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Minireview: Transhuman (Eclipse Phase)

Transhuman is more or less the “Player’s Guide” to Eclipse Phase. Unlike the previous support books, it provides very little new setting info, and instead focuses on filling in and improving some weaker points of the rules and the existing general world detail. Since the base character generation rules for the game are… well, “overly complex” to be charitable about it, this book introduces a new, “package-based” character generation system. With it, players choose and tailor general packages related to various character concepts instead of micromanaging each and every skill and related creation cost. While I haven’t tried it out, it looks very good and a big improvement over the original. There is also a new “lifepath”-based character generation option, which looks like fun.

Apart from the new chargen options, we get expanded information (and pictures) or lots of morphs and bots – good stuff since these figure heavily in the game, and having visual references is good. Then there’s a big section on Firewall itself, with guidelines and hints on how to play agents and what needs to be taken into account in the Eclipse Phase world when it comes to investigation, combat, stealth, etc. Very useful.

While it’s not perfect (there are lots of social implications of the Eclipse Phase world that I still haven’t seen covered anywhere, typical family structures being one), it’s very good. The writing is clear and entertaining, the art is good, and overall it just improves the game on many fronts. This book is close to a must-buy for players (or GMs) of the game.

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