Saturday, June 9, 2018

Gorgon Archer - Scion 2nd Edition - Character Advancement

Scion advancement is done through the acquisition and spending of Experience Points that are acquired over the course of the game. As with other Onyx Path games, Experience Points are rewarded for the accomplishments of goals. In this case they are referred to as Deeds and they function differently enough from Aspirations to deserve the different term.


The ways to gain experience are as follows: 
  • Attend the session – 1 XP
  • Achieve a short-term deed – 1 XP
  • All players achieve their short-term deed in one session – 1 XP bonus to all players
  • Achieve a long-term deed – 2 XP
    • You cannot gain this reward again until all other players have achieved their long-term deed.
  • Spend half the Black Pool (Momentum) in a single scene – 1 XP bonus to all players.
  • Reach a milestone – 1 XP to all players.
  • Complete a group story – 3 XP to all players
The costs for spending experience are as follows: 
  • Add one dot to an Attribute – 10 xp
  • Add one dot to a new or existing Birthright – 5 XP
  • Change your Favored Approach – 15 XP
  • Add one dot to a Skill – 5 XP
  • Purchase a new Knack – 10 XP
  • Add a new Specialty to a Skill – 3 XP
You’ll notice that there’s nothing related to Callings in the chart above and those who remember first edition Scion will note the lack of Purviews and Boons. That is because these are not purchased by experience but are tied directly to your Legend. In addition, there are also titles which accrue based on your Legend. As to how Legend increases, that is also based on completing Deeds.

You can have up to three active Short-Term Deeds at a time, one Long-Term Deed, and the group has what is referred to as a Band-Term Deed. Once you have completed one of each of these, then your Legend goes up by 1 at which point several things happen.

The items related to Legend are as follows: 
  • Titles – One per dot of Legend
  • Callings – 5 dots at Legend 1. +1 dot at Legend 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10. At Legend 3,5,7, and 9 you can rearrange dots. You always have three Callings. But you can change Callings via Deeds.
    • Failure Deeds allow you to reject an old Calling.
    • Adoption Deeds are taken after completing Failure Deeds and cause the replacement of the old Calling with the new one.
  • Boons – 2 at Legend 1, +1 Boon each additional Legend.
Also, directly related to Callings are your Keywords and Knacks. I talked a bit about Knacks in the character creation article but did not talk about Keywords since they largely require Legend to make use of and primarily are used to craft Titles, which only come at Legend 1. A character gains one Keyword for each dot of a Calling. Each Calling has a list of suggested keywords but the book explicitly encourages you to create you own keywords as well.

For each dot in a Calling you can also have one Heroic Knack active. Immortal Knacks, more powerful abilities available to characters of Legend 1 or higher and which fill 2 active slots.

When you gain a Calling dot by going up in Legend you automatically add a new Knack though you can also purchase them through experience. When you initially hit Legend 1, or if you start there, selecting an Immortal Knack also counts as two of your free starting Knacks but apparently this is mostly a character generation thing. Gaining Immortal Knacks via experience or Calling increase is treated like gaining Heroic Knacks with the same costs involved. But they still fill two active slots to actually use.

Another thing that I left out of the character creation analysis was Birthrights despite the fact that they can be gained by an origin player at character creation. Birthrights come in four varieties: Creatures, Followers, Guides, and Relics. Creatures are animals and beasts that serve your character, followers are supernatural or mundane people that follow your lead, guides are people that teach you or give you advice, and relics are artifacts of mythical potential. These are rated from one to five dots.

There should be some addressing of the differences between the first three types of birthrights.

Creatures have their own dice pools equal to three times their rating, but this can be reduced in exchange for taking on abilities normally associated with Antagonists. They don’t have skills so much but have a description and their dice can apply to actions that fall under their description. For example, a magical raven of three dots would have 9 dice related to actions of scouting, speed, flight or the sort. Maybe 7 dice if flight is something that they would have to sacrifice for.

Followers mechanically act as equipment and scions can sometimes be said to not so much direct them as to wield them. When you order your followers to do something you do it as a simple action and it works as a roll of your Attribute plus the higher of either your Leadership skill or their dot rating. Each follower is classified as a Heavy, Entourage, or Consultant which describes whether they can help with Physical, Social, or Mental actions. Each dot they have allows them to take a further benefit which could be to define them as a group, give them another archetype so they can help in other situations, or add bonuses to the rolls they are involved in. The GM might have them take their own actions when you’re not using them, but they typically don’t act on their own.

Guides act as an extra Path like your Origin or your Role. While you are on good terms with your guide you have access to unique stunts, Purviews, and a Calling as if they were your own. You can also call on your guide for access to places in the way a Path does. So, you can invoke your history as a reporter to get in somewhere with a press pass or you can invoke your connection with this connected friend to get in the same place. The first uses a path, the second uses a guide.

Relics function as they did mostly in the first game. They provide enhancements to actions taken with them, options that a normal tool would not have, access to purviews, and other such things. They also have a rating from 1 to 5 and those points are spent on their features. One thing that is different is that purviews now cost two dots to gain access to. This makes sense given the largely expanded innate abilities one has access to through a Purview beyond just the boons.

On the subject of Purviews and the fact that Boons are not separately purchased but granted as you gain in Legend. In Scion 1st edition, Boons were the only way Purviews had an affect on the game. They were pretty much just a list of boons and if you specialized in one Purview you would buy a lot of boons from that list. In 2nd edition, you don’t have to have even one Boon for a Purview to be useful. Each Purview comes with an innate ability that can provide some use and the ability to perform Marvels.

Marvels are freeform effects that you create via your control of that Purview. For example, a scion with the Sun purview might fill all the hearts of those around her with hope or she might call down a laser focused ray of light to smite an enemy. The sun might seem to ever be behind her or reflecting off her gear and blinding her foes while giving her no problem. These are all things you can just do via your purview.

Boons, by comparison tend to be a bit larger scale than use of Marvel and have more extensive impact on the world. They are special magical features of the character. One of the example Prosperity Boons is that you can just produce valuables and currency to spend somehow and at least one of the businesses or individuals you pay that money out to will receive a major enhancement to the next time they make a roll related to running a business or managing finances. As with everything else, the game encourages homebrewing your own Boons and to hammer that in the book only really provides three Boons as an example for each Purview.

A further note, in comparison to 1st edition, is that a lot of the Epic Attributes are either gone or now considered Purviews. Epic Strength, Dexterity, and Stamina are all Purviews. Beauty, Deception, and Passion Purviews hold a lot of the old Epic Appearance, Manipulation, and Charisma tricks. The Mental Epics are mostly spread through the Callings though a lot of sensory stuff appears in things like Sun.

Getting back to advancement, the book does mention the idea that characters would receive an average of 5 XP a session, but this so far hasn’t been found to be the case. I suppose that average is probably taking into account sessions where a lot of experience is earned all at once, thus skewing the curve somewhat. In general, with the use of the Deeds, the advance of experience gain is going to be somewhat similar to the way Milestones are reached in Fate but with less regularity.

Where as in Fate, milestones are awarded based mostly on the GM’s consideration for how much impact the characters have made on the world or how much they’ve chased the story and thus are awarded as a group, in Scion 2e each character defines their own desired goals and may achieve them in a stagger step. This is somewhat mollified however as Band-Deeds are awarded to the group and Long-Term Deeds can’t be awarded again until everyone in the Band has also had one awarded. But it is still conceivable for one person to have a run of completing multiple short-term deeds and even only allowing one per session that might add up.

So, for simulated campaign, I am going to assume 18 sessions as per some of my longer campaign simulations. As another note, I've learned that you can have up to 3 short term deeds you're looking to achieve at once.

The gorgon has the following Deeds:
Short-Term Deeds: Make a difficult shot. Fail to persuade someone due to being socially awkward. Lose her temper.
Long-Term Deed: Defeat a mythical creature.
Band Deed: Put an end to the troubles in the woods outside of town.

As a side-note, you should make sure not to phrase your Long-Term Deed as something that requires you to gain a Legend to accomplish. This creates a Catch-22 situation because you need to complete at least one Long-Term Deed in order to gain Legend, thus if your Long-Term Deed is something that will only happen after you gain Legend, it'll be a bit difficult to gain. Thankfully, the rules allow you to change a Deed between sessions if you've determined it can't be achieved without gaining Legend.

For this, I am assuming the following band:
  • Maiya Jones - A librarian with cool-headed and empathic nature. Scion of Morana.
  • Timothy Lincoln - Caretaker of the town event-hall. Scion of Pukawiss.
  • Mel Tadros - A worker at the alligator farm with a reputation for ardor. Scion of Sobek.
  • Skylar Esra - A young woman who's inherited a pair of dangerous knives. Scion of Ares.
As the initial hook, I am assuming that they all live within a small to moderate sized-country town with a wide amount of open wilds and semi-tamed landscape available. There's been rumors of poachers and people have definitely been going missing in the area among a few other stories that sound like tall-tales. These five have come together to look into the matter and stop it.

So, for simulated campaign, I am going to assume 18 sessions as per some of my longer campaign simulations. To determine the completion of goals I am going to use the following rolls:
  • Test each session for each person
    • Short-Term Deed completed on a 1-3 out of 1d4
    • Long-Term Deed completed on an 8+ out of 1d8 +1 for each consecutive session without completion
    • Freeze Long-Term Deed once completed until every other character has completed.
  • Test each session for the group
    • Momentum Spend Bonus on a 5-6 out of 1d6
    • Band-Term Deed on a 10+ out of 1d10 +1 for each consecutive session without completion.
      • I made the mistake of assuming that Band-Term Deeds and Story Goals were the same thing. Band-Term Deeds can and often will overlap with Story Goals but they do not themselves grant XP. Band-Term Deeds are necessary for increasing Legend, however. I should have been tracking them separately because of this. However, it is possible that a GM decided to overlap them for simplicity's sake.
  • I am not testing for Fatebinding though it is likely that the character would go through a few over 18 sessions. That is more of a game play issue than an advancement or creation issue. I considered doing so, but it would be added complexity that didn't really add to the purpose of the simulation.
  • I also overlooked tracking milestones which is another XP source outside the Deed structure. Though, again these could have been folded into the Band-Deed awards.

Simulated Campaign


Session 1 - The band begins to investigate the strange going ons in the woods, coming together in the process. Kyra is attacked by great black dog that seems to pass through shadows. While she's not able to get a firm shot at it, she manages to trick into appearing out of a shadow causing it to leap out of shadow to come out over a ravine and fall to its death. When she brings the body to the others, Maiya identifies it as a hell hound.

Band – Momentum Spend o band-term x
Kyra Olrin (Gorgon) short-term x long-term o – 4 XP / 4
  • New Long-Term Deed: Find my biological mother.
Maiya Jones short-term x long term x – 3 XP / 3
Timothy Lincoln short-term o long term x – 3 XP / 3
  • New Short-Term Deed: Win a bet with Mel.
Mel Tadros  short-term o long term x – 3 XP / 3
  • New Short-Term Deed: Exasperate Kyra.
Skylar Esra short-term o long term x – 3 XP / 3
  • New Short-Term Deed: Be splattered in blood. 

Session 2 - Kyra and Mel lead the others into the woods and apply their skills to tracking the hell hound back to its source where they find a cult of poachers keeping several townsfolk prisoner alongside some outsiders and a fish and game officer who had come into town to investigate before joining the missing. After a battle, the band takes out the cultists but are unable to take any alive to find out what they were trying to do.

Band – Momentum Spend o band-term o
  • New Band-Term Deed: Settle down the town after the troubles.
Kyra Olrin (Gorgon) short-term x long-term # – 5 XP / (9/4)
  • Firearms+1 (*****)
Maiya Jones short-term o long term x – 6 XP / 9
  • New Short-Term Deed: Be accused of witchcraft.
Timothy Lincoln short-term o long term x – 6 XP / 9
  • New Short-Term Deed: Get caught up in a fight I tried to prevent.
Mel Tadros short-term x long term x – 5 XP / 9
Skylar Esra short-term o long term x – 6 XP / 9
  • New Short-Term Deed: Prevent a fight by being scary.
Session 3 - Suspicion for some of the out-of-town women rescued from the poacher cult rises to a crescendo. One of the locals whose son was killed by the poachers tries to raise a lynch mob but is stopped when an arrow from Kyra knocks his rifle out of his hand harmlessly. As she is calling for them out for their bullshit, her hair curls into writhing serpents. As she's shouting a Fish and Game truck pulls up and the officer steps out as Timothy begins to calm things down. Afterwards, he proves to be Oshossi and has a private conversation with Kyra, blessing her bow and giving her a torc patterned like a coral snake. He also suggests that the young women she helped rescue have more in common with her than she thinks. They prove to also be gorgons and Kyra takes them in.

Band – Momentum Spend x band-term x
Kyra Olrin (Gorgon) short-term o long-term # – 2 XP / (11 / 6) – Legend 1 – Visitation
  • Patron: Oshossi the Bow-Hunter
  • Title: The Scaled Warden
  • Callings
    • Serpent **
      • Keywords: Jeweled, Patient
      • Knack: Stillness of a Serpent
    • Guardian *
      • Keywords: Warden
      • Knack: A Warning
    • Hunter **
      • Keywords: Ranger, Archer
      • Knacks: Apex Predator, Most Dangerous Game
  •  Birthrights
    • The Poacher's Death - Relic ***
      • Enhancement +1 when striking those that harm the land or the animals on it
      • Order
      • Motif - Don't tread on me
      • Deed
    • The Coral Torc - Relic **
      • Beasts(Snakes)
      • Motif - Red meets Yellow...
    • Sisters in Blood - Followers **
      • Heavy, Consultant, Group
  • Purviews
    • Innate - Wild
    • Innate - Cheval
    • Beasts (Snakes)
    • Order
  • Boons
    • Lay of the Land
    • Code of Heaven 
  • Condition Aspect: Serpentine Aspect
    • Her hair has become a mass of black serpents though her skin remains skin.
  • New Short-Term Deed: Have a meaningful talk with my gorgon followers.
Maiya Jones short-term o long term x – 2 XP / 11 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Hear of something I don't immediately know about.
Timothy Lincoln short-term x long term x – 1 XP / 10
Mel Tadros short-term x long term x – 1 XP / 10
Skylar Esra short-term x long term x – 1 XP / 10

Session 4 - The band has some time recovering from the events of the first quest and dealing with the revelation of Kyra's nature. Maiya however spends some time and manages to make some interesting discoveries regarding the poachers and what they were trying to do. They seemed to be trying to turn the local woods into a cursed land of some sort, possible to forge a link to a mystical realm of horror.

Band – Momentum Spend x band-term x
Kyra Olrin (Gorgon) short-term o long-term # – 2 XP / (11/1) – Legend 1
  • Leadership +1 (*)
  • New Short Term Deed: Get a compliment.
Maiya Jones short-term o long term x – 2 XP / 11 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Read a book for the fun of it.
Timothy Lincoln short-term x long term x – 1 XP / 10
Mel Tadros short-term x long term x – 1 XP / 10
Skylar Esra short-term x long term x – 1 XP / 10

Session 5 - Going back into the woods, they find remnants of a ritual space where a woodland spirit has been forced to manifest out of their tree and tortured. Seeing the band, the crazed spirit disgorges several hounds, but Timothy manages to talk the spirit down from releasing the dogs to attack. Maiya works at undoing the supernatural bindings on the spirit. Once freed, Mel takes charge of the spirit and begins treating it. All three receive their own visitations.

Band – Momentum Spend x band-term x
Kyra Olrin (Gorgon) short-term x long-term # – 1 XP / (12/2) – Legend 1
Maiya Jones short-term x long term o – 3 XP / 14 – Legend 1 - Visitation 
  • New Long-Term Deed: Speak to mother's spirit.
Timothy Lincoln short-term o long term o – 4 XP / 14 – Legend 1 - Visitation 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Lose a bet with Mel.
  • New Long-Term Deed: Direct a popular show. 
Mel Tadros short-term o long term o – 4 XP / 14 – Legend 1 - Visitation 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Confuse Skylar.
  • New Long-Term Deed: Seduce a follower of each bandmate that has one.
Skylar Esra short-term o long term x – 2 XP / 12

Session 6 - Up to now, when the knives Skylar inherited from her slain incarnate father start whispering she's been able to shut them down individually, but if both start arguing with each other over a course of action she usually gives in to one of the two just to get the whispering to stop. Finally, however, she has been able to shut down an argument between the two and make a choice entirely her own. That night, she receives a visit from her Theoi father in his Mantle as Mars, praising this and her learning to control the savagery and judgment of the knives.

Band – Momentum Spend x band-term x
Kyra Olrin (Gorgon) short-term o long-term # – 2 XP / (14/4) – Legend 1 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Slap Mel.
Maiya Jones short-term o long term # – 2 XP / 16 – Legend 1 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Give Mel the chills.
Timothy Lincoln short-term o long term # – 2 XP / 16 – Legend 1 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Give Mel some friendly advice.
Mel Tadros short-term x long term # – 1 XP / 15 – Legend 1
Skylar Esra short-term x long term o – 3 XP / 15 – Legend 1 - Visitation 
  • New Long-Term Deed: Get the knives to work together.
Session 7- After much wrangling and dealing with troubles political and supernatural, the band has finally cleaned up the aftermath of the poachers. The troublemakers have been settled down. The last of the ritual sights have been cleaned up and aside from one hell hound that has taken to wandering around the area and seems to be considering the town and people something to protect. With their home town now safe and protected by a supernatural dog, they feel free to start tracking down the main force of the cult that sent the poachers here.

Band – Momentum Spend x band-term o 
  • New Band-Term Deed: Track down the source of the cultists.
Kyra Olrin (Gorgon) short-term o long-term x – 5 XP / (19/4) – Legend 1
  • Leadership +1 (**)
  • New Short-Term Deed: Be flustered.
Maiya Jones short-term x long term x – 4 XP / 20 – Legend 1
Timothy Lincoln short-term o long term x – 5 XP / 21 – Legend 1 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Buy a new suit.
Mel Tadros short-term o long term x – 5 XP / 20 – Legend 1 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Make a bandmate laugh.
Skylar Esra short-term o long term x – 5 XP / 20 – Legend 1 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Make an enemy mook flee in terror.

Session 8- Traveling to the nearest big city, they start investigating around and Timothy discovers that a local theater director has gone missing in strange circumstances. To get more info he talks his way into replacing the director. The session covers a few days and the play as directed by Timothy is a rousing success attracting attention to him for his skill as director. They also attract attention from the people that caused the director to disappear in the first place.

Band – Momentum Spend x band-term x
Kyra Olrin (Gorgon) short-term x long-term x – 1 XP / (20/0) – Legend 1
  • Knack - A Sentinel
Maiya Jones short-term o long term x – 2 XP / 22 – Legend 1 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Have my novel accidentally destroyed.
Timothy Lincoln short-term o long term o – 4 XP / 25 – Legend 2 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Throw a cultist into a dumpster.
  • New Long-Term Deed: Impress Maiya.
Mel Tadros short-term o long term o – 4 XP / 24 – Legend 2 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Draw snark from Maiya.
  • New Long-Term Deed: Get caught sleeping with a badnmate's follower.
Skylar Esra short-term x long term x – 1 XP / 21 – Legend 1

Session 9 - Ambushed by cultists after opening night of the play, the band fights clear and pursues the cultists through the streets. They have another confrontation in a warehouse where people and monsters have been collected similar to what was happening in their home town. Some here and been tortured and there were stories of human sacrifices as well. Among the prisoners is a weak gorgon who had been regularly bled and a bag kept over her head for years. Kyra talks to her and there is realization that she was Kyra's biological mother before finally dying from decades of abuse.

Band – Momentum Spend o band-term x
Kyra Olrin (Gorgon) short-term x long-term o – 4 XP / (24/4) – Legend 2
  • Title: The Jeweled Arrow
  • Callings
    • Guardian +1 (**)
      • Keywords: Guide
      • Knacks: Living Pillar (Immortal)
  • Boons 
    • Dance with the Divine
  • Serpentine Aspect: Narrow stripes of red and yellow have appeared in the scales of her serpent hair, causing them to stand out as not hair easier. 
  • New Long-Term Deed: Fall in love with a band mate.
Maiya Jones short-term x long term x – 2 XP / 24 – Legend 1
Timothy Lincoln short-term o long term # – 3 XP / 28 – Legend 2 
  • New Short Term Deed: Find a clue.
Mel Tadros short-term x long term # – 2 XP / 26 – Legend 2
Skylar Esra short-term o long term x – 3 XP / 24 – Legend 1 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Enjoy something normal.

Session 10 - Kyra, Mel, and Skylar keep the warehouse cult leader and his pet phoenix busy while Timothy and Maiya move to prevent other cultists from destroying information. The cultists are using a syncretism of several blood rituals from many cultures. They're targeting denizens for the potence, or specific capabilities, of their blood and keeping them prisoner and capturing standard mortals to provide numbers and volume of sacrifice. But that so far they've only seen the collection and sacrifice teams. Skylar successful focuses both her knives' spirits into cooperation during the fight and Maiya finds an address that the cultists tried to destroy with help from several ghosts including her mother. A quick check finds it as a building with lots of rented offices, but she hones in on the presence of a biotech firm.

Band – Momentum Spend o band-term x
Kyra Olrin (Gorgon) short-term o long-term # – 2 XP / (26/6) – Legend 2 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Perform a trick shot.
Maiya Jones short-term o long term o – 5 XP / 29 – Legend 2 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Scare a ghost.
  • New Long-Term Deed: Meet a striga.
Timothy Lincoln short-term o long term # – 2 XP / 30 – Legend 2 
  • New Short-Term Deed:  Confuse any enemy with conversation.
Mel Tadros short-term o long term # – 2 XP / 28 – Legend 2 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Show how strong alligators can be.
Skylar Esra short-term x long term o – 4 XP / 28 – Legend 2 
  •  New Long-Term Deed: Be presented with evidence that titanspawn aren't universally bad.
Session 11 - The band begins the effort of trying to infiltrate the biotech firm and find out whats going on. Unfortunately, the cult has its eyes on the band and has leveraged some police presence into harassing them, forcing them to either fight the police outright publicly or else go quiet and lay low. Kyra's connection with Order helps them avoid a confrontation but they still make very minimal progress on getting into the biotech offices. Fortunately it looks like the cult isn't aware that the biotech firm is something that has been exposed.

Band – Momentum Spend x band-term x
Kyra Olrin (Gorgon) short-term o long-term x – 2 XP / (28/8) – Legend 2 
  • New Short-Term Deed:  Get a cop to back down.
Maiya Jones short-term x long term x – 1 XP / 30 – Legend 2
Timothy Lincoln short-term o long term x – 2 XP / 32 – Legend 2 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Use illusion to lure enemy into trap.
Mel Tadros short-term o long term x – 2 XP / 30 – Legend 2 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Protect a lover.
Skylar Esra short-term x long term x – 1 XP / 29 – Legend 2

Session 12 - The group manages to prove their innocence of the crimes they are accused of and while the fact that the cops literally could not move to arrest Kyra due to being Order helped, most of the success can be laid at the feet of the Pukawiss scion, Timothy and his clever words and drawing room conversations showing that the cult were the source of the problem and they had simply moved to end the threat. Kyra realizes she has intense feelings for Skylar.

Band – Momentum Spend x band-term x
Kyra Olrin (Gorgon) short-term x long-term o – 3 XP / (31/1) – Legend 2 
  • Composure +1 (***) 
  • New Long-Term Deed: Admit feelings to Skylar.
Maiya Jones short-term x long term x – 1 XP / 31 – Legend 2
Timothy Lincoln short-term o long term o – 4 XP / 36 – Legend 2 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Protect Maiya.
  • New Long-Term Deed: Manage a crisis.
Mel Tadros short-term x long term x – 1 XP / 31 – Legend 2
Skylar Esra short-term x long term x – 1 XP / 30 – Legend 2

Session 13 - Cleared of charges and with the cult scrambling to put more obstacles in the band's path, they finally manage to successful get into the biotech offices upon getting in they find it is a titantic cult focused on an entity of blood. However, the groups that have been causing trouble aren't a main part of the cult. Skylar and Mel are initially insistent on destroying the titanspawn and the vampiric thing that serves as their leader, but the Orisha and Manitou scions convince their fellows to stand down. The main blood cult is disappointed in their off-shoot's thirst for power as they are only concerned with study and knowledge and the plots threaten their research. As such they gain information on where the splinter group has centered itself. Skylar is perplexed and confused by the idea of titanspawn that can be (somewhat) reasoned with.

Band – Momentum Spend x band-term o 
  • New Band-Term Deed: Destroy the splinter blood cult.
Kyra Olrin (Gorgon) short-term o long-term # – 5 XP / (36/1) – Legend 3 
  • Followers +1 - Entourage
  • Title: Ranger of Twisting Paths
  • Omen: Her skin appears covered in beautiful jeweled scales as the sound of rattling rises in the background.
  • Boons
    • Animal Aspect 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Kill an enemy from stealth.
Maiya Jones short-term x long term o – 6 XP / 37 – Legend 3 
  • New Long-Term Deed: Experience a prophetic vision.
Timothy Lincoln short-term o long term # – 4 XP / 40 – Legend 3 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Surprise someone with martial prowess.
Mel Tadros short-term o long term x – 5 XP / 36 – Legend 2 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Talk to Skylar about the Titanomachy.
Skylar Esra short-term x long term o – 6 XP / 36 – Legend 3 
  • New Long-Term Deed: Lead forces into battle.

Session 14 - The cult's splinter group has based itself in an old rock quarry about a day's travel by car away from either the city or the group's home town. They opt to travel there by foot, following Kyra and Mel's lead as survivalists. It takes them about three days and they face a few monsters as they approach the villains. This session is spent mostly with encountering monsters produced or drawn as a side effect of the cult's activities and getting through the area. There are some injuries.

Band – Momentum Spend x band-term x
Kyra Olrin (Gorgon) short-term o long-term # – 3 XP / (39/4) – Legend 3
  • New Short-Term Deed: Find the cultist base.
Maiya Jones short-term o long term # – 3 XP / 40 – Legend 3
  • New Short-Term Deed: Kill with magic.
Timothy Lincoln short-term o long term # – 3 XP / 43 – Legend 3
  • New Short-Term Deed: See something everyone else missed.
Mel Tadros short-term o long term x – 3 XP / 39 – Legend 2
  • New Short-Term Deed: Unleash Sobek given wrath.
Skylar Esra short-term o long term # – 3 XP / 39 – Legend 3
  • New Short-Term Deed: Do the hunting so Mel and Kyra can rest and recover.

Session 15 - The band comes to the area of the old rock quarry and finds a ghost town populated by cultists and slaves they have captured from other towns and cities. They start scouting out the town and free a couple of slaves to talk to. This forces them to seek cover and avoid detection by the cultists. Kyra catches the aftermath of Mel having a romantic interlude with some of her gorgon followers and there is some momentary drama that almost gets them discovered.

Band – Momentum Spend x band-term x
Kyra Olrin (Gorgon) short-term o long-term # – 3 XP / (42/7) – Legend 3
  • New Short-Term Deed: Talk to her followers.
Maiya Jones short-term o long term # – 3 XP / 43 – Legend 3
  • New Short-Term Deed: Make a plan of attack.
Timothy Lincoln short-term o long term # – 3 XP / 46 – Legend 3
  • New Short-Term Deed: Comfort a captive.
Mel Tadros short-term o long term o – 5 XP / 44 – Legend 3
  • New Short-Term Deed: Cause a flood. 
  • New Long-Term Deed: Convince Kyra to back off her gorgons having some fun with him occasionally.
Skylar Esra short-term o long term # – 3 XP / 42 – Legend 3
  • New Short-Term Deed: Resist bloodthirst.

Session 16 - The band begins the assault on the town taking hold of the sacrifice pit and free the slaves there. A pitched battle begins and it becomes clear that the cultists are trying to manifest a dangerous titanspawn into the world to use as basically a living weapon of mass destruction. A kaiju of blood and death to direct where they want it to go, assuming that they can keep control of it. At the end of the session there has been some exchange of fire but no major swing in the tide.

Band – Momentum Spend o band-term x
Kyra Olrin (Gorgon) short-term o long-term x – 3 XP / (45/0) – Legend 3
  • Presence +1 (***) 
  • New Short-Term Deed: Seriously wonder why I love that bloodthirsty Theoi.
Maiya Jones short-term o long term x – 3 XP / 46 – Legend 3
  • New Short-Term Deed: Verbally point out a flaw in the villain's plan to their face.
Timothy Lincoln short-term o long term x – 3 XP / 49 – Legend 3
  • New Short-Term Deed: Be overlooked.
Mel Tadros short-term o long term x – 3 XP / 47 – Legend 3
  • New Short-Term Deed: Bring alligators to the battle.
Skylar Esra short-term o long term x – 3 XP / 45 – Legend 3
  • New Short-Term Deed: Try to sing.

Session 17 - The band succeeds in freeing the bulk of the mortal and denizen slaves, leading a charge of the mass against the cultists. Skylar leads the charge as Timothy manages the logistics and keeps the most vulnerable of the innocents protected. In the end the splinter cult is torn down and its ritual is interrupted. Because most of the people were poor or homeless anyway, they take charge of the abandoned town and quarry to build a place there for themselves and take power over what the cultists forced on them.

Band – Momentum Spend x band-term o
Kyra Olrin (Gorgon) short-term o long-term x – 6 XP / (51/1) – Legend 3
  • Athletics +1 (****)
  • New Short-Term Deed: Get eight hours sleep.
Maiya Jones short-term o long term x – 6 XP / 52 – Legend 4
  • New Short-Term Deed: Go without sleep.
Timothy Lincoln short-term o long term o – 8 XP / 57 – Legend 4
  • New Short-Term Deed: Inspire a crowd.
  • New Long-Term Deed: Get turned down for a date with Maiya.
Mel Tadros short-term o long term x – 6 XP / 53 – Legend 3
  •  New Short-Term Deed: Give Timothy bad advice on asking Maiya out.
Skylar Esra short-term o long term o – 6 XP / 51 – Legend 4
  • New Short-Term Deed: Use tactics rather than brute force.
  • New Long-Term Deed: Get the knives to think less narrow-mindedly.

Session 18 - In the aftermath of the battle, Mel gains Kyra's begrudging acceptance of his occasional flings with some of her followers. For Kyra's part she manages to open up to Skylar about her feelings for the knife-wielding Ares scion. Skylar is uncertain what to do with this information. Unfortunately, Maiya brings the news that the interrupted ritual may still have started the process for the dangerous titanspawn the cult was trying to control to possibly work its way into the world, but it wouldn't be here. The group has a brand new goal.

Band – Momentum Spend x band-term x
  • New Band-Term Deed: Stop the emergence of the blood entity.
Kyra Olrin (Gorgon) short-term o long-term o – 5 XP / (56/1) – Legend 4
  • Athletics +1 (*****)
  • Title: Protector of the Gorgon's Blood
  • Callings:
    • Serpent +1 (***)
    • Keyword: Gorgon
    • Petrifying Gaze (Immortal)
  • Boon:
    • Overgrowth
  • Serpentine Aspect: The pattern of her serpent's scales become spirals and the black is lightening into a dark green.
  • New Short-Term Deed: Get congratulated for being upfront with her feelings.
  • New Long-Term Deed: Have a newly met mortal notice her snakes and not freak out.
Maiya Jones short-term o long term o – 5 XP / 57 – Legend 4
  • New Short-Term Deed: Lose patience with Timothy
  • New Long-Term Deed: Establish a cult.
Timothy Lincoln short-term o long term # – 3 XP / 60 – Legend 4
  • New Short-Term Deed: Get Maiya to yell at him.
Mel Tadros short-term o long term o – 5 XP / 58 – Legend 4
  • New Short-Term Deed: Have a party.
  • New Long-Term Deed: Be presented with parental responsibility.
Skylar Esra short-term o long term # – 3 XP / 54 – Legend 4
  • New Short-Term Deed: Ask Mel about relationships.

Kyra Olrin - Gorgon Archer - Scion of Oshossi

Kyra Olrin - Gorgon Archer



Primary - The back woods were my playground - Survivalist: Firearms, Medicine, Survival.
Contact: Paul Maritot, other child who grew up in the wild but went off to Iraq.
Connections: Hunters and conservationists.
Access: Hidden places in the wilds.
When Juniper and Wilton Olrin came to town claiming that the baby they carried was theirs and Juniper had given birth on her own, there were some condescending lectures but no one really questioned it. No one mentioned the harried woman with her head covered by a hood and hands covered in scales leaving the child at their door before vanishing into the woods. Kyra grew up on that edge of town, rarely staying in town longer than needed for schooling and she learned the way of the woods quickly.

Uncultured - Condition
Effect: When you invoke your backwoods background too often, you generate an impression of being an uncultured and uneducated bumpkin causing a Complication (1) on social rolls with most people.
Momentum: Whenever the condition causes you to ruffle the wrong feathers.

Secondary - Stealthy Hunter - Sneak: Athletics, Subterfuge, Survival
Contact: Officer Kendrick with Fish and Game
Connections:  Fish and Game Officers.
Access: Fish and Game records.
The wild child grew up and started to take up bow-hunting to help supplement the dinner plate for her parents. She was taught all the rules of a responsible hunter. Never to over-hunt. Always to make sure that to keep her licenses up to date. To choose her quarry carefully. But most of all how she learned how to be a ghost in the woods so that not even the birds would know when she passed.
Skittish - Condition
Effect: You're over-reliance on your stealthy nature has left you feeling vaguely paranoid about being in the open. When you're out of cover you suffer a Complication (1) on your actions.
Momentum: Whenever you hold back from acting as quickly as you could to avoid losing cover.

Tertiary - Descent of the Gorgons - Serpent: Close Combat, Occult, Subterfuge
Contact: Ontaria Blake, occultist and anthropologist.
Connections: Gorgons
Access: Euryale's terra incognita. (should she ever find it)
While her nature hasn't become truly obvious yet, as Kyra has gotten older, her hair has gotten thicker and seemed to twist about on its own. Her skin has gotten dryer, almost scaly, with odd discolorations here and there and some have been known to freeze in place with a simple look from her sharp, green eyes.

Poisoned Rage - Condition
Effect: When you draw upon your gorgon's heritage, a trace of the rage, grief, and sorrow of the original gorgons leaks through you. This gives you a Complication (1) to act calmly and rationally.
Momentum: When you lash out without thinking due to your attitude.

Serpentine Aspect
Serpentine Aspect (Persistent Condition)
You have some feature that can reveal your nature. This is either a single significant feature, such as the gorgon’s serpentine hair; several minor features, such as the touches of scales in the naga women; or a major transformation that occurs at certain times or circumstances, such as Melusine’s snakey-Saturdays. Discovery of this truth can bring those seeking your death or your advice depending on the culture.
Effect: You have a Serpentine Aspect which you have to hide and can be discovered.
Momentum: Every time discovery of your nature creates unwanted attention whether it is pleas for aid or calls for your death.
Innate Ability: Complications related to lack of light are reduced in severity by 1 for you as your eyes are adapted to seeing in the dark.

Academics
Athletics ***** (Climbing)
Culture
Close Combat *
Empathy *
Firearms ***** (Compound Bow)
Leadership **
Medicine *** (First Aid)
Occult *
Persuasion **
Pilot
Science
Subterfuge *** (Stalking)
Survival ***** (Tracking)
Technology

Attributes - Priorities: Mental, Physical, Social
Force 
  • Intellect ***
  • Might **
  • Presence ***
Finesse (Favored Approach)
  • Cunning ****
  • Dexterity ****
  • Manipulation ***
Resilience
  • Resolve ****
  • Stamina ***
  • Composure ***
Omen: Jeweled scales appearing along her skin while the sound of rattlesnake tails shaking filters through the area either softly or deafeningly depending on how stealthy she's being.
 
Titles:
  • The Scaled Warden
  • The Jeweled Arrow
  • The Ranger of Twisting Paths
  • The Protector of Gorgon's Blood
Callings: 
  • Guardian **
    • Keywords: Warden, Guide 
    • Knacks: A Warning, A Sentinel
    • Immortal Knack: A Living Pillar
  • Hunter ** 
    • Keywords: Ranger, Archer
    • Knacks: Apex Predator, Most Dangerous Game
  • Serpent ***
    • Keywords:  Jeweled, Patient, Gorgon
    • Knacks: Dread Gaze, Eyes for the Hidden, Silence in the Woods, Stillness of a Serpent
    • Immortal Knack: Petrifying Gaze
Birthrights:
  • The Coral Torc - Relic **
    • Beasts (Snake)
    • Motif: Red meets yellow...
    • Deed: Make a difficult shot.
  • The Poacher's Death - Relic ***
    • Enhancement +1 against those who harm the land.
    • Order
    • Motif: Don't tread on me
    • Deed: Solve the problems outside of town.
  • Sisters in Blood - Followers ***
    • Heavy
    • Group - 8 young adult gorgons
    • Consultant
    • Entourage
Purviews:
  • Innate: Cheval
    • Dance with the Divine
  • Innate: Wild
    • Lay of the Land
    • Overgrowth
  • Beasts (Snake)
    • Animal Aspect
  • Order
    • Code of Heaven

Legend: 4
Defense: Resolve 4, Stamina 3, Composure 3
Health: Bruised x2, Injured, Maimed, Taken Out

Further Notes

As a side note, when I first did this simulated campaign, I thought I had hit 58-64 XP but it turned out I accidentally failed to shift up one session number and so had 19 sessions instead of 18, I corrected the numbers and removed the extra session. I also thought that long-term deeds had lapped band-deeds by Legend 3 but that was not quite the case.
Milestone associated experience is always an interesting way to do things and I have mostly seen Fate-inspired games like Star Trek Adventures or the like use the three-scales of milestone so the short-term, long-term, band-term is very familiar. However, where two of those deeds are individual to each character and one is for the team as a whole, it presents some interesting dynamics. 

Another shift in the dynamics is in having the milestones being specific things that the player wants to see happen in the game. As with Aspects in Fate, this gives the GM a clear sign of things the player wants to deal with but it is a very specific thing rather than a broad concept. This comes directly from the Aspirations present in Chronicles of Darkness. The fact that these can be things your character wants to avoid or doesn't consciously know they want or need also presents some interesting drivers for character development. It also inherently ties experience gain to specific events in which the player has already invested emotional interest.

The example Deeds in the backer PDF and the Deeds I have used here also represent major beats to a story. These are the sort of general events that are easy to see as things that might happen to or around the character. The expectation of that builds anticipation which heightens the already existing emotional connection. If a character loses interest in accomplishing a deed or it becomes undoable, then the characters are free to change the deed for something else (I didn't actually engage this mechanic in the above simulation.).

You can also change about the directions that your character develops by your choice of Deed. Kyra here moves from proving her ability, to learning about her family, to romance, and then to acceptance by mortals despite being a gorgon. The fact that she's moved toward the last as she's starting to edge to demigod speaks of a bittersweet storyline as her increasing power is going to drive her more and more from other people even if they don't immediately freak out on seeing her.

The dependence on other characters completing their long-term deeds so that you can have your own manages to help keep the experience point game in pace with everybody else, though the ability to continue to gain short-term deeds does present the possibility of someone slowly pulling ahead of the team. This mechanic also creates some emotional tie in for the other players and encourages working with the other players. Especially I created a lot of deeds that highlighted various social interactions between the characters. I imagine a number of these to be cooperative ventures between the players. Timothy and Maiya, for example, are either spinning a tail of one-sided affection or else doing a slow-burn romance and there is a lot of interactions involving Mel's amorous pursuits. This gives players reasons for their characters to talk to each other.

It's perfectly possible to have deeds that are entirely personal and never involve the other players at all, but it seems like an under use of the system to do so. Granted, my personal preferences runs towards lots of inter-party interaction though with only very limited player vs player conflict. The use of the personal deeds creates some very interesting subplots going on with the overall theme formed by the band-term deeds.

Tying Legend to the completion of the deeds and the acquisition of Calling dots and Boons to the increase of Legend is especially inspired. The fact that each Purview has an innate power and access to Marvels means that all of your Purviews will be useful even if you have no Boons for some. You're also able to shift around your Calling dots each odd Legend gain, though I didn't do that, and if you focus it is entirely possible to end up with a Calling at 5 dots once you hit Legend 4. I further like the fact that you can increase your Birthrights and purchase new knacks using experience as it allows for some flexibility in build that would feel lacking if everything supernatural were tied solely to Legend gains.

All in all, the advancement system and character creation system emphasizes synergy. On first look it doesn't seem as if you have as many choices as you would in creating a character in a Storyteller game but the way in which those choices interact with each other can present a wide range of possible expressions. It also  leverages a lot of Fate's strengths in the Aspects while still keeping close to what fans of Onyx Path and White Wolf expect from one of these systems. In the course of streamlining things and creating Story Path, they've created a very flexible and narratively driven character creation and advancement process.

Edit: As a reminder, Band-Term Deeds do not actually generate XP but are necessary for gaining Legend. Story Goals generate XP and have no impact on gaining Legend. This group could have gotten a lot more XP for Story Goals than they did if I had tracked the two separately.

This is probably my most problematic simulation due to the mistakes I made with Story goals and milestones being conflated with Band-Deeds, but it still hits the broad notes of the system quite well. I may go back and rework this simulation when the official release happens. The main impact of the factors I forgot is that Band-Deeds are set by the players while milestones and story goals are set by the GM.

This swings the influence a bit more back toward the GM than my original thoughts implied. Where originally the goals generating XP seemed player-generated to me, in actually fact half of them are GM generated. Thus the story is going to be equal parts player and GM generated. Now, to be fair, my band-term deeds more reflect the GM side of my thinking than the player side. So the simulation still works fairly well. But, had I noticed this difference when I first ran the rolls, then I would have set band-term deeds that were more specific to the band's desires and attitudes rather than having the Band-Terms react to the development of the main plot. You would have seen Band-Terms like "throw a party to remember after a major event" or "get all our dirty laundry cleaned out and in the open with each other" while the current things noted as Band-Term goals would have been the Story Goals and there would have been a few more milestones in place.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Acacia Liuzhi - Shen Scion of Yamaraja - The Beautiful Death

Scions of the Second Refinement Background: Acacia has been raised with an eye toward her potential position among the Shen. Her mother...

Popular Posts