Welcome to another exciting issue of RPG Triumph…and Defeat, where we tell the great stories from RPG campaigns, both the amazing and the downright humiliating. These are the stories, our legends, we tell our RPG friends, and even those that don’t play. On this issue you’ll find two very long stories from a Scion campaign I ran until 2012. Scion used to be published by White Wolf, but is now in the hands of Onyx Path Publishing.
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Marvel Comics Copyright Infringement (CMA)
My Role: GM
Relevant Rules: Pantheons have Virtues that define them. Scions can channel their virtues and obtain a number of dice to a relevant action. For example, and relevant to the story, Norse Scions can channel Courage, the Virtue of the fearless warrior, to gain a few dice on an attack. Purviews are the Gods’ special powers, and represent concepts often tied to Deities, such as War, or Fire, or Sky, Moon, etc. these are the supernatural powers available to Scions.
During the 2nd story arc I created for Scion, the antagonists had caused all the Virtues and Purviews to assumed mortal form, becoming material instead of the cosmic concepts and power sources they were for the Gods, and the players were tasked with releasing them, either by helping them complete their objectives or just killing them. On their descent, the virtues and purviews assumed forms based on fiction, characters in human consciousness. One such character, representing the Virtue of Intellect, was Indiana Jones.
The players found him in Iceland in an old Norse burial site, examining the dig like a proper archaeologist. On their arrival they found him in trouble, surrounded by Draugr, mythological undead capable of growing in size, but that could be hurt or destroyed only by Courageous warriors or by being forced back into their graves. I translated their Courage-vulnerability, to mean that only characters with that Virtue could harm them, others simply wouldn’t even make a dent, which made them very dangerous opponents.
So, the players found Indy surrounded and decided to help him. There were only two players that night, a Scion of Baldur, so Norse, which was good, and he’d fought a Draugr before, so he had the experience…and he was armed with a flaming Sword that doubled the dice gained by channeling Courage (which he got from the descended form of Courage, Conan…because I like the classics); and the other was a Scion of Bastet, an Egyptian Panteon Scion, without the virtue.
At first, they both tried to fight, the Egyptian refusing to accept he couldn’t damage them, because he was the group’s highest damage dealer. When he couldn’t damage them he decided to try to force them into their graves, but they numbered in the dozens and it was impossible to tell which belonged in what grave.
In the end, the Egyptian had a stroke of genius, he talked to the other player, and between them and Indy they moved along the site and the equipment in such a way they could bottleneck them, get as many of them together as possible.
Then the Norse said “What now?” and the other one replied, “Now, I pick you up and throw you and you hit them all and kill them!” to which the Norse player replied, “Fastball Special, nice!”
Then they proceeded to describe the stunt, which involved the Egyptian Scion take his partner by the hand and spinning faster and faster until he threw him at the Draugr with all his strength, the Norse character activating his sword, making it catch fire and making a single wide slaw bisecting all Draugr and make them catch on fire.
I awarded the bonuses for the description, but before they rolled, I just said, “You know what? F*** it, you did it and killed them, their bodies turning to ash under you. That was too cool to ruin by throwing dice!”
Their excitement for what they were doing infected me as well, and it meant they were really into the story I was telling, which is always good for a storyteller.
ROD OF STEEL (DMS)
My Role: GM
Relevant Rules: All creatures have a Soak value for various types of damage, indicating how much of each of those types of damage they can ignore. All supernatural beings have a Legend Score, which determines their overall power. In addition to that, they have Legend Points, and one of its uses is adding a number of dice equal to the Legend Score to any action. Characters have Willpower points which they can spend to channel a virtue. Characters with Legend scores also attract problems and danger, and things often happen just because they’re there.
During that same story arc the players, this time the whole 4-man group being there, were in Las Vegas, which had been overrun by monsters, including Minotaurs. The entire city quarantined and a massive wall erected to separate it from the rest of Nevada, with military outposts here and there.
When the players arrived, it “coincided” with an attack by the monsters to the wall, crushing it and attacking the military personnel. The players came to their aid.
Because there’s always someone like that in a group, one of the players was very interested, almost obsessed with the Minotaur’s penises, and how long they were, which of course prompted me to exaggerate as much as possible, just because I wouldn’t be upstaged on being juvenile.
The player with the courage sword, who was fighting a Minotaur, then said, “I’ll cut his off!” and proceeded to attack the Minotaurhood. He channelled virtues, spent legend points, used every skill and ability at his disposal and rolled an impressive amount of damage, and he looked extremely confident.
Until the Minotaur soaked all the damage he’d dealt, meaning that the competition of Sword vs Penis, the penis had been harder…sorry, terrible pun.
I promptly described it happening like a cartoon when someone hits something very sturdy, the vibrations making them shake and a clear gong sound playing.
I’ll forever remember the look on his face and the laughter that erupted from this massive failure.