Ego vs Morph
The distinction between ego (your mind and personality, including memories, knowledge, and skills) and morph (your physical body and its capabilities) is one of the defining characteristics of Eclipse Phase. A good understanding of the concept right up front will allow players a glimpse at all the story possibilities out of the gate.
Your body is disposable. If it gets old, sick, or too heavily damaged, you can digitize your consciousness and download it into a new one. The process isn't cheap or easy, but it does guarantee you effective immortality—as long as you remember to back yourself up and don’t go insane. The term morph is used to describe any type of form your mind inhabits, whether a vat-grown clone sleeve, a synthetic robotic shell, a part-bio/part-synthetic “pod,” or even the purely electronic software state of an infomorph.
A character’s morph may die, but the character’s ego may live on, assuming appropriate backup measures have been taken. Morphs are expendable, but your character’s ego represents the ongoing, continuous life path of your character’s mind and personality. This continuity may be interrupted by an unexpected death (depending on how recently the backup was made), but it represents the totality of the character’s mental state and experiences.
Some aspects of your character—particularly skills, along with some stats and traits—belong to your character’s ego and so stay with them throughout the character’s development. Some stats and traits, however, are determined by morph, as noted, and so will change if your character leaves one body and takes on another. Morphs may also affect other skills and stats, as detailed in the morph description.