I started looking at Scion Second Edition with the first book in the series Origin. To showcase the character creation process in that book I made a sample band of characters that I’ve grown to love. Since that time I reviewed the second book, Hero, and updated the sample band to Hero-level. Today I’m back with another character creation showcase, this time developing two brand-new Hero-level Scions to take a look at making Heroes from scratch instead of updating them. Take a look and see what you think!
Step One: Concept
I want to try some new things so I’m switching to the Æsir for this run. You might have noticed in the last sheets that there are some Norse elements creeping in. Basically in this off-the-cuff campaign skeleton, I’m figuring that the faerie invasion of Boston was just the tip of the spear from an invasion of Titanspawn and malicious servants by the half-formorian Bres. He was once king of the Tuatha and he wants his old position back. To this end, he’s working with the fire giant Surtr who would also like a seat at the king-of-stuff table. This brings in fire giants to fight our intrepid Heroes but also the chance for some Norse Scions whom we’ll be meeting today.
First up, there’s a Scion of Skaði just because I want an ice-queen screwing with everyone. I think, in fact, that she’s going to be a cold-hearted bartender from a ski resort who doesn’t take any guff from anyone. Next up will be a computer programming Scion of Kvasir who actually isn’t one of the Æsir gods presented in Scion: Hero. No matter, though! It should be easy to work up a new god’s Scions for this game and I’ll be trying that out as part of this. Technically, Kvasir was also killed and his blood repurposed… but honestly when has that been an issue for the Norse gods?
Step Two: Paths
For each of these Scions we need three Paths: an origin path, a role path, and then the pantheon path which will be the Æsir for both characters. Each path will also have three Skills associated with it, which is how the characters’ skill dots will get created.
Jessica Scriven, Daughter of Skaði, is going to have an origin path of Cynical Bartender (Empathy, Persuasion, and Close Combat) and a role path of Ice Warrior (Athletics, Occult, and Survival). Erik Jacobsen, Son of Kvasir, is going to have an origin path of Expert Hacker (Technology, Subterfuge, and Science) and a role path of Master Strategist (Leadership, Academics, and Persuasion). Both will have The Æsir as their pantheon path which has two set Skills: Close Combat and Occult. They each get to pick a third so that will be Firearms for Jessica (never “Jess,” by the way) and Technology for Erik.
Step Three: Skills
In order to generate dots for Skills, we need to prioritize the characters’ paths. Jessica will be an Ice Warrior first, part of the Æsir second, and a Cynical Bartender last. Erik will be an Expert Hacker first, a Master Strategist second, and part of the Æsir last. They get dots for Skills now and Specialties for Skills with three or more dots but I won’t bore you with that at this point.
Step Four: Attributes
The characters need to prioritize the three Arenas (Mental, Physical, and Social) and pick their preferred Approach. Jessica will be Physical, Social, then Mental and she prefers the Power Approach while Erik will be Mental, Social, then Physical and he prefers the Finesse Approach. Again, they get dots now but I won’t bore you with that.
Step Five: Callings and Knacks
Here’s where things get interesting for both characters. Jessica needs to pick three callings, one of which needs to be one of Skaði’s favored ones, and choose one as her primary. Warrior is a nice fit for this tough woman and I’m going to call it already that it’s her primary one. On top of that she has Hunter (because I like it) and Trickster (for something different). I will pick Most Dangerous Prey as her Hunter Knack (sort of vengeance option), and Smoke and Mirrors as her Trickster Knack (a combat-related Trickster option). I like a lot of the Immortal Knacks for Warrior but I think I’d rather have to Heroic ones for Jessica: Master of Weapons and Trick Shot to make her truly deadly.
Because we don’t already have a write-up for Kvasir we don’t know his Favored Callings but it’s safe to say that Sage is probably one so that’s Erik’s first calling. I think he was probably a hacktivist before his Visitation so Judge will be his next calling (and his primary one), while the third will be Creator since he’s writing programs and building networks and databases. I’m going to start with his Judge Knack which I’ll make the Immortal Knack called The Pain of Dishonesty (people take damage for lying to him). His Sage Knack will be Speed Reading (not flash but very useful) and his Creator Knack will be Wireless Interface (of course).
Step Six: Birthrights
Now it’s time to get all the cool stuff for our Heroes! Starting with Jessica, I think we need some firepower. One of the example Relics for the Æsir is the sword Tyrfing that is a five-dot Relic. I love this for our stone-cold bartender but I’m going to switch it from a sword to a gun; same bonuses just now it’s got freakin’ bullets. With her last two dots I’m going to have her followed around by a Garmr death-dog since that’s on-brand too. This is a relatively weak Birthright so this might be a pup of a Garmr.
For Erik I’m going to spread things out between three Birthrights. First I will go to the book for a Relic as well, this time the Mead of Poetry but I’ll switch things up again and make it the Soylent of Poetry. Still three dots which leaves enough for two more two-dot Birthrights: a Ratatoskr Guide for carrying messages like divine email and some Dvergar Followers to make cool gear. Side note: did you know that most of Tolkien’s dwarf-names in The Hobbit and the name “Gandalf” are all from names in the Völuspá poem of the Poetic Edda? Amazing.
Step Seven: Purviews
Jessica and Erik both have the Wyrd Signature Purview of the Æsir plus they get one more from their divine parents. For Jessica that’s definitely going to be Frost while for Erik we have to invent stuff again since Kvasir doesn’t appear in the book. I’m not going to come up with Kvasir’s full list but it’s a good guess that Forge is among his Purviews and that fits Erik just fine so we’ll go with that. As a last note, Jessica’s Gun of Tyrfing gives her access to the Passion (Spite) Purview so I’ll add that to her sheet as well.
Step Eight: Boons
While both of these Scions get the innate powers of their Purviews (and the Marvels for doing neat stuff) they also get to do amazing things with specific powers. Two Boons per Scion from any of their Purviews.
Jessica is going to get the big guns for Frost with the Boon Flash Freeze, allowing her to ice over a landscape and instantly freeze water and enemies. Badass. For her second, I’m choosing Spin the Thread for the Æsir’s Wyrd Purview, the power to use seiðr sorcery to bless or curse someone. I think this is a great Occult-ish power for the character and it also meshes well with the geasa vows that all of the Tuatha Dé Danann characters in the existing band are operating under.
Erik will have the other Wyrd Boon called Cast the Runes which is a fortunetelling power. This seems to fit both a Scion of Kvasir and a white hat hacker and serial planner. His second Boon will come instead from the Forge Purview which I’m hoping I can stretch to be tech-centered for his computing abilities. The best one for this is called While the Iron is Hot, essentially allowing him to make weird science creations that defy easy explanation; I see Erik scrapping together an electronic lockpick from items in an alley or putting together a working computer from busted parts. The narrative text in this section actually has a Scion of the Tuatha Dé Danann hacking into something so I feel I’m on track here.
Step Nine: Finishing Touches
To finish up these Scions, I add their Legend rating of 1, apply the Norse Virtues (Fatalism versus Audacity), calculate Health boxes and Defense, then add in some extra dots for Skills and Attributes. I’m going to pick the four Birthright points for Jessica and boost things a little: her Gramr is now a four-dot Creature and she gets a two-dot Dís Guide. For Erik, I’m going to pick an Immortal Knack: Touch of the Muses which I’m going to use for writing programs and exploits.