New Playbook: Scion of Glykon

Hi there,

This is a little playbook I cooked up for my BoB campaign that’s just about to wrap up. The Legion was trying to push their way through the Maw and encountered Pale Crawlers. One of the rookies struck a deal with them to adopt their god as his own in exchange for information and, later, communed with the god for strength in battling the undead. He survived the battle and leveled up so to celebrate I made a new playbook that’s meant to emulate a character that’s somewhere between a competent mortal (i.e. a Specialist) and a Chosen.

The Scion of Glykon is not balanced compared to other Specialists, it is definitely stronger. You could use it for a variety of reasons in a campaign but I’m using it here mostly to emphasize the weirdness inherent to the setting and the increasing alienation as you grow closet to the gods.

I’m open to critique, comments, whatever but want to state again that it’s not balanced against other Specialists.

You can view it in Google Drive.

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Specialist: Scion of Glykon

When you play a Chosen of Glykon, you earn xp when an action you take causes others to fear, respect, or worship Glykon.

Starting Abilities: Weave 1, Scout 1, Skirmish 1, Sway 1

Specialist Action: As a Chosen of Glykon, you start with one rank in Weave. As with all Specialist actions, these are not rolled. Instead, each rank gives you one Weave use per mission. You can spend a use of your Weave to perform a miracle related to mazes, poisons, or serpents. When you do, make a fortune roll.

On a 3 or lower, you take a level 2 harm and the lesser version of the miracle you intended occurs. On a 4-5, you take a level 1 harm and the miracle you intended occurs. On a 6, the miracle you intended occurs. On a critical, a more powerful or comprehensive version of the miracle you intended occurs.

Scion of Glykon Special Abilities

Scion of the Gods

Your threat increases to 3. Additionally, choose one trait from the Divine Features list on page 162.

Cult of the White Snake

You have five cultists loyal only to you. They are rookies and can be deployed as a squad only if you are assigned to the mission. Whenever the Quartermaster takes the Recruit action, you gain a cultist up to maximum of five.

Divine Resilience

You are immune to mundane disease, all harm you take caused by poisons and other toxins is reduced by 1 level, and whenever you take corruption you take one less.

Ouroboros

You can take a level 2 harm “ravenous” to regain a spent use of Weave. You cannot resist this harm.

Shed Skin

You may spend Weave to reduce a harm to yourself by one level and mark a healing box.

You literally shed your skin when you use this ability.

Venomous Bite

When you deal harm to a living creature at least in part by biting it, your attack gains potency.

Chosen of the Gods

You can only take his ability after you have taken all other Scion of Glykon abilities. Your threat increases to 4. Additionally, choose a second trait from the Divine Features list on page 162. As a final benefit, you promote to the Chosen of Glykon playbook.

Scion of Glykon Items and Loadout

Light Load

  • Fine Armor: Provides 1 armor against physical attacks. Patterned in albino snake scales.
  • Fine Compass and Maps: Fine Barta compass (hard to replace). Maps of the region that you’ve personally annotated.
  • Incense and Singing Bowl: Items used to attract the Great Serpent’s attention when offering prayers.
  • Two Fine Daggers: A pair of handcrafted weapons made of hollow bone. What are their names?

Normal Load

  • Contact Poison: Can be applied to a hand weapon, heavy weapon, or arrows to inflict excruciating pain on living creatures. When the weapon is used to deal damage to a living creature, it deals an additional 1 harm damage “searing pain”. Three uses.
  • Fine Bow & Arrows: Panyar heartwood recurve bow. Whisper quiet. Engraved with a serpent.
  • Fine Reliquary: Vials of sacred venom, scales of the Great Serpent, or snake teeth. Spend to reduce corruption taken by 2 and +1d to resist it.

Heavy Load

  • Antivenom: Neutralizes a poison or consequence of poison (harm or ongoing effect). One use.
  • Bloody Sacrament: A sacrificial offering, most likely an animal alive or very recently dead, to ensure the Great Serpent’s attention. When used in conjunction with a Weave fortune roll, +1d. One use.
1 Like

I know this is pretty old, so sorry for the necro, but I just came across this while scrolling through a search. It’s a very cool concept. At the same time, a lot of these are not-just-a-little overpowered, and I think one could absolutely keep the awesome and weird flavor, without needing to create a pseudo-Chosen.

First, great use of Weave! I love seeing what people come up with for it. The Fortune roll or risk injury idea is really interesting, and keeps it from being equivalent to a Chosen power – more in-line with how Mercies function. Plus, Ouroboros is a cleverly designed special that just dovetails so nicely here!

Regarding the other specials:

Scion: I would make this a “Push to…for a scene” type power. It would also be cool that when it activates, that’s when the divine feature expresses. (This makes it more clearly “touched by a god” than “avatar of”.)
Cult: These could easily be treated as a Special Armor use rather than “hey, a totally free squad for scale and extra dice that doesn’t require feeding, morale issues, or anything!” You could tick your special armor to use your cult followers to gain an additional die, for greater effect, or as willing human shields (to resist Harm). If you lose one this way, you can’t replace them outside of the Maw.
Resilience: I would make this “take one less, minimum of one.” Corruption is difficult to deal with, even for the Chosen.
Ouroboros: Again, I love the design here. Perhaps discuss what “ravenous” means specifically…is it just REALLY hungry? Or does it have darker connotations? (Is there something specific you have to do to remove this harm, or a specific fictional action you must take to restore the Weave use first?)

Regarding equipment:

A compass and maps don’t seem to fit any of the expressed themes of this particular playbook. A reliquary (fine reliquary replaces this at Normal load), or a another more thematic piece of equipment would feel more apropos. I could see some kind of one-to-three use alchemical here in-line with the whole serpent cult vibe.

Given the Shed Skin ability, I question having Fine Armor at Light Load, as I imagine it is real hard (and gross) to shed your skin inside of armor. I think it might be more interesting if the playbook receives no armor at any load level. All that said, Bloody Sacrament is on-the-nose and pretty awesome.

I know it’s been a year-plus, but if you see this, hopefully some of that feedback helps.