About Triumvene & The Imperial System

This first campaign, "The Planar Wars", is designed for parties new to Triumvene and The Imperial System. It contains a main storyline, which the group may interact with to whatever extent they wish, and three banks of events, which serve to add flavour and character to the world and the story.

Firstly, let me introduce you to our world. Then we'll take a look at what makes Triumvene different, why we've taken some of the decisions we have, and give a brief overview of the mechanics of it.

Three Planes, Three Settings

The world of Triumvene exists on three different planes of existance. In the first, where the group starts, the societies of the globe are undergoing industrial, political and social revolutions. The rise of cities and factories are drawing people from the countryside to find work. Two nations who previously though themselves the entire extent of the world have been introduced to the rest of the world, shattering a way of life that has existed for 50,000 years. New technological advances make the low-born talented into tomorrow's masters, whilst reducing Kings and Queens to beggars. It's a low magic setting, where magic isn't fair.

Some of the early design ideas for Midworld

In the second, the Golden Plane, everything is everliving, with more near Godlike levels of magical ability. However, with their great power and peaceful lives has come stagnation. What should have been perfect has become something broken in a different way.

Some of the early design ideas for the Golden Plane

The final plane, Phyverse, shows a world with no magic and high technology. Advanced to today's level and slightly beyond, it's a world of space stations, electric cars, exoskeletons and advanced medical technology. However, much as with our world, it is fraught with politics and the challenges that come with advanced artificial life forms, life extension, justice systems swayed by powerful elites and unequal wealth.

Some of the early design ideas for Phyverse

Re-imagining Tabletop Roleplay

The world of Triumvene was imagined through the lens of the 19th century impressionist movement in art. Instead of painting from reference in a studio, the impressionists sought to capture the sine qua non, the essence of the scene, through working quickly in front of the subject. It created a new wave of art, with a new understanding of light and tone and brush stroke.

In a similar way, this world is sketched out in brief, aiming to give flavour and feel, without detailing the nth degree of its workings. We took this decision to give you the room to fill the world with your imagination and your game. As a group, you'll co-create most of the lore of the world itself. Our hobby is creative in nature, and we believe that should extend as much to the world itself, as to your characters.

Much as when viewed up close, Monet's Haystacks are little more than coloured blots, but when viewed from afar become a beautiful, rich tapestry of form and colour, we believe the beauty in our hobby comes from your imagination, not our writings.

You may want to look at a large version of this painting to see what we mean about the detail - it's available in super-high res here.

A Whole New (Inclusive) World

Perhaps the biggest step we took when creating Triumvene was in ditching the historic fantasy races and lore from the genre. This isn't a pseudo-medieval setting. There are no elves or orcs or dwarfs or giants or halfings.

Instead, we've got Henagon, Lurniage and Marati, as well as various others...

A few of the peoples you can play as...

Our reasoning for this was twofold: firstly, these things come with a lot of pre-existing baggage. From an inclusiveness point of view, these worlds create a setting that many people simply don't want to play in. Triumvene aims to be more non-geek friendly. It takes the types of mechanics and materials that you'll be used to, but thins them out to make them more approachable for non-geek audiences.

However, there's a larger point here. In trying to make this an inclusive world, we also wanted to do away with the inherent racism built into traditional tabletop games and fantasy settings. That's a broader topic than this about page is going to address, but it's problematic enough that we wanted to get away from it.

Mechanics

I'm fairly willing to assume you're here because you're already a fan of one or more tabletop RPGs, and you'd probably like to know how ours works.

The Imperial System is a D12 system, geared around three main stats (Diplomacy, Knowledge, and Fitness), with buffs dependent on the character history, reflected through skills and professions. Backstory to the character is given heavy focus in the system, as there's not nearly the same kind of stat growth as you'd see in something like D&D. Instead, it's assumed that you're mostly normal creatures, and you're probably not going to turn into demigods.

That said, there's a magic system, which pushes creativity by limiting the amount you can do. Most characters will have one magical ability, three at most, with abilities being gained through extreme emotional experiences (good or bad). It's designed to create magic geared around utility of use, rather than a single application. Thus there's no fireballs, but instead the ability to slowly turn into a dragon, or to create worlds filled with your thoughts, or read the minds of animals and insects.

Our aim is to create a world that feels different and interesting, which pushes the players to think creatively, and to focus on there characters and creating lore around the framework of the world. The mechanics reflect that.

I hope you enjoy your time in that world as much as we've enjoyed designing it.

Yours in gaming,

Peter Watson-Wailes