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Scion 1e Tweaks - Input?

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  • Scion 1e Tweaks - Input?

    Hi all. I'm very aware of the current imbalances in the 1e rule system, but I was toying with some ideas to fix it as I'd like to run the game again for the first time in years, and I was hoping to run these ideas by you, the Scion 1e community who probably have a much better grasp on the system than I do

    My first major overhaul would be to change the Epic Attribute spread, but I'd need some fresh eyes on this to let me know if it would work or not change any problems at all. I was thinking of the following:

    Each "Hero" tier adds 1 per level. Each "Demigod" tier adds 2 per level, and each "God" tier adds 3 per level. This would change the Epic Attribute bonuses to:

    1 = 1
    2 = 2
    3 = 3

    4 = 5
    5 = 7
    6 = 9
    7 = 11

    8 = 14
    9 = 17
    10 = 20

    This would lower the average damage, soak, DV, and pretty much everything else, obviously, but would it make people too squishy? I always thought that the original rules made some characters almost invulnerable so I guess I'm trying to address this if I can. I have no problems with a Demigod having a chance to best a God if he gets lucky. Rather that than have no chance at all no matter now many times they try.

    Any suggestions? Has anyone used this exact same spread in their games already? What problems would you foresee with the above changes?

  • #2
    One of the things that immediately jumps out at me about this change is that there is very little differentiation between beings of similar Legend. So, Thor has Epic Strength 10, so he is throwing 20 dice, 20 Successes at throwing something, Tyr, who is pretty strong but not as strong as Thor, would be rocking Epic Strength 8, meaning the only difference between the 'I am Exceptionally Strong' and 'I am reasonably strong for an Aesir,' is 6 Successes.

    What this will also do is make anything that provides a bonus of some sort insanely more valuable. Relics that add Autos or Dice to something have just leaped leaps and bounds in their potency. Furthermore, Boons that function similarly, such as Animal Aspect, and the skill based one from Companion become really good at helping you just obliterate anyone who stands in your way through combat, or or other methods. Any form of magical armor is insanely powerful too.

    It also fiddles with a lot of Knacks, such as Fight With Your Head. Since FWYH is based off reducing a target's Epic Attribute of choice, it becomes really potent. My copy has wandered off onto a bookshelf somewhere, so I can't remember exactly how it works, but it subtracts your Dots, or Automatic Successes from the target's. I believe it is Successes, and this makes this Knack far more valuable as a debuffing tool to kill people as even if you have lower Epic Intelligence, you can still take a heavy chunk off the opponent's values. So, say you have Epic Intelligence 3 and are up against Thor, you can drop him down to effectively Epic Strength 9 where in RAW you would be reducing him from 46 Successes to 42 Successes which is still quite above Epic Strength 9.

    What were you finding made characters in RAW nearly invulnerable? The normal problem with Scion is the exact opposite of that. To borrow Iry's term, Scion becomes Rocket Tag, where the first person to act is able to kill the other before they can react. Maybe we can provide a solution to your problem that has less knock-on effects.


    • #3
      I just think the difference in Epic Attributes gets too large at higher levels. Scion treats 1 auto-success as roughly 2 dice. At lower levels this isn't an issue, but as the levels go up this makes it practically impossible for someone of just ONE level lower to hit or damage their opponent.

      Take 2 gods. One (whom we shall imaginatively call A) has Epic and Normal Attributes of 9 in Strength, Dexterity and Stamina. The other (who will be named B) has 10s. Lets assume all other factors are equal, so 12 Legend, 5 Combat-related skill, 5 Athletics. Ignoring weapons and armour for the time being, this would put their combat related stats to the following:

      A's Attack Pool = 14 dice plus 37 auto-successes, and his DV would be 50
      B's Attack Pool = 15 dice plus 46 auto-successes, and his DV would be 60

      God A would need 24 successes on 14 dice to even hit God B, yet God B would need only 5 successes on 15 dice to hit God A. Safe to say that God A is screwed, and all this with just +1 Attribute and +1 Epic Attribute.

      Now to Damage:

      A's Damage Pool = 9 dice plus 37 auto-successes, and his Soak would be 42L/46B
      B's Damage Pool = 10 dice plus 46 auto-successes, and his Soak would be 51L/56B

      God A would need 15L successes or 20B successes on a number of dice equal to 9, plus his Attack net Successes (not going to be many of them now is there {see above}).
      God B would cause 4L damage before dice are even rolled, and would cause damage equal to the successes rolled on his Damage dice (10 + substantial number of net Attack successes)

      I understand that God B is better, but he shouldn't be nigh invulnerable compared to 1 level less. One level in an Epic shouldn't be THAT much better.

      And this doesn't even factor in the game-breaking Arete rules. Take the stats for both Heracles and Thor and do a mock fight with them. Even ignoring Arete for a second, Heracles wins practically every time with just 1 extra point of Epic Dexterity. Put Arete back in to the equation and Thor doesn't stand a chance.

      (As an off-topic side-note, how does Heracles have Epic Charisma 10 when his normal Charisma is only 5? Cheating Greeks!!)


      • #4
        Ah, okay, so your issue is that the disparity between different Ranks is too large in your mind. Right, that is actually very hard to fix without doing a complete systems revision. Adjusting the Epic Scale is a good start, however you are going to need to go through all of the dice adding effects, and other sources of Automatic Successes as you just mentioned such as Arete, Enech, the Animal Purview, Relic Rules, etc. The way I see it, however, is that in the A v.s. B fight, things could go either way, Legend and thus Dots of Epic Attributes far from being the limiting factor in the situation.

        The math should always favor the offense in this situation, since it is far easier to add to one's attack pool than it is to add to one's defense. Arete, Enech, Animal Aspect, the three big dice adders only add to attacking, since they add dice, they can't improve your defenses unless it is to resist a power. Due to this highly favoring of the offense, she or he who strikes first strikes hardest, strikes best, and strikes the other one dead as a doornail.

        So, Deity A walks in, ready to fight a Warrior Deity. They only dabble in the area themselves, this is not their forte, but they come from a martial culture so they are actually pretty good at it. Just not as purely representative of the abstract notion of a Warrior as Deity B is. Because of this, Deity A cracks their knuckles, and brings their best game. They throw on Animal Aspect, netting an extra 44 Dice on average to their Strength. (This can get even higher if you first buff your Stamina for a single roll, buffing the Animal Aspect roll in the process, but that's a bit cheaty so let's not)

        Deity A uses Opening Gambit, and Grapples Deity B.
        Deity A: Strength + Brawl = 58 dice + 37 autos = 66 Successes on average (rounding up)
        Deity B: Dodge DV = 60.
        Deity A has succeeded at their Grapple attempt by 6 Successes, they now chose the 'Crush' action, using Disfiguring Attack.
        Deity A: 6 Success Threshold + Strength + 1 (Clinch has no dice to damage) = 60 dice + 37 autos = 67 damage on average. Note: Disfiguring attack made this Aggravated.
        Deity B: Aggravated Soak = 10.
        Deity A deals 57 Aggravated damage to Deity B. Deity B has 53 Health Boxes (46 + 7) and is now dead. Even if they had Animal, Arete, or Enech they couldn't be saved since dice adders don't add to derived values. Deity A can also pull out Between The Ticks to deal more damage.

        Now, during this half second of time, Deity B's DVs are all set to 0, so anyone Deity A thought to bring with them can pile on to help eviscerate Deity B. If this isn't quite Deity A's style, they can also use the Epic Appearance Knack of Serpent's Gaze to remove Deity B's DVs by rendering them Inactive before Deity A assails them, netting them a total of 120 Aggravated Damage on their Clinch.

        This is the issue Iry has dubbed "Rocket Tag," two entities fighting will almost always go to the being who is able to act first in a combat. Even if they are separated in Legend Dots, going first, getting that first punch in, is always the best option.

        Furthermore, these two Legend 12 Deities probably wouldn't be brawling it out with Epics, Deity A could just use one of their Purview Avatars, even if they had Hero tier or even Mortal tier Epic Physicals, they are now able to obliterate Deity B with no rolls. Only Deity B using their own Ultimate or Avatar can put themselves on an equal footing, at which point the conflict is resolved along narrative lines, not through dice.


        So, right! You hit the nail on the head with your final statement about Arete. Victory is not decided by whomsoever has the higher Legend, in fact, that is not super important. What is more important is who can go first, and who has more dice adders. Dice adders add to attacking, but not defending, therefore anyone who can bring a boatload to the table, and absolutely hammer the opposition in the first action, will win. Add in tricks like stripping the target of their DVs through Epic Appearance and it gets even nastier.

        So, you don't really need to change the Epic Scaling if your concern is lower Legend beings having a hard time contending against higher. Acting first, and having more dice is the most important thing.

        The biggest issue I can see for your problem is the Avatars, which only Legend 12 beings have access to, make killing them a pain (since the Avatars run wild) and can narratively dispose of anything they want to. Deity B flicks on The Beast and eats Deity A before they can even act with all their mountains of dice. Thor beats Heracles with Ultimate Strength. Even if Herc comes to the table with Arete Brawl, Enech buffing Brawl, somehow picked up a lot of Animal, throws down hundreds of extra dice since he also somehow has Arete and Enech (Animal Ken) and are thus buffing the Animal Aspect roll, which is being used to buff itself, to then buff Strength, he still loses to the Ultimate Strength of Thor. Or The Storm.

        However, Avatars and Ultimate Attributes are held in check by a M.A.D.-esque tension, so things roughly balance out unless you're trying to murder a Major God.


        • #5
          Shame it can't be fixed with a simple solution, cos I'm not overly keen on the little bits I've seen of Scion 2.0. Also, as I've already layed out the costs for 4 books from 1.0 I was hoping to get some use out of them... seems that won't be happening. Thanks for putting things into perspective for me, saves me wasting my time further

          I'll have to wait for Mythic Battles: Pantheon to come out to get my mighty Gods fix!


          • #6
            Ah, that's too bad! If you want a set of houserules to balance things out a bit, you can check out Scion 2.0 (not Scion 2e, Scion 2.0 is a fan project done by myself, Iry, and Aynie) that has most of the core systems revised as well as some updated Pantheons in favor of accuracy. It's simplified to a large degree, combat and social systems balanced out, all thanks to Iry. There is also the Kami revision we have done that I have not managed to put up onto the site yet since I have been hammered with schoolwork in my final year. (The Pantheon itself starts in the second section in the table of contents)
            Last edited by Watcher; 04-18-2017, 01:16 PM.


            • #7
              Thanks, Watcher, I'll take a look


              • #8
                some good ideas here