Scion June Update: Art and Scion Companion
Greetings, true believers! I'm hard at work proofing Scion: Origin, which is in the very final stages before release. After me, it goes back to approvals at Onyx Path, and we make any final changes before it comes out to you, the backers.
But Scion: Hero is very close behind.
Other than that, we're currently hiring writers for the Scion Companion, which has a completed outline that's dropped off the back of a truck right here. One notable thing that we decided to put in last-minute (and isn't in the outline yet) is something I like to call the Myth Level.
Scion has a number of setting dials one can turn. The default setting of Scion is one where the divine and the legendary are barely hidden from the World at large, where religions of the Gods are popular and accepted, where monotheism isn't often at odds with the Gods (or is co-opted in pantheon power plays), or where the genre of the game shifts as you go from Origin to Hero and then again when you get to Demigod and God. This is all intended, but there's a setting difference from First to Second Edition that have thrown some folks off, so we're dusting off an old idea and giving it new polish.
The Myth Level is five options along four axes of design, meant to allow the Storyguide to choose and emulate how many of Scion’s setting “dials” they want to crank. The one we've discussed the most is the presence of the divine in everyday life, or how much Scion deals with, well, the Gods. Named after Hesiod's Five Ages of Man, these dials are:
- Iron: Perfectly mundane. Indeed, even a little shabby when it comes to creatures of Legend. Very similar in nature and tone to Gaiman's American Gods, where ifriti are cab drivers, Odin is a shiftless wandering con man, and Chernobog and the goddesses of dawn, midday, and evening are poor immigrants scraping by in a shitty apartment in Chicago. Most Knacks don't function fully, most Boons provide only weak "tricks". Gods communicate through Omens and small miracles when they're not embodied, and religion takes the place of most direct communications. The default genre setting of Origin.
- Heroic: Mostly mundane, but with room for great acts of heroism. Most Hero-level abilities work normally in this environment, though most abilities still seem either tremendously lucky or as a result of great skill, and Boons deliberately pass into the next level. Most supernatural creatures still have mundane manifestations here (that centaur might still just be a biker here), but Scions and gods may appear as impressive and tremendous - Aphrodite isn't some burnt out barfly here, she's drop-dead gorgeous and probably on fashion covers. This is the level of the Iliad and the Odyssey and Hero, though that game also heavily crosses into...
- Bronze: This is where the supernatural comes into play now. Creatures of Legend shed their mundane disguises in areas of Bronze Myth, and appear in their true nature. Magic becomes overt here, and Demigods wield their true power. This is Clash of the Titans territory, and there might just actually be dragons in that undetailed area of the map. This is where Hero truly lives.
- Silver: Past the threshold of urban myth and getting into epic fantasy, places of Silver Myth are deeply resonant with Myth. They are often fanciful places and hidden vales of magic technically found in the World, but not of it. Godly powers work at their full potency here, and the power of a creature of Legend is reflected in its appearance - the mightier the entity, the more impressive it appears. Zelazny's Lord of Light goes into this area of Myth in its narrative. Demigod exists in this space, dealing with the effects of myth on a culture.
- Gold: Flat-out mythological, where symbolism is the same as its reality. Places of Gold Myth are not even of this World, and all creatures of Legend may find their powers increased by the richness of the locale's potent Legend (in game terms, areas of Gold Myth actually have extra Effects that anyone can use if they meet the prerequisites). Lots of Scion 1e went into this territory, with its otherworldly locales, and lots of fantasy that touches on extradimensional areas and the like qualify. God works on this level.
We'll save the other dials, such as the presence of the Titanomachy or genre, for another update.
That's it for now! For the most up-to-date Scion information, keep checking back at theonyxpath.com every Monday evening for Rich's Monday Meeting notes.