Eclipse Phase: Operation Firewall
“Because there has been some question on this topic, I’ll clarify Motivations as I see them. I follow the rule that a character’s Motivations are those things which will motivate them to go out of their way; those things important enough to them for them to actively work towards, or to take radical action if they’re threatened.
For instance, your average, everyday apolitical workaday joe on Mars, probably has something similar to these Motivations: +Comfortable Life, -Danger, -Poverty. Workaday Joe doesn’t want any trouble. He’s not going out of his way and engaging in risky activities (such as crime or investing the majority of his resources into high-risk, high-reward hypercorp startup ventures) to earn a fortune; he’s content working a low-key nobody schlub job that puts food on his table and lets him enjoy the comforts to which he has become accustomed. He might be an asshole, but if someone calls him out on it, he’ll back down or call the cops for help. He might express general sympathy and agreement with Barsoomian goals, but if the Movement asks him to stick his neck out (donate funds more than he can afford without cutting into his lifestyle, hide a wanted member of the Movement at his place, or pick up a gun and join the insurgency,) he will refuse, possibly making up an excuse, but if pressed he’ll just say he doesn’t want any trouble. He can only be motivated to risky behavior if his other Motivations are threatened; if the war comes to his neighborhood and getting out isn’t an option, he’ll pick a side, and will probably pick the side he reckons is going to win, whether or not he thinks they’re in the right. If he loses his job and starts facing the rent coming due and coming up short, he might engage in some criminal behavior to make ends meet, and look hard to find any job that will put food back on the table, but will seek to cease criminal activity as soon as he is able to re-legitimize himself.
That’s an everyman joe, though. The sort of person who is interested in more than a comfortable, danger-free life, such as player characters, have more interesting Motivations.
Again, Motivations are not something which a character can take or leave. Someone with -AGI Rights doesn’t just make an exception for an AGI because it’s convenient to overlook this particular AGI’s existence, and someone with +Barsoomian Movement doesn’t just fail to heed the call of the Movement because he’s busy, even if he’s busy because Firewall has called upon him.
A character’s Motivations are the things that they will stick their neck out to act upon. These are the things which passionately drive them. Someone who has a -Hypercapitalism motivation doesn’t just think that the PC are a bunch of twats and go full Economic Justice Warrior on his blog: he is actively plotting the downfall of the hypercapitalist system with whatever means and allies are at his disposal. His means may be so modest and his position so precarious that he can’t afford to do more than spray-paint anti-PC grafitti on a wall, same as many who don’t like the PC but not enough to have a -Hypercapitalist motivation, but when the revolution comes he will be out there with a rifle, gunning down the filth."
~ ShadowDragon 8685