Mythender is high-action adventure game where you play amazing, Mythic heroes— called Mythenders—who travel the Mythic World to destroy its gods and monsters. Because, hey, why not? It’s all about leaping off of mountains with your massive, flaming sword drawn and splitting open a giant’s face.
At least, it was a face before you showed up to fix that.
Most of will you take on the role of a Mythender: a man, woman, or child turned into a force of destruction. One of you will play the Mythmaster, taking on the role of the Mythic World and everyone in it: gods and monsters, powerless mortals, and even the land itself.
You’ll tell the stories of slaughtering gods in a way that goes beyond just killing them— you unmake them, turning them from beings that rule mortals into legends people vaguely remember. This is an Ending, and only you Mythenders have the power to do it.
You’ll tell the stories of interacting with mortals that barely understand you, seeing you just as they see gods and monsters: terrible beings that have far more power than they can imagine. You can break Thor’s jaw, but getting a little girl to smile instead of running from your glorious and horrific visage? That doesn’t come easy to those who wield Mythic power.
You’ll tell the stories of struggling against becoming gods yourselves.You live in the vicious cycle of apotheosis and deicide, as you must take on the corrupting powers of the Mythic World in order to End its gods. Each time you take more of that much-needed power, you take a step away from your mortal soul and a step closer to becoming a Myth.
Or you’ll tell the stories of how you ignore all that humanity business and go pedal to the fucking metal, diving headfirst into the heart of Myth and leaving piles of corpses in your wake. You’ll gain power by making mortals to worship you as a god. Eventually, your comrades will be forced to murder your Mythic ass.
Spoiler alert: they totally fucking will.
This game takes inspiration from fantastical movies like 300, Beowulf, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, The Two Towers, and Return of the King. It takes inspiration from fantastical anime where the Mythic and mortal worlds and intertwined. And it takes inspiration from the Greek tales of mortals raging against monsters, titans, and gods (especially the God of War video game series). Anything where people with strange powers battle against gigantic, Mythical foes can be a Mythender story.
Mythender is about kicking ass and erasing names to a heavy metal sound track, about dancing on the knife’s edge between having the power to slaughter abominations and becoming an abomination yourself. Go do that already.
Mythender assumes that at least one person in the group is familiar with the basic dynamics of playing a roleplaying game around a table—the Mythmaster (what some roleplaying games call a “Game Master”). If you’re looking for an introduction to this genre of gaming, I recommend the excellent Fate Accelerated, which can be found at FateRPG.com.
All overviews in Mythender are in this boxed format, so you can pick them out easily.
There are three major groups of options for each Mythender to go through: picking one Heart, one Past, and one Fate. This book comes with six standard choices for each group.
The basic ideas for playing Mythender, covering the game’s structure and rhythm.
Battling Myths & Gods
Core Battle Rules
Your Heart’s Gifts
During the Mythmaster’s turn, there is battle between the Mythenders and a Myth. The book starts with a step-by-step tutorial battle (which everyone new to Mythender should play). After that, the core rules and various Gifts available are detailed.
During the Mythenders’ turn, they may show moments about their humanity or show ones about taking power and reshaping the world.
Murdering One Another
Mythenders may also decide to murder one another. The rules for murder are quick, brutal, and unforgiving.
Corruption & Fate
Here is the spectre looming over every Mythender: Mythic Corruption and Fate.
Mythic Norden is the default world in Mythender. Here lies info on the various Myths, what the mortals are like, places where action can happen, and a sample adventure.
Being a Mythmaster
Here are the rules and guidelines for being a Mythmaster and running a game of Mythender. If you’ve run other roleplaying games before, you are nonetheless highly encouraged to read through this to see how this game handles differently. There are no secrets in Mythender. Every player is welcome to read this (and all other) chapters!
Here are some optional rules to enhance your Mythender experience, once you’ve played the game a bit.
In many travelogue-style roleplaying games, the main characters go around to strange places, probably killing things and maybe righting what they see as wrongs. Mythender is no different, except that the characters are immensely powerful loci of change and destruction who risk becoming soon-to-be-axed-in-the-face gods if they aren’t careful about the power they command.
There are two main ways that the game is played: as a heavy metal-blasting movie that would make Michael Bay and Zack Snyder blush, or as a deep drama about the personal struggle between needing power and the corruption it brings.
If what you want is a game where you play out one crazy, deicide-rific battle after the next, great! Get over the top with describing how things explode all around you as you walk calmly to gut Fenrir. If you love the fighty anime, this game works for those moments where two foes are flying through the air exchanging sword blows, or for foes at a distance throwing magic and raw power at each other.
You’ll be spending most of your time playing in battles, and not much in between; just enough to get you to the next battle.
If what you want is a game where you’re emo about the choice between mortality and apotheosis, about what it means to be human and have a mortal soul, and the struggle between having the power to fix anything wrong with the world and the price of that power, then Mythender’s for you!
You’ll be spending quite a bit of time playing outside of battles, interacting with the mortals of a place and struggling to get them to believe you’re a human being. There will be moments where you’ll battle, as the world still deserves your wrath.
Many people want both! Mythender is best when you’re playing metal during a battle and getting your drama on afterward. Jumping a hundred feet in the air and causing an earthquake when you land during a battle is awesome! And dealing with the farmer whose land you just destroyed in that battle makes for great personal struggle and drama.
The way to play this game wrong is to play a metal game when you want some time to explore your humanity (or lack thereof), or play emo when you want to burst into flames and sunder the heavens. Whether it’s one player being too silly (or not silly enough), or the Mythmaster framing the game in a different direction than the rest of the group wants, speak up! It’s your game, so have the fun you’re looking for.
The world you and I live in is not the first world. This world of ours is the mortal world, almost entirely free of monsters and gods that force themselves on our lives and demand worship. Ours was the world forged by Mythenders destroying all that is Mythic.
Before this mortal world, there were many Mythic Worlds—lands where gods and monsters were real and ruled over the mortals. These beings of Myth could change the land, the weather, everything around them…if enough mortals paid them in fear and respect.
Each Mythic World is a frightful land of extremes, with weather made hostile to those who do not pay respect, with creatures that prey on weak and weary mortals, with gods that create and destroy at whim.
These gods and monsters are known by the name “Myths,” a word that today means “some made-up crap that ancient people used to explain stuff they didn’t understand.” That isn’t what the word always meant, for they were not always just stories, and those ancient people understood very well how their world worked. It once meant “inhuman master” and “he who holds my fate.”
As powerful as the gods are, there is one thing more powerful: the land itself. Each Mythic World is alive, though not in any way that you or I could understand. It does not speak with words, but through the rumblings of earth and sky, and through its divine mouthpieces. The World is a bitch mother to its inhuman children, a wolf ready to rip the throats out of those who would threaten them. And just like any family, her children may fight amongst each other, but when someone from outside gets involved, they band together with the full power of their mother-world behind them.
Before written history, the Mythic Worlds fought each other for power—for ownership of mortal lives. Then the unexpected happened: mortals claimed Mythic power for themselves and warred against the Mythic Worlds.
That mortals have taken Mythic power was not new. The gods would grant those followers worthy power, as sorcerers who could command the elements, to giving a tribe the power to change into great beasts, and even granting apotheosis to those rare, special mortals that the Mythic World deemed bold enough to stand as gods. But these new mortals were different. They did not ask for power. They took it.
What was most unexpected: they did not seek to destroy gods in order to supplant them. That would be fine to the Mythic World, for that has happened before. No, they sought destruction for other goals: some for its own sake, some to make mortals free of Mythic oppression, some for revenge against the gods, and some merely because it suits their whim.
And they won. Many smaller, weaker Mythic Worlds died at the hands of these…Enders of Myth. They created the first of the mortal lands, where no god could touch them. They created strange magics that kept monsters from invading, things we today call “history” and “time.”
Mythenders handed the Mythic Worlds their collective asses, ripped in twain.
The greatest Worlds saw this onslaught and experienced a sensation they never before had: terror. But one World saw hope, for these Mythenders had one fatal flaw—to challenge the gods, they needed to steal power from the Mythic. This was the World of Norden—land of Odin, Thor, and Loki. This was a land of ice and peril, of grand warrior-cults, both living and dead.
It had a plan and shared it with the other Mythic Worlds: they would taint that power, mixing with it corruption. If these Mythenders would not willingly becomes gods, they would do so unwillingly.
And Norden continued to live while other Worlds died. Odin has been slaughtered countless times, but always with a fallen Mythender to replace him.
Mythic Norden is the default setting in Mythender. You can find more details in the Mythic Norden chapter.
There are many other Mythic Worlds not detailed in this book, including:
Mythic Atlantis, where those cut off from the rest of the world take on the power of the Titans and rise up to end the Olympian gods.
Mythic Persia, where Mythenders bind djinn into themselves and fight to destroy the gods that forced their people to war.
Mythic China, where a different kind of mortal, the Mythbinders, force the Celestial Bureaucracy to not stray from serving mortalkind.
Mythic Japan, where power is bestowed to a handful of mortals during the Mejii Restoration, thanks to oni-slaying rifles. Mythic Inca, where Mythenders swore to make themselves as kings and masters over Myth, to force the Mythic World to kneel to the might of mortals.
Mythic Yorùbá, where Mythenders must fight against their own divine mirrors, forged by the World’s spirit of predestination.
The Mythic Deep, where lesser Myths known as the Merfolk seek to become mortals and free themselves from their monstrous oppressors.
And even the Mythic Now, where Myths have reborn into strange, new gods, and the descendants of ancient Mythenders awaken to fight off this new-old threat.
…a walking slayer of gods, a force of nature. You are a living blizzard of chaos and doom. You are destruction incarnate. You leave in your wake the broken bodies and spirits of the Mythic World’s nightmares.
…an independent being. No one is master over you. The only equals you know are other Mythenders.You go where you choose, you do what you will, for whatever reasons you hold.
…a cursed soul. You are damned to become the thing you hate most: a monster, a god, a Myth. Either this or death await you; there is no future life of peace.
…a lonely mortal, still capable of feeling. You seem inhuman to all mortalkind, but you still have the soul that knows joy and pain. If you ever lose that, you will fall and become a Myth.
…a badass motherfucker with a complicated existence. Enough said.
Mythenders may carry swords, spears, axes, or any other implements of war, but these are merely tools. Your true power lies in what are known as your Weapons—iconic elements given glorious purpose through stolen Mythic Power. It’s with these Weapons that you have the might to slaughter the Mythic World.
Some of you hold their superior training and talent as a Weapon. That you are the best swordsman or tactician is in and of itself a Weapon. Everything in your hands becomes an instrument of destruction because you see the lethality in all things.
Others of you wield deep convictions and emotions as Weapons. Through hatred, sorrow, or righteous belief, your hands can be made to punch through any armor.
Some of you possess sorcerous gifts only made possible by your stolen power. Mastery of lightning and fire, the gift of speaking to spirits and making them heed your commands, and many other effects from your sheer force of will are all possible within the Mythic World.
You might possess items that are truly important to you: heirlooms, gifts from mentors and leaders, even those forged from earlier kills and rights of passage. The sheer importance turns these relics into something far more than they once were, coursing with power and savagery, be they swords, books, jewelry, or crowns.
Some mortals will vow to you, sundering forever their free will to accept the Mythic Power that you possess. You may command vast armies, a handful of skilled warriors, or beasts of the forest. You may have even captured and bound Myths to your service, in exchange for sparing their lives…for now.
The very Mythic Power that enables you to End these gods and monsters will also be your downfall. The Mythic World pumps into you dreams of becoming a horrible god, and with every beat of your Heart, fights inside you to consume whatever’s left of your mortal soul.
Unless you die a mortal death, it will win, for you can never again become purely mortal. Perhaps if you destroy everything in the Mythic World, you’ll regain that precious mortality, but that is a long road with an uncertain end.
This corruption continually emanates from you, making you a walking scar upon the land. Your very presence turns the world a little more extreme, more Mythic—storms forever surrounding you, animals going feral, the spirits of the dead rising and speaking to mortals, or people forced to feel things just because you walk into a village.
Because of this, all mortals know you instantly as a Mythender. They fear you, as well they should—you can slaughter every single one of them without effort, and the Mythic World would reward you for such horrible acts.
And as you take on more and more power, through battle and through terrorizing mortals for power, if you so choose, your physical body changes to become more horrific, more inhuman. In this change, you are less able to resist the corrupting effects of your power, and each step down that dangerous road means a step closer to dark apotheosis.
Yet, if you do not take on this power, you will fail in your quest to rid mortals of Mythickind.
The only way you can fight against the corrupting influence is to keep reconnecting with mortals, to remind your Mythic heart of its mortal heritage. And that means going to mortals who fear you for the destructive, alien force of nature that you are.
Becoming a Mythender starts with a catastrophic change. Great loss, unquenchable desire, even death itself can turn a mortal into a Mythender. Uncountable stories describe the genesis of a Mythender, but there is always one thing that’s the same: your heart stops for a moment, lying silent in your chest. When it starts again, a fire burns with each beat. That is the lifeblood of the Mythic World mixing with yours.
Once this happens, everything changes. Your mortal heart forever stops, and your Mythic Heart begins to beat. This is the one thing in all the Worlds that cannot be undone.
You and your kind are the only beings in existence that can kill and unmake gods and monsters.You are the only beings that can attack and destroy the entire world of Myth.
You are stronger, faster, and more resilient than any mortal, thanks to your Mythic Heart. You can level towns and slaughter mortal armies with only slight effort.
You are invulnerable to any harm from mortalkind. Only a Myth or fellow Mythender has a chance of killing you, and even then it is with great effort and risk. Any wounds that do not kill you are healed within minutes. Even time itself will not harm you—you’ve become an ageless being.
With just a glimpse, you know the name and surface thought of every mortal you see. With a moment’s concentration, you can see into the heart and past of a mortal. You know truth from lie, fact from delusion.You also know a Myth and those with Mythic power upon sight, as well as the eddies of magic and will that surround a Blight.
You can heal the sick, raise the recently dead, summon or beat back raging storms, conjure or calm infernos, will or dismiss plague and famine, and so much more—powers granted by your Fate. It need only take a moment to ask your Mythic Heart for the power, and your will shall be done.
You share with Myths the ability to take more power from mortal fear and worship. Terrorizing them or performing grand miracles will corrupt you, but bring with it the power to continue your battles.
You can spend time with mortals, to get to know them, and to try to get them to see the man or woman that you are. When you do, the sympathy a mortal shows will calm your Heart, bringing you back from the precipice of Myth. But you risk destroying mortals as you open up to them.
You cannot change your form to appear as another being, nor pretend that you are mortal or wholly of Norden. Every mortal and Myth instantly knows your name, and mortals know to address you as Lord or Lady Mythender.
You cannot escape notice, for the power of your Heart will not allow it. It is like an ever- burning lantern in the minds of those around you. Even if you cannot be immediately seen, your presence cannot help but be felt.
Your power does not allow you to casually sweep aside a Blight—a moment where Norden puts its full force to bear to terrorize mortals. You may push back against these Blights with miracles of your own, but such things will tax you and tempt you into drawing more power from your Mythic Heart. And should you ignore these moments, the terror they inspire in mortals will fuel the Myths you will fight.
You need the friendship and sympathy of mortals to keep yourself from becoming a Myth, but they all fear you. From the first moment a mortal sees you, they see only a fearful titan that can rip their world asunder.You will need to fight to gain their trust and understanding, and you will have to do so without any of your Heart’s powers.
You will draw power from mortals, even when you don’t want to. You will cause fear and worship when you perform miracles in front of them. And when you do, you will taste what Mythstaste—thepowermortalscangiveyou.Perhapsyouwilldothisintentionally;perhaps you will always try to avoid this. But you cannot stop the flow of power and corruption that comes from acting in the eyes of mortals.
This becomes the most dangerous limitation of all. Every time you act with your Mythic Heart—battle, perform miracles, fight Blights—Fate will ensure that mortals will witness your deeds. And Fate will make sure you feel them as they bow to your power. There is no privacy for a Mythender, not when it’s most important.
You will either die by the hands of another Mythic being, or you will fall and become a Myth. And even then, you will eventually die at the hands of another Mythender.You will be killed by one of your own—a thought your Heart reminds you of every night. The question is: how much can you do before that comes to pass?
To do either is to cheat you Fate, and your Heart will not have that. Or, to be truthful, you can kill yourself or allow another to kill you, but if outside of Battle or Murder, you will rise immediately after.
These words are used through out this game, as rules or story elements. You don’t need to memorize this list; it’s here to help you quickly remember what something is.
Adventure: a quest in the Mythic World to End a god
Apotheosis: becoming a god
Be Awesome: the guiding principle of actions in Mythender
Blight: a scar on the world that bursts with power
Bonds: the reasons Mythender’s don’t just kill each other
Corruption: the measure of how much Mythic power is flowing through a Mythender’s veins, making him more vulnerable to falling
Deicide: the killing of a god
Ending: to kill a Myth in a way that utterly unmakes it, severing its connection to the Mythic World and turning into a faint memory in mortal minds
Fall: a Mythender becoming overwhelmed by Mythic power and forced to apotheosis
Fate: the pull that the Mythic World has on a Mythender, to cause him or her to fall
Fate’s Dream: a dream had every night by Mythenders that whispers of their Fate to become a god
Fate’s Powers: dominion over mortals and the land that your Mythic Heart grants you Form: the physical manifestation of a Mythender, either her mortal form or one of the Mythic forms she takes as she gains Corruption
Gathering Rage: the continuing power a Myth builds up during battle
Gift: a special battle ability granted each time you step closer to your Fate
God: a Greater Myth that rules over the land, mortals, and other Myths (e.g. Odin, Thor)
Greater Myth: the supreme Myths, both gods and the greatest of monsters, that command the most power and respect
Horde: a massive number of Lesser Myths or those serving a Mythender
Legendary Action: the most basic action a Mythender can do in battle, drawing purely from her own strength and conviction
Lesser Myth: smaller Myths, often collected in large numbers, who harvest minor power from terrorizing mortals; they almost always serve Greater Myths
Moment in Time: a short scene or part of a scene outside of battle when a Mythender explores either her human or Mythic side
Mortal: a poor soul forced to live in a horrible world of Myths and Mythenders Murder: the act of one Mythender killing another
Myth: a monster or god that gains power through mortal fear and worship
Mythender: a mortal infused with power who has sworn to End the Mythic World
Mythic: the most overused word in this book
Mythic Action: actions in battle that causes a Mythender to draw from her Mythic Heart for raw power, and Corruption along with it
Mythic Heart: the part of a Mythender that is directly tied to the Mythic World, pumping power alongside blood with each beat; this gives the Mythenders their power to End Myths
Mythic Power: raw power that flows from the Mythic World into all beings with Mythic Hearts; also, an convenient excuse for doing anything crazy-badass
Mythic World: a world with a living soul that gains power by creating gods and monsters
Mythmaster: one of you people, playing a special role involving everyone else in the Mythic World who aren’t Mythenders
Persona Sheet: a sheet with information about your character’s past and personality
Personal Blight: a minor Blight that forever surrounds a Mythender
Player: one of you people, playing a Mythender
Playsheet: a sheet with character information and places for dice & tokens during play
Pushing Forward: describing the result & effects of an action
Set: an evocative place or backdrop where a battle happens
Slaughter: what Mythenders and Myths can do to mortals without even trying
Titanic Action: the greatest of actions a Mythender can take in battle, one that hold both fantastic gains and the risk of utter destruction
Weapon: an iconic part of a Mythender or Myth that is used to End another being
Wound: beyond the physical meaning of the word, into something that pierces into the very soul of a Mythender or Myth, threatening to End it
Bonus dice: dice that you’ll put away after your action is over
Lightning tokens: tokens used to Wound your foe, as well as to create and destroy Blights
Might tokens: tokens used to power Gifts
Mythic die: the iconic die that is used whenever Mythic power is used in battle
Storm dice: measure of how much raw power you can gain from this action in battle; successes give Thunder dice
Thunder dice: measure of how much presence and command you have in the battle, both to set against your foe and to resist your foe’s wounds; successes give you Lightning tokens