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Sell me on Aeon as a Sci-Fi setting:

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  • Sell me on Aeon as a Sci-Fi setting:

    So i've been searching recently for an rpg setting of the sci fi genre. I've looked at a lot of them but so far nothing completely clicked. Or when it did, there was stuff that turned me off (generally mechanics).
    As a backer of Scion, i already know that i like the Storypath mechanics (tho i have yet to try them in a game). So i was wondering if Aeon might be what i am searching for in a sci-fi setting.
    I know the kickstarter will eventually offer the Aeon manuscript so i could just wait for it, but i was wondering what people who already know the setting have to say.

    - As a sci-fi setting, what do you think Aeon offers? Corollary, what puts Aeon apart from other sci-fi settings on the market?
    - Is there any specific tech or scientific advancement offered in Aeon or is it more of a vague ''more advanced tech''?

    Thx in advance


    Currently running: VtR - The most serene requiem of Venice
    Currently playing: Being a dad for a 1year old daughter and a newborn son.
    Currently planning: Scion 2nd edition

  • #2
    As a game, one of the biggest selling points is its flexibility. For something that's set in the relatively near future of 100 years from now, the sci-fi is not so advanced that it strains disbelief (though being a setting where Aberrant happened helps) while still doing a lot of options. It's impressively capable of handling almost any sort of "near future" sci-fi sub-genre without it feeling forced or out of place. Want scavenger-punk post apocalypse craziness? Just plop down in the middle of the areas devastated by the Aberrant War. Want civilization struggling to against chaos due to population pressures and land scarcity? Head towards the borders of the Aberrant War disaster zones. Want some cyberpunk action where grey area agents slip between corporate powers and a corrupt government? Head on over the FSA. Etc.

    You're not going to get giant mecha space battles, but you can even get into the philosophic side of things like the Gundam franchise as human colonization of space coincides with the rise of psionic powers individuals that are at the center of the major conflicts of the day.

    And somehow..it all manages to make sense together.

    To the second question... it's mostly on the vague side, though it relies heavily on bio-tech compared to other sci-fi settings as the biggest driver of the sci-fi side of things. The development of psions and biotech is the most prominent developments that allow humanity to progress where they have.

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    • #3
      I personally think of Aeon as “psi-fi”: the default protagonists are psions who hail from the various Psi Orders, each specializing in one type of psionic phenomenon. In addition, the one “superscience” that's available in the Aeon setting is called “biotech”, but in truth is closely related to psionics: for instance, when you “format” biotech, you attune it to the user's psionic signature; and biotech is powered by psionic energy.

      The action in Aeon takes place mainly in the solar system, as the primary means of interstellar travel (the Psi Order of teleporters) recently went missing. As such, most interaction with aliens takes place when they come to us. That said, the default antagonists of the setting aren't technically alien: they're the Aberrants, superpowered ex-humans who were exiled from the solar system a generation ago and are now returning to take back what was theirs.

      That's Aeon in a nutshell; I'm sure that others more familiar with the first edition can give more details and/or correct any errors in my summary.


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      • #4
        Aeon is awesome, and the setting is a damn fine read even if you never play it. It's my all-time favorite RPG setting, and I'm stupid-crazy about it.

        It's worth noting the kickstarter for Aeon is the setting, but refreshed. For example, in the new version of Aeon the Teleporter Order (Upeo Wa Macho) returned 6 or so month before the setting "start date". Teleporters are entirely playable out of the new Aeon book (the manuscript for which starts dropping next week IIRC as part of the Kickstarter).

        There are other tweaks in the setting too, but not massive departures from the 1st Ed setting from what we've been told. The new rules, however, are a complete replacement (the new StoryPath System having very little to do with 1st Edition's Storyteller system).

        You have flexibility in your flavor of sci-fi as already noted, corporate/government/order espionage, some really interesting extrasolar colonies, an "international" feel to the setting (many RPGs including modernish earth settings "feel" very American/Western - this setting didn't, and is getting even better at that this time around according to the writers/develope),. You have fascinating psi powers, genuinely alien aliens (I the light and sound based 'truth' communication of the Chromatics, for example) and much more.

        I've GMd Aeon games involving moon based murder investigations, biotech-laden freedom fighters, asteroid belt based hive-of-scum-and-villainy space station exiles, United Nations diplomatic outreach to new alien races, fast response teams in the worst parts of Europe.....and much more.

        Here's the Wikipedia entry explaining the 1st edition version of the setting (which gets slightly tweaked in the new edition):

        Set in the twenty-second century, Trinity portrays a future Earth slowly recovering from a disastrous war and expanding in space. Former depressed areas such as Africa, South America and Eastern Asia, which suffered moderate traumas during the Aberrant War are now the leading political forces in the international arena, while Europe is a landscape of ruins and hard struggling survivors, and North America is under a fascist regime (the FSA, or Federated States of America). Bio-engineering is the leading technology and psionics are known and studied if not exactly widespread. Alien contact has been made, with mixed results. Characters take the roles of psionic individuals, working for one of the many organizations in the gaming world, and tackling troubles when they arise. The game setting, which is detailed in a number of supplements, allows for a variety of styles, from cyberpunk-like corporate espionage to Mad Max-style post-holocaust frontier adventure, to space exploration.

        I, for one, welcome you to an awesome setting
        Last edited by CHILL; 02-07-2018, 06:50 PM. Reason: Damn grammarly screwing up. edit, edit edit.


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        • #5
          Quite interesting.

          I like the biotech thing, its not a path of tech i think i've seen much in other settings. At first i was afraid that it was just a hand-wavy 'future tech' that just work to make the character splats and doesnt really matter after that. But it looks more integrated in the setting than that. (um not even sure i'm explaining that very well)

          I actually quite like the 'limited to the solar system' aspect as i feel that without limits you lose focus a bit, and it opens the possibility of discovery by exploration.

          Another question:
          I like having the player be an assortment of misfit struggling to get by. (think of the crew of cowboy bebop or of firefly). So wouldn't characters being part of well-funded Orders work against that or is it still a viable approach of play?


          Currently running: VtR - The most serene requiem of Venice
          Currently playing: Being a dad for a 1year old daughter and a newborn son.
          Currently planning: Scion 2nd edition

          Comment


          • #6
            The Orders have significant resources... but that doesn't mean everyone in them is well funded. It's not hard to do something like the early X-files where despite all the resources the FBI has, Mulder and Scully had little access to any of it because their purview of investigating weird stuff made them super-low priority for funding. The default mode of play is psionic PCs in the Orders and all that, but nothing really stops you from having a bunch of PCs that have opted to fly around the Solar system doing their own thing, with that choice making their lives more difficult (no Order funding, some people not liking them having that power without the counter balance of being a member of an Order, etc).

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            • #7
              Its absolutely a viable approach of play, and something I've done repeatedly. One game I Gmd was set on an "ass end of nowhere" asteroid-belt space station. It was for a bunch of characters that were a mix of Firefly types and some of the more, um, colorful examples in Babylon 5. Some were on the run from the authorities on earth / luna or mars, others were outcasts from their Orders (or just chose to leave). One was a non-psion mercenary, another was a hacker with a serious drug problem. Misfits, to the last man and woman.

              You can easily do "misfits" anywhere in the setting really though. The remains of Europe, the Australian ouback (read up on New Paris, heh), The FSA (fascist USA), Yeltsingrad aka "The Pit (a Luna colony full of......very independent types), the asteroid belt and more. Not to mention, you can have those that don't fit in, but still inside the orders. In 1st edition (and this will almost certainly be tweaked), not all the orders full of shiny heroes all on the same page.

              I'm (significantly) simplifying for brevity, but here they are:
              • Aesculapian: Have healing powers, but are deeply split between traditional doctors and...alternative...medicine types. The Order damn near fractures over this and some more immediate organizational failings (the Proxy of the Order is better suited to anything but running an Order, in my opinion)
              • ISRA: Clairsentients - some are visionaries, some are detectives, some are pilots, some worship their Proxy as a messiah (he's really not a fan of that). They have a habit of showing up when "things" are about to go bad, and there's a lot of 'em on Luna because its a "Noetic Focal Point" - its important, basically
              • The Legions: Psi-powered Starship Troopers, split into multiple distinct legions - pilots, ground-pounders, marines and more. Decidedly unsubtle, and their Proxy ("General Larssen") - she's quite the firebrand
              • Ministry of Psionic Affairs: Telepathic branch of the Chinese government. Read into that what you will. Something very strange has happened to its Proxy
              • Norca: Deeply secretive shape-shifting and body altering biokinetics based out of South America. Have a history of being vigilantes and (as of 1st edition, but this I hear is changing) some deep ties to cartels. The Proxy, "Pai de Norca" repeatedly tries to get a rise outof General Larssen, because he can and because he's a bit of an asshole honestly
              • Orgotek: Psi powered techno-wizards. Orgotek is Google, Apple, Tesla, Microsoft and more all combined. Is based in the psion mistrusting facist FSA. The Proxy is media savvy, quite brilliant, and a manipulative so and so (he was heavily involved in what happened to the Upeo, see below)
              • Upeo Wa Macho: Really has its roots as an African trade outfit, but these are the Teleporters. They went missing a while back and in the new setting have just come back. In the 1st Edition they vanished because some of the Proxies of the other orders tried to, well...enslave them. This event in history may be altered in the new edition
              Seriously, its worth jumping in on this Kickstarter. If the new edition rules don't do it for you though, there's always the 1st edition - and there's an option to get the PDFs of the 1st Edition in the new edition Kickstarter too.

              Does that help?

              Sold yet?
              Last edited by CHILL; 02-07-2018, 09:38 PM.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by CHILL View Post
                Does that help?

                Sold yet?
                Indeed it those and indeed i am. At least definitively enough to spare some of my meager ressouces on the kickstarter. (only pdf tho, cant really aford more right now)


                Currently running: VtR - The most serene requiem of Venice
                Currently playing: Being a dad for a 1year old daughter and a newborn son.
                Currently planning: Scion 2nd edition

                Comment


                • #9
                  In the new edition, you can also play a quantakinetic - perhaps a former member of the Chitra Bhanu, the lost psi order, an Indian research institute which got taken down by the other orders for apparent Aberrant collaboration. Or perhaps a quantakinetic belonging to one of the other orders who had to go incognito after the Chitra Bhanu fell.

                  (That said, we're not actually clear on what they can do in this edition yet...)


                  Scion 2E: What We Know - A wiki compiling info on second edition Scion.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by marin View Post
                    (That said, we're not actually clear on what they can do in this edition yet...)
                    Some very cool stuff.


                    Writes stuff. Sometimes you like it.
                    WoD | Changing Breeds, Umbra, Book of the Wyrm, Shattered Dreams | CofD | Werewolf: The Forsaken 2nd ed, Idigam Anthology, The Pack, Demon Storyteller's Guide, Hurt Locker, Dark Eras Companion, Beast Player's Guide, Deviant: The Renegades, Night Horrors: Shunned by the Moon, Mummy: The Curse 2nd ed | The Trinity Continuum Æon, Æon Æxpansion, Aberrant

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Maitrecorbo View Post
                      Indeed it those and indeed i am. At least definitively enough to spare some of my meager ressouces on the kickstarter. (only pdf tho, cant really aford more right now)
                      I hope you enjoy the books


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                      • #12
                        If you want to be sold on the setting. Listen to Episode 53 of Polyhedron. We have done a deep dive of the Aeon era. I think you'll get a kick out of it.

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                        • #13
                          The Aeon fiction that just went up the other day on the Kickstarter is also a good taste of wbat Aeon will be about, complete with different power types and the a brief taste of the new team-up sorts of abilities that teams of psions will have access to.

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                          • #14
                            Fun fact: the new Psi power rules didn’t exist when I wrote the fictio. The fiction was the ... 5th segment I wrote for AEon, using John’s outline for what he wanted the powers to be able to do. I was very happy when he later offered me the chance to write the power rules, so I could fit them to the AEon stories I saw running around in my head.



                            Writes stuff. Sometimes you like it.
                            WoD | Changing Breeds, Umbra, Book of the Wyrm, Shattered Dreams | CofD | Werewolf: The Forsaken 2nd ed, Idigam Anthology, The Pack, Demon Storyteller's Guide, Hurt Locker, Dark Eras Companion, Beast Player's Guide, Deviant: The Renegades, Night Horrors: Shunned by the Moon, Mummy: The Curse 2nd ed | The Trinity Continuum Æon, Æon Æxpansion, Aberrant

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ffanxii4ever View Post
                              The Aeon fiction that just went up the other day on the Kickstarter is also a good taste of wbat Aeon will be about, complete with different power types and the a brief taste of the new team-up sorts of abilities that teams of psions will have access to.
                              Nice, i just came back home and i'm gonna look into that in the evening.
                              So far most of my fear (or rather uncertainties) about the setting have been laid to rest.

                              The only thing left really is i'm curious about the state of Québec (and the rest of Canada) in the future of Aeon. Everybody likes knowing how their home is in sci-fi settings.
                              I know the USA are basically a fascist federation (i only read the wiki and the TVTropes page so my knowledge is minimal) and i'm curious how Quebec would react to that. Most sci-fi setting have Québec be independent (Rift and Shadowrun comes to mind). I don't think it would be impossible for future Québec to be a fascist state, but i don't see it being part of a fascist regime without alot of complications. People here can be ... particular about their specialness in relation with the rest of North America(and i mean that in a good way.)


                              Currently running: VtR - The most serene requiem of Venice
                              Currently playing: Being a dad for a 1year old daughter and a newborn son.
                              Currently planning: Scion 2nd edition

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