Eclipse Phase Glossary

A guide to terms in Eclipse Phase. Terms that are used in my campaigns and not in the published material are listed as personal.

Everyday Terms

  • AF: After the Fall (used for reference dating).
  • Backup: An alpha fork kept in digital storage in case the original ego is irretrievably lost.
  • BF: Before the Fall (used for reference dating).
  • Bots: Robots. AI-piloted synthetic shells.
  • Chimeric: Transgenic, containing genetic traits from other species.
  • Clade: A species or group of organisms with common features. Used to refer to transhuman subspecies and morph types.
  • Cornucopia Machine: A general-purpose nanofabricator.
  • Ego: The part of you that switches from body to body. Also known as ghost, soul, essence, spirit, persona.
  • Egocasting: Term for sending egos via farcasting.
  • Entoptics: Augmented-reality images that you “see” in your head. (“Entoptic” means “within the eye.”)
  • The Fall: The apocalypse; the singularity and wars that nearly brought about the downfall of transhumanity.
  • Farcasting: Intrasolar communication utilizing classical communication technologies (radio, laser, etc.) and quantum teleportation.
  • Firewall: The secret cross-faction conspiracy that works to protect transhumanity from “existential threats” (risks to transhumanity’s continued existence).
  • Forking: Copying an ego. Not all forks are full copies. AKA backups.
  • Genehacker: Someone who manipulates genetic code to create genetic modifications or even new life.
  • Indentures: Indentured servants who have contracted their labor to a hypercorp or other authority, usually in exchange for a morph.
  • Lifelog: A recording of one’s entire life experience, made possible due to near unlimited computer memory.
  • Lost Generation: In an effort to repopulate post-Fall, a generation of children were reared using forced-growth methods. The results were disastrous: many died or went insane, and the rest were stigmatized.
  • Meme: A viral idea.
  • Mesh: The omnipresent wireless mesh data network. Also used as a verb (to mesh) and adjective (meshed or unmeshed).
  • Mesh ID: The unique signature attached to one’s mesh activity.
  • Morph: A physical body. Aka suit, jacket, sleeve, shell, form.
  • Neogenesis: The creation of new life forms via genetic manipulation and biotechnology.
  • Pandora Gates: The wormhole gateways left behind by the TITANs.
  • Parahuman: See posthuman.
  • Posthuman: A human or transhuman individual or species that has been genetically or cognitively modified so extensively as to no longer be human (a step beyond transhuman). Aka parahuman.
  • Resleeving: Changing bodies, or being downloaded into a new one. Also called remorphing, reincarnation, shifting, rebirthing.
  • Scorching: Hostile programs that can damage or affect cyberbrains.
  • Spime: Meshed, self-aware, location-aware devices.
  • Transgenic: Containing genetic traits from other species.
  • Transhuman: An extensively modified human.
  • Uplifting: Genetically transforming an animal species to sapience.
  • Upload: A copy of an ego in a virtual brain either to create an infomorph backup, a fork, or in preparation for egocasting or resleeving.
  • X-Caster: Someone who transmits/sells XP recordings of their experiences.
  • Xer: As in “X-er”—someone who is addicted or obsessed with XP. Sometime used to refer to people making XP as well.
  • Zeroes: People without wireless mesh access. Common with some indentures.

Firewall

  • Async: A person with psi abilities.
  • Exsurgent Virus: The multi-vector virus created by an unknown ETI and seeded throughout the galaxy in Bracewell probes. The Exsurgent virus is self-morphing and can infect both computer systems and biological creatures.
  • Prometheans: A group of transhuman-friendly seed AIs that were created by the Lifeboat Project (precursors to the argonauts) years before the TITANs became selfaware and that (mostly) avoided Exsurgent infection. The Prometheans secretly back Firewall and work to defeat existential threats.
  • Proxies: Members of the Firewall internal structure.
  • Psi: Parapsychological powers acquired due to infection by the Watts-MacLeod strain of Exsurgent virus.
  • Sentinels: Agents of Firewall.
  • Sleight: A psi power.
  • Xenomorph: Alien life form.
  • X-Risk: Existential risk. Something that threatens the very existence of transhumanity.

Space

  • AU: Astronomical unit. The distance between the Earth and the Sun, equal to 8.3 light minutes, or about 150 million kilometers.
  • Circumjovian: Orbiting Jupiter.
  • Circumlunar: Orbiting the Moon.
  • Circumsolar: Orbiting the Sun.
  • Cislunar: Between the Earth and the Moon.
  • Extrasolar: Outside the solar system.
  • Exoplanet: A planet in another solar system.
  • FTL: Faster-Than-Light.
  • Flatlander: Someone born or used to living on a planet or moon with gravity.
  • Greeks: Trojan asteroids or moons that share the same orbit as a larger planet or moon, but are 60 degrees ahead in the orbit at the L4 Lagrange point. The term Greeks normally refers to the asteroids orbiting around Jupiter’s L4 point. See also Trojans.
  • Heliopause: The point where pressure from the solar wind balances with the interstellar medium (about 100 AU out).
  • Iceteroid: An asteroid made from mostly ice rather than rock or metals.
  • Kuiper Belt: A region of space extending from Neptune’s orbit out to about 55 AU, lightly populated with asteroids, comets, and dwarf planets.
  • Lagrange Point: One of five areas in respect to a small planetary body orbiting a larger one in which the gravitational forces of those two bodies are neutralized. Lagrange points are considered stable and ideal locations for habitats. The L1 point is at a space between the two bodies, L2 is at a space on the far side of the smaller body, and L3 is at a spot on the far side of the larger body. In the same orbital path are the L4 and L5 points which are 60 degrees ahead and behind the smaller body respectively.
  • Main Belt: The main asteroid belt, a torus ring orbiting between Mars and Jupiter.
  • Microgravity: Zero-g or near weightless environments.
  • Oort Cloud: The spherical “cloud” of comets that surrounds the solar system out to about one light-year from the sun.
  • Trojans: Asteroids or moons that share the same orbit as a larger planet or moon, but follow about 60 degrees ahead or behind at the L4 and L5 Lagrange points. The term Trojans normally refers to the asteroids orbiting at Jupiter’s Lagrange points, but Mars, Saturn, Neptune, and other bodies also have Trojans. See also “Greeks.”

Groups

  • Anarchist: Someone who believes government is unnecessary, that power corrupts, and that people should control their own lives through self-organized individual and collective action.
  • Argonauts: A faction of techno-progressive scientists that promote responsible and ethical use of technology.
  • Autonomists: The alliance of anarchists, Barsoomians, Extropians, scum, and Titanians.
  • Barsoomian: A rural Martian, typically resentful of hypercorp control.
  • Bioconservative: An anti-technology movement that argues for strict regulation of nanofabrication, AI, uploading, forking, cognitive enhancements, and other disruptive technologies. Often abbreviated biocon.
  • Brinkers: Exiles who live on the fringes of the system, as well as other isolated and well-hidden nooks and crannies. Also called isolates, fringers, drifters.
  • Brokers: Alternative name for the alien species more commonly known as the Factors.
  • Crasher: Alternative name for gatecrashers, particularly career ones. Also the name of a high-end biomorph designed for gatecrashers.
  • Drifters: See brinkers.
  • Ex-hominid: A radical uplift group that feels they will never be free as long as humans exist and seek nothing less than the destruction of humanity. See also: purist, mercurial.
  • Exhuman: A singularity seeker who has acted on his interest to modify his body and/or mind to levels beyond normal transhumanity. Typically insane but still in control of their self, as opposed to exsurgents (see below).
  • Exsurgent: Someone infected by the Exsurgent virus.
  • Factors: The alien ambassadorial race that deals with transhumanity. Also called Brokers.
  • Fringers: Term used to indicate those who live on the outskirts of society, usually brinkers or isolates.
  • Gatecrashers: Explorers who take their chances using a Pandora gate to go somewhere previously unexplored.
  • Iktomi: The name given to the mysterious alien race whose relics have been found beyond the Pandora Gates.
  • Infugee: “Infomorph refugee,” or someone who left everything behind on Earth during the Fall—even their own body.
  • Isolates: Those who live in isolated communities far outside the system (in the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud); aka outsters, fringers. See Brinkers.
  • Mercurials: The non-human sentient elements of the transhuman “family,” including AGIs and uplifted animals. When used politically, it means a movement to establish self-directed AGI and uplift communities without human influence.
  • Nano-ecologists: Pro-tech ecological movement.
  • Naturalist: Small uplift faction that wants to have its sentience removed and returned to a non-uplifted condition. See also: reverent, sapient, mercurial, purist, ex-hominid.
  • Nightbreaker: An ideological group dedicated to disrupting Brinker communities, from political isolates to xenophobic clades to paranoid hermits. [Non-Canon; Farcast Blog]
  • Outsters: See isolates.
  • Purists: A term for marginal uplift factions that consider their uplift type to be superior. Often associated with violent or terrorist groups who act out of frustration for dominance by an "inferior" species. See also: reverent, sapient, mercurial, naturalist, ex-hominid.
  • Reclaimers: A transhuman faction that seeks to lift the interdiction and reclaim Earth.
  • Reds: See redneck.
  • Redneck: A rural Martian. See Barsoomian. Aka Reds.
  • Reinstantiated: Refugees from Earth who escaped only as bodiless infomorphs, but who have since been resleeved.
  • Reverent: Uplift faction that feels indebted to humans for uplifting their species. Se also sapient, mercurial, naturalist, purists, ex-hominid.
  • Sapient: The dominant uplift faction that wants to fit in with all members of transhumanity and not be viewed as "different" because of their uplift origins. See also: naturalist, mercurial, purist, reverent, ex-hominid
  • Scum: The nomadic faction of space punks/gypsies that travel from station to station in heavily-modifi ed barges or swarms of ships. Notorious for being a roving black market.
  • Singularity Seeker: People who pursue relics and evidence of the TITANs or other possible avenues to super-intelligence, either to learn more about it or to become part of a super-intelligence themselves.
  • TITANs: The human-created, recursively-improving, military seed AIs that underwent a hard-takeoff singularity and prompted the Fall. Original military designation was TITAN: Total Information Tactical Awareness Network.
  • Titanian: Someone from Titan, a moon of Saturn. Titanians are techno-socialists and the only Autonomist faction with a full government.
  • Titaniot: Someone from Titania, a moon of Uranus. Titania is an Autonomist world known for thrill-seeking.
  • Xenokin: Transhumans who wish to live as strange and unique creatures, often buliding their own morphs which in turn reshapes the egos inside. [Non-Canon; Farcast Blog]

Morphs

  • Biomorph: A biological body, whether a fl at, splicer, genetically engineered transhuman, or pod.
  • Body Bank: A service for leasing, selling, acquiring, or storing a morph. Aka dollhouse, morgue.
  • Cortical Stack: An implanted memory cell used for ego backup. Located where the spine meets the skull; can be cut out.
  • Cyberbrain: An artificial brain, housing an ego. Used in both synthmorphs and pods.
  • Flesh: A biological physical morph. Aka meat, skin.
  • Form: See morph.
  • Jacket: See morph.
  • Meat: A biological physical morph. Aka flesh, skin.
  • Shell: A synthetic physical morph. Aka synthmorph.
  • Skin: A biological physical morph. Aka meat, flesh.
  • Sleeve: Alternate name for a morph, or a verb meaning to copy an infomorph ego into a physical morph.
  • Steel (Morph): High-end synthmorph favored by supporters of synth rights, especially those who feel synthetic morphs are superior to biological ones. Sometimes masked to look like biomorphs or covered in nanomachines to change shape.
  • Suit: See morph.
  • Synthmorph: Synthetic morphs. Robotic shells possessed by transhuman egos.
  • Synths: A specific type of synthmorph. Synths are standard androids/gynoids; robots that are designed to look humanoid, though they are usually noticeably not human.

Biomorphs

  • Aquanaut: An aquatic biomorph which seems heavy use on oceanic exoplanets. For those wishing to explore aquatic spaces like Europa, Ceres, and Atlantica without using a neo-cetacean morph, this is their best choice.
  • Ariel: Exotic flying morphs with bird-like heads and membranous wings like bats, designed for flying and hunting in the Titanian atmosphere.
  • Ascended: See exalt.
  • Bouncer: Biomorph designed for extensive zero-G including agility and prehensile feet.
  • Bruiser: A physically intimidating biomorph used by athletes, criminals, and thugs.
  • Cloud Skate: Shaped like a stingray, this morph is designed to inhabit the atmosphere of gas giants.
  • Courier: Synthmorph designed for fast and easy travel among the many moons of the Saturnian system.
  • Crasher: A self-reliant biomorph design based on the ruster morph, designed for gatecrashing missions. Also short-hand for "gatecrasher."
  • Dvergr: Sturdy gatecrasher morphs designed for high-gravity worlds.
  • Elevated: See exalt.
  • Exalt: Genetically-enhanced human (between genefixed and transhumans). Aka genefreak, the ascended, the elevated.
  • Faust: A secretive morph designed by async genehackers to be the perfect Psi morph.
  • Flats: Baseline humans (not genetically modifi ed). Also called norms.
  • Freeman: Designed for social control, lower free will, and a ghostrider module that comes with an overwatch AI that reports seditious activity.
  • Futura: Special biomorph designed for the Lost Generation to help their accelerated growth. Out of production now and found distateful by many.
  • Fury: A transhuman combat morph.
  • Genefreak: See exalt.
  • Ghost: A transhuman combat morph optimized for stealth and infiltration.
  • Grey: A short, intelligent morph based on 20th-century conceptions of aliens.
  • Hazer: Slight variation of baseline humans with increased tolerance for surface conditions on Titan.
  • Hibernoid: A transhuman modified for hibernation, for extensive travel in space.
  • Hulder: Strange auk-like biomorphs designed for survival in the Titanian wilderness.
  • Hyperbright: Extremely intelligent morph common on the Bright habitat orbiting Saturn, designed to be the successor to the menton.
  • Jenkin: A rat-like morph originally designed in desperate times following the Fall, it is now favored by survivalists and sexual hedonists.
  • Lunar Flier: Biomorph resembling a human with wings attached to the shoulder blades. They are able to fly in standard atmosphere and low gravity.
  • Martian Alpiner: Cold and low-oxygen resistant morph from early days of Martian colonization, now found predominantly at Olympus.
  • Menton: Transhumans optimized for mental and cognitive ability.
  • Neotenic: Transhumans modified to retain a child-like form. Favored on some small habitats for their utility of size, but viewed uneasily by most transhumans.
  • Norms: More polite term for flat morphs.
  • Observer: An extremely perceptive morph favored by detectives and inspectors.
  • Olympian: A transhuman biomorph modifi ed for athleticism and endurance.
  • Reaper: A warbot synthmorph.
  • Remade: Special optimized biomorph used primarily by future-minded groups such as argonauts, exhumans, and ultimates. Transhumans tend to find them eerie and not-quite-human.
  • Ring Flyer: Biomorph designed to traverse the rings of the Saturn system on propulsion powered by magnetic field gradients.
  • Rusters: Biomorphs optimized for life on Mars.
  • Salamander: Humanoid morphs adapted for survival in the solar corona; used by solarians in coronal habitats where suryas do not fit.
  • Selkie: Human-seal hybrid morph for use in aquatic environments.
  • Splicers: Humans that are genetically modifi ed to eliminate genetic diseases and some other traits. Also known as genefi xed, cleangenes, tweaks.
  • Surya: Whale-like morph designed to swim through solar coronas.
  • Sylphs: Transhuman biomorphs with exotic good looks.
  • Theseus: A survivor morph designed to infiltrate TITAN-infested areas.
  • Venusian Glider: Biomorph with bat-like gliding membranes designed to survive in Venus's upper atmosphere and fly in the dense atmosphere.

Pod

  • Ayah: A caretaker pod morph for watching children or the infirm.
  • Basic Pod: A low-cost pod morph for those in need of a simple utilitarian morph and wanting more biology than a case.
  • Chickarnie: A pod morph resembling a flightless, bipedal owl for neo-avians who would rather have a more humanoid shape.
  • Critter: A pod that looks like a smart animal but houses a full cortical stack and ego. It sometimes functions as a pet and other times as covert spies.
  • Digger (Morph): Pod morph designed for excavation and archaeology.
  • Flying Squid: An aquatic pod morph based on squid biology.
  • Hypergibbon: A pod morph based on gibbons used for primates who need a utilitarian, low-resource morph.
  • Novacrab: A pod created from genetically-engineered spider crab stock.
  • Ripwing: Neogenetic pod built for neo-avians who want a robust morph for gatecrashing or combat.
  • Samsa: A four-armed, four-legged insectoid morph that stands two meters tall and is built for combat.
  • Scurrier: Pod morph resembling a raccoon or flying squirrel. Based on extraterrestrial genetics.
  • Security Pod: A soldier pod used for cheap security work.
  • Shaper: A very rare and expensive pod morph capable of taking on the appearance of other biomorphs.
  • Specialist Pod: A specifically designed pod morph specializing in a certain task.
  • Vacuum Pod: Worker pods designed for hard vacuum.
  • Whiplash: Experimental pod designed using plant-animal hybrid DNA from species on the exoplanet Sunrise.

Synthmorph

  • Arachnoid: A spider-like robotic synthmorph.
  • Biocore: A synthmorph with a biological brain, often with a transparent casing to show it off but sometimes indistinguishable from synths.
  • Blackbird: A steathy, flight-capable synthmorph designed like a neo-corvid.
  • Case: A cheap, common, mass-produced synthetic shell.
  • Cetus: Deep sea synthmorph used in the exceptionally deep oceans of Europa and Ceres.
  • Cloud Skimmer: A streamlined morph designed for operation in gas giant atmospheres and hard vacuum.
  • Daitya: Three-meter synthmorphs designed as anthropomorphic industrial morphs.
  • Dragonfly: Synthmorph designed shaped like a meter-long dragonfly.
  • Fenrir: Multi-ego tank morph developed on the militarized city-state of Hyoden on Callisto.
  • Fighting Kite: A morph durable and combat-capable kite morph.
  • Flexbot: A shape-changing synthmorph also capable of joining together with other flexbots in a modular fashion to create larger shapes.
  • Galatea: A synthmorph designed for social mastery and ease.
  • Gargoyle: A synthmorph design covered with sensory equipment.
  • Griefer: A niche synthmorph outfitted for public trolling with loudspeakers and holographic displays.
  • Guard: A tougher, hulking synthmorph used for security.
  • Kite: Shape-shifting synthmorph designed to fly no matter the environmental conditions. Also called a multiflier.
  • Mimic: A shape-adjusting synthmorph capable of disguising itself as any number of small objects.
  • Nautiloid: A spacecraft/submersible hybrid shaped like a nautilus.
  • Opteryx: A lightweight, winged morph shaped like a fast-running dinosaur.
  • Q-morph: Synthmorph constructed of crystalline quartz and other durable materials for work at the Venusian surface.
  • Rover: A smaller, defense-oriented version of the sphere morph.
  • Savant: Proof-of-concept morph designed in Ilmarinen around Neptune to show that synthmorphs can be just as mentally-enhanced as biomorphs.
  • Skulker: A stealth swarmanoid design.
  • Slitheroid: A snake-like robotic synthmorph.
  • Spare: Small, cheap morph kept for re-embodying egos when a morph is killed or disabled in an accident.
  • Sphere: A floating orb with chameleon surface and retractable limbs.
  • Sundiver: Synthetic morph built for use in the Sun's corona.
  • Swarmanoid: A synthetic morph composed from a swarm of tiny insect-sized robots.
  • Synthtaur: A morph resembling a mechanical centaur.
  • Synths: Humanoid synthmorphs resembling androids/gynoids.
  • Takko: A synthmorph design based on octopi.
  • Xu Fu: Gatecrashing synthmorph design, created to be prepared for anything.

Uplifts

  • Neo-Avians: Uplifted ravens and gray parrots.
  • Neo-Beluga: Smallest of the surviving whale uplifts.
  • Neo-Cetaceans: Uplifted dolphins, porpoises, and whales.
  • Neo-Dolphin: Various uplifted dolphin species.
  • Neo-Hominids: Uplifted chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans.
  • Neo-Neanderthals: Uplifted hominid species out-competed by humans during the Earth's last Ice Age.
  • Neo-Octopi: Uplifted octopi. See octomorph.
  • Neo-Orca: Uplifted species commonly called killer whales.
  • Neo-Pigs: Uplifted domesticated swine species.
  • Neo-Porpoise: Medium whale species.
  • Neo-Whales: Largest of the uplifted whale species, only found currently on Ceres and Atlantica.
  • Octomorph: Biomorph created from uplifted octopi. Used by some non-uplifts for their utility in zero- and microgravity.

Technology

Computers

  • AGI: Artificial General Intelligence. An AI that has cognitive faculties comparable to that of a human or higher. Also known as “strong AI” (differentiating from more specialized “weak AI”). See also “seed AI.”
  • AI: Artificial Intelligence. Generally used to refer to weak AIs; i.e., AIs that do not encompass (or in some cases, are completely outside of) the full range of human cognitive abilities. AIs differ from AGIs in that they are usually specialized and/or intentionally crippled/limited.
  • AR: Augmented Reality. Information from the mesh (universal data network) that is overlaid on your real-world senses. AR data is usually entoptic (visual), but can also be audio, tactile, olfactory, kinesthetic (body awareness), emotional, or other types of input.
  • ARO: Augmented Reality Object (pronounced "arrow"). Something that shows up in your sensorium but is not physically there, like a navigation marker or your muse's avatar. Personal.
  • Basilisk Hack: An image or other sensory input that affects the brain’s visual cortex and pattern recognition abilities in such a way as to cause a glitch and possibly exploit it and rewrite neural code.
  • Bracewell Probe: A type of autonomous monitoring deepspace probe meant to make contact with alien civilizations.
  • Darkcast: Illegal and black market farcasting and egocasting services.
  • Datamorphs: See infomorphs.
  • Domain Rules: The rules that govern the reality of a virtual reality simulspace.
  • Drone: A robot controlled through teleoperation (rather than directly via onboard AI).
  • Ecto: Personal mesh devices that are flexible, stretchable, self-cleaning, translucent, and solar-powered. From ecto-link (external link).
  • Eidolon: A specialized set of programming architecture which creates a more advanced mind-emulation than the basic infomorph shell.
  • Experia: See XP.
  • Ghost-riding: The act of carrying an infomorph in a special implant module inside your head.
  • Infolife: Artificial general intelligences and seed AIs.
  • Infomorph: A digitized ego; a virtual body. Also known as datamorphs, uploads, backups.
  • Jamming: The act of “becoming” a teleoperated drone thanks to XP technology. Also sometimes applied to accesing the real-time XP feed from lifeloggers and others.
  • Mist: The clouds of AR data that sometimes fog up your perception/displays.
  • Muse: Personal AI helper programs.
  • Nanobot: A nano-scale machine.
  • Nanoswarm: A mass of tiny nanobots unleashed into an environment.
  • PAN: Personal area network. The network created when you slave all of your minor personal electronics to your ecto or mesh inserts.
  • Playback: See XP.
  • Seed AI: An AGI that is capable of recursive self-improvement, allowing it to reach god-like levels of intelligence.
  • Sensorium: The sensory input from one source, usually either your morph's senses or your mesh inserts. Plural is technically sensoria, but sensoriums and even sensorii are accepted. Personal.
  • Sim: See XP.
  • Simsense: See XP.
  • Simulmorph: The avatar you use in VR simulspace programs.
  • Simulspace: Full-immersion virtual reality environments.
  • Singularity: A point of rapid, exponential, and recursive technological progress, beyond which the future becomes impossible to predict. Often used to refer to the ascension of seed AI to god-like levels of intelligence.
  • Skinning: Changing your perceived environment via augmented reality programming.
  • Teleoperation: Remote control.
  • VPNs: Virtual private networks. Networks that operate within the mesh, usually encrypted for privacy/security.
  • VR: Virtual Reality. Imposing an artificially-constructed hyper-real reality over one’s physical senses.
  • XP: Experience Playback. Experiencing someone else’s sensory input (in real-time or recorded). Also called experia, sim, simsense, playback.

Sensorium Modes

Note: This whole section is personal campaign terminology. They owe much inspiration and pioneering to Elround4 on the Myth Weaver boards.

Game Mechanics


Mostly, these sensorium modes are for color in the game but they can have mechanical effects too with the GM's permission. Generally, the balance is between focusing on what you're doing and being able to tell what's around you. You can't do both well and they are usually inversely related. Some situations that might arise are:
  • Too Many Interfaces: The optional rule from Panopticon (p. 170) is that hackers watching multiple systems can get a penalty from -10 to -30 because there's simply too much for them to monitor at once. This can also apply to someone with multiple sensoria going at the same time, such as someone jamming a bot who hasn't cut off his morph's senses.
  • Arm's Length Hacking: While it can provide a penalty to only interact with a computer sensorium minimally, this also protects hackers from basilisk hacks and other nasty surprises.
  • The Comfort of Silence: Researching, programming, or composing with most of one's external sensorium turned off can really help an ego focus. Working with reduced input and full-sensory deprivation can help with checks and give bonuses to stress tests because of the personalized feel of this space.
  • A Color Never Seen Before: When experiencing a sense or a sensorium mixture never encountered before which is truly exotic, GMs may ask for an alienation test like sleeving into a new morph. Characters will probably get bonuses but if they fail the sensations are just too much for comfort.

The main split of sensorium modes that even the infugee reinstantiated five minutes ago understands is VR vs. AR. In a word, the difference between these types of artificial sensoria is "replacement." Virtual reality feeds are meant to replace your morph's senses while augmented reality is woven into them as additives to one's basic sensorium. Some old-fashioned types figure there are just five senses to play with, and indeed most people with mesh inserts work with just the traditional senses: visual, audial, tactioception/haptic perception (touch), gustation (taste), and olfaction (smell).

There are more ways that one's morph senses the environment, however, and most sensorium-connected programs also include ways to utilize less-familiar senses such as thermoception (heat/cold), proprioception (body position), nociception (pain), and equilibrioception (balance). Depending on one's morph, the baseline sensorium might also include echolocation, magnetoception, or radioception (radioactivity). While many have enhanced vision that can see into parts of the electromagnetic spectrum which flats cannot, this is generally considered part of sight. On the other hand, many computer scientists argue that the intuitive way AGIs experience computer code is fundamentally different from the way other transhumans do and is a unique sense in itself, something they call datareception.

Regardless of the number of senses (the most common figure is nine), when they are turned off, replaced by other sensoria, or mixed with new feeds the results can take some getting used to. The two types of VR commonly mentioned are full-sensory replacement (FSR) where the ego experiences seven or more external senses, and partial-sensory replacement (PSR) where only four to six new senses are fed. Once the replacement senses get down to three or fewer, most people stop considering this "real" VR. For AR feeds the spectrum is a little wider, ranging from minimal-input AR (just one or two sense feeds) to multi-input AR (two to four sense feeds) to overlay-AR (five or more sense feeds). Generally, when an ego uses VR senses they turn their other senses off while with AR senses they leave them on, but this is not always the case. Sometimes, users want to have multiple sensoria playing at once or they want a head that is clear except for specific inputs. Non-deprivation means that an ego has muted none of his senses (or sometimes just one), partial deprication means that several are muted (usually two to five), while full deprivation means that all senses are muted or nearly so (six or more feels pretty isolating).

The different modes are summed up in the chart below. While general numbers of senses (added for VR and AR or subtracted for deprivation levels) are given, these are just rules of thumb. In particular, for the very-important senses of sight, hearing, and touch, consider these counting double in terms of what people are likely to call that mode. For example, turning off thermoception to avoid being chilled is still non-deprivation to most people, but turning of tactioception so that your whole body is numb is worth "double" more minor senses and would be considered partial deprivation.

Full-VR (7+) Partial-VR (4-6) Overlay-AR (5+) Multi-AR (2-4) Minimal-AR (1-2)
Full Deprivation (6+) simulspace (hyper) delving
simulspace
delving (shallow) delving N/A
Partial Deprivation (2-5) jamming filtered jamming skinning
(über) scanning
(über) scanning scanning
Non-Deprivation (0-1) N/A (thick) skinning (semi) skinning (semi) skinning
media
media

From roughly least- to most-extreme, the sensorium modes you'll hear about most of the time are…

  • Silent Mode: With all artificial sensoria turned off and just relying on your morph's senses, the world is a lot less noisy. However, for most in the system, this is also a fairly off-putting experience since it means your messages are piling up, your muse can't talk to you, there are no hints to help you navigate, you can't look at anyone's mesh id or rep-ratings, etc. People hardly ever go into silent mode unless they are eccentric, theatrical or both… or unless they are Firewall agents with a need to avoid any digital input. Note that silent mode (turning off all artificial sensory input) is totally different than private mode (turning off all output and most artificial input), though they might appear the same on the outside.
  • Media Mode: This is the mode that most of the system exists in for most of their lives. There is no sensory deprivation and only some minimal augmented reality input: music playing in the background, navigation markers showing in entoptics, etc. Depending on how many feeds are turned on, this mode might be classified as minimal-AR (only music or only visual) or as multi-AR (a muse and its voice, a chime and a tingle when a message comes in, etc.). Most folks rarely make these distinctions, though, and "media mode" can cover a lot of ground.
  • Scanning: Sometimes called "multifocusing" or "twinning," scanning means that a person is splitting his attention between two sensoria. He is usually watching the one right in front of him and also some pretty involved AR objects, so involved that a few of his "normal" senses are turned off to allow the focus. In cases where there is a lot of extra input (multi-AR or overlay-AR), people sometimes call this über-scanning and it becomes increasingly obvious that the person is very distracted by mesh insert feeds.
  • Skinning: The common practice of "skinning" or applying an AR sensorium over most of your surroundings, is what gets many people through the day when they have tedious jobs or live in cramped habs. This can run the gamut from multi- to overlay-AR, but if you aren't turning off your other major senses it's more likely to be called "semi-skimming." It's all well and good to see a lush jungle around you, for example, but if you still hear the noise of Mitre around you and your equilibrioception still tells you you're in microgravity, the experience is not quite there. On the other hand, if you "skin" your environment with ultra-real partial-replacement VR feeds then you're really transported into the fantasy, something that skinning enthusiasts call "thick skinning."
  • Delving: Complicated computer tasks and detailed conversations require full attention and most people go into a mode-type called "delving" to accomplish this. Because delving requires full-sensory deprivation, it's also called "drooling," "trancing," or even "dreaming." Transhumans delving stare off into space and sometimes unconciously let their faces or bodies go slack (depending on whether they turn off their proprioception or equilibrioception), but internally they are listening, watching, smelling, or otherwise experiencing nothing but a detailed overlay-AR. If the sensory feed is not enough to approximate a full sensorium (such as with a multi-AR) people call this "light delving" (though the trance-like expression is still there), while watching detailed VR feeds are "hyper-delving." Unlike those jamming a bot or experiencing a simulspace (see below), transhumans delving are still aware of their surroundings, though they are clearly missing the majority of what goes on around them.
  • Jamming: When a person transfers the sensorium of a bot or pod remotely to replace his own sensorium, this is called "jamming." It can only be done with VR-level feeds and is typically done with full-sensory replacement VR. Partial-VR is also an option though one doesn't get the full experience, prompting the term "filtered jamming." While they are hardly "dead to the world," a jamming transhuman will be unaware of all but the biggest changes taking place around his physical morph and then only through the senses that remain active. A typical jammer will have sight, hearing, taste, proprioception, thermoception, and maybe one or two other senses muted but retain their morph's tactioception so that any shaking that occurs or anything bumping into them will still register on some level.
  • Simulspace: This is the ultimate replacement of one's sensorium. Typically all senses (and that really is all) are muted and replacement VR feeds are the only sensorium experienced by the ego. In cases of low-sophistication or low-bandwidth, the simulspace may be a partial-sensory replacement VR only but it is still immersive and detailed or one wouldn't bother calling it a simulspace.

Habitats

See also Eclipse Phase Locations

  • Aerostat: A habitat designed to float like a balloon in a planet’s upper atmosphere. Especially common on Venus.
  • Beehive: A microgravity habitat made from a tunneledout asteroid or moon.
  • Cluster Colony: Microgravity habitat consisting of interconnected modules.
  • Cole Bubble: A habitat made from a hollowed-out asteroid or moon, spun for gravity.
  • Dome Habitat: Massive hemispherical structure built on the surface of moons, asteroids, or Mars.
  • Habtech: A habitat technician.
  • Hamilton Cylinder: Self-building advanced nanotech habitat designs.
  • Nuestro Shell: Habitat design resembling a sea urchin with radiating spars which anchor concentric shells. Normally microgravity environments and popular in the Main Belt.
  • O’Neill Cylinder: A soda-can shaped habitat, over a kilometer wide and several kilometers long, spun for gravity. The interior is terraformed and typically illuminated along its access. O'Neill cylinders are sometimes paired together, end to end. See also Reagan Cylinder.
  • Reagan Cylinder: Inefficient variety of O'Neill cylinder, built by hollowing a cylinder within a spinning asteroid. Typically limited to the Jovian Republic.
  • Tin Can Habitat: Small, cramped, cheap, modular boxes used for space habitation. Typical of early space colonization and fairly claustrophobic.
  • Torus: A donut-shaped habitat, spun for gravity. Most have inner spokes as well which are zero-G.

Vehicles

  • Farhauler: Long distance space shipper.
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