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Scion: The Long Night - [Scion] The Long Night (Interest Check / Discussion)


Hyoseph
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Sometime at the beginning of the 21st Century, the World ended. The Overworld caught fire as Fate brought the Aesir Pantheon center stage for Ragnarok. As the climactic events that had been foretold long before played out largely as they were meant, the World suffered for it. The vast majority of the World’s population had little to no clue what was happening. All they knew was that comets were striking the Earth, the global climate was fluctuating drastically, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, firestorms, and all manner of natural disasters as well as more than a few man made ones wracked the human race. All of this was brought to a head when a second sun, the titan Muspelheim, fiery and angry, appeared in the sky and the miles high, black iron giant Surtr appeared alongside what were unquestionably Gods. The battle they had tore the landscape apart until finally the Gods prevailed. Muspelheim’s hate and anger was exhausted in the conflict and the World was not made to feel the searing inferno of the Titan of Fire. Instead it simply settled in the sky, a new addition to the World’s sky. A reshaped, deformed, devastated, and utterly transformed World, but the World all the same.

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That was centuries ago.

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Not quite forced to start over, as Muspelheim had not bathed the Earth in its final cleansing inferno, the people of the World rebuilt. It took time and there was no small amount of adjusting that had to take place. Nations as they were known before were no more, replaced by new societies. Cultures experienced an unheard level of spiritual revival. The Divine, the Legendary, the Mythological, these things were unquestionably, undeniably, real. Decisively real, without any need for Faith or Belief. And where there were Gods, there were also Monsters. Humanity recovered, civilization lives on, but the World has been changed forever.

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To The Players

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As most of you know, Scion is a game about the children of the Gods, and in that aspect, this game is no different. The World prior to the Twilight of the Gods was the domain of the Old Gods. This World is not theirs and the oldest and the wisest of the Pantheons know this. Their time is coming to an end, with the new World Fated to be defined by the actions of the New Gods. As they become aware of their Fated ends, some will go quietly, others will go loudly. Some will work to dodge the machinations of Fate and campaign for their own continued existence and relevance, others already have. As players, you will be portraying some of the New Gods. Not alone by any stretch of the imagination in their divine pedigrees, Fate itself conspires to ensure that they live “in interesting times” and whether the World is better or worse for their being in it is beyond the ken of any Oracle to perceive.

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The printed Pantheons are largely freely available so long as the below factors are taken into account.

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The Setting

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Nations and States as we know them are no more. Continental nations and “melting pot” societies are a thing of the past. In their place are territories more akin to medieval fiefdoms and holdings than anything else. Drawn and maintained by those who can, universally reflecting the beliefs and paradigms of the dominant belief there. Culturally, humanity is more united and cohesive than they have ever been since the first time of legends. Faith, belief, spiritual conviction, these things are no longer necessary to know that Gods and Goddesses are real. Myth and Legend are no longer stories told to give meaning to phenomena and to propagate culture. They are stories told to ensure that those who hear them know what to expect. Divine mandate can be confirmed and verified to come from the divine. For much the same reason, humanity as a species is more divided than they ever were.

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The Twilight of the Gods brought Legend flooding back to the World, and with it creatures and “monsters” of old (and more than a few new ones). “There Be Monsters” has been given a whole new meaning. Fortunately, in this new Legend rich environment, the Gods and other Legendary Immortals have been more active as well. Heroes and Villains, Champions and Marauders. Beings whose natures are larger than life, whose very existence heralds interesting times roam the World. Not all are fated to become Gods, or even Demigods. More than a few of them lack the divine pedigree to even have a chance at it. However, all have the potential to become truly legendary and none can help but change the world around them in the process.

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As a species, humanity largely has forgotten Ragnarok. At least, they have forgotten the details behind it. With *very* few exceptions, humans remember a horrific time where the World lashed out and did its very best to destroy them and that Heroes and Champions arose from among them to stand against it and “cancel the apocalypse”. The details, being the legends and stories surrounding Ragnarok, what it was, etc.

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To summarize as succinctly as possible, the World design is best described as a High Fantasy design of society and cultural division with modern technology and the very real possibility that a bona fide Legend could arrive at any moment.

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The Aesir

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The Pantheons as described in the books (Hero/Demigod/God, Companion) are largely unchanged with one MAJOR exception: The Aesir. More specifically, Odin.

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IMPORTANT NOTE – Unless told otherwise, this is how characters perceive the Aesir. From the PC perspective, ICly, this is not a “change”, this is simply how things are and have been.

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Reykjavik, Iceland is a place that only fools and the doomed go. The Aesir, ruled over by a cunning and merciless All-Father, have claimed this area as their own, to the point that Odin himself rather frequently comes to the World in all of his divine glory at this place. These Dark Aesir are an implacable, relentless scourge against all who stand against them. Embodying the worst aspects of their culture, these unholy pirates set out from their frozen stronghold of wood and bone, take what they want, and set the rest ablaze.

There has been talk about taking a stand against the Aesir and at the very least pushing them from their stronghold, but such talk is all but universally met with the contention that these are the Aesir that are being talked about. Piracy, War, Conflict, and Death are what they do and individuals aside, there are few, if any, that do it better.

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This is not to say that Odin and his dark army are the only representation of Asgard, a contingent of warriors, skalds, and scholars who still keep to the “Old Ways” as they call them, does exist. Beowulf, the literal God of Heroes, counted with the Aesir but not as one of them, as well as a few other lesser known Legends wages a guerilla war against their darkness. Calling themselves the “Vanir” more out of recognition of the name rather than any real linkage to the true Vanir, they seek out Aesir scions in hopes of catching them and spiriting them away before their Divine parents can come calling.

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As a Vanir Scion, whether born among them or taken away by them, life is never easy. Those born Vanir grow up as militants, constantly moving, constantly planning their next attack or their next escape strategy for the inevitable time when the next move in their continuing shadow war with the All Father happens. Those born Aesir almost always have their conceptions marked by mind numbing terror and horrific violations committed by their sires. Suffice to say that this does not lead to the healthiest of childhoods. And when these children of broken homes are taken off to war, it is, for all that it is worth, an improvement.

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As PC’s, Dark Aesir are not available, but Vanir are. For those who wish to be his Scion, Beowulf personally is detailed in Scion: Ragnarok. I am largely leaving the major affiliations of the Aesir and the Vanir open with a few exceptions.

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Dark Aesir – Odin, Vidar, Hel, Loki, Thor, Heimdall

Vanir – Beowulf, Sif, Tyr

Neutral – Frigg

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Scions of the defined Dark Aesir should work with the ST to determine whether or not their origin is an abduction story or some other series of events that resulted in their not being brought into the Dark Aesir. Frigg, the Former Queen of Asgard refuses to get involved in the war between the Aesir and the Vanir. Her Scions are free to choose whichever side they will and while she is willing to help them survive, she refuses to lend aid to efforts to bring harm to any other member of the Pantheon.

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Confirmed Interested Players So Far...

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Dave / Revenant

Gabe / Jeremy

Tommy / Tommy

Justin / Long

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I have spoken briefly with SalmonMax and Abyss about the game but nothing concrete yet.

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Things Still Up In The Air Pending Player Discussion

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Starting Legend -- I personally think that Scion is at its best at the "High Hero" and "Low Demigod" level, given the balance between character power and vulnerability but I'm not going to be the one playing these characters so I leave it to you.

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Regarding Mechanics And House Rules

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While the themes and flavor of Scion is amazing and it has a level of potential most games simply don't have, there is a glaring issue with the game. It's mechanics. When you break the system down to its crunchy bits, Scion looks a lot like the workings of a group of mentally handicapped drunken monkeys. As such, at any given time, I reserve the right to house rule, alter, remove, add, pretty much do anything up to and possibly including completely rewriting any mechanics in the game for the good of the story. Characters and players who are affected by these changes will be compensated and/or allowed to alter characters accordingly if desired, but fact is Scion is a mechanics minefield and since there's no way to catch every single broken thing, it's much simpler (I think) to catch and modify as we go.

Feel free to disagree in the thread below and we can discuss it further.

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Other Subjects That Come Up

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"High Hero" amounts to being building as per standard Hero Creation, then adding Legend and Bonus Points. Characters would start at a baseline of 4 Legend instead of 2, 20 Bonus Points, with an additional 3 points available if the characters come up with a cool story about how their Legend went from 2-3, and 3 points available if the characters come up with a cool story about how their Legend went from 3-4.

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Low Demigod is based on the Companion book. Really it's a question of how powerful starting characters want to be and whether we want to focus on being Heroes First, Divinities Second, or the other way around.

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1: Definately awesome.

2: Not sure on a name yet, but defiantely Amatsukami. Daughter of Raiden to be exact.

3: We'll need to talk on character construction, but a traveling/adventuring genius sounds cool.

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Addendum: There may be some changes.

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Some Notes About Setting Details

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For the record, I have not drawn up a map of what is where in the World. It is hard to imagine that the devastation caused by the forces of nature revolting did not at the very least redraw a few coastlines. The general thought is that the Cultural Centers (India, Japan, Iran, the Midwestern US, Greece, China, Haiti, Egypt, the Amazon, and the rest) are largely the same geographically as they were. Primarily because these are the seats of power for the various Pantheons and when the End happened, they braced for impact and rode out the storm.

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Similarly, the pantheons outside of the Aesir and the changes made to them are, to date, largely not detailed. This does not mean that they are any "less important" than the others. To be perfectly honest, the most important Pantheons involved in the game setting are the ones being represented by the players. The Aesir got the breakdown based solely on the radical difference between the Aesir as presented in the Scion Core Set and the way they are in this setting.

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The level of detail (or, more accurately, lack of detail) is largely intentional and I point to my *other* favorite game, Exalted, as an example. When that game began, it consisted of a giant island the size of Russia, an Evil Empire™ on that Island, a big-assed ocean, and a landscape a few times the size of Eurasia surrounding it with some dots on it to mark out cities. This was no done to say that there was literally nothing between these cities, that the several thousand mile stretches of "Green map" but to give the players and storytellers of the game some space to fill in. Over time and over books, that world got smaller and more defined, and the sense of wonder and exploration was lost. When the players knew not only the name and identity of the Secret Ruler of Hiddentown, but also who his friends were, what they were up to, everything about him down to his shoe size and exact skill set, that killed it. Exalted had become mundane, boring, defined. Nothing left to find, it was all found. I'm not going to do that in this setting.

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World building, especially in a game as open world and limitless in potential as Scion is a collaborative effort between ST and players. I want people to play to their strengths and their interests. What would be cool? As players, what is interesting? Similarly, what would best fit the story as it's being told? If for some reason it becomes most beneficial to have an undead plagueland near where the PCs are (let's say someone wants to get a Trophy / Birthright to access their Death Boons) it's easy to just drop one in wherever it would be most beneficial. If that area has already been defined and detailed at the start, then the mystery is gone, the exploration is already done. Wondrous and adventuresome becomes rote and routine. "Oh? God-King's Fangs? I'll just go over here and kick over some rocks. They'll wake right up. Be sure to bring your Mummy Rot Vaccine! Silly Egyptians"

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Anyways, that's my rambling take on definition and a brief explanation to those who worry that their favorite thing (whatever it is) is just going to be ignored because it didn't get addressed early on. :).

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To the players, if you have something that you want to see in the game, poke me about it. Additionally, if you have some ideas of how it could work and how it could fit into your story, let me know. I'm generally accommodating. :) ((Besides, it helps you to know what your character would know about your history if you help design the places where it all happened ))

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Well, whatcha know, figured a name, now to get this all put together. Let's roll, gang! Legends aren't interesting if it's all you chilling out in your bed! Also as I don't know anything about how legend works... I'm okay with defaults.

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Addendum: Actually I'm with Jeremy here, as long as I get some help here and there when necessary.

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Note: This is Tommy OOC.

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Ok, so given the response, I'm going to say there is a solid interest in the game, which is good :)

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At this point I'm going to have to close Recruitment. Unfortunately, in a ST driven game I can only have so many people so thanks to everyone for your interest.

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Pending someone on the list dropping out, the player lineup consists of:

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Long, Revenant, Tommy, Jeremy, SalmonMax

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To the others, don't worry overmuch. If the interest is maintained and the game goes well, you can bet there will be more coming.
I am of the mind that once effort and energy has been put into creating a setting, it is a crime to just let it die after one game.

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There's even been some talk about doing a sort of Origin story based on the rise from Zero to Hero for those who don't have a Divine pedigree to draw from, only their own personal legend.

We'll see what happens later.

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Thanks :)

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I plan on making a Scion of Sif. Dumb as a brick and able to fight and do other stuff. She will be plucky comic relief. This character is dependent on the gender ratio... if everyone ends up playing female PCs (which happens more often than not) than I'll switch to a male PC.

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Some of the cat got let out of the bag last night, but Youko will be a courier pilot out of a settlement that resides at what once was Haneda Airport, although she has helped in maintaining the fishing fleet that also operates in the area which helps feed Tokyo, and has defended the settlement a couple times helping keep the settlement and the waters around it safe. I have to work out the particulars, but She has been around and seen some strange stuff up to the point the game starts. She's a bit reckless, but that comes with the job.

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As for Attitude, think a Female Maverick, and you got the concept.

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Hyo, not to trounce on your plans or anything but if you failed to mention a god, I've assumed that they either dead or missing since Ragnarok. I my case Heimdall and Freya are mentioned in my write up, Freya as missing and Heimdall as 'away brooding' as he is one of The Dark.

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Also, just an idea... Hel isn't likely to 'go dark'. She's to bitter and spiteful to the point that even pure evil is to blase for her. I'm only putting in my two cents, but it's very likely she'd remain neutral, like Frigg. Sure, she's a complete bitch, but she's also practically untouchable because no one would dare venture into her realm. She'd also be a good means by which the characters could learn what gods (Aesir or not) are still alive but in hiding. What I'm saying is, she'd be better used as a tool instead of an enemy.

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Also, what of Mjolnir? While Marvel may be cheesy, it was partially accurate in that only those who exemplify the Aesir virtues would be worthy of wielding it, as it is their chief holy symbol. Has it been lost since Ragnarok?

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Heimdall / Freya -- Generally if the Aesir are unmentioned they are open to player manipulation via backstory to determine where they're at. I saw the write-up and I'm generally a-ok with it.

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Re: Hel - Hel is a strange case. She's considered to be Dark at this point because that is the only way that most folks can rationalize having resurrected Thor as a dark god and Loki at all, given their previously rocky relationship. Fact is that not many people can get close enough to her to ask. (And those few that do, she's hardly inclined to answer)

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Re: Mjolnir - Thor has a hammer which appears to be a twisted version of Mjolnir which he wields with deadly proficiency. At the same time, what it takes to be worthy of the weapon has not changed. Feel free to extrapolate from there :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, kids, at this point we have a solid baseline of what folks are going to be playing.

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Long - Alaric, the Hunter - Scion of Beowulf (Aesir)

SalmonMax - Eilessa - Scion of Hermes (Dodekathon)

Jeremy - Jaden Shea, Punk of the West - Scion of Nezha (Celestial Bureaucracy)

Tommy - Youko Inoue - Scion of Raiden (Amatsukami)

Revenant - Swara-Ann Osbourne, the Warrior Princess - Scion of Sif (Aesir)

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At this point I would like to ask that players, if you have not already, place something in the Character Thread so that the other PC's have some idea of what they're interacting with and possibly set up loose (or not so loose) ties with each other.

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Initially, the game will be starting in a location that is geographically in the Coastal American Southwest. (remember, there is no formal USA) The game will start with the characters coming together in a town called New Tombstone. A cowboy town in every sense of the word, it is considered a neutral ground by most Legendary factions, it has built a reputation as a place where the Children of the Gods and some of the more "civil" creatures of Legend can associate on relatively neutral ground where alcohol tolerance, capacity for storytelling, and "grit" are more important than political affiliation. This does not mean that all such encounters are peaceful, far from it. It only means that such beings need to find reasons other that opposing sides in a conflict to fight. Generally not a difficult thing to do, but necessary if one wishes to avoid drawing the ire of the town's Marshall, Red "Carnegie" Hall.

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Those gods that have the time or inclination to arrive, yes. At God level and above, they both are technically welcome, there is just a bit of an unspoken rule among the Light and the Dark that says that they don't show up at the same time. (Townspeople just got tired of cleaning up the mess). To date, no God, Light or Dark, has fully manifested in New Tombstone

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Legend 8 and below are a bit trickier and relations are a bit more volatile. The general rule at that point is co-occupation of a space is possible, though it is considered bad form to make up a flimsy excuse and pick a fight with the "wayward" cousins. The powers that be don't really care if they interact, or even if those interactions are friendly, but fighting 'just because' is generally a way to get some bad attention from the law.

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New Tombstone is a place that literally anybody can go to, it's just that most "normal" folks don't go there unless they live there. It's a lot like going to Nassau (when it was still a pirate town) unarmed and wearing your money in bright shiny pouches.

Also, quick poll of the players and this will remain active until all of the players chime in.

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Band or Not Band?

i.e. Do we want to start out already in a group or meeting (in person, at least, Legend 4 means someone's likely heard of you) for the first time?

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