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Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

They probably didn’t know about it, they have their own stuff to worry about.

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Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





Kavak posted:

If they care enough to give humans the solution is there a reason the Mi-Go can't fix their own poo poo?
They got things to do, man! You think your average mi-go in the street is just some lazy flying brain shrimp here to do all your work for you? They've got places to go, exotic ores to mine, brains to extract, horrid spawning death rites to perform. Take some personal responsibility.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






I love that the skinless one just kind of stands there politely coughing and doing his best to hint as to what needs to be done to complete the ritual properly.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



Kavak posted:

If they care enough to give humans the solution is there a reason the Mi-Go can't fix their own poo poo?
Oh the Mi-Go flat don't care, the only thing they care about is that they were bothered while they were doing other poo poo and that the people bothering them are actually valid to. Like if the PCs don't articulate the problem well enough, the Mi-Go will tell them to gently caress off and never respond to any further spells and they'll continue doing their own poo poo.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


It's not a binary state. The Mi-Go care, they just don't care that much. They're at least sending weapons and not just their thoughts & prayers.

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me



Bring the release valve mechanics from Patrol into CoC: Torch a village to feel more like you are in control.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




marshmallow creep posted:

Bring the release valve mechanics from Patrol into CoC: Torch a village to feel more like you are in control.

The military intervention in Innsmouth was one big release valve.

Deptfordx
Dec 23, 2013



I just want to say Down with People that I greatly enjoyed your Horrient write-up and I am grateful for the time and effort you spent, especially with such frequent updates.

Down With People
Oct 31, 2012

The child delights in violence.


Cannibal Smiley posted:

Also, I'm Darren MacLennan, the guy mentioned who wrote the review for the first edition of the Horror on the Orient Express that got referenced here and there in this highly entertaining summary.

I'm glad you're enjoying it! I like binge-read all of your reviews back when I was a teenager and they were greatly influential to my kind of writing style that I use for critique.

Also, thanks for the kind words everyone. Horrient isn't quite over yet, we've still got four scenarios left to go, starting with the 1893 scenario The Blood Red Fez.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

That was an interesting scenario but I just couldn't get over the fact that it's all about a magic fez, and the book doesn't really seem to grasp that the reader is going to find the concept of the fez inherently ridiculous.

RiotGearEpsilon
Jun 26, 2005
SHAVE ME FROM MY SHELF

Rand Brittain posted:

That was an interesting scenario but I just couldn't get over the fact that it's all about a magic fez, and the book doesn't really seem to grasp that the reader is going to find the concept of the fez inherently ridiculous.

What's ridiculous about a magic hat? Edit: Never mind I just heard myself say 'magic hat' out loud

Tibalt
May 14, 2017


RiotGearEpsilon posted:

What's ridiculous about a magic hat? Edit: Never mind I just heard myself say 'magic hat' out loud
The pile of snow becomes ambulatory and begins shouting incoherently. Lose 1/1d4 SAN.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Tibalt posted:

The pile of snow becomes ambulatory and begins shouting incoherently. Lose 1/1d4 SAN.

That took me a second.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






There must have been some mythos in that old red fez they found
For when they put it on his head he let loose an evil sound

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Do I need a title?

marshmallow creep posted:

Bring the release valve mechanics from Patrol into CoC: Torch a village to feel more like you are in control.

When The Fall of Delta Green comes out I really want to see if it mixes well with PATROL.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



Frosty the Shoggoth
Now lives happy and lives free
At the southern pole where he struts and strolls
Safe from Elder tyranny

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



Kurieg posted:

There must have been some mythos in that old red fez they found
For when they put it on his head he let loose an evil sound



Hostile V posted:

Frosty the Shoggoth
Now lives happy and lives free
At the southern pole where he struts and strolls
Safe from Elder tyranny

why the gently caress haven't the HP Lovecraft society done this one yet

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case




you must meet this evil head on and confront it face to fez

Desiden
Mar 13, 2016

Mindless self indulgence is SRS BIZNS


Comrade Gorbash posted:

It's not a binary state. The Mi-Go care, they just don't care that much. They're at least sending weapons and not just their thoughts & prayers.

Alien mushroom crustaceans that put human brains in jars for annoying them are more helpful to humanity against spree killers than our elected officials.

Yep, it sure is 2018.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


I mean the Mi-Go are weird fungus things from another planet who worship Azathoth but they're just alien not evil. If you encountered them and were just chill they'd probably leave you alone or take a break and hit the Space Mead with you.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy

DAD LOST MY IPOD posted:

you must meet this evil head on and confront it face to fez

dehumanize yourself and fez to bloodshed

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012







Part 4: The Rest of the Book

Prestige Classes!
I'm gonna be honest here, they're not good. The Martial Adept classes are finely tuned engines that work very well with the tools they possess, but since they all get strikes and stances at different rates, and from different pools, the prestige classes have to break that somewhat. At specific levels within the different Prestige Classes you'll just learn a move from one of that prestige class' schools. At specific levels you'll get an extra readied maneuver (and if you're a crusader, an extra granted maneuver), and for some classes you'll sometimes get extra stances. A lot of the abilities in here require you to expend a maneuver to power them, and the prestige class specific stances require you to be in a stance of another discipline, and you supplant it's benefits with the ones from the stance.

"But Kurieg," I hear you asking, "How do they work if you don't have martial adept levels and instead cheated your way in with feats." The answer is like a car wreck. You get extra moves but you can't ready them except with the extra slots the prestige class gives you and you can't recharge them in any fashion whatsoever, even if you subsequently get martial adept levels. Which, considering the prestige class abilities trigger based on your Manuvers, isn't good. Save everyone the headache and take a 1 level dip in Swordsage or something.


Bloodclaw Master
The Tiger Claw prestige class, in fact you gain the ability to shift like an Eberron shifter (Razorclaw, naturally) You eventually gain the ability to Pounce and Rend, but they require you to expend tiger claw maneuvers to get them to function. This is only a 5 level Prestige Class so honestly this seems like a good prestige class for a Longtooth Shifter Warblade to go into before he transitions into the Weretouched Master to complete his ascendance into a murderous deathball.


Bloodstorm Blade
The Iron Heart prestige class, which bizarrely is based all around chucking your weapon at your enemies. You can expend maneuvers to give your weapon the returning ability, but by 4th level it just automatically bounces back to you so you can make full attacks with a single weapon mixing melee and thrown strikes. Beyond that you can spend your swift action to treat all your ranged attacks like melee attacks (So you don't need Dex). And you can use Iron Heart maneuvers at range. And you can attack everyone within 30 feet of you at once, and make them bleed. Like this is actually a very good class that fills a niche that no one thought they needed filled. By 6th level you're suddenly an Exalted PC Using Heavenly Thrown Fullblade Mantra or something like that.


Deepstone Sentinel
The.. Stone Dragon prestige class? Kind of? More specifically it's "The Dwarf Prestige Class" that specializes almost exclusively in stone dragon poo poo. Also it's another 5 level Class. That said the abilities you do get are somewhat thematic. The main thrust of this class is the Mountain Fortress Stance, which puts you on top of a 5 foot pillar surrounded by difficult terrain. The pillar moves with you but if you move more than 5 feet in a round it disappears. You can end the stance and charge down the collapsing tower to smash into someone and deal extra damage. You can also curse someone with stone which causes them to slow down, summon 10 foot pillars of earth, or cause a localized earthquake. Other than the fact that it's basically worthless if you aren't in an area with a stone/earth floor, and highly specialized to work in underground tunnels (You're meant to create a literal wall that prevents people from doing anything but funneling towards you) I like it, it's thematic.


Eternal Blade
The uhh, elf prestige class? Though it's also sort of the "Diamond Mind" Prestige class though you can also gain access to it with devoted spirit maneuvers. But it's strictly an elf only club, not even half elves may apply.
The Gimmick/Story of the class is that they're actually a super ancient order that used to serve Corellon Larethian directly, but they grew haughty and aloof and fell out of favor and people stopped answering the call. And I mean that rather literally, the spirits of the ancient Blades visit prospective members and manifest as tangible trainers. In fact they also drill them in their sleep, letting them gain access to feats and manuvers that they shouldn't otherwise have. They get some other abilities that are mostly defensive in nature cause they've got an elf spirit on their shoulder watching out for them, but at level 10 once per encounter they can just go "Oh hey I'm taking an extra turn right the hell now." and take an extra turn, then proceed to have their turn again normally at their normal initiative position. It's neat, but gimmicky, and I'm not sure it's worth the 10 level investment.


Jade Phoenix Mage
Sort of the Desert Wind class but definitely the arcane caster gish class. You need a strike and a stance to get into it but it can be any strike and stance, you also need to be non-evil, have 2nd level arcane spells, and have concentration 9 so they're basically saying "Go 5 levels in wizard or sorcerer, take a one level dip in something, then go into this." because the feat investment to make this function without adept levels would be kind of absurd for a caster to even pull off.

You can learn new manuevers as you level up from the Desert Wind or Devote Spirit disciplines, but most of their abilities are focused towards casting. They get a special stance that gives them a caster level boost and +2 dodge to AC, and they can expend a spell slot going into it to get DR/Evil. They also get another stance that increases their caster level but only for fire spells. There's some other abilities that let you empower/quicken spells once per encounter after you hit with a strike, or expend a spell to empower a strike. The Capstone ability is that once per week you can just loving explode, dealing 20d6 damage to every enemy in a 20 foot radius, and re-appearing 1d6 rounds later completely healed of everything with all the stuff you were carrying.

It's not the worst Arcane+<WHATEVER THIS BOOK IS ABOUT> Class i've ever seen, but that doesn't mean it's good.


Master of Nine
It's bad.

quote:

Entry Requirements
Skills: 10 ranks in four key discipline skills.
Feats: Adaptive Style, Dodge, Blind-Fight, Improved
Initiative, Improved Unarmed Strike.
Martial Maneuvers: Must know at least one maneuver from
six different disciplines.
You learn a bunch of new maneuvers from any of the 9 disciplines, and gain an extra readied maneuver at every level, but it's only a 5 level class. That's not really enough to get all the good maneuvers and stances that you would want, and because the assumed method of entry into this class is 7 levels of swordsage devoting every single one of your feats to the pre-requisites you don't really have the health or attack bonus to capitalize on the devoted spirit, white raven, or iron heart strikes. And the other class abilities aren't that great either. Just stay in your lane and ignore this class.


Ruby Knight Vindicator
The "Divine Caster+<THIS BOOK>" Prestige class, also the devoted spirit one. Also it's Wee Jas specific, though the game straight up said that this is hideously limiting and other lawful gods would also work(Hilariously, the example character is a Lawful Evil worshipper of St. Cuthbert), because this class lets you freely multiclass with Paladin! (also they don't want you getting Aura of Chaos) Though interesting enough you can learn Shadow Hand maneuvers and stances from this class.
Other than that the class features let you trade in rebuke attempts for readied maneuvers, extra swift actions, or to boost strikes. Also you gain the ability to ignore armor check penalties on Hide rolls but not move silently(??????????????????????). It's interesting but not superbly great.


Shadow Sun Ninja
Ugh. This is a Setting Sun/Shadow Hand/Monk prestige class, and is all about the balance of light and shadow. You use something "Shadowy" on one round so you can do something "light" on the next or vice versa. It sounds neat, but in practice it means that just the mechanics of this class take up four pages, and most of the abilities are hideously clunky and not worth it. For example let's just quote the capstone ability.

quote:

Balance of Light and Dark (Su): As a Shadow Sun ninja,
you strive to control your dark side, even as you use it to power
your martial arts. Sometimes, particularly when you face a
truly daunting foe, you can allow your inner shadow to run
rampant. In such cases, you undergo a terrible transformation.
When you adopt this wrathful battle aspect, your foes
are doomed. Yet, each time you use this ability, you teeter
closer to damnation.
At 10th level, once per day as a swift action, you can
transform into a creature of pure darkness for 1 minute.
Your body and all items you carry when you
transform become a deep, inky black. You gain
immunity to critical hits, mind-affecting
abilities, death attacks, energy drain,
and poison. You also gain a +8 bonus
on Hide checks. Negative energy
attacks, such as inf lict spells, heal
rather than harm you. You gain a +4
bonus on attacks against creatures
in areas of darkness or
shadowy illumination.
In addition to these benefi
ts, with each successful
unarmed attack you make,
you can choose to bestow
one negative level on your
opponent. You heal 5 points
of damage for each negative level
you bestow. These negative levels
disappear in 1 hour.
If the subject has at least as
many negative levels as HD, it
dies. Each negative level gives
a creature a –1 penalty on attack
rolls, saving throws, skill
checks, ability checks, and effective
level (for determining
the power, duration, DC, and
other details of spells or special
abilities). Additionally, a spellcaster
loses one spell or spell slot
from her highest available level.
Negative levels stack.
At the end of your transformation, you take 1 point of
Constitution damage per negative level you bestowed. If
this damage drops your Constitution to 0 or lower, your
body dissipates into an inky cloud. Unless you are restored
to life by true resurrection, you rise in 1d4 days as a vampire.
Your alignment becomes evil, though your alignment on the
law–chaos axis remains the same. You are now a dedicated
champion of evil and an NPC. You retain access to all your
abilities in this prestige class and lack a normal vampire’s
vulnerability to sunlight. Your vampiric body forms in the
spot where your mortal form perished.
Legend holds that the souls of Shadow Sun ninjas who are
corrupted in this manner are imprisoned within the Iron
City of Dis, Dispater’s capital within the depths of Hell. A
successful quest to free the soul from its prison cell destroys
the vampire and restores the Shadow Sun ninja to life. Legend
holds that several mighty Shadow Sun heroes languish within
Dispater’s prison, waiting to be freed.
Imagine 9 other levels full of abilities like this one.



The Nine Swords
The next chapter includes the rules for the titular nine swords. Which are nine magic weapons that each embody one of the nine disciplines. In the lore they're the 9 swords that Reshar gathered before he created the Monastery where he trained people in the nine disciplines.

Also I was sort of fibbing earlier when I said they were magic weapons. They are in fact WEAPONS OF LEGACY!!!
The short version of Weapons of Legacy is that they're predefined magic weapons that actually get more powerful, letting you keep one weapon throughout your entire adventuring career. However to keep this up, it inflicts penalties on you, in the form of penalties to your BAB, your saves, lost hit points, etc. And these don't go away if you lose the weapon for some reason. Also you need to undertake highly specific quests with rather expensive GP Costs (and expend the time, energy, and resources to meet the Knowledge check DCs to learn what these rituals entail) and most of the high level rituals are the kind of thing that you'd require 9th level spells to achieve/survive. Thankfully at least they all go up to level 20 so you aren't going to outgrow them like some of the weapons of legacy. (Yes, the designers expected you to give up 1 point of BAB and 10 hit points forever for a weapon you'd only use from levels 5-10. Weapons of Legacy is a bad book)

So unfortunately that means that they all suck and are not worth the investment to actually use them.

Which sucks because some of the backstories are kind of neat. I'll admit I stole one of them more or less verbatim for the backstory of my Warblade. But the time and energy it would take me to summarize/recount them all is just not really worth it in any fashion.

Magic Items!

Martial Scripts are Maneuver Scrolls, more or less. You need to be able to read the alphabet they're written in, not specifically the language (Dwarves can read scripts written in giant, as an example) if you can't then you need to make a martial lore check to read them. Once read you gain the ability to use that maneuver for one encounter. You can hold it in your memory for an hour, and once used you can recover it as usual, but it's gone after the encounter you use it in. They require the Scribe martial Script feat, and have an XP Cost to make, but... the most expensive martial script (a level 9 strike at initiator 20) only costs 900 gp, the xp cost of making one at that level is 36. At that point why even bother having one?

Aptitude Weapon Do you have Weapon Focus, Specialization, Or something like that? It applies to this weapon!

Martial Discipline Weapon it's a +1 bonus cost to give a wielder a +1 bonus on attack rolls if they know a maneuver of the chosen discipline, and a +3 bonus if they're actively using one. This counts Stances. So someone with a +5 Devoted Spirit Iron Heart Greatsword would have a +11 bonus to an attacks with adamantine whirlwind while in Aura of Chaos stance. If you used the remaining +3 bonus space to tack on additional disciplines you could pump that to +14
Why yes this is broken as poo poo why do you ask?

Crown of the White Ravens or Desert Wind Cloak or Devoted Spirit Amulet or Diamond Mind Ring etc etc etc. They give you a maneuver as long as you're wearing it for at least 24 hours, some of them are more useful than others which is why they occupy different body slots. It's rather fiddly to me and I'd rather just have a backpack full of Martial Scripts.

Nine Swords Monsters
Because of course there are monsters.


Naityan Rakshasa
Are actually sort of neat, because they play around with the design space of the game. They don't use maneuvers like players do, instead they have four "Style Shapes" that they can shapeshift into, that give them a bonus, a stance, and two maneuvers. Earth Serpent gives them +2 natural armor, the strength of stone stance, and the Mountain Hammer and Charging Minotaur strikes. Which is neat. Lorewise they're important because a Rakshasa stealing the Diamond Mind Weapon of Legacy is what brought about the Downfall of the Temple of Nine Swords. Somehow, the game doesn't elaborate.


Reth Dekala
Long ago a race of mortal warriors known as the Reh Dekala sold their souls to an infernal power in exchange for the ability to destroy all who opposed them. But in death their souls belonged to the devil, so once he had an appropriately sized army of immortal devil warriors he set them against their mortal descendants. They rebelled and killed the Devil before taking his place on the throne of Acheron.

This was also a very bad idea because with his dying breath the devil cursed the Reth Dekala to burn eternally with corrupt tormenting flames until their final decree is carried out and they kill every one of their mortal descendants. Except that was millennia ago and their descendants did a lot of loving in the meantime, so they sell their services to other evil races as mercenaries, capitalizing on the chance to kill their descendants if they find them.

And for all that really neat backstory they're just firey devils that happen to know some maneuvers and stances.


Valkyrie
Uhh... It's a not-angel with martial adept abilities.
Probably the only interesting thing about them is their outlook and behavior which is a little different than what you're probably expecting given Valkyries.

quote:

Fight Club (EL 14): Two valkyries took a wounded paladin
from a battle in which he single-handedly fought a group of
marauding trolls. Now one valkyrie guards the paladin as he
rests in a nearby cavern while the other valkyrie seeks another
opponent to fi ght. The guarding valkyrie refuses to give up the
paladin unless a PC is willing to enter into single combat with
her. The returning valkyrie immediately attacks when she sees
a battle, dropping her catch—the leader of the trolls—to battle
a PC. The valkyries attack the PCs using the tactics described
above, while the troll leader takes the opportunity to fi nish off
the paladin before turning on the PCs. Use the statistics for
the troll hunter (MM 247) for the troll leader. For the paladin,
use the statistics for the half-celestial 9th-level human paladin
(MM 145). The paladin is out of spells and has used his lay on
hands ability for the day, leaving him with 70 hit points.
They're CN, they just like fighting, they like it a lot. They like it so much. Come on dude why are you resting KEEP FIGHTING UNTIL YOU DIE!

And that's it, that's the BO9S. Keep the Martial Adept classes, and the maneuvers, because they're good, easily the best thing to come out of 3.5. Take or leave the prestige classes, leave the rest (except for that one weapon, if you hate your DM).

senrath
Nov 3, 2009

Look Professor, a destruct switch!




The Ruby Knight Vindicator is actually really powerful for one specific reason: They are the only way to get more Swift actions per turn, which is monstrously powerful with the right build. And it's not like you have to cripple yourself to get that ability, either.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



The text of Scion: Origin just dropped to backers last night, and I am going to deign to share with you mere non-backers the beauty of it all, so you'll be smart and go buy it when you can.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Scion: Origin: Believe Everything

Scion is a gae about playing the children of gods, destined to be heroes or demigods in their own right - or more. The power of divinity lies within them, and their ancient enemies, the Titans, stir in their ancient prisons, spawning monsters and mythic beasts that come to bring battle. Every story is true, every myth is real. The world looks like our own, but the old stories are told in whisper and omen. Your deeds are mythic and legendary, but the World, as Scion's...world...is called, is also very modern.

Scion is designed to fit into four core books. Origin, Hero, Demigod and God. Each is meant to define and expand the setting and some of the divine groups, and to follow the primary PC type, Scions, as they climb in power and Legend. Origin focuses on them when they're still largely human, before the Visitation of their divine patron that brings them into the world of heroes. They're exceptional, sure, blessed with luck or cursed with strange trials, but they're not much more powerful than any other human. Origin is meant to detail the setting and system, plus talk about the various weird poo poo that lives in the World.

Belief in the old gods is still strong in the World. They're still here. Monotheism never destroyed their religions to the extent they were in the real world, though some took it better than others. Cults and temples are still a smaller place in the world than prayer groups or churches, but they exist in large number and with greater acceptance than in our own world. Strange things persist in the cracks of society - satyr colonies in the Greek mountains, fighting with the Thessalian centaur herds for territory. Tengu living among the skyscrapers of Japan, doing business with a chosen few. Chromed bike-centaurs out in the American West, Amazons living alongside Valkyries and Dahomean warrior-women in New York.

Yes, you can still go to the library and read the old myths. They exist. They are manifest. In ancient times, the Gods were mroe direct in their actions, calling down miracles, for good and ill. The spawn of Titans lurked outside civilization, ready to devour mortals. Humans turned to Scions for protection, and Scions interceded with the gods for their mortal allies. They moved their parents with flattery, service and pity. Today, however, humanity has tamed most of the planet - and yet the Titans still stir in the prisons and unleash their titanspawn. Even now, mortal men cannot handle it. Only Scions are able to, and they are always ready to guard humanity.

The game's thematic focus is on relationships - Scions are in many ways bound and defined by their reliationships, with the gods and each other. They have their own stories, but also their stories about their relations - Thor is not just Thor, but ally to Tyr and Loki and Odin. It's also about modern myths, looking at the ways that myths deal with the culture and politics of their time. Scions are of ancient cultures but modern day, products of the modern world who must use old wisdom. Modernity and ancient mores clash, and how you deal with that is important. Some gods demand sacrifice - even human sacrifice, at times. Sometimes the ways of the ancient gods clash with your own morality. The Greek gods aren't exactly strangers to sexual assault, the Aztec gods demand blood. Some have changed. Some may not have. How do you confront that kind of thing?

In general, the goal of Scion is a mood of both heroism and reverence. Scions cannot help but be great, cannot be anything but heroes. They inspire others by their actions, inevitably. They are larger than life, both in their virtues and their flaws. Reverence is because...well, these are real faiths, some living and some dead. There is a gravitas to them, and treating the passion and grandeur of these stories with respect is critical. Scions feel things intensely, their emotions are deep and passionate, and their actions are grand.

Hero is going to present ten pantheons of Gods. (The book notes that the other gods are very annoyed that the Greek-derived 'pantheon' became the dominant term.) There are others, though, which may be presented in other supplements. Or you can make some up. Even in Origin, the common man finds the divine filtering into their lives. Some gods exist in multiple pantheons as well - they're broad entities, and while pantheons are culturally distinct, they do mix. (Yama is a death god for three different groups, they book notes, and is extremely busy.)

The Hero Pantheons are going to be:
  • Aesir: The Norse gods of Scandinavia, both warlike and agricultural, who prepare for the final battle that will end the World.
  • Deva: The Hindu and Vedic gods of India, powerful and ancient beings of immense pride and majesty.
  • Kami: The Japanese gods, deeply passionate but hiding their rivalries and emotions behind calm masks and subtlety.
  • Manitou: The native Algonquin gods, who have suffered form the diaspora of their people but who remain righteous.
  • Netjer: The Egyptian gods, eternal but changing, who watch over a people not truly their own now.
  • Orisha: The Yoruban gods of Africa who transformed themselves during the slave trade, and who also contain the sub-pantheon of the Loa of Voudoun.
  • Shen: The Chinese gods, immensely numerous and organized in the Celestial Bureaucracy.
  • Teotl: The Aztec gods of the Mexica, who sacrifice for their people and receive sacrifice in turn.
  • Theoi: The Greek and Roman gods, a noble line that is one immense family.
  • Tuatha de Danann: The Irish gods, fiercely honorable, passionately artistic and descended from refugees.
Other pantheons are noted to exist, like the Persian Yazatas (who hold many, many grudges), the Buddhist Palas (who are saints and devils, rather than gods), and the Nemetondevos, the Gallic gods whom a Theoi Scion largely destroyed.

Next time: The World - is it enough?

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Can a scion have a legendary Mosin-Nagant? Can you work your way up to lighting up titanspawn in a Mithril Mi-24?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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#1 Builder
2014-2018



JcDent posted:

Can a scion have a legendary Mosin-Nagant? Can you work your way up to lighting up titanspawn in a Mithril Mi-24?

Theoretically, you can get magic guns, yes. They're not super common, mainly because the gods tend to be stuck in their ways, but they exist.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




We're heading in to good place it seems.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






Mors Rattus posted:

Theoretically, you can get magic guns, yes. They're not super common, mainly because the gods tend to be stuck in their ways, but they exist.

I'm not sure if it changed from the Original Scion, but the gods are pretty okay with things as long as they're thematically relevant. The iconic Hero who was a Son of Thor had a absolutely massive revolver in place of Mjolnir and a Flying Pontiac GTO in place of his father's chariot.

I know for a fact that one of the form that Sky Ladders(from chinese mythology, prop them up against a wall and you can climb them up into heaven) can take are Batman style grapnel guns.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Kurieg posted:

I'm not sure if it changed from the Original Scion, but the gods are pretty okay with things as long as they're thematically relevant. The iconic Hero who was a Son of Thor had a absolutely massive revolver in place of Mjolnir and a Flying Pontiac GTO in place of his father's chariot.

I know for a fact that one of the form that Sky Ladders(from chinese mythology, prop them up against a wall and you can climb them up into heaven) can take are Batman style grapnel guns.

I don't think that's changed. That poo poo is just all in Hero, rather than Origin.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






Mors Rattus posted:

I don't think that's changed. That poo poo is just all in Hero, rather than Origin.

Yeah, I took a look through my PDF just in case but there aren't rules for Relics in this yet.

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

JcDent posted:

Can a scion have a legendary Mosin-Nagant? Can you work your way up to lighting up titanspawn in a Mithril Mi-24?

http://whitewolf.wikia.com/wiki/Allied#Soviet_Pantheon

I don't see why not.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



Here's hoping that new Scion is less BAD about the exotic other than original Scion was.

Also less bad about Dexterity.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






Leraika posted:

Here's hoping that new Scion is less BAD about the exotic other than original Scion was.

Also less bad about Dexterity.

I've been reading the kickstarter stuff they've been posting. It is. They hired people of those ethnic backgrounds to write about their cultures. And the general feeling is that the Deific faiths are no less valid than the Abrahamic ones. Gods and cults have rivalries, of course, but not "backwards primitives" or "noble savages" either way.

That's NuWW, and they have no say over what goes into scion.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Scion: Origin: How It Works

In the original Scion, the answer to how the world reacted to Scions and the gods was a big fat . This is not the case any more. Everyone knows the gods exist - if not as real entities, than at least as mass hallucination. Most people are pretty sure the supernatural exists, though they may never encounter it personally. #TeamTezcatlipoca is a Twitter sensation. Superstition is common and honestly pretty drat valid. Evil spirits definitely can show up! Now, sure, 90% of the world goes through their lives with fairly little overt interference from mystical things. Most people never see a god in the flesh. But that 10%? Oh, that's when Fate can bind you up tight.

All creation myths are correct. Every myth is true. There is no conflict between the World being the back of a great turtle, and also being clumps of mud stirred up from the ocean floor by Izanagi's staff. That's fine. It can be both. In these myths, however, there are commonalities, and these are the biggest map to understanding the World. The great landmarks of these crossovers are the Primordials - immense deities that are essentially boiling asses of concept. They are creation itself, boundless in energy. They make existence in their wake. They have had many names. Chaos, Harmony, Light, Darkness - living beings that embody concepts so fundamental the world that they are foundations of reality itself. They are beyond the walls of reality, but they are not abstractions. It is by their existence that the world can be.

The marks they leave behind in their passage through the Overworld are Titans. They could be called the children of the Primordials, but that's really a simplification, perhaps too much of one. Some are literal offspring, sure. Most are just byproducts or emanations of the universal forces that define the World. They are the shadows that Primordials cast upon reality. Titans are the sun, the moon, the wind, the earth. They are rarely changed, and can rarely be anything but what they are. They are not masters of their aspect - that's what a god is. A Titan is mastered by it. They are the point directly between creation and destruction. They make the world possible by their existence, they are responsible for defining it, but they are equally natural destroyers. Wind doesn't care what it does - it blows the windmill as easily as it smashes the ship on the rocks. It doesn't care, isn't even aware. Titans are aware of humanity; some even care about specific mortals or mortals in general. However, Titans do not see a clear distinction in importance between human life and rocks. Most don't hate humans - they just don't particularly get the point of humans, and that is why the gods warred against them.

The Titanomachy is recorded in most religions - a war between gods against their predecessors, who were cruel and uncaring. Even those cultures that prefer tales of ignoring or rehabilitating the monsters, there are s tories of binding them away to prevent harm. Today, almost all Titans are kept sealed by mystic ritual or immense prions. The free few are watched closely for signs of danger and treachery. The Titans and the gods are two sides of one coin, each containing the nature of reality and reach balancing creative energy and destructive urge. The distinction between them is in how they relate to humans.

Gods do not need humans. They need humanity as a whole. Gods would not stop existing, if humanity were gone. Gods would remain powerful. What gods need humanity for is to be their mirror. Human worship is what maintains the self-image and nature of the gods, and without the ability to sympathize with and relate to humanity, a god and a Titan are functionally identical. Mortals, meanwhile, require the gods to protect them from the warping power of the Titans and the often dangerous and sadistic desires of the titanspawn, offspring that roam free of their forebears' prisons. By their worship, humans define a god inadvertently. When a mother tells her child a story of the gods, her words reinforce the structure of the god's nature, they tell the god again what they are and what they are not. In return, the god's mantle grows stronger in the human imagination, becomes more firmly lodged there. Once mortals tell the stories of gods living and working together, they bring what may have been disparate entities into a single narrative, a pantheon.

In short: Gods don't gain power from worship. Worship just keeps them sane.

The gods stand outside the mortal world, able to make imprints on it. These are called Incarnations, aspects of the god spun through the World as people who live as mortals. Incarnations are one of two ways a god can interact with the World as it stands without being trapped in the power of Fate that covers it. The other, of course, is by their children - Scions.

But what is Fate? Fate is the cosmic force that pulls the World towards order. It is a kind of anti-entropy. The World takes people of power and writes them into recurring story patterns. You meet the same people over and over, you play your role, your life plays out its pattern. This isn't mind control. You make your own choices. It's just, you make those choices in response to the patterns the universe shapes around you, and Fate makes those patterns appear again and again unless you manage the very difficult decision to break free of your destiny and do something else - something few ever do.

Scions and gods drag mortals in their wake, catching them in the pull of Fate. This is known as Fatebinding, drawing mortals into the stories of the divine, and it is the source of both great triumph and tragedy. Fatebinding wraps around a Hero or a Demigod directly, but to a god? They attach to the mantle, the divine oversoul. These fatebindings define the god and how their relationships will play out in the future, which is one more reason most gods stay in the Overworld, where Fate is weak, acting via intermediaries. Gods often refrain from direct action in the world because doing it shakes up the fate of the cosmos - and by doing that, it alters how their power might manifest in the future. By embracing this radical change, a god that directly interacts with their people in a crisis c an be completely and permanently altered by it. This most famously happened to the Orisha during the slave trade, in which their divine identities were warped, shattered or folded between them, creating even a few new gods.

An Incarnation of a god is still a person. One god can have many Incarnations, maybe three or four at once, even. Sometimes these Incarnations even conflict with each other - they're all echoes of the same god, but they still value their individuality. Sometimes they get a little too involved with mortals. The gods gently caress. They sometimes gently caress a lot. However, Scions are uncommon. Most couplings between mortal and god have no fruit. But sometimes, the child is born - or made, as a god might bring to life a block of clay or a tree, transforming them into a chosen human, driving their divinity into the Scion via Fate. Not all Scions learn of their nature - they often lack the spark that they need to become something more than merely exceptional.

Some have that spark, and when a god notices it, they grant a Visitation, a great event that makes the world sacred briefly, awakening the Scion to their true nature and their true power. Some Scions know their parentage before the Visitation - but none understand it as fully as they do after. A Scion is halfway between the World and the Overworld, and from the moment of Visitation, they face conflicts beyond anything a mortal could survive. They become Heroes, fighting against titanspawn and performing great Deeds. This fuels their Legend, which inspires others to worship them. Sometimes that's literal cults, but more often it's a general admiration by the populace. For some, that's where it stops. Culture heroes, legendary but mortal. Others alter their culture forever, becoming Demigods, the midpoint between human and god. They are still linear beings in the World, but they are full of divine, archetypal energy. They can face down even gods and titans, when they band together, and they are all too easily able to bend the World to their will and tie it to them by Fate. Those who find humanity too dear to leave for power stop there.

But some Scions achieve the Godhead. To do this, they must sacrifice. Maintaining a human life is impossible for a god. Only an Incarnation can meaningfully exist in the mortal world. Being in the presence of a god in their true form is impossible for mortal minds, bodies or souls to handle. Fate's pull is also far too great in the World, so a Scion must truly sacrifice their humanity and embrace their elemental nature to become a god. From there, they are as great and powerful as any of their parents, with the same ability to Incarnate into the World and make Scions of their own.

As you might be able to tell, the presentation here is of a world that resembles ours, mostly, but has Scion worship just under the surface, supernatural influence, and immense religious diversity. In our Rome, the old temples are bare remnants at best. In Scion? Rome looks fairly similar to ours, it has a Catholic Church, but some old ruins have well-kept annexes for cult rites, and everyone knows some churches are not for Mass, and that sometimes the priests stand aside for the other priests. Superficially, it is similar, but with cultic undercurrents everywhere. Accept this, and then you can find the excuses for why things are like this, if you need them.

Next time: What it means to be in a world of gods.

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 17:54 on Jan 27, 2018

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I'm really liking this so far.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Mors Rattus posted:

Scion: Origin: How It Works

immense deities that are essentially boiling asses of concept.

Fatal & Friends 2018: Boiling Asses of Concept

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me!


Is new Scion being developed by Onyx Path?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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I am going to claim that’s not a typo and was deliberate.

And yes, Scion is wholly owned by Onyx Path, with no White Wolf control.

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SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me!


Mors Rattus posted:

I am going to claim that’s not a typo and was deliberate.

And yes, Scion is wholly owned by Onyx Path, with no White Wolf control.

So...why are we giving this the benefit of the doubt?

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