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Mythender Roleplaying Game
by Kevin D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/01/2016 19:00:15

Mythender is a game that wants you to go hard or go home. As soon as you open the book and read both the catchphrase and the opening story you know what you're in for. You're going to be kicking ass and taking names. The book verbally grabs you by the balls and doesn't let go until you've either agreed to play it or have admitted you're too much of a pussy to end Myths. Its use of profanity and violent imagery actually add to the flavor of the game, instead of distracting from how well-written Mythender really is. But when all is said and done. What does Mythender allow you to do?

Mythender lets you play mortal-born heroes ascending to near god-hood, out to slay the gods (or Myths) themselves. However, the game makes it perfectly clear that in order to wield the power to outright destroy these deities, you must corrupt your mortal soul in such ways. You will risk becoming what you hated most. Part of what makes Mythender so good is the fact that you only get to feel how utterly disgusted by yourself you are until it's already too late.

The book itself contains a wide variety of sections describing what it is the game strives to achieve, what you'll need to play it, how to create characters (a whopping 34 pages of it!) and what an average night of ending Myths looks like. It also includes a tutorial battle that explains the general way the game works to both the GM and the players (quite vulgarly eloquent might I add). Next up are the actual game rules on battle, explanations on character development and rules for special moments during game play. To top it all off, Mythender comes with 31 pages of setting material, describing locations, monsters and Myths to end. It also offers plenty of advice for GMs and some extended rules if you really want to spice it all up. It is well-structured, but it's also a massive amount of role playing goodiness.

Although Mythender's rulebook focuses on the world of Norden (or Norse Mythology) in general, its opening chapter does offer alternative ideas of Mythic worlds for players and Mythmasters to play around with. It also gives you a quite literal “here's-what-you-need-to-know” to give you an inkling of what's to come. Trust me, you'll need it. Mythender is quite extensive and it's easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information.

The material requirements for Mythender are high. A gaming group can need around and about 150 d6's of various colours and close to 200 tokens of some sort. Add in a plethora of printable sheets and cards to mark the various in-game epicness down on and it's quite the requirement you're looking at, but if you invest all that the game does deliver on what it promises. Epic world-shattering, gory battle.

The first step towards ending Myths is creating a Mythender. It is a fairly straightforward process, consisting of picking a number of things, those being a Mythic Heart, Past and Fate. These choices make up the basis of every Mythender and determine how they were as mortals, what makes them a Mythender and what they'll become should they be lured into Apotheosis (descending or ascending to godhood). Furthermore, you'll forge your Weapons (three of them to be exact), add some details to your Fate and establish Bonds (or relationships) with other Mythenders. Character Creation is explained step by step and the Mythender Sheet is fairly self-explanatory. The process isn't hard at all, but does require you to sit down for an hour an a half or so and be creative. If you feel you aren't, there is always the option of skimming the book for Heart, Past and Fate options that have already been filled out for the most part, except for some personal flavour options. Hence the page-count on character selection. They really did think of everything.

The section covering the main rules expands on what the tutorial battle covered. Most of the basics of the game are addressed in the tutorial and anything else is explained showing the reader examples AND telling them the rules. Mythender offers you clear and relatively conscise rules if you keep in mind the size of the game. I at times felt a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things possible, but I came to realise that without most of the rules I wouldn't be able to run something as "wing-able" as Mythender.

One of those rules is the rule regarding Murdering other Mythender. Yep, that's a thing! You would almost feel as if it weren't an important rule at all considering it's seems like something that was stowed away in a cupboard, but it's actually a defining rule for Mythender. It's a brutal rule, stating that Mythenders turning Myth must be ended just like any other Myth. Resolving such deathmatches comes down to a single dice roll. Such is the way of Mythender. Fast, brutal, deadly. I could go on and on about what defines the game, but the truth is that it's a combination of certain things. The brutality and over-the-top awesomeness of battle and the internal struggle about whether or not one should forfeit his or her mortal soul in return for more power. It's a delicate balance. Far more delicate than you'd expect from such an in-yo-face roleplaying game.

Mythender is mostly story driven and as such you need plenty of elaboration on how to run it. Lucky us then, that Ryan Macklin added in a couple tips (spoiler alert: he didn't slack when he did). Anything besides battling Myths is written out in detail, and supported by examples. Not only are players spoiled with page upon page of additional information about the Mythic World of Norden, Mythender has also kindly included a section for MythMasters to scour. Nice little detail? It includes a tidbit on making mistakes and how it's perfectly fine to have to get into the game before unlocking your true potential as a MythMaster. We're dealing with someone who knows what it's like to be the one behind the screen, setting up friends for something greater than every day life. In a way it's inspiring to others who hope to achieve the same.

In conclusion, Mythender is a well-written game, both rule-wise and setting-wise. It's a hefty tome (if that's even a thing in the role playing community), coming in at about 275 pages. That in itself would for some be reason to not even bother reading it, but I would implore you to give it a shot anyway. Mythender offers an experience most role playing games can only dare to dream of and it doesn't need all 275 pages to get you and your gaming group slaying the Myths of yore. It's evocative and innovative. Most games would make success an option, Mythender allows you to do it and see how incredible the result is. There is no anti-climax. Only action. Or Drama.

I would rate Mythender a solid 8/10.

Content 9 Structure 9 Art 7 (Only because I feel it would have really benefited from having more of it) Awesome Factor 8



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mythender Roleplaying Game
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Mythender Roleplaying Game
by Lyndsay P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/26/2015 17:31:04

It's a grower, not a shower. Much like its author.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Katanas & Trenchcoats, Episode 1: Welcome to Darkest Vancouver
by Matt P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/24/2015 12:28:27

Absolutely hilarious book. Well worth the $5 and can't wait to make time to play this game with friends (totally using the LARP rules).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Katanas & Trenchcoats, Episode 1: Welcome to Darkest Vancouver
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Katanas & Trenchcoats, Episode 1: Welcome to Darkest Vancouver
by Lucus P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/10/2015 12:18:06

This book is no joke, and it's well worth the $5 price tag if you're a fan of a certain grimdark world and a series of nonsensical movies and TV show about an undying, ponytail'd, katana-wielding underwear model and his friends that he just "can't even" by the end. At least till the movie.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fateful Concepts: Hacking Contests
by shane h. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/01/2015 09:38:32

What we expect to see from Ryan. One of the great things about Fate is how useful it is as a metagame framework. The concepts here are easily applied to any RPG and can help make any "skill challenge" interesting and fun. Think of Han and the gang trying to outrun the Empire, fighting off tie fighters, while trying to fix their hyperdrive—everyone has something to do and contributes to the overall success or failure of the "contest". While most games don't have the "invoke an aspect" component, these concepts still work because they aren't dependent on aspects, so they will work just fine for D&D, HERO, or any other game just fine.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fateful Concepts: Hacking Contests
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Mythender Roleplaying Game
by Paxton K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/29/2015 10:10:16

This is a hard game to rate. It is a cool idea and its free! But, it feels like owning a #1 of some comic book. Am I going to show it to my friends? Yes. Do anything with it? Probably not. Another reviewer remarked that this would make a nice "one off". I agree; but it felt so much like that because it is not a role playing game.

What is Role-Playing?

How many times have we read that essay? Mythender is great game. the idea is beyond cool; however it kinda left the role playing out. OD&D wants a maze of monsters to a big fight. Story telling wants a good story until the big fight.

Mythender reminds me of that old cartoon. "Hey, I did it! I rolled a 20. I cut off Odin's head!"

Though it talks a lot about "losing your humanity", it feels like goth vampires sulking. This is an epic battle game. It is hard to role play when you can't "hide". In "Highlander" people felt "funny" around the Immortals. Hard to nip off to the tavern when the room full of a God's faithful are doing the same.

The concept of this is great and I would love to use the setting for a role-playing game. The "Amber Engine" might have been an interesting choice for creating the balance of god killing and role-playing. Odd that the absence of dice would work better than 100s of dice.

Should you download this? HELL YEA! I would buy a print copy for my collection and shamelessly steal ideas from it. It could be a fun game at conventions, where people are waiting in line to get their crack at Odin and enjoying the epic battles before theirs. I would like to see this idea developed into an actual RPG without feeling like I'm reaching for the RP part. Sure, it is bad ass.

Much as every RPG begins their game with "What is Role Playing" as a an epic begins with a call to the Muses, I feel this could be a great RPG or another type of game. In those epic poems, the hero had to make the "hero's journey". He did not just grab an arm full of dice an roll for iniative on a god. In the "300", the God King bleeds. Then the 300 are stomped to death.

Starting at the end of the dungeon and fighting "totally awesomely" denies role playing, no matter how good the hand full of dice, the flagon of mead and that horned helmet you got at Ren Faire feel.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mythender Roleplaying Game
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Mythender Roleplaying Game
by Callum U. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/02/2015 16:47:35

Word cannot describe the glee I had in reading this, the system is solid and the flavor text is both hilarious and badass.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fateful Concepts: Character Aspects
by Adam L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2014 14:36:56

This quick read gives a good history of the aspects and how they have been tweaked to make the game better. It goes on to give very good advice about how to modify them for your particular game or group of players.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fateful Concepts: Character Aspects
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Fateful Concepts: Character Aspects
by Justin J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/23/2014 15:50:02

You know the material is going to be top-notch because Ryan was one of the lead developers on the Fate Core system. And he doesn't disappoint. The information is clear and concise and has given us some great insight as we develop our own Dawning Star setting for Fate.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fateful Concepts: Character Aspects
by Christopher R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/03/2014 23:09:35

Ryan does a great job of breaking down how aspects have evolved in the past decade, and several alternate methods of choosing your character's aspects. It's a rare look into the designer's brain and the mindset that went into refreshing the heart of Fate!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythender Roleplaying Game
by James W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/11/2014 09:17:31

I picked this up when it was originally released as a pdf on Ryan's Mythender site and ran it at my convention (1d4Con) that April. Since then, it has gone through a couple of revisions making it tighter and easier to run. Every group group I play this with has a different take on how their characters should be and it always ends in a blast! I own a printed copy and am donating a print copy to be raffled off at this year's 1d4Con. Kudo's to Macklin for making such an entertaining game!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythender Roleplaying Game
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Mythender Roleplaying Game
by Alan D. S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/09/2013 14:00:51

Mythender manages to make a game that is about roleplaying and storytelling, while being almost entire combat.

Movies, television, novels, and short stories have all shown that a battle can be story in and of itself. It can reveal things about the characters, contain hard decisions, carry themes, and ultimately have a narrative arc. Despite the focus on combat in many RPGs, few manage to turn combat into these stories. I'm unaware of any RPGs that do turn combat into stories and put that at the center of the game. Mythender does, and with style.

Characters are mechanically defined by the weapons they use, revealing aspects of the characters. "Matched swords, holding the spirits of my mother and father" is very different from "my despair over the deaths of my people" (both of which are from games I've run). Even how a weapon is used tells us about the character; does the character wielding despair hold it within themselves, turning themselves into a perfect, emotionless killing machine, or do they push that despair into the minds of their foes, shaking their resolve?

The PCs, the Mythenders, begin at a disadvantage, but build themselves up over an ebb and flow of advantage and disadvantage before reaching the climax where one side or the other fail. This flow matches the flow of a battle, as well as the flow of a narrative arc.

The Mythenders face a constant balancing act between grabbing for more power and resisting the urge to become Myths themselves. Too little power and the Mythenders will fail. Too much power and they prevail only to install themselves as the new tyrants over humanity. Every action becomes an interesting and frequently difficult choice.

The quieter moments in Mythender, between battles, show the Mythenders among humanity. They again face the choice between power and resisting the urge. Grabbing for more power requires terrifying the mortals. Trying to push back from the bring to too much power requires reaching out to the mortals as another mortal, which can be challenging as every mortal knows that a Mythender could slay them and their entire village without a thought.

This isn't a game I'd break out for a long term campaign. But it's great for one-shot games, and I hope to try it for short campaigns, or perhaps a long term campaign that runs occasionally as a change of pace from other RPGs. It's a blast to run at conventions and I always have fun doing so.

On the down side, Mythender requires a lot of supplies. You're looking at about 150 dice in three different colors and about 100 each of two different types of tokens. I think it's worth it. The number of dice and tokens you have replaces a lot of tracking of numbers in other games; you don't care that you 5 Storm and 17 Thunder, you care that your fistful of dice "pretty big." And as the characters build up their advantages, the resulting rolls feel suitably epic.

Mythender is also one of the best written RPGs I have. It's a sizable book, but the space is used to benefit the reader. This isn't a book cramming things together to keep the page count down. Concepts are given one or two pages each. Key ideas are briefly repeated on later mentions. This repetition could have felt condescending, but Macklin carefully steers clear of it, giving just enough information to keep flipping through the book to check something to a minimum. As a result, it reads quickly while making it easy to retain the rules. A healthy chunk of the book is given over to a tutorial battle that simultaneously teaches the game and is a lot of fun; players who have played repeatedly don't mind replaying it for the benefit of new players. In total, Mythender is a master class in how to teach a role-playing game to both a reader and a player.

At a price of free, the Mythender PDF is a steal. $25 for a print copy with spot color interiors is a great deal. I highly recommend it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythender Roleplaying Game
by Matthew W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/22/2013 12:30:46

You have to love any game where calling out with a primeval shout to the skies for flying phoenixes to drop wolves made of iron and flame upon your enemies is part of the action. I played this with a group of my friends last night, and it was beyond good. It was mythic.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythender Roleplaying Game
by Tristan E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/09/2013 02:12:24

Heavy Metal God Slaying with sick licks, gravely lyrics, and screaming umlauts! light mechanics with a wide birth of narrative control in the hands of the players.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythender Roleplaying Game
by quinn m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/04/2013 17:47:38

Mythender is a splendid mix of tight well paced design and evocative setting. The mechanics (and yes they do require a lot of dice, but yes it is worth it, and yes, you probably have that many dice lying around ) fit snugly into the fiction of the game.

Many games offer you the chance to be someone powerful but few games actually deliver on that promise. Mythender is one of the few games that provides you the feeling of power it offers.

Last there's great tutorials to get you started and great advice to run the game.

And for free???? This game is better than many games you would pay for. Pick it up, please.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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