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Modern Mythras - A Look At Cultures


Alex Greene

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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, Suburban into Underground, and Rural into Off The Grid and Wandering.

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Urban

The world's human population has tended to cluster in cities. Cities, towns, and similar locations are crowded, usually filthy, smelly, and often the driving force behind their civilisations' advancements. Cities are also the traditional centres of power, particularly capital cities which are the centres of civil governments and the highest courts in the land.


Skills
Standard Skills
Deceit, Drive, Influence, Insight, Perception, Stealth, Unarmed.
Example Combat Styles
Civic Defense, Close Quarters Combat, Fighting In Built Up Areas, Self Defence.
Professional Skills
Bureaucracy, Commerce, Computer, Engineering, Knowledge, Mechanisms, Research.
Cultural Passions
- Loyalty to your fam
- Represent your people
- Protect your assets, financial and otherwise
The Urban Voice

The first I heard about the trouble was when my sister posted to Facebook. She put a video up on Messenger for me, and that was when I saw it for the first time - the big, ugly flying drone which took out that armoured truck. We were chatting about it on Whatsapp when those Feds came out of the woodwork and confiscated the phones of everybody in the area at the time.

So I took her video, and made it viral. There was no way those MiBs could make the evidence of their crimes disappear on me.

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Criminal

Criminals are people who break the law. Honestly, that's practically everybody. The law is there to be broken, sometimes. Some people believe in honour among thieves; other people don't. Criminals can be sane but evil; opportunistic; scheming; desperate; sometimes sociopathic.

But this is the subculture of people who make a career out of illegal activity - organised crime members running rackets, career burglars, counterfeiters selling fake designer goods, drug dealers, sex workers, scammers ... you name it.
Skills
Standard Skills
Athletics, Brawn, Deceit, Drive, Evade, Stealth, Unarmed.
Example Combat Styles
Drive-By, Muscle In, Self Defence.
Professional Skills
Commerce, Culture, Gambling, Knowledge, Lockpicking, Sleight, Streetwise.
Cultural Passions
- Chase that payday
- Keep your friends close
- Omerta
The Criminal Voice

Look, I never did what they say I did, Your Honour. I was just waiting on that street corner, with a package a friend had given for me to hold onto while he went into the house next door. Yeah, the boarded up old house covered in graffiti.

How was I to know it was drugs, man? I don't know what those two undercovers rolling by the corner seventeen times told you, I never touch the stuff! Hey, sometmes I do wish I'd gone down the road my brother took, though. He's a second storey artist. Almost no place he couldn't get into. Mind you, he's doing the fourth year of a ten stretch so I guess he should have put in more training in running fast than in climbing, maybe.

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Militant

Some people are not content with their lot. For some reason or other, they want to smash everything down. From homegrown terrorists who want to be internet famous to protestors who block major thoroghfares and stop commuters getting to their workplaces, to karens driven by hubris and a mobile phone camera, to ex-military snipers shooting at civilians from the back of a car, militants are angry, driven, and violent.
Skills
Standard Skills
Brawn, Conceal, Drive, Evade, Perception, Stealth, Willpower.
Example Combat Styles
Close Quarters Combat, Combat Sniper, Drive-By, Knife FIghting.
Professional Skills
Craft, Culture, Demolitions, Engineering, Mechanisms, Oratory, Streetwise.
Cultural Passions
- Hate the Enemy Civilisation
- Hurt People
- Make Somebody Pay
The Militant Voice

Look, they call me and my crew vigilantes, but we're only trying to keep the streets safe. Have you seen them lately? They're crawling with all sorts of criminal scum, and it's our job to do what the cops can't do, and we've got to go in there and take the trash out.

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Suburban

The suburbs are far from the streets of the inner city, but that doesn't mean that there's nothing going on there. Sometimes, the strangest people gather behind closed doors even as their envious neighbours keep spying on them through twitching net curtains.
Skills
Standard Skills
Conceal, Deceit, Drive, Influence, Perception, Unarmed, Willpower.
Example Combat Styles
Self Defence, and three other Combat Styles. Keep them surprising. Nothing's going to chock your players than to see that harlmess non-player character soccer Mom suddenly come over like Sarah Connor and pull an assault rifle out of the trunk of her car.
Professional Skills
Pick seven Professional Skills. Make them surprising; your peaceful-looking suburbanite could surprise you with an in-depth knowledge of Acting, Disguise, Sleight and Stealth, or their knowledge of how to run an illegal cannabis grow in their back yard.
Cultural Passions
- Keep It In The Family
- Protect The Neighbourhood
- Watch Strangers
The Suburban Voice

It's a lot quieter out here than in the inner city, buddy. That means everybody round here knows everybody, and we're all up in each other's business. You're a stranger to these parts, so on behalf of the Citizens' Committee, we're going to keep a close eye on you, pal.

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Underground

The suburbs are a hotbed of closed-circle activity. Everything from swinging parties to actual occult rituals, chances are you'll find some group of suburbanites going at it as though the world were coming to an end. They are closed minded, secretive, and mistrustful of most strangers. And they are connected - if anything happens to one of them, everybody knows about it; and if a kindly stranger jumps in and helps out someone in distress, they become somewhat of a local hero. There is never any middle ground.
Skills
Standard Skills
As for Suburban.
Example Combat Styles
As for Suburban.
Professional Skills
As for Suburban.
Cultural Passions
- Keep It Behind Closed Doors
- Protect The Secret
- Close Ranks If One Of Your Circle Gets Busted

The Underground Voice

Okay, here's the thing. I'm not going to take you into the back room until you promise to do two things. First, you've gotta leave your hangups at the front door back there, right? Second, when you go in, put your car keys in the big bowl in the centre of the room. I'll get to that shortly. I promise. Is your blindfold comfy? RIght, then, here we go.

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Rural

Out in The Sticks, The Boondocks, The Back O'Beyond, whatever you want to call it. People are fewer and further between, you are more likely to encounter an animal than a person on your morning commute, and the affairs of the leaders of nations seem like a fantasy.

Rural people know what's really important, and they band together if there's trouble of any sort.
Skills
Standard Skills
Athletics, Boating, Brawn, Endurance, Locale, Perception, Unarmed.
Example Combat Styles
Basic Fisticuffs, One-Handed Firearms, Two-Handed Firerarms, Knife Fighting.
Professional Skills
Commerce, Survival, and Track. Pick another four, at random, to reflect the fact that a lot of rural people pick up the oddest skills in the name of self-sufficiency.
Cultural Passions
- Care For Your Land
- Keep Strangers Out
- Circle The Wagons In An Emergency
The Rural Voice

Well, son, I can't rightly say where that thing went. Could've gone down to the Williams farm, or taken a sharp left and gone up the road that takes you right back to the big town of Tolerance, twenty miles thataway. Yes, I think that might be where they went. I suggest you go and follow it, understand?

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Off The Grid

Sometimes, you just have to get away from it all, and find some out of the way place so remote that nobody can find you or track you down. No cell coverage. No internet. No power, beyond maybe a little generator in a shed out the back. No running water. Who knows what kinds of crazies set up their homes in such places ...
Skills
Standard Skills
As Rural.
Example Combat Styles
As Rural.
Professional Skills
As Rural, except swap out one skill for Demolitions if you are creating some swivel-eyes Unabomber type.
Cultural Passions
- Get Off My Lawn
- Get Off My Lawn
- Get Off My Goddamn Lawn
The Off The Grid Voice

*smashes window* *sound of an AR-15 being racked* You Feds'll never take me alive!

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Wandering

Some people live for the road. They are the ultimate in living off the grid. The perfect example is the literary character of Jack Reacher - always living out of a suitcase, metaphorically speaking. Wanderers can either be living like survivalist Ray Mears, or form part of a caravan of travelling folk following a route, such as funfair carnies.
Skills
Standard Skills
Athletics, Boating, Drive, and Ride. Pick any three other Standard Skills. Deceit and Insight are always good.
Example Combat Styles
As for Rural.
Professional Skills
As for Off The Grid.
Cultural Passions
- Keep Moving
- Keep Your Head Down
- Keep Yourself To Yourself
The Urban Voice

Hey, don't mind me. I'm just passing through.

 

Modern Cultures

Your characters can come from a broad variety of different Cultures in the modern game, as compared to the four simple Cultures from Mythras Core Rulebook. You can have fun creating characters from the above Cultures, or mix and match and come up with Cultural backgrounds of your own - Police, Military, First Responder, Academia, the Clergy ...

If you can think about it, I'm sure you'll have a great time creating it.

Edited by Alex Greene

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