Personal note: Before writing this blog, I thought I'd try and Google the word "horror" to see if I could come up with a suitable graphic for this post.
The search engine just gave me a bunch of faces, close up, staring full screen at the viewer, leering, gurning, screaming, gaping open-mouthed like simpletons faced with their first conjuring trick.
That's not scary. That's just marketing people capitalising on the Uncanny Valley, and presenting the world with a bunch of actors in heav
It was the third year since Cerdic declared himself Westseaxacyning. Aelle had been the Cantacyning for eighteen years and it was eighth year since he had named himself Brytenwealda. Guercha One-eye the Angelcyning was still disputing Aelle's claim to be Brytenwealda for the past three years.
It had been a hard, cold winter and food was short. Hretha had the land in her grip for longer than even the oldest people could remember. The Tamyse was often frozen and people huddl
Mystery novels are among the most popular genre of literature. TV dramas, police procedural series, and true crime documentaries follow the exploits of investigators as they track down the criminals behind shocking and fiendish murders. Yet how do you run a mystery in a Mythras game?
Mysteries in tabletop roleplaying games involve asking questions, observing scenes for clues, deduction, and finally identifying a culprit to bring them to some form of justice. Presentin
Mythras Core Rulebook has a resource on page 111 for Games Masters - Rabble, and Underlings. These are a great tool to fill a crowd scene with a "cast of thousands."
What Are Rabble And Underlings?
Neither Rabble nor Underlings need much character generation. The Mythras Core Rulebook has the following to say about Rabble:-
Rabble are foes who intimidate by their numbers but in actual fact have little prowess or willingness to remain in combat once blood is shed. They can take ma
Scenes are the building blocks of adventures. Scenes are exercises in set design, casting, and props. The act of assembling scenes together allows the Games Master to create something for the Players to enjoy at the gaming table.
This week, we look at scenes, and how to use (and reuse) them creatively to provide endless variety in your gaming sessions.
I'll be referring to Plot Points Publishing's book, Encounter Theory, and also to Mutant Chiron Games' Republic. There are
Just to let you all know, the next few posts on this blog will be:-
Making A Scene (2022-01-22, 10pm UTC)
Rabble and Underlings - An Underrated Resource (2022-01-29, 10pm UTC)
Creating Scary Horror Scenarios (TBA)
I came up from the water in iron panoply of war, and the dragon-that-is-bound surged up behind the burning of my left eye, in which the Storm-of-Man my King had set the dragon-rune. Behind me marched my twelve fists of warriors whose prayer-wrought swords left gouts of cold emptiness in the bitter red air, for we were come to the lands where men breathed demon light from the moon and gnashed their teeth at true Breath. Then the sea lords drank back up their spirit, which had carried us with grea
No matter how well you plan and prepare your adventure or campaign, something will always come along which will throw your plans straight into the trash. Your player characters fight when you plan for them to run away; or they run away from a combat scene. You set them up for their first skirmish with the scenario's Big Bad, and somehow they manage to kill him; or you roll for a wilderness encounter, and a tiny party of kobolds somehow make critical successes and wipe out the party on their very
Fire and Violent Death
After the Moot, Wæcla held a feast and invited the Hrothgarsons to the High Table to discuss why they had come to Verulamacæster. Dunstan told the story of the Bannucmann in the hope that he would distract Wæcla’s attention but got himself tongue-tied and the listeners lost interest in his telling of the tale. Dunstan was upset with himself but most of the warriors were so drunk that Wulfhere said to him that he did not think it would affect their standing in the Hall
Friendship is important to Mythras. Not only do the Players need to come together - so do their Adventurers.
This article explores the nature of team friendship, and what it means to the success, or failure, of a Mythras adventure.
Beginning with Session Zero, when the Adventurers are being generated together, the Games Master should bring the characters together, finding what is common to them or creating connections if they do not seem to have anything immediately in common.
Sooner or later, it is going to happen. Your Players' favourite Adventurers are going to enter a battle too far, and one of them will receive a critical injury, which turns into a fatal one when they fail their Endurance check and bleed out on the cold, unforgiving ground.
And you, as the Games Master, are going to have to tell your tearful Player that their beloved character has died.
There are many ways a character can die. They can suffer a Serious or Major Woun
Let's play "spot the difference."
Intro 1: "You, er, enter a room. There are ten orcs sitting around a table, playing some sort of game of chance. They stop what they are doing and charge. Roll for initiative."
Intro 2: "You follow the sounds of arguing to a room behind a closed door. Opening the door, you see a group of orcs in a room. They are arguing amongst themselves. They look like Greykin's orcs, and their armour bears the sigil of that foul wizard, your greatest rival.
Poison and Treachery
The old Roman city of Verulamacæster was decaying. Many of the buildings had collapsed and had been replaced by Saxon buildings. Some of the most impressive still stood and it was possible to imagine what the city had looked like in Roman times.
In the old days the British tribe, the Catuvellauni, lived in the area of their chief city that they called Verulamium. It was said the Romans had built the city to make the Catuvellauni more like them. They had succeeded
This blog post goes back to the topic of hypnosis, and its use in roleplaying games - and not merely Mythras, but many other roleplaying games. In this post, the focus falls once again on the Games Master, and on the fine art of telling a story, through which they can guide the Adventurers.
The blog has already covered the topic of immersion. This time, the emphasis is on engagement. How can the Games Master draw in the players and make them feel involved in, and engaging in
Over the years, I have only used one avatar for soltakss for all my profiles on various sites.
However, once I started publishing Jonstown Compendium titles, I have changed my profile picture to be one of the faces from the illustrations in the supplement.
I am so glad that I could change it from the Spiderling picture from Holiday Dorastor: Spider Woods, as that picture always creeps me out when I look at it.
My current picture is the Book Wyrm from Secrets of HeroQuesting.
Skills are important to a Mythras game. Yet there is an opinion that some skills are less useful than others. Skills such as Acting, Bureaucracy, Customs, Ride, Swim, Seduction, and even Teach are regarded by some as being unnecessary, and only a handful of skills - Athletics, Brawn, Combat Styles, Evade, Endurance, Willpower - are essential for play. Even Unarmed has sometimes been neglected in the rush to make Adventurers as skilled as possible in an exceptionally narrow range of skills, suite
Taxes, Re-building and the Ale of Alnoth
Wulfhere decided that when he returned he would travel his lands to see what changes had occurred over the year. He was met by delegation after delegation of Farmers on his travels. Many complained that there had been a bad growing season due to adverse weather conditions and many of the crops had rotted in the fields which left them with little surplus to pay their rents for the year. Others said that they had been forced by Aldfrid the Hlafweard1 t
In my previous post, the creation of magic items was addressed. Various mechanisms were looked at, from the use of the sorcery skill Enchant (Object) through to the creation of religious artefacts and relics, and spirit fetishes.
This blog looks at the magic items themselves, and the impact they have in game.
No enchanted artefact should ever be insignificant. Every artefact carries with it the power to affect the outcome of an Adventurer's skill checks, if not the st
With this article, we begin a look at the artefacts of magic, and their influence on the cultures of the settings of Mythras. The Core Rulebook places the emphasis on the player characters, their native wit and their acquired magical powers or connections to the spirits and/or gods, rather than on magic items and enchanted treasures.
Enchantment is defined as a feeling of great pleasure or delight, as well as the state of being under a spell or magic. This blog could focus
Restoration and Divorce
It took a week to travel from Anderida to Hrofnacæster. The Hrothgarsons had travelled along the Roman road using Way stations or staying at Steadings along the way. Northern Ceint was rich and fertile. Ruins of Roman houses were everywhere. Some had been scavenged for stone and others were intact apart from the roofs which had fallen in. Dunstan thought of himself as a builder and he was intrigued to see how the Romans had built their farms and dwellings. He discuss
[Image is "Summoning," by Joseph Springborg]
Here is how Mythras, page 113, defines sorcery:-
Sorcery is the manipulation of underlying laws that directly control the very fabric of creation. These formulae are complex equations: a mixture of mathematical, psychological, existential, and supernatural principals [sic] that allow the sorcerer to grasp a portion of reality and bend it to his will. Sorcerers do not need to rely on gods for their powers; nor do they need to engage with spir