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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)
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.