Scīre Boons

The old Atlantean language is long gone. Perhaps the Gods of Atlantis still speak it, but even if they do, none of their young Scions in the modern age would understand it. The closest that one can come is perhaps to look for the Indo-European language that focused on a rigid, highly structured approach to explaining the world (one that is, not coincidentally, also a dead language). Scīre is a Latin verb meaning “to know,” and it represents the rudiments of the Atlantean specific Purview: the knowledge based on understanding the workings of the World and its component parts. It’s no surprise that with this Purview, the Atlanteans excelled at the mastery of technology. Their civilization grew to such heights early in the development of humankind in part because of Scīre.

The power of Scīre to dissect and understand the World also means that Atlantean Scions may potentially be among the most dangerous powers to emerge, if any of them rear their heads. By using Scīre, an Atlantean could potentially master and manipulate the full range of modern technology in ways that the ancient Gods rarely bother to do. With the possibility of controlling the World Wide Web or the leftover nuclear weapons from the Cold War, it’s a good thing that no Atlantean Scion has shown up to take over the World…yet.

1 Fundamental
2 Literati
3 Intuitive Adaptation
4 Consequence
5 Proper Tool
6 Remote Control
7 Masterful Vector
8 Anticipation
9 Deep Secret
10 Ultimate Effect

Fundamental

Dice Pool: None
Cost: 1 Legend
The fundamental principle of Scīre is to know, as the name indicates, but this also means that the Scion must understand the World and deduce its rules. Activating the Fundamenal Boon gives an Atlantean a bolstered sense of mechanics and physical laws. The Atlantean’s player adds the character’s Scīre rating to all dice pools involving the Craft or Science Ability. Unlike the Arete Purview of the Dodekatheon, though, this benefit does not scale increasingly with higher levels; the Atlantean only gains a bonus equal to the character’s highest level of Scīre.

Literati

Dice Pool: Intelligence + Science
Cost: 1 Legend
The Scion touches an object that contains information — most commonly a book or paper, though possibly also a computer disk, a flash drive or a rune-covered tablet — and in a moment, all of the information contained on the item floods into the Scion’s mind. Depending upon the complexity of the information, the Storyteller may set a difficulty for the (Intelligence + Science) roll, but most basic books and texts require only one success for this transfer. Works covering complex or esoteric topics may require three to five successes to decipher, and the difficulty should increase by five or more if the work is in an unknown language or format (such as the binary code on a magnetic storage device). The Scion doesn’t necessarily understand all of the fine details of the data, but she has access to all of the raw facts; the information is essentially downloaded into her brain.

Information gathered via this Boon remains in the Scion’s mind for one scene, after which time it starts to fade and becomes too muddled to use. The exception is if the Scion has the Perfect Memory Epic Intelligence Knack (in Scion: Hero, pp. 135-136), in which case it all remains in her memory permanently. Intuitive Adaptation

Intuitive Adaptation

Dice Pool: None
Cost: 1 Legend
Having instinctively learned the laws of physics within the material world, the Atlantean gains the ability to perform great feats of technical precision. The Atlantean’s bonus from the Fundamental (SCĪRE 1) Boon now extends to any task in which the Atlantean uses a technological device. For the purposes of this power, any action that the Scion undertakes while using a tool with moving parts, chemical reactions or electricity — anything more complex than a simple machine, basically — benefits from the bonus dice that Fundamental normally provides to Craft and Science tasks. If the Scion performs a tool utilizing task that relies on one of those Abilities, such as reprogramming a computer, then activating this Boon in conjunction with Fundamental allows the bonus to stack, giving the player bonus dice equal to twice the character’s highest level of Scīre. Tasks that use a different Ability, such as Marksmanship with a Relic gun, can still gain a bonus equal to the Scion’s level of Scīre when this Boon is activated. Once activated, this Boon remains in effect for the duration of the scene.

Consequence

Dice Pool: None
Cost: 1 Legend
With but a glance, the Scion looks at a simple object or tool and ponders, “What would happen if I….” As a result, he gains an intuitive knowledge of an event that would occur immediately after doing whatever it was that he was thinking of doing. For instance, if the Scion glanced at a car that had been rigged to explode and said, “What would happen if I turned on that car?” he would immediately know that it will explode. Conversely, if he looks at a normal door and asks, “What will happen if I open that door?,” the only real answer is that he will be able to enter the building.

Proper Tool

Dice Pool: None
Cost: 2 Legend
Although an Atlantean can often adapt quickly to changing conditions with the Intuitive Adaptation Knack, her gear and devices might not follow suit as quickly. Delicate contraptions can be quickly ruined by exposure to sea water. Guns misfire and electronics fail in heavy rain. Extreme cold can ruin plastics by making them brittle, or the heat of a raging volcano might start to melt plastics. Fortunately, Scīre provides the foresight and the mystical endurance to protect against such hazards. The Atlantean simply invokes this Boon and all items that she wears, carries or holds become protected from environmental hazards to the same degree that she is. That is, if she has Fire Immunity (FIRE 1), all of her clothes and possessions have it, too. Indeed, the Scion’s own Epic Stamina Knacks can make her possessions resistant to a wide range of hazards, because her gear gains all of her immunities and resistances.

Once activated, Proper Tool remains in effect for the rest of the scene. Any item that the Scion holds receives its benefits; anything that she drops loses the protection at once. This power does not extend to living creatures that the Scion might be carrying.

Remote Control

Dice Pool: Dexterity + Control
Cost: 3 Legend
Atlanteans devised myriad cunning devices (for their time), and their familiarity with technology gave them a tremendous ability to interact with and command devices. Every physical law and every device was seen as interlinked with the Scion’s understanding of the World, so the demigods and Gods of the Atlantean Pantheon knew well the notion that the most minute action could reverberate with consequences felt across reality. A simple act such as raising one’s hands could change a balance point on a complex system of weights and thereby trigger a gearing system that opened a tremendous door. The use of Scīre refined this principle to such heights that an Atlantean could, with the simplest of gestures, exert precise command over the technologies of the golden civilization.

Using Remote Control, an Atlantean Scion can manipulate a device from a distance. The Scion pantomimes the actions that the device is to take, and the device follows suit. This could be as straightforward as remotely yanking the levers for a crane or as complex as remotely turning on a computer and typing at the keyboard. The device in all ways responds as if the Scion is actually touching and manipulating it, although the Scion can only exert enough force to work its controls. This Boon would not allow a Scion to telekinetically pick up a keyboard and fling it out of a window, for instance.

Without the use of other Boons or Knacks, the Scion does not necessarily have any way to tell what he’s actually doing. Typing on a computer keyboard from across a room may be amusing (and frustrating to the poor secretary), but it’s not likely to be productive unless the Scion has some way to tell what’s happening over there (such as with the Wireless Interface Epic Intelligence Knack, on p. 65 of Scion: Demigod). Unlike the Wireless Interface Knack, though, this Boon allows the Scion to manipulate all manner of machinery, not just electronics.

Once Remote Control is invoked, it functions on one chosen item and lasts for the rest of the scene. Any use of Remote Control is subject to the normal (Attribute + Ability) tests that might be needed to use the devices in question, but is also capped by the activating Scion’s (Dexterity + Control) total.

Masterful Vector

Dice Pool: Wits + Marksmanship
Cost: 3 Legend
A quick appraisal of a situation allows the demigod to surmise immediately the best way to exert a force such that it affects as many targets as desired, while leaving other targets unscathed. With any ranged attack or special power that targets an area, the demigod can choose whom to include and exclude from the effect. The demigod can leave entire areas unscathed while victims are trapped in whatever other nastiness she devises. If the Atlantean uses a weapon that normally sprays an area, such as an acid-spraying pump or a flamethrower, she exerts complete control over where its devastation lands. In conjunction with a Boon or Knack, the Atlantean gains total influence over its area of effect, able to include or exclude specific locations, people or even parts of certain targets, as desired. She cannot reshape a power beyond its original range or “trade” some of its internal volume to stretch it past its normal limits, though. The player’s (Wits + Marksmanship) activation roll determines how many targets the demigod may choose to selectively exclude from an area effect.

Masterful Vector applies the supernatural precision of Scīre to an attack, so it is only effective when used with a technological device or in conjunction with an area attack invoked by a Relic (be it a special power of the Relic or a Boon invoked with it). The Scion couldn’t reshape an avalanche with this power (unless it was called down by a Relic), but she could easily warp the dimensions of a flamethrower, hand grenade or blast of fire created with the Fire Purview.

Anticipation

Dice Pool: None
Cost: 10 Legend
The keen Atlantean mind can anticipate the connections proceeding from nearly any chain of events. Indeed, just by rapidly applying the knowledge of the World to a given situation, combined with facts about the God’s own capabilities, the Atlantean can derive an accurate conjecture regarding the outcome of any action. The player simply expends the appropriate Legend points before taking an action. After rolling for the outcome of an action, the player may then choose to undo that action and take a different one instead. In effect, the God foresees the consequences of taking a particular tack and decides to do something else. Note that after rolling for an action, the God must either abide by those results or change to a different action — the player cannot decide to roll, take a different action, then do the same action again (as a “different action”) with a new roll.

It is possible to use Anticipation multiple times in one turn, so long as the player pays the Legend point cost for each action.

Deep Secret

Dice Pool: Wits + Stealth
Cost: 1 Willpower + 10 Legend
Though most of Scīre concerns itself with knowing the World and understanding its natural laws, the Deep Secret Boon inverts this principle. The Scion calls to mind a certain fact that she knows from personal experience. She writes this fact down in some fashion, storing it on a disk, in a computer or on a scrap of paper. Then she invokes this Boon, and the fact is whisked away from common memory, turned into a secret stored only on the place where she wrote it. Even the God herself doesn’t remember the fact — which makes for a great alibi, since she can truthfully claim ignorance.

The difficulty to erase a fact depends on how widely spread it is. If only the Scion herself knows a specific fact, then erasing it from her own mind has a base difficulty of 10. The difficulty rises to 15 if the fact is known to a small group of people (10 or less) or stored in very rare books or databases. The difficulty increases by 5 again for each order of magnitude by which the number of people who know it rises. Thus, the difficulty is 10 for 100 people, 15 for 1,000 people, 20 for 10,000 people and so on. Erasing a commonly-known fact from the knowledge of the entire world (population approximately six billion) would have a difficulty of 55.

Once erased, a fact disappears from the knowledge of everyone who knew it and from every source of information that carried it. The function of the fact still persists, so the Internet would still run even if nobody remembered what an IP address was, for instance. It would certainly be harder to debug, though, especially since there would no longer be any way for a system utility to reference such an address in a form that a person could read!

The existence of particular people cannot be purged from knowledge in this fashion: Living, thinking beings are far too unpredictable and too interactive with the World to be so casually removed. Just about anything else is fair game, though: Scions might forget about the existence of a particular Relic for which they were questing, for instance.

If anyone ever re-reads the original fact from the place where it was stored, then the Boon’s power ends and the fact is re-asserted to all of the locations where it was once known.

Ultimate Effect

Dice Pool: Intelligence + Science
Cost: 1 Willpower + 15 Legend
If knowledge is power, then ultimate knowledge is ultimate power. The God’s supreme understanding of universal principles enables the Scion to cheat those principles. The player spends the necessary Willpower and Legend and makes an (Intelligence + Science) roll, and the God attempts to violate the laws of causality.

Performing this particular feat allows the God to escape the consequences of one action. In many ways, this power is similar to Solipsistic Well-Being (Scion: Hero, p. 129), but much more wide-ranging and potent. When a God invokes this power in response to a particular action, it’s as if the action didn’t happen to the Scion at all. This could be as simple as evading a bullet (probably a trivial use, since bullets don’t do much to most Gods) or as potent as completely avoiding the power of an enemy God or Titan. The Atlantean God may make a slight shrug or a brief glance to one side, but no matter how immense the effect, it has no bearing on the God. Entire cities might crumble around the God in the face of a tremendous attack, but the God is completely untouched.

One power remains outside of the ability of the God to nullify, naturally: Fate. The God cannot negate or avoid Fatebindings or Fateful Aura effects by using this Boon. Ultimate Effect also cannot ignore the powers of a God in Avatar form — such a being is performing the work of Fate through the auspices of its chosen power.

Ultimate Effect only functions on powers that affect the invoking God personally. Other people or items that might be affected are in no way protected. A God may only invoke Ultimate Effect once per story.

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