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Mythender Played Live!

Yesterday, the most excellent Kit La Touche & Quinn Murphy played Mythender live via G+ Hangouts on the Air. You can see the video here:

Watch live video from Thoughtcrime on www.twitch.tv

This was really interesting and illuminating for me to watch live (and chime in on occasion). I wrote a bunch of notes for revising the book next week, but here are some particular bits:

  • Kit told me that it was likely only Quinn would show up, and the rules don’t support solo play because I had never thought about that as a thing. So I told him a couple things to do in that case: decrease the oomph the god has, and to raise the Mythender’s Wound cost by one.
  • Watching Kit go through a very different process and order of making Mythenders contrary to what’s on the outline made me think about how the text could use emphasis.
  • Kit did something that I haven’t done in the last two or three years of making the game: he led with dealing with mortals rather than leading with a battle. It made me realize two things: (1) I need to think about that hard in the next couple days; (2) I need to make it clear that for tutorial purposes, you need to lead with the battle. The effects of Quinn’s character terrorizing mortals for power meant that the Tutorial’s math wouldn’t remotely match up.
  • And I’ll admit that I winced quite a bit with Kit didn’t use the Tutorial battle chapter. Watching him flip through the main battle chapter to learn the battle rules & explain them did grit my teeth a little, in the “but, but, there’s a better chapter for that!” way. Luckily, Quinn already had a sense of the game, so it wasn’t breaky, but I wonder what I did wrong to not highlight enough “use the Tutorial battle the first time out.”
  • That said, watching that was fascinating, because of the decisions Quinn made. And it helped me fix one of Mythender’s last minor issues that had been gnawing at me for years, and I just accepted as part of the game: what to do with unspent Lightning. Now I have a rule for that, because I saw the need and since I wasn’t playing the game right then and there, I could just hold my game design hat on. (Which is how I fixed gods a few months back.)

Now, because transparency and all that, I figure I would share the notes I wrote while watching the play. These are quickly written and meant for me as the audience, but here you go:

  • Note: add a bit on the overview heart/past/fate thing on that page to say “Mythmaster, read this as-is”. And is there enough written about them as high-concept?
  • Also, structure: pick all three. Then answer questions and do stuff. Don’t start & answer Heart, then pick Past.
  • Kit has a comment about the Fate’s Power, if it’s static or if it’s changeable like everything else.
  • Remove the Norden references in the Heart/Past/Fate.
  • Add a persona worksheet, for the questions & dream.
  • Consider: for a one-player game, also raise Storm base to 4.
  • Weapons are “inseparable”. Kit used that word. Like it.
  • “How much detail for each Weapon?” As much as is clear for you & everyone else understands. If it needs to be refined or altered in play, that’s cool.
  • Mythmaster: there is no “Maybe” — Mythenders know for sure, there is no mystery.
  • Interesting: Quinn wants to lure Thor out. Huh.
  • Another touch stone: Skyrim?
  • The adventure should start *before* meeting mortals. Dive into the action! That’s the default state. What’s it mean to start with a player’s turn?
  • Put the Thunder dice changes with Corruption?
  • Confusion: Fate & earning Might, clarify.
  • Tutorial battle: assumes there’s no mortal stuff happening beforehand
  • Mythmaster needs a cheat sheet. Also, that reminds “hey, Tutorial battle on page XX”
  • Grievous Harm – note before rolling the Wound
  • More solo: needs more rounds before the End.
  • Decrease how many Might Einherjer and others get, since the Might recharge.
  • New rule: if you have more than 20 Lightning left over the end of a battle, can create/charge a Lasting Blight you have. Can pool Lightning for that. (15 if you’re promoting a new Blight from one in this battle.)
  • When making a Lasting Blight, can alter a Blight as well to make it change, like “blue flames” -> “eternal pyre”
  • Tutorial also assumes that you’re launching right into battle as the first substantial thing.

– Ryan

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5 Responses to Mythender Played Live!

  1. Kit says:

    Some personal notes:

    I have an incredibly hard time bringing myself to read text in a book verbatim. It’s partly my deep-seated desire to put my own spin on things, partly my desire to not break the improvisational nature of RPGs. (Ask me some time about my relationship with pre-made adventures/modules/whatever.)

    Regarding starting with mortals first, it felt, to me, like it worked, but I don’t have much basis for comparison. I recall that Smallville has some advice on starting with a bang, to set the precedent for the rest of the game. I never managed to do that right, either. That’s a particular weak spot in my GMing—I tend to ease in.

  2. Kit says:

    Oh, and also: it was really kinda cool playing live, and it was very easy to forget that people might be watching. I may want to get people to do that for some playtests of my own games—it’s a great fly-on-the-wall kind of thing.

  3. Robert says:

    I would like to try this on line in a play by post (rpol.net) Any chance at another round of playtest pdf’s getting released?

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      The Random Kindness Encounter backers should get the revised-but-pre-edit edition next week. After I get edits back from my editor & process them, I’ll release the full version. This has been in playtest for years; it’s time to be fully done. :)

      It totally look forward to seeing your play by post!

      – Ryan

  4. Robert says:

    Thanks! Looking forward to it.

    Random notes: A modern setting would be something I would be willing to pay for (hell, I’d be willing to pay for Mythender FWIW).

    If you substituted standard combat for the PVP roll then this would match my vision of what a role-play version of Magic: the Gathering would play like. Not sure if there would be much point in that… But I’ve been looking for that for a while.

    in the Running Battle example pg 139, under ‘Suffering Fate’
    ‘His Corruption number is 4 … and the Mythic Die is also -for- should be ‘4’ or ‘four’.

    in the Running Battle: pg 143 it is not clear why Ben would have only two Thunder Dice left. He rolled 14 dice, got 8 successes (not 7) and even if the failures are discarded then he ought to keep all of the successes, right?