Traits - Draft 1 - Open Discussion

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Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
Let's say something horrible

Let's say something horrible happens, like a school shooting. How many people keep cool and behave rationally? How many react like they've failed their WIL test and been hit by Stress, say a few Traumas giving them -10 or -20 to all actions and affected by temporary derangements like Indecisiveness, Avoidance or Panic?

How many veterans have mental problems? How many violent crime victims? Heck, lots of people get serious stress from their office job.

Stress is fine. High WIL and some traits can make your nearly immune - also fine.

LatwPIAT LatwPIAT's picture
Acatalepsy wrote:More than an

Acatalepsy wrote:
More than an inconvenience, but less than, you know, death. It's stressful, but stress 1d10/2 SV is something that is fixed in less than day of therapy. With a violent death, it's something that's fixed in half a week.

Assuming you use your Muse for psychotherapy, recovering from Continuity-induced violent death Stress will take on average 9 to 10 hour-long psychotherapy sessions.

Acatalepsy wrote:
They're traits that I have to houserule into existence in order to maintain player functionality in a game that gives "you go around hunting Exsurgent monsters" as the default campaign. It's easier to say "no, you can't have [trait] or [gear] or [character type] because it doesn't fit in my campaign" than it is to create entirely new traits, gear, or character types from scratch.

The default campaign is not about hunting Exurgents any more than the default Call of Cthulhu campaign is about hunting shoggoths; the default campaign is investigating and stopping existential threats, generic, which sometimes includes Exurgents or touched-by-an-Exurgent-stuff.

In any case, because physical immortality is a thing in the game, the mental Stress track is pretty much what measures how well characters function. If your players are close to mental wrecks because they've been exposed, repeatedly, without time to recover, to horrors and monsters, this is as far as I can tell pretty much how the system is intended to work.

It feels a bit like you're complaining that your have to invent traits to keep your players from running out of sanity in Call of Cthulhu, or even hit points in Dungeons & Dragons. Yes. You do run out. That's sort of the point; there's an inherent risk to doing dangerous stuff on a regular basis.

Solar wrote:
I always wonder to what extent other groups actually use the stress rules

because we don't and never have, we just rely on RP, and it works really well

essentially, someone who wants to RP that stuff properly doesn't need the SAN system, and someone who doesn't want to do that isn't going to do it just because the SAN system says so. If they do, they probably won't like it.

Even if you never actually roleplay out SAN loss, the Stress system still provides a mechanical system for measuring functionality in a character, just like hit points work in most other systems.

DivineWrath wrote:
Personally, I prefer to do away with the system and the themes. I don't quite understand why looking at a pandora gate, with its weird shape and stuff, and somehow become disturbed by the process. I also think that natural selection would help to remove those people who would crack when faced with TITAN horrors from the gene pool. Also transhumanity is supposed to be better than regular old humanity. So yeah, I don't think this should be the game for Lovecraft style horror.

That game explicitly styles itself as a horror game, and deliberately invokes Lovecraftian themes as its central horrors. It's very much a game for Lovecraft-style horror.

@-rep +2
C-rep +1

Decivre Decivre's picture
DivineWrath wrote:I was

DivineWrath wrote:
I was meaning to address this sanity and horror stuff sooner, but I'm not familiar with the whole trope.

The problem I have with sanity systems is, they seem to be designed to make people crazy and do so at the worst possible moments. They also seem to make people unusually mentally fragile. While there may be real life instances where people have been crippled by fear, I think these systems seem to be designed to make people crack and go nuts far more often than what would happen in real life (again I'm not familiar with this trope so I could be wrong).

Arguable. I would say try and stress test a character under normal circumstances with few traumatic situations. I imagine that using Eclipse Phase's mechanics, they would not go insane very often. And with the broad acceptance of psychotherapy and psychosurgery, treatment is both common and no longer stigmatized.

It's hard to make a gauge of how fast someone should delve into madness. My life has not been significantly traumatic, with the worst things happening to me having been witness to a death or two. But these things affected me. On the far side of the spectrum, I have a friend who cannot sleep in the dark because of a single traumatic experience in her childhood, and a brother who suffers from PTSD because of his tours in Iraq. I'm sure if they had the choice, neither would be in such a scenario... but we don't have the luxuries of determining what affects our minds and how.

The problem might not be that the system makes people seem too mentally fragile; I think society has ingrained in all of us a presumption that our minds are hardier than they actually are... which explains why most cultures stigmatize those who crack.

DivineWrath wrote:
Personally, I prefer to do away with the system and the themes. I don't quite understand why looking at a pandora gate, with its weird shape and stuff, and somehow become disturbed by the process. I also think that natural selection would help to remove those people who would crack when faced with TITAN horrors from the gene pool. Also transhumanity is supposed to be better than regular old humanity. So yeah, I don't think this should be the game for Lovecraft style horror.

Overall, I'm in favor of anything that weakens or remove the sanity rules, and removes the things I don't like about them.

To be honest, the majority of the survivors probably never saw an exsurgent or even TITAN horror firsthand. The early ships off Earth, and the early farcasters probably ditched the planet before hell came to their doorstep. The only ones who were probably faced with the true traumas of the situation were those who left at the last minute, while the TITANs were battering down the doors.

As for natural selection, it probably wouldn't affect most of humanity. The only groups I expect to truly be forced to adapt to the horrors of the Exsurgent virus are the stragglers who ended up stuck on Earth. Of them, only the ones who could truly handle it are probably left.

And while transhumanity is physically better than humanity, mentally there haven't been too many significant improvements, yet. Psychosurgery (the mental equivalent of body implants) is still only in its infancy. But give the people of 10 AF a few decades, and I'm sure they could watch their firstborn daughter's remains get crapped out by a three-headed vagina beast and not even flinch.

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

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Acatalepsy Acatalepsy's picture
LatwPIAT wrote:It feels a bit

LatwPIAT wrote:
It feels a bit like you're complaining that your have to invent traits to keep your players from running out of sanity in Call of Cthulhu, or even hit points in Dungeons & Dragons. Yes. You do run out. That's sort of the point; there's an inherent risk to doing dangerous stuff on a regular basis.

I'm saying that there's an obvious need for traits that represent some degree of hardening to the "oh god what is that thing" factor, because characters that are dedicated to fighting Exsurgent gribblies and are prepared are less likely to flip out or develop long-term problems, and because some campaigns have a higher pace and more of a focus on encounters with insanity-inducing things.

As a system, Stress does not fulfill the same role as HP, it is not interacted with in anything like the same way. Stress is not something you can avoid or mitigate in play except by avoiding the entire adventure. Oh, and you can have a morph with increased WIL.

LatwPIAT wrote:
Even if you never actually roleplay out SAN loss, the Stress system still provides a mechanical system for measuring functionality in a character, just like hit points work in most other systems.

Stress very much does not work like hit points as a system for measuring character functionality. Yes, as the numbers go down you're closer to not being about to do anything, but all of the attendant functionality, all of the systems that go around it and the context in which it is used do not. DUR is like HP. Stress is not.

This isn't a war ordinary humans can win. This is the future. Death's an inconvenience, now. Nothing more.

Solar_Pilgrim Solar_Pilgrim's picture
Drug Fiend

Dumb question - why only chemicals and not nano or narco algorithms? Why do the meat sacks get to have all the fun?

Praxias Praxias's picture
Titanian Microcorp Owner

So, let's say for the sake of argument that I've over-parsed the text of the Titanian Microcorp Owner trait and now need some outside assistance to make the voices in my head stop warring over the circumstances in which you get the +10 bonus.

Please? They're going in circles.

Ravenswar Ravenswar's picture
Faulty Education

Faulty Education as written has a significant chance to broken because it relies to heavily on the GM, rather than a static game mechanic.

Would prefer to see it implemented as a penalty to Knowledge Skill Fields, allowing it to be taken multiple times; i.e. you can purchase Faulty Education as a -5 penalty to all Academic skills, or a -5 penalty to all Art skills.

I would set the CP at 10 for a -5 penalty, and 20 for a -10 penalty, applicable to Academic, Art, Hardware, Interest, Language, Medicine, Pilot or Profession fields, purchase again to apply to a different field.

Not play-tested in any way, just my rough thoughts, main point being I would rather see Faulty Education implemented as a game mechanic than the GM declaring a failed skill test.

Ravenswar Ravenswar's picture
Poorly Maintained

The core rulebook has the Aged negative trait available only to the Flat or Splicer.

Would like to see a new negative trait included that applies to the same effect to any Morph.

For whatever reason, the current morph has not received the normal medical care or physical repair common to the Eclipse Phase era. The morph is operable and whole, but does not perform at peak conditions. The trait can be bought off, but requires at least a month of game time for extensive and comprehensive mechanical repair or medical care.

RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
The traits have been updated

The traits have been updated -- new version can be found in the full Character Options chapter.

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

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