Playing Scion with Fate Core rules
After a long absence from pen & paper roleplaying games, I have recently returned, starting a new group.
So this is our house rules for playing Scion with the Fate Core ruleset:
Characters are built largely according to the Fate Core rules.
In addition to High Concept and Trouble, also add an additional “son/daughter of (your god parent)” aspect. This does not grant any special powers or abilities, but it can be both invoked and compelled like any other aspect, especially in interactions with other supernatural creatures (remember those “allies” and “enemies” listed in the Pantheons?)
We are going with “Filling in Play” for both aspects and skills, but that is largely because in our campaign the characters start out unaware of their godly parentage.
We used the default skill list.
Where we do things differently is stunts. No stunts at character creation. Why? Because this is where we will fill in the godly powers, boons, birthrights and all that other stuff from Scion.
We start with a Refresh of 3.
Instead of stunts, we have Legend. While stunts add depths to the gameplay, in a Scion game the focus should be on the supernatural. Character-defining stunts we reworked into Aspects.
Legend comes with its own rules and contains all the vital parts of Scion. There is a Legend rating and a Legend pool, there are powers and there is Fatebinding.
Legend Rating and Pool
Start the Legend Rating at 1 upon awakening.
The Legend Pool resets to the square of your Legend Rating at the beginning of every session as well as at Minor Milestones.
The scale is the same as in the Scion ruleset: 1–4 = Hero, 5–8 = Demigod, 9–12 = God.
Instead of stunts, our characters have powers. These replace the epic attributes, purviews, etc. of the Scion ruleset.
We use the Scion ruleset for inspiration and use them to turn purviews into Epic Powers, but ignore the game mechanics, costs, etc. completely, instead rewriting them in the spirit of Fate stunts.
Example: Water Breathing becomes a rank 1 Epic Power.
Epic attributes are turned into Epic Skills. They can have any rank, and grant a fixed bonus to a skill.
Example: Mike has Physique +2 as a skill, and Epic Physique +2 as his godly power, giving him +4 on Physique rolls.
We also add one stress box for each two ranks of Epic Physique or Epic Will.
The ranks of powers work as both a cost to activate and a cost to purchase. Every time a character gains a Legend rating, he can also add one Epic Skill or Epic Power at that rank, or two of a rating one less (this does not cascade, so we do not allow 4 of two ranks less, etc.)
Epic Skills can be raised to the new Legend rating this way, and a new Epic Skill or Epic Power at the old rank can be purchased instead.
Example: Mikes legend rating goes from 3 to 4 and he decides to replace his old Epic Physique +2 with Epic Physique +4. He could also add Epic Fight +2 now, since a +2 skill has freed up, but he instead goes with Aegis (a Guardian rank 2 Epic Power).
Unlike Scion rules, we do not use automatic, always-on powers. Both Epic Powers and Epic Skills need to be activated using legend points, just like aspects need to be invoked using fate points.
It costs the rank of a power to activate it. Epic Skills can be activated at ranks below what you possess.
Example: Mike now has Physique +4, but for an arm-wrestling contest only wants to use a +1, mostly in order to not appear super-human. Activating this costs 1 legend point, not 4.
For anything that causes damage or does something that needs to be resolved with game mechanics, we use the rank as a bonus for the dice rolls. So any kind of damage-dealing Epic Power adds its rank to a Fight or Shoot roll. Protective abilities either add to the defense roll or act as temporary stress boxes. Especially anything that adds Hardness will, on each activation, soak up damage up to its rank (can only be activated once per damage received).
Just like in the Scion rules, whenever a character spends points from his legend pool and in doing so affects the fate of mortals, a fatebinding could occur.
We make a normal roll, with the characters legend rating as a bonus. If he reaches or beats a total of 5, the Scion rules and table apply, with the shifts as the final result (a tie counts as one shift for this purpose). Note that since you cannot roll less than -4 in fate, gods intervening in mortal affairs (legend rating 9+) will always cause a fatebinding to occur. That is fine with us, it gives them reasons to stay out of things.
We largely ignore the detailed rules for fatebindings and play more by their spirit than by the exact roles and game mechanics given in the Scion rulebook. Essentially: Fated are drawn towards the Scion and will fall into whatever role seems most appropriate.
These rules are a work-in-progress especially as we just started the campaign and have no experience with the higher ranks (semi-god or god characters). Leave a comment below, especially if you have played Scion before or even have your own rules for using Fate to play Scion, or if you just have a comment or question.