Traits - Draft 1 - Playtest Q. Responses Only

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RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
Traits - Draft 1 - Playtest Q. Responses Only

Download Traits - Draft 1

This is a rough first draft of the new traits 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 – Were there any Positive traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

Were any of them not worth the cost or too valuable given their game effect? Any must-have or must-avoid traits? Please list them. What do you think the CP value for them should be?

Q. 5 – Were there any Negative traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

Were any of them not worth the cost or too valuable given their game effect? Any must-have or must-avoid traits? Please list them. What do you think the CP value for them should be?

Q. 6 – Were there any traits that you didn't think should be included?

Was there anything that you would rather see handled by roleplaying, implants, or in some other way? Please list and explain.

Q. 7 – Are there any traits missing?

Is there some aspect of the game that we should be capturing in a trait but have overlooked? Anything you would like to see included in a trait?

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

LatwPIAT LatwPIAT's picture
Question 1: Review Technique

Question 1: Review Technique

I have merely gone over the traits with a critical eye.

Question 2: Most Critical Problem

Several of the traits were made to reduce the threat of taking Stress, especially when going up against TITANs or Exurgents. This is something I don't think makes for a good game, because Stress should be a fundamental and ever-present threat to characters who go up against TITANs and Exurgents; they, like Call of Cthulhu monsters, are dangerous not because they kill you, but because they drive you insane; a victory against a TITAN or Exurgent should be bittersweet, and bonuses on Stress tests is counterproductive to this.

Question 3: Favourites!

I like the Trick Shot that lets you shoot down missile and bullets in flight!

And Proprietary Tech is a nice counterpart to GSM.

Question 4: Unbalanced Positive Traits

AGI Socialization
This trait is extremely broken with the rules-as-written. It provides a +10 bonus to all social skills when dealing with transhumans, at a cost of 10 CP. There are four very important social skills in the game (Persuasion, Deception, Intimidation, Kinesics)[1] as well as numerous other social skills (Protocol, Impersonation, Networking [field]). AGI have the weakness that all social skills have doubled cost. In essence, each of these social skills receive a bonus of 20 CP - transhumans are, after all, the majority of the setting.

This means that this trait is worth 80 CP for just Persuasion, Deception, Intimidation and Kinesics - as well as over 100 for the Networking skills alone - for the measly cost of 10 CP. Interaction with uplifts, animals, other AGI and aliens being the exception, not the rule.

Compared to other skills or investments, AGI Socialization is immensely powerful. The Ambiance Sense psi-sleigh gives a net bonus of 35 CP effectively (+10 to four skills for 5 CP) was already one of the best investments in the game, and AGI Socialization makes Ambiance Sense look underpowered.

If you're playing an AGI character, this is simply a must have trait; together with careful placement of Background and Faction bonuses, the disadvantages of playing an AGI are pretty much gone, and AGIs are powerful already. (Assign all the background and faction bonuses to social skills, take AGI socialization, and an AGI will have a base of 30 to 40 in all the social skills for an investment of just 10 CP.)

I'm not sure it's even possible to balance this trait within the scope of the game. At best, I can suggest making it a 3-level skill, which each level costing 10 CP, and for each level you can pick a social skill to receive a +10 bonus to when dealing with transhumans.

[1] Based on my experience with playing the game.

Brinker Solitude
A +20 bonus to stress tests for 10 CP seems like a rather too good investment; since permanent "death" or setbacks in Eclipse Phase is caused by stress, this Trait makes any character that takes it a lot more resilient against the fundamental threat of the game. Comparatively, through the core rules, increasing one's resilience against stress by 20 would cost 70 CP (7 points worth of WIL) (This would raise bonuses to other areas too, though - but WIL is used rarely; it's used for only two skills, and from experience, is mostly rolled when players encounter stressful things)

The average WIL 15 character will take, as a result, only 64% of the stress other characters take, on average. ((100-45-20)/(100-45)) = 0.636.

Increasing the cost to 20, or perhaps 30 CP, and dropping the "+10 to skills when alone" advantage might balance this out somewhat, but WIL is like POW in Call of Cthulhu; it should be a scarce resource.

Alternatively, make it so you only get +20 to prolonged isolation stress tests, and keep the cost at 10 CP. That seems more in keeping with the spirit of the trait and the game.

Exurgent Attack Survivor
In a campaign where you can expect to fight TITANs or Exurgents, this is a rather powerful skill, since like Brinker Solitude, it makes characters resilient against the lurking, ever-present danger of losing their mind to the usual suspects of the setting. (Why would you not pick this for an Earth Reclaimer campaign?) It's also much like free hardening, and stress hardening costs a MOX (15 CP).

I'd therefore recommend increasing the cost to at least 15 CP. It's not as powerful as hardening in terms of raw resistance, but it's also much easier to acquire and doesn't cost Moxie.

Information Wants To Have Fun
...this is not an advantage at all.

It costs 10 CP, and gives a -10 penalty to social skills when used against uplifts, aliens and transhumans. The +20 to social skills against AGI simply doesn't help balance this out at all, since AGIs are a minority. If anything, this would be more balanced as a negative Trait. Otherwise, remove the penalty and keep just the advantage.

Question 5: Unbalanced Negative Traits

Faulty Education
30 CP seems excessive compared to, say, Real World Naivete, despite both essentially doing the same thing - once per session, the GM can provide the player with misinformation (or a lack of information), about some Knowledge. I'd recommend reducing it to 10 or 20 CP.

Muse Phobia
Not being able to use a Muse for Teamwork is already a penalty, considering that Muses are free at character generation; this seems to impose an additional -10 penalty ex nihilo, and hence imposes twice the penalty, which makes it a bit too restrictive; losing 10 points from Research will hurt all characters, and losing 10 from Infosec will be harsh on hacker-characters. Additionally, without a Muse, the character won't be able to receive regular psychotherapy - these are harsh penalties, and there's no need for the extra -10.

Question 6: Traits I don't like

Firewall Rival
This Trait is Enemy from the core book, but with a longer description. It should instead just be included as an example of what an Enemy can do.

Large Frame
Just having a large frame shouldn't help stabilize a gun; a Large Framed Neotenic can suddenly fire Rail Machineguns one-handed, while a Reaper will be unable to fire an Automatic Rifle held in only one tentacle; this seems somewhat ridiculous.

Furthermore, the +20 advantage to being larger also seems off the mark; it should probably be represented by the Large Frame'd character always having superior reach in hand-to-hand combat.

Repurposing Specialist
I don't think this should be a Trait; I think it should be an integral feature of the Scrounging skill; that would certainly make Scrounging a more applicable skill. As it is, I've rarely found any use for it in my games.

Freerunning Tricks
These should probably be integrated into Freerunning, see above.

Smart Animal Teamwork and Smart Animal Combat Trainer
These are also things that I should be an integral part of the relevant skill(s) rather than a separate Trait; Animal Handling is already a niche skill that rarely sees use; making it have more applications might help it gain relevance.

Question 7: Missing Traits

A system for handling hirelings (Servants, retainers, mercenaries, gardeners, etc.) would be neat, although it doesn't have to be a Trait; a Trait is merely one place that could end up.

Large and Small morph traits (+10 and -10 to hit, respectively) could also be neat, as a way to customize a character.

Perhaps a Trait that imposes some form of penalty to Uplift characters who attempt to use Kinesics on transhumans AGI, or different kinds of uplifts; they're simply not capable of reading faces of other species as well as those of their own.

@-rep +2
C-rep +1

Solar Solar's picture
Q1. How did you review the

Q1. How did you review the material in this draft?

Critical eye right now. I have passed the information on to my group, however, and we’re going to have a poke through, maybe introduce some of the traits in our next campaign which starts in a weeks time.

Q2. What’s the most critical problem you’ve identified in these rules?

Cleaner seems like it should be something anyone with investigation can do, rather than something “locked” behind a trait. After all, it’s a logical extension of the skill that we’ve used in games before, having to spend an additional 10CPs to have the option open seems harsh. This is more specialization territory, I think.

Freerunning tricks, see cleaner

Large Frame seems very harsh. 20Cps is a lot, and for that you get +10 to hit and the ability to use two handed weapons in one hand, but at the cost of being easier to hit and crappy at skill tests using smaller stuff i.e. all the time. I think that the -20 needs to go, it doesn’t make sense once you consider advanced morph manipulator arms that can be on any sized morph you like (notably neo-orcans). Then it’s balanced, or at least much closer to it. Right now, I can’t see anyone wanting to take this trait.

Repurposing Specialist, see Cleaner

Smart Animal Combat Trainer/Teamwork, see Cleaner

Trick Shot, see Cleaner

Unarmed Combat Techniques, see Cleaner

The underlying problem I see here is that a lot of the cool stuff is being locked away behind traits that are going to get expensive to buy. I don’t see why a character with an unarmed of 60 can’t be allowed to do all the special moved that Unarmed Combat Techniques allow without having to spend 5CP on each one. After all, with Unarmed 60 they are an expert fighter already, it seems rather poor for that to become “expert at straight punching only.” In our games we have often used unarmed and other skills in that kind of inventive way, for that to then become made the specialist purview of those with certain traits takes some of the flexibility and variation out of the game, I think. Same with Cleaner and Free-running specialist, things like Dive Bomb attack are stuff that I should be able to do with regular free-running, I don’t like the idea of the GM saying “that’s really cool, but you don’t have the trait from this here expansion, so no go.”

I like the idea of In Debt but in practise it seems really tricky, and in a rep-based economy not very fitting. Should be some sort of reputation debt, sometimes you need to do stuff for others because you are constantly pulling favours with them to get buy. Less tricky, more characterful and more story hooks!

Intense Relationship is a great idea, but the Rez cost is really, really harsh. This negative trait basically costs a lot more than it does for a lot of campaigns. I’d totally take it for the social element but that Rez cost is far too much, though the points you get back are admittedly high. I’d make it 5, 10, 15 and take out the rez cost, instead deal stress when you don’t get a period of contact with them in the time period (extended mesh conversation etc).

Q3. What is the best part of the rules?

To be honest, everything else looks pretty good. I love the AGI socialization trait indeed, yes I do! Things like Phoenix, Introspective Forker and so on that enhance the transhuman nature of the setting and allow you to embrace it more if you pay to reduce the potential risks are great and I’d personally take them often. Titanian Micorcorp Owner is also sweet as hell. These are more what traits are to me, I think, things that don’t really correlate to a skill but rather provide a unique ability or characterful bonus to certain tests, or special abilities that otherwise would not be possible (like psi, for example).

Incidentally, I absolutely love the new combat tricks, trick shots, repurposing and so on. I think they are all really cool and well written. I just think that they need to be in an advanced rules section as options for everyone rather than just for some people who take the traits.

Q4. Are there any Positive Traits you felt are too cheap or too expensive?

Aquatic Streamlining is very specialist and may never come up, it should be 5CPs IMO, and automatically be included with morphs like the neo-cetaceans as they also have the downside of being practically immobile out of water.

Brinker Solitude is a fantastic idea, but +10 to any skill check made when you are alone? That’s really, really, really powerful and worth far more than 10CPs. Perhaps it is just in my experience and my group, but our teams often split up and do various different missions by themselves. I don’t see any reason why anyone wouldn’t take this, it’s just too good an advantage to pass up.

Large Frame has been covered already.

Q5. Are there any Negative Traits you felt are too cheap or too expensive?

Covered this above, really. Couple of things come up but overall seem fine.

Q6. Were there any traits you don’t think should be included?

Covered this. All of the tricks should be available to people who have those skills anyway.

Q7. Are there any traits missing?

I feel that uplifts might get a little more treatment, other than that we’d be here all day if we started wishlisting!

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

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

At the moment, just with a critical eye.

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

Quite a few of the trait CP costs seem to be wildly off balance, along with some smaller rules issues. There are also a few instances of very small, fairly boring bonuses that I don't think the system needs more of. Things like Microgravity Fighter giving a +3 INIT boost in low gravity. Boring! I like having a trait that helps define a microgravity specialist, but that bonus isn't the way I want to do it.

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

The mechanical flavour of particular traits, that while maybe not quite balanced yet, show the exact kind of things I want to be represented in traits. Freerunning Tricks, Repurposing Specialist, Trick Shot and Unarmed Combat Techniques are all really cool. They each have clear mechanical uses with good hooks for players to latch onto. They can really define what a character can do. They are cheap enough that they can be learned easily in play, which also helps mitigate a feeling of 'just adding 1s and 2s to already big numbers' that sometimes arises in my games.

I would love to see these kinds of little tricks expanded to other skills, or maybe built into an entirely new subsystem separate from the trait system. Skill tricks or something.

Q. 4 – Were there any Positive traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

AGI Socialization- I don't think that the extremely broad category of 'transhumans' is enough to limit the extremely beneficial bonus that you get by picking this trait. You are getting an awful lot of good stuff (80CP~?) for very little negative. I am not really sure how you could balance this one. AGI as a whole are very difficult to balance properly due to their interaction with their background. I do like the thought of giving someone the option to make an AGI who isn't socially autistic, but this doesn't seem to be the way to do it.

Tacnet Sniper- I like the idea of having a sniper who doesn't have to see his target to make the shot, but I think that 20CP is way too expensive for what you are getting from it. However this isn't from play experience, just what I am thinking from someone who knows the game balance fairly well. I would say half the cost down to 10CP, but again, I haven't played with it during a game.

Large Frame- The 'worst' trait in the playtest. It costs far too much for what you are getting, it ignored already implemented rules (Reach from the Core rulebook), and to be honest it is closer to a negative trait than a positive. While I do like the potential to make a giant octopus that is much larger than a normal person, this isn't how you should represent it mechanically. And it isn't just an issue with the high CP cost, it really needs a complete rewrite.

Q. 5 – Were there any Negative traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?
Were any of them not worth the cost or too valuable given their game effect? Any must-have or must-avoid traits? Please list them. What do you think the CP value for them should be?

Not really. I have some issues with how some of the traits actually work, In Debt specifically seems overly fiddly, but nothing related to CP costs.

Q. 6 – Were there any traits that you didn't think should be included? Was there anything that you would rather see handled by roleplaying, implants, or in some other way? Please list and explain.

As I said above, traits like Freerunning Tricks, Trick Shot and Unarmed Combat Techniques. I like that you are giving us more options for skill use. I am not sure if the trait system is the best way to represent these. I definitely want them included, and I would prefer if they were something my players had to buy for about the same CP cost as they have now (5CP). But they seem to be something that you could develop into their own little subsystem, rather than tack them onto traits.

Q. 7 – Are there any traits missing? Is there some aspect of the game that we should be capturing in a trait but have overlooked? Anything you would like to see included in a trait?

If you are going to keep the 'tricks' as traits, then I think that you should expand them to include more of the skill list. If we have Freerunning Tricks, why don't we have Freefall Tricks? I would also like to see more support for AGI. We get two new traits kind of directed towards them, but I think that they could benefit from more.

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

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

So far, I merely read the document with a critical eye.

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

Some of the new traits are too specialized to be worth the CP-cost and shouldn't probably be traits at all. For example:

Cleaner - the effect of this trait should be covered by the Investigation skill since it's just about using an existing skill creativly. Maybe it would be better to put stuff like this into a chapter about advanced skill uses or to suggest Cleaner as another specialization of the Investigation skill.

Mod Spotter - see Cleaner. Of course, characters with a more "primitive" background should have more severe penalties or not be able to do this at all.

Repurposing Specialist - see Cleaner.

Smart Animal Combat Trainer, Smart Animal Teamwork - see Cleaner. Animal Handling is already a rather lackluster skill, so hiding some more interesting applications behind a paywall is not the way to go.

Freerunning Tricks, Trick Shot, Unarmed Combat Techniques - I absolutely love the tricks and techniques as presented, but I'm not sure if rolling them under traits is the right way to go. Maybe every character should get a certain budget at character creation to buy tricks (say two or three tricks)?

Firewall Rival - It's totally unnecessary since its effects are already covered under the Enemy trait.

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

As I said I absolutely love the tricks and techniques and I hope to see them included in some way, shape or form in the final product!

Q. 4 – Were there any Positive traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

AGI Socialization - this trait is far too good to be true for only 10 CP. Maybe it could be re-designed so the AGI's player can designate one social skill that he can raise without paying double the CP?

Aquatic Streamlining (Morph Trait) - this trait should be standard for aquatic morph types and cost only 5 CP because of its narrow focus.

Information Wants to Have Fun - as written, it's more of a negative trait. The -10 penalty to social skill tests should be removed.

Large Frame (morph only) - frankly, this trait is a mess! Why can't large morphs have some smaller appendages for handling delicate tasks? Also, the advantages are just not worth 20 CP, all things considered. Personally, I would add increases to DUR and / or SOM for large-framed morphs.

Titanian Microcorp Owner - why only Titan? At least Extropia should be covered as well!

Q. 5 – Were there any Negative traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

Faulty Education - this trait is probably not worth the 30 CP bonus. I would reduce it to 20 CP bonus instead.

In Debt - the idea is fine, but it's a bit more complicated than I like. Maybe it could be simplified somehow?

Q. 6 – Were there any traits that you didn't think should be included?

See above, under Q.2.

Q. 7 – Are there any traits missing?

I'm not the biggest fan of huge lists of traits in general, so I'm probably not really qualified to comment on this question. That said, there is room for some more AGI- and uplift-specific traits.

"You're gonna carry that weight"

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?

The most critical problem I've found that a number of traits, for different reasons, seem to be flawed. They could have been thought out better. I'll list the traits I consider most troublesome bellow. There are others I have issue with, but I'm trying to keep things to high priority stuff.

I don't like traits that increase the mileage of cp, or drain them from your character. I think that all characters, given the same cp, should be more or less equal to each other. Traits like "In Dept" or "Intense Relationship" can consume many times more cp than it grants. Traits like "Titanian Microcorp Owner" doubles the money that cp gets you. If allowed to continue, some characters will be vastly superior or inferior to others despite being given equal amounts of cp.

I'm a player that tries to keep his inner munchkin under control, and traits like these don't make it easy. For the record, I don't like how the "Infolife" background (from the core rulebook) works either for its ability to distort cp efficiency at character creation.

Another problem is that certain traits are far too specific and restricting. Take "AGI Socialization" for instance. If that trait is the product of training, then why can only AGIs learn it, and why only can they learn it at character creation? It seems like its something that anyone should be able to learn given enough time.

I don't think that Brinker Solitude should provide a bonus when working alone. I think it should instead negate penalties you would otherwise suffer when working alone.

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

There is more rules? Right now, I'm finding it easier to pick out problems I don't like than it is to find what I like. Please don't feel hurt if I'm sounding very negative at the moment.

Q. 4 – Were there any Positive traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

Large Frame - Too expensive. There is no boost to toughness or defense. This trait makes you a bigger threat in the eyes of your opponents (it is justified). As such, I think that a morph with this trait would be targeted first in combat, and you paid plenty of cp for that privilege. In MMOs, the DPS characters need to dealing maximum damage otherwise the mob will stop attacking the tank and target the DPS instead. At this time, I see this trait being more useful to worker pods (to carry bigger cargo more easily) than anyone else.

I would revise that trait so it would be a neutral trait, or as a trait no more expensive than 5 cp. Because it can be a liability in combat, I'm almost willing to consider it a negative trait.

Repurposing Specialist - I'm debating if this should be 5 cp instead of 10.

Smart Animal traits - I don't think it wise to be dumping too much cp on such traits. I think you would get better mileage through the use of automated robots. Just make sure you know to turn off the networking ability of your bots, or they may end up hacked and used against you.

In a firewall game, you are likely to be ego casted around a lot. Unless you can take your animals with you, you're going to need some down time to make use of this trait. If events are rushed too often, you are not going to be able to train smart animals for you to use. That, or encourage the enemy to pick a fight on your home habitat where you should have many smart animals ready to be used.

Q. 5 – Were there any Negative traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

No.

Q. 6 – Were there any traits that you didn’t think should be included?

As I've mentioned in question 2, I don't like traits or rules that distort your effective cp. For those reasons, I think that traits like "In Dept", "Intense Relationship", and "Titian Microcorp Owner" should be removed.

I also think that there may be a shortage of opportunities to use the smart animal training traits, so I would argue that those traits be removed, and have the advantages those traits offer to be available to any character who skilled in the correct skills.

Q. 7 – Are there any traits missing?

Maybe. These ideas were inspired by reading some of your traits.

Can't work with others (5 cp) - Negative trait. Inspired by Brinker Solitude. This character can't work well with others. This character does not benefit from team work bonuses. If this character tries to help, it is more hurtful than helpful.

Finds others distracting (10 cp) - Negative trait. Inspired by Brinker Solitude. This character is easily distracted by others, whether they are doing something annoying in the character`s presence, or observing them through the mesh. More people equals worse penalties.

Mesh Phobia (5 cp) - Negative trait. Inspired by Muse Phobia. This trait handles the part where a character can't handle the mesh well by itself. This frees up Muse Phobia to only needing to worry about phobias towards muses.

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

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

Just reading and thinking :)

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

It needs some tweaking, but nothing really critical.

Q. 3 – What’s the best part of these rules?
I think it does a really, really great job at making character concepts work, like Drug Fiend, Introspective Forker, Phoenix.

Q. 4 – Were there any Positive traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?
Murder simulator addict is way too cheap. Cover is used almost always and the trait applies to all weapons. I also think a called shot (boom! headshot!) modifier would fit the gamer theme better than anti-cover.
Large Frame - too expensive for what it does. A DUR bonus could fix and it would seem more realistic too.
Freerunning Feint Jumping seems a bit useless and it needs a mechanical advantage. Perhaps once per chase and if the test is succesful, next Turn he can launch a surprise attack (swing around a pole and kick the pursuer, jump and turn into a slide while firing at the pursuer, etc.) with the pursuer unable to attack back?
Unarmed Speed Training: This does way too little for the points.
Information wants to have fun, what is the role for this? Non-social characters that don't care about their social skills anyway and uses this to get reasonable at interacting with AIs? If that's it, I think it needs more levels or something to make it usable, low SAV +20 isn't enough imo. I don't see anyone who invested in SAV and social skills accepting the penalty.

Q. 5 – Were there any Negative traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?
Trusting Heart - too good. The downsides happen so rarely. Maybe a penalty to reject truces or resist deception would balance it.
Socially Graceless - too good. A nobrainer for anyone uninterested in Protocol. Perhaps a social gaffe per session like Faulty Education (at more CPs).

Q. 6 – Were there any traits that you didn’t think should be included?

No.

Q. 7 – Are there any traits missing?
Dual Morpher - this character splits his time between two morphs. As long as his last resleeve between these two morphs have happened within 48 hours, no tests are required. If one of the morphs are replaced with one of the same type, this trait can be used again after an Exceptional Success on the Integration test.
Agressive Personality - gets +10 to Intimidation and hostile negotiations and networking. Think Kovacs from Altered Carbon.
Heart - whenever the character's DUR is below half, he gets +10 on all SOM based tests.
Free Running Wallrunning trick: on inside wall corners the character can run up and grab ledges at up to double his morph's height. If there's a wall the character can run on it to pass an obstable up to his morph's height without slowing down.

I like house rules to boost non-combat characters' viability in combat, some suggestions:
Swarm Specialist - the character can boost the efficiency of swarms by actively directing them. Each turn the character makes a Programming test and for every 10 MoS the swarm does +1 damage. For longer swarm tasks the character can make a Programming Task action to reduce the time.
Tactician - the character can use an appropriate skill to buff team mates on the tacnet.
Electronic Warfare Specialist - the character can (with the proper equipment) impede enemy comms, tacnets and sensors.
Combat Hacker - the character can spoof or hack in ways that are efficient in combat timeframes

LatwPIAT LatwPIAT's picture
I've had yet another look.

I've had yet another look.

Question 1: Review Technique

I, and some friends and friends of friends, went over the rules with the objective to powergame as much of it we could. I've also tried generating a few characters to illustrate the weaknesses.

Question 2: Most Critical Problem

We discovered the following problem: Anything that allows a character to gain a bonus to a social skill benefits an AGI more than it benefits non-AGI characters. Characters with the Infolife background can use the flat bonuses from Traits to get more effective CP than other characters. This becomes especially pressing when the traits are AGI-restricted.

For example, my goal is to build a character who is an expert hacker and a social butterfly. I want Infosec, Interfacing, Programming and Research at 80, and I want Deception, Impersonation, Intimidation, Kinesics, Persuasion and Protocol at 70. I want 80 in one Networking skill, 70 in three other Networking skills, and 55 in five remaining. I also want 45 in Animal Handling.

Built as an AGI: Infolife Mercurial (+10 Deception, +10 Persuation, +20 Networking) in a Dverger with +5 to SAV. COG 10, SAV 30, Social Butterfly.

Total cost with AGI Socialization: 575 CP
Total cost Without AGI Socialization: 965 CP

Building the character, instead, as an Isolate (+20 Inforsec, +20 Interfacing), in order to get both +20 bonuses. (Any other background except Uplift, Hyperelite, Fall Survivor and Reinstated could substitute; the Isolate just makes the math easier.)

Total cost: 745 CP

It should be easy to see that AGI Socialization gives Infolife characters an unfair bonus in CP; with the build I chose, for example, the AGI has 170 extra CP to spend on skills compared to non-AGIs, and is more efficient than other AGIs by 390 CP

It should be noted that this is not only for AGI Socialization; all the other abilities that give bonuses to skills, such as Brinker Solitude, are similarly broken when given to an AGI character.

Question 4: Unbalanced Positive Traits

Specialist Guru
The part that can actually be considered clearly-written rules text of this trait is the following. "The character chooses one of his Skill Specializations. For every level of Specialist Reputation, he gains a +10 bonus on any Social Skill or Networking Skill Test in which his Specialization is relevant."

Hence, I can pick Academics: Psychology (Personality Psychology), or Academics: Psychology (Human transhumans), and get an instant +30 to all my social skills for just 15 CP. (...except Animal Handling)

Trick Shot, also Murder Simulator Addict and TACNET Sniper
There's not really any need for more ways to add bonuses or negate penalties in firearms combat. It's already dirt easy to get a 99% chance to hit a target at average range; there's no need to make it a 99% chance to hit multiple targets when you don't even have a line-of-sight to any of them target, in the dark, while the targets are behind cover and all are the size of a common housefly.

Question 5: Unbalanced Negative Traits

In Debt
This Trait can be taken to add 30 CP to your CP-pool at character-generation. It will then drain 1 REZ each session. For any game expected to last less than 30 sessions, this trait is basically free points. For any game expected to last more than 30 session, this trait costs points and isn't worth taking.

But, it can be bought off by taking a dangerous mission, possibly involving Exurgents or TITANs. Since the default campaign in EP is fighting Exurgents and/or TITANs, the downside of this trait can be bought off by having the character do exactly what they were going to be doing anyway - meaning that it's simply 30 free CP at character-generation.

Intense Relationship
The same issue as with In Debt applies; this gives a character free CP as long as the game lasts 10 sessions or less.

Question 6: Traits I don't like

Brinker Solitude
This Trait encourages people to act alone, and is hence detrimental to a coherent group of players and player characters. With this trait, it is in every players' best interest to have their characters avoid each other in order to get the maximum bonus they can out of it.

Furthermore, as written, a player can put on a spacesuit, go sit outside alone, and tele-operate a robot to help the other players out, while getting the +10 bonus. The character with Brinker Solitude, as long as the other characters are not there to help them, always get +10; it doesn't actually matter that the character with Brinker Solitude can help the other characters.

Intense Relationship
As written, actually having any form of relationship at all beyond vague friendliness is represented by this trait, meaning that the base character in EP is a family-less, friendless loner, and having friends or family is a negative trait that will disadvantage you in long-term games.

Trick Shot - Point Defence Shot
As written, a normal human in an unaugmented, normal Flat can take this and use it to shoot down micromissiles moving at mach 1 or greater. This should probably require to mental and physical cyber-augmentations to even use, at the very least.

Question 7: Missing Traits

See previous report.

@-rep +2
C-rep +1

ScienceGuy ScienceGuy's picture
Traits feedback

Firstly, thanks to the devs for giving us the chance to give some feedback - thanks guys!

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

Read through with a critical eye.

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

A number of the traits (Cleaner, Freerunning Tricks, Mod Spotter, Repurposing Specialist, the Smart Animal ones, Trick Shot, Unarmed Combat Skills) can pretty much be done using the existing skill +
specialisation system.

It's really nice to have suggestions for how to use various skills, but perhaps it's better to have an "expanded uses" section for skills, rather than create additional traits that aren't really needed?

I also wonder about some of the morph traits (Large Frame, Aquatic Streamlining). Why are these not just implants?

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

The various traits that allow a character an additional layer of coolness in a given aspect of the setting, beyond just having a high skill.

(eg. Async Familiarity, Brinker Solitude, Drug Fiend, Factional Expertise, Introspective Forker, Phoenix, Specialist Guru, TITAN hunter)

In our gaming group, players tend to like to find niches for their characters so that they get those "Stand back! This is what I do best." moments. I think the above traits will be great for this.

Q. 4 – Were there any Positive traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

Is AGI Socialisation a bit too cheap? Seems fairly strong.

Large Frame is way too expensive for what it is. How about +5 DUR as part of the package, too?

Brinker Solitude is too cheap, IMO. Maybe 20cp. And I would make the +10 skill checks bonus harder to use - this is a pretty awesome bonus! I'd be inclined to make it a 'helper' bonus (i.e. the PC can give a
+10 helper bonus to themselves, when properly alone)

Q. 5 – Were there any Negative traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

Nothing to add here over what others have said already.

Q. 6 – Were there any traits that you didn't think should be included?

A number of these traits should, IMHO, be handled simply as skills (with the option of taking them as a specialisation).

(Cleaner, Freerunning Tricks, Mod Spotter, Repurposing Specialist, the Smart Animal ones, Trick Shot, Unarmed Combat Skills)

Q. 7 – Are there any traits missing?

More options as to how to use Tacnets (eg. Tacnet Sniper). Although perhaps as expanded ways to use existing skills.

Some kind of Combat Hacking option.

Anything that would allow non-combat characters to contribute meaningfully during combat, especially using mental actions.

Quincey Forder Quincey Forder's picture
beta feedback

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

critical eye, and empiric simulation of its use (simply, I tried to imagine what they'd do in game)

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

well, some of them are really gadget or bling-bling with nothing existing rules or roleplay couldn't do.
What really bothers me are tricks for free running or fightings. I feel, just by reading them, they would slow down the combats. When we played Ego Hunter this weekend, my players came up with them on the fly and the fights were fast passed and dynamic. What could be more interesting, as traits, would be affinities with this or that weapon kind, this or that branch of hacking or activities of genehacking.

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

Drug fiend and In Debt. Those two are definite keepers!
I would suggest Drug Fiend domain bound. One can't be metabolysing all the kind of drugs or alcohol or nanostuff. have domains like (Stimulants), (Petal), (narcosim)

Q. 4 – Were there any Positive traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

AGI Socialisation is a really potent trait. Either pump the price up or fraction it by benefit. Or both.

Q. 5 – Were there any Negative traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

others already have covered what I had in mind for that
except maybe for Debt. It would be interesting to have the different debts counted separatedly and paid either in CP/Rez or in REP. So when you repay the dept in full, you regain the rep engaged in it

Q. 6 – Were there any traits that you didn't think should be included?

all the tricks, for reason said above. At most, keep them as specialization for related skills

Q. 7 – Are there any traits missing?

The affinities I mentioned before.
Should provide bonuses on related skills (depending the situation) or cheapen the purchase of specialization for said affinity's skill
oh and the positive version of In Debt, for those who own favor to you.
Ressources related trait, either positive of negaive

Q U I N C E Y ^_*_^ F O R D E R

Remember The Cant!

kindalas kindalas's picture
Sorry for the 1800 words I got excited

Eclipse Phase transhuman

Traits Report

Q1

For the traits section I used the critical eye technique and the sit down with current play group and discussed the changes.

Q2

I have two issues. Traits that increase the initiative value and traits that reduce stress from TITAN and Exsurgent sources.
Micro Gravity Fighter, Murder Simulation Addict, Smart Animal Combat Trainer, TITAN Hunter and Exsurgent Attack Survivor all need to be pinned up onto the examples of what will ruin the game bulletin board.
Double goes for TITAN Hunter which I hate with the [descriptive hate].
Reducing stress from sources is fine however TITAN and Exsurgent things are extra bad. They are meant to be like Cthulhu but less nice and cute and having Traits that reduce their threat and make characters more effective when facing them is like finding out that the Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver can make Daleks auto destruct whenever he turns the setting to 11.

Onto initiative, I am of the opinion that because of the deadly nature of combat in Eclipse Phase (any pistol can do 6d10 damage with a full auto assault or 8d10 with two successive 3 round bursts) the initiative roll at the beginning of any given turn is the single most important roll made in combat. Giving a number of ways for characters to boost their initiative is just plain bad.
Mental Speed combined with Micro Gravity Fighter, Murder Sim Addict and TITAN hunter will give a +10 to initiative an effective +100% bonus.
I think we need no further buffs to initiative as the one we have is a pretty cool implant that is balanced by its incompatibility with the other really cool implant that lets you shoot and hack and coordinate TacNet simultaneously.

Q3
I really like the idea of the skill + traits.
I think they should be expanded so that there are traits available for the majority of the skills in the game because I think that it adds variability and flavour to the game without creating cumbersome rules and complexity.

Q4

Aquatic Streamlining should cost 5CP because of the infrequency of water environments.

Async Familiarity, do the Lost get it for free? Do other Asyncs get it free? Is it easy to learn?

The Micro Gravity Fighter costing 5 CP is way too low for what it gives I recommend killing it or making it cost 20CP or be an Expensive implant that.

I’ve already hated all over the TITAN Hunter and Exsurgent Attack Survivor but they are must have traits for anyone in Firewall, Militaries, Security Forces, Mercenaries and Orphanages. They are worth more than Moxie so I will bitch and moan about them here too. Unless they are already nuked then “Yay!”

Brinker Solitude would be worth 10 CP just for the +20 to avoid stress when isolated. But the rest should be tossed and it should be worded more like the reason why long haul transport pilots don’t go full crazy without normal social interaction. So make it cost 40 as written especially because it encourages a play style that gives GMs migraines and causes PCs to say things like “You were separated for a long time while we were dealing with that Exsurgent infected habitat so maybe we should just restore you from backup to be safe.”

Factional Expertise refers to the Jovian Republic as the Jovian Junta. It should be Jovian Republic. Because if the OOC game language shows the organisations respect then the criticism that Eclipse Phase is all “Left wing” all the time will have even less ground to stand on and clutter up the internet.

Freerunning Tricks the Free Climbing Trait should be allows a character with Freerunning to make a test to increase the speed at which they can climb, before making a regular climbing test. My friends who are into Parkour (not in the Office kind of way) say that they people who can do the vertical wall run/climb tricks are at an extra insane above the regular insane practitioner, so I feel that in the game Freerunning shouldn’t replace climbing but it can change it from a slow and cautious (ie sane) affair to a risky and foolish yet impressive feat.

Information wants to have fun should cost 5CP or even 0CP as AGI are a minority fraction of transhumanity and the -10 is harsh.

Introspective Forker should be a level 1-3 traits costing 10, 20 and 30 and givng a +10 and -1SV per level.

Mod Spotter makes no sense to me at all as a trait. I understand how X-rays or T-rays or MRI scans can detect implants in morphs but I don’t understand how the reading body language skill will reveal if you have enhanced vision or Medichines or Neurachem or…

Murder Simulator Addict trait needs to give a penalty to correctly deciding if someone is a valid target or just shooting them in the head. Because Children hiding behind a desk look a lot like a sim player waiting to ambush you who is hiding behind a desk. You can also change the name of this one to Poor rules of engagement. I’d let Oracles negate the penalty to determining the difference between a cowering civilian and a sneaky attacker.

Phoenix should be a level 1-2 trait where level one gives +20 bonus and level 2 gives a +30 bonus to continuity tests. (for 10 and 20 CP respectively)

Repurposing specialist should be possible without the trait for a -20 penalty like the other Skill + traits.

Smart Animal Combat Trainer I hate because I think it covers an area the Animal Handling skill should be able to do by default.

Smart Animal teamwork should be possible without the perk at a -20.

Titanian Microcorp Owner should have the following location specific alternate names Hyper Corp Franchisee, Extropian Business Person, LLA Entrepreneur, Jovian Republic Business Owner, and Morning Star Constellation Guy/Gal/They with Income. I dropped the ball with the last one.

Trick Shot, does it work for all of the shooting at things skills or are they specific? Should there be ones that would work with more than one type of weapon or just one specific type. Should the skills be at 40+

For Point Defense Shot (which is way cool) should there be different penalties for grenades and seekers? and for different sizes of grenades and seekers. SO -10 for misslies and grenades, -20 for minimissiles and mini grenades and -30 for micromissiles. What about Full Auto kinetic fire is that a +30 bonus? Should it eat ammo like suppressive fire does? What about using seeker missiles as flack to shoot down other seeker missiles? How do EMP warheads affect other seekers. Or spray weapons?
I only point this out because I love it and I sorry to whoever has to think about these things and make them into rules that read nice and English like.

For Unarmed Combat Techniques should the skill be at 40?

And for Knock out Strike instead of 8 DV how about 1 wound is treated like 2 for the purposes of making a knock out check. P207 EP

Q5

Faulty Education, some Jovians not most Jovians again the language choice causes criticism. I’d give it a level 1 and a level 2 (20 pts and 30 pts) for a once a session and twice a session draw back.

Firewall Rival should be renamed as Faction Rival.

In Debt needs fixed values and a recommendation for either a bank like over time interest rate of 3% with high collateral (a morph), 18% with no collateral (only available) in old economies and the mobster style broken fingers every week method. So give recommendations and make it up to the GM and player to negotiate. Oh and make it so that the CP from debt can be spent on cred during character generation above the normal 100 CP limit.
Intense Relationship should be killed with fire. It reminds me of anti-social gameplay styles and just should be a role playing thing.

Low Gravity Adaptation I’d scratch out the gives wounds part and user the normal high gravity rules just starting at 0.38 G. So people act like they are suffering from wounds but they don’t start tearing apart on the inside. Because bodies can briefly sustain a lot of G without the stuff holding things in place turning into confetti.

Muse Phobia I’d make it 10CP and take out that whole line of -10 to all the skills. But I’d expand it to include a refusal to use all AI software.
Socially Graceless I hate below. Make it worth 30 points.
Trusting Heart is awesome keep it forever.

Q6

Intense Relationship can take a hike. As that’s role playing area.

Socially Graceless can also hit the circular file because it will be a trait that is taken for meta reasons and can be done more productively through role playing.

I think Large Frame should be tossed. But that’s because it doesn’t make any sense to me as a trait.

Aquatic Streamlining should be an implant, cost high. Or it should have its cost dropped to 5cp

Q7

I think we need a couple of zero cost traits, like the Alien Biochemistry one from Gatecrashing.

We need traits to represent morphs that fall into specific size categories. Like Very Small; for synthmorphs from that micro colony on Luna, Small; for Neotenics, Neo-Avians and Flexbots, and Large for the Neo Whales and the Fenrir kill bot.

Extra Small and Small should feature a reduction in the Morph Max SOM of -10 and -5 respectively and a reduction of DUR of say -10 and -5. All of which would be already calculated in the current morphs with that trait in their descriptions.

Large Morphs should have +20 DUR and get the reach advantage in melee combat and the one handing of assault rifles and other two handed gear.

There should be I suppose a negative trait for extra-large morphs that would grant much DUR but also severely limits mobility and dramatically increase food or even energy intakes.

I’d include a negative trait commonly found on large morphs giving that -20 to equipment that hasn’t been built or adjusted for their frames. I’d say it would be worth 10 CP but negated by wrist mounted tools.

We also need a zero cost trait for Morphs that don’t have the bipedal human shape. That gives extra limbs or wings or weapons mounts but also incurs the Exotic Morph penalty for the Integration and Alienation Tests.

And why don’t we have a trend in the more synthmorph unfriendly regions for the kinds of people who build synthmorphs with regular batteries and electrical sockets (wireless or wired) that constantly need recharging and instead of having 3-5 years of radio isotope decay powered bodies are forced to serve at the whim of the people with access to the breaker switches. That would have to be a negative morph trait worth 10 or even 20 points. Say an 8 hour charge at level 1 for 10 CP and 1 hour charge at level 2 for 20 CP.

So again sorry about the 1800 word length.

And I hope it helps.

William Wilson

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

Q. 1 – How did you review the material in this draft?
Critical eye, as well as some discussion/playtesting in our group

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

Specialist Guru
We felt that this skill would be a lot simpler and logical if you applied it to field skills instead of skill specializations. That way its like you have a recognized masters degree or a PhD in your field. For gun nuts wanting to be experts at guns you always have Hardware: Armorer and Knowledge skills are also field skills so you can still be a specialist guru in anything you can dream about.

TITAN Hunter
No. Just... No.

Large Frame (morph only)
Change this to:

+10 DUR
+10 to hit this character
Able to handle 2H weapons in 1H
-20 to all checks handling fine items (Everything from assembling a jigsaw puzzle, to carefully petting a small animal)
Has superior reach trait for melee combat. (+10 Defence, +10 Attack)

Intense Relationship
This must be made more roleplayable. Instead of rez points, give the character stress points if he/she is away from his loved ones for too long. (Kind of like an Async gets stress if he's in a synth morph) Having to spend rez points doesn't feel like the right idea. The level of this trait should increase -modifiers and timeframe which the character can be apart from his family.

-10, 20, 30 on all actions if he hasn't heard from his loved one
1 month, 1 week, 1 day can go by without hearing from the loved one
Double stress points if witnessing loved one die no matter level

Socially Graceless
Make this "Once per game, the storyteller can rule that a successful protocol roll is a failed roll since the character applied the rules of etiquette for a different faction instead of the intended one"

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

Freerunning tricks, Trick shot, Unarmed Combat Techniques
These were all very well received in our group, it gave some flavor as well as added functionality to a few skills that already see a lot of use. Seeing as we enforce the maximum of 50 CP worth of traits it prevented the players from picking all of them. (If they wanted any other trait other than tricks that is)

Some of these tricks seemed to make other skills useless, such as being able to climb/infiltrate with freerunning. But this was easily circumvented by disallowing them to use freerunning to climb/infiltrate in certain environments/situations. (Forcing them to still spend points in climbing/infiltration unless they wanted to risk hurting themselves if their freerunning didn't help them out)

Repurposing Specialist
This was VERY well received, though perhaps mostly because my group really likes McGuyver. We did think that someone with the appropriate hardware skill should be able to do this too for certain things. (Hardware: Electronics, Hardware: Robotics etc) using scrounging as a way to get the parts only.

We didn't think it should be possible with just scrounging without this trait (even with a -20 modifier) because we felt that the scrounging skill really should just enable you to find things of value and not actually use it if you don't use hardware skills.

Trusting Heart
Love this.

Q. 4 – Were there any Positive traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

Information Wants to Have Fun
Remove the -10 to transhumans and lower the bonus to +10, or make this trait a 0 cost trait. The +20 to AGI beats the -10 to transhumanity so why should it cost CP as well?

Aquatic Streamlining (Morph Trait)
Make this cost 5CP, or make it an enhancement bought with credits.

Q. 5 – Were there any Negative traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?
Not at the moment, we will continue playing around with them.

Q. 6 – Were there any traits that you didn't think should be included?
TITAN Hunter

We also believe the smart animal traits should be something you can always do with animal handling.

Q. 7 – Are there any traits missing?

Like before, we'd like some player housing traits. Like a base of operations, if not as a trait than perhaps at least some sort of descriptions of the cost of owning your own place (different sizes etc)

Maybe some trait to make the morph smaller, like a neotenic sized steel morph.

The new Ultimate! edition of my digitally saveable extended character sheet!

Hailspork Hailspork'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?
Several of the traits with skill requirements seem to lessen the skill itself by requiring them to be purchased as a trait. Adding them as an expansion to the skills as they are would be much better for most of these.

Q. 3 – What's the best part of these rules?
Oddly enough, the same skills that I referred to in Q2; just not the trait aspect of them. I like the concept of making freerunning, scrounging, animal handling, etc more thought out, but I'd like to see these open to more people... well, the freerunning as tricks seems fine.

Q. 4 – Were there any Positive traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?
Large Frame is too expensive; perhaps 10 CP? Murder Simulator Addict might be too cheap; this seems like a must-have for a combatant character. Perhaps 15 or 20?

Q. 5 – Were there any Negative traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?
Faulty Education is too "expensive". 20 CP would be better. Proprietary Tech is too "cheap", compared to morph traits (though I think all morph traits but this should be reduced). 15 CP might be better.

Q. 6 – Were there any traits that you didn't think should be included?
Intense Relationship. Not only do I not like the idea of a blanket Rez penalty, but I also think this puts a player at odds with the GM for several types of adventures. GM: Let's go Gatecrashing! Player: Can we not do that? I want my character to spend time with his SO.

Q. 7 – Are there any traits missing?
Hmm... perhaps something like:
Forked (-10): The character has an unwanted escaped Beta fork that refuses to merge with the original. The two egos are at odds with each other for resources; the character can usually manage to keep their credits separate, but it's not uncommon to infringe on each other's rep. One of the character's higher reputations should have the high or scarce favor unavailable.
Forked L2 (-30): Same as above, but the character is the Beta fork. All the problems above, and additionally, the character can not start with moxie above 1, can not have (start with?) the psi trait, and can not start with a skill above 60. (assume the -5 aptitude penalty is either reduced over time or the original had really good aptitudes?) The character has less rights in many colonies, and may face different treatment from people who know the truth.

Re-Laborat Re-Laborat's picture
Q. 1 – How did you review the

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

Q. 2 –What's the most critical problem you've identified in these rules?
Several of these Traits are exceedingly campaign-specific. I.E., in some campaigns, noone would take them, and in other campaigns, everyone would take them. That's a problematic situation, IMHO.

Additionally, far too many of these Traits create situations where CP must be spent to do things which previously were open to anyone who had the appropriate skill - vide Repurposing Specialist, whose existence suddenly weakens the combination of Scrounging and Hardware Skills by suggesting that these tasks cannot be covered using those skills without also having the Trait.

Q. 3 – What's the best part of these rules?
Phoenix and Introspective Forker both seem appropriate to their costs and very H+.

Q. 4 – Were there any Positive traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

AGI Socialization - This trait seems outrageously inexpensive for the benefit it offers. Effectively, this means that for 10 points, the AGI gets all of its usual Social skill values except against a fairly small percentage of other characters...Which most characters should suffer social penalties to deal with. In short, for 10 pts, your AGI gets its half-cost specialty skills without the penalty of having to pay double for social skills. Pays for itself as soon as you've put 10 pts into social skills.

Aquatic Streamlining - Too expensive for a trait which will only be useful rarely. In a game where one knows much of the game will be spent in aquatic habitats it is worthwhile, otherwise it's ridiculously expensive. 5pts would seem more appropriate, and it will need to be applied to all extant aquatic morphs for free.

Async Familiarity - Interesting because it puts a buy-in on not merely knowing about Asyncs but being able to spot them. Actually seems moderately cheap for the ability it confers.

Brinker Solitude - Questionable. Except in a firefight, an awful lot of teamwork seems to be knowledge-skill based, so mesh access should prevent this triggering in my opinion. Effectively, if mesh access is allowed, the Brinker Scout becomes an exceedingly effective template who can handle all manner of things due to remote mesh-teamwork.

Exsurgent Attack Survivor - I would halve the bonus to Stress Tests. +20 is immense, and this Trait would almost certainly only be pursued by characters expecting to participate in an Exsurgent game...In which case everyone would buy it. When a purchased character attribute is good enough that it becomes indispensable for all characters, I question it severely.

Information Just Wants to Have Fun - This might as well be created as a default 'My Type Against All Others' trait. I.E., something similar for Uplifts, something similar for Clankers, Tongs, etc. to represent familiarity with one's own 'home society'.

Large Frame - As others have commented, reach is handled elsewhere in the rules. The -20 penalty to skill tests with one-handed weapons and tools is easily obviated by having an extra limb or two which are 'normal sized' or simply buying the Smart Manipulators from Rimward. (Or, for that matter, having someone manufacture a grip for the small tool or firearm more appropriate to your scale. Seriously.) All that remains then is the combat bonus and enemy to hit bonus. Rethink this.

And while we're at it, fix the whole business of Avian uplifts (child-sized) not having the small, difficult target bonus which Neotenics enjoy. Consistency!

For that matter, consider putting 'Small Frame' in as a morph trait, with a penalty to use unmodified two-handed weapons, a bonus to fine manipulations, and a penalty to unarmed and melee weapon attacks against larger enemies as well as the penalty to hit due to small size.

Mod Spotter - Given the ease with which a morph's appearance may be altered, I question being able to reliable spot many 'human normal' scale morphs as the morph they are, much less being able to determine if they have concealed 'ware. Additional sensory capability should also play into this, and is Kinesics really the right skill to be rolling with?

Smart Animal Combat Trainer seems as if it should be subsumed into the basics of Animal Handling. Smart Animal Teamwork is rather more open-ended and seems reasonably to be its own trait. I would place an upper limiter on the number of teamwork tricks an animal can be taught.

Specialist Guru seems reasonable, but emphasize that it is creditbility when discussing the topic, not actual use of the skill specialization in question.

TITAN Hunter - I would remove the bonus to Stress tests, or all reference to Exsurgents, otherwise this stacks too easily and too powerfully with Exsurgent Attack Survivor. I also question the +3 Initiative bonus. This is another of those Traits which can be metagamed too easily into either 'This is not a TITAN/Exsurgent campaign, noone will take this Trait' or 'This is a TITAN/Exsurgent campaign, the Trait is effectively mandatory and everyone takes it and gets to use it all the time.'

Trick Shot - Running Shot plus various cheap weapon add-ons results in no effective penalty for firing on the move. I question this benefit for a mere 5 pt expense.

Unarmed Combat Techniques - Ground Fighter seems rather powerful - things which ignore armor generally do. Armor in EP is a problem in and of itself which likely should be addressed. Every EC campaign I have played in has had house rules regarding maximum armor use.

Microgravity Fighter - I take issue with the implementation as a matter of initiative. Familiarity with fighting in microgravity shouldn't make someone inherently faster than they would be when fighting in normal gravity. I could see reduction of an initiative penalty (less time spent flailing around) but not this arbitrary increase to base initiative.

bibliophile20 bibliophile20's picture
Q. 1 – How did you review the

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


So far, gone over them with a critical eye and made them available to my players for our character generation session this past Friday. The resident munchkins of the group were honest enough to bring a few issues up, rather than try and sneak them past me.

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


AGI Socialization is broken and cannot be allowed into the game in its current form. More details below.



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


We liked that there were traits designed for making certain character concepts more viable and expanding or even restricting character options, such as:
Drug Fiend--useful for playing certain scum and socialite characters
Cleaner--a very nice addition for erasure squads and the careful Firewall sentinel.
Async Familiarity--handy, and a reminder that, no Asyncs are not common knowledge
Introspective Forker--one of my PCs is taking this trait, a serially forking AGI with Mental Disorder: Co-Dependency (Self)
Phoenix--never underestimate the adaptability of the human mind. (And I just had a hilarious NPC idea...)
Repurposing Specialist--MacGyvering For The Win! One of my PCs will probably end up buying this during gameplay.
Titanian Microcorp Owner--another PC is taking this trait, with a focus on Profession: Prospecting; it's a gatecrashing campaign, and he likes the idea of creating a business for the purposes of exploiting the planets they're exploring.




Q. 4 – Were there any Positive traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?


AGI Socialization is broken; as others have pointed out, it gives a +10 to too many skills, and all of those skills are more expensive for AGIs to begin with, meaning that, unless the character is in an AGI/Uplift-intensive campaign, it is far too cheap. Counting the individual Networking skills, there are 15 social skills, meaning that this trait offers an effective value in the neighborhood of 300 CP, due to the fact that, for AGIs, social skills cost double. If I were to rewrite this trait, I'd set it that, for a particular skill, the AGI gets that +10 when dealing with humans, and make it a 5 CP/10 CP/etc cost per level, up to four skills.

Brinker Solitude is a little too overpowered, especially for its cost. Giving a bonus for Stress tests feels like it is going against one of the core concepts of the setting--that the primary means of character "death" is going insane. This is especially for being so cheap, and it also incentivises players to go off on their own and split from the group--always an annoyance for the GM to manage.

Drug Fiend feels a little too expensive; yes, it lets the character abuse drugs, but not with abandon. Major addictions are still major issues, and a character that abuses multiple drugs will face those issues eventually. I'd recommend dropping this down to 15 CP, or maybe even 10.

Exsurgent Attack Survivor: why wouldn't a Firewall sentinel have this? It's too good for too cheap, with the same issue as the Brinker Solitude--going insane is the primary core danger, and giving a 20% bonus to resist sanity damage for a mere 10 CP is way too cheap.

Freerunning Tricks/Trick Shot/Unarmed Combat Techniques: I like the idea, but I don't like the idea that anyone else trying to do these stunts is at a -20 penalty. Maybe instead make this another of the "Need to have 40 ranks in the related skill" traits, and instead give a bonus to the attempted trick--the character has trained so hard and intensively for that trick that it is ingrained in muscle memory, being literally instinctive. Others, who haven't trained as intensively, are just at their base skill or a slight penalty.

Information Wants To Have Fun: Sort of the opposite of the AGI Socialization trait, this is really a negative trait in disguise. As others before me have pointed out, this trait will have penalties far more often than any sort of benefit in nearly all campaign scenarios.

Large Frame: this feels odd; while I like the idea of being able to customize the size of an individual morph, this is way too expensive for what it does. Perhaps reduce the cost to 5 CP?

TITAN Hunter: another one that gives bonuses versus stress. I don’t know, but that just feels too much like giving a bonus versus SAN loss in a Call Of Cthulhu game--something contrary to the game’s core concept.





Q. 5 – Were there any Negative traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?


Faulty Education is basically Real World Naivete for biological people; it should cost the same, 10 CP.

Socially Graceless, as it bans a very important skill, should have a much bigger bonus, as it forces the character to eternally default to their SAV. Perhaps 20 CP?


Q. 6 – Were there any traits that you didn’t think should be included?


In Debt--I don't necessarily like the mechanic, but I agree that there should be a mechanism for having a character in massive debt, given how indentured service is such a big part of the setting. But forcing a character to spend some of their few Rez Points on getting rid of debt feels like a nasty mechanic.

Intense Relationship--similar to In Debt, a quality that costs Rez Points isn’t a good idea; however, the concept of having dependents or an intense relationship is. Perhaps just have the NPCs created with the trait simply exist and trust the GM to complicate the character’s life, without a reduction in Rez Points?

Q. 7 – Are there any traits missing?

I’m personally partial to some of the homebrew traits that are listed over on Path Of Totality; I like the Imperturbable trait, since it lets the Stress test be deferred, but does not give a bonus against stress, and the Mentally Tough trait chain, which, instead of giving a bonus versus mental trauma, increases Lucidity and Trauma Threshold. Also, for negative traits, also from Path Of Totality, the Bootlegged trait, Implant Dependency, and, of course, the classic Phobia trait.

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -Benjamin Franklin

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

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

Critical eye. Ran past my players in trial character creation stress tests.

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

I'm not too fond of the traits that seem to treat Rez as a unit of time (Titanian Microcorp Owner, In Debt, Intense Relationship). In Debt should require money as an investment, not Rez (as that's what you owe); Intense Relationship should require time; Titanian Microcorp has some potential, but it shows that the game should finally expand on rules regarding managing and running a character-controlled hypercorp/microcorp. These entities are very important in-setting, and simplifying their existence down to a few skill bonuses and a money perk doesn't cut it.

Also, the debt incurred from the In Debt trait seems crazy-high. Makes the trait largely not worth it.

Lastly, the AGI Socialization trait seems like a bad patch for the Infolife background, which needs to be directly fixed, rather than with workarounds like this.

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

Freerunning Tricks, Trickshot and Unarmed Combat Techniques are some of the most interesting traits the game has released so far. They are interesting, expandable and my playgroup loves them. I think they could be the basis for a whole new skill subsystem that I think would improve the game vastly. I want to see more of these sorts of traits.

Q. 4 – Were there any Positive traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

Large frame seems costly, considering that it makes the morph easier to hit in combat and eliminates its ability to effectively use smaller weapons. A durability or armor bonus might mitigate this issue, but otherwise I might recommend dropping the cost to 15 at most.

Q. 5 – Were there any Negative traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

In Debt provides far too massive a penalty for its point benefit. A starting deficit of 5000 credits per level would have sufficed (so 15000, 30000, 45000 for total debt values).

Q. 6 – Were there any traits that you didn't think should be included?

Microgravity Fighter could probably be merged with Freerunning Tricks or Unarmed Combat Techniques just fine.

Q. 7 – Are there any traits missing?

More psi traits, plz. In fact, more psi everything.

Some new hacking traits would be useful. There was one Shadowrun trait where the player's criminal record would strangely disappear after a time if they ever got one. That would be a very interesting trait in a setting like Eclipse Phase.

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

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

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

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

Simple reading. So some of my opinions might miss the point.

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

AGI Socialization. Many of persons in EP setting would be human-born, so it become very rewarding 10 CP invest than Social Skills or SAV. More worse, you can take it more than one time. So take it 5 times, you have +50 bonus at many of social Tests. It is BROKEN.

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

Trick Shot (Point Defense Shot). It is very cool! That said, I am feeling the whole trick concept should include more non-physical actions (like Cleaner or Smart Animal Combat Trainer) and deserves more treatment (a section or chapter).

Among Negative Traits, I like Firewall Rival, Identifiable Quirk and Proprietary Tech.

Q. 4 – Were there any Positive traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

Brinker Solitude. While the idea sounds cool, bonuses are too rewarding. And it discourages teamwork with other player characters.

Exsurgent Attack Survivor and TITAN Hunter. While these characteristics are cool, I prefer to represent them with Motivation.

Large Frame. If a morph is too large to use regular-sized items, it is even more difficult to wear regular-sized clothing/armor. And I think a "large target" is large as much as a car (the Corerule, p. 193), so I fell a morph being "Large Frame" should be diffrent morph, like Daitya a new morph.

Murder Simulator Addict. If EP simulspace combat gamers are better than nowadays soldiers, EP soldiers will go simulspace and take this Trait also.

A few Tricks enable special action or skill usage, like Free Climbing and Divebomb Strike. While I like the ideas, I felt they deserve more CP.

Titanian Microcorp Owner. Is it possible to own non-Titan mini companies, like small businesses or personal businesses? If it works on Titanian Microcorp only, should extra benefits be reputation rather than Credit?

And it is likely its bonus is given to more than one skills, so it would be CP bargain. I think "it works with non-Titan mini companies and doesn't provide skill bonus" would be balanced.

Q. 5 – Were there any Negative traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

In Debt. It takes much more Rez than CP to get rid of it. For example, In Debt (level 1, 10 CP) needs 20,000 + 1d10 * 1,000 Credit (= 20+ 1d10 Rez) AND 10 Rez. It doesn't pay, if you ever hope to pay back the debt. And it encourages expendable char-built.

Socially Graceless. Is there any difference between the untrained and a character with Socially Graceless? But it would be ballanced if a character with Socially Graceless can't default.

Trusting Heart. it is rare to use Kinesics against allies or friends. I feel more penalty, like "it work at all Opposed Social Test againt allies or friends" or "can't roll the Opposed Test" would work.

Q. 6 – Were there any traits that you didn't think should be included?

A few traits that provide +10 bonus with 5 CP. If just one skill is modified it is same as Specialization. If more than one skills are midified it is better than Specialization so it is broken.

Q. 7 – Are there any traits missing?

I'd like to have mental hardening as a Positive Trait. I agree some stressful experience (for examle, extreme violence) make me inhumane. But I am not sure other stressful experience (for examle, resleeving) make me so or should make me so. And mental hardening as a Positive Trait can work for frequent resleevers or egocasters or combat veterans.

Your average, everyday, normal, plain and dull transhuman

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http://janusfacedsoutpost.blog.fc2.com/

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

Q. 1 – How did you review the material in this draft?
I havn't had a chance to put them into play, yet. I've discussed them with a couple of my usual players, used them in character generation and modification to existing characters.

Q. 2 –What's the most critical problem you've identified in these rules?
I found no 'endemic' issues with the traits. I do have a few suggestions;

Why does factional Expertise *not* include a networking bonus? It probably should.

Concerning skill tricks, if you keep these as written there must be an explicit statement that the 50 point cap to positive traits does not apply after character generation. One of the people I play with was very excited for this expansion but convinced that there's no way to take advantage with thier existing character because he is 'trait maxed'.

Optionally;

Spoiler: Highlight to view
I'd prefer that, instead of individual Traits, these were available as "Techniques"; specific secondary skill specializations. The trait would allow a character to buy Techniques just like Specializations, (5 CP/Rez each) but ,like the traits, they would provide a condition or situation limited benefit instead of the +10 specialization bonus and a character could have several techniques for each skill in addition to the singular Specialization.

(In addition to completely wrecking kindalas' Excel Character sheet. ;-) This would avoid the untrained character having access to advanced maneuvers and allow more funky texture and nuance in future mechanics. Certain techniques might only be available at higher or lower skill levels. Techniques could be chained with access to one dependent on possession of another. Techniques may be dependent on morphology, environment. In the case of Ranged weapons this would also highlight that there are differences in application and operation of the different types of weapons, beam vs. seeker. vs spray. It would also blunt the effect of tricks on ranged weapons which are pretty game-able already. In addition there could be specific tricks for beam, kinetic spray and seeker weapons or ammunition options individually. For Example;
Trick Shot Cost: 5 CP
The character has trained in specialized techniques with ranged weapons. A character with the Trick Shot Trait may purchase each of the Techniques listed below as special secondary skill specializations for a ranged weapon skill. These Techniques function as extraordinary skill specializations but grant a specific situational bonus to the use of a skill rather than the +10 bonus of a normal specialization. A character may have multiple Techniques for a skill in addition to a single specialization. Like specializations, Techniques cost 5 CP or Rez each.

(insert listing of of techniques; Disarming shot, Pinpoint Shot ...)

Q. 3 – What's the best part of these rules?
I absolutely love the expansion of tactical options allowed by skill trick traits.

Q. 4 – Were there any Positive traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

AGI socialization is too cheap, It's a +10 bonus to at least 7 skills it should cost 20 CP.
Aquatic streamlining obviously only applies to non aquatic morphs it's too expensive and should only cost 5 CP.
Murder Simulator Addict is too cheap as written. should be 15 CP
Tacnet sniper requires several expensive (and usually restricted?) gear items. It's too expensive. Should be 15 CP

Q. 5 – Were there any Negative traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?
Faulty Education grant's too much bonus as written. It should be 20 CP (or apply to technical skills as well as knowledge skills)

Q. 6 – Were there any traits that you didn't think should be included?
I'd nix the Drug Fiend trait. It's scientifically wrong as well as promoting a socially unhealthy myth. Or, turn it upside down and make it a negative trait.

Q. 7 – Are there any traits missing?
I'd like to see Hardening (core p 214) available as a trait. It should cost 5 CP per condition and work exactly as written including lowing max Moxie or 10 CP without the Moxie hit. (Because I sometimes want to write a killer who's not squeamish and I don't think that certain uplifts should be bothered by some of the things on the Stress table.)

I also would like Freefall Techniques

MORE DRM morph drawbacks.

Cross Faction Rep drawbacks. Something that represents the potential difficulties of having a Jovian Faction and High @-rep. Or Barsoomian Faction and High C-rep. Or just having high G-rep anywhere.

Something equivalent to the Titanian Microcorp owner that is specific to The Consortium and Extropian factions. They should be power brokers and commodities traders extraordinaire.

Trait's isnt' the place to do this but I'd like someone to expound on the hazards, (lack of friction, ability to duck or change direction), and the benefits, (jumping over houses running really really fast), of low gravity environments. Some of those could have been included in the Freerunning Techniques.

I'd like to see trait's that support the *NON HUMAN* aspects of uplifts, (cause, frankly I get tired of "Dude in a animal costume" uplift concepts), Bonobo Libido, Territorial Imperative, Avian brain Structure, Nonsomatotopic motor complex, Chemoreceptive touch, Proprioseptive insensitivity, Microgravity shedding (The Hair! My god, the HAIR!)

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

kindalas kindalas's picture
Breaking Rules here but...

OneTrikPony wrote:

(In addition to completely wrecking kindalas' Excel Character sheet. ;-)

I have a feeling that when this process is all said and done I'll have rewritten the whole sheet to include everything.

The only thing I'm dreading is more guns that use two types of ammo. {Rant on} Like the $^%&&%$ Seeker Rifle, like how hard would it have been to have a Light, Medium and Heavy Seeker Rifle that uses each of the three sizes of seekers. {Rant Off}

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OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Heh. I find it kind of ironic

Heh. I find it kind of ironic that you do all this work for a game that highlights rep economics.

I'm guessing you've saved the world about 10000 man hours of character gen so far. We should all get together and buy you a olivgarden gift certificate or something. :D

I'm going to hold off submitting my ideas for a Lasershotgun and PlasmaNumchucks for now tho.

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

bibliophile20 bibliophile20's picture
OneTrikPony wrote:

OneTrikPony wrote:

I'm guessing you've saved the world about 10000 man hours of character gen so far. We should all get together and buy you a olivgarden gift certificate or something. :D

I would certainly chip in for that, and I get the feeling that so would at least some of my players. (Heck, kindalas, if you're ever in the upstate NY region, let me know and dinner's on me).

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -Benjamin Franklin

nostromo1a1 nostromo1a1's picture
Question 7

Any missing traits? Answer yes, plenty.
There is missing traits like,
Ship ownership
Indenturement
Enslavement
As I look through the game books I am bothered by a science fiction oriented game that is in space with nothing on ships. Either for characters to own or even something on the intersystem trade.
Indenturement and slavery is mentioned and nothing more. Hell the flesh market would be big with all the downloadable infomorphs, the available ego's to reinstantiate, and lots of lonely to go around in deep outsystem.

OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Taking a trait that makes you

Taking a trait that makes you an indenture or a slave kinda puts a crimp on your character's ability to be an adventurer. Background and factions; Barsoomian, Mercurial, Reinstantiated etc, tangentially cover the the history of a character who comes from the poor masses. I suppose that a character might be indentured to Firewall.

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

Solar Solar's picture
I agree with OneTrikPony in

I agree with OneTrikPony in that I feel there should be more Traits which relate to the transhuman condition. Unique advantages and disadvantages for various uplift types and AGIs. Perhaps some more stuff that affects psi, things to do with re-sleeving, uploading, forking and so on.

All the things to do with skills are all well and good but they are things I can already do just by having those skills. More ideas on how to use those skills are cool but we don't need Traits for that. What we do need traits for are unique things, independent of skills and aptitudes, that let us show various personality elements, psychological views, social factors and so on.

Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
OneTrikPony wrote:

OneTrikPony wrote:

I'd like to see trait's that support the *NON HUMAN* aspects of uplifts, (cause, frankly I get tired of "Dude in a animal costume" uplift concepts), Bonobo Libido, Territorial Imperative, Avian brain Structure, Nonsomatotopic motor complex, Chemoreceptive touch, Proprioseptive insensitivity, Microgravity shedding (The Hair! My god, the HAIR!)
The Doctor The Doctor's picture
nostromo1a1 wrote:There is

nostromo1a1 wrote:
There is missing traits like,
Ship ownership

I have to second this.

For players who want to run characters that own businesses (like shipping and receiving, and for that matter any business which would be useful for black ops or smuggling), some sort of mechanic for ship and/or automated transport craft ownership would really help. Please, anything but "I'll just take 40cp off the top"!



The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Solar wrote:I agree with

Solar wrote:
I agree with OneTrikPony in that I feel there should be more Traits which relate to the transhuman condition. Unique advantages and disadvantages for various uplift types and AGIs. Perhaps some more stuff that affects psi, things to do with re-sleeving, uploading, forking and so on.

Interacting with the world, too. I keep wondering if "code monkey" or "combat hacker" would make useful traits for characters.



Lalande21185 Lalande21185's picture
Better late than never, right?

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

I went through an exacting ten step process:
1. I tried to convince myself that I should wait for the second draft before looking.
2. I got curious and looked anyways.
3. I read through it with a critical eye and made detailed notes on what exactly was wrong with each trait.
4. I had a panic attack thinking that these traits would actually be included in the game.
5. I reminded myself that it was just a rough draft and the writers would listen to feedback.
6. I wrote an extremely snarky trait-by-trait review which I subsequently deleted.
7. I wrote twenty or so drafts of this post trying to get it perfect.
8. I gave up and wrote this.
9. The site stopped responding. I waited a couple of hours for it to come back.
10. I got myself psyched up enough to overcome my GAD and actually post.

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

There are multiple, endemic problems in these rules (see my answer to Q.4).

If I had to pick one thing that I would say is wrong though, I would say that the majority of the traits are written as D&D 4e feats not as Eclipse Phase traits and thus do not fit the system at all. Examples:

  • In D&D 4e, taking a feat to improve your grappling skill to become a better grappler is perfectly acceptable because you do not allocate points to combat skills directly. However, in Eclipse Phase the way to become a better grappler is to increase your melee skills or to take the subdual specialization of a melee skill.

  • In D&D 4e, feats that let you use one skill in place of another or give you a bonus to one skill if you have another that is also applicable are acceptable. However, in Eclipse Phase, which has explicit rules for doing this (complementary skills), this sort of thing should be handled using those explicit rules, not as a trait.

  • In D&D 4e, there is nothing like the profession or interests skills so taking a feat to represent a profession or interest is a valid choice. Eclipse Phase, in contrast, does have those skills so having a profession (say as a cleaner) or interest (say in a faction) should be represented by taking those skills. If you want bonuses to other skills due to having that interest or profession, you use the complementary skill rules.

  • D&D 4e is a loosely simulationist setting at best. In it things like charging from above to deal more damage or finding smaller targets easier to hit than larger targets or somehow being able to take four shots with a gun when shooting grenades out of the air but not when shooting the much larger opponents who are holding the grenades don't have to make sense. In Eclipse Phase, a much more simulationist system, including these things leads to me writing extremely snarky trait-by-trait reviews which I then delete because I don't want to seem like a jerk.

  • D&D 4e is set up as a limited action option system. Each skill has exact applications, each combat option is exact and precise. Using feats to expand these options makes sense in that system. Eclipse Phase is the opposite. It is a permissive system. If you have Animal Handling you should be able to train animals, especially if you have a specialization in training, you do not need to have a trait that lets you do it. Likewise if you have the scrounging skill and a hardware skill, you do not need a trait that lets you scrounge for hardware parts, you already have that ability.
In conclusion, I think that the majority of the traits presented completely miss the point of both Eclipse Phases mechanical system and the very nature of the game.

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

The following traits seem okay (barring further playtest):

  • Introspective Forker
  • Phoenix
  • Low Gravity Adaption
  • Proprietary Tech

Q.4 – Were there any Positive traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

Aquatic Streamlining: The price seems a little high. It probably should cost 5 CP (equivalent to a high cost implant). It definitely should have an augmentation equivalent (both bioware and cybernetic) and it should list the morphs that already have it (octomorph, neowhales, cetus, etc.)

Drug Fiend: I like this trait but it needs actual play testing as the bonus/benefits may be to large, especially when combined with the addiction drawback.

Q.5 – Were there any Negative traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

Faulty Education: This might be a bit overpriced (and thus hard to buy off if one's education improves). Maybe a 10 CP trait.

Q.6 – Were there any traits that you don't think should be included?
Yes:

  • AGI Socialization: This is obviously broken.

  • Async Familiarity: This is a skill specialization for Kinesics not a trait.

  • Brinker Solitude: 10 cp for +10 to every skill! That dog won't hunt monsignor.

  • Cleaner: This is the skill 'Profession: Cleaner'.

  • Exsurgent Attack Survivor: This is both overpowered (every firewall agent should have it) and redundant as the game already has rules for desensitization to stressors. Worse, it becomes wasted points once hardening kicks in.

  • Factional Expertise: This is another trait that should be a skill. Namely, 'Interest: [Faction]'.

  • Freerunning Tricks: Free Climbing: There is a skill in the game specifically for climbing. It is called 'Climbing'. This trait devalues that skill massively. Instead suggest free running as a complementary skill for climbing under certain circumstances.

  • Freerunning Tricks: Feint Jumping: as Free Climbing but for deception.

  • Freerunning Tricks: Defensive Freerunning: This is identical to a freerunning specialization of 'Full Defense' similar to the Fray specialization of 'Full Defense' that is already included in the core book.

  • Freerunning Tricks: Divebomb Strike: No... just no. Bad physics, bad balance, bad everything. Someone critically failed an Academics: Physics check when writing this one.

  • Freerunning Tricks: Silent Freerunning: See free climbing but replace climbing with infiltration.

  • Information wants to have fun: This seems like a negative trait trying to masquerade as a positive one. Similar effects can be achieved by reducing your SAV aptitude or social skills and using the points to buy specializations in social skills specific to dealing with AGIs instead.

  • Microgravity Fighter: I hate this. Eclipse Phase is already complicated enough without adding a bunch of fiddly little situational bonus to it. Also this trait makes no sense: why would someone in microgravity react faster than someone not?

  • Mod Spotter: This should be a specialty of Kinesics or Perception, possibly using the Hardware: Implants, Medicine: Implants skills, or an Interest skill as complementary skills.

  • Murder Simulator Addict: First conditional initiative bonuses needlessly complicate the game. Second, this is massively overpowered and required for every ranged combatant. Third, a person who plays video games for a couple of months is a better shot than a professional soldier who has fought for tens to hundreds of years? WTF.

  • Repurposing Specialist: By its very existence this trait makes the scrounging skill worse by making characters pay for a basic function of the skill. Everyone with scrounging and the appropriate technical skills should be able to do this anyways as this is one of the main purposes of scrounging!

  • Smart Animal Combat Trainer: see repurposing specialist.

  • Smart Animal Teamwork: see smart animal combat trainer.

  • Specialist Guru: There are already rules for this in the main book (page 173 under the heading 'complementary skills') that handle exactly this sort of situation.

  • Tacnet Sniper: This both completely negates the advantages of laser guided seekers and makes tacnet more powerful. This trait is both unnecessary and completely overpowered. It should be handled as a specialization (indirect fire) on a relevant weapon skill (which gives +10 effectively reducing the penalty to -20) or simply increasing the skill.

  • TITAN Hunter: This has many of the problems mentioned earlier: bad interaction with the hardening rules, a fiddly initiative bonus (how do you know if it is an exsurgent? Why does a real exsurgent and exsurgent like exhuman have different bonuses? What if an exsurgent joins the fight later on? Or an exsurgent is puppet socketing a bot?), and a fiddly defense bonus (exact same problems as the initiative bonus).

  • Titanian Microcorp Owner: What about a hypercorp ownership? An extropian business venture? A criminal enterprise? Handle this as a separate, optional mechanic rather than a trait.

  • Trick Shot: Disarming Shot: Another trait that should be a skill specialty, or handled by just increasing the base skill.

  • Pinpoint Shot: This has a verisimilitude problem: you are better at hitting small things but not large things? How does that even begin to make sense? This should be handled by increasing the weapon skill (accuracy with a weapon is a big part of the skill) or, if absolutely necessary, a skill specialty.

  • Point Defense Shot: Basically you could do the first part of this trait anyways. The difference is in the shooting a number of grenades equal to speed per turn which is nonsensical and broken: I can shoot four very small grenades out of the air with my pistol but I can't effortlessly nail 4 much larger guys with the same pistol. But what if those guys are all holding grenades? Can I shoot all of them then? No? But I can shoot the grenades if they actually throw them? MADNESS!

  • Multi-Shot: Not as bad as point defense but it suffers from the fact that it is a trait that increases weapon accuracy. Why do we even have weapon skills? Not needed, simply increase the weapon skill.

  • Running Shot: Essentially a poor man's gyromount. This should be handled with a skill specialty instead.

  • Cover Shot: This is good. This is really good. This is downright essential to all combatants. This should not be in the game.

  • Unarmed Combat Techniques: Knockout Strike: There are already rules for knocking someone out with damage. This is redundant and weird: Why can you do this with unarmed but not clubs? What about people with cyberbrains? Why is it just as easy to knock out a neotenic with brittle bones than a fury with reinforced metal bones?

  • Unarmed Combat Techniques: Speed Training: Another situational initiative increase. Also why doesn't speed training just merit increasing a base aptitude (probably reflex)? Why can't you have speed training with other weapons: say knives or swords?

  • Unarmed Combat Techniques: Grappler: This is a skills specialty that IS ALREADY LISTED IN THE CORE RULEBOOK! Also you need to keep your terminology straight: make sure to refer to grappling as subdual.

  • Unarmed Combat Techniques: Ground Fighter: This is basically a much improved called shot without the penalties, MOS requirements, and inflicting +1d10 damage. Way overpowered. Also how does this interact with pneumatic limbs? Or an exoskeleton? Cyberlimbs? What about grappling with a grappling aid? Stick with the normal called shot rules and get rid of this trait.

  • Unarmed Combat Techniques: Sweeping Attack: Just increase the base skill or take a specialization.

  • Firewall Rival: This is just the enemy trait from the corebook. Take that instead.

  • Identifiable Quirk: This one would be okay except for the last part. Ability to take a negative penalty for points and then suppress the penalty with a test is pure cheese. This is better handled as the 'incompetent (impersonation)' trait from the main book or by simply reducing the characters impersonation skill by 10 points.

  • Intense Relationship: This one is way to specific to a firewall focused game. It also seems very fiddly. Maybe rewrite it more generally?

  • Muse Phobia: This might be better as a mental disorder with specific rules attached. That way you can gain it from taking traumas.

  • Socially Graceless: This is incompetent (protocol) but slightly better in that it doesn't suffer the -10 penalty and slightly worse in that skillsofts can't be used. My opinion is get rid of it and just stick with incompetent (protocol).

  • Unfocused: This is mental disorder (ADD) or mental disorder (ADHD). It does not require its own trait.

Q.7 – Are there any traits missing?

This is a little late but I felt that small size should have been encompassed in a morph trait. So that small morphs like the neotenics and the spare have the small sized trait (which gives a -10 penalty when attempting to hit them). You would also have a large trait which does the opposite (gives a +10 bonus to hit them, and naturally you can't have both). You sort of have this with the Large Frame trait, but including it like it is really borks up the rules. In short I would like something like this (but better written):

Small Size (morph only, 0 cp): You are significantly smaller than a normal adult human. You may have trouble using very large items such as plasma rifles and some types of gear (such as armor) sized for normal humans. Your small size gives opponents a -10 penalty to hit you in combat. You cannot have both the small size and large size traits. The following morphs described in other books have the small size trait (neotenic, spare, etc.)

Large Size (morph only, 0 cp): You are significantly larger than a normal adult human. You may have trouble using smaller items but may use some of the smaller two handed weapons one handed (provided they have customized grips for your use). Your larger size gives opponents a +10 bonus to hit in combat. The following morphs described in other books have the large size trait (list the various whales and stuff here).

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