Lore: The Forces
The nine Forces are an intrinsic and essential part of the worlds of Trinity. They are at the core of almost every conflict the worlds have ever known, and are - essentially - what make the setting unique.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Magic
- 3 Psionics
- 4 Technology
- 5 Divine
- 6 Void
- 7 Nature
- 8 Time
- 9 Chaos
- 10 Blue
- 11 Notes
The term "Force" in Trinity has a very specific meaning: it refers to one of the nine concepts that serve as the lynch-pins of existence, not just in Trinity, but in all worlds. The concept of Magic, for instance, is a Force in Trinity, as is that of Technology. These concepts have a sort of metaphysical existence, known as beams, which serve as a supporting structure to existence: when a world is "supported" by a given beam, that world can access the powers of that concept.
For sake of comparison, in a standard D&D setting, the only beams typically accessible are those of Magic, Nature, and the Divine, with Psionics being uncommon but not unheard of. Some beams represent especially esoteric concepts, like Time or Memory - a world that does not have access to the Time beam still experiences time, but is unable to bring to bear all the powers within the beam itself, such as the ability to readily travel through time or manipulate it in a vulgar, obvious fashion. Different worlds may experience or express the same beam in radically different ways: Trinity, Middle-Earth, and the various D&D settings all have access to the Magic beam, but experience incredibly different expressions of it.
Unlike in other settings, nearly every sentient being in Trinity is aware of the Forces and their basic interactions. Commoners may not be well-versed in how the Forces work, but they typically know of them and are not confused or awed by typical displays of power. In other words, Trinity is essentially a "high magic" setting, where the term "magic" here should be understood to apply to each of the Forces.
That said, while the Forces are largely ubiquitous throughout the worlds of Trinity, more powerful expressions of the Forces are significantly rarer than in most D&D settings. While almost every village has at least a small handful of individuals capable of using at least one Force, these are typically the lowest power grade available. As a general rule, only the first "half" of the grades available to characters can be found in general use in the setting: that is, most NPCs you will encounter are 10th level or lower. There are certainly exceptions, and this should not be taken as a hard and fast rule. In Trinity, breaking the 10th level "soft cap" indicates that that individual is of relatively rare caliber and will most likely have a notable impact on the world in some fashion.
In the Time of Echoes, the Forces are waning, as Trinity is isolated from the beams. This has many implications to the worlds triune; in addition to impacts on the setting as a whole, however, there are also important rules mechanics changes to reflect what's happening in the world.
The Forces are divided into three Trinities. These are the Trinity of Reality, in which Magic, Psionics, and Technology reside; the Trinity of Philosophy, in which Divine, the Void, and Nature lie; and the Trinity of Remembrance, in which Time, Chaos, and the Blue dwell.
Each Force in a Trinity opposes the other two Forces in the same Trinity.
An individual who studies a given Force is said to have a force alignment to that Force.
Individuals with a force alignment are naturally resistant to the other Forces in that Trinity.
When Forces of the same Trinity interact or are otherwise near each other, visible sparks appear in the vicinity between them. These sparks are harmless, but indicate that there is an interaction occurring between opposing Forces, each seeking to be dominant. Generally, the amount of sparks generated is related to the relative strengths of the Forces involved, and can be a useful gauge for how weak or powerful a given Force-aligned person, item, or place is. The coloration of the sparks is based upon the Forces involved: for instance, magic and technology interacting will produce red and silver sparks.
When you use a Force ability against a creature with the relevant type of force resistance, you must make a spark check. This is equal to d20 + level, and is made separately from any attack rolls that you might be required to make; in most cases, even if an ability does not require an attack roll, you will still need to make a spark check to overcome resistances if a target has any. Typically, elementals of a given Force will have resistances against other Forces in that trinity equal to their level, while individuals who have classes will an amount of resistance equal to 5 + their level (note that inherent resistances and class resistances do not stack). Denizens of force planes and so-called "true" elementals (such as arcanomentals) will sometimes have even stronger resistances to their opposing Forces.
|Is resisted by...||Is resisted by...||Is resisted by...|
|Magic Resistance (MR)||Psionics Resistance (PR)||Technology Resistance (TR)||Divine Inhibition (DI)||Void Inhibition (VI)||Nature Inhibition (NI)||Time Opposition (TO)||Chaos Opposition (CO)||Blue Opposition (UO)|
|Adepts, Elementals, and Sparks of this Force have...||Adepts, Elementals, and Sparks of this Force have...||Adepts, Elementals, and Sparks of this Force have...|
|Psionics Resistance (PR)||Magic Resistance (MR)||Magic Resistance (MR)||Void Inhibition (VI)||Divine Inhibition (DI)||Divine Inhibition (DI)||Chaos Opposition (CO)||Time Opposition (TO)||Time Opposition (TO)|
|Technology Resistance (TR)||Technology Resistance (TR)||Psionics Resistance (PR)||Nature Inhibition (NI)||Nature Inhibition (NI)||Void Inhibition (VI)||Blue Opposition (UO)||Blue Opposition (UO)||Chaos Opposition (CO)|
The Forces and Planar Cosmology
Trinity Planar Cosmology
|Alara||The Golden Realm||Magic||Genie|
|Dal Quor||The Dreamlands||Psionics||Quori|
|Lamannia||The Eternal Cycle||Nature||Kami|
|Schalance||The End of Time||Time||Aeon|
|Kythri||The Akashic Record||Blue||Occuria|
The typical D&D planar cosmology does not exist in Trinity, and the meta-cosmology implied in typical D&D - that is, alternate prime materials exist and are accessible through various transitive planes - also does not exist.
Every material plane - what could reasonably be called a "universe" - interacts with any number of beams, metaphysical pillars of existence that support each of these independent realities. The universe in which the Earth exists, for instance, to the best of our knowledge is supported only by one beam, that of Technology: we have no access to magic, psionics, or any of the other Forces (note that while we experience time, memory, and entropy, we cannot access these powers in the same way that denizens of Trinity can).
Trinity is supported by nine such beams, one for each Force.
The beams are wholly metaphysical in nature; they cannot be seen or interacted with directly. However, when a beam supports a given material plane, an interface manifests between the beam and that plane. This creates, effectively, an alternate reality "adjacent" to the material plane in question, though still within the scope of the reality that spawned it. A universe, then, consists not just of the material plane, but also of the adjacent planes created through interaction with the beams. The encompassing concept - that which contains the given universe and its adjacent planes - is called an "astral plane," and connects all of its component pieces through a tenuous planar membrane.
In Trinity, the nine planes - aside from the material plane - in question are as per the table.
Each of these planes also have natural denizens. While various force elementals exist in the worlds of Trinity, the creatures that arise in these planes - while similar - are significantly more intelligent and capable of independent action. Genies, for instance, have much more in common with espers than with arcanomentals.
One of the things that d20 did was make arcane and divine magic both 9-level casting systems; in prior editions of D&D, arcane had 9 levels, while divine had only 7. This was largely seen as a good move.
However, in basically redesigning all the casting systems from the ground up, I determined that having 10 (don't forget that there were 0-level spells, as well) discrete grades of powers was simply too much. What, exactly, did it mean for a given spell to be 7th level, rather than 6th or 8th? Add to this that higher-level spells were simply all over the board in terms of power level, and it became pretty clear that this system was just too granular for its own good.
While a sensible person might have settled on four or five grades and then applied that universally across the Forces, I instead decided on a per-Force basis how many grades it would have. While this resulted in most having four or five, there are a few outliers that have only three or as many as six. The following table, then, is intended to provide an equivalency between Forces for each grade. This can be referenced to determine the relative strengths of effects in play.
The following table also includes the term used for a wielder of a given Force (for instance, those who use Magic are called casters), and the term for the individual powers of each Force (so Magic has spells). Also provided is the martial equivalencies: it is probably worth noting at this point that while martial classes are entirely mundane, they have the potential to far exceed what we consider possible in our reality. Consider it a quirk of the local physics, and don't overthink it. Grade names in bold are epic, and in-setting are referred to as "abilities beyond the traditional scales of power," or something to that effect. These abilities are ridiculously rare, and - with a few notable exceptions - are only usable by characters of at least 21st level, and a character must spend a feat to learn a single ability at this grade. Needless to say, even those who manage to reach such heights of power typically learn at most one or maybe two of these abilities.
Ability Grade Equivalencies
|Races||Classes (3.5)||Classes (5e)|
|Elf · Esper · Miqo'te · Tiefling · Troll||Bard · Mage · Spellblade||Arbiter · Artificer · Mage · Princess · Spellblade · Summoner · Virtuoso|
Hewn into the underside of reality are leylines, fonts of power that cross the fabric of existence outside the sight of mortals, but those that learn to tap into these can channel their energies into a wide variety of effects. The Trinity of Reality is concerned primarily with the real: that is, they directly interact with the actual physics and rules of the physical worlds of Trinity. Magic's purpose is the acquisition of power, to be able to bend reality to the wielder's whims as they see fit. In this, it is directly opposed to Psionics, which sees such direct usurption of the natural order to be wasteful; and is directly opposed to Technology, which uses physics to achieve its ends and cannot abide such upending of the rules.
Those who would study the ways of Magic must initially spend much time in meditation, seeking the leyline with which they most resonate. Once they have found such a leyline, their soul admixes with the energies within it, resulting in a pool of energy deep within the caster's being through which they can channel the powers within the leyline. That this sounds almost spiritual in nature is not a coincidence: the origin of the leylines is the Divine itself, though they were created after it was sealed away in the Metaphysic and thus are not truly Divine.
Once a caster has completed their initial attunement, they are permanently changed in a metaphysical sense, and - over time - can learn to tap into other leylines as their personal power grows. The varieties of magic possible in Trinity are quite varied and are divided into six general categories, each calling upon a different aspect of the caster's metaphysical form.
Magic interacts well with both the Divine and Time. In the Divine, Magic finds an ally who understands the desire for control over one's world. In Time, Magic finds common ground in respect for manipulation of powers and energies that are significantly bigger than the individual, and both advise caution in wielding powers one does not understand.
The primary virtue of Magic is power: casters, as a whole, have a natural inclination towards the pursuit of, and accumulation of, power. This typically manifests as a pursuit of magical power, seeking out tomes of ancient lore that may result in discovering lost leylines with untold magical energies, but others may seek out more mundane sorts of power, such as that found in the political sphere. To a mage, unbridled ambition is worthy of respect, and is readily cultivated in strongly Magical regions.
At the same time, many casters view hubris as their downfall. The ability to wield powers capable of reshaping the mortal coil to their whim has proven to be the undoing of many a mage in days gone by, and older teachers chastise those students who seem to have let the power go to their heads. Strong ambition is one thing, but it is another to think oneself invincible: all Forces have their limitations, and a mage who is not mindful of their own will be almost certain to meet a quick end.
Casters expend mana to cast their spells, specific applications of magical power gleaned from leylines. Each spell requires the expenditure of a certain amount of mana, dependent upon its grade.
Casters regain mana naturally over time at their refresh rate. This natural recharge of their energies is disrupted by casting, however: casting a spell negates this regeneration for a short period.
In addition, spells can sometimes gain the benefits of resonance. When a caster's attack roll with a spell is within a certain amount of the target's targeted Defense, the spell resonates, either amplifying its initial effect in some fashion or producing a secondary effect. Note that not all spells can resonate.
All casters gain innate psionics resistance (PR) and technology resistance (TR). These resistances indicate that casters are naturally resistant to Psionic and Technological effects, even those that are beneficial in nature.
Some specific caster classes use some of these abilities in unusual ways. Remember to fully read a class's description for explanations of how its specific mechanics may differ from the general.
|Races||Classes (3.5)||Classes (5e)|
|Clavat · Githyanki · Goblin · Shardmind · Zzithrani||Ardent · Jedi · Psionicist||Ardent · Cenobite · Dreamer · Erudite · Gestalt · Jedi · Psion|
The primary virtue of Psionics is creativity: manifesters are a naturally creative and curious type, and the ability to use and combine their talents in new and interesting ways is something almost all take to with gusto. Obvious uses for some of the more basic power sets are, well, obvious, and Psionic communities - while not above the use of their abilities for more pedestrian purposes - take delight in finding exciting new possibilities in terms of usage of their powers.
For most manifesters, the idea of detachment is seen as the result of those who take their creativity too far. While imagining new ways to use their powers and exploration of new potential loopholes comes with any mind that exhibits innate Psionic power, there is always the temptation to take such things too far, and end up living in a mental world of one's own devising, cut off from reality by the circuitous paths of one's own thoughts. Teachers of the Psionic traditions stress that while exploration of the inner mind is always a necessary component for mastering one's powers, one must be cautious in diving too deeply, and to remember that external reality exists and must be tended to.
Manifesters make manifestation checks to manifest their powers. The DC for this check is dependent upon the grade of the power, and the manifester gains a bonus based on how many powers of that discipline they know. Otherwise, manifesters can use their powers continuously and at will, though maintaining an active power for much longer than a minute or so begins to put immense strain on the mind.
Each psionic discipline has what is called a base power, and it must be active in order for the manifester to manifest other powers from that discipline.
Manifesters also have a reserve of qi they can spend when manifesting, to amplify the effects of a power in some fashion. Spending any amount of qi on a power allows the manifester to automatically succeed on the manifestation check.
Qi recovers very slowly: a manifester recovers all their qi after a long rest.
All manifesters gain innate magic resistance (MR) and technology resistance (TR). These resistances indicate that manifesters are naturally resistant to Magical and Technological effects, even those that are beneficial in nature.
Some specific manifester classes use some of these abilities in unusual ways. Remember to fully read a class's description for explanations of how its specific mechanics may differ from the general.
|Races||Classes (3.5)||Classes (5e)|
|Artilect · Dwarf · Gnome · Gremlin · Moogle||Engineer · Machinist · Rigger||Borg · Detective · Engineer · Gunslinger · Ironman · Physician · Rigger|
With sufficient understanding of physics and the underlying rules of the universe, anything is - theoretically, at least - possible. Those who commit themselves to the study of such things claim that through their dedication, the world tomorrow will be a better place than the world today. The Trinity of Reality is concerned primarily with the real: that is, they directly interact with the actual physics and rules of the physical worlds of Trinity. The goals of Technology are to understand those rules completely and utterly, to then turn that knowledge into the betterment of the lives of all. In this, it is directly opposed to Magic, which sequesters knowledge and literally disrupts physics near it; and is directly opposed to Psionics, which exploits loopholes in the rules in ways that are inconsistent at best and maddeningly obtuse at worst.
The study of Technology is, by far, the easiest of the nine Forces to begin: a basic understanding of how the world works is almost mandatory for survival in it, and this is the foundation upon which Technology lies. However, exploiting the power Technology can bequeath to those who understand its secrets is no easy feat, and - in some respects - is harder than for other Forces. For most, it is relatively easy to see how being able to conjure fire from nothing or manipulate time can be put to ready use: it is much more difficult to envision how to weaponize differential equations.
It is for this reason that, while almost every spark is a student of their Force, those of Technology retain the moniker of "student:" a humble reminder that no matter how much an individual knows, there is always some knowledge they lack, just out of reach.
Technology interacts well with both Nature and the Blue. In Nature, Technology finds an ally interested in understanding the underlying powers of the universe; while Nature is more interested in the metaphysical underpinnings than the physical, their approach is much the same. In the Blue, Technology shares a common pursuit of knowledge, and a shared interest in modelling the world in some fashion, seeing it as a coherent whole.
The primary virtue of Technology is diligence: students typically spend many years in study to learn their craft, and must exercise patience and careful attention to detail when constructing their devices. Unlike most other Forces, Technology is incredibly unforgiving of error, and even the smallest mistake can result in disastrous consequences. This approach often leads to a strong work ethic in societies steeped in Technology.
However, this constant attention to detail and worry over every variable can lead to obsession, in which a student reaches a level of caution and zeal in checking and double-checking that they lose sight of all else. Stories of "mad scientists" are relatively common in Technological societies, tales of students who became so certain of their theories that they everything else in pursuit of proving their veracity.
Students ready their devices into device slots. Once a device is readied, it remains that way until the student readies a different device in that slot.
Technology is tricky, however, and so devices can malfunction. When a student activates a device, the natural result on the d20 for its activation is compared to that device's error rate: if the result is equal to or lower than the error rate, the device malfunctions, rendering it unsable until the student can repair it (typically as part of a long rest).
Most devices also have at least one clutch, which the student can activate as part of the device's activation, which improves the device's function in some fashion. Clutches also allow the device to ignore its error rate, but cause the device to automatically malfunction at some point after activation.
All students gain magic resistance (MR) and psionics resistance (PR). These oppositions indicate that students are naturally resistnt to Magic and Psionic effects, even those that are beneficial in nature.
Some specific student classes use some of these abilities in unusual ways. Remember to fully read a class's description for explanations of how its specific mechanics may differ from the general.
|Races||Classes (3.5)||Classes (5e)|
|Deva · Draenei · Dwarf · Tiefling||Incarnate · Paladin · Priest||Avenger · Champion · Incarnate · Invoker · Judge · Priest · Vestal|
One of the primordial Forces that shaped the universe, Divine concerns itself with all aspects of creation - it is for this reason that some claim that it is the most powerful of the Nine. The Trinity of Philosophy concerns itself primarily with the metaphysics of the universe, each of its member Forces existing both within and outside of the concept of reality. The Divine's goal is to know every aspect of creation intimately, to remake all things in its own image, that all might serve a common goal. In this, it is directly opposed to Nature, which insists that all things follow their natural course and forge their own paths; and is directly opposed to the Void, which seeks to unmake all things and return all of existence to an eternal unending abyss of nothingness.
Opening oneself to the Divine is a monumental task, as the origin of the Force has been forcibly sealed away into a distant metaphysical realm, from whence it cannot escape. However, over the many eons since that occurred, the Divine has found it is able to carve channels of communication between it's prison and reality. It is through these channels that the Divine entities - saints and lucavi - gain access to Divine power, which is then filtered to their petitioners. Alternately, some mortals' souls have been accidentally imbued with a tiny fraction of the essence of a slain deity, giving them direct access to the Divine itself. Regardless of the means, all petitioners ultimately draw their power from the Divine, and in exchange for faith, they receive the power to rename - and thus remake - aspects of creation.
The aspects of creation that a learned petitioner can bend to her will are as varied as the elements of creation itself. However, as mortals, petitioners are rarely able to modify all of reality - they slowly gain access to more domains over which the Divine holds sway, the truth within their souls and the powers of the patron dictating what parts of reality respond to their prayers.
Divine interacts well with both Magic and Time. In Magic, the Divine finds an ally who understands the need to take control of the world and put it towards one's own ends, who is familiar with the idea of accessing power outside of oneself and learning to use it to gain leverage over existence. In Time, the Divine finds common ground in the restraints placed upon those who call upon a higher power - for the petitioner, this is their patron, while for the chronist, it is the timeline itself that restricts or enforces their actions.
Petitioners expend blessings to utter their prayers, specific words and phrases in the original tongue of the Divine that bend reality to their whim. Each prayer requires the expenditure of a blessing of a specific grade.
To acqure blessings, petitioners must petition either their patron or the Divine itself for it, spending 1 round in contemplation and supplication. However, patrons - and the Divine - cannot answer all prayers at once, and so the number of blessings gained varies upon the result of a petition check. If the petitioner does not like the result, they can instead only spend a move action, aborting the petition attempt early and gaining no blessings.
If a petitioner attempts to acquire blessings while she still has some remaining, she suffers a penalty to her petition check.
All petitioners gain innate nature inhibition (NI) and void inhibition (VI). These oppositions indicate that petitioners are naturally resistant to Natural and Void effects, even those that are beneficial in nature.
Some specific petitioner classes use some of these abilities in unusual ways. Remember to fully read a class's description for explanations of how its specific mechanics may differ from the general.
|Races||Classes (3.5)||Classes (5e)|
|Ancelari · Clavat · Dromite · Isci · Troll||Ninja · Vampire · Voidchild||Echo · Hollow · Medium · Ninja · Vampire · Voidchild · Zen|
The Void is the literal void that existed prior to, well, existence, and it craves to return to its blissful ignorance by dint of destroying all else that exists. To that end, it studies existence, making mockeries of its children and always seeking ways to warp and eventually destroy reality. The Trinity of Philosophy concerns itself with the metaphysics of the universe, each of its member Forces existing both within and outside of the concept of reality. The Void's goal is the complete and utter annihilation of everything that is not itself. In this, it is directly opposed to the Divine, which seeks to know - and therefore embrace - all elements of creation; and is directly opposed to Nature, as it represents the lifeforce of the universe itself and is thus particularly offensive to the Void.
Unlike other Forces in the Trinity of Philosophy, the Void is open to those who seek its power - some would even describe it as eager, though it is simultaneously loathe to offer mortals even a scrap of the power within its depths. Most nihilists looking to harness the power of the Void attempt to do so without its knowledge, attempting to siphon off power without paying the terrible repercussions. Others look to contemplation and meditation as a means to "blank" their minds, allowing them to interface with the Void by offering no reflection that triggers its hateful self-awareness. Regardless of their method, all nihilists play with an incredibly dangerous power, one that can - and will, given the opportunity - completely and utterly destroy them as a way to gain a foothold in reality with which to wreak death and destruction.
The studies of the Void are, surprisingly, quite varied. The powers gleaned from the Void are tools that it iself uses in attempts to thwart and destroy its foes, though nihilists can also tap into the very essence of the Void, the idea of nonexistence, which is one of the most terrible weapons that can be brought to bear in the realms of existence. Manipulation of shadows and the chill of night, striking terror into the hearts of men, predicting when and where its enemies will be weak - these are but a few of the powers the Void has at its disposal.
Void interacts well with Psionics and Chaos. In Psionics, the Void finds a similar sense of inward contemplation and a desire to shut out the world, to focus on honing the self. In Chaos, the Void shares a sense a rebellion and an interest in destruction.
Nihilists can release any katas they know at will. To do so, the nihilist must make a wu wei check to determine how much the Void notices their intrusion.
Poor rolls on a wu wei check results in the nihilist accruing void debt, which causes them to suffer a penalty to all d20 rolls equal to their debt. Once they have accrued an amount equal to their max void debt, the nihilist instantly begins dying: if a nihilist dies with an excessive amount of debt, their soul is irrevocably destroyed, and a nihimental is spawned in place of their body.
All nihilists gain innate divine inhibition (DI) and nature inhibition (NI). These oppositions indicate that nihilists are naturally resistant to Divine and Natural effects, even those that are beneficial in nature.
Some specific nihilist classes use some of these abilities in unusual ways. Remember to fully read a class's description for explanations of how its specific mechanics may differ from the general.
|Races||Classes (3.5)||Classes (5e)|
|Adu'ja · Elf · Moogle · Viera · Vulpine · Zzithrani||Caller · Shaman · Zodiac||Bender · Caller · Explorer· Hunter · Shaman · Warden · Zodiac|
Into the fabric of existence are woven threads of elemental energy, shaping the worlds and lives of all those who dwell in reality, and it is these with which Nature concerns itself. While the Void claims to be the first amongst the Forces, some believe it would be more accurate to say that Nature holds that place, as without Gaia, the Void would never have recognized itself to begin with. The Trinity of Philosophy concerns itself primarily with the metaphysics of the universe, each of its member Forces existing both within and outside of the concept of reality. Nature's goal is to allow all things to take their course, to let events play out as they will. In this, it is directly opposed to the Divine, which seeks to control reality and subvert free will; and is directly opposed to the Void, which seeks to reduce reality to nothingness and thereby destroy the notion of choice.
Gaining the attention of Nature is somewhat difficult, as Gaia is uninterested in interceding in reality. Those who would wield the powers of Nature must learn to calm their minds and listen to the song of the universe with their souls. Those that can attain this level of supernatural calm in their meditations gain the ability to tap into the threads woven into reality, calling bits of raw elements into existence that they can manipulate as they require. However, there are limits to what Gaia is willing to allow in terms of upsetting the natural balance, and benders can only call upon so much power before the universe closes off that element to them. Those benders who learn to study a pair of elements - specifically, a pair that fundamentally oppose one another - can maintain the balance themselves by calling upon the elements in tandem.
The elemental threads woven into reality are ten in number. Most mortals, however, are unable to tap into all of them, and often choose to study those elements that most speak to them - indeed, most often, benders choose to study elements that are reflections of the threads woven into their own souls.
Nature interacts well with both Technology and the Blue. In Technology, Nature finds an ally who understands the importance of studying the natural order, and that working with it - rather than against it - often yields greater results. In the Blue, Nature finds common ground in respecting the natural order of things and an insistence that the rules be followed above all else, lest everything fall into disarray and meaninglessness.
Benders expend flux to bend their gifts, specific applications of raw elemental energy. Each gift requires the expenditure of a certain amount of flux, dependent upon its grade.
Benders must tap into their elements, which allows them to generate flux, the fuel they need to harness raw elemental energy and bend it into gifts. As they do so, however, they also accrue stress against that element, and once they have reached their stress limit for a given element, they cannot gather flux until their stress passes.
To gain flux, benders must tap an element, spending a move action to gain a certain amount of flux, dependent upon their level. At the same time, the bender accrues stress towards that element, and once her stress limit is reached for a given element, she can no longer tap that element. If she taps an element that opposes an element for which she has stress, the opposed element's stress is reduced. Flux and stress both dissipate naturally over time.
All benders gain innate divine inhibition (DI) and void inhibition (VI). These oppositions indicate that benders are naturally resistant to Divine and Void effects, even those that are beneficial in nature.
Some specific bender classes use some of these abilities in unusual ways. Remember to fully read a class's description for explanations of how its specific mechanics may differ from the general.
|Races||Classes (3.5)||Classes (5e)|
|Ancelari · Githyanki · Miqo'te · Thran||Epochent · Harrier · Oracle||Epochent · Harrier · Kismet · Oracle · Seer · Templar · Xelor|
Time deals primarily with time and space, and distortions of them. The Trinity of Remembrance interacts primarily with the "mechanics" of the universe; whereas Reality interacts directly with physics, Remembrance is more concerned with the underlying framework that physics takes place in. Time's goal is to take command of these forces to gain power: through manipulating time and space, the fabric of reality itself can be manipulated, and total power can be achieved, able to manipulate the threads of fate to one's advantage in all situations. This is in direct opposition to the Blue, which demands that causality be respected and the timeline remain static, and Chaos, which subverts Time's command over existence by refusing to acknowledge that time exists to begin with.
To achieve their ends, those who would pursue the power of Time must come to understand time as it truly is: not as a linear arrow, but a nebulous web of existential freedom. All moments exist at all times, even those moments that have not come to pass; as the student of Time's knowledge grows, their understanding of their own personal timeline increases, and they learn to manipulate themselves first and foremost, borrowing power from their past and lending it to their future, stealing it from themselves and gifting it to an alternate version in a parallel timeline. Once the trainee accepts that she herself is immortal through the infinite lives across infinite parallel times she lives, she can tap into her fullest potential: for infinite parallel times means an infinite power source that can never truly be exhausted.
Once a chronist - as students of Time are known - has determined how to manipulate time and space, she can then learn how to modify them. This gives her incredible power, both over information and the battlefield: she can learn secrets that only her future self knows, and she can turn the very laws of physics on their head, by manipulating objects in time. Of these things, she gives no outward sign: the source of this power is not external or internal, but existential in nature, and the pulling of power from the threads of time requires only concentration and the knowledge of how to do so, nothing more.
Time interacts well with both Magic and the Divine. In Magic, Time finds a common interest in seeking ways to command the universe to one's bidding; mages make comparisons between the leylines they use and the timelines that chronists use, and while they are wholly different in the powers they grant, they are alike in that both leylines and timestreams criss-cross reality, just out of mortal sight. In the Divine, chronists find an ally that understands that their gifts ultimately come from a higher power, and that those powers must be respected; for petitioners, that external power is their patron, who can bequeath or withdraw their gifts as they see fit, while the chronist is at times bound by the constraints of the timeline itself, forced into action or inaction by the actions of the chronist herself in a distant future or far-flung past.
Chronists expend quanta to shape their jikuu, specific manipulations of time or space that incur specific effects. Each jikuu costs a set number of points.
To acquire quanta, chronists must gather it, spending an action on their turn to generate a random amount of quanta dependent upon the action spent to gather. As chronists grow in power, the amount of quanta they gather - and the maximum amount of quanta they can hold at any given time - increase.
At the beginning of each turn, if a chronist has any quanta remaining, he suffers a point of paradox. Each point of paradox incurs a penalty to rolls made to gather quanta. In addition, if the chronist has too much paradox, he also suffers a penalty to temporal attacks equal to his amount of paradox.
All chronists gain innate blue opposition (UO) and chaos opposition (CO). These oppositions indicate that chronists are naturally resistant to Blue and Chaotic effects, even those that are beneficial in nature.
Some specific chronist classes use some of these abilities in unusual ways. Remember to fully read a class's description for explanations of how its specific mechanics may differ from the general.
|Races||Classes (3.5)||Classes (5e)|
|Coure · Deva · Gremlin · Vulpine||Anarch · Discordant · Gambler||Anarch · Discordant · Factotum · Gambler · Iconoclast · Jester · Vigilante|
Chaos is chaotic, and its willfulness is sometimes hard to describe given that it has purview over a disharmonious set of concepts. The Trinity of Remembrance interacts primarily with the "mechanics" of the universe; whereas Reality interacts directly with physics, Remembrance is more concerned with the underlying framework that physics takes place in. Chaos, then, seeks to subvert and upend those rules, or disrupt existence in a general sense, desiring the ability to make choices for itself without constraint. This is in direct opposition to Time, which seeks to control and harness causality, the strictest of rules, and Blue, which demands the causal chain be respected and all things be put in order.
Of the nine Forces, Chaos is the least-understood, and it is uncertain how it is that anarchists gain their power. The strangest claim is the idea that the world is actually an illusion, and all that happens in it is governed by strange rules in another universe: anarchists who are proponents of this claim that their powers come from cheating in that other world, which translates into effects in this one. Claims such as this are why many are content to not question how it is that anarchists do what they do.
Exactly how an individual becomes an anarchist is similarly unclear. Due to their nature, anarchists rarely seek to train others in their ways, and some even deem intentional learning of how to access Chaos as impossible. However, there are also those that claim that they intentionally sought out these powers and stumbled upon them. It seems that any claim one makes about Chaos can be refuted by at least one counter-example.
Chaos interacts well with Psionics and the Void. In Psionics, Chaos finds a similar sense of self-reliance and a fellow free spirit, in the sense that both Chaos and Psionics seek mastery over the self, just in different realms. In the Void, Chaos shares the same sense of rebellion that gave rise to the Void in the first place, and the Void's sense of destruction matches Chaos' understanding of entropy almost perfectly, albeit applied to the whole of reality instead of just the rules of reality.
Anarchists build a deck out of their whims. A deck can only have so many copies of a given whim, and the size of the deck is limited based on the anarchist's class and level.
Anarchists select a set of triggers, which are events chosen from a list. When a trigger occurs, the anarchist can draw a number of whims from his deck, dependent upon the trigger. The anarchist has a max hand size, which is the maximum number of whims he can hold at once. At the end of his turn, if he has more whims than his max, he must discard until he has no more than his max.
When he effects a whim, he discards it.
When the deck is empty, the discard pile is shuffled and returned to the deck.
All anarchists gain innate blue opposition (UO) and time opposition (IO). These oppositions indicate that anarchists are naturally resistant to Blue and Temporal effects, even those that are beneficial in nature.
Some specific anarchist classes use some of these abilities in unusual ways. Remember to fully read a class's description for explanations of how its specific mechanics may differ from the general.
|Races||Classes (3.5)||Classes (5e)|
|Adu'ja · Dromite · Gnome · Goblin · Vesuvan||Akashic · Learner · Trainer||Akashic · Cypher · Learner · Mimic · Quixotic · Resonator · Scholar|
The Blue deals with memory, knowledge, recollection, and causality. The Trinity of Remembrance interacts primarily with the "mechanics" of the universe; whereas Reality interacts directly with physics, Remembrance is more concerned with the underlying framework that physics takes place in. The Blue's first and foremost goal is maintaining memory: events that have occurred have occurred, and should not be meddled with. This is in direct opposition to Time, which reorganizes the timeline as it sees fit, and Chaos, which has no concern for proper order and pointedly ignores the notion of causality.
Pursuit of this goal is achieved through accessing the akashic record, which is - essentially - the world's memory. Every event that occurs, every piece of knowledge attained, every fact that exists also exists within the record. Accessing the record is not an easy feat, and requires a certain degree of reorientation of how one looks at the world. To assist in this process, those who study the Blue prepackage concepts and ideas from the world memory into "memes," packets of information that assist budding memeticists - as students of the Blue are called - in utilizing the Blue to the extent of their abilities.
Because of their interaction and concern with memory, memeticists are also - to some degree - students of the mind. Though largely incidental to their primary skills, memeticists have abilities that seem on the surface to be quite similar to telepathy, though in fact memeticists are reading the information from the world memory and not accessing minds directly. That said, memeticists can "implant" ideas into creatures' minds, by manipulating pointers and other more technical aspects of the world memory, allowing them to interfere with physical reality through manipulating the framework on which reality operates.
The Blue interacts well with both Technology and Nature. In Technology, Blue finds an ally who understands the importance of causality and structure; some technologists compare the Blue to an incredibly large and impossibly complex computing engine, a comparison that memeticists find difficult to deny. In Nature, memeticists find individuals who share their belief that the natural order must be upheld, that there is a certain way things work and that such structure shouldn't be meddled with. Naturalists appreciate the Blue's focus on the world and its memory, and share in common their ability to look "past" the obvious physicality of the world and interact with what lies beneath the facade.
The primary virtue of the Blue is reflection: memeticists have an inherent understanding of themselves that transcends mortal limits, knowing that they are - essentially - just a representation of data interacting with other bits of data. This manifests as attempting to gain greater understanding of themselves and the world they live in, leading to many memeticists having very nuanced philosophies towards existence. This respect for the philosophical tradition is exemplified in strongly Memetic societies.
This self-reflection, however, can sometimes lead to vanity: a memeticist can become so caught-up in the twists and folds of their own philosophies and understanding of the universe that they become convinced that their understanding of truth is the only understanding, all other attempts at explanation of selfhood and similar concepts mere shadows of their greater knowledge. Memeticists are cautioned to remember that without perfect knowledge of all things, one's understanding of the truth is likely to be lacking in some fashion.
Memeticists load their memes into a cache, and can use them at will. When she readies a meme, a memeticist can also allocate that meme into memory, if she has free memory. Memes allocated into memory are significantly stronger, or have other effects.
After processing a meme, it becomes locked, and is not available for use until it recharges. At the beginning of your turn, you roll a recharge die, which is 1d6, and all memes with a recharge value of the result or lower become unlocked and available for use again. The recharge value of a meme changes dependent upon the highest grade of meme you can access.
All memeticists gain innate chaos opposition (CO) and time opposition (IO). These oppositions indicate that memeticists are naturally resistant to Chaotic and Temporal effects, even those that are beneficial in nature.
Some specific memeticist classes use some of these abilities in unusual ways. Remember to fully read a class's description for explanations of how its specific mechanics may differ from the general.
M power hubris P creativity detachment T diligence obsession D compassion guilt V fortitude apathy N wisdom arrogance I foresight indecision C courage impudence B reflection vanity