This page is full of spoilers, so if you're a player you probably shouldn't read them, or you should at least talk to your gamemaster before doing so.
Exhumans are a faction within Eclipse Phase that seeks to transcend the transhuman and become posthuman. More to the point, exhumans seek to perfect their physical and mental capabilities to extreme levels, in search of some perfectionist ideal or to become something higher-up on the evolutionary ladder. Exactly what this is differs from exhuman to exhuman, but there is generally some adherence to Nietzschean philosophy and a goal to reach the pinnacle of the food chain. Some exhumans have transformed themselves into what they consider to be an ideal predator or a creature that is extra-adaptable and so best able to survive. Others radically modify their own brains in order to drastically surpass transhuman intelligence. Most are singularity seekers, eager and willing to follow the breadcrumbs left by the TITANs or other entities in the hope that they will find the means of transcending transhuman limitations.
Due to the use of numerous extreme, experimental, and dangerous self-modifications, some exhumans have done permanent damage to their psyches, becoming insane or perhaps just transferring their mode of thinking into something that is no longer recognizable as human. Some have also adopted an antagonistic view of their former transhuman species, viewing it as weak, decadent, and unworthy. This has spurred some exhumans to actively attack and ravage transhuman settlements and ships, though usually in isolated areas.
A few examples of exhumans are described below, though gamemasters are encouraged to develop their own.
Seeking to achieve a new level of super-intelligence and consciousness, neurodes have abandoned the typical transhuman sleeve in exchange for a multipedal neuronal shell that is both body and brain at the same time. The bulk of a neurode’s body mass consists of amorphic clusters of neuronal and epithelial cells, enclosed in a hard carapace shell with four legs and two manipulatory digits. The cerebral mass of neurode brains gives them impressive calculation and other mental capabilities far exceeding that of a normal transhuman. Neurodes typically defend themselves with swarms of teleoperated drones.
Skills: Fray 30, Investigation 80, Perception 90, others as appropriate
Implants: Access Jacks, Carapace Armor, Circadian Regulation, Direction Sense, Eidetic Memory, Endocrine Control, Hyper Linguist, Math Boost, Medichines, Multi-Tasking, Oracle, Skillware
Notes: Mental Disorder trait × 2
Predators seek to transform themselves into an ultimate top-of-the-food-chain evolutionary contender. They pursue new avenues in genetic modification and prototype implants, often using controversial methods and technologies. The biochemical instabilities resulting from these untested modifications and altered metabolisms negatively impacts their emotional and mental stability. Pushing this even further, some predators undergo experimental psychosurgery to modify their consciousnesses in order to increase cunning and ruthlessness, a procedure that often has other negative side effects. A few predators take their survival-of-the-fittest ideology to an extreme, modifying their digestive systems for a cannibalistic diet and relishing in the slaughter and feasting on of transhumans.
Skills: Blades 60, Fray 60, Free Fall 50, Freerunning 80, Investigation 50, Perception 60, Unarmed Combat 70
Implants: Adrenal Boost, Carapace Armor (11/11), Chameleon Skin, Cyberclaws, Drug Glands, Endocrine Control, Enhanced Hearing, Enhanced Smell, Enhanced Vision, Grip Pads, Hardened Skeleton, Medichines, Muscle Augmentation, Neurachem (Rating 2), Oxygen Reserve, Poison Gland, Prehensile Feet, Prehensile Tail, Respirocytes, Temperature Tolerance, Toxin Filters, Vacuum Sealing, plus any other mods the gamemaster feels appropriate
Notes: Mental Disorder trait × 2
A few examples of exsurgents created from transhumans transformed by the xenomorph strain of the virus are noted below. As always, gamemasters are encouraged to develop their own, using these as guidelines. Unless otherwise noted, exsurgents use the stats and skills of the transformed character. Each exsurgent detailed below first lists the aptitude modifiers applied to transformed characters, then gives example aptitude/skill ratings for NPC exsurgents.
Note that simply encountering transformed exsurgents is stressful to the minds of many transhumans. At the gamemaster’s discretion, such encounters may inflict 1d10 + 3 mental stress.
Perhaps the most disturbing exsurgent variant, so-called creepers are cloud-like amorphous swarms of small, black bubbles that are strangely fuzzily defined, as if surrounded by some sort of visual refraction effect. These clouds are theorized to in fact be autonomous femtobot swarms—similar to nanobots, but affecting matter on an even smaller scale, at the level of an atomic nucleus. These black bubbles are capable of coalescing into physical shapes in various states and can penetrate just about any material or substance in a matter of Action Turns. They may even penetrate morphs, accessing and interfacing with neural and electronic systems directly. For rules purposes, treat creepers the same as a self-replicating nanoswarm.
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Mobility System: Walker/Microlight (4/16) (may create other mobility systems with different rates)
Skills: Fray 40, Free Fall 50, Intimidation 60, Perception 50, Unarmed Combat (Grapple) 50 (60)
Notes: 360-Degree Vision, Chemical Sniffer, Electrical Sense, Enhanced Hearing, Enhanced Vision, Fractal Digits, Nanoscopic Vision, Radar, Radiation Sense, Swarm Composition (but may make SOM Tests, and plasma weapons do only 1d10 damage), T-ray Emitter
These pale and hideously deformed former humans are two meters tall, though they stand with a hunched gorilla-like posture, with elongated forearms and massive clawed wrists. They have two extra sets of smaller arms, one pair jutting out from the back shoulders and the other extruding directly from the chest. These smaller pairs of hands are equipped with fractal digits. Though capable of surviving in vacuum, many of them are still equipped as their human forms were when they were transformed.
Skills: Fray 55, Free Fall 40, Freerunning 50, Infiltration 30, Perception 60, Unarmed Combat 70
Implants: Access Jacks, Basic Mesh Inserts, Claws, Direction Sense, Enhanced Smell, Enhanced Vision, Fractal Digits, Muscle Augmentation, Nanoscopic Vision, Oxygen Reserve, Prehensile Feet, Puppet Sock, Temperature Tolerance (Cryonic), Toxin Filters, Vacuum Sealing
Attacks: Claws (1d10 + 7) DV, AP –1; Fractal Gouge (1d10 + 4), AP –8
Notes: Armor 8/8, Edited Memories, Mental Disorder, and Neural Damage traits
These exsurgents resemble collections of massive, slimy, mucus-filled bubbles. Their soft, amorphous shape allows jellies to squeeze, slide, and slither through even tiny spaces. Jellies are equipped with a number of “limbs” that resemble long meaty tongues studded with hard fleshy spikes that provide excellent gripping ability. The lubricating coating that envelopes jellies is both toxic and slightly corrosive, melting plastics and biological materials after a half hour of exposure. This substance may also be “spit” at targets.
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Movement Rate: 4/16
Skills: Exotic Ranged Attack (Spit) 40, Free Fall 50, Perception 60, Unarmed Combat 40
Notes: Armor (12/12), Enhanced Smell, Spit Attack (area effect), Tongue (DV 1d10 + 3, AP 0), Toxin (Application: D, O; Onset Time: 1 Action Turn, Duration: 5 Action Turns, Effect: 1d10 ÷ 2 (round up) DV per Action Turn ). Due to their physical form, jellies suffer the minimum amount of damage from standard kinetic weapon and blade attacks.
Shifters are synthmorphs whose material frames have been converted to an exotic smart matter liquid metal. This shapeshifting material can stabilize as a hardened metallic shell or liquefy and reshape itself into other forms. This allows the shifter to reflow its shell in a matter of seconds, enabling it to visually mimic other forms, including biomorphs (though they are easily detectable as synthmorphs at other wavelengths or by touch). Shifters may also reshape parts of their shell into melee weapons such as knives or clubs.
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Mobility System: Walker (4/20)
Skills: Blades 60, Deception 55, Disguise 60, Fray 50, Freerunning 55, Impersonation 60, Perception 50, Unarmed Combat 50
Notes: Armor (13/13), Enhanced Hearing, Enhanced Vision, Shape-Adjusting (Programmable Liquid Metal Form)
Snapper exsurgents are typically crafted from vehicles or other large synthetic shells or by melding multiple synthmorphs together. They take the form of an insectoid multi-segmented hexagonal tube with multiple sets of limbs, three apiece, set radially 120 degrees around the torso. These limbs are heavy, double-jointed, and articulated with three joints. Each limb ends in either a triad of manipulatory digits or a larger pincer-like claw.
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Mobility System: Walker (4/24)
Skills: Climbing 45, Fray 40, Freerunning 40, Perception 40, Unarmed Combat (Pincers) 55 (65) Notes: 360-Degree Vision, Armor (16/16), Enhanced Vision, Extra Limbs (9, 12, or 15 total), Lidar, Magnetic System, Pincers (DV 2d10 + 3, AP –3), Structural Enhancement
These small barrel-shaped creatures have a mass of small legs under their trunk that allows for fast movement. At the top of their trunk is another mass of 3-meter long, strong, whip-like tentacles. Some of these tentacles feature gripping surfaces for grabbing and holding (both for tool use and mobility), while others are sharp-edged and useful for slicing through opponents.
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Movement Rate: 8/40
Skills: Climbing 40, Fray 50, Free Fall 40, Freerunning 50, Infiltration 40, Perception 50, Unarmed Combat (Tentacles) 45 (55)
Notes: Enhanced Vision, Tentacle Whip (DV 2d10 + 1, AP –1)
These exsurgents resemble large, thin, four-armed, spiny starfish, capable of walking in a quadruped manner, though they are seemingly better adapted for microgravity. A large circular mouth resides in their middle on one side and each arm ends in small sharp-clawed digits, useful for climbing and tool use. Small vent sacs allow for thrusting in microgravity and sensory bands on the upper part of each arm provide low-frequency hearing and infrared-equivalent sensing. Their name comes from their tendency to drop on opponents from above, wrapping themselves around the head and arms.
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Movement Rate: 4/16
Skills: Fray 40, Free Fall 50, Perception 50, Unarmed Combat (Grapple) 50 (60)
Notes: Armor (8/8), Bite (DV 2d10 + 3, AP –5, must grapple first), Chameleon Skin, Claws (DV 1d10 + 2, AP –2), Enhanced Hearing, Infrared Sensing, Vacuum Sealing
These xenomorphs are squat, wide humanoids with blunt hands and flexible feet that lack toes. They use sonar and radar instead of sight and have a potent command of both psi-chi and psi-gamma abilities. They do not hate other transhumans, but consider transhumanity to be mentally broken and desire to repair their minds and spread their own inhuman knowledge. These xenomorphs are unable to reproduce and are intent on not being found.
While the xenomorphs cannot spread nanoplagues on the surface and would swiftly die in any environment remotely habitable by transhumans, their twisted bodies contain several carefully sealed pockets of dormant nanoplagues that activate if placed in an environment safe for ordinary transhumans. These nanoplague pockets exist for two reasons. First, part of the reason the TITAN placed exsurgents on Venus was to have them ready to spread nanoplagues onto Venus once it was terraformed. Second, The TITAN also hoped to spread nanoplagues to anyone who killed or capture a xenomorph and transported its remains up to the aerostats for study. Only a very careful scan of the interior of one of these xenomorphs will reveal the dormant caches of nanoplagues. The Venusian xenomorphs do not know about the caches of dormant nanoplagues in their bodies, but would be more than happy to exploit these nanoplagues, even at the cost of their lives.
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Movement Rate: 4/16
Skills: Clubs 50, Fray 40, Perception 50 (60), Psi Assault 50, Unarmed Combat 60
Notes: Armor (18/18), Direction Sense, Extreme Heat Adaptation, Extreme Pressure Adaptation, Psi (Level 2), Radar, Sonar
Attacks: Club (DV 1d10 + 5, AP 0), Unarmed (DV 1d10 + 3, AP 0)
Suggested Sleights: Ambience Sense, Grok, Mindlink, Onslaught, Psychic Stab, Static (Gamemasters should feel free to alter these choices for their games)
Factors usually avoid direct combat but can defend themselves if they have to. They are only likely to act aggressively in situations where they have surprise, environmental or technological advantages, and/or superior numbers. Due to their cooperativism, Factors are rarely encountered alone, working en masse to eliminate potential threats. A few examples of the different Factor phenotypes are described below.
Immunity to Kinetic Damage: Due to their gooey composition and non-differentiated physiology, kinetic weapons (firearms, railguns) are not very damaging to Factors. Most such projectiles pass through their gelatinous bodies, inflicting minor damage via hydrostatic shock. The holes left by such weapons quickly close in a matter of seconds. Likewise, cuts left by blades rapidly seal. In game terms, both such weapons inflict the minimum amount of damage possible.
Regeneration: Even if damaged, Factors regenerate very quickly. They heal SOM ÷ 10 (round up) damage every Action Turn. Wounds may not be healed this way, however.
Melding: Individual Factors may merge together to form larger units, much like masses of Factors form colonies. In game terms, use the highest stat possessed by the melded Factors, +2 for each additional Factor up to a maximum of +10. Durability (and Wound Thresholds) are added together.
Factor Dust Toxin
As noted elsewhere, Factors can deploy a type of chemical Factor dust that is toxic to transhumans. Treat this as an area effect (cone) attack.
|Onset Time:||1 Action Turn|
|Duration:||10 minutes (5 with medichines)|
|Effect:||Severe coughing and respiratory distress, 1d10 damage per Action Turn for 5 Action Turns (or ongoing with continuous exposure), –20 to all actions for 2 hours. Medichines reduce damage by half and modifier duration to 15 minutes.|
The ambassador Factor phenotypes are the ones who most commonly handle direct interactions with transhumanity. Most likely to put transhumans at ease, these Factors feature a section of sensor nodules that loosely approximate a “face.”
Movement Rate: 4/16
Skills: Deception 70, Exotic Ranged Attack: Factor Dust 45, Fray 25, Free Fall 40, Hardware: Electronics 35, Infosec 35, Intimidation 50, Kinesics 40, Perception 50, Persuasion 60, Protocol 50, Research 35, Unarmed Combat 30
Notes: Access Jacks, Chameleon Skin, Grip Pads, Infrared Sensing, Magnetoception, Poison Gland (Factor Dust Toxin)
Guardian Factors serve as bodyguards for ambassadors or other Factors whenever they leave a Factor ship.
Movement Rate: 4/20
Skills: Climbing 40, Exotic Ranged Attack: Factor Dust 65, Fray 50, Free Fall 40, Freerunning 40, Infiltration 40, Intimidation 50, Kinesics 20, Perception 50, Profession: Security Procedures 50, Unarmed Combat (Tentacles) 50 (60)
Notes: Chameleon Skin, Eelware, Electrical Sense, Grip Pads, Infrared Sensing, Magnetoception, Poison Gland (Factor Dust Toxin), Tentacle Whip (DV 2d10 + 1, AP –1)
The TITANs unleashed a number of deadly machines during the Fall, many of which still seek out transhumans to attack.
Fractals are advanced bush robots. In their standard form, fractals resemble a strange sort of metallic bush surrounded with an eerie glittering haze. In their center are a number of metallic branches, linked together with a flexible joint. Each of these branches splits into two or more smaller branches, also with flexible joints. These branches also split, and then split again, and so on down to the molecular scale. The tip of each fractal branch ends in a nanoscale manipulator. Fractals are deceptively potent adversaries, having the capability to dismantle almost anything at the molecular level, much like a disassembler nanoswarm, and also to rebuild anything just like a nanofabricator. Attacking them with projectiles is futile, as they absorb the ammunition, break it down into its constituent atoms or molecules, and then use those as components to build a weapon to use against you.
Fractals can be equipped with any type of gear the gamemaster desires—if they don’t have something, they can make it. Fractals are also able to nanofabricate items much more quickly than transhuman nanofabricators; reduce all times by half (half an hour per Cost category). Fractals are difficult to damage, as their “bodies” are actually airy assemblages of fractal branches. Any damaged branches that are broken off are caught and absorbed by others. Reduce damage from all standard non-area effect or spray attacks to the minimum possible damage. Area effect and spray weapons do half damage. Fractals are self-repairing, regenerating damage at the rate of 1d10 points per half hour and repairing wounds at the rate of 1 per hour after all damage is healed.
Skills: Beam Weapons 50, Climbing 60, Fray 40, Free Fall 40, Freerunning 50, Infiltration 70, Infosec 65, Interfacing 45, Intimidation 50, Kinetic Weapons 60, Perception 50, Programming: Nanofabrication 80, Research 40, Spray Weapons 45, Unarmed Combat 55 Notes: Any implants, gear, weapons, or enhancements the gamemaster desires
Headhunters are multi-legged insectoid flying drones that use a dragonfly wing configuration to hover and move. The legs are equipped with grasping claws and extendable buzzsaws. Their primary purpose is to grasp on to the heads of victims and cut through the neck, decapitating them. Collected heads are then flown to nearby special facilities for forced uploading.
Mobility System: Winged (8/32)
Skills: Flight 70, Fray 60, Exotic Melee Weapon: Buzzsaws 55, Infiltration 60, Investigation 40, Perception 40, Unarmed Combat 55
Notes: Armor 6/6, Buzzsaws (1d10 + 3 DV), Enhanced Vision, Lidar, T-Ray Emitter
These lethal flying drones achieved air superiority during TITAN military operations. Their sleek jet-powered form unfolds for vectored-thrust hovering and weapons deployment.
Mobility System: Thrust Vector (8/80)
Skills: Beam Weapons 55, Flight 80, Fray 60, Infiltration 40, Kinetic Weapons 65, Perception 50, Seeker Weapons 80
Notes: Armor 14/14, Anti-Glare, Chameleon Skin, Enhanced Vision, Lidar, Radar, Shape-Adjusting Typical Weapons: 2 Particle Beam Rifles, 2 Railgun Machine Guns, 2 Seeker Rifles
Warbots are massive, armored, vaguely anthropomorphic mecha, used for heavy combat operations. Bipedal, these warbots are equipped with four arms and a pair of grasping mechanical tentacles, along with numerous weapon systems.
Mobility System: Walker (4/20)
Skills: Beam Weapons 60, Exotic Melee Weapon: Tentacles 40, Fray 50, Infiltration 30, Kinetic Weapons 70, Perception 50, Seeker Weapons 50, Spray Weapons 50, Unarmed Combat 50
Notes: Armor 20/20, 360-Degree Vision, Anti-Glare, Chameleon Skin, Chem Sniffer, Cyber Claws (2d10 + 6 DV), Electrical Sense, Enhanced Vision, Extra Limbs (6), Lidar, Magnetic System, Pneumatic Limbs, Radar, Tentacles (prehensile, 1d10 + 6 DV), T-Ray Emitter
Typical Weapons: Particle Beam Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Pulser, Railgun Machine Gun, Seeker Rifle, Torch
The nanoswarms distributed by the TITANs are a step beyond the nanotechnology available to transhumanity. Unlike transhuman-created nanoswarms, the TITAN swarms are autonomous, sapient, and self-replicating. They are also highly adaptive, meaning they are not single function but can modify themselves to perform almost any nanoswarm task. They may also nanofabricate new materials, much like fractals. Combined, these capabilities make these nanoswarms incredibly potent. When they encounter a new opponent, they can scan the opponent’s capabilities and then fabricate offensive systems to use against them. When an opponent deploys a weapon system on the swarm, it will learn and adapt countermeasures that will make such attacks ineffective against the swarm in the future. These nanoswarms may also function like so-called utility fog, linking together into a physical lattice in order to create large-scale physical forms.
The possibilities for TITAN nanoswarms are almost limitless. For example, they may lie in wait as an invisible nanoscopic swarm, float as barely visible mist, or shape into a swarm of small hopping drones to move about. When facing opponents, the nanoswarm could transform itself into a giant electroshock net across the ground, shape into a flotilla of seeker-armed flying drones, or link together as a set of massive whip-like tentacles to slice through their fleshy foes. These nanoswarms are nearly impossible to destroy, as only a few nanobots need to survive in order to rebuild the swarm, and the new swarm will learn from the mistakes of the old.
Self-replicating nanoswarms follow the rules given for Nanoswarms and Microswarms, with the following additions and exceptions:
- They do not need to be sustained by a hive and do not deteriorate.
- They self-repair damage at the rate of 1d10 per half hour.
- They may nanofabricate new items, materials, or forms in half the standard timeframe (half an hour per Cost category).
- They may replicate any of the nanoswarm functions as noted on p. 328, as well as the functions of any other nanoswarm-using gear (smart dust, covert ops tool, repair spray, etc.).
- They may make SOM Tests.
- At the gamemaster’s discretion, they may adapt new defenses against attacks used against them. New defenses take a minimum of 2 hours to devise and replicate throughout the swarm, after which such an attack will inflict minimal or no damage.
- Assume they have any skill they need at a minimum of 40. Such skills may rapidly improve as needed.
Despite—or perhaps, because of—the lessons learned with the TITANs, there has been a small explosion of experimentation with low-level (non-sapient) AIs on Mars, typically shelled in robotic forms. Much of this experimentation has been with creating non-standard forms of AIs, often with poor results. Some of these projects have been abandoned, others have escaped, leading to a small population of “wild artificials”—bots with weird and unusual animal-level intelligences. Some of these have formed together in actual packs, like robotic dogs. These wild artificials are sometimes a threat to transhumans, whether from poor/glitched programming or mistaken intent. Gamemasters are encouraged to be creative when devising wild artificials. A sample is provided below.
Collectors are small, fast, agile, and cat-sized bots programmed with animal behavioralisms for scavenging and hoarding. Enough of these have been found in the streets of Elysium that it seems likely that someone is manufacturing them and intentionally setting them free. Collectors scurry about on spider-like legs with grip pads across any available surface, collecting any small objects that strike their interest. They seem to have a fondness for shiny electronics and other powered items, and more than one Martian has set down an item only to have a collector snatch it up and make off with it before they can be stopped. Collectors hoard the items they scavenge in rat-like warrens they presumably scrape out themselves. They have been known to attack transhumans when cornered or prevented from taking something they really like. Their forelimbs have painful pincers for grabbing and retractable blades with which they can cut.
Skills: Blades 40, Climbing 60, Fray 50, Freerunning 50, Perception 30, Scrounging 60, Unarmed Combat 40