Tuesday, August 30, 2011

[RPG Update] Scion:Hero

Rocky and I just got back from Singapore and thanks to my good friend Gabriela, we found this lovely gaming shop called Paradigm Infinitum.  To quote Gabriela Lee, "It's at this dinky little shopping center called Midpoint Orchard.  It's squashed between a construction site and Courts along Orchard Road.  The nearest MRT is Somerset."  With Mina, Rocky's sister, helping us, we found the shop at the third floor, sandwiched between hairdressing salons.  

The shop was a geek haven deep within the shopping storm that is Orchard Road.  

There were role-playing game books, board games, card games, Warhammer miniatures, dice, and so much more lovely things a non-geek would probably struggle to understand.  There were some people playing while we were there, and admittedly I was tempted to check what was going on.

The two male store clerks clearly knew their stuff, which was a godsend.  While I failed to get their names, the two guys were really helpful sharing information on any games we found interesting.  It is always nice to have clerks who can really talk shop when it comes to gaming stuff.

Among the books that tempted me were the boxed set of Exalted: Dreams of the First Age and the complete set of Scion books which looked just beautiful seeing them laid down beside each other.  The Exalted box was around S$80.  The Scion books on the other hand were at around S$50 each.  Knowing the errata mess that Dreams of the First Age was, I decided to get the first book of the Scion line instead.  I might never chose to complete the set physically, I can easily run games with the main book and the pdfs supplementing it.

Needless to say, the book was just beautiful.

With a lovely dramatic cover, pages that were rich with color, and nicely written fluff, the book was definitely a good purchase.  I couldn't help but start reading through the pages once we got back from the shopping trip, and even stole moments reading more pages while in the bathroom.   I got a stab running a Scion-lite game for Rocky and Urim based on the Luna Brothers' comic, The Sword.  
Comparisons to White Wolf Gaming Studios' other game, Exalted, are clearly there.  The stunt system is still present, as is the power (and detrimental effects) of having powerful Virtues.  I still feel slightly sad they stuck to the Defense Value approach in the game.  I always felt a more active approach to defense seemed appropriate for games that emphasized on over-the-top fight sequences.  I guess that was something that I felt Weapon of the Gods and first edition Exalted accomplished far better than the 2nd edition of Exalted.

The book was quite robust, with lots of system and crunch mixed with healthy helpings of story and fluff.  Even more, the book had a large section devoted to antagonists and sample characters, which nicely gives new players to the game more ideas to approach creating characters.  And add to that the introductory story that can be used as a jumping point for a chronicle, which reminds me of the wonderful direction that was accomplished before with the limited arc Orpheus line.
I wonder though when I will be able to run this game.  And more interestingly which gaming groups would be the ones to experience it.  Comparisons to Neil Gaiman's American Gods and Mike Carey's Lucifer series would be evident for those who try the game.  I plan to spend more time to read the rest of the books to get a better grasp at what direction they took the game.

But yeah, there is definitely a nice warm feeling knowing I have a whole new game system to eventually run for my players.   In as much as I can get the pdfs of games I like, there's something very personally fulfilling about having a new book to add to our shelf.

Welcome to our gaming book shelf, Scion: Hero.

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