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Mythras Modern - Driven By Passions


Alex Greene

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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 terrorists. Or they may be hired to escort a young prodigy to a performance, despite the youngster's reluctance to be parted from her fresh new girlfriend ... whereupon the characters may find that the prodigy's parents have a less than wholesome ulterior motive behind this mission.

Whole adventures and even campaigns can be driven by a desire for something, a fear of something or someone to be overcome, or simply the wish to do the right thing ... even if the right thing is not immediately obvious.

As has been pointed out in a previous post, your character should pick three Passions. One should be central to your character's Career, one should be a Passion which keeps pulling the character away from the day job (and propels them into adventures), and the third one could be either positive or, more likely, negative.

A character who has a wife and kid back home might have Love (Family) as their third motivator, but Thrillseeker in the third slot would be far more interesting, not to mention painting the character as a bit of a deadbeat.

Hamartia

As much as characters like to be seen by their players as invincible, it is far more interesting to give them a hamartia, tied to at least one Passion - such as a family for the thrillseeker.

A hamartia is a fatal flaw - a common device in fiction. Superman's hamartias are Kryptonite, magic, light from a red sun, and the normal humans whom he calls his friends. Other superheroes have their hamartias, and not the green rocks kind - often, their weakness would be their secret identity being compromised, or some villain using a loved one as leverage, and so on.

A character's hamartia can even be a personal flaw, such as alcoholism, or being a daredevil and thrillseeker, always being drawn to the high-risk activities such as BASE jumping off the tops of skyscrapers or breaching security at Area 51 to see if there really are advanced stealth planes retrofitted with captured alien technology, or even real aliens, dead or alive.

If the character follows their hamartia Passion, they could get into some sort of trouble. It could be any kind of trouble - with the law, or with one's family, or with organised crime, or similar.

However, there should always be some sort of payoff - the thrill of discovery, the endorphin rush of surviving that BASE jump, and so on - to make the risk totally worth it.

Driving Passion

In 2022, Renegade rebooted the old World of Darkness game Hunter: the Reckoning. In this reboot, Hunters are Driven: their central driving Passion lends them dice to succeed in tasks which would be impossible otherwise. In this setting, their Drive would probably offset the Difficulties of skill checks, much like a Passion can be used to augment a normal skill, such as an engineer's Passion of Fix Anything augmenting their Mechanic skill. Perhaps the Intensity of their Passion could augment the relevant skill in the same way as the Augment Skill Talent of Mystics from Mythras Core.

Your characters could likewise be driven by their highest Passion. It could just as easily lead them to victory as to trouble - a character who has a Passion linked to a grand vision he received in a dream could succeed by means of that Passion more than his skills - "if you build it, they will come," and so on.

The Driving Passion should really be something which gives the character hope; give them a reason to get up off the floor when they have been beaten down; give them a reason to live.

Each player should think carefully about what that Driving Passion could be, or should be. And tie in their other two Passions, and even their Career and Skills, to that Passion, since it is likely to be this Passion which sent the character off in the direction of that Career in the first place.

A Passionate Life

Your character should be passionate. They should be fired up to do things their peers cannot, and will not. Whatever draws the characters towards fires and fights, or has them standing in the open air under the roiling storm clouds with lightning flashing all around them, should be one of the most powerful motive forces in their life.

Even if the Passion is something more prosaic and less adventurous such as Master My Field Of (Career) or Become (Ruler Of Some Corporation), it should be something the character acknowledges as integral to their lives, and the force behind their greatest successes ... and their most embarrassing failures and defeats.

Because it's all totally worth it, no matter the cost. And that's all part of the price they pay for living lives of Adventure.

Edited by Alex Greene

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