The first adventure/game test we ran concerning the great sci-fi game search to find another system the beloved D6 System is the Eclipse Phase. Now, this system is a percentile skill-based system that is closely interwoven with the setting. It is not designed as a generic system though it could be an interesting port project.

 Cover of the Eclipse Phase Quick Start Guide

When the system was first pitched to me the setting was described as sci-fi horror, which had me balk as horror games are not my cup of tea (though I love that for you if that is your flavor; I am not going to tuck your yum). Yet, there is a strong sci-fi component alongside the horror aspect so the pure horror can be downplayed depending on the game.

The setting reminds me of Altered Carbon, and the Expanse was shoved in a Kitchen Aid stand mixer and whisked together. It’s a near-future setting with a hard sci-fi flavor and transhumanism is a part of everyday existence. A human’s personality and “soul” reside within a device at the base of their neck called a cordial stack, which can be downloaded into different bodily constructs such as human biomorphs, robots, or even uplifted animals called morphs. Characters all have an AI companion that can perform basic tasks/find information (think a BrainPal if you’ve read the Old Man’s War series by John Scalzi).

The trial adventure took two sessions to complete: one to review the rules and then another to run through a short adventure (it was myself and the GM so a party of one). Rather than building new characters and home-brewing a game we used a one-shot adventure designed for introductory play (though the adventure was modified by the GM), and took the provided pre-generated characters.

I found the rules system to be both story-focused and also very engaging with the percentile system not seeming too crunchy or overly complex. The world is unlike any other sci-fi world I have played or game mastered (e.g. Starwars). The technological and social concepts look at the meaning of being human while allowing for a multitude of gaming styles. The system has an aptitude + skill-based mechanic with a critical success or failure function [Some pools allow you to spend points to change rolls though we did not play with pools during this game.] Overall, while not a right system fit for porting to a Star Wars game we plan on returning to the game.