Monday, September 15, 2008

Changes to Godhood

The PCs in my Scion group ascended to godhood recently. We didn't want this level of play to feel like superheroes, we wanted it to feel like gods. So we figured out how to do as much.

First off, we moved everyone up to Legend 11. Rather than charging 14 bonus points off the template to do so, I just charged 10, and the whole group advanced.

We made sure that everyone had some method to world-hop, so no PC would be stranded if they split up. Sanctums with gates, various movement powers, etc. To facilitate this, I gave them 1 free dot of sanctum, to represent "real estate mom or dad gave you".

I'm making stunt dice into stunt successes at this level. I'll be deciding this week whether to work in something like the Cult birthright that Gnomish American came up with (man I wish I'd remembered that last week), or to just double the legend point rewards of stunts. I want Legend going back and forth dynamically, not just spiking at story start and then dropping steadily off.

I did work up and implement an alternate system for Bavatar - similar to Darkening Of The Light's bavatar system, modified by ideas stolen from BlaineTog's Title and Godhood Title questing boons.

various sources of inspiration wrote:

Darkening of the Light's Bavatar system:
BlaineTog's questing purview (see Title and Godhood Title)
Gnomish_American's Cult birthright

Basically, each PC got 3 avatars they could build. Each avatar could have a different appearance, and a different Legend Rating.
For each avatar, they could choose a few parts of their persona, reputation or fate that didn't apply to that avatar. The players worked together to develop avatars that work together.
Everyone's got a low level avatar that is designed to be used for spying, walking amongst the people unnoticed, and doing their laundry. Smile
Then they've all got a bad-ass war avatar that's their most nastiest form, Legend 11 and decked out with all kinds of sick powers.
Then there's a mid-range negotiation and problem-solving avatar.

These avatars are set in stone - and must always manifest the same way. However, I told them that if and when they get to Legend 12, they'll each get a new Avatar.

I encouraged symbolism amongst the avatars: one has Judge, Jury, and Executioner incarnations, for example.

They can manifest in only one bavatar at a time. If they die in bavatar form, that bavatar is lost forever, and there may be other not-yet-completely-defined penalties. If the "true you" is killed, instead, death is permanent (accept for a few power capable of saving you - Health or Death 11, Ultimate Stamina, etc). The "true you" is just their inner self, an idealized version of their old mortal coil, without any automatic powers - just like if we were going by the books and nobody bought Bavatar at all.

For each incarnation, I allowed them to pick a small number of powers that were constantly active. These had to be powers that are either free or have a per-scene activation cost. In the case of the later, the per-scene cost was added (once) to the cost to assume that avatar. For doing so, they got a break on it, in that they wouldn't have to repay to reactivate it scene after scene - it'd be constantly "on" whenever in that form. For example, the egyptian character chose a form with "Animal Features" constantly on, so he could have a bird head. The combat forms have UO (and other things) activated constantly, and one has Colossus Armor as her body.

This is all VERY experimental, and I'm aware it rather significantly boosted the power of bavatar and the PCs in general. It certainly wouldn't have been for any game, and it's not the sort of thing I imagined myself ever allowing in a game. This is WAY over the top, and it may come crashing down unexpectedly. That's okay. We've been playing for over a year, and were all getting kinda antsy to move on to something new. We love our characters, but have grown increasingly frustrated with the existing rules, so we thought we'd try something completely different. Hopefully, this will inject some excitement into the game, and reinvigorate us. If not, it'll at least be memorable.

The players understand that we are now moving into the endgame, and that the pace will be breakneck from here on out. We're not looking towards the long-term health of the campaign at this point, we're looking to have the story go out with a bang sometime in the next couple months. There will be no punches pulled from here on out, hence the need for 3 avatars as a way to escape death.

Those of you who've read my various posts here before know that I spend a lot of time worrying about play-balance. I've decided to just throw that by the wayside. While I've tweaked a lot of knacks and low-level powers in the past trying to keep things from "getting out of hand" at Hero and Demigod, I've declared an intent to not reign in any power that you'd need Legend 9+ to access. If it's broke, I ain't fixing it any more.

This is a significant departure from the "comfort zone" of my usual GMing style.

*fingers crossed*

But we aren't stopping there. Since I'm on a truncated timeline, trying to wrap the game in a couple months, I'm not gonna let things be bogged down by saving up to by powers that cost 30-50 xp.
I implemented a new XP chart, that looks like this:

Experience Cost Chart
Attribute 1 to 2 2 to 3 3 to 4 4 to 5 5 to 6 6 to 7 7 to 8 8 to 9 9 to 10 10 to 11 11 to 12
4 xp 8 xp 12 xp 16 xp 17 xp 18 xp 19 xp 20 xp 21 xp 22 xp 23 xp

Epic Attribute NEW 1 to 2 2 to 3 3 to 4 4 to 5 5 to 6 6 to 7 7 to 8 8 to 9 9 to 10 Ultimate
Favored by Parent 8 xp 4 xp 8 xp 12 xp 16 xp 17 xp 18 xp 19 xp 20 xp 21 xp 22 xp

Knack NEW 5 xp

Willpower 7 to 8 8 to 9 9 to 10
14 xp 15 xp 16 xp

Ability NEW 1 to 2 2 to 3 3 to 4 4 to 5 5 to 6 6 to 7 7 to 8 8 to 9 9 to 10 10 to 11 11 to 12
Favored 2 xp 1 xp 3 xp 5 xp 7 xp 9 xp 11 xp 13 xp 15 xp 17 xp 19 xp 21 xp
Non-Favored 3 xp 2 xp 4 xp 6 xp 8 xp 10 xp 12 xp 14 xp 16 xp 18 xp 20 xp 22 xp

Virtue NEW 1 to 2 2 to 3 3 to 4 4 to 5
In-Pantheon 3 xp 3 xp 6 xp 9 xp 12 xp
Out-Pantheon 6 xp 3 xp 7 xp 11 xp 15 xp

Pantheon Purview NEW 1 to 2 2 to 3 3 to 4 4 to 5 5 to 6 6 to 7 7 to 8 8 to 9 9 to 10
Your Pantheon 3 xp 4 xp 8 xp 12 xp 16 xp 17 xp 18 xp 19 xp 20 xp 21 xp

Boons 1-dot 2-dot 3-dot 4-dot 5-dot 6-dot 7-dot 8-dot 9-dot 10-dot Ultimate
Favored 4 xp 8 xp 12 xp 16 xp 17 xp 18 xp 19 xp 20 xp 21 xp 22 xp 23 xp
Not Favored 5 xp 10 xp 15 xp 16 xp 17 xp 18 xp 19 xp 20 xp 21 xp 22 xp 23 xp

No doubt the blogging software will screw up the formatting and make that hard to read. So here's what matters on that chart: There's a cost cap in place. Basically, whatever level of something costs 15 or 16 xp still does, and all the levels below that cost their normal amounts. The levels above it, however, cost only +1 point more for every level higher you go. So, taking Epic 8 to Epic 10 would cost a total of 42 xp, (not 68 xp - so you'll get it at least 3 sessions faster), but getting your first several dots in an Epic will cost just the same as it always has. The point of this is to let the players improve something meaningful every couple of sessions. (The average award over the course of the campaign has been around 8 xp per session.)

Anyhow, as you can see, it's hardly the same game. Hopefully this will result in me bitching less about flaws in the system, and having more fun just letting it all fly.

In fact, next time you hear me whining, you have my permission to remind me that:
a) I'm not really playing Scion anymore,
b) I brought it on myself.

Wish me luck ...or, just mumble "good riddance" under your breath as you click on to the next post. Smile

1 comment:

Vampir said...

More fun is never a bad thing!