Scion May Update!
about 1 year ago
– Tue, May 08, 2018 at 07:04:58 PM
Greetings, true believers!
A short update this month. Origin and Hero are both in "layout", the phase of production where text is placed into books and arranged with the art. I don't have any part of that - I'm just a monkey at a typewriter - so that's in the hands of Onyx Path's art director.
If you want to stay up to date with all of our projects, go to theonyxpath.com every Monday for the Monday Meeting Notes and read Rich ramble about the weekly company tag-up and on various topics in the company and in the roleplaying industry. You'll see the week Scion moves closer to full production.
If you haven't engaged on forums.theonyxpath.com and visited the Scion forum, now's a great time to do so! There's an Ask Neall thread where you can directly ask me a question if you like, or just make a new thread and talk about the game. I've been a little busy these past few weeks*, but this week is my week to catch up!
*playing God of War. That's research, though! You can't hold that against me, right?
Just a few quick updates for you this month:
THE SCION HERO COMPANION One of my quiet objectives in pitching the stretch goals was to have every pantheon from First Edition represented, even the weird semi-canonical French pantheon that was only available from the French translation of the Storyteller's Screen. One of the most time-intensive elements of Scion has been doing our actual homework on pantheons rather than reading Wikipedia and calling it a day. We've been doing research on how to properly represent the Loa (really a half-pantheon expansion for the Orisha), the Yazata (deities of Persia), and the Nemetondevos (the aforementioned Gauls). These are fully canonical pantheons, with signature Scions and Pantheon Specific Purviews.
That leaves the fictional Atlantean pantheon, which we're using as a primer on how to add your own fictional pantheons to a game by taking some related myths and creating a culture. They're largely optional to a Scion game. In the "proper", canonical World, Atlantis is known to the Egyptian and Greco-Roman Gods as a ruined and lost Terra Incognita, but if you want to use the Atlanteans of Scion Second Edition, it's a Mediterranean island nation island shrouded in secrecy and largely hidden from the World with Gods who are mystics and technocrats. With a stagnant culture but highly-advanced technology, what happens when Atlantis returns to the World stage at last?
The two Pantheons were aren't using from First Edition are the American and Nationalist Pantheons, largely because we didn't really see a need. Figures like Johnny Appleseed are probably better represented as Scions of extant Gods (like Idunn, Goddess of Youth and Apples. Look him up - he was all about a Swedish Church, and his apples weren't for eating), other Gods will be covered in later supplements (like Baba Yaga, since we're aiming to cover the Slavic Pantheon around Demigod) while nations have their own independent deities now (something also covered in the Companion). Still, we cover how to make your own Purviews in the Companion and how to make Gods are covered by the Atlantean Pantheon, so recreating Uncle Sam and The Citizen is made easy for you.
The last big section of the Companion is cults. Scion Second Edition has a feeling more deeply-rooted in faith and interactions with mortals, which is a primary task of Heroes. Expect this section to have mechanics on how to use and apply cults to do stuff for you, give you Deeds to perform, and Storyguiding advice on how comfortable (or uncomfortable) being an intermediary for the Gods can be. Having famous parents can really suck.
THE SCION BESTIARY We've been looking over how to make those descended from Creatures of Legend ("Denizens of the World") more viable as player character options. Being a full giant in a game of Scion is just as viable as playing a half-giant son of Loki (who is a full giant and causes earthquakes when he writhes in pain, for everyone wondering why he's got Epic Strength). While you'll usually never equal the versatility or power of a full Scion, being "just" a Denizen should give you unique options and an interesting playstyle. Centaurs and Satyrs are interesting on the Hero level, Kitsune can eventually grow nine tails and stand toe-to-toe with Demigods, while certain Strange Folk can reach the levels of divinity, or even beyond that...
SCION JUMPSTART Part of our goal here is to provide not just an example of how to use the system and easy new players into it, but to provide a roadmap to Storyguides on how a tale of Scion usually progresses. We're tailoring a murder mystery from the Gen Con test scenario we've been using since the beta and stretching it out to show off tactical options, Storyguiding advice, and different options for individual Scions. One really memorable example from the scenario I ran involved a player trying to use Death to simply summon the ghost of the deceased to ask who killed her, only for it to not work because the deceased was of the Egyptian pantheon and her soul was currently split into multiple parts. No matter, the player said - I'll summon other nearby ghosts who aren't split into fives and ask them what happened. It was clever, and I'm never going to say no to clever at the table, so it's getting a sidebar.
Next month we're hoping to have a few more substantive (and colorful) updates. Stay tunes, keep believing, and post on the forums!
Hero text in your BackerKit!
about 1 year ago
– Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 12:24:45 AM
Greetings, true believers! Email links to the Hero text pre-layout have been sent. Check your spam folders or just log in to BackerKit if you don’t see them.
Feel free to discuss the book on our Scion forums! Ask for clarification and discuss errata if you like, or ask me questions. Next update I’ll talk about book progress and future products.
Link to forums: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/main-category/main-forum/scion
Text Updates, Manitou, and Trinity
over 1 year ago
– Mon, Feb 05, 2018 at 06:42:01 PM
Greetings, true believers!
Thanks to everyone who downloaded and has read through the Origin core rules. Hero is now pretty deep in editing, and it looks like our intrepid editor, Dixie Cochran, is making tremendous progress. I'm hoping to have the complete text of Hero in your hands long before the month is out!
I've been seeing a lot of people comment on accidental text artifacts and some things that need clarification (Defense, etc.), with Trinity's text coming out in that separate Kickstarter. In general, what happened was this: Scion's system and text was built from the original Storypath system (Codename: Sardonyx, if you've been following the blog posts on theonyxpath.com for a while). The Trinity authors took that original text - a Frankenstein-ish monster of playtest documents and different resources - and created a holistic draft out of it. Scion's own text was re-adapted from that one after I saw the mechanical improvements that Team Trinity had made (and there were a lot), and we refined that with further playtest feedback from both Scion and Trinity running concurrently.
So if there's an errant Skill in there or an old Attribute name or you're not sure how many dots Connections get when you invoke them, that's why. However, let me assure you all: we read every thread and every comment even if we're not replying, and I've gone back over the document for the most egregious errors and clarifications and corrected them before it heads off to layout (...today, in fact). Thanks to everyone who has pointed something out, but that's the way of these things - a few thousand eyes are always going to see more things than my two.
It's a systemic process, and we're about transparency here. The only other alternative explanation would require me to admit that Danielle Lauzon, the Trinity mechanical developer, is a superior developer to me. And, as that is manifestly untrue, I cannot admit it. I will not admit it. Nope.
This month we're previewing the Manitou, number nine of the pantheons. They were extremely tricky, and we worked pretty hard to come up with a version we think everyone will enjoy. Here's the link:
And speaking of Trinity, that Kickstarter is going on now, and you can see what the Storypath System looks like in a different action-adventure and sci-fi lens! The Trinity Continuum is a vast timeline of adventure, speckled with dramatic points across the past, present, and future, where heroes - or villains - arise. Our modern world is fraught with danger, from the products of mad science and corporate greed to the perils of lost civilizations. Fortunately, as many of the Talented will tell you, danger is their middle name, and the Æon Society is here to help them put things to right. The only constant in the world is change, and that's where you come in. Here's the link to that:
Until next time! Next update will be Hero's text and a general book update.
Scion: Text Complete and Release Updates
over 1 year ago
– Fri, Dec 29, 2017 at 12:22:25 AM
Hello, true believers! Happy holidays.
Neall writing here, with an update I'm finally proud to announce: Scions Origin and Hero are fully text-complete. Origin has been in editing, and Hero is in Rich's hands for approval (and then, hopefully, swiftly on to editing).
Once the books come back from editing, I'll be going over them in a final development pass to address the editor's concerns and any lingering issues ("Whoops! We forgot to talk about ichor!" "Oh, this section really should come before that one."). The moment I'm finished with my development pass, we'll be providing you with links to the finished text, with the fully laid-out versions coming and being delivered as they're completed. I realize the text has taken longer than promised for a variety of reasons, including systems improvements by Team Trinity, research issues, and backer feedback (like Kali, for example). The gist of it is that I don't want you - the backers - to wait any longer to play, so you'll get the text very early. This isn't usually what we do, but that we're making an exception for this situation and in recognition of everyone's patience and support.
I'll be making another substantial update with the Manitou just after the New Year, but for now, here's Santa Claus as a parent for your Scions. Perhaps, nine months and some decades ago, he left a present somewhere other than under the tree...?
Aliases: Saint Nikolai of Mozhaisk
One day, a people called to a God in the hills of what would one day be Russia. He did not know his name, but the people did, and once they called he knew what and who he was. He fought for his people as new Gods crossed into his territory, both he and his city becoming the symbolic gate to the capital of the Rus.
Mikola Mozhaiski is a mantle of Saint Nicholas, an Incarnate Scion who claimed the power of his progenitor. A warrior-hero, Mikola took a hard line against the invading Tengri Scions who invaded Mozhaysk during the 14th Century. His Incarnations in the modern World tend to be far more low-key, however: a farmer working on formerly collectivized land, a guard clacking his boots on the stones of Moscow, the cheerful weatherman, and the occasional toymaker.
Scions of Mikola occasionally inherit their father's tempestuous and warlike nature, but more often his generous and gregarious nature shines through. His one demand is that his Scions never forget the common folk, especially children.
Purviews: Epic Strength, Fertility, Frost, Prosperity, Sky
Short Update and Onyx Path @ PAX Unplugged
over 1 year ago
– Sun, Nov 19, 2017 at 12:55:07 AM
Greetings, true believers -
This is Neall with a short update from PAX Unplugged, where we're running full demos of a Scion scenario "A Light Extinguished", written by Monica Speca. If you're at the convention, stop by and say hello - myself and Scion writer/Changeling co-developer Meghan Fitzgerald are manning the demo booth pretty much dead center between the retail shop area and the expanse of game tables.
"Someone has killed the Bai Amari, the Luminary, a well-respected and beloved Scion of Ra on the cusp of becoming a true demigod. A woman as gracious as Bai didn't have many enemies, so who would want such a thing. Further, who could muster enough power to end a powerful Scion with little warning and even less of a fight? The Netjer are in an uproar, demanding blood. They wonder: Is this a declaration of war? A mortal detective investigating the murder on a mundane level reaches out to the player band - whomever murdered the Luminary did so on a level beyond mortality, and her death must be solved and avenged before agents of the Gods rip the city apart."
As a quick update for those who don't read the Monday Meeting notes at theonyxpath.com, Scion: Origins is text-complete and Scion: Hero will shortly be under review by Rich. Expect a full update the moment those reviews are complete. The review process mostly entails senior Onyx Path personnel going over the text with about a half-century's worth of game design experience, pointing out elements of unclear writing, setting and system artifacts from a long development cycle, or recommendations for the book such as pregenerated characters as examples (thankfully, we have a long-time set of characters who have served us well over many playtest iterations, and I'm happy to give them primetime status on short notice. Sigrún Askrdöttir, carved from a living ash tree in Vanaheim by Loki’s own hand, this is your time to shine). Once we're text-complete and approved on both books, they go straight into the editing process.
When I get back from PAX and recover from the inevitable con crud later this week, I'll post a link to the Manitou, third-to-last of the previewed pantheons, and reflect on some of the system changes from open development and the Myth Level for running your games in the genre you want them to be in. If you're at the con, feel free to stop by and ask me anything about Scion, or just get in on a Scion game!