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Mythender Character Creation is Live!

I’ll just copy the text from the current version of the Mythender Character Creation page. You’ll want to go there for future updates.



Interested in making a character for Mythender? Check out the Character Creation chapter (1.4M PDF, updated 19-May-11): 
Mythender Character Creation [Playtest]

Draft Disclaimer

This is an early, unedited draft. As such, there will be typos to fix, tweaks to make, and the layout is far from final (since this is just a thrown-together-in-Word testbed and I’m not doing the layout for the final book). You’ll welcome to point out stuff, just know it’s far from final text. :)

What I Want From You

I want two things: (1) Feedback on this (see the next point) and (2) to see your characters posted up on the internet with links on the original Character Creation post. Right now I don’t have a character sheet — in fact, I’ll want to see quite a few characters made and posted before I know how I should alter it.

Feedback

For now, you can comment on the original Character Creation post with feedback. If that gets overwhelming, I’ll change that to some more manageable process (and consider myself lucky that it has!)

Revision “Schedule”

I take the software development approach here — I’ll revise and check on my own internal schedule rather than every time someone finds a typo. This ensures that future revisions don’t introduce more problems because I’m responding at internet-speed. So don’t expect a revision more than once every couple weeks. This page will be updated when that happens. (See below.)

Revision Updates

  • 19-MAY-11: Character Creation chapter released online

I thought about holding this back and having some folks do one more pass on it, but that felt like it violated the spirit of Half Done. Instead, here you go.

Special Thanks

There are literally over a hundred people to thank at this point, but I want to call out those that have helped me over the last two days:

  • To Filamena Young, for helping me come up with some of the Mythender Fates. (And check out her & David Hill’s works at Machine Age Productions.)
  • To Josh Roby, for helping me proof the Mythender & Mythender Character Creation page, and for giving me a title treatment that’s far better than Helvetica. :)
  • To Lon Sarver, for helping me come up with some of the bonds and questions back in January. (Sure, it’s not over the last couple days, but his thumbprint is very much on this document.)
  • To Leonard Balsera, for…well, everything. Recently, for helping me reforge the blurbs for each History, and for the entire project, since making Mythender is pretty much his fault.

– Ryan

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70 Responses to Mythender Character Creation is Live!

  1. Saved and printing :)

  2. Leonard Balsera says:

    Ooo-rah.

  3. Judd says:

    That was fun. I feel like it could be tighter and a few questions seem redundant.

    I’ll give more feedback later.

    HISTORY – Child
    What cruelties have you endured?
    I was left on a battlefield by my valkrie mother, to be raised by the ravens and those who scavenge the dead.

    What further fuels your limitless rage?
    My mother won’t talk to me.

    What will, for the briefest moment, recall your innocence?
    When the ravens teach me tricks.

    A Child’s Weapon
    War’s orphans follow me from battle to battle.

    The eldest of the orphans is the closest thing I have to family.
    My raven-mother teaches me fascinating things.
    My raven-uncle makes me smile.
    Lokidottir makes everything fun.

    HEART – Loremaster
    How do you use your mind on the field of battle?
    I remember all of the battlefields I have seen since the one that was my birthplace.

    How did you first use this as a weapon?
    I had to defend one of my orphans.

    What about the world do you wish to preserve?
    The laughter of children.

    A Loremaster’s Weapon
    A winged pony! Yay!

    Your First Weapon

    My army of war-orphans…is my Weapon.

    I use it to end Myths by…smashing temples and showing the lack of gods’ lack of justice.

    Your Second Weapon

    My winged pony…is my Weapon.

    I use it to end Myths by…traveling to wherever there is war in Norden.

    Your Third Weapon

    Soul’s Sight…is my Weapon.

    I use it to end Myths by…looking into the hearts of mortals and knowing their worth.

    Heart’s Presence

    Ravens say cryptic things around me.

    Godly Form
    Describe how you appear in your Heartʼs Dream.
    I appear as…a striking, gangly teenage girl.

    Paragon Form
    Describe how War changes one thing about your mortal appearance.
    I appear as…a striking, gangly teenage girl with black raven’s eyes.

    Supernatural Form
    Describe how War pushes you halfway to your Godly form.
    I appear as…a striking, shining woman with raven’s eyes, and the crown, proclaiming me as Queen of the Valkries.

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Judd,

      Sweet! I look forward to your further comments. And this has already helped me with some chapter tweaking thoughts.

      – Ryan

  4. MrPrim says:

    I’ll make a character later, but on my initial inspection one fairly noticeable error.

    In the “Myth Fate” sections, the “Myth of Life” has the same “Forms” text as “Myth of War”. Instead of saying “Describe how Life changes…” it says “Describe how War changes…” for each of the sections.

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      MrPrim,

      Bah, that’s what I get for adding that text well late at night. Thanks! Added to the list.

      – Ryan

  5. MrPrim says:

    A quick thought. I feel like there needs to be some kind of layout distinction between “Heart” and “History”. It was only on my third read through that I noticed the difference between the two sections.

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      I’ll keep that in mind once this actually meets the layout artist. I’m a bit away from that.

      Thanks!

      – Ryan

    • MrPrim says:

      No worries, it was just a thought I had. I was, literally, trying to make a character using Judd’s template above and I was suddenly like “Wait, Heart AND History? Where’s the History sectio… ooooooh.”

  6. MrPrim says:

    Alright, I’ve made my first character. As a way of getting used to the system, I’ve used it to stat to a composite character I use in numerous settings/systems: The Villainous Mr Byrne and Downs, an obvious riff on unstoppable assassin duos (Croup and Vandemar, Jules and Vincent, Pin and Tulip, Goss and Subby, etc) or, in other words Those Two Bad Guys:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Jna2Dd5JQr5Tmoizn47aTKY5WDGqrJjvlxeqasiSgp0/edit?hl=en_US

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Sweet! You so have Weapons nailed down. I dig it.

      Looks like you used your own bonds from your History as an Exile. Was that intentional, or did you miss those bonds? (So you know, if I was running the game, I wouldn’t mind. But as a guy testing whether the text is clear, it’s a good data point.)

      You and Judd also answered a part of the Heart & History that was meant as guidelines rather than to be answered — the “A X’s Weapon” — which tells me I need to add a bit detailing what those pieces are (and if they would better the way you’re using them than how I intended). Which I think was on my list, but got dropped off at some point in the earlier revision process.

      FYI, it’s also “Mythender”, not “Myth-Ender” :)

      Thanks again!

      – Ryan

  7. MrPrim says:

    Sorry about the typo, I’ll try to remember next time.

    It took me a second to realize what you meant about the bonds, and it makes me realize that I did Heart/History Weapons and History Bonds in completely opposite ways.

    For some reason, I assumed that my History Bonds were SUGGESTIONS for the types of Bonds an Exile might have, and not a list of “The Bonds that someone of this History has.”

    On the other hand, I assumed that my Heart/History weapon suggestions were something that I WAS REQUIRED TO CREATE: ie, linking one specific weapon to my History, one to my Heart, and one free one to do with as I please.

    I see where my error was.

    I do like the idea of having SOME ability to customize my(or others’) Bonds – if only because I really like “because I’m saving him for last.” ;)

    -MrPrim

    • MrPrim says:

      I want to mention another thing, just as a data point about my experience. Obviously, I’ve got a lot of gaming experience, I think most people who decide to help test a new character creation system tend to fall in this camp :)

      The reason I missed what I did about the Bonds is because I skimmed over the page quickly, analyzing it in a speed-read manner and finding where the important chunks are. Since I’ve read so many character creation chapters, I felt confident in being able to simply cut out extraneous stuff that helps with comprehension to get to the mechanical nut (Comprehension?! MY COMPREHENSION IS IMMACULATE).

      And, in doing so, I made a mistake because I didn’t carefully read the instructions.

      I’ve got no suggestions as to how USEFUL such an analysis is… but that’s my analysis on what happened there.

  8. Nerick Spellchaser says:

    I needed something to fire up the creative juices to hit my own writing goals for tonight, so I took one of the background characters for my story and worked him up as a mythender: http://spellchaser.squarespace.com/journal/2011/5/19/nerick-spellchaser-mythender.html

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Nerick,

      You had me at “I was the chosen agent of the Nightmare, the essence of Destruction made manifest.”

      Thanks! I’m glad you had fun!

      – Ryan

    • Nerick says:

      Looking at it a day later, I have to say, the rules certainly do seem to imply that you’re supposed to have a weapon from both your heart and your background, then a third that seems a little more freeform.

      Also, a bit more direction might be helpful on the forms, I was trying to figure out where each form lay in the continuum.

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Nerick,

      Interesting that the rules imply that. Huh. Something to chew on.

      And regarding the Forms, noted. I have some thoughts about supplemental text.

      – Ryan

    • Robert says:

      I cannot see Nerick Spellchaser! And I want to!

  9. Aggro Will says:

    I only just heard about this from a friend, but I love the idea. Shadow Hearts is one of my favorite RPGs (well, the first two games), so naturally I turned toward the idea of a godslayer punk. Add a dash of inspiration from Clover and Gainax and I give you… well, a crazy but potentially terrifyingly tragic and destructive figure.

    Name: Yuri Gene Kaminavski

    Heart: Crusader
    What belief or ideal do you fight for: JUSTICE!
    What happened to make you so angry with the world: INJUSTICE!
    What reward do you expect: MORE JUSTICE!
    Weapon: My fists carry the power of JUSTICE!
    First gift: Bloodlust

    History: Mourner
    I lost my hometown to the unjust, capricious whims of Myths.
    I should have FOUGHT INJUSTICE, instead of cowering like everyone else, hiding from the Myths.
    Maimed my soul? No, this has strengthened my soul, tempering it with the values of JUSTICE!
    A Mourner’s Weapon: My guilt for being too weak to stop the injustice that destroyed my hometown.

    Weapons:
    My LEFT FIST OF JUSTICE! is my Weapon (Earth-Quaking, Intrinsic)
    I use it to end Myths by smashing through the walls of INJUSTICE!
    My RIGHT FIST OF JUSTICE! is my Weapon (Sky-Sundering, Intrinsic)
    I use it to end Myths by smashing the faces of those who spread INJUSTICE! Generally after smashing through the walls that protect them.
    My BOOTS OF JUSTICE! are my Weapons (Earth-Quaking, Relic)
    I use the to end Myths by kicking very hard when my LEFT AND RIGHT FIST OF JUSTICE are busy PUNCHING INJUSTICE! Actually, they’re Chuck Taylors of JUSTICE!, but my chaos heart has imbued them with an insatiable hatred for all INJUSTICE!

    Mythender Fate: Myth of Chaos
    The Dream of Chaos: Ruins stand below me and the shattered heavens stand above as nothing has survived against my crusade for JUSTICE! All who I see are smashed and pummeled, and the very world itself cracks.
    The Presence of Chaos: Mountains shatter and buildings explode as I fight, my fists destroying seemingly impossible things as rubble falls around me. The world itself can be punched hard enough to shake the sky.
    In my Godly Form, I appear as a giant hero with drills for fists, smashing through the heavens themselves to spread JUSTICE!, ignoring the destruction below me as I tower above.
    In my Paragon form, I appear as a red-eyed berserker with a glowing right fist.
    In my Supernatural form, I appear as a great winged demon, unstoppable by mortals.

    My Heart’s Connection is Endangered. I’ve been fighting INJUSTICE! for months, raining blows upon the Myths that torment this world.

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Will,

      Hah! Chuck Taylors of JUSTICE indeed!

      I’ll have to add some text about how having Weapons that are too similar won’t help you much. But I could be wrong! I haven’t actually seen someone play a character like that yet.

      – Ryan

    • Aggro Will says:

      Well, effectively his left FIST OF JUSTICE! would be a softener, a way to break down defenses, punch through shields, force fields, illusions. His right FIST OF JUSTICE! would be the finishing blow, like a Voltron/Power Rangers sword attack.

      And the BOOTS OF JUSTICE! would be both utility and combat, for kicking and jumping and climbing, not dedicated fighting.

  10. LilFluff says:

    I’ve posted my first character creation result at: http://lilfluff.livejournal.com/108901.html

    The first things to jump out at me editing-wise appear to have been mentioned above. But I’ll look through it and comment again if I find anything else.

  11. Erik Battle says:

    Questions/Comments:

    1. Is is important that the Myths and Mythenders be Norse in nature? Frex, Can it be Asian mythology?

    2. What type of weapon would talons or a beak be? Relic?

    3. I think one should write their Mortal Form too, not just the horrific.

    4. For some reason I found the Forms the most difficult. I have a good image of what I want the character to look like, but not all the stages. Maybe some direction on how to come up with it would be helpful? Like start mortal and get cooler or start with Godly and normalize.

    Below is my attempt, but I’m not sure if I’m following the spirit of the document fully. I’m living in Thailand right now so I did some reasearch on Thai mythology and tried to use that to inform my char.

    Garuda

    Mythender Heart: Loremaster

    I use my mind to trick others into giving me what I want.

    I used this first by tricking my enemies into thinking I was made of the sun by adorning thousands of mirrors to my wings and body and flying high into the sky.

    I want to preserve the Elixir of Immortal, which makes me a god.

    Mythender History: Apostate

    I devoted myself to the Himmapan Forest. (I’m seeing the forest itself as a mythic entity.)

    The forest betrayed me and entrapped my 2 Sons, causing me to break my oath to it.

    I gave my two beloved sons which I can never regain.

    Weapons

    Companion Weapon – A brace of Nagas is my weapon. (God Slaying 3)
    I use it to end Myths by holding them in my talons and casting them like lightning bolts at my enemies.

    Intrinsic Weapon – Sharp eyesight is my weapon. (God-Slaying 3)
    I use it to end Myths by spying out their flaws and weak spots thus giving me the advantage in the attack.

    Relic Weapon? – A sharp witted beak is my weapon. (Sky-Sundering 5)
    I use it to end Myths by convincing Myths to do things that make themselves weaker or myself stronger.

    Mythender Fate: Myth of Love

    I dream of re-uniting with my sons and living an eternity with them flying in the Forest. Family bonds grow closer when I am around.

    Mortal Form: I appear as a well dressed, dark skinned, extremely skinny and tall man.

    Godly Form: I appear as a giant bird of golden feathers, with no trace of human features.

    Paragon Form: I appear as man with the wings of a bird.

    Supernatural Form: I appear as half man (torso, head and arms) and half bird (wings, talons and beak).

    Heart’s Connection is Endangered. I’ve been at this a long time.

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Erik,

      1. Is is important that the Myths and Mythenders be Norse in nature? Frex, Can it be Asian mythology?

      For people playing, nah. But the game is set in Norse mythology, so that’s what the “official” stuff will support. I have a crapton of notes for other places, and how being a Mythender works very differently — it’s not just a simple reskin for Mythic India or Mythic Europe or Mythic Japan, frex.

      But I wouldn’t say someone’s “playing it wrong” if the play in a different culture. Far from it! :)

      2. What type of weapon would talons or a beak be? Relic?

      That’s a good question! It’s not an item, so I’d say it’s Intrinsic — it’s part of you, not a thing you have a relationship with separate from you. But I haven’t seen someone list a body part in a very long time, so I forgot about that edge case. :)

      3. I think one should write their Mortal Form too, not just the horrific.

      They should — that’s why there’s the space on that page. But noted; it’s not clear that I said that. (Also, the character sheet later would make that obvious.)

      4. For some reason I found the Forms the most difficult. I have a good image of what I want the character to look like, but not all the stages. Maybe some direction on how to come up with it would be helpful? Like start mortal and get cooler or start with Godly and normalize.

      Noted. Experience has taught me many times that the Supernatural one needs to be last. I have seen people start with Mortal and go up, or start with Godly and go down.

      I suspect later there will be some additional pages for people who are struggling with a part, but I need to watch more people struggle to know how to frame that supplemental advice.

      Thanks for the feedback! I would love to see Garuda kick mythic ass.

      – Ryan

  12. Here you go, Eire, the embodiment of Ireland after the Viking invasion, sent by Morrigan to end the northmen and their heathen demon-gods.

    Eire
    Heart: Bearer
    How did you gain your relic?
    I gained the spear Gae Bolga by the hand of the blessed bitch Morrigan.
    What do your relic whisper to you when you touch it?
    Sink me into the hearts of the northmen, quench me with the blood of their demon-gods.
    Do you trust your relic? Why/why not?
    Yes. It is the weapon of legend borne by CuChulain, a warrior’s weapon, a man’s weapon, my weapon.

    A Bearer’s Weapon
    The Gae Bolga, the many-barbed spear of CuChulainn nee Setanta.

    A Bearer’s First Gift
    Grievous Harm

    History: Noble
    What quality of your people do you most embody?
    The pure, unbound joy in the rage of combat, in the touch of a lover, in a barrel of mead, in the smile of our children.
    What did you promise your people?
    That I would utterly destroy the barbarian northmen who invaded our shores and their heathen demon-gods along with them.
    What do you owe them?
    I AM the land. I AM the people. I owe them my all.

    A Noble’s Weapon
    The unbridled passion of the children of the Milesians.

    A Noble’s Bonds
    The sight of a northman most reminds me of the plight of my people.
    Finn McCool shows me what true nobility is.
    The endless wars of petty kingdoms remind me of what I must rise above.
    CuChulainn shows me how my people could be stronger

    Weapons
    The many-barbed spear Gae Bolga is my Weapon. I use it to end Myths by kicking it with my foot in the manner of Heroes and plunging it past the heart and into the soul of the heathen of Norden.

    The Salmon of Knowledge is my Weapon. I use it to end Myths by using the collected knowledge of my entire people to wage war upon the heathen of Norden.

    A horde of warped-ones is my Weapon. I use it to end Myths by unleashing the savage fury of the riastradh upon every single one of the heathen of Norden.

    Fate: Myth of War

    The Dream of War
    I become the new Lord of War. I make the Morrigan mine, couple with her, become one with her, then take over her. I become lord of ravens, of carrion, of glorious death in the fields. I become the giver of the warp-spasms and all warriors offer their enemies to me.

    The Presence of War
    Where I walk, bickering follows. Where I sleep, arguments ensue. Where I eat, brawls erupt. Where I duel, battles are fought. Where I die, war never ends. This is what happens around me.

    Mortal Form
    An Irish warrior in leather armor and golden torque, hair the color of flames, covered in knotwork and triskele tattoos.

    Paragon Form
    A naked Irish warrior, wearing only a golden torque, knotwork and triskele tattoos glowing bright blue.

    Supernatural Form
    A naked Irish warrior, muscles bulging to the brink of what is humanly possible, hair made of flames, tattoos glowing blood red.

    Godly Form
    A warped-one, a living mass of muscles all hell-bent on destruction. Hair of spikes spewing a toxic cloud of miasma, arms bulging to the size of boulders, bloodshot eyes popping out of the sockets, daggers for teeth, legs bent backwards, tatoos glowing bright green.

    • I don’t recall running into anything that hasn’t been covered above already: took me a couple times to find both Heart and History; only realized I needed to do both from Judd’s example and rereading the instruction again after that; flipping back and forth between the various options to figure out how to adapt them to the idea I already had in mind (by which I guess the feedback I mean is perhaps the templates need a few suggestions on how they can be interpreted beyond the literal).

      The change in fonts to highlight terms tended to throw me off the reading pace so instead of them being call-outs they registered as speed bumps, but not in the slow-down-to-pay-attention-to-this way. My preference is for just different color.

      I had no problem choosing my Forms but then again I started with a very clear idea of what I wanted.

      It’s a *very* wordy character creation. Not sure if that’s good or bad, but it’s a fact.

      So when can I play this badass Irishman?

    • I *totally* took liberties with the Presence section, partly because the paragraph just flowed right out and created a great image, partly because I missed the part where you explain how to format it.

      Actually, that the character creation is entirely template-based was not something that was stated outright and I figured out as I flipped back and forth. It shaped my impression of the flow of chargen and made it seem choppy. That may be as easy to fix as stating that “you will be picking from various sets of templates and customizing them to your Mythender.”

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Josh,

      Rock! And I really dig that you took other Mythenders posted here and included them in your Bonds.

      \m/

      – Ryan

    • Cool character. And yeah, I was gonna say the same thing Ryan just mentioned: very cool seeing the other characters incorporated. :-)

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Gerald,

      Kick ass! Looking forward to those textual comments, too.

      – Ryan

  13. Garret Narjes says:

    Osdjorn the Dreamless
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TSuCy8LYcCKspq31f0p32YUp00ZcZByJxf7IejS8ZOA/edit?hl=en_US#

    My inspiration/mood music
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9KbmRTgigQ

    It’s short and concise, but I think it conveys all the major talking points you used at JoshCon. I think some of the terminology in “Damning Your Fate” could use some streamlining. For example, the characters are Mythenders who kill Myths, and this section is all about succumbing to their mythic fate … Godly Form should be renamed Mythic Form.

    I’ve got a gaming session next week with people who are completely unfamiliar with this game, so I’m going to try and get the early arrivals to kill some time and test this out while I take notes.

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Garret,

      Man, your Mythenders are always fucked-up. By which I mean totally awesome. :D

      I look forward to hearing about your group’s reactions.

      – Ryan

    • Garret Narjes says:

      If there’s someone more excited about this game, I want through brought before me and shot. Then we’ll share a bottle of akvavit, and as two men so secure in our nordic masculinity, we will ride each other up and down the stairs like greased pigs.

    • Fenris Bueller says:

      Not ALL of the group lack experience with Mythender, Garrett. Someone played an exiled Aztec priest (in Norden? Craziness!) at the last Joshcon – and ‘accidentally’ became the new god of death. ;)

  14. Noam says:

    BARRY The Dreamweaver

    My Heart’s Connection is New

    Heart: Loremaster

    How do you use your mind on the field of battle?

    I tap into the power of the Dreamscape to summon terrifying creatures, hazards and weapons from the depth of the collective unconscious.

    When did you first use this as a weapon?

    The first time I found myself in someone’s nightmare. Previously, I was wandering the Dreamscape like a shade; unobserved and non interfering. However, I was in a hellish nightmare (likely the deranged dreams of a mental patient) of being chased by a chimeric monster. I wheeled around and caused the hallway I was running down to grow large and sentient, crushing the chimera in it’s brick and mortar jaws.

    What about the world do you wish to preserve?

    Surrealism and Surrealists; they are the only ones who see the world as it truly is….and should be.

    History: Exile

    Why were you cast out?

    I was a drug loving youth who took well over 100 hits of liquid LSA at once and was sent into a coma. I’ve been wandering the Dreamscape ever since. Presumably, my real body is still in said coma, but my will seems to have materialized a new ever-shifting form.

    What skill has best served you in surviving all these years?

    My boundless imagination and ability to handle my shit (the Dreamscape can be a pretty damn terrifying place, but years of bad trips have prepared me well)

    What about mortal nature is wrong?

    The desire to seek out Truth when the very nature of reality is subjective.

    My stoic cool is my weapon. (3 God-slaying) I’ve seen thousands of rotting babies coming out of a bloated purple snake walking down the street, so my mind is well steeled. I use it to end Myths by being unshaken by their attempts to get in my head.

    The Dreamscape is my weapon. (4 Earth-quaking) I can augment reality itself by bringing in elements from the collective un/subconscious I use it to end Myths by ambushing them with nightmares from the minds of the mortals; things that can even cause the Gods themselves to quaver.

    My pendant is my weapon. (3 God-slaying) It is a hamsa symbol (a down turned hand with a hebrew letter Het). It holds no religious meaning for me, though it must be important as it’s something I owned in my past life and it is still with me, despite the fact that my physical body is elsewhere. It serves as a reminder that I wasn’t always this way. I use it to end Myths by bolstering my confidence and convictions.

    Myth of Life:
    The Presence of Life: There’s a constant flock of blue winged moths that go wherever I go. Sometimes they are subtle, flapping lazily while hidden on some wallpaper, while other times they may blot out the sun.

    Godly Form: I appear as a massive constantly shifting creature, luminescent and terrible.

    Supernatural: I appear as a subtly shifting and shimmering human; facial and body features change every time you glance away.

    Paragon Form: I appear as a skinny looking 35 year old male with tie-dye colored eyes.

    Mortal Form: I appear as a skinny looking 35 year old male who looks like he enjoys taking a lot of psychedelic drugs.

  15. jenskot says:

    You’re going to hate me!

    http://a.nnotate.com/php/pdfnotate.php?d=2011-05-24&c=pe13NMtP

    I had my cousin (female, mid 20s, minimal gaming experience but has played D&D) read this chapter out loud while I recorded her thoughts. Before we started, we did a few “get comfortable sharing your inner thoughts without a filter” exercises so that I could note what she’s thinking as she reads.

    The comments are unfiltered and honest but may not all be relevant to your goals. I chose to record everything she said rather than pick and choose what may or may not be relevant. I would rather leave that up to you to decide.

    Some of these comments may make you want to strangle my cousin! I should note that she is not a stupid person and just completed her doctorate. Not that doctors can’t be… well you get what I’m saying!

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      John,

      This is awesome! My only lament at the moment is that I don’t see a way to easily download it for offline viewing/archiving. I hope it’ll be up for a bit!

      Please do thank your cousin for me. I haven’t really gone through them much yet — waiting until after this weekend trip to do revision work. But this is very much what I need.

      I will say that part of the problem is that this isn’t the introductory text. It’s the text that comes after. Seen some issues because of that, that I really should have forseen. The next version will have that text included.

      \m/

      – Ryan

  16. jenskot says:

    Ryan,

    You may download the review as a PDF here with all comments as footnotes: http://bit.ly/iEmeN0

    I will also leave up the a.nnotate document for as long as you need it. It’s an amazing service which you could use to have all your playtesters comment on the same document (you can set it up so that they don’t even have to signup for the service to leave comments).

    Rock!

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      John,

      Sweet. Thanks!

      And yeah, this service looks damned amazing.

      – Ryan

  17. I made a character this morning and wrote about the experience on my blog. Here she is: Halla, the former prophet swordswoman of revenge.

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Jeremy,

      \m/

      (For others, I made some comments on his blog.)

      – Ryan

  18. I present to you Tácal, the Bronze Skinned. (The first part of the post is a brief introduction about the game and stuff, for context for my non-English speaking readers.)

    I went for a shamanistic, native Central American vibe. His outsider view and alien customs would surely clash with other Mythenders, and his obsession with Hate and Death would bring him all kind of problems (in a very fun way).

    For the record, English is not my mother tongue (I’m from Mexico), although I consider myself very fluent with it.

    I thought the text in general was clear enough. The part that troubled me the most was coming up with the “I use it to end Myths by…” part for my Weapons. I had to read what other people did before me for inspiration, and then things just clicked. (So some examples would have done the job for me.)

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Damián,

      Thanks! Man I would love to see Tácal fighting hordes of trolls on the snowy (and soon to be bloody) plains of Norden and taking Thor on the Bifrost.

      Could you tell me what it was that didn’t click with the Weapons part before seeing other folks’ examples? If you can, that would help me dial in what sort of text would work and what wouldn’t. If not, no worries. :)

      – Ryan

    • Heh! I’d love that too. I can picture the scene in my mind: “Hey! That guy is almost naked. How is he not freezing in this blizard? Oh, wait… The air is actually really hot. Wait a minute… Is this weird wind coming from him?”

      There are several “lone viking guy among native American people” portrayals, and I’d love to see the inverse.

      The problem was about scale. Sure, I know I want my guy to have this weird pseudo-mesoamerican shamanic powers… But how do they work? How can I tell the way they help me as a weapon in a way that is both evocative and generic enough? And I can’t just write “deathing them with my shaman magiks”. They are god-slaying powers! They need to be focused, yet strong and versatile enough…

      Same thing with my eagle companion. An exotic familiar-like bird seems cool, but how would that help me deal with mythic beings? By peaking their divine eyes out or something? Then I read some examples and go all “Mmm… So he is in a way an extension of my powers. And it would be cool to make him some sort of living focus for this stuff. Ghosty stuff!”

      Then writing the evocative descriptions was easy and fun.

      By the way… Tácal is nahuatl for “scar” and Ehecal for “wind”. :D

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Damián,

      AH! Scale! I can write about scale! That helps a bunch.

      – Ryan

  19. Rolled me up one and had a ton of fun doing it.

    Check it out: http://stormindacastle.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/unnar-the-mythender/

  20. Rob Finamore says:

    Hlér Hefringson – Mourner Tempest

    >What unnaturalness do you wield?
    I have bonded with the lakes and seas. I wield the power of water in all its forms, from the great oceans to the tiniest motes of moisture in the air.

    >What did you have to do to get your power?
    Power required sacrifice. That sacrifice was my island home. My family, my people, the land and over a thousand years of history swallowed beneath the seas and lost to history for all time. Even as Ægir drowned my homeland, so too did I snatch away a piece of his power using an ancient amulet.

    >What is the toll that must be paid?
    The thirst must be quenched. Water is the life giver, but for life to be given it must also be taken away to maintain the balance. I drink of those around me and leave the dust of the fallen in my wake, but their sacrifice will not be forgotten.

    >Harbinger of the Storm
    Every moment of battle is filled with the force of the maelstrom (rage and hate). Your Mythic Heart pumps stronger than most, pushing you to gain more power from every press, from every attack.

    >What did you lose?
    The cost of my power was the loss of my family and the history of my people. The last vestiges of their existence die with me.

    >What should you have done to prevent this loss?
    I was to too quick to sacrifice all in the name of power. I should have been more clever in snatching power away from Norden.

    >How has losing this maimed your soul?
    My soul is stained with guilt and the spirits of the fallen now haunt me. As the thirst of the fallen is quenched by drinking of the living, their numbers in turn continue to grow and so too the insatiable thirst. As my guilt burgeons, I must continue to atone by ending even more and greater Myths, and to do that requires more power…

    >Weapons

    My command over water in all its forms is my Heart Weapon. I use this power to drown Myths in an unstoppable deluge or crush them beneath the weight of massive tidal forces. (Intrinsic – Sky-sundering 5)

    The souls of the fallen haunt me, and their insatiable thirst is my History Weapon. I use it to end Myths by drinking of the life their followers, and leaving naught but dust to worship in their names. (Companion – God-slaying 3)

    The Heart of the Tsunami is my third Weapon. While wearing this ancient amulet, like the form of water so named, I am an irresistible force in the pursuit of my Mythic foes. (Relic – God-slaying 3)

    >The Presence of Chaos
    I leave a plague of drought in my wake.

    >Godly Form
    I appear as a raging cyclone of water – huge, torrential, and a tempest of destruction.

    >Paragon Form
    In my paragon, water leaks from every pore and I appear as if perpetually soaked.

    >Supernatural Form
    I appear as a humanoid composed entirely of water. Translucent, with every sending ripples across my skin like a stone dropped in a pond.

    >Bonds
    I hesitate to slaughter Unnar because he gives me reason to continue.
    I hesitate to slaughter Halla because she reminds me of what I’ve lost.
    I hesitate to slaughter Osjorn because he gives me solace.
    I hesitate to slaughter Guðlaugur because he joins me in suffering.

    >Heart’s Connection
    Endangered

  21. Joshua Unruh says:

    Hey Ryan!

    I’m going to have a couple of these. They’ll be on my blog (the above website) next Wednesday most likely but I didn’t want you to wander off to something else first. Here’s my first attempt:

    Benedict
    Crusader/Mourner/Myth of Judgment

    What belief or ideal to you fight for?
    The ideal of True Conversion. That anyone, no matter their past, can turn to Jesu the White Christ and have a new life and a new mission given to them.

    What happened to make you so angry with the world?
    The monastery that had taken me in despite my bloody soaked past and converted me to the True Faith was beset upon and burned to the ground by marauders who still followed pagan gods. These heathenish warriors murdered everyone that mattered anything to me. While I do not mourn my brethren’s deaths, for they are with Jesu himself now, I do mourn that there are still men willing to maim, kill, and destroy in the name of these demons cloaked in false deity.

    What reward do you expect?
    Only demon blood on my blade and eternal rest with Jesu when my war is over.

    What did you lose?
    A home full of unconditional acceptance and love, a safe haven where all could hear the Blessed Truth.

    What should you have done to prevent this loss?
    I should have preached the Gospel to my heathen brethren more fervently that they would turn from the bloody gods that demand such acts of barbarity and hate.

    How has losing this maimed your soul?
    It has made it impossible for me to preach the Gospel as my hatred for the demonic gods of old consumes me.

    St. Benedict’s Rosary is my weapon. I use it to end Myths by praying for them to grow weak and falter when they face me.
    The Cries of My Dying Brothers are my weapon. I use it to end Myths by guarding my heart against pity for the false gods.
    My Old Axe is my weapon. I use it to end Myths by showing them that their ways can only end in death and violence.

    Presence of Judgment – Men are wracked by guilt and demand judgment around me.
    Godly Form – I appear as a divine judge with a blinding halo of righteousness around my head, blind eyes that see the guilt on every human heart, a thunderous voice that pronounces doom upon any who dare stand before me. I carry a scythe ready to mow down the wicked and pitch them into the fire like tares.

    Paragon Form – I appear as myself though my head is wreathed in a blinding halo of righteousness. The unworthy and wicked are seared by the white light.

    Supernatural Form – I appear as myself with the halo and my blind-yet-all-seeing eyes. Normal sight was scorched from them as my own wickedness was the first to be burnt by my righteous radiance.

    My Heart’s Connection is New.
    St. Benedict’s Rosary is Earth-quaking (4)
    The Cries of My Dying Brothers and My Old Axe are God-slaying (3)

  22. Joshua Unruh says:

    Okay, one more and then I better stop for a while (but there may be more later). With this guy I took the whole “I don’t want to become the gods” thing directly to heart and he’s slowly becoming the anti-Odin. His one eye gives madness, his army of dead are “unworthy,” that kind of thing.

    Sigfasti
    Commander/Apostate/Myth of Death

    Who follows you into battle?
    Dead warriors denied their rightful place in Valhalla because they died in ambush or assassination and without a weapon in their hand.

    How did you gain your companions?
    I raided Hel for those unjustly kept there.

    Do you still try to act human around them? Why or why not?
    I do not. No human could have done what I did to liberate them. We are all lost souls and therefore lack pretension.

    What Myth did you devote yourself to?
    Wise and all-seeing Odin himself.

    What was done to make you flee your oaths and bonds?
    Despite his unmatched skills as a warrior, no Chooser came for my brother when men too fearful to face him in battle murdered him in his bed. I felt this unjust.

    What did you give that can never be replaced?
    The eye I gave in devotion to Odin that I might partake in some measure of his wisdom.

    My Horde of “Unworthy” Dead is my weapon. I use it to end Myths by giving them the opportunity to show the gods their worth in blood, bone, and sinew.

    My Absolute Understanding of the Battlefield is my weapon. I use it to end Myths by finding the weakness in their strategy and exploiting it.

    Stalwart Oath, my brother’s spear, is my weapon. I use it to end Myths by making use of my brother’s unmatched skill in arms.

    Presence of Death – Ravens enough to blot out the sun flock to me.
    Godly Form – I appear as a warrior unmatched. I stride across the battlefield more at home than a woman in her kitchen. My single eye gleams with the wisdom of battle. A painted eye adorns my patch that is so skillfully rendered it seems a living thing. Those who look into it go mad and beg me to give them death’s kiss. The gloom of the damned surrounds me like a cloak, dampening even the brightest lights in my presence. My spear flies straight and true then returns to me as though my own dead brother’s hand were giving me a gift. I lead the charge of a hundred thousand souls glowing with bloodlust and the desire to show me their worth. My voice is a battle’s roar and my strong right arm the fount of widow’s tears.

    Paragon Form – The painted eye on my patch begins to take on a lifelike quality. It drains the sanity from those who stare into it for too long.

    Supernatural Form – The eye on my patch now seeks out the gaze of those who would do me harm and the very air begins to fill with the smoky gloom of Hel’s hopeless smoke.

    My Heart’s Connection is Endangered.
    My Horde of “Unworthy” Dead are Sky-sundering (5)
    Stalwart Oath and My Absolute Understanding of the Battlefield are God-slaying (3)

  23. Nora says:

    Posted my Noble/Tempest Unna up here: http://bit.ly/kCBzZ0

    As I noted there, the “Bonds” section was a little confusing for me, I think I just wasn’t reading carefully enough.

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Nora,

      Yeah, that’s been unclear to others. Those are bonds to other Mythenders. There are binds to mortals as well, but they’re to people you meet in Norden. But still, you wrote some neat stuff. Awesome!

      – Ryan

  24. Dave says:

    Per Ryan’s request:

    ===========================================================================

    Mythender
    “Thirteen”

    HISTORY: Child
    What cruelties have you endured?
    I was forced to kill my own mother and devour her heart.

    What further fuels your limitless rage?
    The senseless cruelty of man to man, especially children.

    What will, for the briefest moment, recall your innocence?
    The laughter of children at play.

    A child’s weapon:
    My scars are my weapon. I use them to end myths by seeing, speaking, and reaching out to the world of the dead.

    A Child’s Bonds:
    ? is the closest thing I have to family.

    ? teaches me fascinating things.

    ? makes me smile.

    ? makes everything fun.

    HEART: Tempest
    What unnaturalness do you wield?
    The ability to see and speak to the dead, as well as touch the spirit world.

    What did you have to do to gain your power?
    I slew my mother and devoured her living heart.

    What is the toll that must be paid?
    I can love no mortal, cherish nothing of the material world. Attachments of the flesh are forbidden to me.

    A tempest’s weapon:
    The Twelve, who follow me into battle. My bodyguard, my brothers. I use them to end myths by rending the faithful and pulling down their temples… and their gods, should they cross my path.

    My Gift:
    Harbinger of Storms.

    Endangered Heart Connection:
    ?

    Third weapon?

    Mythic Fate:: Judgment
    Judgment leaks out and twists the world around me by…?

    Paragon Form: Prophet of Storms
    Thirteen appears as a 9 year old boy, emaciated and bald, skin pale. His eyes and lips burn white from the livid red of his scars, which cover his face, chest, arms and hands.

    Supernatural Form: Angrborn
    A hulking brute with the forms of his 12 brothers fused into his misshapen body.

    Godly Form: ?
    ?

    Notes:
    The Twelve are a bodyguard that always follow Thirteen, but they are not always the same people. When any one of them falls, the spirit merely claims the next available body. It doesn’t matter whom, innocent or guilty, young or old, male or female; once possessed, they will fight to the death with berserker ferocity. This is one reason why Thirteen eschews mortal attachments- anyone around him might be claimed by one of the Twelve at any time. His blasted eyes can see the dead, but cannot stand bright light. His burned tongue can bespeak the dead, but his mortal voice is a harsh whisper. His hands can touch that which is not there, but his scars cannot abide contact with physical objects, and burn like fire at the touch of another’s flesh. At the same time as his scars armor him against harm, they make intimacy impossible.

    ============================================================================

    Not sure if I’ve painted myself in a corner here… is there room for the conflict of Thirteen’s supernaturally-enforced distance from others, or is that going to make relationships of any kind impossible? I like the idea, but it might not work for this particular game. My initial concept was that his mother ate her first 12 sons, and then forced Thirteen to eat her heart to gain the accumulated power. This sounded extremely metal when it first occurred to me, but maybe it’s a bit much? U dunno. Anyway, this is no fault of the game, I don’t think. I have a history of letting my ideas grow out of the form set by the character sheet.

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Dave,

      That’s totally a viable character in Mythender. However, that’s also a character that would last about one or two days in the game before falling and becoming a myth his comrades end (which the character creation doesn’t talk about). Which has prompted me to make a note to myself: “Write about the Need of Sympathy.”

      Thank you!

      – Ryan

    • Garret Narjes says:

      The characters interesting and I think as long as you know you’ve painted yourself into a corner, it might work. If you worked the angle that he wants to have relationships and is working against his mythic nature in an attempt to achieve them, it can work. For example, you could have the spirits leave children alone, so during the course of play, your mythender gets to talk to kids, remind himself of why he fights myths and continue on.

  25. Dave says:

    Sorry, that should be “I” dunno, obviously. I hate typos.

    I think that I may also be trying to cram too many things in. If I had to pare it back and just keep one cool idea, it’d be that the souls of his 12 brothers just possess whomever is nearby whenever he is threatened. That’s kind of terrifying and tragic, I think, and is probably the gem in the above mess.

  26. Garret Narjes says:

    Had 2 volunteers to run through creation as a group, so I made another one with them to help round out the process.

    Thurnvall (mine)
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1d4duYtdrg9gEhw3A9I4se5-43KOEto2IN2KMrI_ExLw/edit?hl=en_US

    Tór
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Kza8Wad-vlsYRQwm6iZgBVsqNq4qyrrZrXJyW9jGqR0/edit?hl=en_US

    Raynor
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-q_sUvfTJYTgf2dwSHrj-NqLGWx0GxDCODjeYcJcVxg/edit?hl=en_US

    Overall, they really enjoyed the process and would be excited to play the characters. Examples would have helped a lot. My personality is to attempt to immediately start providing examples, but I tried to let them run through the text alone first. I know you don’t want to ruin every good idea a player might have, or make them feel like they’re just copying the book examples, but something to help set the tone of the scale.

    As others have noted, my two assistants at first assumed they should take one weapon from heart/history.

    They hit some confusion during the forms, why they were in that order, what the significance of each was. I was able to explain it, and maybe they were just cruising through that text a little faster as well.

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Garret,

      Sweet!

      Could you tell me what you said to explain the significance of the Forms?

      – Ryan

    • Garret Narjes says:

      I referenced the Heart’s connection (though I was unsure of specific levels) and how the more power it draws into you, the closer you become to myth. For instance, how the Mourner characters might still have their mortal form, but the Abomination would already be on his Paragon form (just used that as an example, though I think I’m close).

      A lot of what helps me is that I’ve seen the character sheet (Skarvald the Warrior/Apostate who killed Odin is in my hand right now) and that knowledge makes it much easier for me to visualize the creation process.

    • Garret Narjes says:

      Thinking about it a little more, I explained your reasoning for the order they’re presented to be filled out. I also added a sentence or two of explanation for the paragon/supernatural forms, concepts/examples. Like I said, I think part of the problem was they skimmed the page with all the text about their mythic fate.

      Part of this might stem from the Heart/History pages are almost completely self-contained, but then the Fate pages are best used going back and forth.

  27. Finally! Me and a good chunk of the Janus Design crew made Mythenders and, while we were at it we chose to try doing the Bonding phrases among our characters (I know, Ryan, you said not to but… ^__^).

    Here is the post on Giulia’s blog with links to all of them:

    http://giullina.net/wp/en/2011/05/a-lovely-group-of-terrible-beings/

    Personally I can say it was *fun*, and I’ll add some “meta” commentary: I started with almost no idea or concept (other than toying with the idea of a bearish berserker… but it was a bit weak). I finally found the time to read the pdf, reviewed the Hearts and Histories, the Myths… and BAM! A better and more colorful idea struck me.

    I chose to go for a ‘foreigner’ (a Gaul from Brittany with a *serious* vengeance mission)…

    Imagining the Godly Form and the Weapons (and the other forms), especially, was really fun and powerful: I have all these wonderful images of this character in the various forms, up until the mighty epic tableau of him sitting on his throne carved in Yggdrasil’s trunk.

    Now I wanna play him!!!