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Old 01-22-2020, 03:36 PM   #1
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Amnesiac PCs in THS

Are there situations where it could make sense to start off a THS campaign with all the PCs having Total Amnesia, perhaps because they are bioroids, infomorphs, or a mix? I think this is not the norm—even brand-new bioroids will remember the virtual reality training they got before being "born". But it seems like it could be a fun premise, at least for a one-shot with the right group of players. So how do you justify the setup?
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Old 01-22-2020, 03:43 PM   #2
Shostak
 
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Default Re: Amnesiac PCs in THS

Lost time--a gap in memory--might be a better way to go than total amnesia.
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:46 AM   #3
Fred Brackin
 
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Looking only at the technology the easiest way to do things is to have your PCs be Ghosts in bioroid shells who have had their programs edited.

The resulting problem is that this becomes pretty obvious ealy on and there would be no magical way for the PCs to have their memories come back over time or following investigations.

I suppose you could have the PCs on a Macguffin hunt for the originals to their edited files though reversing the edits might be so radical a change as to bring the continuity of their minds/identities into question.
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: Amnesiac PCs in THS

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
I suppose you could have the PCs on a Macguffin hunt for the originals to their edited files though reversing the edits might be so radical a change as to bring the continuity of their minds/identities into question.
It does have shades of the Doctor Who episode Family of Blood, where the Doctor goes into hiding as a human by suppressing his memories, and eventually the human "John Smith" realizes that he is going to die when the Doctor returns.
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Old 01-23-2020, 05:02 PM   #5
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: Amnesiac PCs in THS

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Looking only at the technology the easiest way to do things is to have your PCs be Ghosts in bioroid shells who have had their programs edited.
I thought of this. I think SAIs would work just as well? What I don't have a good answer for is who would do such a thing.

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The resulting problem is that this becomes pretty obvious ealy on <snip>
Define "obvious" and "early"? Possibly you could maintain the mystery for long enough that the PCs work it out near the climax of the one-shot? Not sure.
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:09 PM   #6
Fred Brackin
 
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"obvious" and "early"? Possibly you could maintain the mystery for long enough that the PCs work it out near the climax of the one-shot? Not sure.
Obvious and early are shortly after the PCs get access to a 2100 scanner. Both bioroid status and using a computer for a brain would be revealed then. The ability to pass for human is only superficial.

If you can keep the PCs from pretty much any sort of medical tech when they'll want to see what's wrong with them you can delay the reveal.
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Old 01-24-2020, 10:25 AM   #7
Michael Thayne
 
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If you can keep the PCs from pretty much any sort of medical tech when they'll want to see what's wrong with them you can delay the reveal.
Yeah, I don't see that as a problem. The kinds of plots I'm thinking of are like, the "Elevator to Purgatory" plot suggested in In The Well (where the PCs are bioroids being smuggled down the Mars space elevator by Martian Triads), or one of the plots suggested in the "Dark Places of the Earth" article in Pyramid #3/15, where the PCs are bioroids who don't know they're bioroids, set up to be murder by a wealthy sadist. Actually now that I think of it I'm not sure how canon-compliant the "Dark Places" article is. It seems to assume bioroids can be "programmed" with flexibility analogous to programming AIs.
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Old 01-24-2020, 11:44 AM   #8
Phil Masters
 
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Default Re: Amnesiac PCs in THS

AIs are actually easier to memory-edit than ghosts; they’re assumed to be somewhat-documented code, whereas editing a ghost means fiddling around with the map of a human brain, trying to avoid unwanted side-effects.

One of the PCs in my old TS campaign was an amnesiac AI; he was believed to be a former TSA military asset, whose first accessible memory was of applying for asylum in the EU. It seemed very likely that he’d edited (or signed off on the editing of) his own memories, presumably to avoid political complications, or even trouble with his own conscience. One could imagine a whole group of AIs in a similar boat.
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Old 01-25-2020, 11:20 AM   #9
Fred Brackin
 
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One of the PCs in my old TS campaign was an amnesiac AI; he was believed to be a former TSA military asset, whose first accessible memory was of applying for asylum in the EU. It seemed very likely that he’d edited (or signed off on the editing of) his own memories, presumably to avoid political complications, or even trouble with his own conscience. One could imagine a whole group of AIs in a similar boat.
The thing is, that looks more like a background feature and would be known and understood by the AIs. It does't look like a central game session mystery where the PCs wake up with no memory of who they are or how they got there.
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Old 01-26-2020, 05:31 AM   #10
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The thing is, that looks more like a background feature and would be known and understood by the AIs.
It was, for that character. The edit was effective, although imperfect; he'd occasionally say "Oh, yes, I remember null-pointer-error".
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