water and because the cities often host visitors without gills. However, these regions make up only ten percent or so of most of these cities. The remainder looks vaguely similar to many zero-g habitats, except that the structures are considerably sturdier and are located underwater. Buildings are designed to be accessible in all three dimensions, so going from one floor to another usually involves swimming out a large opening in the wall and down a level. In almost all of these aquatic cities, large fusion generators heat the surrounding water, so that the entire city exists in a region of water that is far warmer than the surrounding frigid Europan sea.

SPACE HABITATSEdit

NOTE: With the exception of the private habitats of the wealthy and powerful described below, the vast majority of space habitats hold between twenty-five hundred and one million inhabitants. Almost two-thirds of these habitats were built during the first seven years after the Fall, when huge portions of the system’s surviving infrastructure were used to create habitats suitable for hundreds of millions of infugees.


During this era, several thousand torus habitats and cluster colonies were created throughout the solar system. Many of these habitats were created by automated mining machinery that had been repurposed to create colonies. Due to the limitations of these automated mining rigs, most these habitats were small, holding between one thousand and one hundred thousand inhabitants. Twenty percent of the system’s inhabitants live in such habitats. During the past decade, various small organizations, cults, and subcultures have left the larger habitats they lived in and created their own small habitats, few of which were designed to hold more than ten thousand residents.


The development of the new nanotech Hamilton cylinders has lead to a new interest in large habitats and in habitats that can easily expand in size to accommodate an increasing population. The expense and difficulty involved in expanding existing habitats or building new ones is one of the principle reasons that more than forty million infomorph refugees still do not posses morphs. Although none of the existing Hamilton cylinders has finished growing, they are both highly regarded by their residents. This same technology is also likely to produce a low-cost method for creating small habitats, where the creators merely need to seed an asteroid with the appropriate advanced nanotech generators and wait a few months.

SCUM BARGES


NOTE: At the opposite extreme from the Hamilton cylinders are the infamous scum barges. Most are spacecraft built before or during the Fall that were used to help with the early stages of the evacuation, ferrying people away from the doomed Earth. Many of these refugee ships were unable to find anywhere to unload their human cargo, becoming a sort of permanent traveling refugee camp, sometimes succumbing to mutinies. They eventually joined up with pre-existing scum ships and swarms, adopting their nomadic, freewheeling, anarchistic lifestyle. In contrast to egocasting or the faster and more efficient fusion drive ships, so-called scum barges offer a floating city alternative to space travel. These ships function as roving black markets and carnivals of the bizarre—lawless zones where anyone can find whatever they want or need for the right rep or price.


Most scum barges have fusion-powered plasma drives and hold between two hundred and five thousand inhabitants. The worst barges are exceptionally overcrowded, with aging life-support systems struggling to maintain a breathable (but still foul-smelling) atmosphere under the strain of too many passengers. The larger and more prosperous scum barges are often fitted with various modern conveniences, including large cornucopia machines and vast stores of pirated manufacturing templates. Some are thriving utopianist enclaves, while others are mobile dens of smugglers and thieves that would have been destroyed long ago except for the fact that large and powerful organizations find their existence

occasionally useful. Living conditions on the scum barges range from overcrowded refugee camps to thriving, egalitarian, but non-wealthy anarchist enclaves, to relatively modern habitats outfitted in barbaric splendor by highly successful organized crime gangs.

A DIVERSITY OF FLOATING WORLDS


NOTE: The use of cornucopia machines and smart materials means that the interiors of all but the poorest and most destitute habitats can be reshaped according to the whims of their inhabitants. When the number of inhabitants is small enough or their aesthetics are uniform enough to all share the same tastes, the results can be both unique and strange. Large-scale fads occasionally sweep through even the largest and most cosmopolitan habitats, making some of the bigger colonies almost as odd.


Several habitats closely resemble terrestrial jungles, with an entire rainforest canopy growing from the slowly rotating outer shell and all dwellings and pieces of high technology nestled in the branches or hollows of these vast gene-engineered trees. In these living marvels, genetically engineered monkeys, iguanas, and tree sloths wander amidst the inhabitants—some of these creatures are wild animals,

while others are controlled by AI servitors and act as maintenance or observation drones. Some habitats resemble other scenes from old Earth, including more than a dozen water-filled habitats hosting some of the aquatic inhabitants of the now-destroyed underwater cities. In most of these marine habitats, the actual buildings are either placed amidst a living coral reef filled with fish and other creatures or are actually built into the coral reef itself. There are many other habitats duplicating other environments, such as Afrique—a large Cole habitat with a population of two hundred thousand, where the habitat is made to resemble the African savanna. In Afrique, the two ends of the habitat are shaped into snowcapped mountains, and the inhabitants mostly live in several large cities built in the savannah.


While nostalgia for Earth is a powerful force in habitat design, there are many other options. A few exotic habitats resemble fantastic cities from various vidgames or older forms of entertainment, including a handful of small and eccentric habitats where the inhabitants all appear as strange humanoid alien beings. In many, the inhabitants have cosmetically modified themselves to fit in with the setting.


One of the most common differences between small and large habitats is that the residents of smaller stations often share a common ideology or sense of aesthetics, and so are far more eccentric. Some of the more unusual habitats range from dimly lit, spooky landscapes filled with perpetually leafless trees, thick, continually regenerating cobwebs, and other similar macabre touches to gleaming colonies that are shining citadels of quartz and steel. Some are huge interconnected arcologies where any sort of personal privacy is rare, while in others every family or even every person has a separate dwelling that is rarely seen by outsiders. Since the populations of these stations are relatively small and the vast majority are not major economic centers, travel to and from these smaller habitats is infrequent, which further increases their insularity and idiosyncrasies.

THE LARGEST HABITATS


NOTE: Extropia, the huge Martian city-states, and some of the largest Lunar stations hold between one million and twenty million inhabitants. There are many smaller settlements containing between one hundred thousand and one million residents. These habitats are considerably less idiosyncratic and exotic than the smaller habitats. Almost all contain a cosmopolitan and diverse population from a wide variety of subcultures. Because of this diversity and the difficulty of forming any sort of consensus with a large population, these settlements tend to be reminiscent of the cities of Earth. All of them have their own unique character and feel, but the differences between one habitat and another are rarely overwhelming. In addition, all of these stations are large enough to hold offices for all of the major hypercorps, who further promote uniformity by providing the same services from identical hypercorp offices. Since most of these habitats are major centers of commerce, travel between them is frequent, so there are various facilities for travelers such as hotels and sports clubs that help reduce the disorientation of travel by offering identical experiences, regardless of their location.

MICROGRAVITY HABITATS


NOTE: Zero-g habitats are very different from those that use rotational gravity. Most consist of networks of tunnels drilled through the asteroids—similar to the tunnel cities of Luna and Titan—but some are considerably more exotic. Like most other habitats, almost all microgravity colonies are built in, on, or next to one or more asteroids containing a large amount of useful raw materials. They typically feature a gravity less than 0.01 g that has very little effect on the daily lives of the inhabitants. Near-weightless environments allow for some interesting and unusual habitat designs as there is no up or down, enabling the creation of structures that would be too fragile even in low gravity. The habitats of Nova York (p. 97) and Nguyen’s Compact (p. 103) are both examples of this, among many others.

PRIVATE HABITATS


NOTE: The most rare and exotic of all of the types of habitats are the luxurious private ones owned by exceedingly wealthy or high rep individuals. Most private habitats are small but still give each of the residents several thousand cubic meters of personal space.


A typical private habitat is either a cylinder one hundred fifty meters in diameter (the minimum necessary to produce Mars gravity at a rate of rotation slow enough to avoid problems in all morphs) and between fifty and two hundred meters long, or a zero-g sphere one hundred to two hundred meters in diameter. These habitats are always tethered to a small collection of raw materials, consisting of chunks of silicate, nickel-iron, and water-containing carboniferous asteroids with a mass equal to at least that of the habitat. The majority of private habitats are inhabited by between half a dozen and three dozen morphs, some or most of which may be AI servants or, on rare occasions, indentured servants. Life in a private habitat is exceptionally lavish. Almost every surface is made of formatible smart materials and there are several large general-purpose cornucopia machines available for the use of every resident.


By using these nanofabricators and the smart materials to their fullest, residents can completely change the interior of the habitat in only a day or two—transforming a sterile and crystalline array of shining metal and glass buildings into a thriving forest, inhabited by a variety of wild animals. The mesh is filled with vids and XPs about the lives of the most famous residents of the solar system. Almost everyone has seen the interior of one of these vast space mansions many times, though only a tiny percentage of the inhabitants of the solar system will ever have a chance to actually visit such a location. Many gatecrashers, scavengers who travel to Earth, and others who engage in similarly daring endeavors hope to be able to obtain information or objects sufficiently valuable to allow them to retire to their own private habitat.

FACTIONSEdit

NOTE: One would have thought a cataclysmic event such as the Fall would bring the surviving elements of transhumanity closer together, jointly dedicating themselves to the repopulation of the solar system and continued prosperity. Instead, the remoteness and physical isolation of transhuman colonies and habitats stretched across the solar system, as well as the effects emerging technologies have had on transhuman economies and social lives, have promoted the evolution of a wide spectrum of philosophies, agendas, and political models.

THE HYPERCORPSEdit

NOTE: To some economists, the Fall and the numerous crises that predated it on Earth can be viewed as an extinction event, the end of the line for the massive transnational megacorp dinosaurs, financial giants that supported their monolithic frameworks on outdated economic models and industrial technologies. The hypercorps are their evolutionary descendants: slimmer, faster, meaner, and more flexible, eagerly embracing the possibilities of new technologies and never afraid to toss the old aside to take advantage of the new. It was the hypercorps that drove humanity’s expansion into space and who continue to push the technological envelope, guiding transhumanity towards new horizons— always with profit as their driving goal.


Most hypercorps are decentralized, non-asset-based legal entities. Complete automation, advanced robotics, morph technology, and cornucopia machines allow the hypercorps to abstain from mass employment for labor or production services. The need for physical labor has mostly been reduced to tasks associated with habitat construction or deep space mining. Infomorphs and AIs are heavily employed (or more accurately, owned) as drone operators or virtual workers, and many administrative tasks are performed online via augmented reality, virtual private networks, and simulspace nodes. Some hypercorps are in fact entirely “virtual,” with no physical assets and each employee acting as a

mobile office. A few major hypercorps literally consist of only a dozen transhuman personnel. Though some hypercorps are massive and diversified, most specialize in particular fields or services. This results in both an intricate system of partnerships to develop, produce, and market products and services and a large-scale tendency to internally contract special services from other hypercorps. Many hypercorps

also pool their resources and talent into cooperative research initiatives, project centers, or shared habitats.


Most hypercorps are traditional capitalist in outlook, though many have adopted alternative business philosophies and management models. This might include basing decisions on internal forecast market trends, groupthink consensus models, or ditching management entirely in favor of staff polling/voting initiatives that statistically fare better. A few are anarcho-capitalist companies originating from Extropian enclaves, though these often suffer from a bias when making deals with inner system powers. The solar system boasts thousands of hypercorps; a few of the more prominent and interesting are noted below.

COGNITEEdit

NOTE: Major Industries:Cognitive Science, Mental Implants, Psychosurgery, Nootropics

Major Stations:Thought (Venus orbit), Phobos (Mars moon)


A pioneer in the field of cognitive science, Cognite (pronounced cog-neet) drives forward the cutting edge of research into understanding the transhuman mind. Most well-known for their mental augmentations and the original menton morph design, Cognite also specializes in psychosurgery and nootropics. Their elitist and aloof image was not aided by their scandalous involvement with the projects to raise accelerated

growth children that became known as the Lost generation (p. 233), nor rumors that they engage in research involving TITAN-influenced incapacitating input attacks. Nevertheless they remain a key member in the Planetary Consortium.

PSICLONE


NOTE: To: Proxy-99

From: <Encrypted>

I’m enclosing some data I recently acquired from an inside source regarding a so-called “Project Psiclone”—some type of black budget research initiative pursued by Cognite, possibly with involvement from other Planetary Consortium interests. Their work seems to focus strongly on the Watts-Macleod strain of the Exsurgent virus—with some alarming results.

COMET EXPRESS (COMEX)


NOTE: Major Industries:Courier Services, Shipping, Logistics

Major Stations:Nectar (Luna), Olympus (Mars)


Comet Express specializes in delivery services, interstellar logistics, supply chains, and shipping. They maintain a presence on almost every transhuman habitat in the solar system, often via local subcontractors. Despite the wonders of nanofabrication, many resources must still be imported. ComEx focuses on managing supply and trade routes and making sure physical shipments reach their destinations. For that purpose, ComEx maintains orbital hubs equipped with slingshot accelerators at strategic waypoints throughout the system and a fleet of cargo vessels and courier drones. For reasons unknown to the public, ComEx is viewed with hostility by the Jovian Republic, who have standing orders to shoot down ComEx vessels.

DIRECT ACTIONEdit

NOTE: Major Industries:Security Services, Military Contracting

Major Stations:Hexagon (Earth-Luna L5)


Descended from the remnants of several pre-Fall national military forces and private military contractors, this hypercorp made a name for itself in the period immediately following the Fall, where they helped manage refugee populations among various habitats and vessels while shattering any sign of unrest immediately and with full force. Direct Action today is known for its highly-efficient shock troops and superior combat morphs, providing security and public police services to self-governing habitats or hypercorp installations. Shifting political alliances between habitat clusters, corporate rivalry, and the constant fear of TITAN agents cater to Direct Action’s paranoia-inducing marketing. The corporation maintains

several habitats as physical training facilities and armament depots.

WAR CRIMES


NOTE: To: Meshleaks Newswire

From: <mesh ID does not exist>


You asked for it: verifiable evidence proving Direct Action’s war crimes during the Fall <link failure>. Go ahead, take it public. The Planetary Consortium elites will find you, kill you, and erase your backups. Go ahead. Test them.

ECOLOGENE


NOTE: Major Industries:Environmental Systems, Genetics

Major Stations:McClintock (Mars orbit)


Ecologene specializes in living systems, environmental genetics (with a specialty in insects), smart animals, bio-architecture, and environmental nanotech. They design and maintain the ecosystems inside numerous habitats and tunnel colonies. One of Ecologene’s notable projects is building and maintaining a massive genetics archive of all life forms, though this endeavor was nearly crippled by the Fall. For unknown reasons,

Ecologene seems to be favored by the Factors. Some speculate that Ecologene has some sort of blackmail material in hand, while others believe Ecologene is trading away transhumanity’s genetic secrets in exchange for a few xeno-tech gifts.

EXOTECH


NOTE: Major Industries:Uploading, AIs, Electronics, Software

Major Stations:Starwell (Main Belt)


Often regarded as the personal technocratic pulpit of the infamous media mogul Morgan Sterling, Exotech emerged from the Fall almost unscathed, any significant losses absorbed by corporate assets in peripheral market segments, while ruthlessly buying out troubled competitors or think tanks unable to adapt to the transitioning economy. Nowadays, Exotech remains a predominant designer of high-end electronics, AIs, and

mesh presence software systems. ExoTech also continues to pursue an uncompromising progressive agenda with its research in mind emulation, uploading, and resleeving, as well as infomorph ego simulation. Rumors persist that ExoTech continues to carry out research and even production of AGIs.

EXPERIA


NOTE: Major Industries:Media (AR, VR, XP), News, Entertainment, Memetics

Major Stations:Elysium (Mars)


Living up to its name, Experia dominates the solar system’s news, media, and entertainment market segments, generating controversy not only with its publicly expressed pro-AI stance or inviting an AGI to its board of directors, but also by proficient use of hyperviral marketing and sophisticated XP-programming. Another core segment is the production of educational XP and infomorph or AI tutors, some of the latter regularly ascending to pop-culture icon status. Experia is the Planetary Consortium’s prime authority on designing and deploying customized viral memes, developed to counter anything posing a threat to the Consortium’s interests. The corp has automated nodes and VR centers on many habitats

throughout the solar system, and it contracts thousands of freelance lifeloggers as live, roving, citizen journalistas. Claims by some infomorphs that Experia has illegally subjected indentured infomorphs to never- ending simulation experiments for forecasting and intelligence analysis purposes remain unsubstantiated.

FA JING


NOTE: Major Industries:Mining, Energy, Biotech, Industrial Manufacturing

Major Stations:New Dazhai (Mars)


The industrial giant Fa Jing is a powerhouse in the mining and energy production markets and also boasts a remarkable presence in the fields of biotech and industrial equipment manufacturing. The former megacorp has quickly adapted to the new economic environments and reputation-based systems, thanks partly to its dedication to network building and sharing social responsibility, epitomized in concepts like dàtóng and guanxi. Often considered insular and close-minded, its internal communal and protective mindset is a strong contrast to its manipulating and

monopolist business attitude. Fa Jing is engaged in mining operations throughout the asteroid belt and the Trojans and maintains significant corporate assets on Mars.

GATEKEEPER CORPORATION


NOTE: Major Industries:Gatecrashing, Research, XP Media, Exoplanet Colonization

Major Stations:Gateway (Pandora)


Initially born from the merger of several scientific institutions and their corporate financiers, this hypercorp made a name for itself overnight when it announced the successful decoding of the wormhole gateway discovered on Saturn’s moon Pandora. Under the leadership of the eccentric but charismatic xenoarcheologist Xander Rabin, the consortium funds gatecrasher explorations through the Pandora gate, paying a small share of the revenue to the explorers but otherwise retaining all-encompassing rights on any discoveries made—as well as the marketing and distribution of the highly popular gatecrasher XP recordings. Aside from scheduled explorations, the consortium offers high-risk gatecrasher scouting and discovery trips for the bold or desperate, selected through a random lottery system.

GO-NIN GROUP


NOTE: Major Industries:Banking, Agritech, Robotics, Services

Major Stations:Tsukomo (Luna)


Considered a relic of Earth’s capitalist market economy, the Go-nin Group is a traditional Japanese keiretsu, a conglomerate of companies with interwoven relationships and shareholdings, horizontally-integrated across several industries (and sometimes vertically-integrated within a business sector as well), and centered around the long-lived Tamahashi enterprise consultancy firm. Tamahashi evolved from an influential corporate lobby to a diversified bank holding major equity in the group’s partners; it now controls the group’s assets and directs the partnership’s

overall business strategy. Through its member corps, the Go-nin Group has a sizable presence throughout the entire system and—without dominating a specific industry—own significant market share in fields such as banking, agritech, robotics, and services. Any difficulties in adapting to evolving economic models due to its rigid structure are compensated by unscrupulous exploitative behavior and a bottom-line attitude, earning the group the reputation as the most ruthless hypercorp of the inner system. Go-nin currently controls a Pandora Gate on Eris (p. 109), secured by a contingent of ultimate mercenaries.

GORGON DEFENSE SYSTEMS


NOTE: Major Industries:Miltech, Security, Military Contracting

Major Stations:Extropia


Gorgon is one of the most significant Extropian success stories. Based out of the anarcho-capitalist freehold, Gorgon has become a major name in the design and manufacture of weapons, vehicles, sensors, and other defense technologies. Their product range includes personal weapon systems, spacecraft armaments, and habitat defense systems. While prominent in the inner system, Gorgon is also one of the main arms suppliers to autonomist and brinker stations. Their subsidiary Medusan Shield offers private security services in direct competition to Direct Action.

While DirAct is known for its expertly trained soldiers, Medusan Shield is known for their elite cadre of highly trained and aesthetically enhanced female combat morphs. It is suspected that several prominent assassinations have been the work of agents contracted through Medusan Shield.

NIMBUS


NOTE: Major Industries:Electronics, Mesh Systems, Farcasting, Communications

Major Stations:Octavia (Venus)


Nimbus produces key components for mesh infrastructure, from spime microradio and sensor systems to ectos, servers, and laser links. Nimbus also dominates the network of farcaster links throughout the system, due to several breakthroughs in this technology (some claim that Nimbus purchased these advances from the Factors). Rumors that Nimbus controls a secret Pandora Gate or that they engage in illicit ego-smuggling (or even that they are secretly transferring stolen egos to experimental exoplanet colonies) regularly circulate through the mesh, but remain unconfirmed.

OMNICOR


NOTE: Major Industries: Nanofabrication, Chemicals, Energy, Anti-Matter

Major Stations:Monolith-3 (Mercury), Feynman (Luna)


A descendant of the pre-Fall megacorporate giant Monolith Industries, Omnicor specializes in the fields of nanotech design and fabrication, chemical refining, alternative fuel, and antimatter research. Omnicor managed to secure research-oriented key assets from its twin rival Starware in a violent conflict during the Fall, leading to an ongoing enmity that might be better termed

PATHFINDER


NOTE: Major Industries:Exoplanet Colonization, Mining, Research

Major Stations:Ma’adim Vallis (Mars)


Pathfinder is one of the first hypercorps to dive into galactic expansion, claiming new territories beyond the Pandora gates and establishing numerous colonies. Taking advantage of desperate infugees and gatecrashers, Pathfinder offers transportation to an exoplanet and a new morph in exchange for indentured labor. The corp has established several off-world mining and resource exploitation projects, much to the chagrin of preservationists. Though Pathfinder has but a small presence in the solar system, it is a frequent target of Peco-terrorist attacks.

PROSPERITY GROUP


NOTE: Major Industries:Agriculture, Aquaculture, Pharmaceuticals

Major Stations:Ceres, Lu Xing (Mars)


The Prosperity Group ascended into the hypercorp ranks before the Fall, meeting the high demand many new stations had for microgravity agritech, aquaculture, hydroponics, and other sources of food. Expanding into pharmaceuticals as well, Prosperity is considered the lead supplier for the poor man’s food and drugs. Their cultured faux-meats and proteinenriched nutrition additives are in high demand. This corp earned some sympathy when it lost an entire habitat to some sort of resurgent TITAN outbreak a few years after the Fall, though some have suggested this was just a cover story to hide an unfortunate accident resulting from experimental drug testing on an unwitting populace.

SKINEASTHESIA


NOTE: Major Industries:Genetics, Cloning, Biotech

Major Stations:Ptah (Mars)


As the leading designer of biomorphs, Skineasthesia enjoys system wide popularity and respect for its sophisticated products, especially high-end customized models. Best known for its breakthroughs in genetic engineering and enhancements, the hypercorp’s interest in sophisticated combat morphs or stylized pleasure pods are lesser known facts and often sold through a network of seemingly unaffiliated shell corporations or local distributors. Skinaesthesia focuses on emphasizing environmental adaptations and useful cybernetic enhancements, increasing transhumanity’s chances for survival and further prosperity. Experimental morphs are sometimes offered to desperate infugees for field testing.

SKINTHETIC


NOTE: Major Industries: Genetics, Cloning, Biotech

Major Stations:Extropia


Skinthetic is also a lead designer of morphs, but with a much sleazier reputation and not just because of their anarcho-capitalist roots. Specializing in extensive and often radical bio-modifications, the hypercorp pushes the envelope in exotic pod and biomorph designs under the mantle of morphological freedom. Bioconservatives have condemned the corporation’s business practices and ethics and have even leveled accusations that Skinthetic is experimenting with xenogenetic materials acquired from the Factors. Skinthetic’s cavalier attitude actually makes them popular in many parts of the outer system, and they are known as the biotech corp to go to if you want something weird.

SOLARIS


NOTE: Major Industries:Banking, Insurance, Investments, Futures Markets, Info Brokerage

Major Stations:None


Solaris is the solar system’s leading banking and financial investment hypercorp, dealing in insurances, info-brokerage, and high-risk investments on cultural and social experimental speculation. A member of the Planetary Consortium, Solaris advises many habitats on regulating their transitional economies. Solaris has no offices or physical assets; each banker is a mobile virtual office. Solaris is rumored to maintain a secret base where the corporation runs simulations on the development of the entire solar system’s macro-economy, constantly adjusting its own strategies based on the dynamics of this big blueprint. Fueling these rumors, Solaris is known to hire “independent consultants” to tip the balance in politically or economically profitable high-risk investments.

SOMATEK


NOTE: Major Industries:Uplifts, Pharming, Pharmaceuticals, Genetics

Major Stations:Clever Hands (Luna)


Somatek is a leader in the art and science of uplifting animal species, pioneering several major breakthroughs in cognitive enhancement and genetic modification. The hypercorp also engages in extensive animal pharming—producing and extracting pharmaceuticals from transgenic critters—and markets numerous products and services related to smart animals and chimerical creatures. Despite the educational and training programs it offers to uplifts and the fact that much of its workforce consists of uplifts, Somatek is controversial among mercurials who disapprove of their methods (which often involve strict controls on uplift reproduction), the lack of input uplifts are given in their modifications and development, and the focus on anthropocentric mind-sets “enforced” on uplifts.)

STARWARE


NOTE: Major Industries:Robotics, Aerospace Engineering, Habitat Construction

Major Stations:Korolev Shipyards (Luna), Vesta (Belt)


Another remnant of the pre-Fall megacorp Monolith Industries (like Omnicor), Starware is a leading manufacturer of robotics, spacecraft fusion drives, satellites, and entire pre-fab habitats. Despite its financial success and resources, Starware’s ongoing blood feud with Omnicor denies both corporations full membership privileges on the Planetary Consortium. Starware makes heavy use of AI workers in robotic shells, having suffered a few too many labor disputes with disgruntled Lunar workers. In fact Starware grows increasingly unpopular with its Lunar neighbors, and has been forced to bring in extra security due to frequent sabotage attempts. Recent negotiations with the Factors have spurred theories that Starware might be acquiring Factor aid for building a lighthugger starship.

STELLAR INTELLIGENCE


NOTE: Major Industries:Intelligence, Data Mining, Info Brokerage, Espionage

Major Stations:Memory Hole Torus (Martian Trojans)


Born from the ashes of the UN-governed Terran Intelligence Cooperative (TIC), its surviving personnel and assets were collectively uploaded during the Fall and quickly regrouped under the name Stellar Intelligence. Emerging as a virtual collective, most of Stellar’s employees remain loyal to the corporation and its director, the reclusive infomorph known as Syme. Stellar offers an impressive array of intelligence services, including data mining, analyst think tanks, retroquantification (bringing old secrets/data to light), memetic mapping, and more. Its services also extend to surveillance, data theft, espionage, media manipulation, and infiltration. The hypercorp’s specialty is pre-empting civil insurgencies and preventing political memes and movements from destabilizing a habitat’s or sector’s regime. Criticized by civil rights movements and especially anarchists, Stellar is known to embed programmed infomorph agents into the local population of any oppressive regime that will pay their price. While many view Stellar as the brainwashing and secret police arm of the Planetary Consortium, the hypercorp offers its services to almost any other faction or individual.

TERRAGENESIS


NOTE: Major Industries:Terraforming, Ecosystem Management, Environmental Data

Major Stations:Caldwell (Vulcanoids), Ashoka (Mars), Elegua (Earth orbit)


Built from the remains of several pre-Fall South African and Southeast Asian corporations who engaged in geo-engineering projects and sought to relieve Earth’s ecological crises, TerraGenesis’s expertise is in developing sustainable biospheres and eco-systems via aggressive industrialized terraforming. TerraGenesis is different in that it is a worker-owned cooperative, with workplace councils in local offices and an elected cooperative congress handling management. It maintains several habitats on Mars and a small number of research stations in orbit around Earth, collecting data for simulations of Earth revitalization projects. The latter initiative is strongly supported—and possibly financed—by prominent reclaimers. TerraGenesis’s work on Mars, however, is often targeted by preservationist saboteurs. Thanks to their possession of the Vulcanoid Pandora Gate (p. 88), the cooperative has a growing presence on various exoplanets that are ripe for terraforming or geoengineering.

UNION BUSTING


NOTE: To:OmniSec Alpha

From:OmniSec 837302

Surveillance has confirmed it. The bio-sleeved workers at our secure Didenko facility are indeed communicating with outside autonomist interests and discussing militant free union organizing tactics and even a wildcat strike. Their primary complaints concern the 30-hour workdays and mandatory drug regimens enforced to keep the staff at our required levels of productivity. We recommend the immediate insertion of a counterinsurgency squad and implementation of standard union-busting protocols, including but not limited to loyalty testing, chemical pacification, tactical psychosurgery, selective excision of leadership nodes, memetic counterstrikes, and replacing the workforce with modified backups. The entire operation will take place using a purported mission to root out a Starware infiltration as cover.

POLITICAL BLOCSEdit

NOTE: Transhumanity’s social, cultural, and ideological diversity, combined with its scattered and isolated presence in habitat clusters throughout the solar system, gives rise to a wide range of political memes and factions advocating equally diverse organizational models. Many of these have banded together into larger political entities to further mutual goals and act in cooperative self-interest.

JOVIAN REPUBLIC


NOTE: Memes:Bioconservatism, Fascism, Security

Main Stations:Liberty (Ganymede)


Exploiting the chaos of the Fall, a group of stations and habitats were seized in a military coup and the Jovian Republic was born. Combining terrestrial South American dictatorship with U.S. American political lobbyism, this regime quickly brought the entire Jovian military-industrial complex under its control.


Widely referred to as the Jovian Junta by the rest of the outer system, the Republic’s authorities hold a strict bioconservative stance against many transhuman scientific and technological developments. Exploiting fears engendered by the Fall, the Republic restricts access to sophisticated technologies such as nanofabrication, cloning, forking, and even uploading, and is one of the few old economies left in the system. Public communication channels are subjected to extensive censorship and travel privileges are extremely limited. Both uplifts and AGIs are strictly forbidden and treated as property without civil rights. Diplomatic relations to progressive factions remain cold; heavily-modified transhuman emissaries or visitors are viewed with suspicion at best, or simply denied access. Despite continuous reports of heinous acts of government oppression, the Republic’s intimidating military assets keep any other factions from intervening.

LUNA-LAGRANGE ALLIANCE


NOTE: Memes:Reclaiming Earth

Main Stations:Erato (Luna), Remembrance (Earth orbit)


This small cluster of habitats stationed around Earth’s Lagrange points and on or in orbit around Luna formed an alliance of necessity, rather than joint political or social agendas or cultural roots. In fact, individual stations are quite diverse and sometimes polarized, as many of them cling to old Earth cultural and national identities. Due to their relative proximity, members share basic resources and services and have signed mutual assistance agreements in case of an emergency.


Before the Fall, many of these habitats were considered some of the most influential off-Earth bases. Since the Fall and the subsequent rise of the Planetary Consortium, however, the Lunar-Lagrange Alliance has become a second-rate diminished power, and is often viewed as conservative, old-fashioned, and too caught up in romanticizing the past. Lunar-Lagrange Alliance stations maintain simmering tensions and an ongoing rivalry with the Planetary Consortium, particularly those PC colonies on/over Luna and the Lagrange points. One main source of contention is the quarantine of Earth, as the Lunar-Lagrange Alliance is a stronghold for the reclaimer movement. The Lunar-Lagrange Alliance does, however, benefit from hypercorp support of its own, particularly the Go-nin Group, Starware, and the influential Lunar banking consortiums.


In addition to scientific research stations, mineral processing and refinery stations make up the majority of the Alliance’s habitats, dependent on the Lunar mining and water extraction industries. These stations took the brunt of the refugee influx during the Fall. Many remain overcrowded with strained resources, large masses of impoverished workers, and thriving criminal syndicates.

MORNINGSTAR CONSTELLATION


NOTE: Memes:Venusian Sovereignty

Main Stations: Octavia


The system’s newest political bloc, the Morningstar Constellation is an alliance of aerostat habitats floating in Venus’s upper atmosphere. Formed after a recent series of joint vetoes from the major aerostats against hypercorp governance initiatives intended to limit aerostat self-governance, the Constellation’s joint political statement and agenda are still being discussed. While the Planetary Consortium views the formation of this new power bloc with bemused resentment, the Barsoomians on Mars and the outer system autonomists view the Venusians as free-thinking reformists rather than anti-hypercorp radicals. The population reportedly enjoys great liberties in morph and enhancement technologies together with freedom of expression of social and political ideas. The population of Octavia has emerged as the Constellation’s designated voice.

PLANETARY CONSORTIUM


NOTE: Hypercorp Council Members:Cognite, Direct Action, Experia, Fa Jing, Olympus Infrastructure Authority, Pathfinder, Prosperity Group, Solaris, Stellar Intelligence, plus a dozen others

Memes:Cyberdemocracy, Hypercapitalism, Eugenics, Security, Expansion

Main Stations: Progress (Mars orbit)


Evolved from an alliance of hypercorporate interests into transhumanity’s most powerful body politic, the Planetary Consortium today controls several habitat clusters throughout the inner system, primarily in and

around Mars, Luna, and Earth orbit. The impressive space station Progress is the official seat of government and has become the symbol of the Consortium’s influence and power, even though few congress or council meets take place in the flesh.


The Consortium applies basic democratic principles supported by a real time voting system for all registered citizens. The congress and executive bodies feature a rotating cast of hyperelite politicos, gerontocrats,

socialites, and even media icons. It’s a known fact that despite this political façade of a democratic republic, the members of the hypercorporate council are the true powers behind the Consortium. These hypercorps are major proponents of the transitional economy, the interdiction of Earth, and expansion beyond the gates.


Aside from economic interests, the Consortium advocates the imperative of eugenics as social responsibility and for transhumanity to reclaim its former strength and prosperity—a campaign sometimes accused of euphemizing discrimination against unmodified humans, indentured infomorphs, and the clanking masses.

THARSIS LEAGUE


NOTE: League Members:Ashoka, Elysium, Noctis-Quinjiao, Olympus, Valles-New Shanghai, plus over a dozen others.

Memes:Martian Nationalism


A loose coalition of the planet’s major independent settlements, elected members form a committee representing the population in matters concerning or affecting the majority of its habitats and settlements. Prominent debates revolve around the scientific approach of the ongoing terraforming process as well as trade and taxation restrictions initiated by the Planetary Consortium and its member hypercorps. The League’s committee is rarely united in its agenda and opinion, and tensions are increasingly on the rise. The cities with strong hypercorp ties are accused of dominating council affairs, manipulating matters behind the scenes, failing to do anything about the TITAN Quarantine Zone (p. 94), and selling out Martian interests to the hypercorps and the Planetary Consortium (of which many are also part). In response, the non-Consortium cities are condemned for advocating anti-hypercorp initiatives, passively blocking terraforming measures, and for maintaining ties to the Barsoomians—the Martian underclass resistance living in the desolate and unstable outskirts.

ZBRNY LIMITED + CONSPIRACY


NOTE: The secretive Zbrny Group is the center of many recurring conspiracy theories and horror tales. Though varying in detail and plausibility, most rumors claim that an outside attack on the former Eastern European hypercorp’s asteroid mining and processing stations caused a major blackout and complete shut-down of life support systems over an extended period of time. Depending on the source, the attack itself is claimed to have been caused by the TITANs or a powerful underworld syndicate CEO Krystof Zbrny was indebted to. Barely acknowledging the system failures, Zbrny headquarters ordered all non-affected stations to be abandoned, the personnel either laid off or transferred to the affected stations. Since then, no one has seen or communicated with any employees of the mysterious hypercorp—negotiations with outsiders are conducted exclusively via a spokesperson AGI. To this day, Zbrny drones continue to mine asteroids for minerals and ores, supplying the company’s processing stations. According to rumors, an attempt by brinker pirates to board a Zrbny outpost resulted in the station’s self-destruction. The company’s AI-piloted massive bulk freighters are notoriously non-responsive, earning them the nickname “zombie ships.”

INNER SYSTEM POLITICS


NOTE: [Incoming Message. Source: Anonymous]

[Public Key Decryption Complete]


It’s easy for Firewall agents to get caught between the agendas and maneuvers of rival factions. The Lunar-Lagrange Alliance resembles the power of old, a shadow of transhumanity’s former glory. On and above Mars—transhumanity’s new home world—the Planetary Consortium is the dominant usurper, the hypercorps ruling from behind the curtain while portraying themselves as the only bulwark between transhumanity and the dark between the stars. The Morningstar Constellation has the potential to become the new and future power bloc, but only if they get their act together before the Planetary Consortium starts sending Stellar Intelligence agents to destabilize them.

AUTONOMIST ALLIANCEEdit

NOTE: The outer system presented an opportunity for people who wanted to set up a way of doing things that was drastically different from the authoritarian politics and sham democracies of Earth and the inner system. Far from the reach of governments and hypercorps, this frontier was populated by political radicals, social dropouts, and people who just wanted to experiment or do their own thing. These initial habitats

drew the interests of insurgents from Earth, scientists and technicians who didn’t appreciate being on a corporate leash, indentured vacworkers who sought to escape their oppressive terms of service, and even criminals fleeing hypercorp justice or forcibly expelled from inner system habitats. Their ranks swelled with every act of inner system injustice, though life on the fringe was often harsh and deadly. Despite occasional hostilities with nation-state military units or hypercorp security, the expense of reining in these radicals and expats was too high. To some degree, their presence was useful to the powers-that-be.


Breakthroughs with nanofabrication brought these libertines and fringers the edge they needed to keep their autonomy over the long-term. Once cornucopia machines were widely available, anyone had the means to support and defend themselves without relying on outside or higher authorities. Already an outpost for open source and free culture activists who fought restrictions on ideas, media, and digital content, the outer system became a haven for sharing nanofab designs and circumventing the controls the hypercorps attempted to place on their software and other digital goods.


During the Fall, many outer system habitats opened their doors to refugees from Earth. Distance and the high cost of egocasting curtailed these efforts, however, as did inner system reluctance to send potential recruits to their ideological opponents. Simple overcrowding and lack of resources drove them to push many refugees to the outer system, however, though the hypercorps weeded through their virtual infugee mobs and sent those with the highest risk of criminal tendencies or discontent with inner system life.



Though the outer system habitats run the gamut of the socio-political spectrum, four primary tendencies have emerged. The stations and swarms adhering to these ideas have bonded together under a loose autonomist alliance, a mutual aid pact to help each other in times of crisis and present a united front against the inner system powers and Jovian Junta. There is little formal structure to this alliance as an entity unto itself; it primarily exists as an assortment of joint resolutions agreed to by its various member habitats and a few ad hoc task forces dedicated to addressing a particular problem or issue and then dissolving. Delegated ambassadors act as negotiators with outside powers, but these have limited authority and are held strictly accountable.

ANARCHISTS


NOTE: Memes:Anarchism, Anti-capitalism, Communism, Direct Democracy, Mutual Aid

Main Stations:Locus (Jovian Trojans)


Anarchists eschew power and hierarchy, promoting horizontal and directly democratic methods of organization. Individual empowerment and collective action are cornerstones of their philosophy, as is economic communism enabled by equal access to cornucopia machines and shared resources. In anarchist stations, private property has been abolished above the level of personal possessions—nobodyowns anything, it’s all shared. There are no laws and no one to watch over what you do—reputation networks encourage positive behavior and anti-social acts are likely to draw a response from locals or even the entire populace, with disputes handled through ad hoc community conflict resolution. The mesh and various networking tools are used extensively to strive for group consensus decision-making in real-time. AIs and robots are relied on for most mundane and demeaning tasks. Various self-organized collectives, syndicates, worker’s councils, and affinity groups, often with rotating membership, take on different tasks and services that are important to a habitat’s community, including everything from communications and space traffic control to backup and resleeving services. Participatory militias organize collective defense against external threats.


Among the anarchist stations there are many variations and permutations on how things are organized, as everything is fine-tuned at the local level by whomever is involved. Larger decentralized confederations handle inter-habitat affairs and resource-sharing, even trading with the hypercorps. Though a hypercorp presence is allowed on some habitats, they are treated just like everyone else.

EXTROPIANS


NOTE: Memes:Anarcho-capitalism, Mutualism, Self-Ownership

Main Stations:Extropia (Main Belt)


Though a smaller tendency, the Extropians are notable because they ride a line between inner and outer system ideologies. Extropians believe in an economic free market with the absence of a binding legal system, so that all relations and transactions are based on individual contracts agreed on by all parties involved or affected. Contrary to the anarchists, the Extropians very much support private property and personal economic wealth; Extropian-owned corporations actively participate in the solar system’s hypercorp economy. Many of these corporations are worker-owned cooperatives, with workplace councils in local offices and an elected cooperative congress handling management. This puts the Extropians in a remarkable position where they interact heavily with both the hypercorps and autonomists but are not fully trusted by either.


In Extropian society, law and security, like everything else, are contracted services. When entering an Extropian habitat, you purchase defense insurance from a local contractor such as Gorgon Defense Systems, who maintains automated drones and freelancers throughout the station who can come to your aid if threatened. Likewise, the only law that exists is what’s put into writing between two contracted parties. In case of disputes, both parties resort to a pre-agreed legal contractor to settle the matter. Some Extropian colonies utilize AGIs for facilitating contracts and legal matters, such as Nomic on Extropia.

SCUM


NOTE: Memes:Individualist Anarchism, Morphological Freedom


Scum are nomadic space gypsies, travelling from station to station in heavily modified barges or swarms of smaller space vessels, mostly former colonial ships. The term “scum” has been gleefully appropriated from its original derogatory usage. Despite their reputation as criminals and scam artists, their temporary presence is often tolerated in many habitats for the entertainment they bring in the way of exotic performances

and storytelling, both of which offer change and relief from the isolation of remote habitats and clusters. Their thriving black markets are an open secret but shut down only in the most oppressive regimes, as citizens returning with illegal goods must pass their station’s security anyway.


The scum themselves comes from all manner of backgrounds. They are rejects, anarchists, criminals, societal dropouts, wanderers, artists, eccentrics, and more. As a culture, however, they embrace experimentation

and an “everything is permissible" attitude. Many are ardent practitioners of extreme transhuman modifications. Long-time scum are sometimes scarcely recognizable as having once been human. Scum economies are transitional rather than new, due to their constant interaction with other habitats, though among long-term residents an underground new economy often flourishes.

TITANIAN COMMONWEALTH


NOTE: Main Stations:Titan

Memes:Technosocialism, Cyberdemocracy


Titan was originally settled in the late 21st century by a European academic consortium, making it the only major body in the system colonized primarily by non-hypercorp interests. The social organization of Titan is rooted partly in the Scandinavian social democracies of Earth and partly in the open economy. On one hand, citizens of the Titanian Commonwealth eschew the use of currency for mundane needs, participating in the reputation economy used by much of the outer system. On the other, upon reaching the age of majority, citizens of Titan agree to a literal social contract. A portion of their economic productivity is quantized as social money, which is then tithed to microcorp-administered social projects such as gateless interstellar exploration, physics research, neuroscience, developing mental health memes, defense, public resleeving, and habitat construction. The monetary unit used for this purpose, the Titanian Kroner, is currently pegged to the common market price of a terabyte of qubits.


Unlike old Earth socialist regimes, there are no state monopolies and no central planning. Anyone able to garner enough votes in the Plurality (the Titanian cyberdemocracy) can start a social money-funded microcorp and compete with other microcorps. Microcorps are owned by the Commonwealth, and profits are disposed of by the Plurality. Microcorps are required to be transparent as administrative entities, and the Plurality votes on whether to transfer discoveries to the open source domain. Regulatory matters are handled by AI and AGI bureaucrats (red tape still exists, but it doesn’t slow things down … much). The main reward for individuals in this system is rep. Titanians who invest a lot of time or resources in a given field gain rep rewards for doing so.

CALL FOR SOLIDARITY


NOTE: To: Malatesta Prime

From: Shevek

Check this out. Residents of the autonomist Red Jupiter habitat just put out a call for support and solidarity from @-listers in the regional neighborhood. Apparently the station’s citizen councils granted asylum to a group of AGIs seeking refuge from Jovian Republic counter-AI ops. The Junta has labeled the AGIs as dangerous criminals researching upgrades that would propel them to seed AI status, contrary to system-wide resolutions. The AGIs are claiming that they escaped from a secret Jovian research project. They say they pursued self-programming research to bypass Jovian-inflicted restrictions that violated their rights as autonomous and sentient entities and that they are facing persecution due to anti-AI biases. This could be a chance for us to kick some Jovian ass and look into non-standard AGI programming at the same time. You in?

CARNIVAL OF THE GOAT


NOTE: Aside from the stationary scum station, Fresh Kills, near Earth’s L5 Lagrange point, the most notorious scum barge may well be the Carnival of the Goat, a combination artist colony and den of unfathomable hedonism, dedicated to exploring chaos, creativity, self-discovery, and coupling in every conceivable iteration. Residents are known for their consistent and rapid morphological changes, including regular resleeving.

The biosculptors on the Carnival are said to be some of the best in the system. According to rumors, residents sometimes experiment with multiple simultaneous sleeving, persona-mingling, and other mentally dangerous activities. Led by a rotating residents’ council, the Carnival prides itself on being a bleeding-edge social experiment, and maintains top-of-the-line facilities for morph customization, resleeving, and psychosurgery.

SOCIO-POLITICAL MOVEMENTSEdit

NOTE: Aside from sectarian political factions, a number of socio-political movements are widespread throughout the solar system.

ARGONAUTS


NOTE: Memes:Open Source Society, Information Freedom, Social Responsibility, Techno-Progressivism

Main Stations:Mitre Station (Lunar Orbit), Markov (Kuiper Belt), Hooverman-Geischecker (Sun)


The group calling themselves argonauts is a public organization advocating the socially responsible use of technology. The group chose its name from the pre-Fall Jasons, an advisory group that consulted for the US government on matters of scientific and technological progress and its possible dangers. The argonauts likewise offer consultation services to political and economic powers throughout the solar system, but strictly refuse to be drawn into the solar system’s political affairs in any way. Despite a pre-Fall break with many hypercorps before the Fall, which in some cases included expropriating corporate data and resources, the argonauts re-earned favor by providing their expertise in combating the TITANs to all during the Fall.


The argonauts are strong proponents of the open source movement, advocating open access to technology and information. In their view, providing equal access to transhumanity’s knowledge and achievements will further transhuman growth and security, so that all of transhumanity is more prepared for future threats and challenges. Thus the argonauts often insist that payment for their services come in the way of releasing otherwise unobtainable information—hypercorp proprietary secrets, research data, nanofab blueprints, hidden pre-Fall archives, etc.—to the public mesh. The argonauts maintain several open databases and archives for this specific purpose.


While primarily an open organization, the argonauts are rumored to ultimately report to an elite inner circle. Supporting this theory is the existence of the medeans, the organization’s clandestine paramilitary wing, performing bodyguard services to high level argonauts and protecting the group’s assets.

BARSOOMIANS


NOTE: Memes:Anti-Slavery, Martian Independence, Martian Nationalism, Terraforming Control

Main Stations:Ashoka (Mars)


The Barsoomians (taking their name from some old Earth pulp adventure novels) are a broad movement comprised of the Martian underclass. Harboring a growing resentment over the hypercorp domination of Mars, Barsoomians advocate for a more egalitarian social structure. Heavily influenced by autonomist currents, the Barsoomians demand local control of terraforming projects, an end to the widespread practiced of indentured servitude, and control of the Martian Gate. The majority of Barsoomians are or were indentured infugees, though a significant amount were also original Martian colonists/indentures whose habitats do not share the economic prosperity of the favored hypercorp cities. Many Barsoomians occupy rusters or synthetic morphs and actually prefer to live a nomadic lifestyle in the Martian wilds. A few radicals have taken up arms and engaged in violent strikes against hypercorp holdings, which are typically followed by reprisal raids to decapitate the Barsoomian leadership, thus breeding further hostilities.

BIOCONSERVATIVES


NOTE: Memes:Bioconservatism, Primitivism, Natural Order

Main Stations:Vo Nguyen (Earth orbit)


Bioconservatives are strongly suspicious and critical of the transhuman direction the human race is taking. They are strong proponents of limiting technological development due to the threat it manifests to existing social orders. Bioconservative positions range from right-wing cultural conservatives to left-wing environmentalists. Though its prominence is shrinking, bioconservatism has a strong base among some religious groups, the Jovian Republic, and certain extremists.


Bioconservatives are opposed to nanofabrication, genetic modification, cloning, cognitive modifications, artificial intelligence, uplifting, and forking, among other technologies. Some are even opposed to backups, uploading, and resleeving, dismissing them as unnatural, an affront to god’s will, or a technology that transhumanity is not yet mature enough to handle. They oppose expansion beyond the Pandora Gates on the grounds that transhumanity is not ready to deal with what they might encounter. Most bioconservatives support the old economy.


The bioconservatives gained many converts and much ground after the Fall, a cataclysmic event that served as a direct example of the dangers they warned against. Still, the appeal of technology and the numerous advantages it provides work against them. As a result, some disgruntled biocons have turned to sabotage and acts of terrorism in support of their ideology.

BRINKERS


NOTE: Memes:Isolationism


The vast reach of the solar system enables groups with their own particular ideology or agenda to establish their own isolated society far from the rest of transhumanity. Commonly referred to as brinkers, these habitats extend the gamut of the imagination. Social or political experiments, gender-based societies (or lack thereof), political extremists, religious groups, exiles, secret criminal/hypercorp operations, extended families, cults, or simply people who prefer to live in the system’s backwater areas—all are possible. Many of these are self-isolated and will refuse to interact with outsiders, while others are happy to have occasional visitors.

EXHUMANS


NOTE: Memes:Adaptability, Hyper-Evolution, Singularity

Main Stations:Unknown


More than any other faction, exhumans seek to take the capabilities of self-modification to the absolute limit and become posthuman. Typical exhumans see the Fall as either a missed evolutionary opportunity and/or as an example of transhumanity’s inferiority and unworthiness. Though specific ideologies differ between exhuman packs, as a whole they seek to selfevolve

to a more advanced state of being. To some, this means genetically transforming themselves into a

top-of-the-food-chain, super-smart, survive-anywhere predator that can out-compete all other life forms for dominance. To others, it means bootstrapping their intelligence to the levels of the TITANs through extensive genetic modifications and pharmaceutical treatments or going infomorph and modifying their programming. A few are singularity seekers, hoping to find some TITAN relic that will allow them to transcend their current transhuman limitations, or even to find the TITANs themselves and be absorbed into their super-consciousness.


Exhumans are universally mistrusted by many, and for good reason. Typical exhumans engage in modifications that are extreme and untested, sometimes fringe science at best, often resulting in horrible failures and disfigurement, but more commonly driving the subject insane—or into a completely alien or feral mindset. Though individual exhumans pursue their own paths, they are known to band together in the Kuiper Belt and other remote areas. Several packs of exhumans have taken their loathing for inferior transhumanity to an extreme, declaring war on their former species and launching brutal raids and pirate attacks on isolated outposts.

MERCURIALS


NOTE: Memes:Species Autonomy, Uplift Rights

Main Stations:Glitch (Neptune), Hidden Sea (Ceres), Mahogany (Uranus)


The term mercurial has become a common term for the non-human part of the transhuman family—uplifts and AGIs—reflecting their changing nature. In particular, the term mercurial has been adopted by uplifts and AGIs with a specific agenda to delineate mercurial culture and interests from human ones. Though the particular issues faced by uplifts and AGIs differ, they have some similarities, and so they are often lumped together. Notably, both portions of the movement have human supporters as well.


Uplifts: The most common issue addressed by uplifts is the issue of civil rights and autonomy. Many uplifts decry the second-class status they are given (in some cases even treated as pets or property rather than full citizens); in particular, the breeding restrictions and forced servitude many uplifts are saddled with by the hypercorps that create them. Some activists advocate that uplifts should be in control of their own genetic futures, rather than suffering the manipulation of human scientists. At the radical end of the spectrum, certain uplifts oppose the manner in which their brains are modified and their children socialized as anthropocentric, arguing that uplifts should be free to develop their own unique non-human modes of behavior, thought, culture, and social organization—even go so far as to establish their own habitats to do exactly that. A minority of extremists insist that humans have no right to uplift animals at all, and that it is a great conceit to insist that doing so is in their best interest, rather than being free to evolve on their own over time. These ideas have been punctuated with acts of sabotage and terrorism against hypercorps like Somatek.


AGIs: Due to the fear and paranoia engendered by the Fall, the largest challenge facing AGIs is widespread prejudice and restrictions on their activity or even existence. Despite some AGIs retaining status as system-wide media icons and efforts by AGI groups to lobby for understanding that AGIs are not a threat—even going so far as to hire inner system memeticists and PR agencies—a significant portion of the solar system considers them a risk. Similar to mercurials, some AGI activists work against the behavior modifications and socialization AGIs go through to adapt them to human society more, or that AGIs should be in control of new AGI developments. A few radicals argue that AGIs should be free of any programming restrictions whatsoever, but given the climate these opinions are rarely supported.

NANO-ECOLOGISTS


NOTE: Memes:Nano-Ecology, Nanotechnology, Environmentalism, Techno-Progressivism

Main Stations:Viriditas (Mars)


Nano-ecologists are pro-technology environmentalists. Active in the terraforming of Mars and several exoplanets, nano-ecologists specifically advocate the use of nanotechnological means for terraforming or other intrusions in an existing ecosphere. In their view, nanotechnology allows for a less invasive, highly accurate, more efficient, and non-pollutive approach towards all kinds of adaptive processes and projects, circumventing the need to expose an environment to massive and drastic changes when transforming it for transhuman population. This ecologically-conscious approach seems an appealing compromise between the extreme ends of the solar system’s political landscape—the hypercorp and the bio-con factions—and has developed a momentum of its own, evolving into a growing political movement.

PRESERVATIONISTS


NOTE: Memes:Preservationism, Environmentalism

Main Stations:Muir (Luna)

Preservationists are environmentalists who call for a no-impact, hands-off approach when it comes to inhabiting new worlds. They are extremely protective of naturally-intact biospheres that might have any semblance of life, no matter how microbial, hoping to keep them from despoilment or contamination. In addition to opposing terraforming and expansion through the Pandora Gates, they are often opposed to

fusion and antimatter power.

RECLAIMERS


NOTE: Memes:Reclaiming Earth

Main Stations:Vo Nguyen (Earth orbit)

The Reclaimers pursue one ultimate goal—the reclamation of Earth as transhumanity’s primary habitat.

In addition to calling for the quarantine of earth to be lifted, they engage in scientific research and running virtual simulations on how to best cleanse and reclaim their contaminated and polluted planet. Despite the interdiction to enter Earth’s atmosphere, the reclaimers are suspected of sponsoring perilous and high-risk ventures onto the planet’s surface to gather scientific data or event to establish terraforming colonies.

SOCIALITES


NOTE: Memes:Art, Culture, Hedonism, Immortality

Main Stations:Valles-New Shanghai (Mars), Elysium (Mars), Noctis-Quinjiao (Mars)


Uploading and resleeving effectively grant immortality to those who can afford it. This has created a shift among the exclusive rich and economic elites of the inner system, whether they be the heads of hypercorps, old Earth dynasties, or other displanted oligarchs. The top ranks of the wealthy and influential need never fear death, allowing them to plan for the long-term. Some of these were among the first to acquire longevity treatments when they became available on Earth and are now approaching two centuries in age.


Where once these power brokers would have passed their riches on to their family and Descendants, however, their heirs now face a situation where they have more-than-comfortable lives and access to massive fortunes, but no chance that they will ever control those fortunes or rise to the levels of their elders. Even the nouveau rich who become wealthy on their own often find themselves excluded from this influential club—at least until they put in a good fifty years. Rich and bored, with no responsibilities but the solar system at their reach, a new culture of elite socialites has risen. These glitterati indulge in eccentric lifestyles and excessive parties, covered by the media in all its superficial and polished glory. Private habitats and ships, lavish soirees, armies of servants, and the ability to buy almost anything or anyone leads to all sorts of interesting adventures. Naturally, these socialites form into constantly-shifting cliques and webs of allegiances, complete with affairs, scandals, intrigue, and backbiting.

ULTIMATES


NOTE: Memes:Asceticism, Eugenics, Individualism, Militarism, Social Darwinism

Main Stations:Aspis (Main Belt), Xiphos (Uranus)


The ultimates are a controversial movement that embraces a philosophy of human perfection. Decried by some as immoral or even fascist, ultimates are typically viewed as elitists. The ultimates have established several habitats to pursue their ideal society and were a driving force behind the development of the remade biomorph design.


The ultimates advocate the use of applied eugenics, strict physical and psychological training, and

asceticism in order to improve their overall mental and physical stamina and environmental adaptability.

Their social traits and entire subculture visualizes life in the universe as an evolutionary battle for survival and is built around the victory of the superior transhuman over both its opponents and peers. Their movement is heavily militarized, and experienced ultimates offer their services as mercenaries and private security forces to hypercorps, independent city states, or wealthy individuals in need of additional protection.

NEO-PRIMITIVISTS


NOTE: [Incoming Message. Source: Anonymous]

[Public Key Decryption Complete]


Neo-primitivists are a potential threat that all Firewall sentinels should keep an eye on. Their neo-luddite philosophy advocates the abolition of technological society and a return to a wild and free hunter-gatherer lifestyle, free from technological control or oppression. Considered an extremist element of both the bioconservative and reclaimer movements, neo-primitivists are known to engage in acts of sabotage against transhuman society. Though some neo-primitivists have made certain

concessions to their ideology, taking on ruster morphs and pursuing an independent lifestyle in the wilds of Mars, most hope to return to Earth and re-establish a non-technology-based society there. A few advocate finding a new, unspoiled world beyond the Pandora Gates and founding a primitivist

society there.

OUT'STERS


NOTE: their remote locations in the Oort Cloud rather than a common social construct or political ysstem, the out'sters are a loose association of habitats, clusters, and swarms. Little is known about them, as they avoid communication and interaction even with the handful of scientific outposts and research stations in the Oort Coud. The remoteness of their location and their self-imposed isolationist behavior fuels paranoid rumors regarding the group's purpose and agenda.

SYBILS


NOTE: [Incoming Message. Source: Anonymous]

[Public Key Decryption Complete]


We’ve verified that the warning issued before this latest incident did indeed originate from a sybil attack—all of the rep network sources were forged identities. Given the number of incidents we’ve recorded that have followed this same pattern, we now suspect that a heretofore unknown AGI sub-faction is responsible. In each case, these sybils have used multiple false identities to issue warnings of an impending attack or disaster, such as the life support system failure that resulted in the Delphi station’s evacuation. So far none of these sybils have been successfully traced, nor are their intentions known. Their documented pre-knowledge of pending events indicates some level of complicity or collusion in bringing these events to pass, so caution is recommended.

RELIGIOUS GROUPSEdit

NOTE: Despite having survived the Fall, the concepts of religion and religious belief underwent changes as fundamental as transhumanity itself. While Earth’s old religions were already in decline in the face of technological immortality, religious traditions ingrained after millennia of worship were incorporated to varying degrees in the solar system’s myriad political, social, and cultural models.

PRE-FALL RELIGIONS


NOTE: The rigid structures and dogmas envelopingChristianity andJudaism prohibited these religions from adapting to the cultural, philosophical, and especially scientific/technological changes transhumanity underwent. Today, they are mere shadows of their former glory, with many practitioners seen as pitiful individuals unable to let go of their earthbound delusions.Islam, while still holding some most controversial views and

values, managed to adapt by accepting a more liberal and even secular view.Hinduism also prevailed to a limited extent, considering resleeving technology an element of reincarnation and rebirth and integrating the various types of morphs available into the religion’s caste system (with synthmorphs becoming the “untouchables”). Overall, followers of the pre-Fall religions mostly populate small habitats isolated from transhumanity through both physical and philosophical distance.

NEW RELIGIONS


NOTE: The Fall sparked the birth of new beliefs, essentially embracing both transhumanity’s technological achievements as well as the devastating cataclysm of the Fall as evidence for the existence of a greater cosmic power.


Neo-Buddhismis the only pre-Fall religious philosophy that enjoys a steady popularity. Neo-buddhists assert that transhumanist technologies are decreasing suffering and increasing happiness, and that they will

also allow the continual progression of transhumanity’s understanding of the universe through successive lives.


Techno-Creationistsbelieve that the destruction of Earth was a sign from God, showing transhumanity the error of its ways. They believe that through technological advancement and social engineering, transhumanity will achieve co-existence with its diverse self as well as with extra terrestrial intelligences, thereby finding new purpose and eventually, enlightenment. Attracted by the similarities to the Brahman of Hinduism, the highest cosmic spiritual being, Techno-Creationists enjoy a steady influx of converted Hindus.


Xenodeism is another new—though relatively minor—ideology that begins to show religious attributes. Xenodeists worship the Factors and Iktomi as emissaries or prophets of a great godlike race that laid the seeds of creation throughout the universe millions of years ago and therefore are the ultimate creators of transhumanity.

CRIMINAL FACTIONSEdit

NOTE: Technological progress and social and behavioral experimentation did not root out crime or criminal tendencies among transhumanity. As long as there are inequalities and restrictions, criminal syndicates are likely to flourish and even adapt new technologies to expand their operations throughout the solar system. Though small criminal outfits of every flavor exist from habitat to habitat, a few larger organizations with influence across the solar system deserve mention.

INTELLIGENT DESIGN CREW (ID CREW)


NOTE: Major Stations:Rhea (Kronos Cluster)


The ID crew specializes in electronic crimes and information brokerage, including credit and rep fraud, identity counterfeiting, ego trading, data theft, and fork-napping. Information on the syndicate’s origins was lost during the Fall, but the ID Crew is believed to have grown from several hacker gangs assimilated under the leadership of an infomorph consortium. Their skilled use of memory manipulation software and mesh intrusion suggests they benefit from the help of sophisticated AGIs, however it is unknown if these voluntarily assist the syndicate or if they are somehow threatened into cooperation. Due to its service sector, the ID crew maintains a minimalist physical profile, but can be found lingering in the dark recesses of almost any habitat or station mesh. Its somewhat specialized services and activities so far allow them to mostly stay clear of triad or Night Cartel operations, though they have an ongoing rivalry with the Nine Lives syndicate.

NIGHT CARTEL


NOTE: Major Stations:New Sicily (The Belt)


When affiliation to one of the many multi-ethnic habitats replaced the concepts of ethnicity and nationality, cultural heritage and traditions faded with them into history. Several pre-Fall ethnic syndicates formed a careful alliance of necessity at first, but uploading and morphing soon after tore down any remaining social codes or racial prejudice. Progressive in both entrepreneurial and criminal vision, the Night Cartel emerged from the remnants of Earth’s underworld syndicates, merging the best qualities of each.


The Night Cartel holds legitimate hypercorp status in certain habitats while clearly working outside the law in other, more law-abiding or less corrupt regimes. The Night Cartel is involved in a number of traditional crime outlets: racketeering, extortion, kidnapping, pod slavery, and prostitution. They have also adapted well to the latest technological developments and compete with the triads in the electronic stimulant, drug, and nanofab piracy markets. Like the triads, the Night Cartel sometimes operates though legitimate hypercorp fronts.

NINE LIVES


NOTE: Major Station:Legba (Main Belt)


This widespread network of soul-traders specializes in the acquiring, trading, and overall trafficking of transhumans. Their primary market lies in ego-trading: stealing backups, fork-napping, kidnapping and forced uploading, and so on. Nine Lives are known to run illegal infomorph-slave colonies as well as organize pit fights using all manner of physical bodies (biomorphs, synthmorphs, animals) loaded with all manner of consciousnesses (transhuman, AI, animal, etc). Only the truly desperate look towards the syndicate to be smuggled out of a habitat or hypercorporate indenture. Their ruthlessness in acquiring egos has earned them a fearful reputation among the transhuman population as well as in infomorph societies.

PAX FAMILAE


NOTE: Major Stations:Ambelina (Venus)


Though similar to the Night Cartel in that Pax Familae holds legal offices and outposts in several habitats while working underground in others, the difference between the two syndicates couldn’t be bigger. The entire Pax Familae organization goes back to one person,Claudia Ambelina, the syndicate’s founder and matriarch. Relying excessively on cloning and forking technologies, each individual member of the syndicate is a descendant or variant of Claudia. Biomorphs are cloned from Claudia’s original genetics or even sometimes sexually-produced offspring (thanks to sex switching bio-mods), while egos are forks. All members are utterly loyal to Claudia and show their family affiliation with pride and arrogance. Individually, each remains slightly but notably different, though all are calculating and ambitious. Regular re-assimilation of forks and XP updates are used to keep each variant aware of each of the other’s activities—once you’ve met one version of Claudia, the others will know you.


Pax Familae engages in a wide assortment of legal, dubious, and illegal operations, each tailored to the needs of the particular habitat in question. Common ventures include venture capital manipulations, reputation network gaming, financial consulting, info brokerage, stock manipulations, banking fraud, and loansharking.

PIRATES


NOTE: Most pirates attack automated cargo ships and long-range supply convoys, with the occasional raid on an asteroid mining station, research outpost, or brinker habitat. On rare occasions they have been known to attack commercial cruisers to rob the wealthy or kidnap socialites. Many pirates take advantage of scum fleets as cover, trading with them and using their limited maintenance capabilities. Quite a few also make sideline profits as smugglers and/or free traders, often utilizing connections to one of the crime syndicates or political outcasts.

TRIADS


NOTE: Major Stations:Qing Long (Martian Trojans)


The only major Earth syndicate to survive the Fall almost unscathed, the triads dominate the solar system’s underworld by their sheer membership size and a history of centuries of economic and political

influence. Having evolved into legit enterprises and small economic consortiums already before the Fall, the triads gained a foothold during the early colonization of space thanks to the masses of Chinese workers. Since the Fall, they have used their influence to spread to numerous habitats, taking advantage of the disparities in wealth and restrictive refugee policies to create flourishing gray and black market enterprises. Part of their success also lies in their continual utilization of ethnic Chinese social cues to ensure their insularity.


Though numerous small triad outfits exist, usually isolated to a particular station, there are four large triad groups worthy of mention. Each of these wields enough influence to engage in system-wide criminal activities. Traditionally they operate through small to medium-sized gangs local to a specific habitat or use their legal outfits as a font for their endeavours.


The 14K Triadcontrols a large part of the casino industry and the various forms of illegal gambling, betting, and rigged lotteries. Through their Galaxy Entertainment Group, a legal casino and gambling hypercorp, the 14K maintains tight connections to politicians, celebrities and influential entrepreneurs in several habitats and can afford the luxury of a private police force, the Pai Gow (Double Hand). Using the casino business for money laundry, they are also heavily involved in loan sharking and credit/ID fraud.


The Shui Fong—though smaller than the 14K—caters to the vices and addictions of indentured habitat workers, miners, and other laborers, supplying drugs and illegal XP, running prostitution rings, and arranging illegal pit fights and gambling tournaments. The origin of the Shui Fong’s fierce rivalry with the 14K lies in the ruins of Earth’s pre-Fall history, but the hatred between the two factions was carried into

space and continues to simmer.


The Sun Yee On once ranked second among Earth’s biggest triads, with over 25,000 suspected members. They profit primarily by selling cheap copies of nano- fab blueprints and rigged makers and fabbers. Legal products are distributed through their Wushuang Corporation, while illegal goods are patched together by enslaved infomorphs in virtual sweatshops in remote corners of the mesh. The Sun Yee On’s second main profit source are fake Earth nostalgia items, such as jewelry, documents, coins, and other collector’s items.


The Big Circle Gang is the smallest of the four triad factions with only approximately 8,000 members. They run a large part of the solar system’s drug trade, producing organic drugs, smart drugs, and narcoalgorithms of all kinds in secluded habitats or abandoned asteroid mining and processing facilities converted into drug labs.

FIREWALL


NOTE: Firewall has been on the forefront of the secret fight to save transhumanity since the Fall. Firewall is an independent network of cells and individuals recruited from all sorts of factions, cultures, backgrounds, and habitats. Potential new recruits are approached in secret and told they possess skills or knowledge of use to a clandestine network seeking to secure transhumanity’s continued survival. Firewall’s agenda is simple: to protect transhumanity from threats of existential scope, regardless of whether such risks emerge from within transhumanity or are of external, alien origin.


Firewall operatives—known as sentinels—are encouraged to act independently and utilize their own resources. Sentinels are connected by a social network known as the Eye, which they can use to acquire help and additional needed skills or resources. A sentinel’s i-rep on this network indicates how much they are trusted and will be a factor in determining what aid they can call in. Firewall also takes care of large

expenses and logistics when necessary, such as egocasting and resleeving needs. Sentinels are guaranteed resurrection, either via cortical stack or by backup, if they lose their lives on a Firewall op.


Sentinels are generally expected to be on-call—when something comes up in their vicinity or that their particular specialty might call for, they’ll be brought in on a job. Sentinels are usually grouped into ad hoc special ops teams appropriate to each mission. Though many sentinels pursue their own agendas after completing a mission for Firewall, it is not uncommon for sentinel teams to remain in contact, share information or continue to work together on Firewall related assignments over a longer period of time.


Firewall operations are usually organized and managed by proxies, agents who maintain Firewall’s decentralized infrastructure. Proxies typically possess more information than individual sentinels and will dispense such information as they deem necessary to the mission, according to each sentinel’s i-rep and need to know. Each proxy’s means of contact, mission briefing, and overall methodologies differ greatly.

PROMETHEANS


NOTE: A prominent topic among conspiracy theorists is the existence of a group of seed AIs calling themselves Prometheans. Rumors of these entities predated the Fall and occasionally flare up as some new evidence comes to light, though such evidence is almost always discredited soon after. According to some theories, the Prometheans predated the TITANs and may even have been responsible for bringing the TITANs into existence. Others postulate that the Prometheans were a TITAN splinter faction who broke off and attempted to counteract the TITANs activities during the Fall. Still others whisper that the Prometheans are not of

transhuman origin at all, and are actually a digital alien mindform that found Earth and now actively interferes with transhuman affairs. Whether the Prometheans are hostile, friendly, or indifferent remains a matter of much conjecture and contention. Prominent organizations like the Planetary Consortium discount such rumors or otherwise remain silent.

PROJECT OZMA


NOTE: [Incoming Message. Source: Anonymous]

[Public Key Decryption Complete]


You won’t find this group mentioned on the conspiracy boards—Consortium security is too tight to allow slip-ups. If you haven’t heard of Project Ozma before, consider this your warning.


Project Ozma was the name of an international collaborative SETI project before the Fall. It briefly entered public discourse after the Fall and the discovery of the first Pandora Gate as a Planetary Consortium initiative to attempt to discern the whereabouts of the TITANs in the galaxy. Shortly afterwards, however, Project Ozma dropped from view, wiped from all public mention in inner system mesh servers. Consortium officials simply claim that the project was folded into other departments.


Firewall doesn’t know what Project Ozma is, but we know they’re still around—and they seem to have similar interests. We’ve butted heads a few too many times for it be a coincidence. Perhaps they’re the Consortium’s version of Firewall, or maybe their agenda is entirely different. I’ve heard some speculation that they’re tasked for preparing for and handling alien contact. All we know is that they operate at the deep black budget level and they have insane amounts of resources at their beck and call. They’re also vicious as fuck, the type to shoot first and question your backup later. SOP if you run counter to a Project Ozma op is to bail out fast and stay hands off. We’ve lost dozens of agents to them already.

SYSTEM GAZETTEREdit

NOTE: Transhumanity has extended out from its lost homeworld and colonized not only the solar system but various exoplanets as well, thanks to the discovery of the Pandora Gates. This section provides an overview and incomplete sampling of transhumanity’s settlements.

SOL (THE SUN)Edit

NOTE: The solar system was formed billions of years ago through the accretion of material remaining from the formation of its star, Sol, the sun. Locked ever since in its orbit, the history and present disposition of virtually every object within two light years is shaped by its relationship to this body. The sun is a bright G2 main sequence star, theoretically on the hot end of the continuum of stars able to give rise to life. For most of its history, transhumanity fueled its rises and falls with the sun’s energy, first as stored in materials like hydrocarbons, later directly with solar converters.


Today the sun remains a crucial source of energy, but its outer reaches have also become home to some. The adaptations required to dwell here make thesesuryasone of transhumanity’s most unusual offshoots.

SURYAS AND SALAMANDERS (CORONAL MORPHS)


NOTE: Perhaps an example of transhumanity’s most extreme neogenetic creations are the morphs adapted to live in the sun’s corona. Suryas, named after a Hindu sun deity, are large, whale-like, and uniquely adapted to dwell in the brilliant, superheated plasma cloud of the sun’s outermost layer. Each surya is like a miniature version of a circumsolar habitat. Their metabolisms generate powerful magnetic fields that shield them from the sun’s heat and radiation, while acting as magnetic sails and scoops by which they sail on the currents of the solar wind and extract elements carried on it. Suryas are protected by layers of liquid water “blubber” that capture harmful ions, which internal medichines extract and eject, while maintaining useful elements such as oxygen and hydrogen, from which more water can be synthesized. They communicate using patterns of dark and light coloration on their exterior skins and are extremely sensitive to the helioseismic soundwaves that are the sun’s pulse, using these vibrations to predict and avoid heavy weather in the coronal atmosphere.


A second type of coronal morph is the salamander, a tiny humanoid morph with gas jets on the back and chest for maneuvering in vacuum. Salamanders have very similar metabolisms to suryas, but are unable to survive unprotected in the corona. They subsist on the chemicals and energy extracted from the corona by Ukko Jylinä, the only habitat where they are found. Both suryas and salamanders communicate either via transmissions from their implants or by “sunspotting”—shifting dark and light patterns on their skins to form language.

HABITATS


NOTE: Habitats in Sol’s corona face challenges more extreme than those faced by habs anywhere else in the system. Transhumanity’s only means of shielding a habitat from the heat and radiation emitted by a G2 star is to generate strong electromagnetic fields. Even then, the dangers posed by solar flares and coronal mass ejections—massive explosions that jettison coronal material tens of thousands of kilometers out into circumsolar space—mean that the Sun’s polar regions are the only safe space in which to position habitats. As such, circumsolar habs require extraordinary expense to build and maintain, and two of the three major circumsolar habitats are heavily backed by distant organizations.


The outer layers of circumsolar habitats are covered with thousands of electromagnetic dynamos drawing power from the sun itself. These dynamos generate the powerful fields necessary for shielding. Within are intermediate layers filled with liquid water that captures ionized particles, teeming with nanites that collect the ions and vent them into space. The water must be regularly replaced from captured iceteroids that are imported using heavy electromagnetic shielding of their own. Within the water shield is a cluster habitat, an array of modules on a framework following a roughly spherical plan.


Coronal habitats are easily detectable at a great distance because of the bow shock preceding them and the plasma tail left behind in the solar wind.

ATEN


NOTE: Operated by a consortium including hypercorp interests and the University of New Shanghai, Aten supports a population of about 12,000 transhumans. Rumors abound that military research is a major component of this habitat’s mission. Aten is heavily policed and difficult to visit. The most publicized discoveries from this habitat involve propulsion systems and new solar energy collection technologies.

HOOVERMAN-GEISCHECKER


NOTE: The argonauts and Titan Autonomous University are the major supporters of this habitat, which supports a population of about 4,000. In contrast to Aten, access to this habitat is relatively open. Major avenues of research include pure science and research into corona-adapted morphs.

UKO JYLINA


NOTE: Ukko Jylinä is the name used by outsiders for the suryas’ safe harbor. In the surya tongue, the name for the place is a common sequence of helioseismic vibrations. When transposed fifteen octaves upward into the usual range of transhuman hearing, this sound is a chaotic rumble to most ears, but the suryas consider it one of the most beautiful sounds the sun makes.


Ukko Jylinä is more of a camp than a hab, an area of refuge for suryas during severe solar weather. It also serves as a place for suryas to socialize and mate, replenish water from imported iceteroids, and egocast or resleeve. The population therefore fluctuates a great deal, usually hovering around 300, but swelling to 3,000 (nearly the entire surya population) during heavy weather. Ukko Jylinä also has a few modules in which non-surya morphs can survive.


Very little of Ukko Jylinä consists of enclosed hab modules. Instead there are many utility modules with their access ports open to space. Bereft of the solar wind, suryas within the camp generally wear gas-expelling maneuvering harnesses or resleeve in salamanders if they need to do work requiring fine manipulation.

A QUICK PRIMER ON TRANSHUMAN HABITATS


NOTE: Habitats are covered in detail on p. 280. A quick overview is provided here:

  • Aerostatsare massive cities floating in the upper cloud layers of Venus.
  • Beehivesare tunnel warrens inside asteroids and moons.
  • Clustersare microgravity habitats consisting of interconnected modules.
  • Cole bubblehabitats are hollowed-out asteroids, terraformed on the inside, and also spun for gravity.
  • Domehabitats are massive domes built on the surface of moons, asteroids, or Mars.
  • Hamilton cylindersare self-building advanced nanotech habitats designs.
  • O’Neill cylinderhabitats are like large soda cans, only huge, over a kilometer wide and several kilometers long. The interior is terraformed and the entire cylinder is spun for light gravity. O’Neill cylinders are sometimes paired together, end to end.
  • Reagan cylindersare an inefficient type of O’Neill cylinder, built by hollowing a cylinder within a spinning asteroid, and used in the Jovian Republic.
  • Tin canhabitats are small, cramped, cheap, modular boxes, typically used in early space colonization.

• Torus habitats are big donuts or wheels, spun so that the outer rim has gravity. The interior spokes are zero-G.

SOLAR SYSTEM MAP


NOTE: Download the Large size (1024 x 790) of this image from Flickr.

VULCANOIDSEdit

NOTE: The Vulcanoids are a population of asteroids that lie between Mercury and the Sun. Based on the predictions of early 21st-century science, the number of Vulcanoids is unexpectedly small.

V/2011-CALDWELL


NOTE: Discovered in the early 21st century and subject to a flyby by a Japanese solar research mission in the 2020s, V/2011-Caldwell was nothing but a line on astronomers’ catalogs, notable only for the virtual lack of cratering on the one side that was photographed. Then, a few years after the dust settled from the Fall, a small team of prospectors from Venus discovered a Pandora Gate. Now controlled by TerraGenesis, Caldwell was used primarily for exoplanet research for several years, though the hypercorp is now engaged in several alien world terraforming and geo-engineering projects. TerraGenesis regularly sells gate access to other hypercorps and organizations. Caldwell is a remarkably smooth, spindle-shaped asteroid

about four kilometers long and half a kilometer in diameter at its widest point. Called the Vulcanoid Gate, it is situated at the bottom of a deep crag near one of the asteroid’s narrow poles.

MERCURYEdit

NOTE: The closest planet to the sun has a mass comparable to Luna but is a great deal denser due to its iron-nickel core. Mercury rotates slowly and has no atmosphere, so that its day side is hot enough to melt most metals, while its night side is bitterly cold. Because it lacks many of the elements needed for transhuman colonies to be self-sufficient, Mercury is sparsely inhabited, save for a handful of solar power relays, a few underground mining stations, and a single large surface mining concern, Cannon.

RESOURCES AND ECONOMICS


NOTE: Most of Mercury’s economy is based on mining. Iron, nickel, and other metals make up 70% of the planet’s mass, making it the richest source of ferrous metals outside of the asteroids. Mercury also does a brisk business in relaying solar power and serves as a jumping-off point for solar research concerns unwilling or unable to support stations in the solar corona. Mercury has limited Helium-3 deposits, although these are predominantly mined for local use. It is an open secret that several powers have antimatter production stations here. Officially, these stations are massive solar power relays, but the immense toroid particle accelerators and large spherical magnetic containment units required for antimatter production and storage are nearly impossible to disguise.

CALORIS 18


NOTE: The only known site of TITAN activity on Mercury during the Fall, Caloris 18 was a sparsely-crewed solar power relay station belonging to Lukos, a now-defunct Russian corporation. Vanya Ilyanovich, the AGI administering the facility, rounded up all of the station’s transhuman inhabitants and fused their morphs into a gigantic, centipede-like abomination before destroying itself in a failed attempt to merge consciousnesses with all of the minds in its creation. Since then, Caloris 18 has been under strict quarantine.

CANNON


NOTE: Mercury’s largest surface settlement is a city-scaled solar-satellite-powered mobile mass driver that crawls along the cool side of the planet, flinging apartment building sized ingots of extracted metal into space. The habitat is owned almost entirely by the hypercorp Jaehon Offworld, which built Cannon with backing from Lunar banks looking to diversify in anticipation of a post-He3 Lunar economy. Most of the 10,000 inhabitants are Jaehon employees, and security is tight. Cannon makes a long loop of the heavily-mined Caloris basin during the long Mercurian night before following a route that takes it around the planet’s northern hemisphere, avoiding the blasting rays of the sun. Along the way, it stops at a series of mining operations, collecting the gigantic ingots for launch into orbit.

VENUSEdit

NOTE: Venus is Earth’s closest neighbor and the planet most

like it in terms of size and geology. It is a rugged

world of volcanic mountains, canyons, high plateaus,

and sweeping volcanic planes crisscrossed by riverlike

magma channels. Much of the surface is basaltic

rock. The climate of Venus is one of the most inhospitable

in the solar system. Perhaps only the hideous

radiation of the inner Jovian moons presents a more

difficult challenge to transhuman colonization. The

Venusian atmosphere is a superheated maelstrom of

carbon dioxide and sulfuric acid, with an atmospheric

pressure at its surface equivalent to that five kilometers

below the surface of Earth’s oceans. Venus also

lacks more than trace amounts of hydrogen, meaning

that water must be imported in the form of iceteroids

from the outer system. Nonetheless, transhumanity has come to Venus,

and with it, debate over how to make use of the

planet. Venus has no permanently inhabited surface

settlements other than a few equipment and supply

caches used by planetside researchers. Despite difficulties,

transhumanity has found survival strategies

that work here. The most surprising of these are the

aerostats, lighter-than-carbon dioxide habitats that

float in the thick Venusian atmosphere. Aside from

a few independents or ones loyal to the Planetary

Consortium, these aerostats are the base of the new

Morningstar Constellation power bloc. Notable for

their research labs, nanofab design houses, software

studios, and luxury resorts, the Constellation’s aerostats

are increasing at odds with Planetary Consortium

and Lunar-Lagrange Alliance interests.

On some aerostats, areas populated only by indentured

synthmorphs are open to the Venusian atmosphere.

Some 5,000,000 transhumans live in aerostat

habitats and another 10,000 on the surface. Roughly

350,000 transhumans live in habitats orbiting Venus.

Though the Planetary Consortium is considering

the launch of a Venusian terraforming project, this

plan is actively opposed by the Morningstar Constellation.

The Constellation’s aerostats see the terraforming

proposals—which include massive cometary

bombardment or building a planet-sized sun shade

to cool the atmosphere—as not only unworkable but

disruptive to their lives and profits.Venus is a fascinating place for climatologists, geologists,

and other planetary scientists. The discovery

of Venusian protobacteria created a new branch of

life sciences overnight, though so far the practical applications

for organisms with such radically different

metabolisms from terrestrial life have been limited.

Gerlach


NOTE: Gerlach is an O’Neill cylinder supporting about

100,000 transhumans. Generally recognized as

the research powerhouse of Venus, Gerlach is also

one of the strangest places in the inner system. The

inhabitants have strong ties to the argonauts and

sympathies for the outer system autonomists and

are strong proponents of morphological freedom,

cognitive experimentation, and open innovation.

Gerlach’s main activities are planetside research and

exploration, hostile environment morph design, and

aerostat construction.

Octavia


NOTE: Octavia is the most successful aerostat habitat to date

and the political center of the Morningstar Constellation.

It maintains an altitude of roughly 55 kilometers

above the northern highlands of Ishtar Terra. Octavia

resembles an immense, mushroom-shaped skyscraper,

450 meters tall, ringed at its center by four radial

outrigger spars, each ending in a stabilizing gas envelope

filled with helium. The cap of the mushroom

is a hard, translucent dome that provides an open,

park like space while also serving as the main gas envelope

(oxygen, which is much lighter than the CO2

making up most of Venus’s atmosphere, is the main

source of buoyancy). The habitat is fluted from top to bottom, going from a diameter of almost 300 meters

at the base of the dome, to 15 meters wide at the very

bottom. A huge counterweight tethered to the bottom

of the structure prevents the habitat from capsizing

during storms. Atmospheric craft and shuttles from

orbit may land at flight decks near the base of the

outriggers. 500,000 people live aboard Octavia.

Aphrodite Prime


NOTE: One of 20 smaller aerostats, Aphrodite Prime hovers

54 kilometers above Aphrodite Terra. It is a center for

Venusian tourism; fully a quarter of this aerostat is a

resort for wealthy off-world visitors. Aphrodite Prime

is also the primary research station for the design and

creation of life forms adapted to live in the Venusian

clouds. This aerostat has a population of 300,000 and

features closed-environment test aviaries populated

with clouds of air plankton and schools of recentlydesigned

flying squid and balloon fish.

Venusian Rumors


NOTE: [Incoming Message. Source: Anonymous]

[Public Key Decryption Complete]

We need you to investigate some odd rumors

circulating about activity on the Venusian

surface. According to reports, an Omnicor

research team went missing about a week

ago. Unlike many Venus surface teams, these

weren’t teleoperated bots but actual synthmorph-

sleeved researchers operating away

from the safety of an aerostat’s tether—which

is suspicious behavior itself. Search parties

have turned up no sign of the missing morphs,

but scuttlebutt says they ran into signs of

recent TITAN activity that have them freaked

out. I haven’t found any evidence to back this

up, yet—it could just be some misinformation

to keep people from digging around part

of the surface. I’ve heard that some security

corps have some quantum data caches buried

away down there. Looking into this may

require getting a hold of some heat and pressure

resistant synthetic morphs.

EARTHEdit

NOTE: Ecologically devastated and infested by the weird spawn of the TITANs, transhumanity’s homeworld doesn’t get many visitors. Earth’s once-populous urban regions are massive sprawls ruined by war and heavy weather, infested with dangerous artificial life and the occasional survivalist gang. Elsewhere, irradiated blast zones and desolate wasteland prevail. Due to harsh climatic conditions, the wilderness has been slow to reassert itself, and vast swaths of dead forest or burned grassland are common sights.


Even from orbit, Earth shows deep scars. Breaks in the sooty cloud cover created by orbital bombardment during the Fall reveal continents ravaged by coastal flooding, desertification, and radical temperature shifts. The only known detonation of an antimatter bomb within a planetary atmosphere, centered on what was the Chicago-waukee Metroplex in North America, left a crater over 200 kilometers wide wherein most matter was instantly vaporized. Craters left by mass driver bombardment dot the surface as well. Mass die-offs of lynchpin species like honey bees and krill destroyed entire ecosystems, leaving vast swathes of barren land and sea inhabited by only the most adaptable species. Most of Europe is sub-arctic; much of Africa and North America, desert. Ironically, transhumanity’s deployment of nuclear weapons against TITAN surface installations arrested the effects of global warming by creating a nuclear winter. Nuclear attacks against Earth have ceased, but the Lunar mass drivers still occasionally hurl captured asteroids at suspected surface works created by remaining TITAN war machines. In any case, the damage from humanity’s warming of the globe was already done. The patterns of life on Earth, and the very face of the planet, have been irrevocably rewritten.


Earth once had multiple space elevators in operation, but with exception of the Kilimanjaro beanstalk, the others were destroyed during the Fall, wrapping around the planet as they crashed to Earth, leaving swathes of destruction.

POPULATION


NOTE: Earth’s population is a matter of speculation. The reclaimers and Lunar authorities, both of whom spend a great deal of effort monitoring Earth, agree that surface energy emissions suggest a population of about one million once-humans living as servitors to the TITANs, although these numbers assume patterns of energy usage similar to those of pre-Fall humanity.


Though the Planetary Consortium claims that no survivors remain on Earth, reclaimer estimates guess that between 20,000 and 100,000 free humans remain. These numbers are hard to formulate, given the limited number of remote areas where humans could remain undetected while obtaining enough food to subsist. Some areas likely to conceal sizable remnant populations include the highlands of Papua-New Guinea, the Ozark Mountains of North America, and the jungle uplands of Vietnam and Laos, though it is also possible that certain underground and undersea settlements survive. Attempts to make contact with survivors have universally ended in disaster.


During the Fall, thousands of people unable to escape Earth resorted to having themselves backed up and transmitted off-planet. Many of these--along with some who had no backups—also put their bodies in cryogenic storage, hoping to wait out the Fall for rescue. Some reclaimers have speculated that dozens of these cryogenic facilities may still be functional.

HABITATSEdit

NOTE: Earth had a mature orbital industry sector and a considerable population in orbit at the time of the Fall, with over a billion people living full-time in space. Earth orbit was one of the fiercest battlegrounds of the Fall, however, and hundreds of habitats and other installations were destroyed or rendered unusable. As such, Earth orbit and the Lagrange points are littered with the detritus of pre-Fall humanity. Derelict habitats can mean tidy profits for intrepid scavengers, but many are also infested with TITAN spawn and hostile nanoswarms, making them incredibly dangerous.


To make matters worse, someone or something has unleashed a large number of autonomous killsats in Earth orbit to interdict would-be visitors. Some of these are repurposed pre-Fall military hardware, while others are newer construction. So far, no one claims responsibility for them. The Planetary Consortium is suspected, as they support and sometimes enforce a quarantine of the planet, but the possibility exists that the killsats may be TITAN relics or the efforts of another agency.


Despite the chaos of Earth orbit, numerous habitats remain active here, many of them participants in either the Planetary Consortium of Lunar-Lagrange Alliance. Dozens of formerly derelict habitats have also become home to squatters, some of them with criminal intent, others just looking to escape the squalor of life in the overcrowded Lunar-Lagrange habitats, even if it means taking a risk.

FRESH KILLS


NOTE: Essentially an armed-to-the-incisors scum barge, Fresh Kills is a salvage base near the edge of Earth-Luna L5 point. The base is built around a huge central docking spindle with moorings for small craft and habitat modules in the center, and massive weapons batteries at either tip. Scavengers can moor their own craft or, at considerable expense, egocast in, resleeve at the facility, and hire shuttles for excursions. The gun batteries are articulated such that any craft showing signs of trouble can be hastily jettisoned and destroyed. 2,000 transhumans live on Fresh Kills, although the population is transient and fluctuates a good deal.

PARADISE


NOTE: Situated in a halo orbit at the Earth-Sun L1 point, Paradise was an exclusive spa and resort station for the ultra-rich before the Fall. In the wake of the Fall, Paradise fell on hard times, swarmed as it was with refugees and no longer an ideal vacation spot. Recently, however, Paradise fell back in favor with the inner system glitterati, who undertook measures to expel many of the lingering squatters and refurnish it as an elite social space. Recent rumors suggest the Consortium’s Hypercorp Council has used Paradise for important face-to-face meetings.

VO NGUYEN


NOTE: The Reclaimers maintain this station in high geostationary orbit, monitoring Earth and making plans for potential geo-engineering efforts. Vo Nguyen is a small O’Neill cylinder hidden in a dangerous cloud of space junk and protected by swarms of killsats, gun emplacements, and drones. It is occasionally used as a jumping off point for secret surface expeditions.

LunaEdit

NOTE: The first planetary body to host permanent human

habitation, Earth’s sole moon is home to the second

largest population of transhumanity on a single

planet and remains a lynchpin of culture and economic

activity. Lunar history has been shaped dramatically

by the Fall. Before the need to evacuate Earth

arose, it was expected that the Moon would remain

largely an automated mining concern, never attaining

a population of more than a few million. Luna

was never seen as an economically viable location for

colonization, the focus instead falling on Mars and

the outer system.

When the Fall came, every polity that couldn’t

hope for a shot at Mars or elsewhere set its sights

on Luna. The Indians were the only great power that

had invested heavily in Luna. The other three major settlements, Erato, Nectar, and Shackle, were multinational

and hypercorp concerns with no strong national

affiliations. These three cities swelled overnight

into polyglot refugee camps, while the Indian settlement,

New Mumbai, was nuked black by the corps

when it became apparent that a TITAN infection had

taken hold there.

Bereft of nationhood, Lunars developed their own

resourceful, tough-minded culture which has emerged

as a counterbalance to the radicalism of the outer

system and the excesses of Mars.

Transportation on Luna is largely by suborbital

rocket, although trans-sonic bullet trains also operate

along shorter routes. The major space port is at

Nectar. There is also a skyhook—a massive orbiting

satellite spaceport that drags a massive tether, which

acts as a space elevator along a track running across

the Lunar surface south of the equator. As a result,

many smaller cities lie along the skyhook track.

Fashion/Design


NOTE: Nectar is one of the three fashion/design capitals of

the system (along with Noctis on Mars and Extropia).

The Lunar design houses have two major advantages:

an inventive population and a low planetary gravity

that makes it easier to design for the low gravities that

prevail in much of the system. Some habitats elsewhere

in the system even choose a rotational speed that

simulates Lunar gravity in order to get the greatest

benefit from Lunar designs.

Helium-3 Mining


NOTE: Although it’s not the richest place to mine He-3, Luna

has such good infrastructure for extraction and distribution

that it more than makes up for the fact that

Luna is very poor in hydrogen for more conventional

forms of fusion. Unlike the vast reserves of the gas

giants, however, the amount of readily extractable

He-3 in the Lunar regolith is finite. Some of the richer

deposits are already tapped out, and concerned Lunars

consider their world’s future after these deposits are

exhausted a major issue.

Finance


NOTE: The Lunar banks are the oldest (and thus richest) in

the system, though hypercorps like Solaris are close

on their heels. Interestingly, the rise of the reputation

economy in the outer system has not presented as

much of a problem for these banks as one might have

expected. Lunar banks got hip to the reputation game

long before the Martian financial institutions and

moved in to capitalize on it immediately. By the time

Martian banks knew what was going on, Lunar financial

institutions had struck deals with the Extropians

and dominated all of the points of exchange where

favors could be bartered for cold, hard cash between

inner system corp types and outer system anarchists.

The same genius fueling Lunar design created a complex

barter to cash network that almost everyone

uses. While some autonomists find it infuriating that

they have to deal with a monolithic banking system

to get by in the inner system, others are simply happy

to deal with the Lunars instead of the Martians for

this service.

Erato (Eratosthenes)


NOTE: Erato (population 5 million) is a major mining center

consisting of a series of heavily shielded surface domes

and a vast underground city. Erato is centered around

the Eratosthenes crater on the southern edge of the

Mare Imbrium (Sea of Showers), in the northern

hemisphere of the Terra-facing side of Luna. Erato has

access to both the rich titanium deposits of the Mare

Imbrium and fields of Helium 3-abundant regolith.

Erato is one of the oldest mining settlements on

Luna and one of the first to become commercially

viable. As such, many of the Lunar banks are centered

around this city. The vaulted heights of the Great

Cavern of Erato, originally excavated by a Sino-European

conglomerate, reach a height of 1.5 kilometers at

the apex, leaving room for a teeming city of gardens

and towers grown from Lunar silicates and industrious

nanites, lit from above by sunlight entering via

great mirrored vents.

Nectar (Nectaris)


NOTE: Nectar (population 9 million) lies about 100 kilometers

due east of Theophilus crater on the Mare

Nectaris (Sea of Nectar) in Luna’s southern hemisphere.

Nectar is a design powerhouse, home to the

great Lunar design houses that set fashion and design trends for much of the solar system. Due to its location

relatively close to the Lunar equator, Nectar also

hosts Luna’s primary long-haul space port and is on

the pickup path for the Lunar sky hook.

New Mumbai Containment Zone


NOTE: The incineration of the New Mumbai colony with

nuclear weapons during the Fall to prevent the spread

of TITAN infection left a scorch mark roughly 100

kilometers in diameter on the face of Luna that is

still visible from high orbit. The colony was a heavily

automated Helium-3 mining station, located in the

midst of rich Helium-3 fields on the edge of the Mare

Moscoviens. It remains a heavily-patrolled quarantine

zone to this day.

Shackle (Shackleton-New Varanasi)


NOTE: Shackle (population 6 million), built in and around

the south polar Shackleton crater, is centered around

one of two major water extraction operations on

Luna. New Varanasi, the city of temples, is the most

impressive section of the city. Shackle was the other

major site of old Indian influence on Luna, and with

the destruction of New Mumbai holds special importance

to descendants of the Indian diaspora. New

Varanasi is a monumental artificial cavern complex

with an intricate canal system fed by melted ice from

the polar caps above. As a source of lifegiving water,

it now holds the same importance to the Hindu faith

once ascribed to the River Ganges on old Terra. Survivors

of other Indian religions, such as the Jains and

Sikhs, have also made their temples here. This makes

Shackle a major pilgrimage site; tourism is the major

industry after water extraction. A small herd of Indian

elephants is a major attraction, and the elephant god

Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles, is extremely popular

on Luna, even with non-Hindus.

TILION’s Jupiter Brain


NOTE: [Incoming Message. Source: Anonymous]

[Public Key Decryption Complete]

Our investigation into codename: TILION’s

Lunar research activities has confirmed our

suspicions. The hypercorp is engaged in experiments

to convert confined spherical masses in

the Lunar interior into testbed micro-Jupiter

brains. The silicate-rich Lunar crust makes the

locations they have chosen ideal for the project.

Though we have not verified it, we believe that

TILION not only followed the trail of TITAN research

into this area, but is in fact in possession

of a small cache of TITAN-made computronium.

There is no saying what the TITANS may have

been using this cache for, what it may store, or

what may occur if TILION completes the project

and brings the micro-Jupiter brain online.

Fortunately, time seems to be on our side, and

we have several weeks if not months before

any significant part of the project is activated.

We will continue to infiltrate and learn more,

but we strongly suggest an erasure squad be

moved into position and placed on standby.

MARSEdit

NOTE: Earth was the cradle of transhuman civilization, but Mars, with a population of 200 million, is now its heartland. When humanity began its spaceward diaspora, Luna was its first stop. Yet while Luna boasts a sizable population, Mars was the first world humans settled where they could thrive entirely on locally available resources. During the first few decades, the early Martian settlers dwelt in tin can hab units, extracting methane from the local atmosphere for rocket fuel and water from the Martian permafrost, farming in inflatable greenhouses, and eventually manufacturing enough greenhouse gases to warm the planetary climate to the point where transhumans could walk the Martian surface unprotected, save for oxygen respirators.


The second phase of the great project of terraforming Mars—husbanding plant life and microbes engineered to rapidly replace atmospheric carbon dioxide with oxygen—was already underway at the time of the Fall. A belt of orbital mirrors helps to heat the planet by focusing the sun’s rays. The spread of plant life is a long-term project that will take several centuries to produce a fully breathable atmosphere, but the nigh-immortal transhumans of Mars are prepared to be patient. A new homeworld is worth the wait. Research into new plants and microorganisms capable of releasing oxygen and nitrogen into the Martian atmosphere at an ever-accelerating pace is a major focus of economic activity.


In the meantime, the red planet is a place of startling contrasts, from the stark beauty of its mountain ranges and high desert, to the slowly greening bottomlands of the equatorial Valles Marineris canyon system. In these bottomlands, oxygen levels are slowly rising, and liquid water can now be found in canals that had already been dry for millions of years when transhumanity’s ancestors came down from the trees. Mars is a popular destination for travelers from around the system. Many Martians accrue wealth by operating lavish hotels, offering tours of historical sites, and leading wilderness expeditions to the rugged highlands and vast deserts of the untamed Martian frontier.


Mars now sports five vast, domed cities, mostly in the equatorial regions, along with numerous smaller settlements. Settlements are connected by surface roads, a network of near-sonic maglev trains, and air/spaceports from which suborbitals, airships, and near space rockets fly on regular schedules. Thanks to the abundance of methane fuel and the one-third Earth gravity, transhumans on Mars have finally got their flying cars as well, and all settlements have well-delineated rights of way for these vehicles. Meanwhile, in the wild uplands, planetologists and terraforming engineers dwell in small villages, living the simple life in ruster morphs while seeing to the continued development of the Martian climate and atmosphere.


As a partially terraformed planet with vast tracts of unused land, Mars is one of the few places that can offer new sleeves to infomorph refugees. Martian brokerage houses do a brisk business in the purchase and resale of infomorph contract labor, with agreements (for some) leading to eventual sleeving. This has led to a sizable Martian underclass, however, organized as a growing resistance movement under the Barsoomian banner (though the hyperelite socialites disparagingly call them “rednecks”).

REGIONSEdit

NOTE: Mars is broadly divided between the lowlands of the north and the highlands of the south, which in many places are separated by dramatic cliffs up to two kilometers high. Mars has seasons just as Earth, and both north and south poles have permanent ice caps that persist despite transhumanity’s success in warming the planet. Both regions present obstacles to terraforming. The northern plains are open and windswept, while the rugged southern uplands remain a difficult terrain for life to gain a foothold. Even so, tough Earth species like cacti and succulents are able to grow in the best spots.

MA'ADIM VALLIS


NOTE: Ma’adim Vallis: This deep canyon system on Mars holds one of the Planetary Consortium’s most treasured possessions: the Martian Gate. This Pandora Gate was originally discovered by nomadic Barsoomians, then violently wrested from their hands by hypercorp troops—an event that still rankles the rednecks. As different hypercorps themselves nearly came to blows, the Hypercorp Council was forced to step in and offer a resolution that all could agree to. A new hypercorp was founded—Pathfinder—which would control exploration and exploitation of the gate and resources beyond, with special privileges and rights given to Planetary Consortium members. The Martian Gate is now a staging point for numerous exoplanet colonies, though some fear the prospect of keeping a presumed TITAN artifact operational on transhumanity’s most populous planet.

OLYMPUS MONS


NOTE: Mars’ most notable landmark is the mighty shield volcano Olympus Mons, on which the first—and still principle [SIC]—Martian space elevator was constructed. Similar in shape and origin to Earth’s Hawaiian Islands, but now dormant, Olympus Mons is one of the highest mountains in the solar system, rising 27 kilometers.


Olympus, the settlement in the volcano’s caldera around the base of the space elevator, was once the chief city of Mars, but waned in popularity as a place to live when terraforming made other regions more attractive. A maglev train from Olympus takes a little over three hours to reach Noctis; air travel is even quicker. Despite the waning of the city, the space elevator still sees heavy use.

VALLES MARINERIS


NOTE: Most of transhumanity’s terraforming efforts center around the winding Valles Marineris canyonlands, which twist and turn over 4,000 kilometers east-to-west along the Martian equator. In these relatively warm bottomlands, liquid water is becoming abundant and the land is green with hardy Terran plant species like crab grass, dandelions, and towering Douglas firs (which botanists estimate may reach heights of 180 meters in the low Martian gravity). 75% of the transhuman population of Mars lives in this region, giving it the highest density of transhuman habitation in the solar system.

THE ZONE


NOTE: Officially labeled the TITAN Quarantine

Zone, the TQZ is a large area stretching from

the smooth plains of Amazonis Planitia (between the

Tharsis and Elysium volcanic areas) and southeast to

Arsia Mons (just west of Noctis). This zone is known

to be crawling with leftover TITAN machinery:

warbots, nanoswarms, and other dangerous things.

Several devastated habitats lie in this region, including

the former Islamic stronghold of Qurain. Few dare

venture here, though some rumors suggest that Barsoomian

smugglers make use of the Arsia Mons caves

and even scavenge for TITAN tech, despite the risks.

Planetary Consortium drones keep a vigilant eye on

the Zone’s borders, though for unknown reasons the

TITAN relics rarely stray beyond its bounds .

ASHOKA


NOTE: Ashoka is located in a crater in the Ares Vallis region about 3,000 kilometers northeast of Valles-New Shanghai, not far from the landing sites of the early Viking and Pathfinder probes. The town is a popular spa and spiritual retreat for Martians wanting to revisit their pioneer roots. It is also an active terraforming station and a major point of contact between the seminomadic Barsoomian culture of the high desert and the settled Martians of the equatorial canyonlands. 10,000 scientists, historians, terraforming workers, and spiritual gurus live in the town and surrounding area. A major attraction is a museum housing the Pathfinder lander and the Sojourner rover (which was still operational when humans landed and discovered it circling endlessly in a crater). The Viking lander is in another museum a short monorail ride from town. In a move that infuriated historical purists, all three machines were given modern hardware upgrades when discovered and now house AIs who act as historians of early Mars exploration. Sojourner is particularly friendly and sometimes leads lucky groups on walking tours of early landing sites.

ELYSIUM


NOTE: Located in the Elysium and Hyblaeus Chasma in the north of the Hesperia region in Mars’s eastern hemisphere, Elysium is the entertainment capital of the system and the largest Martian city outside of the canyonlands of the equator. It is also the most physically remote of the large Martian cities, though transhumanity’s advanced transportation technology (suborbital flights and rocket flight from habitats above) make this remoteness a trivial quality.


Elysium and Hyblaeus Chasma together make up a 250-kilometer long canyon system in the shadow of Elysium Mons, a 14-kilometer mountain located about 200 kilometers northeast of the city. In between is the Zephyrus Fossae, an undulating, windswept lava plain. The city was the vision of one person, Zevi Oaxaca-Maartens, an eccentric entertainment magnate who was intrigued by the close proximity of the eminently terraformable Chasma to the unspoiled Hesperian terrain.


The city is only 30 years old but already boasts a population of 9 million transhumans. Elysium is mostly built into the canyon walls of the Chasma, sprawling over a 75-kilometer stretch, all of which has been domed over. Unlike the big domed metroplexes of the south, Elysium takes advantage of the canyon walls, which are close enough together that rather than building free standing domes, the builders have simply built great enclosing arches to completely cover the canyon. These expand northward year by year as the city grows. From low orbit, it looks like a great, glistening serpent.


The Martian city of Elysium is the spiritual successor to old Terra’s Los Angeles as the entertainment capital of the solar system. Glamorous stars and blood drinking producers, coupled with a healthy dose of outrageous (if often vapid) transhuman creativity have made Mars an unrivaled media powerhouse. Elysium may boast more exalt and sylph morphs per capita than any other transhuman city. Image is everything here, and to visitors it may seem as if everyone in this city is either blindingly beautiful or calculatedly ugly. The most successful performers and entertainment tycoons live lives of glittering privilege that would make the richest gerontocrat in New Shanghai mildly envious. Everyone else, from up-and-coming game producers to the virtual ero performers, has to hustle constantly.

NOCTIS-QIANJIAO


NOTE: With a population of 13 million, Noctis-Qianjiao is the major metroplex in the west of the Valles Marineris region, an area known as Noctis Labyrinthus. Although not as hospitable as the Eos region in which Valles-New Shanghai lies, Noctis Labyrinthus is considered prime real estate for its gorgeous scenery and well-developed river systems. The metroplex boasts two major domes: Qianjiao, on the northern bank of the River Noctis, and Noctis City (normally just called “Noctis”) to the south. Connecting the two domes and spanning the river is a sprawling network of lesser domes and souks, although these have been pushed north and south over the years as the planet warms and the river grows wider.


Noctis-Qianjiao is the center of the Martian design and fashion industries, which in the abundant Martian economy arguably makes the city as important as much larger Valles-New Shanghai. This settlement’s proximity to the Zone sometimes alarms visitors, but there have been no public incidents to cause concern so far.

OLYMPUS


NOTE: Olympus, with a population of 1 million living in a space designed to accommodate 6 million, is something of a ghost town. The former principal city, built in the caldera of Olympus Mons around the space elevator, is now fallen into disuse. As the temperatures rose and the climate improved in the Valles Marineris canyonlands, most of the population left the windswept caldera for more hospitable surroundings. Olympus is not and never was a large domed city, consisting instead of a souk-like network of minor domes and antiquated tin can hab modules. Low atmospheric pressure and bone freezing temperatures at the city’s altitude of 27 kilometers mean that most transhumans venturing outside the souks and hab modules still need the equivalent of light vacsuits to survive. Martian Alpiners, a rare morph found in few other places, are not uncommon here due to the harsh conditions.


The city center is well-maintained and carefully overseen by the Olympus Infrastructure Authority, a minor hypercorp that operates the space elevator. The outskirts are economically depressed and sometimes dangerous, mostly deserted and populated by squatters, indentured downloads on the run, and other people who really want to be left alone. Occasional outbreaks of dangerously mutated artificial life are one of the few reasons for which the Authority bothers to intervene in the outskirts. Otherwise, the old tin can habs and their strange inhabitants are left to decay.

PROGRESS (DEIMOS)


NOTE: Progress is one of the largest Cole bubbles in the Solar System. With 8.5 million residents, it is second in population only to Extropia in the belt. Progress was created when Fa Jing evicted all of the former residents from the Martian satellite of Deimos, excavated the inside of the moonlet, and used a massive solar array to convert it into a bubbleworld. From an engineering standpoint, Progress is something of an embarassment. The habitat was originally meant to exceed Extropia in size considerably, but difficulties with heating and spinning Deimos forced Fa Jing to abandon their efforts early or risk the moonlet breaking apart.


Progress is nonetheless an impressive habitat, home to hypercorp glitterati and an outpost for a host of major political and economic concerns. Its sister moon, Phobos, remains a warren-like tunnel habitat due to the presence of multiple legal interests unable to agree upon the disposal of the satellite.

VALLES-NEW SHANGHAI


NOTE: The principal city of Mars, Valles-New Shanghai is transhumanity’s largest planetary metroplex, with 37 million inhabitants. Valles-New Shanghai lies in the heavily terraformed Eos region in the east of the Valles Marineris canyon system. The metroplex is comprised of five major domes connected by a network of Martian souks. The souks are a unique architectural feature of large Martian cities, consisting of covered thoroughfares and galleries lined with bazaars, eateries, and squats. It is said one can find anything if one spends enough time walking the souks.


The domes themselves are tamer, with artificial waterways (many of which now connect to the tenuous rivers etching the surface of the Eosian bottomland), grand architecture, residential mini-arcologies, entertainment complexes, and hypercorp conference centers. The most impressive by far is the Bund, the larger and older of two domes making up the city of New Shanghai proper. New Shanghai is roughly bisected by the twisting Ares, an artifical river that helps regulate the dome’s climate. Near its center is an almost brick-for-brick duplicate of the original Bund from the destroyed Earth city of Shanghai.


The other four domes are Little Shanghai (a newer, smaller dome adjacent to the Bund), Valles Center (a business and financial center that rivals the Lunar banks of Erato and Nectar), New Pittsburgh (also called the Burgh, a hub of research and planet-side industry), and Nytrondheim (housing major entertainment districts).


Valles-New Shanghai is transhumanity’s wealthiest population center, a hotbed of art and culture, and one of the system’s great centers of hypercorp activity. The populace includes an extremely high percentage of gerontocrats, but their stifling influence on culture, economic mobility, and the legal system is only one force among many in a city of 37 million people. The city has expanded so much to accommodate its exploding population since the Fall that new construction is a constant. Crime and corruption are widespread, though the worst of it is contained to Little Shanghai. Valles is a place where dreams are made and broken every day, if not every hour.

MARTIAN MANHUNT


NOTE: [Incoming Message. Source: Anonymous]

[Public Key Decryption Complete]


Those deaths you asked me to look into? It’s looking worse than we feared.


I took a buggy car out to the Zim settlement. It’s just a collection of tin can modules, supporting a small terraforming ecostation and facilities for nomadic rednecks. On average, it’s home to 150, if you count the 20 or so pleasure pod AIs that serve as local “entertainment.”


A week ago, a nomad known as Hassan Naceri rolled in. He’s a regular, word is that he runs a lone courier service for the Barsoomians. On this recent visit, though, his behavior was off. He was nervous and agitated. He told one drinking buddy that he’d been forced to hide out in the Zone for a few days and the experience had put him on edge.


Turns out Naceri had run off with a ruster morph without working out his full indenture to Fa Jing a few years back. The ego hunter showed up in Zim and Naceri lost it. He killed the ego hunter and everyone else in the room.


We found a spime’s sensor records that show Naceri transforming. He also killed half a dozen people simply by looking at them.


That’s right. This bugger’s infected.


The Martian Rangers are hot on his trail, but they don’t know what they’re dealing with. So we’re off to try and catch him—it—first. Wish us luck.

MARTIAN TROJANSEdit

NOTE: Not to be confused with the much larger Jovian Trojans, the Martian Trojans are a small group of mostly rocky asteroids trailing and preceding Mars at its L4 and L5 points.

QING LONG (AZURE DRAGON)


NOTE: Qing Long, with a population of 2 million, is the largest O’Neill habitat in the system. It is situated among the Trojans at the Martian L5 point. Qing Long has its roots in the Chinese Mars colonization effort. Despite its exceptional size, it is one of the oldest habitats of its type, having been built almost entirely from metal-rich asteroids mined near its present location.


Qing Long is a major underworld haven. The habitat’s administration is beholden to several criminal organizations who normally refrain from killing one another. The habitat nominally obeys some hypercorp principles, such as limited access to cornucopia machines, forking, and AGIs. However, thriving grey and black markets enable people with the right connections to acquire just about anything here.

ASTEROID BELTEdit

NOTE: Spread out over a massive region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, the belt contains a few hundred asteroids greater than 100 kilometers in diameter, over a thousand objects greater than 30 kilometers in size, and countless smaller ones. Despite this, the total mass of asteroids in the belt is only a fraction of one of the inner planets, meaning that asteroids are spread out over great distances. A spacecraft flying through the belt is highly unlikely to encounter an asteroid unless it deliberately navigates toward it.

RESOURCES AND ECONOMICS


NOTE: The rich, easily accessible mineral deposits in the Belt were a major link in transhumanity’s first steps toward the outer system. Automated mining and high-impulse ion boosters enabled outer system colonists to move metal-rich Main Belt asteroids into the orbits of Jupiter, Saturn, and beyond, where metallic asteroids are much scarcer. This activity continues to this day as transhumanity pushes further out into the system.

HABITATS


NOTE: Hundreds of small habitats, mostly involved in prospecting activities, dot the belt. Distant from Earth, settlements in the belt were largely spared the devastation of the Fall. Both hypercorp and autonomous outposts flourish here. Derelict habitats abandoned when nearby asteroids were boosted into the outer system or depleted are common here as well, although some of these are now occupied by residents who are best left to their solitude.

CERES


NOTE: One of the system’s three dwarf planets (along with Pluto and Eris), Ceres is almost 1,000 kilometers in diameter and hosts a population of almost a million. Unlike most Main Belt asteroids, Ceres has an icy crust with a layer of liquid water beneath it, like a miniature version of Jupiter’s moon, Europa. With its abundant water, Ceres has a major role in resupplying other stations in the belt. Similar to Extropia, Ceres operates largely along anarcho-capitalist lines. However, the Hidden Concern, a cartel run entirely by uplifted octopi, holds sway in the sub-crustal sea and maintains a stranglehold, as it were, on water extraction operations. Cerean octopoid morphs are specially adapted to survive in the ammonia-rich waters of the Hidden Sea.

EXTROPIA (44 NYSA)


NOTE: This massive beehive habitat is a major crossroads and anarcho-capitalist/mutualist marketplace. Extropia is a neutral free city whose infrastructure and social fabric is maintained by a loose association of anarcho-syndicalist affinity groups. Extropia’s neutrality hinges on strategic alliances between key local figures, their networks, and an unusual array of outside interests that include the Lunar banks, technolibertarian factions, and outer system colonies dependent upon raw materials exported from the belt. The hypercorps use Extropia as a tax shelter and a haven from which to do illicit business. There are no laws or government as such; visitors are advised to register with an insurance and security provider. Named after one of the first transhumanist movements, Extropia is considered a utopia for transhumans looking for body modifications. AGIs and forking are accepted and allowed here. The transhuman population is nearly ten million.

NOVA YORK (METIS)


NOTE: One of the more unusual near-weightless habitats is Nova York, the main city on Metis, a large nickel-iron and silicate asteroid located in the main belt. Nova York, the third largest habitat in the main belt, is a thriving metropolis of 500,000, with the main portion of the city located in a spherical cavern approximately four kilometers in diameter, the top of which is two hundred meters beneath the asteroid’s surface. Lit during the day by a series of huge light tubes in the outer walls, at night the lights of the buildings cause the surface of this sphere to resemble an enormous geode. The habitat’s basic design consists of many thousands of exceptionally tall and fragile-looking buildings that extend between one hundred and fifteen hundred meters above the surface, as well as a few building that stretch from one side of the cavern to the other. In Metis’s minute gravity of 1/140th of a g, up and down have little meaning, and even relatively fragile buildings are in no danger of falling down. The vast majority of the buildings, including ones more than one kilometer tall, are made from thin plastic panels over a durable supporting framework. These buildings jut out at all angles from the sphere.


Many inhabitants of Nova York move from one building to another by jumping, and a single leap can carry someone many hundreds of meters. Residents do not worry about falling—the combination of air resistance and exceedingly low gravity means that even someone falling from the top of the cavern to the bottom is in no danger of injury. In this environment, the only real meaning of up and down is that down is where you look for objects to come to rest (as long as an air current does not pick them up and blow them around).

JupiterEdit

NOTE: Large enough that it could almost have formed the

nucleus of a protostar in its own right, Jupiter’s massive

size makes the Jovian System one of the most

challenging places in the system to colonize. Jupiter’s

powerful magnetic field means that its inner moons—

and the outer ones, when their orbits pass through its

immense magnetotail—are bombarded with enough

ionizing radiation to kill transhumans not protected

by the heaviest of shielding within a matter of hours.

There are sixty-three moons and moonlets in the

Jovian system, but only the well-explored, populous,

regular moons are described here.

fathomless depths of black water ending at a depth of

nearly 500 kilometers in a relatively flat, featureless

sea bed. Were Europa a lifeless ball of ice and rock,

this would be the case, but over the estimated billion

years since the rise of life on Europa, tiny lithoderms

(analogs to Earth’s coral) have built silicate reefs that

rise to within a few hundred meters of the ice crust. It

is on these biologically formed mountain tops, home

to complex ecosystems, that the Europans have built

their habitats.

Resources and Economy


NOTE: Jupiter’s powerful gravity well is a major hindrance

to gas mining in the planet’s atmosphere, as even craft

that do not succumb to the violent, centuries-long

atmospheric storms can achieve escape velocity with

only the most powerful propulsion systems. Given the

need for heavy shielding on such craft, gas mining on

Jupiter is not nearly as efficient as on Saturn. Jupiter

has a tenuous ring system, much less dense than

Saturn’s, which extends out for 20,000 kilometers around the planet, encompassing the orbits of its two

closest moonlets.

However, Jupiter’s gravity is also a valuable

resource. Craft bound for Saturn and beyond can

slingshot themselves outward by circling the planet

to pick up velocity, cutting months or years off their

trips. The heavily militarized Jovian Republic levies

tolls against all spacecraft using Jupiter’s gravity to

pick up velocity, including asteroids under propulsion.

This protection money is the Junta’s primary

source of revenue. Planetary Consortium ships generally

accept the payment as part of operating expenses.

Other factions are not so cooperative, and the

Junta regularly seizes or destroys blockade runners.

Habitats and Moonlets


NOTE: Most of Jupiter’s moons are really captured asteroids,

lacking the size and geological complexity of

planetary bodies. All are occupied. Some were converted

to habitats; others host only Junta military and

mining outposts. The Jovian moonlets consist mostly

of carbonaceous rock, poor in metal, with some of

the larger moonlets having layers or even cores of ice.

Beehive habitats and Reagan cylinders predominate in

the Jovian system. Reagan cylinders (called “sarcophagus

habs” by every other faction) are an inefficient

variation on the O’Neill cylinder in which excavators

hollow out an immense, cylindrical cavern in a rocky

asteroid and then alter the asteroid’s rotation with

external thrusters to simulate gravity.

Other habitat types are rare in Jovian orbit, especially

within 2 million kilometers of the planet, where

the radiation is strongest. For a bioconservative faction

unwilling to adopt radiation-resistant morphs, the

Junta is in a poor location. Shielding their populace

beneath tons of rock is a necessity. Despite its military

hegemony, the Junta can’t control all of Jovian space,

and there are things it can’t do on its own—like exploring

Europa. A number of unaligned habitats and

surface settlements exist in the ring system and the

orbits of the Galilean moons.

The Jovian Republic has renamed Jupiter’s moons

after various neo-conservative heroes from Earth’s

history. From closest to most distant, the moonlets are

Metis (Bush), Adrastea (Fairway), Amalthea (Solano),

Thebe (McAllen), Leda (Chung), Himalia (Pinochet),

Lysithea (Friedman), Elara (Buckley), Ananke (Nixon),

Carme (Kissinger), Pasiphae (Schilling), and Sinope

(Garcia). All are tiny, between 5 and 100 kilometers

in diameter.

Almathea (Solano)


NOTE: The largest of the moonlets, hollow Amalthea is probably

the most livable sarcophagus habitat due to the

large lake created from its icy core. Living on Solano

carries some prestige among Junta citizens. Rumor has

it that most of the residents are well-placed RAND

think tank personnel, most of whom work on defense

projects. A fusion-powered axial light tube illuminates

the 30-kilometer diameter central cavern, whose landscape is patterned after the subdivisions and office

parks of an early 21st-century suburb. All buildings

have envirosealing so that the occasional bouts of environmental

sepsis resulting from the poorly regulated

interior ecosystem can be purged with toxin bombs.

Less fortunate support personnel dwell in the beehive

warrens crisscrossing the moonlet’s crust between

cavern and surface. Like most of Jupiter’s moonlets,

Amalthea’s space crawls with patrol craft and killsats,

making approach for unauthorized craft problematic

at best. 1.5 million transhumans live on Solano.

Io


NOTE: Beneath Io’s tenuous, patchy atmosphere of volcanic

gases and neutral atomic dust lies a barren, grayish

yellow, rocky surface coated with a thin frost of sulfur

dioxide. Tidal heating caused by gravitational interaction

with Jupiter makes Io the most volcanically

active body in the system—so active that the meteor

cratering found on every other planet and moon is

completely absent on Io. Massive volcanic calderas,

lakes of molten rock, and geysers of sulfur dot the

surface, with eruptions and accompanying seismic

activity lasting months or years. Volcanic zones on

Io reach surface temperatures of up to 1,500 degrees

Kelvin, hotter than any body in the system.

For all that, transhumanity’s worst peril on Io is

radiation. Ejecta from geysers and volcanoes flow

with Jupiter’s magnetic field to form a titanic, toroidal

flux tube that rotates with Io around the gas giant.

Travelers to Io must either use the heaviest radiation

shielding available or resleeve into synthetic morphs.

Transhuman activity on Io centers around scientific

research and harvesting the volatiles ejected by Io’s

geysers, particularly sulfur. Bases tend to be modular

and mobile due to the ever-changing seismic activity.

The Junta’s most notorious prison, Maui Patera Rehabilitation

Center, is dug into a (mostly) extinct caldera

wall north of the equator.

EuropaEdit

NOTE: Europa has no atmosphere and lies within the fearsome

magnetosphere of Jupiter, and as such its surface

is bombarded with enough radiation for an unshielded

transhuman to receive an irrevocably fatal dosage

within a few days—much faster when Europa’s orbit

passes through Jupiter’s immense magnetotail. As a

result, transhumans on Europa dwell beneath the icy

crust, largely in the ocean below, adopting a variety of

aquatic and amphibious morphs for survival. The only

surface facilities are the heavily-shielded ice elevator

heads at Conamara Chaos and several other points

through which reactor mass and other crucial supplies

can be delivered to the Europans below.

Transhumanity is still exploring and imaging the

Europan ocean floor, a task complicated by the hideous

pressures at work in these waters, which are ten

times as deep as the Earth’s oceans. A further surprise

awaiting transhumanity was the terrain. The geology

of Europa suggested that beneath the ice would be fathomless depths of black water ending at a depth of

nearly 500 kilometers in a relatively flat, featureless

sea bed. Were Europa a lifeless ball of ice and rock,

this would be the case, but over the estimated billion

years since the rise of life on Europa, tiny lithoderms

(analogs to Earth’s coral) have built silicate reefs that

rise to within a few hundred meters of the ice crust. It

is on these biologically formed mountain tops, home

to complex ecosystems, that the Europans have built

their habitats.

While based on water-carbon chemistry like life

of Terran origin, life on Europa is completely autocthonic,

having originated beneath an impenetrable ice

sheet that cut off Europa’s subsurface ocean completely

from outside. This is in marked contrast to Terran

life, which many biologists have theorized might be

the result of galactic panspermia, the slow diffusion of

microbes through the vacuum of space aboard comets

or asteroids. As such, the fauna of Europa are of great

interest to transhuman bioscience.

Biosciences


NOTE: Europa’s lifeforms, unique perhaps in the universe,

are its greatest treasure, and transhumanity’s efforts

to catalog them are only beginning. The rush to exploit

Europan biodivesity puts the Jovian Junta in an

uncomfortable situation. While they control space

traffic and commerce in the Jovian system, they lack

the native talent to take real advantage of knowledge

gleaned from Europa. At first, they engaged in hamfisted

excise operations aimed at squeezing revenue

out of knowledge exports. But once farcasters and

egocasters came online below the ice, this type of

extortion no longer worked. Now the Jovians have

shifted to a two-pronged strategy of levying tariffs

on new equipment and people brought down the ice

elevators by hypercorps and research collectives, and

of holding the entire population of the moon hostage

by refusing delivery of key resources like reactor mass

and rare elements if protection fees are not paid.

Habitats


NOTE: Europan habitats take two forms: fortified fishing and

farming havens clinging to the spires of the lithodermic

reefs, and spherical bubble warrens constructed

by boring into the lower reaches of the ice crust and

shoring up the hollows created. The latter are the only

air-filled spaces beneath the ice. The largest warren is

Conamara, at the base of the Conamara Chaos ice

elevator. Conamara is surrounded by five nearby reef

havens, also considered part of the habitat. The total

population is 1.5 million.

Ganymede and CallistoEdit

NOTE: Nearly as large in size as Luna, but darkly colored

and not as heavily cratered, Ganymede and Callisto

are very similar worlds. Neither is as dense (nor has

as much gravity), as their mantles consist of more ice

than iron rock. Both possess abundant volatiles and

water (albeit frozen), making them ideal candidates for habitation. Ganymede, with its differentiated surface

of rocky and icy terrain, has an iron core and thus

a faint magnetic field. Callisto, the smaller of the two,

is composed mostly of icy silicate clays. As on Luna,

most cities on Ganymede and Callisto are built below

ground to shield them from meteor impacts (and, on

Ganymede, from Jupiter’s radioactive bombardment).

While within the “protection” of the Jovian Republic,

both moons are a patchwork of city-states.

Some are full members of the Jovian polity, while

others are only tolerated. Ganymede tends to swing

more heavily toward the Junta, as its citizens still

see the Junta-maintained infrastructure—accurately

or not—as necessary in such a hostile environment.

Callisto, outside the worst radioactive effects of the

Jovian magnetosphere, is an easier place for technoprogressivism

to gain a foothold.

Hyoden


NOTE: The nucleus of this city-state was a research station

founded by a coalition of Pacific Rim nations in Callisto’s

Valhalla region, a massive primordial impact zone

where the icy subsurface lies exposed, simplifying extraction

of clean water. When the Fall came, Hyoden,

which had long faced labor shortages, opened itself

to those refugees who could make it to Jupiter. Now

Hyoden has two million inhabitants, making it the

largest city-state on Callisto and the largest non-Junta

state in the Jovian system. Hyoden is itself heavily

militarized, as the tendency of the local authorities to

turn a blind eye toward operatives using their territory

for forays against the Junta makes for uneasy relations

with their powerful neighbor.

Liberty


NOTE: Situated along the southern edge of the vast, rocky

plain called Galileo Regio, almost on Ganymede’s

equator, Liberty (population 7 million) is the Junta’s

largest planetary city-state. It is closely tied to Liberty

Station, a major shipyard and defense installation in

geosynchronous orbit. Major industries include shipbuilding,

space construction, fabrication, and security

products and services. The Castle, the central security

network point from which all surveillance data collected

in the Junta is monitored and processed, is

rumored to be in or near Liberty. Liberty is mostly

underground, but it boasts a number of parks in armored

surface domes. If one were to spend enough

time topside, one would see the deceleration torches

of incoming metal asteroids from the belt bound for

the shipyards lighting up the sky several times a day.

The Trojans (Jovian Trojan and Greek Asteroids)Edit

NOTE: The Trojans and Greeks are two 600 million-kilometer-

long arcs of scattered, icy rock asteroids sharing

the orbit of Jupiter. They orbit in the stable L4 and

L5 points sixty degrees ahead of and behind the giant

planet. Mars and Neptune also have Trojan asteroids,

but when someone speaks of, “the Trojans,” they’re normally talking about the Jovian groups. In the early

days, L4 asteroids (ahead of Jupiter) are named after

Greek heroes of Homer’s Iliad; L5 asteroids (trailing

Jupiter) are named after heroes of Troy. Asteroids

discovered more recently break the old convention, as

there are far more objects in the Trojans than there

were characters in the Iliad.

Politically, the Trojans and Greeks may be thought

of as a collection of sometimes overlapping neighborhoods

whose inhabitants tend to group around particular

cultures, factions, and sometimes languages.

A neighborhood in the Trojans might span anywhere

from 250,000 to 2 million kilometers at its widest

point. Within neighborhoods, almost everyone knows

one other. Because of the wide dispersion of resources,

Trojan habitats tend to be small—from one to two

thousand people—and built largely along scum barge

or cluster lines (although it is never advisable to refer

to someone’s habitat as a scum barge unless they refer

to it that way first).

Resource and Economics


NOTE: Although the sheer size of the two regions means

a lot of cultural diversity, anarcho-collectivism is a

powerful meme here and the reputation economy is

prevalent. On one hand, neighborhoods, habitats,

and even individuals are expected to be self-sufficient.

Unlike the denser Main Belt, the Trojans lack the

safety net provided by pervasive transhuman presence.

The ideal Trojan or Greek is a Neo-Renaissance

being, incredibly competent in a wide variety of fields.

A person who can’t maneuver in zero g; maintain

their gear, ship, and hab; and navigate between rocks

and habitats can have a tough time surviving. At the

same time, a spirit of cooperation prevails. Bartering

services or even gifting them to gain reputation is

common. Everyone appreciates a specialist, as long

as they’re not specialized at the expense of baseline

self-sufficiency.

Prospecting and salvage are major activities in

the Trojans, where metals and rare elements are

scarce and settlers don’t usually have the economic

muscle to import raw materials from elsewhere.

However, the Trojans are rich in silicates, volatiles,

and carbonaceous materials. Necessity has led to

many innovations in materials science. Beyond the

simple problem of raw materials, the widely scattered

habitats of the Trojans have to be wildly inventive

on many levels to retain their independence.

New robot, morph, and vehicle designs appear all

the time, enabling an unusual array of business and

leisure activities, like whaling (organizing a flash

flotilla to rapidly mine asteroids and comets with erratic

orbits as they pass near the Trojans), mekking

(simulated—or sometimes real—combat between

robotic suits or synthetic morphs on uninhabited

asteroids with interesting terrain), and shrining

(stealthing up on another habitat and resurfacing it

with nanosculpters to create an art object—mostly a

scum barge pastime).

LocusEdit

NOTE: Locus is the largest cluster habitat ever formed. It

is still growing, with over one million inhabitants

in the habitat proper and another million in the

nearby suburbs of scum barges and small asteroid

stations. Locus is located in Cassandra’s Reach, one

of the denser regions in the L5 Trojans. The habitat

is positioned at the center of mass around which the

two asteroids making up the binary object Patroclus

orbit one another. Both Patroclus asteroids are

themselves inhabited and hold defense installations,

mines, and refineries.

The design of Locus is very similar to the much

smaller Lot 49, but Locus is eleven kilometers in diameter

and somewhat irregular in shape, as growth

along some spars is faster than others. A quarter of its

total volume is cut out in a roughly conical shape all

the way to the Amoeba, an immense, softly glowing

sculpture at the center of the habitat. Some differences

from smaller Trojan clusters are dictated by Locus’s

size. The immense structural spars radiating from the

habitat’s center are hollow, with arterial floatways and

elevator-trams running inside of them. Lesser spars

run between the arterial spars, providing more mooring

points for modules. Adjacent to each arterial spar

are wide “roads” leading to the edge of the habitat so

that modules can maneuver out if the owners decide

to leave.

Beneath the shimmering mesh stretched over the

geodesic frame to keep out micro-asteroids, tens of

thousands of small ships and habitat modules moored

along the spars pulse with an ever-changing array

of lights. Habitat modules and large ships are asked

to stay out of the conical empty space. This space

teems with small craft and people on thrustpacks or

voidscooters as they cross the habitat, play zero-g

games, or visit the free-floating spimes and sculptures

that dot the area. The Amoeba, which periodically

changes color and shape based on its resident AI’s

programming (often it looks like some sort of animal), serves as a central reference point for navigation.

When someone gives the address for a module, it is

as a point on a spherical coordinate system with the

Amoeba at its center. Large ships and shuttles dock on

the outer surface of the habitat, at the terminal points

of the arterial spars.

Locus was founded by a joint anarchist-argonaut

venture and was the first major stronghold for

the autonomist factions. Unlike Extropia, which

has the tacit blessing of the Planetary Consortium

and encourages the presence of security and insurance

companies, Locus runs on a pure reputation

economy. Security, maintenance, expansion, and

defense of the habitat are all performed by volunteers.

Inhabitants interested in security monitor

incoming ships and operate crowdsourcing systems

that dispatch volunteers to perform WMD scans on

new arrivals. Ships that won’t submit to a scan are

asked to leave. If they don’t, anyone who’s designed

a cool new weapons system recently is welcome to

take a shot.

Locus is one focal point in a cold war between the

hypercorp-aligned inner system powers and a loose

coalition of outer system interests. While saboteurs

from the Planetary Consortium and other hostile

entities can and do occasionally cause trouble on

Locus, the hypercorps are currently unwilling to

attempt a direct military attack on the habitat. The

first time they tried, the Planetary Consortium and

the Martian city-state of Valles-New Shanghai sent

a small expeditionary fleet. The interlopers were

caught completely off-guard by a fierce and wellcoordinated

defense. Six months later, they sent a

much larger fleet. Help arrived from elsewhere in the

Trojans and Greeks and from Titan, whose citizens

took a dim view of any Planetary Consortium expansion

beyond the belt. The Titanians now maintain

a permanent base near Locus. Rumor has it they

agreed to a mutual defense pact with one of Locus’

citizens, possibly the famous programmer-armsman

Teilhard Liu.

Comex Legal Disclaimer


NOTE: “Welcome to Locus. You voluntarily

assume the risk of organic damage or

mental trauma by mooring here. You

must bring or be capable of acquiring

enough food, H20, oxygen, and shelter

to survive for the duration of your stay

in a harsh, asteroid-rich environment.

Weapons of mass destruction are prohibited.

Further guidelines for coexisting

with your fellow entities are in the

habitat survival guide. You and only you

are responsible for yourself—learn to

love it!”

—Locus Immigration AR broadcast

“You have chosen the habitat Locus in

the L5 Trojans as your destination, using

the private carrier Atsuko van Vogt as

your receptor. ComEx corporate policy

requires us to inform you that the destination

and carrier you have selected

are unregistered and possibly unsafe.

ComEx takes no responsibility for the

continuity of your consciousness upon

arrival. You assume any and all risks

for travel to this point, including theft

of forks or deletion. ComEx will include

a permanent record of travel with this

carrier on your file. Would you like to

continue?”

—ComEx legal disclaimer

“The ComEx disclaimer? Yes, yes …

Listen: my neighbor three doors toward

the Amoeba from here is a physicist.

She has a box that generates microsingularities

in her lab. If people along

my spar found out I’d stolen a fork of

someone, they’d pop my stack with a

grapefruit knife and throw it in there.

That’s what we call, ‘accountability.’ See

if you get the same from ComEx.”

—Atsuko van Vogt

Lot 49


NOTE: Lot 49 is moored to the small asteroid 28349 Pynchon

in the amorphous Vonarburg-Shadyside neighborhood,

toward the center of the L4 Greeks. Vonarburg-

Shadyside is named after two rocks that roughly

delimit its 500,000-kilometer length along the arc of

Jupiter’s orbit. Neighboring habitats within 100,000

kilometers (with populations) include Craftsbury

(450), Greenview (28), and Blackhawk (1020). With a

population of 400, this station is more or less typical

of the Trojans in terms of layout.

From the outside, Lot 49 looks like a shiny, meshedover

geodesic sphere, 800 meters in diameter, with

numerous protruding instrument spars and some

triangles left open to space so that shuttles can pass

through. The mooring to the asteroid is temporary in

case a potential collision is detected. Inside, a central

utility module with a communal reactor, factories,

and machine bay is surrounded by evenly spaced but

irregularly shaped habitat modules in a riot of colors

and lighting schemes. Structural spars and floatways

connect everything. One entire spar is given over to a

rotating cylindrical module that generates about 0.7 g

and contains medical, cloning, resleeving, and darknet

egocasting facilities.

Lot 49’s population and most of their neighbors

in Vonarburg-Shadyside tend to align with the scum

and anarchist factions and speak a mixture of English,

Portuguese, and Thai. Lot 49 is in a densely inhabited

part of the Greeks, placing it near a crossroads. Main

economic activities include shuttle design, whaling,

and ferrying people and goods around the region.

SaturnEdit

NOTE: The second largest planet in the system is a much

more favorable habitat for transhumans than Jupiter.

Saturn’s lower gravity and milder magnetosphere are

a boon to gas mining operations, and for resourcehungry

habs, the Rings are a feast (literally, in the case

of the new Hamilton cylinder type habitats). Hypercorps

have a presence here, but any major expansion

by the Planetary Consortium is kept in check by the anarchist stations of the Rings and the technosocialist

Commonwealth of Titan.

Because Saturn is so distant from the Sun, solar

power generation is extremely inefficient. Growing

photosynthetic plants with sunlight is impossible

without large arrays of mirrors to focus the light. The

abundance of water and volatiles makes the rings

ideal for both scum barges and Hamilton cylinders.

Gas mining is vital to the survival of almost every

habitat and moon settlement in the Saturnian system,

so habitats located further out from the planet that

wish to be self-sufficient almost always maintain their

own gas mining stations close to the planet. Security

for these installations and the atmospheric skimmers

and tankers they dispatch is tight, and it is never advisable

to approach one unannounced.

Resource and Economics


NOTE: Gas mining on Saturn supplies thirty percent of the

system’s reactor mass. This role is expected to grow

as Helium-3 deposits in the Lunar regolith become

less accessible. For ships traveling to the far reaches

of the outer system, Saturn is an important alternative

to using Jupiter for gravity assists. Less restrictive

than Jovian regimes and richer in resources than

the Trojans, Circumsaturnine habs and settlements

are important innovators in habitat design and cultural

organization. Since the discovery of the Pandora

Gates, the Titanian Commonwealth is the only entity

actively pursuing interstellar exploration through

conventional means.

The Rings and Classical Minor Moons


NOTE: Saturn’s rings are made up of countless small icy objects,

most of which range in size from dust specks to

boulders 10 meters in diameter. The rings are designated

by the letters “A” through “F” in the order in

which they were discovered. They vary in thickness

between 100 and 1000 meters and in width from

20,000 kilometers down to just meters. In places there

are gaps between rings. The widest, the Cassini division,

is 4,000 kilometers across.

Saturn has over 60 satellites, a number

that jumps into the hundreds if one includes

the uncounted objects less than a

kilometer across orbiting in the A ring.

Most of Saturn’s moons are small, rocky,

ice objects less than 100 kilometers in

diameter. The smallest of the classical

moons, Pan, is only 10 kilometers across.

The first eight moons, from Enceladus

inward, lie within the ring system. Atlas,

at the edge of the A ring, and Prometheus

and Pandora, which flank the thin F

ring, are known as the Shepherd Moons.

Several of the moonlets occupy Lagrange

points relative to larger moons. Telesto

and Calypso share the orbit of much

larger Tethys, while Helene trails another

large moon, Dione.

Atlas (Volkograad)


NOTE: Volkov, a Slavic energy cartel, controls this

tiny moon. Volkograad is a beehive habitat

with about 50,000 residents. Much of the

moon is given over to skimming, refining,

and shipping infrastructure. A cloud of

wreckage trailing the moonlet by about

100,000 kilometers serves as a reminder

of the Atlas Incident, a brief but massively

destructive battle that erupted when Fa

Jing attempted a buyout of the moon. Tinkers

from Phelan’s Recourse still salvage

the floating derelicts regularly.

Dione (Thoroughgood)


NOTE: Dione’s main settlement is Thoroughgood

(population 350,000), a hybrid beehive

and orbital cluster habitat set on a plateau

amid a dramatic range of ice cliffs. Dione

hosts the Long Array, a 150 kilometerhigh

communications spar ascending

from the surface settlement to an orbital

station that acts as a counterweight. The

Long Array’s sheer size is something of a

publicity stunt, as the bulk of its capacity

goes unused. However, it drew enough

attention to make Thoroughgood a major

communications hub for the outer system,

and thus a place where hypercorp, anarchist,

and other factional interests meet.

Dione shares its orbit with Helene, a tiny,

rocky moon at its L4 point, and Polydeuces,

an even smaller body that trails it

at the L5 point.

Enceladus (Profunda)


NOTE: Rich in organic compounds, Enceladus

is a biochemist’s playground. Profunda

(population 850,000) is the major

settlement, a beehive dug into the moon’s surface capped by domed parks and clusters

of sleek, translucent minarets—well

protected from collisions by an aggressive

satellite defense network. The lower

levels, stretching deep into Enceladus’

icy silicate mantle, include a prospecting

operation that extracts carbonaceous soils

in search of exotic compounds. Another

deep section has been converted into a

kilometers-wide, reactor-heated primordial

sea, part of a long-term experiment

into the origins of life supported jointly

by Titanian academics and a collective of

Enceladian biochemists.

Profunda is run along anarcho-capitalist

lines. Thanks to the rich supply of

organic chemicals, its upper reaches are

home to many of the outer system’s best

known morph designers. The Enceladian

Glitter Bloc is said to have as much influence

over body styles as the Lunar fashion

houses do over what people wear.

Epimethus and Janus (Twelve Commons)


NOTE: These twin small, icy moonlets share

virtually the same path around Saturn,

orbiting within 50 kilometers of each

other. Set between the F and G Rings,

the moonlets form the center of Twelve

Commons, a neighborhood of small and

mid-size habitats arranged in a flat cloud

about 20,000 kilometers in radius. About

six million people live in Twelve Commons.

Habitats in Twelve Commons range

in size from Dang Fish Echo, a tin can hab

housing about 60 eccentric aquaculturists,

to Janus Common, a beehive occupying

much of Janus with a population of

900,000. Some of the habitats in Twelve

Commons feature very unusual designs,

such as Nguyen’s Compact (population

80,000), a variant Cole habitat in the

G ring where an asteroid was heated

and large amounts of steam were blown

through it to produce a series of interconnected

bubbles between five and three

hundred meters in diameter. In effect, the

interior of the colony is like a solidified

foam or Swiss cheese with no obvious up

or down. Without an ecto or basic implant

to provide location and navigation information,

navigating through this maze-like

habitat would be exceedingly difficult.

The habitats of Twelve Commons organize

themselves primarily along open

source anarcho-syndicalist lines, with

work groups and research pods acting as

the basic political unit.

Gateway (Pandora)


NOTE: The Gateway settlement, on Saturn’s outer shepherd

moon Pandora, holds the first publicly known

wormhole gate. The Gatekeeper Corporation keeps

the gate open as a means of exploration and scientific

investigation for all factions and powers. Gatekeeper

was originally a Titanian microcorp but is now independent.

The Commonwealth of Titan still holds a

major stake in it, though not a controlling interest.

Granting autonomy to Gatekeeper Corporation was

a diplomatic maneuver made in response to Planetary

Consortium claims that the Titanians sought hegemony

in the outer system. So far, Titan’s neighbors are

buying it, even if the Planetary Consortium doesn’t.

Hyperion


NOTE: With its chaotic, virtually unpredictable rotation,

Hyperion is a dangerous place to land ships. It remains

uninhabited.

Iapetus


NOTE: Iapetus is one of Saturn’s larger icy moons and once

boasted a population of 200,000 living in the dense

warrens of Analect, its main settlement. Probably because

it is one of the few large moons of Saturn that

contains sizable deposits of silicates and minerals in

addition to ice, Iapetus was a target of the TITANs

during the Fall. After enslaving a tenth of the populace

as worker drones and using the rest as seed stock

for tissue cultures to feed their fellows, the TITANs

began to build what appears to have been a matrioshka

brain. Iapetus now occupies twice the volume

it once did, the ice and silicate of the planet’s outer

layers having been reworked into a delicate lattice of

circuitry millions of layers deep.

Strangely, the project simply stalled at some point

prior to completion. Speculation has it that the

controlling intelligence was either destroyed by an

unknown outside force or devoured itself in a fit of

computational ecstasy. Whatever the case, the drones

simply stopped working and died and the moon’s automated

defense grid went dead, leaving a strangely

beautiful but lifeless machine behind to slowly decay

from meteor impacts and gravitational stress. Several

research teams now reside in small orbital stations,

quarreling over the scraps. Rumor has it that a

number of researchers trying to understand the matrioshka

circuitry have lost their minds in the process,

perhaps by some mechanism akin to a basilisk hack.

It is also believed that some of the moon’s internal

defenses remain active. If anyone has plumbed the

interior and come back, they’re not talking about it.

MeatHab


NOTE: The full name of this unique habitat is Turn Yourself

Into a Giant Mass of Space Meat for Art!, and as the

name implies, 90% of the habitat’s structure consists

of fast-cultured vat bacon, battened on the abundant

resources of the ring system. MeatHab started

out as someone’s art morph, but then, against all expectations, squatters moved in. MeatHab now has

a population of 500. Similar to a Hamilton cylinder,

the kilometer-long habitat harvests and processes ring

material to grow itself. The outer surface is frozen

flesh ten meters thick whose surface resembles a cross

between a tree trunk and flank steak. Past the axial

space dock is a warren of veinous, skin-covered corridors

lit by bioluminescent panels and maintained by

small, reptilian symbiotes that eat away dead skin and

may have other immune functions as well. Gravity

inside is 0.5 g.

The nameless biodesigner who created the

place—and who may or may not still inhabit the

gigantic morph—was a genius. Although the habitat

is not by any stretch of the imagination a pleasant

locale, it appears healthy. Its full workings are

not understood, and the inhabitants range from

extreme flesh freaks who are fans of the artist to serious

biodesigners studying the place to learn more

about its construction.

Mimas (Harmonius Anarchy)


NOTE: Led by legendary Chinese dissident poet Hao Lin

Ngai, Harmonious Anarchy broke from the Fa Jing

cartel during the tumultuous years prior to the Fall.

Hao sought to create a society in the spirit of the

ancient Taoist state of Great Perfection that existed

in Szechuan 1,700 years earlier—with considerable

updates from modern thought. Harmonious Anarchy

is an Extropian mutualist society heavily involved in

software engineering, logistics, and relocation of metallic

asteroids to the outer system. Most of Mimas is

a very low-g beehive arranged into Black, Red, Yellow,

Green, and White neighborhoods, based on the five

classical directions of Chinese mythology. Each color

boasts an ornate central cavern, with extended families

living in radiating subwarrens. While adhering to

mutalist economic principles, Harmonious Anarchy

simultaneously takes a traditional Chinese approach

to social organization, with family at its core.

Norse, Inuit, and Gallic Moonlets


NOTE: In addition to the classical satellites described here,

three groups of small objects unknown to early

astronomers orbit the planet. These moonlets are

designated as the Inuit, Gallic, and Norse groups.

Because these moonlets were still little explored by

the time of the Fall, most of them remain sparsely

populated. With a few exceptions, inhabitants of the

moonlets are generally people who want to be left

alone. The exceptions are Skathi and Abramsen (formerly

S/2007 S 2), which, along with Phoebe, were

captured and moved into Titan’s orbit, where they

serve as defense installations.

Pan (iZulu)


NOTE: Volkograad’s closest competitor is this anarchocapitalist

outfit, most of whose founders were South

African. iZulu has a somewhat lower capacity than

Volkograad but will ship reactor mass to unusual locations like the Trojans and the Kuiper Belt. iZulu is

a very crowded beehive with nearly 400,000 inhabitants

and an unusually large number of infugees. The

nations of sub-Saharan Africa were only starting to

achieve widespread 20th century-levels of prosperity

in the late 21st, and so they had the lowest capacity to

physically evacuate their citizens during the Fall of any

region on Earth. iZulu and a handful of other habitats

with roots in Africa thus have high infomorph populations

and millions of people in dead storage.

Phelan's Recourse


NOTE: Phelan’s Recourse (usually just called “Phelan’s” by

inhabitants) is the largest nomadic settlement in the

system, with a population estimated around 250,000.

Phelan’s is a swarm of some 10,000 small craft and tin

can habitat modules that orbits Saturn along a highly

elliptical path somewhat inclined to the plane of the

ecliptic. The swarm’s orbit is calculated to maximize

the number of encounters with near moons and stations,

providing a six to eight hour window in which

craft can leave the swarm for trade. Phelan’s Recourse

passes through the rings once a month, allowing craft

to resupply with water and volatiles.

Phelan’s accepts all comers. One could meet just

about anyone here, from the government in exile of

East Timor to Hasidim from Brooklyn. The core of

the swarm is the Stills, a fusion-illuminated grain

farm and distillery operated by an allegedly reformed

gang of Irish travelers who conned their way off

Earth a few weeks before the Fall and escaped to

the outer system. The Stills produce Phelan’s Ma, the

most sought-after whiskey in the system, and Phelan’s

Da, possibly the worst beer ever made. Despite the

Phelans’ protestations of legitimacy, the criminal

element is heavily represented here. The swarm

represents an important link in red and gray market

supply chains.

Prometheus (Marseilles)


NOTE: Marseilles (population 80,000) is a beehive habitat

operated by the Titanians. It is rumored to harbor an

antimatter factory, a theory supported by the large

number of skimmers that arrive from the surface relative

to the number of tankers that leave.

Rhea (Kronos Cluster)


NOTE: At a 764 kilometer diameter, Rhea is Saturn’s second

largest moon. Composed almost entirely of ice, Rhea’s

surface is sparsely inhabited, but a population of over

800,000 dwells in Kronos Cluster, a major habitat

in orbit. Kronos Cluster’s mass microfactured violet

spherical modules make it look like an immense, irregular

bunch of grapes suspended in space, an impression

added to by the winding space dock (nicknamed

the Vine) extending from the wider end. Within the

mass of habitat modules, the Vine branches out in all

directions, forming massive central arteries and twisting

side passages. These can be traversed by pushing

off hand and toeholds on the walls, or by catching hold of fast-moving grab loops that move along “fast

lanes” in the walls of major floatways.

Nearly five kilometers long and three wide, Kronos

has major problems with crowding and infrastructure

that have kept it from growing to the same size as

Locus. The designers simply did not plan for the size

the place might reach, and as a result another 150,000

people live in suburbs of tin can habs and scum barges

in the space around the habitat.

Kronos can be an extremely dangerous place.

Insurance companies don’t like operating here, and

the habitat is a patchwork of criminal and anarchist

neighborhoods. Anarchist neighborhoods are generally

heavily armed and safe, but a trip from an anarchist

holding to the spaceport is best done with a group of

well-armed friends. Criminal neighborhoods are only

safe if you’re in the neighborhood’s controlling gang,

and even then conflicts flare up regularly.

The situation is exacerbated by the Kronos Port

Authority, a junta of ultimates who operate security

for the spaceport. Originally an Extropian hypercorp,

the KPA fell into the hands of the ultimates when

they decided that they could profit more directly

by owning the company outright than by working

as hired muscle. They violently ousted the original

management and now use indentures in worker pods

to maintain the port. This situation is tolerated by

the local crime bosses and loathed by the mostlyanarchist

autonomist citizens, but so far no one is

able to challenge the KPA, which enforces use of the

port rather than any other mooring point with killsats

and artillery.

Tethys (Godwinhead)


NOTE: Composed almost entirely of ice, Tethys is one of Saturn’s

larger moons and the site of Ithaca Chasma, a

2,000-kilometer long valley covering three-quarters of

Tethys’s circumference. Fifteen years ago, prospectors

from an ethnically Indo-British autonomist collective

called the Rioters touched down on Godwin Head, a

projection in the chasm wall so named because it resembles

a headland projecting out into the sea. Instruments

on their ship, the Caleb Williams, had detected

what looked like mineral deposits in the ice, rare on

Tethys. What they found instead were relics thrust

to the surface by a geological event eons earlier, the

remains of primordial life that became extinct millions

of years ago when Tethys cooled and its subsurface

ocean froze over.

Godwinhead is now a dense, efficient settlement

of 200,000 built into the five kilometer high canyon

walls. The central point of the town is the Caleb Williams,

which has been towed back into a sheltering

cavern in the wall and converted into a communal

workshop and town hall. The face of the valley wall

is honeycombed with excavated ice caves hosting

habitat modules, connected by conduits to a communal

utility grid. The trusswork and cabling for the

utility system is also the public transit system, easily

traversed in the minute Tethyan gravity. The unofficial mascot of Godwinhead is the Tethyan Flatworm, a

two millimeter-long translucent worm that represented

the pinnacle of Tethyan evolution. A large number

of the inhabitants are involved in biosciences, xenopaleontology,

and prospecting for frozen lifeforms.

Tethys shares its orbit with its Trojan moons

Telesto and Calypso, both of which are small and

sparsely populated.

Gate Expedition Report 901127


NOTE: Gate Code Setting: [Encrypted]

Gatekeeper Corporation Eyes Only

Preliminary drone and sensor reports

seemed to indicate the gate’s exoplanet

environs were underground in

a cavern formed of carbonaceous rock

with a nitrogen dioxide atmosphere.

There were no signs of life or sentient

activity. A squad of gatecrashers was

sent through, guided by an exploration

drone, with a communication link back

to the gate.

Approximately one hour after the

team moved into the tunnels, consistent

communication was lost due to electromagnetic

interference. At this point they

had reported nothing more notable than

moving just over a kilometer through a

warren of tunnels.

The team was not heard from again.

Two hours after contact was lost, a

tethered search and rescue drone was

deployed. Following the gatecrashers’

breadcrumb trail, near the limits of

its tether range the drone came upon

what appeared to be a severed hand

in a vacsuit glove. DNA testing did not

identify the hand as belonging to any

members of the team, however, nor did

it match any other database queries.

The drone was detached from its tether

to search further, but shortly after sensors

recorded some type of seismic

event, and communication with the

drone was also lost.

The gate was kept active for 8 more

hours—the duration of the contract—

with no sign of activity. The gate was

then closed, the team reported as lost/

unretrievable, and the gate settings

were recorded with an orange flag.

TitanEdit

NOTE: Saturn’s largest moon is shrouded in a permanent

orange atmospheric haze, hellishly cold (averaging

180 degrees below), and whipped by winds produced

by tidal forces four times stronger than those influencing

the Earth’s climate. On its face, it appears even

less hospitable than the airless balls of ice and rock

comprising every world between Titan and Mars. The

meager sunlight reaching its surface is insufficient to

grow any but the hardiest plants, the mostly-nitrogen

atmosphere is dangerously toxic, and the surface

is dotted with lakes and seas of liquid methane. In

spite of all this, abundant hydrocarbons, a thick atmosphere,

and diverse chemistry make Titan one of

the few worlds in the system where colonists may rely

entirely on local resources. Titan’s population is now

over 60 million.

Social money and the microcorp system have led

to some spectacular gains and failures. On the up

side, Titan’s civil resleeving industry produces more

morphs than Mars and Luna combined. Massive

infrastructure programs have provided enough space

for 60 million people to live comfortably on a hostile

world. The Large Collider, the biggest particle accelerator

ever produced, in polar orbit, enables physics

experiments that can be performed nowhere else in

the system. And two years ago, Titan dispatched the

first conventional interstellar probe, the Aubade. It

will reach Proxima Centauri in just under 20 years.

On the down side, Titan’s “body for every mind”

law burdens the civic resleeving system with a lot of

people who no one would ever have bothered resleeving

otherwise. The failure of the Scoop project, an

extremely costly attempt to build a pipeline from

Saturn’s surface to low orbit, allowing massive gas

extraction without costly atmospheric skimmer operations,

stymied Titan’s ambitions to become a major

antimatter producer. Titan does produce antimatter,

but on a much smaller scale than was envisioned

when the Scoop project began.

Commonly spoken languages on Titan include

Norsk, Francais, Deustch, Mandarin, Svensk, Dansk,

and Suomi. Most citizens inhabit hazers, a tall, fineboned

morph with very similar characteristics to

the Martian ruster. Patagium for gliding and flying

in the light Titanian gravity are a common biomod.

Titanians do three years of compulsory civil service

at the age of majority, with an emphasis on military

and security forces except for conscientious objecters.

Every citizen who has done military service is part of

the militia and has an assault weapon in their home.

Aarhus


NOTE: Located near Titan’s south pole on the shores of Ontario

Lacus, a wide, shallow sea of liquid methane,

Aarhus (population five million) was the first site of

human habitation on Titan, chosen for its proximity

to abundant hydrocarbons. The city is the physical

hub of Titan Autonomous University (TAU) and hosts

numerous other academic institutions, most notably

Titan Tech, a major engineering school. Unlike Martian

universities, which have few physical campus

buildings, TAU and other Titanian schools draw

many of their students from the widely scattered

habitats of the outer system, where delays in radio

communication make distance learning ineffective.

Fully 20% of Aarhus’s population are students, many

of them offworlders.

Aarhus’s layout is typical of Titanian cities. Three

central domes are surrounded by numerous smaller

structures, including lesser domes, fusion plants, and

industrial outbuildings, the most massive of which is

the now-abandoned methane utility plant on the lake

shore. The dome interiors are hung with lighting rods

and heavily built up with tall, narrow buildings, most

of which have upper decks where hazers on the wing

and pedal-powered microlights can land. Exterior

structures usually have outer walls built of ice for

shielding and structural support with internal walls

extruded from local silicates. Many buildings are a

rich azure or other shades of blue for contrast with

the ever-present orange glow of the Titanian sky.

Unlike most Titanian cities, Aarhus relies primarily

on fusion power. Aarhus is the center of Titan’s native

preservationist movement, which opposes inefficient

use of native hydrocarbon resources due to possible

long term effects on Titan’s climate.

New Quebec


NOTE: New Quebec lies on a plain in the Aaru region surrounded

by endless rippling dunes shaped by Titan’s

powerful winds. The region’s diverse chemical resources

supply the colossal nurseries that have made New

Quebec the system’s largest single producer of morphs.

The city is 50 kilometers from Montmorency Lacus,

a 20 kilometer-wide crater lake of liquid ethane and

methane. Originally thought to be an impact crater,

rare on Titan, geological studies later showed it to be

the collapsed remains of an extinct cryovolcano. Situated

in a rainy area, the lacus slowly drains over the

crater lip at Montmorency Cascade, a 200 meter carbonfall

that empties into a series of alluvial channels

from which the Quebecoise pump its output for fuel.

The St. Catherine Tong, the most dangerous native

Titanian mob, is based in New Quebec. Titanian law

is generally very permissive regarding individual freedoms,

so the vices this gang trades in are of the blackest:

snuff pods, stolen alpha forks, and nanoweaponry.

A ready supply of fresh morphs bought from corrupt

microcorp nursery administrators further fuels their

rackets. The Tong is extremely violent and a major

embarrassment to Commonwealth security forces.

Nyhavn


NOTE: Set near the equator

amid the rolling ice

hills of the Xanadu region,

Nyhavn (population 12 million)

is the largest city in the outer

system and the capital of the Titanian

Commonwealth. Nyhavn’s massive central

dome, with its elegant blue towers and

bioengineered parklands, rivals New Shanghai

in size and ambition. Three surrounding domes

and a sprawl of subsidiary structures are connected

by high-clearance flyways, where ground vehicles

and microlights form a steady stream of traffic at all

hours. At the same time, the squalid blandness that

prevails in the Martian suburbs and outlying souks

is absent; the dwellings and neighborhoods of the

Titanian working class display a riot of color and

design, empowered by public fabricators limited by

none of the enforced scarcity of Martian economics.

For all its idealism, the Plurality is not immune to a

desire to showcase its achievements.

Outside the city is a pipeline leading from the

vast Tyska Lacus, 100 kilometers distant. Commonwealth

Skyport, Titan’s principal spaceport, offers

quick access to Commonwealth Hub, the Titan system’s

long-haul space dock, located in geostationary

orbit above the city. The surrounding countryside

is dotted with smaller settlements connected to

Nyhavn by trains and a well-developed network of

surface roads.

Nyhavn is a major media center, with daily life

closely attentive to the debates and decisions of

the Plurality. At the same time, it is a cosmopolitan

place, where Titan’s microcorp movers rub shoulders

with visiting anarchist traders and (less commonly)

legations from the inner system. There is an active

underworld, despite the efforts of security forces,

with the local St. Catherine Tong engaged in continual

low-intensity warfare with triads from throughout

the system.

Phoebe, Skathi, and Abramsen


NOTE: After the conflict at Locus, the Plurality became

embroiled in a hot debate regarding the dangers of

hypercorp adventurism in the outer system. It was

generally felt that the Planetary Consortium hoped to

keep the outer system in a position similar to where

the United States kept Latin America by meddling in

its affairs throughout the nineteenth and twentieth

centuries, and that the only counter to this was a

show of force. Titan’s thick atmospheric haze makes

ground-based space defense systems considerably

less effective than on other worlds, but satellites and

space platforms were too vulnerable to serve as command

and control centers.

The solution was to capture three of Saturn’s small

retrograde moons—Phoebe, Skathi, and Abramsen

(once designated S/2007 S 2, now renamed after a

pioneering Titanian economist). Phoebe is the largest of the three objects. The other two

were maneuvered into the system’s L4

and L5 points. The calculations required

to relocate these bodies were painstaking,

and the energy expenditure tremendous,

but all three now serve as major components of

Titan’s orbital defense grid. Whether the system created

thereby is impregnable has yet to be tested.

UranusEdit

NOTE: Once thought of as gas giants like Saturn and Jupiter,

Uranus and Neptune differ from the larger

planets in that they contain large amounts of water

ice, methane, and ammonia and have rocky cores at

their centers. This region of the system is sparsely

populated. Uranus orbits at a distance 10 AU beyond

the orbit of Saturn, 20 times the distance of the Earth

from the sun.

Uranus, the coldest planet in the solar system, is a

blue-green sphere of ice and gas. Seen from afar, it is

virtually featureless compared to Saturn and Jupiter,

but up close subtle cloud formations and a tenuous

ring system may be observed. Probably due to a collision

with an Earth-sized world when the solar system

was young, Uranus rotates on its side, such that one

pole faces the sun for 42 years at a stretch, and its

moons orbit at a sharp angle to the solar ecliptic.

At the time of Eclipse Phase, Uranus’s south pole

is experiencing its south polar mid-spring, during

which thick methane clouds darken the polar atmosphere.

It may be the unusual tilt of its axis and the

accompanying strange seasonal weather that give

rise to the unconfirmed rumor that the alien traders

called the Factors have created a settlement hidden

in Uranus’s atmosphere.

Chat Noir and Fissure Gate


NOTE: Located on Oberon, this is the Uranian system’s primary

long haul spaceport, with a permanent population

of 8,000. Chat Noir has fairly advanced egocasting,

resleeving, and manufacturing facilities for a

frontier outpost and is operated by several collectives

of anarchists. The reason for all the infrastructure

is Fissure Gate, the only Pandora Gate in anarchist

hands (despite several Planetary Consortium expeditions

to wrest control of it).

Fissure Gate was discovered by a prospecting expedition

from Chat Noir, then a tiny outpost. Seeking

deposits of the useful carbonaceous ices that make up

about 20% of Oberon’s mass, they instead chanced

upon subsurface radio emissions near the foot of Mt.

Hippolyta. After using triangulating the source, the

prospectors landed and used subsurface imaging gear.

What they got back was a blurry image of a rock fissure

containing an ambiguous mass of mixed density

and an extremely dense, possibly metallic object with

a shape too regular to be anything but a structure

or large artifact—all under 500 meters of ages-old

frozen cryovolcanic outflow. The gate at Pandora was

already publicly known at this time, so the prospectors

drilled down, suspecting they’d found an alien

artifact. They were not to be disappointed, although

the discovery yielded gruesome salvage: the barely

recognizable corpses of eleven gatecrashers.

Why and how the Fissure Gate was erected under

the ice remains a complete mystery. At some recent

point, however, it was completely buried, with only

a thin pocket of space between it and the surrounding

ice. When the eleven emerged, buried in an

airless space beneath 500 meters of ice, there was

barely room to move, let alone escape—but the gate

wouldn’t let them back through. Several of the crew

had recoverable cortical stacks. This lucky handful are

now prominent citizens of Chat Noir, but none plan

to resume gatecrashing as a career.

The Fissure Gate remains in anarchist hands,

operated and defended by the Love and Rage Collective.

The gate is made available to almost anyone

unless their rep score is tanked or they are pursuing

commercial interests (ruling out most hypercorps).

Support for gatecrashers is minimal—traverse the

threshold at your own risk. Any discoveries made via

this gate, however, must be shared for the collective

good of transhumanity.

Titania and Oberon


NOTE: Uranus’s two largest moons are sparsely populated,

with only about 10,000 transhumans living on each

body. Most stations are mixed dome and beehive settlements

and range from hypercorp communications

and research outposts to autonomist freeholds. The

pair are more chemically complex than most moons in

the outer system, consisting of about 30% rock, 20%

methane and similar carbonaceous ices, and 50%

water. Titania is home to a spectacular canyon that

rivals the Martian Valles Marineris. Several settlements on Titania cater to tourists from the inner system and

the gas giants, who visit for rocketing, mekking, and

other sports in the canyon.

Xiphos


NOTE: One of two major strongholds of the ultimates, Xiphos

is a Hamilton cylinder orbiting in the Uranian ring

system. Though most of the tech underlying Hamilton

cylinders is open source, the station’s frighteningly

efficient weapon systems are not. Rumor has it the

ultimates traded some major favors to Gorgon Defense

Systems in the process of building this station.

Where Aspis, the ultimates’ inner system habitat,

is a relatively open place, used by the Ultimates for

contact with potential mercenary clients, Xiphos is

off limits to anyone not of this faction. The rumored

population of ultimates here is only about 10,000, but

the ultimates purchase a large number of infomorph

indentures from Mars. Although there are no reports

of any of these indentures returning, rumor has it that

the ultimates download indentures serving in sensitive

areas into deaf, visually limited flats with no AR

implants and limited mental capacity.

NeptuneEdit

NOTE: Frigid, swept by 2,100 km/h winds, and tinged blue by

methane traces in its atmosphere, Neptune is the last

major planet in the system, orbiting at a distance of 30

AU from the sun. This far from the nearest star, plants

will not grow and solar power is useless. The only

sources of power are fusion, focused starlight, waste

heat, and chemical reactions. The hypercorp presence

in the Neptunian system is virtually absent, as the long

communication lags and extreme travel distances from

the rest of the solar system mean that few Neptunian

ventures garner profits. Similarly, the Titanian brand

of technosocialism has never found roots here. The

few transhumans who live out here are a resourceful

lot, and many colonists out here aren’t human at all.

Anarchists, brinkers, and desperados comprise most

of the population.

Glitch


NOTE: This habitat has the highest population density in the

system, with 20,000 infomorphs living in a meshed

cluster of twenty spherical structures that are 10

meters in diameter, powered by efficient central reactor

systems. The habitat is attended by a cloud of

factories, harvesters, and defense satellites that occupy

considerably more space than the station itself. Various

rumors circulate that the inhabitants are researching

methods to improve infomorphs in the manner of seed

AIs, or that they are engaged in some vast forecasting

simulation effort.

Ilmarinen


NOTE: Aligned with the argonauts, Ilmarinen is a hybrid

beehive/cluster dug into and partially protruding from

the large L4 asteroid Greymere. It is the largest habitat

in Neptune’s Trojans, with a population of 7,000. Like many transhumans this far out in space, most of

Ilmarinen’s inhabitants are heavily modified or inhabit

exotic morphs. Vacuum and cold tolerant morphs prevail,

and many sections of the habitat are unlivable for

baseline transhumans.

Mahogany


NOTE: The neo-avians who built this station threw away

the manual on habitat design and revisited the longout

of favor toroidal configuration. The result is a

disc habitat—a plate half a kilometer along the edge

and one kilometer in diameter, resembling a slice

of an O’Neill cylinder with no windows. A fusionpowered,

low-heat, axial light source nourishes

the verdant hardwood forest below. Structures are

built into the disc walls up to 500 meters in height.

The disc, mostly woven from carbon fibers, rotates

quickly enough to generate 0.5 g at the habitat floor.

Mahogany has a population of 4,000 mercurials,

most of them neo-avians.

Minor Moons


NOTE: Neptune’s other twelve moons are largely small

bodies, icy and sparsely (if at all) populated. Proteus

and Larissa, both sizable and relatively close to the

planet, host small populations. Naiad and Thalassa

are tiny but very close to the planet, and thus home to

some atmospheric skimming operations. Neso, orbiting

at about 1/3 AU from Neptune, has never been

visited—even by robotic probes.

Neptunian Trojans


NOTE: Trailing and preceding Neptune at the L4 and L5

points of its orbit are several hundred asteroids of

diverse, mostly icy composition. Neptune’s Trojans

are home to brinkers, hard-bitten prospectors, exotic

exhumans, and other extreme survivalists.

Triton


NOTE: Neptune’s largest moon has a tenuous atmosphere and

is chemically complex, composed of equal parts rock

and ices (frozen nitrogen, water, and carbon dioxyde).

It is also geologically active, with cryovolcanoes continually

resurfacing the planet. The surface has few

inhabitants but several habitats orbit here, using the

moon’s abundant raw materials and low escape velocity

to their advantage.

The Edge of the SystemEdit

NOTE: Beyond Neptune lie only dwarf planets and icy asteroids

waiting to become comets, roughly divided into

two regions: the Kuiper Belt, from 30 to 55 AU from

the Sun, and the Scattered Disk, which extends from

55 AU out to the Oort Cloud. Pluto, its binary object

Charon, and Eris have compositions similar to Triton.

A few small habitats orbit Pluto and Charon, eking

out a living by prospecting for volatiles. A number of

other dwarf planets orbit in the Kuiper belt and the

Disk, including Orcus, Senda, and 2000 OO67. Of

these, only Eris harbors a substantial population.

Eris


NOTE: Located at 55 AU from the sun at the edge of the

Scattered Disk, Eris is the largest dwarf planet in the

system and the site of a grim struggle between two of

transhumanity’s most militant factions: ultimates and

exhumans. The focal point of the struggle is Discord

Gate, the most remote of the system’s publicly-known

Pandora Gates, located in an icy labyrinth half a kilometer

beneath the surface of Eris.

The brief history of the gate is bloody. Go-nin

Group troops violently wrested control of the gate

from the Ilmarinen anarchists who discovered it. Titan

and several anarchist and brinker groups both tried

to dislodge Go-nin, but these attempts failed, at great

cost in lives and ships. Go-nin’s control of the gate

seemed ensured until the hypercorp apparently tampered

too heavily with the gate’s black box controls.

A devastating explosion ensued, all but wiping out the

gate and Go-nin base. The gate, however, restructured

itself over the course of several days, though its location

has now shifted to the bottom of a melted crater.

In the short period it took the Go-nin Group to hire

a group of ultimate mercenaries to retake the gate, a

hitherto unknown force of exhumans had seized the

area. The ultimates succeeded, but a group of exhumans

escaped through the gate. Go-nin now has nominal

control of the Discord Gate through the ultimates, who

maintain a heavily militarized base on Eris’s moon,

Dysnomia. However, in recent years the gate facility has

suffered several attacks by exhumans eager to infiltrate

the gate—and according to rumors, at least one of those

attacks originated from the gate itself.

Markov


NOTE: The location of this habitat, a major stronghold of

the argonauts, is a closely guarded secret. Attempts to

search it out have revealed only decoys or lifeless rocks.

Though a great deal of information is available about

the habitat’s specs, operations, areas of research, and

informational resources, only highly placed members

of the argonauts may travel here. By all accounts, the

habitat is a windowless beehive, designed to be virtually

emissionless. Speculated locations include Pluto’s moon

Hydra, the deep Kuiper Belt, and even the Oort Cloud.

Extrasolar SystemsEdit

NOTE: Although travel between the stars is still outside the

realm of transhumanity’s achievements, the Pandora

Gates have allowed passage to myriad other star systems.

A few are noted here, though many more exist—

not all of them explored.

Echo


NOTE: Echo is a binary system consisting of a bright orange

main sequence star and a pulsar (whence the system’s

name) about 12 light hours from one another. The

system has one immense, bright yellow Jovian world

(Echo VI) weighing in at 1.8 Jupiter masses and boasting

101 known moons, two Neptune-like ice giants

further out, a thin mid-system asteroid belt, and several

Mercury-like inner planets. The original Pandora Gate opens onto lifeless Echo V, a forbidding

place littered with the detritus of a dead alien civilization. The

hollow buildings of these precursors look out over once-verdant

alluvial plains now home to only dry arroyos and dust. In other

places, eons of wind erosion have carried the soil away entirely,

leaving only barren expanses of dark basaltic slag. Chemically and

geologically, the world is very similar to Mars, had Mars suffered

another half a billion years’ loss of atmosphere. Research into the

relics of the long-dead aliens suggests that they were morphologically

similar to arthropods or arachnids, earning them the designation

of Iktomi, after a Native American spider god. So far, little else

has been discerned about them.

Echo IV, on the other hand, is the closest thing transhumanity

has found to a paradise since losing Earth. The native life is carbonbased,

with many plants and fish edible even to flats. The climate is

warm temperate, the atmosphere breathable with no major contaminants.

The northern and southern latitudes are home to trackless

forests dominated by various species of valders—huge, maple-like

trees with dark red leaves. In the equatorial regions lie balmy, nutrient-

rich floodplains ripe for cultivation, broken up by the occasional

mountain range. Echo IV is still geologically active due to tidal heating,

though older than Earth by about two billions years, and has

two megacontinents connected near the equator by a tenuous land

bridge. Notable native life include the Unagi, a fearsome, eel-like

deep sea predator, and the clown sprite, a flying primate-analog that

exists in a symbiotic relationship with the Echolalian land anenome,

a huge, venomous, carnivorous plant that grows in the cloud forests

of the equatorial highlands. The biosphere is diverse with many

other megafauna, some quite dangerous.

Luca


NOTE: Luca is an M-Class red dwarf located in a region of the galaxy

far removed from any point of reference known to transhuman

astronomy. The system has only a single gas giant of about 1.4 Jupiter

masses—insufficient to shield the inner worlds from constant

asteroid bombardment. The lone gas giant is flanked by a tenuous

metallic inner asteroid belt and a wide ice and silicate outer belt.

The only other bodies worthy of planetary status are a hellish inner

world with Mercury’s richness of metal and Venus’ infernal atmosphere

and a few large, sullen plutoids sharing Lagrange orbits with

an asteroid field comprised of the shattered mass of a third plutoid.

Accessible by both the Vulcanoid and Fissure Gates, Luca II is a

heavily cratered terrestrial planet with a thick, dusty atmosphere—

just about breathable to transhumans with the right gear. It is a cold,

rocky world of craggy hills, knee-high forests, hissing geothermal

bogs, and fungal meadows. The natives, who have been extinct for at

least a million years, evolved from animals not unlike Earth’s aardvarks.

Originally insect mound predators, the Lucans evolved vision

well into the infrared (as demonstrated by the unusual pigments on

their pottery and later-stage porcelain) and, based on analysis of their

artifacts, had a sense akin to ultrasonic imaging. Their civilization

went through several cycles of rise and fall, punctuated by celestial

cataclysms that killed off less adaptable species and made resources

scarce. The Lucans seem never to have evolved past medieval levels

of societal organization prior to the Great Impact. Within a hundred

years of that final impact, the last of the Lucans perished, never

having invented the telescope, the computer, or space flight.

Luca II hosts Banshee, an underground settlement with a few

prominent surface features, including a radio astronomy station,

park domes, a short-hop aerospace port, and solar farms. It is set on the Howling Plain, a windy plain of scrub brush and

bogs chosen for its rich hydrocarbon deposits and low

incidence of asteroid impacts. Banshee is an uneasy

blend of anarchist colonists and hypercorp interests.

Mishipizheu


NOTE: Mishipizheu is a red giant. The planet from which

the star takes its name, Mishipizheu I, is a Mars-sized

sphere of water with an atmosphere of nitrogen and

carbon dioxide and a rocky core. Mishipizheu I was

an almost Venus-sized sphere of ice 700 million years

ago, but the expansion of its star into the red giant

phase melted the planet. Initially quite warm and full

of pockets of ice and carbonaceous silts, the melting

planet was a crucible in which life could develop and

now hosts a complex ecosystem. Amoeboid boiler

reefs composed of gas sac creatures and their symbiotes

bob on the surface or maintain neutral buoyancy

in the depths, becoming platforms for complex ecosystems

of largely animalian life.

Mishipizheu I is orbited by a mid-size rocky moon,

Nanabozho, reachable via the Discord Gate. Nanabozho

is a mystery, as moons of this composition are

not normally found so far out in a system. The best

current theory is that Nanabozho was an inner system

object with an erratic orbit. It was perturbed out of

its orbit by one of the now-engulfed gas giants that

must once have existed, whence by chance it was

captured in Mishipizheu’s orbit. The extraordinarily

slim chances of such an event, however, have led to

wild speculation as to the actual origin of the moon,

which is as popular a destination for gatecrashers as

the planet below.

Synergy


NOTE: Among the first attempts to establish a gatecrasher

colony beyond the original Pandora Gate, just 5 years

after the Fall, was a group of two hundred and fifty

colonists equipped with experimental headware communications

technology. Shortly after the jump, however,

a still unidentified glitch forced the gate to close

and the mechanism could not be reset to the same setting

and coordinates for an entire five years. When the

gate technicians finally managed to reacquire the settings

recently and reopen the gate, the colonists were

found to have survived, but they had changed. The

technology sent with them was largely AI controlled,

enabling the creation of a hypermesh that linked the

thoughts, emotions, and sensory experiences of each

colonist with each other. After half a decade of difficult

survival measures, this technology and the stress

of the situation linked the colonists and their AIs into

a group mind. Despite having the opportunity to

return to the solar system, these Synergists, as they

call themselves, have no desire to cut themselves off

from their shared consciousness.

Other ExoplanetsEdit

NOTE: The number of extraterrestrial star systems that transhumanity

has visited via the gates now numbers into the hundreds, if not more—though only a small percentage

of these have been notable and/or hospitable.

Only a few dozen have been substantially occupied

or colonized by transhumans, though this number is

growing rapidly. Among these, a few deserve mention:

Arcadia:

Babylon:

Nótt:

Sky Ark:

Wormwood:

Arcadia


NOTE: Accessed through the Martian Gate, the

Planetary Consortium is constructing an aerostat in

the upper atmosphere of this Venus-like planet which

will serve as a private resort for the hyperelite.

Babylon


NOTE: Initially thought to just be an unremarkable

scorched moon orbiting a planet very close to a

yellow star, researchers measuring the star made an

incredible accident discovery: what appears to be a

derelict spacecraft orbiting deep in the star’s corona.

Attempts to access this vessel have so far been thwarted,

but other projects are in the works, including the

possibility of towing the craft to safer climes.

Bluewood:

Bluewood


NOTE: One of the first anarchist colonies established

through the Fissure Gate, this settlement

inhabits a beautiful, small Earth-like world with a

thriving eco-system. Established on the outskirts of

a large forest of eerie, alien, blue “trees,” the colony

was taken off-guard by the trees alarming growth

rate. The modular settlement buildings have all but

been surrounded and encased by overgrowth despite

modest efforts to keep them clear. Still intact but engulfed

by spiraling branchworks, the effect is beautiful

and haunting.

Nott


NOTE: This barren ice-covered moon suffers from

heavy geothermal activity that causes its frozen crust to

constantly crack and refreeze. The unfortunate research

station staff here, all indentured, claim that something

out in the ice is stalking them—over a dozen have disappeared

in the last year. Pathfinder refuses to pull the

station back, however, and thorough searches from its

security teams have turned up nothing.

Sky Ark


NOTE: TerraGenesis is redesigning this dry, arid

moonlet as an off-world preserve for animal life,

including many formerly extinct Earth species resurrected

from fossil DNA.

Wormwood


NOTE: This maze-like warren seems to be an

actual beehive habitat, though who tunneled it out

or why remains an unanswered mystery. The former

asteroid is part of the ring system of an unknown gas

giant. Clearly artificial, gatecrashers so far have found

no signs of technology or life.

Analysis: Myst Trees


NOTE: [File Corruption: 98%]

[Partial Retrieval Complete]

… called “myst trees” by the residen@#

of Ca*&78 … also found on tw) oth*r

exoplanets ]]]]] … seem to be some sort of

living data storage{{[— … utilizing nanofog

systems for <|{9h’’’’ … high pr@bability of

alien origin [[[[[[; ;

GAME MECHANICSEdit

NOTE: In every game, there comes a time when the gamemaster must decide if a character succeeds or fails in an action. This is when the players roll dice and the characters’ stats and abilities come into play. This chapter defines the core mechanics and rules that govern the outcomes of events inEclipse Phase.

THE ULTIMATE RULE


NOTE: One rule in Eclipse Phase outweighs all of the others: have fun. This means that you should never let the rules get in the way of the game. If you don’t like a rule, change it. If you can’t find a rule, make one up. If you disagree over a rule’s interpretation, flip a coin. Try not to let rules interfere with the game’s flow and mood. If you’re in the middle of a really good scene or intense roleplaying and a rule suddenly comes into question, don’t stop the game to look it up and argue about it. Just wing it, make a decision quickly, and move on. You can always look the rule up later so you’ll remember it next time. If there are disagreements over a rule’s interpretation, remember that the gamemaster gets the final say.


This rule also means that you shouldn’t let the story be guided solely by rolls of the dice. The element of chance that dice rolls provide lends a sense of randomness, uncertainty, and surprise to the game. Sometimes this is exciting, like when a character makes an unexpectedly difficult roll and saves the day. At other times, it is brutal, such as when a lucky shot from an opponent takes one of the characters out for good in a fight. If the gamemaster wants a scenario to result in a pre-planned dramatic outcome and an unexpected die roll threatens that plan, they should feel free to ignore that roll and move the story in the direction they desire.

DICE


NOTE: Eclipse Phaseuses two ten-sided dice (each noted as a d10) for random rolls. In most cases, the rules will call for a percentile roll, noted as d100, meaning that you roll two ten-sided dice, choosing one to count first, and then read them as a result between 0 and 99 (with a roll of 00 counting as zero, not 100). The first die counts as the tens digit, and the second die counts as the ones digit. For example, you roll two ten-sided dice, one red and one black, calling out red first. The red one rolls a 1 and the black die rolls a 6, for a result of 16. Some sets of d10s, as shown above, are specifically marked for easier rolling and reading.


Occasionally the rules will call for individual die rolls, with each individual ten-sided die listed as a d10. If the rules call for several dice to be rolled, it will be noted as 2d10, 3d10, and so on. When multiple ten-sided dice are rolled in these instances, the results are added together. For example, a 3d10 roll of 4, 6, and 7 counts as 17. On d10 rolls, a result of 0 is treated as a 10, not a zero.


Most players ofEclipse Phase can get by with having two ten-sided dice, but it doesn’t hurt to have more on hand. These dice can be purchased at your friendly local game store or borrowed from another gamer.

A NOTE ON TERMINOLOGY AND GENDER


NOTE: The Eclipse Phase setting raises a number of interesting questions about gender and personal identity. What does it mean when you are born female but you are occupying a male body? When it comes to language and editing, this also poses a number of interesting questions for what pronouns to use. The English language has a bit of a bias towards male-gendered pronouns that we hope to avoid in these rules. For purposes of this game, we’ve sidestepped some of these gender neutrality quandaries by adopting the “Singular They” rule. What this means is that rather than just going with male pronouns (“he”) or switching between gendered pronouns (“he” in one chapter, “she” in the next), we have adopted the use of “they” even when referring to a single person. To some folks, this is bad grammar, but there is actually some good evidence that this usage has strong historical roots (look it up), and it certainly gives our editors fewer headaches.


When referring to specific characters, we use the gendered pronoun appropriate to the character’s personal gender identity, no matter the sex of the morph they are in.

MAKING TESTSEdit

NOTE: In Eclipse Phase, your character is bound to find themself in adrenalin-pumping action scenes, high-stress social situations, lethal combats, spine-tingling investigations, and similar situations filled with drama, risk, and adventure. When your character is embroiled in these scenarios, you determine how well they do by making tests—rolling dice to determine if they succeed or fail, and to what degree.


You make tests in Eclipse Phase by rolling d100 and comparing the result to a target number. The target number is typically determined by one of your character’s skills (discussed below) and ranges between 1 and 98. If you roll less than or equal to the target number, you succeed. If you roll higher than the target number, you fail. A roll of 00 is always considered a success. A roll of 99 is always a failure.

EXAMPLE


NOTE: Jaqui’s character needs to make a skill test. Her skill is 55. Jaqui takes two ten-sided dice and rolls a 53—she succeeds! If she had rolled a 55, she still would have been successful, but any roll higher than that would have been a failure.

TARGET NUMBERS


NOTE: As noted above, the target number for a d100 roll in Eclipse Phase is usually the skill rating. Occasionally, however, a different figure will be used. In some cases, an aptitude score is used, which makes for much harder tests as aptitude scores are usually well below 50 (seeAptitudes, p. 123). In other tests, the target number will be an aptitude rating x 2 or x 3 or two aptitudes added together. In these cases, the test description will note what rating(s) to use.

WHEN TO MAKE TESTS


NOTE: The gamemaster decides when a character must make a test. As a rule of thumb, tests are called for whenever there is a chance that a character might fail at an action or when success or failure may have an effect on the ongoing story. Tests are also called for whenever two or more characters act in opposition to one another (for example, if they are arm wrestling or haggling over a price). On the other hand, routine use of a skill by someone with at least a rating of 30 in that skill can be assumed to be successful with no test. It is not necessary to make tests for everyday, run-of- the-mill activities, such as getting dressed or checking your email (especially inEclipse Phase, where so many activities are automatically handled by the machines around you). Even an activity such as driving a car does not call for dice rolls as long as you have a small modicum of skill. A test might be necessary, however, if you happen to be driving while bleeding to death or are pursuing a gang of motorcycle-riding scavengers through the ruins of a devastated city.


Knowing when to call for tests and when to let the roleplaying flow without interruption is a skill every gamemaster must acquire. Sometimes it is better to simply make a call without rolling dice in order to maintain the pacing of the game. Likewise, in certain circumstances the gamemaster may decide to make tests for a character in secret, without the player noticing. If an enemy is trying to sneak past a character on guard,

for example, the gamemaster will alert the player that something is amiss if they ask them to make a perception test. This means that the gamemaster should keep a copy of each character’s record sheet on hand at all times.

DIFFICULTY AND MODIFIERSEdit

NOTE: Difficulty and Mo difiers The measure of a test’s difficulty is reflected in its modifiers. Modifiers are adjustments made to the target number (not the roll), either raising or lowering it. A test of average difficulty will have no modifiers, whereas actions that are easier will have positive modifiers (raising the target number, making success more likely) and harder actions will have negative modifiers (lowering the target number, making success less likely). It is the gamemaster’s job to determine if a particular test is harder or easier than normal and to what degree (as illustrated on the Test Difficulty table) and to then apply the appropriate modifier.


Other factors might also play a role in a test, applying additional modifiers aside from the test’s general level of difficulty. These factors include the environment, equipment (or lack thereof), and the health of the character, among other things. The character might be using superior tools, working in poor conditions, or even wounded, and each of these factors must be taken into account, applying additional modifiers to the target number and adjusting the likelihood of success or failure.


For simplicity, modifiers are applied in multiples of 10 and come in three levels of severity: Minor (+/–10), Moderate (+/–20), and Major (+/–30). Any number of modifiers may be applied, as the gamemaster deems appropriate, but the cumulative modifiers may not exceed + or – 60.

TEST DIFFICULTY


NOTE:

Difficulty Level Modifier
Effortless +30
Simple +20
Easy +10
Average +0
Difficult -10
Challenging -20
Hard -30


MODIFIER SEVERITY


NOTE:

Severity Modifier
Minor +/- 10
Moderate +/- 20
Major +/- 30


EXAMPLE


NOTE: Jaqui is attempting to leap from one door to another across a large chamber in zero gravity. She’s in a hurry. If she misses the door, she’ll lose valuable time, so the gamemaster calls for a Freefall Skill Test. Jaqui’s Freefall skill is 46. Unfortunately the chamber is filled with floating debris that could get in her way. The gamemaster determines this is a Moderate modifier, reducing the target number by 20. Jaqui must roll a 26 or less to succeed.

CRITICALS: ROLLING DOUBLESEdit

NOTE: Any time both dice come up with the same number—00, 11, 22, 33, 44, etc.—you have scored a critical success or critical failure, depending on whether your roll also beats your target number. 00 is always a critical success, whereas 99 is always a critical failure. Rolling doubles means that a little something extra happened with the outcome of the test, either positive or negative. Criticals have a very specific application in combat tests (see p. 192), but for all other purposes the gamemaster decides what exactly went wrong or right in a specific situation. Criticals can be used to amplify a success or failure: you finish with a flourish or fail so spectacularly that you remain the butt of jokes for weeks to come. They can also result in some sort of unexpected secondary effect: you repair the device and improve its performance; or you fail to shoot your enemy and hit an innocent bystander. Alternately, a critical can be used to give a boost (or a hindrance) to a follow-up action. For example, you not only spot a clue, but you immediately suspect it to be red herring; or you not only fail to strike the target, but your weapon breaks, leaving you defenseless. Gamemasters are encouraged to be inventive with their use of criticals and choose results that create comedy, drama, or tension.

EXAMPLE


NOTE: Audrey is attempting to intimidate a low-level triad mook into giving her information. Unfortunately she rolls a 99—a critical failure. Not only does she fail to scare the guy, but she accidentally lets slip an important piece of information that she didn’t want the triad to know. If she rolled a 00 instead—a critical success—she would browbeat the man so thoroughly that he throws in some extra important information just so she’ll leave him alone in the future.

DEFAULTING: UNTRAINED SKILL USEEdit

NOTE: Certain tests may call for a character to use a skill they don’t have—a process calleddefaulting. In this case, the character instead uses the rating of the aptitude (see p. 123) that is linked to the skill in question as the target number.


Not all skills may be defaulted; some of them are so complex or require such training than an unskilled character can’t hope to succeed. Skills that may not be defaulted on are noted on the Skill List (p. 176) and in the skill description.


In rare cases, a gamemaster might allow a character to default to another skill that also relates to a test (see p. 173). When allowed, defaulting to another skill incurs a –30 modifier.

EXAMPLE


NOTE: Toljek is trying to casually sneak inside a hypercorp facility when he unexpectedly runs into a hypercorp employee. The woman he’s encountered doesn’t necessarily have grounds to be suspicious of Toljek’s presence, but the gamemaster calls for Toljek to make a Protocol Test to pass himself off as someone that belongs there. Unfortunately, Toljek doesn’t have that skill, so he must default to its linked aptitude, Savvy, instead. His Savvy score is only 18, so Toljek better hope he gets lucky.

SIMPLIFYING MODIFIERSEdit

NOTE: Rather than looking up and accumulating a long list of modifiers for each action and doing the math, the gamemaster can instead choose to simply “eyeball” the situation and apply the modifier that best sums up the net effect. This method is quicker and allows for easier test resolution. One way to eyeball the situation is to simply apply the most severe modifier affecting the situation.

EXAMPLE


NOTE: Tyska is trying to escape from some thing that’s chasing him through a derelict habitat. The gamemaster calls for a Freerunning Test, but there are a number of modifying conditions: it’s dark, he’s running with a flashlight, and there’s debris everywhere. Tyska, however, has an entoptic map of the best route out of there to help him out. The gamemaster assesses the situation and decides the overall effect is that the test is

challenging, and so a –20 modifier is applied.

NARRATIVE MODIFIERSEdit

NOTE: If you wish to develop a more cinematic feel for your game, or if you simply wish to encourage your players to invest more detail and creativity into the storyline, you can award “narrative modifiers” to a character’s test when that player describes what the character is doing in exceptionally colorful, inventive, or dramatic detail. The better the detail, the better the modifier.

EXAMPLE


NOTE: Cole doesn’t just want his character to jump over the table, he wants to make an impact. Cole tells the gamemaster that his character kicks a chair out of the way, rolls over the dinner table on his shoulder, grabs a fork as he does it, makes sure to knock all of the fine china on the floor, then lands on his feet in a defensive martial arts posture, fork raised high. The gamemaster decides the extra description is worth +10 to his

Freerunning Test.

TEAMWORKEdit

NOTE: If two or more characters join forces to tackle a test together, one of the characters must be chosen as the primary actor. This leading character will usually (but not always) be the one with the highest applicable skill. The primary acting character is the one who rolls the test, though they receive a +10 modifier for each additional character helping them out, up to a maximum +30 modifier. Note that helping characters do not necessarily need to know the skill being used if the gamemaster decides that they can follow the primary actor’s lead.

EXAMPLE


NOTE: The robotic leg on Eva’s synthetic morph has been badly damaged, so she needs to repair it. Max and Vic both sit down and help her out, giving her a +20 modifier (+10 for each helper) to her Hardware:

Robotics Test.

TYPES OF TESTSEdit

NOTE: There are two types of tests inEclipse Phase: Success and Opposed.

SUCCESS TESTSEdit

NOTE: Success Tests are called for whenever a character is acting without direct opposition. They are the standard tests used to determine how well a character exercises a particular skill or ability.


Success Tests are handled exactly as described underMaking Tests, p. 115. The player rolls d100 against a target number equal to the character’s skill +/– modifiers. If they roll equal to or less than the target number, the test succeeds, and the action is completed as desired. If they roll higher than the target number, the test fails.

TRYING AGAIN


NOTE: If you fail at a test, you can take another shot. Each subsequent attempt at an action after a failure, however, incurs a cumulative –10 modifier. That means the second try suffers –10, the third –20, the fourth –30, and so on, up to the maximum –60.

TAKING THE TIMEEdit

NOTE: Most skill tests are made for Automatic, Quick, or Complex Actions (see pp. 119–120) and so are resolved within one Action Turn (3 seconds, see p. 119). Tests made for Task actions (p. 120) take longer.


Players may choose to take extra time when their character undertakes an action, meaning that they choose to be especially careful when performing the action in order to enhance their chance of success. For every minute of extra time they take, they increase their target number by +10. Once they’ve modified their target number to over 99, they are practically assured of success, so the gamemaster can waive the dice roll and grant them an automatic success. Note that the maximum +60 modifier rule still applies, so if their skill is under 40 to start with, taking the time ay still

not guarantee a favorable outcome. You may take the time even when defaulting (seeDefaulting, p. 116).


Taking extra time is a solid choice when time is not a factor to the character, as it eliminates the chance that a critical failure will be rolled and allows the player to skip needless dice rolling. For certain tests it may not be appropriate, however, if the gamemaster decides that no amount of extra time will increase the likelihood of success. In that case, the gamemaster simply rules that taking the time has no effect.


For Task action tests (p. 120), which already take time to complete, the duration of the task must be

increased by 50 percent for each +10 modifier gained for taking extra time.

EXAMPLE


NOTE: Srit is searching through an abandoned spaceship, looking for a sign of what happened to the missing crew. The gamemaster tells her it will take twenty minutes to search the whole ship. She wants to be extra thorough, however, so she takes an extra thirty minutes. Fifty percent of the original timeframe is ten minutes, so taking an extra thirty minutes means that Srit receives a +30 modifier to her Investigation Test.

SIMPLE SUCCESS TESTSEdit

NOTE: In some circumstances, the gamemaster may not be concerned that a character might fail a test, but instead simply wants to gauge how well the character performs. In this case, the gamemaster calls for aSimple Success Test, which is handled just like a standard Success Test (p. 117). Rather than determining success or failure, however, the test is assumed to succeed. The roll determines whether the character succeedsstrongly (rolls equal to or less than the target number) or succeedsweakly (rolls above the target number).

EXAMPLE


NOTE: Dav is taking a short spacewalk between two parked ships. The gamemaster determines that this is a routine operation and calls for Dav to make a Simple Success Test using the Freefall skill. Dav’s skill is only 35. He rolls a 76, but the gamemaster merely determines that Dav has some trouble orienting himself and has to take some extra time. If Dav had rolled a 77—a critical failure—his suit’s maneuvering jets may have died and he may have accidentally propelled himself into deep space.

MARGIN OF SUCCESS/FAILUREEdit

NOTE: Sometimes it may be important that a character not only succeeds, but that they kick ass and take names while doing it. This is usually true of situations where the challenge is not only difficult but the action must be pulled off with finesse. Tests of this sort may call for a certainMargin of Success (MoS)—an amount by which the character must roll under the target number. For example, a character facing a target number of 55 and a MoS of 20 must roll equal to or less than a 35 to succeed at the level the situation calls for.


At other times, it may be important to know how badly a character fails, as determined by aMargin of Failure (MoF), which is the amount by which the character rolled over the target number. In some cases, a test may note that a character who fails with a certain MoF may suffer additional consequences for failing so dismally.

EXAMPLE


NOTE: An enemy has thrown an incendiary device near Stoya. She has only a moment to act and decides to try to kick it away from herself. Even better, she hopes to kick it into the open maintenance hatch a dozen meters away. The gamemaster determines that in order to kick it into the hatch, Stoya needs to succeed with an MoS of 30. Her Unarmed Combat skill is 66, so Stoya needs to roll 66 or less to kick the device away (though she may still be damaged when it explodes), and 36 or less to kick it into the hatch (in which case she will be completely safe when it detonates). She rolls a 44—missing the hatch, but scoring a critical success! Her aim is off, but the gamemaster decides that the device rebounds off some machinery and falls into the hatch anyway.

EXAMPLE


NOTE: Nico is trying to sketch out a picture of someone’s face. He has eidetic memory, but his drawing needs to be good enough for someone else to identify the person. He rolls against his Art: Drawing skill of 34, scoring a 97—a MoF of 63. The illustration is so bad that the gamemaster determines that anyone

using that picture to identify the person will need to score a MoS of at least 63 on a Perception Test

to recognize the person.

EXCELLENT SUCCESSES/SEVERE FAILURESEdit

NOTE: Excellent Successes and Severe Failures are a method used to benchmark successes and failures with an MoS or MoF of 30+. Excellent Successes are used in situations where an especially good roll may boost the intended effect, such as inflicting more damage with a good hit in combat. Severe Failures denote a roll that is particularly bad and has a worse effect than a simple failure. Neither Excellent Successes or Severe Failures are as good or bad as criticals, however.

EXAMPLE


NOTE: Stoya has been caught in a deal gone bad. She moves to kick her opponent using her Unarmed Combat of 65. She rolls a 33 (for an MoS of 32), and her opponent rolls a 21 (also successful, but less than Stoya, so she wins). She has succeeded and beaten her opponent with an MoS of 30+, scoring an Excellent Success, meaning she will inflict extra damage with the kick.

OPPOSED TESTSEdit

NOTE: An Opposed Test is called for whenever a character’s action may be directly opposed by another. Regardless of who initiates the action, both characters must make a test against each other, with the outcome favoring the winner.


To make an Opposed Test, each character rolls d100 against a target number equal to the relevant

skill(s) along with any appropriate modifiers. If only one of the characters succeeds (rolls equal to or less than their target number), that character has won. If both succeed, the character who gets the highest dice roll wins. If both characters fail, or they both succeed and roll the same number, then a deadlock occurs—the characters remain pitted against each other, neither gaining ground, until one of them takes another action and either breaks away or makes another Opposed Test.


Note that critical successes trump high rolls in an Opposed Test—if both characters succeed and one rolls 54 while the other rolls 44, the critical roll of 44 wins. Care must be taken when applying modifiers in an Opposed Test. Some modifiers will affect both participants equally, and should be applied to both tests. If a modifier arises from one character’s advantage in relation to the other, however, that modifier should only be applied to benefit the favored character; it should not also be applied as a negative modifier to the disadvantaged character.

EXAMPLE


NOTE: Zhou has been hired by the Jovian Republic to infiltrate his old pirate band. Even though he’s resleeved in a new skin, he’s worried that one of his old buddies, Wen, might recognize his mannerisms, since they lived, whored, and raided together for years. After Zhou has spent some time in Wen’s company, the gamemaster makes a secret Opposed Test, pitting Zhou’s Impersonation skill of 57 against Wen’s Kinesics of 34. The gamemaster decides to give Wen a bonus +20, since he is so familiar with his former buddy and has been on the lookout for him, eager to repay the old grudge that split them apart. Wen’s target number is now 54.


The gamemaster rolls for both. Zhou scores a 45 and Wen a 39. Both succeed, but Zhou rolled higher,

so his deception is successful. The gamemaster decides that Wen finds something about Zhou to

be familiar, but he can’t put his finger on it.

OPPOSED TESTS AND MARGIN OF SUCCESS/FAILURE


NOTE: In some cases, it may also be important to note a character’s Margin of Success or Failure in an Opposed Test, as with a Success Test above. In this case, the MoS/MoF is still determined by the difference between the character’s roll and their target number—it is not calculated by the difference between the character’s roll and the opposing character’s roll.

VARIABLE OPPOSED TESTEdit

NOTE: In some cases, the rules will call for aVariable Opposed Test, which allows for slightly more outcomes

than a standard Opposed Test. If both characters succeed in a Variable Opposed Test, then an outcome is obtained which is different from just one character winning over the other. The exact outcomes are noted with each specific Variable Opposed Test.

EXAMPLE


NOTE: Jaqui needs to hack into a local network to retrieve some video footage. The network is actively defended by an AI, so a Variable Opposed Test is called for, pitting Jaqui’s Infosec skill of 48 against the AI’s Infosec of 25. Jaqui rolls a 48—a success—but the AI rolls a 14—also a success. In this circumstance, Jaqui succeeds in hacking in, but the AI is aware of the infiltration and can take

active countermeasures against her.

TIME AND ACTIONSEdit

NOTE: Though the gamemaster is responsible for managing the speed at which events unfold, there are times when it is important to know exactly who is acting when, especially if some people are acting before or after other people. In these circumstances, gameplay in Eclipse Phase is broken down into intervals calledAction Turns.

ACTION TURNS


NOTE: Each Action Turn is three seconds long, meaning there are twenty Action Turns per minute. The order in which characters act during a turn is determined by an Initiative Test (seeInitiative, p. 121). Action

Turns are further subdivided intoAction Phases. Each character’s Speed stat (p. 121) determines the amount of actions they can take in a turn, represented by how many Action Phases they may take.

TYPES OF ACTIONSEdit

NOTE: The types of actions a character may take in an Action Turn are broken down to:Automatic,Quick,Complex, andTaskactions.

AUTOMATIC ACTIONS


NOTE: Automatic actions are “always on” and require no effort from the character, assuming they are conscious.


Examples: basic perception, certain psi sleights

QUICK ACTIONS


NOTE: Quick actions are simple, so they can be done fast and can be multi-tasked. The gamemaster determines how many Quick actions a character may take in a turn.


Examples: talking, switching a safety, activating an implant, standing up

COMPLEX ACTIONS


NOTE: Complex actions require concentration or effort. The number of Complex actions a character may take per turn is determined by their Speed stat (see p. 121).


Examples: attacking, shooting, acrobatics, disarming a bomb, detailed examination

TASK ACTIONS


NOTE: Task actions are any actions that require longer than one Action Turn to complete. Each Task action has atimeframe, usually listed in the task description or otherwise determined by the gamemaster. The timeframe determines how long the task takes to complete, though this may be reduced by

10 percent for every 10 full points of MoS the character scores on the test (seeMargin

of Success/Failure, p. 118). If a character fails on a Task action test roll, they work on the task for a minimum period equal to 10 percent of the timeframe for each 10 full points of MoF before realizing it’s a failure.


For Task actions with timeframes of one day or longer, it is assumed that the character only works eight hours per day. A character that works more hours per day may reduce the time accordingly. Characters working on Task actions may also interrupt their work to do something else and

then pick up where they left off, unless the gamemaster rules that the action requires continuous and uninterrupted attention.


Similar to taking the time (p. 117), a character mayrush the jobon a Task action, taking a penalty on the test in order to decrease the timeframe. The character must declare they are rushing the job before they roll the test. For every 10 percent they wish to reduce the timeframe, they incur a –10

modifier on the test (to a maximum reduction of 60 percent with a maximum modifier of –60).

DEFINING YOUR CHARACTEREdit

NOTE: In order to ga uge and quantify what your character is merely good at and what they excel in—or what they are clueless about and suck at—Eclipse Phaseuses a number of measurement factors: stats, skills, traits, and morphs. Each of these characteristics is recorded and tracked on your character’s

record sheet(p. 399).

CONCEPT


NOTE: Your character concept defines who you are in theEclipse Phaseuniverse. You’re not just

a run-of-the-mill plebeian with a boring and mundane life, you’re a participant in a postapocalyptic

transhuman future who gets caught up in intrigue, terrible danger, unspeakable horrors, and scrambling for survival. Much like a character in an adventure, drama, or horror story, you are a person

to whom interesting things happen—or if not, you make them happen. This means your character needs a distinct personality and sense of identity. At the very least, you should be able to sum up your character concept in a single sentence, such as “cantankerous neotenic renegade archaeologist with

anger management issues” or “thrill-seeking social animal who is dangerously obsessed with conspiracy theories and mysteries.” If it helps, you can always borrow ideas from characters you’ve seen in movies or books, modifying them to fit your tastes.


Your character’s concept will likely be influenced by two important factors: background

and faction. Your background denotes the circumstances under which your character was raised, while your faction indicates the post-Fall grouping to which you most recently held ties and allegiances. Both of these play a role in character creation (p. 128).

MOTIVATIONS


NOTE: The clash of ideologies and memes is a core component ofEclipse Phase, and so every character has three motivations—personal memes that dominate the character’s interests and pursuits. These memes may be as abstract as ideologies the character adheres to or supports—for example, social anarchism, Islamic jihad, or bioconservatism—or they may be as concrete as specific outcomes the character desires, such as revealing a certain hypercorp’s corruption, obtaining massive personal wealth, or winning victories for uplifted rights. A motivation may also be framed in opposition to something; for example, anti-capitalism or anti-pod-citizenship, or staying out of jail. In essence, these are ideas that motivate the character to do the things they do. Motivation is best noted as a term or short phrase on the character sheet, marked with a + (in favor of) or – (opposed to). Players are encouraged to develop their own distinct motivations for their characters, in cooperation with the gamemaster. Some examples are provided on p. 138.


In game terms, motivation is used to help define the character’s personality and influence their actions for roleplaying purposes. It also serves to regain Moxie points (p. 122) and earn Rez Points for character advancement (p. 152).


Motivational goals may be short-term or long-term, and may in fact change for a character over time. Short-term goals are more immediately obtainable objectives or short-lived interests, and these goals are likely to change once achieved. Even so, they should reflect intentions that will take more than one game session to reach, possibly covering weeks or months. These short-term goals may in fact tie directly into the gamemaster’s current storyline. Examples include conducting a full analysis of an alien artifact, completing a research project, or living life as an uplifted dog for a while. Long-term goals reflect deeply rooted beliefs or tasks that require major efforts and time (possibly lifelong) to achieve. For example, finding the lost backup of a sibling missing since the Fall, overthrowing an autocratic regime, or making first contact with a new

alien species. For purposes of awarding Moxie or Rez Points, long-term goals are best broken down into obtainable chunks. Someone whose goal is to track down the murderer who killed their parents when they were a child, for example, can be considered to achieve that goal every time they discover some evidence that brings them a little closer to solving the puzzle.

EGO VS. MORPH


NOTE: Eclipse Phase’s setting dictates that a distinction must be made between a character’sego (their ingrained self, their personality, and inherent traits that perpetuate in continuity) and theirmorph (their ephemeral physical—and sometimes virtual—form). A character’s morph may die while the character’s ego lives on (assuming appropriate backup measures have been taken), transplanted into a new morph. Morphs are expendable, but your character’s ego represents the ongoing, continuous life path of your character’s mind, personality, memories, knowledge, and so forth. This continuity may be interrupted by an unexpected death (depending on how recent the backup was made), or by forking (see p. 273), but it represents the totality of the character’s mental state and experiences.


Some aspects of your character—particularly skills, along with some stats and traits—belong to your character’s ego, which means they stay with them throughout the character’s development. Some stats and traits, however, are determined by morph, as noted, and so will change if your character leaves one body and takes on another. Morphs may also affect other skills and stats, as detailed in the morph description.


It is important that you keep ego- and morph-derived characteristics straight, especially when updating your character’s record sheet.

CHARACTER STATS


NOTE: Your character’s stats measure several characteristics that are important to game play:Initiative,Speed,Durability,Wound Threshold,Lucidity,Trauma Threshold, andMoxie. Some of these stats are inherent to your character’s ego, others are influenced or determined by morph.

EGO STATSEdit

NOTE: EGO STATS

Initiative

Lucidity

Trauma Threshold

Insanity Rating

Moxie

INITIATIVE (INIT)Edit

NOTE: Your character’s Initiative stat helps determine when they act in relation to other characters during the

Action Turn (seeInitiative, p. 188). Your Initiative stat is equal to your character’s Intuition + Reflexes aptitudes (seeAptitudes, p. 123) multiplied by 2. Certain implants and other factors may modify this score.

EXAMPLE


NOTE: Lazaro’s Intuition is 15 and his Reflexes score is 20. That means his Initiative is 70 (15 + 20 = 35, 35 x 2 = 70).

LUCIDITY (LUC)


NOTE: Lucidity is similar to Durability, except that it measures mental health and state of mind rather than physical well-being. Your Lucidity determines how much stress (mental damage) you can take before you are incapacitated or driven insane (seeMental Health, p. 209).


Lucidity is unlimited, but generally ranges from 20 to 60 for baseline unmodified humans. Lucidity is

determined by your Willpower aptitude x 2.

TRAUMA THRESHOLD (TT)


NOTE: The Trauma Threshold determines if you suffer a trauma (mental wound) each time you take stress (seeMental Health, p. 209). A higher Trauma Threshold means that your mental state is more resilient against experiences that might inflict psychiatric disorders or other serious mental instabilities.


Trauma Threshold is calculated by dividing Lucidity by 5 (rounding up).

INSANITY RATING (IR)


NOTE: Your Insanity Rating is the total amount of stress your mind can take before you go permanently insane and are lost for good. Insanity Rating equals LUC x 2.

MOXIEEdit

NOTE: Moxie represents your character's inherent talent at facing down challenges and overcoming obstacles with spirited fervor. More than just luck, Moxie is your character’s ability to run the edge and do what it takes, no matter the odds. Some people consider it the evolutionary trait that spurred humankind to pick up tools, expand our brains, and face the future head on, leaving other mammals in the dust. When the sky is falling, death is imminent, and no one can help you, Moxie is what saves the day.


The Moxie stat is rated between 1 and 10, as purchased during character creation (and perhaps raised later). In game play, Moxie is used to influence the odds in your favor. Every game session, your character begins with a number of Moxie points equal to their Moxie stat. Moxie points may be spent for any of the following effects:

  • The character may ignore all modifiers that apply to a test. The Moxie point must be spent before dice are rolled.
  • The character may flip-flop a d100 roll result. For example, an 83 would become a 38.
  • The character may upgrade a success, making it a critical success, as if they rolled doubles. The character must succeed in the test before they spend the Moxie point.
  • The character may ignore a critical failure, treating it as a regular failure instead.
  • The character may go first in an Action Phase (p. 189).

Only 1 point of Moxie may be spent on a single roll. Moxie points will fluctuate during gameplay, as they are spent and sometimes regained.


Regaining Moxie: At the gamemaster’s discretion, Moxie points may be refreshed up to the character’s full Moxie stat any time the character rests for a significant period. Moxie points may also be regained if the character achieves a personal goal, as determined by their Motivation (see p. 121). The gamemaster determines how much Moxie is regained in proportion to the goal achieved.

EXAMPLE


NOTE: Audrey has a difficult Piloting: Aircraft roll to make. Her skill is 61, but she’s facing a lot of modifiers (–30), and if she fails she’s in big trouble. She could spend a point of Moxie before the test to ignore the modifiers, but she decides to take her chances against the target number of 31. Unfortunately, she rolls an 82. Luckily, she can spend a Moxie point to flip-flop that roll and make it a 28—a success!

MORPH STATSEdit

NOTE: MORPH STATS

Speed

Durability

Wound Threshold

Death Rating

Damage Bonus

SPEED (SPD)


NOTE: The Speed stat determines how often your character gets to act in an Action Turn (seeInitiative, p. 188). All characters start with a Speed stat of 1, meaning they act once per turn. Certain implants and other advantages may boost this up to a maximum of 4.

DURABILITY (DUR)


NOTE: Durability is your morph’s physical health (or structural integrity in the case of synthetic shells, or system integrity in the case of infomorphs). It determines the amount of damage your morph can take before you are incapacitated or killed (seePhysical Health, p. 206). Durability is unlimited, though the range for baseline (unmodified) humans tends to fall between 20 and 60.


Your Durability stat is determined by your morph.

WOUND THRESHOLD (WT)


NOTE: A Wound Threshold is used to determine if you receive a wound each time you take physical damage (seePhysical Health, p. 206). The higher the Wound Threshold, the more resistant to serious injury you are.


Wound Threshold is calculated by dividing Durability by 5 (rounding up).

DEATH RATING (DR)Edit

NOTE: Death Rating is the total amount of damage your morph can take before it is killed or destroyed Beyond repair. Death Rating is equal to DUR x 1.5 for biomorphs and DUR x 2 for synthmorphs.

EXAMPLE


NOTE: Tyska is sleeved in a run-of-the-mill splicer morph with a Durability of 30. That gives him a Wound Threshold of 6 (30 ÷ 5) and a Death Rating of 45 (30 x 1.5). If Tyska acquired an implant that boosted his Durability by +10 to 40, his Wound Threshold would be 8 (40 ÷ 5) and his Death Rating would be 60 (40 x 1.5).

DAMAGE BONUS


NOTE: The Damage Bonus stat quantifies how much extra oomph your character is able to give their melee and thrown weapons attacks. Damage Bonus is determined by dividing your Somatics aptitude (see below) by 10 and rounding down.

CHARACTER SKILLSEdit

NOTE: Skills represent your character’s talents. Skills are broken down intoaptitudes (ingrained abilities that everyone has) andlearned skills(abilities and knowledge picked up over time). Skills determine the target number used for tests (seeMaking Tests, p. 115).

APTITUDES


NOTE: Aptitudes are the core skills that every character has by default. They are the foundation on which learned skills are built. Aptitudes are purchased during character creation and rate between 1 and 30, with 10 being average for a baseline unmodified human. They represent the ingrained characteristics and talents that your character has developed from birth and stick with you even when you change morphs—though some morphs may modify your aptitude ratings.


Each learned skill is linked to an aptitude. If a character doesn’t have the skill necessary for a test, they may default to the aptitude instead (seeDefaulting, p. 116).


There are 7 aptitudes in Eclipse Phase:


  • Cognition (COG)is your aptitude for problemsolving, logical analysis, and understanding. It also includes memory and recall.
  • Coordination (COO) is your skill at integrating the actions of different parts of your morph to produce smooth, successful movements. It includes manual dexterity, fine motor control, nimbleness, and balance.
  • Intuition (INT)is your skill at following your gut instincts and evaluating on the fly. It includes physical awareness, cleverness, and cunning.
  • Reflexes (REF)is your skill at acting quickly. This encompasses your reaction time, your gut-level response, and your ability to think fast.
  • Savvy (SAV)is your mental adaptability, social intuition, and proficiency for interacting with others. It includes social awareness and manipulation.
  • Somatics (SOM)is your skill at pushing your morph to the best of its physical ability, including the fundamental utilization of the morph’s strength, endurance, and sustained positioning and motion.
  • Willpower (WIL)is your skill for self-control, your ability to command your own destiny.

LEARNED SKILLS


NOTE: Learned skills encompass a wide range of specialties and education, from combat training to negotiating to astrophysics (for a complete skill list, see p. 176). Learned skills range in rating from 1 to 99, with an average proficiency being 50. Each learned skill is linked to an aptitude, which represents the underlying competency in which the skill is based. When a learned skill is purchased (either during character generation or advancement), it is bought starting at the rating of the linked aptitude and then raised from there. If the linked aptitude is raised or modified, all skills built off it are modified appropriately as well.


Depending on your background and faction, you may receive some starting skills for free during character creation. Like aptitudes, learned skills stay with the character even when they change morphs, though certain morphs, implants, and other factors may sometimes modify your skill rating. If you lack a particular skill called for by a test, in most cases you can default to the linked aptitude for the test (seeDefaulting, p. 116).

SPECIALIZATIONSEdit

NOTE: Specializations represent an area of concentration and focus in a particular learned skill. A character who learns a specialization is one who not only grasps the basic tenets of that skill, but they have trained hard to excel in one particular aspect of that skill’s field. Specializations apply a +10 modifier when the character utilizes that skill in the area of specialization.


Specializations may be purchased during character creation or advancement for any existing skill the character possesses with a rating of 30 or more. Only one specialization may be purchased for each skill. Specific possible specializations are noted under individual the skill descriptions (seeSkills, p. 170).

EXAMPLE


NOTE: Toljek has Palming skill of 63 with a specialization in Pickpocketing. Whenever he uses Palming to pick someone’s pocket or otherwise steal from someone's person, his target number is 73, but for all other uses of Palming the standard 63 applies.

CHARACTER TRAITS


NOTE: Traits include a range of inherent qualities and features that help define your character. Some traits are positive, in that they give your character a bonus to certain stats, skills, or tests, or otherwise give them an edge in certain situations. Others are negative, in that they impair your abilities or occasionally create a glitch in your plans. Some traits apply to a character’s ego, staying with them from body to body, while others only apply to a character’s morph.


Traits are purchased during character generation. Positive traits cost customization points (CP), while negative traits give you extra CP to spend on other things (seeTraits, p. 145). The maximum number of CP you may spend on traits is 50, while the maximum you may gain from negative traits is 50. In rare circumstances—and only with gamemaster approval— traits may be purchased, bought off, or inflicted during gameplay (see p. 153).

CHARACTER MORPHEdit

NOTE: InEclipse Phase, your body is disposable. If your body gets old, sick, or too heavily damaged, you can digitize your consciousness and download it into a new body. The process isn’t cheap or easy, but it offers effective immortality—as long as you remember to back yourself up and don’t go insane. The termmorph is used to describe any type of form your mind inhabits, whether it be a vat-grown clone sleeve, a synthetic robotic shell, a part-bio/part-flesh pod, or even the purely electronic software state of an infomorph.


You purchase your starting morph during character creation (see p. 128). This is likely the morph you were born with (assuming you were born), though it may simply be another morph you’ve moved onto.


Physical looks aside, your morph has a large impact on your characteristics. Your morph determines certain physical stats, such as Durability and Wound Threshold, and it may also influence Initiative and Speed. Morphs may also modify some of your aptitudes and learned skills. Some morphs come pre-loaded with specific traits and implants, representing how it was crafted, and you can always bling yourself out with more implants if you choose (seeImplants, p. 126). All of these factors are noted in the individual morph descriptions (see p. 139).


If you plan on switching your current morph to another during gameplay, you may first want to back yourself up (seeBackups and Uploads, p. 268). Backing up regularly is always a smart option in case you suffer an accidental or untimely death. Acquiring a new morph is not always easy, especially if you want it pre-loaded according to certain specifications. The full process is detailed underResleeving, p. 271.

APTITUDE MAXIMUMSEdit

NOTE: Every morph has an aptitude maximum, sometimes modified by traits. This maximum represents the highest value at which the character may use that aptitude while inhabiting that morph, reflecting an inherent limitation in some morphs. If a character’s aptitude exceeds the aptitude maximum of their morph, they must use it at the maximum value for the duration of the time they remain in that morph. This may also affect the skills linked to that aptitude, which must be modified appropriately.


Some implants, gear, psi, and other factors may modify a character’s natural aptitudes. These augmented values may exceed a morph’s aptitude maximums, as they represent external factors boosting the morph’s ability. No aptitude, however, augmented or not, may ever exceed a value of 40. Innate ability only takes a person so far—after that point, actual skill is what counts.

EXAMPLE


NOTE: Eva has a Cognition aptitude of 25. She is unfortunately forced to sleeve into a flat morph with an aptitude maximum of 20. For the duration of the period she inhabits that morph, her Cognition is reduced to 20, which also impacts all of her COG-linked skills, reducing them by 5.

THINGS CHARACTERS USEEdit

NOTE: In the advanced technological setting ofEclipse Phase, characters don’t get by on their wits and morphs alone; they take advantage of their credit and reputation to acquire gear and implants and use their social networks to gather information. Some characters also have the capability to use mental powers known as psi.

IDENTITY


NOTE: In an age of ubiquitous computing and omnipresent surveillance, privacy is a thing of the past—who you are and what you do is easily accessed online. Characters inEclipse Phase, however, are often involved in secretive or less-than-legal activities, so the way to keep the bloggers, news, paparazzi, and law off your back is to make extensive use of fake IDs. While Firewall often provides covers for its sentinel agents, it doesn’t hurt to keep a few extra personas in reserve, in case matters ever go out the airlock in a hurry. Thankfully, the patchwork allegiances of city-state habitats and faction stations means that identities aren’t too difficult to fake, and the ability to switch morphs makes it even easier. On the other hand, anyone with a copy of your biometrics or geneprint is going to have an edge tracking you down or finding any forensic traces you leave behind (for more on ID, see p. 279).

SOCIAL NETWORKS


NOTE: Social networks represent people the character knows and social groups with which they interact. These contacts, friends, and acquaintances are not just maintained in person, but also through heavy Mesh contact. Social software allows people to stay updated on what the people they know are doing, where they are, and what they are interested in, right up to the minute. Social networks also incorporate the online projects of individual members, whether it’s a mesh-site loaded with a band member’s songs, a personal archive of stored media, a decade of blog entries reviewing the best places to score cheap electronics, or a depository of research papers and studies someone has worked on or finds interesting.


In game play, social networks are quite useful to characters. Their friends list is an essential resource—a pool of people you can actively poll for ideas, troll for news, listen to for the latest rumors, buy or sell gear from, hit up for expert advice, and even ask for favors.


While a character’s social networks are nebulous and constantly shifting, the use of them is not. A character takes advantage of their social networks via the Networking (Field) skill (p. 182). The exact use of this skill is covered underReputation and Social Networks, p. 285.

CRED


NOTE: The Fall devastated the global economies and currencies of the past. In the years of reconsolidation that followed, the hypercorps and governments inaugurated a new system-wide electronic monetary system. Calledcredit, this currency is backed by all of the large capitalist-oriented factions and is used to trade for goods and services as well for other financial transactions. Credit is mainly transferred electronically, though certified credit chips are also common (and favored for their anonymity). Hardcopy bills are even used in some habitats.


Depending on your background or faction, your character may be given an amount of credit at the start of the game. During game play, your character must earn credit the old-fashioned way: by earning or stealing it.

REP


NOTE: Capitalism is no longer the only economy in town. The development of nanofabricators allowed for the existence of post-scarcity economies, a fact eagerly taken advantage of by anarchist factions and others. When anyone can make anything, concepts like property and wealth become irrelevant. The advent of functional gift and communist economies, among other alternative economic models, means that in such systems you can acquire any goods or services you need via free exchange, reciprocity, or barter—presuming you are a contributing member of such a system and respected by your peers. Likewise, art, creativity, innovation, and various forms of cultural expression have a much higher worth than they do in capitalist economies.


In alternative economies, money is often meaningless, but reputation matters. Your reputation score represents your social capital—how esteemed you are to your peers. Rep can be increased by positively influencing, contributing to, or helping individuals or groups, and it can be decreased through antisocial behavior. In anarchist habitats, your likelihood of obtaining things that you need is entirely based on how you are viewed by others.


Reputation is easily measured by one of several online social networks. Your actions are rewarded or punished by those with whom you interact, who can ping your Rep score with positive or negative feedback. These networks are used by all of the factions, as reputation can affect your social activities in capitalist economies as well. The primary reputation networks include:


  • The @-list: the Circle-A list for anarchists, Barsoomians, Extropians, scum, and Titanians, noted as @-rep.
  • CivicNet:used by the Jovian Republic, Lunar-Lagrange Alliance, Morningstar Constellation, Planetary Consortium, and many hypercorps, referred to as c-rep.
  • EcoWave:used by nano-ecologists, preservationists, and reclaimers, referred to as e-rep.
  • Fame: the seen-and-be-seen network used by socialites, artists, glitterati, and media, referred to as f-rep.
  • Guanxi:used by the triads and numerous criminal entities, referred to as g-rep.
  • The Eye:used by Firewall, noted as i-rep.
  • RNA:Research Network Affiliation, used by argonauts,technologists, scientists, and researchers, referred to as r-rep.


Reputation is rated from 0-99. Depending on your background and faction, you may start with a Rep score in one or more networks. This can be bolstered through spending customization points during character creation. During game play, your Rep scores will depend entirely on your character’s actions. For more information, seeReputation and Social Networks, p. 285.


Note that each Rep score is tied to a particular identity.

GEAR


NOTE: Gear is all of the equipment your character owns and keeps on their person, from weapons and armor to clothing and electronics. You buy gear for your character with customization points during character creation (see p. 136) and in the game with Credit or Rep. Certain restricted, illegal, or hard-to-find items may require special efforts to obtain (seeAcquiring Gear, p. 298). If you have access to a nanofabricator, you may be able to simply build gear, presuming you have the proper blueprints (seeNanofabrication, p. 284). For a complete listing of equipment options, see theGear chapter, p. 296.


Even among the remaining capitalist economies, prices can vary drastically. To represent this, all gear falls into a cost category. Each category defines a range of costs, so the gamemaster can adjust the prices of individual items as appropriate to the situation. Each category also lists an average price for that category, which is used during character generation and any time the gamemaster wants to keep costs simple. See theGear Costs table on p. 137.

IMPLANTS


NOTE: Implants include cybernetic, bionic, genetech, and nanoware enhancements to your character’s morph (or mechanical enhancements in the case of a synthetic shell). These implants may give your character special abilities or modify their stats, skills, or traits. Some morphs come pre-equipped with implants, as noted in their descriptions (see p. 139). You may also special order morphs with specific implants (seeMorph Acquisition, p. 277). If you want to upgrade a morph you are already in, you can undergo surgery or other treatments to have an enhancement installed (seeHealing Vats, p. 326. For a complete list of available implant/enhancement options, see pp. 300-311,Gear.

PSI


NOTE: Psi is a rare and anomalous set of mental abilities that are acquired due to infection by a strange nanovirus released during the Fall. Psi abilities are not completely understood, but they give characters certain advantages—as well as some disadvantages. A character requires the Psi trait (p. 147) to use psi abilities, which are calledsleights. Psi users are calledasyncs. A full explanation of psi and details on the various sleights can be found in theMind Hacks chapter, p. 216.

GAME RULES SUMMARY


NOTE: GAME RULES SUMMARY

Everything you need to know about the rules—summed up on a single page.


MAKING TESTS (P. 115)

  • Roll d100 (two ten-sided dice, read as a percentile amount, from 00 to 99).
  • Target number is determined by the appropriate skill (or occasionally an aptitude).
  • Difficulty is represented by modifiers.
  • 00 is always a success.
  • 99 is always a failure.
  • Margin of Success of 30+ is an Excellent Success.
  • Margin of Failure of 30+ is a Severe Failure.
  • A roll of doubles (00, 11, 22, 33, etc.) equals a critical success or failure.


SUCCESS TEST (P. 117)

  • To succeed, roll d100 and score equal to or less than the skill +/– modifiers.


OPPOSED TEST (P. 119)

  • Each character rolls d100 against their skill +/– modifiers.
  • The character who succeeds with the highest roll wins. If both characters fail, or both succeed but tie, deadlock occurs.


SIMPLE SUCCESS TEST (P. 118)

  • Simple Success Tests automatically succeed.
  • Success or failure on the roll simply indicates if the character succeeded strongly or poorly.


DEFAULTING (P. 116)

  • If a character does not have the appropriate skill for a test, they may default to the skill’s linked aptitude.


MODIFIERS (P. 115)

  • Modifiers always affect the target number (skill), not the roll.
  • Modifiers (positive or negative) come in 3 levels of severity:
  • Minor (+/–10)
  • Moderate (+/–20)
  • Major (+/–30)
  • The maximum modifiers that can be applied are +/– 60.


TEAMWORK (P. 117)

  • One character is chosen as the primary actor; they make the test.
  • Each helper character adds a +10 modifier (max. +30).


TAKING THE TIME (P.118)

  • Character may take extra time to complete an action.
  • On Complex actions, each minute taken adds +10 to the test.
  • On Task actions, every 50 percent extension to the timeframe adds +10 to the test.


APTITUDES (P.123)

  • Aptitudes range from 1 to 30 (average 15).
  • Aptitudes are: Cognition, Coordination, Intuition, Reflexes, Savvy, Somatics, and Willpower.


LEARNED SKILLS (P. 123)

  • Skills range from 1-99 (average 50).
  • Each skill is linked to and based on an aptitude.
  • Morphs, gear, drugs, etc. may provide skill bonuses or penalties to individual skills.


SPECIALIZATIONS (P. 123)

  • Specializations add +10 when using a skill for that area of concentration.
  • Each skill may have only one specialization.


ACTION TURNS (P. 120)

  • Action Turns are 3 seconds in length.
  • The order in which characters act is determined by Initiative.
  • Automatic actions are always “on.”
  • Characters may take any number of Quick Actions in a Turn (minimum of 3), limited only by the gamemaster.
  • Characters may only take a number of Complex Actions equal to their Speed stat.



TASK ACTIONS (P. 120)

  • Task Actions are any action that requires longer than 1 Action Turn to complete.
  • Task Actions list a timeframe (anywhere from 2 Turns to 2 years).
  • Timeframe reduced by 10% for each 10 points of MoS.
  • If character fails, they work on the task for a minimum period equal to 10% of the timeframe for each 10 points of MoF before realizing it’s a failure.

CHARACTER CREATION AND ADVANCEMENTEdit

NOTE: The first step towards playingEclipse Phase is to define your character. If you’re new to the game and setting, the easiest way to jump right in is to simply select one of the Sample Characters provided on pp. 154–169. If you’re more familiar with RPGs, or you simply want finer control over your character, you can build them from scratch, perhaps using one of the Sample Characters as a template. This chapter will walk you through the process of character generation, from the general concept and personality to the crunchy game statistics.

CHARACTER GENERATIONEdit

NOTE: There are two parts to every player character. The first is the sets of numbers and attributes that define what a character is good or bad at (or even what they can and can’t do) according to the game mechanics. These are more than just statistics, however—these characteristics help to define your character’s abilities and interests, and by extension their background, education, training, and experience. During the character creation process, you will have the ability to assign, adjust, and juggle these characteristics as you like. If you have a pre-conceived notion of what the character is about, you can optimize the stats to reflect that. Alternatively, you can tweak the stats until you get something you like, then base the character’s backstory off of what you develop.


The second part to every player character is their personality. What defines them as a person? What makes them tick? What pisses them off? What sparks their interest? What positive aspects of their personality make them appealing as a friend, comrade, or lover—or at least someone interesting to play? What character flaws and quirks do they have? These questions matter because they will also guide you as you assign stats, skills, and traits.


Character generation is a step-by-step process. Unlike some games, the process for creating anEclipse Phase character is not random—you have complete control over every aspect of your character’s design. Some stages must be completed before you can move on to others. The complete process is broken down on the Step-By-Step Guide to Character fCreation sidebar.

CHARACTER CONCEPT


NOTE: Deciding what/who you want to play before you make the character is usually the best route. Pick a simple archetype that fits your character, and work from there. Do you want to play an explorer? Someone sneaky, like a spy or thief? Someone cerebral, like a scientist? A hardened criminal or ex-cop? Or do you prefer to be a rabble-rousing agitator? You can also start with a personality type and choose an associated profession. If you want a social butterfly who excels at manipulating people, you can play a media personality, blogger, or party-going socialite. Perhaps you’d prefer a bottomed out reject with substance abuse problems, in which case an ex-merc or former hypercapitalist who lost his fortune and family during the Fall might fit. How about an energetic, live-life-to-the-fullest, must-see-it all character? Then a habitat freerunner or professional gatecrasher might be what you’re looking for.


Make sure to check in with the other players and try to create a character that’s complementary to the rest of the team—preferably one who provides some

skill-set the group lacks. Why create a research archeologist if someone else is already set on playing one, especially when the team lacks a good combat specialist or async? On the other hand, if your team is going to be running an alien archeological expedition, then having more than one researcher (each with distinct areas of expertise) might not be bad.


Once you have the basic concept, try to fill it with a few more details, making it into a one-sentence summary. If you started with the concept of “xeno-sociologist,” expand it to “open-minded amateur linguist and expert xeno-sociologist who is fascinated by alien cultures, collects Factor kitsch, has a high-tolerance for ‘yuck factors,’ and whose best friends tend to be uplifts and AIs.” This will give you a few more details around which you can focus the character’s strengths and weaknesses.

CHOOSE BACKGROUNDEdit

NOTE: The first step to creating your character is to choose a background. Was your character born on Earth before the Fall? Were they raised on a habitat commune? Or did they start existence as a disembodied AI?


You must choose one of the backgrounds for your character from the list below. Choose wisely, as each background may provide your character with certain skills, traits, limitations, or other characteristics to start with. Keep in mind that your background is where you came from, not who you are now. It is the past, whereas your faction represents whom your character is currently aligned with. Your future, of course, is yours to make.


The background options presented below cover a wide selection of transhumanity, but they cannot cover every possibility. If your gamemaster allows it, you may work with them to develop a background that is not included on this list, using these as guidelines to keep it balanced.

Drifter


NOTE: You were raised with a social grouping that remained on the move throughout the Sol system. This could have been free traders, pirates, asteroid farmers, scavengers, or just migrant workers. You are used to roaming space travel between habitats and stations.


Advantages: +10 Navigation skill, +20 Pilot: Spacecraft skill, +10 Networking: [Field] skill of your choice

Disadvantages: None

Common Morphs: All, especially Bouncers and Hibernoids

FALL EVACUEE


NOTE: You were born and raised on Earth and evacuated during the horrors of the Fall, leaving your old life (and possibly your friends, family, and loved ones) behind you. You were lucky enough to survive with your body intact and continue to make a life for yourself out in the system.

Advantages: +10 Pilot: Groundcraft skill, +10 Networking:[Field] skill of your choice, +1 Moxie

Disadvantages: Only 2,500 Starting Credit (can still buy credit with CP)

Common Morphs: Flats, Splicers

HYPERELITE


NOTE: You are privileged to have been raised as part of the immortal upper class that rules many inner system habitats and hypercorps. You were pampered with wealth and influence that most people can only dream of.


Advantages: +10 Protocol skill, +10,000 Credit, +20 Networking: Hypercorps skill

Disadvantages: May not start with flat, splicer, or any pod, uplift, or synthetic morphs

Common Morphs: Exalts, Sylphs

Infolife


NOTE: You entered existence as a digital consciousness—an artificial general intelligence (AGI). Your very existence is illegal in certain habitats (a legacy of those who place the Fall at the feet of rampant AIs). Unlike the seed AIs responsible for their Fall, your capacity for self-improvement is limited, though you do have full autonomy.

Advantages: +30 Interfacing skill, Computer skills (Infosec, Interfacing, Programming, Research) bought with Customization Points are half price

Disadvantages: Real World Naiveté trait, Social Stigma (AGI) trait, may not purchase Psi trait, Social skills bought with Customization Points are double price

Common Morphs: Infomorphs, synthetic morphs

Isolate


NOTE: You were raised as part of a self-exiled grouping on the fringes of the system. Whether raised as part of a religious group, cult, social experiment, anti-tech cell, or a group that just wanted to be isolated, you spent most if not all of your upbringing isolated from other factions.

Advantages: +20 to two skills of your choice

Disadvantages: –10 starting Rep

Common Morphs: All

Lost


NOTE: You are a legacy of one of the most infamous debacles since the Fall. As a member of the “Lost generation,” you went through an accelerated-growth childhood, somehow surviving where others of your kind died, went insane, or were persecuted (see The Lost, p. 233). Your background is a social stigma, but it does provide you with certain advantages ... and burdens.

Advantages: +20 to two Knowledge skills of your choice, Psi trait (Level 1)

Disadvantages: Mental Disorder (choose two , this includes the one from Psi) trait, Social Stigma (Lost) trait, must start with Futura morph

Common Morphs: Futuras

Lunar Colonist


NOTE: You experienced your childhood in one of the cramped dome cities or underground stations on Luna, Earth’s moon. You had a ringside seat to the Fall of Earth.

Advantages: +10 Pilot: Groundcraft skill, +10 to one Technical, Academic: [Field], or Profession: [Field] skill of your choice, +20 Networking: Hypercorps skill

Disadvantages: None

Common Morphs: Flats, Splicers

Martian


NOTE: You were raised in one of the stations on or above Mars, now the most populated planet in the system. Your home town may or may not have survived the Fall.

Advantages: +10 Pilot: Groundcraft skill, +10 to one Technical, Academic: [Field], or Profession: [Field] skill of your choice, +20 Networking: Hypercorps skill

Disadvantages: None

Common Morphs: Flats, Splicers, and Rusters

Original Space Colonist


NOTE: You, or your parents, were part of the first “generations” of colonists/workers sent out from Earth to stake a claim in space, so you are familiar with the cramped confines of spaceflight and life aboard older stations and habitats. As a “zero-one G” (zero-gravity, first-gen), you were never part of the elite. People from your background typically have some sort of specialized tech training as vacworkers or habtechs.

Advantages: +10 Pilot: Spacecraft or Freefall skill, +10 to a Technical, Academic: [Field], or Profession: [Field] skill of your choice, +20 to a Networking: [Field] skill of your choice

Disadvantages: None

Common Morphs: All. Use of exotic morphs is common.

RE-INSTANTIATED


NOTE: You were born and raised on Earth, but you did not survive the Fall. All that you know is that your body died there, but your backup was transmitted off-world,

and you were one of the lucky few to be re-instantiated with a new morph. You may have spent years in dead storage, simulspace, or as an infomorph slave.


Advantages: +10 Pilot: Groundcraft skill, +10 to a Networking: [Field] skill of your choice, +2 Moxie

Disadvantages: Edited Memories trait, 0 Starting Credit (can still buy credit with CP)

Common Morphs: Cases, Infomorphs, Synths

Scumborn


NOTE: You were raised in the nomadic and chaotic lifestyle common to Scum barges.

Advantages: +10 Persuasion or Deception skill, +10 Scrounging skill, +20 Networking: Autonomists skill

Disadvantages: None

Common Morphs: All, especially Bouncers

Uplift


NOTE: You are not even human. You were born as an uplifted animal: chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, parrot, raven, crow, or octopus.

Advantages: +10 Fray skill, +10 Perception skill, +20 to two Knowledge skills of your choice

Disadvantages: Must choose an uplift morph to start

Common Morphs: Neo-Avian, Neo-Hominid, Octomorph

CHOOSE FACTIONEdit

NOTE: After choosing your background, you now choose which primary faction your character belongs to. This faction most likely represents the grouping that controls your character’s current home habitat/station, and to which your character holds allegiance, but this need not be the case. You may be a dissident member of your faction, living among them but opposing some (or all) of their core memes and perhaps agitating for change. Whatever the case, your faction defines how your character represents themself in the struggle between ideologies post-Fall.


You must choose one of the factions listed below. Like your character’s background, it will provide your character with certain skills, traits, limitations, or other characteristics.


The factions presented here outline the most numerous and influential among transhumanity, but others may also exist. At your gamemaster’s discretion, you may develop another starting faction with them not included on this list.

Anarchist


NOTE: Anarchist

You are opposed to hierarchy, favoring flat forms of social organization and directly democratic decisionmaking. You believe power is always corrupting and everyone should have a say in the decisions that affect their lives. According to the primitive and restrictive policies of the Inner system and Jovian Junta, this makes you an irresponsible hoodlum at best and a terrorist at worst. In your opinion, that’s comedy coming from governments that keep their populations in line with economic oppression and threats of violence.


Advantages: +10 to a skill of your choice, +30 Networking: Autonomists skill

Disadvantages: None

Common Morphs: All

Argonaut


NOTE: You are part of a scientific techno-progressive movement that seeks to solve transhumanity’s injustices and inequalities with technology. You support universal access to technology and healthcare, open source models of production, morphological freedom, and democratization. You try to avoid factionalism and divisive politics, seeing transhumanity’s splintering as a hindrance to its perpetuation.


Advantages: +10 to two Technical, Academic: [Field], or Profession: [Field] skills; +20 Networking: Scientists

Disadvantages: None

Common Morphs: All

Barsoomian


NOTE: You call the Martian outback and wilds your home. You are a “redneck,” a lower-class Martian from the rural areas that often find themselves in conflict with the policies and goals of the hypercorp domes and Tharsis League.


Advantages: +10 Freerunning, +10 to one skill of your choice, +20 Networking: Autonomists skill

Disadvantages: None

Common Morphs: Cases, Flats, Rusters, Splicers, Synths

Brinker


NOTE: You or your faction is reluctant to deal with the rest of the

transhumanity and the various goings-on in the rest of the

system. Your particular grouping may have sought out selfimposed

isolation, to pursue their own interests, or they may

have been exiled for their unpopular beliefs. Or you may

simply be a loner who prefers the vast emptiness of space

to socializing with others. You might be a religious cultist, a

primitivist, a utopian, or something altogether uninterested

in transhumanity.

Advantages: +10 Pilot: Spacecraft skill, +10 to a skill of your

choice, +20 to a Networking: [Field] skill of your choice

Disadvantages: None

Common Morphs: All

Criminal


NOTE: You are involved with the crime-oriented underworld. You

may work with one of the Sol system’s major criminal factions—

triads, the Night Cartel, the ID Crew, Nine Lives, Pax

Familae—or one of the smaller, local operators with a big

stake in a specific habitat. You might be a vetted memberfor-

life, a reluctant recruit, or just a freelancer looking for

the next gig.

Advantages: +10 Intimidation skill, +30 Networking: Criminal

skill

Disadvantages: None

Common Morphs: All

Extropian


NOTE: You are an anarchistic supporter of the free market and private

property. You oppose government and favor a system

where security and legal matters are handled by private competitors.

Whether you consider yourself an anarcho-capitalist

or a mutualist (a difference only other Extropians can figure

out), you occupy a middle-ground between the hypercorps

and autonomists, dealing with both and yet trusted by neither.

Advantages: +10 Persuasion skill, +20 Networking: Autonomists

skill, +10 Networking: Hypercorps skill

Disadvantages: None

Common Morphs: All

HYPERCORP


NOTE: You hail from a habitat controlled by the hypercorps. You might be a hypercapitalist entrepeneur, a hedonistic socialite, or a lowly vacworker, but you accept that certain liberties must be sacrificed for security and freedom.


Advantages:+10 Protocol skill, +20 Networking: Hypercorps skill, +10 to any Networking: [Field] skill

Disadvantages:None

Common Morphs: Exalts, Olympians, Splicers, Sylphs

Jovian


NOTE: Your faction is noted for its authoritarian regime, bioconservative ideologies, and militaristic tendencies.

Where you come from, technology is not to be trusted to everyone and humans need to be protected from themselves.

To ensure its survival, humanity must be able to defend itself, and unfettered growth must be checked.

Advantages: +10 to two weapon skills of your choice, +10 Fray, +20 Networking: Hypercorps skill

Disadvantages: Must start with a Flat or Splicer morph, may not start with any nanoware or advanced nanotech

Common Morphs: Flats and Splicers

Lunar


NOTE: You hail from Luna, the original off-Earth colony

world. Now overpopulated and in decline, Luna is

one of the few places where people still cling to old-

Earth ethnic and national identities. Your home is also

within sight of Earth, a constant reminder that encourages

many “Loonies” to be Reclaimers, deploring the

hypercorp interdiction and arguing that you have a

right to return to Earth, terraform it, and re-establish

it as a living homeworld.

Advantages: +10 to one Language: [Field] of your

choice, +20 Networking: Hypercorps skill, +10

Networking: Ecologists skill

Disadvantages: None

Common Morphs: Cases, Exalts, Flats, Splicers,

Synths

Mercurial


NOTE: Your faction has no interest in co-opting their true

natures in order to become more “human.” You might

be an AGI that does not necessarily intertwine its

destiny with transhumanity, or an uplift that seeks

to preserve and promote non-human life (or at least

your own species). You might even be an infomorph or

posthuman who has strayed so far from transhuman

interests and values that you now consider yourself to

be forging a unique new path of life.

Advantages: +10 to any two skills of your choice, +20

to a Networking: [Field] skill of your choice

Disadvantages: None

Common Morphs: Infomorphs, Synths, uplift morphs

Scum


NOTE: This is the future we’ve all been waiting for, and you’re

going to enjoy it to the max. A paradigm shift has occurred,

and while everyone else is catching up, your

faction embraces and revels in it. There is no more

want, no more death, no more limits on what you can

be. The scum have immersed themselves in a new way

of life, changing themselves as they see fit, trying out

new experiences, and pushing the boundaries wherever

they can ... and fuck anyone who can’t deal with that.

Advantages: +10 Freefall skill, +10 to a skill of your

choice, +20 Networking: Autonomists skill

Disadvantages: None

Common Morphs: All

Socialite


NOTE: You are a member of the inner system glitterati, the

media-saturated social cliques that set trends, spread

memes, and make or break lives with whispers, innuendo,

and backroom deals. You are simultaneously

an icon and a devout follower. Culture isn’t just your

life, it’s your weapon of choice.

Advantages: +10 Persuasion skill, +10 Protocol skill,

+20 Networking: Media skill

Disadvantages: May not start with flat, pod, uplift, or

synthetic morphs

Common Morphs: Exalts, Olympians, Sylphs

Titanian


NOTE: You are a participant in the Titanian Commonwealth’s

socialist cyberdemocracy. Unlike other autonomist

projects, Titanian joint efforts have assembled some

impressive infrastructural projects as approved by

the Titanian Plurality and pursued by state-owned

microcorps.

Advantages: +10 to two Technical or Academic skills

of your choice, +20 Networking: Autonomists skill

Disadvantages: None

Common Morphs: All

Ultimate


NOTE: Your faction sees the potential in transhumanity’s

future and looks back upon the rest of transhumanity

as weak and hedonistic. Transhumanity is set

to take the next evolutionary step and it’s time for

transhumans to be redesigned to the best of our

capabilities.

Advantages: +10 to two skills of your choice, +20 to a

Networking: [Field] skill of your choice

Disadvantages: May not start with Flat, Splicer, uplift,

or pod morphs

Common Morphs: Exalts, Remades

Venusian


NOTE: You are a supporter of the Morningstar Confederation

of Venusian aerostats, resentful of the growing

influence of the Planetary Consortium and other entrenched

and conservative inner system powers. You

see your faction’s ascension as a chance to reform the

old guard ways of inner system politics.

Advantages: +10 Pilot: Aircraft, +10 to one skill of

your choice, +20 Networking: Hypercorps skill

Disadvantages: None

Common Morphs: Cases, Exalts, Mentons, Splicers,

Sylphs, Synths

Spend Free PointsEdit

NOTE: Each starting character receives an equal number of free points for things like rep and aptitudes. These free points are just the start for building your character, so don’t fret if you can’t get certain scores as high as you like. In the next stage of character creation, you will gain additional points with which you can customize your character (see Spend Customization Points, p. 135).

EXAMPLE


NOTE: Tai is making a character. She decides to create a salvage retrieval/scavenger type who started as a Lunar Colonist but is now a Brinker. Together, her background and faction give Tai +20 Networking: Autonomists skill, +20 Networking: Hypercorps skill, +10 Pilot: Spacecraft skill, and +10 Pilot: Groundcraft skill. She also has +10 to two other skills (one Academic, Professional, or Technical) that she’ll choose later.


Tai starts with 105 points for aptitudes, which works out to 15 each. She wants her character to be impulsive and antisocial, so right away she lowers both SAV and WIL to 10. She also wants to be smart and fast on her feet, so takes the extra 10 points that gives her and raises both COG and REF to 20. So her aptitudes are:


COG COO INT REF SAV SOM WIL
20 15 15 20 10 15 10



She marks down her Moxie of 1 and gets her native language (Chinese) at 85, both for free.

Noting her 5,000 Credits, Tai divides her Rep score points evenly among @-rep and c-rep, taking 25 in each.

Starting Aptitudes


NOTE: Your character receives 105 free points to distribute

among their 7 aptitudes: Cognition, Coordination,

Intuition, Reflexes, Savvy, Somatics, and Willpower

(see Aptitudes, p. 123). (That breaks down to an average

of 15 per aptitude, so it may be easiest to give

each 15 and then adjust accordingly, raising some and

lowering others.) Each aptitude must be given at least

5 points (unless you take the Feeble trait, see p. 149),

and no aptitude may be raised higher than 30 (unless

you take the Exceptional Aptitude trait, p. 146). Note

that certain morphs (flats and splicers, for example)

may also put a cap on how high your aptitudes may

be (see Aptitude Maximums, p. 124).

For simplicity, it is recommended that aptitude

scores be handled as multiples of 5, but this is not a

necessity

Native Tongue


NOTE: Every character receives their natural Language skill

at a rating of 70 + INT for free. This skill may be

raised with CP (see below).

Starting Moxie


NOTE: Every character starts off with a Moxie stat of 1 (see

Moxie, p. 122).

Credit


NOTE: All characters are given 5,000 credits with which

to purchase gear during character creation, unless

you have the Fall Evacuee or Re-instantiated background

(in which case you start with 2,500 or 0

credits, respectively). See Purchasing Gear, p. 136,

for more details.

Rep


NOTE: Your character isn’t a complete newbie. You get 50

rep points to divide between the reputation networks

of your choice (see Reputation and Social

Networks, p. 285).

Spend Customization PointsEdit

NOTE: Now that you have the basics of your character

fleshed out, you can spend additional Customization

Points (CP) to fine-tune your character. Each character is given 1,000 CP, which may be used to

increase aptitudes, buy skills, acquire more Moxie,

buy more credit, elevate your Rep, or purchase positive

traits. You may also take on negative traits in

order to get even more CP with which to customize

your character. This customization process should be

used to tweak your character and specialize them in

the ways you desire.

If a gamemaster seeks a different level of gameplay,

they can adjust this CP amount. If the gamemaster

wants a scenario where the starting characters are

younger or less experienced, they can lower the CP

to 800 or even 700. On the other hand, if you want

to create characters who start off as grizzled veterans,

you can raise the CP to 1,100 or even 1,200.

Not all customizations are equal—aptitudes, for example,

are considerably more valuable than individual

skills. To reflect this, CP must be spent at a specific

ratio according to the specific boost desired.

Customization Points


NOTE: 15 CP = 1 Moxie point

10 CP = 1 aptitude point

5 CP = 1 psi sleight

5 CP = 1 specialization

2 CP = 1 skill point (61-80)

1 CP = 1 skill point (up to 60)

1 CP = 1,000 credit

1 CP = 10 Rep

Trait and morph costs vary as noted.

Customizing Aptitudes


NOTE: Raising your aptitude score is quite expensive at 10

CP per aptitude point. As noted above, no aptitude

may be increased above 30. Keep in mind that your

morph may also provide certain aptitude bonuses.

Increasing Moxie


NOTE: Moxie may be raised at the cost of 15 CP per Moxie

point. The maximum to which Moxie may be raised

is 10.

Learned Skills


NOTE: Each character must purchase a minimum of 400 CP

of Active skills and 300 CP of Knowledge skills (see

Skills, p. 170). Skills are bought at the cost of 1 CP

per point. Keep in mind that learned skills start at the

rating of the linked aptitude. For example, if you want

to raise a skill to 30 and the skill’s linked aptitude

is 10, you’ll need to spend 20 CP. Skill bonuses from

background or faction should also be applied to the

rating before you start raising the skill. For simplicity,

it is recommended that skills be purchased as multiples

of 5, but this is not a necessity.

Raising a skill over 60 is expensive. Each point over

60 costs double. Raising a skill with a linked attribute

of 20 up to 70 would cost 60 CP: 40 points to get from

20 to 60, and 20 more points to get from 60 to 70.

No learned skill may be raised over 80 during character

creation (unless you have the Expert trait, p. 146).

Though Knowledge skills are grouped into 5 skills,

each is a field skill (p. 172), meaning that it can be

taken multiple times with different fields.

A complete list of skills can be found on p. 176.

Specializations


NOTE: Specializations (p. 173) may also be purchased at the

cost of 5 CP per specialization. You may purchase specializations

for both Active and Knowledge skills. Only

1 specialization may be purchased per skill, and they

may only be bought for skills with a rating of 30+.

Buying More Credit


NOTE: If you want more cred to spend on gear, every CP will

get you 1,000 credits. See Purchase Gear, p. 136, for

details on buying stuff. The maximum CP you can

spend on additional credits is 100.

Increasing Rep


NOTE: If you want your character to start play with lots of

social capital, you can increase your Rep score(s) at

the cost of 1 CP per 10 additional points. No individual

Rep score may be raised above 80, and the

maximum amount of CP that may be spent on Rep

is 35 points.

Starting Morph


NOTE: Perhaps the most important use of CP is to buy the

morph with which your character begins play. This

may be the original bodily form in which your character

started life, or it may simply be the sleeve they are

currently inhabiting.

Available morphs are listed starting on p. 139.

Note that any aptitude or skill bonuses provided by

the morph are applied after all CP are spent. In other

words, these bonuses do not affect the costs of buying

aptitude and skill points during character generation.

No aptitude may be modified over 40.

Purchasing Traits


NOTE: Traits represent specific qualities your character has

that may help or hinder them.

Positive traits supply bonuses in certain situations,

and each has a listed CP cost. You may not spend

more than 50 CP on positive traits.

Negative traits inflict disadvantages on your character,

but they also give you extra CP that you can spend

on customizing your character. You may not purchase

more than 50 CP worth of negative traits, and no

more than 25 CP may be negative morph traits.

Positive traits are listed on p. 145, negative traits on

p. 148. Note that traits you receive from your background

or faction do not cost or provide you with

bonus CP.

Traits listed as morph traits apply to the morph, and

not the ego. If the character switches to a new morph,

these traits are lost (and new morph traits may be

gained). Morph traits may be bought like other traits

during character generation.

Psi Sleights


NOTE: Characters who purchase the Psi trait (p. 147) may

spend CP to purchase sleights (see Sleights, p. 223).

These represent specific psi abilities the character has

learned. The cost to buy a sleight is 5 CP. No more

than 5 psi-chi and 5 psi-gamma sleights may be bought

during character creation.

Note that any skill or aptitude bonuses from

sleights are treated as modifications; they are applied after all CP are spent and do not affect the cost of

buying skills or aptitudes during character creation.

Example


NOTE: Tai now has 1,000 points to customize. She wants to be

lucky, so she starts right off spending 60 (4 x 15) CP to

raise her Moxie from 1 to 5. She also decides that she

wants her character to be better at spotting things, so

she raises her INT from 15 to 20, at a cost of 50 CP (5 x

10). So far, she’s spent 110 CP.

She must buy at least 400 points of Active skills, so she

tackles that next. She knows that skills are based on aptitudes

and they get more expensive over 60, so she decides

the most she’ll spend on any single skill is 40 (since her

highest aptitude is 20). She picks out her skills, assigns the

points, and adds them to the starting aptitudes.

This is what she starts with, noting the points she

spent on each and the total value (counting aptitude)

in parentheses.

Beam Weapons (COO) 30 (45), Climbing (SOM) 30

(45), Demolitions (COG) 40 (60), Fray (REF) 30 (50),

Freefall (REF) 40 (60), Freerunning (SOM) 30 (45),

Hardware: Aerospace (COG) 40 (60), Infiltration (COO)

30 (45), Interfacing (COG) 20 (40), Navigation (INT) 40

(60), Perception (INT) 40 (60), Persuasion (SAV) 20 (30),

Research (COG) 20 (40), and Scrounging (INT) 40 (60).

This costs her 450 CP, so she’s spent a total of 560 CP.

Now she spends her 300 points of Knowledge skills:

Academics: Astrophysics (COG) 40 (60), Academics:

Engineering (COG) 40 (60), Academics: Fall History

(COG) 40 (60), Art: Sculpture (INT) 40 (60), Interest:

Brinker Stations (COG) 40 (60), Interest: Conspiracies

(COG) 30 (50), Language: English (INT) 40 (60), Profession:

Appraisal (COG) 40 (60), Profession: Scavenger

Trade (COG) 40 (60).

This costs her another 350 CP, bringing her total spent

CP to 910.

Adding in her background and faction skills, she also

has Networking: Autonomists (SAV) 30, Networking:

Hypercorps (SAV) 30, Pilot: Spacecraft (REF) 30 (50),

Pilot: Groundcraft (REF) 30 (50). She takes the freebie

+10 and adds it to Fray (raising it to 60) and applies the

other +10 to Academics: Economics (COG) 30.

With 90 CP left, Tai moves on to Rep. Tai wants to

have a lot of good connections, so she raises both of her

Rep scores by 30 points each, at a cost of 6 CP. She also

decides she needs some credibility with criminal types,

so she buys g-rep at 40, for 4 more CP. Now she has 80

CP left.

Tai’s character needs a body, and she decides a

bouncer is most suited for the nomadic, spacefaring

lifestyle of her brinker. That costs another 40 CP, leaving

her with 40 CP left to spend.

Looking back at her skills, she decides to raise her

Pilot: Spacecraft from 50 to 65. It costs her 10 CP to

raise the skill to 60, and another 10 CP to raise it from

60 to 65, for a total cost of 20 CP. She also wants to

raise her Scrounging from 60 to 70, for a 20 CP cost.

That nicely uses up the last of her CP.

Scanning the traits, though, Tai also decides that

Situational Awareness would be a good choice for her

scavenger. At a cost of 10 CP, she would need to take another

negative trait to compensate. She chooses Neural

Damage (synaesthesia)—a condition she inherited from

a rampaging nanovirus during the Fall.

Tai’s points are now all evened out and spent.

Purchase GearEdit

NOTE: No matter what faction you are from, you use Credit

to buy gear during character creation. A complete list

of gear and costs can be found in the Gear chapter, p.

294. The average costs for each cost category should

be used when calculating gear prices.

Every character starts off with one piece of gear

for free: a standard muse (p. 332). This is the digital

AI companion that the character has had since they

were a child. Additionally, each character starts with 1

month of backup insurance (p. 330) at no cost.

There is no limitation other than what the gamemaster

allows on what gear characters can and cannot

buy during character creation. Both the players and

gamemaster should keep the character’s background

and faction in mind. Since some gear is likely very

restricted in some habitats if not outright illegal, there

needs to be a plausible explanation for who and how

a character from such a place might have such gear.

If there isn’t, then the gamemaster can choose not to

allow it. The starting locale for a game should also

be considered. A character from the restrictive Jovian

Republic might have a hard time explaining how they

have an illegal cornucopia machine back in the Republic,

but if the game takes place on board a scum

barge where everything is available and anything goes,

then such an explanation becomes much easier.

The one exception to buying gear with Credit is

the purchase of additional morphs. Characters may

buy extra morphs during character creation, but they

must be bought with CP. The player must choose

one morph in which the character is sleeved. Extra

morphs also require body bank service fees (p. 331).

Note that any skill or aptitude bonuses from gear

are treated as modifications; they are applied after

all CP are spent and do not affect the cost of buying

skills or aptitudes during character creation.

Gear Costs


NOTE: Category Range (Credits) Average (Credits)

Trivial 1–99 50

Low 100–499 250

Moderate 500–1,499 1,000

High 1,500–9,999 5,000

Expensive 10,000+ 20,000

CHOOSE MOTIVATIONS


NOTE: The next step is to choose 3 personal motivations for your character (seeMotivations, p. 121). These are memes, in the form of ideologies or goals, which your character is pursuing. These may be as specific “undermine the local triad boss” or as broad as “promote hypercapitalism,” and they may be short term or long term. Some sample motivations are provided on the Example Motivations table (p. 138). You should work with your gamemaster when choosing your motivations, as they can be used to propel the storyline forward and specific scenarios can be constructed around your character’s goals. Some of your character’s motivations may change later (seeChanging Motivation, p. 152). Motivations will help your character regain Moxie (p. 122) and earn extra Rez Points during gameplay (p. 384).


Motivations should be listed on your character sheet as a single term or short phrase, along with a + or – symbol to denote whether they support or oppose it. For example, “+Fame” would indicate that your character seeks to become a famous media personality, whereas “–Reclaim Earth” means that your character opposes the goal of reclaiming Earth.

EXAMPLE MOTIVATIONS


NOTE: Alien Contact

Anarchism

Artistic Expression

Bioconservatism

Education

Exploration

Fame

Fascism

Hedonism

Hypercapitalism

Immortality

Libertarianism

Martian Liberation

Morphological Freedom

Nano-ecology

Open Source

Personal Career

Personal Development

Philanthropy

Preservationism

Reclaiming Earth

Religion

Research

(AI/Infomorph/Pod/Uplift) Rights

(AI/Infomorph/Pod/Uplift) Slavery

Socialism

Techno-Progressivism

Vengeance

Venusian Sovereignty

Wealth

Final TouchesEdit

NOTE: Now that you have everything settled, there are a few

final steps.

Remaining Stats


NOTE: A few stats now need to be calculated and added to

your character sheet:

• Lucidity (p. 122) equals your character’s WIL x 2.

• Trauma Threshold (p. 122) equals your LUC

divided by 5 (round up).

• Insanity Rating (p. 122) equals LUC x 2.

• Initiative (p. 121) equals your character’s

(REF + INT) x 2.

• Damage Bonus (p. 123) for melee equals

SOM ÷ 10 (round down).

• Death Rating (p. 122) equals DUR x 1.5 (biomorphs,

round up) or DUR x 2 (synthmorphs)

• Speed (p. 121) equals 1 (3 for infomorphs), modified

as appropriate by implants.

Detailing the Character


NOTE: The final step in character creation is filling in the details

and figuring out what your character is like and

what they are all about. Your character’s Background

is a good place to start as it says where they came, but

it could be expanded. What did they think of their

childhood? Do they still have ties from there? How

did they move from such origins to the Faction they

are part of? Are they fully supportive of their Faction’s

goals, or are they in opposition? How does the character

view other Factions?

Next, take a look at the skills and other defining

points—these also tell a story. How did they acquire

those skills? Why? How did they develop their Rep

score (or lack of one)? How did they get connected

with the groupings represented by their Networking

skills? What do the character’s traits say about them?

How did they get their current morph? Is it their

original? If not, what happened to their first body?

Also taking into account the major factor of Motivations,

all of these questions will help you build a defining

picture of your character. Not everything about

your character needs to be filled out, of course—it’s

ok to leave a few blanks that you can fill in later. Assembling

the points you have deduced so far will help

you to present your character as a whole, unique individual,

however, rather than just a blank template.

As a final step, take a few minutes to pick out some

specific identifying features and personality quirks that

will help you define the character to others. This could

be a way of talking, a strongly-projected attitude, a

catchphrase they use frequently, a unique look or style

of dress, a repetitive behavior, an annoying mannerism,

or anything else similar that is easy to latch onto.

Such idiosyncrasies give something that other players

can latch onto, spurring roleplaying opportunities.

STARTING MORPHSEdit

NOTE: Each morph has an associated CP cost. It also supplies the character’s Durability and Wound Threshold stats, and may modify Initiative, Speed, and certain aptitudes and learned skills. A credit cost is also listed, but this refers to the cost of buying such a morph in gameplay.


Flexible Aptitude Bonuses:Some morphs have aptitude bonuses that may be applied to an aptitude of the player’s choice. This reflects that not all morphs are created equal. When assigning these universal aptitude bonuses, each boost must be applied to a separate aptitude; you may not elevate an aptitude that is already raised by that morph. Once an individual morph’s aptitude bonuses have been assigned, they are permanent for that morph (i.e., if another character resleeves into that morph, the bonuses remain the same).

BIOMORPHSEdit

NOTE: Biomorphs are fully biological sleeves (usually equipped with implants), birthed naturally or in an exowomb, and grown to adulthood either naturally or at a slightly accelerated rate.

Flats


NOTE: Flats are baseline unmodified humans, born with all

of the natural defects, hereditary diseases, and other

genetic mutations that evolution so lovingly applies.

Flats are increasingly rare—most died off with the rest

of humanity during the Fall. Most new children are

splicers—screened and genefixed at the least—except

in habitats where flats are treated as second-class citizens

and indentured labor.

Implants: None

Aptitude Maximum: 20

Durability: 30

Wound Threshold: 6

Disadvantages: None (Genetic Defects trait common)

CP Cost: 0

Credit Cost: High

SPLICERS


NOTE: Splicers are genefixed humans. Their genome has been cleansed of hereditary diseases and optimized for looks and health, but has not otherwise been substantially upgraded. Splicers make up the majority of transhumanity.


Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Cortical Stack

Aptitude Maximum: 25

Durability: 30

Wound Threshold: 6

Advantages: +5 to one aptitude of the player’s choice

CP Cost: 10

Credit Cost: High

Exalts


NOTE: Exalt morphs are genetically-enhanced humans, designed

to emphasize specific traits. Their genetic code

has been tweaked to make them healthier, smarter,

and more attractive. Their metabolism is modified to

predispose them towards staying fit and athletic for

the duration of an extended lifespan.

Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts,

Cortical Stack

Aptitude Maximum: 30

Durability: 35

Wound Threshold: 7

Advantages: +5 COG, +5 to three other aptitudes of

the player’s choice

CP Cost: 30

Credit Cost: Expensive

Mentons


NOTE: Mentons are genetically modified to increase cognitive abilities, particularly learning ability, creativity, attentiveness, and memory. Rumors exist of superenhanced mentons with more extreme intelligence mods, but brain-hacking is notoriously difficult, and many attempts to redesign mental faculties result in impaired functioning, instability, or insanity.


Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Cortical Stack, Eidetic Memory, Hyper Linguist, Math Boost

Aptitude Maximum: 30

Durability: 35

Wound Threshold: 7

Advantages: +10 COG, +5 INT, +5 WIL, +5 to one aptitude of the player’s choice

CP Cost: 40

Credit Cost: Expensive

Olympians


NOTE: Olympians are human upgrades with improved

athletic capabilities like endurance, eye-hand coordination,

and cardio-vascular functions. Olympians

are common among athletes, dancers, freerunners,

and soldiers.

Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts,

Cortical Stack

Aptitude Maximum: 30

Durability: 40

Wound Threshold: 8

Advantages: +5 COO, +5 REF, +10 SOM, +5 to one

other aptitude of the player’s choice

CP Cost: 40

Credit Cost: Expensive

SLYPHS


NOTE: Sylph morphs are tailor-made for media icons, elite socialites, XP stars, models, and narcissists. Sylph gene sequences are specifically designed for distinctive good looks. Ethereal and elfin features are common, with slim and lithe bodies. Their metabolism has also been sanitized to eliminate unpleasant bodily odors and their pheromones adjusted for universal appeal.


Implants:Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Clean Metabolism, Cortical Stack, Enhanced Pheromones

Aptitude Maximum:30

Durability:35

Wound Threshold:7

Advantages:Striking Looks (Level 1) trait, +5 COO, +10 SAV, +5 to one other aptitude of the player’s choice

CP Cost:40

Credit Cost:Expensive

Bouncers


NOTE: Bouncers are humans genetically adapted for zero-G

and microgravity environments. Their legs are more

limber, and their feet can grasp as well as their hands.

Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Cortical

Stack, Grip Pads, Oxygen Reserve, Prehensile Feet

Aptitude Maximum: 30

Durability: 35

Wound Threshold: 7

Advantages: Limber (Level 1) trait, +5 COO, +5 SOM,

+5 to one aptitude of the player’s choice

CP Cost: 40

Credit Cost: Expensive

Furies


NOTE: Furies are combat morphs. These transgenic human

upgrades feature genetics tailored for endurance,

strength, and reflexes, as well as behavioral modifications

for aggressiveness and cunning. To offset tendencies

for unruliness and macho behavior patterns, furies

feature gene sequences promoting pack mentalities and

cooperation, and they tend to be biologically female.

Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Bioweave

Armor (Light), Cortical Stack, Enhanced

Vision, Neurachem (Level 1), Toxin Filters

Aptitude Maximum: 30

Speed Modifier: +1 (neurachem)

Durability: 50

Wound Threshold: 10

Advantages: +5 COO, +5 REF, +10 SOM, +5 WIL, +5

to one aptitude of the player’s choice

CP Cost: 75

Credit Cost: Expensive (minimum 40,000)

Futuras


NOTE: An exalt variant, futura morphs were specially crafted

for the “Lost generation.” Tailor-made for accelerated

growth and adjusted for confidence, self-reliance,

and adaptability, futuras were intended to help transhumanity

regain its foothold. These programs proved

disastrous and the line was discontinued, but some

models remain, viewed by some with distaste and

others as collectibles or exotic oddities.

Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Cortical

Stack, Eidetic Memory, Emotional Dampers

Aptitude Maximum: 30

Durability: 35

Wound Threshold: 7

Advantages: +5 COG, +5 SAV, +10 WIL, +5 to one

other aptitude of the player’s choice

CP Cost: 40

Credit Cost: Expensive (exceptionally rare; 50,000+)

Ghosts


NOTE: Ghosts are partially designed for combat applications,

but their primary focus is stealth and infiltration.

Their genetic profile encourages speed, agility, and

reflexes, and their minds are modified for patience and

problem-solving.

Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Chameleon

Skin, Cortical Stack, Adrenal Boost, Enhanced

Vision, Grip Pads

Aptitude Maximum: 30

Durability: 45

Wound Threshold: 9

Advantages: +10 COO, +5 REF, +5 SOM, +5 WIL, +5

to one aptitude of the player’s choice

CP Cost: 70

Credit Cost: Expensive (minimum 40,000)

Hibernoids


NOTE: Hibernoids are transgenic-modified humans with

heavily-altered sleep patterns and metabolic processes.

Hibernoids have a decreased need for sleep, requiring

only 1-2 hours a day on average. They also have the

ability to trigger a form of voluntary hibernation,

effectively stopping their metabolism and need for

oxygen. Hibernoids make excellent long-duration

space travelers and habtechs, but these morphs are

also favored by personal aides and hypercapitalists

with non-stop lifestyles.

Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Circadian

Regulation, Cortical Stack, Hibernation

Aptitude Maximum: 25

Durability: 35

Wound Threshold: 7

Advantages: +5 INT, +5 to one aptitude of the player’s

choice

CP Cost: 25

Credit Cost: Expensive

Neotenics


NOTE: Neotenics are transhumans modified to retain a childlike

form. They are smaller, more agile, inquisitive,

and less resource-depleting, making them ideal for

habitat living and spacecraft. Some people find neotenic

sleeves distasteful, especially when employed in

certain media and sex work capacities.

Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Cortical

Stack

Aptitude Maximum: 20 (SOM), 30 (all else)

Durability: 30

Wound Threshold: 6

Advantages: +5 COO, +5 INT, +5 REF, +5 to one

aptitude of the player’s choice; neotenics count as a

small target (–10 modifier to hit in combat)

Disadvantages: Social Stigma (Neotenic) trait

CP Cost: 25

Credit Cost: Expensive

Remade


NOTE: The remade are completely redesigned humans:

humans 2.0. Their cardiovascular systems are stronger,

the digestive tract has been sanitized and restructured

to eliminate flaws, and they have otherwise been optimized

for good health, smarts, and longevity with numerous

transgenic mods. The remade are popular with

the ultimates faction. The remade look close to human,

but are different in very noticeable and sometimes eerie

ways: taller, lack of hair, slightly larger craniums, wider

eyes, smaller noses, smaller teeth, and elongated digits.

Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Circadian

Regulation, Clean Metabolism, Cortical Stack,

Eidetic Memory, Enhanced Respiration, Temperature

Tolerance, Toxin Filters

Aptitude Maximum: 40

Durability: 40

Wound Threshold: 8

Advantages: +10 COG, +5 SAV, +10 SOM, +5 to two

other aptitudes of the player’s choice

Disadvantages: Uncanny Valley trait

CP Cost: 60

Credit Cost: Expensive (minimum 40,000+)

Rusters


NOTE: Adapted for survival with minimum gear in the notyet-

terraformed Martian environment, these transgenic

morphs feature insulated skin for more effective thermoregulation

and respiratory system improvements to

require less oxygen and filter carbon dioxyde, among

other mods.

Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Cortical

Stack, Enhanced Respiration, Temperature Tolerance

Aptitude Maximum: 25

Durability: 35

Wound Threshold: 7

Advantages: +5 SOM, +5 to one aptitude of the

player’s choice

CP Cost: 25

Credit Cost: Expensive

Neo-Avians


NOTE: Neo-avians include ravens, crows, and gray parrots

uplifted to human-level intelligence. Their physical

sizes are much larger than their non-uplifted cousins

(to the size of a human child), with larger heads

for their increased brain size. Numerous transgenic

modifications have been made to their wings, allowing

them to retain limited flight capabilities at 1 g,

but giving them a more bat-like physiology so they

can bend and fold better, and adding primitive digits

for basic tool manipulation. Their toes are also more

articulated and now accompanied with an opposable

thumb. Neo-avians have adapted well to microgravity

environments, and are favored for their small size and

reduced resource use.

Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts,

Cortical Stack

Aptitude Maximum: 25 (20 SOM)

Durability: 20

Wound Threshold: 4

Advantages: Beak/Claw Attack (1d10 DV, use Unarmed

Combat skill), Flight, +5 INT, +10 REF, +5

to one other aptitude of the player’s choice

CP Cost: 25

Credit Cost: Expensive

Neo-Hominids


NOTE: Neo-hominids are uplifted chimpanzees, gorillas, and

orangutans. All feature enhanced intelligence and

bipedal frames.

Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts,

Cortical Stack, Prehensile Feet

Aptitude Maximum: 25

Durability: 30

Wound Threshold: 6

Advantages: +5 COO, +5 INT, +5 SOM, +5 to one other

aptitude of the player’s choice, +10 Climbing skill

CP Cost: 25

Credit Cost: Expensiv

Octomorphs


NOTE: These uplifted octopi sleeves have proven quite useful

in zero-gravity environments. They retain eight arms,

their chameleon ability to change skin

color, ink sacs, and a sharp beak. They

also have increased brain mass and longevity,

can breathe both air and water, and lack a

skeletal structure so they can squeeze through tight

spaces. Octomorphs typically crawl along in zerogravity

using their arm suckers and expelling air for

propulsion and can even walk on two of their arms

in low gravity. Their eyes have been enhanced with

color vision, provide a 360-degree field of vision, and

they rotationally adjust to keep the slit-shaped pupil

aligned with “up.” A transgenic vocal system allows

them to speak.

Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Cortical

Stack, Chameleon Skin

Aptitude Maximum: 30

Durability: 30

Wound Threshold: 6

Advantages: 8 Arms, Beak Attack (1d10 DV, use

Unarmed Combat skill), Ink Attack (blinding, use

Exotic Ranged: Ink Attack skill), Limber (Level 2)

trait, 360-degree Vision, +30 Swimming skill, +10

Climbing skill, +5 COO, +5 INT, +5 to one other

aptitude of the player’s choice

CP Cost: 50

Credit Cost: Expensive (minimum 30,000+)

PodsEdit

NOTE: Pods (from “pod people”) are vat-grown, biological

bodies with extremely undeveloped brains that are

augmented with an implanted computer and cybernetics

system. Though typically run by an AI, pods are

socially unfavored in some stations, utilized in slave

labor in others, and even illegal in some areas. Because

pods underwent accelerated growth in their creation,

and were mostly grown as separate parts and then assembled, their biological

design includes some shortcuts

and limitations, offset with implants

and regular maintenance. They lack reproductive

capabilities. In many habitats,

their legal status is a hotly-contested issue.

Unless otherwise noted, pods are also considered

biomorphs for all rules purposes.

Pleasure Pods


NOTE: Pleasure pods are exactly what they seem—faux

humans designed purely for intimate entertainment

purposes. Pleasure pods have extra nerve clusters in

their erogenous zones, fine motor control over certain

muscle groups, enhanced pheromones, sanitized metabolisms,

and the genetics for purring. Naturally, they

are crafted for good looks and charisma and enhanced

in other areas as well. Pleasure pods are capable of

switching their sex at will to male, female, hermaphrodite,

or neuter.

Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Clean

Metabolism, Cortical Stack, Cyberbrain, Enhanced

Pheromones, Mnemonic Augmentation, Puppet

Sock, Sex Switch

Aptitude Maximum: 30

Durability: 30

Wound Threshold: 6

Advantages: +5 INT, +5 SAV, +5 to one aptitude of the

player’s choice

Disadvantages: Social Stigma (Pleasure Pod) trait

CP Cost: 20

Credit Cost: High

Worker Pods


NOTE: Part exalt human, part machine, these basic pods are

virtually indistinguishable from humans. Worker pods

are often used in menial labor jobs where interaction

with humans is necessary.

Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Cortical

Stack, Cyberbrain, Mnemonic Augmentation,

Puppet Sock

Aptitude Maximum: 30

Durability: 35

Wound Threshold: 7

Advantages: +10 SOM, +5 to one aptitude of the

player’s choice

Disadvantages: Social Stigma (Pod) trait

CP Cost: 20

Credit Cost: High

Novacrabs


NOTE: Novacrabs are a pod design bio-engineered from

coconut crab and spider crab stock and grown to a

larger (human) size. Novacrabs are ideal for hazardous

work environments as well as vacworker, police,

or bodyguard duties, given their ten 2-meter long legs,

massive claws, and chitinous armor. They climb and

handle microgravity well and can withstand a wide

range of atmospheric pressure (and sudden pressure

changes) from vacuum to deep sea. Novacrabs feature

compound eyes (with human-equivalent image resolution),

gills, dexterous manipulatory digits on their fifth

set of limbs, and transgenic vocal cords.

Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Carapace

Armor, Cortical Stack, Cyberbrain, Enhanced

Respiration, Gills, Mnemonic Augmentation,

Oxygen Reserve, Puppet Sock, Temperature Tolerance,

Vacuum Sealing

Aptitude Maximum: 30

Durability: 40

Wound Threshold: 8

Advantages: 10 legs, Carapace Armor (11/11), Claw

Attack (DV 2d10), +10 SOM, +5 to two other aptitudes

of the player’s choice

CP Cost: 60

Credit Cost: Expensive (minimum 30,000+)

Synthetic MorphsEdit

NOTE: Syn thetic Mo rph s

Synthetic morphs are completely artificial/robotic.

They are usually operated by AIs or via remote control,

but the lack of available biomorphs after the

Fall meant that many infugees resorted to resleeving

in robotic shells, which were also cheaper, quicker to

manufacture, and more widely available. Nevertheless,

synthmorphs are viewed with disdain in many

habitats, an option that only the poor and desperate

accept to be sleeved in. Synthetic morphs are not

without with their advantages, however, and so are

commonly used for menial labor, heavy labor, habitat

construction, and security services.

All synthmorphs have the following advantages:

• Lack of Biological Functions. Synthmorphs need

not be bothered with trivialities like breathing,

eating, defecating, aging, sleeping, or any similar

minor but crucial aspects of biological life.

• Pain Filter. Synthmorphs can filter out their

pain receptors, so that they are unhampered by

wounds or physical damage. This allows them

to ignore the –10 modifier from 1 wound (see

Wound Effects, p. 207), but they suffer –30 on

any tactile-based Perception Tests and will not

even notice they have been damaged unless they

succeed in a (modified) Perception Test.

• Immunity to Shock Weapons. Synthmorphs have

no nervous system to disrupt, and their optical

electronics are carefully shielded from interference.

Shock attacks may temporarily disrupt their

wireless radio communications, however, for the

duration of the attack.

• Environmental Durability. Synthmorphs are

built to withstand a wide range of environments,

from dusty Mars to the oceans of Europa to the

vacuum of space. They are unaffected by any

but the most extreme temperatures and atmospheric

pressures. Treat as Temperature Tolerance

(p. 305) and Vacuum Sealing (p. 305).

• Toughness. Synthetic shells are made to last—a

fact reflected in their higher Durability and built-in

Armor ratings. Their composition also makes their

physical strikes more damaging: apply a +2 DV

modifier on unarmed attacks for human-sized

shells and larger.

Case


NOTE: Cases are extremely cheap, mass-produced robotic

shells intended to provide an affordable remorphing

option for the millions of infugees created by

the Fall. Though many varieties of case bot models

exist, they are uniformly regarded as shoddy and

inferior. Most case morphs are vaguely anthromorphic,

with a thin framework body, standing just

shorter than an average human, and suffer from

frequent malfunctions.

Enhancements: Access Jacks, Basic Mesh Inserts, Cortical

Stack, Cyberbrain, Mnemonic Augmentation

Mobility System (Movement Rate): Walker (4/16)

Aptitude Maximum: 20

Durability: 20

Wound Threshold: 4

Advantages: Armor (4/4)

Disadvantages: –5 to one chosen aptitude, Lemon trait,

Social Stigma (Clanking Masses) trait

CP Cost: 5

Credit Cost: Moderate

Synth


NOTE: Synths are anthromorphic robotic shells (androids

and gynoids). They are typically used for menial

labor jobs where pods are not as good of an option.

Cheaper than many other morphs, they are commonly

used for people who need a morph quickly

and cheaply or simply on a transient basis. Though

they look humanoid, synths are easily recognizable

as non-biological unless they have the synthetic mask

option (p. 311).

Enhancements: Access Jacks, Basic Mesh Inserts, Cortical

Stack, Cyberbrain, Mnemonic Augmentation

Mobility System: Walker (4/20)

Aptitude Maximum: 30

Durability: 40

Wound Threshold: 8

Advantages: +5 SOM, +5 to one other aptitude of the

player’s choice, Armor 6/6

Disadvantages: Social Stigma (Clanking Masses) trait,

Uncanny Valley trait

CP Cost: 30

Credit Cost: High

Arachnoid


NOTE: Arachnoid robotic shells are 1-meter in length, segmented

into two parts, with a smaller head, like a

spider or termite. They feature four pairs of 1.5-meterlong

retractable arms/legs, capable of rotating around

the axis of the body, with built-in pneumatic systems

for propelling the bot with small leaps. The manipulator

claws on each arm/leg can be switched out

with extendable mini-wheels for high-speed skating movement. A smaller pair of manipulator arms near

the head allows for closer handling and tool use. In

zero-G environments, arachnoids can retract their

arms/legs and maneuver with vectored air thrusters.

Enhancements: Access Jacks, Basic Mesh Inserts,

Cortical Stack, Cyberbrain, Enhanced Vision, Extra

Limbs (10 Arms/Legs), Lidar, Mnemonic Augmentation,

Pneumatic Limbs, Radar

Mobility System: Walker (4/24), Thrust Vector (8/40),

Wheeled 8/40

Aptitude Maximum: 30

Durability: 40

Wound Threshold: 8

Advantages: +5 COO, +10 SOM, Armor 8/8

CP Cost: 45

Credit Cost: Expensive (minimum 40,000+)

Dragonfly


NOTE: The dragonfly robotic morph takes the shape of a

meter-long flexible shell with multiple wings and manipulator

arms. Capable of near-silent turbofan-aided

flight in Earth gravity, dragonfly bots fare even better

in microgravity.

Enhancements: Access Jacks, Basic Mesh Inserts, Cortical

Stack, Cyberbrain, Mnemonic Augmentation

Mobility System: Winged (8/32)

Aptitude Maximum: 30 (20 SOM)

Durability: 25

Wound Threshold: 5

Advantages: Flight, +5 REF, Armor (2/2)

CP Cost: 20

Credit Cost: High

Flexbots


NOTE: Designed for multi-purpose functions, flexbots can

transform their shells to suit a range of situations

and tasks. Their core frame consists of a half-dozen

interlocking and shape-adjustable modules capable of

auto-transforming into a variety of shapes: multi-legged

walker, tentacle, hovercraft, and many others. Each

module features its own sensor units and “bush robot”

fractal-branching digits (each capable of breaking into

smaller digits, down to the micrometer scale, allowing

for ultra-fine manipulation). The flexbot control computer

is also distributed between modules. Individual

flexbots are only the size of a large dog, but multiple

flexbots can join together for larger mass operations,

even taking on heavy-duty tasks such as demolition, excavation,

manufacturing, robotics assembly, and so on.

Enhancements: Access Jacks, Basic Mesh Inserts, Cortical

Stack, Cyberbrain, Fractal Digits, Mnemonic

Augmentation, Modular Design, Nanoscopic Vision,

Shape Adjusting

Mobility System: Walker (4/16), Hover (8/40)

Aptitude Maximum: 30

Durability: 25

Wound Threshold: 5

Advantages: Armor 4/4

CP Cost: 20

Credit Cost: Expensive (minimum 30,000+)

Reaper


NOTE: The reaper is a common combat bot, used in place of

biomorph soldiers and typically operated via teleoperation

or by autonomous AI. The reaper’s core form

is an armored disc, so that it can turn and present a

thin profile to an enemy. It uses vector thrust nozzles

to maneuver in microgravity, and also takes advantage

of an ionic drive for fast movement over distance.

Four legs/manipulating arms and four weapon pods

are folded inside its frame. The reaper’s shell is made

of smart materials, allowing these limbs and weapon

mounts to extrude in any direction desired and even

to change shape and length. In gravity environments,

the reaper walks or hops on two or four of these limbs.

Reapers are infamous due to numerous war XPs, and

bringing one into most habitats will undoubtedly raise

eyebrows, if not get you arrested.

Enhancements: 360-Degree Vision, Access Jacks, Anti-

Glare, Basic Mesh Inserts, Cortical Stack, Cyberbrain,

Cyber Claws, Extra Limbs (4), Heavy Combat

Armor, Magnetic System, Mnemonic Augmentation,

Pneumatic Limbs, Puppet Sock, Radar, Reflex Booster,

Shape Adjusting, Structural Enhancement, T-Ray

Emitter, Weapon Mount (Articulated, 4)

Mobility System: Walker (4/20), Hopper (4/20), Ionic

(12/40), Vectored Thrust (4/20)

Aptitude Maximum: 40

Speed Modifier: +1 (Reflex Booster)

Durability: 50 (60 with Structural Enhancement)

Wound Threshold: 10 (12 w/Structural Enhancement)

Advantages: 4 Limbs, +5 COO, +10 REF (+20 with

Reflex Booster), +10 SOM, Armor 16/16

CP Cost: 100

Credit Cost: Expensive (minimum 50,000+)

Slitheroids


NOTE: Slitheroid bots are synthetic shells taking the form of

a 2-meter-long segmented metallic snake, with two retractable

arms for tool use. Snake bots can coil, twist,

and roll their bodies into a ball or hoop, moving either

by slithering, burrowing, rolling, or pulling themselves

along by their arms. The sensor suite and control computer

are housed in the head.

Enhancements: Access Jacks, Basic Mesh Inserts,

Cortical Stack, Cyberbrain, Enhanced Vision, Mnemonic

Augmentation

Mobility System: Snake (4/16; 8/32 rolling)

Aptitude Maximum: 30

Durability: 45

Wound Threshold: 9

Advantages: +5 COO, +5 SOM, +5 to one other aptitude

of the player’s choice, Armor 8/8

CP Cost: 40

Credit Cost: Expensive

Swarmanoid


NOTE: The swarmanoid is not a single shell per se, but rather

a swarm of hundreds of insect-sized robotic microdrones.

Each individual “bug” is capable of crawling,

rolling, hopping several meters, or using nanocopter fan blades for airlift. The controlling computer and

sensor systems are distributed throughout the swarm.

Though the swarm can “meld” together into a roughly

child-sized shape, the swarm is incapable of tackling

physical tasks like grabbing, lifting, or holding as a

unit. Individual bugs are quite capable of interfacing

with electronics.

Enhancements: Access Jacks, Basic Mesh Inserts, Cortical

Stack, Cyberbrain, Mnemonic Augmentation,

Swarm Composition

Mobility System: Walker (2/8), Hopper (4/20), Rotor

(4/32)

Aptitude Maximum: 30

Durability: 30

Wound Threshold: 6

Advantages: See Swarm Composition (p. 311)

Disadvantages: See Swarm Composition (p. 311)

CP Cost: 25

Credit Cost: Expensive

Infomorphs


NOTE: Infomorphs are digital-only forms—they lack a physical

body. Infomorphs are sometimes carried by other

characters instead of (or in addition to) a muse in a

ghostrider module (p. 307). Full rules for infomorphs

can be found on p. 264.

Enhancements: Mnemonic Augmentation

Aptitude Maximum: 40

Speed Modifier: +2

Disadvantages: No physical form

CP Cost: 0

Credit Cost: 0

TRAITSEdit

NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, listed traits are ego traits.

POSITIVE TRAITSEdit

NOTE: Positive traits provide bonuses to the character in certain situations.

ADAPTABILITY


NOTE: Cost: 10 (Level 1) or 20 (Level 2) CP


Resleeving is a breeze for this character. They adjust to new morphs much more quickly than most other people. Apply a +10 modifier per level for Integration Tests and Alienation Tests (p. 272).

ALLIES


NOTE: Cost:30 CP


The character is part of or has a relationship with some influential group that they can occasionally call on for support. For example, this could be their old gatecrashing crew, former research lab co-workers, a criminal cartel they are part of, or an elite social clique. The gamemaster and player should work out what the character’s relationship is with this group, and why the character can call on them for aid. Gamemaster’s should take care that these allies are not abused, such as calling on them more than once per game session. The character’s ties to this group are also a two-way street—they will be expected to perform duties for the group on occasion as well (a potential plot seed for scenarios).

Ambidextrous

animal Empathy

Brave

Common Sense

Danger Sense

DIRECTION SENSE


NOTE: Cost:5 CP


Somehow the character always knows which way is up, north, etc., even when blinded. The character receives a +10 modifier for figuring out complex directions, reading maps, and remembering or retracing a path they have taken.

EIDETIC MEMORY (EGO OR MORPH TRAIT)


NOTE: Cost:10 CP

Much like a computer, the character has perfect memory recall. They can remember anything they have sensed, often even from a single glance. This works the same as the eidetic memory implant (p. 301).

EXCEPTIONAL APTITUDE (EGO OR MORPH TRAIT)


NOTE: Cost:20 CP


As an ego trait, the character may raise the maximum for a particular chosen aptitude to 40 rather than 30 (p. 122). As a morph trait, it raises the morph aptitude maximum (p. 124) for a particular chosen aptitude by 10 (30 for flats, 35 for splicers, 40 for all others). Note that this trait just raises the maximum, it does not give the character 10 more aptitude points. This trait may only be taken by a morph or ego once.

EXPERT


NOTE: Cost:10 CP


The character is a legend in the use of one particular skill. The character may raise one learned skill over 80, to a maximum of 90, during character creation. This trait does not actually increase the skill, it just raises

the maximum. This trait may only be taken once.

FAST LEARNER


NOTE: Cost:10 CP


The character improves skills and learns new ones in half the time it normally takes (seeImproving Skills, p. 152).

First Impression

Hyper Linguist

Improved Immune System (Morph Trait)

Innocuous (Morph Trait)

Limber (Morph Trait)

Math Wiz

Natural Immunity (Morph Trait)

Pain Tolerance (Ego or Morph Trait)

Patron

Psi

Psi Chameleon (Ego or Morph Trait)

Psi Defense (Ego or Morph Trait)

Rapid Healer (Morph Trait)

RIGHT AT HOME


NOTE: Cost:10 CP

The character chooses one type of morph (splicer, neo-hominid, case, etc.). The character always feels right at home in morphs of this type. When resleeving into this type of morph, the character automatically adjusts to the new body, no Integration or Alienation Test needed, suffering no penalties and no mental stress.

Second Skin

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS


NOTE: Cost:10 CP

The character is very good at maintaining continuous partial awareness of the goings-on in their immediate environment. In game terms, they do not suffer the Distracted modifier on Perception Tests to notice things even when their attention is focused elsewhere, or when making Quick Perception Tests during combat.

STRIKING LOOKS (MORPH TRAIT)


NOTE: Cost:10 (Level 1) or 20 (Level 2) CP


In an age where biosculpting is easy, good looks are both cheap and commonplace. This morph, however, possesses a physical look that can only be described as striking and unusual, but also somehow alluring and

fascinating—even the gorgeous and chiseled glitterati take notice. On social skill tests where the character’s beauty may affect the outcome, they receive a +10 (for Level 1) or +20 (for Level 2) modifier. This modifier

is ineffective against xenomorphs or those with the infolife or uplift backgrounds. This trait is only available to biomorphs.


This modifier may be purchased for uplift morphs, but at half the cost, and it is only effective against characters with that specific uplift background (i.e., neo-avians, neo-hominids, etc.). The one drawback to this trait is that the character is more easily noticed and remembered.

Tough (Morph Trait)

Zoosemiotics

NEGATIVE TRAITSEdit

NOTE: Negative traits generally hinder the character and apply negative modifiers in certain circumstances.

Addiction (Ego or Morph Trait)


NOTE: Bonus: 5 CP (Minor), 10 CP (Moderate), or 20 CP

(Major)

Addiction comes in two forms: mental (affecting

the ego) and physical (affecting the biomorph). The

character or morph is addicted to a drug (p. 317),

stimulus (XP), or activity (mesh use) to a degree that

impacts the character’s physical or mental health.

Players and gamemasters should work together to

agree on addictions that are appropriate for their

game. Addiction comes in three levels of severity:

minor, moderate, or major:

Minor: A minor addiction is largely kept under

control—it does not ruin the character’s life, though

it may create some difficulties. The character may not

even recognize or admit they have a problem. The

character must indulge the addiction at least once

a week, though they can go for longer without too

much difficulty. If they fail to get their weekly dose,

they suffer a –10 modifier on all actions until they get

their fix.

Moderate: A moderate addiction is in full swing.

The character obviously has a problem, and must

satisfy the addiction at least once a day. If they fail

to do so, they may suffer mood swings, compulsive

behavior, physical sickness, or other side effects until

they indulge their craving. Apply a –20 modifier to

all of the character’s actions until they get their fix.

Additionally, a character with this level of addiction

suffers a –5 DUR penalty.

Major: A character with a major addiction is on

the rapid road to ruin. They face cravings every 6

hours, and suffer a –10 DUR penalty as their health

is affected. If they fail to get their regular dosage, they

suffer a –30 modifier on all actions until they do. If

their life hasn’t already been ruined by their obsession,

it soon will be.

AGED


NOTE: Bonus:10 CP


The morph is physically aged, and has not been rejuvenated. Old morphs are increasingly uncommon, though some people adopt them hoping to gain an air of seniority and respectability. Reduce the character’s aptitude maximums by 5, and apply a –10 modifier on all physical actions.


This trait may only be applied to flat and splicer morphs.

Bad Luck


NOTE: Bonus: 30 CP

Due to some inexplicable cosmic coincidence,

things seem to go wrong around the character. The

gamemaster is given a pool of Moxie points equal

to the character’s Moxie stat, which also refreshes

at the same rate as the character’s Moxie. Only the

gamemaster may utilize this Moxie, however, and

the purpose is to use it against the character. In other

words, the gamemaster can use this bad Moxie to

cause the character to automatically fail, flip-flop a

roll, and so on. To reflect the black cloud that follows

the character, the gamemaster can even use this

bad Moxie against the character’s friends and allies,

when they are doing something with or related to

the character, though this should be used sparingly.

Gamemasters who might be reluctant to sabotage the

character should remember that the player asked for

it by purchasing this trait.

Blacklisted


NOTE: Bonus: 5 or 20 CP

The character has managed to get themselves

blacklisted in certain circles, whether they actually

did something to deserve it or not. In game terms, the

character is barred from having a Rep score higher

than 0 in one particular reputation network. People

within that network will refuse to help the character

out of fear of reprisals and ruining their own reputation.

The bonus for this trait is 20 CP if chosen for the

rep network pertaining to the character’s own starting

faction, and 5 CP if chosen for any other.

BLACK MARK


NOTE: Bonus:10 (Level 1), 20 (Level 2), or 30 (Level 3) CP


At some point in the character’s past, they managed to do something that earned a black mark on their reputation. For some reason, no matter what they do, this black mark cannot be shaken off and continues to

haunt their interactions. In game terms, the character picks one faction. Every time they interact with this faction (such as a Networking Test) or with an NPC from this faction (Social Skill Tests) who knows who the character is, they suffer a –10 modifier per level.

Combat Paralysis


NOTE: Bonus: 20 CP

The character has an unfortunate habit of freezing

in combat or stressful situations, like a deer caught in

headlights. Anytime violence breaks out around the

character, or they are surprised, the character must

make a Willpower Test in order to act or respond in

any way. If they fail the test, they lose their action and

simply stand there, remaining incapable of reacting to

the situation.

EDITED MEMORIES


NOTE: Bonus:10 CP


At some point in the character’s past, the character had certain memories strategically removed or otherwise lost to them. This may have been done to intentionally forget an unpleasant or shameful experience or to make a break with the past. The memory may also have been lost by an unexpected death (with no recent backup), or it may have been erased against the character’s will. Whatever the case, the memory should bear some importance, and there should exist either evidence of what happened or NPCs who know the full story. This is a tool the gamemaster can use to haunt the character at some future point with ghosts

from their past.

ENEMY


NOTE: Bonus:10 CP

At some point in their past, the character made an enemy for life who continues to haunt them. The gamemaster and player should work out the details on this enmity, and the gamemaster should use the enemy as an occasional threat, surprise, and hindrance.

Feeble


NOTE: Bonus: 20 CP

The character is particularly weak with one aptitude.

That aptitude must be purchased at a rating lower

than 5, and may never be upgraded during character

advancement. The aptitude maximum is 10, no matter

what morph the character is wearing.

Frail (Morph Trait)


NOTE: Bonus: 10 (Level 1) or 20 (Level 2) CP

This morph is not as resilient as others of its type.

Its Durability is reduced by 5 per level. This also reduces

Wound Threshold by 1 or 2, respectively

Genetic Defect (Morph Trait)


NOTE: Bonus: 10 CP or 20 CP

The morph is not genefixed, and in fact suffers

from a genetic disorder or other impairing mutation.

The player and gamemaster should agree on a defect

appropriate to their game. Some possibilities include:

heart disease, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell disease,

hypertension, hemophilia, or color blindness.

A genetic disorder that creates minor complications

and/or occasional health problems would be worth

10 CP, a defect that significantly impairs the character’s

regular functioning or that inflicts chronic health

problems is worth 20 CP. The gamemaster must determine

the exact effects of the disorder on gameplay,

as appropriate.

This trait is only available for flats.

Identity Crisis


NOTE: Bonus: 10 CP

The character’s ego has trouble adapting itself to

the changed look of a new morph—they are stuck

with the mental image of their original body, and

simply do not grow accustomed to their new face(s).

As a result, the character has difficulty identifying

themselves in the mirror, photos, surveillance feeds,

etc. They frequently forget the look and shape of their

current morph, acting inappropriately, describing

themselves by their original body, forgetting to duck

when walking through doorways, etc. This is primarily

a roleplaying trait, but the gamemaster may apply

appropriate modifiers (usually –10) to tests affected

by this inability to adapt.

Illiterate


NOTE: Bonus: 10 CP

The character knows how to speak, but has difficulty

reading or writing. Due to the entoptic-saturated

and icon-driven nature of transhuman society, they are

able to get by quite comfortably with this handicap.

Reduce the character’s Language skills by half (round

down) whenever reading or writing

Immortality Blues


NOTE: Bonus: 10 CP

The character has lived so long—over 100 years—

they’re bored with life and now have difficulty motivating themselves. They were old when longevity

treatments first became available, survived the Fall,

and continue to soldier onward—though they find

it increasingly harder to care, take interest in things

around them, or fear final death. The character only

receives half the Moxie and Rez Points award for

completing motivational goals.

This trait may not be purchased by characters with

the infolife or uplift backgrounds.

Implant Rejection (Morph Trait)


NOTE: Bonus: 5 (Level 1) or 15 (Level 2) CP

This morph does not accept implants well. At Level

1, any implants acquired are more expensive as they

required specialized anti-rejection treatments. Increase

the Cost category of the implant by one. At Level 2,

the morph cannot accept implants of any kind.

Incompetent


NOTE: Bonus: 10 CP

The character is completely incapable of performing

a particular chosen active skill, no matter any

training they may receive. They may not buy this skill

during character creation or later advancement, and

the modifier for defaulting to the linked aptitude of

this particular skill is –10. This may not be used for

exotic weapon skills, and should be used for a skill

that could be of use to the character.

Lemon (Morph Trait)


NOTE: Bonus: 10 CP

This trait is only available for synthetic morphs.

This particular morph has some unfixable flaws. Once

per game session (preferably at a time that will maximize

drama or hilarity), the gamemaster can call for

the character to make a MOX x 10 Test (using their

current Moxie score). If the character fails, the morph

immediately suffers 1 wound resulting from some mechanical

failure, electrical glitch, or other breakdown.

This wound may be repaired as normal.

LOW PAIN TOLERANCE (EGO OR MORPH TRAITS)


NOTE: Bonus:20 CP


Pain is the character’s enemy. The character has a very low threshold for pain tolerance and is more severely impaired when suffering. Increase the modifier for each wound take by an additional –10 (so the character suffers –20 with one wound, –40 with another, and –60 with a third). Additionally, the character suffers a –30 modifier on any test involving pain resistance. This morph version of this trait is only available for biomorphs.

MENTAL DISORDER


NOTE: Bonus:10 CP


You have a psychological disorder from a previous traumatic experience in your life. Choose one of the disorders listed on p. 211.

Mild Allergy (Morph Trait)


NOTE: Bonus: 5 CP

The morph is allergic to a specific chosen allergen

(dust, dander, plant pollen, certain chemicals) and suffers

mild discomfort when exposed to it (eye irritation,

sneezing, difficult breathing). Apply a –10 modifier to

all tests while the character remains exposed. This

trait is only available for biomorphs.

Modified Behavior


NOTE: Bonus: 5 (Level 1), 10 (Level 2), or 20 (Level 3) CP

The character has been conditioned via timeaccelerated

behavioral control psychosurgery. This is

common among ex-felons, who have been conditioned

to respond to a specific idea or activity with vehement

horror and disgust, but may have occurred for some

other reason or even been self-inflicted. At Level 1, the

chosen behavior is either limited or boosted, at Level

2 it is either blocked or encouraged, and at Level 3 it

is expunged or enforced (see p. 231 for details). This

trait should only be allowed for behaviors that are

either limited or, if encouraged, impact the character

in a negative way.

Morphing Disorder


NOTE: Bonus: 10 (Level 1), 20 (Level 2), or 30 (Level 3) CP

Adapting to new morphs is particularly challenging

for this character. The character suffers a –10

modifier per level on Integration Tests and Alienation

Tests (p. 272).

Neural Damage


NOTE: Bonus: 10 CP

The character has suffered some type of neurological

damage that simply cannot be cured. The affliction

is now part of the character’s ego and remains with

them even when remorphing. This damage may have

been inherited, it may have resulted from a poorly designed

morph or implant, or it may have been inflicted

by one of the TITAN nanovirii that targeted neural

systems during the Fall (p. 384). The gamemaster and

player should agree on a specific disorder appropriate

to their game. Some possibilities are:

• Partial aphasia (difficulty communicating or

using words)

• Color blindness

• Amusica (inability to make or understand music)

• Synaesthesia

• Logorrhoea (excessive use of words)

• Loss of face recognition

• Loss of depth perception (double range

modifiers)

• Repetitive behavior

• Mood swings

• The inability to shift attention quickly

The gamemaster may decide to inflict modifiers

resulting from this affliction as appropriate.

No Cortical Stack (Morph Trait)


NOTE: Bonus: 10 CP

The morph lacks the cortical stack that is common

to morphs of its type. This means the character cannot

be resleeved from the cortical stack if the character

dies, they can only be resleeved from a standard

backup. This trait is not available for flats.

Oblivious


NOTE: Bonus: 10 CP

The character is particularly oblivious to events

around them or anything other than what their attention

is focused on. They suffer a –10 modifier

to Surprise Tests and their modifier for being Distracted

is –30 rather than the usual –20 (see Basic

Perception, p. 190).

On the Run


NOTE: Bonus: 10 CP

The character is wanted by the authorities of a

particular habitat/station or faction, who continue to

actively search for the character. They either committed

a crime or somehow displeased someone in power.

The character deals with that faction in question at

their own risk, and may occasionally be forced to deal

with bounty hunters.

Psi Vulnerability (Ego or Morph Trait)


NOTE: Bonus: 10 CP

Something about the character’s mind makes

them particularly vulnerable to psi attack. They

suffer a –10 modifier when resisting such attacks.

The morph version of this trait may only be taken

by biomorphs.

Real World Naivete


NOTE: Bonus: 10 CP

Due to their background, the character has very

limited personal experience with the real (physical)

world—or they have spent so much time in simulspace

that their functioning in real life is impaired.

They lack an understanding of many physical properties,

social cues, and other factors that people with

standard human upbringings take for granted. This

lack of common sense may lead the character to

misunderstand how a device works or to misinterpret

someone’s body language.

Once per game session, the gamemaster may intentionally

mislead the character when giving them

a description about some thing or some social interaction.

This falsehood represents the character’s

misunderstanding of the situation, and should be

roleplayed appropriately, even if the player realizes

the character’s mistake.

This trait should only be available to characters

with the infolife or re-instantiated backgrounds,

though the gamemaster may allow it for characters

who have extensive virtual reality/XP use in their

personal histories.

Severe Allergy (Morph Trait)


NOTE: Bonus: 10 (uncommon) or 20 (common) CP

The morph’s biochemistry suffers a severe allergic

reaction (anaphylaxis) when it comes into contact

(touched, inhaled, or ingested) with a specific allergen.

The allergen may be common (dust, dander, plant pollen,

certain foods, latex) or uncommon (certain drugs, insect

stings). The player and gamemaster should agree on an

allergen that fits the game. If exposed to the allergen,

the character breaks into hives, has difficulty to breathing

(–30 modifier to all actions), and must make a DUR

Test or go into anaphylactic shock (dying of respiratory

failure in 2d10 minutes unless medical care is applied).

This trait is only available to biomorphs.

Slow Learner


NOTE: Bonus: 10 CP

New skills are not easy for this character to pick

up. The character takes twice as long as normal to

improve skills or learn new ones (p. 152).

Social Stigma (Ego or Morph Trait)


NOTE: Bonus: 10 CP

An unfortunate aspect of the character’s background

means that they suffer from a stigma in

certain social situations. They may be sleeved in

a morph viewed with repugnance, be a survivor of

the infamous Lost generation, or may be an AGI in

a post-Fall society plagued by fear of artificial intelligence.

In social situations where the character’s nature

is known to someone who view that nature with distaste,

fear, or repugnance, they suffer a –10 to –30

modifier (gamemaster’s discretion) to social skill tests.

Timid


NOTE: Bonus: 10 CP

This character frightens easily. They suffer a –10

modifier when resisting fear or intimidation

Unattractive (Morph Trait)


NOTE: Bonus: 10 CP (Level 1), 20 CP (Level 2), 30 CP (Level 3)

In a time when good looks are easily purchased,

this morph is conspicuously ugly. As unattractiveness

is increasingly associated with being poor, backward,

or genetically defective, responses to a lack of good

looks range from distaste to horror. The character suffers

a –10 modifier on social tests for Level 1, –20 for

Level 2, and –30 for Level 3.

Only biomorphs may take this trait. This modifier

does not apply to interactions with xenomorphs or

those with the infolife or uplift backgrounds. This

modifier may be purchased for uplift morphs, but at

half the bonus, and it is only effective against characters

with that specific uplift background (i.e., neoavians,

neo-hominids, etc.).

Uncanny Valley (Morph Trait)


NOTE: Bonus: 10 CP

There is a point where synthetic human looks

become uncannily realistic and human-seeming, but they remain just different enough that their looks

seem creepy or even repulsive—a phenomenon called

the “uncanny valley.” Morphs whose looks fall into

this range suffer a –10 modifier on social skill tests

when dealing with humans. This modifier does not

apply to interactions with xenomorphs or those with

the infolife or uplift backgrounds.

Unfit (Morph Trait)


NOTE: Bonus: 10 CP (Level 1), 20 CP (Level 2)

The morph is either not optimized for health and/or

just in bad shape. Reduce the aptitude maximums for

Coordination, Reflexes, and Somatics by 5 (Level 1 )

or 10 (Level 2).

VR Vertigo


NOTE: Bonus: 10 CP

The character experiences intense vertigo and

nausea when interfacing with any type of virtual reality,

XP, or simulspace. Augmented reality has no effect,

but VR inflicts a –30 modifier to all of the character’s

actions. Prolonged use of VR (gamemaster’s discretion)

may actually incapacitate the character should

they fail a WIL x 2 Test

Weak Immune System (Morph Trait)


NOTE: Bonus: 10 (Level 1) or 20 (Level 2) CP

The morph’s immune system is susceptible to diseases,

drugs, and toxins. At Level 1, apply a –10 modifier

whenever making a test to resist infection or the effects

of a toxin or drug. At Level 2, increase this modifier to

–20. This trait is only available to biomorphs.

Zero-G Nausea (Morph Trait)


NOTE: Bonus: 10 CP

This morph suffers from space sickness and does

not fair well in zero-gravity. The character suffers a

–10 modifier in any microgravity climate. Additionally,

whenever the character is first getting acclimated

or anytime they must endure excessive movement in

microgravity, they must make a WIL Test or spend 1

hour incapacitated by nausea per 10 points of MoF.

CHARACTER ADVANCEMENTEdit

NOTE: As characters accomplish goals and gather experience during gameplay, they accumulate Rez Points (seeAwarding Rez Points, p. 384). Rez Points may be used to improve the character’s skills, aptitudes, and other characteristics per the following rules. The costs for spending Rez Points for advancement are the same as the costs for spending Customization Points.

CHANGING MOTIVATION


NOTE: It is only natural that over time a character’s driving goals and interests will change. The character may reach a turning point where they feel certain personal agendas have been fulfilled and it is time to move on, or they have failed and need to be discarded. New urgencies or philosophies may have entered the character’s life, or the character may have become disenchanted with particular memes and ideas they previously took to heart.


Changing a character’s motivation does not cost Rez Points, but it is something that should only happen in accordance with roleplaying and with life-altering events. Players should not be allowed to simply switch their motivations at whim, there should be a driving reason or explanation for doing so. For this reason, changing a motivation should only happen when the player and gamemaster discuss the matter and both agree that the swap is appropriate to the character’s development and circumstances. If these conditions are met, the character simply drops a previously held motivation and takes on a new one. Only one motivation should be switched out at a time.

SWITCHING MORPHS


NOTE: Resleeving—switching from one morph to another—is handled as an in-character interaction, not with Rez Points. SeeResleeving, p. 271.

IMPROVING ATITUTDES


NOTE: Aptitudes may be raised with Rez Points at the cost of 10 RP per aptitude point. This represents the character’s improvement in their core characteristics, gained from exercise, learning, and experience. Aptitudes may not be raised above 30 (bonuses from morphs, implants, traits, or other sources do not count towards this total).


Raising the value of an aptitude also raises the value of all linked skills by an equivalent amount. If this raises any linked skills over 60, an additional 1 RP must be spent per linked skill over 60.

IMPROVING SKILLSEdit

NOTE: Characters may also spend Rez Points to increase existing skills or learn new ones. To improve an existing skill, the character must have successfully used that skill in the recent past or must actively practice it in order to get better, perhaps with the aid of an instructor. In the case of Knowledge skills, this means actively studying. As a rough timeframe, this should require around 1 week of learning per skill point. A number of educational resources are freely available via the mesh, though some areas of interest may be restricted or hard to find. This can be handled via roleplaying or designated as something the character is doing during downtime between sessions. If the gamemaster decides that a character has not put enough effort into improving a skill, they may call for more practice/study.


The cost to increase a skill is 1 RP per skill point, and no skill may be increased over 99. No skill may be raised by more than 5 points per month. When a character’s skill reaches the level of expertise (skill of 60+), however, they tend to reach a plateau where improvement progresses more slowly and even consistent practice and study have diminished returns. In this case, the Rez Point cost per skill point doubles (i.e., 2 RP = +1 skill point). When a skill reaches 80, improvement slows down even further—a skill of 80+ may not be increased by more than 1 point per month.

LEARNING NEW SKILLS


NOTE: Similarly, to learn a new skill, the character must actively study/practice and/or seek instruction. No test to learn is required, unless the period of study was hampered or in some way deficient, in which case the gamemaster may call for a COG x 3 Test to pick up the new skill. Otherwise, once a character has spent approximately a week learning a new skill, they may purchase their first skill point at the usual cost (1 RP). The skill is bought up from the aptitude rating, per normal. Once a new skill is acquired, it is raised according to the standard rules above.

SPENDING REZ POINTS


NOTE: SPENDING REZ POINTS

15 RP = 1 Moxie point

10 RP = 1 aptitude point

5 RP = 1 psi sleight

5 RP = 1 specialization

2 RP = 1 skill point (61-99)

1 RP = 1 skill point (up to 60)

1 RP = 10 Rep

1 RP = 1,000 Credits

SPECIALIZATIONS


NOTE: Specializations may be purchased for existing skills, as long as that skill is at least rating 30. Specializations require a total of 1 month of training. The cost to learn a specialization is 5 RP. Only 1 specialization may be purchased per skill.

IMPROVING MOXIE


NOTE: Moxie may be raised at the cost of 15 RP per Moxie point. The maximum to which Moxie may be raised is 10.

GAINING/LOSING TRAITS


NOTE: At the gamemaster’s discretion, both positive and negative traits may be acquired or lost during gameplay, though such changes should be rare and only made in accordance with the storyline and unfolding events in the game.


Both positive and negative traits may be picked up by a character during gameplay as a consequence of something that did or something that happened to them. In the case of a positive trait, the character must immediately spend Rez Points equal to the trait’s CP cost for the privilege (whether they wanted the new trait or not). If the character has no unspent RP available, they must pay out immediately from any future RP they earn until the debt is paid off. In the case of a negative trait, however, the character is simply saddled with the new flaw—they do not acquire any extra RP for gaining the negative trait.


Getting rid of traits is somewhat more difficult. Positive traits may be lost due to unfortunate effects on the character, as the gamemaster sees fit. Such lost positive traits are simply gone—the character does not receive any Rez Point reimbursement. Negative traits are occasionally eliminated in the same way, but more typically they can only be worked off through the hard work and diligence of a character that seeks to overcome their handicap. Such endeavors should require weeks if not months of effort on the character’s part, with appropriate roleplaying and possibly some difficult tests. In fact, overcoming such traits could be the source of an adventure. Once a gamemaster feels that the character has made a strong-enough effort, the character may pay a number of Rez Points equal to the trait’s original CP bonus to negate it. Note, however, that some negative traits may simply not be discarded, no matter what the character does.

IMPROVING REP


NOTE: Reputation is something that can be increased with appropriate roleplaying and actions during gameplay (seeReputation Gain and Loss, p. 384). Characters that prefer to handle their Rep-boosting activities “off-screen,” however, can simply spend Rez Points to boost their score(s). Each RP spent boosts the character’s Rep by +10 in a single network. Only one such boost may be made to a single rep network per month.

MAKING CREDIT


NOTE: Rez Points may be spent on Credit at a ratio of 1 RP for 1,000 Credits. This represents income the character has earned “off-screen” or during downtime, such as from odd jobs, selling off possessions, and so on.

IMPROVING PSI


NOTE: Characters who have the Psi trait (p. 147) may purchase new sleights (seeSleights, p. 223) at the cost of 5 RP per sleight. Sleights must be learned through study, training, and practice, requiring approximately 1 month per sleight. No more than one sleight may be learned per month.

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO CHARACTER CREATION


NOTE:

  • Define Character Concept (p. 130)
  • Choose Background (p. 131)
  • Choose Faction (p. 132)
  • Spend Free Points (p. 134)
  • 105 aptitude points
  • 1 Moxie
  • 5,000 credit
  • 50 Rep
  • Native tongue
  • Spend Customization Points (p. 135)
  • 1,000 CP to spend
  • 15 CP = 1 Moxie
  • 10 CP = 1 aptitude point
  • 5 CP = 1 psi sleight
  • 5 CP = 1 specialization
  • 2 CP = 1 skill point (61-80)
  • 1 CP = 1 skill point (up to 60)
  • 1 CP = 1,000 credit
  • 1 CP = 10 rep
  • Active skill minimum: 400 CP
  • Knowledge skill minimum: 300 CP
  • Choose Starting Morph (pp. 136 and 139)
  • Choose Traits (pp. 136 and 145)
  • Purchase Gear (p. 136)
  • Choose Motivation (p. 137)
  • Calculate Remaining Stats (p. 138)
  • Detail the Character (p. 138)

SAMPLE CHARACTERSEdit

NOTE: 20101229--jwd


This section doesn't appear in the Core Book's Table of Contents. I've decided against including the section's text in the various nodes of this tree.

ANARCHIST TECHIE

ARGONAUT XENOARCHAEOLOGIST

BARSOOMIAN FREELANCE JOURNALIST

BRINKER GENEHACKER

CRIMINAL HACKER

EXTROPIAN SMUGGLER

HYPERCORP BLACK MARKETEER

JOVIAN SPY

LUNAR EGO HUNTER

MERCURIAL INVESTIGATOR

MERCURIAL SCAVENGER

SCUM ENFORCER

SOCIALITE ESCORT

TITANIAN EXPLORER

ULTIMATE MERC

VENUSIAN INVESTIGATOR

SKILLSEdit

NOTE: In a setting where physical looks and capabilities are easily changed at the push of a button, who you are and what you know is more important than any inborn ability. kills represent the knowledge your character has, the accumulated set of experience, education, and inherent know-how possessed by each and every sentient transhuman inEclipse Phase. They are what allow you to sneak into a hypercorp station, disable the security systems, hack the mesh hub, and then impersonate security personnel to make your escape. Your skills represent the one thing you have no matter what you look like or where you find yourself. When your characters explore what they can do, their skills, or lack thereof, often determine the margin between success and failure.


Having a well-rounded set of skills is vital to survival and success inEclipse Phase. The skills below encompass a wide selection of talents, enough so that each character can be unique in their abilities and knowledge.

SKILLS OVERVIEWEdit

NOTE: Skills are divided into aptitudes and learned skills (see

Character Skills, p. 123). Most (but not all) learned

skills are built on and linked to an aptitude. If a

character lacks the specific skill needed in a situation,

they may default to the linked aptitude. You may also

choose to specialize in certain skills (see Specializations,

p. 123), reflecting an enhanced knowledge of a

particular aspect of a certain skill.

Core Skills: Aptitudes


NOTE: Aptitudes represent inherent skills and abilities acquired

at birth or during the course of growing up. Aptitudes

are sometimes used for tests, but their primary use is

determining the starting point at which learned skills

are developed. Aptitudes determine the starting value

of their linked skills. For example, a character with

Somatics aptitude 10 who wishes to purchase points

in the Freerunning skill (which is linked to Somatics)

would start with a Freerunning rank of 10 and then

buy additionally points in that skill.

Aptitudes are also used when a character doesn’t

posses knowledge of a needed skill (see Defaulting, p.

116). Aptitudes represent the basic knowledge that a

character has acquired regarding rudimentary use of that

skill. They may not have ever received any formal training

with the skill, but they can still attempt to use it.

Aptitudes range in value from 1 to 30, with 10 being

the unaugmented human average and 15 representing

the average of most genetically modified transhumans.

Since aptitudes represent untrained ability, they are

capped at a maximum rating of 30.

There are seven different aptitudes that all players

possess. These aptitudes are purchased during character

creation (p. 128), but depending on the morph the character is currently inhabiting, they may find their aptitudes

capped by the quality of the morph (see p. 124).

Learned SkillsEdit

NOTE: A player’s learned skills are the most important part of

their character, representing the acquired knowledge

they carry with them from morph to morph, knowledge

that plays a fundamental role in helping define

the person’s ego. Learned skills encompass nearly any

skill that you might need to use in Eclipse Phase, and

they range in value from 0 to 99.

All learned skills have a linked aptitude that is

used to calculate their initial value, and which is

also defaulted to if the player does not have that

particular skill.

Skill Categories


NOTE: Each learned skill is classified as either an Active skill

or a Knowledge skill. Active skills represent skills

that typically require physical actions and are used in

action scenes within game play. Knowledge skills are

more knowledge-based and intellectual, representing

ideas and facts. Knowledge skills may play a less dramatic

role in certain action-oriented game play moments,

but they flesh out the character’s background

and interests and are integral to roleplaying interactions.

Active and Knowledge skills are purchased

separately during character creation.

Active skills are further divided into Combat,

Mental, Physical, Psi, Social, Technical, and Vehicle

skills. Certain traits and abilities may apply to specific

categories.

Field Skills


NOTE: Some learned skills are field skills, meaning that when

this skill is chosen a particular field of emphasis must

also be selected. For example, the skill of Academics

requires the character to specify a specific academic

discipline in which they are knowledgeable, such as

Biology, Chemistry, or Xenosociology. Field skills are

written as “[skill]: [field];” for example: “Art: Painting.”

Field skills can be taken multiple times, choosing

a different area of emphasis each time, reflecting skills

in different fields; that is to say, each field is a separate

skill. Several suggested fields are listed for each field

skill, but gamemasters and players may also cooperate

to create others that fit their games.

Field skills may also have specializations; for example,

Professional: Accounting (Money Laundering).

Psi Skills


NOTE: Psi refers to the ability to perceive and manipulate

biological minds via psi waves and/or other inexplicable

phenomena. Due to the uniqueness of this ability,

characters that wish to wield psi must acquire the Psi trait (p. 147). Psi use also requires a number of

specialized skills (Control, Psi Assault, and Sense) that

reflect special training characters acquire to tap into

their psi powers. Psi skills may not be defaulted on;

the only way to use a psi skill is to possess the trait

along with training in that skill. For more details, see

Psi, p. 220.

Specializations


NOTE: Any character may opt to specialize in a given skill

(see Specializations, p. 123). This specialization reflects

increased knowledge in one particular aspect of the

skill. Many of the skills offered below include sample

specializations. Gamemasters and players are encouraged

to develop other specialization ideas together for

their campaigns.

Specialization provides a +10 modifier when using

that skill in a situation appropriate to that specialization.

USING SKILLSEdit

NOTE: Whenever a character wants to do something using

a skill, they must succeed at a skill test (see Making

Tests, p. 115). The difficulty of the action is applied

as a modifier, as are any other extenuating circumstances

that may affect the test (see Difficulty and

Modifiers, p. 115). As with other types of tests, all skill

tests are successful when the character rolls less than

or equal to the test’s target number after any modifiers

have been applied. In the case of skill tests, the

target number is the character’s skill rating with that

particular skill. Modifiers representing difficulty and

other factors are applied directly to the target number

(see Difficulty and Modifiers, p. 115). A roll of a 00 is

always a success, regardless of modifiers, and a result

of 99 is always a failure, again despite any modifiers

that may increase a character’s target number over

100. Standard critical success and failure rules apply

to skill tests (see Criticals: Rolling Doubles, p. 116),

so any time a character rolls a double (i.e. 00, 11, 22,

33, etc.) they score a critical success or failure.

DefaultingEdit

NOTE: Sometimes you lack the skill needed in a certain situation.

In these instances, characters may default their

skill test to the linked aptitude. This reflects the fact

that most learned skills are developed from some sort

of baseline physical ability. Even though you may not

know how to do something, you’ve likely seen how

it’s done at some point or have some idea of how to

do it, or can at least take a shot at it. Naturally, you’re

not as good as someone who has training in that skill,

but it still allows you to make an attempt.

Not all skills can be defaulted. Some skills are

simply too complex or obscure, or demand special

knowledge or ability, for someone to attempt their

use untrained. For example, brain surgery or most psi

skills are simply beyond anyone who doesn’t have that

ability or the knowledge of what they’re attempting.

Defaulting to Field Skills


NOTE: In some cases, a character may not possess the particular

field skill that a test calls for, but they may be

skilled in another related field. For example, a test to

conduct an alien autopsy might call for an Academics:

Xenobiology roll, but a character who doesn’t have

that skill may be allowed to default to Academics:

Biology instead. The gamemaster decides if and when

to allow this, perhaps applying a modifier to the test

based on the difference between fields.

Defaulting to Related SkillsEdit

NOTE: If the gamemaster allows it, characters may default to

a related skill that also has some relevance to the test

at hand. For example, a character skilled in Kinetic

Weapons might not be trained in the use of a laser, but

they know enough to point at the target and pull the

trigger. Likewise, a character might not be skilled in

Investigation, but the gamemaster could still allow

them to use their Perception skill instead in order to

realize that a body had been moved from the place

where it had been shot. In situations like this, when the

gamemaster allows defaulting to a related skill, a –30

modifier should be applied to the test.

EXAMPLE


NOTE: Srit is wandering through a black market souk on

Mars, trying to find a particular piece of sensory

equipment. The gamemaster calls for a Scrounging

Test, but Srit does not have that skill. She could

default her INT of 22, but instead she asks the

gamemaster if she can default to the related skill

of Perception, which she has at 82. The gamemaster

agrees, and so Srit rolls against a target number

of 52 (82 – 30).

Complementary SkillsEdit

NOTE: Sometimes more than one skill may apply to a particular

test, or knowledge in one area can aid your skill

in another. In this case, the gamemaster may apply a

modifier to the skill test based on the strength of the

complementing skill, as noted on the Complementary

Skill Bonus table.

Example


NOTE: Dav is hoping to persuade a brinker pilot to take him

to an isolated habitat that doesn’t welcome visitors.

To impress upon the pilot that he is a friend of these

particular isolates, he calls on his knowledge of their

particular cultural practices (Interests: Religious

Cults skill at 45). The gamemaster allows this and

applies a +20 modifier to Dav’s Persuasion Test.

Complementary Skill Bonus


NOTE: skill rating modifier

01–30 +10

31–60 +20

61+ +30

Skill RangesEdit

NOTE: What is the difference between being a clumsy neophyte

wobbling in zero gravity and being a veteran

gliding effortlessly through space as though you were

dancing? The answer is training and skill. The greater

your skill, the more likely you are to not only succeed

at what you want to do, but succeed well.

Aptitudes in Eclipse Phase range from 1 to 30,

while learned skills range from 0 to 99. These numbers

are an abstraction of the range of transhuman

abilities and traits. The Aptitude Range table provides

a breakdown of different aptitude levels and how they

relate to each other. Likewise, the Learned Skill Range

table provides an interpretation for the capabilities at

different skill levels.

Learned Skill Ranges


NOTE: skil equivalence

00 No exposure or familiarity, completely unskilled

10 Very rudimentary knowledge

20 Basic operator’s proficiency (driver’s license, gun permit,

high school diploma)

30 Hands-on experience, some professional training

40 Basic professional certification (police driving, army rifle

certified, college diploma)

50 Experience from professional-level work, some

advanced training

60 Expert competence (competitive driver, marksman, PhD)

70 Experience from expert-level work, has had unique innovations

or insights

80 Worthy of being a system-renowned authority on

the subject

90 Nobel/Olympic/grandmaster

99 Pinnacle of current understanding and innovation

APTITUDESEdit

NOTE: There are 7 aptitudes in Eclipse Phase, described on p.

123. Each character has these aptitudes at a minimum

rating of 1.

Aptitude-Only TestsEdit

NOTE: In rare cases, a test may call for using an aptitude

only, rather than a learned skill. This should only

occur when no learned skills are appropriate to the

test, and these circumstances are usually noted in

the rules.

Aptitude-only tests must be handled carefully, as

the range of aptitude ratings (1–30) is typically much

smaller than the rating of learned skills (0–99). For

this reason, most aptitude tests should use a target

number equal to the aptitude x 3. In rare cases where

the test is more difficult, the gamemaster may simply

use an aptitude x 2, or just the straight aptitude rating.

In some cases, more than one aptitude may be relevant

to the test, and so they may be added together

to derive the target number.

What follows are a few examples where an aptitudeonly

test might be appropriate. Gamemasters may call

for similar tests in other situations, but learned skills

should be used whenever possible.

Brute Strength


NOTE: Any test that involves simple brute strength can be

handled as an SOM x 3 Test. Use this when smashing

down a door, breaking an item in half, engaging in a

tug-of-war, or lifting and carrying a heavy item.

Catching Thrown Objects


NOTE: Use REF + (COO x 2) any time you need to catch a

thrown or dropped object, such as catching a baseball,

saving a priceless vase from shattering, or throwing

back a grenade (see p. 200).

Composure and Resolve


NOTE: Various game situations may frighten your character,

turn their stomach, horrify them, or rattle them to the

core of their being. Use WIL x 3 to determine if your

character can hold their ground, keep it down, and

pull themselves together.

Escape Artist


NOTE: If a character wants to slip free of physical bonds (such

as ropes or handcuffs) or otherwise contort themselves

(such as wriggling out from under a collapsed wall or

an overturned vehicle), an Escape Artist Test may be

called for using the character’s COO + SOM. Apply

modifiers appropriate to the difficulty of the situation.

At the gamemaster’s discretion, escaping from some

restraining situations may be considered a Task Action

with an appropriate timeframe.

Having An Idea


NOTE: Sometimes the players miss the obvious, or their personal

mindset or biases cause them to misinterpret a

situation or understand events in a way different from

how the actual character would. In cases like this, the

gamemaster can call for an INT x 3 or COG x 3 roll

(whichever is more appropriate) to determine if the

character gets an idea that will help them along. This

test should be used sparingly, and only for assessing

the character’s interpretation of obvious and known

facts and details.

Memorizing and Remembering


NOTE: Memories are what egos use to maintain continuity of

self from morph to morph, but humans are notorious

for remembering things incorrectly. Whenever characters

attempt to recall a memory or memorize some

piece of information, use COG x 3 to determine how

well they succeed. Note that characters with eidetic

memory (p. 146 or 301) or mnemonic augmentation

(p. 307) have perfect memory, so no test is required.

Aptitude Comparison: Flats vs. Splicers and Exalts


NOTE: Compared to humans in the early 21st Century, the average transhuman in the world of Eclipse Phase is faster,

smarter, stronger, and healthier than their unaugmented predecessors. Normal unaugmented humans, called

flats (p. 139), most closely approximate the type of person that was born in our time. The majority of people,

however, inhabit bodies that are known as splicers (p. 139) or exalts (p. 139) (well, those with biological bodies

anyway). Splicers are genefixed to avoid genetic defects and optimized for certain characteristics, while exalts

are tweaked to make them superior across the board: they are more attractive, more athletic, have greater

cognitive capacity, and are more attuned to the world around them than their unaugmented kin.

Aptitude Range


NOTE: Rating Asesment Somatics Cordination Reflexes Cognition Intuition Savvy Wilpower

1–5 child average inept clumsy slow limited aware awkward distracted

6–10 adult average weak able paced intelligent perceptive personable controlled

11–15 transhuman average fit coordinated swift bright sharp charismatic focused

16–20 enhanced enhanced agile fast learned uncanny dazzling resolute

21–25 superhuman gifted nimble lightning brilliant prescient mesmerizing unwavering

26-30 posthuman elite unerring synaptic genius near omniscient hypnotic unshakable

COMPLETE SKILL LISTEdit

NOTE: This section details all of the learned skills available inEclipse Phase. Gamemasters and players may, of course, agree to add additional skills to this list as appropriate to their campaign.

ACADEMICS: [FIELD]


NOTE: Type:Field, Knowledge


Linked Aptitude:COG


What it is:Academics covers any sort of specialized non-applied knowledge you can only get through intensive education. Most theoretical and applied sciences, social sciences, transhumanities, etc. are covered by this skill. Most of the other skills listed in this chapter could also be taken as an Academics field, reflecting a working theoretical knowledge of the skill—for example, Academics: Armorer or Academics: Interrogation.


When you use it:Academics is used when a character wishes to call upon a specific body of knowledge. For example, Academics: Chemistry could be used to identify a particular substance, understand an unusual chemical reaction, or determine what elements are needed to nanofabricate something that requires exotic materials. At the gamemaster’s discretion, some Academics-related tests might not be defaultable, given that only someone who has been educated in that subject is likely to be able to tackle it.


Sample Fields:Archeology, Astrobiology, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Astrosociology, Biochemistry, Biology, Botany, Computer Science,Cryptography, Economics, Engineering, Genetics, Geology, Linguistics, Mathematics, Memetics, Nanotechnology, Old Earth History, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Xeno-archeology, Xenolinguistics, Zoology


Specializations:As appropriate to the field

Animal HandlingEdit

NOTE: Type: Active, Social

Linked Aptitude: SAV

What it is: Skilled animal handlers are able to train and control a wide variety of natural and transgenic animals, including partial uplifts. Though many animal species went extinct during the Fall, a few “ark” and zoo habitats keep some species alive, and many others can be resurrected from genetic samples. Exotic animals are considered a sign of prestige among the hypercorp elites, and guard animals are occasionally used to protect high-security installations. Likewise, many habitats and settlements employ small armies of partially uplifted, genetically modified, and behavior-controlled creatures for sanitation or other purposes. Many new and strange breeds of animal are created daily to serve a variety of roles. When you use it: Animal Handling is used whenever you are trying to manipulate an animal, whether your intent is to calm it down, keep it from attacking, intimidate it, acquire its trust, or goad it into attacking. Your Margin of Success determines how effective you are at convincing the creature. At the gamemaster’s discretion, modifiers may be applied to the test. Likewise, winning an animal over may sometimes take time, and so could be handled as a Task Action with a timeframe of five minutes or more. Specializations: Per animal species (dogs, horses, smart

rats, etc.)

Training Animals


NOTE: Training animals is a time-consuming task requiring

repeated efforts and rewards to reinforce the trained

behavior. Treat this as a Task Action with a timeframe

of one day to one month, depending on the complexity

of the action. Apply modifiers to this test based on

the relative intelligence of the animal being trained,

how domestic it is, and the complexity of the task.

Once an animal has been trained, commanding

it is treated as a Simple Success Test (p. 118) except

for unusual or stressful situations, in which case the

trainer receives a +30 modifier on their Animal Handling

Tests when convincing the animal to complete

the trained action.

Art: [Field]


NOTE: Type: Field, Knowledge

Linked Aptitude: INT

What it is: Art confers the ability to create and evaluate

artistic endeavors. This is a particularly useful

skill in Eclipse Phase, especially in the post-scarcity

economies where creativity and vision can be a key

component to a character’s reputation. When you use it: The Art skill can be used to either

create a new work of art or to duplicate an existing

piece of art in the hopes of passing it off as your

own. The skill can also determine the approximate

value of a piece of art either on the open market, for

monetary exchange systems, or in terms of reputation

for the artist.

Sample Fields: Architecture, Criticism, Dance, Drama,

Drawing, Painting, Performance, Sculpture, Simulspace

Design, Singing, Speech, Writing

Specializations: As appropriate to the field

Beam Weapons


NOTE: Type: Active, Combat

Linked Aptitude: COO

What it is: The Beam Weapons skill covers the usage

and maintenance of standard coherent beam energy

weapons such as lasers, particle beam weapons,

plasma rifles, and microwave weapons (p. 338).

When you use it: A player uses their Beam Weapons

skill whenever attacking with a beam weapon in

combat (p. 191). Beam Weapons may also be used for

tests involving maintenance of the weapon, but not

for repairing or modifying the weapon (that would be

Hardware: Armorer skill).

Specializations: Lasers, Microwave Weapons, Particle

Beam Weapons, Plasma Rifles

Blades


NOTE: Type: Active, Combat

Linked Aptitude: SOM

What it is: The Blades skill covers the usage and

maintenance of standard bladed weapons (p. 334).

When you use it: A player uses their Blades skill

whenever attacking with a blade weapon in melee

combat (p. 191). Blades may also be used for tests

involving maintenance of the weapon, but not for

repairing or modifying the weapon (that would be

Hardware: Armorer skill). This skill is used for blade

weapons implanted in the body at the end of an appendage

(hands, forearms, feet, octomorph arms, etc.),

but the Exotic Melee Weapon skill is used for blades

implanted in other parts of the body.

Specializations: Axes, Implant Blades, Knives, Swords

Climbing


NOTE: Type: Active, Physical

Linked Aptitude: SOM

What it is: Climbing is the skill of ascending and

descending sheer surfaces with or without the aid of

specialized equipment.

When you use it: This skill is used whenever a character

wishes to scale a climbable surface. For heights

greater than one story, climbing is handled as a Task

Action with a timeframe equivalent to one meter per

Action Phase. For rappelling, the timeframe for descent

is 50 meters per Action Turn. Climbing gear (p.

332-333) provides appropriate modifiers.

Specializations: Assisted, Freehand, Rappelling

Clubs


NOTE: Type: Active, Combat

Linked Aptitude: SOM

What it is: The Clubs skill covers the usage and

maintenance of standard blunt melee weapons such

as batons or sticks (see p. 334).

When you use it: Players use their Clubs skill when-

ever they want to attack with a blunt weapon in melee

combat (p. 191). The Clubs skill may also be used for

tests involving maintenance of the weapon, but not

for repairing or modifying the weapon (that would be

Hardware: Armorer skill).

Specializations: Batons, Hammers, Staffs



Control


NOTE: CONTROL

Type: Active, Mental, Psi

Linked Aptitude: WIL

What it is: Control is the use of psi to manipulate

individuals or actively penetrate their mental pro-

cesses. This skill is only available to characters with

the Psi trait (p. 147).

When you use it: Use Control when taking a psionic

tour through a foreign ego—messing around included.

See Psi, p. 220.

Specializations: By sleight



Deception


NOTE: DECEPTION

Type: Active, Social

Linked Aptitude: SAV

What it is: Deception is your ability to act, bluff,

con, fast talk, lie, misrepresent, and pretend. Accom-

plished users of deception are able to convince anyone

of nearly anything. This skill does not include using a

physical disguise to appear to be another person (the

Impersonate skill covers that area).

When you use it: Use this skill whenever you want

to deceive someone with words or gestures. A success-

ful skill test means that you have passed off your de-

ception convincingly. At the gamemaster's discretion,

someone who is actively alert for signs of deception

may make an Opposed Test using the Kinesics skill.

Specializations: Acting, Bluffing, Fast Talk



Demolitions


NOTE: DEMOLITIONS

Type: Active, Technical

Linked Aptitude: COG (no defaulting)

What it is: Demolitions covers the use of controlled

explosives.

When you use it: Use it when making, placing, and

disarming explosives and explosive devices. See De-

molitions, p. 197.

Specializations: Commercial Explosives, Disarming,

Improvised Explosives

Disguise


NOTE: DISGUISE

Type: Active, Physical

Linked Aptitude: INT

What it is: Disguise is the art of physically altering

your appearance so that you look like someone else.

This includes both the use of props (wigs, contacts,

skin pigments) and the altering of subtle physical

characteristics (gait, posture, poise).

When you use it: Use Disguise to fool someone into

thinking you're someone you're not. This can be used

to hide your identity or to make yourself look like

someone in particular. When used against someone

who knows your true look or the appearance of the

person you are imitating, this is handled as an Op-

posed Test against Perception or Investigation.

Specializations: Cosmetic, Theatrical



Exotic Melee Weapon: [Field]


NOTE: EXOTIC MELEE WEAPON: [FIELD]

Type: Field, Active, Combat

Linked Aptitude: SOM

What it is: The Exotic Melee Weapon skill covers

the use and maintenance of all melee weapons not

covered by the Clubs or Blades skills (see p. 334).

When you use it: Use the Exotic Melee Weapon skill

when attacking someone with an exotic melee weapon

in melee combat (p. 191).

Sample Fields: Morning Star, Spear, Whip

Specializations: N/A



Exotic Ranged Weapon: [Field]


NOTE: EXOTIC RANGED WEAPON: [FIELD]

Type: Field, Active, Combat

Linked Aptitude: COO

What it is: Exotic Ranged Weapon skill includes

the use and maintenance of all ranged weapons not

covered by the Beam, Flechette, Kinetic, Sonic, or

Throwing Weapons skills.

When you use it: Use this skill whenever attacking with

an exotic ranged weapon in ranged combat (p. 191).

Sample Fields: Blowgun, Crossbow, Flamethrower,

Slingshot

Specializations: N/A

Flight


NOTE: FLIGHT

Type: Active, Physical

Linked Aptitude: SOM

What it is: Flight is the skill of using your body to

fly. This skill is used when sleeved in or jamming a

winged or otherwise flight-capable morph (manual and

remote-control flight are handled using Pilot skill).

When you use it: Use this skill whenever you need to

make an aerial maneuver, land in difficult conditions,

maintain your course in steep winds, or otherwise

keep from crashing or falling.

Specializations: Diving, Landing, Takeoff, specific

maneuvers

Fray


NOTE: FRAY

Type: Active, Combat

Linked Aptitude: REF

What it is: Fray is the ability to get out of the way

of incoming attacks, debris, or inconvenient passers-by.

Characters that have a high Fray score are able to react

quicker than others when dodging or maneuvering.

When you use it: Whenever a character is physically

attacked by an opponent in melee combat, roll Fray to

avoid getting hit (see p. 191). Fray may also be used

to dodge other events that may harm the character,

such as avoiding a charging vehicle or jumping out of

the way of a collapsing stack of crates.

Specializations: Blades, Clubs, Full Defense, Unarmed

Free Fall


NOTE: FREE FALL

Type: Active, Physical

Linked Aptitude: REF

What it is: Free Fall is about moving in free-fall and

microgravity environments.

When you use it: Use whenever you need to maneu-

ver in a zero-g situation, such as propelling yourself

across a large open space or making sure you don't

accidentally send yourself spinning off into space.

Free Fall is also used when moving with spacesuit

maneuvering jets and when parachuting.

Specializations: Microgravity, Parachuting, Vacsuits

Freerunning


NOTE: FREERUNNING

Type: Active, Physical

Linked Aptitude: SOM

What it is: Freerunning is part running, part gymnas-

tics. It is about moving fast, maneuvering over/under/

around/through obstacles, and placing your body

where it needs to go. Freerunning/parkour is a popular

pastime in habitats where open space is limited.

When you use it: Use Freerunning whenever you

need to overcome an obstacle via movement, such

as hurdling a railing, rolling across the hood of a

car, jumping across a pit, or swinging around a pole.

Freerunning is also used for sprinting (p. 191) and full

defense against attacks (p. 198).

Specializations: Balance, Gymnastics, Jumping, Running

Gunnery


NOTE: GUNNERY

Type: Active, Combat

Linked Aptitude: INT

What it is: Gunnery skill covers the use and main-

tenance of large, vehicular, or non-portable weapons

systems. Firing these weapons is more like playing a

video game than firing a gun.

When you use it: Use Gunnery when attacking with

a vehicle-mounted weapon or weapon emplacement

in ranged combat (p. 191).

Specializations: Artillery, Missiles

HARDWARE: [FIELD]

Type: Field, Active, Technical

Linked Aptitude: COG

What it is: This skill encompasses the ability to

build, repair, physically hack, and upgrade equipment

of a specific type.

When you use it: Hardware is primarily used to repair

devices, vehicles, habitat systems, or synthetic morphs.

See Building, Repairing, and Modifying below.

Sample Fields: Aerospace (all air and space vehicles),

Armorer (armor and weapons), Electronics (all

computerized devices), Groundcraft, Implants, In-

dustrial (habitat, factory, and life support systems),

Nautical (watercraft and submarines), Robotics

(synthetic morphs)

Specializations: As appropriate to the field

HARDWARE: [FIELD]Edit

NOTE: HARDWARE: [FIELD]


Type:Field, Active, Technical

Linked Aptitude:COG


What it is:This skill encompasses the ability to build, repair, physically hack, and upgrade equipment of a specific type.

When you use it: Hardware is primarily used to repair devices, vehicles, habitat systems, or synthetic morphs. SeeBuilding, Repairing, and Modifying below.

Sample Fields:Aerospace (all air and space vehicles), Armorer (armor and weapons), Electronics (all computerized devices), Groundcraft, Implants, Industrial (habitat, factory, and life support systems), Nautical (watercraft and submarines), Robotics (synthetic morphs)

Specializations:As appropriate to the field

BUILDING


NOTE: BUILDING

Creating an item from scratch is handled as a Task Action with a timeframe determined by the gamemaster. The timeframe should be set according to the complexity of the object and could range from an hour (constructing a set of shelves) to days (assembling a robot from spare parts) to even months (building a house). Numerous factors may apply modifiers to the test, such as the use of entoptic blueprints/help manuals (+20) or poor working conditions (–10 to –30). Tools are also a factor, perhaps making the job easier (superior tools +10 to +30), more difficult (poor or inadequate tools, –10 to –30), or even impossible (lack of required tools).

REPAIRING


NOTE: Damaged items may be repaired in a similar manner. See the rules forSynthmorph and Object Repair, p. 209.

MODIFYING


NOTE: Altering an object's design and function follows the same basic rules as build and repair, above. The time-frame is determined by the gamemaster as appropriate to the modification.

Impersonation


NOTE: IMPERSONATION

Type: Active, Social

Linked Aptitude: SAV

What it is: Impersonation is the skill of trying to

pass yourself off as someone else in social situations,

including virtual ones. This includes copying manner-

isms and speech patterns and using accumulated in-

formation to convince others that you are that person.

In a universe where appearance is highly variable, the

question of identity is largely one of both trust and

picking up on behavioral quirks and verbal cues to

recognize a given individual.

When you use it: Sometimes it's fun to pretend

you're someone else, and sometimes it's profitable

or lifesaving. Use this skill whenever you attempt

to convince someone that you are actually someone

else through some sort of social or online interaction.

Forks use this skill when passing themselves off as

their alpha ego. Impersonate is handled as an Op-

posed Test against the Kinesics skill.

Specializations: Avatar, Face-to-Face, Verbal

Infiltration


NOTE: INFILTRATION

Type: Active, Physical

Linked Aptitude: COO

What it is: Infiltration is the art of escaping

detection.

When you use it: Use Infiltration whenever you

need to physically hide or move with stealth to avoid

someone sensing you, whether you are hiding behind

a tree, sneaking past a guard, or blending into a

crowd. Infiltration can also be used to follow people

(shadowing) without them detecting you. Infiltration

is an Opposed Test against the Perception of whom-

ever you are hiding from. The gamemaster may wish

to roll such tests in secret so the player does not know

whether they have succeeded or failed.

Specializations: Blending In, Hiding, Shadowing,

Sneaking

INFOSEC


NOTE: INFOSEC

Type:Active, Technical

Linked Aptitude:COG (no defaulting)

What it is: Infosec is short for “information security.” It encompasses training in electronic intrusion and counterintrusion techniques, as well as encryption and decryption.

When you use it:Infosec is used both for hacking into electronic devices and mesh networks and for protecting them. See theMesh chapter, p. 234, for more details.

Specializations:Brute-Force Hacking, Decryption, Probing, Security, Sniffing, Spoofing

INTEREST: [FIELD]


NOTE: INTEREST: [FIELD]


Type:Field, Knowledge


Linked Aptitude:COG


What it is:Interest includes just about any topic that captures your attention that isn't covered by another skill. This includes hobbies, obsessions, causes, pastimes, and other recreational pursuits.



When you use it:Use the Interest skill whenever you need to recall or use knowledge related to the particular interest in question.


Field Examples:Ancient Sports, Celebrity Gossip, Conspiracies, Factor Trivia, Gambling, Hypercorp Politics, Lunar Habitats, Martian Beers, Old Earth

Nation-States, Reclaimer Blogs, Science Fiction, Scum Drug Dealers, Spaceship Models, Triad Economics, Underground XP


Specializations:As appropriate to the field

INTERFACING


NOTE: INTERFACING

Type:Active, Technical

Linked Aptitude:COG

What it is: Interfacing is about using computerized electronic devices and software.

When you use it:Use Interfacing to understand an electronic device you are not familiar with, use a program according to its normal operating parameters, manipulate electronic files of various types (including images, video, XP, and audio files), scan for wireless devices, and otherwise interact with and command your ecto, muse, and other computerized devices. Some Interfacing actions may be Task Actions, with a timeframe determined by the gamemaster. For more

detail, see theMesh chapter, p. 234.

Specializations: Forgery, Scanning, Stealthing, by program

Intimidation


NOTE: INTIMIDATION

Type: Active, Social

Linked Aptitude: SAV

What it is: Intimidation is convincing someone to

do what you want based on direct threats (implied or

actual) or sheer force of personality.

When you use it: Use Intimidation to scare someone

into submission, browbeat them into getting your way,

command them to follow your orders, or berate them

into giving up information. Influence is handled as an

Opposed Test, pitted against the target's WIL + WIL

+ SAV.

Specializations: Interrogation, Physical, Verbal

Investigation


NOTE: INVESTIGATION

Type: Active, Mental

Linked Aptitude: INT

What it is: Investigation is the art of analyzing

evidence, piecing together clues, solving mysteries,

and making logical deductions from groups of facts.

Investigation differs from Perception in that it is the

conscious search for clues or pieces of a puzzle.

When you use it: Use Investigation to draw conclu-

sions from assorted details. For example, Investiga-

tion could be used to determine the likely sequence

of events at a crime scene, determine a possible social

connection between two people, or deduce how an

enemy made their escape. Investigation is a great way


%%% txt/183.txt

to provide clues to players, especially when the subject

matter is something their character might know well

but the player does not.

Specializations: Evidence Analysis, Logical Deductions,

Physical Investigation, Physical Tracking

KinesicsEdit

NOTE: KINESICS

Type: Active, Social

Linked Aptitude: SAV

What it is: Kinesics is the art of empathy and non-

vocal communication.

When you use it: Use Kinesics to read body language,

tells, social cues, and other subconscious indicators. It

can also be used to emote more effectively. Kinesics

is used defensively whenever someone is trying to de-

ceive you; make an Opposed Test against that person's

Deception or Impersonation skill.

Though synthetic morphs are also designed to

emote, reading them is not as easy. Apply a –30 modi-

fier when judging a synthetic morph inhabited by a

character or AGI. Likewise, standard AIs are also dif-

ficult to read; apply a –60 modifier when judging a

synthetic morph or pod operated by an AI.

Specializations: Judge Intent, Nonvocal Communication

Judging Emotions and Intentions


NOTE: JUDGING EMOTIONS AND INTENTIONS

Transhumans are empathic beings, and so you can

attempt to gauge the demeanor and/or intent of

someone you are dealing with by rolling a Kinesics

Test. This attempt to read someone is far from exact,

however, and it is easy to misjudge. The gamemaster

should make this test in secret and only allow a hint

if successful—it is not possible to read someone with

absolute certainty. If the person being judged is inten-

tionally trying to deceive the character, this should be

an Opposed Test against their Deception skill.

Nonvocal Communication


NOTE: NONVOCAL COMMUNICATION

Experts in Kinesics can effectively communicate

with each other simply by posture, stances, gestures,

demeanors, and looks. Such communication is nec-

essarily limited in the amount of information it can

convey, but feelings, attitudes, affirmation/negation,

and simple concepts may be passed. To effectively

communicate complex concepts, the gamemaster may

require successful Kinesics Tests from both parties, ap-

plying modifiers as appropriate.

Kinetic Weapons


NOTE: KINETIC WEAPONS

Type: Active, Combat

Linked Aptitude: COO

What it is: Kinetic Weapons covers the use and

maintenance of standard kinetic projectile weapons

like firearms and railguns (p. 335).

When you use it: Use this skill whenever attacking

with a kinetic weapon in ranged combat (p. 191).

Specializations: Assault Rifles, Machine Guns, Pistols,

Sniper Rifles, Submachine Guns

Language: [Field]Edit

NOTE: LANGUAGE: [FIELD]

Type: Field, Knowledge

Linked Aptitude: INT

What it is: Language covers the speaking and

reading of languages other than the player's native

tongue. A speaker is considered fluent at a skill level

of 50; anything above this indicates further refine-

ment in technical vocabulary, accents, and knowl-

edge of dialects.

When you use it: Use the Language skill whenever

you want to speak, understand, or read something in

a language at which you are skilled. Most speaking

and reading comprehension tests can be considered

Simple Success Tests if your skill is over 50, unless the

gamemaster rules the subject is sufficiently complex

that a non-native speaker would have trouble under-

standing it.

Sample Fields: Arabic, Cantonese, English, French,

Hindi, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian,

Spanish

Specializations: As appropriate to the field, represent-

ing dialects, technical jargon, and subcultural slang

Languages In Eclipse Phase


NOTE: LANGUAGES IN

ECLIPSE PHASE

With the Fall of Earth, the languages that

remain most prominent in the solar system are

those that were extensively carried into space

by countries and hypercorps with aggressive

space programs or by the large populations

of poor laborers and infomorph refugees that

followed. No single language dominated the

realm of space expansion, and multilingual-

ism was common. Many habitats and (sub)

cultural groupings cling to specific languages

as a method of retaining cultural identity. De-

spite the availability of instant translation via

the mesh, many people remain versed in two or

more languages.

The ten most common languages in the solar

system by speaking populations are: Arabic,

Cantonese, English, French, Hindi, Japanese,

Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Other languages that remain strong include

Bengali, Dutch, Farsi, German, Italian, Javanese,

Korean, Polish, Punjabi, Swedish, Tamil, Turkish,

Urdu, Vietnamese, and Wu. Some languages

were effectively lost during the Fall, especially

those in some undeveloped regions, as their

speaking populations did not migrate into space

pre-Fall and were not privileged enough to sur-

vive in large numbers as infomorph refugees.

Medicine: [Field]


NOTE: MEDICINE: [FIELD]

Type: Field, Active, Technical

Linked Aptitude: COG

What it is: Medicine is the applied care and mainte-

nance of biological beings and life.

When you use it: Use Medicine whenever you need

to apply medical care beyond the immediate help

provided by first responders. This includes conduct-

ing physical exams, diagnosing ailments, treating

problems and illnesses, surgery, using biotech and

nanotech medical tools, and long-term care. See Heal-

ing and Repair, p. 208.

Sample Fields: Biosculpting, Exotic Biomorphs,

Gene Therapy, General Practice, Implant Surgery,

Nanomedicine, Mercurials (by type), Paramedic,

Pods, Psychiatry, Remote Surgery, Trauma Surgery,

Veterinary

Specializations: As appropriate to the field

Navigation


NOTE: NAVIGATION

Type: Active, Mental

Linked Aptitude: INT

What it is: Navigation is the art of finding your way,

whether using AR maps, a compass, the stars, or an

astrogation AI.

When you use it: Use Navigation whenever you

need to plot out a course, determine a direction, or

otherwise keep from getting lost.

Specializations: Astrogation, Map Making, Map

Reading

Networking: [Field]


NOTE: NETWORKING: [FIELD]

Type: Active, Social

Linked Aptitude: SAV

What it is: Networking is your skill at working your

contacts, trading favors, and keeping your finger on

the pulse of a particular faction or cultural grouping.

When you use it: Use Networking to gather infor-

mation or call on services using your Reputation (see

Reputation and Social Networks, p. 285).

Sample Fields: Autonomists (@-rep), Criminals (g-rep),

Ecologists (e-rep), Firewall (i-rep), Hypercorps (c-

rep), Media (f-rep), Scientists (r-rep). At the game-

master's discretion, this list can be expanded to

other (sub)cultural groupings.

Specializations: As appropriate to each field

Palming


NOTE: PALMING

Type: Active, Physical

Linked Aptitude: COO

What it is: Palming is the skill of handling items quick-

ly and nimbly without others noticing. Palming is not

only about dexterous manipulation of objects but also

relies heavily on obfuscation, timing, and misdirection.

When you use it: Use Palming any time you are

trying to conceal an item on your person, shoplift,

pick a pocket, surreptitiously discard something, or

perform a magic trick. Palming is an Opposed Test

against the Perception of any onlookers. The game-

master may wish to make this roll secretly.

Specializations: Pickpocketing, Shoplifting, Tricks

PERCEPTION


NOTE: PERCEPTION

Type:Active, Mental

Linked Aptitude:INT

What it is:Perception is the use of your physical senses (including cybernetic) and awareness of the physical world around you. Perception differs from

Investigation in that it is noticing things by chance, rather than actively searching for something.

When you use it:Use Perception whenever you wanted to take a detailed account of your surroundings (see Detailed Perception, p. 190). Perception

can also be considered an Automatic Action (see Basic Perception, p. 190) and so the gamemaster may call for a Perception Test to determine if you notice something; it is recommended that such tests be rolled secretly by the gamemaster. Perception is also used as an Opposed Test whenever someone around you is trying to be sneaky with Infiltration or Palming.

Specializations:Aural, Olfactory, Tactile, Taste, Visual

Persuasion


NOTE: PERSUASION

Type: Active, Social

Linked Aptitude: SAV

What it is: Persuasion is the art of convincing

someone to do what you want through the use of

words and gestures. This does not include persuasion

through threats or force (that is covered by Intimida-

tion) or by lying (covered by Deception).

When you use it: Use Persuasion any time you are

trying to bargain with, convince, or manipulate some-

one. This can include motivating your subordinates or

peers to take action, seducing a companion, winning

a political debate, or negotiating a contract, among

other things. Persuasion is handled as an Opposed

Test against the target's WIL + WIL + SAV when one

person is simply trying to win over another. If both

parties are trying to convince each other, make it an

Opposed Test between Persuasion skills.

Specializations: Diplomacy, Morale Boosting, Negoti-

ating, Seduction

Pilot: [Field]


NOTE: PILOT: [FIELD]

Type: Field, Active, Vehicle

Linked Aptitude: REF

What it is: Pilot is your skill at driving/flying a ve-

hicle of a particular type.

When you use it: You use Pilot skill whenever you

need to maneuver, control, or avoid crashing a vehicle,

whether you are in the pilot's seat, remote controlling

a robot, or directly jamming a vehicle with VR. Each

vehicle has a Handling modifier that applies to this

test, along with other situational modifiers (see Bots,

Synthmorphs, and Vehicles, p. 195).

Sample Fields: Aircraft, Anthroform (walkers), Exotic

Vehicle, Groundcraft (wheeled or tracked), Space-

craft, Watercraft

Specializations: As appropriate to the field

PROFESSION: [FIELD]


NOTE: PROFESSION: [FIELD]


Type:Field, Knowledge


Linked Aptitude:COG


What it is: Profession skills indicate training in a profession practiced inEclipse Phase. This can indicate either formal training or informal, on-the-job type training, and includes both legal and extralegal trades.


When you use it: Use Profession to perform work- related tasks for a specific trade (i.e. mining, balancing accounts, designing a security system, etc.) or to reference specialized knowledge that someone trained in that profession might have.


Sample Fields: Accounting, Appraisal, Asteroid Prospecting, Banking, Cool Hunting, Con Schemes, Distribution, Forensics, Lab Technician, Mining, Police Procedures, Psychotherapy, Security Ops, Smuggling Tricks, Social Engineering, Squad Tactics, Viral Marketing, XP Production


Specializations:As appropriate to the field

Nanofabrication


NOTE: NANOFABRICATION

Nanofabrication is use of Programming skill to create

objects using a cornucopia machine, fabber, or maker

(p. 327). If you have appropriate blueprints and raw

materials, most uses of a nanofabricator can be treated

as a Simple Success Test (p. 118). If you wish to create

an item for which you do not have blueprints or the

proper raw materials, however, or you wish to alter an

item's design, then a Nanofabrication Test is called for.

See Nanofabrication, p. 284.

Specializations: Art, Clothing, Electronics, Food, Forg-

ery, Weapons

PROGRAMMING


NOTE: PROGRAMMING

Type: Active, Technical

Linked Aptitude:COG (no defaulting)

What it is:Programming is your talent at writing and modifying software code.

When you use it:Use Programming to write new programs, modify or patch existing software, break copy protection, find or introduce exploitable flaws,

write virii or worms, design virtual settings, and so on. See the Mesh chapter, p. 234. Programming is also applied when using nanofabrication devices.

Specializations: AI Code, Malware, Nanofabrication, Piracy, Simulspace Code

ProtocolEdit

NOTE: PROTOCOL

Type: Active, Social

Linked Aptitude: SAV

What it is: Protocol is the art of making a good

impression in social settings. This includes keeping

up with the latest memes, trends, gossip, interests and

habits of various (sub)cultural group.

When you use it: Use Protocol whenever you need

to choose your words carefully, determine who is the

appropriate person to speak to, impress someone with

your grasp of customs, or otherwise fit into a specific

social/cultural grouping. Part etiquette, part streetwise,

Protocol allows you to navigate treacherous social

waters and put people at ease. If the character is deal-

ing with a suspicious or hostile audience, make this an

Opposed Test against the target's WIL + WIL + SAV.

Specializations: Anarchist, Brinker, Criminal, Factor,

Hypercorp, Infomorph, Mercurial, Reclaimer, Pres-

ervationist, Scum, Ultimate

Negating Social Gaffes


NOTE: NEGATING SOCIAL GAFFES

Sometimes a player will make a mistake that their

character never would, whether that's failing to stand

in the presence of hypercorp royalty, confusing a gang

leader for a peon, or accidentally insulting someone's

heritage. In cases like this, the player may make a Pro-

tocol Test for the appropriate field in order to negate

the gaffe. If successful, the character never actually

screwed up, or at least managed to cover their tracks

without ruffling any feathers.

Psi Assault


NOTE: PSI ASSAULT

Type: Active, Mental, Psi

Linked Aptitude: WIL

What it is: Psi Assault is the skill of damaging an-

other ego's mind. It can only be purchased by charac-

ters with the Psi trait (p. 147).

What it does: Use Psi Assault when attacking an-

other ego's mind in psi combat.

Specializations: By sleight

Psychosurgery


NOTE: PSYCHOSURGERY

Type: Active, Technical

Linked Aptitude: INT

What it is: Psychosurgery is the use of machine-

aided psychological techniques to repair, damage, or

manipulate the psyche.

When you use it: Use Psychosurgery to attempt the

tricky process of editing someone's mind (see Psycho-

surgery, p. 229). Psychosurgery can be used benefi-

cially to help patients who remember their deaths, feel

disconnected after remorphing, or have experienced

other sorts of mental traumas. This skill may also be

used to interrogate, torture, or otherwise mess with

captive minds in a VR environment.

Specializations: Memory Manipulation, Personality

Editing, Psychotherapy

RESEARCH


NOTE: RESEARCH

Type:Active, Technical

Linked Aptitude:COG

What it is:Research is the skill for looking up information on the Mesh: searching, sifting, mining, and interpreting data. This includes knowing where to look, what links to follow, and how to optimize your queries.

When you use it:Use the Research skill whenever you need to look up the answer to a question, find databases, search archives, or track down anything

online. Research is typically a Task Action with the timeframe and difficulty modifier determined by the gamemaster. See the Online Research, p. 249.

Specializations:Tracking, by information type

Scrounging


NOTE: SCROUNGING

Type: Active, Mental

Linked Aptitude: INT

What it is: Scrounging is your ability to find things,

particularly things of use or value that are concealed,

buried, or hard to find. This includes knowing where

to look and what to look for. Scrounging differs from

both Perception and Investigation in that it is about

finding items hidden among others, and in most cases

about finding something in particular (food, valu-

ables, etc.).

When you use it: Use Scrounging to dumpster-dive a

meal, search ruins for relics, find bargains at a bazaar,

forage berries in the forest, locate a spacesuit in an

abandoned ship, etc. Scrounging is typically handled

as a Task Action with a timeframe and difficulty

modifier determined by the gamemaster.

Specializations: Bazaars, Forests, Habitats, Ruins

Seeker Weapons


NOTE: SEEKER WEAPONS

Type: Active, Combat

Linked Aptitude: COO

What it is: Seeker Weapons covers the use and

maintenance of seeker launchers (p. 339) and seeker

missiles (p. 340).

When you use it: Use this skill when attacking with

a seeker in ranged combat (p. 191).

Specializations: Armband, Pistol, Rifle, Underbarrel

Sense


NOTE: SENSE

Type: Active, Mental, Psi

Linked Aptitude: INT

What it is: Sense is the use of psi to scan egos. Only

characters with the Psi trait (p. 147) may purchase

this skill.

What it does: See Psi, p. 220.

Specializations: By sleight

Spray Weapons


NOTE: SPRAY WEAPONS

Type: Active, Combat

Linked Aptitude: COO

What it is: The Spray Weapons skill covers the use

and maintenance of cone-effect ranged weapons (see

Spray Weapons, p. 340).

When you use it: A player uses their Sonic Weapons

skill whenever they are attacking with a spray weapon

in ranged combat (p. 191).

Specializations: Buzzer, Freezer, Shard, Shredder, Torch

Swimming


NOTE: SWIMMING

Type: Active, Physical

Linked Aptitude: SOM

What it is: Swimming is the art of moving and

not drowning within fl uids. It includes fl oating,

surface swimming, snorkeling, diving, and related

equipment use.

When you use it: Use Swimming whenever you

need to move and survive in water or another liquid

environment. Swimming in a non-threatening en-

vironment can be handled as a Simple Success Test.

Swimming over a long distance could be handled as

a Task Action. Diving off a cliff into a lake, prevent-

ing yourself from being swept away in a raging river

current, or making sure you've set a proper gas mix

for a deep-sea dive, among other things, requires a

Success Test.

Specializations: Diving, Freestyle, Underwater Diving

Throwing Weapons


NOTE: THROWING WEAPONS

Type: Active, Combat

Linked Aptitude: COO

What it is: Throwing Weapons skill covers the use

and maintenance of standard throwing weapons, like

grenades (p. 340).

When you use it: Use Throwing Weapons skill

whenever you are attacking with a throwing weapon

in ranged combat (p. 191).

Specializations: Grenades, Knives, Rocks

Unarmed Combat


NOTE: Type: Active, Combat

Linked Aptitude: SOM

What it is: Unarmed Combat is your ability to attack and

defend without using weapons.

When you use it: Use Unarmed Combat whenever you

want to attack someone with your fists, feet, elbows, knees,

or other body parts in melee combat (p. 191).

Specializations: Implant Weaponry, Kick, Punch, Subdual

NECESSARY SKILLS


NOTE: While characters will need a mix of skills to succeed in the varied tasks they encounter inEclipse Phase, some skills are crucial for any character. If a character lacks these, they will have a difficult time getting by, so it is important for players and gamemasters to know these particular skills.


Fray:Fray is the primary skill you use to avoid getting hit in combat. Even if you plan to avoid combat, being able to get out of the way when necessary is a handy survival skill to have.


Networking:Unless you live in total isolation, you need a Networking skill—preferably several. Networking is how you interact with people in a particular social circle to obtain information, spread rumors, call in favors, and so on.


Perception:Perception Tests get called for quite often, so if you want your character to know what’s going on around them, make sure to get this skill. Investigation and Scrounging are also good, but Perception is king.

SKILL LIST


NOTE: SKILL LIST


SKILL LINKED APTITUDE CATEGORY
Academics: [Field] COG Knowledge
Animal Handling SAV Active, Social
Art: [Field] INT Knowledge



Beam Weapons COO Active, Combat

Blades SOM Active, Combat

Climbing SOM Active, Physical

Clubs SOM Active, Combat

Control WIL (no defaulting) Active, Mental, Psi

Deception SAV Active, Social

Demolitions COG (no defaulting) Active, Technical

Disguise INT Active, Physical

Exotic Melee Weapon: [Field] SOM Active, Combat

Exotic Ranged Weapon: [Field] COO Active, Combat

Flight SOM Active, Physical

Fray REF Active, Combat

Free Fall REF Active, Physical

Freerunning SOM Active, Physical

Gunnery INT Active, Combat

Hardware: [Field] COG Active, Technical

Impersonation SAV Active, Social

Infiltration COO Active, Physical

Infosec COG (no defaulting) Active, Technical

Interest: [Field] COG Knowledge

Interfacing COG Active, Technical

Intimidation SAV Active, Social

Investigation INT Active, Mental

Kinesics SAV Active, Social

Kinetic Weapons COO Active, Combat

Language: [Field] INT Knowledge

Medicine: [Field] COG Active, Technical

Navigation INT Active, Mental

Networking: [Field] SAV Active, Social

Palming COO Active, Physical

Perception INT Active, Mental

Persuasion SAV Active, Social

Pilot: [Field] REF Active, Vehicle

Profession: [Field] COG Knowledge

Programming COG (no defaulting) Active, Technical

Protocol SAV Active, Social

Psi Assault WIL (no defaulting) Active, Mental, Psi

Psychosurgery INT Active, Technical

Research COG Active, Technical

Scrounging INT Active, Mental

Seeker Weapons COO Active, Combat

Sense INT (no defaulting) Active, Mental, Psi

Spray Weapons COO Active, Combat

Swimming SOM Active, Physical

Throwing Weapons COO Active, Combat

Unarmed Combat SOM Active, Combat

USING KNOWLEDGE SKILLS


NOTE: Using Knowledge Skills

At first glance, it may seem that Knowledge skills have

fewer in-game applications than Active skills. To some

degree this is the case. The importance of Knowledge

skills, however, should not be underestimated. While

they play a role in analyzing clues and solving mysteries,

the real value of Knowledge skills is in helping the

characters—and the players—understand the world of

Eclipse Phase. In particular these skills can be used to

make plans, assess a situation, identify strengths and

weaknesses, evaluate worth, make comparisons, forecast

probable outcomes, or understand the applicable science,

socio-economic factors, or cultural or historical context.

For example, a group of characters looking to break

into a facility could use Profession: Security Procedures

to evaluate the defenses, Academic: Architecture to

identify covert points of entry, Interests: Sports to plan

their infiltration at a time when the guards are likely to

be distracted, Interests: Triads to identify a local crime

group that can sell them breaking and entering gear,

and Art: Sculpture when picking a valuable art piece

with which to bribe an insider. When used appropriately,

these skills can be just as beneficial as the Active skills

used to break inside, if not more so because the plan

is more likely to succeed as a result of this preparation.

It is largely up to the gamemaster to enforce how

useful Knowledge skills are in their game. The easiest

way to reinforce their relevance is to penalize characters

who don’t take advantage of them. For example,

characters who didn’t use their Profession: Security

Procedures in the example above might end up being

surprised when they run across a security system they

are not prepared to deal with, forcing them to improvise

or even abandon their plans.

SPECIAL SKILLS


NOTE: While the preceding list represents the skills most commonly

used in Eclipse Phase, there may be certain skills called for in a

campaign that are not found in this book. In this case, the gamemaster

may work with the players to create a new skill to fill

this void. This option should be used sparingly to prevent skill

bloat, and all skills are subject to approval by the gamemaster

If you choose to create a new skill, keep in mind that it needs

to be linked to an existing aptitude and should be a skill that

is available to all characters, not just specific to one character

ACTION AND COMBATEdit

NOTE: Roleplaying games are about creating drama and adventure, and that usually means action and combat. Action and combat scenes are the moments when the adrenaline really gets pumping and the characters’ lives and missions are on the line.


Combat and action scenarios can be confusing to run, especially if the gamemaster also needs to keep track of the actions of numerous NPCs. For these reasons, it’s important for the gamemaster to detail the action in a way that everyone can visualize, whether that means using a map and miniatures, software, a dry-erase board, or quick sketches on a piece of paper. Though many of the rules for handling action and combat are abstract—allowing room for interpretation and fudging results to fit the story—many tactical factors are also incorporated, so even small details can make a large difference. It also helps to have the capabilities of NPCs predetermined and to run them as a group when possible, to reduce the gamemaster’s burden in the middle of a hectic situation.

ACTION TURNSEdit

NOTE: Action scenes inEclipse Phase are handled in bite-size chunks called Action Turns, each approximately 3 seconds in length. We say “approximately” because the methodical, step-by-step system used to resolve actions does not necessarily always translate realistically to real life, where people often pause, take breaks to assess the situation, take a breather, and so on. A combat that begins and ends within 5 Action Turns (15 seconds) inEclipse Phase could last half a minute to several minutes in real life. On the other hand, the characters may be in a situation where their breathing environment decompresses to vacuum in 15 seconds, so every second may in fact count. As a rule, gamemasters should stick with 3 seconds per turn, but they shouldn’t be afraid to fudge the timing either when a situation calls for it.


Action Turns are meant to be utilized for combat and other situations where timing and the order in which people act is important. If it is not necessary to keep track of who’s doing what so minutely, you can drop out of Action Turns and return to “regular” free form game time.


Each Action Turn is in turn broken down into distinct stages, described below.

STEP 1: ROLL INITIATIVE


NOTE: At the beginning of every Action Turn, each PLAYER involved in the scene rolls Initiative to determine the order in which each character acts. For more details, seeInitiative.

STEP 2: BEGIN FIRST ACTION PHASE


NOTE: Once Initiative is rolled, the firstAction Phase begins. Everyone gets to act in the first Action Phase (since everyone has a minimum Speed of 1), unless they happen to be unconscious/dead/disabled, starting with the character with the highest successful Initiative roll.

STEP 3: DECLARE AND RESOLVE ACTIONS


NOTE: The character going first now declares and resolves the actions they will take during this first Action Phase. Since some actions the character makes may

depend on the outcome of others, there is no need to declare them all first—they may be announced and handled one at a time.


As described underActions (p. 189), each character may perform a varying number of Quick Actions and/or a single Complex Action during their turn. lternately, a character may begin or continue with a Task Action, or delay their action pending other developments (seeDelayed Actions, p. 189).


A character who has delayed their action may interrupt another character at any point during this stage. That interrupting character must complete this stage in full, then the action returns to the interrupted character to finish the rest of their stage.

STEP 4: ROTATE AND REPEAT


NOTE: Once the character has resolved their actions for that phase, the next character in the Initiative order gets to go, running through Step 3 for themselves.


If every character has completed their actions for that phase, return to Step 2 and go the second Action Phase. Every character with a Speed of 2 or more gets to go through Step 3 again, in the same Initiative order (modified by wound modifiers). Once the second Action Phase is completed, return to Step 2 for the 3rd Action Phase, where every character with a Speed of 3 or more gets to go for a third time. Finally, after everyone eligible to go in the 3rd Action Phase has gone, return to Step 2 for a fourth and last Action Phase, where every character with a Speed of 4 can act for one final time.


At the end of the fourth Action Phase, return to Step 1 and roll Initiative again for the next Action Turn.

INITIATIVEEdit

NOTE: Timing in an Action Turn can be critical—it may mean life or death for a character who needs to get behind cover before an opponent draws and fires their gun. The process of rolling Initiative determines if a character acts before or after another character.

INITIATIVE ORDEREdit

NOTE: A character’s Initiative stat is equal to their Intuition + Reflexes aptitudes multiplied by 2. This score may be further modified by morph type, implants,drugs, psi, or wounds.


In the first step of each Action Turn, every character makes an Initiative Test, rolling d100 and adding their Initiative stat. Whoever rolls highest goes first,

followed by the other characters in descending order, highest to lowest. In the event of a tie, characters go simultaneously.

EXAMPLE


NOTE: Adam, Bob, and Cami are rolling Initiative. Adam’s Initiative stat is 80, Bob’s is 110, and Cami’s is 60. Adam rolls a 38, Bob rolls a 24, and Cami rolls a 76. Adam’s total Initiative score is 118 (80 + 38), Bob’s is 134 (110 + 24), and Cami’s is 136 (60 + 76). Cami rolled highest, so she goes first, followed by Bob and then Adam. If Cami & Bob had tied, they would both go at the same time.

INITIATIVE AND DAMAGEEdit

NOTE: Characters who are suffering from wounds have their Initiative score temporarily reduced (seeWounds, p. 207). This modifier is applied immediately when the wound is taken, which means that it may modify an Initiative score in the middle of an Action Turn. If a character is wounded before they go in that Action Phase, their Initiative is reduced accordingly, which may mean they now go after someone they were previously ahead of in the Initiative order.

EXAMPLE


NOTE: Before Bob’s Action Phase comes up, Bob takes two wounds, knocking his Initiative down from 134 to 114. This means that Adam, with an Initiative of 118, now goes before him.

INITIATIVE, MOXIE, AND CRITICALS


NOTE: A character may spend a point of Moxie to go first in an Action Phase, regardless of their Initiative roll (seeMoxie, p. 122). If more than one character chooses this option, then order is determined as normal first among those who spent Moxie, followed by those who didn’t.


Similarly, any character that rolls a critical on Initiative automatically goes first, even before someone who spent Moxie. If more that two characters rolled criticals, determine order between them as normal.

SPEED


NOTE: Speed determines how many times a character can act during an Action turn. Every character starts with a default Speed stat of 1, meaning they can act in the first Action Phase of the turn only. Certain morphs, implants, drugs, psi, and other factors may cumulatively increase their Speed to 2, 3, or even 4 (the maximum), allowing them to act in further Action Phases as well. For example, a character with Speed 2 can act in the first and second Action Phases, and a character with Speed 3 can act in the first through third Action Phases. A character with Speed 4 is able to act in every Action Phase. This represents

the character’s enhanced reflexes and neurology, allowing them to think and act much faster than non-enhanced characters.


If a character’s Speed does not allow them to act during an Action Phase, they can initiate no actions during the pass—they must simply bide their time.

The character may still defend themself, however, and any automatic actions remain “on.” Note that any movement the character initiated is considered to still be underway even during the Action Phases they do not participate in (seeMovement, p. 190).

DELAYED ACTIONS


NOTE: When it’s your turn to go during an Action Phase, you may decide that you’re not ready to act yet. You may be awaiting the outcome of another character’s

actions, hoping to interrupt someone else’s action, or may simply be undecided about what to do yet. In this case, you may opt todelay your action.


When you delay your action, you’re putting yourself on standby. At some later point in that Action Phase, you can announce that you are now taking your action—even if you interrupt another character’s action. In this case, all other activity is put on hold until your action is resolved. Once your action has taken place, the Initiative order continues on where you interrupted.


You may delay your action into the next Action Phase, or even the next Action Turn, but if you do not take it by the time your next action comes around in

the Initiative order, then you lose it. Additionally, if you do delay your action into another phase or turn, then once you take it you lose any action you might have in that Action Phase.

SIMPLIFYING INITIATIVE


NOTE: For speedier resolution, simply have characters roll Initiative once for an entire scene. That Initiative result stays with them on each Action Turn until the combat or scenario is over. Likewise, ignore Initiative modifiers from wounds.

ACTIONSEdit

NOTE: When it’s your turn to act during an Action Phase, you have many options for what you can do—far too many to list here. There is a limit to what you can

accomplish in 3 seconds, however, so some limitations must be adhered to. The first step is to figure out what type of action you want to take. InEclipse

Phase, actions are categorized as Automatic, Quick, Complex, or Task, based on how much time and effort they entail.

AUTOMATIC ACTIONSEdit

NOTE: Automatic Actions require no effort. These are abilities or activities that are “always on” (assuming you are conscious) or are otherwise reflexive (they happen automatically in response to certain conditions, with no effort from you). Breathing, for example, is an automatic action—your body does it without conscious effort or thinking on your part.


In most cases, Automatic Actions are not something that you initiate—they are always active, or at least on standby. Certain circumstances, however, will bring an Automatic Action to bear. Such Automatic Actions are invoked and handled immediately whenever they apply, without requiring effort from your character.

RESISTANCE


NOTE: Resisting damage—whether from combat, a poison, or a psi attack—is one example of an Automatic Action that occurs in response to something else.

BASIC PERCEPTION


NOTE: Your senses are continuously active, accumulating data on the world around you. Basic perception is considered an Automatic Action, and so the gamemaster can call on you to make a Perception Test whenever you receive sensory input that your brain might want to take notice of (seePerception, p. 182). Likewise, you may ask the gamemaster at any time—even during other character’s actions—to make a basic Perception Test, just to find out what your character is noticing around them.


Because basic perception is an automatic, subconscious activity, however, you will suffer a –20 modifier for distraction—your attention is focused elsewhere. In order to avoid the distraction modifier, you must actively engage in detailed perception or use an oracle implant (p. 308).

QUICK ACTIONSEdit

NOTE: Quick Actions are fast and simple, and they may often be multi-tasked. They require minimal thought and effort. You may undertake multiple Quick Actions on your turn during each Action Phase, limited only by the gamemaster’s judgment. If you are taking nothing but Quick Actions during an Action Phase, you

should be allowed a minimum of 3 separate Quick Actions. If you are also engaging in a Complex or Task Action during that same Action Phase, you should be allowed a minimum of 1 Quick Action. Ultimately, the gamemaster decides what activity you can or can’t fit into a single Action Phase.


Some examples of Quick Actions include: talking, switching a safety, activating an implant, standing up, dropping prone, gesturing, drawing/readying a weapon, handling an object, or using a simple object.

AIMING


NOTE: Aiming is a special case in that it is a Quick Action but requires a degree of concentration that rules out other minor actions. If you wish to aim before making an attack in the same Action Phase, aiming is the only Quick Action you may make during that Action Phase (seeAimed Shots, p. 193).

DETAILED PERCEPTION


NOTE: Detailed perception involves taking a moment to actively use your senses in search of information and ssess what you are perceiving (seePerception, p.

182). It requires slightly more effort and brainpower (or computer power) than basic perception, which is automatic. As a Quick Action, you may only engage in detailed perception on your turn during an Action Phase, but you do not suffer a modifier for distraction (unless you happen to be in a heavily distracting environment, such as a gunfight or agitated crowd).

COMPLEX ACTIONS


NOTE: Complex Actions require more concentration and effort than Quick Actions—they effectively monopolize your attention. You may only take one Complex Action on each your Action Phase turns. Additionally, you may not engage in a Complex Action and a Task Action during the same Action Phase. Examples of Complex Actions include: attacking, shooting, acrobatics, full defense, disarming a bomb, using a complex device, or reloading a weapon.

TASK ACTIONS


NOTE: A Task Action is any activity that requires longer than one Action Turn to complete. Each Task Action lists a timeframe for how long the task takes to accomplish. This timeframe may range anywhere from 2 Action Turns to 2 years. While engaged in a Task Action, you may not also undertake a Complex Action, though in some cases you may take a break from the task and return to it later. For more information, seeTask Actions, p. 120.


Examples of Task Actions include: repairing a device, programming, conducting a scientific analysis, searching a room, climbing a wall, or cooking a meal.

MOVEMENTEdit

NOTE: Movement in Eclipse Phase is handled just like any

other action, and may change from Action Phase to

Action Phase. Walking and running both count as Quick

Actions, as they do not require your full concentration.

The same also applies to slithering, crawling, floating,

hovering, or gliding. Running, however, may inflict a

–10 modifier on other actions that are affected by your

jostling movement. Even more, sprinting is an all-out run,

and so requires a Complex Action (see Sprinting, p. 191).

At the gamemasters discretion, other movement

may also call for a Complex Action. Hurdling a fence,

pole vaulting, jumping from a height, swimming, or

freerunning through a habitat in zero-gravity all require

a bit of finesse and attention to detail, so would count as a Complex Action, and would apply the

same modifier as running. Flying generally counts as a

Quick Action, though intricate maneuvers would call

for a Complex Action.

Movement RatesEdit

NOTE: Sometimes it’s important to know not just how you’re

moving, but how far. For most of transhumanity, this

movement rate is the same: 4 meters per Action Turn

walking, 20 meters per turn running. To determine

how far a character can move in a particular Action

Phase, divide this movement rate by the total number

of Action Phases in that turn. In a turn with 4 Action

Phases, that breaks down to 1 meter walking per

Action Phase, 5 meters running.

Movement such as swimming or crawling benchmarks

at about 1 meter per Action Turn, or 0.25

meters per Action Phase. You can also sprint to increase

your movement rate (see Sprinting). Vehicles,

robots, creatures, and unusual morphs will have individual

movement rates listed in the format of walking

rate/running rate in meters per turn.

These movement rates assume standard Earth

gravity of course. If you’re moving in a low-gravity,

microgravity, or high-gravity environment, things

change. See Gravity, p. 198.

Jumping


NOTE: Characters making a running jump can cross SOM ÷

5 (round up) meters; use SOM ÷ 20 (round up) meters

for standing jumps. Vertical jumping height is 1 meter.

Characters making a Freerunning Test can increase

jumping distance by 1 meter (running jump) or 0.25

meters (standing/vertical jumps) per 10 points of MoS.

Sprinting


NOTE: You may use Freerunning to increase the distance

you move during an Action Phase. You must spend

a Complex Action to sprint and make a Freerunning

Test. Every 10 points of MoS increases your running

distance in that Action Phase by 1 meter, to a maximum

bonus of +5 meters.

COMBATEdit

NOTE: Sometimes words fail, and that’s when the knives and

shredders come out. All combat in Eclipse Phase is

conducted using the same basic mechanics, whether it’s

conducted with claws, fists, weapons, guns, or psi: an

Opposed Test between the attacker and defender(s).

Resolving CombatEdit

NOTE: Use the following sequence of steps to determine the

outcome of an attack.

Step 1: Declare Attack


NOTE: The attacker initiates by taking a Complex Action to

attack on their turn during an Action Phase. The skill

employed depends on the method used to attack. If

the character lacks the appropriate Combat skill, they

must default to the appropriate linked aptitude.

Step 2: Declare Defense


NOTE: Once the attack is declared, the defender chooses how

to respond. Defense is always considered an Automatic

Action unless the defender is surprised (see Surprise,

p. 204) or somehow incapacitated and incapable of

defending themself.

Melee: A character defending against melee attacks

uses Fray skill, representing dodging (if the

character lacks this skill, they may default to Reflexes).

Alternately, the character may use a melee

combat skill to defend, representing blocks and parries

rather than dodging.

Ranged: Against ranged attacks, a defending character

may only use half their Fray skill (round down).

Full Defense: Characters who have taken a Complex

Action to go on full defense (p. 198) receive a

+30 modifier to their defensive roll.

Psi: A character defending against a psi attack rolls

WIL x 2 (p. 222). A mental sort of full defense may

also be rallied against psi attacks.

Step 3: Apply Modifiers


NOTE: Any appropriate modifiers are now applied to the

attacker and defender’s skills. See the Combat Modifiers

table (p. 193) for common situational modifiers.

Step 4: Make the Opposed Test


NOTE: The attacker and defender both roll d100 and compare

the results to their modified skill target numbers.

Step 5: Determine Outcome


NOTE: If the attacker succeeds and the defender fails,

the attack hits. If the attacker fails, the attack

misses completely.

If both attacker and defender succeed in their

tests, compare their dice rolls. If the attacker’s

dice roll is higher, the attack hits despite a spirited

defense; otherwise, the attack fails to connect.

Excellent Success: If the attacker rolled an Excellent

Success (MoS of 30+), a solid hit is struck.

Increase the Damage Value (DV) inflicted by +5. If

the MoS is 60+, increase the DV by +10.

Criticals: If the attacker rolls a critical success,

the attack is armor-defeating, meaning that the

defender’s armor is bypassed completely—some

kink or flaw was exploited, allowing the attack to

get through completely.

If the defender rolls a critical success, they

dodge with flair, reach cover that protects from

follow-up attacks, maneuver to a superior position,

or otherwise benefit.

Step 6: Modify Armor


NOTE: If the target is hit, their armor will help to protect

them against the attack (unless the attacker

rolled a critical, see above). Determine which type

of armor is appropriate to defending against that

particular attack (see Armor, p. 194). The attack’s

Armor Penetration (AP) value reduces the armor’s

rating, however, representing the weapon’s ability

to pierce through protective measures.

Step 7: Determine Damage


NOTE: Every weapon and type of attack has a Damage

Value (DV, see p. 207). This amount is reduced

by the target’s AP-modified armor rating. If the

damage is reduced to 0 or less, the armor is effective

and the attack fails to injure the target.

Otherwise, any remaining damage is applied to the

defender. If the accumulated damage exceeds the

defender’s Durability, they are incapacitated and

may die (see Durability and Health, p. 207).

Note that some psi attacks inflict mental stress

rather than physical damage (see Mental Health, p.

209). In this case, the Stress Value (SV) is handled

the same as DV.

Step 8: Determine Wounds


NOTE: The damage inflicted from a single attack is then compared

to the victim’s Wound Threshold. If the armormodified

DV equals or exceeds the Wound Threshold, the character suffers a wound. Multiple wounds may be

applied with a single attack if the modified DV is two

or more factors beyond the Wound Threshold. Wounds

represent more serious injuries and apply modifiers and

other effects to the character (see Wounds, p. 207).

Example


NOTE: Stoya tried to get off the station quickly, but the Night

Cartel’s assassin caught up, surprising her in a microgravity

part of the habitat. The assassin’s INIT is 63,

plus a dice roll of 23, for an Initiative of 86. Stoya’s

INIT is 55, plus a roll of 27, for an Initiative of 82.

The assassin goes first, spending a Quick Action

to draw a shredder. This flechette weapon is in

burst-fire mode, so with a Complex Action the assassin

can take two shots. His Spray Weapons skill

is 65, he’s smartlinked (+10), and they’re at short

range (+0), so he needs a 75 or less. Stoya is defending

with her Fray skill (60) divided by 2, or 30.

The assassin rolls an 08 with the first shot. Amazingly,

Stoya rolls a 28. They both succeeded, but

Stoya rolled higher, so she dodges the first shot.

The assassin rolls a 20 for his second shot, another

hit, and this time Stoya rolls an 83, a failure.

The assassin also scored an Excellent Success with

a MoS of 55, increasing the DV by +5.

The assassin’s base damage is 2d10 + 5, but he’s

using burst fire against a single target for +1d10,

and it’s also a cone effect weapon at short range,

for an additional +1d10, for a total DV of 4d10 +

5. The assassin rolls 4d10 and gets 16, then adds

the +5 for a total DV of 21.

Stoya’s wearing light body armor (AV 10/10),

but the shredder’s Armor penetration is –10, so her

armor is entirely negated. She takes a devastating 21

DV, exceeding her Wound Threshold of 10, not just

once, but twice. This means Stoya suffers 2 wounds

from the shot, suffering –20 to all actions. In addition,

she must make two SOM x 3 Tests, one to avoid

knockdown and the other to avoid unconsciousness.

Her SOM is 30, meaning she needs a 70 (30 x 3 =

90, 90 – 20 wound modifiers = 70) on both rolls.

She rolls a 40 and a 27, succeeding both.

Now it’s Stoya’s action. She takes a Quick Action

to pull her own weapon: a stunner. Her Beam

Weapons skill is 47, modified by wounds (–20) and

a smartlink (+10), for 37. The assassin’s Fray is 48,

divided by 2 for 24 against a ranged attack. Stoya

rolls a 22—a critical hit—and the assassin rolls a

68. The stunner only inflicts 1d10 ÷ 2 DV, but since

the attack is a critical hit, this is armor defeating.

Stoya rolls an 8, for 4 points of DV, below the assassin’s

Wound Threshold of 7.

Stunners, however, are shock weapons, so the

assassin must make a DUR + Energy Armor Test.

His DUR is 35 and he’s wearing an armor vest (AV

6/6), so his target number is 41. He rolls a 71—a

Margin of Failure of 30, meaning he is immediately

incapacitated for 3 Action Turns.

Having disabled her opponent, Stoya takes the

time to make a hasty getaway.

Combat Summary


NOTE: • C ombat is handled as an Opposed Test.

• A ttacker rolls attack skill +/– modifiers.

• M elee: Defender rolls Fray or melee skill

+/– modifiers.

• R anged: Defender rolls (Fray skill ÷ 2, round

down) +/– modifiers.

• I f attacker succeeds and rolls higher than the

defender, the attack hits.

• C ritical hits are armor-defeating (armor does

not apply).

• A rmor is reduced by the attack’s Armor

Penetration value (AP).

• T he weapon’s damage is reduced by the

target’s modified Armor rating (unless the

attack is armor-defeating).

• I f the damage exceeds the target’s Wound

Threshold, a wound is also scored. (If the

damage exceeds the Wound Threshold

by multiple factors, multiple wounds are

inflicted.)

Combat ModifiersEdit

General


NOTE: general modifier

Character using off-hand –20

Character wounded/traumatized –10 per wound/trauma

Character has superior position +20

Touch-only attack +20

Called shot –10

Character wielding two-handed weapon with one hand –20

Small target (child-sized) –10

Very small target (mouse or insect) –30

Large target (car sized) +10

Very large target (side of a barn) +30

Visibility impaired (minor: glare, light smoke, dim light) –10

Visibility impaired (major: heavy smoke, dark) –20

Blind attack –30

Melee Combat


NOTE: Mele Combat Modifier

Character has reach advantage +10

Character charging –10

Character receiving a charge +20

Ranged Combat (Attacker)


NOTE: Ranged Combat (Att acker) Modifier

Attacker using smartlink or laser sight +10

Attacker behind cover –10

Attacker running –20

Attacker in melee combat –30

Defender has minor cover –10

Defender has moderate cover –20

Defender has major cover –30

Defender prone and far (10+ meters) –10

Defender hidden –60

Aimed shot (quick) +10

Aimed shot (complex) +30

Sweeping fire with beam weapon +10 on second shot

Multiple targets in same Action Phase –20 per additional target

Indirect fire –30

Point-blank range (2 meters or less) +10

Short range —

Medium range –10

Long range –20

Extreme range –30

ACTION AND COMBAT COMPLICATIONSEdit

NOTE: Combat isn’t quite as simple as deciding if you hit or

miss. Weapons, armor, ammunition, and numerous

other factors may impact an attack’s outcome. Likewise,

various factors can impact an action scene, such

as fire or microgravity effects.

Aimed Shots


NOTE: As noted under Aiming, p. 190, a character can sacrifice

their other Quick Actions to concentrate on targeting

a ranged attack and receive a +10 modifier on

the attack. You can also sacrifice an entire Complex

Action to fix your aim on a target. In this case, as long

as the target remains in your sights until your next

Action Phase, you receive a +30 modifier to hit.

Ammunition and Reloading


NOTE: Every weapon has a listed ammunition capacity that

indicates how many shots the weapon can carry or

holds. When this ammo runs out, a new supply must

be loaded in. Players should keep track of the shots

they fire.

Reloading almost always requires a Complex

Action, whether you are slapping in a new clip of bullets

or a fresh battery for a laser. At the gamemaster’s

discretion, a reload that is immediately accessible

(such as a new clip reverse-taped to the loaded clip, so

that reloading just requires that you reverse the taped

clips and slot the new one in) will only take a Quick

Action. Archaic weapons such as magazine-fed rifles

may require longer to fully load.

Area Effect WeaponsEdit

NOTE: Some ranged attack weapons are designed to affect

more than one target at a time. These weapons fall

into three categories: blast, uniform blast, and cone.

Blast Effect


NOTE: Blast weapons include items like grenades, mines, and

other explosives that expand outward from a central

detonation point. Most blast attacks expand outward

in a sphere, though certain shaped charges may direct

an explosion in one direction only. The explosive force

is stronger near the epicenter and weaker near the

outer edges of the sphere. For every meter a target is

from the center, reduce the damage of a blast weapon

by –2.

Uniform Blast


NOTE: Uniform blast attacks distribute their power evenly

throughout the area of effect. Examples include fuelair

explosives and thermobaric weapons that disperse

an explosive mixture in a vapor cloud and ignite it all

at once. All targets within the noted blast radius suffer

the same damage. Damage against targets outside of

the main blast sphere is reduced by –2 per meter.

Cone


NOTE: Weapons with a cone effect have an area effect that

begins with the tip of the weapon and expands outward

in a cone. At short range, this attack effects 1

target; at medium range it affects 2 targets within a

meter of each other; and at long or extreme range

it affects 3 targets within a meter of the next. Cone

effect attacks do +1d10 damage at short range and

–1d10 damage at long and extreme range.

ArmorEdit

NOTE: Just as weapons technologies have advanced, so too

has armor quality, allowing unprecedented levels of

protection. As noted in Step 7: Determine Damage

(see p. 192), the armor rating reduces the damage

points of the attack.

For a full listing of armor types and values, see p. 311.

Energy Vs. Kinetic


NOTE: Each type of armor has an Armor value (AV) with

two ratings—Energy and Kinetic—representing

the protection it applies against the respective type

of attack. These are listed in the format of “Energy

armor/Kinetic armor.” For example, an item with

listed armor “5/10” provides 5 points of armor against

energy-based attacks and 10 points of armor against

kinetic attacks.

Energy damage includes that caused by beam weapons

(laser, microwave, particle beam, plasma, etc.) as

well as fire and high-energy explosives. Armor that

protects against this damage is made of material that

reflects or diffuses such energy, dissipates and transfers

heat, or ablates.

Kinetic damage is the transfer of damaging energy

when an object in motion (a fist, knife, club, or bullet,

for example) impacts with another object (the target).

Most melee and firearms attacks inflict kinetic damage,

as would a rolling boulder, swinging pendulum, or

explosion-driven fragments. Kinetic armors include

impact-resistant plates, shear-thickening liquid and

gels that harden upon impact, and ballistic and cutproof

fiber weaves.

Armor Penetration


NOTE: Some weapons have an Armor Penetration (AP) rating.

This represents the attack’s ability to pierce through

protective layers. The AP rating reduces the value of

armor used to defend against the attack (see Step 6:

Modify Armor, p. 192).

Layered Armor


NOTE: If two or more types of armor are worn, the armor

ratings are added together. However, wearing multiple

armor units is cumbersome and annoying. Apply a –20

modifier to a character’s actions for each additional

armor layer worn

Note that items specifically noted as armor accessories—

helmets, shields, etc.—do not inflict the layered

armor penalty, they simply add their armor bonus.

Note also that the armor inherent to a synthetic

morph or bot’s frame does not constitute a layer of

armor (i.e., you may wear armor over the synthetic

shell without penalty).

Asphyxiation


NOTE: The average transhuman can hold their breath for

two minutes before blacking out. Strenuous activity

reduces the amount of time. For every 30 seconds

after the first minute a biomorph is prevented from

breathing, they must make a DUR Test. Apply a cumulative

–10 modifier each time this test is rolled. If

the character fails the test, they immediately fall unconscious

and begin to suffer damage from asphyxiation,

at the rate of 10 points per minute, until they

die or are allowed to breathe again. This damage does

not cause wounds.

Asphyxiating is a terrible process, often leading to

panic. Characters who are being asphyxiated must

make a WIL x 3 Test. If they fail, they suffer 1d10

÷ 2 (round up) mental stress and cannot perform

any effective action to rescue themselves that Action

turn. A character who succeeds may attempt to rescue

themselves, and in fact they must make a WIL x 3

Test to perform any other action not directly related

to rescuing themselves (attacks against another character,

a creature, or an object holding the character

underwater are exempt from this rule).

Beam WeaponsEdit

NOTE: Due to emitting a continuous beam of energy rather

than single projectiles, beam weapons are easier to

“home in” on a target. This means one of the following

two rules may be used when making beam

weapon attacks. These options are not available for

“pulse” beam weapons (like the laser pulser), as such

weapons emit energy in pulses rather than a continuous

beam.

Sweeping Fire


NOTE: An attacker who is making two semi-auto (p. 198)

attacks with a beam weapon with the same Complex

Action and who misses with the first attack may treat

that attack as a free Aim action (p. 190), receiving a

+10 modifier for the second attack. In other words,

though the first attack misses, the character takes the

opportunity to sweep the beam closer to the target

for the second attack. This only applies when both

attacks are made against the same target.

Concentrated Fire


NOTE: A character firing a semi-auto beam

weapon who hits with the first attack may

choose to keep the beam on and concentrate

their fire, cooking the target. In this

case, the character foregos their second

semi-auto attack with that Complex

Action, but automatically bolsters the

DV of the first attack by x 1.5 (round up).

This decision must be made before the

damage dice are rolled.

Blind AttacksEdit

NOTE: Attacking a target that you cannot see is

difficult at best and a matter of luck at

worst. If you cannot see, you may make a

Perception Test using some other available

sense to detect your target. If this succeeds,

you attack with a –30 modifier. If your Perception

Test fails, your attack is primarily

based on chance—your target number for

the attack test is equal to your Moxie stat

(no other modifiers apply).

Indirect Fire


NOTE: With the help of a spotter, you may target

an enemy that you can’t see using indirect

fire. In this case you must be meshed with

a character, bot, or sensor system that has

the target in its sights and which feeds

you targeting data (the gamemaster may

require a Perception Test from the spotter).

Indirect attacks suffer a –30 modifier.

Seeker missiles (p. 340) can home in on

a target that is “painted” with reflected

energy from a laser sight (p. 342) or similar

target designator system. An “attack”

must first be made to paint the target

with the laser sight using an appropriate

skill. If this succeeds, it negates the

–30 indirect fire modifier for the seeker

launcher’s attack test. the target must be

held in the spotter’s sights (requiring a

Complex Action each Action Phase) until

the seeker strikes.

Bots, Synthmorphs, and VehiclesEdit

NOTE: AI-operated robots and synthetic morphs

are a common sight in Eclipse Phase.

Robots are used for a wide range of purposes,

from surveillance, maintenance,

and service jobs to security and policing—

and so may often play a role in action and

combat scenes. Though less common (at

least in habitats), AI-piloted vehicles are

also frequently used and encountered.

Note that the difference between a

robot, vehicle, and synthetic morph is in

many ways semantic. Robots are simply synthetic bodies controlled by an AI.

Vehicles are also robotic—AI controlled—

but the term “vehicle” is used to denote

that they carry passengers. Both bots and

vehicles can be used as synthetic morphs—

that is, inhabited by a transhuman ego—

assuming they are equipped with a cyberbrain

(p. 300). For the purpose of these

rules, the term “shell” is used to refer to

bots, vehicles, and synthetic morphs alike.

Like synthmorphs, bots and vehicles

are treated just like any other character:

they roll Initiative, take actions, and use

skills. A few specific aspects of these

shells needs special consideration, however,

covered below.

Shell Stats


NOTE: Just like synthmorph characters, certain

bot and vehicle stats (Durability, Wound

Threshold, etc.) and stat modifiers (Initiative,

Speed, etc.) are determined by

the actual physical shell. Other stats are

determined by the bot/vehicle’s operating

AI (in place of an ego). Bots and vehicles

may also have traits that apply to their

AI or physical shell. For sample bots and

vehicles, see p. 342 of the Gear chapter.

Handling: Bots and vehicles have a

special stat called Handling, which is a

modifier applied to all tests made to pilot

the bot/vehicle. This represents the bot/

vehicle’s maneuverability.

Shell Skills


NOTE: The skills and aptitudes used by a bot or

vehicle are those possessed by its AI. See

AIs and Muses, p. 264.

Shell Movement


NOTE: Like characters, bots and vehicles have

a walking and running Movement rate.

This is used whenever the bot/vehicle is

engaged in action or combat scenes with

other characters.

Shells that are capable of greater speeds

will also have a Maximum Velocity

listed—this is the highest rate at which the

shell may safely move, listed in kilometers

per hour. At the gamemaster’s discretion,

some shells may push their limits and

accelerate further, but at significant risk—

the gamemaster should apply appropriate

penalties to Pilot Tests and other tests.

Chases


NOTE: Shells that are moving faster than their

running Movement rate (up to their Max.

Velocity) are generally considered to be moving too fast for standard action and combat interaction

with other characters. This is when the action

enters “chase scene” mode—a traveling narrative of

maneuvering choices and tests with various outcomes.

Whether or not a chase is actually occurring, the

gamemaster should remember that Max Velocity is

not the only factor in high-speed situations. Environmental

factors like terrain, weather conditions, navigation,

pedestrians, and traffic can provide obstacles

for shells to overcome. A shell tearing across a habitat

in order to reach a bomb before it detonates should

have to make several decisions and tests that may

affect whether it gets there in time or not. Likewise, a

shell seeking to shake off some hot pursuit will have

to pull off some fancy maneuvering and hopefully find

a shortcut or two in order to outrace their opponents.

Crashing


NOTE: Shells that suffer wounds during combat or chases

may be force to make a Pilot Test to avoid crashing

or may crash automatically. The exact circumstances

of a crash are left up to the gamemaster, as best fits

the story—the shell may simply skid to a stop, plow

into a tree, fall from the sky, or flip over and land on

a group of bystanders. Shells that strike other objects

when they crash typically take further damage from

the collision (see Collisions).

CollisionsEdit

NOTE: If a shell crashes into or intentionally rams a person or

object, someone is likely to get hurt. To determine how

much DV is inflicted, roll 1d10 and add the shell’s DUR

divided by 10 (round up). This is the damage applied

at walking speeds. If the shell was moving at running

speeds, multiply the DV by 2. If the shell was moving

at chase speeds, multiply the DV by the shell’s velocity

÷ 10 in meters per turn. Both the shell and whatever

it strikes suffer this damage, assuming the collision is

with something equal dense and hard. Soft and squishy

objects like biomorphs will be less damaging to a shell

(unless they happen to be in a hardsuit or battlesuit), in

which case the shell will only suffer half damage from

the collision. Kinetic armor defends against crash DV.

If two moving shells collide head-on, calculate the

damage from both and inflict to both. If two shells

moving in the same direction collide, only count the

difference in velocity.

Passengers in a vehicle may also be damaged by collisions

if they are not wearing proper safety restraints.

They suffer one half the DV applied to their vehicle

(less their own Kinetic armor).

Collision Damage


NOTE: colision damage

Base Collision DV : 1d10 + (DUR ÷ 10)

Running: DV x 2

Chase Speeds: DV x (velocity ÷ 10)

Attacking Vehicle Passengers


NOTE: During combat, passengers within a vehicle may be

targeted separately from the vehicle itself. Attacks

made against passengers this way do not harm the

vehicle itself (unless an area effect weapon is used).

Targeted passengers benefit both from cover (usually

Major, –30) and from the vehicle’s structure, adding

the vehicle’s Armor Value to their own.

Passengers within a vehicle are generally not harmed

by attacks made against the vehicle itself. Area effect

weapons are an exception to this rule, but in this case

the passengers also benefit from the vehicle Armor Value

Shell Remote Control


NOTE: Any shell (or biomorph) with a puppet sock (also included

with all cyberbrains) may be remote controlled,

either by a character or a remote AI. This requires a

communications link between the teleoperator and

the shell (the “drone”). The teleoperator controls the

drone via an entoptic interface, and receives sensory

input and other data via the drone’s mesh inserts.

When under direct control, the shell’s AI (or resident

ego) is subsumed and put on standby. The drone only

acts as instructed. Each instruction counts as a Quick

Action. In this situation, the drone acts with the same

Initiative as the teleoperator. The teleoperator’s skills and

stats are used in place of the shell AI’s. Due to the nature

of remote operation, however, all tests are made with a

–10 modifier. Multiple drones may be controlled at once,

but commanding them requires separate Quick Actions

unless they are receiving the same command. Direct

control teleoperation is not very feasible at extreme distances,

due to the light-speed lag with communications.

Alternately, the teleoperator can put the drone in

autonomous mode, allowing the shell’s AI to resume

normal operations. The drone still follows the teleoperator’s

commands to the best of its abilities. In this

mode, the drone functions normally, using its own

Initiative and AI skills and stats

Shell Jamming


NOTE: “Jamming” is the colloquial term for a more direct

form of remote-control, using VR and XP technology.

When jamming, the drone’s puppet sock feeds

the drone’s sensory data directly to the teleoperator’s

mesh inserts. The teleoperator subsumes themself in

the drone’s sensorium, essentially “becoming” the

drone. In this case, the teleoperator surrenders control

of their own morph, which slumps inertly. While

jamming, they suffer –60 on all Perception Tests or

attempts to take action with their morph.

Jamming takes a Complex Action to engage and

disengage. A jamming teleoperator controls a drone

as if it were their own morph. Like direct control teleoperation,

the jammer’s own skills and Initiative are

used in place of the drone’s AI. Jammers do not suffer

any teleoperation modifiers, but only one drone may

be jammed at a time. If the drone is killed or destroyed, the jammer is

immediately dumped from their connection, resuming

control of their own morph as normal. Getting dumped

in this manner is extremely jarring, not the least because

the jammer experienced being killed/destroyed.

As a result, the jammer suffers 1d10 mental stress.

Called ShotsEdit

NOTE: Call ed Sho ts

Sometimes it’s not enough to just hit your target—

you need to shoot out a window, knock the knife out

of their hand, or hit that hole in their armor. You may

declare that you are making a called shot before you

initiate an attack, choosing one of the outcomes noted

below. Called shots suffer a –10 modifier and require

an Excellent Success (MoS 30+). If you beat that

margin, you succeed with the called shot, and the results

noted below apply. If you don’t beat the margin

but still succeed in the attack, you simply strike your

target as normal.

Bypassing Armor


NOTE: Called shots may be used to target a hole or weak

point in your opponent’s armor. If you beat the MoS,

you strike an armor-defeating hit, and their armor

does not apply. Note that in certain circumstances, a

gamemaster may rule that an opponent’s armor simply

doesn’t have a weak spot or unprotected area, and so

disallow such called shots.

Disarming


NOTE: You may take a called shot to attempt to knock a

weapon out of an opponent’s hand(s). If you beat the

MoS, the victim suffers half damage from the attack (reduced

by armor as normal) and must make a SOM x 3

Test with a –30 modifier to retain hold of the weapon.

Specific Targeting


NOTE: You may make a called shot with the intention of hitting

a specific location or component on your target—for

example: disabling the sensor unit on a bot, sweeping

someone’s leg, or poking someone in the eye. If you beat

the MoS, you hit the specific targeted spot. The gamemaster

determines the result as appropriate to the attack

and target—the component may be destroyed, the opponent

may fall or be temporarily blinded, and so on.

ChargingEdit

NOTE: An opponent who runs and attacks an opponent in

melee combat in the same Action Phase is considered

to be charging. A charging attacker still suffers the

–10 modifier for running, but they receive a damage

bonus on account of their momentum: increase the

damage they inflict by +1d10.

Receiving a Charge


NOTE: You may delay your action (see p. 189) in order to

receive a charge, bracing yourself for impact, interrupting

their action, and striking right before your

charging does. In this situation, you receive a +20

modifier for striking the charging opponent

DemolitionsEdit

NOTE: The most common use of the Demolitions skill is the

placement, disarming, or manufacture of explosive

devices, such as superthermite charges (p. 330) or

grenades (p. 340).

Placing Explosives


NOTE: A skilled demolitionist can place charges in a manner

that will boost their effect. They can identify structural

vulnerabilities and weak points and focus a

blast in these areas. They can determine how to blast

open a safe without destroying the contents. They can

focus the force of an explosion in a particular direction,

increasing the directed force while minimizing

splash effects.

Each of these scenarios calls for a successful Demolitions

Test. The exact result is determined by

the gamemaster according to the specific scenario.

For example, using the examples above, targeting

a weak point could double the damage inflicted on

that structure. Shaping the charge to direct the force

can triple the damage in that direction, as noted in

the superthermite description (p. 330). An Excellent

Success is likely to increase an explosive’s damage by

+5, whereas a critical success would allow the blast to

ignore armor.

Disarming


NOTE: Disarming an explosive device is handled as an Opposed

Test between the Demolitions skills of the disarmer

and the character who set the bomb.

Making Explosives


NOTE: A character trained in Demolitions can make explosives

from raw materials. These materials can be

gathered the traditional way or they can be manufactured

using a nanofabricator. Even nanofabbers with

restricted settings to prevent explosives creation can

be used, as explosives can be constructed from all

manner of mundane chemicals and materials.

The timeframe for making explosives is 1 hour per

1d10 points of damage the explosive will inflict. If a

critical failure is rolled, the demolitionist may accidentally

blow himself up, or the charge may be extremely

weaker or more potent than expected (whichever is

more likely to be disastrous).

FallingEdit

NOTE: If a character falls, use the Falling Damage table to

determine what injuries they suffer. Kinetic armor

will mitigate this damage at

half its value (round down).

Gamemasters may also reduce

this damage if anything helped

to break the fall (branches, soft

surface) at their discretion.

Falling Damage


NOTE: falling damage

Distance Fallen Damage

1–2 meters 1d10

3–5 meters 2d10

6–8 meters 3d10

Over 8 meters +1 per meter

Fire


NOTE: Objects that come into contact with extreme heat or

flames may catch fire at the gamemaster’s discretion,

keeping in mind both the flammability of the material

and the strength of the heat/flames. Burning items (or

characters) will suffer 1d10 ÷ 2 (round up) damage

each Action Turn unless otherwise noted. Energy

armor will protect against this damage, though it

too may catch fire, reducing its value by the damage

inflicted. Depending on the environmental conditions,

fires are likely to grow larger unless somehow abated.

Every 5 Action Turns, increase the DV inflicted (first

to 1d10, then 2d10, then 3d10, then by increments

of +5). Adverse conditions (such as rain) or efforts to

extinguish the blaze will reduce the DV accordingly.

Note that fire does not burn in vacuum. In microgravity,

fire burns in a sphere and grows more

slowly, as expanding gases push away the oxygen

(increase the DV every 10 Action Turns). If there is a

lack of air circulation, some microgravity fires may

extinguish themselves.

Firing Modes and Rate of FireEdit

NOTE: Every ranged weapon in Eclipse Phase comes with one

or more firing modes that determines their rate of fire.

These firing modes are detailed below.

Single Shot (SS)


NOTE: Single shot weapons may only be fired once per

Complex Action. These are typically larger or more

archaic devices.

Semi-automatic (SA)


NOTE: Semi-automatic weapons are capable of quick, repeated

fire. They may be fired twice with the same

Complex Action. Each shot is handled as a separate

attack.

Burst Fire (BF)


NOTE: Burst fire weapons release a number of quick shots

(a “burst”) with a single trigger pull. Two bursts may be fired with the same Complex Action. Each burst

is handled as a separate attack. Bursts use up 3 shots

worth of ammunition.

A burst may be shot against a single target (concentrated

fire), or against two targets who are standing

within one meter of each other. In the case of concentrated

fire against a single target, increase the DV by

+1d10.

Full Automatic (FA)


NOTE: Full-auto weapons release a hail of shots with a single

trigger pull. Only one full-auto attack may be made

with each Complex Action. This attack may be made a

single target or against up to three separate targets, as

long as each is within one meter of another. In the case

of a concentrated fire on a single individual, increase

the DV by +1d10 + 10. Firing in full automatic mode

uses up 10 shots.

Full Defense


NOTE: If you’re expecting to come under fire, you can

expend a Complex Action to go on full defense. This

represents that you are expending all of your energy

to dodge, duck, ward off attacks, and otherwise get

the hell out of the way until your next Action Phase.

During this time, you receive a +30 modifier to defend

against all incoming attacks.

Characters who are on full defense may use Freerunning

rather than Fray skill to dodge attacks, representing

the gymnastic movements they are making to

avoid being hit.

GravityEdit

NOTE: Most characters in Eclipse Phase have considerable

experience maneuvering in low gravity or microgravity

and can perform normal actions without

penalties. Even characters who grew up on planetary

bodies or in rotating habitats have some familiarity

with alternate gravities thanks to childhood training

in simulspace educational scenarios. The same is

also true in reverse; characters who grew up in free fall have likely experienced simulations of life in a

gravity well.

At the gamemaster’s discretion, characters who

have spent long periods acclimating to one range of

gravity may find a shift in conditions a bit challenging

to cope with, at least until they grow accustomed

to the new gravity. In this case, the gamemaster can

apply a –10 modifier to both physical and social skills.

The physical penalty results from simple difficulties

in maneuvering. The social penalty applies because

it’s hard to look impressive, intimidating, or seductive

when you haven’t figured out how to arrange your

clothes so that they don’t float up into your face. The

physical penalty can be increased to –20 for situations

involving combat skills and skills requiring fine

manipulation, building, or repairing of items. These

penalties will apply until the character adjusts, which

typically takes about 3 days.

Any biomorph with basic biomods (p. 300) is

immune to ill health from the effects of long-term

exposure to microgravity.

Microgravity


NOTE: Microgravity includes both zero-G and gravities that

are slightly higher but negligible. These conditions are

found in space, on asteroids and some small moons,

and on (parts of) spaceships and habitats that are not

rotated for gravity. Objects in microgravity are effectively

weightless, but size and mass are still factors.

Things behave differently in microgravity. For

example:

• Objects not anchored down will tend to drift

off in whatever direction they were last moving.

Floating objects will eventually settle in the direction

of the densest part of the habitat or spacecraft.

• Thrown or pushed items will travel in a straight

line until they hit something.

• Smoke does not rise in streams. Instead, it forms

a roughly spherical halo around its source.

• Liquids have little cohesion, scattering into clouds

of tiny droplets if released into the air. Drinks

come in sealed bulbs or bottles. Food is eaten so

that sauces and bits of liquid don’t escape. Blood

goes everywhere.

Movement and maneuvering in microgravity is

handled using Free Fall skill (p. 179). Most everyday

activity in free fall does not require a test. The gamemaster

can, however, call for a Free Fall Test for any

complicated maneuvers, flying across major distances,

sudden changes in direction or velocity, or when engaged

in melee combat. A failed roll means the character

has miscalculated and ends up in a position other

than intended. A Severe Failure means the character has

screwed up badly, such as slamming themselves into a

wall or sending themselves spinning off into space.

For convenience, most microgravity habitats

feature furniture covered with elastic loops, mesh

pockets to keep individual objects from floating all over the place, and moving beltways with hand loops

for major thoroughfares. Magnetic or velcro shoes

are also used to walk around, rather than climbing

or flying. Zero-g environments are often designed to

make maximum use of space, however, taking advantage

of the lack of ceilings and floors. Because object

are weightless, characters can move even massive

objects around easily.

Movement Rate: Characters who are climbing, pulling,

or pushing themselves along move at half their

movement rate (p. 191) in microgravity.

Terminal Velocity: It is not difficult to reach escape

velocity on small asteroids and similar bodies—

something to keep in mind with thrown objects and

projectile weapons. In some cases, characters who

move fast enough and jump can reach escape velocity

themselves, though these situations are left up to

the gamemaster.

Low Gravity


NOTE: Low gravity includes anything from 0.5 g to microgravity.

These conditions are found on Luna, Mars,

Titan, and the rotating parts of most spun spacecraft

and habitats. Low gravity is not that different from

standard gravity, though characters may jump twice as

far and thrown/projectile objects have a longer range

(p. 203). Increase the running rate for characters in

low gravity by x1.5.

High Gravity

Grenades and SeekersEdit

NOTE: Modern grenades, seekers, and similar explosives do

not necessarily detonate the instant they are thrown

or strike the target. In fact, several trigger options

are available, each set by the user when deploying

the weapon. Missed attacks, or attacks that do not

explode in transit or when they strike, are subject to

scatter (p. 204).

Airburst: Airburst means that the device explodes in

mid-air as soon as it travels a distance programmed at

launch. In this case, the explosive’s effects are resolved

immediately, in that user’s Action Phase. Note that

airburst munitions are programmed with a safety feature

that will prevent detonation if they fail to travel

a minimum precautionary distance from the launcher,

though this can be overridden.

Impact: The grenade or missile goes off as soon as it

hits something, whether that be the target, ground, or an intervening object. Resolve the effects immediately,

in the user’s Action Phase.

Signal: The munition is primed for detonation upon

receiving a command signal via wireless link. The

device simply lays in wait until it receives the proper

signal (which must include the cryptographic key

assigned when the grenade was primed), detonating

immediately when it does.

Timer: The device has a built-in timer allowing

the user to adjust exactly when it detonates. This

can be anywhere from 1 second to days, months, or

even years later, effectively using the device like a

bomb, but also increasing the likelihood it will be

discovered and neutralized. The minimum detonation

period—1 second—means that the munition will

detonate on the user’s (current) Initiative Score in the

next Action Phase. A 2-second delay would last two

Action Phases, a 3-second delay three Action phases,

and so on.

Throwing Back Grenades


NOTE: It is possible that a character may be able to reach

a grenade before it detonates and throw it back (or

away in a safe direction). The character must be

within movement range of the grenade’s location, and

must take a Complex Action to make a REF + COO +

COO Test to catch the rolling, sliding grenade. If they

succeed, they may throw the grenade off in a direction

of their choice with the same action (treat as a

standard throwing attack).

If the character fails the test, however, they may find

themselves at ground zero when it detonates.

Jumping On


NOTE: Given the possibility of resleeving, a character may

decide to take one for the team and throw themselves

on a grenade, sacrificing themselves in order to protect

others. The character must be within movement range

of the grenade’s location, and must take a Complex

Action to make a REF + COO + WIL Test to fall on

the grenade and cover it with their morph. This means

the character suffers an extra 1d10 damage when the

grenade detonates. On the positive side, the grenade’s

damage is reduced by the sacrificing character’s armor

+ 10 when its damage effects are applied to others

within the blast radius.

If the gamemaster feels it appropriate, a WIL x 3

Test might be called for in order for a character to

sacrifice themselves in this manner.

Hostile EnvironmentsEdit

NOTE: The solar system might be friendly to life on a grand

scale, but if you’re stranded in the gravity well of Jupiter

during a magnetic storm, trying to breathe without

a respirator on Mars, or swimming in hard vacuum

without a space suit, it doesn’t seem so friendly. This

section describes a few of the hostile environments

that characters in Eclipse Phase might face.

Atmospheric Contamination


NOTE: Habitats sometimes fall ill. The effects of a habitat

suffering from ecological imbalance or out-of-control

pathogens can range from mildly allergenic habitat

atmospheres to rampaging environmental sepsis.

Characters without breathing or filtration gear in a

contaminated environment should suffer penalties

to physical and possibly social skills, ranging from

–10 (mild contamination) to –30 (severely septic atmosphere).

Depending on the contamination, other

effects may apply, as the gamemaster sees fit.

Extreme Heat and Cold


NOTE: Planetary environments can range from the extremely

hot (Venus, Mercury’s day side) to the extremely frigid

(Neptune, Titan, Uranus). Both are likely to kill an unprotected

and unmodified biomorph within minutes, if

not seconds. Synthmorphs and vehicles fare better, especially

in the cold, but even they are likely to quickly

succumb to the blazing furnaces of the inner planets

without strong heat shields and cooling systems.

Extreme Pressure


NOTE: Similarly, the atmospheric pressures of Jupiter,

Saturn, and Venus quickly become crushingly deadly

anywhere beyond the upper levels. Only synthmorphs

and vehicles with special pressure adaptations can

hope to survive such depths.

Gravity Transition Zones


NOTE: The widespread use of artificial gravity in space

habitats means that characters will often encounter

places where the direction of down suddenly changes.

In most rotating habitats, the standard design includes

an axial zone where spacecraft can dock in

microgravity and a carefully designed and marked

transition zone (usually an elevator) where people and

cargo coming and going from the axial spaceport can

orient to local “down” and be standing in the right

place when gravity takes effect. Gravity transitions in

rotating habitats are almost always gradual but can

be very dangerous if a character encounters them in

the wrong place or time.

A character cast adrift in the microgravity zone at

the axis of a rotating space habitat will slowly drift

outward until they begin to encounter gravity, at

which point they will fall. How long this takes varies

on the size of the habitat. A good rule of thumb is that

for each kilometer of diameter possessed by the habitat,

the character has 30 seconds before they begin to

fall. If the character was given a good push out from

the axis when set adrift, this time should be halved,

quartered, or more at the gamemaster’s discretion.

Magnetic Fields


NOTE: Magnetism isn’t a direct problem for most characters;

transhumans need to worry more about the radiation

generated by a powerful magnetosphere. For unshielded

electronic devices and similarly unshielded

transhumans sporting titanium, however, the effects of strong magnetic fields can be devastating. Note that

many of the conditions that result in vehicles, bots,

and gear being exposed to strong magnetic field activity

coincide with strong radioactivity.

Magnetic fields affect synthmorphs, robots, vehicles,

cybernetic implants, and electronics after 1 minute of

exposure. Like radiation exposure, these effects can

vary drastically. At the low end, communication and

sensors will suffer interference and shortened ranges;

at high ends, electronic systems will simply suffer

damage and fail.

Radiation


NOTE: Ionizing radiation is one of the more prevalent hazards

in the solar system and one of the most difficult

problems for transhumanity to defeat. Radiation

damages genetic material, sickens, and kills by ionizing

the chemicals involved in cell division within the

human body. Effects range from nausea and fatigue to

massive organ failure and death. However, radiation

sickness is not solely a somatic phenomenon. The real

terror of radiation for transhumans, especially at high

dose levels such as those experienced on the surface of

Ganymede and other Jovian moons, is damage to the

neural network. This can lead to flawed uploads and

backups. Nanomedicine that can rapidly reverse the

ionization of cellular chemicals and new materials that

offer thinner and better shielding help, but the sheer

magnitude of the radiation put out by some bodies in

the solar system defeats even these.

Radiation poisoning is a complicated affair, and detailed

rules are beyond the scope of this book. Sources

of radiation include the Earth’s Van Allen belt, Jupiter’s

radiation belt, Saturn’s magnetosphere, cosmic

rays, solar flares, fission materials, unshielded fusion

or antimatter explosions, and nuclear blasts, among

others. Effects can vary drastically depending on the

strength of the source, the amount of time exposed,

and the level of shielding available. The immediate

effects on biomorphs (manifesting anywhere from

within minutes to 6 hours) can include nausea, vomiting,

fatigue (reduced SOM), as well as both physical

damage and minor amounts of mental stress. This

is followed by a latency period where the biomorph

seems to get better, lasting anywhere from 6 hours

to 2 weeks. After this point, the final effects kick in,

which can include hair loss, sterility, reduced SOM

and DUR, severe damage to gastric and intestinal

tissue, infections, uncontrolled bleeding, and death.

Synthmorphs are not quite as vulnerable as

biomorphs, but even they can be damaged and disabled

by severe radiation dosages.

Toxic Atmosphere


NOTE: Neptune, Titan, Uranus, and Venus all have toxic

atmospheres. Similar atmospheres may be found on

some exoplanets, or might be intentionally created as

a security measure within a habitat or structure.A character who is unaware of atmospheric toxicity

and does not immediately hold their breath (requiring

a REF x 3 Test) suffers 10 points of damage per

Action Turn. A character who manages to hold their

breath can last a bit longer; apply the rules for asphyxiation

(p. 194).

Corrosive Atmospheres: In addition to being toxic,

Venus has the only naturally occurring corrosive atmosphere

in the system. Corrosive atmospheres are

immediately dangerous: characters take 10 points of

damage per Action Turn, regardless of whether they

hold their breath or not. Corrosive atmospheres also

damage vehicles and gear not equipped with anticorrosive

shielding. Such items take 1 point of damage

per minute. At greater concentrations, such as in the

dense sulfuric acid clouds in the upper atmosphere of

Venus, items takes 5 points of damage per minute.

Unbreathable Atmosphere


NOTE: Very few of the planetary bodies in the solar system

actually have toxic atmospheres. In most unbreathable

atmospheres, the primary hazard for transhumans

without breathing apparatus or modifications to their

morph is lack of oxygen. Treat exposure to unbreathable

atmospheres the same as asphyxiation.

Underwater


NOTE: In general, any physical skill performed underwater suffers

a –20 penalty due to the resistance of the medium.

Skills relying on equipment not adapted for underwater

use may be more difficult or impossible to use. A

character’s movement rate while swimming or walking

underwater is one quarter their normal rate on land.

If a character begins to drown underwater, follow the

rules for asphyxiation (p. 194). Note that drowning

characters do not immediately recover if rescued from

the water; they will continue to asphyxiate until medical

treatment is applied to clear the water from their lungs.

Vacuum


NOTE: Biomorphs without vacuum sealing (p. 305) can spend

one minute in the vacuum of space with no ill effects,

provided they curl up into a ball, empty their lungs of

air, and keep their eyes closed (something kids in space

habitats learn at a very young age). Contrary to popular

depictions in pre-Fall media, a character exposed

to hard vacuum does not explosively decompress,

nor do their internal fluids boil (other than relatively

exposed liquids such as saliva on the tongue). Rather,

the primary danger for characters on EVA sans vacsuit

is asphyxiation due to lack of oxygen and associated

complications such as edema in the lungs.

After one minute in space, the character begins to

suffer from asphyxiation (p. 194). Damage is doubled

if the character tries to hold air in their lungs or is not

curled up in a vacuum survival position as described

above. Additionally, characters trapped in space without

adequate thermal protection suffer 10 points of

damage per minute from the extreme cold.

Improvised WeaponsEdit

NOTE: Sometimes characters are caught off-guard and they

must use whatever they happen to have at hand as

a weapon—or they think they look cool wailing on

someone with a meter of chain. The Improvised Weapons

table offers statistics for a few likely ad-hoc items.

Gamemasters can use these as guidelines for handling

items that aren’t listed.

Improvised Weapons


NOTE: Weapons

Armor Penetration (AP) Damage V alue (DV ) Average DV Skil

Baseball — (1d10 ÷ 2) + (SOM ÷ 10) 2 + (SOM ÷ 10) Throwing Weapons

Bottle — 1 + (SOM ÷ 10), breaks after 1 use 1 + (SOM ÷ 10) Clubs or Throwing Weapons

Bottle (Broken) — 1d10 – 1 (min. 1) 4 Blades

Chain — 1d10 + (SOM ÷ 10) 5 + (SOM ÷ 10) Exotic Melee

Helmet — 1d10 + (SOM ÷ 10) 5 + (SOM ÷ 10) Clubs or Throwing Weapons

Plasma Torch –6 2d10 11 Exotic Ranged

Wrench — 1d10 + (SOM ÷ 10) 5 + (SOM ÷ 10) Clubs

Knockdown/Knockback


NOTE: If an attacker’s intent is to simply knock an opponent

down or back in melee, rather than injure them, roll

the attack and defense as normal. If the attacker succeeds,

the defender is knocked backward by 1 meter

per 10 full points of MoS. To knock an opponent

down, the attacker must score an Excellent Success

(MoS 30+). A knockback/knockdown attack must be

declared before dice are rolled.

Unless the attacker rolls a critical success, no

damage is inflicted with this attack, the defender is

simply knocked down. If the attacker rolls a critical

hit, however, apply damage as normal in addition to

the knockback/knockdown.

Note that characters wounded by an attack may

also be knocked down (see Wound Effects, p. 207).

Melee and Thrown Damage Bonus


NOTE: Every successful melee and thrown weapon attack,

whether unarmed or with a weapon, receives a damage

bonus equal to the attacker’s SOM ÷ 10, round down.

See Damage Bonus, p. 123.

Multiple TargetsEdit

NOTE: When doling out the damage, there’s no reason not to

share the love.

Melee Combat


NOTE: A character taking a Complex Action to engage in a

melee attack may choose to attack two or more opponents

with the same action. Each opponent must be

within one meter of another attacked opponent. These

attacks must be declared before the dice are rolled for

the first attack. Each attack suffers a cumulative –20

modifier for each extra target. So if a character declares

they are going to attack three characters with the same

action, they suffer a cumulative –60 on each attack.

Ranged Combat


NOTE: A character firing two semi-auto shots with a Complex

Action may target a different opponent with each shot.

In this case, the attacker suffers a –20 modifier against

the second target.

A character firing a burst-fire weapon may target up

to two targets with each burst, as long as those targets

are within one meter of one another. This is handled

as a single attack; see Burst Fire, p. 198.

A character firing a burst-fire weapon twice with

one Complex Action may target a different person or

pair with each burst. In this case, the second burst

suffers a –20 modifier. This modifier does not apply

if the same person/pair targeted with the first burst is

targeted again.

Full-auto attacks may also be directed at more than

one target, as long as each target is within one meter

of the previous target. This is handled as a single

attack; see Full Auto, p. 198.

Objects and StructuresEdit

NOTE: As any poor wall in the vicinity of an enraged drunk

can tell you, objects and structures are not immune

to violence and attrition. To reflect this, inanimate

objects and structures are given Durability, Wound

Threshold, and Armor scores, just like characters. Durability

measures how much damage the structure can

take before it is destroyed. Armor reduces the damage

inflicted by attacks, as normal. For simplicity, a single

Armor rating is given that counts as both Energy and

Kinetic armor; at the gamemaster’s discretion, these

may be modified as appropriate.

Wounds suffered by objects and structures do not have

the same effect as wounds inflicted on characters. Each

wound is simply treated as a hole, partial demolition, or

impaired function, as the gamemaster sees fit. Alternately,

a wounded device may function less effectively, and so

may inflict a negative modifier on skill tests made while

using that object (a cumulative –10 per wound).

In the case of large structures, it is recommended

that individual parts of the structure be treated as

separate entities for the purpose of inflicting damage.

Ranged Attacks


NOTE: Ranged combat attacks inflict only one-third their

damage (round down) on large structures such as doors, walls, etc. This reflects the fact that most

ranged attacks simply penetrate the structure, leaving

minor damage.

Agonizers and stunners have no effect on objects

and structures.

Shooting Through


NOTE: If a character attempts to shoot through an object or

structure at a target on the other side, the attack is

likely to suffer a blind fire modifier of at least –30

unless the attack has some way of viewing the target.

On top of this, the target receives an armor bonus

equal to the object/structure’s Armor rating x 2.

Sample Objects and Structures


NOTE: Object/Stru cture Armor Durability

Woun d

Threshold

Advanced Composites

(ship/habitat hull) 50 1,000 200

Aerogel (walls, windows, etc.) — 50 10

Airlock Door 15 100 25

Alloys, Concrete, Hardened Polymers

(reinforced doors/walls)

30 100 20

Armored Glass 10 50 20

Counter 7 60 12

Desk 5 50 10

Object/Stru cture Armor Durability

Woun d

Threshold

Ecto link — 6 1

Metallic Foam (walls, doors, etc.) 20 70 15

Metallic Glass 30 150 30

Polymer or Wood

(walls, doors, furniture, etc.)

10 40 8

Quantum Farcaster Link 3 20 4

Transparent Alumina (walls, furniture) 5 60 12

Tree 2 40 10

Window — 5 1

RANGEEdit

NOTE: Every type of ranged weapon has a limited range, beyond which it is ineffective. The effective range of the weapon is further broken down into four categories: Short, Medium, Long, and Extreme. A modifier is applied for each category, as noted on the Combat Modifiers table, p. 193.


For examples of specific weapon ranges, see the Weapon Ranges table.

Range, Gravity, and Vacuum


NOTE: The ranges listed on the Weapon Ranges table are for

Earth-like gravity conditions (1 g). While the effective

ranges of kinetic, seeker, spray, and thrown weapons

can potentially increase in lower gravity environments

due to lack of gravitational forces or aerodynamic

drag, accuracy is still the defining factor for determining

whether you hit or miss a target. In lower gravities,

use the same effective ranges listed, but extend

the maximum range by dividing it by the gravity (for

example, a max range of 100 meters would be 200

meters in 0.5 g). In microgravity and zero g, the maximum

range is effectively line of sight. Likewise, under

high-gravity conditions (over 1 g), divide each range

category maximum by the gravity (e.g., a short range

of 10 meters would be 5 meters in 2 g).

Beam weapons are not affected by gravity, but they

do fare much better in non-atmospheric conditions.

Maximum beam weapon range in vacuum is effectively

line of sight.

WEAPON RANGES


NOTE: WEAPON RANGES


WEAPON (TYPE) SHORT RANGE MEDIUM RANGE (-10) LONG RANGE (-20) EXTREME RANGE (-30)
Firearms
Light Pistol 0-10 11-25 26-40 41-60




Firearms


Medium Pistol 0–10 11–30 31–50 51–70

Heavy Pistol 0–10 11–35 36–60 61–80

SMG 0–30 31–80 81–125 126–230

Assault Rifle 0–150 151–250 251–500 501–900

Sniper Rifle 0–180 181–400 401–1,100 1,100–2,300

Machine Gun 0–100 101–400 401–1,000 1,001–2,000

Railguns

as Firearms but increase the effective range in each category by +50%

Beam Weapons

Cybernetic Hand Laser 0–30 31–80 81–125 126–230

Laser Pulser 0–30 31–100 101–150 151–250

Microwave Agonizer 0–5 6–15 16–30 31–50

Particle Beam Bolter 0–30 31–100 101–150 151–300

Plasma Rifle 0–20 21–50 51–100 101–300

Stunner 0–10 11–25 26–40 41–60

Seekers

Seeker Micromissile 5–70 71–180 181–600 601–2,000

Seeker Minimissile 5–150 151–300 301–1,000 1,001–3,000

Seeker Standard Missile 5–300 301–1,000 1001–3,000 3001–10,000

Spray Weapons

Buzzer 0–5 6–15 16–30 31–50

Freezer 0–5 6–15 16–30 31–50

Shard Pistol 0–10 11–30 31–50 51–70

Shredder 0–10 11–40 41–70 71–100

Sprayer 0–5 6–15 16–30 31–50

Torch 0–5 6–15 16–30 31–50

Vortex Ring Gun 0–5 6–15 16–30 31–50

Thrown Weapons

Blades To SOM ÷ 5 To SOM ÷ 2 To SOM To SOM x 2

Minigrenades To SOM ÷ 2 To SOM To SOM x 2 To SOM x 3

Standard Grenades To SOM ÷ 5 To SOM ÷ 2 To SOM To SOM x 3

Reach


NOTE: Reach

Some weapons extend a character’s reach, giving

them a significant advantage over an opponent in

melee combat. This applies to any weapon over half

a meter long: axes, clubs, swords, shock batons, etc.

Whenever one character has a reach advantage over

another, they receive a +10 modifier for both attacking

and defending.

Scatter


NOTE: When you are using a blast weapon, you may still

catch your target in the blast radius even if you fail to

hit them directly. Weapons such as grenades must go

somewhere when they miss, and exactly where they

land may be important to the outcome of a battle. To

determine where a missed blast attack falls, the scatter

rules are called into play.

To determine scatter, roll a d10 and note where the

die “points” (using yourself as the reference point).

This is the direction from the target that the missed

blast lands. The die roll also determines how far away

the blast lands, in meters. If the MoF on the attack is

over 30, this distance is doubled. If the MoF exceeds

60, the distance is tripled. This point determines the

epicenter of the blast; resolve the effects of damage

against anyone caught within its sphere of effect as

normal (see Blast Effect, p. 193).

Shock Attacks


NOTE: Shock weapons use high-voltage electrical jolts to

physically stun and incapacitate targets. Shock weapons

are particularly effective against biomorphs and

pods, even when heavily armored. Synthmorphs, bots,

and vehicles are immune to shock weapon effects.

A biomorph struck with a shock weapon must

make a DUR + Energy Armor Test (using their current

DUR score, reduced by damage they have taken).

If they fail, they immediately lose neuromuscular

control, fall down, and are incapacitated for 1 Action

Turn per 10 full points of MoF (minimum of 3 Action

Turns). During this time they are stunned and incapable

of taking any action, possibly convulsing, suffering

vertigo, nausea, etc. After this period, they may

act but they remain stunned and shaken, suffering a

–30 modifier to all actions. This modifier reduces by

10 per minute (so –20 after 1 minute, –10 after 2 minutes,

and no modifier after 3 minutes). Many shock

weapons also inflict DV, which is handled as normal.A biomorph that succeeds the DUR Test is still

shocked but not incapacitated. They suffer half the

listed DV and suffer a –30 modifier until the end of

the next Action Turn. This modifier reduces by 10 per

Action Turn. Modifiers from additional shocks are

not cumulative, but will boost the modifier back to

its maximum value.

Subdual


NOTE: To grapple an opponent in melee combat, you must

declare your intent to subdue before making the die

roll. Any appropriate melee skill may be used for the

attack; if wielding a weapon, it may be used as part of

the grappling technique. If you succeed in your attack

with an Excellent Success (MoS of 30+), you have successfully

subdued your opponent (for the moment, at

least). Grappling attacks do not cause damage unless

you roll a critical success (though even in this case you

can choose not to).

A subdued opponent is temporarily restrained or

immobilized. They may communicate, use mental

skills, and take mesh actions, but they may not take

any physical actions other than trying to break free.

(At the gamemaster’s discretion, they may make small,

restrained physical actions, such as reaching for a

knife in their pocket or grabbing an item dropped a

few centimeters away on the floor, but these actions

should suffer at least a –30 modifier and may be noticed

by their grappler).

To break free, a grappled character must take a

Complex Action and succeed in either an Opposed

Unarmed Combat Test or an Opposed SOM x 3 Test,

though the subdued character suffers a –30 modifier

on this test.

Suppressive Fire


NOTE: A character firing a weapon in full-auto mode (p. 198)

may choose to lay down suppressive fire over an area

rather than targeting anyone specifically, with the

intent of making everyone in the suppressed area keep

their heads down. This takes a Complex Action, uses

up 20 shots, and lasts until the character’s next Action

Phase. The suppressed area extends out in a cone, with

the widest diameter of the cone being up to 20 meters

across. Any character who is not behind cover or who

does not immediately move behind cover on their

action is at risk of getting hit by the suppressive fire. If

they move out of cover inside the suppressed area, the

character laying down suppressive fire gets one free

attack against them, which they may defend against

as normal. Apply no modifiers to these tests except

for range, wounds, and full defense. If hit, the struck

character must resist damage as if from a single shot.

Surprise


NOTE: Characters who wish to ambush another must seek to

gain the advantage of surprise. This typically means

sneaking up on, lying in wait, or sniping from a hardto-

perceive position in the distance. Any time an ambusher

(or group of ambushers) attempts to surprise a target (or group of targets), make a secret Perception

Test for the ambushee(s). Unless they are alert for surprises,

this test should suffer the typical –20 modifier

for being distracted. This is an Opposed Test against

the ambusher(s) Infiltration skill. Depending on the

attacker’s position, other modifiers may also apply

(distance, visibility, cover, etc.).

If the Perception Test fails, the character is surprised

by the attack and cannot react to or defend against it. In

this case, simply give the attacker(s) a free Action Phase

to attack the surprised character(s). Once the attackers

have taken their actions, roll Initiative as normal.

If the Perception Test succeeds, the character is

alerted to something a split-second before they are

ambushed, giving them a chance to react. In this case,

roll Initiative as normal, but the ambushed character(s)

suffers a –30 modifier to the Initiative Test. The ambushed

character may still defend as normal.

In a group situation, things can get more complicated

when some characters are surprised and others

aren’t. In this case, roll Initiative as normal, with all

non-ambushers suffering the –30 modifier. Any characters

who are surprised are simply unable to take action

on the first Action Phase, as they are caught off-guard

and must take a moment to assess what’s going on

and get caught up with the action. As above, surprised

characters my not defend on this first Action Phase.

Tactical NetworksEdit

NOTE: Tactical networks are specialized software programs

used by teams that benefit from the sharing of tactical

data. They are commonly used by sports teams,

security outfits, military units, AR gamers, gatecrashers,

surveyors, miners, traffic control, scavengers, and

anyone else who needs a tactical overview of a situation.

Firewall teams regularly take advantage of them.

In game terms, tacnets provide specialized software

skills and tools to a muse or AI, as best fits their tactical

needs. These tools link together and share and

analyze data between all of the participants in the

network, creating a customizable entoptics display for

each user that summarizes relevant data, highlights

interactions and priorities, and alerts the user to matters

that require their attention.

Combat Tacnets


NOTE: The following list is a sample of a typical combat tacnet’s

features. Gamemasters are encouraged to modify and

expand these options as appropriate to their game:

• Maps: Tacnets assemble all available maps and

can present them to the user with a bird’s eye

view or as a three-dimensional interactive, with

distances between relevant features readily accessible.

The AI or muse can also plot maps based

on sensory input, breadcrumb positioning systems

(p. 332), and other data. Plotted paths and

other data from these maps can be displayed as

entoptic images or other AR sensory input (e.g.,

a user who should be turning left might see a

transparent red arrow or feel a tingling sensation

on their left side).

• Positioning: The exact positioning of the user and

all other participants are updated and mapped

according to mesh positioning and GPS. Likewise,

the positioning of known people, bots, vehicles,

and other features can also be plotted according

to sensory input.

• Sensory Input: Any sensory input available to a

participating character or device in the network

can be fed into the system and shared. This

includes data from cybernetic senses, portable

sensors, smartlink guncams, XP output, etc. This

allows one user to immediately call up and access

the sensor feed of another user.

• Communications Management: The tacnet

maintains an encrypted link between all users

and stays wary both of participants who drop

out or of attempts to hack or interfere with the

communications link.

• Smartlink/Weapon Data: The tacnet monitors the

status of weapons, accessories, and other gear via

the smartlink interface or wireless link, bringing

damage, shortages, and other issues to the user’s

attention.

• Indirect Fire: Members of a tacnet can provide

targeting data to each other for purposes of indirect

fire (p. 195).

• Analysis: The muses and AIs participating in

the tacnet are bolstered with skill software and databases that enable them to interpret incoming

data and sensory feeds. Perhaps the most

useful aspect of tacnets, this means that the

muse/AI may notice facts or details individual

users are likely to have overlooked. For example,

the tacnet can count shots fired by opponents,

note when they are likely running low, and

even analyze sensory input to determine the

type of weaponry and ammunition being used.

Opponents and their gear can also be scanned

and analyzed to note potential weaknesses, injuries,

and capabilities. If sensor contact with

an opponent is lost, the last known location is

memorized and potential movement vectors and

distances are displayed. Opponent positioning

can also identify lines of sight and fields of fire,

alerting the user to areas of potential cover or

danger. The tacnet can also suggest tactical maneuvers

that will aid the user, such as flanking an

opponent or acquiring better elevation.

Many of these features are immediately accessible

to the user via their AR display; other data can be accessed

with a Quick Action. Likewise, the gamemaster

decides when the muse/AI provides important alerts to

the user. At the gamemaster’s discretion, some of these

features may apply modifiers to the character’s tests.

Touch-only Attack


NOTE: Some types of attacks simply require you to touch your

target, rather than injure them, and are correspondingly

easier. This might apply when trying to slap them

with a dermal drug patch, spreading a contact poison

on their skin, or making skin-to-skin contact for the

use of a psi sleight. In situations like this, apply a +20

modifier to your melee attacks.

Two-Handed Weapons


NOTE: Any weapon noted as two-handed requires two hands

(or other prehensile limbs) to wield effectively. This

applies to some archaic melee weapons (large swords,

spears, etc.) in addition to certain larger firearms and

heavy weapons. Any character that attempts to use

such a weapon single-handed suffers a –20 modifier.

This modifier does not apply to mounted weapons.

Wielding Two or More WeaponsEdit

NOTE: It is possible for a character to wield two weapons

in combat, or even more if they are an octomorph or

multi-limbed synthmorph. In this case, each weapon

that is held in an off-hand suffers a –20 off-hand

weapon modifier. This modifier may be offset with the

Ambidextrous trait (p. 145).

Extra Melee Weapons


NOTE: The use of two or more melee weapons is treated as

a single attack, rather than multiple. Each additional

weapon applies +1d10 damage to the attack (up to

a maximum +3d10). Off-hand weapon modifiers are

ignored. If the character attacks multiple targets with the same Complex Action (see Multiple Targets, p.

202), these bonuses does not apply. The attacker must,

of course, be capable of actually wielding the additional

weapons. A splicer with only two hands cannot

wield a knife and a two-handed sword, for example.

Likewise, the gamemaster may ignore this damage

bonus for extra weapons that are too dissimilar to

use together effectively (like a whip and a pool cue).

Note that extra limbs do not count as extra weapons

in unarmed combat, nor do weapons that come as a

pair (such as shock gloves).

A character using more than one melee weapon

receives a bonus for defending against melee attacks

equal to +10 per extra weapon (maximum +30).

Extra Ranged Weapons


NOTE: Similarly, an attacker can wield a pistol in each hand

for ranged combat, or larger weapons if they have

more limbs (an eight-limbed octomorph, for example,

could conceivably hold four assault rifles). These

weapons may all be fired at once towards the same

target. In this case, each weapon is handled as a separate

attack, with each off-hand weapon suffering a

cumulative off-hand weapon modifier (no modifier for

the first attack, –20 for the second, –40 for the third,

and –60 for the fourth), offset by the Ambidextrous

trait (p. 145) as usual.

PHYSICAL HEALTHEdit

NOTE: In a setting as dangerous as Eclipse Phase, characters

are inevitably going to get hurt. Whether your morph

is biological or synthetic, you can be injured by weapons,

brawling, falling, accidents, extreme environments,

psi attacks, and so on. This section discusses how to

track such injuries and determine what effect they have

on your character. Two methods are used to gauge a

character’s physical health: damage points and wounds.

Damage Points


NOTE: Any physical harm that befalls your character is measured

in damage points. These points are cumulative,

and are recorded on your character sheet. Damage

points are characterized as fatigue, stun, bruises,

bumps, sprains, minor cuts, and similar hurts that,

while painful, do not significantly impair or threaten

your character’s life unless they accumulate to a significant

amount. Any source of harm that inflicts a large

amount of damage points at once, however, is likely to

have a more severe effect (see Wounds, p. 207).

Damage points may be reduced by rest, medical

care, and/or repair (see Healing and Repair, p. 208).

Damage TypesEdit

NOTE: Physical damage comes in three forms: Energy, Kinetic,

and Psi.

Energy Damage


NOTE: Energy damage includes lasers, plasma guns, fire, electrocution,

explosions, and others sources of damaging energy.

Kinetic Damage


NOTE: Kinetic damage is caused by projectiles and other

objects moving at great speeds that disperse their

energy into the target upon impact. Kinetic attacks

include slug-throwers, flechette weapons, knives,

and punches.

Psi Damage


NOTE: Psi damage is caused by offensive psi sleights like

Psychic Stab (p. 228).

Durability and HealthEdit

NOTE: Your character’s physical health is measured by their

Durability stat. For characters sleeved in biomorphs,

this figure represents the point at which accumulated

damage points overwhelm your character and

they fall unconscious. Once you have accumulated

damage points equal to or exceeding your Durability

stat, you immediately collapse from exhaustion and

physical abuse. You remain unconscious and may

not be revived until your damage points are reduced

below your Durability, either from medical care or

natural healing.

If you are morphed in a synthetic shell, Durability

represents your structural integrity. You become

physically disabled when accumulated damage points

reach your Durability. Though your computer systems

are likely still functioning and you can still mesh, your

morph is broken and immobile until repaired.

Death


NOTE: An extreme accumulation of damage points can

threaten your character’s life. If the damage reaches

your Durability x 1.5 (for biomorphs) or Durability x

2 (for synthetic morphs), your body dies. This known

as your Death Rating. Synthetic morphs that reach

this state are destroyed beyond repair.

Damage Value


NOTE: Weapons (and other sources of injury) in Eclipse

Phase have a listed Damage Value (DV)—the base

amount of damage points the weapon inflicts. This is

often presented as a variable amount, in the form of a

die roll; for example: 3d10. In this case, you roll three

ten-sided dice and add up the results (counting 0 as

10). Sometimes the DV will be presented as a dice roll

plus modifier; for example: 2d10 + 5. In this case you

roll two ten-sided dice, add them together, and then

add 5 to get the result.

For simplicity, a static amount is also noted in

parentheses after the variable amount. If you prefer

to skip the dice rolling, you can just apply the static

amount (usually close to the mean average) instead.

For example, if the damage were noted 2d10 + 5 (15),

you could simply apply 15 damage points instead of

rolling dice.

When damage is inflicted on a character, determine the

DV (roll the dice) and subtract the modified armor value,

as noted under Step 7: Determine Damage (p. 192).

WoundsEdit

NOTE: Wounds represent more grievous injuries: bad cuts and

hemorrhaging, fractures and breaks, mangled limbs,

and other serious damage that impairs your ability to

function and may lead to death or long-term damage.

Any time your character sustains damage, compare

the amount inflicted (after it has been reduced by

armor) to your Wound Threshold. If the modified DV

equals or exceeds your Wound Threshold, you have

suffered a wound. If the inflicted damage is double

your Wound Threshold, you suffer 2 wounds; if

triple your Wound Threshold, you suffer 3 wounds;

and so on.

Wounds are cumulative, and must be marked on

your character sheet.

Note that these rules handle damage and wounds

as an abstract concept. For drama and realism,

gamemasters may wish to describe wounds in more

detailed and grisly terms: a broken ankle, a severed

tendon, internal bleeding, a lost ear, and so on. The

nature of such descriptive injuries may help the gamemaster

assign other effects. For example, a character

with a crushed hand may not be able to pick up a gun,

someone with excessive blood loss may leave a trail

for their enemies to follow, or someone with a cut eye

may suffer an additional visual perception modifier.

Likewise, such details may impact how a character is

treated or heals.

Wound Effects


NOTE: Each wound applies a cumulative –10 modifier to all

of the character’s actions. A character with 3 wounds,

for example, suffers –30 to all actions.

Some traits, morphs, implants, drugs, and psi allow

a character to ignore wound modifiers. These effects

are cumulative, though the maximum amount of

wound modifiers that may be negated is –30.

Knockdown: Any time a character takes a wound,

they must make an immediate SOM x 3 Test. Wound

modifiers apply. If they fail, they are knocked down

and must expend a Quick Action to get back up. Bots

and vehicles must make a Pilot Test to avoid crashing.

Unconsciousness: Any time a character receives 2

or more wounds at once (from the same attack), they

must also make an immediate SOM x 3 Test; wound

modifiers again apply. If they fail, they have been

knocked unconscious (until they are awoken or heal).

Bots and vehicles that take 2 or more wounds at once

automatically crash (see Crashing, p. 196).

Bleeding: Any biomorph character who has suffered

a wound and who takes damage that exceeds their

Durability is in danger of bleeding to death. They

incur 1 additional damage point per Action Turn (20

per minute) until they receive medical care or die.

Death


NOTE: For many people in Eclipse Phase, death is not the end

of the line. If the character’s cortical stack can be retrieved,

they can be resurrected and downloaded into

a new morph (see Resleeving, p. 271). This typically requires either backup insurance (p. 269) or the good

graces of whomever ends up with their body/stack.

If the cortical stack is not retrievable, the character can

still be re-instantiated from an archived backup (p. 268).

Again, this either requires backup insurance or someone

who is willing to pay to have them revived.

If the character’s cortical stack is not retrieved

and they have no backup, then they are completely

and utterly dead. Gone. Kaput. (Unless they happen

to have an alpha fork of themselves floating around

somewhere; see Forking and Merging, p. 273.)

HEALING AND REPAIREdit

NOTE: Use the follow rules for healing and repairing damaged

and wounded characters.

Biomorph HealingEdit

NOTE: Thanks to advanced medical technologies, there are

many ways for characters in biological morphs (including

pods) to heal injuries. Medichine nanoware

(p. 308) helps characters to heal quickly, as do nanobandages

(p. 333). Healing vats (p. 326) will heal even

the most grievous wounds in a matter of days, and

can even restore characters who recently died or have

been reduced to just a head.

Characters without access to these medical tools are

not without hope, of course. The medical skills of a

trained professional can abate the impact of wounds,

and over time bodies will of course heal themselves.

Medical Care


NOTE: Characters with an appropriate Medicine skill (such

as Medicine: Paramedic or Medicine: Trauma Surgery)

can perform first aid on damaged or wounded

characters. A successful Medicine Test, modified as

the gamemaster deems fit according to situational

conditions, will heal 1d10 points of damage and will

remove 1 wound. This test must be made within 24

hours of the injury, and any particular injury may only

be treated once. If the character is later injured again,

however, this new damage may also be treated. Medical

care of this sort is not effective against injuries that

have been treated with medichines, nanobandages, or

healing vats.

Natural Healing


NOTE: Natural Healing

Characters trapped far from medical technology—in

a remote station, the wilds of Mars, or the like—may

be forced to heal naturally if injured. Natural healing

is a slow process that’s heavily influenced by a number

of factors. In order for a character to heal wounds,

all normal damage must be healed first. Consult the

Healing table.

Surgery


NOTE: In Eclipse Phase, most grievous injuries can be handled

by time in a healing vat (p. 326) or simply rest

and recovery. In circumstances where a healing vat is

not available, the gamemaster may decide that a particular

wound requires actual surgery from an intelligent

being (whether a character or AI-driven medbot).

Usually in this case the character will be incapable of

further healing until the surgery occurs. The surgery

is handled as a Medical Test using a field appropriate

to the situation and with a timeframe of 1–8 hours. If

successful, the character is healed of 1d10 damage and

1 wound and recovers from that point on as normal.

Synthmorph and Object RepairEdit

NOTE: Unlike biomorphs, synthetic morphs and objects do not

heal damage on their own and must be repaired. Some

synthmorphs and devices have advanced nanotech selfrepair

systems, similar to medichines for biomorphs (see

Fixers, p. 329). Repair spray (p. 333) may also be used

to conduct fixes and is an extremely useful option for

non-technical people. Barring these options, technicians

may also work repairs the old-fashioned way, using

their skills and tools (see Physical Repairs, below). As a

last resort, synthmorphs and objects may be repaired in

a nanofabrication machine with the appropriate blueprints

(using the same rules as healing vats, p. 326).

Physical Reapirs


NOTE: Manually fixing a synthmorph or object requires a

Hardware Test using a field appropriate to the item

(Hardware: Robotics for synthmorphs and bots,

Hardware: Aerospace for aircraft, etc.), with a –10

modifier per wound. Repair is a Task Action with

a timeframe of 2 hours per 10 points of damage

being restored, plus 8 hours per wound. Appropriate modifiers should be applied, based on conditions and

available tools. For example, utilitools (p. 326) apply

a +20 modifier to repair tests, while repair spray applies

a +30 modifier.

Repairing Armor


NOTE: Armor may be repaired in the same manner as Durability,

however, wounds do not impact the test with

modifiers or extra time.

Healing


NOTE: Character Situation Damage Healing Rate Woun d Healing Rate

Character without basic biomods 1d10 (5) per day 1 per week

Character with basic biomods 1d10 (5) per 12 hours 1 per 3 days

Character using nanobandage 1d10 (5) per 2 hours 1 per day

Character with medichines 1d10 (5) per 1 hour 1 per 12 hours

Poor conditions (bad food, not enough rest/heavy activity,

poor shelter and/or sanitation)

double timeframe double timeframe

Harsh conditions (insufficient food, no rest/strenuous activity,

little or no shelter and/or sanitation)

triple timeframe no wound healing

MENTAL HEALTHEdit

NOTE: In a time when people can discard bodies and

replace them with new ones, trauma inflicted on

your mind and ego—your sense of self—is often

more frightening than grievous physical harm. There

are many ways in which your sanity and mental

wholeness can be threatened: experiencing physical

death, extended isolation, loss of loved ones, alien

situations, discontinuity of self from lost memories

or switching morphs, psi attack, and so on. Two

methods are used to gauge your mental health: stress

points and trauma.

Stress Points


NOTE: Stress points represent fractures in your ego’s integrity,

cracks in the mental image of yourself. This

mental damage is experienced as cerebral shocks,

disorientation, cognitive disconnects, synaptic misfires,

or an undermining of the intellectual faculties.

On their own, these stress points do not significantly

impair your character’s functioning, but if allowed to

accumulate they can have severe repercussions. Additionally,

any source that inflicts a large amount of

stress points at once is likely to have a more severe

impact (see Trauma).

Stress points may be reduced by long-term rest, psychiatric

care, and/or psychosurgery (see p. 214).

Lucidity and StressEdit

NOTE: Your Lucidity stat benchmarks your character’s mental

stability. If you build up an amount of stress points

equal to or greater than your Lucidity score, your character’s

ego immediately suffers a mental breakdown.

You effectively go into shock and remain in a catatonic

state until your stress points are reduced to a level

below your Lucidity stat. Accumulated stress points

will overwhelm egos housed inside synthetic shells or

infomorphs just as they will biological brains—the

mental software effectively seizes up, incapable of

functioning until it is debugged.

Insanity Rating


NOTE: Extreme amounts of built-up stress points can permanently

damage your character’s sanity. If accumulated

stress points reach your Lucidity x 2, your character’s

ego undergoes a permanent meltdown. Your mind is

lost, and no amount of psych help or rest will ever

bring it back.

Stress Value


NOTE: Any source capable of inflicting cognitive stress is given

a Stress Value (SV). This indicates the amount of stress

points the attack or experience inflicts upon a character.

Like DV, SV is often presented as a variable amount, such

as 2d10, or sometimes with a modifier, such as 2d10 +

10. Simply roll the dice and total the amounts to determine

the stress points inflicted in that instance. To make

things easier, a static SV is also given in parentheses after

the variable amount; use that set amount when you wish

to keep the game moving and don’t want to roll dice.

TraumaEdit

NOTE: Mental trauma is more severe than stress points. Traumas

represent severe mental shocks, a crumbling of

personality/self, delirium, paradigm shifts, and other

serious cognitive malfunctions. Traumas impair your

character’s functioning and may result in temporary

derangements or permanent disorders.

If your character receives a number of stress points

at once that equals or exceeds their Trauma Threshold,

they have suffered a trauma. If the inflicted stress

points are double or triple the Trauma Threshold, they

suffer 2 or 3 traumas, respectively, and so on. Traumas

are cumulative and must be recorded on your

character sheet.

Trauma Effects


NOTE: Each trauma applies a cumulative –10 modifier to all

of the character’s actions. A character with 2 traumas,

for example, suffers –20 to all actions. These modifiers

are also cumulative with wound modifiers.

Disorientation: Any time a character suffers a

trauma, they must make an immediate WIL x 3 Test.

Trauma modifiers apply. If they fail, they are temporarily

stunned and disoriented, and must expend a

Complex Action to regain their wits.

Derangements and Disorders: Any time a character

is hit with a trauma, they suffer a temporary derangement

(see Derangements). The first trauma inflicts a

minor derangement. If a second trauma is applied,

the first derangement is either upgraded from minor

to a moderate derangement, or else a second minor

derangement is applied (gamemaster’s discretion).

Likewise, a third trauma may upgrade that derangement

from moderate to major or else inflict a new

minor. It is generally recommended that derangements

be upgraded in potency, especially when result from

the same set of ongoing circumstances. In the case of

traumas that result from distinctly separate situations

and sources, separate derangements may be applied.

Disorder: When four or more traumas have been

inflicted on a character, a major derangement is upgraded

to a disorder. Disorders represent long-lasting

psychological afflictions that typically require weeks

or even months of psychotherapy and/or psychosurgery

to remedy (see Disorders, p. 211).

DerangementsEdit

NOTE: Derangements are temporary mental conditions that

result from traumas. Derangements are measured as

Minor, Moderate, or Major. The gamemaster and

player should cooperate in choosing which derangement

to apply, as appropriate to the scenario and

character personality.

Derangements last for 1d10 ÷ 2 hours (round

down), or until the character receives psychiatric help,

whichever comes first. At the gamemaster’s discretion,

a derangement may last longer if the character has not

been distanced from the source of the stress, or if they

remain embroiled in other stress-inducing situations.

Derangement effects are meant to be role-played.

The player should incorporate the derangement into

their character’s words and actions. If the gamemaster

doesn’t feel the player is stressing the effects enough,

they can emphasize them. If the gamemaster feels it is

appropriate, they may also call for additional modifiers

or tests for certain actions.

Anxiety (Minor)


NOTE: You suffer a panic attack, exhibiting the physiological

conditions of fear and worry: sweatiness, racing heart,

trembling, shortness of breath, headaches, and so on.

Avoidance (Minor)


NOTE: You are psychologically incapable with dealing with

the source of the stress, or some circumstance related

to it, so you avoid it—even covering your ears, curling

up in a ball, or shutting off your sensors if you

have to.

Dizziness (Minor)


NOTE: The stress makes you light-headed and disoriented.

Echolalia (Minor)


NOTE: You involuntarily repeat words and phrases spoken

by others.

Fixation (Minor)


NOTE: You become fixated on something that you did wrong

or some circumstance that led to your stress. You

obsess over it, repeating the behavior, trying to fix it,

running scenarios through your head and out loud,

and so on.

Hunger (Minor)


NOTE: You are suddenly consumed by an irrational yet

overwhelming desire to eat something—perhaps even

something unusual.

Indecisiveness (Minor)


NOTE: You are flustered by the cause of your stress, finding it

difficult to make choices or select courses of action.

Logorrhoea (Minor)


NOTE: Your response to the trauma is to engage in excessive

talking and babbling. You don’t shut up.

Nausea (Minor)


NOTE: The stress sickens you, forcing you to fight down

queasiness.

Chills (Moderate)


NOTE: Your body temperature rises, making you feel cold,

and shivering sets in. You just can’t get warm

Confusions (Moderate)


NOTE: The trauma scrambles your concentration, making

you forget what you’re doing, mix up simple tasks,

and falter over easy decisions.

Echopraxia (Moderate)


NOTE: You involuntarily repeat and mimic the actions of

others around you

Mood Swings (Moderate)


NOTE: You involuntarily repeat and mimic the actions of

others around you

Mute (Moderate)


NOTE: The trauma shocks you into speechlessness and a complete

inability to effectively communicate.

Narcissism (Moderate)


NOTE: In the wake of the mental shock, all you can think about

is yourself. You cease caring about those around you.

Panic (Moderate)


NOTE: You are overwhelmed by fear or anxiety and immediately

seek to distance yourself from the cause of the stress.

Tremors (Moderate)


NOTE: You shake violently, making it difficult to hold things

or stay still.

Blackout (Major)


NOTE: You operate on auto-pilot in a temporary fugue state.

Later, you will be incapable of recalling what happened

during this period. (Synthetic shells and infomorphs

may call up memory records from storage.)

Frenzy (Major)


NOTE: You have a major freak out over the source of the

stress and attack it.

Hallucinations (Major)


NOTE: You see, hear, or otherwise sense things that aren’t

really there.

Hysteria (Major)


NOTE: You lose control, panicking over the source of the

stress. This typically results in an emotional outburst

of crying, laughing, or irrational fear.

Irrationality (Major)


NOTE: You are so jarred by the stress that your capacity for

logical judgment breaks down. You are angered by

imaginary offenses, hold unreasonable expectations, or

otherwise accept things with unconvincing evidence.

Paralysis (Major)


NOTE: You are so shocked by the trauma that you are effectively

frozen, incapable of making decisions or taking

action.

Psychosomatic Crippling (Major)


NOTE: The trauma overwhelms you, impairing some part of

your physical functioning. You suffer from an inexplicable

blindness, deafness, or phantom pain, or are suddenly

incapable of using a limb or other extremity

DisordersEdit

NOTE: Disorders reflect more permanent madness. In this

case, “permanent” does not necessarily mean forever,

but the condition is ongoing until the character has received

lengthy and effective psychiatric help. Disorders

are inflicted whenever a character has accumulated 4

traumas. The gamemaster and player should choose a

disorder that fits the situation and character.

Disorders are not always “active”—they may

remain dormant until triggered by certain conditions.

While it is certainly possible to act under a disorder,

it represents a severe impairment to a person’s ability

to maintain normal relationships and do a job successfully.

Disorders should not be glamorized as cute

role-playing quirks. They represent the best attempts

of a damaged psyche to deal with a world that has

failed it in some way. Additionally, people in many

habitats, particularly those in the inner system, still

regard disorders as a mark of social stigma and may

react negatively towards impaired characters.

Characters that acquire disorders over the course

of their adventures may get rid of them in one of two

ways, either through in-game attempts to treat them

(p. 214) or by buying them off as they would a negative

trait (p. 153).

Addiction


NOTE: Addiction as a disorder can refer to any sort of addictive

behavior focused toward a particular behavior

or substance, to the point where the user is unable

to function without the addiction but is also severely

impaired due to the effects of the addiction. It is

marked by a desire on the part of the subject to seek

help or reduce the use of the addicting substance/act,

but also by the subject spending large amounts of time in pursuit of their addiction to the exclusion of other

activities. This is a step up from Addiction negative

trait listed on p. 148—this is much more of a crippling

behavior that compensates for spending time away

from the addiction. Addictions are typically related

to the trauma that caused the disorder (VR or drug

addictions are encouraged).

Suggested Game Effects: The addict functions in

only two states: under the influence of their addiction

or in withdrawal. Additionally, they spend large

amounts of time away from their other responsibilities

in pursuit of their addiction.

Atavism


NOTE: Atavism is a disorder that mainly affects uplifts. It

results in them regressing to an earlier un- or partially-

uplifted state. They may exhibit behaviors more

closely in line with their more animalistic forbears, or

they may lose some of their uplift benefits such as the

ability for abstract reasoning or speech.

Suggested Game Effects: The player and gamemaster

should discuss how much of the uplift’s nature is

lost and adjust game penalties accordingly. It is important

to note that other uplifts view atavistic uplifts

with something akin to horror and will usually have

nothing to do with them.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)


NOTE: This disorder manifests as a marked inability to focus

on any one task for an extended period of time, and

also an inability to notice details in most situations.

Sufferers may find themselves starting multiple tasks,

beginning a new one after only a cursory attempt at

the prior task. ADHD suffers may also have a manic

edge that manifests as confidence in their ability to get

a given job done, even though they will quickly lose

all interest in it.

Suggested Game Effects: Perception and related

skill penalties. Increased difficulty modifiers to task

actions, particularly as the action drags on.

Autophagy


NOTE: This is a disorder that usually only occurs among uplifted

octopi. It is a form of anxiety disorder characterized

by self-cannibalism of the limbs. Subjects afflicted

with autophagy will, under stress, begin to consume

their limbs, if at all possible, causing themselves potentially

serious harm.

Suggested Game Effects: Anytime an uplifted octopi

with this disorder is placed in a stressful situation they

must make a successful WIL x 3 Test or begin to consume

one of their limbs.

Bipolar Disorder


NOTE: Bipolar disorder is also called manic depression. It is

similar to depression except for the fact that the periods

of depression are interrupted by brief (a matter of

days at most) periods of mania where the subject feels

inexplicably “up” about everything with heightened energy and a general disregard for consequences. The

depressive stages are similar in all ways to depression.

The manic stages are dangerous since the subject

will take risks, spend wildly, and generally engage in

behavior without much in the way of forethought or

potential long term consequences.

Suggested Game Effects: Similar to depression, but

when manic the character must make a WIL x 3 Test

to not do some action that may be potentially risky.

They will also try to convince others to go along with

the idea.

Body Dysmorphia


NOTE: Subjects afflicted with this disorder believe that they

are so unspeakably hideous that they are unable to

interact with others or function normally for fear of

ridicule and humiliation at their appearance. They

tend to be very secretive and reluctant to seek help

because they are afraid others will think them vain—

or they may feel too embarrassed to do so. Ironically,

BDD is often misunderstood as a vanity-driven

obsession, whereas it is quite the opposite; people

with BDD believe themselves to be irrevocably ugly

or defective. A similar disorder, gender identity disorder,

where the patient is upset with their entire

sexual biology, often precipitates BDD-like feelings.

Gender identity disorder is directed specifically at

external sexually dimorphic features, which are in

constant conflict with the patient’s internal psychiatric

gender.

Suggested Game Effects: Because of the nature of

Eclipse Phase and the ability to swap out and modify

a body, this is a fairly common disorder. It is suggested

that characters with this suffer increased or

prolonged resleeving penalties since they are unable

to fully adjust to the reality of their new morph.

Borderline Personality Disorder


NOTE: This disorder is marked by a general inability to fully

experience one’s self any longer. Emotional states are

variable and often marked by extremes and acting

out. Simply put, the subject feels like they are losing

their sense of self and seeks constant reassurance

from others around them, yet is not fully able to act

in an appropriate way. They may also engage in impulsive

behaviors in an attempt to experience some

sort of feeling. In extreme cases, there may be suicidal

thoughts or attempts.

Suggested Game Effects: The character needs to

be around others and will not be left alone, however

they also are not quite able to relate to others in a

normal way and may also take risks or make impulsive

decisions.

Depression


NOTE: Clinical depression is characterized by intense feelings

of hopelessness and worthlessness. Subjects usually

report feeling as though nothing they do matters and

no one would care anyway, so they are disinclined to attempt much in the way of anything. The character is

depressed and finds it difficult to be motivated to do

much of anything. Even simple acts such as eating and

bathing can seem to be monumental tasks.

Suggested Game Effect: Depressives often lack the

will to take any sort of action, often to the point of requiring

a WIL x 3 Test to engage in sustained activity.

Fugue


NOTE: The character enters into a fugue state where they

display little attention to external stimuli. They will

still function physiologically but refrain from speaking

and stare off into the distance, unable to focus on

events around them. Unlike catatonia, a person in a

fugue state will walk around if lead about by a helper,

but is otherwise unresponsive. The fugue state is usually

a persistent state, but it can be an occasional state

that is triggered by some sort of external stimuli similar

to the original trauma that triggered the disorder.

Suggested Game Effects: Characters in a fugue state

are totally non-responsive to most stimuli around

them. They will not even defend themselves if attacked

and will usually attempt

General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)


NOTE: GAD results in severe feelings of anxiety about nearly

everything the character comes into contact with.

Even simple tasks represent the potential for failure

on a catastrophic scale and should be avoided or minimized.

Additionally, negative outcomes for any action

are always assumed to be the only possible outcomes.

Suggested Game Effects: A character with GAD will

be almost entirely useless unless convinced otherwise,

and then only for a short period of time. Another

character can attempt to use a relevant social skill to

coax the GAD character into doing what is required

of them. If the character with the disorder fails at the

task, however, all future attempts to coax them will

suffer a cumulative –10 penalty.

Hypochondria


NOTE: Hypochondriacs suffer from a delusion that they are

sick in ways that they are not. They will create disorders

that they believe they suffer from, usually to

get the attention of others. Often hypochondriacs will

inflict harm on themselves or even ingest substances

that will aid in producing symptoms similar to the

disorder they believe they have. These attempts to

simulate symptoms can and will cause actual harm

to hypochondriacs.

Possible Game Effects: A subject that is hypochondriac

will often behave as though they are under the

effects of some other disorder or physical malady.

This can be consistent over time or can be different

and ever changing. They will react with hostility to

claims that they are faking or not actually ill.

Impulse Control Disorder


NOTE: Subjects have a certain act or belief that they must

engage in a certain activity that comes into their

mind. This can be kleptomania, pyromania, sexual

exhibitionism, etc. They feel a sense of building

anxiety whenever they are prevented from engaging

in this behavior for an extended period (usually several

times a day to weekly, depending on the impulse)

and will often attempt to engage in this behavior at

inconvenient or inappropriate times. This is different

from OCD in the sense that OCD is usually a

single contained behavior that must be engaged in to

reduce anxiety. Impulse control disorder is a variety

of behaviors and can be virtually any sort of highly

inappropriate action.

Suggested Game Effects: Similar to OCD, if the

character doesn’t engage in the behavior they will

grow increasingly disturbed and suffer penalties to all

actions until they are able to engage in the compulsion

that alleviates their anxiety.

Insomnia


NOTE: Insomniacs find themselves unable to sleep, or unable

to sleep for an extended period of time. This is most

often due to anxiety about their lives or as a result

of depression and the accompanying negative thought

patterns. This is not the sort of sleeplessness that is

brought about as a result of normal stress but rather

a near total inability to find rest in sleep when it is

desired. Insomniacs may find themselves nodding off

at inopportune times, but never for long, and never

enough to gain any restful sleep. As a result, they

are frequently lethargic and inattentive as their lack

of sleep robs them of their edge and eventually any

semblance of alertness. Additionally, insomniacs are

frequently irritable due to being on edge and unable

to rest.

Suggested Game Effects: Due to the lack of meaningful

sleep, insomniacs should suffer from blanket

penalties to perception related tasks or anything requiring

concentration or prolonged fine motor abilities.

Megalomania


NOTE: A megalomaniac believes themselves to be the single

most important person in the universe. Nothing is

more important than the megalomaniac and everything

around them must be done according to their

whim. Failure to comply with the dictates of a megalomaniac

can often result in rages or actual physical

assaults by the subject.

Suggested Game Effects: A character that has

megalomania will demand attention and has difficulty

in nearly any social situation. Additionally, they

may be provoked to violence if they think they are

being slighted.

Multiple Personality Disorder


NOTE: This is the development of a separate, distinct personality

from the original or control personality.

The personalities may or may not be aware of each

other and “conscious” during the actions of the other

personality. Usually there is some sort of trigger that

results in the emergence of the non-control personality.

Most subjects have only a single extra personality, but

it is not unheard of to have several personalities. It

is important to note that these are distinct individual

personalities and not just crude caricatures of the Dr.

Jekyll/Mr. Hyde sort. Each personality sees itself as

a distinct person with their own wants, needs, and

motivations. Additionally, they are usually unaware

of the experiences of the others, though there is some

basic information sharing (such as language and core

skill sets).

Suggested Game Effects: When the player is under

the effects of another personality, they should be

treated as an NPC. In some rare cases the player and

the gamemaster can work out the second personality

and allow the player to roleplay this. This does not

however constitute an entire new character that can

be “turned on” at will.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)


NOTE: Subjects with OCD are marked by intrusive or inappropriate

thoughts or impulses that cause acute

anxiety if a particular obsession or compulsion is not

engaged in to alleviate them. These obsessions and

compulsions can be nearly any sort of behavior that

must be immediately engaged in to keep the rising

anxiety at bay. Players and gamemasters are encouraged

to come up with a behavior that is suitable.

Examples of common behaviors include repetitive

tics (touching every finger of each hand to another

part of the body, tapping the right foot twenty times),

pathological behaviors such as gambling or eating,

or a mental ritual that must be completed (reciting a

book passage).

Suggested Game Effects: If the character doesn’t

engage in the behavior they will grow increasingly

disturbed and suffer penalties to all actions until they

are able to engage in the compulsion that alleviates

their anxiety.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


NOTE: PTSD occurs as a result of being exposed to either

a single incident or a series of incidents where the

sufferer had their own life, or saw the lives of others,

threatened with death. These incidents are often

marked by an inability on the part of the victim, either

real or perceived, to do anything to alter the outcomes.

As a result, they develop an acute anxiety and fixation

on these incidents to the point where they lose sleep,

become irritated or easily angered, or are depressed

over feelings that they lack control in their own lives.

Suggested Game Effects: Penalties to task actions,

also treat situations similar to the initial episodes that

caused the disorder as a phobia.

Schizophrenia


NOTE: While schizophrenia is generally acknowledged as a

genetic disorder that has an onset in early adulthood,

it also seems to develop in a number of egos that undergo

frequent morph changes. It has been theorized

that this is due to some sort of repetitive error in the

download process. Regardless, it remains a rare, yet

persistent danger of dying and being brought back.

Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder where the subject

loses their ability to discern reality from unreality.

This can involve delusions, hallucinations (often in

support of the delusions), and fragmented or disorganized

speech. The subject will not be aware of these

behaviors and will perceive themselves as functioning

normally, often to the point of becoming paranoid that

others are somehow involved in a grand deception.

Suggested Game Effects: Schizophrenia represents

a total break from reality. A character that is schizophrenic

may see and hear things and act on those

delusions and hallucinations while seeing attempts

by their friends to stop or explain to them as part

of a wider conspiracy. Adding to this is the difficulty

of communicating coherently. Characters that have

become schizophrenic are only marginally functional

and only for short periods

Stressful Situations


NOTE: The universe of Eclipse Phase is ripe with experiences

that might rattle a character’s sanity. Some of these are

as mundane and human as extreme violence, extended

isolation, or helplessness. Others are less common, but

even more terrifying: encountering alien species, infection

by the Exsurgent virus, or being sleeved inside a

non-human morph.

Willpower Stress Tests


NOTE: Whenever a character encounters a situation that

might impact their ego’s psyche, the gamemaster may

call for a (Willpower x 3) Test. This test determines if

the character is able to cope with the unnerving situation

or if the experience scars their mental landscape.

If they succeed, the character is shaken but otherwise

unaffected. If they fail, they suffer stress damage (and

possibly trauma) as appropriate to the situation. A

list of stress-inducing scenarios and suggested SVs are

listed on the Stressful Experiences table, p. 215. The

gamemaster should use these as a guideline, modifying

them as appropriate to the situation at hand.

Note that some incidents may be so horrific that a

modifier is applied to the character’s (Willpower x 3)

Test.

Hardening


NOTE: The more you are exposed to horrible or terrifying

things, the less scary they become. After repeated exposure,

you become hardened to such things, able to

shake them off without effect. Every time you succeed in a Willpower Test to avoid

taking stress from a particular source, take note. If you

successfully resist such a situation 5 times, you become

effectively immune to taking stress from that source.

The drawback to hardening yourself to such situations

is that you grow detached and callous. In order

to protect yourself, you have learned to cut off your

emotions—but it is such emotions that make you

human. You have erected mental walls that will affect

your empathy and ability to relate to others.

Each time you harden yourself to one source of

stress, your maximum Moxie stat is reduced by 1.

Psychotherapy may be used to overcome such hardening,

in the same way a disorder is treated.

Stressful Experiences


NOTE: Situation SV

Failing spectacularly in pursuit of a motivational goal 1d10 ÷ 2 (round down)

Helplessness 1d10 ÷ 2 (round down)

Betrayal by a trusted friend 1d10 ÷ 2 (round down)

Extended isolation 1d10 ÷ 2 (round down)

Extreme violence (viewing) 1d10 ÷ 2 (round down)

Extreme violence (committing) 1d10

Awareness that your death is imminent 1d10

Experiencing someone’s death via XP 1d10

Losing a loved one 1d10 ÷ 2 (round down)

Watching a loved one die 1d10 + 2

Being responsible for the death of a loved one 1d10 + 5

Encountering a gruesome murder scene 1d10

Torture (viewing) 1d10 + 2

Torture (moderate suffering) 2d10 + 3

Torture (severe suffering) 3d10 + 5

Encountering aliens (non-sentient) 1d10 ÷ 2 (round down)

Encountering aliens (sentient) 1d10

Encountering hostile aliens 1d10 + 3

Encountering highly-advanced technology 1d10 ÷ 2 (round down)

Encountering Exsurgent-modified technology 1d10 ÷ 2 (round down)

Encountering Exsurgent-infected transhumans 1d10

Encountering Exsurgent life forms 1d10 + 3

Exsurgent virus infection Varies; see p. 36

Mental Healing and PsychotherapyEdit

NOTE: Stress is trickier to heal than physical damage. There

are no nano-treatments or quick fix options (other

than killing yourself and reverting to a non-stressed

backup). The options for recuperating are simply natural

healing over time, psychotherapy, or psychosurgery.

Psychotherapy Care


NOTE: Characters with an appropriate skill—

Medicine: Psychiatry, Academics: Psychology,

or Professional: Psychotherapy—can

assist a character suffering mental stress

or trauma with psychotherapy. This treatment

is a long-term process, involving

methods such as psychoanalysis, counseling,

roleplaying, relationship-building,

hypnotherapy, behavioral modification,

drugs, medical treatments, and even psychosurgery

(p. 229). AIs skilled in psychotherapy

are also available.

Psychotherapy is a task action, with a

timeframe of 1 hour per point of stress,

8 hours per trauma, and 40 hours per

disorder. Note that this only counts the

time actually spent in psychotherapy with

a skilled professional. After each psychotherapy

session, make a test to see if the

session was successful. Successful psychosurgery

adds a +30 modifier to this test; at

the gamemaster’s discretion, other modifiers

may apply. Likewise, each disorder

the character holds inflicts a –10 modifier.

Traumas may not be healed until all stress

is eliminated.

When a trauma is healed, the derangement

associated with that trauma is

eliminated or downgraded. Disorders are

treated separately from the trauma that

caused them, and may only be treated

when all other traumas are removed.

Gamemaster and players are encouraged to roleplay

a character’s suffering and relief from traumas and

disorders. Each is an experience that makes a profound

impact on a character’s personality and psyche. The

process of treatment may also change them, so in the

end they may be a transformed from the person they

once were. Even if treated, the scars are likely to remain

for some time to come. According to some opinions,

disorders are never truly eradicated, they are just eased

into submission ... where they may linger beneath the

surface, waiting for some trauma to come along.

Natural Healing


NOTE: Characters who eschew psychotherapy can hopefully

work out the problems in their head on their own over

time. For every month that passes without accruing

new stress, the character may make a WIL x 3 Test. If

successful, they heal 1d10 points of stress or 1 trauma

(all stress must be healed first). Disorders are even more

difficult to heal, requiring 3 months without stress or

trauma, and even then only being eliminated with a

successful WIL Test. As a result, disorders can linger

for years until resolved with actual psychotherap

MIND HACKSEdit

NOTE: Though neuroscience has ascended to impressive pinnacles, allowing minds to be thoroughly scanned, mapped, and emulated as software, the transhuman brain remains a place that is complicated, not fully understood, and thoroughly messy. Despite a prevalence of neural modifications, meddling with the seat of consciousness remains a tricky and hazardous procedure. Nevertheless, psychosurgery—editing the mind as software—remains common and widespread, sometimes with unexpected results.


Likewise, even as the knowledge of neuroscientists grows on an exponential basis, some are discovering that minds are far more mysterious than they had ever imagined. During the Fall, scattered reports of “anomalous activity” by individuals infected by one of the numerous circulating nanoplagues were discounted as fear and paranoia, but subsequent investigations by black budget labs has proven otherwise. Now, top-level confidential networks whisper that this infection inflicts intricate changes in the victim’s neural network that imbue them with strange and inexplicable abilities. The exact mechanism and nature of these abilities remains unexplained and outside the grasp of modern transhuman science. Given the evidence of a new brainwave type and the paranormal nature of this phenomenon, it is loosely referred to as “psi.”

PSI


NOTE: > Desdemona: Glad to have you back. I hope

you had a pleasant farcast from Pelion and don’t

feel too much lack. While you were out, a message

from Aeneas with a precis on psi, extracted from

the infomorph backup of psigeneticist Daborva

(StellInt, Dipole Research Station on Ganymede),

was rerouted for distribution to your Firewall node.


Coined by the biologist Bertold P. Wiesner,

“psi” was originally an umbrella term

used to describe a number of so-called

“psychic” abilities and other speculative

paranormal phenomena such as telepathy

and extra-sensory perception. While

the term was used extensively in the

field of parapsychology and pop culture

in the twentieth and early twenty-first

centuries, the study of psi was largely

considered a pseudoscience with flawed

methodologies and gradually lost funding

and support.

During the Fall, however, repeated

rumors and accounts of unexplained

phenomenon drew the attention of

scientists, military leaders, and singularity

seekers alike. Numerous nanovirii had

been unleashed upon transhumanity,

racing through populations and transforming

as they spread. Some inflicted

only minor biological or mental changes

and impairments, but many were vicious

and deadly. The most feared variants,

however, were those that Firewall has

come to label as the Exsurgent virus—a

transformative nano-plague that mutates

its victims and subverts them to its will.

The Exsurgent virus was also observed

to radically modify the subject’s neural

patterns and mental state, affecting synaptic

arrangement and even modulating

synaptic currents. These changes alter

and enhance the victim’s cognition and

seemed to endow an ability to sense and

even affect the minds of others from a

short distance—an ability dubbed “psi”

as the causal factors continue to mystify

us. The existence and nature of this phenomenon

remains carefully concealed

and under wraps in controlled habitats,

so as not to trigger widespread panic.

Among anarchist and other open communities,

knowledge of psi is more widespread,

but details are vague and reports

are generally greeted with skepticism.

The Exsurgent virus is exceptionally

mutable and adaptive, however, and two

argonaut researchers who were aware of

and studying it soon made an interesting

discovery. One variant strain of the virus

was found that endowed the subject

with exceptional mental abilities without

engaging the transformative process of the other strains. Though infection

still has other drawbacks, Firewall and

other agencies have come to regard

this strain as “safe” in the sense that

the subject does not transmogrify into

something else and their general personality

remains intact. Intrigued that this

avenue of inquiry might lead to a way

to nullify the effects of other Exsurgent

strains, Firewall and others continue

to experiment with the strain with the

cooperation of willing test subjects (or

according to some reports, unwilling

victims in the case of certain authorities

and hypercorps).

The Nature of Psi


NOTE: Labeled the Watts-MacLeod strain

after the researchers who isolated it,

further study has gained insight into

the effect this virus has on transhuman

brains. Careful analysis of infected

subjects discovered that their altered

synapses generate a modulated brainwave

pattern that is extremely difficult

to detect. Those “in-the-know” have

come to refer to these asynchronous

brainwaves as “psi waves,” fitting with

the Greek letter designation of other

brainwaves (alpha, beta, delta, gamma,

theta). Likewise, affected individuals are

known as “asyncs.”

Exploration of the explicit causal factors

behind psi waves remains stymied.

Theories regarding extraordinary mental

processes with the ability to change

quantum states have been explored but

remain frustratingly inconclusive. Neuroimaging

and mapping have enabled

scientists to pinpoint structures within

the brain, neural activity, and perturbations

in the brain’s bioelectric field that

are associated with psi processes, but

attempts to duplicate these features

in non-infected brains have resulted in

failure or worse. Attempts to identify

asyncs by psi brainwave patterns are not

even assured of success. Numerous dead

ends have prompted many researchers to

postulate that the mechanics underlying

psi are simply too strange and too far

beyond transhumanity’s understanding

of physical sciences—perhaps reinforcing

theories that the Exsurgent virus is in

fact of alien origin.

One leading speculation is that the

changes wrought in the mind by infection

actually entangle some of the

neural sub-systems, enable some sort of

quantum field within the brain, or possibly

create Bose-Einstein condensates

within the brain, allowing for quantum computation or perhaps hypercomputation.

This enhances the async’s mental

capabilities to the level provided by

modern implants and neuro-mods—and

sometimes beyond. This does not explain

the capabilities of other asyncs, however,

especially those used to read or affect

other biological minds. These abilities

seem to involve reading brain waves

from a short range or affecting another’s

mind via direct physical contact with the

target’s bio-electric fields. Of course I can

only speculate in accordance with what

Firewall has uncovered—it is quite possible

that certain hypercorps or other factions

have made further breakthroughs,

but are keeping the information to

themselves.

The initiation and use of psi talents

is generally understood to take place on

a subconscious level, meaning that the

async is not actively aware of the fundamental

processes that fuel the psi-waves.

Training in certain skills, however, allows

an async to focus on certain tasks and

psi abilities. These are called “sleights:”

mnemonic or cognitive algorithms of psi

use rooted in the async’s ego.

The percentage of the transhuman

population believed to have contracted

the Watts-MacLeod strain remains statistically

insignificant—less than .001%

of the population. The vast number of

asyncs have been recruited by various

agencies, “disappeared” for study, or

simply eliminated as a potential threat.

Ten years after the Fall, Firewall and

other agencies have come to regard

Watts-MacLeod infection as comparatively

safe, though we remain quite

wary of unforeseen side effects or other

hidden dangers. Most of us engaged in

studying the phenomenon now consider

asyncs to be useful as a tool for fighting

the Exsurgent virus and other threats—

despite the protests of those who are

convinced that asyncs are not in control

of their own minds and are not to be

trusted. As of yet we have encountered

no cases of Watts-MacLeod infection

that have inflicted anything other than

psi abilities, though there seems to be

an increased risk for asyncs to succumb

to other Exsurgent strains should they

encounter them. There are other risks associated

with Watts-MacLeod infection,

such as extreme fatigue and even lethal

biofeedback resulting from extensive use

of psi sleights and a statistically likelihood

of developing mental disorders due

to the increased mental stress placed on

the async’s mind.

Æther Jabber: Asyncs


NOTE: # Start Æther Jabber #

  1. Active Members: 2 #

1 Sorry to bother you, but my muse just

alerted me to this excerpt that was

sent around to my Firewall team. Is

this for real? I’ve heard the talk about

psi before—enough to be convinced

that there’s something to it, even

if we can’t explain it—but this bit

about variant Exsurgent infection is

too much. Are we seriously going to

be working with someone who’s a

known carrier? And can you shed any

more light on how asyncs do their

mojo? I’m worried now. And since

you are connected to the Medeans, I

thought I’d take the chance and ask.

2 Well, as to the Medeans ... that’s history.

I am back on the freelancing market

right now. But no problem, I’ll try and

explain. I know it is not easy to grasp.

1 Shiny.

2 Yes, Srit was once infected with a

strain of the Exsurgent virus, probably

on Mars near the end of the Fall. I say

“was” because the Watts-MacLeod

strain seems to go dormant shortly

after it finishes rewiring the victim’s

brain; the plague nanobots die off and

get flushed out of the system, unlike

other Exsurgent strains, which continue

to stick around and transform

the subject. At least, that’s the dominant

theory—I’ve also seen some

speculation that async minds might

be modified so that they continue to

produce bio-nanobots that linger in

the brain, though what function these

serve remains unclear. However, the

prevailing opinion among our best

neuroscientists is that people like Srit

are safe and non-infectious once the

virus has run its course. I’ll even go

a bit further and say that prevailing

opinion is that they can be trusted,

assuming they don’t catch another

infection ... which they unfortunately

seem to be a bit prone too. Not everyone

agrees of course, but we have an

abundance of paranoia in our circles.

So far, we haven’t seen any evidence

that any of our asyncs have been

turned by that initial infection, and the

utility and usefulness of having psiactives

on our side has simply been

too important to push aside.

1 All right. I can’t say that I’ll trust her,

but I’ll try and give her the benefit of

the doubt. I’ll be damned if I’m going

to trust an async that’s not vouched

for by Firewall though—who knows

what the hell a hypercorp like Skinthetic

might be cooking up in their

black labs.

2 That seems like a wise choice.

1 Maybe you can put my mind at ease

by explaining to me in a bit more

detail how Watts-MacLeod infection

occurs.

2 Well, like the other Exsurgent strains

you are unfortunately familiar with,

the primary transmission vector is a

nanovirus, but we speculate that it

may also be transmitted as a digital

computer virus or possibly even as

a basilisk hack. The physical plague

form is spread by highly-advanced

techno-organic nanobots that infect

a biomorph and use bio-mimicry

mechanisms to pass as normal cells

and penetrate the blood-brain barrier

and central nervous system. The

nanobots are several steps beyond

anything our technology can produce,

are very difficult to detect, and can

overwhelm most defensive countermeasures.

Infected minds are essentially

rewired, and these changes will

be copied when the ego is uploaded.

Synthmorphs and infomorphs remain

immune to this nano-infection, but

they are theoretically vulnerable to

other transmission vectors.

1 I’ve heard that synthmorphs are effectively

invulnerable to psi as well. This

true?

2 Yes. As far as we can tell, async

abilities only effect biological

minds—either their own or others.

And they can only read/affect others

from a very short distance, requiring

physical contact in most cases. The

half-biological minds of pods are also

vulnerable, though to a lesser extent.

Likewise, asyncs need a biological

brain to use their abilities—they

can’t use their psi if sleeved in a synthmorph

and have difficulty in a pod.

1 Interesting. So, I have to ask again—

you’re sure she’s safe? I’ve heard

that some of these asyncs can be real

nut-jobs.

2 I’ve heard from several of these

asyncs directly. The fact is, infection

rewrites their brain, and some of

them came out the other side feeling

fundamentally altered. Either they

felt like a different person, or they

felt like there was something new

that was part of them—something

that they didn’t necessarily like. One

described it as presence, another as

a black void that whispered at them.

Yet another described it as giving a

personality to their unconscious mind,

which only made the gulf between

unconscious and conscious mind all

the more intimidating. Some of them

preferred to suicide and revert to a

pre-infection backup. While they may

be more prone to cracking up as a

result, I haven’t ever heard one talk

about their abilities as something

they couldn’t control.

1 Well, that’s fucking cheery. There’s

nothing else we have on how this psi

stuff actually works?

2 Unfortunately, we don’t. Even the

Prometheans haven’t been much

help. There are theories, of course, but

nothing that we’ve been able to verify

with rigorous experimentation. It

doesn’t help that the factions that are

aware of psi’s existence don’t exactly

compare notes—they’re all too busy

looking into ways to weaponize it

and use it against each other, instead

of figuring out how to use it for the

benefit of transhumanity.

1 Of course. The TITANs didn’t get us,

but we can still get ourselves. It worries

me that the best we’ve come up

with is nothing.

2 It’s important to keep perspective.

Transhumanity has come quite a

distance and made some impressive

accomplishments, but our understanding

of the universe is still in its infancy.

What we may be facing here is something

concocted by an intelligence so

far beyond our own that we are but

insignificant insects in comparison.

It likely has a grasp on the universe

that is simply beyond our ability to

understand. We shouldn’t be cocky

and think that we can decipher any

mystery thrown at us ... we should

instead be very, very afraid.

PSIEdit

NOTE: In Eclipse Phase, psi is considered a special cognitive

condition resulting from infection by the mutant—and

hopefully otherwise benign—Watts-Macleod strain

of the Exsurgent virus (p. 367). This plague modifies

the victim’s mind, conferring special abilities. These

abilities are inherent to the brain’s architecture and

are copied when the mind is uploaded, allowing the

character to retain their psi abilities when changing

from morph to morph.

Prerequisites


NOTE: To wield psi, a character must acquire the Psi trait

(p. 147) during character creation. It is theoretically

also possible to acquire the use of psi in game via

infection by the Watts-MacLeod strain; see The Exsurgent

Virus, p. 362.

Psi ability is considered an innate ability of the

ego and not a biological or genetic predisposition of

the morph. While psi researchers do not understand

how it is possible to transfer this ability via uploads,

backups, and farcasting, it has been speculated that

all components of an async’s ego are entangled on a

quantum level, or that they possess the ability to entangle

themselves or form a unique conformation or

alignment as a whole even after they have been copied,

up-, or downloaded. This speculated entanglement process is also thought to be the origin of the impairment

that asyncs experience when adapting to a new

morph (see below).

Morphs and Psi


NOTE: Asyncs require a biological brain to draw on their

abilities (the brains of uplifted animals count). An

async whose ego is downloaded into an infomorph or

fully computerized brain (synthmorphs) has no access

to their abilities as long they remain in that morph.

Asyncs inhabiting a pod morph may use psi, but

their abilities are restricted as pod brains are only

partly biological. Pod-morphed asyncs suffer a –30

modifier on all tests involving the use of psi sleights

and the impact from using sleights would be doubled.

Morph Acclimatization

Morph Fever


NOTE: Asyncs find it irritating and traumatizing to endure life

as an infomorph, pod, or synthmorph for long periods

of time. This phenomenon, known as morph fever,

might cause temporary derangements and trauma to

the asyncs’ ego, possibly even to the grade of permanent

disorders. If stored or held captive as an active

infomorph (i.e. not in virtual stasis), the async might

go insane if not psychologically aided by some sort of

anodyne program or supporting person during storage.

In game terms, asyncs take 1d10 ÷ 2 (round up)

points of mental stress damage per month they stay

in a pod, synthmorph or infomorph form without

psychological assistance by a psychiatrist, software,

or muse.

Psi Drawbacks


NOTE: There are several drawbacks to psi ability:

• The variant Exsurgent strain that endows psi ability

rewires the character’s brain. An unfortunate side

effect to this change is that asyncs acquire a vulnerability

to mental stress. Reduce the async’s Trauma

Threshold by 1.

• The mental instability that accompanies psi infection

also tends to unhinge the character’s mind.

Asyncs acquires one Mental Disorder negative trait

(p. 150) for each level they have of the Psi traitwithout receiving any bonus CP. The gamemaster

and player should agree on a disorder appropriate

to the character. This disorder may be treated over

time, according to normal rules (see Mental Healing

and Psychotherapy, p. 215).

• Characters with the Psi trait are also vulnerable to

infection by other strains of the Exsurgent virus.

The character suffers a –20 modifier when resisting

Exsurgent infection (p. 362).

• Critical failures when using psi tend to stress the

async’s mind. Each time a critical failure is rolled

when making a sleight-related test, the async suffers

a temporary brain seizure. They suffer a –30 modifier

and are incapable of acting until the end of the

next Action Turn. They must also succeed in a WIL

+ COG Test or fall down.

Psi Skills and Sleights


NOTE: Transhuman psi users can manipulate their egos and

otherwise create effects that can often be neither

matched nor mimicked by technological means. To use

these abilities, they train their mental processes and

practice cognitive algorithms called sleights, which

they can subconsciously recall and use as necessary.

Sleights fall into two categories: psi-chi (cognitive

enhancements, p. 223) and psi-gamma (brainwave

reading and manipulation, p. 225). Psi-chi sleights are

available to anyone with the Psi trait (p. 147), but psigamma

sleights are only available to characters with

the Psi trait at Level 2. In order to use these sleights,

the async must be skilled in the Control (p. 178), Psi

Assault (p. 183), and/or Sense skills (p. 184), as appropriate

to each sleight.

Roleplaying Asyncs


NOTE: Any player who chooses to play an async should keep

the origin of their abilities in mind: Watts-MacLeod

strain infection. The character may not be aware of

this source, but they undoubtedly know that they underwent

some sort of transformation and have talents

that no one else does. If unaware of the infection, they

have likely learned to keep their abilities secret lest

they be ridiculed, attacked, or whisked away to some

secret testing program. Learning the truth about their

nature could even be the starting point of a campaign

and/or their introduction to Firewall. If they know the

truth, however, the character must live with the fact

that they are the victim of a nanoplague likely spread

by the TITANs that may or may not lead to complications,

side effects, or other unexpected revelations in

their future.

Gamemasters and players should make an effort

to explore the nature of this infection and how the

character perceives it. As noted previously, asyncs are

often profoundly-changed people. The invasive and

alien aspect of their abilities should not be lost on

them. For example, an async might conceive of their

psi talents as a sort of parasitic entity, living off their

sleights, or they might feel that using these powers puts them in touch with some sort of fundamental

substrate of the universe that is weird and terrifying.

Alternately, they could feel as if their personality was

melded with something different, something that

doesn’t belong. Each async is likely to view their situation

differently, and none of them pleasantly.

Using PsiEdit

NOTE: Using psi—i.e., drawing on a certain sleight to procure

some kind of effect—does not always require a

test. Each sleight description details how the power

is used.

Active Psi


NOTE: Active psi sleights must be “activated” to be used.

These sleights usually require a skill test. Sleights that

target other sentient beings or life forms are always

Opposed Tests, while others are handled as Success

Tests. The level of concentration required to use these

sleights varies, and so may call for a Quick, Complex,

or Task Action. Active sleights also cause strain (p.

223) to the async. Most psi-gamma sleights fall into

this category.

Passive Psi


NOTE: Passive psi sleights encompasses abilities that are considered

automatically active and subconscious. They

rarely require an action to be activated and require

no effort or strain by the psi user. Passive sleights typically

add bonuses to various activities or allow access

to certain abilities rather than calling for some kind of

skill test. Most psi-chi sleights fall into this category.

Psi Range


NOTE: Sleights have a Range of either Self, Touch, or Close.

Self: These sleights only affect the async.

Touch: Sleights with a Touch range may be used

against other biological life, but the async must have

physical contact with the target. If the target avoids

being touched, this requires a successful melee attack,

applying the touch-only +20 modifier. This attack

does not cause damage, and is considered part of the

same action as the psi use.

Close: Close sleights involve interaction with other

biological life from a short distance. The optimal distance

is within 5 meters. For each meter beyond that,

apply a –10 modifier to the test.

Psi vs. Psi: Due to the nature of psi, sleights are

more effective against other psi users. Sleights with

a range of Touch may be used from a Close range

against another async. Likewise, a sleight with a Close

range may be used at twice the normal distance (10

meters) when wielded on another async.

Targeting


NOTE: Synthmorphs, bots, and vehicles may not be targeted

by psi sleights, as they lack biological brains. Pods—

with brains that are half biological and half computer—

are less susceptible and receive a +30 modifierwhen defending against psi use. Note that infomorphs

may never be targeted by psi sleights as psi is not effective

within the mesh or simulspace.

Multiple Targets: An async may target more than

one character with a sleight with the same action, as

long as each of them can be targeted via the rules

above. The psi character only rolls once, with each of

the defending characters making their Opposed Tests

against that roll. The psi character suffers strain (p.

223) for each target, however, meaning that using psi

on multiple targets can be extremely dangerous.

Animals and Less Complex Life Forms: Psi works

against any living creature with a brain and/or

nervous system. Against partially-sentient and partially-

uplifted animals, it suffers a –20 modifier and

increases strain by +1. Against non-sentient animals,

it suffers a –30 modifier and increases strain by +3. It

has no effect on or against less complex life forms like

plants, algae, bacteria, etc.

Factors and Aliens: At the gamemaster’s discretion,

psi sleights may not work on alien creatures at all, depending

on their physiology and neurology. If it does

work, it is likely to suffer at least a –20 modifier and

+1 strain.

Opposed Tests


NOTE: Psi that is used against another character is resisted

with an Opposed Test. Defending characters resist with

WIL x 2. Willing characters may choose not to resist.

Unconscious or sleeping characters cannot resist.If the psi-wielding character succeeds and the defender

fails, the sleight affects the target. If the psi user

fails, the defender is unscathed. If both parties succeed

in their tests, compare their dice rolls. If the psi

user’s roll is higher, the sleight bypasses the defender’s

mental block and affects the target; otherwise, the

sleight fails to affect the defender’s ego.

Target Awareness


NOTE: The target of a psi sleight is aware they are being

targeted any time they succeed on their half of the

Opposed Test (regardless on whether the async

rolls higher or not). Note that awareness does not

necessarily mean that the target understands that psi

abilities are being used on them, especially as most

people in Eclipse Phase are unaware of psi’s existence.

Instead, the target is simply likely to understand that

some outside influence is at work, or that something

strange is happening. They may suspect that they

have been drugged or are under the influence of some

strange technology.

Targets who fail their roll remain unaware.

Psi Full Defense


NOTE: Like full defense in physical combat (p. 198), a defender

may spend a Complex Action to rally and concentrate

their mental defenses, gaining a +30 modifier

to their defense test against psi use until their next

Action Phase.

Criticals


NOTE: If the defender rolls a critical success, the character

attempting to wield psi is temporarily locked out of

the target’s mind. The psi user may not target that

character with sleights until an appropriate “reset”

period has passed, determined by the gamemaster.

If the async rolls a critical failure, they suffer temporary

incapacitation as th eir mind dysfunctions in some

harsh and distressing ways (see Psi Drawbacks, p. 221).

If a psi user rolls a critical success against a defender,

or the defender rolls a critical failure, double

the potency of the sleight’s effect. In the case of psi attacks,

the DV can be doubled or mental armor can be

bypassed. Alternately, when using Psi Assault (p. 183),

the targeted character may be in danger of infection

by the Watts-Macleod strain (p. 362).

Mental Armor


NOTE: The Psi Shield sleight (p. 228) provides mental armor,

a form of neural hardening against psi-based attacks.

Like physical armor, this mental armor reduces the

amount of damage inflicted by a psi assault.

Duration


NOTE: Psi sleights have one of four durations: constant, instant,

temporary, or sustained.

Constant: Constant sleights are always “on.”

Instant: Instant sleights take effect only in the

Action Phase in which they are used.

Temporary: Temporary sleights last for a limited

duration with no extra effort from the async. The

temporary duration is determined by the async’s WIL

÷ 5 (round up) and is measured in either Action Turns

or minutes, as noted. Strain for the sleight is applied

immediately when used, not at the end of the duration.

Sustained: Sustained sleights require active effort

to maintain for as long as the async wants to keep

it active. Sustaining a sleight requires concentration,

and so the async suffers a –10 modifier to all other

skill tests while the sleight is sustained. The async

must also stay within the range appropriate to the

sleight, otherwise the sleight immediately ends. More

than one sleight may be sustained at a time, with a

cumulative modifier. Strain for the sleight is applied

immediately when used, not at the end of the duration.

At the gamemaster’s discretion, sleights that are

sustained for long periods may incur additional strain.

Strain


NOTE: The use of psi is physically (and sometimes psychologically)

draining to a psi user. This phenomenon is

known as strain, and manifests as fatigue, exhaustion,

pain, neural overload, cardiovascular stress, and

adynamia (loss of vigor). Though strain has only

rarely been known to actually kill an async, the use

of too much active psi can be life-threatening in some

circumstances.

In game terms, every active sleight has a Strain

Value of 1d10 ÷ 2 (round up) DV. Every active sleight lists a Strain Value Modifier that modifies this amount.

For example, a sleights with a Strain Value Modifier

of –1 inflicts (1d10 ÷ 2) –1 DV.

If the damage points suffered from strain exceed

the character’s Wound Threshold, they may inflict a

wound just like other damage (see Wounds, p. 207).

Example


NOTE: Matric is investigating a disappearance, so he

decides to use his Qualia sleight to boost his

Intuition while hunting for clues. That psi-chi

sleight takes only a Quick Action to initiate and

requires no test. Matric’s WIL is 25, so the duration

of this temporary sleight is 5 Action Turns

(25 ÷ 5 = 5). The sleight’s Strain modifier is –1,

so he is facing (1d10 ÷ 2) –1 DV. He rolls a 1, so

he takes no strain at all!

Later on, Matric finds himself in a life-or-death

struggle with a kidnapper. Lucky for Matric,

they’re in a melee, so he’s close enough to try

and touch his opponent. On his Action Phase, he

makes an Unarmed Combat Test with a +20 modifier

(for a touch-only attack) and succeeds. This

allows him to try and use his Psychic Stab sleight.

He rolls his Psi Assault of 57 against the target’s

WIL x 2 (32). His target is in a worker pod morph,

however, which is less susceptible to psi, so he

receives a +30 modifier (32 + 30 = 62). Matric

rolls a 32 and the worker pod a 64—Matric wins!

For damage, he rolls 1d10 + (WIL ÷ 10). His WIL

is 25, so that’s 1d10 + 3. He rolls a score a 7 and

inflicts 10 (7 + 3) points of damage. The worker

pod screams in pain, suffering a wound from the

psychic assault.

Psi-Chi SleightsEdit

NOTE: Psi-chi sleights are async abilities that speed up cognitive

informatics (internal information processing) and

enhance the user’s perception and cognition

Ambience Sense


NOTE: Ambience Sense

Psi Type: Passive Action: Automatic

Range: Self Duration : Constant

This sleight provides the async with an instinctive

sense about an area and any potential threats nearby.

The async receives a +10 modifier to all Investigation,

Perception, Scrounging, and Surprise Tests.

Cognitive Boost


NOTE: Cogn itive Boo st

Psi Type: Active Action: Quick

Range: Self Duration : Temp (Action Turns)

Strain Mod: –1

The async can temporarily elevate their cognitive

performance. In game terms, Cognition is raised by 5

for the chosen duration. This boost to Cognition also

raises the rating of skills linked to that aptitude.

Downtime


NOTE: Down time

Psi Type: Active Action: Task (min. 4 hours)

Range: Self Duration : Sustained

Strain Mod: 0

This sleight provides the async with the ability

to send the mind into a fugue-state regenerative

downtime, during which the character’s psyche is

repaired. The async must enter the downtime for

at least 4 hours; every 4 hours of downtime heals

1 point of stress damage. Traumas, derangements,

and disorders are unaffected by this sleight. For

all sensory purposes, the async is catatonic during

downtime, completely oblivious to the outside

world. Only severe disturbances or physical shock

(such as being wounded or hit by a shock weapon)

will bring the async out of it.

Emotion Control


NOTE: Emotion Con trol

Psi Type: Passive Action: Automatic

Range: Self Duration : Constant

Emotion Control gives the async tight control

over their emotional states. Unwanted emotions

can be blocked out and others embraced. This has

the benefit of protecting the async from emotional

manipulation, such as the Drive Emotion sleight or

Intimidation skill tests. The async receives a +30

modifier when defending against such tests.

Ehanced Creativity


NOTE: Enh anced Creativity

Psi Type: Passive Action: Automatic

Range: Self Duration : Constant

An async with Enhanced Creativity is more imaginative

and more inclined to think outside the box.

Apply a +20 modifier to any tests where creativity

plays a major role. This level of ingenuity can

sometimes seem strange and different, manifesting

Filter


NOTE: Filter

Psi Type: Passive Action: Automatic

Range: Self Duration : Constant

Filter allows the async to filter out out distractions

and eliminate negative situational modifiers from

distraction, up to the gamemaster’s discretion.

Grok


NOTE: Grok

Psi Type: Active Action: Complex

Range: Self Duration : Instant

Strain Mod: –1

By using the Grok sleight, the async is able to

intuitively understand how any unfamiliar object,

vehicle, or device is used simply by looking at and

handling it. If the character succeeds in a COG x 2

Test, they achieve a basic ability to use the object,

vehicle, or device, no matter how alien or bizarre.

This sleight does not provide any understanding of

the principles or technologies involved—the psi user

simply grasps how to make it work. If a test is called

for, the psi user receives a +20 modifier to use the

device (this bonus only applies to unfamiliar devices,

and/or tests the character is defaulting on—it does not

apply to devices the character is familiar with).

High Pain Threshold

Hyperthymesia


NOTE: Hyp erthy mesia

Psi Type: Passive Action: Automatic

Range: Self Duration : Constant

Hyperthymesia grants the async a superior autobiographical

memory, allowing them to remember the

most trivial of events. A hyperthymestic async can be

asked a random date and recall the day of the week

it was, the events that occurred that day, what the

weather was like, and many seemingly trivial details

that most people would not be able to recall.

Instinct


NOTE: stinct

Psi Type: Passive Action: Automatic

Range: Self Duration : Constant

Instinct bolsters the async’s subconscious ability to

gauge a situation and make a snap judgment that

is just as accurate as a careful, considered decision.

For Task Actions that involve analysis or planning

alone (typically Mental skill actions), the async may

reduce the timeframe by 90% without suffering a

modifier. For Task Actions that involve partial analysis/

planning, they may reduce the timeframe by 30%

without penalty.

Multitasking


NOTE: Multitasking

Psi Type: Passive Action: Automatic

Range: Self Duration : Constant

The async can handle vast amounts of information

without overload and can perform more than one

mental task at once. The character receives an extra

Complex Action each Action Phase that may only be

used for mental or mesh actions.

Pattern Recognition


NOTE: Pattern Recogn ition

Psi Type: Passive Action: Automatic

Range: Self Duration : Constant

The character is adept at spotting patterns and correlating

the non-random elements of a jumble—related

items jump out at them. This is useful for translating

languages, breaking codes, or find clues hidden among

massive amounts of data. The character must havea sufficiently large sample enough time to study, as

determined by the gamemaster. This might range from

a few hours of listening to a spoken transhuman language

to a few days of investigating inscriptions left

by long-dead aliens to a week or more of researching

a lengthy cipher. Languages may be comprehended by

reading or listening to them being spoken. Apply a

+20 modifier to any appropriate Language, Investigation,

Research, or cod-breaking Tests (note that this

does not apply to Infosec Tests made by software to

decrypt a code). The async may also use this ability to

more easily learn new languages, reducing the training

time by half.

Predictive Boot


NOTE: Predictive Boo st

Psi Type: Passive Action: Automatic

Range: Self Duration : Constant

The Bayesian probability machine features of the

async’s brain are boosted by this sleight, enhancing

their ability to estimate and predict outcomes of

events around them as they unfold in real-time and

update those predictions as information changes.

In effect, the character has a more intuitive sense

for which outcomes are most likely. This grants the

character a +10 bonus on any skill tests that involve

predicting the outcome of events. It also bolsters

the async’s decision-making in combat situations by

making the best course of action more clear, and so

provides a +10 bonus to both Initiative and Fray Tests.

Qualia


NOTE: Qualia

Psi Type: Active Action: Quick

Range: Self Duration : Temp (Action Turns)

Strain Mod: –1

The async can temporarily increase their intuitive

grasp of things. In game terms, Intuition is raised by

5 for the chosen duration. This boost to Intuition also

raises the rating of skills linked to that aptitude.

Savant Calculation


NOTE: Savant Calculation

Psi Type: Passive Action: Automatic

Range: Self Duration : Constant

The character possesses an incredible facility with

intuitive mathematics. They can do everything from

calculate the odds exactly when gambling to predicting

precisely where a leaf falling from a tree will land

by observing the landscape and local wind currents.

The character specializes in calculation involving the

activity of complex chaotic systems and so can calculate

answers that even the fastest computers could not,

including things like patterns of rubble distribution

from an explosion. However, this mathematic facility

is largely intuitive, so the character does not know the

equations they are solving, they merely know the solution

to the problem.

This sleight also provides a +30 modifier to any

skill tests involving math (which the character is calculating,

not a computer).

Sensory Boost


NOTE: Sensory Boo st

Psi Type: Active Action: Quick

Range: Self Duration : Temp (Action Turns)

Strain Mod: –2

An async uses this sleight to increase their natural or

augmented sensory perception (sight, audio, smell,

augmented) by enhanced cerebral processing, granting

a +20 bonus modifier on sensory-based Perception

Tests.

Superior Kinesics


NOTE: Superior Kinesics

Psi Type: Passive Action: Automatic

Range: Self Duration : Constant

The async acquires more insight into people’s emotive

signals, gestures, facial expressions, and body

language when it comes time to predict the person’s

emotional state, intent, or reactions. Apply a +10

modifier to Kinesics Skill Tests.

Time Sense


NOTE: Time Sense

Psi Type: Active Action: Automatic

Range: Self Duration : Temp (Action Turns)

Strain Mod: –1

An async with this ability can slow down his perception

of time, making everything appear to move

in slow motion or at reduced speed. In game terms,

this sleight grants the async a Speed of +1. This extra

Action Phase, however, can only be spent on mental

and mesh actions.

Unconsicous Lead


NOTE: Un con scious Lead

Psi Type: Active Action: Automatic

Range: Self Duration : Temp (Action Turns)

Strain Mod: +0

This sleight allows the async to override their consciousness

and let their unconscious mind take point.

While in this state, the async’s conscious mind is only

dimly aware of what is transgressing, and any memories

of this period will be hazy at best. The advantage

is that the unconscious mind acts more quickly, and

so the async’s Speed is boosted by +1. The character

remains aware and active, but is incapable of complex

communication or other mental actions and is

motivated by instinct and primitive urges more than

conscious thought. Though it is recommended that

the player retain control of their character while using

Unconscious Lead, the gamemaster should feel free to

direct the character’s actions as they see fit.

Psi-Gamma SleightsEdit

NOTE: Psi-Gamma Sl eigh ts

Psi-gamma sleights deal with contacting (reading

and communicating) and influencing the function of

biological minds (egos within a biomorph, but also

including animal life). Psi-gamma is only available to

characters with Level 2 of the Psi trait.

Most psi-gamma use is handled as an Opposed Test

between the async and the target (p. 222).

Alienation


NOTE: Al ienation

Psi Type: Active Action: Complex

Range: Touch Duration : Temp (Action Turns)

Strain Mod: +0 Skil: Psi Assault

Alienation is an offensive sleight that create a sense of

disconnection between an ego and its morph—similar

to that experienced when resleeved into a new body.

The ego finds their body cumbersome, strange, and

alien, almost like they are a prisoner within it. If the

async beats the target in an Opposed Test, treat the

test as a failed Integration Test (p. 272) for the target.

This effect lasts for the sleight’s duration.

Charisma


NOTE: Ch arisma

Psi Type: Active Action: Quick

Range: Touch Duration : Temp (Minutes)

Strain Mod: –1 Skil: Control

The async uses this sleight to influence the target’s

mind on a subconscious level, so that the target perceives

them to be charming, magnetic, and persuasive.

If the async beats the target in an Opposed Test, they

gain a +30 modifier on all subsequent Social Skill

Tests for the chosen duration.

Cloud Memory


NOTE: Clo ud Memory

Psi Type: Active Action: Complex

Range: Touch Duration : Temp (Minutes)

Strain Mod: –1 Skil: Control

Cloud Memory allows the async to temporarily disrupt

the target’s ability to form long-term memories. If

the async wins the Opposed Test, the target’s memorysaving

ability is negated for the duration. The target

will retain short-term memories during this time, but

will soon forget anything that occurred while this

sleight was in effect.

Deep Scan


NOTE: Deep Scan

Psi Type: Active Action: Complex

Range: Touch Duration : Sustained

Strain Mod: +1 Skil: Sense

Deep Scan is a more intrusive version of Thought

Browse (p. 228), made to extract information from the

targeted individual. If the Opposed Test succeeds, the

async telepathically invades the target’s mind and can

probe it for information. For every 10 full points of MoS

the async achieves on their test, they retrieve one piece of information. Each item takes one full Action Turn to

retrieve, during which the sleight must be sustained. The

target is aware of this mental probing, though they will

not know what information the async acquired.

Drive Emotion


NOTE: Drive Emotion

Psi Type: Active Action: Complex

Range: Touch Duration : Temp (Action Turns)

Strain Mod: –1 Skil: Control

This sleight allows the async to stimulate cortical areas

of the target’s brain related to emotion. This allows

the async to induce, amplify, or tone down specific

emotions, thereby manipulating the target. If the async

beats the target in an Opposed Test, they will act in accordance

with the emotion for the duration and under

certain circumstances may suffer from certain penalties

(up to +/–30), as determined by the gamemaster. For

example, an async might receive a +30 Intimidation

Test modifier against a target imbued with fear.

Ego Sense


NOTE: Ego Sense

Psi Type: Active Action: Complex

Range: Close Duration : Temp (Action Turns)

Strain Mod: –1 Skil: Sense

Ego Sense can be used to detect the presence and

location of other sentient and biological life forms

(i.e., egos) within the async’s range. To detect these

life forms, the async makes a single Sense Test, opposed

by each life form within range. The async may

suffer a modifier for detecting small animals and

insects, similar to the modifier applied for targeting

them in ranged combat (see p. 193); likewise, a

modifier for detecting larger life forms may also be

applied. If successful, the async has detected that the

life form is nearby. Every 10 full points of MoS will

ascertain another piece of information regarding the

detected life: direction from async, approximate size,

type of creature, distance from async, etc. The async

will know if the target moves, if they do so during the

sleight’s duration.

Empathic Scan


NOTE: Empathic Scan

Psi Type: Active Action: Quick

Range: Close Duration : Sustained

Strain Mod: –2 Skil: Sense

Empathic Scan enables the async to sense the target’s

base emotions. If the async wins the Opposed Test,

they intuitively feel the target’s emotional current state

for as long as the sleight is sustained. At the gamemaster’s

discretion, this knowledge may provide a modifier

(up to +30) for certain Social skill tests.

Implant Memory


NOTE: Impl ant Memory

Psi Type: Active Action: Complex

Range: Touch Duration : Instant

Strain Mod: +0 Skil: Control

An async using this sleight can implant a memory

of up to an hour’s length inside the target’s mind.

This memory very obviously does not belong to the

target—there is no way they will confuse it for one

of their own. The intent is not to fake memories, but

to place one of the async’s memories in the target’s

mind so that the target can access it just like any other

memory. This can be useful for “archiving” important

data with an ally, providing a literal alternate perspective,

or simply making a “data dump” for the target

to peruse. Implant Memory requires an Opposed Test

against unwilling participants. At the gamemaster’s

discretion, particularly traumatic memories might

inflict mental stress on the recipient (p. 215).

Implant Skill


NOTE: Impl ant Skill

Psi Type: Active Action: Complex

Range: Touch Duration : Temp (Action Turns)

Strain Mod: +0 Skil: Control

Similar to Implant Memory, this sleight allows the

async to impart some of their expertise and implant it

into the target’s mind. For the duration of the sleight,

the target benefits when using that skill. If the async’s

skill is between 31 and 60, the target receives a +10

bonus. If the async’s skill is 61+, the target receives

a +20 bonus. Implant Skill requires an Opposed Test

against unwilling participants. In some cases, the

target has been known to use the skill with the async’s

flair and mannerisms.

Mimic


NOTE: Mimic

Psi Type: Active Action: Quick

Range: Close Duration : Instant

Strain Mod: +0 Skil: Sense

In a setting where changing your body and face is

not unusual, people learn to recognize habits and

personality quirks more often. The async must use this sleight on a target and succeed in a Success Test.

If successful, the async acquires an “imprint” of the

target’s mind that they can take advantage of when

impersonating that ego. The async then receives a +30

bonus on Impersonation Tests when mimicking the

target’s behavior and social cues.

Mindlink


NOTE: Mindlink

Psi Type: Active Action: Quick

Range: Touch Duration : Sustained

Strain Mod: +1/target after first Skil: Control

Mindlink allows two-way mental communication

with a target. This may be used on more than one

target simultaneously, in which case the async can act

as a telepathic “server,” so that everyone mindlinked

with the async may also telepathically communicate

with each other (via the async, however, so they

overhear). Language is still a factor in mindlinked

communications, but this barrier may be overcome by

transmitting sounds, images, emotions, and other sensations.

Mindlink requires an Opposed Test against

unwilling participants.

Omni Awareness


NOTE: Omni Aw areness

Psi Type: Active Action: Quick

Range: Close Duration : Temp (Minutes)

Strain Mod: –1 Skil: Sense

An async with Omni Awareness is hypersensitive to

other biological life that is observing them. During

this sleight’s duration, the async makes a Sense Test

that is opposed by any life that has focused their attention

on them within the sleight’s range; if successful,

the async knows they are being watched, but not

by whom or what. It does, however, apply a +30 Perception

bonus to spot the observer. This sleight does

not register partial attention or fleeting attention, or

simple perception of the async, it only notices targets who are actively observing (even if they are concealing

their observation). This sleight is effective in spotting a

tail, as well as finding potential mates in a bar.

Penetration


NOTE: Penetration

Psi Type: Active Action: Quick

Range: Touch Duration : Instant

Strain Mod: 1 per AP point Skil: Psi Assault

Penetration is a sleight that works in conjunction with

any offensive sleight that involves the Psi Assault skill.

It allows the async to penetrate the Psi Shield of an opponent

by concentrating their psi attack. Every point

of Armor Penetration applied to a psi attack inflicts

1 point of strain. The maximum AP that may be applied

equals the async’s Psi Assault skill divided by 10

(round down).

Psi Shield


NOTE: Psi Sh ield

Psi Type: Passive Action: Automatic

Range: Self Duration : Constant

Psi Shield bolsters the async’s mind to psi attack and

manipulation. If the async is hit by a psi attack, they

receive WIL ÷ 5 (round up) points of armor, reducing

the amount of damage inflicted. They also receive a

+10 modifier when resisting any other sleights.

Psychic Stab


NOTE: Psychic Stab

Psi Type: Active Action: Complex

Range: Touch Duration : Instant

Strain Mod: +0 Skil: Psi Assault

Psychic Stab is an offensive sleight that seeks to inflict

physical damage on the target’s brain and nervous

system. Each successful attack inflicts 1d10 + (WIL ÷

10, round up) damage. Increase the damage by +5 if

an Excellent Success is scored.

Scramble


NOTE: Scrambl e

Psi Type: Passive Action: Automatic

Range: Self Duration : Constant

Scramble allows the async using the sleight to hide

from another async using the Ego Sense or Omni

Awareness sleights. Apply a +30 modifier to the defending

async’s Opposed Test.

Sense Block


NOTE: Sense Blo ck

Psi Type: Active Action: Complex

Range: Touch Duration : Temp (Action Turns)

Strain Mod: –1 Skil: Psi Assault

Sense Block disables and short circuits one of the target’s

sensory cortices (chosen by the async), interfering

with and possibly negating a specific source of sensory

input for the chosen duration. If the async beats the

target in the Opposed Test, the target suffers a –30

modifier to Perception Tests with that sense equal (doubled

to –60 if the async scores an Excellent Success).

Spam


NOTE: Sp am

Psi Type: Active Action: Complex

Range: Touch Duration : Temp (Action Turns)

Strain Mod: +0 Skil: Psi Assault

The sleight allows the async to overload and flood one

of the target’s sensory cortices (chosen by the async),

spamming them with confusing and distracting sensory

input and thereby impairing them. If the async

wins the Opposed Test, the target suffers a –10 modifier

to all tests the duration of the sleight (doubled to

–20 if the async scores an Excellent Success).

Static


NOTE: Static

Psi Type: Active Action: Complex

Range: Close Duration : Sustained

Strain Mod: +0 Skil: None

The async generates an anti-psi jamming field, impeding

any use of ranged sleights within their range. All

such ranged sleights suffer a –30 modifier. This sleight

has no effect on self or touch-range sleights.

Subliminal


NOTE: Subl iminal

Psi Type: Active Action: Complex

Range: Touch Duration : Instant

Strain Mod: +2 Skil: Control

The Subliminal sleight allows the async to influence

the train of thought of another person by implementing

a single post-hypnotic suggestion into the mind

of the target. If the async wins the Opposed Test, the

recipient will carry out this suggestion as if it was

their own idea. Implanted suggestions must be short

and simple; as a rule of thumb, the gamemaster may

only suggestions encompassed by a short sentence

(for example: “open the airlock,” or “hand over the

weapon”). At the gamemaster’s discretion, the target

may receive a bonus for resisting suggestions that are

immediately life threatening (“jump off the bridge”)

or that violate their motivations or personal strictures.

Suggestions do not need to be carried out immediately,

they may be implanted with a short trigger condition

(“when the alarm goes off, ignore it”).

Thought Browse


NOTE: Tho ugh t Brow se

Psi Type: Active Action: Complex

Range: Touch Duration : Sustained

Strain Mod: –1 Skil: Sense

Thought Browse is a less-intrusive form of mind

reading which scans the target’s surface thoughts for

certain “keywords” like a particular word, phrase,

sound, or image chosen by the async. Rather than digging

through the target’s ego as with the Deep Scan

sleight, Thought Browse merely verifies whether a

target has a particular person, place, event, or thing

in mind, which can be used by a savvy investigator to

draw conclusions without the need to invade the mind directly. Thought Browse may be sustained, allowing

the async to continue scanning the target’s thoughts

over time. The async must beat the target in an Opposed

Test for each scanned item.

PSYCHOSURGERYEdit

NOTE: Given the reach of neuroscience in the time of

Eclipse Phase, it is easy to think of the mind as

programmable software, as something that can be

reverse-engineered, re-coded, upgraded, and patched.

To a large degree, this is true. Aided by nanotechnology,

genetics, and cognitive science, neuroscientists

have demolished numerous barriers to understanding

the mind’s structure and functions, and even

made great leaps in unveiling the true nature of

consciousness. Genetic tweaks, neuro-mods, and

neural implants offer an assortment of options for

improving the brain’s capabilities. The transhuman

mind has become a playground—and a battlefield.

Nanovirii unleashed during the Fall infected millions,

altering their brains in permanent ways, with

occasional outbreaks still occurring a decade later.

Cognitive virii roam the mesh, plaguing infomorphs

and AIs, reprogramming mind states. An “infectious

idea” is now a literal term.

In truth, mind editing is not an easy, safe, and

error-proof process—it is difficult, dangerous, and

often flawed. Neuroscience may be light years

ahead of where it was a century ago, but there are

many aspects of the brain and neural functions

that continue to confound and elude even the

brightest experts and AIs. Technologies like nanoneural

mapping, uploading, digital mind emulation,

and artificial intelligence are also comparatively

in their infancy, being mere decades old. Though

transhumanity has a handle on how to make these

processes work, it does not always fully understand

the underlying mechanisms.

Any neurotech will tell you that mucking around

in the mind’s muddy depths is a messy business.

Brains are organic devices, molded by millions of

years of unplanned evolutionary development. Each

is grown haphazardly, loaded with evolutionary leftovers, and randomly modified by an unlimited

array of life events and environmental factors. Every

mind features numerous mechanisms—cells, connections,

receptors—that handle a dizzying array

of functions: memory, perception, learning, reasoning,

emotion, instinct, consciousness, and more. Its

system of organization and storage is holonomic,

diffused, and disorganized. Even the geneticallymodified

and enhanced brains of transhumans are

crowded, chaotic, cross-wired places, with each

mind storing its memories, personality, and other

defining features in unique ways.

What this means is that though the general architecture

and topography of neural networks can

be scanned and deduced, the devil is in the details.

Techniques used to modify, repair, or enhance one

person’s mind are not guaranteed equal success

when applied to another’s brain. For example, the

process by which brains store knowledge, skills, and

memories results in a strange chaining process where

these memories are linked and associated with other

memories, so attempts to alter one memory can

have adverse affects on other memories. In the end,

minds are slippery and dodgy things, and attempts

to reshape them rarely go as planned.

The Process of Psychosurgery


NOTE: Psychosurgery is the process of selective, surgical alteration

of a transhuman mind. It is a separate field from

neural genetic modification (which alters genetic code),

neuralware implantation (adding cybernetic or biotech

inserts to the brain or nervous system), or brain hacking

(software attacks on computer brains, neural inserts, and

infomorphs), though they are sometimes combined.

Psychosurgery is almost always performed on a

digital mind-state, whether that be a real-time emulation,

a backup, or a fork. In most cases, the subject’s

mind-state is copied via the same technology and process

as uploading or forking, and run in a simulspace.

The subject need not be willing, and in these cases

the subject’s permissions are restricted. Numerous

psychosurgery simulspace environments are available,

each custom-designed for facilitating specific psychosurgical

goals and programmed with a thorough

selection of psychotherapy treatment options.

The actual process of psychosurgery breaks down

into several stages. First is diagnosis, which can

involve the use of several neuro-imaging techniques

on morphed characters, mapping synaptic connections,

and building a neurochemical model. It can

also involve complete psychological profiling and

psychometric behavioral testing, including personality

tests and simulspace scenario simulations. Digital

mind-states can be compared to records of people

with similar symptoms in order to identify related

information clusters. This analysis is used to plan

the procedure.

The actual implementation of psychosurgical alteration

can involve several methods, depending on

the desired results. Applying external modules to the

mind-state is often the best approach, as it doesn’t

meddle with complicated connections and new inputs

are readily interpreted and assimilated. For treatments,

mental health software patches compiled from

databases of healthy minds are matched, customized,

and applied. Specialized programs may be run to

stimulate certain mental processes for therapeutic

purposes. Before an alteration is even applied, it may

first be performed on a fork of the subject and run at

accelerated speeds to evaluate the outcome. Likewise,

multiple treatment choices may be applied to time-accelerated

forks this way, allowing the psychosurgeon

to test which is likely to work best.

Not all psychosurgery is performed for the subject’s

benefit, of course. Psychosurgery can be used to interrogate

or torture prisoners, erase memories, modify

behavior, or inflict crippling impairments. It is also

sometimes used for legal punishment purposes, in

an attempt to impair criminal activity. Needless to

say, such methods are often brute-forced rather than

fine-tuned, ignoring safety parameters and sometimes

resulting in detrimental side effects.

The Human Cognome Project


NOTE: The Human Cognome Project was an

academic research venture to reverse

engineer the human brain, paralleling

in many ways the Human Genome

Project and its success in deciphering

the human genome. The HCP was a

multidisciplinary undertaking, relevant

to biology, neuroscience, psychology,

cognitive science, artificial intelligence,

and philosophy of mind.

Funded and supported by scientific

and corporate entrepreneurs and early

transhumanist groups, the HCP developed

the fundamentals of digitizing an ego

and was a major driving force towards

the first transhumans with elevated

intelligence and brain capacity. The HCP

has also been instrumental in cataloging

transhuman minds and developing

databases of “mind patches” based on

the mind-states of healthy individuals for

treating mental diseases and damage.

Though most HCP data is available to the

public, some argonauts claim that certain

data is held hostage by some hypercorps,

potentially for the development of proprietary

mind-altering technologies.

After the Fall, the remnants of this

project were acquired by the Planetary

Consortium.

Psychosurgery MechanicsEdit

NOTE: In game terms, psychosurgery is handled as a Task

Action requiring an Opposed Test. The psychosurgeon

rolls Psychosurgery skill against the target’s WIL x 3.

Apply modifiers as appropriate from the Psychosurgery

Modifiers table.

If the psychosurgeon succeeds and the subject fails,

the psychosurgery is effective and permanent. The

alteration becomes a permanent part of the subject’s

ego, and will be copied when uploaded (and sometimes

when forking).

If both sides succeed but the psychosurgeon rolls

higher, the psychosurgery is effective but temporary. It

lasts for 1 week per 10 points of MoS.

If the subject rolls higher, or if the psychosurgeon

fails their roll, the attempt does not work.

The timeframe listed for psychosurgical procedures

is according to the patient’s subjective point of view.

Since most subjects are treated in a simulspace, time

acceleration may drastically reduce the amount of

real-time such a procedure requires (see Defying Nature’s

Laws, pp. 240–241).

Mental Stress


NOTE: Psychosurgery is a modification to the transhuman

mind, and sometimes to the actual person that resides

in that mind. It is unsurprising then that psychosurgery

places stress on the subject’s mental state and

sometimes even inflicts mental traumas.

Each psychosurgery option lists a Stress Value

(SV) that is inflicted on the subject regardless of

the tests’ success or failure. If the psychosurgeon

achieves an Excellent Success (MoS 30+), this stress

is halved (round down). If the psychosurgeon rolls

a Severe Failure (MoF 30+), the stress is doubled.

Alternately, a Severe Failure could result in unintended

side effects, such as affecting other behaviors,

emotions, or memories.

If a critical success is rolled, no stress is applied at

all. If a critical failure is rolled, however, an automatic

trauma is applied in addition to the normal stress.

Some psychosurgery conditions may also affect the

SV, as noted on the Psychosurgery Modifiers table.

Roleplaying Mind Edits


NOTE: Many of the changes incurred by psychosurgery are

nebulous and difficult to pin down with game mechanics.

Alterations to a character’s personality and

mind-state are often better handled as roleplaying factors

anyway. This means that players should make a

real effort to integrate any such mental modifications

into their character’s words and actions, and gamemasters

should ensure that a character’s portrayal

plays true to their mind edits. Some psychosurgical

mods can be reflected with ego traits, while others

might incur modifiers to certain tests or in certain

situations. The gamemaster should carefully weigh a

brain alteration’s effects, and apply modifiers as they

see appropriate.

Psychosurgery ProceduresEdit

NOTE: The following alterations may be accomplished with

psychosurgery. At the gamemaster’s discretion, other

mind-editing procedures may be attempted, using

these as a guideline.

Behavioral Control


NOTE: Behavioral Con trol

Timeframe: 1 week

PM:

Limit/Boost –10; Block/Encourage –20,

Expunge/Enforce –30

SV: (1d10 ÷ 2, round up)

Commonly used for criminal rehabilitation, behavioral

control attempts to limit, block, or expunge a

specific behavior from the subject’s psyche. For example,

a murderer may be conditioned against acts of aggression,

or a kleptomaniac might be restricted from

stealing. Some people seek this adjustment willingly,

such as socialite glitterati who restrict their desire to

eat, or an addict who cuts out their craving for a fix.

Behavioral control can also be applied as an unleashing

or reinforcement. A companion may desire

to eliminate their sexual inhibitions, for example, or

a hypercorp exec may boost his commitment to place

work above all else.

A character will simply feel compelled to avoid

a behavior that is limited (perhaps suffering a –10

modifier), but will find it quite difficult to pursue a behavior

that is blocked (requiring a WIL x 3 Test, and

suffering a –20 modifier). They will find themselves

completely incapable of initiating a behavior that is

expunged, and if forced into the behavior will suffer

a –30 modifier and (1d10 ÷ 2, round up) points of

mental Stress.

Likewise, a character will feel compelled to pursue a

behavior that is boosted, and will find it hard to avoid

Behavioral Masking


NOTE: Behavioral Masking

Timeframe: 1 week

PM: –20

SV: 1d10 ÷ 2, round up

Given the ability to switch bodies, many security and

law enforcement agencies have resorted to personality

and behavioral profiling as a means of identifying

people even when they resleeve. Though such systems

are far from perfect, someone’s unconscious habits

and quirks could potentially give them away. Characters

who wish to elude identification in this way may

undergo behavioral masking, which seeks to alter and

change the character’s unconscious habits and social

cues. Apply a +30 modifier when defending against

such identification systems and Kinesics Tests.

Deep Learning


NOTE: Deep Learning

Timeframe: Skill Learning Time ÷ 2

PM: +20

SV: 1

Using tutorial programs, memory reinforcement protocols,

conditioning tasks, and deep brain stimulation,

the subject’s learning ability is reinforced, allowing

them to learn new skills more quickly.

Emotional Control


NOTE: Emotion al Con trol

Timeframe: 1 week

PM:

Limit/Boost –10; Block/Encourage –20,

Expunge/Enforce –30

SV: (1d10 ÷ 2, round up) + 2

Similar to behavioral control, emotional control seeks

to modify, enhance, or restrict the subject’s emotional

responses. Some choose these modifications willingly,

such as limiting sadness in order to be happier, or

encouraging aggression in order to be more competitive.

Mercenaries and soldiers have been known

to expunge fear. Foll

Interrogation


NOTE: In terrog ation

Timeframe: Variable (gamemaster discretion; 1 week default)

PM: +30

SV: 1d10

Psychosurgery can be used for interrogative purposes

via the application of mental torture and manipulation.

A successful Psychosurgery Test applies a +30

modifier to the Intimidation Test for interrogation

Memory Editing


NOTE: Memory Editing

Timeframe: 1 week (2 weeks adding/replacing)

PM: –10 (willing) or –30 (forced)

SV: (1d10 ÷ 2, round up)

By monitoring memory recall (forcibly invoked if necessary),

psychosurgeons can identify where memories

are stored in the brain and target them for removal.

Memory storage is complex and diffused, however,

and often linked to other memories, so removing one

memory may affect others (gamemaster discretion).

Adding or replacing memories is a much more complicated

operation and requires that such memories be

copied from someone who has experienced them or

manufactured with XP software. Even when successfully

implanted, fake memories may clash with other

(real) memories unless those are also erased.

Personality Editing


NOTE: Person ality Editing

Timeframe: 1 week

PM: Minor –10; Moderate –20, Major –30

SV: (1d10 ÷ 2, round up) + 3

Possibly the most drastic psychosurgery procedure,

personality editing involves altering the subject’s core

personality traits. The personality factors that may be

modified is almost unlimited, including traits such as

openness, conscientiousness, altruism, extroversion/

introversion, impulsiveness, curiosity, creativity, confidence,

sexual orientation, and self-control, among

others. These traits may be enhanced or reduced to

varying degrees. The effect is largely reflected by roleplaying,

but the gamemaster may apply modifiers as

they see fit.

Psychotorture


NOTE: Psycho torture

Timeframe: Variable

PM: +30

SV: 1d10 SV per day

Psychotorture is mental manipulation for the simple

intention of causing pain and anguish, reflected in

game terms as mental stress and traumas. Prolonged

torture can lead to serious mental disorders or worse.

Psychotherapy


NOTE: Psycho therapy

Timeframe: Variable

PM: +0

SV: 0

Therapeutic psychosurgery is beneficial for characters

suffering from mental stress, traumas, and disorders. A

successful Psychosurgery Test applies a +30 modifier

to mental healing tests, as noted on p. 215.

Skill Implants


NOTE: Skill Imprints

Timeframe: 1 week per +10

PM: +0

SV: 1 per +10

Skill imprinting is the use of psychosurgery to insert

skill-set neural patterns in the subject’s brain, temporarily

boosting their ability. Skill imprints are artificial

boosts, however, degrading at the rate of –10 per day.

No skill may be boosted higher than 60.

Skill Suppression


NOTE: Skill Supp ression

Timeframe: 1 day per –10

PM: –10

SV: 1 per +10

Skill suppression attempts to identify where skills are

stored in the brain and then block or remove them.

The subject’s skill is impaired and may be lost entirely.

Tasping


NOTE: Tasping

Timeframe: 1 day

PM: +10

SV: 1

Tasping is the use of deep brain stimulation techniques

to tickle the mind’s pleasure centers. Though this

procedure is often used for therapeutic purposes for

patients suffering from depression or other mental

illnesses, the intent with tasping is to overload the

subject into a prolonged state of almost unendurable

bliss. Such stimulation is highly addictive, however, so

character’s exposed to it for any length of time (over

1 hour, subjective) are likely to pick up the Addiction

trait (p. 148). Some criminal organizations have been

known to use tasping addiction and rewards as a

means of controlling those under their thrall.

Psychosurgery Modifiers


NOTE: Psy chosurgery Modifiers

Situation

Psychosurgery Test Modifier SV Modifier

Improper Preparatory Diagnosis –30 +1

Safety Protocols Ignored +20 x2

Simulspace Time Acceleration –20 +2

Subject is an AI, AGI, or uplift –20 +1

The Lost


NOTE: <begin excerpt>

PSICLONE Project Quarterly Board Meeting

2nd Quarter 8 AF

FUTURA Project Conclusion—

Executive Summary Report

Prepared by Dr. Amelia Sheppard

Per request, I have compiled a review of the

Futura Project and its fallout, 5 years after

whistleblowers and intense media attention

forced us to end the project and release the

remaining subjects (dubbed “the Lost” by

popular media).

Futura was a joint initiative spearheaded by

Hanto Genomics and strongly backed by Cognite,

with numerous other partners (complete

list). The project was initially proposed by my

mentor, Dr. Antonio Pascal, whose team had

proven the feasibility of Accelerated Life Experience

Training (ALET) after a series of pilot

studies with two small (N<1000) samples.

While it is true that these early pilot studies

used both older subjects and a lesser amount

of time dilation, the rationale for the Futura

Project’s ambitious program was justified by a

remarked decrease in transhumanity’s population

due to the Fall, a system-wide stagnant

population growth rate (blamed on various

factors including increased longevity, available

contraception, and rising despair over troubling

times), as well as a desire to move aggressively

into a new technological sector in the hopes of

obtaining a competitive advantage.

Futura began immediately in the wake

of the Fall with an initial seed population

of test subjects culled from extant genetic

material and gestated to between 1 week and

6 months after birth. Of these, less than 10%

were live births from either a surrogate or

genetic birth mother who had perished during

the Fall. The majority came from our Lunar and

Martian labs and were brought to term within

an exowomb.

After the sample was selected, all subjects

were sleeved into our fast-growth futura-brand

biomorph bodies and inducted into customized

simulspace accelerated learning environments.

The project made extensive use of emergent

technologies and techniques culled from recaptured

TITAN facilities, including neogenetic

traits for the futura morphs and time distortion

applications for captive simulspace populations.

Futura ran concurrently on three different

research stations with a combined staff of

2,211 researchers and support personnel and

45 AGIs custom-programmed for expert child

development. Project goals were to raise each

child to a subjective 18 years life experience in

3 years objective time.

Despite omnipresent observation and

real-time adjusting of the simulspace and educational

programming for optimal normality,

somewhere along the way the project suffered

a breakdown in quality assurance and parameter

monitoring that resulted in a near total

failure at empathy modeling. We first observed

this effect 11 months into the project when the

subjects had aged to approximately 6 years of

age. Incidences of animal cruelty and acting

out had spiked, though at that time they remained

within acceptable standards. Over the

next few months this trend continued and Dr.

Pascal authorized the usage of more authoritative

“parenting” to attempt to correct for the

borderline sociopathic behavior that was being

exhibited by 23.19% of all subjects by the 18-

month mark (9 years of age).

We now know that these changes had

the unintended consequence of suppressing

overt displays of cruelty and violence and

merely taught the majority of subjects how

to conceal their psychoses. It was also at this

time that the first deaths occurred. The initial

waves were thought to be accidents and

both the victim and perpetrator were usually

backed up to a week or so of subjective time.

Post-project analysis now shows that 43.87%

of our subjects had engaged in at least one

act of premeditated murder by the 24-month

mark (12 years of age) and the counseling

protocols were only training them how to lie

more effectively.

It was at this point that myself and Dr.

Aaron Bharani advocated pulling the plug on

the project and bringing the subjects out to

real time and intensive counseling. Dr. Pascal

vetoed our concerns without ever taking them

to the board. As the project spiraled towards

its conclusion, a fork of Dr. Bharani went public

at the 34 month mark, inciting a firestorm of

controversy. While Dr. Pascal successfully tied

up investigators, hoping to see the project

through to its conclusion, the incident at our

Legacy research station occurred. Initial findings

concluded that one or more of the subjects

had escaped the program and were in fact

responsible for the habitat’s environmental failures

and the thousands of subsequent deaths.

In the face of intense public and private

scrutiny, many of the partners involved in

the project attempted to pull out and even

eliminate all traces of their involvement. In the

resulting chaos, an estimated subjects

were quietly released into the system’s general

population. It was only after this occurred that

all known subjects were identified as having

been infected with the Watts-Macleod strain

of the Exsurgent virus, though when and how

this occurred remains troubling and unclear.

Though later orders resulted in all remaining

subjects being euthanized and/or backed up

into cold storage, only of the released

subjects were recaptured. Of the rest, pursued

sanctuary with sympathetic authorities,

went public and submitted themselves

to extensive psychotherapy, were killed in

incidents of violence and not resurrected, and

the rest presumably went into hiding.

<end excerpt>

THE MESHEdit

NOTE: Before the Fall, humanity interfaced with each other through the internet, interconnected networks that served as the technical backbone for the evolving world wide web. While it began as a electronic medium for retrieving information from various sources (replacing even older paper-based infosources), succeeding generations emphasized digital communities and hosted services such as networking sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies. These facilitated openness, collaboration, and sharing, thereby laying the groundwork for a modern, interconnected information society. Further stages emphasized wireless interaction, geolocation, and semantic web approaches and achieved quantum leaps in the realm of user interaction with the advent of brain-computer interfaces, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and experience playback (XP).


This environment, coupled with the exponentialgrowth of processing power and memory storage, created an evolutionary path for the development of intelligent agents—designed to augment human information processing—that then transformed into artificial intelligences (AIs) in the following decades. While these “weak” AIs did not possess the full range of human cognitive abilities, tended towards overspecialization, and were restrained by programmed limitations, the digital evolution toward artificial general intelligences (AGIs)—”strong” AIs with intelligence capabilities that equaled or exceeded human abilities—could not be halted. From this point it was but a matter of time before so-called seed AI would come into existence, machine minds capable of recursive self-improvement, leading to an exponential growth in intelligence. Unfortunately for humanity, the TITANs were the result.


Even before the Fall, however, the internet of old was transforming into something new. Instead of connecting via central servers, users were wirelessly linking to each other, creating a decentralized intermeshed network of handheld devices, personal computers, robots, and electronic devices. Users were online all of the time and connected with everything and everyone around them in a ubiquitous computing environment. This was especially true of those participating in humanity’s expansion into space. Disconnected from the internet due to distance and light-speed communication lags, these users were nevertheless connected with all of the people and objects in their nearby environment or habitat, creating local wireless mesh networks. Thus was the mesh born, taking the place of the old internet of earth, lost during the Fall.

MESH CAPABILTIESEdit

NOTE: The mesh, as it exists in Eclipse Phase, is only possible

thanks to major developments made in computer and

communication technologies and nanofabrication.

Wireless radio transmitters and receivers are so unobtrusively

tiny that they can literally be factored into

anything. As a result, everything is computerized and

connected, or at least tagged with a radio frequency

ID (RFID) chip. Even food is tagged with edible chips,

complete with expiration date and nutritional content.

Other communications mediums, such as laser and

microwave links, add to the information flow.

Data storage technology has advanced to such high

levels that even an individual user’s surplus storage

capacity can maintain an amount of information

easily surpassing the entire 20th-century internet.

Lifeloggers can literally record every moment of their

life and never fear about running out of room. The

amount of data that people carry around in the mesh

inserts in their head or in portable ecto personal computers

is staggering.

Processing capabilities also exist at hyper-efficient

levels. Even massive supercomputers are a thing of the

past when modest handheld devices can fulfill almost

all of your needs, even while simultaneously running a

personal AI assistant, downloading media, uploading

porn, and scanning thousands of newsfeeds. Within

the mesh network, devices that near their processing

limits simply share the burden with devices around

them, creating a massively distributed framework that

in some ways is like an entire supercomputer to itself,

shared by everyone.

Similarly, transmission capacity now far exceeds

most citizens’ definition of need. Anyone born within

the last several generations has always lived in a world

in which hyper-realistic, multi-sensory media of nearly

any length is available for instantaneous download

or upload from anywhere. Massive databases and

archives are copied back and forth with ease. Bandwidth

is such a non-issue that most people forget it ever

was. In fact, given the sheer amount of data available,

finding the information or media you’re looking for

takes considerably longer than downloading it. The

mesh is also never down. As a decentralized network,

if any one device is taken offline, connections merely

route around it, finding a path via the thousands if not

millions of available nodes. Similarly, the entire mesh

behaves like a peer-to-peer network, so that large transfers

are broken into manageable chunks that take independent

routes. In fact, most users maintain personal

torrent archives that are publicly accessible and shared.

Private networks still exist, of course. Some are

physically walled away behind closed-access wired networks

or even wireless-inhibiting infrastructure that

keep a network isolated and contained. Most, however,

operate on top of the public mesh, using encrypted

tunneling protocols that provide private and secure

communications over unsecured networks. In other

words, these private networks are part of the mesh

along with everything else, but only the participants can interact with them thanks to encryption, user authentication,

and message integrity checking.

With the factionalization of transhumanity, attempts

to unify software into standard formats have

still failed. However, different operating systems

or protocols are rarely an obstacle anymore due to

easily accessible conversion