A game which stubbornly refuses to kowtow to mainstream genre designations like 'post-apocalyptic', 'science fantasy', preferring to call itself a work of lighthearted mundane fantastic transhuman space opera inspired more by slice of life and action adventure series than the heady and cerebral titans which have defined the genre. Run by Exhack, if you couldn't guess based on the excessively hipster intro line.
Eudaimonia is a world that was terraformed over the course of thousands of years through concerted effort by a now-defunct human society which at one point had the resources to do so. Its continents are lush and impossibly fertile, weather placid at all times of the year and shallow seas crystal blue and dotted with beautiful little islands and indestructible terraforming stations which are now inhabited by human and transhuman inhabitants which no longer remember their genuine purpose. It is a paradise made by human hands and by human technology, which will likely outlive its creators as the machinery which sustains it will turn until the universe is too large and cold to draw power from.
Although tucked away in some unseeming corner of the universe, it became the battleground of a war between some new agency of humanity calling itself (or perhaps only remembered as) the True Human Empire and a nameless and incomprehensible menace called the Mysterious Starfish Aliens some thousand years ago. The remains of their battles, from weapons of incredible power to the laboratories of ships which surpass even the miracles of the builders of Eudaimonia and other things stranger and more alien can be found all over the planet now.
As a scavenger working the tropical oceans, you live an exciting and glamorous life few of your peers dream of, plying the ruins and entering those uncharted sectors of the world for a few untouched scraps of miraculous technology and making some concerted effort at rediscovering the workings behind them. It's dangerous, messy and downright treacherous sometimes when jobs go sour and friends turn on you, but the sights you see and the things you learn along the way make it all worth it.
To say nothing of all the tail.
Eudaimonia is a oceanic planet dominated by island chains and shallow seas. Its ecology is ostensibly entirely artificial, weather patterns maintained by strange and esoteric machinery left behind by a previous human civilization. The planet is small and possesses a porous core, so gravity is light and more akin to that of Mars than Earth at a low 0.42g, while the air is slightly more oxygenated than normal terrestrial environments and contains eukaryotes which induce a very mild euphoria and calm in a majority of the people on the planet (which may actually be a leftover biological weapon deployed by either side of the last war).
As a consequence of planetary conditions, the plant and most animal life is quite huge and tends to be oceanic. Giant turtles, fish and penguins are common, though many actual megafauna from Earth became tragically extinct and any viable samples lost before the terraforming process on Eudaimonia was finished. Blue whales, tigers, elephants and other large mammals in particular were lost centuries in advance, though they have been re-engineered from extant life and are present on the planet- albeit at reduced sizes and mostly serving as semi-intelligent pets.
Temperate island chains play host to a majority of the most of the 'classic' transhuman population and transhuman castes mostly reliant on infrastructure such as uploads and cyborgs. The style of these cities tends to emulate classic 'coastal' and 'canal' cities such as Singapore and Venice, with essentially wear-proof and non-polutant pseudocrete brick buildings (some thousands of years old) made of materials produced by request from ancient fabricators and dotted with bits of rediscovered 'modern' technology as the current wave of modernization settles in. Some enclaves never quite backslid into complacency as others did and have the hard-edged futuristic look expected of the general level of technology remaining on the planet.
Settlement around the tropics and equator tends to be more piecemeal, as a consequence of the nature of their denizens. Part-animal transgenes or 'splices' tended to adapt better to the heat and moisture of the tropics (in no small part thanks to their apparent lack of nudity taboos), and despite sparse population spread out over the myriad archipelagos actually consist of well over 50% of the planet's population (currently nearing 59%). Splice homesteads tend to be diverse in purpose but tend to be transit stops or tourist destinations that feed into the immense off-world traffic, or give waystations to scavengers and explorers attempting to chart and plunder those few unknown regions of the planet which still remain.
Humanity at large on Eudaimonia is dependent (and perhaps reliant) on getting the materials for consumer goods (and often completed consumer goods as well) from the terraforming equipment left over. Only a few very rare items such as weapons and military-grade bioaugmentation are not available in ubiquitous abundance for nothing, and are considered to have value. Food is common in large part because local fauna and flora are seemingly impossible to deplete and almost universally edible.
Certain negative stereotypes against the splice community based on their unwillingness to produce anything of rarity other than salvage is sometimes levied, as much of their population is content to spend all their time frolicking in the sun, foraging for food and engaging in trade with seagoing people from the cities.
Travel on Eudaimonia is almost entirely done by ship, mostly small seagoing vessels with shallow keels. Because of low oceanic depths and sealanes crisscrossed with shoals and reefs, large cargoships with deep keeps are unpopular and essentially liabilities. Bulk transportation of goods (where it occurs at all) is done primarily by massive air-cushioned hovercraft, and mostly for the transport of food and luxury goods with limited geographical spread such as coffee, chocolate and tea which are only viable in certain archipelagos. Submarines and submersible boats, mostly military leftovers from when the THE and MSA warred on the planet, are somewhat popular among scavengers and moreso among pirates- who represent a small risk to the planetary trade network.
Air travel is rarer and done primarily via hybrid airships made of ultralight alloys and buoyed by a combination of ultralight float gasses and aerofoil wings- and essentially act as major status symbols to their owners. Travel through the sky is mostly reserved for the wealthy and powerful and the wealthiest among them have stranger craft, elegant yachts and cruise ships decked with rows of ionofoil sails which bear them into the air without the thrum of moving parts.
Though harder and much less regular means of travel, recovering wrecked drones and re-purposing them into vehicles is a popular passtime among scavengers. Electromagnetic hovertanks left behind by the True Human Empire make great courier vehicles in the archpelagos, and the regenerative glass-winged drones left behind by the Mysterious Starfish Aliens can easily be prized into single or two-person flying vehicles that function similarly to motorcycles.
Character generation in Eudaimonia begins with prioritizing five categories for statistics, represented bellow. They are: attributes, skills, implants, backgrounds and equipment. After assigning priorities, characters spend their pool of points to each of the categories until their stats are at the desired levels, matching them to the general concept of their character.
Priority Assignment (First/Second/Third/Fourth/Fifth)
- Attributes: 20/18/17/15/14
- Skills: 18/15/12/9/6
- Implants: 16/12/8/4/0
- Backgrounds: 10/8/6/4/2
- Equipment: 5/4/3/2/1
Finally, each character has 10 finishing points which may be spent on upgrading their characters as they like. Costs are shown bellow.
- Attribute: 5 FP
- Skill: 2 FP
- Implant: 2 FP
- Background: 1 FP (2 FP at 3+)
- Equipment: 4 FP
Attributes are the basic building blocks of your character, representing the basic abilities and aptitudes of your character which are generally applicable to most situations. More specific skills are developed with skills below.
- Power: How physically strong and powerful you are.
- Grace: How good you are at dexterity tasks.
- Smarts: How quick witted you are.
- Knowledge: How knowledgeable and good at research you are in general
- Charisma: How good you are at persuading someone, smoozing and seduction.
- Rhetoric: How good you are in debates, at winning arguments and swaying a crowd.
- Perception: How good you are at spotting the unusual.
- Integrity: How strong willed you are.
Note: Characters begin with 1 point in every attribute spending, and cannot add more than 25% of the points granted by their priority on a single attribute without spending FP.
- Willpower ([Power + Integrity] x Size), Round Down: Because Eudaimonia is a heroic game versus a gritty one, the combination of mental fortitude and physical health are a single attribute. Gunfire, sharp words and particularly traumatic experiences all weaken a character's resolve and may push them towards defeat, although none is more effective than another. Characters may act normally up until their Willpower reaches 0, at which point they can no longer take hostile actions in a confrontation. This does not necessarily mean death, although having a Willpower track filled entirely with physical damage might suggest that as an outcome.
- NOTE: Social and mental influences are additive to the total a character can take before being defeated, but are largely situational. A character who agrees to a ceasefire or gives out after succumbing to mental exhaustion can react violently when betrayed or roused back to their senses, when similar opportunities might not be available for a decapitated character.
- Initiative (Grace + Smarts): Roll 1d10 and add this value. The characters with lower values declare actions first and act on them last.
- Speed Initiative/4: Especially fast characters can perform more than one action, firing two shots in the blink of an eye or delivering an impassioned speech to the crew of a ship while manning the wheel. The Speed rating of a character is the number of actions they may perform per round. Most characters (and non-named NPCs) probably only have 1.
- Protection (Power + Grace)/2, Round Down: All characters have a degree of 'armor' against physical attacks without necessarily wearing anything. A failed dodge into cover still puts the shooter's aim off the lethal mark, and bulging muscles can sometimes stop knives. The Protection stat subtracts the total damage dice made against a character when they are the subject of a successful attack.
Skills are special competencies a character has, representing formal training, higher learning or even more esoteric sources of ability such as skillsoft implants. When relevant to a given roll, a skill adds its rating to the given attribute. In most cases, skills have ratings of 1-3, detailed bellow.
- Level 1 (Ability): Skills rated at 1 give situational bonuses limited in scope. Firearms 1 applies to all conventional applications of firearms, such as pistol-whipping with Power + Firearms or shooting with Grace + Firearms. In effect, these are buffers against receiving penalties from unfamiliarity with a given object or subject.
- Level 2 (Complexity): Skills rated at 2 represent broad knowledge and understanding. Firearms 2 allows a character to repair any weapons they have as if they possessed Gunsmith 1, or make use of weapons which are not exactly firearms such as LAW munitions launchers or artillery. The 'Complexity' tier in effect allows a player to argue for alternate skill applicability at a 1-dice penalty in the absence of relevant skills.
- Level 3 (Mastery): Skills rated at 3 represent the apex of human understanding and skill. Level 3 works identically to all lower levels, save that a character may also choose a specialization relevant to their skill that applies an additional +1 bonus in its purview such as Firearms (Pistols), Firearms (Disarming) or Firearms (Creating Obstacles in a Chase Scene).
Skills of 4 and higher are possible in only rare cases such as those individuals with hyperskill implants.
Backgrounds effectively function as social and economic 'equipment', protecting the character from certain hazards and affording them more options than normal. They represent their origins, history and those friends they've made along the way to meeting the group.
In general gameplay terms, they offer their rating as a bonus to relevant rolls such as using Contacts to enhance an investigation of a scenario or Resources to secure the rental of a boat. They may also offer other options, as detailed bellow.
- Allies: Allies are effectively realized NPCs with their own histories, motivations and agendas separate of the character who occasionally go out of their way to help them. Allies range from less-skilled subordinates (1 dot), to characters about equal with the characters (3 dot) to seasoned mentors (5 dots). The nature of the character and the relationship they have to the character must be chosen at selection of this background.
- Backup: Backup is a lesser form of allies that grants a character the support of multiple weaker characters instead of a single skilled one. These are mooks, maids or regular people willing to lend you a roof and a bed, but often little else. These range from a single person (1 dot) to a dozen (3 dots) to well over a hundred people willing to put their safety (but perhaps not lives) on the line for you (5 dots).
- Contacts: Contacts are distant relations who are less reliable than Backup but generally better informed, and offer a good resource for new jobs or tidbits of information of a specific sort. Contacts range from a single person (1 dot) to dozens (3 dots) to hundreds of contacts in a worldwide information network such as an academic circle or secret society (5 dots).
- Fame/Reputation: Fame and Reputation work basically identically, save that Fame is largely regional while Reputation is specific to a social circle, such as mercenaries, bankers, academics, etc. From being a local celebrity (1 dot), to an already regionally famous archeologist (3 dot) or internationally infamous black market fixer (5 dots), these backgrounds may help or hinder at times.
- Resources: Not everyone who wanders the world is broke. Some people keep busy and moonlight as couriers to make a little extra money (1 dot), own an apartment in some nice district in Farnese (3 dots) or are fabulously rich and could dawdle and romp in their skyboats all day long, basically forever(5 dots).
- Sanctum: Sanctums are safe places for characters or bases of operation. A quiet apartment room that you asked to have taken off the floorplan and have under electric concealment is nice (1 dot), and an innocuous-looking ex-fishing trawler might be the mobile command center of choice for a band of bounty hunters (3 dots). For those who absolutely must keep things secretive and luxurious, an elaborate underground complex beneath a palatial manor is possible but expensive (5 dots).
Equipment represents a character's personal gear, things they're attached to and have built up history alongside. Depending on priority during character generation, a player receives a certain amount of these items equal to their equipment value.
Equipment obtained through this value is unique in that it is a) customized unlike the bog-standard equipment most enemies will have and b) protected from plot-based degradation. Weapons borrowed from enemies tend to jam after firing a few magazines, vehicles break down or have problematic tracking beacons and borrowed armor tends to be dramatically destroyed by gunfire or abandoned when necessary.