ENTRY 112: Conviction Therapy
It’s a cold and unforgiving universe, and not all egos are brought into it on equal footing. The old social structures have mostly been torn down, so that transhumans exist in an age of unbridled freedom—but also unbridled lack of structure. There are few expectations, few requirements, and fewer definite directions that transhumans can take—academic degrees and training certificates are less significant than provable skills, and most training emphasizes real learning rather than earning passing marks on standardized exams. Rites of passage are nearly absent, so that extended childhood can pass into aimless adolescence to lost and purposeless adulthood far too easily—years of life lost, just getting by, unable to pick a direction.
Where there is a market, there are those who will arise to serve and profit from it. So there exist corps and individuals that exist only to give people purpose: causes to believe in; tours of military, commercial, labor, and educational service they can contract for; open source busywork for egos of every level of ability; and for those who simply need something greater than themselves to believe in, there is Conviction Therapy.
Transhuman minds are designed for contact experiences. The templates for transcendental experiences are hardcoded in the wetware of the human brain, and can be accessed and activated through various psychedelic drugs or direct manipulation using nanites; synthmorphs can achieve much the same effect with nanoalgorithms. With the proper training and programming, tailored experiences can be constructed and implemented on a given transhuman, and they have a high degree of success, even if the individual receiving the treatment is aware of the artificial nature of the process.
So aimless transhumans can speak to a deity and receive direction for their lives, or be rescued and empowered by kindly omnipotent aliens to pursue their full potential, or undergo a symbol-laden alchemical transmogrification and emerge as a more complete individual—at least in their heads. Conviction Therapy makes the subject extremely malleable and open to further manipulation, and is often combined with other psychosurgery procedures.
Conviction Therapy is a psychosurgery procedure (Eclipse Phase, pp.231-2), designed to make other procedures easier to implement. As such, Conviction Therapy is typically performed in conjunction with another procedure, adding its Timeframe, PM, and SV to the other procedure to determine the final modifiers for the test.
Timeframe: +1 day
Conviction Therapy provides a transformative experience with the aim of giving shape and direction to the individual’s life. It lowers the SV for other psychosurgery procedures by half (round up). For example, if Conviction Therapy was performed alongside Behavioral Control (Boost), the total Timeframe would be 8 days, the PM would be 0, and the SV would be 1d10 ÷ 4 (round up). At the gamemaster’s discretion, on a failure with Conviction Therapy the subject may develop a Minor Addiction to the drugs or nanoalgorithms used in the procedure; subsequent failures may increase this addiction by one step.