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Man-Made Mythology: A Comic Book RPG
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/23/2013 06:29:54

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Man-Made Mythology: A Comic Book RPG is the first offering from Critical Strike Publishing. Designed off the venerable 3.x engine, this game was made to allow the group to combine the flexibility of the OGL with the over-the-top action of the super-hero genre. Although this idea is not entirely new, it is something that this company approaches in a different manner than their colleagues.

The book begins off simply enough with the almost mandatory description of the hobby, a lexicon, and the methods for determining the characters starting Attributes. It is in Chapter Two that the company begins to illustrate their take on the comic-book world. Chapter Two begins with the racial descriptions and modifiers inherent to each of the four core races of Man-Made Mythology.

The first race presented is, of course, Humans. After that we come to Reptiods, an alien lizard species that came to Earth millennia ago. After that come the Synthetics, which are mankind’s success at creating artificial life and finally there is the matriarchal race of warrior-women – the Valkyries. There isn’t anything especially noteworthy about the starting racial choices, but they fill their roles well and give the Players several options to choose from without over-doing it.

Chapter Three begins with detailing the procedure to generate the characters Alter-Ego. Each Alter-Ego lists any sort of requirements that must be fulfilled as well as the Skills, Bonus Feats, and any Resource modifiers that come with that choice. The options here range from the bookish Academic, to Emergency Services characters, to Soldiers. The nice thing is that the choices also include things such as a Rural upbringing to flesh out the section.

In Chapter Four, the games Classes are presented. There are ten Classes available in the core-rules and these include enough options to make a variety of iconic characters. This chapter also begins with the Advancement guidelines and the rules for multi-classing. The individual Classes are presented in the familiar format found in most 3.x games, so one who is familiar with them will have no problem understanding them.

The same holds true for the next two chapters which go into detail about the games Skills and Feats. Although there are some new ideas presented here there is nothing truly unique to those familiar with the genre or overall 3.x games. There are some new feats presented, but these are mostly variations of existing ones that amplify the characters power usage and help further define their abilities.

It isn’t until Chapter Twelve after the mandatory rules on equipment, combat, magic usage and the like that the games super-powers, known as Mythic Abilities, are explained. There are fifty powers fleshed out in Man-Made Mythology and each comes with ten levels of modifiers to that power. The first mythic ability is Body Armor and while it provides basic protection it can also increase other attributes, mitigate critical hits, and provide damage reduction to the Character as they advance it. In my opinion there could have been many more powers given here and although the ones that do exist are detailed nicely. I just like my supers games to have a-lot of options when it comes to powers.

All in all I give Man-Made Mythology a thumbs in the middle. Is it anything entirely new and spectacular? No, but I feel it does a better job of emulating the genre than most of its predecessors using the 3.x engine. I am interested in seeing what other offerings the company provides as time passes, as I feel there is are a lot of options available for expansion. Man-Made Mythology could become a very well rounded game but only time will tell.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Man-Made Mythology: A Comic Book RPG
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Man-Made Mythology: A Comic Book RPG
by Owen T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/08/2013 13:39:25

This book is insane... 425 pages and they clearly had more that they left out.

Probably my biggest "complaint" is the way the world-build is getting teased out. There is clearly a backstory to this and there's little glimpses of it here and there, but I'm not seeing an expository infodump and they're REALLY making me want one!

This core book has four races and ten different classes that are very different from each other and offer a lot of opportunities to try the system from many angles. Everything feels distinct and has a purpose. There are some popular superhero archetypes that won't be found or built in this book, but again, it's obvious that this is only the beginning. They didn't forget about certain superheroic tropes; they simply didn't have the room to put everything in a single book!

The chapters are laid out nicely with a color-coding system that I've found VERY useful. There's also a fun little comic to introduce each chapter that helps illustrate the sort of characters and feel that the game can build--everything from urban vigilantes to mystical threats to valiant vixens is right there. You can tell all of them have stats, and I hope to see them as NPCs in future books.

I found very little that I couldn't do in this system once I really dove into it. Again, some things are obviously coming later, but right out of the gate there's an incredible assortment of characters that can be built and adventures that can be had.

Beginners will have a lot of questions. I've been playing RPGs for nearly 2 decades and it turns out I'm not as well-versed in OGL as I thought I was--some of it is absolute Greek to me. There is a certain lack of explanation in some areas, where it's just assumed you know how certain elements work. However, I've found that the writers are more than happy to answer questions and clarify details. They honestly want to know what can be improved and what others want to see. I give five stars not just to this book, but to the company that made it!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Man-Made Mythology: A Comic Book RPG
by Sean F. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/26/2013 16:43:32

They managed to make a truly OGL-based supers game that works and is fun. I really can't give it higher praise than that, since I figured the task was pretty much impossible and they proved me utterly wrong.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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