Category Archives: Eclipse Phase

Eclipse Phase: The Devotees

Back in Melbourne, simply knowing about Eclipse Phase (EP) made me a perfect candidate for running EP adventures at our fortnightly gaming sessions at Willsmere Estate (which was once an asylum). In time I became somewhat, an expert (I use this term loosely) of the setting.

Since moving to Brisbane I have run Ego Hunter and more recently The Devotees. The Devotees particularly piqued my interest, as it is written by Caleb Strokes the man who brought us Know Evil an actual play campaign on Role Play Public Radio (RPPR). The adventure itself is sort of a spin-off from the Know Evil campaign. The adventure is intended as a one-shot, campaign opener or to be easily slotted into an existing campaign.

 The Hook:

Unlike Ego Hunter the player characters in Devotees are agents of the clandestine x-threat prevention organisation Firewall. Alarming information has filtered through embedded agents to Firewall about the criminal organisation that is Nine Lives. The  illegal ‘soul’ trafficking operation has got their hands on a bit of psychosurgery tech that has Firewall concerned.

 Setting:

Beginning around the main asteroid belt the PCs quickly find themselves deep within the home of Nine Lives on Legba. Enslaving and selling egos, stripping egos for skill-softs, torture and snuff XPs are just a small sample of the business that passes through crossroads of Legba. Nine Lives itself is made up of everything from  religious fanatics to professional criminals, all of whom have to pass a rite involving the torture of a captured ego. It is prison rules on Legba so pick a fight with the biggest guy you can find and maybe you will survive long enough to escape.

 Themes:

The strongest themes in this are Intrigue, Infiltration and Investigation. With a bit of subtle horror.

Intrigue; the PCs arrive at Legba in the midst of a political shift within the Nine Lives criminal organisation. There are three prominent factions each with their own values and style. There is a lot of wheeling and dealing between the Nine Lives factions with plenty of opportunities for backstabbing. Giving the PCs the opportunity to align themselves with one of the factions on Legba and cause havoc.

Infiltration; the PCs enter Legba undercover and if this is blown it may mean that they will become just another slave in the Nine Lives soul-prison servers. There is a combined opportunity to infiltrate not only the secure asteroid but also infiltrating the Nine Lives factions.

Investigation; in the end the PCs need to find the McGuffin and they will need to question and investigate the asteroid to locate their objective.

Horror; The horror themes in this adventure are more subtle. The obvious horror is the visceral horror that quickly approaching gore within walls of Legba. There is also the ever present danger of being found out and ‘even if my body dies my mind can be enslaved and tortured’. The final horror is that of human trafficking (in Devotees case ego trafficking) and the very real fact that people are dealt like commodities to be used and abused.

Things to note:

I ran this adventure with 4 players; one EP veteran, two players that have played a couple of other veterans and one EP newbie. After reading over the material and looking at some online sources like youtube I originally estimated the adventure to take about 6-8 hours of play. In the end the adventure totalled up to  12-13 hours of play over three sessions. This is could be evident of the meaty potential the adventure holds.

The only thing I changed was how access was to Nana Baluku was achieved using a one-time password supplied by Ellegua rather than what was specified in the adventure, I just couldn’t imagine the man doing that much leg work himself.

 Overall:

I enjoyed running The Devotees, I found that the document covered pretty much all the avenues my players took. It is well edited and information is easy to follow with a bit of reading and couple of a helpful bookmarks.

The adventure itself was fun especially with the very large nod to the Know Evil campaign arc, even providing a very possible introduction into your own Know Evil campaign. The adventure is set up so the PCs can cause a whole bunch of chaos but still provides a whole bunch of danger, especially if they want to get out alive. I found the mesh material provided was a very helpful tool, especially in a setting where hacking and electronics are so prevalent. What art is provided gives a clear tone of what Legba and Nine Lives are, NPC motivations are also a very powerful tool provided.

Advertisements
Tagged , ,

Recap Eclipse Phase: Ego Hunter

Since I moved to Brisbane in September I have been trying to gather interested parties in participating in Role Playing Games (RPGs). Recently, I have been working in conjunction the Brisbane Geek Social Club through Meet Up and offering an avenue for people interested in RPGs to come and have a go. The focus of the group is to show case a number of systems through one shot scenarios that can be wrapped up in 1-3 sessions. Giving people the opportunity to try a number of systems, try out performing the role of Game Master (GM), and allowing people to jump into a new game without having to commit to a long term campaign.

In the past I have run two sessions Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space [Knight of the Comet], and Dread [Beneath Metallic Skies]. This time round I ran Eclipse Phase [Ego Hunter]. For those of you that are unfamiliar with Eclipse Phase it is a post-scarcity, trans-human, post-apocalyptic setting, where death is not final, where one can download their mind (ego) to another body (morph). The setting has very strong horror and intrigue investigatory themes. One of the largest benefits of Eclipse Phase is how accessible the source material is being shared for free through Rob Boyle.

Ego Hunter is a one shot scenario that is interesting because the majority of the Player Characters (PCs) play the same beta fork (a copy of one mind with prunes memories and experiences). After receiving a strange message the PCs are on the hunt for their original self, expecting the worse. This scenario was written as a convention play with pre-generated PCs which all have their own private messages and motivations.

Ego Hunter was written with the intention of being a standalone adventure for convention atmospheres, to be completed in 4-5 hours with up to 8 players. I ended having to split the adventure over two sessions which totalled about 7 hours in gaming time. In our first session this included 3 players and the subsequent session having 4. I would love to see how it the scenario runs with 8 players and fitting it into a 4-5 hour slot, even with pre-gen characters and people familiar with the setting I reckon it might be tough.

Going against the recommendations in the scenario I decided initially with three players that I would have three PCs:

  • Achjima beta 1, I handed all the secret messages of Achjima 1-4 to this character.
  • Nkeka, secretly posing as one of the Achjima beta forks (suggested by the Alexandrian).
  • Roque, was played as intended.
  • Park, entered the game in the second session wanting to help her friend Achjima out.

Overall, I enjoyed running this scenario, especially with characters with slightly different motivations and goals and watching the mischief unfold. With three characters nearly completely fulfilling their goals and the fourth going out in a blaze of glory. Feedback from the players was also quite positive. The scenario has ample clues and information nodes to get the players to where they need to go. I could not suggest utilising The Alexandrian’s prep notes for Ego Hunter more. The prep notes give a very concise illustration of all the clues and hooks in the adventure, they also provide a revised map for the final encounter in the air processing plant.

Tagged , ,