Sunday, January 8, 2012

Eclipse Phase: Exploring the future one sleeve at a time.

Today the wife and I got to participate in the introduction game for Eclipse Phase run by one David Cooper. Now for today's session we were playing as pre-generated characters in the module ' Ego Hunter'. Basically it is a 'who done it/race against time' that has one person's five betas trying to discover the where abouts of their alpha and solve why they awoke from resleeving in so much trouble.

It also has a monkey in it.

First a bit of terminology (forgive me if I'm not verbatim I'm just paraphrasing here).

An 'alpha' is the prime version of a trans humanist person.
A 'beta' is a part of an 'alpha', kind of like a specialized clone of a person, with a predetermined skill set, that allows the 'alpha' to be able to do multiple tasks at once. The process of creating 'betas' is known as 'forking'.
'Sleeving' is the process where you download a person's personality, memories, etc into a new host body or 'sleeve'.

So there was five beta's waking up in a sleeving facility. Jess (the wife), Morgan, Austin, Patrick and myself. We also had another person waking up with us (played by Donna) who apparently wasn't a forked beta of our alpha. She did know me, per our story lines, so we at least were somewhat connected to her. After waking up and realizing we have not been merged back into our alpha (since we are basically fragments of a personality) we start the process to figure out what had happened.

An initial problem with this set up is that five of us are playing the same character. Sure we're in different sleeves (Austin was a but we are all of the same person. So our mannerisms, vocabulary, quirks should match up some what. Other personality behaviors can manifest the longer we remain away from being reintegrated into the alpha. So I tried to pay attention to how others were handling this and I started with being a bit abrupt as I figured a scientist doesn't like having his time wasted.
Jumping ahead, by the time we finished we were all unique personalities. But I digress.

Just to get to what has happened I'm going to give you the short short version. Our alpha got mixed up on Mars by coming across a xenofungus that could be used as a biological weapon. Our alpha got infected by this and eventually died from it. In the meantime we had to piece together what happened by investigating leads that we individually received via email, searching our alpha's home and re-activating the muse program (think Siri on iPhone) to get more info. This lead to the discovery of said xenofungus, a traitor in our midst in the form of an NPC who came to see us upon waking, dealing with a local Triad kingpin and his goons who our alpha owed money to, finding out from one of the betas that two of the betas are thinking of selling this fungus to the Triad to clear their debt and leave the rest of us, going to a air processing center for the domed cities on Mars and finding the remains of our alpha (totally encased in this fungus and dead), and destroying the fungus with the help of agricultural nano machines.

Oh and my friend who woke with us (Donna's character) was an agent of Firewall (a group who looks for these extra terrestrial threats and stops them). And we turned over evidence that beta's 4 and 5 were conspiring domestic terrorism by selling the fungus to the Triad. They got arrested by the authorities. Mojo Jojo (beta 4) went to jail. He was a bad monkey anyways.

I will admit it was a bit rocky at the beginning as folk were trying to get used to these rules and had alot of questions. Sometimes starting any new game is like herding cats. This didn't seem any different and gladly it tightened up in the second half of the game and we all were having alot of fun.

Now we just have to figure out when we will do this again, what type of characters we want to play as well. For type of game David has a good idea that I like cooperative games for the players. I want to work as a cohesive team. Jess and Donna both mirrored that statement and I feel that is the direction we will go. As to what David is going to do to for us that's up to him. He's already seen my idea for an Eclipse Phase game so he knows I like action, conspiracy and horror elements. Either way it will be fun.

So I want to thank the Stroudsburg Area Gaming Association for hosting this. I want to thank Donna, Morgan, Austin and Patrick for being fun to play with. Lastly I want to thank David for running this for us.
As more games are played I will keep adding my take on it to this blog.