Friday, June 10, 2011


Continuing my reviews with another White Wolf system, Scion. Mechanically it has a decent bit in common with WoD, it is also a d10 system, with many of the same stats and a similar looking character sheet. In Scion, however, you're playing the children of various gods. The main book includes the Loa, the Egyptians, the Norse, the Greek, the Japanese and an invented Atlantaen pantheon, where expansions add China, the South Pacific, the Celts, and an invented 'American' pantheon.
It has rules for artifacts and for powers, as well as more passive supernatural effects you'd get from being super smart or fast or charismatic or whatever that are called 'knacks'. Mechanically, you have Hero, which is the lowest powered, then Demigod, and then God.

It's a system I've played in extensively and ran once, and I'm remarkably fond of it.

On the positive end, Scion, like all White Wolf games is very story-centric, designed to make the storytelling flow and non-combat activities feel just as important as combat. It does this very well, the Skills/Knacks/Boons system makes it easy to choose things that are useful on and off the battlefield, and to use them in either place effectively. There is a wide assortment of power trees to choose from and the system doesn't penalize you for mixing and matching.
The system of Birthrights-gifts given to you by your divine parent, is an interesting and mostly well made one. You have the choice of artifacts, followers, creatures, or mentors, and all have distinct advantages and disadvantages that are pretty well balanced.
Combat in Scion is a little more polished than in WoD, possibly because in Scion it is expected that combat will happen, whereas WoD is in a large part designed to eliminate the need for it.

On the negative end, the actual treatment of the deities in the books are pretty bad. Some are oversimplified, some are flat out changed for convenience, some are even alignment shifted for fuck's sake. The God/Titan breakdown means that in some pantheons beings that were considered forces for good are now firmly relegated to the villain side(though this is easy to ignore for one's own story).
In addition, the creature rankings are TERRIBLE and badly balanced with each other-though they still balance alright with everything else.
The Atlantaen pantheon is just weird and unnecessary. Again, easily ignored and as a supplement I would've had no problem, but they put it in the main book. There's a lot of perfectly good pantheons in the world that people actually care about, use one of them?

Overall, though, I am quite fond of Scion-though I do have a system of house rules my group plays with to make it a little more manageable. I would still very much recommend it to anyone who loves mythology in any form.

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