Friday, June 29, 2018

I promised I'd write a review of Eclipse Phase

  1. it's overwritten with some of the worst design trends you get these days. kinda like "we wanna have a big 'ol rulebook and have it be technical and we should explain everything." yes, there has been some knowledge gained over these years about editing and clarity of language and sadly eclpise phase does not doo a good job
  2. extremely fucked up picture of stats wherein you have multiple categories of stats sometimes abbrviated to be quite similar (COO and COG) that cross-reference each other in strange ways and are linked to an potentially changing Morph meaning you have to recalculate totals and moreover the information design of the sheets is like long rows of tables all the same color. even your money is actually stats or something.
  3. as a result we the players and the game master didn't really know how to run anything in the game beyond call of cthulu esc stat rolls which we were didnt doing properly. we didn't really know how to approach combat outside of skill rolls like these and ignoring all of the rules
  4. even the "shortened rules" or whatever is too dense and I couldn't get through it or I did skim it and didn't understand it? but it's still "call of cthulu??"

the good:
  1. transhumanity as pictured is a pretty cool concept and the writers did a lot to make it a complete picture of the world. pretty much every subject is covered in the text (social, logistics, transportation, hierarchies, etc) and given enough thought to seem somewhat credible.
  2. the morph guide is actually pretty wild
  3. there's a pretty compelling history built into the text, the rise of transhumanity happened along with the rise of some super powerful ais
  4. I appreciate how the aliens ("factors") are not big players in the scheme of things
  5. I appreciate how much of an ass the book has on it, like, there's a lot of global conspiracy stuff back there, a lot of information the GM can use to tell a wider horrific story
  6. transhumanity was the basis of some legitimate philosophical questions in play as well some funny funny jokes
the play:
  • horrific problem near the end where galactic conspiracy means too much information to keep track of and as soon as someone starts pulling threads you get contradictions etc. etc.
  • weird problem where because all information was available to us instantly we would always just hang out in this "airport lounge" style space right next to our ship. which was just sort of funny not a problem
  • thinking around problems using transhumanity like, let's take this person, copy their mind in to a cortical stack, and then psychosurgery the stack to find information was pretty fun although it almost always meant we were making the GM scramble
  • GM had a whole series of sessions within a simulspace where we played pathfinder


  1. it's kinda a legit setting! I can't throw it in the garbage bin. But then again someone could do this better... like some small publisher... 
  2. uhh you can't buy this book and read it though unless you're a person who can read like "evilly written GURPS"

my eclipse phase HACK:

people are cortical stacks. you’re data contained a small grape-sized diamond.

you can duplicate a cortical stack with a psychosurgery roll. you also need a terminal.

in civilization, terminals and terminal equipment are ubiquitous.

you can merge willing cortical stacks with a psychosurgery roll.

cortical stacks can be sent along or into digital networks at a terminal with no roll.

anything you can do with modern brain surgery you can do with a psychosurgery roll.

One of the involved cortical stacks loses 1d6 of either int, cha, or wis, randomly determined, permanent.


Information can be obtained from the network wirelessly via an infosec roll. You can make as many rolls as you want.

This roll is made in secret by the gm.

You get the publically available information. On a success, you also get a portion of private information. On a failure, you also get some incorrect, outdated, or unfortunately imprecise information, or a rumor.


Each morph has its own STR, DEX, and CON, plus any racial features.


  1. Roll 3d6 for INT, CHA, WIS.
  2. Assign skill points equal to your INT.
  3. Choose a morph. calculate skill bonuses, ac and hp
  4. You start with 50,000 credits.


Skill rolls are Skill + Relevant Stat Modifer+ d20 vs. a target number devised by the GM. If you don’t have any skill points youre just using your relevant stat. Stat modifiers break down as per 3.5

Used to bypass digital security measures.

adds +1 to your AC per point.

Used to pilot any vehicle.

Used to shoot any ranged weapon.

Used to fight with a melee weapon or unarmed.

Used to physically sneak around or use sleight of hand.

Used to persuade people.

Used to impersonate people.

Used to create software.

see above.

see above

you may not put points into this skill.

for each morph, rolll 3d6 each for STR DEX and CON and add racial features

normal morph: just a normal human.

ape morph: as normal but +8 str x2 CON and ape-size (-4 AC)

little morph: +4 dex and small (+4 AC), ½ CON

bird morph: can fly, small size (+4 AC), ½ CON

harpy morph: can fly

big brain morph: +4 int, -2 CON (no new skill points)

speedy morph: +4 dex, -2 CON

muscles: +4 str

vampire: with a successful melee you can drain blood, dealing d8 damage and gain as much.

orc morph: +4 str +4 dex +2 con -2 CHA

elite morph: up to +8 in each physical stat and +4 in each mental stat, but these can cost billions of credits. a low end one is 200,000.

AC: equal to 10 + dex mod + fray skill

HP: equal to CON


small unarmed d2
human size unarmed d4
large unarmed d10
knife d8
sword d10
gun 2d8
big gun 3d10
artillery (if it hits you die)

sample characters

fritz the loon

4 INT (-3)
13 CHA (+1)
8 WIS   (-1)

ape morph
22 STR (+6)
17 DEX (+3)
22 CON

melee 4 (+6 str) = +10

AC: 9
HP: 22


10 INT
16 CHA +3
14 WIS  +2

harpy morph
14 str +2
16 dex +3
9 con

3 disguise + 3 = +6
3 persuade  +3 cha = +6
4 psychosurgery + 2 wis = +6


setting is the same.


  1. Is this for the original or the second edition? I heard they simplified a bunch of things, but if this is the 2nd ed then I guess I can forget that.