Mythender is Live!


I started this journey in Autumn of 2007. Five and a half years later, it’s fucking done.

I’ll write more about it in the future, but this is the result of years of experimenting with designs, language, physical presentation, flying around the country talking and playing with gamers, reading dozens upon dozens of different games to see what people are doing effectively and not so effectively, etc.

That isn’t to say Mythender’s perfect–far from it, for no thing can be both perfect and done–but that there’s a hell of a road I’m looking back on right now that no one else can see, even if they were a part of it as a playtester, reader, cheerleader, etc. And I’m goddamned proud of finishing it. It’s hard to communicate my emotions right now, because I’m not sure I even understand them enough to articulate them, but, uh, fucking fuck fuck, you guys. It’s done. \m/

I’ll be putting more stuff out as I fulfill Random Kindness Backer rewards, do up easy-to-print play aids, etc.

And later I’ll update this post probably with a picture of me smoking a damned cigar and drinking a blessed bottle of scotch. Because BAM Mythender’s out for y’all.

– Ryan

Incidentally, if you find any typos, don’t blame my editor, Josh Roby. He made me do a lot of reworking, so I probably introduced them there. Feel free to point them out, mail mythmaster@mythenderrpg.com. I’ll update the book periodically, not nickel-and-dime changes.


12 Responses to Mythender is Live!

  1. John Powell says:

    Congrats! I’ll be reading it at lunch time.

  2. Tracy says:

    I’m very excited about this. I’m going to have it at Games on Demand at Origins if anyone wants to kills gods in the face with me. =)

  3. Lenny Balsera says:

    Most excellent. Many, many congrats.

  4. Colin says:

    Hell yeah man, so glad this game is finished and out there in the wild. Congrats and fuck yeah!

  5. Rock! I’m looking forward to having a look at this!

  6. Octavo says:

    This looks great. I am totally going to break Thor’s jaw, maybe even meet Buddha on the road and kill him!

  7. Andy says:

    IT’S ALIVE!!!! IT’S ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!!! A hearty round of congratulations are in order, sir, and a good mug of mead.

  8. Pat says:


    Great stuff, sir.

  9. jessecoombs says:

    Congratulations man. So fucking proud of you. Not that I had anything to do with it.


  10. misuba says:

    Congratulations, man.

  11. RM says:

    This is so cool. Haven’t had the chance to try it yet–probably will be a while, unfortunately, before my gaming group is up for a new game–but I really love the concepts you’ve got here. Congratulations on getting it done, I know you’ve been working hard.

    What I really love here is that you’ve managed to make a game where you strip out all the normal tactical battle system stuff of RPGs–like a lot of other games try to do–but where a lot of games I’ve seen just kind of stop there, you replace the tactical battle system and grid and all with your own system that brings back the depth, while leaving the arguing over just how far a bow can shoot and how long that gap is out. You’ve replaced the traditional wargaming-inspired battles with battles inspired more by gambling or dice games, after a fashion, and it’s a great idea. A big problem I’ve had with trying some “streamlined” RPGs is that battles/conflicts lose their appeal after a while, mechanically–there’s no real sense of strategy to them other than “roll your biggest ability repeatedly.” So while they may be narratively different, you don’t feel like you’re having to mechanically adapt to the situation. Meanwhile, here…it looks like there’s quite a lot of opportunity for adaptation and strategy, without negatively impacting the narrative flow of kicking a mountain into Thor’s balls.

    It occurs to me, as well, that with some alterations, I might be able to run a pretty hilariously awesome superhero game with this. O_O I don’t know for sure, but it’s worth a shot…just replace “Corruption” and “Fate” with “Fatigue” and “Adrenaline” or “Strain,” have the “death choice” be between being KOed for a short period and coming back to risk collapse for a longer period of time if the Strain gets too high, and rejigger some other consequences here and there. Characters don’t die or fall to corruption–instead, they get KOed on the spot or collapse with aggravated injuries and need rest and recovery, but either way they can come back in a plot or two if you’re running a game with recurring characters.

    “Terrorizing Humans for Power” becomes “Heroic Activity” and grants power as it does in Mythender with a more heroic tone (you push yourself to the limit to save lives or otherwise act heroic, and this gives you some momentum but also increases the strain on your powers), and other options for Mythender Moments or such could be similarly reworded/reworked to have a more superhero-appropriate tone (“Seeking Sympathy and Healing” becomes “Taking Downtime,” but I’d have to work on another meaning for the roll aspect of that since superheroes don’t tend to blast the free will out of people just by existing).

    Not that you couldn’t also just do “It’s Mythender, but in the modern age and the characters are superheroes” with all the rules the exact same, of course, and that’d be fun too! Go end Superman or Batman or the Fantastic Four, even. Just was a neat thought that occurred to me. :-P

    Also neat to realize that nothing stops you from using the “battle” rules for Mythender to represent any situation appropriate to the game you’re running. In some cases you’d have to seriously rename a lot of things to run different story ideas, but you could use the same dice mechanics to represent anything that could reasonably have a time limit and involve the heroes pushing their limits to succeed. Bank job? Espionage mission? Chasing a supervillain? Hacking a computer that’s out to destroy the world? The dice mechanics can be the same, and the narrative just changes (but keep the “you’re awesome” general atmosphere, of course!). I’m not sure how far I’d want to push it, but again…worth thinking about!

  12. Robert says:

    Congrats man! You have earned your spot in the heavens (but stick around for the accolades).