Wits Knacks

Instant Investigator

The Scion can take an intuitive “read” of a crime scene and make a reasonably accurate assessment of what transpired there. By spending a point of Legend and taking a single, sweeping glance around the scene of a crime, the Scion entitles his player to a reflexive (Wits + Investigation) roll. If the roll succeeds, the Scion can tell what crimes were committed at that scene (if it was more than one), how many perpetrators were involved, how long ago it happened, roughly the sequence of events that took place and what means the perpetrators employed to cover up evidence. The difficulty of the roll should reflect how long ago the crime occurred, how contaminated the crime scene has been since then and how thorough the criminals were in covering their tracks. This Knack doesn’t reveal specific, plot-sensitive information that isn’t readily apparent (such as who the perpetrators actually are), but it should provide enough clues in a single glance for the character to develop solid leads that further the story.

Meditative Focus

Whether she’s hunkered down behind a burning car in a war zone, caught out on the yard during a prison riot, stranded on the crowded deck of a storm-tossed ship or just mall-walking during the frenzied heights of the Christmas rush, the character never loses her cool. No matter what’s happening, she keeps her mind on what she’s doing while maintaining sufficient vigilance to avoid getting caught up in the hubbub all around her. As such, the character is able to eliminate one point of environmental distraction penalty per dot she has of Epic Wits.

Opening Gambit

Sometimes, victory in conflict is all about being the guy who makes the first move, and the Scion is usually that guy. When he joins battle, his player can either make a Join Battle roll like everyone else, or he can simply spend a point of Legend for his character to automatically go first in the reaction count. This Knack cannot automatically preempt an otherwise unexpected attack, though, as the character must actually be able to join battle for this Knack to function. If more than one character involved in a combat scene has this Knack, the character with the highest (Wits + Epic Wits) total goes first. If characters with this Knack have equal totals, default to a separate Join Battle roll to see which of them acts first.

Between The Ticks

Prerequisite Knack: Opening Gambit (Scion: Hero, p. 136) Instead of finishing an action with panache or waiting for the right moment in a battle, the Scion makes the right moment. Normally, a Scion can’t interrupt any action but Aim and Guard. With this Knack, the Scion instead executes a perfectly-timed maneuver with split-second reactions and moves on to her next trick. The Scion’s player can activate this Knack at a cost of three Legend points to interrupt after any action, effectively letting the Scion take another action before the requisite number of ticks have passed. The Scion can use this Knack only once per scene.

Rabbit Reflexes

When an unexpected attack targets the character with this Knack but the character’s player fails to get enough successes on the (Wits + Awareness) roll to notice the attack coming, the Scion instinctively defends herself with double her highest applicable DV. The character cannot preemptively attack her attacker or even shout out a warning to her comrades, as she’s reacting to an attack that’s already taking place, but she is much more likely to dodge or parry that attack. Nonetheless, the character cannot actually join battle herself until everyone else does after the unexpected attack is resolved.

Social Chameleon

Being thrust into a situation full of strangers who have bizarre customs and weird manners (such as a sorority house at the height of rush) can be disorienting, but the character with this Knack handles herself with remarkable aplomb. By observing the behavior of the people around her and reacting preternaturally quickly to their reactions to her behavior, she can fake like she fits in just about anywhere, with any class of people. She still has to dress the part, and the language barrier might pose its own problems, but she won’t embarrass or draw attention to herself unless she goes out of her way to do so on purpose.

Perfect Imposter

Prerequisite Knack: Social Chameleon (Scion: Hero, p. 136) Impersonating someone in order to infiltrate his home or workplace or to get dangerously close to someone he cares about is more difficult the less well the impersonator knows his subject. The best makeup and disguise means nothing if the imposter can’t react to life’s little surprises exactly as the subject of his mimicry would react. With this Knack, however, the Scion can discern with preternatural quickness how the people who think he’s someone else expect that someone else to react. Their minute changes of expression or body language give their expectations away, allowing the imposter to react accordingly. For the most part, this Knack plays itself out without resorting to dice rolls or trait comparisons. As the imposter’s player roleplays (and the imposter himself does so also), the Storyteller simply informs him of what the unsuspecting characters’ expectations are, and the player chooses his imposter’s reactions accordingly. This Knack does not provide a supernatural disguise that would fool someone with the Unfailing Recognition Knack (from Scion: Hero, p. 134), but even if such a Scion can see through the imposter’s disguise, his recognition alone would not be enough to convince anyone else. The imposter retains the wherewithal to stand up to any impromptu interrogation and maintain his charade in everyone else’s eyes, thus making the only other Scion who knows the imposter’s true identity look like a horse’s ass or a liar.

Cobra Reflexes

The character is so quick on the draw that even a surprise attacker is not safe from him. If someone attacks him from surprise but the character’s player fails to get enough successes on the (Wits + Awareness) roll to notice the attack coming, the Scion may still attack his attacker back at the same time. This counterattack is so lightning quick that it catches the attacker off guard as if he were also being caught by an unexpected attack. The Scion himself might not realize he’s taken the attack action until the ambusher’s attack has already hurt him.

Eternal Vigilance

Similar to the Environmental Awareness Knack (see p. 64), a Scion with this Knack is never taken by surprise by unexpected attacks. He joins battle as soon as the attack occurs, and he applies his full DV to his own defense. It doesn’t matter whether the attackers use supernatural means of concealment or not. They simply cannot catch him off guard. Unfortunately, this Knack doesn’t help the Scion’s comrades. The Scion reacts as the surprise occurs, but he does so practically subconsciously and not in time to warn anyone else. What’s more, this Knack works even if the Scion is asleep, though to a lesser extent. If the Scion is sleeping and someone tries to spring an unexpected attack, the player rolls the Scion’s full dice pool to notice the attack as he would if the character were awake (awake and didn’t have this Knack, that is). If the roll succeeds, the character wakes just in time to react to the attack, though still not in time to warn anyone else.

Instant Assessment

With a quick glance, and the expenditure of one Legend point, the Scion can size up a foe with whom he intends to join battle. This assessment comes across in terms of how the foe’s combat abilities compare to the Scion’s own. He gets a sense of whether the foe has more or fewer dots of Physical Attributes (Epic and otherwise) than he does. The same goes for their relative number of dots in Brawl, Marksmanship, Melee and Thrown, as well as their relative Join Battle dice pools and their soak totals. Also, if some power or special quality renders the foe especially vulnerable or completely invulnerable to something to which the Scion has ready access, the Scion gets a sense of that as well. What the Scion decides to do with this information is up to him. This information occurs reflexively to the Scion who uses the Knack, and he may assess as many foes automatically as he spends points of Legend.

Talent Mirror

Prerequisite Knack: Instant Assessment (Scion: Demigod, p. 67) The character can do anything at least as well as he saw someone else do it. If he watches someone perform an activity and he spends at least two Legend points when he sees it, he can later perform that same action himself, substituting the dice pool of the character he watched for his own pool of the same (Attribute + Ability). He doesn’t get any bonus successes from Epic Attributes the other character might have used, but he can supplement a mirrored roll with bonus successes from his own Epic Attributes (even if he has no dots in the Ability in question). The character can also use another character’s Dodge DV or Parry DV in place of his own. The character with this Knack can use a copied dice pool or DV one time per pair of Legend points he spent when he witnessed the more skilled character. He can copy as many separate dice pools as he can afford to, as long as the total number does not exceed his Legend. The same goes for copied DVs. He can copy a DV a maximum number of times equal to his Legend.

Monkey in the Middle

When multiple attackers gang up on a single opponent, their combined efforts can disconcert and intimidate even the best trained martial artist. A character with this Knack, however, keeps his cool despite how high the odds might be stacked against him. As a result, he suffers no coordinated attack penalty or onslaught penalty in combat when multiple attackers try to rush him all at once.

Jack of All Trades

If a character has no aptitude for a particular Ability (i.e., no dots in it), he cannot apply any bonus successes from his Epic Attributes to rolls that use that Ability. He simply doesn’t understand enough about what he’s doing to apply his full talent. With this Knack, however, the character gets a feel for any activity remarkably quickly. As such, he can apply some of his appropriate Epic Attribute bonus to the appropriate roll, despite the fact that he has no dots in the relevant Ability. In such a circumstance, a player can enhance a roll with this Knack and add a number of bonus successes from his character’s Epic Attribute equal to the number of dots he has in the Epic Attribute. Enhancing a roll with this Knack’s benefit costs two Legend points.

Opening Salvo

The character’s tongue is sharp; with it she can wound a foe to the quick. When the character says something witty (or just catty) to a person and that remark is designed to trip him up or humiliate him, the victim loses one Willpower point. Inflicting this sting with such a venomous put-down (even if it’s actually just a tired Yo-Momma joke the player came up with on the spur of the moment) costs the user one Legend point. The only caveat to this Knack is that the player must actually come up with the gibe in question. It doesn’t have to be good; she just has to say something.

Scathing Retort

Prerequisite Knack: Opening Salvo It’s pretty nice to be able to lay into someone with a witty bon mot and shake his faith in himself, as the prerequisite Knack allows. Yet, it’s undeniably sweeter to let some pompous douchebag take the first swing and then utterly annihilate him with a cunning verbal riposte. To hit an attacker with a devastating comeback costs a single point of Legend. Doing so strips the victim of all of his spent Willpower points and doesn’t allow him to recoup those lost points for one full day. A character can use this Knack to defend herself from a use of Opening Salvo if she has the Legend point to spend and her comeback is timely enough. A victim, however, can defend himself from a use of this Knack if he also uses this Knack. (He can retort without using the Knack, of course, but he still suffers the effect.) If two characters use this Knack in a verbal exchange, they can activate it once apiece and then trade insults until one scores a decisive hit over the other. If that victim’s comeback is weaker than the one before it, he loses the impromptu contest and the Willpower points. As with Opening Salvo, the player must actually come up with a retort reasonably quickly. She doesn’t have to be Hamlet running circles around Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, she just has to give it the old college try. Be warned, though: If you (the player) know you get tongue-tied when the heat is on and your Storyteller or fellow players are ruthless bastards, this Knack might not be the one for you.

Psychic Profiler

Within seconds, the character with this Knack can size up a character with a lesser Legend rating than his own. Just by looking at the person, he can tell her weight, height, age, sex (if it’s unclear to casual inspection) and whether she has a divine heritage or not. With just a few lines of conversation, he can also tell the subject’s Nature, calling and primary Virtue (if any). Finally, if the subject is Fatebound to someone and is acting out a Fatebound Role, he can figure out what that role is. He might not know to whom it applies, but he can probably figure it out from context if he watches the person long enough.

Adaptive Fighting

By registering how an opponent defends, the Scion gains insight into how to launch a successful attack. The Scion’s Epic Wits allow him to adjust his offense immediately after failing to touch an enemy. After missing an opponent with an attack, the Scion’s player spends one point of Legend. On the Scion’s next attack against that same opponent, the player adds his character’s Epic Wits as extra dice on the attack roll, to a maximum of +3. For demigods, the player may spend two points of Legend to increase the bonus to a maximum of +6, and for Gods, the player may spend three points of Legend to increase the bonus to the character’s full Epic Wits rating with no maximum. If this attack misses or if the Scion chooses not to attack again, then the bonus is lost.

Don’t Read The Manual

The Scion sizes up a single item and then puts together an intuitive judgment of how to use it. No matter how complex the item, the Scion can grasp at least the rudiments of its functions. After spending a single point of Legend, the Scion can use the item for the rest of the scene as if the character had one dot in the appropriate Ability. The Scion could, for instance, glance at the controls of a stealth bomber, then intuitively figure out how to get it off the ground (or land it) as if she had one dot in the Control (Jet Aircraft) Ability. Similarly, a noncombatant could pick up a weapon and fight with it as if she had one dot of the Melee Ability. This Knack has no effect if the Scion already possesses the requisite skill.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License