[Let’s Study: Trinity Continuum Core] Part 3b Conditions and Scale

Holy crap it’s been a while.

Quarantine is still in effect in Manila, Philippines so I’ve been on a state of emergency all this time. But I figured I need to start re-establishing routine, and what better way to do it than to continue the Trinity Continuum Let’s Study series.

When we last left off, we were checking out the core mechanics of the game.

Today we’ll be taking a look at Conditions and Scale.

Conditions and Fields

Conditions should be familiar if you’ve played any of the Chronicles of Darkness games. They represent long-term problems or benefits that affect a single character. Mechanically, if a Condition causes a character to fail or suffer a setback, it provides 1 Momentum in addition to any additional Consolations.

Conditions always have a means of removing it, called a resolution. Upon resolution, the Condition bestows 1 Momentum.

Fields are a special subset of Conditions that apply to everyone in a given area. These are most often environmental effects like say being in a Thunderstorm that affects mobility and visibility.

Scale

Next up, is Scale. Given that Storypath runs both Scion and Trinity, Scale rules are a must have. Scale has two components: Narrative and Dramatic.

Narrative Scale is a multiplier applied to successes when dealing with minor elements such as scenery, bystanders and minor combatants. When a roll is called for, simply multiply the successes by the difference in Scale between the actor and the minor element.

Dramatic Scale is how much is affects characters and other elements that are more crucial to the story. Dramatic Scale is rated from 1 to 6. When using Dramatic Scale, you compare the two conflicting entities and each point of difference in Scale bestows two Enhancement. If acting upon a higher scale entity that doesn’t take actions, the difference inflicts a +2 Difficulty to the task instead.

Scale is rated as follows:

  1. Standard – Human baseline for a competent and skilled individual or object with a standard function like a knife or a screwdriver
  2. Formidable – Someone or something especially talented or customized for the task like a human chess grandmaster or a horse
  3. Impressive – Describes something designed for the task like a Chess AI or a Cheetah
  4. Awesome – Someone or something that has a streamlined design for improved performance
  5. Incredible – Entities at this Scale operate on a grander arena, granting greater power, size or speed
  6. Astonishing – Entities at this Scale operate on a grander arena and have a streamlined design

Conditions and Fields are a nice touch, and by now are a standard feature to the Storyteller / Storypath system but I’m glad they’re here. Naming Fields as such will likely serve a purpose of being more mechanically clear than just calling everything a Condition.

The Scale rules are also handy, but I have to say that while Narrative Scale is easy enough to implement, the Dramatic Scaling feels very handwavey. I appreciate that they provided for a 6-point scale, but at a certain point it relies on the GM to figure out where everything is. Like, if a gun is a Formidable scale object, an Anti-Materiel Sniper Rifle is probably Awesome? Or should it simply be Impressive?

It’s a minor quibble, to be fair and I expect that most groups won’t even feel the need to contest the Scales as dictated by the GM. It’s entirely possible that I’m overreacting.

Next up: Areas of Action, and Action Sequences!

If you’re interested in picking up Trinity Continuum, it’s available on PDF over at DriveThruRPG.

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