Posted on March 10, 2009 by GRIM
Part Four of the Scion companion is ‘Secrets of the World’ which is a rather grandiose name for what amounts to a grab bag of things that didn’t really fit into the other sections. This is the fourth in a series of ‘peeks’ at the Scion Companion which is coming to print to support the main line and is much mroe general – and therefore generally useful – than some of the other previews.
This is a toolkit of ideas, devices, groups and guidelines and as such represents the real ‘meat’ of the Scion Companion. If this is what you like from your supplementary material than buying just this companion on PDF could represent a real bargain if the other sections of the book don’t appeal so much. Here you’ll find information about inter-pantheon politics, expanded rules for god-like strength, more weapons, armour and divine widgets, a new antagonistic faction based around Abrahamic religion, rules for animal and human companions, guidelines for making your own pantheons, titanspawn and relics and a fistful of story ideas. This is a dense and packed little publication and crams all this into around 30 pages.
I’m still not a fan of White Wolf’s current graphical design direction and Scion still feels rather muddy, image wise, and rather boring in terms of graphical presentation. I can’t help feeling that a more OTT, graphically honed, almost cartoonish look, more akin to Exalted, would have favoured Scion more. I love the ideas and nature of the game but it just doesn’t speak out of the books to me in the way other games with a more honed and targetted presentation do. The, frankly dull, presentation really gets in the way of inspiration.
This is mostly rules so the majority of the writing is workmanlike and designed to get the message across. The section on inter-pantheon politics could have done with being longer, much longer, as it stands it felt somewhat skimmed and superficial for something that I feel should be a much greater part of the game.
The Order of Divine Glory, the new antagonists, are derived from the monotheistic, Abrahamic religions. This much is obvious from the text but it felt strangely timid in its approach to this topic especially when considered in light of White Wolf’s history. I don’t know why this might be but it felt like the topic was being pussyfooted around. Strange for a company that has indulged some ‘wiggidy whack’ ideas in many of its games and hasn’t been shy of condemning science and technology as a recurrent theme in its games.
The Guidelines are extremely useful for any Games Master helping to provide a framework in which you can understand the relative power levels and usefulness of Relics, powers and Titanspawn and to gauge them appropriately to the games. The pantheon creation guidelines were, particularly, a godsend (pun intended).
The rules content – while mostly guidelines rather than rules per se – is all kosher and above board and all seems perfectly competent and useful.
This is the meat and potatoes of the Scion Companion in one handy download, if you’re more the sort of Games Master who likes to kitbash things themselves then this is the one you should buy. It’s jumbled and packed and a mixed bag of lots of different things but it’s jam-packed with useful content.
* Packed with useful content.
* Very little pointless frippery.
* Relatively high value for money.
* Expensive for a 30 page download.
* Graphical presentation is deeply average.
* A bit dense in content to read.
Review by James ‘Grim’ Desborough