Making our favorite games even better
This is a collection of my stories and rule changes for Scion.
A look at my collection of story ideas and cosmology. Much of the ideas are based on a blending of the Norse mythology with that of Iran and India as they are all strongly connected. Rather than assuming all the various pantheons are right and roughly equivalent I took the stance that a fairly common thread in Indo-European religions is that of the Twelve great gods so I assumed that there was a good reason for that being important. Thus, the Twelve Most High have the occasional roster change and shuffle but have been ruling the cosmos since they deposed the Twelve Titans. Upon achieving the rank the god is elevated to a much higher level of power than they had experienced previously but find that much of their time, power, and freedom are limited because of the responsibility to maintain the growing cosmos which is accelerating at a faster pace than ever with the breaking free of many of the imprisoned Titans from their prison Ginnungagap the yawning Abyss of creation.
Ymir was the greatest and first of the Titans. From his death at the hands of Passion, Reason, and Shape otherwise known as the Three Most High known as the sons of Bor was created the cosmos with Ymir’s life energy, the power of the Ginnungagap, and their will and sacrifice. Finally they bound and fed the creation with the cosmic tree Yggdrasil and the four cardinal rivers of Meruheimr. The mantles of power of the Twelve Titans were cast from them by the sons of Bor and passed to their kin and allies becoming the first incarnation of the Twelve Most High who defeated all but Aten of the Twelve Titans and cast them into the Ginnungagap and continued the shaping of the cosmos began by Ymir’s death.
The 12 Most High:
Chief Executive Officer and King
“tyr of inspiration, passion, and sacrifice”
Frey of Battle and Champion
“tyr of thunder, sky, and might”
Chief Analytics Officer and Vizier
“tyr of the weird, illusion, and change”
Chief Information Officer and Scholar (Wife of Odin and Queen)
“tyra of prophecy, magic, and love”
Chief Creative Officer and Bard
“tyra of expression, flame, and healing”
Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
“tyra of agriculture, hearth, and gold”
Chief Technology Officer and Smith
“tyr of smithing, education, and science”
Chief Operations Officer and Seneschal
“tyr of frost, ranged combat, and oaths”
Chief Security Officer and Guardian
“tyr of perception, travel, and protection”
Chief Martial Officer and General (Scion of Thor)
“tyr of empire, war, and iron”
Freya of the Ljosalfar (daughter of Frey Ingwe and Gerd)
“tyra of fertility, health, and sun”
Freya of the Dvergar (daughter of Thrud and Alviss)
“tyra of engineering, darkness, and earth”
(tyr/a meaning elite god of and frey/a which means lord/lady)
The 9 Realms:
The weakest of the Twelve is far more powerful and dangerous than any two lesser Gods as the mantle of rank grants tremendous might and only the best can hope to enjoy the title for long or can handle the intense responsibility over the cosmos.
Odin has remained as the highest for nearly a thousand years and was one of the Three Most High who led the battle against Ymir in the first Titan war and used the Titan’s lifeforce to craft the Nine Worlds into their current form and imprison most of the other Titans until recently.
Uller has stood as the Highest in Odin’s stead in ancient times and more recently during the retreat from Midgard a thousand years ago and is trusted as leader while Odin or Frygga is unavailable.
Wayland, Brigid, and Kunnalfa share aspects of the “art of making” and their Scions tend to either work together extremely well or become dangerous rivals. Those who focus on exquisite design, high cost, and high production value tend to follow Brigid while pragmatic mass production and good value tends to be the mindset of Kunnalfa. Wayland creates the initial ideas, research, and inventions that both Goddesses use in their creations. In the past he crafted many of the mightiest relics of the Aesir and worked closely with Dvergar smiths during the second Titan war and became a prominent king in Elfame during his rise as the first Scion to achieve full Apotheosis. His exact lineage remains unknown.
A Scion of Kunnalfa’s “recent” influence in the invention of the atomic bomb has had a large social impact on the Nine Worlds leading to even more dangerous weapons.
The Twelve Most High stand in power where once the Twelve Titans of Antiquity did.
Contains the great city of Asgard and home of the Aesir led by the Twelve Most High. Legend states that an Aesir cup bearer in a modest hall has might enough to rule a kingdom in Meruheimr. Beyond the fortress home of the Aesir lies subsidiary nations of elite ancestors from different peoples and species of Manheimr that currently act as a buffer and protection against the Titan’s onslaught. These city states and nations provide Asgard with Tribute and as a consequence gain a measure of protection, higher status, and place away from the vastly overcrowded Meruheimr. The Glory Road links these mostly new realms together and allows for quick travel and commerce.
Home of the Vanir. Devastated originally by the war between the Aesir and the Vanir it had slowly recovered only to have suffered great losses at the hands of Angrboda’s creatures, the Fomori, and other Titanspawn who have conquered most of its Great Forest leaving only a handful of cities and fortresses relatively safe with most barely surviving. Even with these great losses the Vanir still outnumber the Aesir greatly and have been petitioning access to the Dvergar’s weapons for self defense.
Home of the Alfar or Aes Sidhe and contains Tir Nan Og, Brimir, the summer court, and Hy Brasil.
Contains Midgard and is home of men. Many terrae incognitae lie folded within Midgard and outside of sight but even more realms beyond Midgard called Peripheral Realms. Over the past thousand years the focus of the Twelve Most High left Midgard towards these outer territories with little traffic on Bifrost going to the heart of the world. The Gods have once more realized the central role Man and Midgard play and have been very interested in making sure there are plenty of Scions to stand against these new creatures and the new realms that gave them birth. Many of these new Scions have embraced technology and so have some sects of the Dvergar.
Home of the Jotnar. Not much is known about this World given its opposition to the Aesir. Utgard is a powerful realm closely linked with Midgard though its attention has been on the new Peripheral Realms expanding from Midgard. Powerful Jotnar who have mastered the Illusion Purview walk amongst mankind with a moderate amount of influence in Industry, Finance and Government. Rumors of immensely powerful Mages who have conquered terrae incognitae and many Peripheral Realms providing them with new servants and resources.
Mist home contains Hel (the dead/Nair), the winter court, Helreginn “Jotun of frost” the heir of Ymir. The primal world of Ginnungagap known as the yawning Abyss of Creation which lies on the farthest edge of “civilized” Niflheimr and has been very active for over a thousand years. In the past century the activity has vastly accelerated and with the end of the Titans imprisonment it seems to have exploded in an orgy of new realms and life forms flowing into Manheimr and Meruheimr.
Home of the Vaettir and Fylgja. The Great Mountain or heavens for the goodly dead of man originally and now for those of other natures. In ancient times it was known as Authumla and legend once was in the center of the cosmos (lying between Niflheimr and Muspellsheimr) and home to the Three and the Twelve before they rose up and slew Ymir and used his life essence to craft the Universe. Four rivers flow from the Mountain which lead from the four Dvergar Guardians to the far off edges of Manheimr. These rivers nourish Yggdrasil wherever the cosmic tree grows. Many new divine beings have flooded peripheral sections of the Mountain with new creatures never before seen. As of yet the Aesir have been too busy to look at them closely leaving it to the locals and the occasional Scion slumming amongst the lesser deities.
Home of the Dvergar. The dark fields is the name and the endless caverns is its nature. Here the engines of war used by the Aesir were forged that allowed them to imprison the ten of the remaining Titans in Niflheimr and keep Aten and Surtr’s regent Sinmara at bay in Muspellsheimr…until recently. Rumors say of vast sections of caves openly ruled by Cromm filled with Fomorians, undead, and their Jotnar masters. The Dvergar petition for aid which for the most part goes unanswered despite Kunnalfa’s rise to rank amongst the Twelve centuries ago. As a consequence many Dvergar have gone to Midgard to seek aid from their brethren pushing their resources beyond capacity.
Home of the fire Jotnar ruled by Surtr (black one) and Sinmara (pale nightmare). Primal realms of light, fire, and heat . Home of Aten’s brood and realm who in the past 1400 years has grown in power so much that he challenges Surtr’s strength. Agents of Aten have travelled all over Manheimr spreading his word bending the mortal races towards his worship.
Placelings are children of the Gods and other Powers that have been taken from the wombs where they were conceived and placed into surrogate mothers. With the war going on many Valkyries, Goddesses, and Alfar women have chosen this route to give their children a chance at life and to spare themselves the burden of worrying about the child while dodging sword thrusts and fireballs.
There are two common Rituals done for Placelings; a Health Purview Ritual and a Psychopomp Purview Ritual. The Health Ritual requires the surrogate mother to be at the Ritual and the touch of the Mother. The Psychopomp Ritual with secondary Purviews in Health and in the Fate Path is much more difficult and sends the child on Fate’s wings. Somewhere and sometimes somewhen the child will be born to the “right” mother for the child. As a consequence it is the safest route as there is no direct connection between the divine parent and the surrogate but that very lack of connection can be nerve wracking to some mothers.
At character creation a new scion can pick from their Divine Parent one Epic attribute and gain access to one Purview from their parent. These become the Scion’s Adept Purview and Attribute.
Characters can gain access to additional Purviews of their choice through the Birthright: Purview Access.
Scions have a free dot in the parentally endowed Adept Purview and the Adept Epic Attribute. The normal limitations on level maximum is equal to Legend rather than limited to one less than the character’s Legend.
The scion gains two Adept Abilities one of which must be from their parent’s list of favored abilities. These favored abilities become the character’s Adept Abilities in which it is easier for them to excel or grow in skill after character creation. They also are cheaper to achieve Arete in.
The scion has three of their parent’s Virtues and can choose their fourth.
Birthrights have been substantially altered especially with the creation of the Purview Access Birthright which replaces the need for a relic in order to tap into a Purview. All the other Birthrights have been organized and given a more precise focus on what you can and can’t get as well as looked at from a long term perspective in how as the Scion ages his Birthrights gain in power.
Pantheon Specific Purviews no longer exist as they’ve been co-opted into the Magic Ability as Paths and Traditions with the boons converted to Spells and Rituals granting a wider range of possibility.
Special Purviews have become Talents.
Purviews require that the Scion purchases dots and now with each added dot the Scion is granted a free boon. Much like the former Magic Purview used to do. In other words a Scion would purchase a dot in Fire and would get a free 1 dot boon and could then purchase a second dot in Fire and gain a 2 dot Fire boon and so on. A scion can purchase extra boons and if clever enough can invent new ones.
If the Scion is to be focused on Purviews and Talents he will need an Occult of 1 dot to show his understanding of the secret lore and his training in a Tradition. This training is usually in the culture he grows up in like an American Indian learning from his local shaman or a hacker learning from a forum on scientific magic, his divine parent’s religion, or a Guide, or a repository of ancient lore like a Grimoire of some sort.
Training a Tradition allows the character to effectively use his gifts though a relic can act as a crutch for those without an occult background but if the Scion is without the relic then he can’t use any boons or spells.
Bonus Points use during character creation:
New dot in the Adept Purview or Adept Epic Attribute = 3
New dot in a Talent (Magic, Prophecy) = 4
New dot in Arete with an Adept Ability= 2
New dot in Purviews = 5
New boon in the divine parental Purview or Spell = 2
New boon in a general Purview = 3
(All other costs remain the same.)
The Scion’s divine parent’s ichor grants certain competencies that go beyond the limitations of physics and mortals.
At character creation a Scion chooses a Divine Purview, an Epic Attribute, and two Favored Abilities. The Scion is “Adept” in these areas and gains certain advantages as a consequence.
At character creation the Scion gains a free dot in their Adept Purview, Adept Abilities and Adept Epic Attribute. As the core focus of the Scion’s power the normal limitations are weakened. The result is that in the Adept Purview and Adept Attribute the maximum level is equal to the Scion’s Legend rather than his Legend minus one.
For example a Scion with a Legend of 3 and Adept Intelligence could have her Epic Intelligence at 3 while her Epic Strength would be limited to 2 along with the rest of the Epic attributes and Purviews.
Should a Scion in gameplay find his passion and focus is changing the character can change their Adept Aptitude by switching to another Purview or Attribute with an equal level of competence. So, a Scion with Darkness of 4 as their Adept Purview could change their Adept Purview if they increased their Illusion to 4. The majority of the time it should also be a Purview of their Divine Parent. This should only happen rarely and be driven by the story. Maybe the Scion discovers an ancient relic and bonds with it providing insights into a new Purview with the sacrifice of the old or maybe the Scion secretly turns to a Titan for occult secrets. This gives a player an out if they find they simply don’t care for their Adept Purview or would like to see their character move in a new direction.
With Adept Abilities the Scion can grow in skill with much less effort and it is much cheaper to achieve Arete in them.
Upon Apotheosis to Demigod status and God status the Scion gains a new Adept Ability and a new Adept Purview or Epic Attribute. At godhood the Scion would have four Adept Abilities and four Adept Purviews or Attributes.
New dot in the Adept Purview or Epic Attribute = Current Rating x 3
New dot in Talent (Magic, Prophecy) = Current Rating x 4 (first dot 3)
First dot in the Arete Talent = 20 or 10 for an “Adept” Ability (after that use “New dot in Talent”)
New dot in Purviews = Current Rating x 5 (first dot 4)
New boon in the divine parental Purview or Spell = Boon Rating x 2
New boon in a Purview = Boon Rating x 3
All other costs remain the same.
Storyteller must give permission to a Scion to increase Legend.
As usual all trait increases should make sense and include time to train or practice the trait.
Purview Access Birthright:
1 to 3 dots grant one Purview per dot.
4th dot adds two Purviews.
5th dot adds three Purviews.
A Scion who paid for 5 dots in Purview Access would have 8 Purviews from the Birthright trait and one Parental Purview for a total of 9 Purviews. Usually Scions wait until they’re Demigods and Gods before achieving 4 or 5 in the Purview Birthright.
This Birthright is required to gain access to new Purviews. It is no longer necessary to purchase Relics and they aren’t required to use the Purviews.
Academics covers research through academic channels such as reading journals or scanning Google scholar and thus encompasses much of the canon version of Occult . It is used when converting Spells, Boons, and Rituals into a different tradition and can be hugely useful for an eclectic mage. It is also used when a character has access to an Occult Library or Guide to discover spells, rituals, and boons that others have created and using your philosophy to twist their technique into something you can use.
Occult: is the secret knowledge of the world and an understanding of how that world really works along with being the Ability that fuels the Magic Talent. Occult is to be used for intimate knowledge of secrets gleaned from the world personally or whispered at night by ancient guides granted by the Divine Parent. Does your character know about the “real” skull and bones secret society or how the observer effect and uncertainty principles twist and warp the skein of fate? Who is the demigod having an affair with Aphrodite now? At character creation it cannot be higher than 3 without a player’s explanation usually involving a divine Guide as most characters who just had a visitation having one dot in Occult.
Using tradition’s focus and philosophy to enact change within that tradition’s parameters using that tradition’s tools usually in a passionate and emotional manner (the mystic’s path) or in a cool rational manner (the hermetic or technological path). Advanced practitioners can develop eclectic tastes or even invent their own new Tradition as discussed in the Purviews and Traditions post.
Science: Using the scientific method to test and experiment and come up with new ideas in order to effect reality in a rational but imaginative manner. Also, knowledge of scientific professions, lab practices, and scientific information and theories. Useful for testing, developing, and learning new Spells and Rituals.
Investigation: which covers researching the accidentally and purposefully hidden lore along with using people as information resources that aren’t teachers openly giving information.
There is simply to big of a gulf at the high end for Epic Attributes for my taste. I like the idea of a talented Demigod in his specialty actually having a chance of defeating a much more powerful God in an area outside of their specialty. As it stands in canon that would be highly unlikely.
Epic Attribute House Rule:
Epic Attribute automatic successes follow this pattern in canon:
1, 2, 4, 7, 11, 16, 22, 29, 37, 46.
+1, +1, +2, +3, +4, +5, +6, +7, +8, +9.
(1, 2, 3,) (5, 7, 9, 11,) (15, 20, 25)
(+1, +1, +1,) (+2, +2, +2, +2,) (+4, +5, +5)
The groupings are based on Scion status such as Hero, Demigod, and God.
Arete also follows this rule.
Intro to Magic Talent:
he Magic talent isn’t limited by the Legend of the user. Anyone can learn how to cast Spells with training, experience, tradition, mindset, and the right occult understanding. Like all Talents there is no maximum to the highest level a character can learn. This allows for mortal practitioners to be a dangerous threat to a Hero even if only of low power barring the very unusual master magus.
The main vein of the “Magic Purview” described in the books is now called the Fate Path which focuses primarily on Spells that manipulate Fate directly. The Pantheon Specific Purviews (other than Arete) are other Paths commonly wielded by Scions trained in those Traditions. With higher rank in Occult it is possible for Scions to learn many Paths and incorporate them into their Tradition or invent wholly new Traditions.
For example a voodoo priest with Magic Talent of 4 with Spells in Cheval and Fate is somewhat dangerous to a lone Scion. In time the houngan might adapt the Spells and Traditions of other peoples and learn Spells developed by the ancient Egyptians or the Wiccans down the street. Possibly he could even transform himself into a creature of Legend or his studies could lead him to becoming a minion to a Titanspawn.
Magic is no longer a Special Purview and thus cannot be the Adept Purview endowed by the Divine Parent.
Learning too much Magic has the effect of attracting Fate’s attention however. Mortals with Magic talent are considered to have a Fateful Aura and Scions who grow powerful in magic will find that they attract far more attention from Fate than their less versatile brethren.
Every other dot in Magic (the 2nd, 4th, 6th…) the character adds one die to Fatebinding rolls and this does mean a mortal can face the same kind of difficulties the Legendary suffer.
Rituals are larger and time consuming spells that take at least five minutes to cast (rumors talk of titanspawn witches with rituals taking decades to cast) and a lot more props to focus the Scion’s power than a boon, cantrip, spell, or supernatural stunt.
Often Rituals are often required to activate ancient devices, open portals to other worlds, scry far off locations, open paths into terrae incognitae, enable magical mcguffins or counter magical mcguffins or other such one shot uses that push forward the story. As a rule it is far more effective to make use of a Magical Path’s Spells or a Purview’s Boons.
In order to cast rituals the Scion must have at least one dot in Magical Talent and any Purviews used in the Ritual.
A typical Ritual might be creating a field of Darkness around the caster to gain a bonus to intimidation or stealth, illuminate a room, stop a wound from bleeding or cause sickness.
Rituals have a duration of an hour without expending extra effort.
Higher power rituals could create storms or modify storms or shroud an entire building in darkness. They can do damage to individuals connected by fate or a sympathetic connection like blood or hair. A powerful ritual might create a Golem with Earth Magic or give a bonus to an entire army’s campaign or next battle.
To research about a ritual or Boon: Intelligence + Academics.
To find an ancient hidden or forgotten ritual: Intelligence + Investigation
To invent a new ritual or Boon: Intelligence + Science.
Formula design time: Rituals can take minutes to design on the fly or weeks of tweaking for the perfect equation. The advantage to belonging to an ancient tradition is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel and most mages have a library with typical rituals that they can learn in five minutes for low complexity rituals to an hour or two while most Permanent constructions can take days to learn and longer to cast.
Optimized Rituals can be treasured Birthrights for lucky Scions.
Sometimes a Tradition’s style and foci can require a longer casting time such as meditation but since meditation doesn’t require material, verbal, or somatic components it tends to balance out.
If the Ritual is especially complicated it might have Secondary Purviews which the character also needs to have in order to cast the Ritual.
The better designed the Ritual the quicker it is to learn and to cast. It is also easier to cast if well designed for the caster’s Tradition or Style.
The higher the caster’s ability in the Primary (Purview or Magic) the quicker and less props the caster needs.
The Storyteller declares how many successes are needed to successfully cast the Ritual. Leftover successes are then used against a target or towards the effect wanted.
If the caster is lacking or surpassing the requirements in the Primary (Purview or Magic Talent) than the number of successes needed goes up or down per dot along with increasing or decreasing the Willpower cost of the Ritual by that number. So, if the Ritual requires Sun Purview at 5 than a Scion with Sun Purview at 3 would need two extra successes which would be subtracted from his Ritual roll and have to spend 2 additional Willpower. On the other hand a Scion with a Sun Purview at 7 would have his required successes be two less and the Willpower cost of the Ritual would be two less.
A powerful and complicated Ritual can be simply to difficult for a would be Ritualist in the case of Rituals with secondary Purviews or Talents. If the caster doesn’t meet the secondary requirements than he can’t cast the ritual. If he surpasses the requirements he doesn’t receive any additional benefits.
All Rituals cost at least 1 Willpower to cast.
Basic complexity effects (level 1) Cantrips with longer durations. (no cost)
Simple complexity effects (level 2) Creating or summoning animals. Sense a storm approaching. Bless a follower with enhanced combat bonuses. Influence a human being or charm an animal. Break a wall. (Legend cost: 1)
Intermediate Complexity effects (level 3) Creating Creatures with 1 Legend. Mimic Hero level boons. Move a storm front around a city. Bless a squad with bonuses in battle. Charm a human being. Cause a building’s foundations to crack. (Legend cost: 2, Willpower cost:1)
Advanced Complexity effects (level 4) hit multiple targets with subtle effects or have stronger effects like aggravated damage. Can mimic Demigod level boons. Can create/summon a Creature with legend from 2 to 4. Some effects require additional Willpower at this level and possibly even experience points. Stop a storm front from advancing towards a city or slowly weaken it. Create a tropical storm. Heal aggravated wounds. Bless an hundred men with bravery and hardened wills to withstand a titanspawn’s fear based magic. Ward a neighborhood from artillery bombardment. (Legend cost: 4, Willpower cost: 2)
Master Complexity effects (level 5) can mimic boons on the God level or create/summon a Creature with legend greater than 4. Dissolve an hurricane or create one out of thin air. Provide a morale boost to thousands after a terrible defeat returning faith in your leadership. Ward a city from a nuclear explosion. (Legend Cost: 8, Willpower cost: 3)
Basic: (level 1) One person or target. A couple of meters of area effected. Range of a city block. (no cost)
Simple: (level 2) Group of under 10. 25 meters of area effected. Range of a couple of kilometers. (Legend cost: 1)
Intermediate: (level 3) Under a hundred. Area effect of an half kilometer. Range of 25 kilometers. (Legend cost: 2, Willpower cost: 1)
Advanced: (level 4) Thousands. Area effect of 25 kilometers. Range of 500 kilometers. (Legend cost: 4, Willpower cost: 2)
Master: (level 5) Millions. Area effect of 500 kilometers. Unlimited range in a world or into another world with a strong sympathetic link. (Legend cost 8, Willpower cost: 3)
Basic: An hour (no cost)
Simple: Until the next sunset or sunrise. (Legend cost: 1)
Intermediate: From a week to a season specified by the Ritual. (Legend cost: 2, Willpower cost: 1)
Advanced: A year and a day. (Legend cost:4, Willpower cost: 2)
Master: Permanent. (Legend cost: 8, Willpower cost: 3)
Some costs can be alleviated by using rare materials or by sacrificing as mentioned in Scion: Hero in the Magic Purview section. Other rituals may require rare materials regardless which can be a way for the Storyteller to control certain Rituals that might be game unbalancing.
The Primary (the main Purview or Magic Talent) grants an automatic success per dot on Ritual success rolls. For Ritual DV’s the default Primary is the Ritual’s Primary (a Sun Ritual uses Sun for defense) but an opposing Purview can often defend just as well. Such as Moon or Darkness countering a Sun Ritual. Regardless of the chosen Primary the defender can add it (with Storyteller permission) as automatic successes per dot.
Typical Rituals: (Perception, Intelligence, or Stamina + Occult) + Epic Bonus – Required Successes
Some Traditions use Stamina especially those that demand sacrifice, asceticism or suffering from the Ritualist while the typical Ritualist focuses on everything being done in the right order in the right way. Those whose Traditions focus on Intelligence tend to be the more modern technologically based or those of neoplatonic Hermeticism. Once an attribute is picked based on the Scion’s Tradition it rarely changes but for some Rituals it might change if it would be logical to do so.
Direct Attack Rituals: To Hit: (Charisma + Occult) + Epic Bonus – Required Successes
Subtle Attack Rituals: To Hit: (Manipulation + Occult) + Epic Bonus – Required Successes
Occult Dodge DV: (Perception + Occult + Legend)/2 + Willpower + Epic bonus
Countermagic DV*: (Intelligence + Occult + Legend)/2 + Willpower + Epic bonus
Occult Resistance: (Stamina + Integrity + Legend)/2 + Willpower + Epic bonus
*Countermagic DV gets these bonuses: +1 if knowledgeable of Tradition, another +1 if trained in that Tradition, +1 if defender knows the same or similar ritual, spell, or boon, and +2 if using a defensive action. Also, receives an automatic success per dot that the defender has in the Primary be it a Purview or Magic Talent whichever is higher.
Countermagic also allows the Mage to attempt to unweave Rituals by creating a new Ritual designed to destroy the target effect.
A Mage may shield a number of allies equal to his Magic Talent dot with this defense if it is higher than their natural defense.
Some rituals might be additionally defended against by Armor such as most elemental medium spells.
For transformative Rituals such as being turned into a pig the character may choose to replace Stamina with Appearance when resisting as it represents a sense of self.
If the Ritual is successful and penetrates defenses it takes effect. Extra successes leftover can enhance the Ritual’s potency or damage.
A cantrip is “on the fly” spontaneous use of divine power. It is usually a minor in game effect. If of more than momentary duration they require concentration to maintain. It can add no more than half the amount of dots the Scion has in Purview or Talent used by the cantrip as a complimentary effect or negative effect.
As with all uses of Power the Scion at the Hero level needs to have access to the Purview or Talent along with a Tradition or Technique of manipulating reality. These usually involve foci that must have prepared before hand. A rune carved months earlier or a minute of meditation, chanting, or musical creation are just a few possibilities of foci for different magical traditions.
Cantrips don’t require rolls instead they modify rolls or provide dramatic effect.
A fire cantrip would be something like lighting a cigarette or starting a fire in the fireplace while a health cantrip might cause a temporary flash of good feeling or a momentary pall of sickness while the scion touches the target. A sun cantrip might cause a crystal to glow while you concentrate or a rune to act as a flashlight. As a PC grows in power in the Purview the rune flashlight focus for a Sun cantrip might grow from barely allowing you to find your keys in the dark to a floodlight and eventually as a God might seem like a miniature sun.
The bonus must make sense such as using the War Purview to coordinate assaults, gain insight on your opponent’s strategy, or increase Morale and Leadership with a rousing speech or Psychopomp could provide a bonus to navigation et cetera.
A scientifically minded Scion can take advantage of the placebo or nocebo effect by cunning use of cantrips. A physician might use his Tradition of “Modern Medicine” and his focus of a stethoscope to calm down an overactive heart while touching the stethoscope to the patient’s chest.
Cantrips don’t cost legend points to use and don’t require rolls to invent formulas or cast. They usually are speed 5. Concentration and use of a focus cause a -2 to DV penalty which can be ameliorated by certain Knacks or Relics.
Too many uses of Cantrips in an area can make it very difficult to cast cantrips as the flow of Legend becomes murky and messy. Such use can often Fatebound a location.
Purviews and Traditions:
Gaining access to Purviews is now through its eponymous Birthright Trait and can’t be learned through the old advancement rules using relics.
With Purviews a Scion can invent or learn formulas that can create effects of differing complexity and power split into four categories: Supernatural Stunts, Cantrips, Rituals, and Boons. Boons require the Scion to spend experience to learn them while the Rituals can be learned or invented in game.
A scientific background is really useful in understanding and testing out Occult knowledge and Academics is useful for researching what a Scion is capable of with access to a Purview. Many scions never discover their versatility simply because they never think of trying out new things or obey the limitations of ancient Traditions.
A Scion with Occult can develop or adopt a Tradition that provides a framework for using their Purviews and Talents. The Tradition’s philosophy uses their understanding of the secrets of the universe to channel the Power in different ways.
An Aesir might chant Galdr or carve a rune stick while a Taoist might create an alchemical potion, compose poetry, or simply get ridiculously drunk and a Buddhist might meditate or solve zen koans.
To apply Divine Power requires the Scion have one dot in Occult to use an existing Tradition (usually a Tradition based from his Divine Parent, culture, or Guide) as an arcane philosophy or 2 dots to create an eclectic blending of two or more Traditions (Wicca is a lite version of Celtic, Germanic, and other nature Traditions or Chaos Magic which sometimes is a weird blending of hermeticism and computers but is a blanket term for a mishmash philosophy) or 3 dots to invent a new system based on an existing Tradition but bent in a new direction and 4 dots to create a new philosophy wholesale like the first Scion to create an industrial technological or information age Tradition.
For example, an American God with a focus in Industry or some other technological Purview might be able to provide a Guide to a Scion of his that can teach the Scion the Tradition which could involve calculators or slides and blue prints in order to enact his power while an Old God might grant an ancient Grimoire filled spells and rituals along with treatises on Egyptian or Greek magic and the theory/philosophy that allows Divine Power to enact change on the world and beyond.
The advantage of using an existing Tradition or being eclectic is that other Scions and Gods have developed many ready made Boons and Rituals that a character can quickly adapt to and add to his repertoire. The disadvantage is that a knowledgeable opponent can predict what is being attempted and dispel it with countermagic or prepare for it somehow.
The advantage of inventing a system of your own is that you’re creating something completely new that no one else understands or can predict. This makes it much harder to countermagic and also allows the Scion to use his Divine Power how he would like in a preferred style. Rumors say that Legend can flow to those who innovate and are imitated but that Fate often gets involved with very successful innovators.
Relics are created and shaped by the Tradition/s used to Forge the Relic. A Sword Relic of any Tradition works well as a focus for the War Purview because of its innate nature. Relics can give bonuses to Magic and Purview rolls if appropriate to that Tradition or Purview and if designed to do so.
Different Paths are inclined towards certain Traditions.
All Scions have access to this endowment as they have the ichor of the Gods. Most supernatural beings have access to something similar with varying degrees of potency. The blood and flesh of the Gods has power as does their children’s. Some creatures find Scion’s to be rare delicacies and even some Scions have been captured and bled by some cults and secret organizations.
Jotunblut is no longer a Purview and cannot be the endowed Parental Purview from the divine parent.
The term Jotunblut now covers a range of Rituals that almost any Supernatural can learn and cast with use of the Magic Talent.
The Path of Jotunblut includes the Spells which were formally of the Aesir Pantheon Specific Purview. There are possibly other Paths offering other Spells that transform, charm or bind mortals to a supernatural’s service.
For those unwilling to spend the experience on Spells and more willing to spend Willpower and Legend the supernatural can turn to Rituals.
There are many Rituals designed to take advantage of this endowment. A seidr shaman might make a ritual that used sexual energy and ichor to bind a mortal to their will in a very similar fashion a tantric sex master or an Alfar might. A less sophisticated method might involve a simple cut and channel of Willpower to bind those who would drink a Supernatural’s blood in order to charm, bind and enhance a mortal to service.
The mortals thus transformed might turn into Berserks, Thralls, hungry corpses, vampires, werewolves, Avant Garde artists, and mounts for spirits.
The type of enhancement and magnitude depends on the ritual involved along with the duration of the enchantment.
Epic Abilities and Arete:
For those with great passion, diligence, and talent it is possible to achieve beyond the five dots in an ability and become a true Master. With the “sixth dot” the Scion has started on a long path of excellence. Once achieved the character may continue to gain additional skill through the Arete Talent which is applied only for that single ability. It is possible to become a Master in multiple abilities.
Arete provides additional dice for ability rolls but also grants guaranteed competency in the tasks that fall under that ability. It is no longer necessary for the character to make rolls unless they want to do so as the Master can choose to take an automatically successful roll with half of his available dice as successes in all actions involving the Ability. So a Scion with Melee 5, Arete (Melee) 2, Dexterity 5 and Epic Dexterity 2 would have the option of not rolling and just taking (12/2) +2 = 8 successes as a default.
Once per day (in game) a Master may reroll any action using the Mastered Ability but must accept the results of the reroll.
The Arete Talent is accessible to anyone though few who are not Legendary approach such excellence. As a consequence it doesn’t need to be purchased with the Purview Access Birthright as it is no longer a Purview.
Those who achieve Arete in an ability are highly likely to have human ancestry. It is extremely rare for those with fully divine backgrounds to have achieved such excellence as it tends to take a peculiar blend of creativity, passion and ambition to focus so intently on a particular ability. As a consequence many Scions achieve Arete in an Ability before their Visitations which are often in arenas that their parents excelled in.
It is cheaper as a consequence to have an Ability with Arete at character creation than to develop such in game play.
There are bloodlines amongst the Dvergar with human and Aesir ancestry who occasionally produce master smiths able to craft and invent new engines of war, artifacts and relics of great power.
Arete adds to all derivative stats like DV as it is adding directly to the Ability.
Arete is not limited by Legend as a maximum. There is no limit to the pinnacle of excellence and no cap on skill and expertise. It is theoretically possible for a mortal swordsman with tremendous talent and slavish focus to be so skilled as to challenge a God. It is just highly unlikely!
Experience Cost: 20 points or 10 points if one the Scion’s Adept Abilities (after this improving Arete follows the normal costs for Talents)
Character Creation: 2 points and the ability in question must be one of the six Adept Abilities. Also, bonus points must have been spent to raise the Ability to 5.
Arete as it is no longer a Pantheon Specific Purview cannot be the endowed Parental Purview.
The old category of “Special Purviews” is now called Talents and incorporates Magic, Prophecy, and Mystery along with the former Greek Pantheon Specific Purview of Arete.
Anyone can learn or develop a Talent even a regular human being though it is quite rare. The Oracle at Delphi was but a mortal woman but could surpass any Hero in her pronouncements.
There are no maximum limits to Talents from lack of Legend.
Every other dot in the Mystery Talent (at 2, 4, 6) grants a + 1 bonus die to investigation rolls.
Every other dot (2, 4, 6) in the Prophecy Talent grants a + 1 bonus die to Join Battle and a chance to notice momentous events pertaining to you, your loved ones, or the world even if you don’t know why it is important.
Magic has been significantly reworked and has its own section.
Breakdown of Social Abilities:
Detect lies, negotiation, or convince someone to open up. Perceive mental, emotional state and motivations and intentions.
Sense weakness: Perception + Empathy
Each success grants an extra boost die on later interactions that scene with that character. For example, four successes would give an extra four dice that could be allocated and spent on anything from an Intimidation roll and later a strike on a bad knee. Can only be attempted once a scene and once the dice are used they are gone. So, in the above example one bonus die could be used as a bonus on an intimidation attempt and the final three bonus dice on the brawl attack.
Detect Lie: Perception + Empathy/Investigation
Maintain Lie: Manipulation + Empathy
Flirting: Wits + Empathy
Innocent Face: Appearance + Empathy (more passive version of Maintain Lie relying more on emotion than reason)
Negotiation: Manipulation + Empathy
Enemy of my enemy: Charisma + Empathy/Command (Whatever is less)
Gets neutrals and enemies to fight with you or under you against a greater threat. If successful can be involved in Coordinated Assaults.
Leadership: Charisma + Command
Grants boost dice to working together as a team on tasks, logistics, organization for the rest of the scene to those under the direct supervision and leadership of the character.
Coordinate Assault: Manipulation + Command
Each success allows coordination of two people. Attack takes place 5 ticks later and the leader dictates who is helping. Target suffers DV penalty equal to number of coordinated attackers or the number of successes on the roll (whichever is less).
Take over: Charisma + Command to take over a new group or organization and Manipulation + Command to mold the group to your liking.
Allows the charismatic character to take over an organization if there is a lack of leadership or confusion and impose their will. Leadership assumes that the character is already in charge.
Terrify enemies: Appearance (negative provides double dice) or Charisma + Presence
Can cause enemies to flee a conflict in terror or cause a loss of confidence or morale. Subtract Confidence dice from enemies in this conflict who can perceive the character. Should a character lose half of their available combat dice they will cower or flee a conflict. So, if they lost three Confidence dice and they only had a Melee 2 and Dex 3 for five combat dice then they won’t be sticking around with a morale boost.
Higher Motivation: Charisma + Presence
Gives a bonus Confidence die during the next scene to self and a number of allies equal to Presence. For example a charismatic woman knows what motivates the best in her and her people so she rolls four successes and has a Presence of 3 so can allocate those four bonus dice amongst herself and up to three allies such as one Confidence die for each of them.
Baser Motivation: Manipulation + Presence
Grants boost dice as a pool during the next scene to allies.
Grant Hope and Courage: Appearance (negative provides half dice) or Charisma + Presence
Counters “terrify enemies” by healing lost confidence and morale. Each success removes penalty Confidence die.
Resist deception, persuasion, manipulation, and avoid breaking under torture or interrogation. Used when resisting any attempt to weaken confidence or morale.
“Boost” die/dice are one shot use and gone after expenditure while “Confidence” die/dice last the scene and give an additional bonus or penalty die for all rolls that scene.
With Boost dice the maximum a character can use on a single roll is 1 + Legend.
Social Conflicts (Flyting):
Amongst the Aesir the tradition of flyting before battle had two duelists exchanging barbed witticisms and insults to scald their opponent or to manipulate the situation towards their advantage. These rules are useful for that and the rare occasion when a formal situation arises needing a system for social or academic conflict.
A cunning verbalist can force the attachment of virtues towards his own use. If trying to convince a valorous warrior of the benefit of working together to battle a shared enemy the virtue Valor would become a penalty to defense while if someone were to try to force a scion to abandon the helpless the virtue would be added to his DV.
Typically in a social conflict different styles are shown by the choice of which attributes are used to attack or defend. If social attributes are chosen the flyting is emotional and visceral while if mental attributes are chosen the flyting is more academic and logical. A flyting usually doesn’t change styles once started though academic debates can become emotional but emotional debates rarely switch to logical debates.
Should combat take place after a full flyting the victor would gain an automatic success on all rolls for future dealings with the opponent until such a time as the defeated would achieve a significant victory over the flyting victor. A full flyting involves a verbal insult battle until one opponent is “incapacitated” just like normal combat with social health levels instead.
The advantage of first strike (higher Join Battle) is that it sets the tone and description for the flyting. This can have an effect on what kind of stunts thought up and what kind of knacks might be applied.
Successful Verbal Blocks end a line of attack or insults requiring a new angle to be thought up. Successful verbal Dodges give a +1 to DV on the next defense. Successful Verbal Parries allow for a riposte attack using the threshold successes as bonus successes on the attack.
Attribute differential: (Attacker’s Attribute + Epic successes) – (Defender’s Attribute + Epic successes+1)
DV House Rules:
Dodging is the act of moving your ENTIRE body out of harm’s way. This is the most energy intensive and difficult defensive act to perform as it requires the most effort. On the flip side however, as long as your speed allows you to relocate far enough to avoid the damage area, you are able to dodge the attack. If the attack’s area of effect is greater than the Move of the defender the defender needs to use a stunt to explain how they are dodging. With Perception the attacker is predicting where the dodging defender is going to be while the defender is noticing the best spots to be or watching for telegraphed movements in the case of dodging a brawl or melee attack.
Calculation: (Dexterity + Athletics + Legend)/2 + Epic Dexterity bonus – (Perception differential)**
Blocking is the act of imposing a tough body part, weapon, a shield, or an improvised item to intercept an incoming attack and brace against it. Depending on the attack and type of defense it may be effective against some area attacks. It requires more exertion than a parry, but less than a dodge. Block is a cruder attempt but very effective at defense than Parry based on toughness or strength rather than finesse. A stronger attacker can punch through a block while a stronger defender can stop an attack cold giving a huge defensive advantage.
Calculation: (Stamina + Brawl/Melee + Legend)/2 + Shield Bonus + Weapon Bonus* + Epic Stamina bonus – (Strength differential)**
Note: Without special equipment such as a weapon, shield, armor, or active knacks such as Body Armor, no lethal or aggravated attack may be blocked without a stunt.
For example, an applicable stunt would be blocking the arm holding the lethal weapon or grabbing a chair and interposing it between your opponent’s sword and your body. A block with a weapon is a solid imposition of your weapon in the path of your opponent’s weapon relying on Strength, Stamina and position in order to thwart your opponent versus footwork for Dodging or subtle handwork for parrying.
The Shield bonus is in addition to the blanket bonus to DV that Shields provide via cover. The bonus is equal to the normal Shield bonus. So, a Kite Shield that provides + 2 DV from cover would also provide another +2 DV to Blocks against a single attacker. Shields do have a drawback in that they block visibility which is most commonly taken advantage of by the use of stunts.
Parrying is the act of using hand and footwork to subtly manipulate your opponent’s weapon away as a form of defense. On the flip side however, if the incoming attack is an area effect, like steam the parry cannot deflect the attack. Rather than directly resisting an attacking power it would be more appropriate to think of Parrying as channeling or redirecting an attack which gives the advantage to the fighter who can think on his feet the best in order to maneuver for advantage.
During duels threshold successes from parrying defenses can be stored allowing for ripostes against a single enemy. If the character changes target than all saved threshold successes are lost. A riposte is simply a parry that is successful enough to have placed the defender with bad footing or blade position allowing for an easier attack for the defender. The defender can apply the full threshold successes on his next attack after a successful parry.
Calculation: (Dexterity + Brawl/Melee + Legend)/2 + Weapon Bonus* + Epic Dexterity bonus – (Wits differential)**
*Weapon Bonus is different for Blocks and Parries. Usually large well constructed weapons have great blocks while more precision based weapons have good parry bonuses. A mace has an excellent block while only an okay parry while a rapier has a great parry but is only good for blocks by the hilt. For most weapons this should be fairly obvious and the total bonus listed in the book should be the total bonus if you were to add together the Parry and Block bonus and divide by two. So for example a Rapier has a +1 defense in Scion:Hero so it would have a +2 Parry and +0 Block as it is a light and maneuverable weapon.
**When dueling (important one on one battles or Holmgangs) the differentials allow for a new challenge and more in depth combat making defensive choices important and allowing for different builds to have advantages. The differentials only apply to one enemy.
Attribute differential Equation: (Attacker’s Attribute + Epic successes) – (Defender’s Attribute + Epic successes +1)
Supernatural stunts are good choices when you run out of Legend Channels and work great in tandem with regular stunts. With a good enough description the PC might even get their Legend points back!
As a side note a Scion may choose to use a “lite” version of a supernatural stunt with the same mechanics as a normal stunt just using a supernatural explanation for how the stunt is achieved.
A supernatural stunt might involve a Scion with the Frost purview making sure his flying kick onto the frozen lake surface shatters it under the villain’s feet thus sending him plunging into the frozen waters while combat shouting the ancient secret word for that type of ice in the language of the ancestors. A Scion with illusion or darkness might get a bonus to dodge while doing his best to evade the sniper picking off his friends.
There is no multiple actions penalty for supernatural stunts since the focus of divine will might simply be a rune carved into brass knuckles, a taoist potion drunk earlier, or a shouted word. The player must describe how he is channeling his power into the stunt whether it is a kanji he inked onto the sole of his Nike’s earlier this week or the low humming that manages to set the scion’s hands to vibrating at a lethal frequency using the ancient techniques of Galdr taught by an icelandic master martial artist forgotten by all but the Gods and their chosen.
A Scion can also use a supernatural stunt to take advantage of the environment and manipulate that environment using divine power. A large bonfire might be “kicked” into an enemy thus an attack could go from bashing to lethal for an additional legend point or a golem may be struck at a weak place sensed by the Earth Scion.
Each of these options cost 1 legend and a supernatural stunt may include several if there is a good explanation just like a regular stunt. Bonuses last only for one action. Penalties last for one round unless specified.