Mythender is a game of vast battles with fluid, flexible space in between. When you play the game, you’ll be shifting gears between your time (where the battle rules strongly structure the flow of the game) and the Mythenders’ time (where they’re no strict structure, but rules to cover situations that come up in between battle).
If you’ve run other adventure games with the same format, like Dungeons & Dragons, some of that experience will be useful for running Mythender.
If this is the first time you’ve done something like this, don’t worry! This chapter will give you some guidelines. Your first few games of this (or anything similar) might be a little rocky, but with practice you’ll get a good sense of pacing—the key skill in making an adventure game like Mythender sing.
On Making Mistakes as a Mythmaster page 238
Starting off, you have permission to screw up, as long as you are willing to acknowledge your slip-ups and fix them.
Interact with the Players page 240
Interacting with the players is the heart and soul of Mythender. Take these rules and hold well to them.
Describe the World page 242
Describing the vast Mythic World helps everyone, including you, buy into the idea that you’re in a fantastical place with gods that need killin’.
Interact with the World page 243
Here are some bits on interaction with the Mythenders, as befits an epic game, through the lenses of both mortals and Myths.
Tone & Scale page 244
For this game to work, you need to moderate tone and scale. Here are some ways to achieve that and how to talk about it at the table.
Pacing page 246
Pacing an adventure game is easy when you’re battling and harder when you’re outside of that battle space.
Drifting & Hacking Mythender page 248
Some folks like hacking a game for some other settings. Here are a few notes for that.
Mythmaster Key Techniques page 250
When in doubt, here are the basic things to remember while running Mythender summarized. This is useful to print out and have at the table. Also included are a few key phrases to keep in mind while being a Mythmaster.
The contents of this chapter are just as much rules as everything in the battle chapter. It’s just that these rules are soft—they don’t tell you when to use them, because that requires your judgment as the Mythmaster.
A session of Mythender is a temperamental creature. If you don’t use the tools you have available, it can turn on your and bite your head off…or slink into a corner and die from boredom. That’s what this chapter is all about: rules and tools. They will help you create a soaring epic of badassery. Disregarding them means you have to work that much harder to achieve the same ends.
You’re the authority on the rules and making calls as to when a given rule applies. You’re also the authority on whether or not a character is being Mythic—doing something that would gain Mythic power—or not being Mythic and intentionally avoiding Corruption. There’s more on this in Tone and Scale (page 244), but know that this is part of your job.
Don’t be shy about taking it slow and flipping to a certain part of the book to look up how something works. Each two-page spread is meant to be easy to find and easy to use during play.
Play out the Tutorial battle. It will help you feel how the game works, and everyone learns better by doing than by just reading.
Seed your mind with media of people being crazy badass, like 300, The Avengers, various awesome anime and related stuff like Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Even watching some Dragonball Z could help you see how to do a Mythending battle. If it’s an epic battle movie, television show, or comic, it’s worth checking out before you play Mythender so you have a more immediate sense of tone and scale.
You’ll see more of this on page 240, but make sure you do bow and grovel at times. Players used to other games won’t expect this from you, and it’s often their first clue that they really are playing epic characters.
Do not skimp on this!
Mythenders don’t “maybe” do something, except in cases of resisting Corruption. So when you’re playing with people who are unsure about what their characters can do, guide them and help them learn that there are no hard limits as there are costs for the scale of action.
Let’s start off by saying this:
Don’t sweat trying too hard.
This book has already thrown a lot of rules at you, and the rest of this chapter is going to talk about how to set tone, pacing, interaction, all sorts of stuff. Some people will read this and think “yeah, I already run games like that.” Some people will read this and pick up everything at once. Some will think they’ve got this, and find they don’t when they try running it. And some will find this whole thing to be intimidating, with all the dice and rules and whatnot.
I’m here to say that it’ll be okay. Because, honestly, you cannot fuck up my game more than I have! (See the next page.) And because if you’re fortunate with the people you’re playing with, they actually want to have fun and will help you succeed at running Mythender.
When something happens where you either get some rule wrong or screw up tone or whatever, pause the game. Acknowledge the mistake. Roll the game back if it’s not a huge hassle for everyone, or just push forward and be mindful of what happened for the future.
Ask for opinions. Enlist everyone in helping you remember whatever rule got missed or to call you on running an unfun game. You’re all in this together.
The most important thing, though, is to be honest about whatever happened.
Early in Mythender’s development, I ran a game for some friends after work. We were just going to do a short game, testing some mechanics, but as I like to try to make playtests feel like an actual game (as otherwise it’s like testing a board game, which tests for far different issues), we did narration and all that jazz.
I had the village they arrived at hate on them, shout at them to go away, spit at them, that sort of treatment. I figured I would create some tension between “do you decide to be evil and kill them, or good and not kill them?”
My good friend Jerry then asked me: “We can kill them without rolling anything, right? You said that earlier today.” That was, in fact, one of the new rules I introduced in this playtest. (The benefits for that, all the terrorizing stuff, came two years later, so it wasn’t even something you were rewarded for at this stage.)
I grinned and affirmed that. Then he threw me a curve ball: “Um, do they know that?”
I looked around and saw that the players were annoyed, and not in a fun “Bioware moral choice” way. Even though it was an experiment, it was also a game, and I just made a huge mistake. I misjudged how they’d react.
“You know, they should totally know that. Can we replay the scene?” The players agreed, and instead of having them spit at the Mythenders, they all treated them as people to be feared, begging them to go to another village and to spare them.
(Incidentally, that was when all the rules about how mortals view Mythenders were born.)
First and foremost, treat the players like they are Mythenders.
This makes the difference between playing a game where you are just told you’re epic heroes and where you feel like epic heroes. The main way to do this is to treat them like they have a higher status than you.
Present choices to them, whether in character creation or during play, with deference and politeness. Pretend that they could just kill you with a glance, and you should be utterly respectful. (It’s good practice; that’s how you should portray mortals in Mythender.) “Would you like to see the other History options, Lady Mythender?” or “Which Weapon are you using now, Lord Mythender?”
Watch for that smile, as they’re being treated with respect they aren’t normally given in games as players. Revel in that glee. When you have that, you know you have that player hooked.
Whatever you do, keep “Of course, Lord Mythender” in your back pocket. It can sometimes redeem a dull moment, and remind the players without overtly stating it that they should get with the awesome.
This is based on the above point, to reinforce the feel of the game. When you present a choice and they decline it, say “I apologize for presuming, Lady Mythender.”
The point isn’t to be subservient, but to remind them of the sort of character they’re playing. And to create a pattern of behavior so that you can mess with it by doing the next bit.
The flip side of treating players as Mythenders is to treat them with expectation. If they’re playing it safe during battles, push back. “You’re not taking the Mythic Die? Oh, so would you like me to also change your diaper?” Goad them into taking Corruption.
Don’t do this much outside of battle. They should make the choice to act horrific or heal themselves. The only thing that you should push against is inaction. “So, Lord Mythender, with all your power you’re just going to let the Endless Fire burn up the farmlands? That’s cool. How do you feel when your Companions look at you with tears in their eyes because the screams of the people in the fire echoing throughout the land breaks their hearts? Or did you, you know, want to actually do something?”
The other thing to challenge is anytime someone is telling you what they’re doing mechanically but not what their character is doing in the story. Lines like “I’m sorry, this isn’t ‘Boring Mortals for Power’” or “What was that? I couldn’t hear it over how totally badass the Mythender before you was” can help reinforce this.
When they accomplish a feat or act in battle, celebrate that. Every moment a Mythender acts is amazing and incredible in the mortals in the world, so make the players feel that. Responding to an excited description of a moment in battle with “Yeah you do!” or “That’s awesome!” will push that feeling of actually playing an amazing, epic character.
This is also known to some as the “Hell yeah you do!” rule.
Sometimes you’ll get some great ideas from the players, so throw out questions and take in their input. You can ask them for facts, like “What time of day is it? What does the sky look like?” You can ask them to describe a fact you’ve brought up, like saying “You hear the sea nearby, and it sounds strange and haunted. What do you hear whispered into your ears by the voice of the sea?”
Some players love doing this, and some hate it. Know your players, as always. But if you can pull this off, you’ll get great buy-in from them, and you’ll get fantastic material to work with. Five heads have more creative juice than just one.
This will also get players who are shy a little used to bringing up ideas, which is important when in battle they get to Push Forward.
New players will often phrase things as “Can I…” Your first job is to get them out of this mind-set. Some people take well to explaining. Others take well to a step-on-up attitude with questions like “I don’t know, can you?” Whatever method you use, help them get out of that mind-set where they ask for permission.
It should go without saying that you should tailor the language you use to what your players like and respond well to. It should go without saying, but it needs to be said anyway.
If you’re running for people you’ve never met before, like at a convention, start off with whatever you feel is more neutral language until you gauge what they do and don’t like.
This section just scratches the surface of interacting with the players. The more you do this, the more you’ll refine these ideas and bring in your own, creating a really cool toolbox for running epic games.
A Mythic World will give you some touchstones for how to describe that world. When you start an adventure, and whenever the action moves to a new location, paint the world with your words. The players rely on you to give the world a sense of reality in their minds, and poor or sparse description will leave more questions in their minds than answers.
The list from Exploring the Mythic World, page 70 of the Playing Adventures chapter, has many questions to consider for every scene. Don’t try to answer every question every time, but think about some of them whenever you describe the world. And note down your own questions if you think of any! More tools for your Mythmaster toolbox.
The same approach can be taken to all other moments in the game.
To Mythenders, the entire world is a place where hateful Myths roam and mortals live in fear. This doesn’t mean that’s the true world; gods can do some good and mortals don’t always live in fear. You can get a lot of mileage out of playing with the perceptions that Mythenders (and players) have about the Mythic World.
Imagine a game where you’re Ending, say, Santa Claus. Santa is known for going around have giving good children gifts and bad children coal. And on the whole, kids love Santa.
Now cast Santa as the God of Childhood Morality, with Mythenders gunning for him. Suddenly, the peaceful North Pole becomes the Mythic North (or the Mythic Pole), land where Santa and his host of elven serfs labor to craft toys for those children who are worthy in his harsh and judging eyes, with foul fates awaiting those who are not. It’s easy to get behind Ending this Myth, because that’s a vile take on Santa. And in Mythender, the ends tend to justify the means, so if there are misfit toys and elves in your path to get to Santa, then these fools are to be cut down.
Does that mean the Santa Claus isn’t the same Santa that you and I grew up hearing stories about? Not necessarily. What you describe and what the Mythenders experience is filtered through their perception. Likewise, Odin and his ilk have been kind and just to mortals in real mythology. Use that to your advantage.
As you’re describing new things about the world, look at the Mythenders. Do you have any apostates in the group? Introduce some fellows she ran out on. Do you have any mourners? Introduce mortals that he can connect with, or remind him or who he lost. A Mythender’s Past can be a treasure trove of ideas to make your adventure richer and make the Mythenders want to fight harder.
“Epic” is about the difference between the characters and the world around them. An epic character has no one above them and only their comrades and foes as peers.
Mortals know a Mythender on sight, and they fear them. While you might occasionally show a mortal as being brave and standing up to a Mythender, this should be rare (and not happen in the first adventure—so that when it happens, it’s noteworthy).
If you’re the sort of Mythmaster that stands up and is physically engaging, bow to the players as the mortals bow to the Mythenders. Don’t look them in the eye. Beg. Plead. Be resigned to your fate. Mortals know they may die in this moment, but some also hope that the Mythenders will take pity on them and better their lives. Act like that.
When the Mythenders are seeking sympathy and healing, play hard against them. They should be expressing their character’s emotional vulnerability to someone who sees them as alien or inhuman. Though you might dial it up or down, depending on how much of an emo moment the players want to explore, keep to this idea overall.
Myths know a Mythender on sight, and know that there is only one course of action: battle. Many Myths will know they’re being sent to die, as Mythenders are powerful beings. Some Myths believe themselves able to be the one to End a Mythender. And the gods know that they will be reborn if they can cause a Mythender to fall and become a Myth.
Some Myths treat the Mythenders with respect, asking them to take their battle elsewhere and fight another god. Some Myths treat the Mythenders as peers, talking to them as they would a foe they are both excited by and afraid of. Grand gestures may be made, but all in all, no Myth dismisses Mythenders as mortals would ants.
If you did play a Myth that dismisses a Mythender as being beneath them, the moment they strike in battle, you’d need to play out their surprise. Mythenders are the peers of gods in battle, and that needs to be reflected in their reactions.
Myths do not treat Mythenders the way they would treat mortals, so ensure that you do not when describing dialogue and reactions.
One of your most important jobs in running Mythender, and one of the hardest, is maintaining a sense of tone and scale with every action.
There’s no set sense of the game’s tone—some will be dark, some will be campy, some will be high octane. Many will shift around, depending on what’s going on and what everyone wants (see Metal & Drama, page 4).
As the Mythmaster, you’re setting and checking tone constantly. Your introduction will set the tone—the language you use, the tone of your voice, physical gestures, etc. Consider these two descriptions for “I cut off Odin’s ear”:
“You’re all ‘I slice off his ear, right?’ Sweet! SLICE! Blood flows everyone. Odin’s screaming all over the place, causing earthquakes with his thrashing rage. You’re there like a badass, holding his fuckin’ ear in our hand. Hell yeah!”
“Your blade finds the corner where his ear meets his head, and bites into his flesh. He struggles to stop you, but you are too fast, your sword sundering his flesh, blood dripping down from his face. The ear falls into your hand, and Odin backs away, rage in his eyes as the blood on his face literally boils away.”
How you present descriptions in your game will color how the game feels. As long as it never stops feeling epic in a battle, any tone can work. But the trick is maintaining tone in your game, and only shifting tone when it feels right—whatever that ends up meaning for your group.
If you’re describing things with one sense of tone, and the players are all describing with another, that will be jarring. When this happens, talk about what sort of tone you all want as a group.
Unless you’re around a bunch of screenwriters or improv players, asking “What tone do we want?” will get met with vague answers. The problem with vague answers is that it might seem clear what you mean when you say “I want a light game,” but that could mean something else to the person hearing that. And without talking more, you don’t know that there’s a huge disconnect in what you all mean until a problem happens.
Ask more specific questions and use popular culture and media as touchstones. “Do we want this to be a dark game? Or more like a Jason Statham-if-he-fought-gods sort of thing?” “Are you more Batman or Superman?”
But don’t obsess over this. The point is to make a quick touchstone, not spend hours writing up a contract.
At times, the tone will (and should) shift a bit. If you’re playing in epic fifth-gear all the time, that will get tiring. As long as the tone shift feels natural—ideally, shifting in and out of battles rather than in the middle of one—then you’re managing tone well.
If there’s a tone mismatch going on, particularly if you have a delicate tone like “Gothic horror Mythender” that can easily get squashed by being silly or over-the-top in the wrong way, take a moment and call people on that when that happens. Policing tone is part of your job, so make sure you do that. “Hey, I don’t think that’s in our tone. How else could you describe it?” Ending those comments in a question helps put the spotlight back on them to fix the situation.
If that happens often, maybe you’re the one with the tone mismatch. Take a moment to ask if there needs to be a change in the game.
Scale is the other element you need to keep an eye out for. There are three sense of scale in the battle: Legendary, Mythic, and Titanic (see Scales of Action, page 125). While there are some guidelines for what fits in one scale or another, there are no hard lines or rules. Each group may want a different sense of scale.
You job is to keep the sense of scale consistent. When something gets described as a Mythic action, and everyone accepts that, then that can’t later be treated as a Legendary or Titanic action. If there’s no consistency, they you lose the sense of price and consequence of the game. And if you lose that, you lose much of the game’s feel.
Don’t worry about remembering every little detail; if you do your job here, you (and everyone) will internalize what feels like a Legendary, Mythic or Titanic action. When one of those feels off, then it’s your job to call the player on it and say things like “No, that’s not a Titanic action. Step it up or it’s just Mythic.” Do this without fear, and you will have a good sense of scale throughout the game.
Be explicit about scale in the first battle, while people are getting used to the rules. Talk about why something’s Legendary, Mythic, or Titanic. Help people grasp the difference between those three things.
Similarly, terrorizing mortals for power should always feel Mythic or Titanic. Call out when someone is claiming they’re terrorizing for power but not describing it strongly enough. And call out the converse, when a player is describing their Mythender doing something that should be covered under Epic, Badass Feats (page 176) or Terrorizing for Power(page 172). And when they attempt to gain sympathy, remember to kill the moment if the Mythender moves into a more Mythic tone or scale.
Setting tone and scale is why the Mythmaster does much of the Push Forward narration during battles and when Mythenders fail when seeking sympathy and healing. These are the lowest moments in the game, dramatically speaking. So when they get to Push Forward, they see what you’ve done and have a baseline for topping that.
If playing Mythender is like playing in a band, as the Mythmaster you’re the drummer. You’re the timekeeper. Your job is to push the game when it needs to be pushed and slow down when it needs to slow down.
Most Mythender games should start with a little bit of description, and then jump right into a small battle. That sets the game up on a high note, with triumphant Mythenders then meeting mortals who watched them battle. This makes every adventure start off answering the question the players have in their minds: “Am I badass?” Yes. Yes, you are.
Battles are easy to maintain pacing; the structure takes care of it for you. It’s the Mythenders’ time that’s tricky, because that depends on what you and the players want out of the game. Some players will want to take time to explore what it means to be a Mythender around mortals, and others just want to stab Thor in the face over and over.
If you have players who want to explore the mortal side of the world, have situations when they have to deal with mortals. Sit back and let them direct you. Play the world in reaction to the Mythender’s words and actions. This is a great place to push players, if you have the sort of players that want to be pushed out of their comfort zones.
If you have players who just want to play out battles, the moments between battles serves as a palette cleanser and a time when they can be horrible beings to gain power or try to preserve their lives and mortal nature. In that case, it’s often enough to give them a quick moment where they can choose, or not, to do something with the mortals. Ask “so, you’re here, do you want to terrorize for power or seek sympathy and heal your soul?” Then jump into another battle when everyone’s had a moment.
If you have a mix between the two, err on the side of players who want to explore the mortal side, but also be willing to cut that short, interrupting a moment with the Myths bringing a new battle to them.
No matter how they like pacing, keep one thing in mind: when they want to be horrible people, give them free reign to do so. When they’re trying to maintain or regain their humanity, play hard against them. (This gets into interaction, page 240, but is also an element of pacing.)
If the players are looking at you and waiting for you to speak, do one of two things: introduce a mortal situation or start a new battle.
Have a mortal come up and ask the Mythenders for something. Or have the Mythenders come across mortals doing something that could involve them. Then ask “What do you do?” Make the situation feel like there’s a consequence to both action and inaction.
A lull in the moment could mean it’s time for Mythenders to go knife a Myth in the face. So bring on the Myths! The Mythenders’ time is over and it’s time for a new battle.
Take short breaks now and then. Think of it like sex: take a breath and have a (metaphorical) cigarette before going at it again. While it’s fun to power through and keep on without stopping, mental stamina will fade. Especially look to taking breaks after a battle.
By actually getting up and disengaging from the game, you can reset a sense of pacing. Like any skill, this takes some time to get used to and skilled at, but once you have it down it’ll help you immensely.
This game was built to be drifted to other settings and ideas! And even if it wasn’t, you people would do it anyway. That’s part of what makes this gaming community great and full of inspired works. Here are some things to think about when you’re drifting this game.
Mythender is a game where the main characters have to deal with a conundrum: the protagonists have the ability and cause to do batshit-awesome stuff, and they need to be batshit-awesome to achieve their goals, but being too batshit-awesome will cause them to become Something Very Bad And Worse Than Dying.
So as long as you’re drifting this to a setting where that’s possible and part of it, you’re off to a good start. Like, say, a setting about warrior-monks with laser swords and telekinesis…
Weapons are the props and action points of the game. The three kinds of Weapons trigger three different sets of rules, but they’re easy to reskin. For a game with some more psychodrama, you could make Intrinsic Weapons explicitly about a memory they have, and charging it means describing flashbacks.
You may even want to mandate people have a certain sort of Weapon. In Mythic Japan, being set during the Meiji Restoration where Japanese Mythenders are Ending Oni and their influence on the Shogunate, Mythenders have a western Rifle as a Relic Weapon and an Intrinsic Weapon based on the first Oni they Ended.
The three scales of action—Legendary, Mythic, and Titanic—are a great point to drift. Determining what in your game triggers using the Mythic die is important to knowing how to run your drift. Ideally, it’s alien or transgressive; normal people never get a Mythic die.
Further determining what it means to go from Mythic to Titanic is equally important. It could be a villainous act just as easily as an act of great power.
That’s not the only scale element that’s a hacking point. You could also change how long a turn is; it could be hours or days, rather than mere moments, to execute a different genre.
In Mythender, Fates are linked directly to the Myths the characters fight. But that needn’t be the case, as long as there is some dark Fate worse than dying that the characters are constantly flirting with.
There are classic themes in “become what you fight” and “become what you fear most.”
In some settings, having the characters dramatically change Form doesn’t make any sense. So that might be the first thing to cut or heavily change, as long as you keep the Corruption mechanics so that the Mythic die still works the same.
You might take inspiration from the old Altered Beast video game: there the characters started beefy and got larger and more muscular, until the very end when they became a were-creature. Or the RPG Exalted, where as more power is taken, a sigil on the characters’ heads flare brighter and brighter. As long as there’s a telltale of the level of Corruption a protagonist has taken, you’re on the right track.
And they can easily all be the same or very similar changes, rather than something unique to each character.
Personal Blights are important to playing in Norden, so that the players understand that a Mythender does literally change the world around him by just existing. If your setting is more about changing purely through action, that’s worth removing.
Similarly, the Fate’s Power is about a sense of niche-protection. Each Fate has a particular way of going batshit crazy while breaking the rules of reality. If your game is also about breaking reality, tailor to suit. If it isn’t, remove it; Weapons otherwise cover such action.
Myths are the enemies of the characters, so they should be easy to drift. It’s just about changing the names and color around playing those foes.
How mortals interact with Mythenders is key to making the players feel like the truth about their characters. What truths are important in your game? Are they reviled and hated, like mutants in the Marvel universe? Are they believed to be a sign of the End Times? Whatever it is, don’t make it easy on the characters—they shouldn’t feel like they’re a part of society. In that regard, Mythender is much like the classic tale of the Western movie.
This can change how Seeking Sympathy works. Maybe instead of connecting with a stranger, you need to connect with someone you love or from your past that can’t comprehend who you are now.
It should go without saying that the names of all the pieces and rules should change to fit the drifted setting better. It could be easy to take the players out of the moment by telling them to roll the Mythic die when they’re psychic warrior-monks, but another to tell them to roll the Dark Side die. By changing the names, it’ll push people to play the way that setting requires.
Be sure to keep to your theme. The Mythic die is never a purely good thing, for instance.
You’re of course welcome to add new rules, create new Gifts, things like that. There isn’t much guidance to give directly on that, but know that the door’s open.
I’ll say that not every rule I made for Mythender is in this book. Some were removed not because they sucked, but because they didn’t fit the vision for this game as it took shape. There’s definitely room for, say, meta-mechanics that are affected based on what you do overall in an adventure and how it changes the whole world in a concrete way.
Police Tone page 244
Keeping a consistent tone for a given stretch of time is crucial. Breaking tone intentionally should happen as a result of dealing with mortals and sympathy; otherwise, keep the consistency going to keep the game from becoming chaotic and gonzo.
Moderate Scale page 244
Legendary, Mythic, and Titanic scales are important to a battle. Whatever you and the table decides is Legendary, Mythic, and Titanic, keep it consistent. Mythic and Titanic are about rewards and costs, and what one person does as Mythic should be Mythic to all.
Be their Narrative Butler page 240
Keep presenting choices to the players. Address them with deference and humility when doing so. Make it feel like you’re handing opportunities of action or drama on a silver platter.
Describe the World page 242
The Mythic World is a fantastic place. Use multiple points of description: sky, distance, terrain, water, weather, mortals, Myths, Blights, colors, sounds, etc.
Own up to & Fix Mistakes page 238
You’ll make mistakes. Own up to them and fix them (when fixing is possible), and you’ll keep the table’s trust.
Treat Players as their Mythenders page 240
Address the players by their characters’ names, or the title “Lord/Lady Mythender.” Bow and grovel to them at times. When playing mortals, treat the players like the could kill you, the Mythmaster, with a thought. When playing Myths, treat the players like they’re dangerous (and maybe foolish) equals.
Ask Questions page 241
The players own the Mythic World as much as you do, and as much as you invite them to. Ask questions about what’s going on, about what her Mythender in thinking or why she’s doing something. When they ask about the world, sometimes turn the question around.
Let No Moment Drop page 247
Nothing kills momentum like a moment where no one knows what to do next. Introduce new things. Start a new battle. The Mythic World doesn’t wait for Mythenders.
Challenge the Mythenders page 240
Mythenders exist in a world that hates and fears them, from Myths that know the purpose of Mythenders to mortals who fear power they cannot comprehend. Make Seeking Sympathy the roughest thing a Mythender has to do. Survive battles as long as you can to push Corruption. Make the Mythenders earn their continued mortality.
Celebrate the Mythenders page 241
The players are awesome people for playing in your game. Celebrate their characters achievements and their moments of Corruption. The Myths may want to see them die or Fall, but you want to see them do awesome and important things (and maybe die or Fall).
Take Breaks page 247
When you need a moment to collect your thoughts, especially in between a transition between Mythmaster’s time and Mythenders’ time (or vice versa), take a break. This also helps break and reset tone, when the nature of the game shifts from high-octane to emo.
These sorts of phrases are great for eliciting certain emotional responses from your group. When I’m running Mythender, these are my go-to tools for getting the players to feel appropriate to the moment, to challenge them, remind them of their Mythenders’ power, and to be humble to them. Tailor these as you see fit, and create some of your own.
Celebrate their moments of high action, especially Mythic and Titanic actions. Show that you, as the Mythmaster, are on the player’s side—because, when it comes to you both wanting to see Mythenders being awesome, you are on the same side.
Help players realize that they can declare a great deal of things. When they ask for something that Mythender says they should just boldly declare, turn that around on them. (For those who hate this sort of treatment, “You’re a Mythender, you don’t need to ask for that” can also work.)
In other situations, this can also help create an esprit de corps.
This is part of being a narrative butler. When suggesting things, suggest from a place of deference and respect.
When you make a recommendation that the player doesn’t care for or make a mistake in the game, play at being of lower status than the players.
When a player is showing a bit of weakness or indecision, and you think they could do better if prodded, push this. This is not just about that player, but as the rest of the group will hear it, it’s a reminder to them to step on up.