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[Companion] Theocentrism & Evidance Dials

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  • [Companion] Theocentrism & Evidance Dials

    So Scion 2E Companion - Mysteries of the World is for backers and in errata, right now. It will be published in coming weeks/months. But we know about one of it's main features - Myth Levels / Dials. They are sum up of each chronicles setting changes, loosely connected to Hesoid's Ages of Man, that point changes in World setting that they reflects. How would you run your World setting, if you went outside of basis of it? What repercussion each Dial can have on the World?

    For vanilla setting of World ( main gameline settings ) are those:
    • Genre : Bronze
    • Theocentrism : Gold
    • Titanomachy : Silver
    • Evidence : Silver
    Full Myth Levels Blog post that sumed-up this idea in long developing process before, 1,5 year ago. Here is spoilers sum-up:
    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.


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  • #2
    Here are my personal takes - I prefer the Scion setting where claims of Pantheons are not whole truth and 'All Myths are True' tagline is resolved by 'Oh, they SAY that - and the gods have real magic - but Earth still has 4.54 billion years and dinosaurs where real before - just like evolution'. I'm also very low on Evidence, really like to run games like American Gods ( in examples above ) or World/Chronicles of Darkness. Both are connected to my pre-Myth Levels concept idea of Gods Are In Hiding Hack.

    Example game I have in my mind would probably be something like that:
    'Story about simple people slowly introduced to world of Gods and Heroes. At least major religion and Myths are true, even when Earth has more or less stable history to this point. Titans where secret threat for centuries - now, with Global Warming, new Titan War will restart. However, all of that is outside of normal people do not - cannot - see it all. Oh, and Atlantis is returning on Earth...'

    So this chronicle would like:
    Genre Iron ( Near Min ) -> Bronze - Generally casual plots with 'some myths were beside it' and uncovering world of Gods - until players go to Hero Tier and start to be involved in new Titan War
    Theocentrism Bronze ( Middle ) - All major Pantheons of corebooks exists. Rest is not sure / only on story needs. Earth has still stable history of existing 4.54 billion years. Maybe as a result of first Titanomachy we have this 'reality consensus', not sure on that.
    Titanomachy Iron ( Min ) -> Silver - It would mean that starting status quo is 'Secret Cold War with Titans' that in time of Hero Tier goes to almost open conflict with them.
    Evidance Iron ( Min ) - Gods and Pantheons are secret to population at large, separated from them by Mythic Mists ( my mechanics hack before Companion rules, from Gods in Hiding topic ).
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 06-09-2020, 10:41 AM.


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    • #3
      Okay you got a good number of those wrong, especially the Theocentrism.Theocentrism isn't a measure of "Yeah but how much of what the Gods say is lies?" it's "How much favortism does one Pantheon get over the others?"

      So if you have Theocentrism Iron favoring the Aesir, that means that the Aesir are the 'Right' Pantheon, and in fact may be the only ones that exist. So even if you have Theocentrism down to the lowest setting, that Aesir-focused world is still gonna be Midgard wrapped in the branches of the World Tree.

      Also, in the default Scion setting, the World IS a hunk of rock that's been around for several billion years. AND a turtle that floats through space. AND was created by any number of Pantheons. It's all true, all of it. Maybe some from a Certain Point of View, but it's All True.

      Edit: [Section removed for being kind of a jackass statement]
      Last edited by Kyman201; 06-09-2020, 08:43 PM.


      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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      • #4
        As I understand it on reading the preview:

        Genre is more about the flashiness or the physicality, so if I get the read of your setting right, Wyrd, you're looking at Heroic, mostly the investigation and mystery of uncovering the divine, with some combat sprinkled in, Bronze if it's a more even mix.
        Theocentrism, as Kyman explained, is more about pantheon priorities. So if you have all of them in equal measure, even if subdued as yours seem to be, you're right up in Gold
        Titanomachy is how relevent Titans are to the World, how important an enemy they are. You're probably starting at Bronze, in fact Companion specifically mentions Titans at Bronze engage in a cold war with the Gods.
        Evidence, I'd say you have the right of it. Magic and the like at Iron is a well kept secret, though you might go up to Bronze if you have larger secret societies and whatnot knowing about it.
        Last edited by CassieCataria; 06-09-2020, 12:46 PM. Reason: Spelling

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        • #5
          Yeah, what Cassie said. From what you've described of your preferred game tone, I think Cassie has the right of it with your preferred Settings.

          So Theocentrism will be Gold since you're assuming all of them are on equal footing, while the Genre and Evidence are cranked down to Iron at the start.

          The Companion even has rules for some of these: For instance, Iron Genre puts a limit on how flashy the Stunts you pick can be, and makes it so that Marvels and Boons used in Non-Procedural parts are more expensive, while the Evidence section includes a special Condition for lower-rank Evidence settings where you've strained the Disbelief too much and now You're In Trouble until you help cover it up.


          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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          • #6
            Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
            Look I know you're not a massive fan of the All Myths Are True premise and the Setting Dials are a fun idea but if you don't have the companion you don't need to make another pointless thread about your pointless game changes when you haven't even seemed to read the book or mechanics in question. It's fine to not know some things, and it's fine if you haven't read the Companion because it was too late to back the kickstarter when you heard about the game, but you don't need to get on a podium to advertise that you don't know anything but you're going to assume anyway.
            Your tone needs adjustment. It's not your place to regulate other gamers' habits.


            Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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            • #7
              You're right, sorry, that was out of line.


              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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              • #8
                Hmm. I feel like I want to try a "Scion as Changeling the Dreaming" type setting, with Genre and Evidence somewhere between Iron and Heroic, Theocentrism at Gold, and Titanomachy as somewhere between Heroic and Bronze, maybe.


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                • #9
                  The Setting Dials idea sounds really cool, but imma wait till I read Mysteries of the World before I get involved in the discussion.


                  “It is a far far better thing I do than I have ever done...” Sidney Carton’s last line before going to the guillotine to save his True Love and her husband

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
                    Okay you got a good number of those wrong, especially the Theocentrism.Theocentrism isn't a measure of "Yeah but how much of what the Gods say is lies?" it's "How much favortism does one Pantheon get over the others?"

                    So if you have Theocentrism Iron favoring the Aesir, that means that the Aesir are the 'Right' Pantheon, and in fact may be the only ones that exist. So even if you have Theocentrism down to the lowest setting, that Aesir-focused world is still gonna be Midgard wrapped in the branches of the World Tree.
                    From what I read in preview, you are mostly right - however, there are also points to Theocentrism as impact of Gods on the World.

                    Theocentrism at large:
                    Originally posted by Companion 2E, p. 12
                    Supernatural Presence: It’s also possible to use this axis to dial the prominence of divinity at large up and down. Establishing that every pantheon is non-dominant in The World makes for an underdog or comeback story for Scions and other supernatural beings. This affects how strong an influence Fate has on mortals and how much characters struggle to access their divine powers.
                    Iron Theocentrism:
                    Originally posted by Companion 2E, p. 12
                    If no pantheons or Gods are important, divinity at large is completely down and out, struggling just to survive in a world where humanity has lost its faith. Godly Incarnations scrape and beg for scraps of influence and Scions are their last-ditch effort to restore their own relevance.
                    Heroic Theocentrism:
                    Originally posted by Companion 2E, p. 13
                    If no pantheon dominates, divine elements are present and well-known but weak or diluted, rarely making an appearance unless they have something important to accomplish; it takes frequent public miracles to convince mortals the Gods aren’t on their way out for good.
                    Heroic monotheism includes peripheral or apocryphal myths as part of its core cosmology by default, such as the ifrit of Islam and the Abrahamic Nephilim; mythic personages may be interpreted as Mantles of or transplants from other pantheons (this is, in fact, how Lilith ended up a Liminal figure within Abrahamic myth in our own world despite her roots as a demon in Sumerian mythology).
                    Bronze Theocentrsim:
                    Originally posted by Companion 2E, p. 13
                    If no pantheon dominates, the divine still fights an uphill battle, but the tide is turning in its favor and the supernatural bleeds through into The World more often. Mortals actively quest to restore it and Scions more closely resemble the larger-than-life Heroes the default World knows.


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                    • #11
                      The more I read the rules, the more I came to idea that I describe general Heroic level Myths. Each combination of Dials has sum up of how the chronicle will look like on this level...

                      EVERYDAY PROWESS: THE HEROIC SERIES
                      Characters in a consonant Heroic story live in a World that is decidedly magical, but the magic is hard to find. They meet creatures of Legend who are more or less open about their natures as a matter of course, though such creatures completely human and divine powers usually wear a disguise of exceptional skill or absurd luck. The Heroic World is pulpier, the characters are a bit larger than life, but ordinary mortals mostly don’t notice unless they get dragged into things via Fatebinding. They acknowledge faiths other than their own but still don’t pay them much mind. Like Denizens, titanspawn are more common, lurking around playing espionage games and scouting out the major players, but the Titanomachy is still cold and many Hero-tier Scions don’t realize it’s coming except in the occasional vague omen. Good inspirations for the consonant Heroic Homer’s Iliad and and Odyssey
                      I would simply use the American God's from later chapters or TV seasons as example for that, but Iliad and Odyssey also works.


                      My stuff for Realms of Pugmire, Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E, MtC 2E & BtP
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                      • #12
                        Please don't post chunks of a book that hasn't been released.

                        Describe the text if you want but don't share it.

                        This is an official warning.



                        Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                        • #13
                          Quoting copyrighted text aside I admit I missed those parts, possibly because when I crack open a book about playing as Heroes and Champions of Gods my exact last impulse is "Okay how do I actively get rid of or neuter Gods in this setting?"

                          Like it'd be like getting the rules for any given World of Darkness game... And then going "Also vampires, werewolves, changelings, Mages, none of them exist. They don't make any logical sense, so I'm removing all of them"

                          Like, you CAN, but if you reduce the vampires in any given Vampire game to "There's only like six of them and they kinda suck" like... Why bother playing Vampire?

                          (American Gods was okay when I read it but I'm not going to read it again, TBH)


                          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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                          • #14
                            I'll note that the no-longer-quoted text starts with a disclaimer for Iron Theocentrism that “if there isn't a particular Pantheon that's being featured, then this setting represents a case where the gods are almost completely shut out from the World, and the nature of the World is predominantly atheistic.” the counterpoint to that is that if there is a particular Pantheon that's dominant, then the World confirms to their cosmology. I, too, don't see much point in this particular arrangement; and I doubt I'll lever use this version of the lowest setting for Theocentrism. To me, it's more of a special case than it is “what minimal Theocentrism means”. And it feels more like the sort of thing you'd get when you turn the Evidence dial all the way down.


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                            • #15
                              I have to say, I agree - why play a game about Scions and their divine parents, and then find every way possible to remove the fantastic from the game? It seems self-defeating.

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