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

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  • #31
    Originally posted by ChewyGranola View Post
    Yeah but speaking a language in the same family doesn't meant anything. Heck, the Central Asian countries are divided on the freaking alphabet they should use.

    Anyways, enough derailing. My bad!
    Chewy, those are pretty valid doubts, no problem with bringing it up, quite the contrary in fact, i would say.

    And language can be a funny thing, it can mean nothing or serve as a springboard for cultural identity/identification, literary romanticism and much nationalistic hoopla. Stuff like pan-slavism or bolivarian propaganda rearing its head can serve as current examples of a far from unique phenomena. Anyway, a number of countries in central asia have common elements in strong turkic cultural-linguistic roots - and domination/oppresion by the Russian/Soviet imperialism during a good part of 19th-20th centuries. While their current relations with Russia are quite friendly, it could certainly be turned upon its head depending on the vagaries of decades and politics, Yugoslavia making a bitter example of a group of people united in a common cause & identity that incrementaly smoldered toward implosion, hard, in the decades from World War I to the end of the Cold War.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
      And language can be a funny thing, it can mean nothing or serve as a springboard for cultural identity/identification, literary romanticism and much nationalistic hoopla. Stuff like pan-slavism or bolivarian propaganda rearing its head can serve as current examples of a far from unique phenomena. Anyway, a number of countries in central asia have common elements in strong turkic cultural-linguistic roots - and domination/oppresion by the Russian/Soviet imperialism during a good part of 19th-20th centuries. While their current relations with Russia are quite friendly, it could certainly be turned upon its head depending on the vagaries of decades and politics, Yugoslavia making a bitter example of a group of people united in a common cause & identity that incrementaly smoldered toward implosion, hard, in the decades from World War I to the end of the Cold War.
      Dude! What are you smokin'! First of all, necroin' really old threads? Then commenting with some sort of existential linguistic analysis?! I'll admit, I am quite inebriated as I write this, but damn! I feel like I need a PhD in archaic languages or a good number of hits on some prime ganja to keep up with you! At least I was entertained!


      There is no good or evil. There is only instinct corrupted by intelligence.

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      • #33
        I'm the first to admit that while entertained with reading stuff in threads i'm all to frequently will forget to check the damn dates before posting. Either that or i'm too much of a Hollowfaust (from Scarred Lands) fan to be too bothered over necromancy. About a PhD, it might be the inebriation talking, as i haven't even finished my degree history yet.

        Though i do admit to possibly hopping madly between places and periods in trying to explain the context behind a Turkic Federation in Central Asia, what can certainly be confusing to follow. But then history can be something of a hot mess of random stuff happening or repeating itself at times, anyway.

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        • #34
          Have not had a chance to read through the whole read. I'll do once I get home tonight or on anothe break. I have the most experience with Aberrant and it was the first "super hero" based RPG I played. So I have a huge love for the game.

          As far as what they got right.
          At the time they system was amazing. The severity of powers was staggering and wonderful. Also, as a setting of the real world with super powers mixed in was ground breaking for me.
          They nail the feel of average person gets into situation X and gets powers. So you have some Novas that work for Microsoft and others that say screw it I'll be a super powered mercinary. Even some that are the best secretary you could ever ask for. A lot of the Novas are self centered and use their ability a for some degree of profit. They even have a story of one guy that is immune to disease and absorbed radiation who gets a job as a lab tech because he does not have to wear an environmental suit. The powers have a good scaling however there are some consistency issues.

          What they got wrong:
          I'll start this an state that this is from my perspective and play style.
          Where the taint system is amazing for showing the slow fall of a god linking it to the only source of aberrations was a mistake. If you wanted to play a beast or night crawler character or anyone with a none super human aperence of fitness model then you had to taint your character through the roof. Beast by the system would have at permanent taint of 6 or so. Body hair, skin color, eyes, ears/teeth, hands feet. No aberrations show up till the third dot of taint or fourth. So your walking very close to the pit to make a non human looking character.
          Where mega-strength is powerful and mega-stamina is under powered in comprising you can stack M-Stanima, armor, force field, immunity and any other soak power. Look at Iron Skin Andy Vance. He is designed as a soak machine. This added to when a nova reaches Q 6 and slaps the first mastery onto any non M-Strength damage power it quickly outstrips M-strength damage capability. Even if you add in crusher.
          There is also some inconsistency with the power level of level three technics vs the second level power they are pulled from. Where the level 3 power has more versatility the inconsistency, decrease in range, kph, area and added cost becomes out stripped again. So there needs to be a bit of balance there brought back in. Not hard to do.
          Extras, needs some work there as well. I've been using a system where you can have a number of extras equal to rating in the power. Each extra you want to use coast 1 extra quantum on activation. This allows for costomization and diversity without always needing to push the power, and possibly failing to get enough successes, and gives you a lot more reason to have more then the first dot.
          Speaking of first dot. With most powers very little ultimately changes after the first dot. Flights speed is a nominal increase, hyper movement is much better and Q-Bolt is so so. So having the extras = to dot rating is a great reason for players to push for higher ratings.
          There are others and I have a document I've been working on of home brews. Such as M-Strength getting more damage as it goes higher vs the 5 per dot. M-Stan dropping a lot more health levels on you as it goes up and the extras.

          All in all it is still an amazing game! I'm very excited for the 2e!

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          • #35
            Well, since that thread seems to have reopened...

            The things they did get right:
            The Atmosphere, it was and still is just awesome. The whole premise of gods walking among earth is great, hell even the psions get their fair share... and suspicious looks.

            Aeon as an organization was quite good, but it could have been better... although the fact that Aeon/Trinity was cut short didn't help in that matter. I do and still LOVE the fact that there were LOTS of skeletons in their closets.
            Their lies and very actions led to the Aberrant War and probably pushed a good number of them over the brink, them imprisoning and experimenting on them, basically sterilizing them and doing all kinds of black ops against the homo novus as a whole, while at the same time coating themselves in a aura of sheer benevolence... that had guts.

            The Quin were awesome. I loved the Icon suits, the fact that they were slug like and not humanoid and that they had to rely on humans for FTL.
            They were technologically superior to mankind, but at least one house of them wanted to ascend in their politics by making deals with the humans.
            I loved that story, also the fact that they had really, really nasty house politics... and freakishly strong biotech.
            That they had reasons to interact with mankind at all, due to their obvious shortcomings, that was quite brilliant.
            The best thing about them was that all of them were psionics, but that they had already reached the end of their potential and they knew it.
            They had reasons to fear humanity and they had reasons to work with them, yet it was never clear cut... which lead to a deliciously complicated political game.

            The things they did get wrong:
            Well.. I did hate the Quantum and Psi pools from the very beginning.
            If I play those games I do so because I don't WANT to bother with resource conservation.
            Seriously, some powers could drain an Aberrant in no time, which was NOT fun.
            Psions had it even worse, they were limited to short bursts of using their psionic powers.
            In both cases, I did find that thematically not fitting. I just threw that part out and never looked back.
            Having the ability to use their abilities whenever they liked was way better for creativity and storytelling purposes, in my opinion at least.

            The Chitra Bhanu (aka the Chibs or "Dark Psions"), those were order that was a bit squandered.
            I did like their backstory, how they did fall and India Underground cleared up some other issues.
            In any case what I did not like was the fact that their powers were so limited.
            I would have preferred it greatly if they would have been some kind of mini novas/aberrants, being capable of acquiring their psionic powers AND being forced or capable to pick up Mega-Attributes or Nova powers the further they develop their psionic potential. Thematically it would have been a great fit AND it would have explained how ONE or at best TWO Dhiren were capable of picking off Aberrants and dragging them back to the clinic.
            Them being capable of basically "merging" psionic and nova powers would also explain why the Doyen where so interested in them, while at the same so scared that they had the orders crush them. Hell, they even went so far as engineering public opinion against the Chibs, which can't have been an easy feat given the fact that the Proxies were around.

            Which leads to the Doyen. Thematically they were great, BUT their actions were at best haphazardly revealed... and almost never prone for players to discover.
            This led to a certain amount of disconnect when it came down to them... so much so, that I outright put that part of the story on the table for my players.

            What I would want to see in a new edition:
            More Transhumanist elements
            More advanced tech
            Quantum and psionic power systems which are as freeform as possible
            Keeping the grey areas and conspiracies which were awesome to work with, a definite and marked in difference between full blown psionics and novas,
            Chitra Bhanu who as an order learn to late that their path sets them up to be kinda hybrids between novas and psions... thus another reason why only so few belong to their order
            Another one for the Chitra Bhanu, that more survive the purge... if that goes down like it did in the first edition.
            An Aeon that has still to fight with governments about where it can go and what it can do... and still has enough political clout to make things happen and has to resort to black ops when there are no other options.
            Cut down Del Fuego a bit, he had basically all cards in his hands and had even a good chunk of Chibs working for him... it seemed a bit much.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
              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.
              I didn't really find that in some years of playing. The thing was, soak was additive The only thing that added to Mega-strength was claws. That topped out at +30 as I remember.

              Soak on the other hand... You could have Eufibre 5, Armor, Invulnerability, Mega-stamina with Resilience, Absorption (Feeding into Invulnerability of course), Force-field (nicely cumulative with Mega-stamina) and probably a few more I've forgotten. All stacking. As I emember it you could easily surpass the Mega-strength damage with soak, and for a lower amount of points.

              One issue with Aberrant was the XP costs. It was normally far better to buy a Mega-dot than buying more dots in a power, and raising a normal attribute high just didn't pay. Get someone with a maths background to look it over this time.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Trollroot View Post

                I didn't really find that in some years of playing. The thing was, soak was additive The only thing that added to Mega-strength was claws. That topped out at +30 as I remember.

                Soak on the other hand... You could have Eufibre 5, Armor, Invulnerability, Mega-stamina with Resilience, Absorption (Feeding into Invulnerability of course), Force-field (nicely cumulative with Mega-stamina) and probably a few more I've forgotten. All stacking. As I emember it you could easily surpass the Mega-strength damage with soak, and for a lower amount of points.
                25 successes for five mega-dots = 15 nova points, not counting the cost of raising Quantum to 4. Force Field could match it with fewer dots, but it was a big could, because unless you got the fixed version of the power, you were only really guaranteed your Quantum in soak - you get .9 successes per Mega-Stamina dot rolled and .5 for each normal Stamina + Force Field die, so on average, say, Force Field 2 and Mega-Stamina 3, with Stamina 5, means 12.4 soak plus Quantum; rounding down to 12 + Quantum, in this case a minimum of 2 for an expected bonus soak rating of only 14 from FF, for a total soak of 20L/25B. Also, right away, getting more dots in both M-Stamina and in Force Field, you're getting into the territory of spending about as many, if not more, nova points on defense that were spent on offense, and possibly coming up short. Armor and Invulnerability could get even more costly, especially if you wanted a broad category for the latter.

                Also, adding onto this was the Crush enhancement for M-Strength, which could theoretically bump the 25 auto-successes to that plus however many qps you could spend per turn according to your node rating. That, however, was not something that got in until the errata came into play with the player's guide. Since it is an enhancement, however, that means that you can pick it up with your M-Strength purchase at no additional cost.

                All in all, lots of experiences are liable to be different, but the math is what it is, and the powers could have done with some serious restructuring.

                One issue with Aberrant was the XP costs. It was normally far better to buy a Mega-dot than buying more dots in a power, and raising a normal attribute high just didn't pay. Get someone with a maths background to look it over this time.
                Well, you had to boost up baseline Attributes and Quantum in order to buy Mega-Attributes up higher, since the ceilings were the lower of your baseline Attribute value and (Quantum + 1). I think there might have been some harsh intentions there expecting you to buy up baseline traits with your starting np allotment.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by marin View Post

                  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.)
                  There's something deeper in tonal difference between Aberrant and the other games. Part of it is "ESB"-effect, where middle chapters are structurally going to be down notes, but I think someone's political philosophy was in play as well. Aeon/Trinity had a New Deal theme of people working together to build a better world. Aberrant strongly suggests that type of "Utopianism" is not to be trusted, and it's individual freedom from collective institutions that needs to be paramount. I'm not saying the writers were full on pro-Teragen, it's supremacism was a negative. But there was a very libertarian fear of institutions and people wanting to prioritize making change for the greater good rather than leaving you alone going on.

                  I think it's notable that someone also went and made a Libertarian President of the US. It lines up with someone's wish fulfillment going on.

                  Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying games should be apolitical or they need to perfectly line up with my politics. I'm just saying there was an incongruency between Aberrant's politics and the politics of the other games.


                  Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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                  • #39
                    My single biggest problem with Aberrant was that each of the developers very clearly had a favorite "pet" faction that they wanted the game to revolve around - Hatch with the Aberrants; Blackwelder with the Teragen - and rigged everything about the setting in their favor.


                    What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                    Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Prometheus878 View Post
                      What did the original Trinity lines get wrong? What did they get right?
                      I own every single Trinity book, including the original black AEON hardcover. Love the game to pieces, and looking very much forward to backing the new Kickstarter. Hope they can get more of the original giants back as writers to back up Ian's vision. I'm only a happy amateur regarding Ab and Ad so I'll leave those other games out for now.

                      As for my thoughts on what Trinity got right:
                      + The Psi Orders
                      + Fantastic metaplot
                      + BioTech
                      + Agents
                      + Really great take on how the world would look 100 years from now. Frighteningly so. Many things are coming true.
                      + Inverted many cyberpunk tropes
                      + Aliens (Qin, Doyen, etc.)

                      What Trinity got wrong:
                      X Unbalanced psi in the Core
                      X Complicated & clunky freeform psi in the Player's Guide
                      X Good core rules, but many unclear & clunky side systems
                      X Alien Encounter 2 was a wasted opportunity

                      I disagree with the sentiment that the setting is too 90's, although I generally agree with CHILL's comments.

                      Trinity wasn't grounded in the well-meaning idealism of how things "should be if we could just balance historical wrongs", but rather a rather impressive "what could it look like if current trends spiral?" brand of speculative fiction based on the global trends at the time. After having spent 5+ years in the US and 5+ years working in China, and seeing the global developments over the last 20 years, it is shocking to me how precognizant the original writers were. Both geopolitically and technically. Not perfect, but far better than any other sci-fi game I can think of released 10-20 years ago.

                      I look forward to an updated, daring, and bold take on where the world will be in 2020. All in all, I am super-enthusiastic about the new edition. Really like the new system being proposed!
                      Last edited by Wintermute; 03-30-2017, 03:52 PM.

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                      • #41
                        For what it's worth, I don't remember that many side systems. Psi definitely needed to be less underwhelming though, especially for certain groups.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Wolfgar View Post
                          For what it's worth, I don't remember that many side systems. Psi definitely needed to be less underwhelming though, especially for certain groups.
                          I was never fond of the inability to buy powers from other psions either, myself.

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                          • #43
                            I'm fine with that. I like having a certain amount of specialty as far as things go.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Wolfgar View Post
                              I'm fine with that. I like having a certain amount of specialty as far as things go.
                              I'm fine with specializing. "Nothing can be higher than your primary mode" would be fine with me. "No more than one dot" was super lame.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Wolfgar View Post
                                For what it's worth, I don't remember that many side systems. Psi definitely needed to be less underwhelming though, especially for certain groups.
                                Ship to ship combat and the hacking rules are two of the first that I think of. They're not terrible, and they work. But they could've done so much cooler things with them. ^^

                                Anyway, I'm nitpicking. Love the game overall.

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