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Honest Question - How does Scion 2e play?

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  • Tytalus
    started a topic Honest Question - How does Scion 2e play?

    Honest Question - How does Scion 2e play?

    As someone who loved Scion 1e, but got extremely upset over time at the poor rules presentation... How does 2E work in play at the Origins or Hero level?

    How solid is the writing and the lore?
    How easy do the combats go in play?
    Any things that annoy you about the rules so far?

    Anything broken like 1e? Or, what are key identified holes in the rules?
    Last edited by Tytalus; 09-10-2021, 11:17 AM.

  • Mateus Luz
    replied
    As someone that read a few versions os Scion and Trinity storypath before the final (backers pdfs). There was a certain freedom of picking attributes for combat too, but it end up out if the final version to make the combat more straight forward (and because there was a good amount of discussion back in the time).

    I actually suggest you to try the flexible version of combat, it works fine. My suggestion is, Might for direct confrontation on melee, Dex for a more flexible attack and Stamina for a waited attack. For ranged combat it would be Dex for most attacks and Stamina for sniper shooting after wait for the right time for a while. Might might be used in ranged combat if you are using a weapon too big to be properly aimed, like a machine gun, or anything that will be spray and pray relying on you holding the recoil of the many shots.

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  • Aristarkos
    replied
    Originally posted by HighPriest View Post
    There's definitely a fair share of imprecision in the combat system, much of which arises from the fact that the combat chapter doesn't really use the Arena and Approach system from the storypath system chapter. Instead, it starts a trend that is continued in later chapters where it dictates which attributes are used in many specific rolls... sometimes conflicting attributes depending on where you're reading at the moment. Some players who have more closely read the Storypath system stuff than the combat system are definitely going to be in for a surprise the first time a combat starts up and (by the combat rules, at least) they can't make a close combat attack with dexterity.

    From what I can recall, most exaggerated example was that you could find a justification that a ranged attack at medium distance A) must use the Cunning Attribute, B) can use the Dexterity or Cunning Attribute, player's choice, or C) can use any Physical Attribute, depending on the character's approach. You shouldn't have to answer a multiple choice option for a simple thing like "I make an attack, what attribute should I use" with the answer is D) "I dunno, depends on which page you feel is the most important right now". That's definitely an imprecision issue - one that potentially comes up on every attack roll because one part of the book says "you must use this specific pool" and another says "make a reasonable justification for the pool you want".
    I love the game and have had a really good time with it but I agree that it's rather messy at times. In combat, or any other scene for that matter, I let players themselves justify what Attribute to use. As long as they can explain how a combination would look like in the fiction of the game and it is not too wacky then I usually allow it because it makes the games more narrative and cinematic. One player often used Firearms + Cunning and narrated very well how that looks in fiction, but I would accept even more bizarre combinations like Close Combat + Intellect or Medicine + Might if it results in an interesting / exciting / amusing scene.

    The only thing I am iffy about is combining combat skill + Resistance Attribute, especially Stamina. If players could do that then Stamina would be a god-stat, increasing Defense, injury levels AND attack at the same time.

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  • HighPriest
    replied
    There's definitely a fair share of imprecision in the combat system, much of which arises from the fact that the combat chapter doesn't really use the Arena and Approach system from the storypath system chapter. Instead, it starts a trend that is continued in later chapters where it dictates which attributes are used in many specific rolls... sometimes conflicting attributes depending on where you're reading at the moment. Some players who have more closely read the Storypath system stuff than the combat system are definitely going to be in for a surprise the first time a combat starts up and (by the combat rules, at least) they can't make a close combat attack with dexterity.

    From what I can recall, most exaggerated example was that you could find a justification that a ranged attack at medium distance A) must use the Cunning Attribute, B) can use the Dexterity or Cunning Attribute, player's choice, or C) can use any Physical Attribute, depending on the character's approach. You shouldn't have to answer a multiple choice option for a simple thing like "I make an attack, what attribute should I use" with the answer is D) "I dunno, depends on which page you feel is the most important right now". That's definitely an imprecision issue - one that potentially comes up on every attack roll because one part of the book says "you must use this specific pool" and another says "make a reasonable justification for the pool you want".
    Last edited by HighPriest; 09-20-2021, 02:29 AM.

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  • Mateus Luz
    replied
    In defense of the combat system, I don’t think it is imprecise, it’s open, what is completely different. Using HP or any similar systems (like a sequence of marks that takes you from health to dead) are far more imprecise and creates weird ways to get simple results.

    What Incall open is a quality as I see: “I want to hit that guy in the head”, “ok, you did, you didn’t hit it that strong, but the guy seams a bit fuzzy now”. The game uses your ideas and you turn it in to what feels proper, with no need of bending rules and adding extra steps. Conditions (as aspects in Fate) are always true, if you damaged the head, the guy is not going to act normal, the complication will affect all the actions that require thinking and coordination, in other words, every action.

    If you think it’s hard, you may add a bunch of tables to make the decision making easier during the game, but it’s not imprecise, it could even be called more realist than HP system.

    There are things that I would change? Well I made a book about it. I personally use the unlimited injuries conditions idea. It makes the combat more “precise” without taking away the open idea. If you don’t hit it hard, it will never maim the target, if you hit it hard it will never be a bruise, basically it forces narrative in a way or another.

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  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    Originally posted by Tytalus View Post
    3. Some people here mention there are too many types of powers, how do you and your group feel about that?
    4. What weak points are you seeing?
    5. What strong points are there?
    6. What annoys you?
    7. What pleases for no rational reason?
    So beside me, on question answer also one of players that is Scion’ Storyguide in his own game. Marked respectively.

    3. Ok - Knacks, Boons and Purview Innate Powers. Not too much. ( I pointed players there are also Legendary Titles we did not touched in game. )

    4 & 6. Me: In Scion 2E corebook there is assumption that ‘gods are everywhere’, in open. It’s only outlined in books, without specific indications what these implications for the game world and even its history would have - and such a reconstruction would certainly have an impact on the whole World. Every war from the beginning of our history, with possible real intervention of deities, would have completely different results, for example. Scion 2E avoids answering these questions, making the setting just 'paper'. This is why I use ‘Gods in Hiding’ setting hack and play on Heroic Myth Level.

    Player: The combat mechanics are very imprecise. ( And I agree with him. )

    5. Player & Me: Unique setting, mixing various mythologies, and good at religions representations.

    7. Player: He is glad most because of Scion scale and impetus – and free acting. This large number of powers and possibilities let players act like they want and in their goals.

    ​Me: I’m a bit myth nerd, I’m just glad I can play in stories with gods and monsters. 😎

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  • Mateus Luz
    replied
    Originally posted by Tytalus View Post

    1. Are you still willing to play the game?
    2. I see you posted some setting changes, are you using other houserules to make the game more playable for you?
    3. Some people here mention there are too many types of powers, how do you and your group feel about that?
    4. What weak points are you seeing?
    5. What strong points are there?
    6. What annoys you?
    7. What pleases you for no rational reason?

    And anything else
    1. Yes, pretty much.
    2. I don’t think there is a solid setting in Scion to have setting changes. There is an general idea of a setting, and each table have their own setting to be honest.
    3. There are, and they don’t really compete to each other in general (except for a few). The point is not much what the group feel about it, but the fact that we end up using half of the potential tools because there are too many. Not a bad thing, just not focused.
    4. Not a weak point per se, because it was intended, but the effort to recover legend makes the plot advance much slower. You end up with obligatory side quests that gives you nothing but energy to complete the main plot.
    5. The system is solid and flexible.
    6. As a player I feel my character is less divine than I expected, or at least less than I felt in 1e. They have lots of tools and can do a lot with it, but the big flashy things are not as often as I expected at first.
    7. I love the way it plays, fits my expectations and don’t forces me to do anything different. As a GM I can improvise a lot and it fits solid with little effort. It’s not like D&D that you have very specific things to make it work, or Vampire that needs some book check very often. It’s just, “ok, it works like this now…”

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  • Tytalus
    replied
    Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
    On those, I will ask my game group before, as you pointed. I only ask what does question 7 means? English is my second language, sometimes I do not get wording.
    At times, some RPG's have a feature in the rules or setting that you just enjoy for no rational reason. Just a question of curiosity.

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  • literatzi
    replied
    Originally posted by Tytalus View Post

    1. Are you still willing to play the game?
    2. I see you posted some setting changes, are you using other houserules to make the game more playable for you?
    3. Some people here mention there are too many types of powers, how do you and your group feel about that?
    4. What weak points are you seeing?
    5. What strong points are there?
    6. What annoys you?
    7. What pleases for no rational reason?

    And anything else
    1. Yeah! I'm having lots of fun still.
    2. 100%, I think everyone is playing a slightly different version of the game due to all the houserules covering up holes in the rules.
    • I let people use any motif they have available for Marvels, it makes their Relics all feel more important and I think cohesive for their legend. It also makes it so every relic having a motif matter since they can expand how you can use your Purviews.
    • Not really a houserule since the book suggests it, but I let people pick their active Knacks as the session progresses.
    • I let people take on crafting projects one tier higher with an appropriate Path, it makes it so players can create Relics at Hero and mortals can make mystical items and spells and such. I don't have anyone super focused on crafting in my group, so this has worked out fine but might be abusable if someone were to focus on it.
    • I've started letting players spend successes on a Twist of Fate whenever they want, not just when they invoke a Path, to try and encourage them to do it more. What we saw in play was when they invoked a Path it was usually for a very difficult roll or they had better options for stunts than a Twist of Fate. The hope is they might use them moore in less critical scenes where they have extra successes left over after a roll.
    • Origin is super unclear as to how/if armor Tags are limited. We've gone with you can have 2 levels of Hard Armor, and one level of Soft Armor and a single piece of armor can only have Hard or Soft. If you can reasonably stack armor then you gain access to both types at once, but are still limited to a max of 2 Hard, 1 Soft. The Equipment Tags are all over the place on how this might work, and I'm not convinced that this is the best solution, but it is working fine for now.
    • As written the Stun Tag doesn't do anything because it is written for an earlier draft of the rules, we just say it lets you do the Increase Difficulty Stunt.
    3. I don't think people mind there being so many, but it does mean they forget things all the time. Occasionally we've had some terse moments where players are trying to remind each other of what they can do and it annoys someone because they feel like other people are trying to play their character for them.
    4. Since there are limited places to sink your experiences outside of Skills and Attributes, over time people are going to end up with very generalized characters, which isn't terrible, except Momentum relies on people failing rolls to generate more in a session and I suspect failure will become less common over time. Upping the challenge of rolls helps avoid this, but the book sare very bad at giving you guidance on that front.
    5. The core system is really strong and you can do a lot with it off the cuff. It is also very good at giving you simple ways to address complex ideas in a mechanically satisfying way.
    6. The Equipment Tags section of Origin fills me rage every time I read it because it's such an obvious and stupid miss during the editing process, and one of the areas where it's really unclear how some things are supposed to work. The lack of good pdf table of contents for the Purview section, it's such a slog to find what you are looking for and I regularly forget that some Purviews exist because the only way to find them is to scroll through 30 pages of text.
    7. A lot of the Pantheon write ups seem to have been done by people with genuine affection for the myths and religions presented, and it really makes the different pantheons come alive.

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  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    Originally posted by Tytalus View Post
    3. Some people here mention there are too many types of powers, how do you and your group feel about that?
    4. What weak points are you seeing?
    5. What strong points are there?
    6. What annoys you?
    7. What pleases for no rational reason?
    On those, I will ask my game group before, as you pointed. I only ask what does question 7 means? English is my second language, sometimes I do not get wording.

    Leave a comment:


  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    Originally posted by Tytalus View Post
    2. I see you posted some setting changes, are you using other houserules to make the game more playable for you?
    I’m running game over Virtual Tabletop of Discord+Roll20 battle maps for people from around Poland. By this, I needed to ‘dumb a bit’ Injuries and Défense rules, cause of restrictions of VTT medium itself.

    I simply made Injuries ‘HP levels’ that pool characters have – and we do Injuries Conditions only when attack is truly dramatic. It’s much easier to run that way.

    We also use Static Défense instead of default, dynamic one. Player can declare he goes ‘full Defence’ as combat actions and then we will roll normal books Défense Combat Skill + Attribute roll.

    Here is full rule...

    Static Defense

    Instead of rolling defense every round the character is attacked, defense becomes a static value. The defense value is 1, at the most relevant Resilience Attribute 3 the defense increase to 2, at the most relevant Resilience Attribute 6 the defense increase to 3.

    On Origin level we also used this house rule, for more attractive Knacks – on Hero it’s unneeded, as you have at least 5 Knacks from start, each session.

    Knack Change

    Characters can change Knacks in time of session by spending 1 Momentum for each change.

    I also used some quicker healing house rules on Origin, as PCs do not have healing properties and I run pulpish game. On Hero it’s unneeded, as there is only need for one character with Health Purview or Relic with it. But here are those hacks for Origin then.

    Injuries Treatment
    Scions heal one level of Injuries once every 2-3 days if given reasonable medical attention on start.

    Healing Potions
    • Charms-level consumables – They heal only 1 Injury and need to be refilled, because they are one time effect. Classical ‘Health vial’, ‘healing tea’ or ‘healing pills’ are on this level. In story can be literal ‘Potion Brewer’ minor Scion or Sorcerer NPC for this. They are Tier 2 creation for PCs to make, if they want.
    • Relics-level healing – They heal dot level number of Injuries per day. They can be self-refiling cup of Ambrosia ( Teoi ) or Idun basket of magical apples that reaper on each dawn ( Aesir ), for example. Much more rare and powerful.
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 09-09-2021, 12:28 AM.

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  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    I will answer each question on separate posts, as they will be a long ones… 😉
    Originally posted by Tytalus View Post
    1. Are you still willing to play the game?
    Yes, yes I’m. 😊 Games burn out is the same in any long running RPG campaign/chronicle I ran before – and I ran A LOT of Chronicles of Darkness and D&D before. ( With Realms of Pugmire being my modern D&D equivalent. RoP I run constantly, bi-weekly. One week Scion, second week RoP. 😎)

    Still, new material is coming up all over again on Scion 2E line – we are now in process of learning the Sc Hero basis as group ( Purviews, Marvels, Fatebindings, etc. ) but I have also Sc Dragon material to incorporate, from time to time, on antagonists side. And we are doing whole Atlantis Pantheon thing from Sc CompanionMystries of the World. ( Chronicle is titled ‘Return of Atlantis’, in the end. 😉 )

    And I look eagerly for Saints & Monsters, as it seems to be book perfect for making Scion World a much more like ‘urban myth’ setting Chronicles of Darkness kinda were.
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 09-12-2021, 12:09 AM.

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  • Tytalus
    replied
    Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
    As the returning question, I may answer now honestly, as I have been running Scion 2E for a year now - first on Origin tier, now for a few sessions at the beginning of Hero tier, Legend 1 of our Band. However, I would like to point out that I use Heroic Myth Level, i.e. gods are 'in hiding' and PCs are a bit more pulpier than mortals, but not superhero celebrities canon Scion 2E encourages. (See more on Myth Levels and how to tune your chronicle in Scion 2E Companion - Mysteries of the World.) I also use a bit changed Loyalists of Thule from Hunter: The Vigil and Dragons from Scion: Dragon KS preview as main antagonists of the game. I wait for your questions, Tytalus
    1. Are you still willing to play the game?
    2. I see you posted some setting changes, are you using other houserules to make the game more playable for you?
    3. Some people here mention there are too many types of powers, how do you and your group feel about that?
    4. What weak points are you seeing?
    5. What strong points are there?
    6. What annoys you?
    7. What pleases you for no rational reason?

    And anything else
    Last edited by Tytalus; 09-10-2021, 11:15 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • notMidas
    replied
    I think the problem of regaining legend, is also an intended feature of the 2e. The system is geared towards allowing characters to do astounding miraculous wonders. Hero-level characters can do pretty much anything they can imagine - but they use up a hard-to-replenish resource in doing so. Every scion in a party can have their once-an-arc power move that writes their nascent legend into myth. You fling down a bolt from the heavens, you fry up half the field in an instant, and the rest run fleeing from your awesome countenance. Sure, you can't pull that one again in a hurry, but that would cheapen the epicness.

    Note that you can reduce the legend cost of boons and title-scale by investing in relics and knacks - so the 'leader' scion only needs to imbue legend to use their title to lead, the 'sage' can use imbue legend to solve puzzles, the 'warrior' with lightning hammer can imbue to cast 'bolt from the blue'. This pushes people to specialise and fulfill their archetype. And remember, any magic affecting trvial targets is FREE - sure, Darkness scion, you can send all the townsfolk to sleep.

    Regaining legend using a minor sacrifice can be done in 0 time - just state your character is going off in private to sacrifce a chicken. Regaining legend using a fatebinding is less quick, but can be easy if you have previously fatebound NPCs/backstory characters in your contact list. Just tell your GM you want to fatebind them, and call them up for a short scene. Major sacrifice is a big deal, and should only be needed if there is a major threat to face.

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  • literatzi
    replied
    I never played 1e, but I've played in 2e and been running a Origin and then Hero campaign for about a year.

    The Good
    • The system is very strong, with a lot of flexibility to cover different character concepts and actions without being too clunky.
    • There is room for players to be very creative and have simple and streamlined mechanical support for their crazy ideas.
    • Embracing 'all myths are true' does a lot neat things for the setting and lets the authors handle different pantheons well without trying to shoehorn them into a cosmology that doesn't work for them.
    • It's a lot of fun!
    The Bad
    • Storypath introduces a ton of new concepts, and the explanation or examples are often lacking, confusing, or non-existent. It feels like the authors didn't fully understand the system in a lot of the earlier stuff (or it changed and evolved and older stuff wasn't updated).
    • Origin in particular has chapters or sections that feel like they were written for an earlier draft of the game, and then never updated to match the rest of the rules or setting.
    • Heroic tier characters end up with a lot different abilities and subsystems, and it seems like most tables only end up using a handful of them
    I highly recommend the game, it's been a blast to play and run. While I have a lot of criticisms of how the Storypath rules have been presented, it speaks well of the core ideas of Storypath that you can very easily understand the intent or use the base system to address something that is confusing off the cuff and keep the game moving. The setting writing has generally been very good, and the books that have chunks I don't like or agree with usually have other portions that are really great and genuinely useful.

    If you are interested in running it I'd really recommend running a few Origin level one-shots at first to get a handle on the rules. As a ref I struggle a lot with Complications and Conditions on the fly, and when to use Scale. My group never had a problem using Momentum, and they're pretty good at using their Paths (for the bonus dice at least), Contacts less often. No one has ever done a Twist of Fate, and they're still struggling with what they can do with Marvels.

    Your mileage may vary on the setting. I don't have any attachment to 1e, and I've mostly heard negative things in terms of how the setting didn't work for a lot of pantheons so adapting them to fit it was not great to actively offensive. 2e just embraces tons of contradictory things being true, and says don't worry about it. The Companion has a section on tweaking the setting and encourages you to play with the base assumptions of the setting to fit what you and your players want out of a campaign.

    In terms of play, I've found it flows very well once people get the hang of it. Enhancements are easy to use and acquire. Stunts are a fun way for players ot help each other or do cool stuff in combat. Information Gathering is fun and I adore using it, the social system provides a nice mechanical backstop to help out people who are less socially adept than their character, combat flows well (but it can take awhile to figure out how to make fun dynamic fights as a Storyguide). Antagonists are fun to create and easy to run.

    Overall, if rules presentation is the biggest issue for you, then maybe wait for Scion Revised or something. If you're willing to overlook some of the warts it is worth it.

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