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Right around twenty years ago I heard about an RPG that immediately caught my attention. This game was Aberrant. Produced by the original team at White Wolf Publishing, Aberrant was the Supers game I didn’t even know I wanted. It was a new genre for the deep, gritty storytelling I’d fallen in love with and it reflected both the broken optimism of the ‘90s and the Iron Age of comics I loved. This was the first Trinity Universe game for me, but it wasn’t the first game in that continuity. No, that game was Trinity (Aeon) and my friends that were into space opera, cyberpunk, transhumanist sci-fi, and space horror were big fans. It took me a few years to give it a shot, but when I started reading the books I saw the nuance, the layers, the texture of a game that offered something unlike other games I was playing.
Now Onyx Path Publishing is releasing a second edition using their storypath system. They are currently running a Kickstarter to bring a deluxe version to market, and I was one of the first 50 backers. Here are the reasons I think you need to get on this train.
1) The Continuum
In early releases that backers have access to we’ve learned more about what the new continuity, called The Trinity Continuum. Our universe is influenced by parallel universes causing Flux. Some people have the ability to tap into this Flux, which allows them to effect the world around them in subtle and un-subtle ways. In this Kickstarter we are being provided two time-frame settings for the Continuum, Aeon and Core. The Core setting is a modern day action adventure setting. If you imagine shows like Leverage, Agents of Shield, and Arrow you’ve got a general idea of the type of power levels most characters will display. They are super smart, maybe a tad more powerful than normal people, but they are still generally human.
Aeon is set in 2123, decades after the Aberrant War and the Nova era have ended. Those elements will be fleshed out in the upcoming new version of Aberrant, and I’m already salivating. Aeon is the space opera setting for the Continuum. Humanity has begun colonizing the solar system, and is just starting to edge outside of the solar system to investigate other worlds and rediscovering colonies where the Aberrants left and abandoned humanity during the Nova age. Players will take on the roles of Psions, individuals that have been awakened to powers through the Prometheus Chambers. In previous editions, Psions differed from Novas by manipulating sub-quantum particles, versus the quantum forces the Novas abused and destroyed their bodies by harnessing. I haven’t been able to dig into how the new system approaches all of these elements, but the previews backers have seen seem super exciting and well crafted.
Future releases will include Aberrant, Adventure!, and possibly other setting options along the Continuum. Adventure! only had one book in the original run, and it deserves to have a lot more word count spent on it. I’m excited to see what the Continuum will bring us!
2) Storypath System
The underlying system behind most White Wolf Games was the Storyteller’s System, which used d10 dice pools based on Attribute+Ability. In the older version of Aberrant the most effective way to show superhuman powers was through a Mega-Attribute system. You had Dexterity and Mega-Dexterity for example. This often created large dice-pools which wasn’t impossibly unwieldy, but it wasn’t perfect either.
The new system is a lot more streamlined, and honestly it is clearly better designed for Scion and Trinity gameplay (both games that are using the system). You can check out the Storypath System Preview for free. The core of the system is still dice pools, but these dice pools will likely not become quite so overwhelming with the new design. There is also information on player editing story elements, which is a feature of newer game design concepts and I think it works well for this type of setting.
3) Access To 1st Edition
One of the reasons I’m encouraging people to back the Kickstarter is that there is an option to get all of the 1st edition books if we hit enough stretch goals. You can purchase these books through DriveThruRPG right now, but it is helpful to get them for a huge discount. Some of these books look like they may not be as perfectly in sync with the new canon, but with the concept of parallel worlds being important to the setting… well… you can alter, adjust, and mess with the Continuum as you see fit. So, backing the Kickstarter will open more of these early books and open the creation of new books to supplement the new setting. This is a selfish reason to want you to back the Kickstarter. I have all of the Aberrant books already, I want to get all the Trinity Aeon ones cheaper… is that wrong?
Alright folks, those are the three major reasons that I think you should check out the Trinity Aeon Kickstarter. If and when you do so, take a look at the previews Onyx Path has released and let me know what you think. When you are ready to step into the future, shout.
Josh is the intrepid Chief Operations Officer of High Level Games. With 20 years of playing rpgs, Josh started with Mind's Eye Theater LARPs and loves the World of Darkness. He runs, www.keepontheheathlands.com to support his gaming projects. Josh is the administrator of the Inclusive Gaming Network on Facebook. He’s running a Changing Breeds game. He’s a serious advocate for inclusive gaming spaces, a father, and a graduate from the International Peace and Conflict Resolution graduate program at American University in Washington, D.C. You can also find Josh’s other published adventures here and here.
Picture Reference: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/200664283/trinity-continuum-aeon-rpg/description
I am become death, destroyer of worlds.