The accelerated technological levels of Eclipse Phase enable a number of devices for personal enhancement, survival, and other uses.
The following rules apply to all technological items in Eclipse Phase.
During character creation, players purchase gear for their characters using the credits they have during the character creation process. Once play begins, however, characters must obtain any equipment they need the usual way: by buying, borrowing, making, or stealing it.
In the inner system, hypercorp, and Jovian Republic settlements—and other places where capitalism still reigns—gear acquisition is simply a matter of finding a seller and buying it. Each item has a listed cost, from Trivial to Expensive, as noted on the Gear Costs table.
Due to local availability of resources, supply and demand, and legalities, these listed costs are meant to be approximations. When no other factors apply, the listed Average Cost for that category can be used. Otherwise the gamemaster should modify the item’s worth as they see fit, according to local economic factors, while still keeping it within that cost category range. The Cost Modifiers table lists out some suggested changes to an item’s cost, but these are simply recommendations, and can be ignored or followed as the gamemaster deems fit. The exact local conditions are largely up to the gamemaster to determine, as best fits their game.
|Category||Range (In Credits)||Average (In Credits)|
|High||1,500 - 9,999||5,000|
|Economic Factor||Suggested Cost Modifier|
|Item Extremely Rare||+50%|
In some circumstances, characters may attempt to haggle over gear prices. This is best handled as roleplaying, but the gamemaster may also call for an Opposed Persuasion Test (or possibly an Intimidation Test). The character who wins may increase or reduce the price by 10% per 10 points of MoS.
In the outer system, anarchist, Titanian, scum, and other habitats that use the reputation economy, characters must rely on their rep scores to acquire the goods and services they need. The mechanics for this are covered under Reputation and Social Networks.
Characters are of course free to get their hands on equipment by any other means they devise—con schemes, borrowing from friends, and outright theft, with all of the appropriate tests and consequences. In some cases, acquiring gear may be an adventure unto itself.
Thanks to nanofabrication technology, characters may also create their own equipment using cornucopia machines and similar nanofab devices. The character must have the appropriate blueprints to do so, whether they come with the fabber, are bought legitimately or on the black market, acquired with rep, or found online. Characters may also code their own blueprint desires, using the Programming: Nanofabrication skill.
In the technological future, gear is a necessity. In many cases, use of equipment provides no bonuses, it simply allows a character to perform a task they would otherwise be unable to do. For example, it is impossible to pick a mechanical lock without lockpick or some sort of tool.
In other cases, however, gear provides a bonus to the task at hand. Climbing a wall may be possible without tools, but if you happen to have gecko gloves or other climbing gear, it’s going to be a lot easier. The specific modifier applied is usually noted in the gear item’s description, typically ranging from +10 to +30.
In both of the situations above, it is possible to have items that are of either exceptional or inferior quality, with corresponding positive or negative modifiers. The gear may be well-crafted, state-of-the-art, cutting-edge experimental, or simply top-of-the-line, applying an additional +10 to +30. Or it may be outdated, shoddy, or in disrepair, inflicting a –10 to –30 modifier (in some cases canceling out the basic gear bonus).
On occasion, you’ll need to know how small or large a certain piece of equipment is. Though this is largely something the gamemaster can wing on the fly using common sense, we’ve listed sizes for many gear items that are unusual or so futuristic that the average player may not have a feel for what dimensions the tech likely is. These size categories are listed on the Gear Sizes table. These sizes should be considered approximations, as depending on the manufacturer and process, some items may be smaller or larger than similar items. It is also important to keep in mind that as technology advances, the size and components of various equipment items shrink, so when in doubt, go with smaller.
|Size Category||General Dimensions and Notes|
|Nano||So small that the item cannot be seen without the aid of a microscope or nanoscopic vision, and may not be manipulated without fractal digits or similar tools.|
|Micro||Anything ranging from the size of a barely visible small dot to an average insect.|
|Mini||Mini items may be concealed within someone’s palm or small pockets.|
|Small||Small items may be held in one hand and concealed in normal pockets.|
|Medium||Medium size items are cumbersome to hold with one hand, ranging from the size of a 2-liter bottle to the size of a medium dog. They do not ﬁt in pockets, but they may be concealed by larger coverings.|
|Huge||Vehicles and other more massive objects.|
Mass and Encumberance
A character who is carrying too much gear should be slowed down, suffering negative modifiers both to their movement rates and their skill tests. Rather than micromanaging the weights of individual pieces of equipment, however, this matter is largely left to the gamemaster’s discretion, using common sense. If a character loads up beyond reason, apply modifiers as seem appropriate. The gamemaster should, however, keep in mind that many of the manufacturing materials used in Eclipse Phase allow for items that are much lighter than current standards without any loss of durability or function (see Future Materials).
Likewise, characters in low or microgravity environments can carry much larger loads.
Characters may attempt to conceal items on their person, hoping at least to hide them from casual notice if not an intensive search. To determine how effectively the character conceals the equipment, make a Palming Test and note the MoS (the gamemaster may wish to roll this secretly). Whenever another character has a chance to notice the concealed item, they must succeed in a Perception Test and achieve a higher MoS than was scored on the Palming Test. The gamemaster should apply modifiers to both tests as appropriate. For example, concealing a large item like a sword would be difficult (–30), whereas wearing concealing clothing like a longcoat or multi-pocketed jumpsuit would help (+20). Likewise, a character who is not actively looking is less likely to notice the hidden gear (–30), whereas someone who conducts a physical search (+30) or who has enhanced vision to pierce protective layers will fare better.
Design and Fashion
Many objects in Eclipse Phase closely resemble their early 21st century equivalents—a bottle of soda is still a transparent container holding a brightly colored liquid, clothing is obviously something you wear, and a knife still consists of a blade and a handle. The materials, processes, and mindsets that go into making them, however, are quite different. To start, very few items look have a uniform, mass-produced look, even if they were. The procedures of minifacturing and nanofabrication allow every individual item to be manufactured with a unique (or at least different) look. In areas with anarchist/reputation economies, in fact, where personal possessions have very little intrinsic value, expression and creativity are favored and so many items are artistically personalized (and actual hand-crafted items are rare and prized). Likewise, almost all equipment is designed with ergonomics and ease-of-use prioritized, so gear with soft curves, pleasing colors, and form-fitting shapes are common.
Many items of personal technology, such as flashlights or small tools, are made in the form of ovoids that fit comfortably in the user’s hand or in similar forms that can be easily worn or attached to clothing. To someone from the 20th century, many common devices look like oddly colored rocks or decorative pieces of plastic or ceramic (in fact, many such items are referred to as “blobjects” by older transhumans). The materials used to create everyday items are also advanced, ranging from aerogel and graphene to smart materials and exotic metamaterials with unusual physical properties. In practice, this means that most items are light, durable (with both tensile strength and/or flexibility, as needed), water-proof, dirt-repellent, and self-cleaning. Most gear is also designed with zero-G or microgravity functionality in mind, and can easily be clipped, tethered, or stuck to a surface with grip pads.
Almost all gear available in Eclipse Phase is also available in forms that are wearable/usable by uplifted animals and non-humanoid morphs, such as novacrabs, slitheroids, and so on. Even if such customized gear is not immediately available, it is usually not dif� cult to nanofabricate. Smart materials also make interoperability between different morphs easy.
Sidebar: Future Materials
Many materials are available and commonly used in Eclipse Phase that are rare, theorized, or unheard-of today. The following entries note some of the more interesting.
Aerogel: Low-density, solid-state “Frozen smoke” is made by carefully foaming various materials, typically glasses or ceramics, to an ultra-low density state. Aerogel is semi-transparent and light-weight, feels like styrofoam, but acts as an incredible insulator against heat and cold. It is commonly used in habitats.
Diamond: Artiﬁcial diamond is lightweight and super-strong, has an extremely high melting point, and has near-perfect thermal conductivity. This makes it an ideal substance for hardening coated surfaces (armor) and creating super-tough diamond machinery.
Fullerenes/Fullerites: Fullerenes are molecular carbon structures (known as buckyballs, carbon nanotubes, and graphene) that are extremely strong (vastly stronger by weight than steel), heat-resistant, and can be either insulative or superconductive. This makes them useful in equipment as diverse as armor, electronics, sensor systems, or the cables of space elevators.
Metallic Foam: Metal foam is created by adding foaming agents to liquid metals, resulting in extremely lightweight metallic structures—light enough to ﬂoat on water. Ideal for habitat construction and ﬂoating cities.
Metallic Glass: Metallic glass are metals highly alloyed to possess a disordered (rather than crystalline) atomic structure with unique combinations of stiffness and strength, making it a good wear surface and alternative to ceramics in armor. It is also useful for its unusual (for a metal) electrical resistance properties.
Metamaterials: Metamaterials have unusual physical properties (usually electromagnetic) due to their structure, such as having a negative refractive index. Metamaterials are used to create invisibility cloaks, superlenses, phased array optics, and impressive 2-D holograms.
Refractory Metals: These metallic alloys have extremely high melting points, making them ideal for extremely hot engine systems, atmospheric entry vehicles, and hypersonic craft.
Transparent Alumina: In transparent form, this ceramic is often known as sapphire. Transparent alumina is harder than steel and zero-g casting techniques allow for intriguing transparent construction designs, so long as its poor tensile strength is respected.
It is not uncommon for everyday devices to have no visible controls as they are designed to be operated via radio broadcasts from the user’s ecto or mesh inserts. Any items crafted for use in emergency, combat, survival, or exploration situations, however, will feature basic physical controls, just in case. Physical interfaces are typically controlled by touch pads that are nothing more than colored spots on the device’s surface, though some may also project a holographic interface display. Most equipment of this sort can can also be voice-activated and controlled. Almost all devices are loaded with a complete set of help files and tutorials. Most electronics are also mesh-capable and equipped with specialized AIs (see Meshed Gear, below).
Many common items of technology are made from so-called smart materials. These devices contain—or sometimes consist entirely of—many small nanomachines that can both move and reshape themselves to alter the object’s shape, color, and texture. For example, smart clothing can transform from a suit of specialized cold weather clothing suitable for the Martian poles in winter to a fashionable suit in the latest style due to hundreds of thousands of tiny nanomachines in the clothing that shift and move to reshape the garment. Similarly, a tool made of smart materials can switch from a powered screwdriver to a wrench or a hammer, as the nanomachines move around and completely reshape the tool. Smart materials all contain specialized advanced nanomachine generators that keep them in perfect repair as long as they are regularly recharged.
Almost all technology in Eclipse Phase is designed to be operated via radio signals from the user’s basic implant, although models usable by characters without basic implants are also available. In addition all devices contain a nearly microscopic computer and radio link (known as a “voice”) that allows the user to easily locate the object and that reports on the condition of the object or device, how to properly use and care for it, as well as telling the user when it needs to be repaired and how. Most are discrete and highly useful, but cheaply made goods sometimes have overly annoying voices. This means that almost all devices can be accessed via the mesh or directly if within radio range. This makes them vulnerable to hacking and intrusion attempts as well as radio jamming.
Many devices are, however, publicly accessible. Meshed gear may also be tracked through the mesh. For privacy and security, these devices are often slaved to other systems; devices worn/carried by characters are usually made part of the personal area network and slaved to the character’s mesh inserts/ecto. For more info on meshed devices, see the Mesh.
Many devices come equipped with AIs, who are equipped with skillsofts that enable them to operate the device on their own, as according to voiced instructions or commands issued through the net.
Radio and Sensor Ranges
In Eclipse Phase, almost all devices are equipped with small radios so that they may be meshed. Likewise, many pieces of gear are equipped with sensors such as cameras, microphones, or other detectors. The Radio and Sensor Ranges table notes what range these devices operate at.
|Radio and Sensor Ranges|
|Size Category||Urban Range||Open Range||Examples|
|Nano||20 Meters||100 Meters||Smart Dust, Nanobot/Microbot Swarms|
|Micro||50 Meters||500 Meters||Microbugs|
|Mini||1 Kilometer||20 Kilometers||Mesh Inserts|
|Small||5 Kilometers||50 Kilometers||Minature Radio Farcasters, Portable Sensors|
|Medium||25 Kilometers||250 Kilometers||Radio Boosters, Vehicle Sensors|
|Large||500 Kilometers||5,000 Kilometers||-|
All of the powered devices in Eclipse Phase require electricity to function. With rare exceptions, most of them rely on either solar cells or powerful batteries. These batteries are high-density, room-temperature superconductors with 25 times the capacity of the best batteries in common use in the early 21st century. Such batteries may also be constructed so that they are flexible, printed on devices, or woven into fabric. They are good for 100–500 hours of use, and will alert the user when they start running low. More powerful radio-isotope nuclear batteries are also available, heavily shielded so they do not emit radiation and good for 3 years or more of use.
In short, power should rarely be an issue in Eclipse Phase games, unless it happens to fit the plot. Power failure could also result from a critical failure roll.
Most gear designed for transhumans works perfectly well for uplifts (especially neo-hominids, neo-pigs, and neo-neanderthals). Some gear may require adaptation for an uplift’s particular physiology, at the gamemaster’s discretion. If a character is buying common gear in a major habitat or city, it can be assumed that uplift-modified gear is commonly available for no additional charge. Likewise, if the gear is nanofabricated, there are likely uplift-adapted versions of the blueprints available.
If the device is rare, however, or if the character is in some hole-in-the-wall brinker habitat, they may be stuck with using standard transhuman and either modifying it themselves (usually a Hardware Test using the appropriate ﬁeld), suffering a modiﬁer (usually −10, but higher if the gamemaster chooses), or going without (especially in the case of implants). Illegal and black market goods may suffer the same issues or it may simply cost extra given the rarity