(meta) plot ponderings. not so much a secret.

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puke puke's picture
(meta) plot ponderings. not so much a secret.

I've been thinking about how to tie this into a game since before the book was released. i'm having a hard time deciding how to incorporate it without 'blowing the wad' on future metaplot / big-reveal issues that would make good climatic moments later in a campaign. I dont think I've seen it discussed here before, but there is a chance i've missed a thread somewhere. It might be considered spoilery, but ultimately its my own speculation and interpretation, and I dont think its really that much of a secret anyway.

I mean, its on the front page of the website. Its on the title page (17) of the Enter the Singularity chapter.

Quote:
An "eclipse phase" is the period between when a cell is infected by a virus and when the virus appears within the cell and transforms it. During this period, the cell does not appear to be infected, but it is.

I mean, its the name of the game, right? maybe I'm going out on a limb here, but it seems to me like everyone -- all of transhumanity -- is most likely infected in some undetectable way with a dormant form of the exurgant virus.

every infomorph that has been transmitted from earth during the fall.

every computer system those infomorphs have ever interacted with.

everyone or everything that has ever survived an encounter with titan technology, or had a surviving ego resleved.

I mean, the scope of the threat is uncontainable. millions of infomorphs from earth? transmitted all over the solar system? whos to say how many (if any!) of those tranmissions were clean? how many were tampered with? how many were manufactured out of whole cloth? It looks to me like the Titans didnt leave humanity alone, it looks like they destroyed it and then left. we just havent noticed that its been destroyed yet.

There was that "invasion of the humans" and "choosing to be an individual" business in some other threads, picking bones about who has a soul -- but what if some of the ideas there are solid? what if the bioconservatives on the Jovian moons are the only uninfected left in the solarsystem? Them and the slower-than-light colony ships that are for all intents out of contact?

King Shere King Shere's picture
Re: (meta) plot ponderings. not so much a secret.

A more "optimistic" version is that its the humanity it self that are changing with a Eclipse Phase. The bio conservatives & the slower than light fugitives are the few remnant "pure" humans, the others are Transhumans . Society as a whole, Almost changed into something new & non human from the bio-conservatives views. The new society not infected or becoming extinct.

Not contradicting the the "bleaker" version with transhumanity under siege from "sleeper" exurgents & other Seti great filters.



"To find fault is easy; to do better may be difficult."
Plutarch

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: (meta) plot ponderings. not so much a secret.

puke wrote:
I've been thinking about how to tie this into a game since before the book was released. i'm having a hard time deciding how to incorporate it without 'blowing the wad' on future metaplot / big-reveal issues that would make good climatic moments later in a campaign. I dont think I've seen it discussed here before, but there is a chance i've missed a thread somewhere. It might be considered spoilery, but ultimately its my own speculation and interpretation, and I dont think its really that much of a secret anyway.

I mean, its on the front page of the website. Its on the title page (17) of the Enter the Singularity chapter.

Quote:
An "eclipse phase" is the period between when a cell is infected by a virus and when the virus appears within the cell and transforms it. During this period, the cell does not appear to be infected, but it is.

I mean, its the name of the game, right? maybe I'm going out on a limb here, but it seems to me like everyone -- all of transhumanity -- is most likely infected in some undetectable way with a dormant form of the exurgant virus.

every infomorph that has been transmitted from earth during the fall.

every computer system those infomorphs have ever interacted with.

everyone or everything that has ever survived an encounter with titan technology, or had a surviving ego resleved.

I mean, the scope of the threat is uncontainable. millions of infomorphs from earth? transmitted all over the solar system? whos to say how many (if any!) of those tranmissions were clean? how many were tampered with? how many were manufactured out of whole cloth? It looks to me like the Titans didnt leave humanity alone, it looks like they destroyed it and then left. we just havent noticed that its been destroyed yet.

There was that "invasion of the humans" and "choosing to be an individual" business in some other threads, picking bones about who has a soul -- but what if some of the ideas there are solid? what if the bioconservatives on the Jovian moons are the only uninfected left in the solarsystem? Them and the slower-than-light colony ships that are for all intents out of contact?

Eclipse phase is likely a metaphor. The eclipse phase of a cell is when it is already infected, but you cannot tell from external view. In the game Eclipse Phase, you play as agents of Firewall protecting the transhuman race from extinction, all the while preventing the average person from noticing that they very well were facing imminent death. You are part of a conspiracy, who is both permeated throughout the human race, but ever-hidden from its view. In this sense the eclipse phase can be used to represent Firewall's relationship to the human race.

On the other hand, the eclipse phase is also one of the earliest stages of an infection... well before the cell and body really feel a disease's effects. To that end, the human race is just 10 years beyond what was the most horrific toll of death ever felt by the human race. The public doesn't realize that it was largely due to the influence of alien forces. In that sense, the eclipse phase might represent the story itself... and the fact that humanity does not yet realize the war they are about to fight, nor the fact that the Fall was only the beginning.

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

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

puke puke's picture
Re: (meta) plot ponderings. not so much a secret.

Thats, possible, indeed it is. its just as possible as what I suggested, and as you say it is not contradictory at all. Either or both could be options.

I could see another optimistic scenario, in that the exurgent virus isnt necessarily hostile. while transhumanity might be infected at large, it might be a benign infection. after an initial period of instability, it analyzed and adapted and found a way to guide H+ towards galactic citizenship, transcendance, or whatever other great-bakesale-in-the-sky is waiting for us.

I dont want to be too "meta" and overanalyze the subtitles that say "extinction is aproaching, fight it" as that could just refer to the droll dayjobs of the average firewall agent combating existential threats. or maybe Extinction is just the name of someones ugly exhuman cousin. If we're being cheery, maybe its talking about the extinction of the human race as we know it, as it becomes something greater. I expect that the very nature and intention of the exurgent virus will be left as vague in future suppliments as it is in the core book. theres no reason for its motivation to be explained, as long as its effects remain unpredictable and inscrutable.

but its like a horror game, you know? i think the bleaker versions play for better dramatic tension, and even the optimistic versions have plenty of opportunity for H+ to explode from within. I guess what I'm asking is, what the heck do you do with an idea like that? I can think of a dozen ways to introduce the the "big reveal" but what do you do afterwards? pack up your dice and have a beer? what possible adventuring activity is there to do in response to the revelation that you, all your forks, all your backups, and everyone you ever knew or will know has been subverted by a bug left by a Kardashev IV level civilization?

It seems like there are only two options. either you keep going like nothing happened, because theres nothing you can do about it anyway. or you crack. It seems like this is the biggest possible dramatic shoe that you could drop, and i have no idea how to turn it into a playable storyline once it has hit the ground.