#12RPG

Question 7. Is there an RPG genre you sort of like but gives you severe mental blocks? What do you like about it? What are your mental blocks?

Tl;dr I like the concept. I lack the imagination to make it work.

I’d have to say Transhumanist sci-fi RPGs, with the prime example being Eclipse Phase.

What I like about it? A LOT of the ideas and concepts.

1. I love the premise of a post-scarcity society, with different currency, based on social media standing.

2. I love the idea of total connectivity with AR overlays on everything you do or say. I love the idea of a digital muse or personal assistant, which helps you manage the data and helps you navigate the information overload.

3. I like the concept of the cortical stack, where technology has advanced to the point where your memories, and your personality can be encoded in digital form, and you can be downloaded into different bodies or exist as a disembodied Digital Personality inhabiting the all pervasive internet.

Travel just becomes a matter of transmitting your personality to another planet and downloading it into a waiting body, genetically engineered, or synthetic.

I love the idea of making multiple copies of your personality and tackling multiple problems at once. The ultimate form of multitasking.

I love the idea that death means that you only lost your most recent copy and you can just download your stored personality from the last ‘save point’ into a new body and can carry on from there.

Mental blocks? All of the above.

1. Post-scarcity society. As much as the idea is super interesting, I have serious difficulties figuring out how you implement this. Want the latest cybernetic body with all the enhancements on it? It’s post scarcity, sure, go ahead. Weapons? 3d print them. etc.

Standard answer is: some tech is restricted by government, but… why do you want these things? You can get all your basic needs met. so the villains’ motivations are what? Bragging rights???

Also, what’s my PC motivation here? this is the easiest solved. There’s plenty of reasons to go around getting into trouble, but some of my favorite motivations, like, say, playing a cop, get radically altered. What’s crime like in a post scarcity society? What do you steal that you can’t otherwise procure? Why do people kill each other? (good reasons given in Altered Carbon, but other than that, why do you go to the trouble of killing someone?) What’s smuggling? Would there be any horrendous crime like human trafficking? Why bother? AI and synthetic bodies can fulfill any psycopath’s depravities? There are things, I’m sure, it’s just hard to come up with them.

EP tries to get around this by using the Existential threats, and I suppose that’s the only good answer.

2. Total connectivity. Cool. Also, means, there are no mysteries. No detective work. Every possible clue is a NeoGoogle search away, and your Muse is already working on it, even as you’re just now realizing that that piece of paper is just the corner of a matchbook with the logo of a particular bar in Mars… Probably makes for a nice novel to read or a nice movie to watch , but as a game? That kills a lot of the fun

3. Cortical stack. Super cool concept! But also kills any fear of death. It’s kind of a love-hate thing. Your PC dying only means the bad guys get away with what they are doing right now, and you get to keep playing your favorite PC, so that is SUPER COOL. OTOH, cloning, or Forking, your personality to multitask is interesting, but kind of eliminates the need for a party of characters. You can do everything yourself, research anything in an instant, consult with experts, since you’re connected, etc

Also… what are you even passionate about? Immortality with post scarcity brings ennui. I’m sure the exploration of what it means to love someone when personality and body are completely separate from each other is interesting. It’s a bit too abstract for me. I dunno. Relationships become weird. Goals and motivations are also nebulous, when all is taken into account (Immortality, overabundance)

So, in conclusion: My imagination is most likely not up to the task of all these radically paradigm shifting high concepts. In the end, I find it too much work to try to turn into a game. I’d sure like to play with a GM who can make heads and tails of it, but I suspect my mental blocks would even creep in as a player.

It makes for an interesting read (can’t really say it’s super fun to read, as it’s a bit too alien to me), but I still prefer more retro-scifi/ space opera/space fantasy, like The Expanse, Star Frontiers, Traveller, Star Wars, Firefly, BSG, Warhammer 40K, etc, etc. (Yes, I said RETRO. As compared to Transhumanism and Posthumanist Sci-fi? Positively retro/vintage stuff.)

8 thoughts on “Title

  1. Anything you want (almost). We did a cops on the moon (Fate THS), and independent trouble shooters (GURPs THS). I have another one in my pocket for a short run which is martian trucking smugglers. Also the aftermath of the space elevator being bombed idea. The best THS books out there are Broken Dreams, Toxic Memes, and 5th Wave is pretty good to. They help with the player/GM tech shock.