[Scion Second Edition] A New Calling
“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”
Greetings, true believers!
Sometimes, gods contain multitudes.
Orunmila is a singular deity of wisdom, divination and foresight. But Shango is (or was) a king, a war-god of thunder, lightning, justice, dance, and virility. Hermes is god of messengers, omens, roads, travellers, border crossings, trade, protection of the home, thievery, cunning wiles, and animal husbandry.
Some of these are powers and purviews covered by capital-p Purviews. But not all of them. Many of them relate to the broad archetype of God, rather than the specific elemental influences of the World that God holds dominion over.
In the first edition, many of these extraPurview powers were covered by Knacks, supernatural tricks or charms that stemmed from a Scion’s Epic Attributes. In the second edition, they’re still covered by Knacks, but those Knacks now stem from the Callings.
In the first edition, besides Knacks, Callings have also changed. Callings used to be “the God you’re becoming” but they ultimately ended up very similar to the “Concept” of other Storytelling System games. They were descriptive of the past rather than prescriptive of your future, which is why you got Gods with a Calling of “Used-Car Salesman”. So with the excision of Epic Attributes in favor of a looser Scale system, we decided to repurpose Callings and Knacks to a higher purpose.
Callings are the specific divine archetypes that Scions find themselves embodying, loose myth-structures in Fate from which Scions draw supernatural power both Worldly and divine. They’re one of the big choices in character creation – it’s a clear indication of what kind of god you’ll become – but they’re not set in stone. You start with a dot in a Calling and a Calling Path. Heroes can maintain one Calling; Demigods, two; and Gods, three. They’re added to by Transfigurations, or undergoing a Crisis of Calling that allows you to double down or shy away from tying yourself to an archetype.
There are eleven: Creator, Guardian, Healer, Hunter, Judge, Leader, Liminal, Lover, Sage, Trickster, Warrior, each with a Knack tree. You don’t need to belong to a Calling to purchase branches of the Calling’s Knack tree, but it helps.
When you’re a Demigod or God, they (along with Legend) partly define the Omens your Incarnations exhibit and the Paths they can inhabit when they create an Incarnation. Callings, for Scions, are inherited from their divine parents to start – but in play, this can change, as they accept, reject, or syncretize their heritage. By confronting the Crisis situations and dealing with the Fatebindings that arise from them, you can change the Calling you’ve been dealt.
Callings group Skills under them; they also have several Purviews associated with them. Leaders have Sky, for example, while Tricksters have Chaos, Lovers have Passion associated with them, and Healers with Health (obviously). If your Calling matches this Purview, you can channel that Purview and its associated Boons through yourself, rather than through a relic (and work marvels through your Pantheon magics, rather than through the relic and its associated motifs). These are, again, associations – you’re not prohibited from taking a Purview outside your Calling.
So, the open development part of this: what do you guys think about Callings? I’m open to the idea that these are large groupings that players can further detail out rather than hard-and-fast categories. Let me know what you think on the Scion forums.
So, next week: do you want to hear about Virtues, the attitudes of the Gods that also work to constrain them; or do you want to hear about Fate, the relationships that bind all the World together?