Trinity (role-playing game)
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Trinity d20 cover
|Designer(s)||Andrew Bates, Ken Cliffe, Richard E. Dansky, Greg Fountain, Rob Hatch, Chris McDonough, Richard Thomas, Stephan Wieck, Fred Yelk|
|Publisher(s)||White Wolf Game Studio|
|Publication date||1997 (1st edition)
2004 (d20 edition)
|System(s)||Storyteller System (1st edition)
d20 System (d20 edition)
White Wolf had a hole in their 1997 publishing schedule, so CEO Steve Wieck went to designer Andrew Bates to fill it; the result was a new game, ÆON (1997), which went from first conception to publication in just 10 months.:222 ÆON was a science-fiction game intended to create a whole new trilogy of games, and although it used a variant of the Storyteller game system, ÆON was intended to appeal to a more action-oriented audience than the World of Darkness.:222 ÆON ran into troubles almost immediately due to a lawsuit from Viacom who felt that it violated the trademark of their TV show, Aeon Flux (1991-1995); the names on the first printing of ÆON actually had to be stickered over with the game's new name, Trinity.:222 Because of White Wolf's imprint ArtHaus' success, acclaimed-but-low-selling games were added to the imprint over the years, and Trinity came to ArtHaus in 2000.:223 ArtHaus produced d20 Trinity books to test the waters for White Wolf's other universes, but Trinity d20 (2004) came and went in a time when the d20 market was already weakened.:226
Trinity was first in the Trinity Universe series of games (the two others being Aberrant and Adventure!) sharing a common background and developing an alternate history of humanity through two centuries, and allowing players to play almost all genres of science fiction - from comic-book superhero action to cutting edge technothriller, space opera, and old fashioned pulp standards. Though it had a vocal fanbase the whole game line was discontinued due to low sales in 2001; an adaptation for the d20 system was released in 2004. Onyx Path Publishing has recently acquired the rights to the Trinity Universe and has announced its intention to release a new edition of Trinity, using the original Æon name.
Set in the twenty-second century, Trinity portrays a future Earth slowly recovering from a disastrous war (the origins of which are covered in Aberrant) 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.
Players have a choice of six "Orders" for their characters to join. Each Order possesses a mastery over a specific "Aptitude", a category of psionic powers. Each Order is based in a specific geographic location, often the homeland of its founder, and is heavily influenced by local culture. Actually, there are eight "Orders" in the Trinity Universe, but one only became playable after some metaplot hooks made it so, and the other has almost been exterminated by the year where the playable timeline begins.
- The Æsculapian Order
- Based in Europe, this Order is a global medical clinic first and foremost; its members fulfill the roles of combat medics, healers and scientists. They teach the Aptitude of vitakinesis, the usage of the mind to heal the body.
- Interplanetary School for Research and Advancement
- Based on the Moon, this Order is a quasi-monastic school of philosophy associated with the real religion the Bahá'í faith (see popular media references). Its members learn clairsentience and use their sensory powers to become scouts and detectives.
- The Legions
- Based in Austronesia, these are high tech military corps (similar to that found in Starship Troopers), using the powers of psychokinesis to protect humanity from extrasolar threats.
- Ministry of Psionic Affairs
- (Also the Ministry of Noetic Affairs.) This cloak and dagger spy agency is based in China and a part of the Chinese government. Members are skilled in telepathy and are the most secretive and mistrusted of the Orders for their abilities.
- Nova Força das Nações (Portuguese for "The New Nationals Force")
- (Also known as norça, or "bryony"). This Order takes the form of a vigilante militia, based somewhere in the jungles of South America. They wield the powers of biokinesis, and possess complete biological mastery over their physical forms. They are as widely, if not more, distrusted than the Ministry.
- A multinational technology corporation headquartered in North America, its members are all employees in some fashion or another. They can control the electromagnetic spectrum with the electrokinesis Aptitude. They often take the role of technical experts and engineers.
- Upeo wa Macho (Swahili for "Horizon")
- The Upeo are an African trade organization with the teleportation Aptitude. Although they had been missing for six years as of the core rules, they have since returned, although their absence has not altogether been explained to the public. With their return, regular contact with extrasolar colonies is being re-established.
- Chitra Bhanu
- The Chibs are an Indian physics laboratory with the ability to manipulate the nuclear forces of the universe (quantakinesis). They were exterminated because the other psi orders claimed that they had an alliance with the monstrous Aberrants, although there have been rumors of survivors either hiding on their own, or working secretly for other orders. The Chitra Bhanu are an unplayable order.
The game runs on a slightly modified version of the White Wolf Storyteller System. A reprint was announced in late 2003 of the three Trinity Universe games using the Open Gaming License 3.5 rules, better known as the d20 System.
- Trinity Core rulebook (two hard cover editions and a soft cover edition)
- Hidden Agendas: Storyteller's screen and book (screen with adventure & background sourcebook)
- Darkness Revealed 1: Descent into Darkness (adventure book)
- Darkness Revealed 2: Passage through Shadow (adventure book)
- Darkness Revealed 3: Ascent into Light (adventure book)
- Alien Encounter 1: Invasion (adventure book)
- Alien Encounter 2: Deception (adventure book)
- Trinity Players' Guide (background and rules expansion)
- Technology Manual (technology sourcebook)
- Luna Rising: Psi Order ISRA & Luna Sourcebook
- America Offline: Psi Order Orgotek & FSA Sourcebook
- Shattered Europe: Psi Order Æsculapian & Europe Sourcebook
- Stellar Frontier: Psi Order Upeo wa Macho & Extrasolar space Sourcebook
- Aurora Australis: Psi Order Legions & Austronesia Sourcebook
- Terra Verde: Psi Order Norça & Sudamérica Sourcebook (solely available in electronic form)
- Asia Ascendant: Psi Order Ministry & Asia Sourcebook (unpublished manuscript released by game line developer Bruce Baugh, solely available in electronic form)
- Trinity Field Report: Extrasolar Colonies (mini sourcebook)
- Trinity Field Report: Alien Races (mini sourcebook)
- Trinity Field Report: Psi Laws (mini sourcebook)
- Trinity Field Report: Media (mini sourcebook)
- Trinity Field Report: Oceania (mini sourcebook, solely in electronic form)
- Trinity Field Report: Corporate Life (mini sourcebook, solely in electronic form)
- India Underground: Psi Order Chitra Bhanu & Bharati Commonwealth Sourcebook (book by EON, solely in electronic form)
- Trinity Field Report: Noetic Science (mini sourcebook by EON, solely in electronic form)
- Trinity: Awaiting Inspiration (mini sourcebook by EON, solely in electronic form)
Trinity was originally to be known as Aeon (thus leading to all three games in the line having titles starting with an A), and was originally issued under that title in its hardback and deluxe versions. Legal issues arose with the holders of the rights for the animated series Æon Flux, which claimed the game challenged their trademarks. The matter was settled by White Wolf choosing to change the name of its game, and leaving "Aeon" as the unofficial name for the whole line. Early copies of the game had a sticker with the new Trinity logo covering the original Aeon logo.