Hello friends, enemies and Russian spam-bots. To kick off our series of Scion blog posts, we’re going to give you an explanation of what Scion is. We figured it’d be helpful to know that before playing.
What is Scion?
Scion is an urban-mythic game related to World of Darkness and Chronicles of Darkness- think of them as its cousin. In it, you play the eponymous Scions as they engage in feats of myth and legend, battling legendary foes as they build their divine might and establish themselves as modern Heroes. It’s set in The World, which largely mimics ours with hidden mythic under-currents and conspiracies behind the scenes. In The World, every myth is true all at once. All the gods of myth exist, operating secretively and through veils and intermediaries- such as yourselves. It’s a game of potential, of self-discovery and of change- both for yourself and for the world around you.
Who are we playing?
You’re going to be playing Scions- mortals who stand halfway between the mythic and mundane, acting as intermediaries for humans and the gods they worship. Some Scions are Born, the literal children of a god and a mortal- Herakles, Maui and Cú Chulainn are all examples of these Scions. Others are Chosen by the gods for lineage, accomplishments and fated potential- consider Wen Zhong, Sigurd and Odysseus. Gods sometimes Incarnate in the world, echoing their divine oversouls through mortal forms so they can sprout new legends- Dionysius, Shiva and Eiru are all known to have done such a thing. Some Scions are Created whole cloth by the gods, uplifted from earthly or bestial origins to serve them- Galatea, Mafdet and Ukemochi no Kami had such an origin.
All Scions have a divine Patron, who brought them into the mythic world and empowered them to act. These Patrons are remote figures, who interact with their Scions through omens and coded messages- even to their own chosen, they are reclusive. When you create a Scion, it’s worth thinking about how they regard their distant progenitor- are they angry with them for not being more present? Envious of their power and divine status? Do they want to emulate them, proselytize for them, or replace them? These basic motivations form the skeleton of a character.
Where are we playing?
Scion is set in The World, a mythic parallel to our own. While it’s better described in the pitches, The World can essentially be summed up as “our world, with hidden mythologies and legendary figures”. It’s not a setting with overt divine manifestations and displays of power, so the gods won’t be showing up in person or tossing lightning from above. Still, there’s no masquerade in this setting- Scions are public knowledge and have been for around 5 years. This means that you, as the players, will be the most overtly supernatural beings in the setting. You are the gods’ voice in modern times, their representatives on earth. As society begins to twist and turn around the beginning of this new mythic age, your characters will have an active hand in shaping it.
Specifically, this chronicle will be taking place in London, as it is a London game. London in Scion is more or less the same as ours, with a few small “goblin towns” inhabited by mythical races such as Satyrs, Kitsune and Sidhe. Goat-legs aside, Scion’s London preserves the culture and character of our own.
When you create your character, think about the space they occupy in the world. A Scion who works as a barista is doing so by choice, and that says a lot about them. Similarly, your Scion can openly capitalise on their powers for money- a Scion with Death could make a killing as a medium, and most farmers would pay through their nose for Fertility blessings.
Niamh O’Neill, Incarnate of Étaín
Daughter of a policeman and an accountant, Naimh was a raucous and troublesome child. She wanted more than her town, more than the old stone wall and decades-old gossip that defined her parents’ lives. She had a string of lovers that she continues to add to- she fancies herself like Amy Winehouse, forever separated from her one true love. Then he dumps her, she writes an album, and life moves on. She dreams of a perfect life with a perfect husband, but sometimes those dreams rumble with war chariots and she wakes with a name tingling on the tip of her tongue. She’s been a lot more active these days and her singing voice has become absolutely phenomenal- apparently she finally figured out that name. Apparently she’s figured out a whole lot, these last few months.
Tamisha Diamond, Chosen of Inanna
Tamisha doesn’t actually have a past, thank you for asking. Sure she’ll tell you some stories- like getting arrested for punching a man in the Tate Modern, or taking a piss on archival valentino- but as far as anyone knows, she’s just always been here. She chats shit, gets drunk on Tuesday mornings and has never lost a fight. She’s also got a veritable brood of adopted runaways and cast-offs, mother to a house with no name. Maybe her attitude attracted Inanna to her, or maybe her warrior-lover-leader nature. Either way, she’s not been quiet about her new powers. She’s the lady of lightning, the most terrible bitch of them all.
Jack Cornwell, Born of Pluto
All that glitters is not gold, but Jack will sell it anyway. Raised by a single mother on benefits, Jack started selling sweets in school and never looked back. Every business venture paid out, every investment was solid and he bought his mother a house aged 22. By 30 he was bankrolling sports teams and sending his own son to private school- he wants the best for his family, and that drive has propelled him far in life. He used to be vocally about hating his old man, but he shut up about it a few months ago. He also started dealing heavily in gold then- no connection though. None at all.
Yuqing, Created of Odkhan Galakhan Eke
Crafted from the sweet smoke of sacrifice, given the voice of a desperate prayer, Yuqing was sent into this world armed with divine flame and endless optimism. She knows that people suffer- her mother told her so- and so she goes about righting wrongs wherever she can, mending bones and providing warm food to anyone who asks. She’s been in London for a scant few weeks, but she’s already gotten quite a retinue of loyal followers and seen a lot of the world. She knows how difficult her task is, and how ill equipped she is to fix The World’s woes. Yet she is the prodigy of Heaven’s Queen-Mother, and she’s beginning to relish the challenge.
Prior to posting this, we gathered questions on our brand new shiny discord server. Here they are, alongside some answers.
Q: Day in the life of a Scion?
In other genres, some supernaturals happily hold down a day job and others live almost entirely in some ultra terrestrial plane – where do you end up sitting as basically a God?
A: Before their Visitation a Scion is a very skilled mortal, typically someone at the top of their field. However mortality does come complete with typical mortal issues such as “rent” and “that letter from SSE that’s been on the table for 3 days”. While a rare few are raised in Terra Incognita to exacting standards, most are raised as normal humans in their community. Thus nearly all Scions will be coming from mundane backgrounds. It is worth noting that “mundane” here encompasses everything from McDonald’s employees to Olympic gold medallists and multi-millionaires.
After the Visitation, there’s a little more of a shakeup. Scions might visit Tír na nÓg or fight their way into jotunheim, but they still aren’t living there. Scions live amongst humanity, no matter how grandiose their self conceptions.
However, post-Visitation Scions don’t need to worry about day jobs. Their divine patrons have cults that can support them, and Fate has better uses for them than shifts at Weatherspoon’s. Scions will always have enough money to scrape on by, if only so they can focus on more exciting things. Your characters may well choose to keep a day job of some sort but it’s of their own volition, and don’t forget they were exceptional before the gods ever showed up. You’re playing legendary Heroes blessed by the gods- don’t get bogged down by their 9-5.
Q: You mentioned in the pitch document that you wanted this game to look at the end of one age and the start of another. Now I know you already stated that the chronicle would twist to serve what the player base wanted, but I’m curious; how, roughly, would you see that playing out?
A: So that’s partly going to be achieved by focusing on potential and consequence–I want the chronicle to start as this joyful exercise in your divine prowess, then eventually have reach a tipping point where you have to deal with the consequences and reality, and bring in a “new world” in the social sense as people react to you. It’s also partly going to be a function of the plot, as you’ll have a role in actual divine politics with metaphysical consequences, but that’s more spoiler territory.
Q: How much is this about the second titanomachy? Like, are we going to focus heavily on this as a war story, or will that be in the background?
A: The intention is to have it be a B plot rumbling along in the background–you won’t be engaging in the Titanomachy directly, but it’ll still influence the main plot alongside some of the supplemental material. My plan is to have a more diverse pool of antagonists and motivations, and to let the players decide who they ally themselves with. It’s intended to be a bit like a Bioware game- lot’s of choices whose consequences aren’t felt till later on, and lots of potential allies if you play your cards right.