Extreme Morphology - Draft 1 - Playtest Q. Responses Only

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AdamJury AdamJury's picture
Extreme Morphology - Draft 1 - Playtest Q. Responses Only

Download Morph Creation - Draft 1

This is a rough first draft of the extreme morphology rules for Transhuman. Please post your answers to the following questions in this playtest thread:

Q. 1 – How did you review the material in this draft?
Did you try them out in actual play with your group? For how many sessions? Using what kind of PCs? Did you crunch some numbers in a marathon character generation session? Or simply read through them with a critical eye?

Q. 2 –What's the most critical problem you've identified in these rules?
Is there an endemic problem you think is underlying this rules set? Is this material too complicated for your liking? Is there a specific rules item you think is egregiously broken and needs to be fixed? Is there anything that you simply think *must* be changed?

Q. 3 – What's the best part of these rules?
Is there anything that you absolutely loved? Something that you sincerely think *must* make it into the final version? Anything that really contributes to the game in a positive way? Something that shouldn't be changed?

Q. 4 – What's your opinion on the rules for vehicle morphs?
In some situations, sleeving into a vehicle may seem a better option than a combat morph. How do you feel about our suggested tweaks to Durability and Aptitude Maximums when sleeving a vehicle? Keep in mind that the line defining vehicles, bots, and synthetic morphs is quite thin.

Q. 5 - What issues with extreme morphs have you had in your gaming group?
Are there any particular questions or problems that have come up frequently with unusual morph types? Have we addressed those questions/issues?

Q. 6 – Are there any exotic morph types you'd like to see (more) coverage of?
The material on flexbots, uplifts, and infomorphs is in progress and coming soon. Is there anything else you'd like to see us explore? Anything you'd like us to cover more in depth?

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Q. 1 – How did you review the

Q. 1 – How did you review the material in this draft?

Critical Eye.

Q. 2 –What’s the most critical problem you’ve identified in these rules?

Still reviewing...

Q. 3 – What’s the best part of these rules?

More lore. I sometimes have to make judgements about various things with insufficient information. Unfortunately, its not always easy (or possible) to look on the internet to find the kind of information I'm looking for when I'm not trying to run a game.

For instance, I would have never guessed that pod morphs might have short life spans. I kinda assumed that they would last a while (much like many other things in Eclipse Phase). I originally assumed that podmorphs could last for a reasonably long time due to better quality materials, self repairing tech, and nanofabrication methods. I was not aware that there might be defects that might make that difficult for most pods.

Q. 4 – What’s your opinion on the rules for vehicle morphs?

Meh. My only interest in vehicle rules at this point is due to bunch of special morphs I'm working on that could transform from a truck to a large synthmorph. They are to be used in a gatecrashing mission where the leader doesn't like the idea of having valuable hardware (vehicles) sitting around most of the time doing nothing. He had these transforming synthmorphs made and designed to both to be able to transport heavy cargo long distances and to do heavy physical labor.

Q. 5 – What issues with extreme morphs have you had in your gaming group?

Unfortunately for your question, I don't play enough of this game to have anything really stand out.

Q. 6 – Are there any exotic morph types you’d like to see (more) coverage of?

Unless you are going to add rules for giant robots and transforming robots, then none.

If you are going add rules for giant robots and transforming robots, then I don't expect you to make them combat effective just because they are cool. I understand that there is a difference between "cool and combat effective" and "cool but also stupid". Eclipse Phase is a good hard sci-fi game; I don't want you to compromise that aspect of the game just to make cool robots practical (when they really wouldn't be practical).

Decivre Decivre's picture
Q. 1 – How did you review the

Q. 1 – How did you review the material in this draft?

Again, mostly critical eye. Did try some test rolls out, however. And ran this by some of my players.

Q. 2 –What's the most critical problem you've identified in these rules?

Mostly clarity issues. For instance, the section on aquatic morphs mentions that they cannot be harmed by weapons with armor penetration of 0 or lower. It should be 0 or higher, since lower penetration values in this game mean an easier time penetrating armor. Then there's a vehicle problem that I talk about more down below at question 4.

Q. 3 – What's the best part of these rules?

Info on swarmanoids and vehicle morphs. Both have been in demand at my playgroups for a while, and I have at least a couple players that refuse to try swarmanoids out until more info existed for them.

Q. 4 – What's your opinion on the rules for vehicle morphs?

Decent. You should probably have an exemption for combat vehicles regarding durability reduction, as combat vehicles should be superior to combat morphs. You might want to mention wound modifiers, whether the vehicle-received wounds from its normal wound track affect the ego housed within alongside the wounds the cyberbrain must deal with on its reduced durability track. So for example, a vehicle with an ego that has 100 durability normally takes 40 damage... does the ego suffer a -30 penalty (-20 for two wounds on its 50-point track, and -10 from the wound on the vehicle's normal track)?

That needs some clarity.

Q. 5 - What issues with extreme morphs have you had in your gaming group?

Most of our issues deal with flexbots. That, and the limited information regarding morph strength overall (a problem that expresses itself worst with exotic morphs, as it's fairly easy to eyeball morph strength for humanlike morphs; we had to make a houserule for handling this issue, so an official rule would be much appreciated).

Q. 6 – Are there any exotic morph types you'd like to see (more) coverage of?

Other than the ones you just explicitly mentioned are coming soon, no. As for exotic morph usage, maybe you should finally clarify what the differences, good and bad, are with regards to sleeving vs jamming a morph. This was slightly hinted at in the rules (where it says that an ego sleeved in a vehicle doesn't really need the skills for the vehicle anymore), but more info is requested.

And while this isn't technically an exotic morph, it really is in the context of the setting, so I'll request more info regarding people who live in them: flats. I'd like to know how they sit with regards to normal living in a transhuman world. How does modern society view their medical needs, considering that most who still have them don't have enhanced immune systems? How are they viewed in societies where they literally can't keep up either physically or mentally? Are they treated with admiration or admonition by society as a whole (they are an endangered species, and probably one of the last naturally-evolved organisms left)? Were there any attempts by people to preserve the genetic information of their original human bodies after resleeving?

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

TheWanderingJewels TheWanderingJewels's picture
rules review

Q. 1 – How did you review the material in this draft?

Critical eye

Q. 2 –What’s the most critical problem you’ve identified in these rules?

Coming from such rules heavy systems as Rolemaster, Living Steel, ASL and other such grognard systems, this is mild. And actually simpler to use than Shadowrun in all it's variations.

That said, a minor quibble on the Swarminoid rules to make the Durability reduction stand out a bit more when the new Swarminoid rules are read, but otherwise not much else.

Q. 3 – What’s the best part of these rules?
As I have always been intrigued by the Swarminoid concept the expanded rules area happy thing to see. The text for that as well as the description of the EGO is immensely in trying to help players picture things (as well as myself). The pod descriptions are also good for generating adventure nuggets.

Q. 4 – What’s your opinion on the rules for vehicle morphs?
As an observation, drive-by-wire, are pretty common these days for most jets and starting to become common for cars. A notable factor for many of these is that a lot of them have inhibitors built in so that full actual performance is not reached as it well exceeds human reflex maximums. Many Transhumans will not have this problem. Much less something that IS the vehicle in question. As how to represent this, I'm not entirely sure...

Q. 5 – What issues with extreme morphs have you had in your gaming group?
Not as such as my group is pretty wide range on what kind of characters we play.

A brave little theory, and actually quite coherent for a system of five or seven dimensions--if only we lived in one.

Academician Prokhor Zakharov
"Now We Are Alone"

anth anth's picture
I'm skipping questions where

I'm skipping questions where I don't think my answer would add anything.
Q. 1 – How did you review the material in this draft?
Read with a critical eye.

Q. 2 –What’s the most critical problem you’ve identified in these rules?
It isn't a problem as such but some clarification about the Single Stack modification might be useful. I assume this can this be used in addition to the normal swarmanoid distributed stack rather than replacing it? Does it hold a standard cortical stack, or are the microbot and stack an integrated unit?
I'm thinking this could make an interesting alternative to a Spare morph for a group which included a Swarmanoid. A morph dies then another pops the stack and puts it in the microbot so that ego can run on the swarm.

Janusfaced Janusfaced's picture
Swarmanoids need more drawbacks

Q. 1 - How did you review the material in this draft?

Simple reading.

Q. 2 - What's the most critical problem you've identified in these rules?

Swarmanoids microbots
I think it is almost impossible to kill them, but they don't have enough drawbacks.

Microbots can communicate in 50 meters range. So you can spread the swarm into very large area, to decrease number of lost bots with one attack. I mean, one blast could kill many bots if they swarm; it could kill very few if they spread into large space and there are very few bots in a area one blast could affect.

I hope I had any good idea to shorten the range, but I don't have. So I'd like to suggest some ideas on drawbacks.

1: noisy against scanning. If you communicate by radio, you make noise. And if one transmitter make some noise, 2,000 transmitters are quite noisy. In game term, Swarmanoid communication can't use stealthed signals (p. 252), so just anyone can scan Swarmanoid.

2: wired hacking. Swarmanoid communication are encrypted, so they are resistant against wireless hacking. But, it means just every microbots have decrypt key. So if you capture a microbot, you would be able to extract its key.

3: augmentation limitation. a microbot is just too small to install some augmentations.

Large morphs and AP
I am fine about "too small weapons won't hurt large thing" concept. But against large morphs, "weapons with an armor penetration factor of 0 or less do no physical damage to the morph" (p. 10). But weapons with more penetraition power have lower AP (light pistols have 0 AP and medium ones have -2).

I figured it should be "0 or more", but most weapons have negative AP, so they work against large morphs (and make this rule sound little sense). So it is required other line between "too small" weapons and working ones.

And why large vehicles are vulnerable while large morphs aren't?

Q. 3 - What's the best part of these rules?

Vacuum Living section. It is cool and work on isolate brinkers.

New Traits. Among them, I like Innate Ability New Positive Trait especially. I am sure it is more balanced than "+30 xxx Skill" Advantage some morphs have. If existing morphs will be retconned, this Trait should be used.

Q. 4 - What's your opinion on the rules for vehicle morphs?

I don't think large vehicles (like cars) have too high DUR; After all, they are large as a car. And if I am big, my opponents will bring big gun (or seeker). If big guns and seekers aren't enough, theire damage should be increased.

Even if vehicle-as-a-morph should be more fragile, second DUR rating means second set of WT and Wounds. For example, a vehicle of DUR 100 is WT 20 (100 / 5) and will have 1 wound by 15 damage. but the same vehicle will have WT 10 and 3 wounds if it is sleeved by ego. I feel it would be better to determine when a vehicle fail to carry on a ego (for example, "with 2 Wounds").

Thant said, I am fine about Aptitude Maximums.

Q. 5 - What issues with extreme morphs have you had in your gaming group?

Is it possible to purchase a part of pod or synthmorph and replace damaged part with it, to heal faster?

Do cyberbrain affect on biomorph life support? If I am a biomorph but have a cyberbrain at torso, being decapitated might not be fatal.

Q. 6 - Are there any exotic morph types you'd like to see (more) coverage of?

More about Artificial Ids. How do vehicle AIds act against "unapproved" command (like too high speed)? How does an AId of property pod control residing ego?

Rules about Pods. Materials are nice, but it won't hurt to have some additional rule about Pods.

And I am looking forward to rules about flexbots and infomorphs.

Your average, everyday, normal, plain and dull transhuman

Janusfaced's outpost(writtern in Japanese)
http://janusfacedsoutpost.blog.fc2.com/

Skimble Skimble's picture
Flexmorphs

Q1: I've read the document and been able to playtest the new rules for Swarmanoids a bit in my game tonight.

Q2: The ability to host multiple egos in the one swarmanoid is a bit confusing. How exactly is this meant to play out?

In my scenario tonight someone attacked the group with a swarmanoid fitted with poison injectors as per the Injector microswarm.

1) Can the swarmanoid can be controlled simultaneously by the multiple egos, undertaking different tasks with different sub-swarms? If so then the swarmanoid I used tonight could split into three roughly equal parts to attack three characters but if anyone had attacked it then it would have counted all damage as damage to the main swarm (this is how I played it).

2) A question about Injectors in general, really; are they prevented from dosing a character with armour? My interpretation is that injectors ignore armour unless the character is wearing a sealed helmet.

3) If the swarm has 3 egos in residence does it get 3 separate rolls to resist attempts to jam the swarm (or one attempt with teamwork, either works, really)?

4) If the swarmanoid is equipped with Mental Speed (giving 2 extra mental actions) are these split between the egos in the swarm or does each ego gain the benefit of this (for a total of 9 or more actions for the swarm if it has 3 or more egos installed)?

In the end my group managed to wear down the swarmanoid's moxie on repeated jamming attempts and ultimately made it withdraw as a result. It was a pretty cool scene, the swarmanoid was perceived as an actual threat which is not something I could previously said about Swarmanoids.

Q 4: No strong opinion yet.

Q 5: I've had trouble with people being infomorphs on ectos and then using those infomorphs to control weapon mounts on a custom robot shell by hardlink, theoretically allowing an arbitrary number of combat actions. You did something a bit like this in... Rimward... I think? But I'm not sure you took the idea to the logical conclusion that some of my players have.

Q 6:

While not a custom morph bit precisely I'd like to see more on morph creation, copyrights, reproduction rights/processes and maybe some kind of inspiration for helping GMs to customise morphs on the fly when their characters are sleeving into second-hand morphs. A quirk list, almost.

Gilgamesh Gilgamesh's picture
Extreme morphology

Q. 1 – How did you review the material in this draft?
Critical reading (actually it was more thrilled reading than critical).

Q. 2 –What's the most critical problem you've identified in these rules?
Nothing critical, though some parts could be expanded.

Q. 3 – What's the best part of these rules?
The "fluff". Finally we get some insights into what challenges there are in sleeving in an exotic morph for the first time and what explosive decompression does to a swarm.

Q. 4 – What's your opinion on the rules for vehicle morphs?
They are rather short. Personally, I would prefer if they were similar to the rules for ordinary (synth) morphs, meaning you get penalties when you suffer wounds. They main disincentive to sleeving in a vehicle should be that vehicles are "boring" (as described), restricted (you automatically commit a crime if you override the safety system), usually rather impractical (you cannot enter buildings) and people react worse to you than to a synth morph (and that is saying something).

Q. 5 - What issues with extreme morphs have you had in your gaming group?
None so far.

Q. 6 – Are there any exotic morph types you'd like to see (more) coverage of?
Space vehicles.