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About this blog

Discussion about writing game supplements and setting sourcebooks, hypnosis, immersion, ocarina music, and why I write material for Mythras.
About The Author
Occultist, practitioner of chaos magic, Klingon teacher, Welsh language poet, ocarina player, Games Master. Mutant. I'm not into science fiction. I am science fiction.

Entries in this blog

Modern Mythras - Agatha's Grimoire

Last week, we opened with a look into how magic can be called up in a modern Mythras setting. Now, it's time to look at the kinds of workings magicians can call up, either to bamboozle the players or something the players can do themselves. So this week, we will be looking into the grimoire of a young witch called Agatha, who's reading Philosophy and Economics at St Charisma's Finishing School, in a fiction setting called Night Chess. Here are two of Agatha's friends. Meet Bob and

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Modern Mythras - Making Magic

Magic is tricky to implement in any roleplaying game. Implementing it in a modern game is problematic, to say the least. First of all, let's address the main issue that very few game designers have actually come from a profession which practiced magic, either of the stage variety or of the occult variety. Not many workplaces send out advertisements saying that they are hiring wizards and witches. There aren't many people on LinkedIn who pursue occult interests - or if they do, they keep it

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Modern Mythras - It's A Kind Of Magic

I thought I wouldn't get into magic systems in my Modern Mythras blogs, but recently I've been watching some old classic movies such as The Devil Rides Out and The Wicker Man, and they reminded me of something which can have its place in a modern Mythras setting. The Occult. Here's the thing. Magic systems in all roleplaying games suffer from one plain, boring fact. They aren't magic. I mean it. Nothing since the original TTRPG has ever come close to the heart stopping terror

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Modern Mythras - The Three-Act Structure

Roleplaying game adventures have been shown to benefit greatly from structuring them like stories. This has not always been the case. The earliest released tabletop RPG scenarios have been straightforward "dungeon delves," where the characters have focused their attention on purely tactical concerns such as the effectiveness of their combat skills, the optimisation of the damage they inflict, and so on. Structuring an adventure like a story allows you to run individual dungeon delves - or,

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Modern Mythras - Lifepath Generation

Character generation can be done in a number of ways. One of them involves the tables listed in Mythras Core - including the Background Events and Family tables - but there is another method. Lifepaths. Originally created for Traveller, Lifepaths - which were focused on careers in that 2D sfrpg - can be useful methods to allow a character to develop a little history to them, beyond the Background Event table (a modern version was published last week in this blog). Each Lifepath sh

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Mythras Modern - What's Past Is Prologue

Let's look into your characters' back stories. There is a point to looking into the back history of the player characters in a modern setting. Backgrounds can set stakes for the Games Master to leverage; but they can also serve to ground the player characters in the setting, making them part of the setting, belonging to the story. Here is a modernised version of the Background Events Table from Mythras Core. These are for inspiration purposes. You can either pick, or roll, your backgro

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Mythras Modern - How Would You Like Your Stakes?

Imagine, now, a chargen session from a fairly standard fantasy roleplaying game. Pseudo-mediaeval background, all swords and horses, the bad guy's a sorcerer who wears a silk frock and lives in a tower at the edge of the country, they always look like this guy - and has Wrack:- and we need serious characters to take this guy seriously. So here's the conversation. Player: Okay, that's the characteristics and attributes rolled, er, culture, profession, skills, oh yeah

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Mythras Modern - Where Are You All Coming From?

Let's look at Backgrounds in our modern Mythras game. What do Backgrounds look like in the main Mythras game? Let's look at the Core Rulebook. Background Events Background Events are notable things that have happened in the character’s life before he began his career as an adventurer. Some are formative; some are fortunate and some are unfortunate. Background Events are optional, but using them adds to the character’s history, and can be used by creative players and Games Masters as

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We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming ...

One topic has been dominating gaming for the past few weeks. I thought I'd drop a short blog post to address this situation. OGL 1.1. On a personal note, this matter bothers me. As a gamer, Games Master, and product developer, I quite enjoy the whole experience of gaming. I've been using roleplaying games to explore all manner of topics, from diplomacy to sexuality to, frankly, NSFW stuff which I have kept away from public consumption. Many of the games I enjoy carry the OGL licen

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Mythras Modern - Coming In 2023

So I'm back, with more ramblings on modern day Mythras. This first post of 2023 is short. Here's a summary of some of what's to come this year. Backgrounds - Where your character comes from is as important as where they are now. Lifepaths - An option, creating your characters through a lifepath a la Traveller. Origins - Borrowing from Scott Crowder's option for character generation as presented in M-Space Companion. The Arcane - Exploring different paths of occult power, incl

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Mythras Modern - Driven By Passions

Theoretically, you can run an entire Mythras Modern game based solely on your characters' Passions. In this article, we'll be looking at Passions, and how they can apply to the modern Mythras setting. Passion Plays So many stories can be driven by Passions, and not just the Adventurers'. A man can be driven by obsession to pursue his ex, and the Adventurers have to protect her from his violent pursuits. The Adventurers could be among the passengers of a flight which is hijacked by terr

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Festive Break

I'm taking a break over Yuletide. The last post for this year goes live tomorrow, Sunday, December 18, at 22:00. There will be no posts on December 24 or December 31. This blog will come back on the air again on January 7, 2023. Yuletide Blessings and a Happy 2023 to you all!

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Mythras Modern - Combat

This week's blog post looks at combat. Frankly, this is my opportunity to review Mythras Firearms. Modern Combat In the modern world, "combat" typically means "armed conflict," which is synonymous with "firefight." Mythras Firearms This title was probably the most - coveted Mythras supplement in 2021. What does Mythras Firearms teach you? What do you think are the most useful skills in modern combat scenarios? Curiously enough, Combat Styles are

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Mythras Modern - Modern Skills for A Modern World

In our previous posts, we've explored Cultures, and checked out Careers. So now it's time to look at the Skills. The Skills chapter of Mythras Core pretty much covers everything you need to know about using those Skills - difficulty levels, augmentation, trying again, opposing skill checks, and so on. If you want to brush up on the basic rules on rolling skills checks, begin with Mythras Core Rulebook, pages 37-38, then pages 50-52. New Skill Check The Skill Value Check is so

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Mythras Modern - Careers

This week, following on from our look at modern Cultures, it's time to look at Careers open to player characters. Job Versus Career Go to Google. Search for "career" and select Images. You'll get endless rows of pretty, smiling business people sitting behind computers, or shaking hands in meetings. Diverse. Modern. Utterly, spirit-crushingly boring. Now look for "Adventure." Select Images. You'll typically see people standing atop a mountain, or kayaking in bright lycra.

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Modern Mythras - A Look At Cultures

Mythras set in a modern game can look so different to games set in more traditional fantasy settings. Even contemporary settings such as After The Vampire Wars has elements of urban fantasy, but a modern setting combined with a Mythras engine can incorporate elements of science fiction, horror, or even mysteries. Let's look at the Cultures available to modern characters - there are Urban, Suburban, and Rural, but these can be divided into subcultures - Urban, into Criminal and Militant, Sub

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Modern Mythras - Characters and Cultures

The cover image this week is of a landmark district in an American coastal town, Cape May, New Jersey. So let's take a look at the basic unit of any Mythras adventure, the player character. Since pretty much every sentient being on Earth is going to be human, we can stick to the human template for characteristic and attribute generation as presented in Mythras. No elves, halflings, orcs, goblins or Tolkienesque creatures. After The Vampire Wars presents rules for Fae, Vampires, We

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Mythras Modern - Mythras, But In The Everyday World

Let's open up the doors to your imagination, and take a stroll. - You're a bunch of ex-military types, all surviving members of your unit. You're the squad leader, and you and your buddies are driving along a country lane to the Badger's Drift, the pub in town. Tonight, however, your weekly trip down the pub is interrupted by a brilliant light lancing up into the sky. It's coming from a saucer-shaped vehicle which is sitting in the middle of the road ahead. - You're a hypnotherapist. Y

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Hiatus

I'm going to take a hiatus this week. Next week, I's like to take a look at a setting which needs a setting book. Mythras Modern. I'm going to work on looking at adapting Mythras to a bunch of other settings, too, over the next few weeks. One thing I intend to do, during this time, will be to review Mythras Modern and Mythras Firearms, to showcase how to use these two documents to adapt Mythras to the modern game.

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M-Space Speculations

So we've been looking at M-Space for so long now, I'd almost forgotten that the core of this blog has been to look at Mythras. I'll get back to the fantasy stuff soon enough. But for right now, let's look at what we've been reviewing these past two months, and see what we can do with it beyond creating more clones of Traveller settings. After all, this is a setting for science fiction. As is The Twilight Zone. Let's open the door, then, to another dimension ... a place of the sens

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A First Look At ... Frostbyte Books' M-Space, Part 8

And so we come to it at last. The final chapter of Frostbyte Books' M-Space, and the Appendices. I'm not going to review the index, merely point out that the index is bookmarked, so if you want to get to a particular place in the PDF in a hurry, go right to the back of the book, locate your bookmark, and click. So the final chapter of M-Space is devoted to Life Forms - the equivalent of Traveller's Animal Encounters, and Mythras' Bestiary / Creatures / Monsters. You know, once I'

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A First Look At ... Frostbyte Books' M-Space, Part 7

In this post, we'll be reviewing the chapters on vehicles and technology. Vehicle Design The Vehicle Design chapter, on page 178, follows the same general modular system as the Starship design chapter. You create enough Modules to fit your vehicle's crew, you determine what other Modules you need (weapons, a mobile lab, etc), and from those you can determine the vehicle's Size, Speed, and Handling. Whatever you need, from a zippy little motorcycle to a walker tank or ATV; this is

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A First Look At ... Frostbyte Books' M-Space, Part 6

Greetings, Cosmonauts, and welcome to the next part of my look at M-Space by Frostbyte Books. This week, we take a look at two disparate chapters - Circles, and Psionics. Circles Circles are the M-Space equivalent of the factions of Mythras- its Guilds, Orders, Sodalities, Cults, and so on. Circles can take on the form of extended family, political pressure groups, terrorist organisations, political parties, corporations, and so on. Circles are defined here by characteri

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