Saturday, August 23, 2014

That Old Worn Out Bitch

Mother Earth

I had once called Eclipse Phase the logical successor to the Cyberpunk legacy but the more I think on it, the more I realize I was wrong.

The Planet Earth as presented  in Eclipse Phase is a discarded wreck, The Fall left our home world in ruins. Other than a handful of survivors clinging to this rock there is no civilization to speak of. In the core setting our cities have been left in smoldering heaps of cement, glass and steel. The streets are guarded by aggressive self replicating nano swarms ready to disassemble you in the blink of an eye and autonomous drones ready to gun anyone down who dares cross the road to get a can of beans. In addition to that there is a huge network of killsats in orbit ready to pick apart anything that tries to make a break for it... going up or down.

The Fall got rid of everyone for the most part, if the people didn't evacuate Earth then they had their egos forcibly uploaded by the rogue TITAN seed AIs right before they zipped out of the solar system.

Even while being a Post Apocalyptic Survival Horror SF setting, it really doesn't seem threatening to me, under it all is a pervasive sense of things that are not Cyberpunk.

Underneath all the terrible things that occurred to humanity during the Fall there is a foundation made of Hope. Transhumanity was nearly wiped out by rogue Super AIs. The Apocalyptic Danger is over. While it cost the race a planet they overcame it and now thrive everyfuckingwhere else in the system and, thanks to gates, beyond.

Transhumanity is virtually immortal, they can upload and download into multiple configurations, synthetic, organic or a mix of the two. Even death is a minor hiccup thanks to backups and cortical stacks. Transhumans have potentially unfettered access to the best technology at the lowest costs, they are super skilled and ultra capable, sometimes they can read minds.

Humanity had a bad time in the past, but a lot has changed. Some could even argue they are better off now than they were in terrestrial times. Add to all that, they have the means to Escape The Situation.

There is nothing wrong with this though, not if you take Eclipse Phase as it is, the setting is lush with detail and ideas. The Cyberpunk style that I enjoy tells me I should say Fuck that Noise. The Fall and the exodus of man makes it too damn easy to forgive humanity for their trespasses. If I start a new Eclipse Phase campaign I'd be tempted to run it as a Cyberpunk setting rather than a transhumanist one.

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