Monday, June 24, 2013

Mythic why it works and Why it dosn't

So I've worked out why I love Mythic as a game master emulator but am not so keen on it as a standalone RPG. And it all comes down to the Fate Chart. In both versions of the Mythic book there is a chapter of play advice. And of the items in that chapter says don't ask the fate chart too many questions. Go with one, or two at the most and then do whatever seems the most logical in context.  This is great advise because using the fate chart is a bit of a mechanical process.

The problem with Mythic as an RPG is that it breaks this rule. To resolve one attack you need to ask the fate chart at least three and possibly four questions. And that can take a while.

Worst still how you look up the fate chart is much more complicated. When doing emulation you use the same column of the chart for the entire scene, and the only thing you need to do is estimate the probability. Better yet you do this by basically asking and answering the question in a very natural way.

Has the the Don's Bodyguard got a gun?
Sure thing.
Is the Butler still carrying the murder weapon?
That's very unlikely.
Easy quick and simple.

In the attack version things are not that simple. Firstly both the row and column vary from roll to roll, with the Column representing the defenders most relevant attribute or ability. And even though both edges of the chart have textual labels, you have to do maths on them. So lets see I'm attacking and and I have a +1 shift for being so quick so that's a High, but I'm wounded for a -2 shift so that brings it back to average. VS your Exceptional ability, ow but your wounded as well so that's a -1 shift.  OK so now I can roll. to see if I hit. Really if your going to make me do maths its better for my character to have a strength of 7 then a strength of "average".

But back to the example. I've already rolled to establish that I get to go at all. And then to hit, lets assume I do. Now we do the same dance again, with a different set of abilities and modifiers to work out if I do damage. And possibly again for a fourth time to see if you succumb to you injuries. And the end result is that it all takes too long. The attempt at realism is just hard to implement with dice, paper and brain.

And if we where playing a supers game things could be even worse ad the full fate chart is open ended, while the the GME version is fixed. 

Now I have a campaign running with my Son which is using Mythic and will probably continue to do so. But realistically I think its the one and only game I'll run using full mythic rules. And Even that's not a sure thing, If I can work out a nice way of making Pokemon Trainer into a Dungeon World Class.

But the Mythic Game Master Emulator is another question entirely. The GME is awesome, and a Really good fit for Dungeon World by the way. I'll say more about why I think these two rule sets work well together next time.

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