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Does the public know what Scions are?

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  • Does the public know what Scions are?

    I'm kind of new to Scion, backed the 2E Origin/Hero and Demigod Kickstarters, but I don't know that much about the setting. Today's Demigod update (#13) raises a question for me: does John (or Jane) Q. Public know that the children of the gods walk among them? I'm used to the World of Darkness, where supernatural beings go to considerable trouble to keep their own existences hidden from humanity at large; is that not the case in the World?

  • #2
    Yes in 2e the public is well aware of the existence of Scions, as well as Denizens and the mythical and supernatural in general

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    • #3
      So, in a lot of urban fantasy and the like, there's this idea that all the magical and mystical forces collectively got their shit together and decided to hide from the mundane world.

      There may be gods and wizards and vampires and a wide and varied cast of nocturnal gribblies, but all of them sat down at a table one day and decided to hide from the normies for whatever reason.


      In Scion, pretty much no one had that conversation. If anyone had that thought, I'd be surprised. The various Pantheons and attached Denizens and gribblies all just kept on keeping on. Now, granted, you usually don't have modern Herakles and modern Cuchulain splitting a Tzitzimime between them like a wishbone in the middle of the day in front of everyone. But people know they're out there.



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      • #4
        Yeah the best way I found to think of it at least for the Scions and Denizens with full on Legend, is sort of like with celebrities, we all know at least one and we all probably have our favorites, but you or probably haven’t met one face to face. It’s the same with Scions and such.

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        • #5
          To quote Neall

          "There's no Masquerade in Scion 2e because there wasn't one through most of human history"

          Like, Gods and Heroes are a known and accepted thing. Police will go "Oh hey you're that Hero" and let you in to fight the rampaging monster. Honestly I prefer this take because there's only so many times one can do "And they all agree to hide from humanity because... Uh... Mmmm..." before you start to question why this is and then realize that there's no earthly way that this would ACTUALLY work.

          Now like, a lot of mythical beings and entities may keep to themselves, but not out of a general "We're pretending we don't exist" for the most part. I like to imagine that most just go "Because I like my privacy", or in the cases like say, a kitsune, they hide their nature because it makes pulling tricks easier, but they DO still like that moment when their mark realizes they've been had and go "CURSE YOU FOX SPIRIT!"


          Disclaimer: In favor of fun and enjoyment, but may speak up to warn you that you're gonna step on a metaphorical land mine

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          • #6
            As a default, the answer is yes, most mortals in The World are at least aware to some degree about the presence of divine forces. Though exactly how much impact this actually has on their day to day lives can vary quite a bit, apparently.

            In addition, the recently released Mysteries of The World Scion Companion book includes a section on adjusting parts of the setting "up" or "down" as you see fit and how that impacts the game. One of the "dials" is Evidence, concerning just how overt of a presence Heroes, Gods and the like have in The World, which can range from total secrecy to global celebrity levels.


            What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
            Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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            • #7
              We also have collective 2E setting hack making whole Gods and all the Myths hidden from the public - called 'Gods in Hiding' 😎 - http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...58#post1310158
              Last edited by wyrdhamster; 09-14-2020, 08:58 AM.


              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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              • #8
                I recall it being described one way as like the Mafia. Everyone knows it exists, but is distantly present most of the time unless you're foolish enough to go looking.

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                • #9
                  Yeah another problem that arises from assuming a Masquerade is like... Your power stat is literally called Legend.

                  As in "Your Legend is growing", because you're performing mythic deeds. People are learning your name.

                  But also Gods are in hiding and the mythic is hidden.

                  Even back when I was playing 1e I realized "Wait... This... Doesn't make a lot of sense. How can Legend be growing and fame be growing if the Divine keeps itself secret from the general populace?"

                  And I realized that Scion 1e went with a Masquerade because, well... The World of Darkness assumes a Masquerade. That's just what you do, right?


                  Disclaimer: In favor of fun and enjoyment, but may speak up to warn you that you're gonna step on a metaphorical land mine

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
                    Yeah another problem that arises from assuming a Masquerade is like... Your power stat is literally called Legend.

                    As in "Your Legend is growing", because you're performing mythic deeds. People are learning your name.
                    Why so? In Changeling the Lost your powerstat is called the Wyrd - which is also translation of term Legend. In CtL you do not need to 'be more famous' for the stat to rise. You only need to be more 'mythical'. Being 'mythical'=/= famous.

                    Doing Deeds do not must mean gaining fame - only that you are reflecting Myths more with your actions. You do not need to kill Hydra in the center of NYC Times Square - you only need to kill Hydra. Like, in the deep underground or sewers is completly viable way to recreate Myths.

                    EDIT: Mateus Luz made great sum-up how to run 'Gods in Hiding' scenario -
                    Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
                    f you want the gods stay hidden, you can play heroes as urban legends, demigods as operating out of reach and gods being subtle.
                    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 09-14-2020, 09:49 AM.


                    My stuff for Realms of Pugmire, Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E, MtC 2E & BtP
                    LGBT+ through Ages
                    LGBT+ in CoD games

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

                      Why so? In Changeling the Lost your powerstat is called the Wyrd - which is also translation of term Legend.
                      Um, no, it's really not. Wyrd literally means "come to pass" and is a synonym for Fate and Destiny. The world Legend specifically denotes a story or set of stories about a famous person or event. IE, myths, sagas, epics, and folk tales. While a character's wyrd can be part of their legend, the two terms are not interchangeable. Thor's "Wyrd" is to die in battle with the Midgard Serpent, but his Legend encompasses much, much more than that single event.

                      Regardless, Changeling is not Scion, nor vice versa. The idea of Wyrd as a power stat makes some sense for the Lost, as once they are kidnapped by the Fair Folk and turned into Changelings, they are irrevocably chained to a new non-human destiny and gain power by tapping into this strange power of Arcadia which may (or may not) be Fate itself. Scions, in contrast, even at the Hero stage are taking their place as part of a living religion and gain power by making themselves and their accomplishments known to that religion's followers, as well as to bystanders who may not worship them but still remember and pass on what they saw the Hero do.

                      Last edited by No One of Consequence; 09-14-2020, 04:08 PM.


                      What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                      Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                      • #12
                        The only reason Hercules or Cuchulainn have Legend is that people know who they were and what they did. Hanuman has Legend, not only because he did great deeds, but because people told of them for centuries after. Thor and Loki gained Legend as much for tricking other Gods and Jotun on Asgard as for fighting things or saving humanity. Legend seems to me to be a combination of power and fame; if you save thousands from a flood, but no-one has a clue who you are, you don't get Legend, because you are anonymous - your story isn't told. If you stay anonymous, hiding in a "masquerade", how do you gain the fame/notoriety needed to become a being that is worshipped widely enough to be a Legend 12 God? It just seems counter-intuitive, and contrary to the whole point of the game..

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                        • #13
                          What I understand from this discussion is that Gods NEED worshipers, otherwise they are forgotten and loose their Legend... If that's the point, American Gods is just an step ahead, as you don't need only to remember them, but also need to dedicate thoughts and prayers to them.

                          I think the point on Legend, following the idea of very low activity gods (gods are hiding, if you prefer), when you get Evidence dial to Heroic or even Iron, is that Legend is your relationship with Fate, and Fate affect people and make them know about your deeds, even if they don't really believe or know it was you. Urban Legends, Conspiracy Theories, etc, can be much like regular Legends, and so result on you power growth.

                          My ideal setting is closer to 1e than 2e on the masquerade part at least. It's not that the gods are hiding effectively, it's that the god are not that active, never were, they just like to give people space and do their business.
                          Origin Level Scions are the real moves and shakers, they are everywhere gaining powers from their patrons even without knowing it, some are good, some are bad, and most of them just think they are lucky or blessed by the gods, even not knowing which one or if they exist.
                          Heroes are the most active of all the "legendary", at least to the open world, they do stuff, save lives, kill menaces, stop evil cults, etc. Their supernatural powers are there, but not seen often (they dot have all that legend and not all that many booms), people that see the powers being used will know it was supernatural, but not many people believe in the stories, that become urban legends and conspiracy theories.
                          Demigods are doing their business, climbing up Olympus and Yggdrasil, going down to the 9 hells, visiting the sea of monsters and the 3x10th Kingdom, you see them only once in a while and not many of them exist (Heroes dies tragically, usually). They are so few and away from the mundane world that its even harder to have a large number of people seeing their powers showing up.
                          Gods are even further, they come to World, but usually just as low powered bodies, like heroes and maybe demigods, if not only through merging into people or incarnating again for a new adventure, they don't use their full might against anything in the world, their powers are vast but usually subtle, usually more symbolic than the Heroes and Demigods. They just don't get much to do with Earth, disasters are caused by some of them, and others save large amount of people as if it was lucky (the helicopter listens to the walk talk, the dog sniffs the survivor in the still strong room under the fallen building, a fireman shows up to save many people just to disappear as if never existed).
                          Religious people will notice Deities and Demigods Omens and their workings, but not the regular people (as it happens in real world, who believes it's a work of a god will die for that belief and the rest just say "there must be a reason for that").

                          Of course, in my ideal setting you will not find a miles high golem or a flying and fire breathing dragon around downtown, they exist but most of them are on Terra Incognita or isolated places in the mundane world. You may find them, try to study them, but in the end any proof you find will be treated with the same respect as proofs of big foot or alien presence.

                          Edit: And you may ask, why don't the Heroes and Demigods show them self in public? Because it would make their lives harder, imagine you want to track down and kill a Hydra, but there are paparazzi after you everywhere, or there are cultists doing weird stuff to talk to you. Also it would expose people to an unnecessary risk, Medusa can turn into stone thousands at time, a Golem can follow people and destroy a few blocks in a town before being defeated if the Hero dies and their followers run away.
                          But what if YOUR hero wants to become really famous, than he will be, and may raise the awareness of the gods workings, but people do that all the time and we still don't believe in anything. Think about all the psychics around and magicians that do magic that others can't explain, but are sure it's a trick. The Heroes become famous for a while, the government or some agency that want to hold the panic may go after them or the enemies now know where to find them. The Heroes just disappear (dead, locked in a distant place or even become a god), and for a few years nobody remembers them. After 5 or 10 years there is this special on TV "Where are that Hero?" and nobody find them and they become a legend.
                          Last edited by Mateus Luz; 09-14-2020, 11:12 AM.


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                          • #14
                            The books outright say Legend comes more from your deeds then from worshippers or fans, fans and worshipers and fame are just the natural result of having Legend rather then being the source of your Legend, cause after all people who do great things are bound to gain fame just by the nature of doing something great. Ultimately a God gains power from their Deeds, from their stories, worshippers are just one of the benefits of being divine rather then divinity being a benefit of having worshippers. Because of that it’s pretty hard to not be noticed, since after all Legend’s powers are grand and obvious, even a Legend one Hero is capable of fighting off an entire army by themself or summoning tidal waves or shooting fireballs, and so on, and they gain more power by doing great Deeds, with the worshippers and fans just being the inevitable side effect of having Legend

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                            • #15
                              But the two go hand in hand, for all practical purposes. You can save the world, but if no-one knows who you are, tales won't be told about you. Are there high-Legend Gods that we know nothing about because they performed their mighty deeds anonymously? Possibly, but since they have no tales, myths, and worshippers, they are essentially irrelevant for the purposes of history. Fame goes with Legend hand-in-hand, and a "masquerade" is counter to that. (Not saying you can't play whatever works for you, just discussing this in context of this thread)

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