Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Scion House Rules

There's a forum thread asking GMs to share house-rules they've implemented in their campaign. Here's a list of my houserules...
  1. When someone channels a virtue, I give them one auto-success and they roll the extra dice. That way it's always at least as good as just spending a willpower.
  2. I allow Channels and Legendary Deeds per session, not per story. This allows for some really exciting back-and-forth on contested rolls, as well as empowering the PCs to succeed whenever they set their hearts on it. It also means having one less thing to track between sessions.
  3. At character creation, when PCs bought an Ability that required choosing a specialty, I squared the dots and told them to split them between any number specialties. Example: someone took Science 3. I told her "You get 9 dots to split between different fields of science, but no single field can be rated higher than a 3".
  4. I allow Abilities and Birthrights to follow the same caps as Attributes: Greater of 5 or Legend rating. The PCs all have a 6-dot relic or creature currently. I let them upgrade old birthrights at Demigod. As a result of all this, all birthrights (even followers) have remained relevant through Legend 6.
  5. I have extensive house-rules for Improvised Weapons and Squishing/Pinning. That keeps Relics competitive vs skyscrapers at God-level Strength.
  6. Turf war system. Needs some revising.
  7. We roll damage vs extras, but use the reduced health levels. They go down fast.
  8. I award Legend by story events, not by XP.
  9. I make the target to hit someone be DV, (not 1+DV). This was actually a mistake, but it went unnoticed for 10 sessions, and resulted in shorter fight scenes, so we kept it.
  10. I make Divine Wrath cost 5 Legend instead of 1. In general, I keep Agg damage rare.
  11. I don't allow regeneration or health 7 to heal Agg unless your Legend equals or exceeds the Legend of the source of the damage. I don't let it restore lost limbs/parts unless your Legend exceeds the source. That way, Tyr's hand and Osiris's phallus are gone for good.
  12. To speed up combat, I have followers act in squads, assisting one-another for bonus dice on a single roll.
  13. I've revised the combat wheel a couple times, because I don't like the way everyone piles up on tick 6 if one player has massive Epic Wits. Still not completely happy with the latest version.
  14. I've eliminated the "spend a willpower to shrug off any mental/social power" rule, but had to tone one or two powers back a bit to make it work. This was the one change that heard any grousing from my players, as I was hammering it out amongst the chupacabra.
  15. I've created several new knacks, and allow most of the knacks on the wiki.
  16. Houseruled Untouchable Opponent to boost by Dots, not Successes. In retrospect, I wish I'd gone by Legend Rating instead of Dots, as that'd reduce some of the "need" for high Epic Dex.
  17. Houseruled Holy Rampage and Divine Rampage to reduce Soak as well as Hardness. As written, reducing hardness rarely did anything.
  18. I've tweaked a few boons and knacks to make more sense - some seemed written from the assumption that Epics wouldn't add to rolls, others from assumption they would. I brought them all (at least the ones being used currently by my group) into rough balance by level.
  19. I've clarified that Knacks are all 5-tick misc actions unless specified (book just says Boons, it seemed logical it should apply to knacks more)
  20. Overland and marathon rates rules governing long-distance travel.
  21. Instead of "If you don't have the ability you don't get your Epics, and it's +2 difficulty" we use "If you don't have the ability, treat your Epic as one dot lower, and it's +2 difficulty". This way a Demigod loses out on 1-6 successes, not 20. This is a really recent change. It started as a mistake, just missing the "no epics" clause. After 10 sessions or so I noticed that, and decided nothing was gained by using it. However, recently, I've begun to think a bit more of a penalty is in order, hence the "-1 to Epic" idea.
Overall, I've shaken a lot of the kinks out of the convoluted and contradictory Scion system, and our whole group is really pleased with the results. The downside is it means a lot to document, and could prove problematic if we ever add a new (but experienced with Scion) player mid-campaign. Sometimes it makes it hard to converse on the forums, too, because I'll forget something is my houserule, not the default. I always have to "fact check" before I hit submit, and have looked like an idiot the couple times I forgot.

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