Are morphs rare or not?

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Reshy Reshy's picture
Are morphs rare or not?

The eternal paradox of Eclipse Phase seems to be the statement that death is obsolete and you can just get a new body if you die is then contradicted with "new bodies are rare". Has this ever been explained or properly addressed? The game seems to assume the premise that you'll be changing bodies constantly, which couldn't really be done if morphs are rare, but later on it says that each morph has to "move" thousands of units in other places. So which is it? What makes morphs rare or inaccessible?

I see what's being done with the "morph points" system, but it seems a little bit too... gamey? I mean what makes a Remade seven times more expensive than a Splicer, and infinitely more expensive than a flat?

Is it that remade are genuinely take seven times the resources to make than a Splicer? Is it really that flats are both free and available in unlimited quantity?

I don't really believe either makes that much sense. Much of the problems with acquiring a body is simply the time it takes to make it. Which should imply that Synths are far more easy to acquire than biomorphs, which isn't really the case with the Morph Points system or the Availability system.

I don't feel that the current system accurately reflects the cost it takes to make a biomorph over other options, nor the simplicity and easy-of-access that a synth should have. If anything their strengths and weaknesses should be well known and reflected in the crunch, which they currently aren't.

>>A way that they could be resolved is by making a morph semi-permanent in some respect, either by reducing the access threshold (and possibly making your "default" body more easy to acquire as desired).

Now of course, it'd come down to "how does one get semi-permanent bodies in Eclipse Phase" when one farcasts on a semi-regular basis. Few solutions are based on the different types of sleeves:

Synthmorphs (and to a lesser extent Pods) could be built from a blueprint that is attached to the character's Ego/Infomorph, and thus could be assembled in a couple hours if a model is not already on hand. So if the players have the option to "buy" a blueprint for a certain type of synth, they'd have pretty easy access to any synth they purchase so long as the Hab has a working Cornucopia Machine and the Synth is not restricted.

Of course, there should still be a cost to dying, but that's more in the equivalent of the resources needed to remake the morph, as opposed to buying one sans-blueprint where you are paying a lump sum to the intellectual property tithe to whomever controls the right to print the morphs here.

Much of this can be applied to a Pod, which were intended to be grown and assembled fairly quickly, and unlike a Biomorph.

Now as for a Biomorph, it's a bit more of a conundrum for them, as Biomorphs aren't something you can print in a Cornucopia Machine within 24 hours. One solution is more or less the equivalent of a "Morph License" which states that the individual has acquired the necessary 'rights' to use that morph's template. While it'd possibly be limited by availability and restrictions, one way to get around it is to use the Splicer or other morph as a basic template, which is then modified to whatever configuration the license specifies (restrictions apply, of course). The setting kind of glosses over it a bit, as with bodies being rare one would imagine that it'd be easier to re-purpose an existing morph that can be easily created without much fuss and then retroactively augmented to spec. That, could at least feasibly be accomplished within a certain amount of time comparable to printing a complicated Synthmorph, assuming that none of the existing configurations are already pre-existing. Of course they'd still need to pay for the resources that it took to make the morph, but again much of the cost of a morph would be the expensive and elaborate levels of research needed to formulate the morph in the first place.

Of course, I could see how this has issues for certain morphs that are effectively "special order" and in those cases, sure, they might be quite difficult to get a hold of. But as I understand it, the Brain is the thing that takes the longest to properly develop in Biomorphs, so being able to retool existing bodies I'd imagine makes a hell of a lot more sense.

Though I'm not the developer so I don't know all the considerations that go into this. As we saw with 1e morph costs were largely a trap, and I get that the developers want to get away from players getting attached to their body but I'm not quite sure that this is much better a solution either.

Morph traits are effectively pointless in the current system, morphs don't really have unique stats anymore with the new pool system, and it seems to be a little too... simple? In a way it reminds me of D&D 4e and while I don't like games to be overly complex I like when they make sense.

The idea that one can "own" a blueprint of their body that has all their morph's quirks (both positive and negative) would make morph traits actually worth getting within the current system, and also give the opportunity for characters to be something other than a faceless individual as they could actually have a body they could use more often than not by modifying an existing morph to spec or by printing off a new one if it's a Synth or Pod.

Though this is all in my opinion, what do the other forum-goers think of this?

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
I had a similar idea, but it doesn't apply here.

When considering Morph rarity, think "Cars" - common enough in general but not everyone owns one, and specific types are much rarer than others.

Cases and the like are 20 year old rustbuckets which you get when you need a car but can't get anything else.
Splicers, Rusters and the like are the mass-produced 4-doors you see everywhere, mixed with Landrovers, smart cars and so on which make up the variations, which in this case represent most of the options up to Sylphs.
Above that, you have the Remades, Futuras and Furies, which are Porsches, Lamborghinis and Hum-Vees. You might see them, but not often.

Flats are a bit odd, because the rules say they're more common than the setting does. This is an issue that has been brought up in another thread.

As to the why: resources, effort and time.
Nothing is officially defined, but it can be assumed that more advanced morphs simply have greater requirements. Most simply, this could be a longer gestation/growth period. Other possibilities are that complex components or biological structures have a high failure rate or require active monitoring to ensure correct development, and high-end morphs (including biomorphs) may require rare or unstable elements in their production.

Using the Remade as an example, they might only develop correctly under high gravity conditions, the growth of their mesh inserts and other nanotech enhancements might need to be supervised by a dedicated AI with associated hardware, and/or their enhanced capabilities come in part from using synthetic proteins incorporating Thorium 232.

You can usually get a Morph - getting the one you want is another matter entirely.

That said, there's nothing stopping you from saying that similar morphs can be changed into each other, and you don't even need to put in any actual rules for that. All that's required is allowing your players access to the morphs if they ask.
If the rules would say it's not available, increase the cost or time to represent having one modified.

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

Reshy Reshy's picture
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:When

ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:
When considering Morph rarity, think "Cars" - common enough in general but not everyone owns one, and specific types are much rarer than others.

Cases and the like are 20 year old rustbuckets which you get when you need a car but can't get anything else.
Splicers, Rusters and the like are the mass-produced 4-doors you see everywhere, mixed with Landrovers, smart cars and so on which make up the variations, which in this case represent most of the options up to Sylphs.
Above that, you have the Remades, Futuras and Furies, which are Porsches, Lamborghinis and Hum-Vees. You might see them, but not often.

Flats are a bit odd, because the rules say they're more common than the setting does. This is an issue that has been brought up in another thread.

As to the why: resources, effort and time.
Nothing is officially defined, but it can be assumed that more advanced morphs simply have greater requirements. Most simply, this could be a longer gestation/growth period. Other possibilities are that complex components or biological structures have a high failure rate or require active monitoring to ensure correct development, and high-end morphs (including biomorphs) may require rare or unstable elements in their production.

Using the Remade as an example, they might only develop correctly under high gravity conditions, the growth of their mesh inserts and other nanotech enhancements might need to be supervised by a dedicated AI with associated hardware, and/or their enhanced capabilities come in part from using synthetic proteins incorporating Thorium 232.

You can usually get a Morph - getting the one you want is another matter entirely.

That said, there's nothing stopping you from saying that similar morphs can be changed into each other, and you don't even need to put in any actual rules for that. All that's required is allowing your players access to the morphs if they ask.
If the rules would say it's not available, increase the cost or time to represent having one modified.

The thing is that in Eclipse Phase you can 3D Print "Cars", so presumably this would apply to Synthmorphs, assuming you had the blueprints, right? So why are their availability ratings comparable to Biomorphs and Pods? They can be built from scratch in a few hours (or days) at most. So why do they have availability ratings? They're far easier to make, heck you can probably get a blueprint for them. So why isn't that an option?

Maudova Maudova's picture
New bodies are rare for the

New bodies are rare for the average person. The tagline is meant for those characters the game is baselined off of, Firewall agents and Gatecrashers. The average person doesn't have a Black Ops team of autonomous hackers and James Bond style badasses supporting them. So for the average Joe without the means to make enough scratch to buy a better morph a case or synth is what's easy to get. Take it with context.

~Alpha Fork Initialized.
P.S. I often post from my phone as I travel extensively for work. Please forgive typos and grammar issues.

Reshy Reshy's picture
Maudova wrote:New bodies are

Maudova wrote:
New bodies are rare for the average person. The tagline is meant for those characters the game is baselined off of, Firewall agents and Gatecrashers. The average person doesn't have a Black Ops team of autonomous hackers and James Bond style badasses supporting them. So for the average Joe without the means to make enough scratch to buy a better morph a case or synth is what's easy to get. Take it with context.

I suppose, but then again the average person is probably a Fall Evacuee, the 5 million that were already in space before then probably are far better off and able to more regularly get new bodies. However, the main thing I am getting at is that the game's based around the primary method of "travel" being farcasting, which kinda has issues if there's no bodies available. Supposedly you should be able to print whatever Morphs you need, however the game doesn't really reflect that. It gives you a pool of points to buy morphs with, and that's only allowed if you beat the availability test (which is entirely luck dependent). So there's no real reliability in what morph you'll get, it's always mystery meat.

Not to mention that there's no functional difference in availability or MP even though supposedly Synths are the easiest to make, there's an equal chance as a biomorph that they'll be unavailable for whatever reason.