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Scion Companion (Manifestations of Ichor) Review

Posted on July 21, 2008 by Flames


Available at RPGNow.com

Introduction
This is the second part of the Scion Companion to be released as a PDF, the first having been the Tuatha de Daanan segment and with a couple more to come. It furthers White Wolf’s relatively progressive e-book policy while simultaneously acting almost as a preview for the eventual, finished product and also, probably, cunningly getting people to buy much of the same material twice – can’t really fault them for doing that! This section is all about the powers, the elevated statistics and their consequences, the fields of expertise and the powers within those, additional companions, followers, artifacts, magic and so on.

Overview
Manifestations of Ichor is pure rules, there’s no real padding here aside from a little bit of opening fiction. That means everything here is useful, without being lost in purple prose, and has applicability to most – if not all – Scion campaigns.

Artwork
The artwork in this section is workmanlike and capable enough but this sort of section doesn’t necessarily lend itself to great works of art. Even so the work in this segment didn’t leave a great or lasting impression and could have been a little bit better. The layout is also workmanlike and par for the course for a Scion book but somehow this book felt a little dark on the page, which made it a slightly harder read than some others.

Writing
There’s not much call for flair in the writing of a rules section but the rules seem to be described in good order without much room for ambiguity or too much misinterpretation. The main problem with this product is that there isn’t a great deal to write a review about! It’s all welcome rules additions and expansions and as such is rather dry, but is also packed with content.

Rules
This offering is alllllll about the rules. There are expanded rules for starting a character at Demigod or God level, using standard character creation rather than simply applying scads of experience. This also comes with advince on creating a character that feels established, rather than just having a higher power level. There are new knacks for all the statistics, many of which seem familiar from old World of Darkness or Aberrant products but that isn’t to fault them, they work and others are all new.

Perhaps the most welcome addition, for me, was the inclusion of some barebones godly ‘gadgeteering’ rules. These aren’t particularly complete or expansive but do allow for everything from artefacts and automata to lost science. I just wish they had been a bit more expansive and a bit more permanent and lasting in effect.

There’s new material for guides, followers, creatures and relics which are good but some feel a little jarring. The pop cultural Gun Wing Mask, for example, just doesn’t quite seem to fit the paradigm of the ancient brought to the modern for me. The other jarring thing I find is the inclusion of the Atlantean gods within Scion. Whereas everything else is at least rooted in genuine mythology the inclusion of Atlantis comes from some rather peculiar ideas and its presence in Scion as well as in the new Mage, for me, detracts from both. I’m left wondering when theosophists took over White Wolf! Their new purview is ‘Scire’ – an Atlantean language and technique that provides them with greater understanding and control over devices – the lost Atlantean science if you will, the rest of the section expands on existing purviews, giving additional powers and ideas for their uses.

Upsides

* All killer, no filler.
* Useful expansions to the rules and ideas, rather than just expanding for the sake of it.
* No padding, everything you need is easily accessible, not hidden in fiction.

Downsides

* Atlantis.

Score
Style: 3
Substance: 5
Overall: 4

Review by James ‘Grim’ Desborough

Look for more Scion eBooks at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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