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59 downloadsThe evolution of the Storypath system is tied to our work on Trinity: Continuum, a world of hope, heroism, and peril, and Scion, a world where the children of the old gods walk the earth. Early on, we found that both new editions of these games had similar system needs, because their characters are larger-than-life and fight in epic battles on a grand scale. We knew we needed a system that could accommodate everyday citizens on the street, superheroes soaring above skyscrapers, and gods of the sun and sky, but we also wanted rules to help facilitate the connection between the player-characters, their organizations (Allegiances for Trinity and Pantheons for Scion), and their values. To move forward, however, we needed to take a step back, because the first editions of Trinity: Continuum and Scion used custom variants of the Storyteller System which powered Vampire: The Masquerade and other classic White Wolf games. Despite the differences between those variants, however, at its core the Storyteller System was designed chiefly as a horror game for creatures that could be effectively fought by human opponents. In other words, the Storyteller System is great for vampires, but it didn’t excel at portraying superheroes…or gods! To us, this meant that the stories of these action-adventure games were hindered by their original systems. The Storypath System was designed as a new set of rules, inspired by the legacy of the Storyteller and Storytelling Systems, in addition to other story-centric rules. The Storypath System keeps the focus on narrative, story-built play, and action-adventure. It also draws inspiration from a number of other influences that focus on a cinematic high-octane action and storytelling, as well, to create a streamlined experience for epic stories. Within these pages, you’ll find a preview of the rules and examples for both Scion and Trinity: Continuum. We hope you enjoy the new Storypath System and are inspired to roll the dice and tell great stories! - Onyx Path Design Team
Breaking from the makeshift camp the small group settles in for the last leg of the trip. You follow the road into a lightly wooded area as the sun begins to set. "The waypoint isn’t far now," Alenka tells you. "We will camp there for the evening and return in the morning. Well within the time frame the Arl requested." As dusk gives way to the evening the forest becomes alive with noise. Still the group presses on, there is enough light to make your way along the narrow road even still. As you approach the waypoint you can see the light of a campfire ahead through the trees. At first you are relieved, as Ser Blaker and the children must be waiting for you ahead, but as you draw closer, you realize something is wrong. First you notice a distinct lack of the noises of camp. Then the guttering light of a campfire that is dying not freshly started. Lastly, as the trees give way to the clearing waypoint, you see the wagon, lying on its side, one of its wheels sheared off, and then you see the bodies…
Nineteenth Day of the Cycle of Azath, Third Turn of the Fifth Age of Iannin Azath was drawing to an end, nearly two thirds of the cycle were spent and still the city festered and sweltered and rotted from within. Denied its lifeblood by the absence of the winds the city was dying, and it would not go quiet into the night, but instead violently, a series thrashing spasms that would tear it apart. The first such was a riot just two days after Drage and Sur had returned to Bib'ney. Food and drink both were getting scarce in the city. The farms would not harvest yet for some time, and without storms brought by wind the harvest was looking poor, the unrelenting heat only served to exacerbate the situation. The merchant lords had put the riot down swiftly with soldiers and gold used to buy and distribute whatever food was in warehouses and on ships. Those few ships that could sail without wind were contracted to bring fresh food and grain from the mainland at best speed. Four days later another riot underscored the urgency of the situation; the poor were unable to afford the rampant inflation of food prices, and in desperation they were gathering in the temple square, seeking alms, and offering prayers. An accident with a cart, a poor choice of words, and a hasty reaction by a mercenary sparked a riot that threatened to overflow the temple district before it was brought to a halt. A day later and the city still seethes.
Prelude Three years earlier ... The sounds of drums and pipes and voices lifted high over the ceremony and carried out over the Plains of Mageddo. The battle was at last won, and the Chaos War was over. The Horde lay deep upon the plain; motionless, their Chaos borne unlife stripped away by the ritual that the Anupan necromancers had enacted. Already great bon fires were lit, warding off the night, and fueled by the corpses of the fallen. Though some took umbrage to the unceremonious cremation of the dead there were far too few who could be given name, and far to many to be given proper burial without name. Those Anupu who remained had taken the lifeless bodies of their own only, and declared that no sorcery short of that of their god Siponak could raise those who had died in this war; such was the potency of the ritual that had cost their people its greatest mystics. A celebration was already planned to commemorate the victory, to laud the heroes and survivors, and honor those who fell defending Iannin, but for now there were bodies to be burned. The music and chanting was part of the process; the funerary rights of the fallen would be honored this night as best they could and all the while the Horde and the fallen heroes alike would be put to cleansing fire. The scent of burning flesh was somehow absent, a minor feat of arcane lore that banished the stench. Drage stood on a hilltop, obscured in the darkness by his color shifting armor, and the small copse of trees. Below the ceremonies continued, commemorating the fallen. There were so very few Murg left, possibly none who would claim true blood. Drage looked down and he could see a handful of Muthay sporting Murg features, but they all showed Thayim blood as well. Some said that there were no true blood Murg left on Iannin, that the price of their transgression for studying chaos had been to be wiped out to the last man. The Fen too were said to be gone, wiped from Iannin forever, the Muthay born of their blood, and the a'Fen were their legacy. The Gods alone knew what would come of the Chaos War, but even mortal eyes could see that two civilizations were no more. Out on the a fields a figure picked over the dead, one of many opportunists who looted the corpses not yet burned. Guards patrolled the fields of the dead, an honor guard for the fallen whose duty it was to drive off looters, but they were few, and the darkness of the night was deep. The figure picked over the dead, a looter taking any item that presented itself, stooping the tangle of corpses and pawing through broke weapons and shattered armor. From below a body came a glow, ruddy in the darkness. The looter shoved a body off the pile revealing a shard of some broken thing, a swirling red glow seeming to emanate from unseen seams or cracks within the metal. The glow revealed a narrow faced muthay, fine scales showing around his deep set eyes, his skin a deep red-brown. The muthay retrieved the glowing fragment, a greedy look in his eyes that immediately became overtaken by terror as the shard burrowed into his hand like a marrow-tick. He cried out, trying to push the shard out of the wound as it burrowed, clutching and grabbing at it as it moved under his skin and up his arm as though it lived. In moments the panicked man ceased his frantic clasping at his body. A malicious glow filled his eyes as the seed of chaos incarnate corrupted the muthay utterly. Present Day Tenth Day of The Cycle of Azath, Third Turn of the Fifth Age of Iannin The summer heat and brutal humidity hung as a visible haze over Bib'ney. The cloying atmosphere was devoid of even an on shore breeze, stifling the city into a muted state. Down at the harbor sailors shuffled about on some half-hearted task, or lazed openly, under the pressure of sun and damp. The smell of the ocean was overpower by the smell of the filth that ran into the harbor from the city and of the fish merchants whose ware were going rancid. Even the cries of seagulls were intermittent, as though the birds were aware of the heat and unwilling to scavenge for food. Deeper into the city the warehouse owners and ship's captains argued over cargo sitting too long in port, the strange lull in the winds had left all but a spare few vessels unable to make sail, and those exceptions relied heavily on magic to do what the others could not. Merchants too fretted, some saw their wares rotting before they ever made it ship-board, and others wrung their hands anxiously hoping that the shipments from the mainland would somehow float in despite the unnatural ocean calm. All around eyes darted to the west were the God Spear rose from the ocean and pieced the heavens. Normally storms orbited the great basalt column like a drunkard around the tap houses, but today the sky was nearly clear around the spire, as it had been for days since the weather had shifted. Further into the city the tap-houses and inns were even subdued, if not quiet, there was little reason to be boisterous, and sailors now drank sullenly with what little coin they still had, or cast eyes either west or north, to the Temple of the Winds. The temples were not quiet, there square was full of people coming and going from the temples, but most to the Temple of the Winds. People demanded answers for the lack of winds that made their trade and livelihood, while others bemoaned the oppressive heatwave that was ruining crops further inland, or preventing a steady stream of freshly paid sailors to their businesses. The temple of the Twins was also busy, with worshipers praying for the twin god Tal and Len to ease their light and stop the weather that seemed ready to kill the port and island.