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[2E Setting Hack] Gods in Hiding and new Mythic Age

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  • [2E Setting Hack] Gods in Hiding and new Mythic Age

    NOTE: This topic is for those agreeing that Gods in Scion should be hidden to the most of the World - i.e. hack to basic setting of Scion 2E gameline - or at least buying into concept for this topic discussion. If you not agreeing with that premise - i.e. you support original setting - be so nice and do not spam in this topic, go somewhere else on the forum. We all talk here about alternate world to original line.

    Ravian sum up best the way I wanted to run 2E Scion games before reading actual corebooks, which seems to clash with those idea. So I'm starting topic about changes that need to be made to accustom this kind of running game. Basic idea is that Gods were with humanity from ancient times, but by they own doing needed to move away. Now, in modern nights, the next Mythic Age returns and with them direct involvement of Gods. Read original Ravian post on this:

    Originally posted by Ravian View Post
    My personal approach has been (and I admit that I've probably ripped off a lot of stuff from these forums for it.) that all myths are true in the fact that they all began in what effectively exist as different realities, these are the mythic pasts, where the most fundamental myths of the pantheons began, though its unclear whether they came first or if humanity retroactively created them through their beliefs. However for each and all there has been an essential decline of direct involvement, usually following the sealing and binding of the titans and other major threats to humanity. Once humanity became relatively free to exercise their freedom upon the world, they started affecting the Gods through fate bindings, something that the Gods didn't terribly care for. As such, they withdrew from the world, and with their departure went many of the elements of the mythic pasts. What remained without these mythical textures is essentially the Bare World, a singular world without the divisions set by the mythic pasts, where humanity instead was allowed to operate among themselves without the rule and supervision of Gods. In the Bare World, all the natural laws as we understand them today function. However humanity never truly forgot the mythic pasts, The Greeks remember the Age of Heroes, the Aztecs recorded the cycle of previous worlds, the Celts knew of a time before the Tuatha de Danaan departed from Eiriu, etc. they all are essentially successor states, or perhaps refugees from the mythic pasts, now adapted to living within the Bare World. Within that cultural memory, many continued to honor them, perhaps not as directly as worship, but through superstitions and rites.

    But the world was never fully bare, the Gods never truly left their creations, and they have always been inclined to meddle, even despite the consequences of fate-bindings altering them. The involvement of gods has waxed and waned, often exerting themselves during pivotal times of their favored cultures' history. Often this has even led towards pantheons being destroyed, as the conflict between cultures mirrored itself in the realm of the Gods, though it's important to note that lack of worship or knowledge of a pantheon is not a cause of that pantheon's destruction, but a symptom. Some gods even submitted to fate binding and the creation of new mantles, or even sub-pantheons (such as the Loa) as a sacrifice for the benefit of those they favored.

    And then of course there are scions. Though not as common as during the Mythic pasts, scions have always remained in the world, and their existence in and of itself helps to reassert that Pantheon's mythic texture. As a scion grows in legend, they bring more of that texture with them, often unconsciously, as they face similar challenges to the heroes of their mythic past. This was often a harrowing experience for most scions and the world around them, and it has often been the policy of the Gods to avoid visitations precisely for the reason of avoiding too much of the mythic bleeding onto the bare world.

    More recently however, there is increasing degrees of titanic activity. What its cause is is unknown, but most worry about impending apocalypses, Ragnarok and such. The titans, less concerned with the fate bindings of man, are ready to wreak havoc on the World, and the Gods believe that humanity is ill-prepared to deal with them. With renewed Titanomachy, the world is already beginning to be drawn back into the mythic, their textures reasserting themselves onto the bare world. However with all of this occurring more or less simultaneously, rather than the World once again splitting into its Mythic origins, the World instead has begun melding into a much more chaotic mishmash of these cultures. The Gods themselves worry that even aside from the dangers posed by the Titans, that this degree of contradiction could in effect damage the stability of fate itself and cause damage to everything. They now debate among themselves on whether they could stabilize the World, either by once again scourging the Mythic from its surface, or if instead they could guide it towards some more harmonious singular texture.

    I see this all as kind of a vehicle for the player's choices to shape the nature of the World. Initially as the Titans begin to awake, things slowly become more chaotic, as the mythic springs back into the world unguided and unrestrained while the players struggle to keep up, however as the Player Scions begin to amass their own legend, they have the opportunity to begin to shape that world. If certain pantheons are more prominent in your story, than the World begins to look more like them, people, seeing the power of those scions and the effect they have at stemming the influence of the Titans, begin to reassert the worship of their pantheons, and the world itself begins to shape itself to conform to those mythologies' cosmology.

    So to give your contemporary Poland example, for most of history it all occurred as expected, though some of the old Slavic pagan traditions may have survived hiding, either directly, or metaphorically, within the local culture. However after monsters and titanspawn start showing up, if a band of Slavic Scions started going around beating them up, than gradually the world would start to look more and more like how that mythology recognized it, and the people themselves would, in the face of overwhelming evidence of the Slavic Gods existence and power, begin to adopt that faith. That being said I don't necessarily give the Abrahamic faiths a wide berth in Scion, so it could just as easily be a Band of Christian (and other Abrahamic) scions helping to assert God and his angels' powers on the World in a more direct fashion in the face of Armageddon.

    In essence, I like to run Scion in a more Apocalyptic fashion, regardless of whether or not the Titans and the destruction they wreak are the direct threat, the world is on the brink of fairly direct change, and its up to the players to help decide what that change is.
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 05-05-2019, 12:50 AM.


    My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
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  • #2
    Reading through various official blog posts about Scion 2E, I found probably official rules resolution of this hack idea - Myth Levels Update from coming Scion 2E Companion.

    From the sum up of this concepts below, it seems it will work like Iron, maybe going into Heroic Myth level - and Gods interactions would then easily be limited enough for the point of 'Gods in Hiding' would be meet. If centaurs can be bikers and history of Earth goes more or less the same as real world from end of Antiquity - I'm all good to run game I would like, probably. Last sentence of the quote is literally how I wanted to run the game in the first place.

    Originally posted by Myth Levels preview
    CHAPTER ONE: MYTH LEVEL

    The Myth Level is five options along four axes of design, meant to allow the Storyguide to choose how many of Scion’s setting “dials” they want to crank. This chapter lays out what each of those dials looks like at each of the five Myth Levels. Those Myth Levels are:
    • Iron: Perfectly mundane. Very similar in nature and tone to Gaiman’s American Gods, where ifriti are cab drivers, Odhinn is a shiftless wandering con man, and Chernobog and the goddesses of dawn, midday and evening are poor immigrants scraping by in a shitty apartment in Chicago.
    • Heroic: Mostly mundane, but with room for great acts of heroism. Most supernatural creatures still have mundane manifestations here (that centaur is still just a biker here), but Scions and gods may appear as impressive and tremendous – Aphrodite isn’t some burnt out barfly here, she’s drop-dead gorgeous and probably on fashion covers. This is the level of the Iliad and the Odyssey.
    • Bronze: This is where the supernatural really comes into play. Creatures of Legend shed their mundane disguises in areas of Bronze Myth, and appear in their true nature. Magic becomes overt here, and Demigods wield their true power. This is Clash of the Titans territory, and there might just actually be dragons in that undetailed area of the map.
    • Silver: Past the threshold of urban myth and getting into epic fantasy, places of Silver Myth are deeply resonant with Myth. They are often fanciful places and hidden vales of magic technically found in the World, but not of it. The power of a creature of Legend is reflected in its appearance – the mightier the entity, the more impressive it appears. Zelazny’s Lord of Light goes into this area of Myth in its narrative.
    • Gold: Flat-out mythological, where symbolism is the same as its reality. Places of Gold Myth are not even of this World. Lots of Scion 1e went into this territory, with its otherworldly locales, and lots of fantasy that touches on extradimensional areas and the like qualify.
    The trick is this: you should be able to choose a starting Myth Level and then turn each dial up or down within that level to taste. So, for instance, as Storyguide I might choose to start at the Iron Level but crank the Titanomachy up, turning American Gods into a raging shadow war that you have to keep peeling back layers of the World to see.
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 01-01-2019, 12:18 PM.


    My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
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    • #3
      We now have official preview of Centaurs from World's Bestiary. If true are cycle-centaurs, so I assume ALL mythical beings need something like Changeling the Lost Mask - i.e. mythical beings looks 'normal' to most mortals, looking as much mundane as reality can make them - and then 'mythics' need to 'drop the Mask' on purpose. ( More on the concept see CtL Expanded Mask topic - it's 1E, but sums up concept nicely.)

      In our examples - cycle-centaurs are truth under Mask. On day-to-day, they look all the time as bikers who cannot be separated with their bikes, I assume. Does it seems logical?

      Maybe I would use NeoTiamat's and The Kings Raven mechanics for Scion's Mask, if they are still on forums?
      Last edited by wyrdhamster; 03-22-2019, 09:34 AM.


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      • #4
        I use the idea of Urban Arcana to hide the true nature of the denizens, the mundane just don’t believe they are seeing the monster and see whatever feels comfortable to them. You don’t need rules the way I see it, the mundane are just “used to the supernatural”, but they don’t see it the same way the heroes do.

        If you put a dragon flying in the middle of the city, probably they will se a helicopter firing some wire flamethrower, but if they don’t, whatever, it’s not a big deal to them, they know it’s a good idea to run away from it, some may freeze by the panic, even the ones that see it for what it is, later don’t remember properly or think it was a trick his mind have played on them, and the last kind became the UFO searchers, Criptozoologists, parascientists, etc... most of people don’t believe in them anyway...

        If you start think it’s necessary to work in the way Mask can be manipulated, you can create a illusion magic system, much like what happen in Percy Jackson and the myst. Something to think about.

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        • #5
          So read basic description of Urban Arcana from Wikipedia:
          Originally posted by Urban Arcana
          In the world of Urban Arcana, dragons rule the boardrooms and bugbears rule the streets. It is a world where monsters and magic exist, yet the human psyche just cannot fathom them and covers up all supernatural events. Some, however, break that barrier and become aware of the world around them and help Mages, Acolytes, and other magical characters fight with monsters from another realm.
          Mateus Luz, it seems that Urban Arcana works just like Mask, more or less. Only real difference seems to pointing that in UA, once you once seen 'Shadowkind', you see the world as it is all the time. Mask in CtL implies you return always to normalized perception of reality just after Ensorcellment wears off.

          Question is this - CtL Ensorcelled are more like Origin or Hero characters? Do you need to have Visitation to see any mythical reality?

          I would assume that Origin character have various 'drop-offs' of Mask before them - and then Mask reinstate itself on them - but, until Visitation, you do not see all the time mythical. However, it clashes with Denizens in the World as PCs - if you are centaur or satyr, you simply should see past the Mask all the time. I do not know how to resolve this problem for now - maybe you have answer?


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          • #6
            That s the point on the difference between Mask and and the Shadow in UA.

            I play Scion the UA way, once you see the Mythic world, you can’t unsee it, your eyes are open period.

            There is also the Percy Jackson style, where even the demigods can be tricked by the myst. While mundane will always see the worlds thru the myst (made more mundane), some people can manipulate it, making anything look more os less mundane to anyone, including demigods. A ciclope can look like a big guy with 2 eyes to anyone, if he knows the way to do that, but a mundane will always se him this way. Becaming fatebound break the myst and allow you to see thru the myst (unless it’s manipulated), also the visitation have the same impact, so in the legendary times the gods had too many fatebounds and even entire nations, what made it easier to mundanes ro see thru the myst.

            In CtL you have the opposite, everything is mundane unless you effort to see thru the mask. I am reading CtL now, so I am not entire sure about the workings of it. CtD allow you to call the wyrd, making everyone capable of see the glamour, and a changeling can tuneful some banality to see the mundane, crossing glamour walls as if it wasn’t there.

            The last option is everybody see all, unless it’s masked by illusions... no mask, no myst, no glamour, no shadow...

            Those are the 4 options I see, and I dont see any reason to chose one as standard to Scion 2e. Actually I would list the options the same way as the Mythic level...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
              Those are the 4 options I see, and I dont see any reason to chose one as standard to Scion 2e. Actually I would list the options the same way as the Mythic level...
              You probably are right here - but I need some option for my own games, to stick with them.

              What would be implications of each option for Origin level characters?


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              • #8
                I have been thinking about it... when I GMd Urban Arcana I went a lot about the implication of the heroes learning that they didn’t see the world as it was. In my games the character could recognise the denizens they knew as “humans”, and they could remember the world as it has even been. Like if the magic retcon the memories. That made the adaptation of the heroes go much better...
                It was more like “now it make sense”, and less WTF...

                I played a lot of CtD, and I loved the way the glamour works, but it’s the opposite of the way I understand the Mask from CtL. Mask hides the true fae form, while glamour is a layer of faerie magic above the mundane world. I never went thru the character learning about glamour and never give a second thought about this subject in the CtD games...

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                • #9
                  First draft of my Mists mechanics that works sorta like Changelings Mask for mythical beings. It’s to be used in Iron and Heroic Myth Levels of play in Scion 2E games.

                  Mythic Mists

                  The World is hiding it’s mythical truth before mere mortals. They are covered by the normality, mundane, trying to trap everything extraordinaire so the people would forget – Mythical Mists. They makes something impossible look totally rational and mundane – until higher power is directly unveiling it before particular eyes. Mist is overlaying anything that is related to Legend – gods, Heroes, Denizens, creatures, objects or magic. You name it. Until you are invited by particular being to see it’s true self – you just see mundane façade of it.

                  Mechanics ( for Iron and Heroic Myth Levels )

                  Mythical beings and phenomena are perceived by almost everyone as mundane – unless will is put to drop the Mists. Each mythical being – gods, Denizens, even Heroes - can will the Mists so they would part – and show beings true self to mortals. Mythical phenomena are generally hidden and it’s all on the witness resolve and cunning to part them.

                  Mythical beings wanting to part the Mists before his witnesses need to spend 1 Momentum to show their true form to any mortal witness. Those creatures can sense in this disguise each other by spending 1 Momentum and rolling contested their Legend dots pools rolls. Denizens are treated as having at least Legend 1 for this only purpose, even when they normally not having this trait. If defender wins, observer still sense his target as mundane.

                  Mortal beings can sometimes pierce the Mists, if they are really driven. By spending 1 Momentum and rolling Integrity + Resolve – Legend of observed. Denizens are still treated here as having at least Legend 1 for this only purpose, even when they normally not having this trait. If mortal’s roll is successful, he gets a glimpsed of beings true form, not longer than few seconds. ( One turn )

                  Note: So what do you think about those rules? Any comments or advice?


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                  • #10
                    Leaving aside how I feel this is a mechanic that doesn't enrich the game or the setting at all (and lord do I think it's dumb) I have a few questions.

                    Mortal beings can sometimes pierce the Mists, if they are really driven. By spending 1 Momentum and rolling Integrity + Resolve – Legend of observed.
                    Mainly here.
                    1. What's the Difficulty?
                    2. From the way you have it written, it LOOKS like the Legend of the observed target actually subtracts from the observing mortal's dice pool. Was this intended?
                    3. Would one be able to possibly use Occult as a skill to look through the Mists, as they know how the Supernatural works?
                      1. Tangential: How does the Occult skill work in a setting where people think the divine is fake?
                    4. If the players go to Hero tier, the Mists will hide THEM. Does every NPC make a roll with their Desperation Pool to see their true nature? By their construction, Quick Characters and Antagonists don't have specific Skills.
                    Honestly, I have other questions. What kind of enrichment comes from making this a clunky mechanic? How does this Mechanic make the game better?

                    What happens if, in an Origin game, you're hoping that your players follow up on the Mist gaping but the PCs don't make the throw to see through them? Through the target parting the Mist in order to keep the plot on track?

                    If the Mist will possibly fail when the story needs it even if the mechanics may get in the way, what's the point of making it a mechanic? Mechanics should serve the story, not potentially disrupt it. See the Tracking ability in D&D. If you fail to find the trail, then the plot is stuck in the mud. Failure isn't interesting in this case, so I'd hesitate to require a roll.

                    And, when the Players go to Hero Tier, how do Mortal NPCs try to activate a 'See Through The Mist' check? Mortal NPCs don't have Momentum, they have Tension, but Tension is rare enough to accumulate that I wouldn't want to burn it each time someone tried to identify the true nature of the Heroes?

                    In fact, why do they have to spend a finite resource to make a check that could fail? If they fail to pierce the Mists, will they get Momentum for a failure? If the option is "Make the check or get the Momentum back" then why not just make it so they can spend Momentum to Glimpse Something's True Nature?


                    Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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                    • #11
                      I just don't understand why you would pick up a game that is all about modern-day gods and myths, and then go out of your way to change or hide those very things. Maybe another game system would work better for you. Because if you have to write new rules or bend the game to get what you want, maybe the game isn't what you want.

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                      • #12
                        So, before I start discussion - Kyman201, Purple Snit - look over main disclaimer of the topic.

                        Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                        NOTE: This topic is for those agreeing that Gods in Scion should be hidden to the most of the World - i.e. hack to basic setting of Scion 2E gameline - or at least buying into concept for this topic discussion. If you not agreeing with that premise - i.e. you support original setting - be so nice and do not spam in this topic, go somewhere else on the forum. We all talk here about alternate world to original line.
                        If you are not agreeing to talk in good spirit about this hack idea - just leave this topic. You will do yourself and others favor. No need for raising bad blood and posting when you run counter to the topic goal.
                        Last edited by wyrdhamster; 05-05-2019, 12:54 AM.


                        My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
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                        • #13
                          Fair enough - I missed the disclaimer. I'll take my comments away - no harm intended.

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                          • #14
                            You stayed? Great. Now we will talk on the topic in good faith. I split answers too Kyman questions in two posts as they are rather long.

                            Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
                            [*]What's the Difficulty?
                            Good for pointing it out – I think that Difficulty based on Legend Tier of target would be okay. So:
                            • Legend 1-4 is Difficulty 1
                            • Legend 5-8 is Difficulty 2
                            • Legend 9-12 is Difficulty 3
                            I think about moving Difficulty on one higher on each Tier, but need to playtest it.

                            Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
                            [*]From the way you have it written, it LOOKS like the Legend of the observed target actually subtracts from the observing mortal's dice pool. Was this intended?
                            Yes. More Legend has target, harder is to be seen in true form by the Mists.

                            Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
                            [*]Would one be able to possibly use Occult as a skill to look through the Mists, as they know how the Supernatural works?
                            Interesting point here – yes, I think that you can use Integrity or Occult Skill for the roll, whatever you have higher. Will mark this in rules revision.

                            Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
                            [*]If the players go to Hero tier, the Mists will hide THEM.
                            Once you know someone is Being on Legend – you simply know this. You do not forget that you band-mate is Hero like you – or that this particular con man is Odin in hiding. Yes, Mists will hide players – but it simply works for their own advantage. 8-)

                            Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
                            Does every NPC make a roll with their Desperation Pool to see their true nature?
                            I did not read Antagonists section in Origin, yet. Will need to return to this after understanding Antagonists rules. ( Probably few days from now. )

                            Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
                            By their construction, Quick Characters and Antagonists don't have specific Skills.
                            Will look for alternatives for them only.

                            Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
                            [*]Tangential: How does the Occult skill work in a setting where people think the divine is fake?
                            The same way Occult Skill works in Chronicles of Darkness – Occult becomes ‘symbols and myths’ Skill. Most people may still think it’s hogwash, but it works as for fringe groups, like neo-pagan, mystics, mediums, anthropologists or even psychanalysts. See this topic in CoD subforum on day-to-day usage of Occult Skill and professions connected to it.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                              Once you know someone is Being on Legend – you simply know this. You do not forget that you band-mate is Hero like you – or that this particular con man is Odin in hiding. Yes, Mists will hide players – but it simply works for their own advantage. 8-)
                              That's not what I brought it up for. Basically, when the players become Heroes, the Mists cease being relevant in any way. Because THEY won't be making checks to pierce the veil, the NPCs will.

                              That's why I kept noting that this mechanic feels pointless to me. It only applies to Origin games, so once you get to Hero it stops being relevant. All the dice throwing will be done by the DM in order to identify the true natures of the PCs. So if you're playing at Origin then it may have a point, but once it gets past that the players no longer engage with it. Once they get to Hero, they stop making the checks, and they can part the Mists to reveal themselves in all their glory. Which honestly, I wouldn't even charge them Momentum for, as using the Scion Hero rules for Marvels, throwing Marvels and Boons at Trivial targets is completely free. No Legend, no Momentum.

                              Really, if it were me, I wouldn't make this a mechanic at all. I'd rule that Origin players can see through the Mists if it's important to the plot that they be able to. If the players want to pierce the veil using Occult or what-not, they can try, probably at Difficulty 1-3 depending on the being that's hiding in the Mists. Once the Mists start hiding the Players, then you, the GM, would hypothetically roll for those who see through the Mist. But be honest. You, as a GM, have better things to do with your GM time than rolling for every Bill, Sally, and Chris that the Heroes run into. So you'll fudge it. You'll only roll for important moments. Hell, a lot of NPCs won't even have stats, they'll just have a couple notes on them, so what would you even roll it with?

                              So you'll fudge further, be honest. You'll just go "Ugh, if it's dramatically important for the NPC to see the truth, they will" and thus this Mist Check has utterly stopped being mechanically relevant.

                              It's a clumsy mechanic for the sake of having a mechanic, and a mechanic for its own sake that doesn't really make the game better is a bad mechanic. That was something that I had to learn from my D&D days. Not everything needs a mechanic or a roll.

                              Also also, there's a sidebar in Origin noting on how to run players running into an Incarnation of a God. Y'know what it recommends? Not telling your players who they're interacting with. Gods in the canon World don't need Mists to hide themselves. They just spin up an Incarnation and walk unseen, to avoid excessive Fatebindings by showing their full glory (without stepping on the list of Questions that 'They let Humans forget that they exist' brings up).

                              The sidebar also mentions that maybe, just maybe, players will start to suspect they're interacting with a God. In THAT case... Still don't say anything until they try to make a Culture or Occult check to try and recognize some of the Omens of the God in question. Ideally, they won't suspect they were talking to Odin in disguise until he's already left.

                              I did not read Antagonists section in Origin, yet. Will need to return to this after understanding Antagonists rules.
                              I find that it helps me engage in the mechanics of a game to have a decent grasp of the intent of the mechanics first. You don't have to MEMORIZE them (because lord knows I don't have the whole rulebooks memorized) but at least give them a couple looks.
                              Last edited by Kyman201; 05-05-2019, 02:08 AM.


                              Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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