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What will Scale look like in practice?

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  • What will Scale look like in practice?

    So! Looking through the most recent mechanical previews, it seems like Scale underwent some refining of its concept, something I totally appreciate, but I'm still not 100% sure I grok how it will work, so I wanted to try to discuss it with people to get a firmer handle on it.

    So the preview describes it as a shorthand, which says to me that the idea is that it will be a more abstracted thing rather than one concretely defined.

    Originally posted by Scion Storypath Kickstarter Preview
    Traits in Scale
    No matter their size or other strange endowments, all characters in Scion use the same Attributes and Skills. The ratings of these traits should be considered relative to the character’s Scale rank. A Cornish giant may be massive, but if he’s scrawny compared to his peers he might still be just Strength 2. His immense Size and Scale makes up the difference against smaller targets.
    This is interesting to me. We got relative ideas of what each dot value means in an earlier Storypath (then Sardonyx) preview of Scale and Schemas, but I feel like some details are kind of skimpy. Like, do we think there would be something like a Feat of Strength chart in Scion? How would that be effected by Scale?

    Originally posted by Scion Storypath Kickstarter Preview
    Scale Principles
    Different kinds of Scale exist, each with their own unique quirks and rules. However, all Scales share three basic principles:

    Rank: Scales are measured in ranks, each indicating an order of magnitude. Characters in the same Size rank might have different specific heights, but they operate on approximately the same playing field. Rank 0 is always roughly human.

    Enhancement: Scale adds an Enhancement equal to twice its rank to certain rolls. If the target of that roll also has an Enhancement from the same Scale, subtract the smaller rank from the larger. Scale Enhancements do not stack.

    Overwhelming: Certain characters or objects are considered to be trivial targets. These face more extreme effects when affected by something on a higher Scale, and can even be overwhelmed entirely, without a roll.
    Different kinds of Scale exist! Dang, that answers that question rather nicely.

    Admittedly, I have a hard time imagining Scale for things besides Strength and Size. What other situations can we imagine it being used?

    I just noticed Pace in the chart, which sounds like Speed to me. I wonder how it would affect the action economy?

    Originally posted by Scion Storypath Kickstarter Preview
    Trivial Targets
    Scale represents tremendous gulfs. A honking truck will smear a human flat, but a giant can pick that truck up in one hand. Heroes (and villains) tend to survive such overwhelming onslaughts. They’re significant targets, and suffer the described effects of Scale. Player characters, most “named” Storyguide characters, and plot-significant items are considered significant. Trivial targets are less fortunate. These are nameless mooks, background scenery, and so on. They lack such heroic impetus, and suffer more “realistic” effects from a difference in Scale. When an effect meets a trivial target on a lower Scale, it automatically passes its roll. There’s no lucky escape for a poor redshirt. In addition, the effect’s Scale Enhancement is doubled. This ability to brush aside scenery and unimportant characters is the fundamental difference between +1 Scale rank and a +2 Enhancement. A gun with +2e to damage hits a real hero just as hard as a Scale 1 cannon, but the latter splatters extras and blows holes in walls with ease. Despite its apparent benefits, Scale actually exists to restrict excessive effects and creatures to a level that heroes can engage.

    In cases greater than a one-rank difference in Scale, the Storyguide should feel free to just waive the roll and allow the effect to achieve automatic and overwhelming success. The dice are meant to be rolled when failure could be interesting, or the outcome’s in doubt. When the animated Colossus of Rhodes stomps down on a group of Greek protesters, there’s no room for doubt.
    So looking at this here, I wonder if there are any other rules for trivial targets to accompany this? I'm also thinking about Scale for trivial opponents with weapons. Does a weapon automatically hit a trivial target if it's Scale 1, or does it automatically splat him if it hits?

    If we were thinking about something like a rocket launcher, would that be a Scale 1 weapon? Or a grenade? At what level do we think mundane weapons can't have greater Scale?

    If a roll automatically passes, what does that translate to, number-wise? I guess, going off an earlier definition, it means that you roll but Enhancements apply as successes regardless. It can still fail to hit, though, if they don't meet the required successes. That means a Scale 1 cannon might apply its Enhancements to damage but not to beat Defense, which is interesting!

    I welcome any other discussion of Scale. It's a very intriguing idea that I'm having a little bit of a tough time thinking through.
    Last edited by Leetsepeak; 02-02-2017, 05:08 PM.

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