Transhumanity’s Fate Playtest v2

With much joy, I get to say the second version of the Eclipse Phase Fate playtest is live! I’m super stoked to see this out to people. Jack Graham’s taken over much of the writing, and I’m focusing on subsystem designs.

The first version was a disaster, but it was a necessary disaster: only in seeing how it fell apart did we understand what we actually wanted to do with what we’re calling “Transhumanity’s Fate.”

In Transhumanity’s Fate, you’re playing a transhuman technothriller with the Eclipse Phase setting and Fate’s engine. Imagine you’re Jason Bourne in space, except last week you were in an octopus-based body on Mars, today you’re a free-floating consciousness in the mesh, and tomorrow you might be a hovercraft.

Transhumanity’s Fate starts with the idea that all the PCs are Firewall agents, but that’s an easily disregarded setting point. However, baked into that assumption is one of focus: speed of play and assumption of high general competence.

The first version had the mandate of being a “Fate conversion” (which the document is still called), and it was a true conversion to its detriment. It diverged from what Fate does well, taking The Dresden Files Roleplaying Game approach to 11. It was an experiment to see what people wanted, and when it clearly wasn’t that, we stripped it down and rebuilt it.

I won’t say too much more, because I don’t want to frontload the playtest conversion, but some things worth pointing out:

  • The cool stuff morphs can do are mostly handled by “sub-aspects,” which are facts about the morph that can be invoked and are generally true. However, since you can only invoke a given aspect once with a fate point, you’ll have to find stuff other than your morph’s traits if you want to invoke further.
  • Mesh hacking is simple and quick, to get you to the conclusion and the danger quickly.
  • Instead of a crapton of weapon and armor ratings, attacks have just three situations that boil down to: normal attack, attack with +2 stress, or no attack possible.
  • The skills have been paired down dramatically, and the rep system has been turned into two skills to keep it streamlined.

From what I’ve heard, the Gen Con playtests were good and quick. I’m looking forward to what people have to say about it. That said,  don’t talk to me about your playtest! Talk to Posthuman! :)

What we don’t have yet, and will get out in the future:

  • The “mind hacks” section, about Psychosurgery and Psi.
  • The existential horror rules, though keeping in with the technothriller theme. (After all, I did Cthulhu-esque Fate horror rules in Acthung! Cthulhu.)
  • GMing stuff, including aspects for elements of the setting.

– Ryan

Though I promised on Twitter that today would be when I talk more about Fate’s Create an Advantage action, that spiraled into something that needs more time in the oven.