Do you remember Trinity?

Trinity Back in the late 1990s my favorite roleplaying game was definitely White Wolf’s Trinity. Trinity (which was initially called Aeon) was a game set into the 22nd century. Humanity is slowly recovering from the Aberrant War and takes its first steps into interstellar space. The game mainly focused on persons with psionic abilities. Trinity’s psions are divided into eight orders, each based on a certain aptitude like Vitakinesis (The Aesculapian Order) or Psychokinesis (The Legions) and each player was a member of one of these orders. At least in my games the players worked for the Aeon Trinity, an organization working for the betterment of mankind. They basically acted as troubleshooters trying to fix problems all over the solar system and beyond.

Rules-wise Trinity used an updated Storyteller system, which sometimes reminds me of nWoD’s Storyteller system. Alas in 2001 the game has been discontinued. There was a rerelease in 2003 of Trinity using the d20 System but at least in my opinion it was not as good as the Storyteller version.

What I liked about the game were the pretty easy rules, a pretty cool sci-fi setting which included organic technology, psionic spaceships and a lot of opportunity for adventures. Using Trinity you could run everything from space exploration, alien bug hunts to games full of politics and intrigue. Alas some aspects of the setting just didn’t work for me. Especially some of the alien beings that appeared in the game just felt too weird for my tastes. In my opinion it wouldn’t have hurt the setting if there weren’t any aliens at all.

Recently I have thought about giving my Trinity books another read-through. I still have fond memories of the last time I ran this game and with a few minor changes it could easily be used for all kinds of games. The Players Guide also included rules for “normal” characters, so if psions aren’t your thing, you can still play it like a regular SF game.

By the way, Trinity is actually part of a whole series of roleplaying-games that share a common alternate-history background. Aberrant is set in an alternate 2008 where super-powered humans called “novas” are common. Adventure! is set into a 1920s and is basically White Wolf’s version of a pulp roleplaying game, much like Aberrant is their take on the superhero genre.

What are your thoughts on Trinity? Have you ever played it back in the day? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

7 thoughts on “Do you remember Trinity?”

  1. My copy still had the original “Aeon” shell cover. I never should have sold it.

    My main problems with Trinity were the pigeonholing of the Orders into certain nations or regions of the world, and the heavy reliance on in-universe material to tell the reader about the world itself, rather than a comprehensive gazetteer or atlas section. The Aeon Trinity allowed characters to escape the pigeonholing to a certain extent, but the setup could have been designed better in the first place. The use of in-universe material to illustrate the universe itself was just very White Wolf (even worse about it than Hunter: the Reckoning was, in my opinion) — though I will admit I am speaking of the core only, because I never bought any of the supplements.

    I was initially resistant to the changes made to the Storyteller System’s mechanics, but over time I have come to vastly prefer fixed target numbers (7+, rather than “6+ unless the GM rules it’s more difficult”) and difficulty based purely on successes (rather than “difficulty will sometimes come from requirement of more successes, sometimes from a higher target number”). I didn’t care for the linking of certain skills / abilities to certain attributes at first, but now I know it didn’t actually do any harm, because the GM was free to call for different combinations anyway, and the linking made it easier to know common dice pools at a glance (Adventure! got me used to that).

    I probably would have appreciated a bit more flexibility in the actual psionic powers, which were the focal point of the entire game. I’m told alternate powers were available in supplements, and that a more freeform system appeared in the Player’s Guide, but the powers in the core feel a bit like a strait jacket — and again we run into the “if you belong to this Order, you operate out of this region” problem which seemed ready-made to drive people into the Aeon Trinity.

    But! A new edition of all the Trinityverse games is on the horizon. Modern presentation, a possible update of the storyline, and an eye toward preserving what was great about the game rather than “sacred cows” could make it something really exciting. We’ll know more in 2013, I think. Don’t quote me on that.

    1. I remember that at least one of the supplements included more or less detailed information on the known planets. That’s as close to a gazetteer as it gets. But I definitely agree on what you said about the core book. I actually had to buy a few source books to get a good grasp on the setting.

      I am actually surprised that they consider releasing new edition of the Trinity Universe line, but I wouldn’t mind an updated Trinity myself.

  2. I never did get a chance to look at Trinity. I LOVED Aberrant but I am a self avowed Supers gamer and it really worked well for me. Of course I’d been a big Vampire: The Masquerade LARPer right before Aberrant came out so that made for a much smoother transition.

    There was a lot of fun to be had with the system, expecially once the Player’s Handbook came out and there was a very short lived God Game (300 Nova Points). That pantheon became the foundation of my 3.0 D&D game once that game came out a couple years later.

    But somehow I managed to miss Trinity and I only ever looked at Adventure in its d20 incarnation. I feel like for a while DriveThruRPG was running Trinity related specials where you could get some of the PDFs for free but I could be misremembering.

  3. Have always adored Trinity/Aberrant/Adventure, coming from Storyteller and Exalted. The books are a bit worn but the games are as good as ever.

  4. Big Aeon fan here. We played some epic games of this. @ Adrew, I liked how different groups had different origins. It played well given that they explained this in-game. Of course we had many people who defied tradition, but that’s to be expected. In addition, it’s interesting to get away from the America-heavy assumptions that many modern and near-future games have.

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