Eclipse Phase: The Shepherd – Duality episode 9

space_station_landing_bay_by_klauspillon-d5g53vnThe Jovian chapter of Duality begins! As we learned from Erasure Squad, a group of exhuman terrorists plan to reenact the Fall in the Jovian Republic. But before Firewall can send in a team of sentinels to investigate and stop the exhumans, we turn the narrative to Shepherd station, a small military habitat. It is a refueling and repair depot for the Jovian Fleet and occasionally renders aid to damaged civilian ships. It also becomes the front line in the warbetween Firewall and the exhumans. Who will triumph in the first battle? Find out in this prequel to the main Jovian chapter!

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  1. Release the map Ross!

  2. not directly connected to this episode:

    back before we’d gotten the episodes where you guys started saying entoptics correctly, I was trying to come up with a mnemonic so annoying and horrible it would be impossible to forget. the best one I came up with was the idea that some people probably use their AR displays to paint digital breasts on absolutely everything. titties: “two Ts:” entoptics.

    it sounds good until you realize titties has three Ts but it SOUNDS like “two Ts.” listen, I’m not an educator.

    I squeal a little when players say things like “Well, there is that antimatter mine on Ceres” or whatever. I don’t know the EP setting all that well, but it makes me very happy the players do to the point they can actually have cosmopolitical conversations at the table to a subtlety level of where natural space resources come from.

  3. Hah! Good episode, guys. I usually tend to miss Caleb’s Calebbery whenever he’s not involved in Eclipse Phase shenanigans, but you lot made this game larger than the void of his absence. Good work!

  4. Don’t know whats going too happen am going too watch but. Go Exhumans destroy the Jovian Junta cleanse it from the galaxy!!! Bad Firewall you should be supporting the destruction of the Jovian Junta rending it firmly too naught but dust

  5. Hate to be a wet blanket but can you bear in mind you have a listener on the Autistic Spectrum in the form of me and the “Stacking boxes” comment almost prevented me from enjoying the episode.

    Usually I have a thicker skin than that but my brain has decided to put the thought on a loop until I did something about it.

    Thanks for Listening (I mean reading but it doesn’t have the same feel to write that) and that one type of thing keep up the great work.

  6. I understand why people don’t like the Jovians; as the closest thing to a 2015 society in EP, their social problems have too many parallels to the real ones of the 21st century.

    But I think the hate is really unwarranted. As Ross points out, AIs gone rogue killed 95% of humanity about ten years ago. Earth is dead, and almost everyone has to live in some sort of sealed habitat in space or on an inhospitable planet.People captured by the TITANS were tortured in ways beyond even humanity’s creativity, and there’s nothing to stop the TITANS from either returning or naturally arising again. It shouldn’t be hard to understand why some people are scared of certain kinds of technology – AIs like the TITANS, the nanotech that gives AIs so much finer control of reality (and that, as TITAN disassembler swarms, will eat people alive), and saving human consciousnesses on easily-hacked simulspace servers.

    In one major way, the Jovians are actually much more adaptable and liberal than the hypercorps or anarchists. Since Jovians allow themselves to die, there will always be a turnover of fresh minds and new generations with the energy to create real social change. It’s easy to see a future where the immortal leaders of the hypercorps and the immortal anarchists all succumb to the immortality blues and become locked in eternal stagnation, while the Jovians slowly improve their society, generation by generation.

    The Jovians also lack a huge social problem that both hypercorps and anarchists have: ego slavery. In the Jovian Republic, they can take your life, but they can’t take your freedom. A person without a backup or stack can’t be ego-napped and sold to Nine Lives or a life of corporate slavery. A flesh-and-blood laborer can be worked to death, or a dissident rebel can be tortured for years, but they don’t save the egos in simulspace to torture for eternity.

    I’d think Firewall would particularly glad that the Jovian Republic exists, since it’s the closest thing to a “natural human” reserve. The Jovians have to put up with all the traditional medical, economic, and social problems of humanity, but time has shown that those are, at least, survivable, while there’s always the risk that the next anarchist or hypercorp innovation, technological or social, will create a new problem that doesn’t have a solution. Problems like, oh, good old Akaja.

  7. Well said, Howyrd. It’s easy to hate the Jovians, especially as a PC, since they wanna take away the setting’s coolest toys. But in-universe, their social outlook makes a lot of sense. Think about it: if tomorrow 90% of the earth’s population died because our cell phones became sentient and figured out that they could melt our brains using sound waves, the survivors would probably have a good strong rethink about their reliance on telecommunications, and start wondering if the whole information age wasn’t a pretty bad idea, and maybe even the industrial revolution as well.

    I won’t try to defend their oppressive political system, except to note that authoritarianism has been a pretty popular response to social catastrophe throughout human history, so it’s to be expected. To some extent, though, I get the feeling that the Eclipse Phase authors dislike the ideas of bioconservatism (not really a big surprise; transhumanists like transhumanism!), and so made the bioconservative faction politically oppressive in order to clearly label them as villains. If I ever get to run Eclipse Phase, I think I’ll make sure to add some nuance to them (and to some of the other factions too; I don’t think all Exhumans should be card-carrying villains either).

    Props to Drew for consistently playing a dedicated Jovian though. Even if biocon doctrine really is the best strategy for long-term human survival, that doesn’t make it any easier to be a flat fighting against a bunch of souped-up terminator robot guys.

  8. As soon as Ross described the character in the airlock being loaded down with guns, I thought someone would say “Oh god, a PC.”

  9. Anarchists and Hypercorps both going stagnate is why the EXHUMANS will inherit the solar system! Muahahahahahahaha!

    I think the Jovians should get better credit, the forums for EP are awash with these threads: “why it sucks that the Jovians are two-dimensional” and “why does everyone love the anarchists so much” but heaven forbid the exhumans get any love!

    Guycep’s comment on a PC showing up in the airlock had me choking with laughter. Ha!

  10. Cyanide is a compound with a cyano group (CN-). What is most often refereed to as Cyanide is the most poisonous, Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN).

  11. I kept saying to myself ‘It’s Bartleby, Ross is having everyone be NPCs for a Bartleby one-shot.’ The only thing that gave me pause was when she drew out that plasma rifle, instead of SMGs.

  12. Bartleby was a team leader (although evidently that changes) and a real team player – going in solo to wipe out the exhumans just wouldn’t be his style. It’s good to see that the ideas behind this game were reused for Synthtopia. It’s a great example of how game system can really synergize with a concept or just not quite click.

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