Tuesday, January 15, 2013

015: Macromorphs



ENTRY 015: Macromorphs

A macromorph is a synthetic morph on the scale of a large satellite or small moon. Due to their sheer size, macromorphs have limited to no relative mobility, taking the form of stationary complexes when installed on a planet, moon, or asteroid; and with only maneuvering thrusters to change orientation when installed as orbital stations or satellites.

Macromorphs are popularly considered shells suited only for loners and hermits, and there is some truth to that—some transhumans have resleeved into repurposed commsats or abandoned automated factories, trading the familiarity and maneuverability of a smaller morph for availability, or sometimes just distance from the crowding presence of other egos; and many scientists and artists have taken sabbaticals into macromorphs to pursue their efforts in relative solitude. However, the majority of such morphs are only physically isolated from transhumanity, with most satellite morphs at least possessing sufficient communication and sensor equipment to talk to a third of the solar system.

The facilities themselves are often kitted out as spysats, secure communications transponders, zero-g mining and small-scale manufacturing facilities, and similar complicated facilities where a transhuman mind is a better option than an AI, particularly where non-logical leaps of intuition and creativity are a necessary part of the morph’s purpose. Modern macromorphs are usually built and installed by hypercorps, intended for temporary inhabitation on rotating shifts ranging from 100 hours to three years. Rumors continue of combat sat macromorphs inhabited by paranoid survivalists and soldiers still fighting old wars.

The real challenge with resleeving into a macromorph is the transition to essentially becoming a location. A majority of a macromorph’s internal functions are carried out by automatic programs to control internal power usage, heat distribution, and even basic maintenance, but the internal sensors and triggers do not translate well to most transhuman understanding, and the experience as a whole often leaves egos feeling somewhat numb, as if interacting with the universe at one remove, at least until they get acclimated to it.

Engineered pod macromorphs are also possible, though considerably more rare given the cost and difficulty of installation, and the need for a stable ecosystem to support such a large morph, or periodic installation of large nutrient packs. Pod macromorphs are usually tree or coral installations assembled from vat-grown materials, and often resemble vast columns covered in rough human skin dotted with eyespots and topped with a fringe of chemical-sensitive cilia that combine smell and taste.

Generic Macromorph Stats

Macromorphs have all of the advantages of pods or synthmorphs (Eclipse Phase, p.142-3), as appropriate.
Enhancements: 360-Degree Vision, Access Jacks, Basic Mesh Inserts, Cortical Stack, Hibernation
Pod Enhancements: Basic Biomods, Clean Metabolism, Eidetic Memory, Oxygen Reserve
Synthmorph Enhancements: Cyberbrain, Mnemonic Augmentation, Puppet Sock
Mobility System: None.
Aptitude Maximum: 30
Durability: 450
Wound Threshold: 90
Advantages: Armor (10/10)
Disadvantages: Immobile, Social Stigma (Macromorph) trait
CP Cost: 100
Credit Cost: Expensive (minimum 250,000+)

Individual macromorphs often have many more advantages and enhancements, including entire automated labs, weapon systems, quantum farcasters, deep space sensor arrays, etc.

3 comments:

  1. This reminds me of an old Infocom game: Suspended.

    Neat. I like that.

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  2. I'm really amused by the idea of Social Stigma (Macromorph) for some reason. "This neighborhood has really gone downhill, next they'll let macromorphs in and the streets will be filled with their sprawling solar panel arrays." Neat idea!

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