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Messages - thedungeondelver

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It is fitting, somehow, that a thread that started with tearing down Eclipse Phase is now about mocking Battlefield Earth. 

You know I learned a long time ago to not talk about RPGs I hate, all that much, lest people get curious.  Even Gary Gygax understood - and stated - "They have to buy the books to burn 'em!" and therefore no publicity was bad.  After the hack job 60 minutes did, D&D sales skyrocketed.  Every controversy that came up only redoubled their sales.

If Pat Pulling had kept her yap shut about D&D, if Thomas Radiki (the former doctor and proven charlatan who tried to tie D&D to anti-social psychology) had stuck to stuffing his female patients and giving them bogus scripts for drugs, yea verily if 60 Minutes had simply done a profile piece on a guy with gonzo imagination from some backwater southern Wisconsin town, D&D never would have seen those spikes of popularity.

I guess what I'm saying is: don't clutch at your pearls, don't pull a Donald Sutherland, just don't talk about it.  'Cause honestly, I would hate it if suddenly I saw this shit at a few tables at Free RPG day or high up on the con game list at GaryCon or whatever, because suddenly everyone wants to have a gander at the disaster.

To a certain degree, there must be a buy-in on EP's conceit or else the game can't work.  If for example someone's character is hardcore against sleeving because they believe it just copies the mind and the original dies, well, guess that's it when the rest of the party beam themselves to another planet to get a job done.  If your character isn't willing to play along with some of the core concepts of the setting, they are effectively unplayable.  So I don't hold it against the game that the characters need to fall into a certain mindset.  But I do consider it ham-fisted that the game writes people who don't fall into that mindset as ignorant and/or evil rather than showing that there is merit in those concerns.  There is no way whatsoever to tell if "you" survive uploading your mind to a new body.  My opinion is that you don't and the other one is just a copy, but I've been in debates with people who make fair arguments that continuity of consciousness suffices as far as the universe is concerned, so I don't totally dismiss it out of hand.  The game, however, does.

Altered Carbon (which I yet again reference here) seems to imply that people are actually inside their cortical stacks, i.e. that the organ of the brain in their bodies is not where their knowledge and personality are stored, but rather the alien hardware in their neck.  With that, I'd be more inclined to believe that uploading and downloading yourself between cortical stacks actually preserves the person.  In EP the cortical stack is primarily just backup storage that's constantly maintaining a backup of your brain's state, so anything that involves discarding the brain is going to lead me to conclude that that person is completely dead.

Interesting take on Altered Carbon; if that's where "you" really are in AC (that is, inside the Stack vs. in your own brain), then what's the rest of the greasy pile of astrocytes and glial tissue doing, I wonder?

The good folk who created Eclipse Phase seem to push their agenda so hard it makes the game not fun, on its own, and that's before I get into the issues I have with stuff inside the game, so imma not bother playing it.  Which, if their social media presence is to be believed, is exactly what they want.

Two-way tie: Original D&D and 1e AD&D, up to some select bits of Unearthed Arcana, but not past that.

It's true that a lot of what we consider to be 'me' are a bunch of squishy fluids running around in our brains, human emotion and stability hinge on the various glands squirting their gland juice into the equation.  Any attempt to virtualize a human would necessitate emulating the presence of those systems as well, or you'd wind up with something weird and probably crazy.  Lots of people consider our brains to be a discrete item, just a big jello CPU, but it's actually much more distributed than that.  Like, consider your heart.  That's got nothing to do with anything with your mind, right?  Except there's a real problem with artificial hearts that messes with people who've had them implanted, because they can't feel the heartbeat anymore, there's no sensation of their heart racing when they're excited or upset, etc.  We take a lot of the sensation of living for granted because we've experienced it our entire lives, but if any of those things suddenly vanished it would cause significant problems.

People might like to think that they can exist as a disembodied intellect of pure reason or whatever, but the fact is that we're animals, and we aren't so easily divorced from our meat.
EP is built with the premise that the technology is flawless at copying/storing/emulating life. It's a fantastical assumption, but it's no worse than accepting time travel in Dr. Who or Star Trek.

I actually have a hard time believing time travel in Star Trek (never seen Dr. Who). It always came off as a cheap plot device to me (Time Travel by spinning around the sun?...Okaaayyy...*eye roll*). I might be able to accept it to a certain extend to enjoy the story, but it always kinda bugged me and left me thinking "time travel here is just an excuse to explore this specific plotline".

The burden of eliciting suspension of disbelieve is in the writer or world builder, not on the audience to force themselves not to disbelieve no matter how lame the writer's or world builder's conceits are.

Gravitic time dilation is technically possible by approaching a (huge, much bigger than our Sun) mass at near C or coming down into or up out of a gravity well of a large enough mass: SR71 pilots, astronauts, etc., all experience a little bit of time dilation (measured in thousandths of a second).  Both Star Trek with it's "fly around the Sun at Warp Speed" and Interstellar with its heartbreaking "ocean world" scenes demonstrate the principal but not the reality: a world with enough mass to create minutes == decades of time dilation would have an impossibly strong gravity field.  Our protagonists would have been crushed flat, and in regard to Star Trek they'd have to find a hypermassive black hole or something even more massive to even get a few nanoseconds of "time travel" out of.  You'd need a Tipler Cylinder or something equally ridiculous.

if it's not a world-breaking tidbit and it's based on inferences from what information I've given them, why not?  I can add the information and use it for good or ill.

Sometimes they don't even realize they're doing it (much to their sorrow when things gang agley). 

Wow, this game sounds completely insane. Who wrote this? The leftwing counterpart of Tom Kratman?

I think it was written by people who were too leftist for the creators of Eclipse Phase.  Or by people who found Eclipse Phase wasn't far enough to the left for them.

If God puts all the back-ups, forks, merges etc into this Soul, and once you are completely erased or existence ends, then that one being continues on, then by Divine Command theory YOU were backed up and continued as one entity in the material plane because God said so and decided that is how it would work.

I'm confused as to how this relates to transhumanist theory.

Yeah, I am too.

Transhumanism is hooha of the hooest of ha's. 

But that's the part I never bought into about this part of the transhumanist genre. I get genetic engineering and cyber-implants, but uploading your actual "YOU" consciousness into a computer is never going to happen. All you'll get is an AI copy trapped in a meaningless existence, echoing fragments of a once living organism's mind. And all of those fragments can be stripped away through updates and editing.

Yeah, the whole "Back yourself up and live forever!" horseshit that transhumanists get into doesn't take in to account your gestalt.  Look, if I make a backup of you, and you're both standing there, and I kill you, the you that's reading this right now?  YOU are dead.  It's over.  Now, if you're a spiritual person, and you believe you go to an afterlife, rock on.  But YOU YOU is dead.  Your experience of the now, reality, is switched off.  It doesn't jump over into the other person.  From my perspective, that other you, that backup, is for my convenience.  The only way around that is to transfer that gestalt from YOU to HIM.  Not ctrl-c, ctrl-v, but ctrl-x, ctrl-v.  And if the latter is done, and the copy you got ctrl-x/ctrl-v'ed into dies?  You're still dead.  Sure, if you face no hazards beyond aging, it is a way to live forever, but the minute someone kills whatever your consciousness - I mean YOUR consciousness, not a copy! - is in, then that's it.  Game over. 

Some people will bring up the whole "Aha, but when you go to sleep you effectively aren't the same person...!"  Yes, you are.  The gestalt continues, albeit through the surreal mindscape of unconscious dream, but the thread is unbroken.  It's not like when I go to sleep tonight, I die, and a new Bill Silvey awakens tomorrow and keeps on chugging.  That's not how it works.  And if it is, at what point does the copy kick in?  The minute I drift off to sleep?  During deep REM?  shallow sleep prior to awakening?  And if you interrupt any of that, am I now both me and this hypothetical copy?  No: sleep is a continuation of gestalt, not a termination of it, and a new gestalt begins at awakening.

"Upload my consciousness" bitch please.  If putting yourself on a floppy disk or atari cartridge is just as valid a "you" as the you that is your gestalt, then typing out your life's history onto paper is a copy of your consciousness!

(And it ain't)

I played EP for some months, my impressions are thus:

The designers don't want you to have fun.  Fun is the timekiller.  It is the little death that brings total distraction.  I will ignore fun, and allow it to pass over me.  When it is gone, only Eclipse Phase will remain.

They're working out their far-left ideology in RPG format.  That always, ALWAYS[/i] sucks. 

The GM explained how open the "universe" was, go anywhere, do anything, etc.  Unlike (Game He Didn't Like), EP allowed you the ability from the ground up to do, have, or own just about anything.  Because, y'know, Fully Automated Space Communism!  So I actually did the math and figured out down to the last layer of kapton film how much stuff it would take to make a spacehab, a central base of operations, and a couple of reactionless-drive shuttles (based on that magnetic engine that people seem to have forgotten about; I figured in the future if power systems were good enough to give you mechs that can move around nearly nonstop, why not one of those drives to slowly accelerate you to .03g or something nice and nippy like that?).  Long story short - and trust me this is about the game being shit, not the GM - he wouldn't allow it because it would somehow break the game.  And it will.  You can break the game if you actually want to do your own thing, and not live in constant terror of Firewall deciding that your character is A Threat and sending someone to deal with you.

Oh, and firewall...yeah, fuck those guys.  "Hey we have a gateway to a planet that we could literally move the bulk of Humanity to and then nuke the gate, and start anew, call it Earth II!  The place is a paradise, the Titans would never find us, etc."  "Hm, WELL WE'LL HAVE TO DESTROY THAT GATE OR KEEP IT ENTIRELY HIDDEN, NOBODY MUST KNOW ABOUT IT BECAUSE REASONS."

It's an ugly depressing game that steals Altered Carbon and stuffs it into an orwellian nightmare mixed with some robot cthulhu bullshit, all written by censorious wokescold dangerhairs whose primary goal seems to be being more obnoxious than Rick on The Young Ones.  Fuck Eclipse Phase.

Welp someone told 4chan.

Pass the popcorn.
It wasn't me.

I wish it was me, but it wasn't.

Their response was pretty tepid tbh.  Now, if /pol/ got ahold of it instead of /tg/...

Off topic. But ST and especially TNG ran off a thing called Credits. Credits seemed to be something you got extra for actually doing stuff. Be in working, farming, whatever. Seemed to be mostly used for luxuries from the rare few examples can recall. Its not exactly money. But seems to get spent on stuff.

Dilithium seemed to be another form of almost currency. But barter seemed the main thing going at least in TOS and occasionally in TNG.

As for this, to use BGGs wording,  'game'... Does not surprise me at all.

In fact it reads like its tailr made for outrage marketing by ticking off pretty much every box possible to get people to complain. And here we have a thread. Free Advertising is the name of the game. More people will back it just to see what a train wreck it is.

Money is referenced fairly regularly in the original series.  There was an episode when a supporting character (e.g., not Sulu, Scotty, etc.) had the helm and he remarked that he "bet Credits to navy beans" that an enemy was about to do something.  The fellow who sold tribbles, in "The Trouble With Tribbles" had a considerable bar tab he'd run up.  As mentioned, McCoy bribed someone credits to smuggle him to the Genesis Planet, in ST3.  The list goes on and on.

It's a world in motion, flavored by events and actions of other players.  I've had players meet others who've played in my Greyhawk setting in the past, as NPCs, etc.  I have on occasion bent those rules somewhat, but by and large it is, to me, having everyone who plays in your world making a permanent mark on it.

Some things are evergreen.  The Tomb of Horrors will always be there, always waiting for the foolhardy.  Acererak is not so easily quiesced!

But others?  When they're done, they're done.  The Giants threatening Geoff will never raise their heads again once the party puts them down (and their Drow fomenters).  The Slave Lords perish - the Pomarj falls back in to chaos, or perhaps is invaded and pacified by the various free cities and states nearby once the aforementioned agents provocateurs' doings are undone.  Plus a myriad of other adventures that can't be re-run.  But it's a big world, and there's plenty to do.

That's what a "living" world is to me.

I started with Moldvay red/blue box and then moved on to AD&D in the early 80s.  Is the Rules Cyclopedia as good as the red/blue Moldvay stuff?  I never picked it up.

It's as fun and evocative to read as Keurig setup and use instructions.  Possibly less so.  Yeah, yeah, blah blah "It's everything in one book," blah blah Mystara.  Never saw the appeal of that set of rules.  I just don't.  It lacks everything that gives D&D its flavor and character, and don't say "bUt ThE pLaYeRs PrOvIdE tHaT!" - D&D itself has been a good yarn from the get-go with OD&D's little in-jokes, suggestions for players who want to play androids or dragons, etc.

The Rules Cyclopedia is washed, bleached, rinsed, hung out to dry, then the whole process is repeated again.  A good RPG needs to be engaging with its players and help inspire some fun, not just sit there and be a book full of tables and definitions.  I can buy a used accounting textbook at the local college bookstore if that's all I want.

Gary was a genius.  All it takes is a reading of the DMG to know this.

Little bits like this, they reinforce that fact.

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