Scion (role-playing game)
Scion: Hero cover, featuring Eric Donner as drawn by Michael Komarck.
|Designer(s)||John Chambers. Authors: Justin Achilli, Alan Alexander, Carl Bowen, Bill Bridges, John Chamers, Duncan Harris, Michael Lee, Peter Schaefer, James Stewert, and Andrew Watts|
|Publisher(s)||White Wolf Publishing|
|Publication date||April 2007|
Scion is a series of role-playing games published by White Wolf, Inc and Onyx Path Publishing. The first core rule book, Scion: Hero. was released on April 13, 2007. The second volume, Scion: Demigod, was released on September 12, 2007, and the third, Scion: God, was released on January 23, 2008. The Scion Companion began release in sections March 2008, as a PDF direct download. Scion: Ragnarok was released on January 21, 2009. A second edition was announced in August 2012, with a new system related to the previous Storytelling System but differing from it in undisclosed but significant ways.
Scion is a role-playing game wherein players take on the roles of mortal descendants of gods embroiled in a divine war between the gods and their ancestors, the Titans: powerful, primordial embodiments of concepts such as water, chaos or light which recently escaped after thousands of years of imprisonment in Tartarus.
The pantheons presented draw from mythology giving players the ability to associate their characters with any of the six pantheons provided in the game:
- Pesedjet - The gods of Ancient Egypt, including Anubis, Atum-Re, Bastet, Geb, Horus, Isis, Osiris, Ptah, Set (or Seth), Sobek, and Thoth.
- Dodekatheon - The gods of Greek mythology, including Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Athena, Dionysus, Hades, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Poseidon, and Zeus.
- Aesir - The gods of Norse mythology, including Baldur, Freya, Freyr, Frigg, Heimdall, Hel, Loki, Odin, Sif, Thor, Tyr, and Vidar.
- Atzlánti - The gods of the Aztec civilization, including Huitzilopochtli, Miclántecuhtli, Quetzalcoatl, Tezcatlipoca, Tlaloc, Tlazoltéotl, and Xipe Totec.
- Amatsukami - The Shinto gods of Japan, including Amaterasu, Hachiman, Izanagi, Izanami, Raiden, Susano-o, and Tsuki-Yomi.
- Loa - The god-spirits of the Vodou religion, including Baron Samedi, Damballa, Erzulie, Kalfu, Legba, Ogoun, and Shango.
In the Scion Companion, the following pantheons were added:
- Tuatha Dé Danann - The gods of Ancient Ireland, including Aengus, Brigid, Cocidius (he swings between the Dodekatheon and the Tuatha Dé Danann), The Dagda, Danu, Dian Cecht, Lugh, Manannán mac Lir, The Morrígan, Nuada and Ogma.
- Celestial Bureaucracy - The gods and immortals of China, including Chang'e, Fuxi, Guan Yu, Guanyin, Houyi, Huang Di, Nezha, Nüwa, Shennong, Sun Wukong, Xiwangmu, and Yanluo.
- Deva - The gods of India, including Agni, Brahma, Ganesha, Indra, Kali, Lakshmi, Parvati, Sarasvati, Shiva, Surya, Vishnu and Yama.
And on May 19, 2010, White Wolf released a Persian-inspired pantheon:
- Yazata - The gods of Persia, including Anahita, Ard, Haoma, Mah, Mithra, Sraosha, Tishtrya, Vahram, Vayu and Zam.
Further diversification is encouraged by inclusion of instructions for creating custom pantheons and adapting existing but unaddressed spiritual traditions. In addition, recent PDF supplements include:
- The Yankee Pantheon - The gods and folk heroes of The United States of America, including Betsy Ross, Br'er Rabbit, Columbia, John Henry, Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, Rosie the Riveter and Uncle Sam.
- The Allied Pantheons - The gods and folk heroes of Britain, France and Russia, including Baba Yaga, Britannia, The Citizen, d'Artagnan, John Bull, Madame Guillotine, Marianne, Robin Hood and Rodina Mat.
A further supplement, released only in France, provides one additional pantheon:
- Nemetondevos - The ancient Celtic gods of Gaul, including Andarta, Belenos, Camulos, Cernunnos, Epona, Esus, Gobnhios, Nantosuelta, Sukellos, Taranis and Teutates.
The basic assumption on which this game is based is that the game world is similar to our modern world with just one difference: all the old myths are actually true. The characters that players create are considered to be the offspring of a god from one of these mythologies, and their purpose is to serve their parent as the Titans and their servants threaten the World. Adventures set within this milieu range from the mundane of a simple recovery of lost ancient artifacts to a modern version of the 12 tasks of Hercules.
As each volume expands the scope of the game, characters go from being enhanced humans in Scion: Hero to full-fledged gods in Scion: God. The scale also grows, from adventures in the physical world in Scion: Hero, to adventures in the Underworld and various Terra Incognitae in Scion: Demigod, to adventures in the Overworld with its Titanrealms (environments which are the bodies of the titans) and Godrealms in Scion: God. The primary antagonists of the game are the so-called Titan Avatars that are different personifications of the various primal Titans that exists in Scion.
Scion uses a rules system similar to the Storyteller system made popular by the World of Darkness, but is not part of that setting. The rules are a new version of the system presented in Exalted: Second Edition but set in a modern world, that also includes elements from the Trinity Universe series of games, most notably Aberrant.
The two primary abilities available to hero characters are Epic Attributes and Boons. Epic Attributes increase the characters nine basic abilities to super-human levels (Hercules' strength or Helen's beauty, for example). Boons are the divine powers granted to the children of the Gods, categorized into Purviews (such as Earth, Fire, Health, Justice, Sky, and War, as well as the pantheon-specific purviews listed below).
One major change to the system in Scion is the removal of Backgrounds. Characters are allowed to have whatever contacts, history, and wealth that makes sense for the character without the need of any rules or mechanical allotment to oversee them. Birthrights serve a similar purpose and structure, but are generally limited to divine assets rather than worldly benefits: they include the mythical relics that allow them to activate their Boons, as well as their Followers, legendary Creatures they have befriended, or the aid of often mystical Guides.
The List of Pantheon-specific Purviews includes:
Arete - The Dodekatheon Purview, granting Scions transcendent capabilities in their areas of expertise and knowledge
Asha - The Yazata Purview, allowing Scions to promote truth, order and justice
Cheval - The Loa Purview, allowing Scions to control and influence others via possession and mysticism
Deuogdonio - The Nemetondevos Purview, allowing Scions to manipulate and affect the fateful connections between themselves and mortals
Enech - The Tuatha de Danann Purview, giving Scions access to the great benefits and tragic consequences of geasa
Heku - The Pesedjet Purview, allowing Scions to tap into the different aspects of their souls for power
Itzli - The Atzlanti Purview, granting Scions the ability to perform ritual sacrifices in exchange for power
Jotunblut - The Aesir Purview, allowing Scions to enhance the capabilities and loyalties of mortals
Samsara - The Deva Purview, providing Scions with the means to control their fates through meditation and concentration
Scire - The Atlantean Purview, giving Scions greater insight into the mysteries of information and knowledge
Taiyi - The Celestial Bureaucracy Purview, allowing Scions to combine their powers and solidify themselves with their companions
Tsukumo-Gami - The Amatsukami Purview, allowing Scions to speak to the spirits of the inanimate world around them
- Scion: Hero
- Scion: Demigod
- Scion: God
- Scion Companion
- Scion: Ragnarök
- Scion: Yazata: The Persian Gods
- Scion: Liberty Road (PDF only)
- Scion: Seeds of Tomorrow (PDF only)
- Scion: Wolfsheim (PDF only)
- Scion: Écran du Conteur (France only)
- Scion: Extras: Supplemental (Yet Can Be Somewhat Useful On Occasion) Scions