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Skirmish at Khantze Lu Ge
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Benjamin R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/28/2020 08:23:42

Here's the headline - Trinity Continuum: Æon Storyguides; buy this, for the price you won't regret it.

Now for a bit more detail...I would say that this is easily the best introductory Æon scenario currently available for purchase. It does right what "Quantum Entaglements"# (the official quick start for Æon) gets wrong.

  • There are detailed suggestions on how to get characters involved (and why they would stay involved).
  • Before the adventure proper there are a series of introductory exercises that both teach the systems of the game but also fit with the rationale of the story. This is ideal for both new players and storyguides.
  • The adversaries and NPCs have clear goals and motivations, again something that is perfect for a starter adventure or kicking off a new campaign.
  • The story itself also manages to clearly portray key aspects of the setting without getting bogged down. At the end of the scenario players should have a keen idea what aberrants are, why they are a threat, what psions role is in defending and protecting humanity and also Earth's relationship with it's extra solar colonies and the part the jumpships play in that - a perfect grounding for lots of spin off stories.

Now the gripes....Unfortunately the scenario does play fast and loose with a few bits of "canon". For example the starship that the players serve on is described as an Orgotek Scarab but the illustartion looks nothing like a scraba as presented in other sources and, possibly worse, it doesn't match the ship as described in the main rule book e.g. it has too large a crew and passnger and doesn't carry figther complement. That's easily hand waved by saying that it's a larger class of Orgotek starship but it still an error. The other thing that grates a little is that the mission starts on "Thompson Spaceport" - a Luna location which doesn't exist in the setting. While it's easy to corrcet that to Mare Ingenii or Yutu Yinchon (two of the space ports that are officially on Luna) it's a silly detail that does not need to be there.

All in all I would recommend it but purists may want to tweak a few details to line up with published material.

For my in depth comments on Quantum Entanglements check out my review on the product page on Drivethrurpg

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Skirmish at Khantze Lu Ge
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Creator Reply:
Thanks so much for the thoughtful and in-depth review! I'm glad you enjoyed the book. A couple quick points of clarification regarding the numbers with the ship: the normal compliment of fighters is replaced by the VARGs in the hangar, and the supplies and personnel being moved on the ship. The two fighters that are normally docked with the Scarab, are among the fighters that escort the frigate to the surface. These shifts in cargo and personnel should fall well within the capabilities laid out in the frigate's stats. Thanks, Travis
Trinity Continuum: Terra Firma
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Benjamin R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/18/2020 17:01:53

This supplement provides an overview of Earth (and Luna) in the 22nd and frankly it's great stuff. In some ways I would suggest that it's possibly a more vital supplement than the excellent Æon Æxpansion. To anyone starting on running Æon I'd certainly recommend picking this up as the first non-core book purchase. Some of the regional setting material may seem familiar to fans of the first edition game but there is plenty of new and updated material to make this a valuable addition to the line. If that wasn't enough the sections of weird and mysterious locations could keep a campaign going for months if not years and the new character options are diverse and original. If you need any further convincing - two words "Monster Buddy", it's a new Edge, look it up when you buy the book, you'll thank me for it (and if you are anything like me and my players the plot ideas will start flooding out).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Trinity Continuum: Terra Firma
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Quantum Entanglement (A Jumpstart for Trinity Continuum: Aeon)
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Benjamin R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/14/2020 07:25:05

(REVIEW BASED ON THE ADVANCE PDF ONLY)

While this is easily affordable, I would have to say that I was really underwhelmed by this product, based on what, as a quick start, it aims to do.

Just a short caveat: I am not going to review the mechanics of the game, purely this product in the context of it being a quick start introduction to Trinity AEon.

You get only three pages of background (an introduction and two pages of glossary) to introduce the setting and then eleven pages covering a summary of the Storypath system. This rules light overview might be the highlight of the book (and arguably it is selling point for people who might be interested in dipping their toes in further). It is clearly written, and I think it would probably give an experienced GM enough to go on to run a test game using he system.

However.

The rest of the booklet is the introductory scenario to use for this quick start and, frankly, it doesn't feel up to scratch. Avoiding spoilers, I can say that the Player Characters investigate a murder and the disappearance of some latent psions. All well and good so far and the pre-generated characters (another possible highlight, but more on that in a moment) are all given a reason to be interested in getting involved and solving the case. But this is where we hit a problem, given that this is meant to be an introduction to the setting and the system; All the PCs, as presented, are investigating the crimes for separate reasons and there is no consideration given or advice provided as to how they would come to work together, let alone if. It is just presumed that they all turn up at the scene of a crime and agree to work together. There's even a couple of characters at least who on the surface would be antagonistic to each other. There isn't anything wrong with a group of PCs who have friction, it creates great drama at the table, but that tends to work when there is a unifying rationale for them to stick together. Here you have five freelancers who for all intents and purposes could end up having five independent investigations. Yes, a GM could pull all this together and make it work but a) that's work for them b) it implies some setting knowledge as to how that might work, which as a quick start your target audience probably do not have and c) this is a quick start, it should be presenting an easy to run simple set up that teases me to want to know more. This could easily have been rectified by having the players be part of an AEon Trinity team, and that would help introduce one of the key organisations within the setting. Back to the scenario itself. It isn't bad but it reads as confused and tonally not what I'd expect from a introduction to the setting. Let me elaborate. It's an investigation and as such there are people withholding details, others who aren't who they say they are and allegiances the players may not expect, however I don't feel that on first reading any of that is as transparent as it should be. First time storyguides need clarity and this product fails in that regard. This is sometimes a flaw of scenarios when the writer unveils the plot as they go, it would really be helped by a summary paragraph up front explaining the real goings on to the Storyguide and the villains' plot and goals. We are not readers of a novel, or the players who will be taking part, please in future lay out the plot up front to avoid confusion and create clarity. Speaking of the supporting cast, while the main villain of the piece seems to have clear motives the rest of the cast are paper thin at best and come across simply as plot devices. Seeing as what the villain may do to them, based on player action, or inaction, that seems to be validated as an opinion. I find it hard to see players empathising for most of the supporting cast and their possible ultimate fate seems arbitrary and intended purely to shock.

There is one exception, but they are problematic for other reasons. The players may make an unlikely ally during the adventure and they are of a faction deeply rooted in the lore of the setting. It is a nice, and surprising, touch but one that seems ultimately misplaced. This is apparently intended as a quick start, why throw in something that needs a whole host of explanation that is not adequately provided in this product? Perhaps it is intended to lure the players and storyguide in to want to know more but with a setting as rich and complex as AEon I can't help but think that it could side-track the investigation and that same teasing effect could be achieved in a more effective way.

My fundamental issue with the adventure itself is one of tone. This feels like a scenario that was written for the grimmer, grittier and darker AEon Trinity of the '90s. Now that isn't to say that the current edition cannot be grounded in gritty stories, but it pushes optimism to the forefront. If I am going to introduce the setting to players (and prospective Storyguides) I want a product that showcases the core themes of the game. Investigative missions are a great idea for this but when it throws in mind control and body horror that seems much more suited to Onyx Path's World of Darkness and Chronicles of Darkness lines. As I have said earlier, this isn't bad it just feels like it fails to exemplify the main tone of the setting as presented in the main game book and as such becomes a bit of a misrepresentation when it could have been a showcase.

I also alluded earlier to issues with the pre-generated characters. For a start they seem unfinished (they are missing contacts and as many Edges as a regular new PC) but also none of the characters has any gear whatsoever. This might have been to simplify things but in a science-fiction setting technology is a key facet and contributor to the flavour. It is a crying shame that some of the key technological elements from AEon are completely ignored e.g. bioapps, minicomps and their agents. Also with the lack of gear players running through this scenario are going to have to rely heavily on Psi power use. While that puts the spotlight on their gifts it does present a skewed view of the game and its setting. For example, I have never seen a player of legionnaire character who didn't also pack a firearm (or three...), even if it was a non-lethal one. AEon is not a superhero game. It is a game about people who also have gifts and powers.

One positive about the cast of characters is that they are a diverse selection of nationalities, genders (kudos for the inclusion of a non-binary character) and cultures, however as mentioned above there is nothing unifying them. They wouldn't even need to be part of the same faction just some notes about how they know one or two of the other characters would really help the setup of the scenario, the cohesion of the group and add to the background of each of the cast.

In summary, for the price I don't regret buying this product, but it is likely that the only part of it that I will use are the pre-gen characters, after I've finished them off. Simply put, as presented this is just not what I would use to introduce new players to either the ruleset or setting, which is a huge shame.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Quantum Entanglement (A Jumpstart for Trinity Continuum: Aeon)
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Compact & Worn Starship Deck Plan 6x6 Tiles
Publisher: Inked Adventures
by Ben R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/05/2015 11:12:20

I can't praise this simple but useful little product enough. A wonderful art style combined with quirky, flavouful designs and just generally, down to earth useful. As well as the games mentioned by the previous reviewer I can see myself using these ships and the associated "background" floors for a number of the sci-fi RPG and miniature wargames I run, including Onyx Path's Trinity, MWP's Firefly and FASA's Fading Suns. Highly recommended addition to your library.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Compact & Worn Starship Deck Plan 6x6 Tiles
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