Scion: Hero to Ragnarok
Nature is a trait that describes, in a very general sense, a character’s core personality and outlook on the World. It acts as a touchstone for players to use when creating their characters and informing their actions and goals during play.
During character creation, each player chooses her character’s Nature. During play, if the character performs an important action or makes an important decision that validates her Nature, she regains a temporary Willpower point as her sense of self and her worldview is affirmed. Note that this action or decision must be significant and must apply directly to the story. A Judge cannot regain a Willpower point by exacting justice on the guy who cuts in front of him in the grocery line, for example. Deciding to go after the mayor, who is a Titan cultist, is another matter entirely. The Storyteller is the final arbiter of what actions or decisions warrant regaining Willpower points.
Generally a character’s Nature does not change over the course of a cycle, but it is not impossible. If a character’s actions over the course of a story (or several stories) justify a change in a character’s outlook or personality, the Storyteller may grant such a change at the player’s request.
The following is a list of suggested Natures from which players may choose or use as inspiration in designing their own.
When choosing your character’s Nature, think carefully on how it will interact with the Virtues of the character’s pantheon. A Nature that is in opposition to the character’s Virtues can make for some interesting RolePlaying opportunities, but it can also be frustrating. A Survivor with the Virtue of Duty, however, has the potential for being an interesting character — a sort of reluctant hero who is driven to serve others even though he just wants to be left alone — but the dictates of the Nature and the Virtue are at cross-purposes. Either the character is going to require a lot of Virtue rolls as her rating increases, or she will not get much Willpower back because she is constantly acting against her Nature. If that kind of internal conflict appeals to you, go for it. Otherwise, you might want to choose a Nature that complements your character’s Virtues.
An Architect has a plan for everything, whether it is her academic career, her weekend trip to the mountains, or her campaign against the titanspawn threatening her city. She is methodical, systematic, and organized, and once she sets out her plans, she acts on them. The Architect lives to see her plans come to fruition, for good or ill.
Architects are careful and thoughtful. They do not do anything spontaneously, and that means they are rarely caught unprepared when things go wrong. By the same token, they are sometimes accused of overanalyzing people and situations and being unwilling to take gambles that a more spontaneous person might.
Architects recover one point of temporary Willpower when they successfully execute a major plan of action, whether it is a raid on a cultist hideout or organizing a social event for several hundred guests.
An Autocrat believes in order, stability, and control. She manages every aspect of her life, from her career to her relationships, and is often the person other people turn to when they need help in a difficult situation. Autocrats are assertive, take-charge personalities. The way they see it, if they want something done right, it is better that they do the job themselves.
Autocrats are natural leaders and are stalwart souls in a crisis. They do not fold under pressure, and they do not hesitate to step in to help those in need. By the same token, they have a hard time dealing with authority themselves, and their stubborn insistence on pushing their opinions on others makes them seem domineering at times.
Autocrats recover one point of temporary Willpower when they resolve a crisis or face a difficult challenge by taking charge and implementing their own solution to the problem.
Bravos are thrill-seekers and risk-takers. They live life as fast and as close to the edge as possible. Whether it is leaping from rooftop to rooftop 100 feet off the ground or facing down a raging monster with nothing but a small knife and a Devil-may-care smile, the Bravo dances with death every chance she gets. Sometimes, the gamble does not pay off, but the Bravo has no regrets. Any landing she can walk away from is a good one, and if she cannot walk away, she is likely beyond caring.
Bravos are born heroes. They always rush in where angels fear to tread and come out of the fire smiling like fiends. They are impetuous and fearless and do not pay much attention to the consequences of their actions, which means that those around them sometimes pay the price for their recklessness.
Bravos recover one point of temporary Willpower when they take extreme physical risks and survive the experience. The Storyteller is the final arbiter of what constitutes an extreme risk, but it should be an action that has a better than even chance of resulting in death or serious injury.
Caregivers nurture and protect those in need. They are healers or patrons or providers who share of themselves for the benefit of others. Sometimes, they work in soup kitchens or do volunteer work in their spare time, or they have careers as emergency responders or social workers. Others simply do what they can for friends and family, often putting the needs of others before their own.
Caregivers bring hope and relief to others. They change lives with a single act of generosity or compassion and do not expect anything in return. This generosity does not come without risk, however, as they are often taken advantage of by selfish or unscrupulous individuals. Additionally, not everyone wants to be saved. Sometimes, a Caregiver’s concern can be overbearing or suffocating, causing more harm than good.
Caregivers recover one point of temporary Willpower when they help another person overcome a major crisis or challenge. This can be recovery from a serious injury, providing food and shelter for someone without a home, teaching someone a new Ability, et cetera.
Competitors are constantly driven to be the best at everything they do. It is not so much about proving theirsuperiority to others — though the worst Competitors do just that — but about validating their own self-worth by constantly testing their abilities. Some Competitors are small-scale. There are only a few areas in which they feel they must excel in order to be happy. Others strive for excellence in everything they do. It is a degree of self-discipline and determination that often leads to personal success, but it can alienate the Competitor from her friends and family if she isn’t careful.
Competitors are driven, goal-oriented individuals who attack difficult challenges enthusiastically and refuse to give up. They can be inspiring, but at times, their ruthless drive to excel taints their relationships with others.
Competitors recover one point of temporary Willpower when they decisively win a difficult contest of skill against one or more opponents.
Cynics have seen it all. They consider themselves brutal realists, possessing no illusions about justice, fairness, love, or human decency. Maybe they have suffered many setbacks over the years or have been in a position to experience the worst excesses of humanity for a long period of time — whatever the reason, they typically expect the worst out of people and life in general.
Cynics are rarely disappointed or discouraged by the failures of others. They knew things were going to go wrong at some point, so they are prepared with a backup plan for just such an emergency. Unfortunately, this bleak and unforgiving worldview makes it difficult for them to put their trust in others or to place themselves at risk unless something is in it for them.
Cynics recover one point of temporary Willpower when their pessimistic expectations are proven correct by the actions (or inaction) of others.
Fanatics are driven by an unshakable faith in their beliefs, whether it is a social ideal, a political creed, or a religious doctrine. The actual belief is less important than the total dedication that the Fanatic gives it. Fanatics are not born. They are trained and indoctrinated in the selfless devotion to their cause, or they dedicate themselves after a traumatic episode that opens their eyes to their new belief.
A Fanatic holds nothing back in the pursuit of his cause. He is willing to sacrifice anything and everything for the sake of a higher purpose. Such absolute devotion and selfless courage breeds legendary heroes and unspeakable villains in equal measure, however. Other people can be sacrificed just as easily if the Fanatic deems it to be in the best interests of his faith.
Fanatics recover one point of temporary Willpower when they further their cause in a significant way.
A Gallant places others before herself at all times. She defends those who cannot protect themselves and crusades on behalf of those who are less fortunate. She might be a social activist, a rape counselor, or a firefighter — the Gallant is drawn to causes and occupations that let her help those in need. She might do so as a result of her upbringing, or to gain redemption for past evils, or because, at one time, she was a victim herself.
The Gallant is the romantic hero of Western legend: The dashing knight in shining armor who rescues those in distress, often at great cost. For all its heroism, however, it can be a lonely and self-destructive pursuit at times, as the would-be savior loses herself in her crusade and winds up beggaring herself and hurting those she cares about.
The Gallant recovers one point of temporary Willpower when she successfully protects or aids someone in need at significant cost to herself.
Gamblers always believe luck is on their side. They take risks few others would contemplate because they would rather take a chance on failure in hopes of reaping a staggering reward instead. And many times, these Gamblers fail, but it does not stop them from trying again. All they need is for the dice to break their way just once, and sooner or later, they know their number will come up. You canot win if you do not play the game.
Gamblers are daring souls who live life right out on the ragged edge. They are not as reckless as most people think, however. Most times, they carefully and shrewdly weigh the odds against them before committing to a course of action, and they are philosophical when things do not break their way. The problem is that most Gamblers do not know when to quit. All too often, they push their luck until they — or those close to them — pay the price.
Gamblers recover one point of temporary Willpower when they take a significant risk or gamble that pays off for themselves or their allies.
Judges believe in rules and the power of law, so much so that they cannot stand idly by and do nothing when someone crosses the line. Whether it is something as serious as theft or as minor as vandalism or acting out in public, the Judge will not hesitate to call people on their behavior and take steps to mete out justice. A Judge’s response is always proportional to the crime — rules are rules, after all — and she works within the bounds of the law whenever possible.When calling the cops is not possible, however, she is not afraid to take matters into her own hands.
Judges are the bonds that hold society together. They protect the weak and the innocent and say the things that many people are afraid to say. Yet a danger lies in the Judge’s letting her authority go to her head. A very fine line separates protectors from tyrants.
Judges recover one point of temporary Willpower when they confront a serious injustice and make sure the perpetrator is punished for his crimes.
Libertines enjoy life to the fullest, indulging their ravenous appetites for pleasure in every conceivable form. Some Libertines have specific tastes, from wine to food to romance, while others simply give themselves wholeheartedly to every temptation that presents itself. Most Libertines do not consider themselves gluttons despite their appetites, though some admit that there are aspects of life of which they just cannot ever get enough. Others believe that the World should be taken in big bites. Anything less would be a tragic waste.
A Libertine is more than just the life of the party — his verve and enthusiasm for life is potent and irresistible. Libertines can find a way to wring joy from the darkest of situations. At the same time, such a long pursuit of pleasure takes its toll. Many Libertines flirt with deadly addictions that eventually grow to consume them.
The Libertine recovers a point of temporary Willpower when she finds a way to indulge her appetites (whatever they may be) under difficult or challenging circumstances.
Loners occupy the fringes of society, keeping to themselves by choice or necessity. Even within a tight circle of friends, there are often those who are moody or introspective and prefer to trail along in their comrades’ shadows and observe rather than participate. From their vantage, they often have a clear perspective on situations that their compatriots lack. They prefer their own company much of the time, but they value the few friends they have and will not hesitate to act on their behalf.
Loners are typically quiet and thoughtful. They can sometimes be antisocial, even moody, but when push comes to shove, they stand up for the things that are important to them.
Loners recover one point of temporary Willpower when they resolve a major challenge or crisis on their own.
Pacifists deplore the use of violence. Perhaps as a result of a religious or philosophical upbringing, or because of a lifetime of conflict and suffering, Pacifists believe that violence begets nothing but pain and destruction, no matter how noble the intentions of the warriors involved. Combat is something to be avoided at all costs, and the Pacifist is willing to take any steps and make any sacrifice to find a constructive solution to a conflict. This is not to say they are not capable of fighting. Violence is a tragic, evil thing, but if forced into a corner, they will shed bitter tears and do what they must.
Pacifists are voices of reason and diplomacy who hope to build a better World by example. Like any ideology, however, pacifism followed blindly can lead to even greater tragedy, as innocent lives are lost to the bestial hunger of titanspawn and monsters.
Pacifists recover one point of temporary Willpower when they succeed in defusing a major conflict through negotiation or sacrifice rather than combat.
Pedagogues live to acquire and share knowledge. They are always curious, perceptive, and studious, eager to try new things or to give the benefit of their experience to others. They might be scholars or teachers, researchers or librarians, or they might simply be people with sharp, inquisitive minds and a great deal of time on their hands. To the Pedagogue, a thing worth knowing is a thing worth learning, and a thing worth learning is a thing to be shared with others.
Pedagogues are educators and instructors who enrich those around them — and often know just the right thing to do when faced with a crisis. By the same token, possessing so much knowledge sometimes makes Pedagogues pompous and pedantic. If they are not careful, they turn casual answers into long, dry lectures or hold their education over others’ heads as a means of showing their superiority.
The Pedagogue recovers one point of temporary Willpower when her store of knowledge is instrumental in solving a major challenge or defeating a difficult opponent.
A Penitent lives to expiate her sins. Perhaps she committed a terrible crime — or crimes — in the past, or she lived a violent life that now haunts her every waking moment. Whatever the cause of their guilt, Penitents now try to live their lives in such a way that they can one day atone for the terrible things they have done. Such redemption might eventually come at the cost of the Penitent’s life, but what is the loss of one unworthy life compared to the purity of a single, selfless act of heroism?
Penitents are living proof that evil is not absolute. Their efforts to redeem themselves not only offer hope for their own future, but inspire others as well. The danger many Penitents face is the temptation for selfflagellation. By continually punishing themselves for their sins, they only succeed in hurting themselves — and possibly those around them.
Penitents recover a point of temporary Willpower when they suffer a great loss or commit a dramatic, selfless act on behalf of another.
Perfectionists are devoted to excellence in everything they do. If it is not done perfectly, it is simply not worth doing at all, and to that end, they are constantly exercising their capabilities to become the absolute best at what they do. They might take longer to get things done than others or go to far more effort on seemingly insignificant tasks, but such is the cost of perfection.
Perfectionists are paragons of hard, conscientious work. Their dedication and skill can be an inspiration to those around them, encouraging friends and acquaintances to redouble their own efforts. Conversely, many Perfectionists maintain an unhealthy disdain for those whose standards fall short of their own, which can alienate them from others.
Perfectionists recover a point of temporary Willpower when they perform a task flawlessly under difficult conditions. The Storyteller is the ultimate arbiter of the quality of the task performed.
Rebels have an innate animosity and distrust of authority, preferring to trust their own moral and ethical compass over rules imposed on them from above. The harder they are pushed by the powers that be, the harder they push back, breaking laws and flaunting their independence out of sheer spite as much as anything else. Some people become Rebels after spending years under the thumb of a tyrant, be it a domineering parent, superior officer or boss. Others simply crave the freedom of living by their own rules, regardless of the cost.
Rebels are the agitators that sweep away old, ossified ways of thinking. They can be harbingers of the future, lighting a fire of change whether the rest of the World wants it or not. That being said, a Rebel without a purpose to her actions is little different from an outlaw, inflicting suffering for no good reason other than to feed her sense of outrage.
Rebels recover a point of temporary Willpower when they take a major risk to subvert or combat a law or authority figure.
Rogues are a law unto themselves, existing by their own rules and taking what they need to survive. Some are con men, lotharios or simple, petty thieves, or they may be as murderous and cold-blooded as gangsters. Others are simply ordinary people who are not afraid to bend or break a rule in order to enjoy life a bit more. Some people are born Rogues, raised with an appreciation for the finer things in life and few scruples to hinder them. Others become Rogues just trying to stay alive. Laws are well and good, but when you are out of money and there is nothing to eat, what else can you do?
Rogues at their best are hero-thieves, such as Robin Hood or Ali Baba. They steal or commit crimes to counter even greater injustices, sharing their bounty with those less fortunate. At their worst, Rogues are rapacious predators who believe that if something cannot be properly protected, their victim deserves to have it stolen.
Rogues recover a point of temporary Willpower when they get what they need without paying for it, at significant risk to themselves.
Survivors look out for themselves, first, last and always. Perhaps they grew up in a harsh, unforgiving home where only the strong survived, or perhaps they are simply driven by such single-minded ambition that nothing else matters to them. They are typically very cold and cunning individuals, always with a plan for when things go sour, and they are ruthless enough to abandon anyone they perceive as dead weight. Others might be driven by fear or trauma and be perfectly compassionate and rational — until they are threatened. Then, it is every man for himself.
Survivors can take the worst that life throws at them and come through alive. Their endurance and fortitude in the face of adversity sometimes rises to the level of heroics. Sadly, it is often a very self-serving brand of heroism, as Survivors will sometimes climb over the bodies of their friends in order to escape their fate.
Survivors recover a point of temporary Willpower when their actions allow them to escape a deadly threat or crisis.
Traditionalists believe the old ways are the best. They resist change, preferring the certainty of precedent and custom over the risk of progressive ideas. Perhaps they grew up in a strict, hidebound family or culture, where the lessons of the past were handed down from mother to daughter, or perhaps they have come to embrace the traditions of their forebears after a lifetime of rebellious liberalism. Regardless, the Traditionalist draws strength and wisdom from unchanging, immutable custom.
Traditionalists are wise and methodical. They have decades, even centuries of accumulated custom to draw upon when faced with life’s challenges. By the same token, they are slow to adapt to new and changing situations and tend to stifle creative thinking rather than accept it unless they feel they have no other alternative.
Traditionalists recover one point of temporary Willpower when they use the lessons of the past to solve a current crisis or challenge.
Tricksters are mutable. They are ever changing, reinventing themselves with every new person or situation they encounter. For them, strength and survival lie in deception. They win the game by changing the rules, pitting their nimble minds against the credulous wits of friend and foe alike. Nothing is sacred; nothing is off-limits. To the Trickster, anything is fair game, and the only truth she knows is what she believes at the moment.
A Trickster is a mercurial creature. One minute, she is your best friend, and the World is your plaything. The next moment, she is gone, leaving you holding the bar tab and wondering where your car keys went.
Tricksters recover one point of temporary Willpower when they successfully deceive another person or group of people at great risk to themselves. Walking into a police station and convincing them you are the assistant commissioner would be one example; conning the local crime boss into believing you are a lieutenant from an out-of-town outfit is another.
Visionaries live for their dreams. They see the World in new and exciting ways and are driven to make those dreams a reality. Visionaries can be teachers, scientists, businesspeople, sales clerks… anyone can have a spark of inspiration that changes her life forever. Sometimes, this dream is so great that it becomes the work of a lifetime. In other cases, the Visionary is a font of new ideas, creating and discarding radical plans almost as fast as she conceives them.
Visionaries are creative and intuitive; they are always open to trying new ways to tackle old challenges. At the same time, their vision can make them seem flighty and impractical, unable to relate to the mundane lives of those around them.
Visionaries recover one point of temporary Willpower when they find a way to tackle a major challenge or crisis in a new and inventive way.