September Scion Update!
Hello Scion backers!
Greetings, true believers. I know everyone wants to hear about the Scion: Hero proof: and it’s about wrapped up, which is about all I can say. I know it’s frustrating, but we’re very nearly there, as you can see:
Other Scion projects are on their way to you, so I’m going to talk a little bit about them.
Scion Companion: Mysteries of the World
The Scion Companion’s first drafts are in, and developer Meghan Fitzgerald is busy redlining them. There was an unfortunate hiccup with authors having to drop from the book and new ones being hired, which actually is fairly normal for pretty much every RPG book you’ve ever read. It’s rare that doesn’t happen on a book, to be honest – sometimes writers need to step up to cover some gaps, sometimes developers need to write large sections themselves. We also often leave deliberate unassigned wordcount to grant to authors whose sections run over (and the Yazata and Atlanteans did, a little – and that’s okay, if we’ve got room). Right now I’m going to preview two Boons from one of the new Purviews and an antagonist of the Yazata meant to challenge an entire band of Heroes.
This is the Purview of tutelary Gods: deities that act as guardians or patrons of a sacred city or a chosen people. When you take this Purview, you must always choose a group or city that its benefits are focused on; in exchange, you receive a motif (Scion: Hero, p. XX) based on the chosen people or group.
Gods with the Covenant Purview include: Athena
Innate Power: Treat the attitude (Scion: Origins, p. XX) of members of your chosen people or inhabitants of your sacred city towards you as one step higher.
Ear to the Streets
Cost: Free or Imbue 1 Legend
Your bond with your sacred city or chosen people lets you sense threats toward them. The Storyguide should inform you before such a threat manifests, ensuring you will have enough time to potentially intervene and prevent the threat. If you imbue one Legend in this boon, the Storyguide should give you a lead (Scion: Origins, p. XX) as to the nature of the threat — rampaging Titanspawn, police corruption, impending natural disasters, or the like. You have Enhancement 3 on rolls to track down or seek out the source of the threat. The lead goes cold if you reclaim your Legend.
Alternatively, the Storyguide may choose to provide you with plot hooks in the form of urban legends from your city or gossip among your people, granting Enhancement 3 to pursue these rumors.
Cost: Imbue 1 Legend
You are always at home within your dominion. Residents of your sacred city or members of your chosen people treat their Attitude towards you as one degree higher than the innate power granted by this Purview (two degrees total). You can always find food and shelter in your city or among your people, and there is a 2-point Complication in the way of any efforts to find you if you wish to remain hidden or disturb your peace so long as you remain among them.
And here’s an antagonist from the Yazata:
Ažis: These dragons are universally evil, and the most dangerous minions of Angra Mainyu. Normally ažis opposes Scions, but they are willing to trade favors with those desperate enough to damn the consequences by asking for their aid.
There is no one standard form for ažis, they are as diverse as they are vicious. This aži is similar in form to the infamous three-headed dragon, Aži Dahāka.
Qualities: Apocalyptic Presence, Unstoppable
Flairs: Curse, Knockdown, Suck It Up
Primary Pool: 13 (Bite Attacks, Hunting Horses, Titanic Exhalation)
Secondary Pool: 11 (Curses, Devastating the Countryside, Ruling as a Tyrant)
Desperation Pool: 7
Special Systems: This aži is composed of three Segments, each of three Health, plus an additional Health box, the rightmost. Each Segment represents a head, which has independent Initiative. If a Segment is destroyed by filling its three Health boxes, that Segment cannot act until it is fully healed.
Scion Ready-Made Characters
The stretch goal is being developed by Danielle Lauzon, the Trinity Continuum mechanical developer. It’s meant to have a section of ready-made characters to complement the ones in the Scion: Hero core book, new and old from Scion 1e:
Manitou: Rose Aishquaykezhick-White
Kami: Yukiko Kuromizu
Theoi: Donnie Rhodes
Orisha: Omolara Muhammad
Netjer: Horace Farrow
Shen: Colwyn “Little” Mao
Poor Sigrún didn’t quite make the cut (although she’s in the Scion: Hero core as an example of how to build a character). As an apology to her, here’s how her writeup would go, to give an example of how everyone else’s progresses:
Background: Carved from a living ash by Loki’s own hand, Sigrún spat her first breath back in his face, cursing Loki for giving her a masculine shape and fleeing from his sight. Taking her other parent’s name—the ash tree she once was—she ventured across Vanaheim, walking amongst the spirits of the land, the streams, the hills, and the lakes—these were, after all, her kin. From them, she learned how to hunt, how to survive, and how, slowly but surely, to remake herself in her own true image. When they counseled her to find fellowship with humanity, whom she so resembled, humanity saw a wild woman, and knew well not to trifle with her. They took her in, fed her, clothed her as humans are clothed. It was here that Sigrún learned that deep secrets may be wielded like knives, that the thin line between truth and lies is easily crossed—in other words, she learned what it means to be Loki’s daughter.
But nothing passes out of Loki’s sight for long, and in time he found her. He wore a false face to approach her, to entangle her in a game of rhyme and meter that lasted well until the mortals had drifted off to sleep. Only then did he reveal himself to his daughter, a calculated ploy that seemed to blow up in his face as Sigrún fled once more, this time to Midgard, descending the World Ash until one of its roots became an ash grove in Bethesda, Maryland. Here, she hoped, she could avoid his unwanted interference, here that she grudgingly supplanted alchemical elixirs mixed into her wine for the products of mortal pharmacology. By now an accomplished mystic despite her young age, she practices seidr divination to guide her journey, ever hoping to uncover some secret that she can wield against her father. She hopes for nothing less than to find a means to undo Loki’s mistake, and to server the bond between them forevermore.
Description: Though she was carved to be a Viking Adonis, Sigrún looks quite feminine now, if the sort of feminine that is usually accompanied by freeweights, bruised knuckles, and harsh diets. She is tall and rangy, with long fingers that are much stronger than they look. Sigrún lets her ash-blonde hair run free, and it falls halfway down her back. She favors hoods, which shadow her piercing blue eyes that, more often than not, stare without reservation. She wears clothing that is durable and easy to move around in, though she favors the lambskin and fur she wore before she came to Earth, when she can wear it without attracting undue attention — or when the hot summers of the East Coast make it more trouble than it’s worth.
The Jumpstart, developed by Monica Speca, is in first drafts right now. As I stated in previous monthly updates, the goals of a Jumpstart are threefold:
- Provide an overview of Storypath and Scion’s rule system.
- Guide players through using that system to support the setting and play style of Scion, with special attention paid to Storypath’s Three Areas of Action.
- Show the format of a basic Scion session arc.
It’s a mystery, so I won’t speak too much about it for fear of spoiling players! But, I can share the theme and the mood.
Theme: A mystery with many players
Who would want Bai Amari dead? Turns out, a lot of people, including a number of the PC pantheons. The main thing carrying through this adventure should be how fractitious and cutthroat the divine community really is - dozens of pantheons and mythologies crashing into one another on a secret level, occasionally with some violence. The players shouldn’t be sure if any of their character’s myth-narrative threads are influencing the murder, or if none of them are.
Mood: Shadows cast by sunlight
Play up the secrecy and the paranoia a bit. Make it clear to the players that the divine don’t tell them everything, or even tell them the right things or the truthful things. Scions are ultimately pawns - valued ones, treasured children, but agents to be sacrificed rather than rivals to be feared. Bai was approaching the cusp of being a rival as a Demigod - was this why she was killed, and are the Scions being tasked with a due diligence investigation in order to cover the tracks of their own pantheon?
Finally, we come to the Scion Bestiary, where I’ll share a bit of my thought process behind it. Originally, I wanted Paths to be a lot more expansive than they are: huge selections full of Birthrights, individual powers purchaseable by Scions, and mythological threads that you could potentially buy into. This was a little too complex and unmanageable for the Scion: Hero book, and definitely for Scion: Origin, so we ended up paring down Paths into the sleek forms you see in those texts.
But I never really gave up on the idea. In order to expand Origin-level play and make Denizens (read: people descended from Creatures of Legend) more robust and competitive going into Hero- and Demigod-level play. Scion Bestiary is going to be where we preview an expanded Paths system that deals with how we’re addressing Fate in Scion: Demigod – the greater your power and the more treasure you accumulate from your adventures, the more narrative threads from myth are attached to your Legend – and the more bound by them you become. As Denizens become more bestial and embrace their Legendary sides, they find their destinies channeling along inhuman lines, as Fate forces them into the role they’ve embraced. This is never about forcing your character to be played a certain way, however – if you’re a kitsune, you don’t have to bedevil the proud and lead travelers astray for mischief, but you do if you’ve chosen to grow your power by accepting that Fatebinding. This is similar to the way we’re going to have large pantheon links for Fatebinding in Scion: Demigod, and why the Gods themselves fear being forced into certain roles. Sometimes mortals have it easy.
That’s it! Until next time,