Individual scenes and things that happen during the Mythender’s time are called moments. Sometimes, a Mythender will want to do something, and together with the Mythmaster, they’ll paint the scene in everyone’s mind: what it looks and sounds like, who’s there, and what’s going on when the Mythender enters. Then that Mythender does what she wants, and rules are engaged, then the scene’s over.
Sometimes a Mythender will want to do something in the middle of a described scene, in which case we already know what it looks and sounds like, who’s there, and what’s going on.
That means Moments can be entire scenes unto themselves or pieces of a scene, all depending on the flow of play and what people are describing. That’s why these are called “moments”— they last as long or as short as they need to, and flow together as you need them.
Every Moment stems from one of two things: you’re possibly or certainly terrorizing mortals for Mythic Power, or you’re trying to heal the wounds in your soul by interacting with mortals.
Mythenders can terrorize mortals and get the very power than gods gain from doing this very thing. This can happen through inspiring fear or inspiring awe and reverence.
Mythenders need to bond with the very mortals who fear them, if they are to retain their humanity. But this is no sure thing.
These other Moments are variations on terrorizing or seeking healing, or are things you can do that may end up turning into one of those two events.
Mythenders can do some crazy-ass stuff: break mountains, carve rivers, cause the skies to darken or clear—and that’s just for starters.
Mythenders can help mortals, but doing so means straddling a line between normal, mortal helping and using your Mythic power to help.
Slaughtering mortals is trivial to every Mythender, and it gives you power.
Resting—where the Mythenders reset their Wounds and Weapon charges—happens when the Mythenders have a moment to relax, which is to say during their time. The rules for Resting are covered at the end of the Battle chapter (here).
Social conflicts—arguing with people and trying to sway them—are intentionally not a part of Mythender’s rules. You can still have moments where you’re debating or arguing, but there’s no way to just get someone to peacefully agree with you. There are no rules to help with peace.
You can argue with a mortal and play out that discussion, but the only way you truly have to force a mortal to change their mind is to rip away their free will be Terrorizing Mortals for Power. You might bridge understanding and empathy through Seeking Sympathy and Healing, but that doesn’t mean you will win an argument with a mortal. Finally, you can argue with your fellow Mythenders, but the only way to force them to do anything is to Murder Another Mythender—and even then, you’re only forcing them to die.
You can also argue with a Myth about how it’s an abomination and should lay down its life, but that’s considered banter before a battle or a Wound during it.
Other Moments where you’re showing color about your Mythender, like saying your character is going off fishing for a bit to relax, aren’t handled by any rules.
Moments like your character going to fish are considered small Moments, and might be worth turning into something where you explore more of the land, describing and embracing more about this Mythic World. A small Moment could also turn into a Moment of Seeking Sympathy and Healing, as you spend a quiet bit of time trying to bond with someone you’ve met.
But you don’t have to do that, if you don’t want to. Rules only get forced on you when you do dramatic and powerful actions.
That said, if your small Moment is boring, don’t bother playing it out. Say “Yeah, my guy is going fishing” and cut to the next thing that’s actually interesting, unless there’s more to your moment. And if there is more, you need to say so. “Yeah, my Mythender is going fishing, because he’s going to catch the King of Fish and demand his kind serve him.” (Performing a Badass, Epic Feat)
Or “Yeah, he’s going fishing because he wants to be alone, but there should totally be a mortal there that he can bond with.” (Seeking Sympathy and Healing)
If the power you have gained from battle is not enough, you can rip power from mortals directly through awe and fear. You can do so directly, by demanding their worship and demonstrating the price for disobedience. You can do so indirectly, by performing a miracle that inspires abject servitude. You can even do so through kind acts, like healing the sick or rebuilding entire towns in mere moments.
Tell the Mythmaster you want to terrorize mortals for power. He’ll ask you some questions, like “Where are you doing that?” or “Who’s there?” You’ll describe the moment for the table.
You can terrorize mortals for power either by a dramatic act of Mythic will or violence, or you can use your Fate’s Power. Anything works as long as it assaults a mortal’s will, even acts of kindness fueled by Mythic power.
This might be a part of a Badass, Epic Feat, in which case you may also take advantage of those benefits.
Maybe the moment is quick, just needing a little description from you and the Mythmaster. Maybe the table would like to see it played out some. However you want to do it, have fun adding to the story of your Mythender being awesome and horrific!
Just remember, the rule is called “Terrorizing Mortals for Power,” not “Boring Everyone at the Table for Power.” That rule doesn’t exist.
Gain two Corruption (see Suffering Corruption). You will change form as a result of this. Add that change into your description.
Roll it! If the Mythic die came up 4, 5, or 6, advance Fate twice and gain two Gifts. Otherwise, advance Fate once and gain one Gift.
Note: If you have the Blaze of Glory gift, just still roll one die. Gifts do not apply outside of Battle.
Gain Might tokens equal to the number of Fate boxes you have checked (including the first one).
With this done, move onto the next moment.
Olivia is in the Village of Norrsundet and is disgusted by how the residents worship Jörmungandr with vile blood magic. She decides there’s no talking sense to them, so she’s just going to change their minds by showing she’s more powerful than the World Serpent. She doesn’t care that this will terrorize mortals and assault their free will; she’s in fact counting on that.
With her Weapon, Spirits of her Wise Ancestors, she describes summoning all of her ancestors to torment the priests and acolytes of Jörmungandr, each one forcibly ripping the toxic blood from them and leaving them to die while the rest of the village watches. All the while, she stands in front of the temple, shouting to all that their beloved Myth is no match for her might, and none should bow to any evil beast.
Her Fate is to become the God of War (with her own spin on it), and she’s currently at her Paragon Form: her shadow is in constant battle with everything around it, even when she it stilling still. The first two Corruptions boxes are checked, as is the first Fate box.
Because she’s Terrorizing for Power, she’ll check off the next two Fate boxes:
Now she’s in her Supernatural Form: her and her warhorse leave blood with each step that whispers lament, and her shadow continues to constantly battle.
After that change, she rolls the Mythic Die and gets a 5, so she advances her Fate twice. This means she has two more Gift slots available, to be filled in whenever she likes.
Since she now has four Fate boxes checked (including the first one), she gets 4 Might tokens.
After that, the Mythmaster describes how all those who witness this fall to their knees, renouncing their old god and begging their new one—Olivia—to remove the impurity in their bodies.
If you want to heal your soul and back away from the brink of corrupt apotheosis, you need to approach a mortal and show them the person who you are underneath your godslaying paragon of power.
This is the hardest part of being a Mythender. You always succeed at doing amazing feats. Getting someone to treat you as a human being? Good fucking luck.
The Mythmaster will frame a scene where you must deal with a mortal. Expect him to play hard and harsh. If you walk away from the scene he framed, there’s no second chance at sympathy.
The Mythmaster will tell you things your Mythender knows instantly, like this mortal’s name, family, what they’re thinking on the surface—all things a Mythender inherently knows about every mortal he or she sees. Ask whatever questions you wish. They will all be answered.
Build up the moment with some dialogue, maybe some soft action, until everyone feels like the question of “does this mortal see the inner me?” is relevant and should be answered.
Gather up to 3 dice, one for each questions you answer “yes” to:
The Mythmaster and the rest of the table get to answer if these are true. If you gather no dice, you automatically fail.
Once you have your dice, if any, roll them. If any come up 5 or 6, you succeed at restraining your Mythic nature. If none did, or you have no dice, you fail to do so.
You’re able to keep your Mythic nature held back enough, and this mortal sees the person within.
Your Mythic power overwhelms the mortal, destroying his free will. He cannot see anything past the Mythic being in front of them. Perhaps he will swear eternal love and loyalty to you. Perhaps he will commit suicide in despair. But whatever he does, he’s now only a shell of a person, thanks to you.
Your Form softens—uncheck the lowest two Corruption boxes. You may now also give up Gift slots to reduce how close you are to apotheosis—you may give up any number (including zero!) that aren’t permanent. For each given up, reduce your Fate track by one. If there’s a Gift in a slot you’ve given up, that Gift is erased.
With the moment done, for good or ill, move onto the next one.
If you have any Corruption and Fate boxes that have been made permanently checked (when you choose not to die in Mythender Death & Making the Choice, page 142), they can never be healed by mortal sympathy.
Rashid taxed himself greatly in the battle with the Frost Jötnar, having four Corruption Boxes checked and looking like his Supernatural Fate: a massive fiery djinn with eyes that glow of eldritch power. (He made his own Fate, a God of Magic with an Arabian bent.) He is sure that he’ll fall and become Myth in the upcoming battle with Thor, so he seeks to calm his Mythic Heart.
When the Mythenders arrive at the Fort of Thorberge (page 206), he says he wants to Seek Sympathy and Healing, and wants to debate religion and belief with the mortals, one “man” to another. The Mythmaster describes how he encounters several mortals who die upon the sight of him, as he’s projecting so much Mythic power, before he encounters a blind sage. (These don’t count as Slaughtering Mortals, because Rashid’s player didn’t describe killing them. The Mythmaster did.)
The mortal, Kolgrímur, and he talk for a bit. Rashid apologies for their intrusion, and as they chat, Kolgrímur challenges Rashid’s belief in Allah. When that feels like it’s at an apex point, the Mythmaster calls for the roll.
Since no one has terrorized mortals yet (at least, not intentionally), Rashid starts with one die. The table decides that he did make a serious effort to downplay his Mythic nature—while without sight, the mortal could still tell he was speaking to a Mythender very close to falling, but Rashid sought to speak as a mortal. The table also decides that Rashid expressed vulnerability by allowing his own faith to be questioned and explored. That means two more dice, for a total of three. He rolls, and…
Rashid rolls a 4 3 5, giving him the one success he needs…barely. Kolgrímur gets up and thanks “Lord Rashid” for his time, and says he will reflect on the Mythender’s wisdom. Rashid’s Heart calms, and he turns back into his Paragon Form, as a man with eyes of eldritch power. They shake hands, and Rashid leaves.
Rashid rolls a 4 3 1, giving him no successes. While Rashid’s Heart calms and he turns back to his Paragon Form, he watches as the Mythic Power overwhelms the mortal. Rashid was not able to contain the power and save the man who saved him. Still, even in failing, his Heart calms…just as Kolgrímur coughs up blood and dies.
Mythenders are incredible titans who can do amazing feats! Break mountains, change the course of rivers, control mortals—there’s little you cannot accomplish. But that power comes at a cost, for those feats are powered by your Mythic nature, and from there lies Corruption.
When you want to do an epic feat, answer the following:
Then don’t use these rules. It just happens, with no benefit or further effect.
Answer these questions:
No Mythender is omnipotent; you each have limitations. You can accomplish an epic feat if it fits under one or more of these conditions:
In addition, if there’s a Blight that would prevent you from doing this, and the feat you’re doing isn’t attacking that Blight, you’re restrained from this action. At least, for the time being.
If you cannot do the feat because it doesn’t fit any of the above, don’t worry! Once you fall and become a Myth, you can totally do it.
If you can do the feat, then it is done, unquestioningly. You and the Mythmaster describe what happens.
Epic actions can create or destroy Blights. This is optional; not every epic action needs to deal with a Blight.
If creating a new Blight, pay 2 Might tokens, take a new Blight card and write its description down. Write your Mythender’s name on the “Created by” line. Finally, check off the first charge box and the Lasting box.
In lieu of creating a new Blight, you can bolster an existing Blight that you or another Mythender created. Rewrite the Blight’s description to reflect how its more powerful (if so inspired), then check off two more charge boxes.
If destroying a Blight, pay 2 Might and tear the card up.
You may only create or destroy one Blight if you’re resisting Corruption. If embracing Corruption, you can create and destroy as many Blights as you can afford. You can use the Might tokens gained from embracing Corruption to pay for them.
The choice you have here is if you are trying to use Mythic power while attempting to resist its Corruption, hoping that it does not change you and make you closer to becoming a Myth; or you can embrace what the world of Myth wants you to become and gain power from it.
If you are embracing Corruption, this is also Terrorizing Mortals for Power, even if you’re doing this in a “nice” way or for kind reasons. If there were no mortals in this moment to begin with, the Mythmaster will introduce some witness your horrific power. Do everything in those rules as well.
If this action assaults or removes a mortal’s free will, or violates the line between life and death, it is always embracing Corruption. That’s pretty inhuman.
If you are attempting to resist Corruption, this is a risk. Grab two dice if the Mythmaster says there are no mortals to witness your act, or one if there are. (Spoiler: unless you are far, far away from any hint of civilization, there are mortal witnesses. Mortals are drawn to witnessing horrific power, and your Mythender will know their presence. Deal with it.)
Reminder: Companions don’t count as mortals, because they no longer have true free will.
Roll the dice. If either come up 5 or 6, you have resisted Myth’s corrupting influence! You’re unchanged. Otherwise, treat as the result of Terrorizing Mortals for Power, except you don’t roll the Mythic die—only claim 1 Might token and only suffer one Fate box. There is less reward if you resist your Mythic nature.
You and the Mythmaster should describe what happens, based on Blights created or destroyed and how you handled Corruption. Once everyone at the table is satisfied with playing out that moment, move on.
While you can do incredible feats, you do not have limitless power. If you do a second feat during the same Mythender time, you may only gain a maximum of 2 Might token from it. After that, no additional Might gains. This resets after on your next Mythender time.
Rashid wishes to put out a raging inferno consuming a town and surrounding forest, one started by fire giants in the prior battle. (Raging Inferno is a persistent blight.) So he summons the very spirits of the fire and shove them back down into the deep earth.
Now, no one had mentioned anything about the fire having spirits before, but Rashid declared it and the Mythmaster knows better than to question him. Of course it’s fire spirits! And it’s interesting, so we proceed.
The feat’s inhumanly possible, all right. Qualifies for these rules. And Rashid is capable of this feat through his Relic Weapon, The Book of Dominion over Demons and Spirits. No question about that. He’s focused on destroying the Blight, so that’s is taken care of.
All that remains is to see if he’s embracing or resisting Corruption. He could easily embrace it, shouting at fire spirits and making everyone in the town bow before his terrible awe. But no, he decides that mortals should keep their free will or some junk, and resists.
There are mortals around, so Rashid’s player picks up just 1 die.
He rolls it, getting a 4! Oh no! He failed to resist Corruption!
The Mythmaster takes over the narration, though Rashid still pays the 2 Might tokens to destroy the Blight. The Mythmaster describes the raging inferno turning into spirits, and as they all die down, some lash back with their final breathes to burn several villagers. The rest of the mortals bow to Rashid, He Who Controls Fire, and beg him for forgiveness against whatever transgressions they may have committed.
Rashid progresses is Fate by one box and gains 1 Might for causing this horror in the hearts of mortals.
He rolls it, getting a 5! He successfully resists Corruption!
So he describes forcing the fire spirits into the deep earth, and the fire vanishing with it (and paying 2 Might tokens to do so). The people witnessing still bow before his terrible awe, but not in a “I accidentally destroyed your free will while trying to help” way.
Unna arrives at a village after some monsters have already slaughtered many of its people. So she figures, hey, why not just bring them back?
That certainly isn’t boring. Her Fate is Death, so that fits with her Fate’s Power: Slaughter mortals with my will, raise the dead, summon shades of the deceased. There’s no Blight in play that’s she’s destroying—there are no such thing as passive Blights like “people are dead.” She also doesn’t really care about creating one, though she could make one like “my loyal risen army” or the like. But that’s not Unna’s point. She just wants some dead people to be…less dead.
As for Corruption, her player says “Bring it on!” because Corruption is sexy, and also gives you sweet, sweet Mythic power. Sure, it’ll mean that the mortals she’s bringing back to life will have their free will destroyed, but them’s the breaks, I guess. (Of course, since this is automatically something that terrifies mortals, she doesn’t have a choice here, but if doesn’t stop her from being enthusiastic about it.)
The rest of this example is covered in Terrorizing Mortals for Power, since Unna’s embracing Corruption.
After the battle against giant scorpion-men, Erik the Hated jumps from one side of a chasm to the other, in order to retrieve his sword, Viperbane. The scorpion-general knocked it out of his hands as its last action, as it was being totally ended. Since there’s nothing interesting going on, just a bit of color to show how casually Erik gets his sword back, none of the Epic, Badass Feats rules are used.
Now, if Erik’s player wanted to make a big deal about it, he could push it further—by, for example, describing closing the chasm with his will—but he just wanted to say “Yeah, I just wanted to describe how I got my sword back. Let’s move on.” Everyone’s happy.
There are two ways to help mortals: helping them as a normal person and helping them by using your crazy Mythic power.
If you’re helping like a normal person—patching them up with bandages, rebuilding a home with your bare hands, or using other mortal means—that’s Seeking Sympathy & Healing (page 174). Or it’s just a moment of color that doesn’t require invoking those rules.
If you’re using your power to go far beyond mortal means, especially for things like changing minds and memory or tackling sickness and death, that’s definitely Terrorizing Mortals for Power. And you have to go through those rules.
You might want to help people like a normal person, like rebuilding a castle wall that you destroyed during the last battle when you caused a column of fire to come forth from the heavens. But you have this pesky superhuman strength that makes you worry that you’ll terrorize mortals by moving bricks around. So what’s a godkiller to do?
This is the line between “as a normal person” and “crazy Mythic power.” Each group will feel it differently, but the gist is: if you’re not showing off and are genuinely trying to help someone with near-normal means, it’s possibly Seeking Sympathy & Healing. And when the answer to the question “Is the Mythender putting aside her Mythic nature?” is definitely “no”—it’s Terrorizing Mortals for Power.
To be absolutely clear to the point of repetition, if you use Mythic power to heal the bodies or minds of mortals, or you raise the dead, that’s Terrorizing Mortals for Power. No matter how grateful a mortal is, that is an vulgar, unnatural act of the highest degree, and an assault of their will.
If you’re deliberately trying to do something that a mortal can do, without putting your will into it, you might succeed. What happens is entirely up to the Mythmaster’s whim! Perhaps you’re trying to break a child’s fever by using local herbs, rather than just willing the child better with your dominion over life. You’re putting your hope and faith before your will, which means you have no control over the outcome.
Of course, such a thing is a good catalyst for a Seeking Sympathy and Healing moment. Or perhaps a moment to explore more of the Mythic World as you go out to get those herbs from a forest dangerous to mortals.
Every Mythender can slaughter mortals. Period. No contest. There’s no die roll to see if you do it or not. Just describe it. Every mortal around you lives purely by your will.
When you choose to do this, it totally counts as Terrorizing Mortals for Power.
Know that every single mortal knows that you hold the power of death in your hands and can with the most trivial acts end their lives. They know this in their very souls. Even those who would defy a Mythender know that they are probably going to die for that act of defiance.
Is it any wonder that so many grovel and kneel to a Mythender as they would a god? And, really, is there much of a difference?
Some people read this section and wonder why a Mythender would do this to mortals. Some Mythenders believe in the sanctity of mortalkind, and others don’t give two shits about a mortal that refuses to fall in line.
But those are extremes. Maybe you’ll narrate your Mythender accidentally killing a bunch of mortals, which still counts as Terrorizing for Power, if you’re just freeform narrating that it’s an accident.
Note: It doesn’t count as Terrorizing if mortals die because you failed to resist Corruption in a Badass, Epic Feat or in Seeking Sympathy and Healing, though mortals are likely to still die at the Mythmaster’s whim. It only counts when you, the player, decide that it happens.
In any case, slaughtering mortals always an option, and shows the power you have over others.
Terrorizing Mortals for Power
Describe terrorizing the mortals. Gain two Corruption, the roll the Mythic die. If it comes up 4, 5, or 6, advance Fate twice. Otherwise, advance Fate once. Gain Might tokens equal to the number of Fate boxes you have checked (including the first one and the ones you’ve just now checked).
Seeking Sympathy & Healing
Describe how you’re trying to bond with a mortal. Then the table answers these questions:
Gain up to 3 dice, one for each question answered “yes.” Roll them. If any come up a 5 or 6, you contain your Mythic nature and keep from destroying this mortal. Otherwise, the mortal dies or has their free will annihilated.
Either way, uncheck your lowest two Corruption boxes, and reduce as many Gifts and Fate track as you like (including none), though you must keep the first one.
Performing Badass, Epic Feats
First, make sure you can do the feat. It has to be something a Mythender can generally do, something a Weapon lets you do, or something your Fate’s powers let you do.
Then decide if you’re creating or destroying a Blight. Doing either costs 2 Might tokens.
Finally, are you embracing or resisting Corruption? If you’re embracing Corruption, then it’s also Terrorizing Mortals for Power. And you can create or destroy as many Blights as you can afford (including from the Might tokens you gain in this action).
If you’re resisting Corruption, then you can only create or destroy one Blight. Then roll to see if you resist Corruption. Grab 2 dice if no mortals witness the event, or 1 if even a single mortal does. If either die comes up 5 or 6, you’ve resisted Corruption. If not, treat it as Terrorizing Mortals for Power, except you only get 1 Might token, and the Mythmaster has license to make your feat particularly nasty.
You can help mortals. If you’re doing so in a normal, human way, then it’s either a quick moment of color or Seeking Sympathy & Healing. If you’re using your Mythic abilities to help mortals, it’s Terrorizing Mortals for Power.
You can, period. If you choose to describe this, it counts as Terrorizing Mortals for Power. If it comes from failing to resist Corruption in a Badass, Epic Feat or in Seeking Sympathy & Healing, it doesn’t count as Terrorizing Mortals for Power.