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Eclipse Phase is a science fiction horror role-playing game with transhumanist themes. Futurist Anders Sandberg noted its differences from GURPS Transhuman Space included its emphasis on posthuman (rather than transhuman) characters and cosmic horror. Originally published by Catalyst Game Labs, Eclipse Phase is now published by the game's creators, Posthuman Studios, and is released under a Creative Commons license. In 2010, it won the 36th Annual Origins award for Best Roleplaying Game. It also won three 2010 ENnie awards: Gold for Best Writing, Silver for Best Cover Art, and Silver for Product of the Year.
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Eclipse Phase is a post-apocalyptic game of conspiracy and horror. It takes place after a World War III project to create artificial intelligence has gone rogue under the influence of an extraterrestrial entity known as the "Exsurgent" (best described as an organic computer virus with the capacity to infect both machines and animals with sapient qualities), resulting in the deaths of over 90% of the inhabitants of Earth.
Earth is subsequently abandoned, and existing colonies throughout the Solar System are expanded to accommodate the refugees. The setting explores a spectrum of socioeconomic systems in each of these colonies:
- A capitalist / republican system exists in the Inner System (Mars, the Moon, and Mercury), under the Planetary Consortium, a corporate body which allows the election of representatives but whose shareholders are nominally most powerful.
- An Extropian/Propertarian system is established in the Asteroid Belt. The Extropians are split into two subfactions, an anarcho-capitalist group, more closely related to the Hypercapitalists and a mutualist group, related closely to the Anarchists.
- A military oligarchy rules the moons around Jupiter.
- An alliance of Scandinavia-style social democracy and Collectivist anarchism are dominant in the Outer System.
From there, the setting explores various scientific advances, extrapolated far into the future. Nanotechnology, terraforming, Zero-G living, upgrading animal sapience, and reputation systems are all used as plot points and background.
With all of this, the game encourages players to confront existential threats like aliens, weapons of mass destruction, Exsurgent Virus outbreaks, and political unrest.
Eclipse Phase uses a simple roll-under percentile die system for task resolution. Players roll the percentile dice (by rolling two ten-sided dice with one of the dice representing a 10 value), and compare that roll to a target number with the goal being to match or go under that number with the roll. Unlike most similar systems, a roll of 00 does not count as a 100. In addition, any roll of a double (11, 22, 33 etc.) is a critical. If the double is under the target number it is a critical success, while being over the target number constitutes a critical failure.
For damage resolution (whether physical damage caused by injury or mental stress caused by traumatic events), players roll a designated number of ten-sided dice and add the values together, along with any modifiers.
- Eclipse Phase (Core Rulebook) (2009)
- Sunward (2010)
- Gatecrashing (2010)
- Panopticon (2011)
- Rimward (2012)
- Transhuman (2013)
- Firewall (2015)
- X-Risks (2016)
Creative Commons License
The Eclipse Phase roleplaying game was released under a Creative Commons license; the text found on the Eclipse Phase website is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. As stated on their website, the publishers encourage players and gamemasters to recreate, alter, and "remix" the material for non-commercial purposes. Further, copying and sharing the game's electronic versions is legal.
- Randol Hooper, Jaime Pittenger and William Stull (2009-08-09). "Gencon 2008 - Defining the Future: Eclipse Phase Part I". BlueAlien.org. Retrieved 2009-09-01.
- Huling, Ray (26 August 2009). "Eclipse Phase - Posthuman Studios Has a Game for You". h+ magazine. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
- Sandberg, Anders (2009-08-30). "Eclipse Phase Review". Retrieved 2009-09-01.
- "Posthuman Studios Officially Takes Full Control of Eclipse Phase Production". Catalyst Game Labs. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
- Ken, White (2009-09-01). "Hoosier Daddy? GenCon 2009 Indianapolis Con Report". Indie Press Revolution. Retrieved 2009-09-01.
- Posthuman Studios. "Creative Commons License | Eclipse Phase". Retrieved 2009-09-01.
- Stidham, Neal (2009-08-25). "PDF, Hard Copy Preorder for Eclipse Phase – and Creative Commons License". Game Journal. Retrieved 2010-10-01.
- Doctorow, Cory (2009-08-12). "Eclipse Phase: CC-licensed tabletop singularity RPG". BoingBoing. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
- "2010 Origins Awards Winners". Origins. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
- "2010 ENnie Winners". ENnie Awards. 2010-08-12. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
- Posthuman Studios. "The Game | Eclipse Phase". Retrieved 2009-09-09.
- Eclipse Phase Core Rulebook, Posthuman Studios, p. 114, ISBN 978-0-9845835-0-8
- Eclipse Phase Core Rulebook, Posthuman Studios, p. 192, ISBN 978-0-9845835-0-8