EP2 - What Would You Like To See

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Surly Surly's picture
We shouldn't lean heavily on

We shouldn't lean heavily on memetics. It peaked in the early 2000s, and as an academic discipline it's now more or less dead. The question "What can we learn about ideas by thinking about them like genes?" was excellent. But the answer turned out to be "not much."

eaton wrote:
The easiest mechanisms I can already think of are Motivations and Interest: [Field] skills. Imagine this mechanism: Research, Rep-based social investigation, or persuade/provoke tests can be used to discover an existing interest or motivation for an NPC. Each interest field a player knows about an NPC can be used to give a +10 to one social test. Each motivation can be used to give a +20 to one social test,. Perhaps all of these bonuses would come with an "if you can figure out how to work it into the conversation with them" caveat?

I like this approach! As o11o1 mentioned, has a bunch in common with Exalted 3E's Intimacy system.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Surly wrote:We shouldn't lean

I would like to see the Player's Handbook concept taken further than has already been implied with regular updates. What I mean to say is that I think it should be different from other books, and update with new supplements expanding in page length over time. Any new traits, equipment and morphs should be piled into it as they release in other books, ensuring we have a single required source for character creation.

Bonus points if you make a saddle-stitch-printable copy of the PDF, anarchist pamphlet-style.

Surly wrote:
We shouldn't lean heavily on memetics. It peaked in the early 2000s, and as an academic discipline it's now more or less dead. The question "What can we learn about ideas by thinking about them like genes?" was excellent. But the answer turned out to be "not much."

I read the paper and I didn't find its results to be particularly enlightening. At best they state that open research based on memetic theory isn't being done, which I agree with. But to say that it's not a feasible way to look at ideas is mixed to me. Modern marketers utilize the concept of memes to push their products now. Even if traditional scientists aren't doing the research, Old Spice sure seems to be. This looks like a "the web is a fad" article from the 90s, not a serious inquiry into memes.

That said, I absolutely agree with the argument that memes do not propagate like genes, and that their propagation has more to do with participatory culture and psychology. But the idea that you could quantify a viral idea as an individual object with a life of its own, I also agree with.

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ubik2 ubik2's picture
Pilot cleanup

One thing I'm looking forward to is a cleanup of the pilot modes. Previously, the interaction of aptitudes and speed, between the controller and the controlled were a bit messy.

It looks like this system should work better, now that the aptitudes are more properly bound to the ego, but I'm not sure quite what will happen with the pools. In particular, the controlling morph's Vigor pool probably shouldn't be applicable, while the Insight pool may be.

I'm guessing that with the new skill division, when jamming, you will still use the pilot skill (unless it's a type that uses athletics natively). It's less clear whether you would still use interface, or switch to guns for firing weapons in that case.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
ubik2 wrote:One thing I'm

ubik2 wrote:
One thing I'm looking forward to is a cleanup of the pilot modes. Previously, the interaction of aptitudes and speed, between the controller and the controlled were a bit messy.

It looks like this system should work better, now that the aptitudes are more properly bound to the ego, but I'm not sure quite what will happen with the pools. In particular, the controlling morph's Vigor pool probably shouldn't be applicable, while the Insight pool may be.

I'm guessing that with the new skill division, when jamming, you will still use the pilot skill (unless it's a type that uses athletics natively). It's less clear whether you would still use interface, or switch to guns for firing weapons in that case.

I also find myself wondering how your Pools apply when jamming bots, or even just driving a dune buggy. Should a large tank get a set of it's own Pools, or does it just use those of the driver (and possibly crew?)

A slight smell of ions....

eaton eaton's picture
Quote:I also find myself

Quote:
I also find myself wondering how your Pools apply when jamming bots, or even just driving a dune buggy. Should a large tank get a set of it's own Pools, or does it just use those of the driver (and possibly crew?)

Giving commands to a jammed drone was a mental action in EP1, wasn't it? Or am I mixing up the distinctions between giving orders to a slaved AI, remote-controlling, jamming, and actually sleeving in? If it's a mental action to give a command to a jammed shell, a lot of that sorts itself out.
Kojak Kojak's picture
eaton wrote:Giving commands

eaton wrote:
Giving commands to a jammed drone was a mental action in EP1, wasn't it? Or am I mixing up the distinctions between giving orders to a slaved AI, remote-controlling, jamming, and actually sleeving in? If it's a mental action to give a command to a jammed shell, a lot of that sorts itself out.

Remote-controlling a drone requires a Complex Mental Action per command; simply instructing a remote AI is a Quick Action. Jamming is basically remote-sleeving into the drone, so you don't command it so much as "become" it; your actual morph slumps inert while you're doing it, and it takes a Complex Action to engage or disengage.

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kindalas kindalas's picture
Hi Rob

I read elsewhere that you were thinking of collapsing the knowledge skills into one skill instead of the current interest/profession/academics spread.

Would it be possible to maintain 3 separate knowledge skills but then to link each one to a physical mental or social aptitude.

That way players who decided to go with a low COG as part of their character's concept could choose different sorts of knowledge skills to flesh out their concept.

Kindalas

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eaton eaton's picture
I've been thinking about that

I've been thinking about that, too — Academics and Profession are both trick to move away from COG, but I can see a case for Interests being shifted to INT?

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
With the loss of the two INT

With the loss of the two INT-linked Knowledge skills (kinda) I could see balancing out Interest to INT.

I will say, while I don't think people would mind an optional rule (I'm also reminded of an optional rule from Wild Talents, "broad fields" where at the GM's discretion characters could take broad options like Knowledge (Life Science) or Perform (Rock Music) as opposed to a narrower "Biology" or "Guitar") I think the split between academic, professional/practical and hobby skills is very important. It's something I think a lot of players can understand, and I've always seen it as a vital element of characterization that helps players really flesh out their characters and what they do in life - it forces people to think about what they know about besides (to quote Adam Scott Glancy about some CoC PCs) gun, pilot, pilotgun and... Spot Hidden. And then in turn they can be used to inform everyone of the broader world. I do think some slightly clearer definition might be okay. 1E had the "And you could write down like any any skill as an academics to represent your book-learning of it!", that sort of stuff has to go even if it's true - it confuses the issue.

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Soviet Onion Soviet Onion's picture
Sonic Weapons

This is not a particularly foundational request and could easily be homebrewed, but I think throwing in a couple official directional sonic weapons would help fill some gaps in the fluff. There's references to the Europan Defense Forces and Hidden Concern enforcers but very little about their armaments, considering that kinetics don't work nearly as well in liquid or dense atmosphere, and beam weapons not at all. Given the needs for less lethal options (which beams otherwise fill) and how intuitively fitting it would be to have cultures influence by cetacean uplifts weaponise sound, I think these would be a nice addition. Now that Guns is a single skill it can be done without so much bloat. Technically the vortex ring gun already qualifies.


Axel the Chimeric Axel the Chimeric's picture
I have a few things I'd like

I have a few things I'd like to see changed in EP. I don't know how popular they'll be as suggestions, but I'd feel remiss if I didn't take the chance to say them. I love the game, I love the line, and I only want to see it get better.

First, when it comes to guides explaining what the system looks like, I'd honestly appreciate it if there were a more objective presentation. EP books have spent a lot of time presenting what the setting looks like from a person-on-the-ground's perspective, to varying degrees of success. Sometimes, it's good (I don't think clinical descriptions of wealth and opulence of a Martian corp hab would've done the same justice as the nice detail that everyone smokes because they're rich enough to afford a new morph when this one burns out at 50). Sometimes, though, we get stuff like the Jovian section in Rimward.

Transhuman is one of my favourite books because it doesn't do that; everything is presently neatly and cleanly from a game perspective. It tells us details about how it feels to be an async, or an infomorph, or how they live, in a way that having an async describe what it feels to be an async just wouldn't manage (and in a far tighter word count).

I'm not saying get rid of the flavour. Flavour is not just good, it's necessary. But it might be best as side bars.

Second, staying with this theme, it'd be nice to see a bit more perspective on topics, especially controversial ones. EP has a history of playing up certain concepts and playing down others. Bioconservatism is, for all intents and purposes, synonymous with oppressive violence in the setting. Anarchist terrorism is mentioned at a few points (bombing train tracks is outright the setting art at one point) but the politics of it are never discussed, nor is how it links into anarchist-supporting factions, like the Commonwealth or the Autonomist Alliance.

I'd like it that every description of a piece of the setting answers the question "What is the status quo?", "Who is trying to maintain it?", and "Who is trying to disrupt it?". Ideally, it'd be nice that it also gives us a why as to how that status quo came to be, and might give us reasons to want to side either way.

I'm not saying that the setting should suggest that "the truth lies in the middle" for every conflict. Some things are not able to be resolved by compromise, nor should they. I like that hypercorps have literal slave labour that they often clearly give no fucks about; the setting needs villains. This is bad and it should not be treated as good. Yet at the same time, the acknowledgement that indenturehood has seen more people given the opportunity to reinstance and get back to the whole "being alive" thing than any other system out there is certainly a reason someone might agree to let the wolf have its meat, even if they find the actions involved to be unconscionable. Part of the fun of this game has always been that players can come away from it debating the ethics and morality of what's going on, and feeling genuinely engaged by it.

Third, as a purely mechanical gripe, can there be some way to tweak opposed rolls to make them feel a bit less random? Perhaps allowing a character to take a penalty that also applies to their opponent's roll? It feels, to me, that a character with 80 Infosec, who takes their time and plots carefully, should be able to run circles around an AI with 40.

I think that's all I have. I know it's a lot to ask, and might feel sharply critical, but, as I said, I love the line. There's a lot to love.




[@-rep +1, f-rep +2]

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
With regards to opposed rolls

With regards to opposed rolls, there is a mechanic kind of like that already: The feint options in melee combat. Extending something like those feinting rules to all opposed checks could actually be pretty cool.

(I never actually saw enough melee combat for the feint rules to see action)

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
Please point me to the

Please point me to the mechanic/page it is not present in the Core rulebook combat chapter.

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Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
I'm talking about first

I'm talking about first edition. I just mean there's precedent in the system.

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:I'm

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
I'm talking about first edition. I just mean there's precedent in the system.

I'm too talking about first edition. I just couldn't find anything regarding feints.

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pouncedakitten pouncedakitten's picture
I was wondering why bother

I was wondering why bother with leaving Pilot as a field skill if Weapons (Guns) are no longer a "field" of skills; if you know where i'm going. But, i don't agree with this change.

pouncedakitten pouncedakitten's picture
I'd love a sexy dice curve

I'm sure that's a tall order. At Origins last week I played Quantum Black with Ron Loez. They use a simple system to create a "law of averages" result for tests. I've always loved being able to depend on my skills, or at least know that missing a perfect shot TWICE in a row is not going to be happening 5% of the time. A 2d10 curve wouldn't be hard to achieve particularly since most players build on stat blocks by five anyway.

Personally I like Networking. Probably just because I like the idea of a PC who has a huge rep and little ability to use it. That guy is famous. A hero, but he lives like a hermit. That and loosing rep doesn't mean you loose your networking ability. It's really a genius system as is, but I understand players wanting shortcuts.

I don't like pools. I don't like pools. Kats don't like getting wet. But really, I don't like STG mechanics in my RPG (yes i went there). First, i think it's actually making EP2 more complicated. While i really love the complicity and crunchiness of the first edition; i don't think more complexity is what we want to see. CLARITY and EXAMPLES would really be welcome. But after my first game i really felt the game was in my hand. It just took a lot of cross referencing.
Second, STG pools really get in the way of running a game. They turn players into mini GM divas... always. My Quantum Black game got ridiculous with the "Style Pool" mechanic. No really. everybody to doing this shit now..... don't be everybody. Expand Moxi if you have to. But don't go this STG route. Play an STG if you want to play an STG. Not a Hybrid.
Keep the fluff. Rule the fluff. I haven't had this much fun reading game material since Vampire. I puts ideas in my head, and i need them because there isn't enough published adventues. SPEAKING OFF; what i really really really want, is more adventures.
Make three for every major location! Venus, Mercury/Sol, Earth/Luna, ect. ect. Weave them in a huge web then BLOW MY MIND! BOOOM!... then make a boxed set or something.

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
What is an STG?

What is an STG?

ubik2 ubik2's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:What

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
What is an STG?

I'm guessing storytelling game, though I think of pools as just a consumable resource, like hit points, potions, and spells in D&D.

I think the abuse problem is when someone uses points to introduce narrative elements, which may derail the game. For example, if I insert my catgirl waifu in the middle of our serious game by spending a Flex point to introduce an NPC. I think the rules make it clear that that shouldn't fly, but I'm sure some players will try it.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
ubik2 wrote

ubik2 wrote:
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
What is an STG?

I'm guessing storytelling game, though I think of pools as just a consumable resource, like hit points, potions, and spells in D&D.

I think the abuse problem is when someone uses points to introduce narrative elements, which may derail the game. For example, if I insert my catgirl waifu in the middle of our serious game by spending a Flex point to introduce an NPC. I think the rules make it clear that that shouldn't fly, but I'm sure some players will try it.

Do keep in mind that the rule on adding NPCs to the game with Flex is that you get to dictate one aspect of their character. In your example, you could require the NPCs be a catgirl -or- a waifu, and there is no assurance they will be on your side in whatever encounter happens, at least before employing social skill rolls.

Flex Pool Rules wrote:
Introduce a new or existing NPC to a scene. Their presence must
be plausible. You may define one aspect of this NPC: their morph,
factional allegiance, a noteworthy skill, a specific trait, etc. The GM
determines the other details.

It's intended for things like "Someone at this party knows the passcodes to the research lab" and the GM ensures that such a person exists at the party, and presumably can reasonably be located and talked to/kidnapped/impersonated in the usual manner that PCs are wont to do.

Or spend a second flex point:

Flex Pool Rules also wrote:
Introduce a new, plausible relationship between your character and
an existing NPC. This connection should be more loose or minor than close or serious. For example, you may have a common friend, shared history, or old but minor rivalry. You may define the rough basics, but the GM determines the finer points and the NPC’s attitude towards your character.

A slight smell of ions....

Lurkingdaemon Lurkingdaemon's picture
Lets see some Gear!

Kinda have some specific things I'd like to see in regards to upcoming stuff - mostly pertaining to gear:

  • Something like the Brain Box augment - so folks can have brainmeats in somewhat less delicate morphs.
  • Condensed ware options for flexbots - unifying Shape Adjusting and Modular Design since both, so far, have only been used by Flexbots would be good for streamlining wares (and cost savings on flexbots in general).
  • More uplift morphs - biomorphs and pods. Cetacean morphs were fun, despite how infrequently they'd be used. The background of Fortean and their pod designs was also amusing, if weird (and some of their named designs never got stats). Only issue with the designs from 1st Ed feels like inconsistencies revealed by the custom morph design rules.
  • More traits! Good, bad, flavorful! Especially the flavorful! Most of the traits we have now are good and functional, but rather boring in how straight-forward they are. Many of the more flavorful trait options are both missing and a bit of a stretch to recreate.
  • Custom morph creation rules out of the box - so there isn't any of the apparent funkiness that happened with morph creation/costs between the 1st Edition Core being made, and Transhuman.

Those are the biggest things on my wishlist so far.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Lurkingdaemon wrote:Kinda

Lurkingdaemon wrote:
Kinda have some specific things I'd like to see in regards to upcoming stuff - mostly pertaining to gear:
  • Something like the Brain Box augment - so folks can have brainmeats in somewhat less delicate morphs.
  • Condensed ware options for flexbots - unifying Shape Adjusting and Modular Design since both, so far, have only been used by Flexbots would be good for streamlining wares (and cost savings on flexbots in general).
  • More uplift morphs - biomorphs and pods. Cetacean morphs were fun, despite how infrequently they'd be used. The background of Fortean and their pod designs was also amusing, if weird (and some of their named designs never got stats). Only issue with the designs from 1st Ed feels like inconsistencies revealed by the custom morph design rules.
  • More traits! Good, bad, flavorful! Especially the flavorful! Most of the traits we have now are good and functional, but rather boring in how straight-forward they are. Many of the more flavorful trait options are both missing and a bit of a stretch to recreate.
  • Custom morph creation rules out of the box - so there isn't any of the apparent funkiness that happened with morph creation/costs between the 1st Edition Core being made, and Transhuman.

Those are the biggest things on my wishlist so far.

Agreed pretty much 110% .At least the morph creation guidelines should be fairly doable, since they're actually mathing it out judging from the fact we were able to locate a spreadsheet of the computations. As long as we get enough info to recreate that, it should help us point out if a given morph is having it's cost manually fudged because the equations did something weird in it's case.

A slight smell of ions....

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
I wouldn't mind it if a few

I wouldn't mind it if a few morphs deviated from the morph creation rules. In fact, with morphs like the Case, I think having a different price helps the setting. They couldn't make it any cheaper, or so few people try to jack up the prices. Make it very much the iconic morph of the clanking masses.

ubik2 ubik2's picture
o11o1 wrote:At least the

o11o1 wrote:
At least the morph creation guidelines should be fairly doable, since they're actually mathing it out judging from the fact we were able to locate a spreadsheet of the computations. As long as we get enough info to recreate that, it should help us point out if a given morph is having it's cost manually fudged because the equations did something weird in it's case.

I think we have this information from the morph spreadsheet, but it would be nice to have it included in the book as well, together with some guidelines on how much flexibility players have to use custom morphs.

It's not clear whether custom morphs would still get the 75% cost reduction.

Lurkingdaemon Lurkingdaemon's picture
ubik2 wrote:It's not clear

ubik2 wrote:
It's not clear whether custom morphs would still get the 75% cost reduction.

I would hope custom morphs would get the price reduction , as GMs now have morph Availability to fudge the numbers if they want to make things scarce/reliably available.

Another option would be to have a 'custom morph' cost multiplier - like there was for the custom morph rules in Transhuman (with the various Campaign Axioms to put things on more or less even footing).

pouncedakitten pouncedakitten's picture
ubik2 wrote:

ubik2 wrote:

It's intended for things like "Someone at this party knows the passcodes to the research lab" and the GM ensures that such a person exists at the party, and presumably can reasonably be located and talked to/kidnapped/impersonated in the usual manner that PCs are wont to do.

Or spend a second flex point:

Yeah and I get that, but most adventures have this kinda "relationship/ clue" already built in and there to discover in any given scene. While using the STG mechanic is player savvy and pushes "creativity", it's also a downright lazy way of getting around obstacles. I readily acknowledge player creativity in any given situation and try to make their solutions work for them. Sure the GM has ultimate control of this mechanic but here the players are encouraged to regularly change and or alter scenes in ways favorable to "WINNING" and can easily spoil moods, the tone of an interaction, or hijack the plot. It's not necessarily bad for them to do these things, but the mechanic is a dissociative one, and if a player leans on it then in some ways they gain bad roll playing habits with their magical ability to warp reality.

Furthermore i just don't see everyone at the table digesting enough of the EP material setting together to become unified in the vision of what the game "looks" like. This isn't the olden days where D&D was the only game out there (or at least the one everybody focused on). In my experience, much of setting details and finer points fall on the GM. Players naturally have different ideas of design on how the world works and require their competing visions to be reconciled. The GM provides that by the nature of his position. You have to have the most amazing troop of players to get an consistently unchaotic campaign of moderate sobriety with STG mechanics. Everyone thinks they are this troop.... sorry, but your not. You bunch of goofballs.

But i submit that the Reputation system already does a lot of what these pool mechanics want to achieve. I had a player in EGO HUNTER use his criminal rep to bring some triad gangsters in as a distraction for the investigators. It was appropriate, and believable without this wonky wild card hail marry pool play mechanic.

Lurkingdaemon Lurkingdaemon's picture
The GM cheats too...

One thing to note: while Flex may allow players to bend the rules of the game, especially if used as arbitrarily/abusively as the example provided, there is little stating the GM has to let the players find the Flexed-in character. The wording expressly only allows players to dictate a single aspect o the NPC when using Flex in this way.

Quote:
It's intended for things like "Someone at this party knows the passcodes to the research lab" and the GM ensures that such a person exists at the party, and presumably can reasonably be located and talked to/kidnapped/impersonated in the usual manner that PCs are wont to do.

Were I a GM (and it's probably a good thing I'm not) and a player strong-armed the scene like that, I'd put in the NPC as ruled....but I'd make the NPC someone like the Guest of Honour - so that all eyes (and security systems) are on them, and some pretty amazing rolls would be needed in order to get close - much less do anything untoward. Another option would be to make the character the Security Chief - who is livid that they have to work their day off and are doing everything possible to both do their job, and avoid contact from anyone not on their staff.

In short: sure, Flex can mess with scenes in unexpected ways, but the GM still has more power than the players in regards to the narrative.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
That sort of tricky situation

That sort of tricky situation actually seems like just the sort of reaction a GM is supposed to have to such sequences.

Still, a clarifying sidebar on the *intended* use of NPC making flex would be super nice to have.

A slight smell of ions....

Lurkingdaemon Lurkingdaemon's picture
o11o1 wrote:Still, a

o11o1 wrote:
Still, a clarifying sidebar on the *intended* use of NPC making flex would be super nice to have.

Definitely agreed.

My personal take on it, bereft of such a sidebar, is to implement the NPC's in the same spirit as the intent behind the spent Flex: If players are trying to strong-arm or 'brute force' the narrative, then make their 'solution' as much of, if not more of a chore to reach. If they're playing along or having fun, likewise, have some fun with it.

MNMadman MNMadman's picture
Lurkingdaemon wrote:o11o1

Lurkingdaemon wrote:
o11o1 wrote:
Still, a clarifying sidebar on the *intended* use of NPC making flex would be super nice to have.

Definitely agreed.

My personal take on it, bereft of such a sidebar, is to implement the NPC's in the same spirit as the intent behind the spent Flex: If players are trying to strong-arm or 'brute force' the narrative, then make their 'solution' as much of, if not more of a chore to reach. If they're playing along or having fun, likewise, have some fun with it.


lol using something like that to "teach the PCs and players a lesson" sure sounds like the intent of Flex. Glad you're not my GM or I'd quit. Sounds like you're a railroader -- your way or the highway.

+Anarchist Interests
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+Survival

Maudova Maudova's picture
While I agree with MNMadman's

While I agree with MNMadman's sentiment I don't agree with his delivery. I certainly wouldn't want to be stuck with a ST that forced me to "learn a lesson" for using flex to introduce NPCs to the game session. I think I will encourage players to use flex in all sorts of creative ways. I'd let them define a lot more and would demand so. Let some of the creative stress be carried by the players. I don't see what's wrong with dropping a few friendly NPCs into the story. Let the players challenge you.

To be clear my % of play time vs ST time is roughly 5%. So I doubt I'd be put in that position anyways. Also if a player is abusive I boot them from the game and cut ties if the issue can't be resolved out of game and the behavior continues.

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

Lurkingdaemon Lurkingdaemon's picture
MNMadman wrote:~Snip~

MNMadman wrote:
~Snip~

Apart from twisting the intent of what I wrote into a pretzel, that's a pretty impressive leap of logic based on a single example for a hypothetical situation - which highlights possible flaws/downsides to the Flex mechanics.

I have sat at tables where a single player has repeatedly derailed the entire game with their antics - and not in a fun way. I do not have the patience of a saint, either.

Emphasis mine:

Quote:
My personal take on it, bereft of such a sidebar, is to implement the NPC's in the same spirit as the intent behind the spent Flex: If players are trying to strong-arm or 'brute force' the narrative, then make their 'solution' as much of, if not more of a chore to reach. If they're playing along or having fun, likewise, have some fun with it.

I don't mind creative use of mechanics (like Flex - and, in fact, I rather like the Flex mechanics to start with) - but I have little tolerance of ABUSE of said mechanics. If that's a gaming sin - well, like I said before, I am not a 'professional' GM, and have not particularly tried my hand at it so far.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
So then the key unanswered

So then the key unanswered question of flex pool becomes "What counts as abuse" ?

A slight smell of ions....

Lurkingdaemon Lurkingdaemon's picture
o11o1 wrote:So then the key

o11o1 wrote:
So then the key unanswered question of flex pool becomes "What counts as abuse" ?

Chances are GM's know if their players are trying to mess with them for laughs, and when they're fishing for an easy way out/around/etc.

Otherwise it may fall to individual judgement.

eaton eaton's picture
Not to beat a dead horse, but

Not to beat a dead horse, but this is just the sort of thing that suggests a section with guidance for GMs would be a great addition... ;-) Not general GMing advice as much as tips and pointers on unique mechanics or issues in the fictional world that can trip up new groups/gms, and how to roll with them.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
eaton wrote:Not to beat a

eaton wrote:
Not to beat a dead horse, but this is just the sort of thing that suggests a section with guidance for GMs would be a great addition... ;-) Not general GMing advice as much as tips and pointers on unique mechanics or issues in the fictional world that can trip up new groups/gms, and how to roll with them.

Speaking of things about the fiction that can/will trip up new people: talking about what it means to live in rep economies, and also what credit-based economies look like in EP. Since they don't quite look like modern free market either.

This much the Devs probably already expected people to get hung up on though, so I'm confident they have a plan that didn't make it into the playtest docs.

A slight smell of ions....

pouncedakitten pouncedakitten's picture
Maudova wrote:I think I will

Maudova wrote:
I think I will encourage players to use flex in all sorts of creative ways. I'd let them define a lot more and would demand so. Let some of the creative stress be carried by the players. I don't see what's wrong with dropping a few friendly NPCs into the story. Let the players challenge you.

Scary players challenging my authority.... not at all. Advanced Game Mastering is challenging and being challenged by players. My main issue with this Unsexy Flex STG mechanic is it "mechanizes" good GM method. Instead of organically reaction to good roll play we now have little chips to be thrown at problems like soccer brats at the field vending machine. Players basically get to demand solutions instead of looking for them or building them through game play.
As a GM I'm always looking for ways to incorporate my players' choice of solutions. If they ask for an item that would be there, it is. If they look for a type of npc that should exist they are there to be found. These mechanics aren't so much creative in making interesting solutions to problems as they are in the art of bullshitting. This really just makes for lazy players.

Maudova Maudova's picture
Nope.

pouncedakitten wrote:
Scary players challenging my authority.... not at all. Advanced Game Mastering is challenging and being challenged by players. My main issue with this Unsexy Flex STG mechanic is it "mechanizes" good GM method. Instead of organically reaction to good roll play we now have little chips to be thrown at problems like soccer brats at the field vending machine. Players basically get to demand solutions instead of looking for them or building them through game play.
As a GM I'm always looking for ways to incorporate my players' choice of solutions. If they ask for an item that would be there, it is. If they look for a type of npc that should exist they are there to be found. These mechanics aren't so much creative in making interesting solutions to problems as they are in the art of bullshitting. This really just makes for lazy players.

You know I can see some value in that players being dependent on Flex to solve problems and I wouldn't encourage that from my players. I see it as a way to perform collaborative storytelling with your players. I don't think that Flex really leads to scary players or even those that would challenge an STs authority, as much as it literally just adds some flexibility into the storyline that the ST didn't think of first. I don't think the use of a mechanic to introduce story elements is inherently lazy, though it could be easily be interpreted and played that way. Overall this is a great mechanic.

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

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
poucedakitten QFT

A perfect summary of the main issues with narrative gameplay in hard sci-fi.

pouncedakitten wrote:
[...] most adventures have this kinda "relationship/ clue" already built in and there to discover in any given scene. While using the STG mechanic is player savvy and pushes "creativity", it's also a downright lazy way of getting around obstacles. I readily acknowledge player creativity in any given situation and try to make their solutions work for them. Sure the GM has ultimate control of this mechanic but here the players are encouraged to regularly change and or alter scenes in ways favorable to "WINNING" and can easily spoil moods, the tone of an interaction, or hijack the plot. It's not necessarily bad for them to do these things, but the mechanic is a dissociative one, and if a player leans on it then in some ways they gain bad roll playing habits with their magical ability to warp reality.

Agreed. Not only can narrative mechanics short-circuit the potential for creative thought within the constraints of a given situation, but they evacuate the tension of facing inevitable challenges. Unless they are applied so mildly as to no longer be narrative.

Lurkingdaemon Lurkingdaemon's picture
Perspective matters

One thought on the Flex mechanics: Sure a good GM will often play off their players to give a solution that fits. GMs that aren't so familiar with their players might use puzzles that have strictly defined solutions that not everyone might see.

Flex could offer alternatives to those more rigid situations to let players apply creativity to the solution, especially if they're having trouble seeing 'the forest through the trees', as it were.

pouncedakitten pouncedakitten's picture
Re: Cheese Plate

Yeah yeah yeah-

Look, I 'd rather see/play a WHOLE STG that's actually committed to "collaborative storytelling" experience than have sloppy halfway mechanics mixed in due to their popularity in the game world atm. STG Mechanics work best and belong in STG's where the narrative/ setting accommodates them.
One of the most attractive things about EP was it was apologetically crunchy in a way that fits the complex setting. Gamers had to INVEST in understanding the game, and were rewarded for their hard earned comprehension with an immersive and challenging RPG. Simplifying and mixing in the lazy pop culture mechanics of fast food games will cheapen the experience. Seriously, these mechanics are Johnny-come-lately too little too late and break with the foundation laid with EP1 like 4.0 with 3.5 (ok not quite so but analogies are imperfect).
And honestly 4.0 was quite inventive, but it didn't offer enough variety for game building and character creation. As a whole it was overly focused on making a game that could only be played THAT way, and was fun till it wasn't. I see the simplification of the skills in EP2 to be the death of the nuance of character, and the inclusion of STG mechanics to be mucking of the waters of the flavor and focus of the game. The result, I think will be bland and unimpressive in a market where there are better ground-breakers already being played on this design model. But that is just my opinion.
I'm sure it will get off to a start. After all this is "THAT GAME" that a lot of RPG players talked about. As of yet I haven't seen anything convincing me that the new edition is necessary, intriguing, nor even inventive. So far the original setting and fluff remains the game's draw and a revision of the First would suffice. Make Players and GM's handbooks for all this clarification people are asking for. EP is actually worthy of that classic division.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Just to clarify and make sure

Just to clarify and make sure we're all on the same page, what do you mean exactly by "STG Mechanics" ?

A slight smell of ions....

LuisCarlos17f LuisCarlos17f's picture
* The critters morphs should

* The critters morphs should be in the corebook.

* A sourcebook about alternative settings, with supernatural horror, epic fantasy, or alien civilitations.

* Some guides for crossovers with other franchises, for example Starfinder (by Paizo)

The Master Confucius said: “The noble man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony.” (Anaclet 13:23).

Maudova Maudova's picture
Extropia Book

There is a thread in General Discussion about extropia laws: http://eclipsephase.com/extropia-common-laws
It points out that there isn't much in the way of development on the extropia now lifestyle, laws, etc. I would like to see a book that does just that.

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

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
Seeing how the pool system

Seeing how the pool system seems to be ideal for use with fork/morph index cards it occurred to me that to further simplify ease of use of morphs their augmentations should be listed in categories instead of in alphabetical order. This would quicken their use in game.
For example when my GM asks for perception test You can then look into "Senses" or "Awareness" category of wares to see related implants.
You are hit with seeker round, you look at "Survavibility" or "Defensive".
You are in a social scenario you look at "Social" category.

Right now every time you get a new morph you have to skim its whole list of its enhancement when you're not sure what it has.

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pouncedakitten pouncedakitten's picture
This short exposition I
pouncedakitten pouncedakitten's picture
on the subject of morphs....

Did anybody ask for a list of Simulmorphs yet? I'm anticipating relevancy in my campaign..... that could get crazy. Pick a video game. ANY video game.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
they're called "Digimorphs"

they're called "Digimorphs" in 2e I think.

A slight smell of ions....

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
I don't believe Simulmorphs

I don't believe Simulmorphs have ever been given a real write up, my guess is that's because of the variety possible.

pouncedakitten pouncedakitten's picture
Digimon

Right well, Simulspace doesn't seem to get much play in published adventures, yet Breakout and whatnot are talked about extensively enough. A small guide similar to say Zone Stalkers and Stars would be cool. Examples are excellent primers.

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