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[Necro] What did the original Trinity lines get wrong, and what did they get right?

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  • [Necro] What did the original Trinity lines get wrong, and what did they get right?

    I own all the digital copies available from DrivethruRPG for all three lines of the original Trinity universe. Unfortunately, I have not had time to read them, but that has changed and I'm going to dive in and give them a proper read through. Since I'm not overly familiar with the lines despite being a fan, and I prefer my landmines to have warning labels, I'm going to ask the boards two questions:

    What did the original Trinity lines get wrong?

    and

    What did they get right?

    Mechanics, setting details, characters, wording, chapter organization, the works; what were the foul balls, and what were the home runs?

    (Obviously, this is going to be based on subjective opinion, so I ask that the conversation be kept civil.)
    Last edited by Prometheus878; 11-07-2014, 03:17 PM.


    Mouse monk riding a tiny pig avatar courtesy of the very talented forumite Jen!

    Jen's original portrayal of Mouse Monk, featuring some human or other named Tybalt Farwander.

  • #2
    Talking about mechanics, Aberrant had a neat scaling system where the presence of damage adds and armor adds would cancel each other out... and then failed to use it in a manner which might balance some of the combat issues that cropped up. The most obvious problem was that while Mega-Strength soared to incredibly heights of damage, Mega-Stamina gave regular soak, and not much of it in comparison. You'd need several Enhancements just to be able to survive a Mega-Strength punch... whereas if Mega-Stamina had provided an armor add, it would have put everything back to super-strong wailing on super-tough as if the two were relatively normal combatants.

    The division of Brawl and Martial Arts was also troublesome, most notably because it took a stance of "Brawl = European, Martial Arts = Asian" with one lone exception for savate. Of course, giving a broad envelope term like Martial Arts to an unarmed combat Ability is also problematic. By the time you get to one being fit under Strength and the other under Dexterity, the mechanical issues have taken a backseat to the entire concept of trying to mess with unarmed combat in this manner.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the input, Saur Ops, and...

      ...good grief, this branch of the forums is quiet. I guess there just isn't much to talk about right now, is there?


      Mouse monk riding a tiny pig avatar courtesy of the very talented forumite Jen!

      Jen's original portrayal of Mouse Monk, featuring some human or other named Tybalt Farwander.

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      • #4
        Hey Prometheus878,

        I think there's a few lurkers, and a bit of discussion from time to time but yeah, without anything all that tangible yet to discuss it gets a little quiet here. It'll pick up though, probably around the time when Open Dev starts - which various hints suggest the end of the year (nothing official on that, just hints).

        I guess you asked a fairly broad question about editions about to be replaced as well, which might be why you're not getting much traction.

        I can give you a fairly broad answer, though

        The three different game lines are all very different, but what stands out to me the most is that certainly Aeon (Trinity) and Aberrant read & play like products of their time. As mentioned in other threads on this forum the broad themes, representation of signature characters, metaplot nature and certainly game mechanics are very 1990's. Not that this is all bad (I happen to enjoy the metaplot of Aeon, actually)...... but gaming has moved on since the games were published the better part of 20 years ago.

        We've cribbed a bunch of stuff from this forum, rpg.net and so on covering what we (think we) know so far about the reboot over here: http://bit.ly/1xbTHvz

        From what you've read of the 1st editions, and what's been pulled together at that link, is there any changes being hinted at that stand out to you as good / bad ideas or that highlight what you see as good / bad things in the 1st editions?


        Trinity Continuum G+ Fan Community
        H.S.U.

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        • #5
          All of the stuff in there is gangbusters. Two in particular stand out to me though:

          (discussing the writers' "World of Brightness" tag for the Continuum) "World of Brightness" doesn't mean nothing bad ever happens. I mean, that would probably be a pretty boring setting for gaming in, yeah? But like...yeah, Aeon is in some ways a postapocalyptic setting. But the post part of that is what's important. It's a world that's recovering. A world that's looking to the future with hope and sacrifice and unity, with characters who are invested in actively making things better. There are threats, and some of them are scary and powerful, but there's a real sense of "we can make it through this into something better if we all work together." And that's before we get into stuff like Aeon assuming that the Aberrant War happened but Aberrant not having to go that way at all due to quantum-wantum timey-wimey stuff. (http://goo.gl/PR2SkL)
          Good on them! We already have World of Darkness, let's have some good ol' idealism where the heroes are capital H Heroes. I assume The Trinity Universe never got as bad as WOD, but I'm still seeing some stuff that makes me scratch my head.

          For instance: "The Aeon organization was founded by a heroic idealist, but that sort of thing is just plain old fashioned; Ruthless Pragmatism is the modern thing to do. Obviously, the best way to protect the world is by backstabbing several thousand superhumans, even though they're creating a new golden age and we might need their help against any space aliens or dimensional monsters that would threaten humanity. Obviously." "Uh, sir-" "PRAGMATISM!!!"

          Really, Project Utopia? Really?

          On that subject:
          (Discussing the Aeon Trinity’s portrayal in the TU, and the black mark Aberrant’s Proteus left) I think this will be less of an issue with the new game(s), since one of the big directives is that the Aeon Society/Foundation/Covenant/Trinity/whatever is not sinister. Like in big bold block text THESE ARE THE GOOD GUYS. (http://goo.gl/vHlq3f)
          Yes! Not everything has to turn to muck over time! Here's hoping this will address the above criticism.


          Mouse monk riding a tiny pig avatar courtesy of the very talented forumite Jen!

          Jen's original portrayal of Mouse Monk, featuring some human or other named Tybalt Farwander.

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          • #6
            A concept that really hits the right notes for me in 1E Aberrant is Taint. Not sure about the name, but I like what it is and I like how it works; definitely one of the better representations of "power for a price" I've seen in RPGs. Easy separation of good guys and bad guys: bad guys are the ones who have given up on their Humanity. Even if I were to run the system without the setting, I would still keep the Taint mechanics in there, as the threat of rampant mutation is just too good a plot point to pass up on.

            "Alright, I've drawn up my character, and... he's not quite as capable as I would like. Hm... ya'know, these low-level Taint mutations aren't too bad. In fact, some of them are pretty cool! Multicolor hair? Count me in!"

            --- Several Sessions Later ---

            "OH MY GOD I'M A MONSTER!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!"

            Priceless.


            Mouse monk riding a tiny pig avatar courtesy of the very talented forumite Jen!

            Jen's original portrayal of Mouse Monk, featuring some human or other named Tybalt Farwander.

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            • #7
              Well, there’s definitely room in Aberrant for the X-Men — superhumans for whom their powers are as much curses as blessings. Superheroes are a diverse bunch, after all.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Prometheus878 View Post
                Good on them! We already have World of Darkness, let's have some good ol' idealism where the heroes are capital H Heroes. I assume The Trinity Universe never got as bad as WOD, but I'm still seeing some stuff that makes me scratch my head.

                For instance: "The Aeon organization was founded by a heroic idealist, but that sort of thing is just plain old fashioned; Ruthless Pragmatism is the modern thing to do. Obviously, the best way to protect the world is by backstabbing several thousand superhumans, even though they're creating a new golden age and we might need their help against any space aliens or dimensional monsters that would threaten humanity. Obviously." "Uh, sir-" "PRAGMATISM!!!"

                Really, Project Utopia? Really?
                At least one of the 1e Trinity writers, Bruce Baugh, has gone on record with his dislike of what Aberrant did with the Aeon organisation, seeing it as a waste of potential.

                (To my mind, the TU writers didn't seem to have a clear idea of Aeon's place in the setting until Adventure!, with it being a protagonist group - although to be fair, the original Aeon/Trinity was done in a rush, taking 10 months from conception to publication, and on top of that had a first-time developer.)



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

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                • #9
                  I like gritty and dark as much as anybody but that's what the world of darkness is for. As far as I'm concern injecting realism and consequences in a superhero setting doesn't necessarily make it darker, it can still be positive and optimistic, in certain ways it even becomes more humane.

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                  • #10
                    I absolutely love most of the sci-fi setting of Trinity. My biggest two beefs were: 1. No real info on India. India will be a major power in the decades to come, and was specifically stated as such in game. More info would be helpful. 2. Africa is magically a single country. I don't necessarily like the idea of continent wide super states happening. Look at the trouble the EU is having. Africa is much larger, much more diverse and has different problems than Europe. I would support the idea of a first world Africa no problem, but I think some more political variation would have kept it more interesting. Also, not enough Africa info!
                    Aberrant was great, but I always felt the metaplot got in the way. I wanted a near future super hero game. That's what I played, but I ignored metaplot. Love the game though!

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                    • #11
                      There's been plenty of hints that Onyx Path are approaching non-western cultures with a bit more.....um....refinement this time around in Aeon (Trinity). I'm looking forward to seeing how that is handled too


                      Trinity Continuum G+ Fan Community
                      H.S.U.

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                      • #12
                        It is possible that India and Africa had little information because they were the home areas of the two Orders that were "missing" in the main book. They might have intended to bring out the Order and area information in a later supplement and never got around to it (though the teleporters book they did bring out was rather lacking on information on Africa and concentrated on space instead). As Marin mentioned the Trinity stuff seemed a bit rushed, it also seemed a bit handwavy and forced too at times though overall it was a good game in play.

                        A nice thing with the original Aberrant is that like other White Wolf games character generation and gameplay were faster and easier to keep flowing than most other superhero games of the time on a mechanics level though the metaplot did not lend itself well to the mainline style superhero genre. I heard the game mechanics would fall apart at higher experience levels but never actually ran into the problem; coming from Champions everyone made rather complex builds that were versatile but did not advance very quickly. I am looking forward to the new stuff too, I hope it will be as agile as the old version.
                        Last edited by BC001; 11-17-2014, 01:26 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BC001 View Post
                          It is possible that India and Africa had little information because they were the home areas of the two Orders that were "missing" in the main book. They might have intended to bring out the Order and area information in a later supplement and never got around to it (though the teleporters book they did bring out was rather lacking on information on Africa and concentrated on space instead). As Marin mentioned the Trinity stuff seemed a bit rushed, it also seemed a bit handwavy and forced too at times though overall it was a good game in play.
                          There was a plan for an Africa book, Bright Continent, but the line got cancelled. My vague memory's saying it would've been a setting book absent an Order.


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

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                          • #14
                            Bright Continent was planned to have a new "psi order," composed of the exiles and rejects of the other orders.


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

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by IanWatson View Post
                              Bright Continent was planned to have a new "psi order," composed of the exiles and rejects of the other orders.
                              Such a rag-tag bunch of misfits would've easily eclipsed the other Orders in terms of PC appeal, so maybe it's a...bright spot...that the book never came out.


                              Neall Raemonn Price
                              Beleaguered Scion Developer

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