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  • Naug's Scion Rewrite

    Hello Onyx Path forums!

    My name is Naug, I’m a storyteller for a Scion campaign that's been going on for a while now. I’ve been working on rewrite of Scion for the last 2 years and I thought I would publish it online. I’ve attempted to balance the game as well as to build some new systems that I think fit the setting and the play style of a game like Scion.

    This is all work in progress, some chapters or not done yet and you will find notes in the text here and there(hopefully all in English by now :x ), but as a whole you should be able to use it or at least be inspired by it. The overarching goals I had with the rewrite were (1) create an environment where more different types of character builds can flourish, (2) make sure every power has some meaningful counter play and (3) achieve better balance than first edition Scion. All while trying to maintain the fantasy of the many different archetypes that one might want to play in a game like Scion. Powers need to be colorful as well as balanced.

    Really, any feedback at this point would be greatly appreciated!

    I can’t go into every detail of all the changes that I’ve done in this post as there are too many changes but I’ll touch on the more salient points.
    - All the knacks and boons have been rewritten. Some purviews have been merged with others or removed, some are completely new. All the general purpose purviews are done while the epic attributes and pantheon purviews are not quite done yet.
    - The way knacks and boons are organized with dots and prerequisites have been replaced with a different systems categorizing powers as hero-powers, demigod-powers or god-powers.
    - Many smaller systems have been tweaked such as jumping, lifting, carrying and throwing.
    - Attack rolls, damage rolls and soak have all been rebalanced. For example the importance of Dexterity has been lessened for combat and it is fully viable to do a combat build with little or no dexterity.
    - Swarms is a new combat system that allows for large groups of combatants of lesser strength like flocks of wolves, a platoon of soldiers or a swarm of titanspawn for the Scion’s to either fight or lead into combat themselves.
    - Fatebinding has been removed and a system called Destinies has taken its place, but this still needs more balancing.
    - A lot of other changes!


    Stuff that’s done or close to done
    - General Purpose purviews are in a good place
    - Core Rules like power activation, Legend pools, jumping, lifting, etc are all in a pretty good place
    - New Virtues
    - New stats for weapons and armor as well as a build-your-own-weapon system


    Notable stuff that’s missing
    - Character Creation
    - God level knacks and polish on epic attributes
    - Advantages(the new birthrights)
    - Many Pantheon Purviews are not even started
    - Some special case rules on swarms(swarm vs swarm & swarm vs inanimate objects)
    - Decent Layouting. I write in Scrivener and its layout options are limited. When everything is in its final version I might ask my sister-in-law to make a proper layout.


    If you have any questions please ask and I’ll answer as best I can. The files are in pdf format and you can download them from my google drive. Links are below.
    Core Rules alpha 1 - https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...FF6Tm9lY3p6dWc
    Knacks & Boons alpha 1 - https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...jVGbzBHR2VPYVE
    Last edited by Naug; 02-15-2016, 01:18 PM.

  • #2
    Hey Naug, these rules look pretty neat! I do like the idea for Swarms, just picking through the Core Rules right now checking them out. I look forward to reading your Knacks and Boons later on today.

    What did jump out at me though was Avatars limiting a Deity's access to other Purviews, those that are 'opposed' to the Purview which the Deity has an Avatar in (page 12 - 13). It's quite neat, but just looking through the list I can think of several Deities that wouldn't be able to be represented easily due to this. Athena and Hachiman both are big War and Guardian, but wouldn't be able to use both Purviews. Poseidon (King of the Sea, cause of Earthquakes), Apollo (God of Healing who brings Plagues when angered), Odin (Wandering God, God of War), Kannon (Has an involved role in the Underworld of Jigoku but also prayed to for healing), and others like them also have a bit of a hard time being represented. It's a really thematic rule, but one that is quite tricky to do since mythology is rarely consistent.

    And, being a huge fanboy of the Tuatha, I'm assuming they're not present is due to having kicked the bucket?

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey Watcher, the idea for gods that represent opposed concepts(like War & Guardian or Death & Health) is that you can take 1 avatar boon from each of the purviews and lock out the one you don't want. For example you can take 1 avatar boon in both War and Guardian and lock out Emissary for both boons(you may lock out the same purview more than once if you're purchasing avatar boons from different purviews). So with that system you can have two opposing purviews as your main focus areas but you will be just slightly less powerful in each compared to a god that went all the way in one of them.

      Regarding pantheons I decided to limit the amount of pantheons in my story so the Tuatha was one of those that didn't make the cut. But that doesn't mean that I won't do their pantheon purview one day! My players are playing a member of the voudou loa, a member of the celestial bureaucracy and an olympian so those purviews have priority but I'll get to the rest.
      Last edited by Naug; 02-15-2016, 01:40 PM. Reason: a word

      Comment


      • #4
        Ah! Okay, that makes a bit more sense. It still might prove problematic the more you expand outwards with Pantheons however. For example Nergal, the Mesopotamian Lion God who rules the Underworld along with his wife, and is a bringer of Plague can't hold all three (If he has Animal he can't then both have Affliction and Death I believe as he has to ban one of the two?) I believe, unless I'm failing to grasp the system again which is entirely possible. With that added caveat, it will be exceptionally less common than I initially worried, bu you might still encounter some Deities who break your system. You might want to add an 'exception' clause in there somewhere to help those Deities who happen to be associated with both of a Purview's banned categories.

        And no worries about the Tuatha, I totally understand working on the Pantheons that show up in your own games first. If you ever want suggestions for sources to use for the Irish, just PM me and I can get you a nice list together.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yes you are correct that he would have to ban either Death or Affliction when picking his first avatar boon in Animal.

          I'm sure there's one deity or the other than would be difficult to model in the system. But there's thousands of them, it's tough to accommodate everyone! There could possibly be some god level knack in some attribute that allows for the character to pick 1 avatar boon without banning a purview. But idk, it's very powerful. I don't want knacks to feel mandatory. Maybe it would be better solved with a very powerful relic. Most one time problem regarding canonical deities can be solved with relics

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm still reading through the Core section, so the answer might be further on, but why did you chose to put that limitation into the game?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Naug View Post
              I'm sure there's one deity or the other than would difficult to model in the system. But there's thousands of them, it's tough to accommodate everyone! There could possibly be some god level knack in some attribute that allows for the character to pick 1 avatar boon without banning a purview. But idk, it's very powerful. I don't want knacks to feel mandatory. Maybe it would be better solved with a very powerful relic. Most one time problem regarding canonical deities can be solved with relics

              I'm actually curious as to why you have Avatars locking each other out at all; mostly because as you spread further out, you're going to encounter many more myths that can't be placed into that limitation. Is it a response to how games were going? Is it something you're trying for flavor?

              Comment


              • #8
                The biggest problem that immediately jumps out to me about that Purview limitation is that it forces modern sensibilities about what is antithetical upon cultures who may never have considered those purviews to be antithetical. Scion already does that to a certain degree simply by virtue of being a game with rules, but looking over the list of antitheticals the number of gods that violate it is pretty big.

                It would be like making Strength and Dexterity antithetical to each other. I know some people who would say "Obviously they are!" and people who would say "That doesn't make any sense."

                But there are some very cool ideas in here. Poking through it now.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Regarding lock outs for avatar powers...

                  The idea behind the avatar powers locking out purviews was mainly to add flavor that the natural forces have their opposites and when you are deeply attuned to one of them you step away from the other. I disagree that these are modern sensibilities. Mythology(and folklore) is full of creatures that have very particular weaknesses. As I stated before you can still have two opposite purviews and just pick one avatar power in each. Baron Samedi can both have an avatar power in Death as well as Health but wouldn't be as strong in Death as say Hades due to his lingering connection to Life via the Health purview. He would on the other hand get the best of both worlds.

                  I put the rule there because I felt it made a lot of sense for the setting. When you're purchasing avatar powers you are tapping into the ancient titanic roots of your heritage and take a step further away from your humanity. I also think that choices of how many avatar powers you want to purchase when you're building your character is an interesting choice to have.

                  But the rule is not there for balance reasons. Balance doesn't fall apart if you want to ignore it

                  Edit: Please list known deities that you feel would not be able to be represented with the current avatar boon = lock out scheme. I honestly thought there weren't many at all, but maybe I'm missing some central ones!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Naug View Post
                    The idea behind the avatar powers locking out purviews was mainly to add flavor that the natural forces have their opposites and when you are deeply attuned to one of them you step away from the other. I disagree that these are modern sensibilities. Mythology(and folklore) is full of creatures that have very particular weaknesses.
                    It might have been better to say 'greecian sensibilities'. It's not unusual for natural forces to have opposites, but different cultures can disagree about what those opposites are.
                    Originally posted by Naug View Post
                    As I stated before you can still have two opposite purviews and just pick one avatar power in each. Baron Samedi can both have an avatar power in Death as well as Health but wouldn't be as strong in Death as say Hades due to his lingering connection to Life via the Health purview. He would on the other hand get the best of both worlds.

                    I put the rule there because I felt it made a lot of sense for the setting. When you're purchasing avatar powers you are tapping into the ancient titanic roots of your heritage and take a step further away from your humanity. I also think that choices of how many avatar powers you want to purchase when you're building your character is an interesting choice to have.
                    These are game mechanics that we are talking about, so they can be as arbitrary as they need to be, but it seems strange to suggest that Baron Samedi is somehow weaker at Death than Hades because of (made up reason). The (made up reason) might even be really cool and make a lot of sense from one particular cosmological outlook -- but that's the rub. It's just one cosmological outlook in a game about many.
                    Originally posted by Naug View Post
                    Please list known deities that you feel would not be able to be represented with the current avatar boon = lock out scheme. I honestly thought there weren't many at all, but maybe I'm missing some central ones!
                    Mictlantecuhtli, Veles, Anubis, Brahma, Tezcatlipoca, Radegast, Freya, Nergal, Morena, Osiris, Svarozhich, Set, Njord, Huitzilopochtli, Thoth, Heimdall, Ninurta, Indra, Chors, Horus.

                    That's just the first 20 I could think of. There are lots more. Some common trends are Animal and Death, Fertility and Death, creator gods with a variety of elements such as Earth / Sky / Water, and a few celestial gods with both Sun and Moon.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I skimmed over the document for the core rules. You obviously have put a lot of work into this, so thanks for sharing it with us.

                      As others before me, i didnt like the avatar power limitation, i'd suggest that instead of making it like old school Ad&d mage specilization, you could increase the cost of further purchases, so that a god can deal both death and life, he is all the more powerful because he can do that. He just have to pay a more hefty price for the power.

                      As for rules, i dont understand why you chose to make abilities go to 12 instead of 10.

                      You have reduced the power of stamina ALOT. It is %60 less effective. (in normal scion combat if somedeal 10L dice damage and i have 5 L soak, i probably wont get a scratch ( 10L dice rolls for 4 suxx, subtract 5 soak; no damage) while in your version same attack deals about 2L health damage (10L - 5soak = 5L dice = 2L damage).

                      Strength double dipping in damage seems an aweful way to solve the dexterity issue, but i guess its as good of a fix as it can be with this system. Perception seems too powerful, allowing ranged attacks, damage and all the other perks of usual perception into it.

                      I havent had time to look into boons and knacks, but i like the tier idea alot. As well as the epic stat requirement idea; same goes for boons.

                      Dice caps are very important for balance, and they were sorely missing on scion. Great addition.

                      Keep up the good work.


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Stamina is not under powered in its current incarnation but you are correct that it has been whacked with the nerf hammer. Soaking levels of damage instead of dice of damage as it did in the first edition made people essentially immortal to non aggravated damage which I thought was a bad place for the game to be in! One of our players is playing a tank character heavy in stamina and Earth with Earth armor, all the soak that he could pick up, the perfect soak knack and some self healing. He is very tough due to the way he built the character so I can assure you that Stamina is not under powered in the current iteration of the rules =)

                        Abilities go to 12 because everything else does. Why do you feel that they should go to 10?

                        It seems no one likes the purview lock outs lol I guess I'll reconsider them then! I have metaphysical reasons why I think they fit the Scion-verse(or at least my version of it) and I also think its good game play to have trade off mechanics(where you gain something by losing something) cause it forces meaningful decisions on behalf of the player. That said, we haven't played at the god level yet(players are in the late demigod level atm) so maybe it just turns out to feel bad to have the lock outs. Could you tl;dr the old ad&d mage specialization for me? I never played it I'm afraid.

                        Strength and Perception double dipping seems like it would be unbalanced but think about it this way. You need 1 attribute for attacking and 1 attribute for defense. Strength and Perception gives attack and damage but no defense, Dexterity gives attack and defense, but no damage. Stamina gives only defense(but is frankly pretty damn good at it, self healing is great). Most builds end up needing 2 attributes. Like Perception/Dexterity or Strength/Stamina because you need a defensive stat if you're going to live for more than 1 tick in combat(maybe 2 ticks with a perfect defense if you win the initiative). Ultimately I want each attribute to feel really powerful but none to feel mandatory.

                        I'm happy with the tiers for boons and knacks as well, it was almost meaningless to have 10 different power levels of knacks and boons. Its too fine grained, no one gets a good sense of the power level of a 6 dot boon as compared to a 7 dot boon. With three tiers, the differences are much more clear. It also gives a lot more choice for fresh characters. Before they could only pick 1 boon from each purview(the one dot boon) now they have a selection of 4 from the hero level. It lets the players customize their characters a lot more and they have more choices when purchasing new boons.

                        And yes, dice caps are great!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Would people be interested in continuous updates to this project? I got one ready now.

                          Core Rules alpha 2 - https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...DZsVXNZaUVXMnM
                          Knacks & Boons alpha 2 - https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...DVOQlRiMnctNG8


                          Alpha 2 - March 8 2016
                          In this revision I have finished Epic Strength, Epic Dexterity and Epic Stamina by adding god level knacks while revisiting, rebalancing and polishing existing knacks. Some knacks have been moved or deleted and new knacks have taken their place.
                          Moreover, the Character Creation chapter has been completed to a first draft.

                          General
                          - The first draft of the Character Creation chapter is complete.
                          - Favored abilities, attributes and purviews have changed. These no longer grant reduced xp costs when purchasing them, rather they now only grant bonus boons and dots during character creation. This because the reduced xp costs imposed a burden of optimal play that punished players that wanted to branch out and let their character learn something new. Now xp costs are equal for all and there will be no road block for adapting character development to story developments.
                          - Added summaries of the effects granted by every Epic Strength, Epic Dexterity and Epic Stamina before each attribute’s knack list.
                          - All movement speed increasing powers now stack multiplicatively. Most of these power affect the character’s Dash but not her Move. This is by design as taking a Move is a (potentially)much more powerful action to take in combat.
                          - Clarified the rules for dodging demolition weapons(grenades, RPGs, etc). Also added a subsection about this in the Combat and Damage chapter.


                          Epic Attributes
                          - Clarified that the extra damage gained from Strength DEMIGOD Overwhelming force and its Perception counter part DEMIGOD Shot to the Heart does not count toward the bonus damage dice cap.
                          - All knacks that scale with a stat should ideally scale with the dots in the normal attribute of same attribute that the knack belongs to. Many (old)knacks scale with dots in the Epic Attribute or Legend and should all change to the new standard.


                          Epic Strength
                          - GOD Obliterate has been removed from the game.
                          - DEMIGOD Disfiguring Attack is now a GOD level boon and is now called GOD Obliterate. It no longer has a willpower cost but its mechanics are otherwise unchanged.
                          - NEW BOON: DEMIGOD Prey on the Weak grants bonus dice when attacking targets that are either stunned or lying down(while the Scion is standing up).
                          - GOD Hurl to the Moon has been redesigned. Throwing distance is now increased a hundred fold per 1 legend spent. This knack can perform very long throws if one is willing to commit equally large sums of legend points to its activation. No longer grants aggravated damage but clarified that the long range may grant Unexpected Attacks against unaware targets.
                          - After some consideration, DEMIGOD Knockout Blow has been removed from the game. A one shot knock out is an auto win mechanic and it is never fun to be on the receiving end of.
                          - NEW BOON: DEMIGOD Punch Drunk disorients the target and reduces the dice pool of his next action equal to the Scion’s dots in Strength.


                          Epic Dexterity
                          - HERO Lightning Sprinter is now called HERO Catch Me if You Can
                          - DEMIGOD Knife in the Dark is now called DEMIGOD The Quietus
                          - DEMIGOD Divine Grace is now called DEMIGOD Dance Like a Butterfly and now grants half the Scion's dots in Dexterity as DV, changed from half the Scion's dots in Legend.
                          - GOD Marathon Sprinter is now called GOD Shooting Star
                          - GOD Unseen Strike is now called GOD Frozen Moment and works on non combat actions as well but its cost has increased to 8 legend + 1 willpower.
                          - GOD Microscopic Precision now also gives extra dice for all crafting rolls other than the other benefits it provides.
                          - NEW BOON: GOD Divine Grace lets the Scion reroll all non combat Dexterity rolls for free and choose the highest of the two results.


                          Epic Stamina
                          - HERO Damage-conversion now costs 1 legend per 2 health levels converted, up from 1 legend for the entire attack. The knack is now activated after damage has been rolled and the attack is now soaked as lethal instead of bashing.
                          - HERO Self-Healing can now heal for as many HP as the Scion has dots in Stamina, changed from as many hp as she has dots in Epic Stamina.
                          - HERO Body Armor is now passive but grants soak based on the Scion's Stamina instead of her Legend rating.
                          - HERO Iron Skin has been removed from the game as piercing no longer interacts with natural soak and epic stamina only grants natural soak.
                          - HERO Raging Bull is now passive and has had its description clarified.
                          - NEW BOON: HERO Shock Absorbent halves the raw damage taken from explosion based attacks like hand grenades or missile strikes.
                          - NEW BOON: HERO Inexhaustible maxes out the Scion's bonus dice cap whenever rolling to resist exhaustion.
                          - DEMIGOD Impenetrable has been removed from the game as piercing no longer interacts with natural soak and epic stamina only grants natural soak.
                          - DEMIGOD Divine Damage-Conversion has been removed from the game.
                          - DEMIGOD Raging Blow is renamed to Furious Strike because reasons.
                          - DEMIGOD Self-Knitting Flesh no longer deactivates upon becoming incapacitated but takes 5 minutes to heal the incap box. Can now also be activated while unconscious.
                          - NEW KNACK: DEMIGOD Truly Amusing. If the Scion takes a hit in combat but ends up taking no damage she may activate an Epic Stamina knack as a free action with a reduced cost.
                          - The God level knacks have been completely rewritten. There are five god level knacks.
                          - NEW KNACK: GOD Regeneration doubles healing taken from supernatural powers like knacks and boons. Passive.
                          - NEW KNACK: GOD Unbreakable makes the Scion’s body now perform a day’s worth of healing every hour and also works on aggravated damage. Will regrow lost limbs, restore ruined eye sight and heal similar grievous injuries. Passive.
                          - NEW KNACK: GOD Defy Death makes the Scion unkillable until all her -0, -1, -2 and -4 health levels are filled with aggravated damage. Taking damage will eventually convert existing wounds into aggravated wounds if all her health levels are filled up. Lasts one scene.
                          - NEW KNACK: GOD Juggernaut grants the Scion attack and damage dice equal to her Stamina when attacking with her body weight such as a charge or a clinch attack.
                          - NEW KNACK: GOD Life-Force changes the Scion’s natural legend regeneration to 1 legend per action in combat or 1 legend every five seconds out of combat. Passive.


                          Purviews
                          Fire
                          - DEMIGOD Scorch is now a Simple boon, changed from a Reflexive boon.


                          Last edited by Naug; 03-08-2016, 04:15 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Hi Naug!

                            I am very impressed with what you made. You are the first person I know of to tie psychopompic powers into death rather than any travel type purview. In fact your death purview is the most impressive one I have seen to date. Good job at tying in so many angles. I was wondering, would you consider writing up the Tuatha de Danann purview? I feel that most versions I have found online, focus to much on the geasa aspect of the Tuatha, and ignore many other attributes and powers they display. I feel with your outlook yours would differ greatly. If you have thought about it, what angle would you approach it from?

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