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Trinity Continuum: Aether Tabletop Roleplaying Game

Created by Onyx Path - Aether

Pledge to help us create a beautiful edition of Trinity Continuum: Aether and deliver it to backers and into stores.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Societies Sneak Peek
about 2 years ago – Wed, Jul 20, 2022 at 03:00:40 AM

Hello Aethernauts,

We certainly smashed it on our first day, didn't we? Not only did we work together to fund the project, we've also unlocked our first Stretch Goal.

UNLOCKED! - Trinity Continuum: Aether Reference Screen – A three-panel Storyguide Reference Screen with charts and information for running a game set in an alternate Victorian Age will be created and offered as an Add On to any hardcover reward tiers for +$25.

If you're interested in adding the screen to your hardcover reward pledge, you can revised your Add On selections by clicking Manage Your Pledge and then Change your Pledge and work through the process again to add the screen. It will also be available in the BackerKit pledge manager after the campaign, so no worries about any timelines.

Next up, our first new content Stretch Goal:

At $30,000 in Funding - Ready-Made Characters – An assortment of ready-to-play characters for use in Aether will be released as a PDF supplement, providing examples and allowing players to jump right into the action! The Ready-Made Characters PDF will be added to the rewards list of all Kickstarter backers receiving the Trinity Continuum: Aether PDF.

I have a feeling that I'd better prep the next few Stretch Goals pretty soon! This campaign is Aether-powered and blowing past all of my first 24 hour projections!

And, since we had such an amazing launch for this campaign, let's reward ourselves with a sneak peek at the next manuscript section, coming our way on Friday - all about the Aether Societies of the Victorian Age.

(Oh yeah, if you haven't already checked it out, go back and read Update #1 to download the first chapter from the draft manuscript)

A member of the Esoteric Order of Crowdfunding Concierges

Societies

With the discovery of Aether, some societies formed quietly over the successive years, while others, responding to the threat of Martian invasion or Gog and Magog excess, are still in their infancy, joining together in an act of communal desperation or bravery, depending on whom a Squire asks.

Together, Aethernauts conduct research, explore, plan heists, and mount daring offenses. Power does not imbue a Squire with a sense of morality, and some revel in the downward slide to see what lies beyond the current stage of human evolution. While some societies commit to the betterment and protection of humanity, others revel in the possibilities such power offers, and the opportunities chaos provides. There’s no consensus among the societies about what to do with their vast accumulation of knowledge gained from experimentation, research, and exploration; there are those who safeguard such information as dangerous while others share it with all who seek it.

The Society for the Opposition of Monsters (S.O.M.)

Motto: Don’t seek the light, be the light

History

Following the publication of Wilhelmina Murray’s memoir warning of vampires, Aethernaut scientists leapt onto the idea of “vampires as sanguinovores,” attempting to codify Murray’s horrific experiences as yet another scientific phenomenon. Murray wasn’t having any of that. Under her married name of Wilhelmina Harker, she transitioned from her previous life as a talented academic to one of the world’s leading experts on vampires and a warrior prepared to go fist to fist against the undead. Harker’s knowledge and harrowing ordeal made her painfully aware that the world was lacking in those that actively hunt down these cardinal threats to humanity, these Magogs — monsters that hide in plain sight. To fight these monstrosities, Harker formed the Society for the Opposition of Monsters with the mindset that to fight these beings twisted beyond humanity through Aether, they needed to possess extraordinary knowledge and use Aether to strike back.

First among Harker’s monster hunters were her friends Dr. John Seward, Van Helsing, and Arthur Godalming. As S.O.M. pursued reports of Magogs in other parts of the world, they gathered more survivors-turned-hunters seeking revenge or hunters looking for a chance to prove their worth against more dangerous prey. French hypnotist, Luciana de Gros was recruited into S.O.M.’s ranks following the media attention covering his involvement with the werewolf of Allariz case. Countess Ida Varkony of Austria approached Harker for membership, offering use of her estates and wealth in the wake of her husband’s murder at the hands of a Magog. The scope and variance of the threats introduced the S.O.M. to global variations of vampires, shapeshifters, and other inhuman immortals.

Devoting her fortune to research and development of methodologies for combating the Magog threat, Harker established her organization as the subject matter experts. S.O.M. members are tasked with spreading information relating to Magog weaknesses to like-minded societies. This crucial step toward credibility in the eye of a field thick with thinkers but few doers has led to arguments about changing “Monsters” in the society’s name to “Magogs.” However, Harker argues that the term is still too new for recognition, and some Magogs are capable of redemption, where a monster — by definition — is not. At any rate, she resents the dampening of a monster’s threat via use of a term few understand.

Recent developments via collaborations with Miskatonic University archeologists and reports of strange subterranean ruins around New England, Avebury, and Salisbury have led to the belief that the process that turns individuals into Magogs might somehow be related to the Martians. The connection is still controversial, and the HRH-PDP frequently confiscates further research into that angle once they catch wind of the findings. Expeditions into the Erdstall tunnels (also known as goblin holes) and strange stone formations in Eastern Europe appear linked to Magog sightings in those areas, but current research hasn’t yielded a rational explanation of what they are: Aether Gates, or possibly cracks caused through Aether experimentation. The Society is interested in establishing lodges in China, the British Raj, and the Dutch East Indies but haven’t yet been able to gain enough local interest.

Organization and Structure

Society President Mrs. Mina Harker in Exeter, England leads S.O.M.’s collection of eccentric individuals and affiliated hunting lodges. Other hunting lodges are located in Amsterdam, Budapest, Vienna, Ilston, the Black Forest, Germany, and Hoia-Baciu Forest in Romania. Each lodge has its own president who sponsors the lodge and offers their hospitality to other S.O.M. hunters. Notably, Countess Ida Varkony is the recognized president of two lodges, the Black Forest and Vienna lodges, rotating between them since the regretful passing of her husband at the hands of a nachzehrer, a German sanguinovore.

While Dr. Abraham Van Helsing contributed much to the development of S.O.M., he is not an active member but an ally whenever a hunter sends word to his home in Amsterdam. Hunts are sporadic, with lodges sending word throughout the membership before an event. The haunted Hoia-Baciu and Black Forests are seasonal hunting grounds with the persistent presence of Erdstall tunnels, unknown gateways that monsters from other dimensions slip through during the fall and winter months.

New hunters receive sponsorship from a current member and are taught the methodologies of their sponsor until their mentor determines that the hunter can handle themselves. S.O.M. hunters tend to focus on a type of Magog, such as Harker with vampires, while Luciano de Gros specializes on werewolves. Professor Sievers and Dr. Gail Hutter lead S.O.M.’s Magog generalists and frequently collaborate with the Mercers of the Esoteric Order of the Æons and consult with the HRH-PDP as subject matter experts to strengthen the S.O.M.’s compendium.

Advantages

In pursuit of Magogs, S.O.M. has compiled an extensive compendium of lore regarding the use of Aether and the symptoms preceding a Squire or Gog losing their humanity. They readily pass this knowledge to their members or those friendly to their cause. This information can take a more physical aspect in specialized weaponry or equipment reinforced with extensive physical training.

Aside from knowledge and equipment, the S.O.M. provides its members with access to an extensive global network of highly specialized subject matter experts and willing accomplices. Often, hunters with the application of a well-timed telegram, use of a passphrase, or an appropriate name drop can gain access to restricted areas such as morgues, or prisoners accused of a Magog’s crimes.

Hunting Magogs can be lonely work, and community is an understated benefit of association with the Society for the Opposition of Monsters. Squires within S.O.M. have suffered or have lost loved ones at the hands of a Magog and understand the dangers of allowing them to roam unchecked. When all the fighting and hunting settles down, S.O.M. offers their comrades in arms a solid emotional support network to help them grieve and heal.

Counter Societies

New gods rise with the discovery of Aether, and immortal beings long hidden in the shadows have stepped forward into the light. Between the appearance of monstrous Magogs, twisted Gogs, and the Martian menace, the world is in a tumultuous state. To the enterprising individuals lurking at the edges of society, the instabilities of the new age present opportunity. Counter societies in Trinity Continuum: Aether are organizations that prioritize power, wealth, and self-gain over the greater good. Of course, they consider themselves the true “societies” and their counterparts on the right side of the law (for the most part) “counter societies” or simply “tyrants.” Ultimately, these groups only take the “counter society” epithet from our protagonists, and the occasional criminal who relishes in their role as a rogue element of society.

Aether heralds a new age, and the people who serve these organizations intend to be the ones who intend to come out on top via any means at their disposal, mortal laws be damned. Murder, theft, alien technology, and the lives of other are merely tools to accomplish a counter society’s goals, be it exceeding the bounds of humanity, correcting time to suit their desires, or prolonging their already long lives. Members of counter societies pose the questions of “why not?” Why not join the more power Martian invaders? Why not break your limits to rise beyond God himself? Why not alter time to restore your youth and vitality?

From the illicit and complex plans of Moriarty’s Caesar Consortium to the Martian worshipping cult of Children of Mars to the devious sanguinovores of the Immortals, counter societies regularly oppose this game’s protagonists, though there’s nothing stopping a player group from choosing to play characters in these lawless factions. These aren’t the only dangerous individuals in the universe, and sometimes the morally gray must stand together to oppose the morally void.

The Immortals

Motto: Victory Over Death

History

Over four hundred years ago, the embattled Voivode of Wallachia, now part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Vlad III sought a way to extend his rule for eternity. Held hostage and deposed thrice already, he would not lose his country again. His enemies know him as Vlad Tepes, the Impaler, but his people, who loved him despite, or perhaps because of his bloodthirst in defense of their country know him as the name we know him now: Vlad Dracula.

Dracula found the power of Aether in the human blood, so drenched he was after impaling the captured Ottomans from his failed attack at Targoviste. After the battle, he discovered that the blood cured his numerous wounds. Through experimentation on the noble people, or boyars, of the country who sided with the usurpers, Vlad discovered that it was possible to draw the Aether — what he believed to be the life force or soul — from people and consume it to greatly increase his strength, endurance, and speed. He may, if anyone were to care about such things, be the very first known human Gog, but of course, he didn’t stop there. It wasn’t enough to merely be strong and fast. From Gog to Magog, Vlad III left mere humanity behind as he became a strigoi, a vampire and the source of the myth in Romanian legend.

He lost the ability to rule Wallachia openly when he lost his humanity, but his drive for control and immortality didn’t ebb. Instead, from the shadows that were his only refuge, he delved deeper into his own Aetheric transformation while shepherding the rulers of his nation. However, once his transformation grew further and further esoteric, he left Wallachia behind, allowing it to join with Moldova to become the Kingdom of Romania. He’s still loved there as a national hero and defender, though folk tales still paint him as a sometime devourer of his own people.

Two hundred years later in nearby Hungary, Vlad found his first member of what would be his secret society, sensing another following in his pathway to immortality. Countess Elizabeth Báthory, known to bathe in the blood of virgins and torment the peasants on her family’s land, draining their Aether to maintain her youth and vitality. He came to her under a new moon, revealing himself under the guise of his formerly human form, which she knew from her extensive education. In a night of furious lovemaking and blood-drinking decadence, Báthory became Vlad Dracula’s first immortal bride and the world’s second vampire. The Immortals were born that night as well, to Dracula’s chagrin.

The Count doesn’t care about this group, despite being its father. He has no want or need to lead people, for the scars of losing his Walachia still sting. It is Báthory who looks for others to fill her makeshift court of eternity, using what Vlad taught her to create more like herself. For all the credit Dracula gets for being the father of vampirism, it is the Blood Countess who gave rise to the accession of vampires in Europe.

A few hundred years hence, when staying in England, the Countess was introduced to a young upstart from the local society circles, a Dorian Gray. He longed not for the same dark apotheosis as Vlad, instead wishing to experience life, all life, good or ill, virtue and vice. His ambition and her force of will made the Immortals what they are today. His unusual life was written into a fiction, much to his arrogant delight, but where Oscar Wilde’s tale has him dead at its conclusion, the true Dorian Gray wouldn’t leave his portrait so vulnerable.

Organization and Structure

Together, Countess Báthory and Dorian Gray rule the main body of the group, moving from major city to major city throughout Europe. The majority of the rank and file are vampires sired by either Báthory or her choice lieutenants. They serve as soldiers, servants, people who find blood rich meals for the masters above them, moving through both upper and lower society, looking for well-to-do industrialists and nobility just as much as hardened criminals. Báthory organizes the group as though it were a faux royal court, with herself as Queen, Dorian as her King consort, and the myth of Vlad Dracula as a paragon all should look to reach, even though he shows no love for the group.

None but Báthory herself know where Dracula currently is headquartered with his three new brides and loose cadre of mind-altered servants, but whenever she sends envoys out to that place deep in the dark forests of what is now Romania, none ever return. He is too focused on the ruling of Romania from the shadows to care about decadent misanthropes who hate humankind but want to live among them forever.

Between the Blood Countess, Gray, and the court they established, they are collectively wealthy enough to own expensive homes in every capital in Europe, as well as in New York City, Tokyo, and Casablanca. A leader from the court sits in each and plays host to the ever-traveling Báthory and Gray. Where they hold court — whatever manor, château, or villa — that is the headquarters of the Immortals for that time. A residency can last between a month and several years, should the place remain of interest.

Using The Immortals in Your Game

Vampires are a staple of fiction in the era Aether covers, as a symbol of the excess of the decadent, be they nobles or bohemians. The Immortals represent excess and hubris, the dark allure of your basest instincts, and the ability for humanity to damn itself. Would you like to play with a villain willing to go to any length to persist, who you may have your group defeat over and over because they just cannot die? The consumption of Aether can change the human form, and if you want to explore horror, body horror in particular, this is the group with which to do it.

When operating in groups of fellow Aethernauts (the Immortals hate that term), it’s likely the Immortal in question has an ulterior motive, typically relating to extending their life. They operate under successful false covers, however, such as benevolent patrons or eccentric explorers, to further these aims.

Just a peek, just a hint of what's to come on Friday, when backers are able to download the full chapter from the draft manuscript! So many more societies! Plus several smaller minor organizations, and even more counter societies. Many more aspects to this game to be explored!

So, please, help us explore further by recruiting new members for our Society! Spread the word in your social circles and on your social media, and let's see if we can't unlock that next Stretch Goal!

#Aether

#MonsterMash

FUNDED! - and Stretch Goals
about 2 years ago – Tue, Jul 19, 2022 at 02:49:57 PM

Hello Aethernauts!

WE DID IT!

Working together, we've managed to fund the development and production of Trinity Continuum: Aether, the latest setting rulebook for the Trinity Continuum game line!

A fantastic voyage into the Victorian Era awaits us!

I'm really pleased with our success so far. I think the team is always eager and excited to see how these new settings - the ones developed since the "original three" eras of the Trinity Continuum (Æon, Aberrant, Adventure!) - are received and supported. And I'm always excited and interested to see what new threads are woven into the Trinity Continuum tapestry.  

Now that we've accomplished our main task, let's see if we can't add a few additional options for backers and maybe start building some supplemental content.

As we increase the overall funding and support for the project, we’re able to add additional resources to the project, expand the rewards listed, and add in new offers and opportunities. Each Stretch Goal will have a target that, once reached, will add a project to the reward list for backers of the relevant Stretch Goal path. Whenever we achieve a stretch goal, the image will be updated to reflect the achievement.

At $25,000 in Funding - Trinity Continuum: Aether Reference Screen – A three-panel Storyguide Reference Screen with charts and information for running a game set in an alternate Victorian Age will be created and offered as an Add On to any hardcover reward tiers for +$25.

At $30,000 in Funding - Ready-Made Characters – An assortment of ready-to-play characters for use in Aether will be released as a PDF supplement, providing examples and allowing players to jump right into the action! The Ready-Made Characters PDF will be added to the rewards list of all Kickstarter backers receiving the Trinity Continuum: Aether PDF.

So, just getting started! We've got the back half of July and the first half of August to see if we can't build some Aether-infused supplements and maybe have a few celebrations along the way!

Please continue to spread the word in your social circles and on your social media! As noted, the "big three" settings of the Trinity Continuum are what fans know, and these new settings and eras to be explored sometimes need a little more help to get the word out! Let's see if we can't recruit more Squires, Gogs, and Magogs to join in the fight against the martians - and other monsters!

Tomorrow: A sneak peek at one of the Societies...

#Aether

BACKERS ONLY – Manuscript Preview #1
about 2 years ago – Tue, Jul 19, 2022 at 11:05:32 AM

This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.