TRINITY STORYTELLERS HANDBOOK Edit
120,000 - 150,000 words 144 pages
Okay everyone, this is the first of hopefully many fan-based books whose intended purpose is to continue the Trinity Universe setting as I believe the original creators would have, given the chance.
The Trinity Storytellers Handbook (TSH) will follow in the same tradition as the existing Trinity Players Guide and the Storytellers Handbooks for the World of Darkness game lines. We'll do our best to make this as good as any official product. Knowledge of the Trinity Universe is key to this project – if you want to work on the Aberrant chapter, fr’ex, you better be familiar with the Aberrant stuff mentioned in previous Trinity books, as well as a decent familiarity with the Aberrant game line.
The word count for this book will be 120,000 - 150,000 words. The outline assumes 127,000 words, giving authors a collective 23,000-word leeway. Aside from the stuff I'd like included, go ahead and go crazy. But please talk to me if you have any odd stuff in mind.
Be sure you read this whole outline.
A small primer to submitting work:
- Read the Game Writer Guidelines available at: http://www.white-wolf.com/Games/Pages/GameWriter%27sGuidelines.html
- When writing, be evocative yet streamlined. Active voice, not passive. Make the events immediate to the reader; draw them in deeper with every paragraph. Don’t restrict yourself to “here’s some information.” Show, don’t tell.
- Whatever topic you have, write the main narrative in Rules-speak. The main narrative should be pretty straightforward, speaking conversationally to the reader without the attributions and game universe myopia.
- There are two types of sidebars: Setting and Rules. Always remember, though, that sidebars should never be more than 300 words long! If it’s longer than that, it’s not a sidebar. Exceptions do exist, but they’re the exception rather than the rule.
In case any of this sounds complicated, just think how White Wolf tends to do most of the World of Darkness books. The main narrative is usually an unnamed neutral individual, while the sidebars are a mix of in-character subjective stuff and rules-specific asides.
Prologue Fiction Edit
Your standard intro story. I'd like it if we saw something we haven't seen before, but still some aspect of the Trinity Era which isn't too out of the ordinary. Preferably something we actually cover within the book. This isn't an epic novel, we just want to illustrate. Maybe something within the Aeon Trinity? I don't think we've seen much of that; it's mostly been stuff within the orders, or with psions on Proteus teams.
The basic “what this book is about”. Note with the Mage SG, it talks a little about what Mage is all about before getting into the specifics of the supplement. Similarly, take a little room to explore the idea of a SG and how Storytellers should find it indispensable. Also do a “Trinity FAQ” section to answer some of the more common questions about Trinity. If no one’s been asking questions lately, make it up.
Chapter One: The Æon Trinity Edit
This is going to be the Storyteller version of the chapter of the same name from the TPG. The main issues I want to cover in here are Project Rewrite, the Babel Dossier, and the history of the Trinity. Be fairly general from its foundation in Adventure! to the Aberrant Era. Not much more complicated than what's in the core book and the TPG already. I want some more detail on what happened after the Aberrant Era to turn the Æon Society into the Æon Trinity. The core book mentions that after the War, the Society underwent reorganization to form the Æon Covenant, and then at some undefined point afterwards became the Trinity. I want that covered. I want to know what happened to all the old Projects (Utopia, Pandora, Tantalus), as mentioned in the Aberrant Players Guide. I want to know why Proteus Division's using the Triton Foundation's old logo, and why Triton Division needed a brand new logo. Explain to me what happened to turn Aberrant into Trinity as far as Æon itself was concerned. Give us something that the Storyteller wants to use, that’s too cool not to use. I don’t mean “kewl,” as in “the Trinity has secret access to laser-guided attack penguins from the Asteroid Belt,” but “cool” as in “stuff that would be either useful or even downright necessary for most Storytellers running a Trinity game.” We’ll be going into more detail on the Æon Covenant era when we do our book(s) on the Aberrant War. That’s going to build off the material you write here. No pressure.
This is also where we put more of the little email interchanges between Max and Whitley.
Chapter Two: Noetics Edit
12,000 - 18,000 words
How Psi Works Edit
Just a little primer on what Psi is, how and why it does what it does. Complements the stuff on taint/quantum from Chapter 3. No more than 5K here.
How to Work Psi Edit
The major thing that separates the protagonists of Trinity is their ability to manipulate the subquantum medium. So how do I, as a Storyteller, use Psi in a game aside from the neat powers psions have to use? What sorts of stories could I tell about Psi? How can it be used as a MacGuffin?
Sections include (but are not limited to):
- Troubleshooting – How do I tell an effective story — particularly a mystery — when the characters have access to stuff like clairsentience, telepathy and teleportation (without having the answer always be “noetic dampeners”)? How can I avoid these pitfalls while still making characters feel useful?
- Ramping Power – What sort of challenges should characters face as they become more powerful noetically? The danger of essentially becoming a noetically-powered Aberrant? Increased Attunement sensitivity? What if characters are playing proxy-level characters?
- Venezuelan Phenomenon – In addition to telling us What Really Happened™, tell me how I can use it in my game. Not just as an obstacle while my players go about their business, but as the focus of a story by itself.
- The Chitra Bhanu Purge – Ditto. Give a rundown of what happened and why. If we want to run an action/espionage story set in 2109, how should Psi factor into it (either from the POV of attacking psions or from the Chibs themselves)? The above two sections might actually be subsections/examples in a larger “examples of stories involving psi” thing.
Any other related subject matter is cool. You get the general idea of the chapter.
Chapter Three: Aberrant Society Edit
I believe (I'm not near my books right now) that the core book has a little section on creating Aberrants. I want to expand on that section. How do I create an Aberrant NPC that'll be remembered? Guidelines and some rules, if you like. What about the sub-Aberrant mutants that the Colony and his flunkies create? They're pretty common foot soldiers; how do I create those? What are first-, second- and third-generation Aberrants? How do I present them to PCs? How powerful can they get?
- (Society) - Aberrants don't have much of a society, true, but there are distinct groups of them. What are they like? What about the novas on Eden? Other groups of novas out there? Where does the Colony live, anyhow? What about other groups of Aberrants? If they don't share the Colony's motivations, what do they want? Psions may even find themselves allying against a common foe with a group of mutant Aberrant scum who really wish the psions no harm.
- (Future fates) - Tell me what happened to some of the Aberrants who were a little more in the public eye. What happened to Divis Mal? What happened to Caestus Pax? A little sidebar on the Colony would be neat here, explaining that for all intents and purposes, the Colony was a nobody in the Aberrant Era. Maybe give a few options for weird possibilities.
You’ll be writing character creation information (Step Two in the two-step process) for use in Chapter Seven. The creation rules may not necessarily go in that chapter, of course. Any/all of the generations you want to do. Whatever makes sense.
Chapter Four: Creating a Story Edit
I'm not going to write much here... the structure of this chapter is mostly in the open. Check out the Storytelling chapters of other ST Handbooks. That's the sort of thing I'd like here. I don't think there'll be a problem filling up 20,000 words.
Either this or the Æon chapter is where we should cover the World 1/World 2 thing. We’ll write it up as the default for the setting, but point out in a sidebar that it’s an option the ST can easily ignore. I believe I described what this is already - if you're not sure about it, ask me.
Chapter Five: The Trinity Universe Edit
This chapter sort of takes a step back and looks at Trinity from the point of view of the Trinity Universe as a whole. How does Trinity fit in? If you were looking at each individual game, what would you tell someone about Trinity to get them interested? Trinity is a puzzle piece. Tell me how it fits into the rest of the puzzle. And so on. This will be the main text of this chapter. But we’ll also include:
- Crossover - With the Trinity Era as the centerpiece, tell me how to play other stuff in Trinity. Psiads and mentalists. Novas and stalwarts. Paramorphs. If rules exist, refer to them. If they don't exist, make them up. Tell me how to incorporate them, where I'd find them within the setting. And if you've got the space for it, tell me how to incorporate World of Darkness stuff, or even Age of Sorrows. And since we don't have to worry about sales figures, we can add stuff like Wraith and Changeling in there, although that's provided we've got the space.
You’ll be writing character creation information for non-psions in Trinity (don’t bother with the WoD races, just the natives to the TU) for use in Chapter Seven. From this point out, we’re using the two-step character creation process, so just do Step Two. The crossover portion of this chapter and the next chapter blend together. Try and keep them distinct.
Chapter Six: Above and Beyond Edit
This is the chapter where we explore possibilities. There are probably a lot of people who use Trinity as a basis to do something out of the ordinary. Like maybe daredevils were created by the Doyen to rid the universe of psion scum. Or what would happen if ISRA were the EK order, Orgotek were biokinetics, and the Norça were telepaths? How would that change things? Shuffle things up and make them all sound like I absolutely have to play them. The Trinity Era should remain the central element, where possible, although other time periods like having the Qin in the Renaissance would be valid, since Qin are distinctly Trinity and the Renaissance isn't covered by any other game in the TU. The Mage ST Handbook has a bunch of stuff on alternate Mage settings which is wonderfully applicable here.
Chapter Seven: Option: Alternate Character Creation Edit
Here we'll do the multiple-step character creation system people have been waiting for since, like, forever. Our excuse for this will be the Venezuelan Phenomenon. Existing psions get slightly messed up (enough to justify creating one with this system, anyhow), and the Prometheus Chambers, while they’re not failing, are introducing a little more variance into new psions.
Step one of this system will be neturals, and based on their write-up in the Trinity core and the TPG. Step two will be the triggering as a psion. We'll also have Step Two for novas, daredevils and such from Chapters 3 and 6. Work closely with those chapters' authors to get these done.
We'll also have the Extended Modes listed here. They're a fourth Mode for players to learn within their Aptitudes, further blurring the lines between Aptitudes. Come up with half a dozen reasons for why they're here... research since 2106, new directions of research thanks to the Venezuelan Phenomenon, Norçan access to quantakinetics, mysteriously springing up due to rumoured psiad involvement, whatever. If you’ve got the room, give freeform guidelines for them too.
Appendix I: Animals Edit
I don’t see them playing a big part in most Trinity stories, but you never know when you’ll need stats on a dog or a dolphin. This is really just a bunch of brief descriptions and sample templates of different critters one may run into in the Trinity Universe. Again, use the WSH and MSG as a guide to some more relevant animals.
Appendix II: Aptitude Chart Edit
A listing of the psi powers chart, including existing supplements. Includes EON’s stuff from India Underground and the new modes.
Appendix III: The Story To Come Edit
Refer to the Story So Far in the soft cover Trinity core (or on the WW site). Do that, but for what's coming up.
I’d like one! This may just be an index for the STH, but if there’s time I’d like to do one that references all existing supplements. Yes, all.