Thursday, April 25, 2013

Review: Scion Extras

Review: Scion Extras by Monica Valentinelli
The Onyx Path (April Fool's Day release)
Rating: ★★★

Scion is one of those games which I really would have liked to have seen with a different game system.    There are clear similarities to the Scion system with the Exalted 2nd edition system, and sadly, both were systems I struggled to fully appreciate.  Don't get me wrong, they are fun games and the systems can work.  But they don't work as smoothly as I would have hoped for a game that supported over-the-top action and a wide variety of magic.   This holds true more so with Scion given it is set in the modern day, and the characters themselves are children of Gods.

Thankfully, the Onyx Path is here to keep churning out awesome books and new ideas for the White Wolf Gaming Studios lines that we love.  And for the recent April Fool's Day celebration, they released Scion: Extras.

So What Is The Book About?
Scion: Extras serves us a whole new selection of Gods, Goddesses and their Scions to add to the existing six pantheon of deities we already know.  But these figures aren't the kind of beings the others would be happy to see.    The book offers 10 playable new Scions and lyrics for the frighteningly popular song, Scion Style, for a Scion named Sci (clearly inspired by Psy and Gangnam Style with a Scion twist).

Yes, you read that right.

So, how was it?
Funny.  Definitely had some laugh out gems in there.
The cover is adorable.  You got Sci with his two ladies, as they are flanked by his four shinobi.  What follows is more than twenty six pages of character write ups which include gods such as Min, Babi, Fulla, Atlacoya,Tenjin and three names which quickly caught my attention:   Bae Shim-Yang (or Sci), Ralph (Bubba) Bacon and Jack Caricature.

So yeah, Bae Shim-Yang is a Scion of Tenjin of the Amatsukami Pantheon.  There's mention of his frustration towards the "Harlem Shake" but he knows he will come up with something else in time.  His sunglasses are actually a gift from another God and allow him to access the Chaos Purview.  And yes, there is a full page of the song lyrics.  (I'm sorry but I don't foresee myself making a video.  I can't! My partner will kill me!)

Ralph Bubba Bacon is like, the embodiment of Bacon itself.  And even scores Eric Donner as a personal friend and protector.  (Disturbing, yes I know)

Jack Caricature, Scion of Irusan, is a professional cat herder and seems to be a game designer. Admittedly, I feel that he's a certain gaming public figure that I have not quite identified and I sadly feel like I am missing out on the joke.   He actually uses a copy of Scion: Hero and opens it to the Sun Purview page to access his Sun Purview.  I really wish I got the reference.

The book has a bunch of penis jokes, toilet humor and some scary moments (such as Ixnextli's plan and Dr. Aztecatl's objectives for example.) But beyond the possible story seeds and ideas embedded into character concepts, the book doesn't really have that much else.z

What else is there?
Uh, sadly that's about it.

Rating Breakdown: Concept: A wonderful April Fool's Day book.  Very humorous without being pointless.  Admittedly I was kind of hoping it would have a bit more meat in it, the way Dudes of Legend was but then again, Dudes of Legend had a free and full version so the meat was in the full one.  And yes, I did like the concepts.  Sci was a fun twist.  But I definitely found John Lee curious given the Scion that spawned him.  Monica Valentinelli did a fantastic job in fleshing out each concept, and throwing in some ideas when possible.
Crunch: Barely there.  The book does give character sheets for each of those scions mentioned, but beyond that, we don't really get any new powers or weapons to play with.  I wish there were a few.  Heck, I wish the Scion Style Song had certain effects when done to explain its ear-wormy nature.
Layout: The book IS beautiful.  The artwork really works with the concepts.  But man, why is the pdf such a pain to read through.  It feels like each page is unnecessarily too heavy for some reason.   I'd like to blame my old laptop, but I don't get these problems with other pdfs, so I'm kinda wondering what's up with that.
My favorite part: Right now, concept wise, it would be Dr. Aztecatl who I find really disturbing.  Then again, that's my World of Darkness sensibilities rising to the fore.    I would also have to really commend the cover.  That is a sweet, beautiful job.  And mind you, I don't like Psy.  Sci, however is fun!
What I wish was better: More crunch.  I wish there was more that we could use in the game.  Maybe even a supposed "lost Pantheon" devoted to the Pastafarian or something.  I dunno.  I just wanted more.

It's the good reads that really get you wanting more, right?

Definitely worth the LOLs.




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