Saturday, January 9, 2021

(Trinity 1e)Field Report: Oceania

 Where to Get it: drivethru rpg

When I read a full series, I usually like to do it in order of publication, because then I can spot when new ideas are added or when old ideas are called back to. With the Trinity Universe, however, I didn't have the full series when I started, and I had no plans to get it, so I just read it in a more or less random order. Which is to say, I have no clear idea about the appropriate context for Field Report: Oceania.

I guess I could focus on the difference between first and second edition. In second, Oceania is a geographically discontinuous nation of undersea and floating city-states, whereas in 1st edition it's not anything. Near as I can tell "Oceania" doesn't refer to any particular organization in the setting, because this book is jut about a random assortment of undersea and floating city-states. As a result, this Field Report doesn't really feel like it's about the ocean per se. It feels more like it's about Nippon and the FSA and Turkey (ie New Ottoman Empire . . . apparently) as seen through the perspective of their oceanic settlements.

It's not bad. Because the book is so short, only one of the locations feels like a story-hook. You could definitely set games in the decadent Pearl City or the libertarian monarchy of Neptunia, but they don't really have plots associated with them. And the alien-dolphin communication project of Qingjing or the mysterious creatures of the Peru-Chile trench are certainly situations, but Trinity being Trinity, they are left so mysterious that they're less a hook than a blueprint of a hook.

Atlantis Deep is the one that works best. You've got a location (shabby blue collar mining settlement), a situation (ethnic tension and a management/labor split that doesn't quite break down along ethnic lines), and actual characters and stakes (the various union bosses and the future of the settlement's exploitative practices), which is a lot to cram into three pages.

And even with all that, I've still not talked about three of the book's section headings. The book is broad, but shallow, and I can't quite figure out a way to make that into a satisfying ocean pun. I'm not sure about it as an introduction to the Trinity setting (a role made tempting by its zero-dollar price tag), but it's a nice bit of miscellanea to round out an edition.

Ukss Contribution:Neptunia. It's libertarian seasteading. And it has a king. Because of course it does.

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