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Complaining about the Masks of the Mythos Relics.

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  • Complaining about the Masks of the Mythos Relics.

    Did anyone else who backed the Masks Kickstarter have a gut-level "What the actual fuck?" reaction to the various Relics in the first Chapter? They're all either vague, rely expressly on SCG fiat to work at all, have mechanics that are either uber-powerful or just mechanically broken (as in, don't actually work at all), or, in one case, actively destroy the universe if used as written. This is a vaaast disappointment for me, at least, since I was really looking forward to Masks of the Mythos and now I'm worried the other mechanics that will be revealed later will need as much of an overhaul as these Relics do.


    When the cat's a Stray, the mice will pray...

  • #2
    I didn’t but I’m gonna reread those now that you mention it.


    “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her.

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    • #3
      They are mythos relics, what really did you expect here?

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      • #4
        The Talisman of K’n-yan grants the Journeys purview and a minor unique knack. It costs one dot. (If you’re not following along, Scion’s previously been pretty clear that granting a purview is two dots, and a unique power is an extra dot.)

        The Vial of Souls has three purviews and an associated power mimicking a Knack but with more mojo (including “making it permanent”). That’s ten dots. At least. It costs three.

        The Score of the Court of Azathoth can be read as “grants three purviews for one dot,” if you turn your head and squint. And, yes, its knack is “win a Clash of Wills against a god or rocks fall everyone dies.”

        While I get that relic creation is a tricky art, and they’re a decent selection conceptually (my one add would be something Yithian), this edition has simple and reliable rules for Relic creation. It took me two minutes to open my Companion PDF and find the relevant tables. Which, uh, is not a good look.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dwight View Post
          They are mythos relics, what really did you expect here?

          Relics that actually work via the game rules. I like to keep eldritch reality bending in the fluff, NOT the mechanics required to actually, you know, play the game.

          Originally posted by Raz_Fox View Post
          The Talisman of K’n-yan grants the Journeys purview and a minor unique knack. It costs one dot. (If you’re not following along, Scion’s previously been pretty clear that granting a purview is two dots, and a unique power is an extra dot.)

          The Vial of Souls has three purviews and an associated power mimicking a Knack but with more mojo (including “making it permanent”). That’s ten dots. At least. It costs three.

          The Score of the Court of Azathoth can be read as “grants three purviews for one dot,” if you turn your head and squint. And, yes, its knack is “win a Clash of Wills against a god or rocks fall everyone dies.”

          While I get that relic creation is a tricky art, and they’re a decent selection conceptually (my one add would be something Yithian), this edition has simple and reliable rules for Relic creation. It took me two minutes to open my Companion PDF and find the relevant tables. Which, uh, is not a good look.
          The Orne Manuscripts have a knack that let you raise the dead, and absolutely NO mechanics telling you how that works, how long it lasts, or ANYTHING that needs to be figured out. And the Flaw is a gotcha-style "GM says fuck you" ability, which the rest of the Storypath System seems to have gone out of its way to avoid (It doesn't even cost Tension, it just basically says "you can fuck with the PC trying to use this Relic any time, for any arbitrary reason").
          Last edited by TheStray7; 01-23-2021, 11:44 PM.


          When the cat's a Stray, the mice will pray...

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          • #6
            So what I'm hearing is that Mythos relics are *more* dot efficient than their Scion counterparts and have potentially have even more powerful effects, but that the effects are unpredictable, prone to backfire, potentially maddening and corrupting to the very fabric of reality as we know it?

            That sounds... on brand? I would say?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by prototype00 View Post
              So what I'm hearing is that Mythos relics are *more* dot efficient than their Scion counterparts and have potentially have even more powerful effects, but that the effects are unpredictable, prone to backfire, potentially maddening and corrupting to the very fabric of reality as we know it?

              That sounds... on brand? I would say?

              No, the relics are horribly undercosted and have incomplete or nonsensical rules. The Necronomicon itself, the big granddaddy Relic of them all, just does not work as written. It's drawbacks are nondrawbacks -- they don't DO anything. You can see what they were going for, if you squint, but it just flat out does not work as written.

              This isn't a goddamn joke. This is something they want me to spend money on, and it reads like the sort of d20 garbage pumped out by everyone and their mother in the 2000's by people who loved games, but didn't know how to actually design games. It's incredibly sloppy is what it is. It reads like a rough draft, where someone just put down their ideas for Relics instead of actually making sure they function. And that frustrates the hell out of me, because of how much I've been looking forward to a book like this for Scion.


              When the cat's a Stray, the mice will pray...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by prototype00 View Post
                So what I'm hearing is that Mythos relics are *more* dot efficient than their Scion counterparts and have potentially have even more powerful effects, but that the effects are unpredictable, prone to backfire, potentially maddening and corrupting to the very fabric of reality as we know it?

                That sounds... on brand? I would say?
                Four of the eight relics have loose flaws. The Necromomicon imposes increasing Complications (depending on the translation) which is the only mechanically relevant flaw, the Orne manuscripts are as above, the Idol of Bokrug might turn you into a weird frog, and the Score might end the universe (but what GM is going to end the game like that?).

                The other four have no drawback whatsoever, such as the Amulet and the Vial, and are thus out of proportion compared to the relic creation guidelines.

                There is room for a high-flaw high-reward approach to relic design! But that’s not what we got in the first peek at the book, and between that and the potential purview issues (just look at the Lord of the Abyss), being leery of the book’s further mechanics is understandable. Not quite best foot forward.

                EDIT: Ah, right. The Necronomicon was not the first relic presented. Amend four of eight to six of ten. Erich Zann’s Viol is as mechanically supported as the Necromomicon, though the flaw suggests that (read as written) the Scion must spend the rest of the game taking damage by regularly playing it. The Amulet of Leng, however, has vague rules and a flaw of “once you die, the GM miiiiight do something with this.”
                Last edited by Raz_Fox; 01-25-2021, 12:10 AM.

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                • #9
                  If you want to stay true to the mythos, how any kind of relic works should be restricted to ST only knowledge, but that does really work for Scion. An attempt a maintaining the mystery and uncertainty while giving the player the rules results in a mess.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TheStray7 View Post
                    No, the relics are horribly undercosted and have incomplete or nonsensical rules. The Necronomicon itself, the big granddaddy Relic of them all, just does not work as written. It's drawbacks are nondrawbacks -- they don't DO anything. You can see what they were going for, if you squint, but it just flat out does not work as written.

                    This isn't a goddamn joke. This is something they want me to spend money on, and it reads like the sort of d20 garbage pumped out by everyone and their mother in the 2000's by people who loved games, but didn't know how to actually design games. It's incredibly sloppy is what it is. It reads like a rough draft, where someone just put down their ideas for Relics instead of actually making sure they function. And that frustrates the hell out of me, because of how much I've been looking forward to a book like this for Scion.
                    Take note of whose forums these actually are. If you want to complain about the issue then you should leave it on the feedback for the Kickstarter or e-mail the creators.

                    Its a forum rule to remain respectful of the developers.



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

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                      Take note of whose forums these actually are. If you want to complain about the issue then you should leave it on the feedback for the Kickstarter or e-mail the creators.

                      Its a forum rule to remain respectful of the developers.

                      I have already sent feedback on this matter through the link in the kickstarter. However, the feedback form is extremely limited and seems to be focused on looking for small-scale errors such as typos that affect a single small portion. The issues I have with what has thus far been presented go well beyond the simple mistakes their feedback form is set up to catch. As for emailing the creators, I am unaware of who I should send my complaints to. Who do you recommend I contact?


                      When the cat's a Stray, the mice will pray...

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                      • #12
                        The issue is not much about the fact you are posting here, but the way you disrespected the devs, a bit too aggressive and pointing to them as if they didn’t know what they are doing.

                        I agree the flaws in the items are too powerful but at same time to hand-waved to the GM to decide when it is going to apply or not. While the players will doubt the GM would destroy the planet, the characters would be really afraid of destroying the planet by mistake, and that is the point in most of the relics, not the rules but the way the characters would feel about it.

                        Yet, I think it need some balance as you pointed, but it’s more about balancing the advantages than the flaws.


                        House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
                        Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
                        Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

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                        • #13
                          Neall has confirmed in the Kickstarter comments that the Mythos relics are intentionally “play[ed] fast and loose,” aiming to create relics that felt metaphysically different and more dangerous.

                          Personally, I feel that would flow better if there was any in-text indication of the change in design intent. A new gamer opening up Masks of the Mythos for the first time might not have the context or experience to avoid the traps. (And “hand a player a relic with end the universe listed under knacks” or “Timmy pays three dots for a relic with purview access and knack, Tommy pays one because his relic has tentacles on it” are both traps.) Scion, as a mid-complexity game, calls for more mechanical care, even when trying to incorporate more story-first elements (which I am a fan of, as an avid PBTA aficionado).

                          As-is, I believe that publishing the relics without revising the mechanics substantially would be a mistake; that their current state (alongside the possible purview issues) makes me feel wary about the mechanical soundness of the remaining book; and that if the same level of attention is prevalent, I may very well reduce my pledge to Dragon-only. I hedge this with a lot of maybes and perhaps, given that this is only the first chapter, but you know what they say: you only get one chance at making a first impression. That being said, well, Titanomachy also had its share of missteps and missed opportunities, and I’m still quite fond of how that book turned out in the end.

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                          • #14
                            Well it does mention at the start of the relic section that the Mythos Relics are the greatest traps and such, which did help a bit. Still we'll see how it looks later on when it goes into things in more detail than a sampling of relics at the start of the book.

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                            • #15
                              There's ways to make cursed/flawed Relics without making them... UNFUN.

                              Like, "If you use this Relic and play the music on it, Azathoth make awaken and unmake everything" is, from a player perspective, a very bad Relic. Oh, I could use it but if I do it then I unmake everything because there's no way that I'm winning a Clash of Wills against an Actual God.

                              Now, it makes for an amazing MacGuffin. "An ambitious Scion of the Mythos has the sheet music, and if they play it they will awaken Azathoth. So like... Stop him, please" You can make a plot out of it, but it's tough to make a plot out of "I have a sheet of music where if I play it, it will destroy everything"

                              To say nothing of the very correct points about there's things like a spear that has like 5 dots of benefits while costing 2 dots, or the Necronomicon which it must be reiterated is flat-out impossible by the rules of Relics. Like, if it's meant to be a Plot Relic that has no cost... Make it Relic N/A like high-power Exalted Artifacts. But like... "The Arabic version of the text gives you access to 4 Purviews"

                              ??? This is impossible by the rules of the game. There's 'Playing fast and loose' and 'Flat-out breaking'. To say nothing about how the flaws are either kinda underwhelming ("This can resurrect someone... But the remains can be of the wrong person!" is both underwhelming and serious depending on how sadistic your GM is) or Too Much ("If you use this once you have to engage in a challenge you, statistically, cannot win and will destroy everything after")

                              As it stands, the only one that seems priced accordingly is the Space Whip. And I like the Space Whip. Crappy old car powered by a space rock in a copper cage. Adorable.

                              But like, there's no shame in how some Pantheon writers go "This is a Relic Idea. This is roughly what it does. No I'm not statting it up here, I'm here to describe a Pantheon. I'm passing this idea off to the person who will write the sample Relics later in the book"

                              Edit: Also yes I know the Necronomicon is supposed to be this Big Deal, but under that logic I want the Brahmastra, the Luin, Gungnir, and the Tablet of Destiny from the Anunna to flat-out break the rules too. They're arguably even BIGGER deals within their own cosmologies than the Necronomicon.
                              Last edited by Kyman201; 01-26-2021, 01:48 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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