It’s the end of the year and that means holiday time! People celebrate all sorts of different occasions at this time of year but my family celebrates Christmas. This year I’m celebrating that by playing around with the Noël Pantheon by Oskar Orn Eggertsson and it’s definitely getting me in the holiday mood!
The Noël Pantheon
While the pantheons in the Scion core books are real world groupings of gods, goddesses, and other beings associated with Christmas. Like a Hallmark Christmas movie, though, there is nothing particularly Christian about these figures and certainly no reference to the birth of Jesus or any events at Bethlehem.
So who is in this pantheon? Well the first ones are Père Noël and Santa Claus (two different figures, if you weren’t aware), the infamous Krampus, the Yule Lads who are my favorite Christmas figure since I learned about them, and Frau Holle from old German traditions. It’s a small pantheon but then this is a niche supplement so I’m fine with that. The pantheon’s cosmology includes Santa’s Workshop (in this work people by “lutins” who are also called Christmas elves), the cave home of Grýla (mother of the Yule Lads), different “Bag Realms” which are the extradimensional places that Père Noël and Santa pull their presents from, and an underworld called Sackreich (Krampus’s equivalent Bag Realm but really the realm of some terrible beast. There are also Titans and Titanspawn, of course, including Jack Frost, Grýla, and the Yule Cat.
The Path of Noël is a balance between Nice and Naughty, the juxtaposition between figures like Santa Claus showing generosity and goodwill and figures like Krampus meting out punishments to selfish people. Which of these paths you follow in a given situation will determine whether you’re using the proverbial carrot or stick. Two different plot hooks are found in this section: going to Santa’s workshop to restore it and saving some children from the Yule Lads’ monstrous mother.
Signature Purview and Birthrights
The signature purview of the Noël pantheon is called Geola an Old English word for Yule. It’s a sense of celebration and coming together as family and friends, including the innate power to know where the nearest celebration is and what is being celebrated. This is the sort of awesome powers you get in Scion and I heartily approve. On the one hand the chances of this power derailing the plot and circumventing challenges is pretty low, and yet it’s extremely powerful and just brimming with the sweet frosting of story potential.
Use this purview to create instant feasts or give a gift of hope and wonder. For birthrights, there are all the different categories and some surprising picks from Christmas traditions all over the place. For creatures you can get powerful flying reindeer or little Yule kittens, the pony-sized litter of the Yule Cat. You can also get followers including lutins (North Pole elves), mall Santas (his special helpers and semi-cultists), Santa’s Slayers (a biker gang), and snowmen (Titanspawn of Jack Frost but willing to work for the good guys too). There are also guides, the protective Mrs. Claus or a scampy younger Yule Lads’ sibling, and relics. Gifts are big of relics but the things detailed here are Frau Holle’s comb, Santa’s sleigh, a toy sack (with bag of holding extradimensional space), and the Yule suit of crimson (you can guess what it looks like.
Premade Scions and Antagonists
Three premade Scions appear in this supplement: “Varrick Horn, a rare Scion born from Krampus; Trudy Winter, a chosen Scion of Frau Holle; and Dolly, a created Scion of Santa Claus.” There’s a lot of variety here, both in types of origin and in divine patron, but they are all Origin-level, first-tier Scions so they will be ready to start a longer campaign. I do wish there were Heroic-level versions of the Scions but I understand the limitations of space here.
After these and closing out the supplement is an appendix of antagonists associated with the Noël pantheon. Almost all of these have already been mentioned in the birthrights section (flying reindeer, lutins, mall Santas, Santa’s Slayers bikers, snowmen, and Yule kittens), but the White Witch (of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe fame) who is a nasty villain to throw things in.
This is a really fun holiday-themed supplement for a really fun and inspiring game. How can you go wrong? While this isn’t the type of game to rope in family members who have never played an RPG before, if you have a group that just wants to try something different this holiday season then I very much recommend this awesome Scion 2e supplement.