The Forces

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Overview

The Mark of the Trinities

The Forces in Trinity are ten in number. Nine of these are divided into three categories: Reality, Remembrance, and Philosophy. The Forces play an important role in Trinity, and are part of what make it unique.

People and the Forces

Unlike in other settings, magic and the other Forces are not feared by the majority of the population. They understand, in a rudimentary fashion, that Forces oppose one another; however, the majority are not aware of most Forces beyond those of the Trinity of Reality (Magic, Psionics, and Technology).

Commoners are not awed by displays of power as produced by the Forces, nor are they superstitious of them. However, they are not stupid, and know that Force-users can be very dangerous people.

Force Alignment

Some classes make use of a specific force; in this case, the class is said to have a force alignment of that force. For instance, a wizard is said to be Magic-aligned.

Force Alignment is used to determine Force Resistance. A class with a single Force Alignment gains resistance to the other two Forces of that Force's Trinity equal to 5 + class level. A class with two Force Alignments in the same Trinity gains resistance to the final force in that Trinity equal to 7 + class level.

A character only receives the initial bonus (that is, 5 or 7) once. That is, if a character already has SR, then taking another class that grants him SR simply lets him add the new class's level to his SR, rather than an additional 5. If a character takes a class with a higher initial resistance, he uses the higher value (that is, if the character has SR with a base of 5, and takes a class with a base SR of 7, he now uses 7 as his base SR, plus his class levels in classes that grant SR).

Races that have inherent force-alignments usually have resistances to their opposed forces. Such resistances overlap (do not stack) with resistance gained from classes.

Force Resistance

Each class with a Force Alignment has at least one Force Resistance. Force Resistance is a general term used to refer to inherent class-based resistance to each force.

Unlike normal SR, a class with an inherent Force Resistance cannot willingly lower that resistance. In addition, should a character with two Force Resistances attempt to use an ability of one of those forces, that character must overcome his own resistance to that force, even if the ability does not normally allow for resistance.

Example: A multiclass wizard/technologist attempts to cast a spell. He must overcome his technologist class's inherent SR in order to cast the spell.

This same rule applies to activating Force items: if you attempt to activate an item created using a Force to which you have a force resistance, the item must overcome your resistance, using its caster level for the check. If you use a Force item on someone, and they have resistance to the item's force alignment, the item must overcome their force resistance.

The Resistances are as follows.

  • Trinity of Reality
    • Spell Resistance (SR): Effective against arcane spells and magic.
    • Power Resistance (PR): Effective against powers and psionics.
    • Technology Resistance (TR): Effective against devices and technology.
  • Trinity of Remembrance
    • Blue Opposition (UO): Effective against talents and the blue.
    • Time Opposition (TO): Effective against jikuu and time.
    • Chaos Opposition (CO): Effective against avaos and chaos.
  • Trinity of Philosophy
    • Divine Inhibition (DI): Effective against divine spells and divinities.
    • Nature Inhibition (NI): Effective against druid spells and nature.
    • Void Inhibition (VI): Effective against nihils and the void.

The Wandering force, which is the tenth, is not a part of any of the Trinities, and as such follows special rules.

Visible Effects

When two forces clash, and an effect fails to affect a creature due to its inherent Force resistances, sparks are produced. These sparks are harmless in nature, but are produced by the clash of the nature of the Forces. The coloration of the sparks produced are dependent on the forces involved - for instance, a magic missile failing to hit a technologist would produce red and silver sparks.

It is theorized that these sparks are produced due to an invisible, intangible field that surrounds a Force-user and Force-based items. The sparks are then like the splash that occurs when rain falls into a body of water. It is not known why the Forces have the colorations they do; that is simply the way of things. Due to this, some Force-users will specifically wear clothing that matches the color associated with their Force, while others will specifically wear a color associated with another Force to confuse others.

  • Magic - Red.
  • Psionics - Purple.
  • Technology - Silver.
  • Blue - Blue.
  • Time - Tan (Yellow).
  • Chaos - Brown.
  • Divine - White.
  • Nature - Green.
  • Void - Black.

The Forces

Force-Users (Not canonical)
Force Force-User Abilities Effects of Force-User Level Increase
Magic Caster Spells Spell slots/day, spells known
Psionics Manifester Powers Metapsionic cap, disciplines accessible, powers known, manifester checks
Technology Student Devices Malfunction rate, devices known, max device level, device charges
Divine Petitioner Prayers Absolute limit, prayers known, max prayer level, Truespeech checks
Nature Geomancer Gifts Max stress, suites accessible, gifts known
Void Nihilist Nihils Threshold, overload, sublimation, max nihil level
Time Chronist Jikuu Universal JP, Personal JP, JP recovery rate, jikuu known, max jikuu level
Blue Memeticist Memes Memory, belief-space, memes known
Chaos Anarchist Avaos Trigger slots, active avaos

The following are general descriptions of each Trinity, as well as each Force and what classes are considered a part of that Force.

Trinity of Reality

The Trinity of Reality consists of Magic, Psionics, and Technology. These forces are visceral - their effects on the world are quite visible and readily assessed. In addition, these forces interact with the very nature of reality: a magic-user, for instance, is essentially rewriting a small part of the fabric of reality with every spell he casts.

Of the Trinities, the Trinity of Reality is the most noticed. When commonfolk think of the Forces, the three of this trinity are what immediately spring to mind. Its members also hold the most enmity towards each other; the divisions between the forces of Magic, Psionics, and Technology are well-drawn and quite clear. Nations and empires are built and broken based upon the influence and ideals of these three forces.

Trinity of Remembrance

The Trinity of Remembrance consists of the Blue, Chaos, and Time. These forces are somewhere between visceral and esoteric: they are more thought-based and abstract than the forces of Reality, but more readily understood than those of Philosophy. The Forces of Remembrance revolve around concepts that are dealt with on a regular basis - the passage of time, the recollection of memories, the question of free-will - but take them a step farther than the commonfolk. A templar does not consider time to be a static, unyielding concept: he considers it to be a fluid reality, something that is to be shaped and worked.

The commonfolk are aware of the concepts of memory, time, and entropy; however, they are usually unable or unwilling to grasp the more convoluted and abstract notions behind them. They can understand that an akashic calls upon the world memory, but their understanding is limited - given that these three forces are more invisible than those of the Trinity of Reality, the powers of these three forces is seen to be less.


Trinity of Philosophy

The Trinity of Philosophy consists of the Divine, Nature, and the Void. These forces are, compared to the forces of the other two Trinities, the most abstract and esoteric. While the vast majority of people in Trinity have faith in a deity or in the power of nature, they are almost incapable of understanding the intracacies behind these three Forces - and even if they understand one, it is doubtful they will have anything beyond a basic comprehension of the other two.

The practitioners of these three Forces are more removed from commoners than most others. A voidchild who calls upon the void is utterly alien to a commoner - their understandings of the Void are so utterly different from one another, that intelligent conversation about the force is almost impossible. The same goes for the other two forces. While commoners may worship the Saints, their understanding of the religion is radically different from a cleric's understanding of it.

Magic

Magic in the world of Trinity is not a complex force, nor is it reminiscent of the mystical ways of other settings. Instead, Magic is understood to be a surprisingly formulaic system. This is because Magic breaks the rules of the universe, and - in essence - each spell a mage casts must also establish the standard parameters of the universe, while giving the caster room to produce the change he or she seeks.

Take the classic example of Fireball. In order to produce such a flame, the mage must begin by exerting the idea of flame, then of flammability, then of area, then of a sphere. Whereas technology can simply take advantage of the existing rules of physics, every single spell a caster crafts must establish each rule of reality to be followed. To not do so is to invite catastrophe or - worse yet - nothing.

It would seem that whatever created the universe - be it random chance or the deities - chose to leave these methods of "cheating" behind on purpose. However, unlocking these methods is incredibly difficult, and requires a good deal of strange words and odd motions - actions that no sane being would or could randomly come across. However, sane beings did come across them, and have thus unlocked the mysteries of the universe.

To summarize: magic breaks the rules to reach its ends.

Spells

Spellcasters use spells.

Spell Resistance (SR) is effective against spells, and spells only.

System: Magic in Trinity uses the same system as standard d20 does.

Psionics

Psionics is one of the more controversial forces. The basic premise behind psionics is that, in the grand scheme of things, there are loopholes in the way the universe works; these loopholes can then be used to one's advantage.

Powers

Manifesters use powers.

Power Resistance (PR) is effective against powers.

System: Psionics uses a custom system, which is essentially a combination of Ken Hood's d20 Psionics system and the Alternate Psionics Project, both of which have gone unmodified and untouched for a number of years. The framework of the system is derived from the APP, while many of the powers are taken from either Ken Hood or standard d20 psionics.

Technology

Devices

Students use devices.

Tech Resistance (TR) is effective against devices.

System: Technology uses a system of my own devising, which has been published in Steamworks. It is derived from the standard d20 magic system, but with intense modifications.

Blue

The world has memory that transcends and exceeds the memories of its mortal inhabitants. Every thought, every action is recorded in this memory; but given that the world does not think, it is difficult to tap into these memories. The Blue is the general term for the world memory - it was given this name due to the fact that the first gnomes who practiced it lived in the Blue Hills in Sarteri.

Memes

The abilities of those who practice the arts of the blue are known as "memes." The nature of memes varies wildly; a learner will use vastly different talents than an akashic, for example. As such, one rarely knows what to expect from one who wields the blue; only that it will be interesting, at the least.

Blue Opposition (UO) is effective against memes.

System: The Blue uses a slight modification of the incarnum system in magic of incarnum, though each Memeticist class uses the system in a slightly different way. Trainers, specifically, only call on the Blue by a technicality.

Time

Time is as a river, and it flows on for eternity. However, there are some who would seek to manipulate the timestream for their own ends, to undo past mistakes or to gain access to knowledge of the future. Time is the most precious commodity of the mortal races, and their recognition of this fact led to their discovery of the force of Time and, after time, its manipulation.

Though other forces may manipulate time to some extent, they do not have the full control over it that a templar does. A wizard may cast haste, but his spells have no power over time when compared to the might of a templar.

Jikuu

The powers of Time are known as "jikuu," and allow those who use them to access time and space, twisting and bending them. However, they are bound by the laws of causality - time does not allow paradoxes to last, and those who use jikuu are taught to understand that causing a paradox can cause them to cease existing.

Temporal Opposition (TO) is effective against jikuu.

System: Time uses a modified version of standard d20 psionics.

Chaos

Chaos in the sense of the force is not the same as chaos in the sense of alignment. Instead, it represents entropy, freedom, and luck. The blue seeks an order to things, a sense of cause leading to effect; chaos throws this concept to the wayside, allowing for coincidences and truly random effects. Time seeks to box the world in, maintaining the even flow of time which would almost ensure predestination; chaos throws this aside, as well, giving a sense of freewill and allowing for fluctuations in the timestream.

Avaos

The abilities of those who follow the ideals of chaos are known as "avaos." It is in the very nature of chaos that these are everchanging - no two anarchs will use them in the same manner.

Chaos Opposition (CO) is effective against avaos.

System: Chaos utilizes a custom system, and consists of two parts. Parts of the system are reminiscent of sorcerers, while the rest of the system is derived from warlock invocations.

Divine

Divinity is a powerful force, and it is one that most fear out of awe and respect. Divinity is attained through worship - a being is not deific by nature, but made that way through the belief and faith of others. It is the nature of the divine to attempt to hold this faith, and as such, most beings of divinity are rather dogmatic, enforcing rules on their followers to ensure that they maintain their divine status.

However, revering a divine being is not necessary for acquiring the power of the divine. There are some throughout the world who seem to have inherent powers that closely match those of clerics of the various deities. Whether this is a manifestation of the force, or these beings simply have some sort of "divine spark," is unknown.

To summarize: The divine forces its will upon the world to achieve its ends.

Prayers

The abilities of petitioners are known as "prayers."

Divine Inhibition (DI) is effective against prayers.

System: The Divine uses a heavily-modified version of Truename magic found in Tome of Magic.

Nature

The world is a natural thing, and to be part of it is natural. Nature is the force of the world, of the universe; it upholds natural law, and seeks to gain power by drawing it from existence. Unlike divine, which is superificial, and the void, which seeks to destroy, nature holds mortals over all.

Nature emphasizes the idea of letting things take their course, preferring only to take action in the most dire circumstances. Through letting things take their course, all things eventually come into balance, which is the preferred state of things from nature's viewpoint. Given this, most who utilize the force of Nature are calm and collected, preferring to let nature take its course than intervene directly.

To summarize: Nature lets things take their course to achieve its ends.

Gifts

The abilities of geomancers are called "gifts."

Nature Inhibition (NI) is effective against gifts.

System: Gifts use a custom system, accruing stress towards a given terrain or environment to invoke their abilities.

Void

Few know the power of the void - it is the essence of non-existence. It opposes nature, as it seeks to destroy the world; it opposes divinity, as it seeks to undo creation. Void is the power of nonbeing, of nonthinking, and of nonexistence. Followers of the Void tend to be killed as soon as their nature is revealed, as it is recognized to be a powerful and dangerous force. However, even though it has few followers, void retains power, as there exist several places throughout the world where there are portals to this nonexistance.

The Void emphasizes non-action. Through doing nothing, anything can be achieved. If one does not think about one is doing, then one does not consider the limitations put on oneself. Through non-action and a lack of thought, a practitioner of the Void becomes little more than a channel for the Void.

To summarize: The Void does nothing and thinks nothing to achieve its ends.

Nihils

The powers of the void are collectively known as nihils. The only known beings to exhibit these abilities are known as voidchildren, and they are a force to be reckoned with; it is also rumored that the Isci were created by the void (which would seem to be a contradiction in terms), and as such exhibit some connection to the void.

Nihils focus on frightening creatures, dealing immense amounts of shadow damage, weakening creatures, gathering information, disrupting Force usage, hiding creatures from various senses, interfering with the usage of mind-affecting abilities, inhibiting healing, empowering the nihilist, and copying the abilities of other Forces.

Nihils are poor at healing or aiding creatures, traveling rapidly, dealing damage of energy types other than shadow, preventing status effects, aiding social interaction, conjuring items or creatures, and manipulating the environment in non-destructive ways.

Void Inhibition (VI) is effective against nihils.

System: Void uses a heavily modified variant of standard d20 psionics. Rather than have a pool of points that goes down, nihilists begin at 0 and count up as they use nihils, and suffer increasingly detrimental effects as they accrue more points.

Wandering

Little is known of the Wandering force; it is common contention that it does not even exist. However, a very few select people in the world are aware of its existence, and those who are part of it.

The Wandering force, should it exist, supposedly holds dominion over the other nine. Those who would call themselves Wanderers are said to be able to shrug off the powers of the other nine forces as a duck sheds water, are impossible to kill save by their own weapons, and can wield any ability of a force as though it were another - calling upon the void as though it were magic, for instance. Needless to say, any such being would be immensely powerful and nigh-impossible to destroy.

The role of the Wandering force is that of control. Its purpose would be to ensure that the other nine do not succeed in triumphing over the others; some would say that its purpose is not just that, but also to help the nine forces work in tandem - though to what end, none could say.

It is not known if the Wandering force has any abilities of its own; if it does, they are unknown and have no specific name, as other forces do.