So, Scion is pretty awesome. Not flawless, but it's full of stuff that just jumps out and suggests magnificent things to do in a game.
Now, one of the neat ideas is the handling of Fate. Fate is sort of a catch-all destiny that helps makes the characters heroes, twists things their way and so on. mechanically, it has a number of neat effects tied into the characters 'Legend' stat, which grants a pool of expendable resources.
* It 'twists fate' to allow them to do cool, impossible things, represented by mechanical bonuses.
* It increases the likelihood of "interesting times" as the character's legend grows, basically giving the GM a freer hand with coincidences and dramatic events.
* It provides an in character explanation for the extras (i.e. Mooks) by describing it as fate ushering these people off the stage, to move on to matters important to it.
I'm pretty happy with this, if only as a clever rationalization form some of the realities of the game, but if this were all it did, I'd just go "neat" and move on. However, there's one other element to it which absolutely intrigues me in its concept, but sticks a bit in its implementation, and that is Fatebinding.
The idea is this: If you use a lot of godly foo, you run the risk of drawing the people around you into your story, and fate binding them to you. What role they'll take (allie, enemy, nemesis, lover and so on) depends on them but the bond is a mechanically supported risk of using powers too openly.
Now, I love this. Not only does it elegantly solve all of the problems that Paradox created back in Mage while still having a slowing effect on powers use, it introduces a game supported tool for the conservation of characters (the idea that while the world is very large, in a given story, characters will be re-used rather than having a constant stream of them coming in). This is, to my eyes, elegant as all hell.
The problem is that mechanically, it calls for a lot of secret rolls on the GM's part, based on the points spent, the character's legend rating and so on. It seems cumbersome and intrusive, and I don't think I could bring myself to engage in the ritual as presented.
So, Pulling back a step, the goal of this mechanic is to really do two things - give players a reason to think before solving everything with magic/powers and put a human face on the impact of the players on the world. In short, if you have to move at superhuman speed and jump a canyon to save a kid from a speeding car, the system should be resulting in that kid now being tied into your story (or at least a strong chance of that happening)
Practically, the system provides that, but in a very cumbersome fashion, so I want to peel it back further: Given a system where character's spend from a pool of points (generally one at a time, from a pool of 4, 9 or 16 points) and the desired outcome that the more legendary their actions (possibly represented by more points spent, maybe qualified by potency of effects) and the more directly they impact someone the greater the chance of this connection forming.
Right now, my instinct is more of the "get to the end of a scene, make a judgement call, pull 1-x tarot cards and a major Arcana equates to a fatebinding and provides some hint as to the flavor of the bond." It's workable, but it's crazily subjective (specifically in determining what x is) so I'm curious how others might approach the problem.