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Why don't scions conquer the world?

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  • #16
    Though I don't think "Running the state is something to do on the side while you work on your Legend" is the right way to think about it.

    If raising and running a city-state using your Creator and Leader Callings isn't building your Legend through methods other than punching face I don't know what is.
    Last edited by Kyman201; 10-20-2020, 07:34 PM.


    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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    • #17
      If you've got a copy of Mysteries of the World, I suppose the answer depends on where you've got your Dials set, doesn't it?


      She/Her pronouns, please.

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      • #18
        Who says they don't...?


        Neall Raemonn Price
        Beleaguered Scion Developer

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Neall View Post
          Who says they don't...?
          Well as Divis Iulius and Divis Augustus proved, I don’t think the illusion of republicanism is sustainable with Scions claiming and exercising divine right to rule. So if the United States with all the associated recognizable cultural touchstones exist in the setting, something must have checked the rise of an absolute divine ruler for the past 244 years - and same for all other electoral republics and parliamentary democracies as well.

          edit: then again I suppose there is a broader problem here with why would it even occur to anyone make as self-evidently false a claim as “all men are created equal” in a World where Scions exist.
          Last edited by glamourweaver; 10-21-2020, 12:53 AM.


          Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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          • #20
            I think this is one of those things that really shines a light on the weaknesses of "The world of Scion is the same as our world, but with more Gods" - I have never felt that the world could possibly be the same if all of the old faiths continued to exist as powerful and distinct organizations/cults/gatherings across the globe. And the presence of Scions throughout all those millennia would absolutely have a direct impact on how history went, and how it will go in the future.

            For all of the failings of Scion 1st Edition, the plot device of "once the Titans were defeated, the Gods became semi-retired, and life went on; now the Titans are awake again, and Gods and Scions will return to the World" made it a lot easier to start with "our world", and go off from there.

            But unless you are going to write an alternate history supplement that fits the official game world [and it's pretty obvious that no-one would agree on exactly how to do that], it's up to every ST to figure it out for themselves. And if you want Scions to alter the world in your campaign, you can and should go right ahead and do that,

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            • #21
              I think the simplist reason is just Scions did continue to be in places of power, they just didn’t have much of a global effect, cause most Scions are Heroes and Origin tier who are primarily regional in their reach, only a very tiny minority ever become Demigods who have a much larger reach and effect

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Purple Snit View Post
                I think this is one of those things that really shines a light on the weaknesses of "The world of Scion is the same as our world, but with more Gods" - I have never felt that the world could possibly be the same if all of the old faiths continued to exist as powerful and distinct organizations/cults/gatherings across the globe. And the presence of Scions throughout all those millennia would absolutely have a direct impact on how history went, and how it will go in the future.
                You can apply that to literally any other work of fiction that goes "Like Our World But-". World of Darkness? "Oh you expect me to believe that these vampires and werewolves and stuff had some history book from the future and so knew exactly when to and when not to interfere, so this world turned out much the same as all the others? Yeah right, pull the other one."

                Superheroes? "P-SHAW, even if we assume that Metahumans only started showing up in high numbers a bit after World War II, the entire world map should be redrawn because they would have shaped literally every other facet"

                But the responses to those is "Look if we don't assume some level of similarity to how OUR world turned out, then it won't feel familiar and lose the appeal of playing a game that is in something much like our world."

                It's a little suspension of disbelief that's really not a huge ask compared to most other forms of fiction but I don't see a lot of people getting bent out of shape about how, say, vampire cartels should have changed the entire shape of history in Vampire.

                Not to mention that it REALLY hits me the wrong way to tell the faithful (Reminder that basically every Pantheon in the Hero and Companion books are still actively worshipped with the exception of the Teros because they're entirely fictional) "So uh, realtalk: If your Gods existed the world would look entirely different. It's a lie, they're ignoring you or fake. I am very smart"
                Last edited by Kyman201; 10-21-2020, 10:27 AM.


                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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                • #23
                  Wait Obama wasn't a Scion?

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                  • #24
                    The superhero thing bothers me as well, and I make changes in any campaign I run to reflect them influencing history. Ditto any Scion-style campaign I run. YMMV.
                    As for the other faiths - I didn't say other religions don't exist, aren't valid, or any such thing. However, I think it's fair to say that worship of (for example) the Theoi is very different than it once was. And there are few stories of the sort of "giant monster/demon/dragon threatens city, Scion saves the day with magical weapon" sort these days. The game (which is what I'm talking about here) is based on a larger-than-life premise that, for my money at least, begs historical changes. However, you can play it any way you like - I was just stating what my thoughts were, that's all.

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                    • #25
                      Sorry I got snippy, just... I see a LOT of what seem like bad-faith (pun not intended) takes with people critiquing the setting and most of them basically boil down to the comments I made, and a nonzero number of them give the likes of Masquerade Urban Fantasy settings (especially World of Darkness) a pass because, to be frank, they're used to just shrugging and going "Yeah sure" at something that's really not a better handwave than "The World looks like ours in places Just Because"

                      Because like... In WoD, the Vampire Clans don't have a history book from the future to let them know whether or not to kill this stumbling drunk in 1932 because turns out this person is actually going to found a business in six years. Going "This World has always had monsters and predators but they pretend not to do anything and history just so happened to align" is, if you think about it, as big an ask as "The Gods are real, Heroes exist, people know this, many of the Faiths have continued to this day, also the World looks a lot like our World"

                      Just that, y'know, the entire Urban Fantasy genre has made the idea of a Masquerade so ubiquitous that most fans don't bother asking.

                      Now if "The history happens to align closely enough" makes your brainspiders creep up (which I have full sympathy for, having a few brainspiders of my own) then a take you can go with is "The Gods were always worshipped, but they, for reasons known only to them, mostly kept things backstage. They maintained the World, they blessed discretely, but their Champions became fewer in number. Until now. Now is the dawn of a new Heroic age."

                      I don't buy into the whole 'Oh noes the Second Titanomachy is making them more active" because like... Whaddya mean 'SECOND' Titanomachy? Ask the Netjer, the Teotl, or the Deva if their Titans were sealed away. They kind of demonstrably are not. What makes THIS year of nightly battles against their ancient enemy different than... All the previous ones? Their Titans were never gone.
                      Last edited by Kyman201; 10-21-2020, 04:44 PM.


                      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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                      • #26
                        I do like the idea of a new Age of Heroes

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                        • #27
                          Yeah, the WoD Masquerade didn't do it for me, either - I'm the guy who wonders why Sam and Dean aren't in jail by now. Everyone can do what works, that's cool. But I would either a) do what I did, and start waking Gods/Scions (and changing history) from a certain point on (such as 2000, 2012, 2050, or whatever), or else b) rewrite the last 2,000 years of history to tell whatever story I want to tell, and hopefully have players who will enjoy the speculative fiction. That's just what works for me and my brain spiders.

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                          • #28
                            What i do is although the gods are always as present as they feel like being, the presence and numbers of scions on the other hand tend to ebb and flow.


                            Completed campaign: Scion 2nd Edition. Les Légendes Currently playing: Being a dad for a 3 year old daughter and a 2 years old son and now a beautiful new baby.

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                            • #29
                              The most basic answer to "why don't Scions conquer the world?" is that other Scions - rivals, enemies, or just anyone with a different agenda or ideal of what the World should be like - are going to oppose their efforts.

                              (This also holds true for superhero/superhuman settings - Trinity Continuum's Aberrant, for example - as well. DC's Kingdom Come - and it's inferior copy of the Injustice: Gods Among Us game - and Marvel's Squadron Supreme miniseries are both built on this idea. Watchmen deals with it to a degree as well.)

                              It's also entirely possibly that certain activities may play too heavily into one of your Pantheon's Virtues. Egotism and hubris may run rampant for one of the Theoi, while Teotl may find themselves willing to Sacrifice far too much. On the other hand, a Kami (or Devi) may decide that both Sincerity and Right Action (or Conscience and Duty) dictate that she become Japan's (or India's) new Prime Minister or one of the Aesir may decide that Audacity pretty much demands that he try to conquer the world (especially if he believes its his Wyrd/fate).

                              As far as the issue of the World looking like our world - or not - I will recommend the idea of looking at the Wild Talents (a superhero RPG) Axes of Design. These are very similar to the Dials from Mysteries of the World, and deal with the areas of Historical Inertia, Talent (or in our case Scion) Inertia, Moral Clarity, and The Beautiful & The Pointless.

                              In the case of Historical Inertia, you'd have the same Iron, Heroic, Bronze, Silver and Gold levels as our Scion Dials, just inverted from how the Wild Talents Axes are. With Iron Historical Inertia, [paraphrasing from the Axes] Scions don't change the course of history, but can make it my stopping Titanic monsters and threats, preventing other Scions from causing damage, and the like. But even if a rampaging dragon destroys downtown Chicago, it gets rebuilt in a year or so. With Gold Historical Inertia, Scions change the course of history all the time, and may the best Scion win. A Scion helped Cornwallis defeat the American Rebellion. A band of Scions founded the first Mars colony in the 1950s. Probably every important thing ever invented or carried out was centered around a Scion. Those are just the two extremes. I suspect most games are probably going to default to a Bronze or Silver level of Historical Inertia. And if you go with the idea that The World largely looks like our world, at least until very recently, then it's entirely possible that for whatever reason the World was probably at Heroic or Bronze Historical Inertia before moving up to its current Bronze or Silver level (which just so happens to coincide with the PCs becoming active Heroes).










                              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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                              • #30
                                I personally find the "declare random historical figures are really supernatural beings" in a supernatural world far more interesting than the hands off approach. SO yeah there's been plenty of Scion presidents, kings.. what have you. And plenty of mundane kings. History is long. If you want to play a game about becoming Godking of Canada. That is the game you play. Why isn't the current prime minister a godking? IS that really any different than "why hasn't someone already killed this dragon"? Why are there any monsters left if there were scions in the past?

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