Bundle of Holding Mythras

Lawrence Whitaker posted this on BRP Central about the latest Mythras Bundle of Holding.

Mythras is once again the featured system over at Bundle of Holding, with some seriously spectacular deals on Mythras PDFs. This time around the Bundle consists of a Starter Collection (Mythras, Mythras Companion, Monster Island, Two Mythras Combat Training Modules) and the Bonus Collection – which contains Lyonesse (and two scenarios), Luther Arkwright, and the epic Arkwright campaign, Parallel Lines.

The price just can’t be beaten: just $7.95 for the Starter Collection, but if you pay a little more and meet (or beat) the Threshold Price, then the Bonus Collection is yours too.

There is no better way to get into both Mythras and the amazing worlds of Jack Vance and Bryan Talbot than through this Bundle of Holding deal. And as Lyonesse is a self-contained game, it represents astonishing value.

The Mythras Bundle of holding runs until Monday 14th June, and 10% of all proceeds go towards Direct Relief, a charity that ensures protective equipment and critical care medications get to key health workers across the US and the rest of the world

I recently had the pleasure of talking to Lawrence Whitaker about Mythras, and upcoming releases for the game.

Perceforest: A High Chivalry Campaign for Mythras


Aeon Games who publish/distribute Mythras here in the UK have put together their own setting for the game, called Perceforest.

It’s available at a 20% discount until the end of the month.

More about it from the promo-email I just received.

Perceforest is a feudal fantasy world of high chivalry and magic. There are evil sorcerers and enchanter-knights, damsels steeped in secret lore and witches weaving spells. The land is strewn with wonders — invisible castles, magical swords, men made of iron, and even fish on horseback!
The saga opens with the Twin Kingdoms ruled by ailing kings and in a state of lawlessness. Take up up the fight against injustice and help to keep the kingdom safe until the king recovers!
AVAILABLE IN 2 WEEKS!

Six for Mythras

This morning I’m taking a break from banging on about Skyraiders, to pop back and look at part of Grogzilla.

The Six Travellers is a culture write up for Mythras by the Design Mechanism. It revolves around a group of Travellers, who are searching for lost roads and trade routes. Unlike nomads, they rely upon a network of established  Sanctuaries within city-states with whom they have treaties and established settlements of their own which wax and wane in size depending on the number of wagon trains who are gathered there.

Let’s hear it from one of the members of the culture itself.

The Six Traveller Voice

We are looking. Looking for the Ways, the trade routes that were lost to our ancestors when the world went into the Fall when the Ignorance came out of the shadows.

We are led by our gods who are the Six.

  • Gura the Chief who leads us down the Way of Lions
  • Heresta the Healer who knows the Lavender Way.
  • Julio the Baker, who owns the bountiful Stone the Cow.
  • Iljoy the Magician, Master/Mistress (who can tell) of Mysteries.
  • Gregora the Sword Master who fights with skill and precision against ignorance.
  • Yulpa the Sunchaser who rides faster than the Eastern Wind.

They guide our great covered wagons as they roll across the land, from city to city trading and bringing messengers and passengers as well as goods. You are a rider who has yet to settle down and ride with your family in a wagon. As well as protecting your kin from raiders, you must also investigate reports and rumours of sightings of the Way Stones. These magical stones fell from the heavens after the Fall. Gifts from the gods to help us find the way. Perhaps you will find a Great Way Stone and become one of the heroic Waymasters and Waymistresses, heroes of our people who rule us from the great gatherings of the trains at the yearly camps, and who call us every five years to the great camp at our city of Nexus.

Yulpa the Sunchaser, Mistress of the East Wind

A write up of Yulpa the Sunchaser was an early stretch goal of this campaign that funded. Yulpa is a horse warrior/whisper that most members of the culture are members of purely out of practicality. She’s a good starting point for player characters, hence her inclusion in Grogzilla. The whole Six Traveller culture is loosely formed, so it is easy to drop into an existing game setting. The player characters never need to know its there until they encounter some brightly coloured magically coloured non-player characters who ride around in groups on horses or one of their wagon trains.

So where is this all leading? Well somewhere nasty and unpleasant, probably around Halloween on Kickstarter. Gentlepeople and Wildthings of all ages, may I present…

The Isle of the Dead

In the Kingdom of Tura when monarchs die, they make the final journey to the Isle of the Dead. It is an arduous journey that only royalty may make. The corpse is prepared by the priesthood of Shem and then is taken overland to a secret port, where a boatman takes the body to the Isle and from there it passes through the Door to Eternity into parts unknown.

Only the Brotherhood of Shem knows that something has gone wrong with the delivery of the last King.  Now they must get a group of foreigners together to find out what has happened. Perhaps these chosen ones will get the opportunity to peak through the Door of Eternity and see what is on the other side?

In this adventure, the characters are those foreigners that the Brotherhood gets in, and their outsider status gives them a unique opportunity to learn about the local culture and unravel the mystery. As well as the adventure itself, it will have a full write up the Six Traveller cults, an “What my Wagon Chief told me” Q&A as a quick in-character primer. Overall the Six Travellers are a pre-made set of deities with a culture that is tailor-made as for travelling adventurers.

So the articles in Grogzilla are a way of getting a sneak peek and some immediately gameable content, before the Isle of the Dead kickstarts in Oct/Nov of this year.

If you were wondering what inspired me, it was this rather brooding piece of music by Rachmaninoff which has the painting by Arnold Böcklin which inspired it embedded in the youtube video (see below). This vista had my jaw on the floor thinking “that looks like a good adventure location, I wonder what is going on there?”

 

Grogzilla

Missed out on getting a copy of Grogzilla at Grogmeet 2019?

This 36 A5 page zine of D101 Mega Gaming Fun with skyscraper high three-headed firebreathing lizards is now available to preorder (with free pdf)

As well as articles for OpenQuest and Crypts and Things, it also has a sequel to the Road to Hell in the form of Wigan Pigs an adventure for OSR games. Also making their debut in Grogzilla are the Six Traveller culture for Mythras, which is a short taste of things to come in the new year.

 

 

Mythras Imperative Updated

Lawrence Whitaker, one half of the Design Mechanism, has just given notice that their introductory version of Mythras has now been updated to include example magic spells (20 or so that cover all the basics) and a selection of Super Hero powers.

Mythras Imperative is a free, introductory version of the full Mythras rules. It includes everything needed for play, including character creation, skills, combat, and, brand new to this release, Powers, covering simple magic and super powers. Taken together, Mythras Imperative offers a fully rounded game to suit many genres, and can be used easily with any of Design Mechanism’s adventures and campaign settings.

Available now from BRP Central’s Downloads, and in POD from DrivethruRPG, Lulu and Barnes & Noble.

Post Kickstarter thoughts

Slowly recovering from the awesome that was The Road To Hell Kickstarter, and getting back to the more mundane housework and day-to-day stuff I have to catch up with.

One of the things that was Awesome about the KS is that I’ve wanted to play Lamentations of the Flame Princess for a good couple of years (5 or so?) and the playtesting of this scenario (which has had a couple of outings now and has an ongoing playtest at the moment to test last-minute encounter additions) gave that one a good going over on that front. I’ll post more about that later, I’m overdue an appreciation post about LoTFP.

Another thing that was awesome about the KS was the fact that it funded and then some, so I’ll be able to take my original idea, pay the artists, pay myself and deliver it in a short time scale.

And it’s a model I can use for adventure releases in the future as well. I’ve got another two adventures that follow up Road to Hell (which I’m calling the Jacobean Trilogy for reference) but I’m also thinking about doing something for Mythras, which I’ve also wanted to run for like forever.  As I develop the ideas I have for it (in what I call the Fun Phase), I’ll blog about it here. Look out for the tag #makemineMythras.

In the next couple of days, I’ll be finishing off some writing/publishing stuff for Road to Hell to keep it on track for a December/January fulfilment. But I’ll also be getting back into Crypts and Things with the last writing for Under Dark Spires and issue 2 of The Shroud. I’m going to be running The Lost City of the God-Emperor at Grogmeet next Saturday, so nailing that one down is high on the list of priorities 🙂

Mythras in Review

I’m a long-time fan of Mythras. In many ways it’s the Rolls Royce of the D100 gaming world, being clean and dignified, as well as being a robust ruleset. It came from the same branch of the D100 systems tree, Mongoose RuneQuest (MRQ), as my own OpenQuest (OQ) and while I cut down and rationalised the MRQ SRD, Mythras’s authors (Lawrence Whitaker and Pete Nash) kept the complexity added with MRQ and refined it. I’ve promised myself that I would do a quick review of Mythras and its supplements when it came out two years ago in 2016, and the current Bundle of Holding seems to be an excellent time to do that. So if you are wondering whether Mythras is for you, read on.

A Bit of History and Context

For me, Mythras is the logical inheritor of all the non-Gloranthan RuneQuest (RQ) that got played in the 80s/90s via the Avalon Hill RQ3 ruleset, which us lucky Brits got via much improved Games Workshop hardcover releases. It came via Mongoose Publishing’s efforts when they had the RQ licence in the 2000s. Mythras’ authors Lawrence Whitaker and Pete Nash were then Mongoose staff writers who were tasked with producing a second edition of the somewhat wobbly first edition. This they did to much acclaim, and when Mongoose lost the RQ license, they put out the version of the MRQ2 that they wanted under their Design Mechanism moniker as RQ6. Mythras is the final link in this chain of releases, highly polished, with its own name and with all the Gloranthan references removed.

Presentation

305 pages of clearly laid out text, with clear black and white line art. Very evocative of the games’ 80s/90s roots.

The Pdf is fully bookmarked, and the contents, index and in page cross-references are all fully functional hyperlinks.

I’ve got the printed version, which is a very robust and cleanly printed hardcover which I can see easily surviving many years of use/abuse.

Characters

What are characters like in Mythras?  Well, they are mythic but based on realism. So you could quickly do the heroes of Homers Iliad/Odyssey with Mythras. They have exceptional abilities, but are fragile and bleed, with even the mightiest hero being at risk of death by a well-placed lucky blow by a minor character.

The character generation system breaks down into three chapters

  • Character
  • Culture & Community
  • Careers

Each of these sections focuses on building the characters’ abilities up while putting them in context of these three areas. For example the Culture and Community chapter, gets the player to decide which culture the character comes from (Primitive, Barbarian, Nomad, Civilised – are the defaults in the core rulebook) and from that they determine what social class they are members of that culture, as well as what ties and bonds (known as Passions) they have to fellow members. The chapter ends with a Background Events table of 100 entries. I’m a big fan of these (after first coming across them in Cyberpunk 2020 in the early 90s) since they stop characters who are numerically the same being identical and give the character an excellent in-built adventure hooks.

The System

The skill system is a roll equal or under percentile system. Each character (and monster) has a set of percentile skills that when it’s not clear what is going to happen are tested using two ten-sided dice.  Extra levels of success and failure are brought in with special results. If you succeed in the lower tenth of your success range (for example if your skill is 40%, 1-4%) you Critical, conversely if you fail and roll 99-00%  you fumble.

That’s the basics of it, and there are numerous quick and easy subsystems which elaborate on what happens in certain circumstances.

Combat gets a chapter of its own. Mythras combat is the most complex of all the D100 systems but is well thought out and streamlined. If you don’t want to use all the options, such as combat effects which bring in special effects dependant on weapon type on a critical, the system is modular enough to drop these without breaking it.

Five Magic Systems

D100 fantasy lives and breathes on its magic systems which unlike D&D is flexible and based upon spells costing magic points to cast. Mythras has five magic systems, which all share common features while having their own differences and focus.

Folk Magic the most common but least potent of all the magic systems. It gives characters quickfire utility type magic , such as Bladesharp which offers extra damage points and an improved chance to hit, with low bookkeeping. It’s the type of magic that if your players want a little bit of magic to improve their characters without magic becoming their speciality or focus.

Theism is the magic provided by the gods. It’s much more powerful than folk magic but similar in complexity bookkeeping wise. While you don’t need to spend Magic points to cast spells your character does have a relationship with a deity that you need to maintain to keep on using their magic.

Animism is primitive magic from using bound spirits. It’s flavoursome and powerful but relies on the character having a good relationship with the spirit world, and the player getting their head around the concept of spirits.

Sorcery is the most flexible type of Mythras magic, and while much more straightforward and playable than its RQ 3 roots, still requires the player to want to dedicate time to working out how the Sorcerer’s spells work the best for them. i.e. it’s only really for players who want to play a magic using character.

Mystic covers those characters who use magic as an expression of their physical and mental skills and is quickly set up to do Martial Arts type characters.

Other Bits of the Framework

The book finally has three chapters which fill out the Mythras rules framework.

Cults and Brotherhoods. Cults are the mini-religions that D100 systems classically use to provide magic and skills training to characters, as well as make their lives interesting with all sorts of inter cult politics. Mythras has a good selection of pre-made examples for each of the magic approaches but also includes non-magical Brotherhoods.

Creatures. In D100 games “monsters are people too”, and Mythras continues this approach giving full stats. Skills and magic for its creature descriptions, which are more templates for the GM to create unique individuals for their games. Also where relevant extra information is given if the creature is suitable as a player character race.

Games Mastery. This GM’s advice section rounds out the whole nuggets of advice that pepper the entire rulebook , with a short, robust article which highlights the features of the game and how best to use them.

Overall Mythras is a complete standalone game, but it is missing a starter adventure – but behold there is a free pdf “Games Masters Pack” which has two introductory adventures and lots of follow up adventures/setting books (some of which are included in the Mythras Bundle of Holding).

Why you should look at this

If you are coming from D&D and are looking for an alternative to rigidly enforced class/level system, were characters organically grow through play and their in-game experiences and can try anything they want to.

Mythras is well established and has a wealth of adventures and setting books, some of which go beyond the established mythic fantasy of the core rulebook. The recently released After the Vampire Wars, explores modern day horror, while Luther Arkwright: Roleplaying Across the Parallels, based upon the Brian Talbot graphic novels of the same name, is weird time-travelling science fiction.

It’s not for you if

You are a diehard storygamer. Mythras while being a cleaned up and up to date D100 ruleset, is still very much a traditional old-school game from the 1980/90s. It has all hallmarks of that gaming style: characteristics that map back to statistics that can be physically quantified, a clearly defined Gamesmaster/player split with well-defined roles and responsibilities, and a system that is literally peppered with modifiers and rules that simulate the gritty reality that characters find themselves in.  Mythras (and other D100 variants) does support a storytelling style of play, because of its freeform character advancement system and skill use system, but you have to engage with it and understand that to get the best out of it. It doesn’t lead you by the nose, hard coding it into lightweight rules systems like story games like Fate or Powered by the Apocalypse games do.

Coming next in Mythras Review: Mythic Rome.

Lyonesse RPG by Design Mechanism

Yesterday Lawrence Whitaker announced a new licensed Lyonnese Roleplaying game, which while being self-contained will use the Mythras system, based on Jack Vance’s novels:

We are delighted to announce the Lyonesse roleplaying game.

Jack Vance’s high fantasy masterpiece, Lyonesse, is to be brought to life in a new roleplaying game by The Design Mechanism. Licensed and approved by Spatterlight Press, Lyonesse is a standalone game based on the acclaimed Mythras system. The Lyonesse trilogy – Suldrun’s Garden, The Green Pearl, and Madouc – tells the story of the Elder Isles, and the ambitions of King Casmir of Lyonesse to bring its fractious kingdoms under his sole rule. Casmir is opposed by Aillas of Troicinet, the lover of Casmir’s daughter, Suldrun, and father of Dhrun, a child raised among the fairies of Thripsey Shee and destined to sit on the throne Evandig, which King Casmir believes to be his own destiny.

You can read the full press release here [http://thedesignmechanism.com/resources/Press_Releases/Lyonesse RPG Press Release.pdf].

Its early days in development, a 2019/2020 release date has been noted in comments by Lawrence, but the artists have been announced in the full press release, and the following teaser image was released with tannouncementent:

Mythras Sale

Been holding off buying Mythras or some of its supplements? Got a bit of Crimbo money that is burning a hole in your pocket? Or perhaps you just like January Sales? Then run over to the Design Mechanism Site, armed with the code below, and bag yourself a bargain.

Lawrence Whitaker lays it down….

It’s the 2017 Boxing Day Sale!

From 26th December until 2nd January, there’s 30% off print and PDF books at The Design Mechanism’s store. Everything is on sale, with the exception of our December 2017 release title (Mythic Constantinople and The Lonely Lighthouse).

So if you missed out during the year, or want to introduce friends to Mythras, there’s no better time to snag a bargain!

Simply use the code below at checkout to get 30% off your order.

TDMBOXINGDAY17

Www.thedesignmechanism.com/store

And if you like sales, we’re having a big D101 January sale that starts on 1st of Jan and runs until Jan 31st.

Christmas in July UK OSR picks

Here’s my personal list of picks from the UK publishers participating in DriveThruRPG.com’s Christmas in July sale.

Return of the Woodland Warriors by Beyond Belief Games
I loved the first edition of this simplified and tweaked version of Swords & Wizardry that only uses D6s and is suitable for children. The new edition has full-colour art which adds to the magic. Lovely cover by longtime D101 collaborator Peter Frian.

The Cthulhu Hack by Just Crunch Games
Rules light, courtesy of its use of the Black Hack engine, rules for Cthulhu investigative horror. It’s just been upgraded to version 1.5, which refines this already sharp ruleset. Oh and its supplements are also in the sale.

Mythras by Design Mechanism
If you’ve not got this behemoth of D100 goodness by now here’s your chance. As well as the core system, which is a complete thing and good to go running a wide variety of fantasy settings of various genres, all the formidable selection of adventures and setting books are in the sale.

My recommendations: Mythic Rome & Mythic Britain (including Mythic Britain: Logres, the supplement by D101 collaborator Paul Mitchener about the Anglo Saxons), and I’m going to use the sale to catch up with the Monthly Mythras adventures that I’ve woefully fallen behind on.

Crypts of Indormancy by Melsonian Arts Council
A nice self-contained, creepy as fuck adventure for Lamentations of the Flame Princess.

Clockwork and Chivalry by Cakebread and Walton
The English Civil War as fought by Alchemical Cavaliers and Clockwork device using Roundheads.  One of my favourite settings of all time, and the D100 Renaissance system (an offspring of OpenQuest) makes me grin even more. Also check out the epic Pirates & Dragons, if you fancy a bit of fantasy Pirates in the vein of Pirates of the Carribean.

The Christmas in July sale is on until the end of the month over at DriveThruRPG.com, and all of D101 Games Books are participating with 25% off all pdfs.