A lot of changes have taken place since 2120. Contact with Earth’s colonies was re-established, and the public lauded the ingenuity of the psions. The Huang-Marr biorg project was uncovered, and humanity was ready to burn psions at the stake. The returning Upeo wa Macho only added to the confusion with their allegations that the other orders had been after them, not attacking Aberrants. The Chromatics invaded, and psions were once again in humankind’s good graces. The Trinity and the orders know about the upcoming arrival of the Coalition, and no one knows what to make of what has happened in the wake of the Venezuelan Phenomenon. The peoples and organizations of the Trinity Era are more confused than ever.
But you don’t have to be.
Contained within this book are many of the secrets of the Trinity Era (some about the Trinity Universe as a whole) for the Storyteller. Some of the Æon Trinity’s secrets, what the Aberrants are up to — and not just those under the sway of the Colony. If you’re a player, thanks for getting a copy of the book, but you really shouldn’t read any of this without your Storyteller’s say-so.
A Look Inside Edit
Many things in the Trinity Era are no longer as sure as they used to be. With the Venezuelan Phenomenon, the Huang-Marr Conspiracy, Chromatic attacks and the Coalition on its way, psions and neutrals alike are left wondering what’s going to happen next.
As a Storyteller, what’s next is up to you. This book aims not to cram some predetermined story down your throat, but give you the tools you need to tell your own stories.
To help make this book as “real” as possible, it follows the same general format as its official companion volume, the Trinity Players Guide.
The Introduction is what you’re reading now. Contained herein is the breakdown you’re currently reading, as well as answers to some of the common questions Trinity players may have.
Chapter One: The Æon Trinity is not an overview of the Trinity’s public face, but rather, its hidden side. Read the history of the Trinity, find out about Babel Dossier and Project Rewrite.
Chapter Two: Noetics contains a look — from a Storyteller’s point of view — at the field of psi research, the advances made in the last twenty years, and theories about how the taint powers that Aberrants use fit in. Information on playing Proxies is even provided.
Chapter Three: Aberrant Society takes a look at what Aberrants have been up to since they left Earth. The major group is, of course, composed those working for the Colony, but as the discovery of Eden shows, it’s hardly the only one.
Chapter Four: Creating a Story offers tried-and-true advice for the Storyteller with an emphasis on creating any story you like with Trinity. The Trinity RPG does, after all, offer room for nearly any of the standard science fiction tropes which tickle your fancy.
Chapter Five: The Trinity Universe takes a step back and examines the place that Trinity holds within the larger Trinity Universe setting. Options on using other super-normal beings in place of psions and other “crossover” details are provided.
Chapter Six: Above and Beyond shakes things up a little. What would Trinity be like with daredevils as humanity’s protectors instead of psions? What would ISRA be like if they were the psychokinetic order? Find answers to these questions and more.
Chapter Seven: Option: Alternate Character Creation gives Storytellers powerful new tools to introduce into their games: brand-new Modes. Plus (finally!) a multi-stage character creation process in the vein of Aberrant and Adventure, finally bringing Trinity into line with the newer games in the Trinity Universe.
The Appendices give all that extra little information you’ve been looking for. Stats for animals. A full index for every Trinity book so far. Many of you will appreciate the Story To Come section, which covers the upcoming metaplot elements in future Trinity books.
Trinity Q&A Edit
Trinity’s been out for seven years as of this writing, and there’ve been a lot of supplements for it. Not every question has been answered, however, and not everyone knows where to find what has been answered. So we present you with the answers to some of the game’s common questions.
•Why are psions so weak in comparison to Aberrants?
The psions’ benefactors wanted controllable shock troops against the Aberrant menace. The psions had to be strong enough to be able to fight the Aberrants with some degree of success, but at the same time not be as powerful. Powerful psions might mean the Aberrant War all over again, but with the psions aware of the benefactors’ existence. That said, most Aberrants that your psions will face aren’t necessarily the novas from Aberrant. See page XX for more information.
•Why are psions limited to just one Aptitude? That seems a rather artificial limitation. It is artificial. This question ties in directly with the previous one. Part of the limitation imposed was that each of the orders would only be able to use a single Aptitude. This makes them masters within their own fields of expertise, but nearly useless (noetically speaking) outside that. It also let the benefactors run the Quantakinetics as a fairly self-contained experiment.
Unfortunately for them, humans ended up being even cannier than they expected. Research is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible within each Aptitude, and the Venezuelan Phenomenon appears to have enabled the triggering of some naturally-occurring psychomorphs. The limitations imposed on psions are becoming strengths. What that means for the Trinity Era remains to be seen.
•Who are these benefactors you keep talking about? The benefactors are a euphemism that the proxies use when referring to the entities that endowed them with their powers. During the recent invasion of Chrome-Prime, forces were exposed to the creature behind Chromatic aggression: a luminous ball, an entity composed almost entirely of psi energy. This entity and its ilk are known as the Doyen, and are the beings that triggered the proxies and taught them the secrets of creating biotech. Since the taint energies the Aberrants use interferes with psi, the very existence of the Aberrants is a threat to the Doyen.
One faction of the Doyen decided to use humanity as a weapon against itself, and created the psions. Another faction thought all humanity needed to be wiped out, and sought another species to use as their troops. They picked the Chromatics.
•What’s this Process 418 / Venezuelan Phenomenon all about?
On August 3rd, 2122, an explosion erupted from within the Venezuelan Quarantine Zone. The Zone was set up by the Norça, ostensibly due to remnant Aberrant activity and possible taint-created viruses. In reality, the Norça had several research stations hidden here, where they worked on the nature of psi, why Aptitudes were limited as they were, and other such questions. Many of the Chitra Bhanu the Norça had captured were working in such installations.
One of these installations apparently duplicated Dr. Hammersmith’s work from the early 20th century. The difference this time was that due to advances in the tools used and understanding of the subquantum universe, the effect was much stronger.
A wave swept through the quantum and subquantum mediums, propagating through space faster than the speed of light. Psi use becomes tricky for a while, and clairsentients have trouble viewing the past beyond August 2122. There’s a veritable explosion in the numbers of paramorphs, psiads and low-taint eximorphs. See Terra Verde and Asia Ascendant for more details. You may also want to check out page XX for more information on playing these types of characters in the Trinity Era.
•What’s a psychomorph? An eximorph? A paramorph? These are scientific terms used early in the days of the Æon Trinity.
Psychomorphs are any entities capable of consciously manipulating subquantum energies (psi). Psions are the most common modern manifestations of psychomorphs, although naturally-occurring psions, or “psiads,” also fall under that category.
Eximorphs are entities capable of consciously manipulating what are popularly referred to as taint energies (quantum). The mutated, insane Aberrants are the most common of these, although the Upeo wa Macho have found some sane eximorphs on a distant colony world who call themselves novas.
Paramorphs are a vague category. They’re notable in that they don’t fit into the other categories. Their powers are very low-key; indistinguishable, in fact, from skill or luck. The most notable modern paramorphs are Nippon’s artificially-created Superiors, although more and more people are showing evidence of paramorph abilities in the wake of the Venezuelan Phenomenon.
•Just how many psions are there? Or paramorphs, for that matter?
These numbers are based on those found in various sources, such as Asia Ascendant and Aurora Australis. Around 27 out of every 500,000 humans is “Inspired,” to borrow a term from Adventure. They have the genetic sequence needed to become a psychomorph, an eximorph, or a paramorph. As an example, present-day Earth (assuming a population of 6 billion) would have about 324,000 Inspired.
Just a little bit less than 1 out of every 200,000 humans has the capability to become an eximorph. Most of these will quickly build up high levels of taint and become an Aberrant. However, 1 out of 20 eximorphs has a high resistance to taint and may go off to become a nova, such as those found by the Upeo wa Macho living on Eden. Present-day Earth would have 29,455 people who could theoretically erupt as novas, only 1,473 of which would be low-taint.
One out of every 25,000 humans has the potential to become a paramorph. It’s possible there have always been a lot of paramorphs, but the nature of their powers makes them nearly invisible to detection. Present-day Earth would have a whopping 240,000 paramorphs.
One out of every 100,000 humans has the capability to become a psychomorph. About 75% of these are found by the orders and the Æon Trinity. Present-day Earth would have 60,000 psions, 45,000 of which were triggered.
As of the start of 2122, there are 56,000 active psions, referring to those triggered in a Prometheus Chamber. This, incidentally, places the population of Trinity-Era Earth at around 7.5 billion. The distribution of active psions, in order from most to least:
[PRODUCTION: INSERT TABLE HERE] Psychokinetics 25,000 Electrokinetics 10,000 Vitakinetics 10,000 Clairsentients 5,000 Telepaths 5,000 Biokinetics 1,000 Teleporters 250 Quantakinetics 25 [END TABLE]
Yes, there are still quantakinetics out there.
Note that the above doesn’t necessarily mean that there are, for example, 10,000 psions in Orgotek: Orgotek may have more or less than that amount, due to cross-order pollination. There are simply 10,000 practicing electrokinetics.
•Wait... psions can be triggered by one order and join another?
Yep. This is mentioned in the core book, but certainly bears repeating. You can be a clairsentient who has joined the Legions to give them a leg up by surveying the enemy remotely. You can be a vitakinetic who has joined Orgotek due to an interest in biotech. You can be a telepath who joined the Upeo wa Macho as a liaison between the clairsentients who view a destination and the teleporters who go there. The Æon Trinity are the organization who facilitates this “horse trading,” and the orders usually honor a trade as a “favor.” If the Legions get their hands on a latent electrokinetic, they’ll usually send them to Orgotek for triggering and training before getting a fully-fledged EK back. Some orders, however, are more reticent in this cross-pollenization, the Norça and Ministry in particular. Most people sent to the Norça for BK triggering end up staying with the Norça, but it’s still possible for them to leave and join another order.
•What happens if a pregnant woman gets dunked? The orders are usually very careful about this sort of thing happening, because it could have unforeseen consequences. To date, it hasn’t yet happened — not to say it couldn’t in your chronicle!
Since the Prometheus Chambers work on a genetic level, they’d theoretically recognize a different DNA pattern, such as that of a fetus in the womb. No one’s put this to the test, however.
A child whose mother was triggered in this fashion would be watched very closely by the psi orders. He’d at the very least be a latent, likely very strong in whichever Aptitude his mother was triggered for. It may, in fact, be that he must be triggered in the same chamber as his mother. If placed in another tank, he may react the same way any full psion would when dunked for a second time: get ripped apart into so much biological goo. Or, a tank may even trigger him at the same time as his mother, resulting in perhaps the youngest full psion in the world.
•What about the normal child of a psion?
Depends. If the child was born before the parent (or parents) were triggered, then there’s nothing outstanding about her, although she has likely inherited the genetic marker for psionic latency.
On the other hand, if the child was born after the parent was triggered, she may either be a strong latent or even a full psiad (a naturally-occurring psion). If she has just one psion parent, or two parents with the same Aptitude, she’ll probably manifest that same single Aptitude, just as though she were triggered. If both parents are psions with different Aptitudes, the child may be a full psiad with access to multiple Aptitudes. As it is, the first psions were triggered 20 years ago, so any children they might have had are still fairly young.
•What would happen if _______ got dunked?
Hoo boy. I’ll tackle what I can.
Qin and Chromatics are already psi-users — Qin have limited telepathy, and Chromatics have Electrokinesis and limited Pyrokinesis — so the same thing would probably happen to them that would happen to any psi-user who got dunked: instant, messy death.
Aberrants are so antithetical to what Prometheus Chambers represent that it’s likely that they, and the tank, would both be destroyed.
The Coalition doesn’t have the genetic signature needed to exhibit psi effects, and many of their number are currently compromised by Aberrant taint.
Psychs count as already having been triggered, so they probably get ripped apart.
It’s uncertain what would happen to a dunked paramorph. Perhaps nothing.
•What about my vampire?
Trinity, and the other games in the Trinity Universe, aren’t connected to the World of Darkness at all. Sorry. Trinity’s history does not include werewolves and vampires, and you will not find mages and changelings fighting the good fight on Khantze Lu Ge.
On the other hand, there may be Aberrants who profess to be blood-draining vampires or vicious werewolves, although it’s doubtful they’ll be anything like the Kindred and Garou described in the World of Darkness.
If you do want to cross over the World of Darkness (or the Age of Sorrows) with the Trinity Universe, we’ve got some suggestions on how to do this on page XX.
•My Trinity core book mentions Vacuum Assault Suits, but no other books mention them. And I keep hearing about “VARGs.” What’s the deal?
The earlier editions of the core book used the term “VAS,” which was changed shortly thereafter. As of the Trinity Tech Manual, the VAS became the VARG, for Vacuum Assault and Reconnaissance Gear.
Some players have decided to have both VARGs and VASes in their games: VARGs remain larger “mech” style machines, whereas a VAS is more of a “power suit,” not much bigger than the user. That’s not the official stand, but it’s your game!
•What happened to the Upeo wa Macho? The Chitra Bhanu?
The Chitra Bhanu were an anomaly from the start. The Doyen, masters of psi, found out that humans could do something they couldn’t: quantakinesis. For whatever reason, manipulating quantum, either directly as Aberrants do or indirectly as quantakinetics do, is a uniquely human trait. The Chitra Bhanu were allowed to exist to determine whether or not they posed a threat, and their proxy, S.K. Bhurano, was possessed by one of the Doyen.
At some point, the Doyen decided that Chitra Bhanu couldn’t be allowed to exist. They spilled some secrets regarding what the Chibs were up to, and used Telepathy to instill feelings of paranoia and violence in other psions. In no time at all, many of the other psi orders swept towards the Chibs’ headquarters in India. The Doyen posing as Bhurano ordered all her subordinates back to headquarters to welcome the incoming psions with open arms. Most of them did, some didn’t. Proxy del Fuego knew something weird was up, and sent some of his top operatives in to sneak a handful Chibs out. They were given the option to work for Norça or die. Not all of the QKs returned to headquarters, either, but most people are convinced that even if all the Chibs weren’t destroyed, any survivors are evil, “dark psions.” Five years later, the Proxy Atwan of the Upeo wa Macho decided to tell the other proxies that she and her order had found the unthinkable: Aberrants who didn’t display any horrible mutations, weren’t insane, and bore no ill will towards Earth or humanity. In fact, they seemed eager to renew ties with Earth. These Aberrants called themselves novas.
Many of the other proxies grew angry, accusing the Upeo of being Aberrant collaborators. They said the Upeo were allowed too much latitude in the vastness of space, and needed to be reined in and controlled. Atwan went back home to the Upeo in disgust, saying that this sort of reaction was exactly why she left in the first place. Psi orders started massing up their forces to invade the Upeo.
Aberrant collaborators on Earth noticed the secret communiqués between proxies, the armies massing up near the planet’s main spaceport, and concluded that Earth was about to strike the Aberrants and strike hard. So they arranged a pre-emptive strike: the Esperanza space station.
The proxies panicked and demanded help from the Upeo. Atwan thought the whole thing was faked so she’d ignore the armies quickly approaching her. She didn’t believe for a minute that the Esperanza was actually under Aberrant attack. She took her collected teleporters and left Earth, to a second headquarters she had arranged previously, inside an asteroid in a distant star system.
Seven years later, in 2121, the teleporters returned, most of them finding out for the first time the truth about the Esperanza disaster. They returned with evidence of the Edenites’ goodwill: the novas had destroyed a Chromatic invasion fleet headed for the Karoo Mining Facility.
Now, in 2123, some few people are starting to wonder that if they had been wrong about the Upeo, perhaps they had been wrong about the Chitra Bhanu, too….
More details can be found in “The Story So Far,” found in the back of the soft cover Trinity core book or on the White Wolf website.
•I want to make a Quantakinetic. Anything I should keep in mind?
You may want to use the “minimum latency” option used for the Upeo wa Macho in Stellar Frontiers. QK has a higher minimum latency, of course. We recommend Willpower 8 and Psi 7 are needed in order to successfully trigger for quantakinesis. More details on the Chitra Bhanu, India and quantakinesis can be found in India Underground.
•Divis Mal has ARMS?!? WTF!!!!
Yes, yes he does. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Note from the developer Edit
So, here we go.
This is the first of a series of fan-based products for the Trinity Universe by the Continuing the Continuum team. When this project was originally planned, we had just received word that we wouldn’t be getting any further products, at least for Trinity. Adventure! was designed as a single product from the start, and it was pretty likely that Aberrant was in the same boat. So I decided to continue the lines myself.
We’ve since found out that the lines (at least the core books) are returning as d20 products, but our products are ignoring those, for now. They assume the continuity described in the Storyteller books, and pick up in the timeline where the Storyteller versions left off. However, should the d20 versions prove popular and go beyond the existing ST timeline, we’ll follow their lead.
When Trinity moved to the Arthaus imprint, the planned Trinity Storytellers Guide was essentially cancelled. Arthaus lines don’t sell well as it is, and Storyteller-oriented products sell even less. While we were assured that all the material that would have been in the STG would be included in various future products, we only got two products after that: Terra Verde and Asia Ascendant, the latter of which was never actually published (but is available on Bruce Baugh’s website). So I’ve decided to bring you the Trinity Storytellers Handbook that might have been. It’s what I call “unofficially official,” in that it’s an unofficial product, but I’m going to make it look as much like an official product as possible. Not just in terms of looks, either, but many of the plot elements included here point to things that were intended to happen in the official products anyhow. We’re also going to leave things open for those of you who are using other fanbooks, like EON’s books. For example, if we’re talking about quantakinesis, we’ll direct you to their Chitra Bhanu e-book, and probably count their history of that order as official here, for all intents and purposes. However, we’re doing our own thing here, so plot elements introduced there may not mesh with what we’re doing here. Use your own judgment to mix as you will.
I also want to give another shout out to everyone who brought us the original products, and the fans. I truly believe that Trinity fans are some of the best, most enthusiastic fans on the Net.
Let’s get this thing going!
— Ian Watson