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Mythender Excerpt: Badass, Epic Feats

The following is an excerpt from Mythender, and is a work-in-progress. I was having fun with the language, and I thought I would share to get some reactions. The following covers the rules for doing super awesome shit outside of a battle (though not some of the related rules, like creating lasting blights that mark the land or terrorizing mortals for power from this act).

Enjoy!


Performing Badass, Epic Feats

Mythenders are incredible titans, who can do amazing feats! Break mountains, move rivers, control mortals—there’s little you cannot accomplish. But that power comes at a cost, for those feats are powered by your Mythic nature, and from there lies corruption.

When you want to do an epic feat and you’re not in a battle, answer the following:

Is This Feat Mundane or Uninteresting?

Then don’t use these rules. It just happens, with no benefit or further effect.

Is This Feat Inhumanly Possible?

Answer these questions:

  • Are you capable of this feat?
  • If so, are you creating or destroying a blight?
  • Are you embracing or resisting corruption?

Are you capable of this feat?

No Mythender is omnipotent; you each have limitations. You can accomplish an epic feat if it fits under one of these conditions:

  • It is merely something that takes godly might, speed, skill, wit, etc.
  • You can explain how your Weapons enable you to do this feat.
  • You can justify it either directly or inspired by your Fate’s power.

In addition, if there’s a blight that would prevent you from doing this, and the feat you’re doing isn’t attacking that blight, you’re restrained from this action. At least, for the time being.

If you cannot do the feat because it doesn’t fit any of the above, don’t worry! Once you fall and become a Myth, you can totally do it.

If you can do the feat, then it is done, unquestioningly. You and the Mythmaster describes what happens.

Are you creating or destroying a blight?

Epic actions can create or destroy blights. This is optional; not every epic action needs to deal with a blight. (For more on Blights, see page XX.)

If creating a new blight, pay 2 Might, take a new blight card and write its description down. Write your Mythender’s name on the “Created by” line. Finally, check off the first charge box and the Lasting box.

In lieu of creating a new blight, you can bolster an existing blight that you or another Mythender created. Rewrite the blight’s description to reflect how its more powerful, then check off two more charge boxes.

If destroying a blight, pay 2 Might, take the blight card, write your name on the “Destroyed by” line, and cross the card out. Or, if you’re feeling particularly theatrical, rip the card up.

You may only create or destroy one blight if you’re resisting corruption (below).

If embracing corruption, you can create and destroy as many as you can afford. You can use Might gained from embracing corruption to pay for them.

Are you embracing or resisting corruption?

The choice you have here is if you are trying to use Mythic power while attempting to resist its corruption, hoping that it does not change you and make you closed to becoming a Myth; or you can embracing what the world of Myth wants you to become, and gain power from it.

Embracing Corruption

If you are embracing your mythic nature, this is also Terrorizing Mortals for Power, even if you’re doing this in a “nice” way or for kind reasons. If there were no mortals in this moment to begin with, the Mythmaster will introduce some witness your horrific power. Do everything in those rules as well.

If this action assaults or removed a mortal’s free will, it is always embracing corruption. That’s pretty inhuman.

Resisting Corruption

If you are attempting to resist corruption, this is a risk. Grab two dice if the Mythmaster says there are no mortals to witness your act, or one if there are. (Note: the Mythmaster will usually play handball here and introduce mortals in a scene where there didn’t seem to be any. Mortals are drawn to horrific power.)

Reminder: Companions don’t count as mortals, because they no longer have true free will.

Roll the dice. If either come up 5 or 6, you have resisted Myth’s corrupting influence! You’re unchanged. Otherwise, treat as the result of Terrorizing Mortals for Power, except you only claim 1 Might. There is less reward if you resist your mythic nature.

Oh, and if you do fail, the Mythmaster might create a new Blight for the Myth based on how you were unable to contain your nature. Or not. Whatever.

Describe the Feat and Push Forward

You and the Mythmaster should describe what happens, based on blights created or destroyed and how you handled corruption.  Once everyone at the table is satisfied with playing out that moment, move on.

Limits to These Gains

While you can do incredible feats, you do not have limitless power. After a feat, you must rest for a few moments—walking around and talking will suffice. And if you do one shortly afterward (around two hours or less), you will not gain any additional Might. The Mythic World cannot grant you limitless power while you still have the scent of mortality about you.

Examples

Resisting Corruption

Rashid wishes to put out a raging inferno consuming a town and surrounding forest, one started by fire giants in the prior battle. (Raging Inferno is a persistent blight.) So he summons the very spirits of the fire and shove them back down into the deep earth.

Now, no one had mentioned anything about the fire having spirits before, but the Mythmaster knows better than to question it. Of course it’s fire spirits! And it’s interesting, so we proceed.

The feat’s inhumanly possible, all right. Qualifies for these rules. And Rashid is capable of this feat through his relic weapon, The Book of Dominion over Demons and Spirits. No question about that. He’s focused on destroying the blight, so that question is taken care of.

All that remains is to see if he’s embracing or resisting corruption. He could easily embrace it, shouting at fire spirits and making everyone in the town bow before his terrible awe. But no, he decides that mortals should keep their free will or some junk, and resists.

There are mortals around, so Rashid’s player picks up just one die. He rolls it, getting a 5! He successfully resists corruption! (Which is handy, because I haven’t described how Terrorizing Mortals for Power works yet.)

So he describes forcing the fire spirits into the deep earth, and the fire vanishing with it. The people witnessing still bow before his terrible awe, but not in a “I accidentally destroyed your free will while trying to help” way.

Embracing Corruption

Unna arrives at a village after some monsters have already slaughtered many of its people. So she figures, hey, why not just bring them back?

That certainly isn’t boring. Her Fate is Death, so that fits with her Fate’s power: Power over the life and death of mortals. There’s no blight in play that’s she’s destroying—there are no inactive blights like “people are dead”. She also doesn’t really care about creating one, though she could make one like “my loyal risen army” or the like. But that’s not Unna’s point. She just wants some dead people to be…less dead.

As for corruption, her player says “Bring it on!” Because corruption is sexy, and also gives you sweet, sweet mythic power. Sure, it’ll mean that the mortals she’s bringing back to life will have their free will destroyed, but them’s the breaks, I guess.

The rest of this example is covered in Terrorizing Mortals for Power (p. XX), since Unna’s embracing corruption.

Not Bothering With These Rules

After the battle against giant scorpion-men, Erik the Hated jumps from one side of a chasm to the other, in order to retrieve his sword, Viperbane. The scorpion-general knocked it out of his hands as his last action, as it was being totally ended. Since there’s nothing interesting going on, just a bit of color to show how casually Erik gets his sword back, none of the Epic, Badass Feats rules are used.

Now, if Erik’s player wanted to make a big deal about it, he could push it further, but he just wanted to say “Yeah, I just wanted to describe how I got my sword back. Let’s move on.” Everyone’s happy.


– Ryan

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4 Responses to Mythender Excerpt: Badass, Epic Feats

  1. Fascinatin stuff. Will the casual, conversational tone of the text last to the final? Because I like it!

    I like where you’re going with this, and the examples are helpful, even without the “Terrorizing Mortals for Power” section detailed.

    I also like that this is my first opportunity to see the rules describe the interaction between myth and mortal.

  2. RM says:

    What an interesting game concept! I hadn’t heard of this until now, but I like the sound of it. This bit on the feats and such, especially the accepting vs. resisting corruption, sounds fascinating. I’m very interested to see this when you have it done!

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Thanks! :)

      It took me a few months after first designing that piece to realize I was essentially making the Dark Side mechanic that I always wanted, just in an epic fantasy game. One day, I may drift Mythender to Star Wars (a.k.a. Sithender). But that’s well after I finish the game in the first place!

      – Ryan

  3. RM says:

    It really is an interesting mechanic and I like the game concept in general. You’ve got a neat concept here and I hope you find great success with it. ^_^