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Telling Stories


Alex Greene

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The thing I love about a roleplaying game is the ability to tell stories in it. Some systems are explicitly built around storytelling: the Chronicles of Darkness and its satellite settings are billed as "The Storytelling System."

I am finding Mythras better suited to general storytelling than an awful lot of contemporary roleplaying systems. I found myself wondering why this is so.

I can think of a few things that stand out.

Character Generation: Your characters are not constrained by class. Some farm boy could grow up to be a sorcerer, sure: or he might find a calling as a physician, alchemist or entertainer, and seek out adventure according to his skills and gifts.

Connections: Your character is not alone. Unlike, say, Traveller, where your Travellers can leave all your Allies and Contacts behind with the next Jump out of the system, your connections are never far away in Mythras, because what is implied is that your Adventurers have to come back to their locus of operations if they are to advance with their people.

Speaking of people ...

Cults and Brotherhoods: Your characters really are not alone. There are Cult and Brotherhood memberships, as well as duties and responsibilities, to take care of. It looks as if half the time, the Adventurers are doing the classic dungeon crawling, and the rest of the time they're learning, reaching, advancing or deposing scheming Rivals, or warring against rival Brotherhoods out for the same goal as the Adventurers' faction.

Those are the three that stand out. How about you? What makes Mythras outstanding for you?

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Author of Fioracitta for Mythras and the 2d6 SFRPG setting of Castrobancla.

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9 hours ago, Alex Greene said:

Those are the three that stand out. How about you? What makes Mythras outstanding for you?

Besides those you already mentioned, I very much like the fact that Mythras has no character development restrictions like character levels (as in D&D) or career terms (as in Traveller). Mythras characters can learn new skills or improve their skills whenever it makes sense within the framework of their stories,

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Yea, the lack of classes is actually something that I really noticed recently as a strong point for myself. Previously, I had recognized that I hated multiclassing in D&D, but sort of weirdly chafed under classes. I realized that what I wanted was more fine grained multiclassing, to the point where the class was almost irrelevant to the character - which is pretty much exactly what Mythras does. 

Another part of it for me is combat, but specifically special effects and, oddly enough, shields and spears. SEs allow me a host of "powers" that make logical sense, and are not locked away in a class. They let any of my characters control the flow of combat without any special restriction. Shields and spears are mostly because they get a fair shake.

the comparisons to D&D are poignant to me lately, as my group just switched to it since I was unavailable to DM Mythras regularly. I picked a wizard to play because it has enough knobs for me to fiddle with, but I still wish I was playing Mythras a bit :)

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I can agree with Alex' summary. Those are the "soft" tools that make Mythras work. Then there is the general d100-tool - easygoing and uninvasive in roleplaying, and brutal and dangerous in action. Mythras adds to the fun with visceral and tactical combat effects. It all makes players (my players, at least) get into the groove and stay there.

Add to that that even a novice worldbuilder can create and tinker until beards grow long and white with the toolkit given, and you got a great game.

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I would add merely that the storytelling/roleplaying aspect of, um, a roleplaying game is (or should be, IMO) its basic, defining feature.  This is quite independent of the particular rules employed, and is mostly a function of the mindset of the GM and players.  If you intend to tell stories and roleplay, then whichever rules you use become quite secondary.

That said, some tools are better than others for a given job.  I agree, Mythras does a great job of providing both detailed crunch and all the ties to roleplaying that I feel should be in a system.  Why should we have to choose?

Along these lines, I have played a variety of systems over the decades, and I find the d100 family to be notably better than the class-and-level family of systems at promoting what I like best about RPGs.  Again, use the right tool for the job:  For power fantasies, D&D, Pathfinder, etc. are good, whereas the development offered by Mythras, etc. might be less satisfying.  I write that without (much) prejudice. ;-)

 

 

 

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Agreed with the original points, and those that others make.  To me, the affiliations with the "groups" -- clans, cults, etc -- is the biggest one.

I think that one of the elements I haven't seen touched upon is the nature of combat:  first, the PC's have a much more realistic "fear" of combat; they don't enter it lightly (only when there's something they're willing to risk their lives for); and second, each combat likely has specific and personal consequences... a broken arm that takes months to heal; a lost leg; etc.

 

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