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An Aberrant fan upgrades to Continuum. (A Lets Read).

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  • An Aberrant fan upgrades to Continuum. (A Lets Read).

    Seeing that due to the plague-panic I have some extra time and 2 pdf- file sitting in my drive for over a month now, let's make a spectacle out of this. I plan to Cover the Core book, Aeon, and Aberrant when it comes out. Depending on how close to or far from release the third is when I finish the second, I may include some supplements as my time and wallet allow.

    About the reader: Hi I’m going by Zsarnok, some college guy with a hobby. You may have seen some posts from me on the forum, mostly in the Chronicles of darkness section. Back in the day, Aberrant was my first RPG that was not a Dungeons & Dragons clone. It was my edgy teenage self’s introduction to White Wolf and successors’ games, mostly exalted, then CofD. I still have most of the books tucked away somewhere. I didn’t play it in almost a decade, but it still holds a special place in my heart. As for the other lines, I never got farther than the respective core books.

    So first post. I plan to cover the preamble, intro fiction, and introduction. That sounds reasonable.

    The Cover: I count two explosions, a volcanic eruption, and what may or may not be a giant orbital death-laser. That is promising. Plus, a smattering of characters, some more action hero than others. The center column outlay reminds me of the 1e trinity core book. I think it had a history section on a similar presentation? I see the 2e Aeon cover is similar. I don’t think it’s a deliberate callback, but a nice touch if so.

    Credits: I recognize some of the names from other onyx path games, and I think I have seen some of the people posting on this forum, but never really took the time to connect who is who. Sorry. Anyway my thanks to the whole team for making this book reality.

    The Table of contents: Some new things. Of the allegiances, I only recall Aeon and its subdivisions, Neptun and Triton from the last edition. The Talents were originally from Adventure! , weren’t they? That is the one game that I haven’t played.

    Intro Fiction: We reached the interesting part of this book! Yey!

    Our heroine Jo is mulling over some important piece of tech, mulling over morality, while she and her companions, Blake and Dana, steal it. They are working for some group called Archangel, stealing from a group called DuttonTech. They will be able to help thousands with the tech.

    The pompous name and that they need to break-in doesn’t scream good intentions to me, but I shall give them the benefits of doubt.

    Blake is anxious with the waiting and quick to bring up smashing things as a solution. We learn that DuttonTech has Explosive views on people breaking their stuff. Also, he has some dark past and considers the organization that has him commit burglary morally superior to his former employment.

    Meanwhile, Dana daydreams about bragging to newbies about the job well done, and thus botches the job.

    The alarm sounds, but they cannot let the McGuffin fall to enemy hands, so I guess Blake gets the action scene Dana daydreamed bragging about. Also, we learn more about Jo’s backstory.

    While the guards are stuck climbing the stairs due to poor cybersecurity, inspiration strikes Dana, and she prepares to do some Mad Science!! She builds a sonic cannon thus buying the group half a minute more.

    Next page an illustration, I think of Dana building her cannon. That tablet glows in a rather alarming shade of green.

    Jo panics and employs her dear college’s previous suggestion of brute force to free the McGuffin. Her prize is shocking, but they got the stuff, so time for a daring escape.
    Blake gets his action scene, Dana gets to sow of more tech-savvy(Was that dramatic editing? It felt like dramatic editing.)

    Archangel pays our blatantly criminal heroes well, and at least one of them is smart enough to invest in a good getaway car. But not better than DuttonTech, as the security soon catches up, thus we get a demonstration of what our mysterious plot device can do. It’s not pretty. Also, it gets wrecked.

    In our closing paragraphs, we learn that the theft got covered up, the stuff is broken, and we get a hook for the sequel. (Are all the stories in the book one story follow the same characters?) Also, Archangel knows people who can repair experimental, possibly illegal, and stolen weaponry. What do they say? Bird from its feathers, Man from his friends? (I am not sure that maxim comes across right when translated.)

    Anyway, it’s getting late here, so I think I will do the actual introduction tomorrow. Looking at it, I may need to go for a different format when I do the rest of the fictions. I try giving context, so it doesn’t sounds like stream of consciousness, but it ended up being more context than actual opinions in places. Shouldn’t be a problem for the meat of the book, but something to think about when i cover the rest of the fictions. Opinions?

  • #2
    Thank you. This is really helpful.


    The die is cast.

    Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

    Comment


    • #3
      It's tomorrow now, so let's continue. On to introduction.

      Art: Harry, is that you? Have you been hanging out with the doctor, and upgraded the wand to shiny chrome. At least it’s not a screwdriver. Also, our intrepid hero either acting very irresponsible with very expensive looking tech or is psychic and levitates it. Or is levitation an inbuilt function of the shiny chrome wand?

      So we begin with a quote from a fantasy Novell I never heard about. It alludes to the many-worlds interpretation of Quantum mechanics. Interestingly, every time said hypothesis comes up in fiction, the part that it hinges on interaction being impossible gets ignored.

      We get a short intro about how the TC is a framework incorporating several timelines, with the unifying theme being: Nothing is impossible. Which sounds nice, but also sounds like something that will get forgotten when the given gameline needs it to be. Wonder how long it will last.

      The Continuum.
      We get a basic rundown on how this iteration of the MWI works, see my comment above on what gets ignored. (Admittedly, it makes a better story). It explains Flux as some interdimensional energy that Talents use, and novas and psions shun. Also, it seems that it is more widely known than what was assumed in the first edition.

      Hope, Sacrifice, Unity
      Aeon society’s motto returns as a theme thought the game. Hope for a brighter future, Sacrifice in the present to bring that future about, and unity in the past that makes it possible. I am not sure that the last part fits seamlessly, but let's accept it for now.
      As lesser themes, we have Heroism, Optimism, and Competence. Heroism is in the modern interpretation of doing or at least trying to do the right thing. Optimism is self-explanatory, though it cast a more black and white view than I prefer. Competence is not about winning constantly, but about winning at the end.

      An Introduction to Storypath.
      We cover the basics such as „What is an RPG?” and „What is this one about” in a rather concise manner. Plus some mechanical basics that will be familiar to people who played Storyteller games. The old Attribute+Skill pool of d10 is pretty much the same, but some things got a new name. The ST/GM/DM is now called the Storiguide, bonus successes are called Enhancements.
      If I understand it correctly (and correct me if I am wrong) Difficulty is split into Difficulty and Complications. Difficulty is the minimum number of successes you need to roll to succeed, then you can spend those successes on Stunts and buying down complications. Complications are just that, a setback that you can avoid by paying successes. Stunts add extra effect to the action pl knocking someone down with an attack.
      There is also the counter-intuitively named Momentum. It’s a meta-currency that you spend on Dice Tricks. Dice Tricks let you fudge the ods by dice trick, TN-reduction, extra dice, and the like.

      How To use This Book
      Its the usual book what is where. The one thing I find noteworthy is the note that the other Core books will need this one. I guess more room for stuff that way.

      Inspirational media.
      I think I have seen about half of these. I don’t have anything to add.

      Lexicon:
      Did the Aeon Society drop the „for Extraordinary Gentlemen” part? I guess it was missing by Aberrant era in 1e too.
      I assume the Edge is Storypath’s version of merits?
      There are quite a few Aberrant and Aeon specific words. I am not sure why they are relevant beyond, Nova and Psion, These superhumans exist, see their respective books for more. Especially that they refers to events that are still in the future/alternate timeline. Also, the Aberrant entry refers to the Aberrant war in singular, and the nova entry refers to it in plural.

      Next time Chapter One: Incidentals. I may cut that in two.

      Comment


      • #4
        You grasp the basics of the Difficulty/Complication divide. There are probably a few places in the books where they say one and mean the other, but context usually sorts those out.

        Aeon Society did drop the "For Extraordinary Gentlemen" because they include women and non-binary folks. So, they could have gone with "For Extraordinary People," I guess, but I like the simpler version of just Aeon Society.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Zsarnok View Post
          Did the Aeon Society drop the „for Extraordinary Gentlemen” part? I guess it was missing by Aberrant era in 1e too.
          Well, "for Gentlemen." Extraordinary Gentlemen was part of the League, not the Æon Society.

          When founded, they were the Æon Society for Gentlemen. In 1e it was dropped in the 1970s, so by the time of N-Day (1998) it had already been simplified to just the Æon Society. In the new edition, "for Gentlemen" is already falling out of favour by WWII.


          Ian A. A. Watson
          Onyx Path Community Manager
          Trinity Continuum Content Lead

          Comment


          • #6
            I like the fact that they dropped the Gentlemen part by the Forties. (I actually wasn’t aware of that till I read this post, but it’s defo a cool idea.)


            The die is cast.

            Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

            Comment


            • #7
              One of the founders was a girl (she was 16, if I am not wrong), and they were still called “Gentlemen”.

              One thing I think must be present in the setting is the fact that Jack “Rich T” Tallon was against Annabelle as a member, as he was against women power, but latter he accepted her as an equal. We can’t deny the society we had back than, but we can learn from it and give respect to people for what they achieve and not how they look like or what they like.

              In our table we can ignore the subject, but not deny it. It was denying nazis that we got some of the worst people in power.


              The proper answer to “Hello There” is, obviously, “General Kenobi”.
              Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
              https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product.../Fists-of-Flux

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              • #8
                Mateus Luz I totally agree. Annabelle was thirteen when the Aeon Society was formed. I thought it was really sweet how Michael Daemon Donighal (Doctor Primoris) saw Annabelle as a daughter and he got so upset he actually left Aeon when she died.


                The die is cast.

                Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

                Comment


                • #9
                  Onto chapter one: Incidentals.

                  The first story is Angels among us by Patric McCrone. It’s about the 17-year old Melissa Bremer breaking three world records.
                  As a question, what kind of superhuman is Melissa assumed to be? At the base, the deed seems like a Talent, with nothing that a normal human couldn’t do, just more so. Yet it is something that trained athletes died trying (in lesser depths even), or at least come up with coughing blood. A teenager doing it and coming up in „perfect health” pushes it into the obliviously enhanced territory, like a stealth nova( or a vitakinetic).
                  Note to self: Check if the nova who tsunami-d that city went by her born or nova name.

                  The second story is about a dead rescue worker from Neptune. It ends with continued on page 4. Other than being a more unambiguously heroic introduction to Neptune than the Dutton Prototype was for Archangel, I don’t have anything to add.

                  The third story is about a freshly discovered tomb, but without the body. It is accompanied by an email cutout about moving said tomb’s grave goods. Sounds illegal. And if we are running on adventure logic, rather dangerous if the original owner comes for it.

                  Nest page we have news about our old friend Zukhov, this time without mega-syndicate. Did he have a brother in the first edition too? Or was First Edition’s Zukhow Alexei, and this Andrei his son? Nostalgy aside, they are into smuggling this time. I assume that the email last page is their work.

                  Meanwhile, Harlem experiences actually working vigilante action. I guess superpowers help.
                  The next page shows, working vigilantism is accompanied by working supervillain too. I think some would prefer both nonfunctional, thank you.
                  Plus some new age, millennialist hogwash about superpowers. Except for this time, they are not completely money scam.
                  On the next page, we confirm that supervillain is real and the third eye is mostly money scam.
                  Also, Max and Michael get some spotlight. Also Rousseau. I don’t remember if she had any covert work pre-N-day in first edition.

                  Now we get to the walking dead. This one is several centuries too young and the wrong gender to be the missing one from before. Still, people finding the body doesn’t mean that the guy is dead. Corpses these days, no respect for the classics. The guy certainly looks healthy for someone two years dead. Probably has something to do with robbing big-pharma.

                  Next, we get a memo about yearly server maintenance. On one hand, they need more than 24 hours to get it done. Those are amateur numbers*. (In many areas, that long stop in work would see people fired.) One the other, I think they are going to get robbed.
                  New email, it is revealed that the future tense is probably premature. They have already been robbed.
                  Next email, everybody losing their shit, because nobody ever heard about backups. I mean, that is like data-management 101.
                  It is revealed that they were working on A.I. research and the prototype is out there. It doesn't sound like Skynet, so that is good. Also, they have people good enough to write an AI, but they don’t use backups. Perhaps it’s just me actively studying the field, but seriously?

                  As previously established by Michael a few pages back, Psychics are a thing. This one is more physical than the clairvoyant last time. Also, if she has some talent that in that area too, that whole stalking thing may not be a very good idea.

                  The next page is misc miscellaneous superpower weirdness, from maybe telepath, thought cultist nutjob and UFO, to man-portable sonic weaponry.
                  The latter is used in a bank robbery. Wonder if it is connected tot he Dutton job. Dana rigged on up in a few minutes, who knows what she may get up to with more time. Or somebody else with the prototype left behind.

                  Also, we have a young nova with Linguistic Genius. Or whatever the second edition equivalent may be.

                  Archangel is recruiting. If I was in the shoes of the CEO, I would try to keep Bianca employed at least long enough for the case to blow over. If the key witness leaves the company after a publicized corruption case, that only encourages people to keep looking. Archangel takes the watch and wait option wisely.
                  And Bianca is dead by „natural causes”, barely a month later. The long struggle part looks more like a coverup than legitimate.
                  The next email confirms, she got recruited by Archangel. These guys are seemingly good-intentioned, but everything they do is screaming conspiracy. Like Aeon, but blatant about it. Well, their writeup is still a few chapters away, soo lets wait and see.

                  Next page, Summit Systems, Inc. joins DuttonTech and GriffinTech on the list of companies getting robbed. Being a shady tech company seems bad for business in this setting. We have a note by J that the real target was the files, not whatever was in the safe.

                  The next page is the Police report for the above robbery, and we learn that the safely contained weapon patents. I am not up to date on the patent laws, but I think there is enough information in those to build whatever they are the patents for.
                  Also Pharos aproves of the incident, whoever s/he may be.

                  Next time character cration.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Zsarnok Alexei Zhukov was the founder of the Syndicate. Andrei and Dmitri are his sons. I think one of them is on the board of the Ponatowski Foundation.


                    The die is cast.

                    Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Remember, irl most foundations actually do have a board of directors.


                      The die is cast.

                      Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sorry. A board of trustees. Not directors.


                        The die is cast.

                        Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have returned! On tangentially related news, the university finally figured out how this whole education thing is going to work during the quarantine. Naturally, the first server crash happened Monday at 8:00 am. It’s up and running now, so expect this already snail-paced review to slow to a crawl.
                          That aside:
                          Chapter two: Character Creation. Part 1
                          Art: A gala scene. Woman in green seems shady, the blond guy seems to be either suspecting something or an accessory. Woman in red is either a distraction or the target. Not sure what to add.

                          Part of me kind of wants to run a character creation as I read the chapter, but I will probably need the other parts of the book for that, so lets put in a note to go back after I finished and do it then.
                          So six-step character creation.
                          Step one: Concept and aspirations. Aspirations are goals for the Character, not the Characters' goals. Theoretically, they were the same in CofD. Except when mind control, fate manipulation and such kept treating them as in-universe things rather than meta descriptors. Eh, we shall see if Storypath will have a better track record.

                          Step two: Paths. Origin is backstory, Role is area of expertise/job, Society is some organization you have ties to. While not relevant to character creation, I wonder how changing affiliation will be handled. Or multiple affiliations, like the Terragen guy from their book who also worked as an elite.

                          Step three: Skills, Skill Tricks, and Specialities. You get 6 skill dots in addition to the 9 from paths. For every skill you have at 3+, you gain a specialty, and skill trick slots(but no actual skill tricks) for every dot above 2. I am going to assume it is going to apply to skill raised during play too.

                          Step four: attributes: We have the familiar three areas, Physical, mental, social, prioritize and distribute dots accordingly. They are joined by another axis, the approach. We get an extra dot in the three attributes falling into the favored one.

                          Step Five: Apply Template. To be detailed in the actual template description, the first one which is more than a hundred page from here. I should pick up the peace of this review, or the joke of Aberrant coming out by the time I reach the end of Aeon will not be a joke.

                          Step six: Final Touches. Get extra stuff, spend XP if any, note health and defense. I am assuming that some template specific things can modify the base defense, so it is noted here instead of in combat.7

                          Character Advancement
                          Ugh. CofD finally reached the realization that XP disparity created by individual XP tracks suck, and embraced the glory that is group XP. Now It is not only back, but the two of them are getting mixed up. It is like some cartoon supervillain, no matter what you do, it comes back next season. Onto the „to be houseruled” list It goes.
                          That aside, let us see the pricing. Recommended average 5 XP per session, enough for 1-2 Edge dots a Skill dot or half an Attribute. That sounds enough to give a sense of progression, so no complaints here.
                          Cost disparity between in path and out of path edges. I can already see one of my players trying to create an optimized backstory. I will need to actually see the paths to judge if it is a real concern, but this scene just flashed before me.

                          Tweaks
                          For my sanity, I am gonna assume a minimum of 1 dot on attributes. That it could bring the number of dots in an Arena below the minimum set by character creation is intended?
                          Add a short term Aspiration. Did I miss when you can replace/change the long term one?

                          Next time: Path creation, and as my bookmarks tell me, the example Paths

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            They don't explicitly say it, but it says under the XP gains table you can only get another XP for achieving your long term aspiration after everyone in the group as done so. So, it implies you'll set a new long term aspiration after every PC has reached theirs.

                            And I haven't found there to be much XP disparity between the characters with the current setup. The fact that the group gets an XP when everyone in the group reaches a short term aspiration in a session means I have the group trying to make sure everybody gets one completed. And if someone completes two short term aspirations, they only get to add one next session. So they have fewer opportunities to get XP that session. (This is with about 10 sessions worth of game.)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Chapter Two: Character Creation Part 2: Path creation.

                              This section starts with getting a breakdown of the parts of the path.
                              The concept is like for the character, except this time, its for the path.
                              Connections come in three flavors. Community is a group of people with connected paths, which you get only one per path. Contact is a singular person who is willing to do you a favor, you get one at the start, then you can either increase its bonus or get more of them. Access is some specialized equipment or place related to the Path and gives Enhancement. You can have as many of them as you can justify, but only use them limited times.

                              They may come with obligations. The player either takes them as a short term Aspiration (+1XP)(Does zhis count as your aspiration or the session?) or attempt to complete it for more use of Connections. If they fail to complete them they get +2 complication next session on invoking contacts.

                              Two things about this. One, this is the first time a roll is mentioned in using connection so what is the dice pool? For now, I assume it will come up later. Two, as a more general complaint, it would be useful to provide examples when complications are mentioned. Currently, this section tells me: If the player doesn't complete a task this Session, them I shall come up with a penalty to invoking contacts next session that they can ignore for two success. Some benchmarks would be useful here. Unless they meant difficulty. That would make more sense. If you don’t do what they ask for, they are more reluctant to do what you ask for.Or is the intention that thecontact is a spiteful bastard, that does what is asked, but screws you over somehow.

                              Next some expansion on Contacts. You get dots equal to the Path’s rating to define them, each giving Enhancement equal to the rating of the Contact, in the area defined by the contact’s tags. Actually, what does „Storyguide character’s dot rating” means exactly? Is it the number of dots invested in the contact, or the skill rating on the Contact’s sheet (Do Storyguide Characters have a sheet?), or what?
                              Also, I wonder if there is an edge or something for allies gained during play?

                              Using Connections: Found the dice pool! „connection has the same dot rating as the overall Path” may be the answer for the above question, but then why to specify that it starts at 1. This section could work on clarity. Anyway, you can use each connection Path rating times and overusing them gets your access to your Path revoked.

                              Skills and Edges. Get four skills and 15 dots of edges at discount.
                              Advancement: for 18 XP get 3 skill dots (15 XP), 2 edges(4 XP) , plus a dot of contact. Its a bargain.
                              I think I will skip the example paths. May come back for them when everything they contain is covered may not.

                              Next time: Skills (and probably Attributes

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