EP2 - What Would You Like To See

170 posts / 0 new
Last post
saithorthepyro saithorthepyro's picture
Timeline and Earth Demographics

This is a rather late post, and my apologies on that, but I'd like to list a couple of problems I've had with the setting that I'd like to see fixed.

First, the timeline, or specifically the fact that the game takes place only ten years after the fall. My biggest gripe with this is that it's unnecessary and makes it so you can't play as a character raised after the fall in any way. Well, outside of the Lost.

The second parts is the demographics and how it ties into the timeline. In 1st edition, there were eight billion people, with five million in space. After the Fall, there .5 Billion. This means that there were 495 million earth refugees. Which raises the question why the factions are Extropian and Barsoomian when every single one of the 1st edition factions are probably outnumbered by the ten million refugees from Vietnam alone. Only ten years after the Fall, the refugees, who outnumber the spacers 99 to 1, are probably still divided on a nationalistic level from earth than on cultural levels for factions that small. I could maybe see them assimilating over time,but only ten years feels way too short to be realistic.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
saithorthepyro wrote:This is

saithorthepyro wrote:
This is a rather late post, and my apologies on that, but I'd like to list a couple of problems I've had with the setting that I'd like to see fixed.

First, the timeline, or specifically the fact that the game takes place only ten years after the fall. My biggest gripe with this is that it's unnecessary and makes it so you can't play as a character raised after the fall in any way. Well, outside of the Lost.

The second parts is the demographics and how it ties into the timeline. In 1st edition, there were eight billion people, with five million in space. After the Fall, there .5 Billion. This means that there were 495 million earth refugees. Which raises the question why the factions are Extropian and Barsoomian when every single one of the 1st edition factions are probably outnumbered by the ten million refugees from Vietnam alone. Only ten years after the Fall, the refugees, who outnumber the spacers 99 to 1, are probably still divided on a nationalistic level from earth than on cultural levels for factions that small. I could maybe see them assimilating over time,but only ten years feels way too short to be realistic.

A key point to remember here is that Extropia and the Barsoomians [bold]predate the fall[/bold]. They did not spring into existance monthes after, they're rising powers and activists even during the time that no one knows about the TITANs. The earth refugees are just that, refugees fleeing out into the wider solar system, hoping that someone will take them in.

What you're talking about is actually a reason for habs to be very careful how quickly they pull out infugees from the banks, they don't want their own important culture and society to be swamped by tons of old school ideas who don't know how to live in space or the hostile moons where just walking outside is a fast death for yourself. Not like on earth where you get air for free without having to work for it. Even if there were free flowing resources and fabrication time (and there's really not) the culture pressures alone would insist that a smart hab who wants to keep being them has an upper limit to how quickly they can take in new populace.

That said, you do have a point: clearly the books don't give us a very clear picture of what things -before- the fall were like if people reading the books don't pick that up on their own.

Still, I think ten years is right around the perfect amount of time: things aren't actively on fire anymore, people have had time to "get back to normal" in some sense, even if it's a new normal. As for not being a member of the lost, while they're a major generation to be from, that's not the only way to raise a kid. You can still be a decently normally raised teen, it just implies that you were really young at the time of the fall.

Or just be eight and convince everyone else that you're in a neotenic. I might try that sometime.

A slight smell of ions....

saithorthepyro saithorthepyro's picture
o11o1 wrote:saithorthepyro

o11o1 wrote:
saithorthepyro wrote:
This is a rather late post, and my apologies on that, but I'd like to list a couple of problems I've had with the setting that I'd like to see fixed.

First, the timeline, or specifically the fact that the game takes place only ten years after the fall. My biggest gripe with this is that it's unnecessary and makes it so you can't play as a character raised after the fall in any way. Well, outside of the Lost.

The second parts is the demographics and how it ties into the timeline. In 1st edition, there were eight billion people, with five million in space. After the Fall, there .5 Billion. This means that there were 495 million earth refugees. Which raises the question why the factions are Extropian and Barsoomian when every single one of the 1st edition factions are probably outnumbered by the ten million refugees from Vietnam alone. Only ten years after the Fall, the refugees, who outnumber the spacers 99 to 1, are probably still divided on a nationalistic level from earth than on cultural levels for factions that small. I could maybe see them assimilating over time,but only ten years feels way too short to be realistic.

A key point to remember here is that Extropia and the Barsoomians [bold]predate the fall[/bold]. They did not spring into existance monthes after, they're rising powers and activists even during the time that no one knows about the TITANs. The earth refugees are just that, refugees fleeing out into the wider solar system, hoping that someone will take them in.

What you're talking about is actually a reason for habs to be very careful how quickly they pull out infugees from the banks, they don't want their own important culture and society to be swamped by tons of old school ideas who don't know how to live in space or the hostile moons where just walking outside is a fast death for yourself. Not like on earth where you get air for free without having to work for it. Even if there were free flowing resources and fabrication time (and there's really not) the culture pressures alone would insist that a smart hab who wants to keep being them has an upper limit to how quickly they can take in new populace.

That said, you do have a point: clearly the books don't give us a very clear picture of what things -before- the fall were like if people reading the books don't pick that up on their own.

Still, I think ten years is right around the perfect amount of time: things aren't actively on fire anymore, people have had time to "get back to normal" in some sense, even if it's a new normal. As for not being a member of the lost, while they're a major generation to be from, that's not the only way to raise a kid. You can still be a decently normally raised teen, it just implies that you were really young at the time of the fall.

Or just be eight and convince everyone else that you're in a neotenic. I might try that sometime.

That's not entirely my point. I know that Extropians, Barsoomians and so on pre-date the fall. My point is that the earth refugees of the fall outnumber all of the spacer factions by 99 to 1. While yes they are refugees looking for a place to take them in, it would make sense for factions to be based on old nationalistic ideologies, as that is the mentality they are used to, and they would band together out of that shared ideology. There would be probably be factions who would want to turn the various system planets into 'New America','New Russia','New China', etc. instead of integrating into the spacer culture. While without the nation the mentality would fade away, only ten years and not even a new generation, ti stretches the suspension of disbelief that there are no factions based on the old earth nations.

Lurkingdaemon Lurkingdaemon's picture
Factions and controls

The issue of old national factions would certainly be a key point on any mass immigrating population, but the existing factions limit this specifically to retain their own identities, and self interest.

Only in the Titanian Commonwealth is there a strict standard of "A body for every Ego" - other places do NOT hold themselves to such standards and a significant number are noted or hinted at holding the immense majority of infugee's in Indenture, simulspace 'waiting areas' or flat out cold-storage (that is to say, not even realizing they're a stack in a box beside the stations hot-water tanks).

When members of these populations are reinstantiated, given a morph and etc, it is strongly implied to be done piecemeal, with little, if any, consideration for family or friends (if any of them survived in the first place). Other places slap the new infugees with Indenture, or sift through the infugee/cold storage populations looking for specific skills embedded in their ego.

Worse still are the unfortunates that did NOT make it to 'safe' harbours and are specifically the playthings of their captors (like at Legba).

Long and short: The situation you're describing would occur if every ego had a right to a body, and that right was enacted en-masse. In Eclipse Phase, they don't (excepting the Commonwealth), and no polity is properly supplied to provide even crappy Cases for every infugee and ego in cold storage waiting for a body - much less the real estate and infrastructure needed to house so many individuals.

saithorthepyro saithorthepyro's picture
Lurkingdaemon wrote:The issue

Lurkingdaemon wrote:
The issue of old national factions would certainly be a key point on any mass immigrating population, but the existing factions limit this specifically to retain their own identities, and self interest.

Only in the Titanian Commonwealth is there a strict standard of "A body for every Ego" - other places do NOT hold themselves to such standards and a significant number are noted or hinted at holding the immense majority of infugee's in Indenture, simulspace 'waiting areas' or flat out cold-storage (that is to say, not even realizing they're a stack in a box beside the stations hot-water tanks).

When members of these populations are reinstantiated, given a morph and etc, it is strongly implied to be done piecemeal, with little, if any, consideration for family or friends (if any of them survived in the first place). Other places slap the new infugees with Indenture, or sift through the infugee/cold storage populations looking for specific skills embedded in their ego.

Worse still are the unfortunates that did NOT make it to 'safe' harbours and are specifically the playthings of their captors (like at Legba).

Long and short: The situation you're describing would occur if every ego had a right to a body, and that right was enacted en-masse. In Eclipse Phase, they don't (excepting the Commonwealth), and no polity is properly supplied to provide even crappy Cases for every infugee and ego in cold storage waiting for a body - much less the real estate and infrastructure needed to house so many individuals.

I do understand this point, but after ten years presumably enough people have been given morphs for this to become an issue. I just want to see it addressed, or the possibility of those factions forming as playable ones similar to the Reclaimers.

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
It's also possible that

It's also possible that national identity became less important to people during the 100+ years between the present and the Fall.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Yeah. We don't know if

Yeah. We don't know if America as we know it survived that long. Did the UN get anything useful done, or were mega corporations already taking things over?

A slight smell of ions....

CloudiDust CloudiDust's picture
o11o1 wrote:Yeah. We don't

o11o1 wrote:
Yeah. We don't know if America as we know it survived that long. Did the UN get anything useful done, or were mega corporations already taking things over?

TITAN was a US military AI project gone mad. And China had their counterpart the MIND (EDIT: the 100 Flowers neural network, not the MIND). So I guess yes the (major) countries we know seemed to survive, still had considerable power, and the old animosities. That was until the Fall teared everything apart. And the UN? I don't expect it to have done much useful.

But then again that TITAN-inventing US might still have changed so much that it might not be correct to consider it "America as we know it".

CloudiDust CloudiDust's picture
Also now I remember that

Also now I remember that China's AI project was called "100 flowers", I'd say it was a bit weird. We Chinese usually use "100 flowers"/"Bai Hua" to refer to the flourishing of arts. Not a name I personally would give a military AI.

Maybe "Pan Gu" (In Chinese mythology, the *titan* who separated Heaven and Earth and whose body became the World as we know it.) could be a better name? Or "Xi He" (The Sun Goddess)?

135mya 135mya's picture
100 Flowers

It's possible China wasn't developing a military AI--it could have been some corporate thing to manufacture music or literature or something, no?

knasser knasser's picture
.

I haven't read all replies so apologies if this is covered. My chief problems with Eclipse Phase that I would like to see addressed are the following.

1. Remove the power limits. Currently, I can have a Surya morph (space whale) in a contest of strength with a Fury and the Fury win. EP doesn't have "Strength" it has "Somatics" so clearly the intent is that the contest between the two be about some more complex outcome - who can hit the other, who can grapple away the MacGuffin from the other. And these scenarios make sense. But ultimately there are just two many times when I come up with some Titan designed mech and some human-sized biomorph tripping it up or outrunning it or whatever. Ditto for giant synths - ships, huge loading machines, whatever. I feel constrained. I saw size modifiers in the playtest documents, so it's moving in the right direction. But low ceiling was a big problem for me in the system so I'm raising it.

2. Please have less of a political agenda in the fluff. The PC and Jovian Junta views are embarrassingly cartoonish. There have been some wonderful apologia for both here on the forums, in character. Grab some of that for the new edition. No Bad Guys™

Those are the main things for me.

"We're here to save the planet. But not for free."

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
The US was never the same after California fell into the ocean.

'A Time of Eclipse' goes into some detail about how Earth was becoming moderately shittered in the years before the fall, with increasing governmental oppression, a worsening global climate and shadowrun-esque megacorporations making things like National Culture lose distinction and become more implicitly hostile (at least until 20BF).

Beyond that, there's the question of what Cultural Identity actually implies - for the most part, those specific mores/memes one associates with any given culture are not limited to that culture ("Trans-cultural diffusion"), or are based on genealogy or a sense of connection to that culture's specific history, neither of which require exclusive adherence to that culture; you can be both Jewish and American at the same time, even if you live in Scandinavia.

I've also mentioned on other threads that whilst the PC Indenture system is of dubious economic use it's absolutely fantastic for cultural indoctrination, whilst the Autonomists simply overwhelm newcomers with wealth and freedom.

Finally, there's a canonical location for those who still have an attachment to Old-Earth cultures despite all of the above: Luna.

CloudiDust wrote:
Also now I remember that China's AI project was called "100 flowers", I'd say it was a bit weird. We Chinese usually use "100 flowers"/"Bai Hua" to refer to the flourishing of arts. Not a name I personally would give a military AI.

How about one designed to monitor cultural trends and propganda to prevent foreign manipulation of public opinion?

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?

Lurkingdaemon Lurkingdaemon's picture
Gimmicks

Kinda want to see some of the gimmicky traits and wares show up, and have more new ones introduced. Reason being: flat +/- bonuses to this skill or that action are boring and practical.

With how things are being streamlined, it would be nice to see traits, wares and gear that behave uniquely, or twist the base mechanics in unusual/interesting ways.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Lurkingdaemon wrote:Kinda

Lurkingdaemon wrote:
Kinda want to see some of the gimmicky traits and wares show up, and have more new ones introduced. Reason being: flat +/- bonuses to this skill or that action are boring and practical.

Easy to write though, which probably why they popped up first.

A slight smell of ions....

CloudiDust CloudiDust's picture
135mya wrote:It's possible

135mya wrote:
It's possible China wasn't developing a military AI--it could have been some corporate thing to manufacture music or literature or something, no?

ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:
How about one designed to monitor cultural trends and propganda to prevent foreign manipulation of public opinion?

This way it would not be a direct counterpart of TITAN ... oh wait, who said that a military super AI could not also do the above? (Or simply, "The Chinese used this inconspicuous name as a disguise.")

----------

As for 2e, I'd like a bit more fluff regarding Reps in the core book. Particularly, how do the rep networks defend against tampering? On modern social networks, reputations are easily manipulable. Just because many "like" somebody, doesn't mean that somebody is truly trustworthy. And vice versa.

Maybe "The reputations are not some numbers that get simply increased/decreased, but multi-faceted data sets calculated by complex AI programs, taking into account a lot of factors and with anti-tampering. The rep scores we see are just abstracted game mechanics." But then why would we trust those AI programs?

Or maybe "They simply don't do anti-tampering. So yes there will be those problems."

Ultimately, trusting is hard.

Lurkingdaemon Lurkingdaemon's picture
On the subject of fluff...

One thing I'd like to see is examples or descriptions of 'ground up' living situations for the major players of the system. Most of the lore was good at telling us how things worked, but was light on the 'show' part of the whole process - leaving a lot of guesswork for the minute details which only really matter for day-to-day living, but are still helpful and formative for immersion in the setting, and character building.

Another thing I'd like to see is a more sympathetic 'first impression' description of the Jovians in the core book. Rather than labelling them luddites and extremists in their beliefs, I'd like to see a description of Jovians closer to the picture painted in Rimward: that of a people spurred by fear, rather than inspiration, at once protected by the institutions of their government and faith, while also being victims of the merciless control those same institutions maintain on their daily lives (I.e. the church and government quashing/barring medical technologies which could help with the hinted-at epidemics of cancers and radiation-related illnesses).

Similar tacks could be taken with inner system groups too - like the stability and lifestyle familiarity (compared to current western/european lifestyles) offered by the Consortium or Morningstar.

GRAAK GRAAK's picture
Suryas

I don't know if someone already brought this up but Suryas need to be moved (at least) away from the Sun, since photons cannot be bent by magnetic fields. Those whales would fry in milliseconds!

If EP wants to remain a hard scifi game, of course... Otherwise everything is possible!

DocRodgers DocRodgers's picture
A minor gripe.

I know this is a small issue (to the point I can't think of a better place to bring it up), but something that's an annoyance in the fist edition rules is that speeds are written as "KPS" and from context can be assumed to refer to Kilometers Per Second. This is not the convention for the metric system, with "Km/s" being the appropriate way to shorten it.

Granted, I could be completely misinterpreting...

GRAAK GRAAK's picture
Oh, I forgot this one: I

Oh, I forgot this one: I definitely would like to read more scenarios and adventures! If there's a parte where 1st edition is lacking imho is that it has little support for stories and narration for unexperienced groups, when compared to other RPGs...

Pages