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FredH

Registered User
Validated User
On the flip side, many of us reasonable transhumanists are pretty annoyed by the fact that in popular media, using technology to modify human life invariably results in the Apocalypse.
QFT. To say nothing of the "Death is what gives life meaning! Immortality would be just terrible!" meme, which keeps popping up.
 

zenten

Active member
Validated User
Really? I wish I'd been in a game like that. The only GURPS/SW campaigns I seem to come anywhere near all seem to very dull realistic procedural type-deals (GURPS) or "PULP!!!!" (SW).
I hated it, because I didn't know what I was getting into. Especially the Deadlands Reloaded game that turned into a jungle adventure in a D&D like setting in the first session.
 

zenten

Active member
Validated User
QFT. To say nothing of the "Death is what gives life meaning! Immortality would be just terrible!" meme, which keeps popping up.
Yeah.

I mean, if there was a magical genie offering me immortality, no catch, except that I will never, ever die, I might not take it. But that's different from living as long as you want.
 

jsnead

Social Justice Dragon
Validated User
On the flip side, many of us reasonable transhumanists are pretty annoyed by the fact that in popular media, using technology to modify human life invariably results in the Apocalypse.

No offence, but when I hear the way some folks speak against technological enhancement of the human body and mind, I'm reminded of nothing so much as the historical belief that performing surgery upon the body cavity was impossible because if you cut the patient open, his soul would leak out.
QFT I'm constantly amazed that people think that stem cell therapies, human cloning, and various similar technologies will somehow "dehumanize us". From my PoV, "natural" human life involves living in a cave with no medical care and dying at 40 or earlier, and I want none of it.
 

jsnead

Social Justice Dragon
Validated User
QFT. To say nothing of the "Death is what gives life meaning! Immortality would be just terrible!" meme, which keeps popping up.
I don't worry about that particular bit of nuttiness too much, I figure that it's something people cling to because we currently have no option other than dying (if one is very lucky indeed) in our 90s or early 100s. I'm absolutely certain that most people will toss this idea aside very rapidly indeed as soon as longevity tech starts becoming available. That said, when I encounter books or movies with that as a major theme, I am seriously annoyed because it strikes me as both idiotic and as an impressively rare PoV once options exist.
 
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mindstalk

Does the math.
Validated User
QFT I'm constantly amazed that people think that stem cell therapies, human cloning, and various similar technologies will somehow "dehumanize us". From my PoV, "natural" human life involves living in a cave with no medical care and dying at 40 or earlier, and I want none of it.
"eyeglasses interfere with God's plan for us to have bad eyesight."

longevity: someone you can probably ID on my LJ friendslist is pretty skeptical about both space and transhumanism. I point out that while the rational profit motive for space colonies is still "(3) ???? (4) profit!"[1], people have been paying for anti-aging medicines for millennia even though they didn't work. The task is difficult but the profit is clear.

[1]
space cadets: space is our destiny! it will/must happen!
space skeptics: no it's not, there's no visible profit, and it'll never happen
me: there's no visible profit, but people might still buy it as a luxury good, which might bootstrap something more.
 

GregH

I wear no mask...
Game mechanics question...

Could the designers go a little more into the "save point" aspect of the game and how it relates to the one-way pandora's gates missions? I'm presuming that what you guys mean is that, given the technology, characters can copy themselves and pop through a gate in a specialized body to see what's on the other side... most don't come back evidently... but hey, that's what the backup is for.

Sounds like a great way to generate interesting one-shot adventures in the style of Reynold's "Diamond Dogs" or like the lead character in "Newton's Wake" who can undertake a suicidal side-mission because she's backed up. Is there any specific in-game handling of this that you have come up with (I'm assuming of course any experience points are not going to get faxed to your back-up of course), or is it pretty much handled as players playing different characters (abet, in missions that are likely to not last past the end of the current circumstances)?
 

Bira

Registered User
Validated User
I suppose one of the goals of these suicidal missions would be to send a record of your experiences back through the wormhole. Depending on how hard it is to make full backups, it could be one of those or a simple video recording.

And if it is a full backup, it could be merged with the original - effectively faxing some XP back home :).
 

GregH

I wear no mask...
I suppose one of the goals of these suicidal missions would be to send a record of your experiences back through the wormhole. Depending on how hard it is to make full backups, it could be one of those or a simple video recording.

And if it is a full backup, it could be merged with the original - effectively faxing some XP back home :).
Could be that.

The other thing I can think of would be to have each one-way mission began in media res with the character designed based on capabilities of the "root" character. Maybe they don't have the "root" character's memories or name though (I can see this being attributed to a means of ensuing if the copy falls to TITANS/Exsurgent Virus/Who-Knows-What-Else) and it serves as a seperate adventure. Maybe some time in the future someone finds some remains and it's an earlier incarnation or something like that. Something that gives the disconnect that gives you the feel of an "away team" that has some connection to the main characters but is still a seperate entity for sake of dealing with the current situation... especially if said characters participate in some way to prevent a threat from reaching Sol and the main characters.

I really like the idea of branched off characters taking the risk of seeing what's behing Pandora Gate #3, how that occurs in the game is going to be interesting, sort of like COC where you can sit at home and ponder the mysteries AND send yourself off to that dread Pacific Isle:D
 

robboyle

New member
Question for the creators here. How detailed will the extrasolar colonies be in the main book. I've some players that will like the notion of "escaping the setting" so to speak...
The core book will only briefly describe them -- we just don't have the word count, and the solar system detail has a bit more priority. A follow-up supplement is planned to go into the gates and exoplanets in more detail.

...and these "Pandora Gates", are they Stargate/Farcaster-esq. devices, or more odd. You mentioned that the ones that are known and lead to these colonies are contested over so I guess I'm trying to figure out how hard will it be for characters to go system-to-system.
They're similar in some ways to Stargate, but also more odd, and also less ... reliable. Though most are strictly controlled, the main Pandora gate is run as a sort of exploration business -- i.e., you can pay an expensive amount to go somewhere with no restrictions, or you can pay less/nothing but anything cool you find belongs to the gatekeeping corp.

Could the designers go a little more into the "save point" aspect of the game and how it relates to the one-way pandora's gates missions? I'm presuming that what you guys mean is that, given the technology, characters can copy themselves and pop through a gate in a specialized body to see what's on the other side... most don't come back evidently... but hey, that's what the backup is for.

Sounds like a great way to generate interesting one-shot adventures in the style of Reynold's "Diamond Dogs" or like the lead character in "Newton's Wake" who can undertake a suicidal side-mission because she's backed up. Is there any specific in-game handling of this that you have come up with (I'm assuming of course any experience points are not going to get faxed to your back-up of course), or is it pretty much handled as players playing different characters (abet, in missions that are likely to not last past the end of the current circumstances)?
Your character stats are broken into two parts--those determined by the "ego" (mind, personality, etc.), and those determined by what body you're in. Ego stats and skills stay with you from body to body. The body stats change, depending on what you're sleeved in.

There are multiple ways to back yourself up. Almost everyone has an implant that does this in real-time, and which can be recovered from your body if you die. You can also back yourself up at a sort of memory bank facility, with an insurance policy to resleeve you if you die and your implant can't be retrieved.

So yeah, this opens the door for risky/suicide missions. The drawback is that you suffer some mental stress from experiencing your death (if your implant is recovered) or from loss of continuity of your self (if you are restored from backup, and so lose a period of time). This can lead to mental disorders, so doing it a lot is risky. New bodies are not necessarily cheap or easy to acquire, either.

You can also generate forks of yourself -- digital copies of your mind that are usually limited in some way (i.e., just a shadow of your personality, without your full memories, etc). Alpha-level forking (complete copies) is social discouraged and illegal in many areas (just imagine the legal implications), but you could theoretically fork off a copy, sleeve it, and send that version of you off on a mission, though most people also probably dislike having duplicates of themselves running around.

Forks may be integrated back into the core persona, though this can also cause some mental instability.

You can play forks of your character, though the longer a fork is away the more they diverge and essentially become a separate character.

Experience points stick with the version of you that experienced them. If you earn some xp and raise some skills but then die and have to revert to a month-old backup, you lose that xp and skill raise. If you integrate a fork who's been doing his own thing for a month, you gain the advantage of that fork's experience gains.

We frankly aren't putting a lot of restrictions on deciding when a character isn't the same character any more -- this is one of the aspects of the game that we want players to explore. Your group could play a party of one character and her 5 forks, each of them growing into a different person over time, if that's what you want. A GM has the power to decide when a fork has diverged enough from the main character that it's taken out of the player's hands and becomes an NPC, but GMs and players are encouraged to work together on this (maybe a rogue fork becomes a character for another player, or is a backup character for the first player, etc.).
 
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