Eclipse Phase

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Your mind is software. Program it.
Your body is a shell. Change it.
Death is a disease. Cure it.
Extinction is approaching. Fight it.

Humanity stood on the cusp of a new age, with accelerated technological growth converging toward a singularity point, promising an undreamt-of future. Despite the ecopocalypse and social upheavals on Earth, humanity had conquered the solar system and partially terraformed Mars. Advancements in biotechnology, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science transformed our lives. Everyone was wirelessly networked with the world around them, A Is processed vast amounts of information, and nano-fabrication enables people to print complex devices on the molecular level at home. Biotechnology allowed people to genefix, enhance, and clone their bodies, while others pursued body modifications to adapt to new environments or make themselves into something no longer quite human. People's minds and memories could be digitized, uploaded, transferred over long distances, and downloaded into new bodies (biological or synthetic). Death had been defeated... for those who can afford it.

From within, disaster struck. Transhumanity reaped the rewards of its arrogance when conflict spiked between the battered nations of Earth, already weakened by decades of climate catastrophes and other disruptive factors. Rampant netwars soon exploded into physical conflicts with spiraling body counts. In the midst of these aggressions, a group of military A Is known as TITANS quietly achieved full sentience and autonomy, and rapidly began exponentially incrementing their own intellectual growth. The A Is spawned by this hard-takeoff singularity quickly turned against transhumanity, enveloping the system in unprecedented levels of violence, disaster, and warfare. What began as a whirlwind of conflict between political factions, revolutionaries, and hypercorps soon escalated into a struggle between man and machine.

In just a few years, transhumanity was nearly wiped out with nuclear strikes, biowarfare plagues, destructive nanoswarms, infowar attacks, mass uploads, and other unexplained singularity events, ripping the superpowers of old to pieces. Our planetary home­­—Earth—was transformed into a toxic and strange hellhole, while many major habitats were left frozen sarcophagi in the vacuum of space. Just as quickly as they came, the TITANS disappeared, taking millions of uploaded minds with them, leaving behind a network of wormhole gateways. Known as Pandora Gates, these poorly-understood devices allow instantaneous teleportation to distant star systems... often one-way and/or fatal. Though only a handful of Pandora Gates are known to exist—each highly contested—the foolish, brave, curious, and desperate are already risking certain death to enter and explore what lies beyond.

In the aftermath of the Fall, transhumanity lives on, divided into a patchwork of hypercorp combines, survivalist stations, transhuman faction species, and city-state habitats. Under the oppressive police states of immortal inner-system oligarchies, advanced technologies remain highly restricted, and refugee infomorphs are held in virtual slavery or resleeved in robotic bodies and forced into indentured labor. In the outer system, rebel transhuman scientists and techno-anarchists struggle to maintain a new society?from each according to their imagination and to each according to their need. And on the fringes and in the niches lurk networked tribes of political extremists, religious fanatics, criminal entrepeneurs, and bizarre posthumans, among other, stranger, and more alien things ...

Though most claim the Fall was carefully orchestrated by the out-of-control TITANS, others whisper that the driving powers behind the wars—both AI and transhuman—were infected by a mutating virus with multiple infection vectors—biological, information, nano—dubbed the Exsurgent virus. Whatever its source, this virus has been known to sometimes transform its victims into something unexplainable ... something monstrous and reality-altering. Whatever the truth, the remnants of the TITANS and this virus were left to the desolated ruins or driven to the edges of the system, where they remain hidden away in dark corners, quietly waiting to infect the minds of the scavengers and explorers who find them ...

This game is brought to you by Posthuman Studios. The three editors/writers/founders buy into some of the post-classical economic thinking seen in the setting; books are published under the Creative Commons license, and their website's forum is used as a hive mind to collect ideas and features to be used in the book.

So far, they have released the following:

  • Eclipse Phase: The core rulebook, with Loads and Loads of Rules
  • Sunward: A splatbook concerning the inner solar system
  • Gatecrashing: A splatbook which covers the use of the Pandora Gates, sending expeditions beyond gates, and several sample Exoplanet Habitats
  • Panopticon: A splatbook combining the topics of surveillance, uplifts, and space habitats.

Tropes used in Eclipse Phase include:
  • After the End: 10 years after, to be exact.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The TITANs.
    • And, on the other side of the coin The Prometheans.
    • It's mentioned that playable AIs are engineered without the limitless potential of the early designs, to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.
  • Alien Geometries: The Pandora Gates. No one knows how they work, but that doesn't stop the various corporation from constantly sending people in. It is stated that the bizarre geometries of said gates might cause dizziness or nausea in people, and that some of the gates' borders are encased with normal structures to keep it looking safe.
  • Alien Kudzu: The blue forest on the exoplanet Bluewood is a relatively harmless example—as long as nobody pisses it off, that is.
  • The Alliance: The Autonomist Alliance and others.
  • All Planets Are Earthlike: Averted; Earth-like planets are very rare.
  • Alternative Calendar: All dates are given in terms of BF (Before the Fall) and AF (After the Fall), in order to maintain the setting as being Twenty Minutes Into the Future without falling into Exty Years From Now.
    • Also, given the different rotational and revolutionary speeds of planets, calendars are different on a month-by-month basis. A detailed description of Mars' 668-day year is given.
  • Amazon Brigade: Furies are genetically engineered Super Soldiers (well, bodies for supersoldiers, anyway). It was discovered that their brains being designed for combat made them all overly aggressive and wild, so to balance these tendencies they are only produced as biologically female. In a brilliant PR move, the company producing them decided to turn a minor inconvenience into a marketing point by making the Furies as beautiful and sexy as possible without harming their combat capabilities...
    • Actually the furies only tend to be biologically female but are not always. The book entry mentions the use of gene sequences promoting co-operation and pack mentalities to counteract hot heads.
    • 'Fury morphs tend to be female' is a thing that later supplements are getting away from, going back to a more even gender distribution. Justified in-setting as having finally worked out the bugs in the design.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: Millions (possibly billions) of years old.
  • And I Must Scream: All sorts of chilling stuff can happen to you if your Ego (ie, your conciousness) ends up in the wrong hands. For example the Ultimates are rumored to download indentured infomorphs into deaf, visually limited flats with no AR implants.
  • Artificial Human: In flavours ranging from "AI in a human body" to "uplifted squid".
  • Attack Drone: That rips off your head and uploads your mind into a computer.
  • Augmented Reality: So prevalent that going without it, even for a short time, can make people think you've gone crazy.
  • Auto Doc: Healing vats.
  • Auto Kitchen: Specialized nanofabricators called "makers". Cheap ones only extrude nutrient gels and ration bars, while the more expensive kind produce stuff that may be recognized as "food".
  • Banana Republic: The Jovian Republic is essentially a Banana Republic IN SPACE, and is consistently portrayed as the least sympathetic of the major factions. Most people refer to it as the "Jovian Junta" instead of its official title.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Even Firewall, the people who are protecting transhumanity, sometimes kill thousands of people at once to let everyone else live.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: The Factors and their goals are almost incomprehensible to transhumanity. Certain groups of Transhumanity are also starting to go this way.
    • The ETI and the Exsurgent virus, whose agendas are completely unknown and alien to us humans, but so far seem quite evil. May even dip into Omniscient Morality License territory, depending on how the GM interprets their motives.
  • Body Backup Drive: Borrows the cortical stack concept from Altered Carbon and externally stored "backups" are part of most insurance policies (instead of being exclusive to the wealthy as in Carbon).
  • Body Horror: What some strains of the Exsurgent virus do to you.
    • Mind Rape: What all strains of the Exsurgent virus do to you.
  • Body Surf: Common and relatively safe, not to mention being the most efficient method of traveling between habitats and planets.
  • Brain-Computer Interface: The Basic Mesh Inserts that come standard with most morphs.
  • Brain Uploading: Near-omnipresent in the setting. Leads to functional immortality when combined with Body Surfing.
  • Brown Note: Basilisk hacks, the Exsurgent virus variant that uses sensory input to infect its victims.
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: Averted; egocasting is much more preferred in both cost and time efficiency.
  • Cloning Blues: Clones have to be grown and are not instantly the age of the original (an aversion of the cliche "instant clone"), but modern age acceleration systems reduce what would require 20 years to a mere 3 (which almost makes it played straight). In most cases, they are mindless bodies intended to be used as spares by the original (another aversion from the cliche "same mind"), but a person's mind could theoretically be forked and placed in the new body, causing two of the same person to exist (which plays it straight). Finally, forks generally have far less rights, and are treated as lesser beings, by most legal entities (playing the trope straight).
    • So basically it's a Zig-Zagging Trope?
    • Project Futura tried to accelerate the growth of its clones' minds (by time dilation and virtual reality) to replace the population lost during the Fall, but accidents happened and the project was called off, leaving a bunch of specimens with mental problems.
  • Cool Gate: The Pandora Gates.
  • Corrupted Data: Something like this can theoretically happen to saved backups. It gets a lot more corrupt when the Exsurgent virus gets involved.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Plantery Consortium.
  • Cosmic Horror Story IN SPACE!: More optimistic than others, but really, that isn't saying much.
  • Cult Colony: A number of habitats, both of the "religious retreat from the start" variety and the "developed into a Cult of Personality" variety.
  • Cult of Personality: Some of the habitats, as noted above.[context?]
  • Death Is Expensive: Thanks to mental uploading, personality backups, and cortical stacks, most people are able to simply "resleeve" if their body is killed. However, there are costs involved (both mental/spiritual and economic), and with so many indentured infomorphs waiting to be resleeved, bodies are a moderately scarce and valuable commodity.
  • Death Is Not Permanent: A fundamental conceit of the setting.
  • Death World: Earth. Despite being host to an army of robots (some of which rip off your head and upload 'you' into a computer) that the TITANs left behind, many people are still trying to scavenge from it.
  • Digital Avatar
  • Dyson Sphere: Olaf, accessible through the Pandora Gate network, is a Dyson Sphere presumably built around a red dwarf, with a diameter of about 2 million km.
  • Earth-That-Was: See The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Easy Sex Change: Even discounting resleeving in a male or female body, you can use a healing vat to do it (and about a day is sunk into the procedure), or you can get an implant which allows you to change sex at will (and though this takes about a week, you're conscious and unhindered for the process). Androgyny and hermaphrodism are options in both cases. Note that gender identity tends to be less mutable, and that people generally identify as male, female, or neuter regardless of what sexual organs they're wearing at the moment.
  • Electronic Telepathy: A standard feature of mesh inserts. Usually indicated in the fiction by colored text in brackets.
  • Elephant in the Living Room: A lot of factions, the Planetary Consortium chief among them, wants everybody to forget that Earth even exists for various reasons.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The ETI. Possibly.
  • Empathy Pet: Somewhere between this and Imaginary Friend, muses are AI programs granted to virtually all children as an assistant intended to stay with them for the rest of their lives. Their personalities change to best suit their owner's desires, and they do many menial tasks for them... all while existing inside their owner's mesh inserts.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Also known as "The Fall". The Earth was completely decimated 10 years before the start of the setting, leaving killsats, nanobot swarms and head-hunting bugs to greet anyone who is stupid insane brave enough to go back.
  • Everything Is an iPod In The Future: Nanotechnology and future materials, combined with the ever-increasing demand of future transhumans for ever-increasing comfort and ease of use (as well as the necessity for every item to be usable by a variety of different morphs in a variety of different environments) means that just about anything that isn't a weapon, a suit of armor, or implanted into your body is a palm sized, smooth, cream-colored ovoid with little glowy bits instead of buttons (assuming it isn't controlled wirelessly by the computer in your brain). These little iPods are virtually weightless and indestructible, never malfunction, never need a recharge, clean and repair themselves, can easily be attached to any surface (so they won't go floating around in your microgravity bedroom) and are usually controlled by a friendly internal AI. Some people refer to such devices as "blobjects".
  • Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: The Octomorph is exactly what it sounds like.
  • Everything Is Online: Played mostly straight. Virtually every piece of tech can be controlled remotely and/or mentally using an ecto (Hard Light-esque physical interfaces) or mesh inserts (brain-implanted PC).
  • Fantastic Racism: Most commonly towards uplifts, independent AIs, and "the clanking masses" (poor infugees sleeved into cheap synthetic morphs).
  • Fantastic Aesop: The Fall gave us "Don't let a self-aware, adaptive alien digital virus infect your Seed AI-controlled defense system, or else it will run amok with advanced technology, completely devastate the Earth, wipe out 92% of the human race, and disappear after going through a singularity event."
    • Though the section on GM secrets stresses that much, if not most of the devastation of the fall was caused by good 'ol human warmongering. It speculates about how things might have turned out if the TITANs had hit sapience / gone Extropian in a less World War Three type environment-- maybe humanity would have kicked their ass, who knows?
  • The Federation: The Planetary Consortium, though since it's composed mostly of hypercorps and has profit as one of its driving motivations, it is considerably more gray than many examples.
  • Final Death: Slim but real possibility.
  • Free-Love Future: The Carnival of the Goat, which combines artistic body and mind modification with hedonism of all kinds.
    • Played straight in the rest of the setting, too. The fact that almost all morphs come with built-in contraception and STD Immunity is a major contributing factor.
      • As well that most transhumans are functionally immortal and thus see "lifelong" commitments such as marriage to be unrealistic. There are those that still choose to marry to give this a shot, however.
      • Given that one of the starting bodies available are 'Pleasuree Pods' which are bio-engineered hookers who can switch their gender at will, can be remote controlled to a punters whims and have enhanced control over certain muscle groups, yeah... theres some weird kinky sex in the transhuman future.
      • Also there are Neotenics, who are engineered to be children, and while it is disapproved of for people in those morphs to work in the sex industry the fact that the rule book specifically mentions that does rather imply that it does happen. Ethical problems abound!
  • Fun with Acronyms: The TITANs (Total Information Tactical Awareness Network), who appropriately have access to super-advanced technology (and potentially even psi powers) with which they can seemingly bend reality to their whims.
  • Gatehopping The Universe: The Gatehopper groups who continuously travel through the Pandora Gates, sightseeing the wonders of the universe and sometimes return to transhuman space by random chance. Unless they ended up in a supernova by said random chance.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: The Nova Crab morph, a human sized coconut crab with cybernetic implants.
  • Gender Is No Object / Purely Aesthetic Gender: Since you can switch into a new body that has a gender more to your choose, or can have an implant that point-blank lets you switch genders, issues of gender politics have somewhat fallen by the way side.
  • Heads-Up Display: Mixed with Augmented Reality, throw in a side of Robo Cam for synthmorphs.
  • Hit So Hard the Calendar Felt It: The dating system in Eclipse Phase is based around The Fall.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Predator Exhumans, who mod their bodies into becoming the perfect killing machine and hunt down other transhumans.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: "There cannot be another Fall" is the mantra of Firewall, and they are willing to do anything to abide to it. Usually they try to be subtle in their activities, but they aren't afraid to crack a few eggs, or kill a few million innocent bystanders, to prevent extinction.
  • It's the Only Way to Be Sure: This is standard operating procedure for Firewall's Erasure Squads, which are only activated when subtlety ceases to be an option.
  • Justified Extra Lives: Players can purchase backup insurance, where a copy of their mind is put on file and placed into a new body, should something horrendous happen to them. Alternatively, the cortical stack implant can be retrieved from their corpse, and it contains their entire mind as it developed up until their death. Be warned that death (or even the knowledge that you are a backup copy of someone who did die) can have unfortunate repercussions on a person's mind.
  • Karma Meter: Reputation networks are used by people to record other people's deeds, both good and bad. It acts as a futuristic combination public record and social profile website, and the mechanics of the game simplify it down to a number which goes up when you do positive things for the specific group and goes down when you do negative things.
    • You can also use your Rep scores as a sort of currency within the group that Rep applies to, allowing you to procure items and services through your network of friends and acquaintances. Especially in post-consumer societies like the Autonomists, where this is the only method of exchange.
  • Kill Sat: Earth's quarantine is enforced by a number of armed satellites. However, nobody's quite sure who put them there....
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: They tend to do more damage and pierce armor better than energy weapons, which are mostly designed to be less-than-lethal. Assuming, of course, that you want your opponent dead in the first place.
    • Killing people is largely an expedient done to mooks and suchlike because you don't care much that they wake up elsewhere. However killing people that you are trying to stop is seldom a good idea because it lets them get away.
  • Let No Crisis Go to Waste: The Fall.
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans, Oh My!: Courtesy of uplifting and animal morphs.
  • Lost Colony: As the Pandora Gates are not fully understood by transhumans, gates sometimes lead to different places without warning, and redialing sometimes doesn't work, some off-world colonies are considered lost forever.
  • Loss of Identity: A quite possible occurrence, one of the most common being the situations where someone dies, gets restored from backup, and after some time passes the original is found to be alive after all and is now treated as an illegal Alpha-fork.
  • Manual Misprint: The internal reference page numbers aren't too reliable.
  • Matter Replicator: Quite common, with everything from lumbering machines that churn out food and water to portable models that'll remake your iPod.
  • Mercurial Base: Cannon which fires ingots into space.
  • Me's a Crowd: A combination of forking and multiple bodies will allow a person to essentially be multiple places at the same time. Eventually each fork will become an independent being simply by merit of their different experiences after being separated from the original, but egos can be merged and reforked to ensure that all copies essentially stay the same mind.
  • Mega Corp: The hypercorps are explicitly named as the modern descendants of the old "megacorps," most of which died in the Fall or were unable to adapt to post-scarcity economic models.
  • Metaplot: The developers have stated that they will develop the metaplot, despite a minor fan outcry on the forums.
  • The Men in Black: Project Ozma. Firewall itself has some similarities but neither works for any government nor do they have much of the hierarchy most such groups have.
  • Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: Generally tends toward the "hard" end, with most scientific advances being logical extrapolations of modern, in-development, or currently-proposed technology. The primary exceptions are the Pandora Gates and anything created by the TITANs, largely due to their nature as Sufficiently Advanced Aliens.
  • More Than Mind Control: Psychosurgery can be used to eliminate addictions, assist in alleviating mental disorders, or even to remove someone's violent tendencies. It can also be used on unwilling subjects for some downright sadistic forms of mental torture and alteration.
  • Muggle Power: The Jovian Republic exists to safeguard humanity from the millions of threats to it. Including transhumans.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Some Morphs have more than four limbs, plus various modifications in form of extra limbs.
  • Myself, My Avatar: You could say that the most common form of interplanetary "travel" is like that, if you plan on returning to your old body which was stored on ice.
  • Nanomachines: Ubiquitous, from "nanoware" implants to nanofabricators and Titanian swarms of Grey Goo.
  • No Transhumanism Allowed: Played straight by the Jovian Republic and other bioconservative groups, very much averted by everyone else.
  • Nuke'Em: Some of the older members of Firewall tend to believe that the best approach to danger is to nuke the settlement from space.
    • This was also used as a strategy to try and stop the TITAN conquest and destruction of Earth. It helped them more than anything.
  • One Federation Limit: Jovian Republic, Lunar-Lagrange Alliance, Morningstar Constellation, Planetary Consortium... played straight with one (?) exception.
  • One-Gender Race: Averted with the Fury morphs as the name implies female only but the description says that on occasion there are male versions.
  • Only One Me Allowed Right Now: Many places forbid forking, at least at the Alpha level.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: Subverted. The majority of pre-Fall religions, particularly Christianity and Judaism, are mostly gone due to the changes in transhuman society, but new faiths (and Buddhism) are filling the void.
    • Played straight, however, in that very few of the religions in-setting, whether new or old, are given positive portrayals.
  • The Pioneer
  • Portal Network: Two forms exist. Pandora Gates are an FTL Portal Network linking the Solar System to any other system (if you can figure out how to program the gates to send you there), and Egocasting is a lightspeed means of transporting someone's mind to another body at another location.
  • Post Cyber Punk
  • Powers as Programs: If you're an AI, some skills are literally programs.
  • Power Perversion Potential: One of the Psi-Gamma sleights available to PC Asyncs is Mindlink, allowing two people to exchange thoughts, emotions, sensations, and more, and could theoretically cause an emotional or sensory feedback loop under the right (or wrong) circumstances. Using it requires the async to be touching the other person, and would certainly have interesting results given the right value for "touching."
  • Plug N Play Technology: Justified, although there are some incompatibility issues, mainly with ultra advanced code (like TITANS) or alien technology.
  • Psychic Powers: Many strains of the Exsurgent Virus do this, while one strain even makes playable psychic characters who aren't under the control of the virus (yet). They also go slightly insane, however.
  • Reality Warper: Psi-Epsilon sleights, with which Exsurgent asyncs can pretty much do anything.
  • Remote Body: Sometimes, mostly by infomorphs that don't want to be tied down to one body.
  • Robot War: What the war on Earth eventually became, once transhumanity figured out what the TITANs were really up to.
  • Sanity Meter: Your Lucidity score functions like mental hit points. It's a lot harder to recover Lucidity than HP, especially since if you run out of HP, you can just buy more (at both a credits and Lucidity cost).
  • Scale of Scientific Sins: Every single one of them has been committed in Eclipse Phase. Although bioconservatives are mad about them all, the only thing that most people now disapprove of scientists ever trying again is creating Seed AI. Little do most people know that there are still Seed AI amongst humanity who are benevolent. The only real sin should be exposing them to the Exsurgent virus.
  • Scenery Porn: In-universe, the Gatehopping group stumbles upon a very impressive looking nebula. Also, a scientific gatecrashing team have set up shop on a dead planet with a premium view of the Milky Way.
  • Science Is Bad: "Transhumanism Is Bad" is the rallying cry of the Bioconservative faction, most notably the Jovian Junta Republic. Largely averted otherwise, aside from the various posthuman factions.
  • Sex Bot: Pleasure pods, though technically they're primarily made of biological parts.
  • Shout-Out: One strain of nanovirus that was developed by the TITANs is called the Uzumaki. It causes the body of the infectee to erupt with fleshy growths in the shape of spirals...
    • Total Information (Tactical) Awareness was Trevor Goodchild's policy in Aeon Flux.
    • The various MARG (future MMO) listed in Sunward are obvious shout outs, like War of Wizards and Mecha Mash.
    • One of the audio clips for the Continuity module is I'm sorry, I can't do that.
    • In Gatecrashing, it's mentioned that one Angelina Germanotta is a member of a certain hedonistic space colony. She might be better known to you by another name ...
    • Lifeboat Foundation got renamed as the Lifeboat Project/Institute in one of the later chapters (regarding one of the origins of Firewall). Similarly for the Singularity Institute which just got changed to Singularity Foundation.
    • In the introduction one character complains that she always gets sleeved in a chain smoker, kind of like Takeshi Kovacs.
    • Nanofabricators specialized for food production are called Makers.
  • Skilled but Naive: Infolife (that is, AGI) Hackers can be amazingly good even compared to exceptional Transhuman Hackers, but probably have very little field experience, very poor social skills and likely still haven't gotten used to not having been told everything about transhumanity during their upbringing.
  • Sliding Scale of Libertarianism and Authoritarianism: Extropia and anarchists on one end of the spectrum, and the Jovian Junta on the other. The Planetary Consortium leans authoritarian, while the Titan Commonwealth leans libertarian.
  • Smells Sexy: The Enhanced Pheromones (standard in Sylphs and Pleasure pods) implant and Hither drug. The combat drug BringIt also causes users to emit pheromones, but they make people want to kill the user instead of have sex with him.
  • Space Cold War: Three way between the Planetary Consortium, the Jovians, and the Anarchists.
  • Space Elevator: Mars has one. Earth had a few before the Fall, one is still standing but it's kind of off-limits.
  • Space Western: With the outer reaches of the solar system, the Firefly-flavored Martian outback and the extrasolar exoplanet colonies courtesy of Pandora Gates.
  • Space Whale: Suryas, giant space whales LIVING ON THE SURFACE OF THE SUN!
  • Split Personality Merge: Forks are usually merged with the original once they have fulfilled their intended purpose. It gets more difficult the longer the two have been separate though.
  • Starfish Aliens: Factors, a race of sentient fungi who can merge together into larger bodies while retaining their individual minds, but tend to refer to themselves as "we".
  • Subspace Ansible: Quantum Entanglement comms, very handy. Also very, very expensive to use.
  • Super Senses: The Enhanced [sense] augmentations.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Done slightly different with the TITANs, who are godlike (thanks to their singularity) but not actually alien (they were built by us).
  • Talk About the Weather: Amusingly, even though the local climate is computer-regulated, this topic still exists in space habitats due to force of habit.
  • Teleporter Accident: The Pandora Gates are not well-understood by transhumans, and in themselves might not be stable at all. Therefore, teleportation sometimes leads to unpleasant outcomes.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: The Pandora Gates.
  • Terraform: Of a limited kind. Specially modified biomorphs can survive on Mars without a vacsuit and one of the goals of Reclaimers is to develop terraforming methods good enough to restore Earth.
  • Transhuman Aliens: Played with as one alien race did something like this to themselves to survive the virus.
    • Also looks like humanity itself is going to have to do this in order to claim their place in the Cosmic Horror Story universe.
  • Transhuman Treachery: Exhumans are humans attempting to super-evolve themselves, whether to survive anywhere or else seek to join in The Singularity. They don't think like humans do, and tend to be rather hostile to them (and vice versa).
    • The official Jovian policy is that all of transhumanity is inherently guilty of this by sheer dint of existence.
  • Ultimate Evil: The ETI are being portrayed as this right now, though their seemingly-sinister actions may be caused by their Blue and Orange Morality.
  • Uncanny Valley: An in-universe example, used by name as a negative trait in character creation.
  • Universal Universe Time: Averted, the Earth time and calendar is used mostly by Lunar-Lagrange Alliance, the Martians uses their own 24 month calendar, and everyone else uses whatever works for them.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Both subverted and played straight by smart clothing, which consist of nanomachines which can alter the clothing to whatever specification you desire. One set of clothes, unlimited possibilities.
  • United Space of America: Justified. In a rather sobering moment it is revealed that during the fall the more affluent parts of the world left the less affluent parts of the world to die, and there was a holocaust by omission of the entire african continent.
    • Though China had one of the largest presences in space before the fall, and many of the old megacorps recruited a lot of indentured servants from the third world (helps explain the Jovian Junta).
  • Uplifted Animal: Uplifts, duh.
  • The Virus: The jury is out on whether the Exsurgent virus is worse than anything GENTEK or the Umbrella Corporation ever made.
  • Virtual Ghost: Infomorphs.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Complicated in-universe with the existence of uplifted animals, AIs, and personality forks, complicated further by the general non-permanence of death (e.g. is it okay to murder someone if you agree to pay their resleeving fees?), and complicated further still by opinions and laws regarding the subject varying from habitat to habitat.
  • What Measure Is a Non Super: The Ultimates and Exhumans look down on normal humans with disdain. The Ultimates being a Social Darwinistic extremist group of ascetic mercenaries, and Exhumans being a type of singularity-chasing psychopaths who alter their bodies in the most unusual ways.
    • Even outside these groups, "zeroes" (people without access to mesh inserts of any kind) and "flats" (genetically unmodified baseline humans) don't really get a lot of respect from transhumanity at large, to say the least.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Psychics, without exception, all go insane to some extent following the onset of their powers. They can get better, but are still more prone to psychosis afterward.
    • Once again, a common bioconservative and Jovian line is that all transhuman existence will lead to this.
  • Working for a Body Upgrade: What most infomorphs and the "clanking masses" synthmorphs hope for.
  • The Worm That Walks: One of the available Synth bodies is a swarm of robotic insects. They can also come together into a vaguely humanoid form.
  • Wretched Hive: Several places, most commonly the Scum Barges.