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[1E] Actual Play: Three Snakes and a Crocodile

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  • [1E] Actual Play: Three Snakes and a Crocodile

    "With a dragon of ice, the Mournful One, she brings the winter. With fresh flower blooms, the Green Lady, she brings the spring. With fire and beasts, the Bladed Maid, she brings the summer. With stories and mirth, the Crossroads Man, he brings the fall."
    -Seen on a shirt in New Orleans

    So I have been running a (mostly) weekly Scion game for almost a year and a half. It doesn't really have a name. I wanted to put something about it up ages ago, but I was worried my players would stumble across this page and there were some secrets I knew I'd wind up spilling as soon as I began to write. The game is player driven with a focus on personal interaction. I have been loosely following the main metaplot, but like most STs have made several changes.

    To start this game I had everyone sit down and make themselves on their character sheets. I just asked them to be honest in their assumptions of their own abilities, and for the most part they were. Anything they could justify I let them keep. Their lives up until this point were their own origin stories. Once they were finished they something approaching a visitation, wound up with Legend 2 and off we went.

    The story began almost as a slice of life game. They had no supernatural abilities, few weapons and no combat training. They kept their heads down, kept their eyes pealed for any supernatural goings on and did their best to learn to be useful against the Titans. The early days were filled with bargaining with sorcerers, tracking boogie men, stealing artifacts, tackling cults dedicated to (un)dead gods, dodging vengeful gorgons and being lead around by Sylvester... Yes, *that* Sylvester. Should I mention that they've spent a good portion of the last year trying to figure out a way to kill Sly after he double crossed them a third time?

    More recently they've started to enter the big leagues. They're still not gods by any stretch, but they're solidly demigods. As they've gained more power, and as the rules of reality have begun to break down, they have said to hell with secrecy and sail around in a flying boat... to be fair, by this point dead people are reporting to their jobs the next day, giants are coming down out of the mountains, locusts are trying to chew the sun out of the sky and Fenrir are having airstrikes called in on them on live TV. Any reason behind the secrecy was lost a long time ago. They've battled Jotun, saved Dwarfs, been to the Overworld, dealt with Gods, spoke to an ancient Titan, were tricked into killing the guardians of the the tree that is the source of Norse Immortality, guarded said tree themselves, traveled to the Egyptian underworld, escaped the Egyptian underworld, braved the embattled Loa underworld, returned from that and are currently trying to find their way into Helhiem so they can finally unload the damn tree.

    There is a lot more that is going on, in the next day or two I'll give a rundown of their "Pantheon", the characters in it and what is going on in the world around them. After that I hope to be able to keep a running log. There is enough going on that my players tend to keep journals, so time permitting I should be able to backfill information too. I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as we have playing it.
    Last edited by Dinomancer; 06-23-2018, 06:56 AM.

  • #2
    I am waiting for two of my players to send me a write-up of their characters. We're all adults and their character sheets are their own responsibility. After over a year of playing I *think* I know all everyone's boons and birthrights, but the two missing players will be getting a more general overview for now and I'll edit in the changes once I can have a look at them.

    The Cast:

    -Sadie. The Dragon Lady. Goddess of Summer.
    "Don't make me make my dinosaurs eat you."
    Father: Sobek

    Captain of their flying ship and the nominal leader of the group, if just because she has a habit of hitting them first, hitting them later, then hitting them some more. She has come a long way from the shy store clerk she used to be. Focusing on Fire, Death and Animal (Dinosaurs*), she's also the only player character who has focused on physical attributes making her their primary combatant.

    *Normally Dinosaurs would be to wide for me to allow under the Animal Purview, but she was really excited over the possibility (...and so was I) so I let it slide.

    Elfen would be a good way to describe her mortal form. medium height, slim, with dark hair and eyes. To godly sight, or in the overworld, scales have begun to replace her hair and her teeth have sharpened to points. Her legend is high enough that these changes have begun to bleed through to mortal eyes causing her to be slightly unnerving.

    Notable birthrights:
    Dinosaurs. A whole lotta dinosaurs. Five utahraptors (Bity, Chompy, and the rest I'll name when she gets back to me), a quetzalcoatlus, a fire breathing procompsognathus (Fireball) and a massive styracosaurus. They are nothing but light and soul-stuff when not called, existing on her body as living tattoos.

    Bronze Sword. A gift from her father, enchanted by Imhotep and given to her by Set, it strikes faster than any mortal blade it's size.

    Axe of Hrutoth: Taken from the hands of the dead frost king, this axe is heavier than any human could lift and is unwieldy even to Sadie's supernatural strength. Despite its drawbacks it is still a potent weapon as the illusions of the dead king live on. Upon striking the axe creates an illusionary double of its wielder and forcing the target to defend twice. The woulds left by the double are quite real, however, making the axe a potent tool in the Band's arsenal.

    -Sean. Born At A Crossroad. The Mystic Son. Child of Autumn
    "My dad, he's justice. Like father like son."
    Father: Damballa

    Caitlyn's real life brother, and so her brother in game too. His skill in illusions is unmatched, being boosted almost to godly levels by the staff he now carries (which he got when he killed Jord's godfather... oops). He somewhat enjoys the life he has now as he no longer reading about heroes, he is the hero.

    Tall and lanky, no one would think 'dangerous' when they see Sean's mortal side... that's the way he likes it. Away from mortal sight scales flair across his skin. While his eyes and hair become insubstantial, becoming mere projections of his thought.

    Notable Birthrights:
    Snakeskin Glove: This elbow length glove is able to become any article of clothing from a jacket to body armor. With Sean's skills at illusion he can make it look like anything a human might wear.

    Justice: A Colt model 1871 revolver, it was present at the massacre of Rosewood. How it fell into Damballa's hands is unknown but the god, and his son, have determined to make the weapon a force for good. Powered by the souls of six good lawmen who asked for a chance to make a difference in the world even after their deaths, few can hide from its ghostly green rounds. However the weapon is incapable of harming the innocent and just what qualifies as 'innocent' varies from law man to law man.

    Blackwood Staff: Once owned by Jord's godfather (oops) this staff allows Sean to summon illusions as a Jotun would, albeit at a significant cost on legend.

    -Caitlyn. Born At A Crossroads, Seasonal Woman, The Lady Of Spring.
    "If he says that again I'm going to punch him in the face."
    Father: Damballa

    Sean's older sister, and also a child of Damballa, a lady of seasons, oceans and tides. She can raise the living with a touch or blast down foes with torrents of water. She is often depicted as the darker of a set of twins with her brother. In truth she isn't any more ruthless or deceitful than her brother is, they aren't even twins. But that's legends for you. She is more physically potent than her brother, and with a wider range of powers than Sadie. By mundane standards she's be the best in the world at nearly everything, and by demigod standards she still pretty good.

    Pale hair and eyes along with a physique that would make a valkyrie proud, Caitlyn seems a shoe in for the Norse pantheon even to mortal sight. Despite her rather average height her physique makes her seem more imposing in people's minds, a fact that has caught the attention of more than on god. In the overworld she still looks the most human of her companions. There her eyes reflect the current phases of the moon as delicate scales spread along her skin. But when she is angry her voice will take on the likeness of a storm at sea, backed by the hissing of serpents.

    Notable Birthrights:
    Impenetrable Shirt: An artifact of unknown provenance, it was traded to Damballa by a Bakor and from there gifted to his daughter. No blade or bullet can pass through it.

    Snakeskin Belt: Giving her powers over health and serpents, this unassuming item may have other powers yet to be unlocked.
    Last edited by Dinomancer; 06-25-2018, 07:40 AM.


    • #3
      Notable NPCs:

      Joseph Stratovic, son of Hermes, is somewhat lost in the world. Abandoned by his parents in his late teens when he told them the truth of who he really was, -then- finding out he is a godling can be hard on a boy. He genuinely wants to do the right thing, but he has had very few good role models in his life. It doesn't help that the rest of the Pantheon, the players, are responsible for stealing a powerful birthright from him. He knows in his thoughts that they were tricked into doing it, but some days it's hard not to just kick back and just watch the world end.

      -Mr. Grazdino.
      Apparently Gorgons can be male. Or maybe they reproduce asexually. Or maybe if you keep asking questions he will kill you with a look. He was in charge of guarding Joey's birthright, the one the players stole. And since he screwed that up Hermes informed him that he could either serve Joey until the end of time, or he could be obliterated from the face of reality. So now he, an immortal, is stuck serving another immortal until one of them dies... and if that one is Joey then the 'obliterated from the face of reality' clause of his contract kicks in. Unsurprisingly Mr Grazdino is -NOT- happy with how things have turned out. Still, he is on the side of the world not ending, so he hasn't tried to kill any of the players; yet.

      One day you're a normal grad student doing normal grad student things when you find out you're destined to be the Aztec goddess of ice and cold; and by the way, people are going to be sacrificed to you if you like it or not. We can all relate, right? She took to this information about as well as you'd think as does whatever she can to to avoid her divine family. Her father, Quetzalcoatl, has been trying to make the transition as easy as he can, even going so far as to set up events so that she will wind up with her current allies rather than one made up of her more bloodthirsty kin. Though this may have backfired as she has become a sympathetic ear to her half-brother Cortez and agrees with his idea of cutting the world off from the overworld... Unless of course that was Quetzalcoatl's plan all along. She is the "Goddess of Winter" mentioned on the shirt. Though despite what the stories say she doesn't have a dragon of ice, it's a coatl, and it's still a baby. But that's legends for you.

      *That* Sylvester. He tricked the players into stealing Joey's birthright, then he apologized. Then he tricked them into killing the dead god he got the information from. Then he bamboozled them a third time before skipping town and laughing about it over a phone call. He and Kane, they both hated their mortal parents, they both hated their divine parents and they both really enjoyed pulling the wool over everyone's eyes while they made out like bandits. No one got hurt by their schemes but the god's and their followers... Well, not one else -really- got hurt anyway. One day Kane tell him that he knows where the Norse Tree of Life is, if they could steal that they could ransom it off for enough to set themselves up for immortality. All they needed was muscle heroic enough to agree and dumb enough not to ask why the tree was guarded by giants pledging their deaths to Jord.

      For what it's worth when he found out Kane's plan was to turn to tree over to Mikaboshi he tried to do the right thing. Even facing down the world-eating darkness solo while the players were trapped. When everyone wound up being saved by Loki, a partner in the ransom plan, he realized he had been used by the only people he ever trusted and he just... broke. He fully expected the players to kill him for what he's done to them (and, to be fair, so did I), but they didn't. So now he follows them around while looking for his place in the world, no matter how weird wearing a white hat might feel.

      A daughter of Odin, one of three sisters (the others already being a demigod and a god by now) she sees the players and hangers-on as being "her" followers, despite being by far the weakest of the group. What is more infuriating is that she can be good enough to back up her claims. Despite not yet being a demigod she is still bests the players in several areas, something that irks Sadie to no end. Sean goes out of his way to avoid her too, because "You're the son of a king of the gods, and I'm a daughter of the king of the gods. So of course we need to be a thing." If she wasn't so good, and if they -really- didn't need to be in the Norse's good graces right now, the group likely would of booted her off the boat ages ago.

      An ancient sorcerer paid by Damballa to keep his children alive prior to their visitation. He has since helped them in tracking down the dead god, opened the road the the Forge of Souls, and provided advice on many undertakings. As a part of an agreement between sorcerers and gods there is a limit on how much he can help, and he can do even less now that he is dead ("someone has to die for the for the path to the Forge of Souls to open."), but he is firmly on the side of the world not ending. Annnnd what the gods don't know wont hurt them.

      -Pantheon Artifacts and Allies: (As the player's band is often cut off from their divine parents for months at a time, they have begun to become less of a band and more of a pantheon in their own right. As such they have begun to acquire items and allies that, though not owned by any single demigod, they someday may bequeath to (perhaps adopted) children of their own.)

      -The Titan of the Nile: Birthright 3
      A modern day full size replica of the Pinta, one of three ships used by Columbus when he discovered the New World. Sadie, its nominal captain, has renamed it since the players 'permanently borrowed' it when they were tasked with seeing the Oracle of Delphi for a prophecy. It has since been enhanced by their dwarven allies to be able to fly on a pair of floating-wood bird wings. "Floating-wood trees grow upside down in caves. What do they teach you in school all day?"

      -Ghost Crew: Followers 2
      Since the only way the group knew to get to the Oracle was the Greek way, and as mortals tend not to survive the trip, Sadie used her death abilities to round up a ghostly crew from Lake Erie. The crew in life ranged from the 17th to the 20th century and are devoutly are loyal to the cause but are limited in their abilities. Outside of a historic site like the Pinta they can't even interact with the world.

      -Seamus: Guide 2
      2017 made first mate of the Pinta. Died in 1879. He has a font of pre-modern knowledge, and been dead long enough to know quite a bit about the things that walk the earth too. To bad only Sadie and Third can see him.

      -Skathi: Guide 3
      Named after the Norse Goddess, and he will swear upon a stack of bibles that the name can be used for both genders. He is the dwarf that made the Pinta fly. Blatantly copied from the opening story of Scion: Hero, he is none-the-less perhaps the most well loved of the regularly reoccurring NPCs.
      Last edited by Dinomancer; 07-15-2018, 11:01 AM.


      • #4
        On the plus side I have been opening a new store, on the down side I have been to tired to actually post anything in the last few weeks. But, here we are again.

        I mentioned some differences between canon Scion and my game earlier and I have been meaning to elaborate on them for a while now.

        --Perhaps the single biggest is that Gods and Titans (capitol "T") are the same thing... mostly: The way our story has been spun is that gods have a shelf life, after enough time with no humanity they go mad and/or become so closely aspected with a place or a concept that harming them will harm the thing they represent. Nothing seems to stop this transition, it can only be slowed down. Gods and pantheons of order (the Pesedjet, the Celestial Bureaucracy, etc) seem to be able to forestall the madness longer than others, but eventually it claims them too. Godly history, were it ever recorded, would be a long line of necessary patricides simply for the world to continue.

        --The gods need humanity: Hero level scions and demigods never go through the Titan-ification process as they are still somewhat human, while a being born of two gods or a god and a non-mortal is almost always a Titan from the get-go. The only reliable way to get more gods is to have mortal children. Without humanity to have children with, gods would have been overwhelmed by their titan kin ages ago.

        --Titans aren't automatically enemies: Capitol "T" Titans, that is. To be fair they normally are. Though Sobek has been a Titan for over a thousand years at this point, Osiris has been a Titan for even longer, but both still faithfully aid the Pesedjet to the best of their ability. Sobek's health is directly tied to the well-being of the Nile River Valley, Osiris to the Egyptian realm of the dead. Because of this both are fervently guarded (some would say caged) by the rest of the Pesedjet. Some day, should they survive the current crisis, they will likely go mad. But for now they still help safeguard the side of order.

        --Not everyone uses the same terminology: In setting words like 'Titan' and 'God' and a hundred others have different meanings to different groups. You would think this point would be simple, but in the past it's one of the hardest to get across to people. Skathi the Dwarf, or example, proudly calls himself a titan (though he uses a lowercase "t" when writing it) to the dwarf the word titan simply means non-human. Even gods are titans to him. While to the Pesedjet a titan is *only* a god that has gone mad. Keeping track of which group uses what definition is difficult, but has been great from an immersion perspective.

        --Sorcerers can't be born in an area controlled by a god or pantheon: Why this happens is not known to sorcerers or the godly population at large. It seems whatever gods feed on to maintain their power is from the same source that causes sorcerers to be born the way they are.

        --The gods don't know everything: But they don't know they don't know everything. Some, like Fate, they know of as some sort of conscious force that they never feel the need to investigate. But there are others that gods seem unable to comprehend at all. The Titans Poseidon and Oceanus were unable to lead my players to Atlantis when asked, Poseidon flat out stated nothing existed at the location when it was pointed out on a map (Atlantis being destroyed by Poseidon was a Greek way of saying it was swallowed by the sea, which it was. At the end of the last ice age. Long before Poseidon and Oceanus were around.). Heroes and demigods can discover these facts, but the more godly they become the more the answers, or even that a question needed answering, seem to fade from their minds.

        --Every creation myth is a lie, mostly: And for the most part the gods know it. The world is 4.5 billion years old and gods have only existed for a fraction of that. Though the less human, and more titan, the gods become the more they are likely to believe their own stories. Obviously with so many competing myths they couldn't all be true, the most simple answer to that is none of them are. The reason for that is...

        --Humanity created the Gods: Ok, I lied earlier when I said the biggest change is that Gods and Titans are the same thing... And humanity didn't really create the gods, only a special sub-sect of humanity did. The first beings that could be called 'gods' were purpose made by immortal sorcerer-kings to recreate humanity after an extinction level event. For almost all of human existence the world was ruled over by immortal sorcerers, though if they were benevolent rulers or tyrants has been long forgotten. The end of the last ice age, and the end of the immortals, was brought about by a gigantic comet which slammed into the miles thick ice of what is now central Canada. Nearly every land animal in the world died.

        For all their magic the sorcerer-kings were helpless. Their power lay in the realms of the soul and the mind and so there was nothing they could to to stop the events their seers foresaw. In desperation the 10,000 Immortals pooled their energy, sacrificing themselves. And from that wellspring arose the first twelve gods, their names now lost to time. These twelve were tasked with recreating humanity and the animals of the land, then allowing themselves to fade so the new immortals could be born and resurrect the sorcerer-kings. the first twelve gods completed their first task, but for whatever reason ignored their second. The first twelve gods instead had children, and those gods begat more gods. As elder gods fell to titans younger gods had more children to bolster their numbers and the cycle continues.

        And so that is why gods, every one of them, eventually lose control and become titans. They were never meant to last forever.