Charisma Knacks

Benefit of the Doubt

Sometimes, for a Scion to be able to help people—or convince them to stay out of harm’s way—those people have to accept ideas that would seem patently ridiculous if they weren’t true. The player of a Scion with this Knack spends a point of Legend, and something in the Scion’s bearing or expression convinces a single listener not to dismiss what he’s saying. Maybe it’s the fact that the Scion is taking his words so seriously, or maybe he just has an honest face. Maybe he came highly recommended by a respected colleague. Whatever the reason, the listener gives the Scion the benefit of the doubt in regards to what the Scion next tries to explain, despite what he might be otherwise inclined to believe.

Blessing of Importance

The Scion is especially good at winning people over by making them feel special and wanted. By spending a point of Legend and either sticking up for a person, calling out to him in a crowd or just giving him a secret smile, the Scion refills the person’s spent Willpower points for the scene. The Scion need not necessarily believe that the person is important or special herself. This Knack works very well on mortals, but it’s less effective on Scions, who are usually wise to their charismatic peers’ ways. For Scion recipients, the Knack refills only one point of Willpower per dot of Epic Charisma the Scion with this Knack has. A character can receive this Willpower boost only once per scene from the same Scion.


Prerequisite Knack: Blessing of Importance (Scion: Hero, p. 130) A heroic Scion with Epic Charisma can help restore a mortal’s sense of self worth and empowerment just by paying a bit of attention to him and making him feel special. The charismatic Scion can even replenish a measure of the same for one of his fellow Scions. A demigod Scion’s attention makes a person feel even more important, though, especially when the Scion goes out of his way to treat the person like a true friend. When the demigod does so (and spends a point of Legend), he completely refi lls a fellow Scion’s spent Willpower points (if that amount is higher than the charismatic Scion’s Epic Charisma). Should he treat a mortal with such affection, the mortal not only regains all his spent Willpower, as per Blessing of Importance, he gains an extra dot of Willpower for the scene. When that extra dot goes away at the end of the scene, the mortal’s spent Willpower completely replenishes again. The Scion can affect a person only once per scene with this Knack.


With the sheer, raw charm this Knack represents, the Scion can smother an upwelling of panic, suspicion or utter hatred directed at her for one scene. The player need only spend a point of Legend. One scene is usually long enough to convince a person that it would be in his best interest to help the character, but it’s up to the Scion (and the player’s roleplaying) to actually say the right words. During the scene in which this Knack is in effect, the suppressed emotion doesn’t go away. It merely remains beneath the surface. If the Scion can’t set the person’s mind at ease by scene’s end, the suppressed emotion returns in full force the next time the Scion leaves the affected person’s presence.

Engender Love

Prerequisite Knack: Charmer (Scion: Hero, p. 130) Being able to charm someone is always helpful, but it doesn’t always make getting what you want from that person easy. A charmed person can still think clearly, question one’s motives and turn someone down if something about what she’s saying doesn’t feel quite right. Not so the person affected by this Knack. The character who uses it spends one Legend point as his player rolls (Charisma + Presence + Legend). The victim’s player contests this effect with a (Willpower + Integrity + Legend) roll. If the victim’s roll fails to garner the necessary successes, the victim falls madly, unquestioningly in love with the user of the Knack for a number of days equal to the user’s threshold successes. The victim is blindly enthralled and will do anything in her power to please the object of her affection. This Knack works regardless of the relative Legend disparity between the user and his victim. Using it unwisely against a more powerful character is ill advised, however. Fool Odin once, shame on him. Fool him twice, wolves on you.

Crowd Control

Prerequisite Knack: Charmer (Scion: Hero, p. 130) The demigod’s force of personality is such that he can quell the passion of a seething mob, whether he’s addressing a throng of rowdy political protesters, standing between an innocent kitsune and the lynch mob howling for her hide, or stalling the phalanx of SWAT cops long enough for his partner to finish sacrificing the hostages. By spending a point of Willpower and Legend, the Scion cools the crowd’s urge for instant action and buys himself enough time to try to talk some sense into everyone. Doing so is primarily a matter of role-playing, but if the player is not as good an extemporaneous speech-maker as his character is, he may roll (Charisma + Presence) to simulate his heartfelt call for calm. His words convince three members of the mob per success on the roll. This effect lasts for the scene, after which the mob either disperses or renews its shenanigans with its original vigor. If the character is attempting to halt the depredations of a mob that is being controlled or directed supernaturally, use of this Knack constitutes an opposed roll against the other power’s activation roll. If the power has no activation roll per se, the Scion’s player rolls his (Charisma + Presence) against that of the character who incited the mob supernaturally. If the Scion with this Knack gets an equal or greater number of successes, the Knack does what it’s supposed to.

Inspirational Figure

The Scion’s well-chosen words can play on humankind’s social mentality, giving hope and courage to not just one listener, but a group. The Scion gives a speech to gathered listeners—whether he’s calling upon them for help, raising their spirits after a local disaster or strengthening the bonds of community among them—and spends a single point of Legend. As long as his words are intended to inspire them in some way, every person who can hear him listens spellbound and receives a point of Willpower at the speech’s end. The only limit is that the listeners must be able to hear him clearly without him using the aid of any amplifying or broadcasting equipment. This Knack inspires other Scions as easily as mortals, but it doesn’t inspire titanspawn. Nonetheless, titanspawn are compelled to at least let him finish his speech before carrying out whatever they’re up to.

Paragon Of Virtue

Prerequisite Knack: Inspirational Figure (Scion: Hero, p. 130) The Scion spends a minute giving a brief inspirational speech, then charges ahead into the fray (be it fighting titanspawn or heading to the lab to find a last-ditch cure for a Titan-created plague). The Scion’s player spends two points of Legend and rolls (Charisma + Command + Legend). For each success scored, one person in the crowd becomes fired up with the Scion’s Virtue. The mortal listener gains one dot in a Virtue that the Scion possesses — whichever one the provided speech was about. This can lead mortals into all the benefits and pitfalls of having a Virtue rating. Every listener gains the same Virtue. A Scion could choose to give a Virtue that won’t have any direct benefit on an upcoming action, if they so desire. The Scion can use this Knack only once per scene.

Instant Seminar

Prerequisite Knack: Inspirational Figure (Scion: Hero, p. 130) The Scion expands his ability to influence groups of people by making any topic, no matter how convoluted or mundane, seem interesting, gripping and of crucial importance. The Scion must spend at least a minute lecturing to a crowd on a particular topic. The Scion’s player then spends two points of Legend and rolls (Charisma + Presence + Legend). For each success scored, one person in the crowd gains temporary use of a Scion’s Ability score. The Scion can perform this quick instruction for any one Ability, but everyone in the crowd hears the same speech and therefore can potentially benefit from the same Ability. For the rest of the scene, those affected by this power may choose to use the Scion’s Ability in place of their own. Heroes can only allow a beneficiary to gain a maximum of three temporary dots in an Ability this way. Demigods can grant up to four dots, while Gods can grant up to five. Such a trick is very useful for turning a disorganized mob into deadly streetfighters (Brawl), creating a temporary squad of EMTs to deal with a disaster (Medicine) or getting the help of a group of inexperienced people in a large construction project, like the pyramids (Craft). Using this Knack does not in any way lower or use up the invoking Scion’s own Ability. The Scion can use this Knack only once per scene.

Preach On

Prerequisite Knack: Inspirational Figure (Scion: Hero, p. 130) When a demigod has a willing audience, he can inspire every member with an uplifting, well-intentioned speech or sermon. This Knack works exactly as its prerequisite, and functions under the same limitations, but it is more effective. Mortals and Scions who hear it are so inspired that their spent Willpower points are entirely refilled. This Knack also has a more insidious dimension. If the Scion finds himself in charge of a group of titanspawn, he can spend a point of Willpower and give those awful minions a speech that empowers them just as Inspirational Figure inspires mortals. Each titanspawn who hears him regains a point of spent Willpower. Scions who might be opposed to the titanspawn’s goals don’t receive any benefit from this inspirational speech, but they are compelled to let the demigod finish what he has to say before they do something about it.

Never Say Die

Not every Scion can knock down foes like bowling pins and scatter titanspawn body parts in her wake. Yet some are just so full of optimistic joie de vivre, even when they take a beating for some spectacular failure, that you just can’t help but love them. A Scion might be accident- prone or have an infuriating talent for picking fights with titanspawn that are out of her league, but she takes her lumps with a smile and inspires her fellows with her can-do attitude. All she has to do is flash a thumbs-up, holler an “I’m okay!” or show a smile full of dangling teeth. When she does, all the Scions in her Band who can see her gain one Willpower point per health level the character has suffered (i.e., however many are marked on her character sheet at that moment). The character can inspire her fellows thus only once per scene, but she can do so even if she’s knocked to Incapacitated or killed—after which, she collapses.

Pied Piper

The character exudes such charm and élan that people just want to be around him. When the character engages this Knack, the player need only spend a point of Willpower and a point of Legend. Thereafter, and until the next sunrise, any mortal who looks in the character’s direction feels compelled to be in his company. People fl ock around him like the paparazzi on Oscar night, desperate to be near him and get his attention, and they’ll follow him from locale to locale for as long as he keeps leading them. Mortals can resist this compulsion, but doing so requires a successful (Willpower + Integrity + Legend) roll with a difficulty equal to the Scion’s Legend. Successful resistance breaks the spell for the rest of its duration; a failure means the character cannot try to break away again for another hour. The demigod character can have as many lingering groupies and hangers on as his Epic Charisma dots normally grant him bonus successes on Charisma rolls. Scions use this Knack not only to gather up fellow revelers for long, roving parties, but also to surround themselves with unwitting human shields. For as long as the Knack lasts, the compelled mortals will not abandon the Scion unless he chooses to end the effect early.

Divine Figurehead

Prerequisite Knack: Pied Piper (Scion: Demigod, pp. 59-60) As with the prerequisite, this Knack allows the user to define herself as “where the party is at” and have people flock to her. Where the prerequisite works only on mortals, however, this Knack affects heroic Scions and demigods, as well as other creatures of comparable Legend levels. The character spends one Legend and one Willpower. Mortal characters cannot resist this effect, and legendary characters of lesser Legend receive only a standard (Willpower + Integrity + Legend) roll with a difficulty equal to the user’s (Legend + Epic Charisma).

Unimpeachable Reference

With this Knack, the demigod can actually lend someone else a portion of his credibility and authority. When the player spends a point of Legend and the character either vouches for or lends a recognizable token to someone to act on his behalf, he confers on that person the effects of the Benefit of the Doubt Knack (from Scion: Hero, p. 130). This halo of credibility affects even those people who do not know the demigod personally. It is still up to the character who receives the effect to convince the person he’s speaking to that he’s on the level, but this Knack makes getting over the initial hurdle of suspicion and disbelief much easier.

Borrowed Credibility

Prerequisite Knack: Unimpeachable Reference (Scion: Demigod, p. 60) This Knack’s prerequisite lets a Scion lend someone the power of her name to help that person get over a hurdle of suspicion or disbelief with a listener. Actually winning that skeptical audience over after that is still up to the person the Scion tried to help. With Borrowed Credibility, however, the God can not only vouch for a subject in absentia, she can actually use her divine influence through a subject remotely. To do so, the God instructs a person to speak on her behalf, possibly going so far as to prepare a speech for him, and empowers that person with an expenditure of three Legend points. The God’s player then rolls her character’s full Charisma-based dice pool, adding in all available bonus successes. Thereafter, for a number of days equal to the God’s Epic Charisma rating, the empowered person may substitute the God’s player’s roll result for his own player’s use of the same dice pool. He must claim the God’s authority when he does so, speaking in the divine figure’s holy name. Characters with this Knack can use it on any willing emissary of equal or lesser Legend. (As the messenger of the Dodekatheon, for instance, Hermes has been a frequent recipient of this effect.) Its remote effect works on a single listener or on a whole group of people. Also, the character’s instructions to her emissary cannot run counter to the effect of the Charisma-based roll she intends to bestow upon that emissary. She cannot, for instance, prepare what looks like a stirring battlefield address on paper but is actually intended to demoralize the troops through whom her chosen generals speaks.

Boys Will Be Boys

This Knack, alternatively known as Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, is a character’s trusty Get Out of Jail Free card. When the character gets into trouble with some angry witness or authority figure—be it the police, a mortal parent, one’s long-suffering spouse, etc.—he need only shrug haplessly, grin foolishly or do likewise. (His player also spends a point of Legend.) At that, the offended party decides that whatever the character did wasn’t really that bad. The character gets a slap on the wrist, a stern warning or no punishment at all, depending on when he chooses to use it. This Knack doesn’t work on anyone with a higher Legend rating, though. Also, if the character wants to use it against someone with an equal Legend rating, his player must roll (Charisma + Presence + Legend) against a roll of the potential victim’s (Willpower + Integrity + Legend).

Blame James

Prerequisite Knack: Boys Will Be Boys (Scion: God, p. 68) Some Scions are just too likable to take the heat. When the Scion invokes Boys Will Be Boys in order to calm the anger of an authority figure after a disaster, the player can choose to spend two additional Legend points and invoke Blame James as well. Then, the Scion just glances at someone else, makes a brief comment about “Well, it wasn’t my idea…” or somehow gives the impression that the narrowly-averted trouble was the result of someone else’s malfeasance. So impressive is the Scion’s demeanor that the disciplinary authority figure becomes convinced that the named individual had something to do with the event, and is in some way culpable. This Knack only functions if the use of Boys Will Be Boys also functioned; if that attempt fails, then this Knack also fails, although the Legend points are still spent

Hapless Cool

The character spends a Legend point, and for the rest of the scene, she’s just cool. Nobody can explain it; there’s just something about either what she did or the way she did it that made her look cool. Okay, sure, the salt she threw over her shoulder hit Papa Legba’s dog in the eyes, but the comedic timing was just so perfect. Yeah, granted, she laughed so hard when Hel asked if she wanted any half-and-half in her coffee that scrambled eggs came out her nose, but she owned it. No matter what a character with this Knack active does, says or allows to happen that makes a fool out of herself, anyone who sees her thinks she’s cool anyway.

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