October 2, 2013
Games Yet Played: Eclipse Phase
“Your mind is software. Program it. Your body is a shell. Change it. Death is a disease. Cure it. Extinction is approaching. Fight it.”
Eclipse Phase is a game I was first made aware of several years ago at GenCon, when I passed a booth promoting its newest release. Curious, I stopped and asked the man who was marketing the game what it was about. After some basic details, he said “Its sort of like a mix of Call of Cthulhu and Shadowrun, only in space.” Neat. However, at the time, I did not really have room in my inventory of games, or money in my wallet, enough to purchase it just on a whim, so I thanked him for his time and moved on to other booths. Admittedly, I did not think any more of the game for some time. Then, several months later, a friend of mine purchased the game and I was able to give it a quick look-through. The game has amazing artwork and very well-written story segments, which is usually enough to sell me on a product. Alas, once again, my current roster of games was rather full, so it was set aside with the thought of one day giving it a chance. Finally, just recently, another friend of mine called me up asking for advise in running a game of Eclipse Phase for her friends up in Chicago, and while I was able to give her some general advice for how to prepare and run a game you have never played before, I could not give her any specific advise or ideas for the game, having never played it myself.
Well, that settled it. I am now more than a little interested in playing Eclipse Phase.
What I know about the game is that it is based in a future after World War III. Humanity has taken to the stars and there is a faction called “Firewall” that works to try and prevent humanity’s extinction at all costs. You, the players, are a part of Firewall. The game is percentile-based, using a system unique to itself and fully designed to fit in with the flavor of the game. The story is very trans-humanist themed, and characters, while human, are not necessarily entirely human. As for what that means for game play, I cannot say. I have been told that there is an interesting “death” mechanic that allows characters to die and to come back from death, albeit changed into something else. I believe this has something to do with clone bodies and mental-pattern recording cyber-devices that can be recovered from a character after death and put into a new body later, allowing the same character to be played while, at the same time, it is a wholly new character. I will not lie, as a Gamemaster who has had to deal with character death on many, many occasions, that sounds incredibly interesting both as a story element and as a mechanic of the game.
Unfortunately, I am not sure when I will have a chance to play Eclipse Phase. I am currently overbooked as it is with games; a weekly Shadowrun game, a weekly Dresden Files game, a monthly Anima: Beyond Fantasy game, and friends already hinting at starting a new Rifts, BESM, World of Darkness, and Shadowrun campaigns.
So many games, so little time.
Image Credit: Posthuman Studios, LLC