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Blurt It Out

This Knack represents a gift for making people speak their minds. Scions who have it normally corner a person who has information they want, strike up a conversation, direct that conversation toward the information in question, then pry it loose when it’s top of mind. Others confront victims who are surrounded by family, friends or coworkers, in order to make those victims admit damning information when it will do the most harm. The Scion’s player must roll Manipulation + Intimidation, and the information must have legitimately come up in conversation. The Scion cannot simply shout “J’accuse!” then use Blurt It Out to force a random confession from a guilty person. (The declamatory French comes only after the Scion uses Blurt It Out effectively.) Regardless, a victim still has a slim chance to catch himself before bringing disaster crashing down. The victim’s player rolls (Wits + Awareness) against a difficulty equal to (the Scion’s Epic Manipulation + 2) to avert the slip of the tongue.

Kill the Messenger

Prerequisite Knack: Blurt It Out 

This Knack is similar to the Epic Charisma Knack called Borrowed Credibility  in that it allows a character to exert her Epic Attribute remotely through an agent or emissary. Doing so the player to roll. her character’s Manipulation-based dice pool. She then confers on a single emissary the results of that roll, including any bonus successes from Epic Manipulation, and instructs that emissary to try to convince someone of something important on her behalf. When the emissary goes to the intended person and tries to do as the Scion said, he uses the Scion’s Manipulation roll instead of that of his own social roll. If the character actually wants the emissary to achieve the goal she tells the emissary to achieve, her player can simply roll the appropriate Manipulation-based dice pool and let her result substitute for what would be the emissary’s roll of the same dice pool. Unlike with Borrowed Credibility, though, the character with this Knack can seed an effect in the emissary that is quite different from the one the emissary is instructed to use. In neither case does the emissary’s player make the Manipulation-based roll himself. He simply says the words and lets the results of the conferred roll have their desired effect on the listener. The listener believes, however, that his decision is based solely on the emissary’s efforts and remains unaware of the manipulator’s influence. Characters with this Knack can use it on any willing character of equal or lesser Legend—though the character need not know or understand a contrary hidden intent. It works on only a single target, to whom the emissary must specifically address his remarks.

Gods’ Honest

When she’s trying to convince someone of something, the Scion puts her hand to her heart, puts her hand on a stack of Bibles, holds up her right hand with her pinkie and thumb crossed in the palm, or performs some other gesture of sincerity and rolls Manipulation + Performance/Subterfuge, the target may roll Wits + Awareness to resist the effects. When she does so, her would-be mark accepts that the Scion is telling the truth about the subject at hand, no questions asked, until proven otherwise. Only solid, incontrovertible proof showing that what the Scion said was undeniably false will convince the mark he’s been fooled. Even then, whoever is showing him the proof will have to convince him that the proof is genuine and not some clever forgery. A Scion with this Knack doesn’t have to lie when she uses it. She can also use it to convince a recalcitrant skeptic of the actual truth. If the Scion does so, no mortal force can convince that person that the Scion was lying (not even professionally faked “proof” to the contrary).

Overt Order

Sometimes, the direct method is more effective than the cleverest of intricate schemes. With this Knack, a Scion barks out a command that the target must obey. Doing so requires a roll of Manipulation + Intimidation vs Wits + Awareness, and the command must be one the Scion can give and the victim can perform in a single action. “Freeze!” is acceptable, as is, “Don’t shoot!” or, “Shoot him!” Ordering someone to go home and shoot his wife won’t work because doing so would take longer than a single action. A victim of this Knack can interpret the command loosely to make it not directly suicidal, but not if all he’s trying to do is keep out of trouble. For example, if a victim draws a gun and the Scion commands him to shoot himself, the victim can shoot himself in the hand or the foot rather than blowing his own brains out. Same thing goes if a Scion uses this Knack at a seedy pool hall to command a smarmy drug dealer to pick a fight with a burly ex-con at the next table. The dealer might reasonably believe that the ex-con could kill him, but he still can’t weasel out of the command. He doesn’t have to walk up and take a swing at the guy, but he still has to do something, such as singing out a racial slur or throwing a beer bottle at the guy’s girlfriend. The dealer can cheese it immediately, but he’s still got to pick the fight first.

Return To Sender

Prerequisite Knack: Overt Order 

Sometimes, when you send a minion off to do your bidding, you want that minion to come back for more work. At the very least, you want to know if the minion was killed in the attempt. With Return to Sender, the Scion prompts someone to return immediately to her after performing a task delegated with Epic Manipulation. The player may activate this power when using any other Epic Manipulation Knack to force a subject to take an action. Immediately after performing the order, the commanded subject will attempt to return to the Scion by the most convenient means possible, although not at the expense of his own safety. If the initial command fails, then Return to Sender has no effect.

Instant Hypnosis

Prerequisite Knack: Overt Order 

With a moment of eye contact and the expenditure of a roll of Manipulation + Occult vs Wits + Awareness, the Scion instantly plunges a mortal into a hypnotic trance. Attempting to hypnotize a fellow Scion of lesser or equal requires the same roll contested against the victim’s (Wits + Awareness). Scions cannot instantly hypnotize fellow Scions of higher level. Should he successfully hypnotize a victim, the Scion can implant one hidden command that the victim must obey at the time of the Scion’s choosing. The command must be something that the victim can accomplish in one scene, and the trigger condition that compels him to attempt it must occur within a number of months equal to the Scion’s Legend. The Scion can give as specific an order as he pleases, and a mortal cannot interpret it in any way other than the spirit in which it was intended. A fellow Scion can interpret it loosely to his own advantage, as per Overt Order but  this requires a Wits + Awareness roll. The victim remains unaware of the ticking time bomb in his subconscious, but he does have a chance to resist it when the trigger condition occurs. At the moment when he has been commanded to perform the action in question, the victim’s player may make a (Wits + awareness) roll. (This roll cannot be modified by a Scion’s Epic Wits) If the roll garners more successes than the hypnotist Scion, the compulsion is broken. If the last-minute resistance roll fails, the victim must attempt to do as he was commanded. Whether he succeeds or fails, the compulsion ends after he makes the attempt, and he has no memory of what could possibly have convinced him to do as he did.

Mass Hypnosis

Prerequisite Knack: Instant Hypnosis 

Mass Hypnosis works similarly to its prerequisite in that it implants a command for an affected victim to perform some action that takes no more than one scene to accomplish at a time of the user’s choosing. This Knack expands the scope of the effect so that a character can hypnotize a whole group of people. The character’s player rolls (Manipulation + Occult). If the roll scores more successes than the average (Wits + Awareness) of the assembled audience, the character successfully implants the post-hypnotic suggestion in as many members of the audience as he has successes on the roll x his Epic manipulation score. Mortals cannot resist the effect or the compulsion to perform the implanted action. Scions may resist at the moment of hypnosis or at the moment the action is designated to take place, as with Instant Hypnosis. Hypnotizing a crowd of people does require that the character capture everyone’s attention at the instant of hypnosis.

Implant False Memory

Prerequisite Knack: Instant Hypnosis

 Once a character with this Knack’s prerequisite has mesmerized a single victim, he can alter or create from whole cloth a memory in the victim’s mind rather than compelling the victim to perform some later action. Doing the former involves talking the victim through some genuine memory and “correcting” details as they come out. Creating a false memory from whole cloth is simply a matter of the character describing the “remembered” events to the victim and telling her when and where those events occurred. False or altered memories replace the originals in the victim’s mind, erasing what was in their place originally. The cost, dice pool, restrictions and resistance mechanics of this Knack are the same as for Instant Hypnosis. If the victim is mortal (or another type of extra), she won’t ever accept that her new memories are false. She might think she was on drugs at the time or was hallucinating with fever, but she clings to the belief that the memory is genuine. Scions will assume as mortals do unless they are confronted with evidence to suggest the memories are false. Even then, however, they still cannot get their original memories back.

Hard Sell

Prerequisite Knack: Overt Order

 Like the Overworld’s own Amway salesman, the demigod can convince a group of people to perform one particular action that they would not otherwise be inclined to perform. That is, the Scion can issue an overt order (per the eponymous prerequisite Knack) to a group of people, who must be able to hear him clearly without him using any amplifying or broadcasting equipment. The order must be simple, and it must be something the listeners can carry out in one action while they are within the Scion’s presence. The order can be something instant like, “Everybody get outside!” or, “Arrest that man!” It can also be something sneaky like, “Buy my book,” or, “Register for next month’s seminar by paying me $1,000.” The same restrictions that apply to how loosely a victim can interpret the Overt Order Knack apply to this Knack.

Stench of Guilt

This Knack gives a Scion an insight into the workings of a victim’s mind. If the Scion hears a topic come up while the victim is speaking that reminds the victim of a misdeed he’s keeping secret, the Scion senses the presence of that secret. The victim needn’t feel guilty about the wrongs he’s done, but as long as he’s taken, or is taking, pains to hide them, the Scion catches on. This Knack can’t reveal what secret the victim hides, nor does it point out specifically what was said in the conversation that reminded him of the transgression. Conversational context is usually enough for a crafty Scion to figure out where to start looking, though.

Takes One to Know One

Liars and tricksters know their own. If some matchstick man tries to run a scam, Scions with this Knack know exactly what sort of person they’re dealing with. Whenever the Scion hears a person knowingly tell a lie, the Scion is automatically aware of the deception. This Knack doesn’t reveal what the truth actually is. Nor does it work on text written by someone who knows it’s false or when someone speaks untrue words in a language the Scion does not understand.

Deprogramming

Prerequisite Knack: Takes One to Know One 

 

Usually, mortals and even other Scions who’ve been influenced by Epic Charisma or Epic Manipulation go about their business blissfully unaware that they’ve been duped. With a few well-chosen words to reinforce the subject’s awareness of the situation, though, a Scion with this Knack can help people snap out of the unnatural influence of others. The Scion rolls Manipulation + Awareness If the player rolls more successes than the original command, the subject immediately snaps out of it and realizes that he didn’t want to do whatever it is that he was compelled to do. In order to countermand a specific Epic Charisma or Epic Manipulation Knack, the Scion using Deprogramming must also know the Knack being used. That is, using Deprogramming to stop Overt Order requires that the Scion performing the countermand must also know Overt Order. Using this Knack in combat can be tricky: Typically, the Scion will want to wait (perhaps taking a Guard action) and then interrupt when needed.

Knowing Glance

Knowing that someone is keeping a damning secret can be quite an effective tool in getting him to do what you want. With this Knack, however, that knowledge is not only a tool, but a powerful weapon. When the Scion is aware that another character is keeping a dangerous secret—whether he has uncovered it through investigation or has discovered its presence through the Stench of Guilt Knack—he need only make eye contact with the guilty party. As the Scion’s player does so, the character with the secret suddenly realizes that someone else knows, and he loses one die to all rolls as long as the Scion is present. The Scion can affect the same character thus only once per day, and the Knack has no effect if the victim is not actually hiding the secret the Scion thinks he is.

 

Not The Face

The Scion makes a simple wince, throws up his hands, shrieks for mercy or somehow shows that he’s just not quite ready to take an incoming blow. As a result, the attacker hesitates for the briefest instant, perhaps long enough for the Scion to escape or for a friend of his to land a telling blow instead. As a response to an incoming attack, the Scion’s player rolls (Manipulation + Performance) against the opponent’s (Wits + Empathy). If the player wins, then the attacker hesitates for the barest instant, and his attack delays to the next round. Naturally, the attacker must be able to see the Scion in order for this trick to work, and the Scion must know that the attack is coming, as well. The Scion can use this Knack only once per scene.

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