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Complaining about the Masks of the Mythos Relics.

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  • TheStray7
    started a topic Complaining about the Masks of the Mythos Relics.

    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.

  • Leliel
    replied
    Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

    Now I need my D&D Monster Manual as in-game item in Scion World to summon all the nasty beasts from it.
    Honestly, I've seen that in an RPG; in the Super Villain Handbook, the example Heir to Lovecraft (an agent of cosmic horror forces) is Fiend Folio, a nerd who somehow confused, well, that kind of book for a 1E vintage Deities and Demigods copy.

    Who I now want to make, so yeah. Good call. I can see my version of Fiend Folio really ramping up the cheese and trying to get in with Dragons (because he needs a proper Dungeon, natch).

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  • Tiresias
    replied
    The Scion relic rules are really good at enabling characters. I don't know if they're balanced or not, but I don't care. What I care about is that I can play a Scion whose Legend is inextricably tied to one of their very powerful Relics, or a Scion who owes their divine sire regular favours in exchange for one of their Relics, or a Scion who has to pray to their pantheon at the start of every battle, or a Scion who's been tasked with guarding an unpredictably cursed/powerful Relic. The list of flaws covers a lot of situations and it's easy to adapt the details and get what you want.

    The Mythos Relics don't feel like they take advantage of that. The Relic costs don't add up for a lot of them and a lot of the Flaws are very niche and don't have clear mechanics, so I can't really use them as guidelines for other Relics. With the basic Relic rules, I can say "The English translation of the Necronomicon is a two-dot Relic that grants one Purview," "The Latin/Greek translations of the Necronomicon are three-dot Relics that grant two Purviews, but you have to spend one action finding the passage you want before you can use it for the rest of the scene," and "The original Necronomicon is a three-dot relic that grants three Purviews, but you have to spend one action finding the passage you want before you can use it for the rest of the scene and every time you use it, you have to roll 1d10 at target number 4 to confirm you're using the right section, or else it still doesn't work" or any other combination of Flaws.

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  • Mateus Luz
    replied
    Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

    Now I need my D&D Monster Manual as in-game item in Scion World to summon all the nasty beasts from it.
    Oh my god! That a huge idea! It would work the same way the priests and mothers tell: RPG books and Harry Potter books actually works as grimoires that contain spells!

    And the GM manual can be use to take control over people’s minds to become their Masters!

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  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
    Well, there is one other book you pointed that is basically the same thing, Ars Goetica is basically a Necronomicon with a huge variety of “Summon Demon I - IX” (to be fair, the variety of demons you can summon is pretty good, it’s a good D&D Spell, pretty versatile).
    Now I need my D&D Monster Manual as in-game item in Scion World to summon all the nasty beasts from it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mateus Luz
    replied
    What I meant was that it’s made by humans from things that humans could find. If there is anything divine in the Necronomicon, it was stole from the gods. All the relics you pointed were made by gods or under supervision of gods, Neceonomicon is just a “Enciclopedia Magica” that you can go through and learn some spells that otherwise you would need to gather in many different places as they were discovered/invented by several different people.

    Well, there is one other book you pointed that is basically the same thing, Ars Goetica is basically a Necronomicon with a huge variety of “Summon Demon I - IX” (to be fair, the variety of demons you can summon is pretty good, it’s a good D&D Spell, pretty versatile).

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  • Raz_Fox
    replied
    Despite one of the design goals for the Mythos being disruption and alienness, these relics aren’t particularly disruptive in their story effects. Imagine if that had been followed up more.

    Sure, the Orne Manuscripts and the Amulet of Lang let you play with death, but those returned to life by Essential Saltes find themselves unable to return to whatever underworld they descended to. Who knows what happens to those unquiet spirits? The Talisman of K’n-yan opens new doors into Terra Incognita, ones which are unstable and geometrically impossible. The Necoronomicon itself is some dread tome of alien Fate, unraveling and twisting the Fatebindings of its user as it reveals new and impossible truths.

    There’s room to play here, and more effects like these would have made the Mythos relics feel more like actual traps. Sure, you can circumvent journeys to the underworld and call up howling shades, but you’re disrupting the cycle of life and death permanently in some small way; will you make an enemy of psychopomps and death gods? Yes, you have guaranteed safe passage through strange lands, but you corrupt them and leave them vulnerable through entry. Yes, you can draw upon the hideous truths of the Necronomicon, but its dread Fate consumes your own, just like it destroyed the damned Scion it compelled to write it.

    Also, most of these relics should have Tension-increasing flaws. You want something to be powerful yet dangerous and ill-omened? Three dot Flaw, generates a point of Tension when used, right there in Hero. Heck, looking over the Flaws in Hero, the Necronomicon’s practically begging for the five-dot one that consumes Momentum and brings doom on your head if you lose it.

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  • Kyman201
    replied
    Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
    Comment on Necronomicon: While it’s a powerful book, that can drive people crazy on the knowledge inside it, and may allow you to cast some magic, it is not a divine item, it’s a very weird book, collecting knowledge that is extremely hard to find, and made of special materials (human skin in the original, if I am not wrong).
    Literally none of that is exclusive to the Mythos. The Deva Astra can be channeled into a blade of grass. The Ars Goetia would, in the context of Scion, let you summon demons for extremely specific niche purposes. The chain that binds Fenrir is made of the sound of cat footsteps and other things that either don't exist or no longer exist.

    That's why I don't give any weight to "Well the Mythos Relics, especially the Necronomicon, are Different and Special". In the context of the other Pantheons existing, they're really not. Like, if you're doing "Oops Just Mythos" then sure, for tone there may be some different guidelines to better capture the feel might work. But like, presenting these are purchasable Relics when they so clearly don't follow the rules we have...

    Yeah, it might have been best to just describe the prompts of the Relics in this Pantheon section and save the statted Relics for later in the book. If they have different rules for Mythos Relics, it'd be better to establish those rules BEFORE showing the Relic stats.

    Edit: Like, the first paragraphs just describing what the Necronomicon IS, how it was penned, how the original text was lost and how most copies are written in translated English, Latin, and Greek, that's great. Conveys the character of the book, plays up the sinister nature.

    Just when the mechanics come into play things get creaky.
    Last edited by Kyman201; 01-26-2021, 04:41 PM.

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  • glamourweaver
    replied
    Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
    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.

    Yeah, things that are effectively unusable by pcs plot devices (a relic guaranteed to kill you if you use it, a relic that destroys the universe if its used, etc) can absolutely be included in the book as plot hooks, but shouldn't be priced as purchasable relics.

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  • Mateus Luz
    replied
    Comment on Necronomicon: While it’s a powerful book, that can drive people crazy on the knowledge inside it, and may allow you to cast some magic, it is not a divine item, it’s a very weird book, collecting knowledge that is extremely hard to find, and made of special materials (human skin in the original, if I am not wrong).

    Honestly, it should grant some purviews, but should require more than just holding it to cast, should require some preparation. More like long term rituals and less like Scions shooting Thunderbolts out of a oversized revolver.

    Leave a comment:


  • Florin
    replied
    I'm thinking the only safe way to play the sheet music is with the viol. Sure, you might wake Azathoth, but you're also using the instrument guaranteed to put him to sleep...

    Leave a comment:


  • Kyman201
    replied
    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.

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  • nalak42
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Raz_Fox
    replied
    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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  • Mateus Luz
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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