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

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
    What kind of enrichment comes from making this a clunky mechanic? How does this Mechanic make the game better?
    By covering existences of Mythical Beings in the setting. Lessening the dissonance of ‘everyone is afraid of Gods interventions’ in some players that want to run Iron or Heroic Myth Level games – me included. Not implying ‘every ancient religion is now somehow at least recognized in modern world because it’s ruled by active gods’. Whole Everyday life with Gods problems I pointed before. It also makes game much more as ‘American Gods’ book or TV series, which is nice bonus for us. 8-) Let’s leave it here and do not dwell in this topic more on it as this discussion runs counter to topic goal.

    Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
    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?
    In Origin level I try not to base plots on Mists parting. Like Origin corebook states in Storyguiding Chapter –
    ‘This concept of genre change will be explored in later Scion books, but much of Origin exists on the Iron level: the mundane daily lives of mortals with the divine relegated to nothing but signs and omens that may or may not be real. At times, however, the game verges on the Heroic level: the pinnacle of “mundane” where the supernatural is apparent to some, where the action gets intense and death-defying, where centaurs curse and throw horseshoes on paved roads, and satyrs deal MDMA in clubs.’

    You DO NOT need parting of Mists to point that people are killed, something is dealing MDMA with weird side effects, items are stolen and some feats of impossibility maybe in there. This rule only forces that setting, on general, is not talking all the time about new corporation merging from Hera and Aphrodite, players character are not assuming from start they are ‘sons of gods’ – and that finally seeing the satyr in it’s true form is an event. Generally, Mists rules moves us from baseline Scion 2E the World setting – into more one like Supernatural or American Gods TV series. What was to be attained in this topic. 8-)

    However, if rules miss us and I would see on session that players are stuck – I would simple ‘slip’ the Mists this time. It was even planned from the start – that ‘slipping by Mists’ is a thing that clueless, starting Origin characters do. On the start of the road, characters do not know that Legend exists – so they need to see a glimpse of it ‘by accident’ and only there to get a hold they can see it on will, if they concentrate. First or two sessions they may get glimpses, from their own, they have mechanics for forcing parting of Mists themselves.

    Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
    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.
    Remark on the need to roll is maybe a good one – I will think on it. However, rules are also to ensure the setting. In this example, rule is to ensure that we deviate from baseline Scion 2E gameline. It’s like pointing that in Scion 2E you have gods you can play Scions of – mechanics are there to point that it’s not only storytelling, but fundamental fact of the game that players are to use.

    Mists are there also so players can use them to their own advantage. In a setting with Mists rule, police is not suspecting they can get in contact with son of Thor. They do not suspect you can use magic. Police is not suspecting they are after the dragon. Rule only making this a game fact.

    Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
    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?
    So mortals in the World with Mists do not check all the time if players are Scions of Gods. Which is exactly as it should be in this setting hack. Mortal ‘hunters’ of mythical should be rare in this world. It’s just a fundamentals of the world building in it.

    Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
    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?
    On this, I will ponder. Putting hard rule of ‘you pay Momentum, you see the Truth’ is simple and elegant, I must say. But then, it would equal difficulty of seeing satyrs true form and primary gods, like Odin or Zeus, for example. I’m not sure I like this. Maybe in next revision of rules I just separate those interpretations for pointing to Iron and Heroic Myth Levels – Iron would be based on rolls, Heroic would be ‘you simply pay Momentum’. Probably will go with this, thanks.
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 08-04-2019, 05:01 PM.


    My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
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    • #17
      Using something like the Mist is an acceptable idea.

      I don't think making it a roll-based mechanic will fit for most of the games. You note that it works fine as a purely narrative feel. So why make it a mechanic? Why put the difficulties?

      The Mist explains why people don't see the werewolf run away from the dead bodies. Maybe a player can find some grainy footage and realize (through I dunno an Occult or a Survival check) that wolves don't walk like that, that's no normal wolf.

      I'm setting aside the idea of my feelings on the whole "Gods hiding their existence" thing. Just, set that aside. We're not talking about that.

      I'm engaging purely on the standards of your proposed mechanics, which honestly feels as necessary as D&D requesting that you always make an Athletics check to climb a ladder, clumsily patching the rules for "Take Ten" in when the better solution is that you shouldn't need to make a roll to climb a ladder.

      Again, to use your strategy of unnecessary bolding, not everything needs to be a dice roll.

      Generally, you want a roll if the two things are true:
      1. The chances of the player succeeding is in doubt
      2. Failure leads to something Interesting.
      So, hypothetically, when the Mists come into play... Is the chance of players seeing through the Mist in doubt? Probably.

      If they fail to pierce the Veil, is it interesting? ... Eeeeeeeeh generally no? If they need to see through the Mists for Plot reasons, you'll fudge it to help move the Plot along.

      So why bother making it a roll? What, gameplay-wise, is engaging about constant checks? What does this add that say, the thing of "Spend Momentum to glimpse through the Mist" doesn't do better?

      What does it add that makes it an improvement over just "The Mists occasionally part for the PCs and they swear they see hooves on that guy running the gyro stand but then they blink and it's gone"?

      It doesn't. It's pointless 99% of the time, so why bother making it a mechanic? More mechanics don't always make a game better. You can just note "Hey there's a thing called the Mist that hides the Divine from mortal eyes, sometimes people who get too close to the Mythic can see through it" and boom, done.


      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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      • #18
        Quick answer on the post of ‘you do not need mechanics’ – I will think about it. I like to have basic rules reflecting game world for my tables to run with. To everyone as needed. But I will think if I need those as mechanics in the end.

        (Answering previous post. )
        Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
        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.
        Why they won’t be doing that? Knowing who is new character in chronicle is always advantages. New guy is going for your money? Let’s part the Mists. The new CEO shows interest in PCs? Let’s part the Mists and see if he is Incarnation. I do not understand how Mists start to be irrelevant on Hero Tier of game.

        Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
        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.
        I will check those. But it could be simply argue that parting the Mists is much harder than Trivial Boons. Or even Marvels. Will check it and see power level of those to compare.

        Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
        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.
        You may do what you want – I like to have basic rules reflecting game world for my tables to run with. To everyone as needed.

        Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
        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).
        Could you elaborate on this one? English is my second language and in this statement, I barely understand what you are writing here.

        Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
        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.
        It’s a general good point on storytelling. I will remember it.

        Only it’s not the whole reason of the my rule in the hack in first place. You see, Mists are also to solve all the problems with Gods interventions on day-to-day basis with general mortals population. By Scion 2E vanilla World, if Gods are using Marvels and Purviews – mortals are seeing it and remember it. Without Mists phenomena, simply whole world knows that Gods now exists. And this particular forum topic main goal is – I reminder you - Gods in Hiding – Mists nicely explain that Odin is doing his own work and Internet or newspapers are not writing about it all the time.


        My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
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        • #19
          Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
          Why they won’t be doing that? Knowing who is new character in chronicle is always advantages. New guy is going for your money? Let’s part the Mists. The new CEO shows interest in PCs? Let’s part the Mists and see if he is Incarnation. I do not understand how Mists start to be irrelevant on Hero Tier of game.
          Mechanically, they're irrelevant. As a narrative tool, they work. But the mechanics assume that your players will be parting the Mists often, which will only happen at Origin tier. When they enter Hero tier, they ARE divine, and thus they would be immune to the Mist. They won't be making dice rolls to see through it. Thus, once you leave the Origin tier, the MECHANICS you proposed may as well not exist, because the PCs won't be rolling dice to see through the Mists.


          I will check those. But it could be simply argue that parting the Mists is much harder than Trivial Boons. Or even Marvels. Will check it and see power level of those to compare.
          There, uh, there's no such thing as a TRIVIAL Boon. Boons are serious effects woven of divine power. Marvels can be small and subtle, with things like blessings and curses, or they can be as big as 'Substantial effects on the environment.

          But even Boons that aren't as OUTWARDLY flashy as 'Flight' or 'Call down flame', they're usually quite major. Cloaking one's self in illusion is a Boon. Blessing someone to let their Inner Beauty (or ugliness) shine through is a Boon. Granting a frustrated artist a rush of inspiration that comes out of the blue is a Boon. Granting a family property or family line a blessing of fertility or cursing them with blight is a Boon.

          Sometimes Boons and Marvels are used against Trivial TARGETS, who are the Background Characters that don't contribute much to the plot. Using a Boon to shapeshift someone blocking your path on the street is done for free, because that was John Nobody blocking your path. It doesn't take much to work your miracles on him.

          Could you elaborate on this one? English is my second language and in this statement, I barely understand what you are writing here.
          Okay, here's how it works in Vanilla Scion 2e. Let's say that Odin wants to do some Odin Tricks, but doesn't want the mess that comes from people realizing that Odin is out and about. This is mentioned as being a real risk for the Gods, because these beliefs could form Fatebindings, which can dictate a God's personality and actions. If people saw Odin push a poor person out of the way and KNEW it was Odin because Odin was being overt, then hypothetically people could spin that as "Odin hates poor people", and since that Deed was seen, it could lead to that sticking to the identity of Odin.

          THIS is the reason why Gods in the World rarely manifest as themselves. Instead, they create a false identity that the game calls an Incarnation. So Odin does not walk the World as Odin the All-Father. He walks the World, more often than not, under a fake name. Like, say, Ulric Alspach, a man from Germany who has a PhD in Classic Literature, and lost his eye due to an unfortunate accident in his 8th year of schooling, and often goes about with a pair of pins on his suit that look like raven heads. He has the proper paperwork, most people THINK they remember Professor Alspach once he introduces himself, and he may answer some questions for some PCs, or show up and acquire a rare collectors book of ancient wisdom, all without revealing himself as Odin.

          Now, some people may be able to go "Wait a minute... One eye... Knows many things... Walking stick that looks like a spear... Raven-shaped lapel pins? Ah-HA!"

          Which, I think, is the kind of thing you want to evoke with the Parting the Mists mechanic. But the thing is, mechanically, if the player makes a roll but fails, they're going to have their suspicions anyway. You can, if they go "Wait a minute, I make an Occult check", be vague. Confirm that yes, One Eye and Two Ravens ARE INDEED signs that denote Odin. Curious, that.

          Only it’s not the whole reason of the my rule in the hack in first place. You see, Mists are also to solve all the problems with Gods interventions on day-to-day basis with general mortals population. By Scion 2E vanilla World, if Gods are using Marvels and Purviews – mortals are seeing it and remember it. Without Mists phenomena, simply whole world knows that Gods now exists. And this particular forum topic main goal is – I reminder you - Gods in Hiding – Mists nicely explain that Odin is doing his own work and Internet or newspapers are not writing about it all the time.
          As I've said, many times, the fact that you're using Mists isn't what I'm debating. I just think you're making an overly complicated mechanic for something that doesn't even need a mechanic.

          Though I'll also note in the Vanilla World, the Gods don't openly manifest for just everyone. I wager not everyone's prayers get answered. If someone prays to Sarasvati to pass their final, it COULD be that Sarasvati wove a miracle to make them better at the test... Or it could be that they studied.

          Or it could be that Sarasvati, in ways subtle and unseen, worked a bit of magic to help them study better.

          I imagine that in the World, Gods are credited to far more answered prayers than they actually answered.
          Last edited by Kyman201; 05-05-2019, 03:29 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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          • #20

            Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
            But the mechanics assume that your players will be parting the Mists often, which will only happen at Origin tier. When they enter Hero tier, they ARE divine, and thus they would be immune to the Mist. They won't be making dice rolls to see through it. Thus, once you leave the Origin tier, the MECHANICS you proposed may as well not exist, because the PCs won't be rolling dice to see through the Mists.
            I never said that Hero are immune to Mists. I explicitly pointed that difference Legend level beings are hiding between themselves:

            ‘Those creatures can sense in this disguise each other by spending 1 Momentum and rolling contested their Legend dots pools rolls.’

            When you have Satyr checking Legend 3 Hero, Satyr rolls 1 dice ( as Denizens are treated Legend 1 begins for this ) and Hero rolls 3 dices. If Satyr win, he see divinity in Hero. If Hero wins – Satyr see only mundane.

            You can clearly see here that Heroes ( or even Demigods ) can have problems piercing Gods Legends of 9-12 dices…

            It maybe limiting to players on even higher Tiers of game – but sounds fitting for the Iron Myth Level games, I think. Even Heroes are not sure who the Gods are then.
            Last edited by wyrdhamster; 05-05-2019, 04:02 AM.


            My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
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            • #21
              Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
              ‘Those creatures can sense in this disguise each other by spending 1 Momentum and rolling contested their Legend dots pools rolls.’
              I stand corrected.


              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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              • #22
                Second revision of the rules, based on Kyman questions. I split variants based on Myth Levels, added Difficulty rules and assert that Mythic Mists works with Antagonists in Scion. They use Secondary Action Pool, as it should be more or less the Integrity/Occult + Resolve equivalent in lesser characters.

                Mythic Mists - 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. There are two variants of this rules, based on general Myth Level of the chronicle.

                Iron Level

                Mythical beings wanting to part the Mists before his witnesses need to spend 1 Momentum ( or 1 Tension for SGCs ) to show their true form to any mortal observer in area. Creatures of Myth can sense in this disguise each other by spending 1 Momentum and rolling their contested 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 or Occult + ResolveLegend of observed target. Antagonists spend 1 Tension and those using Archetypes mechanics roll their Secondary Action PoolLegend of observed target. Difficulty of the test is based on Legend of target:
                • Legend 1-4 is Difficulty 1
                • Legend 5-8 is Difficulty 2
                • Legend 9-12 is Difficulty 3
                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 )

                Heroic Level

                By spending 1 Momentum, character can see true form of Mythical Being, without need of tests or irrelevant to her Legend rating. Antagonists simply spend 1 Tension for this.
                Last edited by wyrdhamster; 05-05-2019, 09:22 PM.


                My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
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                • #23
                  Nyrfa pointed in other topic why Gods can show up really rearlly in this setting hack. 😎
                  Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post


                  Ah, that... You seem to have forgotten that Overworlds, Underworlds and Terra Incognita are things that exist in Scion.

                  At least when it came to first edition, the game seemed to follow the idea that as you increased your Legend, you became less directly involved with the World of mortals, and started moving on to outer planes. By the time you hit Demigod, you started going on adventures through the Underworld, and by the time you hit God, your journey took you through the Overworld.

                  There are lots of stories and Legends that Gods can participate in, without placing themselves at risk from mortal interaction. Just because mortals aren't directly involved in the story, that doesn't make them any less fun.


                  My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
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                  • #24
                    Reading now 'official' Scion 2E inspiration comicbook series - The Wicked + The Divine ( shorten by me as tW+tD ) - I generally like and wanting to incorporate some ideas for my Scion games. It's much more in the light of 'vanilla' The World setting - but also not so much more.

                    In tW+tD, Gods are Incarnating into humans once every 90 years, for 2 years. They make fuss and run some cults - and then disappear, not leaving lasting impression on the World. But in 2014, they change that and break they own rules. Most Gods become Internet celebrities and try to collect new worshipers by their feats - even if laws similar to Fate Binding are smacking them all over. And then we have proper plot of the series...

                    Now, returning to our Setting Hack – I do not want for all the Gods to run and tell everyone that ‘Hi, I’m Zeus, can you worship me?’ – but I do like some of them may try to become Internet celebrities. And most people still do not recognize them as proper Gods. Only the most devoted see on bearded CEO of larger energy industry and think ‘He is my lord and savior Zeus!’ in their minds. Here comes our Mythic Mists rules – they get plausible deniability for lower miracles actions that most people still not recognize them as divine.


                    My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
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