Scion

Investing In: Scion

“You live in a World of myth, where every ancient story is true. Beneath the shadow of gleaming skyscrapers and soaring jets, the old tales are whispered. Will you live in a World of omens and portents, fearful of the shadows upon the sky? Or will you rise up, claim what is yours, and live for the people below?

Find your destiny. Live the myth. Embrace your Fate.”

Things change for you when you learn myth is more than legend and the myriad religions of the world are more than belief. Maybe you were always stronger than others, or more cunning, or more beautiful, with a little luck seemingly on your side. You learn fate has nothing to do with it when suddenly your divine parent sneaks into your life and reveals the truth…

You’re A Scion

scion logo

Scion is a game about Gods and humanity, and everything in between. It’s a game about mythic Deeds and the reasons people talk about those mythic Deeds. It’s also about modernity — the World today is a very different place than anything our ancestors could have conceived.

You are a child of a god, divine power running through you! It may be modern times, but legendary dangers are about to erupt and some of them from the hidden realms of the so-called Terra Incognita. Numerous pantheons might be involved in your life or that of your friends as you face the dangers of those realms. Fantastic powers attributed to your Godly parent or their pantheon as well as powerful relics, your Birthrights, are your only chance at making your own legend.

Almost four years ago Onyx Path Publishing ran a kickstarter to update the Scion game to second edition. I’d played a little of the first and while I hope to run the second in the future, I’d not had a chance to play it. That is – of course – until Onyx Path Con a couple weeks ago! Now was my chance.

The Basics

Scion Second Edition uses the Storypath System. Onyx Path was going to release an updated version using the Storyteller system as the property was owned by White Wolf. However in the course of the kickstarter, it was announced Onyx Path would purchase the property and in doing so they also announced a larger update for the game including the new Storypath System.

It’s still the familiar dice pool of 10-sided dice, though attributes and approach you take depend on the situation and the Arena that the situation calls for: physical, social, or mental. The attributes include Intellect for mental power and Manipulation for social finesse, coupled with the approach you announce to the storyteller, i.e. what skill from close combat to persuasion to technology. You’re crafting a story.

In fact, the difficulty is the number of successes you need to get typically an 8 or higher. The extra successes? You can use those to further craft the story. You might introduce a challenge for your target, note how you overcome various complications in a scene’s environment, or describe some cool Stunt (godly even!) that your hero would be capable of. The crafting is up to you.

scion origin

Of course it also depends on what makes your character different, from those attributes and skills to the driving Paths they’re walking in life. Those Paths are abstract snippets like “Muscle Car Boy Scout” that give you a few options each game to do something in line with what you’ve noted. There’s also Knacks, special abilities based on what divine power runs you. Oh yes, you also need to know: who is your godly parent?

Scion: Origin provides details for a number of pantheons and the gods therein. The Norse Gods of the Aesir including Odin, Thor, Baldr, and Hel. The Manitou are the Algonquian divine spirits including Muzzu-Kumik-Quae, Mother Earth and Pukawiss, the Disowned. Not surprisingly, the classic Greek pantheon of the Theoi is included with the likes of Ares, Athena, Hera, and Zeus. The Egyptians are represented by the Netjer including Bast, Goddess of War and Prophecy, and Set, Lord of the Red Desert. The Kami, or Japanese Gods, have a number of options as well including Amaterasu, Amtasukami of the Sun and Ruler of Heaven and the counterpart Tsukiymo, Amatasukami of the Moon. The Tuatha De Danann were part of a secondary published book in 1st Edition, but not in 2nd Edition! The Irish gods include Brigid, Triple Goddess of Fire, the Dadga, Red Lord of Great Knowledge, and The Morrigan, Triple Goddess of Prophecy and War. You can also find the Orisha Yoruba pantheon, the Gods of South Asia the Deva, the Chinese pantheon the Shen, as well as the Aztec Gods the Teotl.

Numerous options to form the stories of Legendary Heroes are detailed inside Scion: Origin including useful abilities called Knacks. We reviewed a few before we got started. For example my pregen I played with Donnie had an ability called Lover’s Intuition. With a hug or a handshake, he could gain an understanding of the person’s romantic or sex life. He is the son of Aphrodite after all. You could learn whom they loved, whom they were crushing on, whom they were close to… Yukiko on the other hand had a Knack called The Biggest Threat. With a little show of force or when trying to intimidate, she could easily get their attention focused on her. Any attempt they might make to attack someone else would see the difficulty go up by 2, i.e. 2 extra successes required. For most, that’s effectively doubling their defense! We were thrilled to see how we could flex our abilities and of course our roleplaying chops!

Our Game

carrion comfort studios

While the con was for Onyx Path, it was Gehenna Gaming facilitating and our actual one shot was told by Carrion Comfort Studios. Two scions gathered at a market in the lower east side of New York City, a popular Scion location, and one my Scion of Aphrodite, Adonis (Donnie for short) and the Scion of Susano-O, Yukiko knew well. There was a new guy Eric in town who’d been traveling for answers, especially around the whereabouts of his dad. It was quite cute, the red headed Eric didn’t realize yet what Yukiko and Donnie knew: Eric was a scion. In fact as it turned out, a Scion of Thor.

We were touring around with him, showing him the sights, but also watching out for trouble. It wasn’t the first time we’d felt a spark in someone who’d yet to learn the truth. Of course that didn’t stop Donnie from ensuring Eric enjoyed the finer points of being a tourist in NYC like getting an “I <3 NYC” shirt that was perhaps a couple sizes too small for his muscled frame. That “Muscle Car Boy Scout” path I referred to earlier? That’s one of Eric’s. Yuki was not so amused as Donnie insisted Eric try on the shirt right there.

It wasn’t fun and mischief for long. Unfortunately an icy blue young man had been sent to have a magical ice bomb detonate in the market, destroying a protective tree there! Yuki saw him sneaking up and we cornered him quickly, getting more successes than necessary to tail him and using the extras to box him in. Yuki snatched up the strange blue-blinking magical artifact and we all quickly concluded: it had to go! Off Yuki went with Donnie shouting for everyone to get out of the way as she ran into Central Park to toss the thing in a lake. I got an exceptional success, far more than I needed, and had traffic stopping, people eagerly moving aside from the charming man’s plea, and Yuki deftly doding the NYC pedestrians.

It went off safely but so did a number of others while boy scout Eric clung tightly to the icy blue man, who was attempting to freeze the would-be scion. Yuki and my Adonis got back to him, many having fled, as the blue boy turned out to be a Jotunn golem, melting away as Thor arrived to meet his son. It was a proud dad moment, and Eric took it well. He also took the gifted Birthright of a mighty revolver. They’d have to catch up later as more ice giants and golems were attacking at explosion areas around the city.

scion hero

Off we ran to control a trio of the creatures! Between Yukiko’s might Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, the Sword that Cuts Grass, a gift from her father, Eric’s new gun, and Donnie’s twin gold-plated pistols from good old mum (who in fact, was the very same woman who played Aphrodite in Xena!) we dispatched the three manifestations with a bit of wit and a lot of fun. It was great to craft how we handled the situation and our enemies with our successes including Yuki slicing one to lose an appendage, Eric grabbing one before it got away, and Donnie getting to trick both with a bit of charm and a shot from each pistol!

Our Storyteller Wes of Carrion Comfort Studios did a masterful job. We loved his detail to the setting and how easily he ran with our ideas, which is certainly important considering the nature of the Storypath system. We all agreed his voices for every character or creature we came about were wonderful too. There were at least 3 Emmy-award-winning death scenes in there! I highly suggest you check them out on twitch as well!

Investing In:

If exploring the life of a demigod, seeing how various pantheons interact in one world, or fighting monsters of legend is of interest to you, I encourage you to invest in a game of Scion Second Edition! The Storypath System encourages masterful crafting in a collaborative and fun way with your storyteller while using the familiar d10 system of World of Darkness and other games!

I also want to hear what you’re Investing In! Leave me a comment below about what games, modules, systems, products, people, live streams, etc you enjoy! You can also hit me up on social media as silentinfinity. I want to hear what excites you and what you’re passionate about. There’s so much wonderful content, people, groups (I could go on) in this community of ours that the more we invest in and share, the better it becomes!

About Investing In

I wasn’t quite sure what to name my article series when I first started but the idea of showcasing or discussing things that make me excited, that I find new and interesting, or maybe I’m otherwise passionate about seemed to fit with the idea of Investing In something like the Pathfinder 2E mechanic. To use some magic items you have to give that little bit of yourself, which helps make these things even better. I like the metaphor of the community growing and being strengthened in the same way!

Sources

Banner – Scion: Origin kickstarter banner, Onyx Path Publishing

  1. Scion logo, Onyx Path Publishing
  2. Scion: Origin cover image, Onyx Path Publishing
  3. Carrion Comfort Studios logo
  4. Scion: Hero cover image, Onyx Path Publishing

Rob Pontious

Rob Pontious works in web commerce by day and is a writer for KnowDirectionPodcast.com's #InvestingIn, a player for Roll for Combat's #ThreeRingAdventure podcast, and also a player for GehennaGaming's #GehennaValley MonsterHearts2 twitch stream. He's a lover of TTRPGs for over three decades, a gamer, and a GAYMER. You can find him on social media as @silentinfinity.