Perception Knacks

Perfect Pitch

The Scion can be a musician’s best friend or worst nightmare, as she has the innate ability to detect even the subtlest variation in musical pitch. Her sense is so refined that she could catch a single missed note in an otherwise flawless performance of a Rachmaninoff concerto. The lone flub in the middle of the performance rings as clearly in her ears as if someone’s cell phone had gone off during it playing the Spongebob Squarepants theme song. The Scion’s sense of hearing is also refined enough to be able to identify with absolute certainty a phone number or security code just by hearing the distinctive key tones.

Predatory Focus

The Scion is a hunter par excellence. With a successful (Perception + Survival) roll, he can track his prey by scent alone or by almost-invisible physical signs. With this Knack, the hunter can follow his prey across any sort of terrain as long as the prey continues to flee and does not take significant pains to mask its scent or minimize the disturbance its passing causes. (The former entails such extremes as swimming a mile upstream in a rushing river or taking refuge inside a functioning hog-rendering plant. The latter includes little short of levitating or flying.) Picking up a lost trail with this Knack requires a new (Perception + Survival) roll. If the prey has Epic Wits or a Stealth Arete (see pp. 149-150), the hunter’s roll is contested against the prey’s (Wits + Stealth).

Supernal Hunter

Prerequisite Knack: Predatory Focus (Scion: Hero, p. 134) Where Predatory Focus makes a heroic Scion an exceptionally skilled hunter, this Knack makes the demigod Scion the unstoppable pursuer that prey animals have nightmares about. If he can find a location where he is absolutely certain his prey has been within the last 24 hours, he can follow that prey’s trail unerringly no matter where the prey goes. If the prey takes flight—either because it’s a bird or because it’s a man with a plane ticket—he can track it through the air. If it swims away in a raging river, he can follow it through the water. If it gets into a car and drives uptown through rush hour traffic, he can retrace its path. Usually, the hardest part of the hunt lies in knowing where to start; after that, it’s just a matter of catching up. The one hitch to using this Knack is that unless the Scion has the next Knack, Telescopic Senses, he must be able to travel within 100 yards of the prey’s path of escape. If the prey flies higher, swims deeper or burrows farther than 100 yards from the nearest path the Scion can take to follow, the Scion loses the trail.

Refined Palate

The Scion has exceptionally precise senses of taste and smell (as the latter enhances the former). With a faint sniff or a tentative taste, the Scion can figure out what ingredients compose a certain concoction, and in what proportions. She can also sniff out drugs or poisons that have been added to what she was about to wolf down, as well as detect airborne toxins by the way they make the air taste. This Knack doesn’t tell a Scion what an ingredient is if she isn’t already familiar with it. (She would realize that what’s making her iced tea sweet isn’t sugar, for instance, but she wouldn’t know if it was Equal or Splenda if she’d never had either artificial sweetener before.) Instead, the Knack registers each component separately and provides an indication whether such components would be dangerous to consume. The Scion also remembers the taste and smell of various ingredients she experiences so she can recognize and identify them if she’s exposed to them again.

Subliminal Warning

Whenever the Scion enters an area where an ambush is waiting, even if he has no reason to suspect he’s in danger, certain tiny clues set his subconscious on edge, preparing him for an attack. When the attacker finally springs the surprise assault, the Scion hears the tiniest rustle of fabric, sees the slightest flicker in his peripheral vision or feels the gentlest twitch of displaced air, and the clues he already noticed all add up. As a result, the Scion gains an extra number of dice equal to his Epic Perception on the standard (Wits + Awareness) roll to detect the ambush.

In Your Dreams

Prerequisite Knack: Subliminal Warning (Scion: Hero, p. 134) Even the best senses are of no use to a Scion who’s asleep. While some Scions get around this by developing enough Epic Stamina to no longer need sleep, other Scions prefer a different approach — one that also has the advantage of working while unconscious, regardless of whether it’s sleep-induced or trauma-induced. As the Scion slips into a comatose state, she leaves a bit of her mind attuned to her godly senses, and her subconscious mind remains aware of what goes on around her while she is out cold. With In Your Dreams, the Scion generally doesn’t see anything (since most people don’t sleep with their eyes open), but she retains everything that she hears, feels, tastes and smells while asleep. When she awakens, she can access her memories of all that happened around her, just as if she had been lying there feigning slumber. This is greatly enhanced if she also has the Perfect Memory Epic Intelligence Knack (Scion: Hero, pp. 135-136). Activating this Knack costs one point of Legend. Its effects last as long as the Scion remains asleep or unconscious. The player can activate this Knack as a reflexive action if some power or injury renders the Scion comatose.

Unfailing Recognition

The Scion can automatically recognize any people to whom she is Fatebound. She can pick their faces out of a crowd with just a glance. She can recognize their voices despite electronic distortion or overpowering background noise. She knows their scents and their body language and even the exact feel of the way they shake hands. She can also recognize an imposter when someone tries to mimic the voice or appearance of someone to whom she is Fatebound. Recognizing others is not quite as easy. If, when a Scion encounters a character to whom she is not Fatebound, she makes a concerted effort to try to remember that character’s looks and mannerisms, the player may spend a point of Willpower to lock that image in the Scion’s mind. After that, she retains the ability to recognize him despite all obfuscation for the rest of the story as if they two were Fatebound. Thereafter, the Scion loses any supernatural ability she had to recognize that character. (She doesn’t forget what the character looks like, mind you. It’s just that the Knack no longer applies to that person.) The timing of when the Scion recognizes a person is entirely up to the Storyteller as dictated by the needs of the story. If the private investigator who’s been dogging the Scion’s heels tries to slink up to the character in disguise at a crowded charity fund-raiser, the Scion might see the gumshoe coming a mile away (even despite the fake beard, the fat suit, the spray-on tan and the sex change). If a Scion of Loki who’s a rival to a player’s Scion of Anubis arrives in disguise to deliver a cryptic warning, the Scion of Anubis might not recognize her old foe until the trickster disappears with a wink behind the elevator’s closing doors. Finally, as a side effect of this Knack, a Scion can always recognize when someone who is not in disguise is biologically related to a person she knows well (regardless of whether that person is Fatebound to her). She cannot intuitively grasp what that relationship is, but she knows it’s there—even if the person in question doesn’t.

Broad–Spectrum Reception

This Knack not only magnifies a demigod’s mortal senses, but steps beyond them altogether. His eyes can now perceive waves in the infrared and ultraviolet ends of the electromagnetic spectrum. He can see magnetic fields, hear electricity humming within insulated wires and detect ultrasonic vibrations. He can smell the free electrons of a radioactive substance. He can even feel television and radio waves, though he can’t quite translate them into discrete pictures or sounds. The only catch is that the Scion must be actively searching for each sensation—the default assumption is that his senses are those of a regular mortal. Attuning his brain for this higher awareness and overlaying it on his mortal consciousness costs one point of Legend for the scene, but he can switch between the various sensations freely during that time.

Environmental Awareness

Prerequisite Knack: Subliminal Warning (Scion: Hero, p. 134) The demigod is so in tune with his surroundings, that he can detect even the most minute changes around him well before anyone else. He can feel the barometric pressure rise or drop (and describe it accurately), giving him an acute sense of what the weather is going to do in the next hour. He can feel the tiniest tectonic vibrations from deep within the earth, allowing him to accurately presage an earthquake. Changes in temperature are no mystery to him either. His awareness is so complete that should some unnatural factor change one of these elements, he’s the first to notice and can even track the disturbance back to its source. Also, if enemies are lying in ambush in the nearby area and are not concealed by supernatural means, it is impossible for their surprise attack to catch the Scion unaware. The Scion may join battle and react accordingly without his player having to roll to notice the hidden attack. If he reflexively spends a point of Legend, he may call out a warning for his cohorts to be ready and react accordingly as well. As an added benefit, the Scion is unfailingly aware of the passage of time. Without even thinking about it, he can accurately say how much time has passed from any reference point that he has personally experienced.

Spatial Attunement

The Scion is so aware of his surroundings that his other senses (primarily those of hearing and smell) compensate for his eyes in identifying nearby objects outside his line of sight. The Scion could recognize the person sneaking up on him by that person’s telltale scent and mark exactly how far away that person is by the sound of his passing. With one quick glance around the room, the Scion could mark in his mind exactly where every wall and piece of furniture is within. Having done so, he could then navigate the room with his eyes closed, even slipping through a milling crowd of people without bumping into anyone or anything. To a certain extent, the character can perceive what’s going on around him in a 360-degree arc. Also, he suffers no penalties for fighting blind as long as he can hear or smell his opponents.

Telescopic Senses

A Scion’s Epic Perception allows him to hear, see and smell things from much farther away than mortal senses do. With this Knack, the Scion can not only perceive these sensations, but perceive them as if they were happening right in front of him. If he’s within the range at which the sound of someone’s voice can travel, he can not only hear that voice, but follow its conversation as clearly as if he were participating. If a sniper is crouched high up on a ridge line within his line of sight, the Scion can not only see him but also recognize him and count the notches on his rifle stock. If he’s wandering in the woods and the wind brings him the distant scent of someone’s camp fi re, he can not only smell it but tell what kind of wood they’re burning, what brand of marshmallows they’re roasting and how long it’s been since they’ve had a good bath.


Prerequisite Knack: Telescopic Senses (Scion: Demigod, p. 64) While this Knack’s prerequisite allows a character to see and hear and smell things from much farther away than a normal human could, the sensation must still be within either line of sight or the extreme limits to which it can travel. This Knack, however, removes that limitation so that a character can sense things happening at a significant remove. If he concentrates on a location in which he has spent at least a scene in the past, he can see, hear or smell what’s happening there as if he were standing in its exact center. While the character does so, he cannot see, hear or smell anything that’s happening around his body. Another application of this Knack is that the character can extend his sense of taste or touch to the range of his line of sight. If he can see a chocolate mousse across the room, he gets a phantom sensation on his tongue of what it tastes like. (If he also has the Refined Palate Knack—from Scion: Hero, p. 134—he can use that Knack remotely.) If wants to know what something he can see feels like, he can reach out for it and receive a phantom sensation of its texture on his fingertips. Using either application of this power costs five Legend points. The first part of this power can even work from one plane of existence to another, to any place the character has spent at least one scene. Observing something in a different plane triples the activation cost, however.

Hear Prayers

Some characters who become Gods feel a real sense of connection to the mortals they’ve left behind, if not the whole community, region or nation. If a Goddess has made a particular impression on humanity, the humans whose lives she’s most affected might even call out for her help in desperation when she’s away. Others might whisper their adulation for her in moments of joy or vent their impotent rage to her from afar when no one else will listen. Most such prayers go unanswered, and a surprisingly high number go unheard as well. If a Goddess has this Knack, however, she can hear any prayer that is specifically addressed to her, no matter how far away the person saying it is. The prayer must be spoken aloud, even if it’s whispered, and the Goddess in question must be addressed by name specifically. If more than one person prays to the Goddess simultaneously, distinguishing one prayer from another is as difficult as distinguishing the words of two simultaneous conversations. As has only been implied thus far, a character cannot take this Knack unless she has at least Legend 9.

Parallel Attention

The more sensations a character can experience, the easier it is to be overwhelmed by them. If he doesn’t learn to focus his mind on one sound, one image, one sensation to the exclusion of all others, he can all too easily be carried away by the riot and cacophony all around him. With this Knack, a character need never worry about such a thing. He can divide his attention equally between every source of input to which he is exposed, to the detriment of none. He could absorb and comprehend every conversation in a room. He could watch and follow every television program on the bank of monitors before him. By smell alone, he could point out every flower in a flower shop with his eyes closed. With the preceding Knack, he could hear every prayer addressed to him at the same time. With the second application of Clairvoyance, he could instantly judge the results of a chili cook-off from across the room. Regardless of how many things he can sense simultaneously, however, he can still do only one thing at a time unless he has the Multitasking Knack (from Scion: Demigod, p. 65). Also, using this Knack for a scene costs three Legend points.

Rarefied Electromagnetic Perception

Prerequisite Knack: Broad-Spectrum Reception (Scion: Demigod, p. 64) This Knack builds on its prerequisite, making the basic electromagnetic perceptions that it allows part of the character’s normal perceptions. She doesn’t have to go looking for them, she’s just as aware of them as mortals are aware of properties such as color and heat. If the character spends a single Legend point for a scene, she refines these perceptions to an even sharper degree. If she can feel radio waves or cell phone signals, she can listen to them as if she were an electronic receiver. If she notices television signals, she can watch a program carried on those signals (or more if she has Parallel Attention) in her mind’s eye.

Sense Fatebond

When people who are bound by Fate move around, the threads that connect them vibrate. The closer they are to one another, the higher the frequency of that vibration grows and the more noticeable it is. Most people and Gods instinctively ignore this sensation, but a character with this Knack can choose not to tune it out. When he’s in the presence of a Fated character whose role has been activated by proximity to someone to whom that Fated person is bound, he gets a tingle up the base of his neck. If he spends one Legend point, he tunes that sensation in, which reveals which character is the Fated one and to whom she is bound, if the object of the bond is also nearby. This Knack doesn’t reveal the nature of the bond—such as what Fatebound Role a character might play—only its presence.

Fool Me Once

Scions with this Knack are particularly adept at seeing through illusions and other supernatural masking effects. By spending two Legend points, the Scion can, for the rest of the scene, automatically see through all illusions created by a being whose Legend is less than her own. In addition, the Scion can recognize the telltale signs of the illusionist’s signature, if she has encountered that character’s deceptions before. She can’t sense an illusion and pull information from nowhere about its creator (that requires the Mystery Purview), but she could sense, “This is one of Loki’s tricks,” if the Lie-Smith had fooled her before. The one exception to the use of this Knack is trying to see through illusions and supernatural deceptions created by beings with either Ultimate Manipulation or the avatar expression of the Illusion Purview. The abilities of these divine tricksters transcend normal means of detection. A God who employs Ultimate Perception, however, has a chance to see through such illusions anyway. Ultimate Perception and use of this Knack guarantees success.

Real McCoy

The Scion’s keen senses allow him to determine when he’s dealing with a creature that has been shape-shifted or a being that has chosen to take on a different form. By spending one point of Legend, the player enables the Scion to discern when any creature that he can sense is actually in a form that is not its default shape. This could be due to a Scion using the Animal Purview to assume an animal form or perhaps the result of a spell, like Circe’s transformative powers (presented in Scion: Demigod, pp. 237-8). The Scion doesn’t necessarily know what the creature’s normal form should be, just that it’s been changed somehow into something different. Of note is the fact that this Knack doesn’t detect illusions: It only determines when a person or creature has physically transformed into something else.

Scent The Divine

Most Scions seem to stumble into Bands or find themselves guided into collaboration by their divine parents. A rare few, though, have the ability to smell (and sometimes hear) the very ichor that flows in the veins of other Scions. With just a sniff of the air, the Scion catches the signature scent that wafts off any Scion, marking the subject as more than mortal. The Scion automatically knows when she scents another Scion, be it hero, demigod or God. Indeed, her refined sense may even divulge the pantheon from which the other Scion hails, in the form of a specific flavor or memory that comes with the smell. Sometimes the triggered memory even brings with it the phantom sound of a particular music or tone. If a subject uses a Boon or Knack to conceal his identity or whereabouts, the sniffng Scion must first be able to locate the target. If she isn’t aware of the other Scion’s presence, then the sniffer won’t smell anything. This power doesn’t tell her that another Scion is lurking about somewhere, only that someone she’s spotted is a Scion. Scions in general do not have individual, personalized scents of ichor, although at the Storyteller’s discretion a God might be so powerful that his ichor is unique and distinct. Instead, a Scion’s scent depends upon his parentage. Further, even though a Scion with this Knack might catch the scent of a particular pantheon, she might not recognize what it is until she’s managed to encounter enough other Scions from said pantheon. If you have created other pantheons for use in your game, you’ll want to decide on their scents as well. Note also that titanspawn do not have a signature scent that is discernable with this Knack. Activating this Knack costs one point of Legend.

Pantheon Scent and Possible Sound
Aesir Burning amber, with a snap of electricity
Amatsukami Cherry blossoms, with a roaring wave
Atlantis Ice, with no sound
Atzlánti Fresh blood, accompanied by the sound of a heartbeat
Atua sea spray and coconut accompanied by the rumbling of an erupting volcano.
Celestial Bureaucracy Ink and old paper, with a sound of rustling silk
Devas Incense, with a low humming
Dodekatheon Olives in hot air, with a murmuring crowd
Loa Rum and tobacco, with a drumbeat
Pesedjet Dry dust and sand, with a sound of wind
Tuatha Dé Dannan Fresh grass and clover, with a sound of creaking wood
Yankees Apple Pie with the sound of Fife and Drum
Yazata a mix of various oriental spices being myrrh the most prominent of those and hear the sound of crackling fire.
British A mix of rain and tea, and the sound of the tower bells ringing
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