[Eclipse Phase / Blue Planet Cross-Over] The Poseidon Factor

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Jet Black Jet Black's picture
[Eclipse Phase / Blue Planet Cross-Over] The Poseidon Factor

OK, this is the (very rough) outline of my planned Eclipse Phase campaign. Please feel free to expand on and criticize my material as much as you like! I’m looking forward to your comments.

Note #1: This campaign will violate some of EP’s usual setting assumptions!

Note #2: This campaign is intended as a sort of cross-over between EP and the Blue Planet setting. It also features a heavily modified version of the adventure Polyhymnia, which was written for SJG’s excellent Transhuman Space.

Somewhere in the outer fringes of the solar system, beyond the orbit of Pluto, is a Pandora Gate or similar mechanism big enough for space vessels to pass through. It leads to the Lambda Serpentis System, 35 light-years from Earth. Discovered during the early stages of the Fall, a secret expedition was sent through the wormhole to establish a colony on Lambda Serpentis II, also known as Poseidon. For reasons unknown, there was a time differential between both ends of the wormhole, so the expedition did end up several decades in the past (about 80 years) and cut-off from Earth. Also, most records about the wormhole and the expedition were lost, and nearly all people in the know killed during the Fall.

The colony on Poseidon, however, did not only survive, but thrive!

Problem: I realize that forgetting such a monumental discovery and loosing an entire expedition is highly unlikely, even when considering the rather apocalyptic Fall of Earth. Therefore, I’m open to alternate suggestions that would allow me to have a secret lost colony in Eclipse Phase...

The Factors use this and other wormholes to travel between the stars in their lighthuggers. They have special devices that allow them to “dial” different wormholes in different systems (basically, they have DHDs as seen in the Stargate TV-franchise). The connection between Earth and Lambda Serpentis was not correctly dialled, which explains the time differential and the fact that the original expedition could not return to Earth.

About 65 years after the initial landing on Poseidon, the Factors come across the colony and establish reserved but friendly contact with the Poseidon-humans. After several years of delicate negotiations, these humans manage to persuade the Factors to take a small group back to Earth. Both sides agree to keep their existence secret from Transhumanity, for different reasons – the Poseidon-humans want to investigate the situation in the solar system before they reveal themselves (or not), while the Factors want to hide their access to the wormhole network.

The Factors arrive in the solar system three years after the Fall. The Poseidon-humans begin to infiltrate Transhumanity.

A militant and isolationist faction of Poseidon-humans establishes a base of operations on a secret aerostat on Venus. They want to suppress all knowledge of the original expedition and the wormhole. Maybe they are somehow influenced by the Factors (or not).

Problem: I need a cool name and a bit more background for the militant faction. They are, after all, the main antagonists!

Charoen is a pre-Fall AGI (maybe even a Promethean?) and a high-ranking Firewall proxy responsible for operations in Earth-Luna-space. Recently, a sentinel brought him some encrypted data containing information about the Poseidon expedition. Charoen has not yet realized the significance of the data, but the militant Poseidon-humans are alarmed. They don’t know enough about Firewall to attack the proxy directly, but they manage to locate a newly minted router codenamed Router 42 and murder him. Using his identity, they assemble a team of sentinels (the PCs) and send them to investigate Charoen and his Polyhymnia nightclub, hinting he could be an unrestrained AGI and threat to Transhumanity. They plan to follow the PCs trail, eliminate Charoen (or let the PCs do the dirty deed) and retrieve the data.

In a perfect world, the PCs will realize in time that they were manipulated and decide to side with Charoen to investigate the Poseidon-humans. This would be the first story arc, concluding with a daring raid on the militant faction’s secret aerostat. I could also imagine a mission where the PCs have to infiltrate a Factor lighthugger to steal a DHD for Transhumanity!

A second story arc would be about a transhuman expedition to Lambda Serpentis and the exploration of Poseidon with the PCs in central positions. Maybe there is a connection between the Factors, Poseidon’s Aborigines and the creators of the wormholes? How would the humans of Poseidon react to a visit from Earth?

So, what do you think? Fun? Rubbish? Too ambitious? Would you play in this campaign? Please let me know!

"You're gonna carry that weight"

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
I've just read your post. My

I've just read your post. My first thoughts.

Does the story require that the players to realize that they have been manipulated within the first game you guys play? I would recommend that the players have several chances, over many stories, to realize that they are being played. Perhaps how soon the "main" begins depends on how soon they realize that they are being played. Maybe in the first story, the AGI they are going after is a beta or delta fork. Their fake mission isn't done when they capture the fork. The real guy they are after could be somewhere else and the players need to track him down. That might give you a a few chances to get your "main" story going, with many hints left along the way to suggest that their "bosses" are not who they say they are. Perhaps they promise support they can't give. Maybe their "bosses" don't know transhumanity as well as they should (they've been separate for over 80 years right?). 80 years is long time to get their facts mixed up.

I can't think of a good name for the organization. While it is tempting to pick one that is appropriate for a bunch of isolationists from another solar system, such a name might reveal hints to the organization' s true nature. It would probably be better to pick a name associated with something unrelated with their goals, like a smuggling cartel or something. Maybe most of the organization is a smuggling cartel - with the purpose being that they serve as a cover, provide contacts, and provide a means to get stuff done. Most of the people who do smuggling work have been recruited locally and given believable stories to keep things running smoothly.

Jet Black Jet Black's picture
I don't like railroading my

I don't like railroading my players, so it will be mostly up to them how long the manipulation lasts. Knowing my usual suspects, they'll probably realize rather quickly that there is something fishy going on (fishy - Poseidon - get it? Please don't hurt me!). Also, don't forget the other factions involved in this mess:

Charoen will use his considerable resources to try tracking down the people who want to eliminate him. Also, he is a reasonable being and not into revenge, so he will at least try to contact the PCs and talk them out of it.

Meanwhile, other members of Firewall will want to find out why one of their routers and a group of sentinels have suddenly "gone rogue". If the PCs were seen as a threat to Firewall security, these people would not hesitate to send an erasure squad after them!

Finally, the militant Poseidon-humans only have a limited window of opportunity to retrieve the data. If the initial hit on Charoen fails, they will try to disappear in order to avoid further scrutiny by Firewall or other factions. Ideally, the whole operation would be viewed as the action of one rogue element within Firewall.

I like your idea of using a smuggling cartel as cover for the militant faction. Consider it stolen!

"You're gonna carry that weight"

Maskin Maskin's picture
I've considered using Blue

I've considered using Blue Planet as an exo world myself. I'm thinking that it will be a world with multiple gates where different factions might seize a gate and island cluster (or underwater habitat) with conflict arising from each faction trying to expand their claim to this new paradise while also discovering that the planet has a very interesting, suspicious and potentially alien or TITAN background...

I like your use of the Factors, but personally I would keep them mostly beyond the reach of the PCs and only hint at their involvement and let the players wonder about their agenda and keep them mysterious and indecipherable - truly alien.

I know you said that you don't mind deviating from EP canon, but Pandora Gates were discovered AF 0-10 and the reason for this is the big question mark if the TITAN's made them and why. If you want to change that go ahead, but as they go back in time anyway I don't see much reason for them to have gone through the gate until AF. Perhaps the poseidons were brinkers in the Oort Cloud who had lost contact with Transhumanity long ago and they stumbled on a new gate unknown to transhumanity. I don't see why it needs to allow space vessels through - in fact I think it is much cooler if they need to rebuild everything on the other side, but you probably have your reasons.

Maybe a faction of the Argonauts also went through the gate after the brinkers (why limit yourself to only one faction on Poseidon, spice it up with interesting conflicts in motion when the players arrive). One cool thing about using brinkers is that you can make them as weird and fanatical as you like.

Finally, for my own venture to Poseidon I would much like to avoid the use of time travel and the can of worms that opens up. Instead I'm thinking that when transhumanity start dropping through the gate they discover primitive and somewhat altered humans(!) - which obviously were artificially introduced, but by who!! TITANS? Prometheans? Factors? Someone else?

Transhuman Mind