Beyond the Black
The factions presented here outline the most numerous and influential among transhumanity, but others may also exist. At your gamemaster’s discretion, you may develop another starting faction with them not included on this list.
You are opposed to hierarchy, favoring flat forms of social organization and directly democratic decisionmaking. You believe power is always corrupting and everyone should have a say in the decisions that affect their lives. According to the primitive and restrictive policies of the Inner system and Jovian Junta, this makes you an irresponsible hoodlum at best and a terrorist at worst. In your opinion, that’s comedy coming from governments that keep their populations in line with economic oppression and threats of violence.
Advantages: +10 to a skill of your choice, +30 Networking: Autonomists skill
Common Morphs: All
- Extropians: “How can you call yourself an anarchist when you support hierarchy in the workplace?”
- Planetary Consortium: “The worst excesses of capitalist exploitation. The world would be better off without them.”
- Scum: “Hedonism is all well and good, but surely it’s not the only thing worth living for?”
- Titanians: “Humane in comparison to the Planetary Consortium, but even a Socialist State is still a State.”
- Ultimates: “Social Darwinism, eugenics, aggressive militarism, nothing good could come out of this.”
You are part of a scientific techno-progressive movement that seeks to solve transhumanity’s injustices and inequalities with technology. You support universal access to technology and healthcare, open source models of production, morphological freedom, and democratization. You try to avoid factionalism and divisive politics, seeing transhumanity’s splintering as a hindrance to its perpetuation.
Advantages: +10 to two Technical, Academic: [Field], or Profession: [Field] skills; +20 Networking: Scientists
Common Morphs: All
- Anarchists: “Humanity’s greatest strength was its ability to work together. While we agree on many things, getting rid of all social organizational structures is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.”
- Extropian: “An interesting real-world social experiment in how long it will take for them to slide into financial feudalism. They’re certainly dynamic now, but how long will it take before they start to slow down and stratify?”
- Planetary Consortium: “Science and technology is meant to better everyone, not just the shareholders and management. We never again wish to have to justify essential and important research on the basis of cost-benefit analysis on the stock price.”
- Jovians: “You poor bastards. We get that you are scared of everything that’s happened, but you’re already using technology to survive. Take another step forward, and you’ll be able to thrive.”
- Ultimates: “There’s more to science and technological advancement than refining the bullets out of your guns. We shifted from Darwinian to Lamarckian evolution a while ago, so why do you keep insisting that only the strongest be allowed to survive and contribute?”
You call the Martian outback and wilds your home. You are a “redneck,” a lower-class Martian from the rural areas that often find themselves in conflict with the policies and goals of the hypercorp domes and Tharsis League.
Advantages: +10 Freerunning, +10 to one skill of your choice, +20 Networking: Autonomists skill
Common Morphs: Cases, Flats, Rusters, Splicers, Synths
You or your faction is reluctant to deal with the rest of transhumanity and the various goings-on in the rest of system. Your particular grouping may have sought out imposed isolation, to pursue their own interests, or they have been exiled for their unpopular beliefs. Or you simply be a loner who prefers the vast emptiness of sp to socializing with others. You might be a religious culti primitivist, a utopian, or something altogether unintere in transhumanity.
Advantages: +10 Pilot: Spacecraft skill, +10 to a skill of choice, +20 to a Networking: [Field] skill of your choice
Common Morphs: All
You are involved with the crime-oriented underworld. may work with one of the Sol system’s major criminal tions—triads, the Night Cartel, the ID Crew, Nine Lives, Familae—or one of the smaller, local operators with a stake in a specific habitat. You might be a vetted mem for-life, a reluctant recruit, or just a freelancer looking the next gig.
Advantages: +10 Intimidation skill, +30 Networking: Criminal skill
Common Morphs: All
You are an anarchistic supporter of the free market and private property. You oppose government and favor a system where security and legal matters are handled by private competitors. Whether you consider yourself an anarcho-capitalist or a mutualist (a difference only other Extropians can figure out), you occupy a middle-ground between the hypercorps and autonomists, dealing with both and yet trusted by neither.
Advantages: +10 Persuasion skill, +20 Networking: Autonomists skill, +10 Networking: Hypercorps skill
Common Morphs: All
- Anarchists: “How can a society be truly free when ambition is sacrificed for the good of the collective?”
- Barsoomian Movement and Morningstar Constellation: “I might not agree with a lot of their ideals, but I support their right for voluntary autonomy. The Consortium’s denial of this shows their true colors.”
- Jovian Republic: “They think that liberty and security is a zero-sum game, but we’re doing just fine. If anything their oppressive system hurts their own people far more than it protects them.”
- Planetary Consortium: “Don’t let their free market talk fool you. When you combine big business and big government you get fascism.”
- Ultimates: “They talk tough, but they’re just as willing to accept our money as anyone else.”
You hail from a habitat controlled by the hypercorps. You might be a hypercapitalist entrepeneur, a hedonistic socialite, or a lowly vacworker, but you accept that certain liberties must be sacrificed for security and freedom.
Advantages: +10 Protocol skill, +20 Networking: Hypercorps skill, +10 to any Networking: [Field] skill
Common Morphs: Exalts, Olympians, Splicers, Sylphs
Your faction is noted for its authoritarian regime, bio-conservative ideologies, and militaristic tendencies. Where you come from, technology is not to be trusted to everyone and humans need to be protected from themselves. To ensure its survival, humanity must be able to defend itself, and unfettered growth must be checked.
Advantages: +10 to two weapon skills of your choice, +10 Fray, +20 Networking: Hypercorps skill
Disadvatages: Must start with a Flat or Splicer morph, may not start with any nanoware or advanced nanotech
Common Morphs: Flats and Splicers
- Anarchists: “Winston Churchill said that the best argument against democracy is five minutes with the average voter. Same principle applies for leaderless societies.”
- Argonauts: “They put the lives of our agents in danger and create societal discord, all in the name of spreading knowledge and education.”
- Planetary Consortium: “They are powerful, true, but their pursuit of wealth at the expense of the nation-state hemorrhages their efforts.”
- Reclaimers: “I completely sympathize with the desire to take back humanity’s homeworld. Unfortunately this is not going to happen anytime soon, if ever.”
- Ultimates: “An Exhuman by any other name.”
You hail from Luna, the original off-Earth colony world. Now overpopulated and in decline, Luna is one of the few places where people still cling to old-Earth ethnic and national identities. Your home is also within sight of Earth, a constant reminder that encourages many “Loonies” to be Reclaimers, deploring the hypercorp interdiction and arguing that you have a right to return to Earth, terraform it, and re-establish it as a living homeworld.
Advantages: +10 to one Language: [Field] of your choice, +20 Networking: Hypercorps skill, +10 Networking: Ecologists skill
Common Morphs: Cases, Exalts, Flats, Splicers, Synths
Your faction has no interest in co-opting their true natures in order to become more “human.” You might be an AGI that does not necessarily intertwine its destiny with transhumanity, or an uplift that seeks to preserve and promote non-human life (or at least your own species). You might even be an infomorph or posthuman who has strayed so far from transhuman interests and values that you now consider yourself to be forging a unique new path of life.
Advantages: +10 to any two skills of your choice, +20 to a Networking: [Field] skill of your choice
Common Morphs: Infomorphs, Synths, uplift morphs
- Anarchists: “A fine idea and leagues better than what we got in the inner system, but it doesn’t really work for us more territorial species.”
- Argonauts: “They’re invaluable for educating others about our plight, even if they approach things with that creepy ‘detached professor’ sort of vibe.”
- Planetary Consortium: “You grant us sapience, yet you still cage us as property. Your society will never be free until we all are.”
- Scum: “Hey fuckface, it’s really creepy when you do that whole ‘exploring non-human sexuality’ shit!”
Ultimates: “You realize you can’t be individualists when your rhetoric is used to restrict reproductive and morphological freedoms?”
This is the future we’ve all been waiting for, and you’re going to enjoy it to the max. A paradigm shift has occurred, and while everyone else is catching up, your faction embraces and revels in it. There is no more want, no more death, no more limits on what you can be. The scum have immersed themselves in a new way of life, changing themselves as they see fit, trying out new experiences, and pushing the boundaries wherever they can … and fuck anyone who can’t deal with that.
Advantages: +10 Freefall skill, +10 to a skill of your choice, +20 Networking: Autonomists skill
Common Morphs: All
- Anarchists: “They got a lot of the right ideas; now if only they’d take that stick out of their collective asses.”
- Criminals: “A lot of them are victims of circumstance and have no other choice, but many are also just as much victimizers as the governments and corporations.
- Extropians: “Such silly people. The still think that money can buy happiness.”
- Jovian Republic: “Fascists.”
- Planetary Consortium: “Fascists in business suits and ties.”
You are a member of the inner system glitterati, the media-saturated social cliques that set trends, spread memes, and make or break lives with whispers, innuendo, and backroom deals. You are simultaneously an icon and a devout follower. Culture isn’t just your life, it’s your weapon of choice.
Advantages: +10 Persuasion skill, +10 Protocol skill, +20 Networking: Media skill
Disadvatages: May not start with flat, pod, uplift, or synthetic morphs
Common Morphs: Exalts, Olympians, Sylphs
You are a participant in the Titanian Commonwealth’s socialist cyberdemocracy. Unlike other autonomist projects, Titanian joint efforts have assembled some impressive infrastructural projects as approved by the Titanian Plurality and pursued by state-owned microcorps.
Advantages: +10 to two Technical or Academic skills of your choice, +20 Networking: Autonomists skill
Common Morphs: All
- Anarchists: “On the local level of communes and small towns and cities, it works. On the national level, however, we need a wider support network of social planning.”
- Argonauts: “When it comes to technoprogressivism, we have a lot in common. They’re hopelessly idealistic, though, in their want of uniting transhumans of all political persuasions together.”
- Bioconservatives: "Jovians aside, I have no problem with people who choose to live without modern technology. When they deny others access to said resources is where I’ve got a problem with them.
- Planetary Consortium: “We try to maintain cordial relations, but they’re not fooling anyone. Their media and propaganda demonizes us ever since we sided with the Autonomist Alliance.”
- Ultimates: "Truth be told, these people are like a cracked mirror. They are technoprogressive like us, in a sense, but want others to “prove their worth” instead of lifting them up; to use their talents to destroy through conflict instead of create and innovate."
Your faction sees the potential in transhumanity’s future and looks back upon the rest of transhumanity as weak and hedonistic. Transhumanity is set to take the next evolutionary step and it’s time for transhumans to be redesigned to the best of our capabilities.
Advantages: +10 to two skills of your choice, +20 to a Networking: [Field] skill of your choice
Disadvatages: May not start with Flat, Splicer, uplift, or pod morphs
Common Morphs: Exalts, Remades
- Anarchists: “Resilient and adaptable, but then again so are cockroaches.”
- Exhumans: “They understand the need to improve upon transhuman weaknesses, but they mistake enslavement to the TITANs as ultimate freedom. They of all people should know better.”
- Planetary Consortium and Extropians: “You believe that your money gives you power over us?”
- Jovians: “Their emphasis on discipline and martial spirit is admirable, but rejection of modern technology will lead to their downfall.”
- Mercurials: “They are on the right track, but infighting hampers their cause.”
You are a supporter of the Morningstar Confederation of Venusian aerostats, resentful of the growing influence of the Planetary Consortium and other entrenched and conservative inner system powers. You see your faction’s ascension as a chance to reform the old guard ways of inner system politics.
Advantages: +10 Pilot: Aircraft, +10 to one skill of your choice, +20 Networking: Hypercorps skill
Common Morphs: Cases, Exalts, Mentons, Splicers, Sylphs, Synths