Eclipse Phase: Through A Glass Darkly

A critical Firewall server has been compromised by an engimatic man only known as Jacob Murphy. A team of three agents has tracked him down to a remote site near the quarantine zone on Mars. They are tasked with finding Jacob, learning his plans and stopping him. As they travel by maglev train to a small town near the terraforming site Jacob has holed up in, they realize people are already searching for them. As they leave civilization and head into the wilderness to find Jacob, what will they learn and at what price? Find out in this all new original Eclipse Phase adventure, written by Ross Payton.

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  1. I was listening to the first eclipse phase podcast when this one got posted, can’t wait to listen to this one.


    this is a pre-listen joygasm will come back with more specific love postfacto I’ve srsly been listening to the first podcast all day ahah

  3. A good recording of an entertaining E.P. session. I think Ross did a good job of foreshadowing and of adapting to player improvisation. Caleb continued to take good avantage of the setting’s peculiar potentials, and I especially liked the identity-play. The “psychic warfare” in the penultimate combat also impressed me.

    As for physics, calendars, mesh access–you had fun, so set all that aside.

    Did you use the Eclipse Phase Mars KML in play?

  4. Author

    No, I didn’t have time to set the Mars KML up.

  5. so much awesome! loved the guests and hope we’ll hear em again, and words cannot readily contain my adoration of Caleb. the identityfuckery with the forks omg so much good.

    more! you guys keep coming out with new shit that I love even more’n I loved your old shit, but Eclipse Phase is gonna be hard to top.

  6. Author

    Thad and Drew are regular members of the group now but I think this is the first AP I’ve posted with Thad in it.

  7. Given Caleb’s comment about identity questions as a theme in E.P., I recommend Greg Egan’s fiction to him. In particular, I suggest he reads Quarantine. That novel explores questions of free will in the context of mind control and the quantum suicide hypothesis. No public library near you has a copy, but you can find it easily enough via Amazon or inter-library loan.

    Have you somehow “streamlined” the combat rules? It seems to go much faster in this recorded sessions than it has in the game I’ve played.

  8. I want to work-up an E.P. campaign this summer, a.k.a. the two months of the year when I can actually write and read. We’ll see if I can come up with enough post-scarcity economic intrigue, conspiratorial red herrings, digitized consciousness quagmires, and extinction-level events to warrant actually playing the damn thing. But I don’t know; the system seems to demand a clever GM, and a campaign seems like a big responsibility. I’m no Ross Payton over here!

    Thanks for all the comments and recommendations, everyone. Internetz luvz.

    P.S. Our “streamlined” combat system fuses traditional Eclipse Phase rules with a house system dubbed “FUKIT” and generous amounts of old-fashioned cheating. It is compatible with all systems (so long as I am concerned).

  9. Author

    Well I did ignore the burst rules when I couldn’t remember them off the top of my head so I just gave SMGs a flat +5 damage when they fired a 3 round burst. Other than that, it was a pretty simple fight – 2 goons with SMGs versus 3 players and a terrified NPC.

    The thing with EP is that even with plasma weapons, you’re still going to die after 20-50 damage depending on what morph you have plus wound and trauma penalties can take you pretty quick.

    I run EP with a Call of Cthulhu mentality when it comes to combat. PCs are fragile so you don’t need much to make them sweat.

  10. Great session guys! Really enjoyed the exploration of fractured identities. Are the Eclipse Phase sessions going to become a campaign? Because I could totally see this becoming a long-term thing. Oh, btw, Ross, I’m thinking you might enjoy some David Foster Wallace, especially Infinite Jest. There’s a lot of cool stuff about the nature of self in there.

  11. OH and since I know Caleb devours literature, you could check out the Avery Cates saga by Jeff Sommers, starts with The Electric Church and goes on. You can easily finish it in one day, no joke. And the series is kind of full of concepts that are easily transposed to EP.

    And you can always go gate hopping and just about ripoff anything else.

  12. This AP only furthers my desire to run/play some EP. My group likes CoC and are fond of Sci-Fi stuff, so it should be an easy sell.

    BTW, if you’re still curious about the gun question, modern firearms have their own oxidizer in the propellant, so one can assume so will any made in the future, thus the gun wouldn’t need an atmosphere (oxygen or otherwise) to fire.

  13. Existential dread… lost?! Great AP in any case. The way the game was run it sounded mechanically similar to CoC, how difficult is the system to learn? It also sounded like you guys were using a completely different lexicon of terms and science fictiony words. Not being a fan of a lot of cyber punk/transhuman literature, does the book do well preparing players/gms to get their transhuman on?

  14. Ed–It does a pretty fantastic job of preparing you for the campaign setting. The sourcebook starts with a glossary of terms that you can reference. The first few chapters are a pretty great science fiction story by themselves.

    Mechanically, the system is very much like CoC. Role under and you succeed. Opposed rolls are done differently (and better, in my opinion). Rolling double is a critical, and failure or success is still determined by over and under. There is also something called excellent success (rolling 30+ under your skill number) that has different bonuses.

    The system does start to get slightly complex when it comes to combat moves, weapons, and their modifiers, but Chaosium does a really great job of putting all the important tables for combat and character creation on respective two-page spreads in the back of the book. The DM screen that they sell online is the most impressive piece of merch. they’ve put out yet. It has everything you could ever need on it and the illustration on the player side is badass.

    I will admit that the body switching (morphs), hacking/consciousness duplication (forking), and gear chapters are so extensive as to be baffling sometimes. But that said, there is a fantastic character generator online that does everything for you. I mean EVERYTHING. Full descriptions and prices for every item are built into the spreadsheet, as are descriptions of every character class and the bonus stats for each type of morph (including the Sunward and Crashing expansions). If you stack your body full of implants, the sheet even calculates it into your final character sheet. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Don’t do character creation without it.

  15. Another ace job, folks. I enjoyed this one as much as I enjoyed the first one. Are you going to publish the GM’s notes for this module anyplace for the rest of us to download and inflict upon our players?

  16. Awesome AP, guys. Just like crawlkill, I love that new shit even more’n I loved your old shit. Please keep doing Eclipse Phase.

    By the way, it just occurred to me this is the first RPG I know where the designers decided to stop worrying and just embrace the PC hive mind.

  17. I’ve been looking for a recorded EP play session for a long time. This is great, Keep it going!

  18. Just finished listening to this AP, and as I’m going into an Eclipse Phase game in a couple of days, I was really wondering where this character generator Caleb mentions can be found. I did find a couple of different Excel spreadsheets, which I’m guessing might be what was meant, but if so I’ll be sad since I don’t own Excel and was really hoping for something a little more software-y.

  19. Nevermind. I am dumb. Google Docs can open it.

  20. Eclipse phase games are getting better, thats for sure. Although still, to little descriptive narrative and alive NPCs for my taste. Nevertheless, this IS a best Eclipse Phase AP I’ve experienced as of today.

  21. I found this AP session and the previous with this system and setting to be incredibly fun to listen to. The story and the roleplaying in this recording were both phenomenal. Thanks for a very entertaining podcast!

  22. Goddamn it, Clyde! At least there was someone else to blame for being a horrible(driving) monster this game.

    Hopefully we will be seeing this adventure written up?

  23. I couldn’t find this wonderful chargen software Caleb mentioned – I found some Excel spreadsheets, but none that included descriptions and stats for everything. Does anyone have a link for it?

  24. I think what Caleb was talking about is exactly that Excel spreadsheet you mentioned. While it doesn’t include all descriptions, thankfully you can download the Eclipse Phase PDFs to check them, since it’s all Creative Commons!

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