Trinités is a long-running French role-playing game, published by Les XII Singes (The 12 Apes), in which you play as, well, a "trinité" or trinity (the game not being translated into English, the appropriate word is only an assumption), a being that is composed of an Adam (the human), a Deva (a spirit of light) and an Archont (a spirit of darkness). At the age of 33, they must choose between their archont and their deva, taking a position in the ongoing war between good and evil. Trinités are superhuman beings, having twice the health of a normal human, regenerating wounds easily (unless extreme damage is inflicted, like a decapitation), but they die once they reach 99. There are 72 of them in total.
Oh, and they tend to reincarnate over the course of history. A lot.
According to the huge Metaplot, the game begins in the year 2000. This is the final battle, as the end of the world draws near. Nearly all Trinities have had more lives in which they chose darkness than light, and as such, have become "king archonts" at 33 years old, champions of darkness. The players, on the other hand, have had five lives of darkness, and five of light, and thus, keep both their deva and archont. They are all summoned, and thus born, on the same day by something once all of the other 72 have been born. The game begins as they reach the age of 33 and are contacted by their messengers, who tell them their true nature and their place in the eventual fate of the world.
It is up to the 72 to influence the final decision of the 12 Elohims regarding the fate of the world after the end. Will it be a world of light or darkness?
Think that's bad? That's just the tip of the iceberg, as countless secret organizations, besides the trinities, have influenced the fate of the world. The eight secret societies, originally created millenia ago to exterminate the trinities, are among the most powerful and widespread of them.
This tabletop RPG provides examples of:
- All Myths Are True: Sort of, they certainly all have a real basis in the secret history. Some gods or heroes might have been trinities, and quite often, the real events are bigger than what people remembered.
- Ancient Conspiracy: Lots and lots and LOTS of them. Almost every major historical event is actually the work of a secret group, an Archont or a Deva, or something else entirely.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Oh yes. Well... not completely sure about Beethoven, but Jason, Imhotep, Pythagoras, Hassan-i Sabbah, the 12 apostles, King Arthur and his 12 knights (sensing a pattern there, by the way?), Cuchulain, Attila, the queen of Sheba, Hernán Cortés, they're all trinities, and the list goes on and on and on.
- Black and White Magic: Verses (the trinities' equivalent of spells) are almost all the time created as a pair: one of darkness and one of light, drawing on your dark and light Karma respectively. Darkness verses tend to harm enemies, spoil their actions, or increase one's stealth, while light verses tend to protect or heal the user, give them information, or make them look good.
- Body Horror: The members of one of the 8 called the Devoured Ones have dark powers that allow them to curse their enemies when they are wounded. To make things quicker, they tend to scarify themselves right in the middle of combat. Their goal is to gather the body parts of what they think is their lord Cronos. To protect the body parts they have, they will graft it to a dead body, resulting in a horrible zombie that curses you when you slash it.
- Dark Is Evil: Mostly played straight. Devas, beings of light, tend to be good, while Archonts, beings of darkness, are evil.
- Dark Is Not Evil: While Devas are good and Archonts evil, a trinities that has not been overwhelmed by either side still get to make their own choice, regardless of their quantity of light or dark Karma. So even if they radiate dark energy, they might still be working for the good guys.
- Decapitation Required: Not exactly, as any damage that's lethal to a human and that exceeds the regeneratice capabilities of the trinities will lead to their actual death (being chopped in half, having one's heart ripped out, being blown to pieces, etc...), but if you wanna be sure, decapitation is a pretty safe way to do it.
- Double Standard: All incarnations of a character will be of the same sex. It becomes a bit problematic when you look at the twelve past incarnations available to the players that are developed. Out of all of them, only two are female. And one of those two can be used for a male character (the past incarnation of the character isn't the one on the cover, but one of her close ones). Let's just say more than one woman in the group might be tricky to manage as far as past incarnations are concerned (and they are a critical part of one's character), unless the GM creates new ones. Then again, if a normal human drinks from the Holy Grail (yes, that Holy Grail), they will be transformed into a trinity. This new trinity will not have past lives (or at least none that were trinities, only regular human lives), so any problem concerning past incarnations won't be an issue.
- Julius Beethoven da Vinci: Since trinities have been reincarnating for millenias, this is to be expected, and each player character will get several past lives.
- Karma Meter: The Mana of the game is called Karma. It basically corresponds to either of your Archont's (dark Karma) or Deva's (light Karma), strength. Having a higher dark Karma doesn't make you necessarily evil, as the opposite doesn't make you necessarily good, but blatantly evil acts might raise your dark Karma dots, as the archont within the player rejoices. Played more straight for Incarnate Devas and Archonts, who only have light or dark Karma, respectively.
- Kryptonite Factor: To an extent. Swords do double damage on trinities. But then, trinities have twice the health of a normal human, so it's more of a tool to even the odds than a real Achilles' Heel. Note that this only works with swords, not blades in general, not knives or daggers. It actually works on a symbolic level. Thus even a wooden sword will cause twice the damage it would do to a normal human.
- Kryptonite Is Everywhere: Well, yeah, swords will hurt trinities, any sword, even a wooden sword. As long as it can be qualified as a "sword", it works.
- Mana: Called Karma. Comes in light and dark and Elohim varieties.
- Metaplot: And how. The books of the Trinité franchise describe an extensive background and a huge, epic metaplot that may last for about a decade of ingame time. All secret organizations, all important NPCs and their goals are detailed. The whole game system and background is built around that metaplot, so while it is entirely possible for a GM to modify some elements, add new quests and campaigns or maybe remove entire campaigns to make the game shorter, not following the metaplot at all would require heavily altering the game.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Devoured Ones, Attila, the Butcher. All trinities and incarnate devas and archonts are simply referred to as Juggernauts by members of the 8, which were originally created to hunt and kill them.
- Nebulous Evil Organisation: Lots of them, some relatively recent, some very, very ancient, all with different goals, and not necessarily evil. There's even a club of Nebulous Organisations called the 8, gathering some of the oldest of them.
- In the 8 The Lions is possibly the most classic example, as their goal is simply world domination. This goal is pretty much achieved, except for one little detail: They are actually two organizations, one controlling North America and the other Europe, sparring with each other to decide who will win in the end. And yet, they're not even that evil compared to, say, archonts.
- The Ekklesia is also a pretty classic example. It controls basically all organized religion in the world and uses people's fervor to fuel their powers. Their goal? Seizing control of all of the other 8.
- Speaking of, the most evil of these organization is probably the Pack, a group of twelve extremely influential archonts whose grip on the world is at least as strong as the Lions'. Fortunately, they spend as much time planning the end of the world as they do fighting against each other.
- One-Liner: Of the Pre-Asskicking One-Liner and/or Wham Line variety. That's the method of casting of the trinities' spells. Basically, when a trinity, in one of its past lives, did something remarkable, it was written down in in the stars, and a "verse" was created, basically a spell. Those spells can be learned by all trinities afterwards. Basically, to activate the verse, you have to recite it out loud (wispering it costs more karma points). Example of a verse of Simon the Zealot: Are you tied up? Cuffed? Just say "None shall coerce him" and the rope/cuffs will open and fall by themselves.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: A lot. Most major events, contemporary or past, economical, political or environmental have to do with the secret history and supernatural forces.
- Shrouded in Myth: Everything and everyone that mattered in history, although people might not realize it.