Do you ever realize you stopped talking in the middle of a sentence? That happened to me recently when I looked back at ancient blog posts and realized I hadn’t finished a series of three posts I’d planned out early on. These were to look at the fantastic spy information of Night’s Black Agents and use that information to deepen the espionage aspects of Eclipse Phase. I went through the Adversary Pyramid and Conspiracies and today I’m digging up my old notes to bring you some ideas for creating thriller storylines in Eclipse Phase.
The latest Eclipse Phase release is one that I’ve been looking forward to for a while. Argonauts is a small-scale sourcebook funded through the Transhuman Kickstarter way back when. This book is intended to fill in some of the details on the Argonauts faction the way that Zone Stalkers filled in information on the TQZ and the beginning of The Devotees filled in information on Nine Lives. How did they do? Well, no surprises, amazingly.
I’m psyched to report that there is a new sourcebook out for Eclipse Phase and that I’ve been pouring through it with great excitement. Titled X-Risks, the book covers… well existential risks but also Firewall’s response to them. How do you decide whether something is an x-risk? What if you have to choose between saving a habitat or chasing down a nanoplague sample? What the hell is an Iktomi kumobot? The answers to these questions and more can be found in X-Risks.
Continuing with the adaptation of Night’s Black Agents to Eclipse Phase, the vampire conspiracy game has a list of backgrounds for clandestine spy groups that would work well for a Firewall cell. As an Eclipse Phase GM, one of the first questions people ask me are “what are the classes” or “what positions are there?” People want to make sure their group has all bases covered, but I don’t really have a set list for them. In part it depends on what the game’s focus will be but it would be handy to have a starting point.
Last week, I described using the conspiracy pyramid (or conspyramid) from Night’s Black Agents to make your Eclipse Phase game more spy-heavy. It’s an excellent organizational framework but it’s also a great tool for GMs to use for enhancing their campaigns. One of the best ways to do that is through the threats outlined in the “vampyramid,” the ways that the vampire conspiracies respond to meddling PCs in Night’s Black Agents.
The default campaign model for Eclipse Phase is agents of Firewall, a clandestine, illegal, international conspiracy that seeks out existential threats to transhumanity. That’s a tall order and it’s a pretty different model than crashing through dungeons or searching libraries for eldritch secrets. The result can be overwhelming for both players and GMs but there are other resources out there to draw from, the most impressive being the vampiric conspiracy game Night’s Black Agents.
The newest publication from Posthuman Studios, the FATE version of their acclaimed Eclipse Phase setting called Transhumanity’s Fate, has been at the top of Drive Thru RPG’s best-selling list for weeks. And with good reason! While the book doesn’t cover everything in the post-apocalyptic transhuman setting, it does a good job of hitting the highlights. Specifically, they were trying for the “high-octane technothriller” aspects of Eclipse Phase (or “Jason Bourne in an octomorph” according to co-author Ryan Macklin in the developer notes), and in that respect they do an awesome job.