A couple weeks back, Jeremiah Frye, Mythender superfan, asked me if there was a way to speed up character creation for a con game, like to make pre-gens. I’ve never had a pre-gen game of Mythender feel all that great, because without making the character, there’s little investment in either abstaining from or diving into apotheosis. The time it takes to make a Mythender was one of the flaws I accepted as part of the game’s nature, and that it’s better for three players in a four-hour slot than it is for four.
But in talking, we came up with an idea. He tried it, and it seemed to work well…
To speed up character creation, we’ve collapsed some of the decisions down — namely, linking the Heart and the Past together. Here’s a set of six Heart/Fate pairings, with partially filled out playsheets. They are:
- Warrior of Love
- Crusader of Death
- Commander of Judgment
- Bearer of War
- Tempest of Life
- Loremaster of Chaos
Each has one Weapon filled in, one of the two Fates chosen, and the first Gift filled out. To use these, hand out the six choices of Hearts/Fates, and then the six Pasts (see the next section). Mix and match, more or less as normal. You don’t need a persona sheet, because there’s plenty of space to write anything you need to write down on these handouts.
To speed things up, don’t have them write down answers to the Heart & Past questions, just look them over for a moment. In play, you might get them to answer, perhaps as they’re also doing actions. And have them only choose one more Weapon for the moment, leaving the other to be revealed either during the Tutorial battle or to come up with right afterward, before going into the first Mythender turn. Likewise, just do one bond, and let the others come up in play (or ask at certain points, if you feel as the Mythmaster that the moment would benefit from brief introspective interruption).
Note: the Weapon and Fate elements are in medium gray, to help rewriting if that’s desired.
Easy-to-Print Hearts, Pasts, and Fates
The dirty secret is that I rarely use persona sheets when I’m running Mythender. Instead, I print out the Hearts, Pasts, and Fates from the book and hand them out. That’s why there’s space on the pages for answers! I decided to make it easier to print them out, and make them simple letter-sized handouts with a guide in the middle for cutting.