July 6, 2013
A Look At The Fluff Of Scion
The Scion RPG series has incredible fluff, mostly due to being based on various mythological figures and tales. A lot of it comes from the popular Greek and Norse pantheons; Titans, the Underworld, Tartarus, Ragnarok, and so forth, but elements of all the various pantheons shine through. While the crunch of this role-playing game can take a good deal of work to make playable long-term, the fluff makes all that worthwhile. I adore the Scion series, as I have yet to find any other game like it.
The game does devote a lot of page-space to its own cannon, concerning its pre-generated heroes (though players are welcomed/encouraged to develop their own), antagonists, and story. While I enjoy reading about these characters and what adventures they go through, I feel that some of this could have been toned back to make more room for more general information regarding the various pantheons, their connections to one another, addition creatures and figures of myth, and maybe even a few other pantheons. The story is well written and the existing characters are enjoyable, but I found some players turned off by them. It feels a bit unoriginal to create a Scion of the Norse god Thor when one of the existing characters in the game already has Thor as their divine parent.
Speaking of the Scion of Thor, I must also bring up the opening story of Scion: Hero as it, more so than any other, sets the theme for what Scion is about. The story, which is rather long but incredibly well written, focuses on the mortal child of Thor as he comes to realize that there is more to him than he knew, as well as takes us through his first real adventure, the discovery of his Perviews and Birthrights, and introduces him to his antagonist, the Scion of (not surprisingly) Loki. While the stories in Scion: Demigod and Scion: God are both good, none of them have the same impact that the story out of Hero did for me.
My greatest complaint with the fluff of Scion comes from the Scion Companion. While I loved the additions of the Tuatha De Danann (Gaelic), the Celestial Bureaucracy (Chinese), and the Deva (India) Pantheons, the World War II campaign option, with the addition of the “Yankee” and “Allied” Pantheons, consisting of “gods” such as Betty Ross, Paul Bunyan, Uncle Sam, Britannia, John Bull, and Robin Hood, was a bit much. While presented as purely optional, it felt like a completely wasted section of the book. Playing in the World War II setting is an interesting take on the game, but I never felt that the addition of these conceptual pantheons was necessary, especially since the Axis Powers got the Norse and Japanese Pantheons on their side, two of my favorite of the lot. In short, not a fan of that part of the book.
Overall, I highly recommend the Scion series. While admittedly far from perfect (what game isn’t?), it is really good. While it isn’t being made anymore, there are only five books to the set. If you every come across them, especially Scion: Hero, I suggest giving it a look. You won’t be disappointed.
Image Credit: White Wolf Publishing