Gifts are the abilities that your Mythic Heart grants you as you slide closer and closer to Mythic oblivion. They allow you to change the rules of battle.
Most Gifts cost Might tokens to trigger them, which you can gain through draining the +2 Might Weapon charge box, doing Titanic actions, or Terrorizing Mortals for Power. Some also require you to incorporate some description into your narrative, though if what you’ve described already involves that, you don’t need to go further.
Every Mythender begins with one Gift at character creation, specified by the Heart taken. Myths also have a number of Gifts: three to five for Lesser Myths and as many as ten for Greater Myths (counting upgrades).
As new Fate boxes are checked, the Gift slots next to them become unlocked. If you have an empty Gift slot, you may fill it in at any time with a new Gift or upgrade, interrupting whatever you’re doing at that moment. You may use that Gift right away, provided you can pay the Might cost and it’s something you can use in that moment.
Example: Yolen rolls for his action, and gets a number of failures. He has an empty Gift slot, and wants to get more out of his roll. He could take the Relentlessness Gift (page 166), that allows rerolling failed dice. He could also take the Sureness Gift (page 166), which allows dice of 3 or higher to be successes, but because that’s done before the roll, he couldn’t use it on this turn.
If you Seek Sympathy & Healing (pages 174 and 196), you can choose to reduce the Fate boxes checked. If you do, you lose the Gift slots associated with those Fate boxes. Erase the Gifts in those boxes, if any. (Because you cannot reduce your permanent Fate boxes, any Gifts in those locations are permanent as well.)
If you progress your Fate further in the future, you may choose the same of different Gifts for those reopened slots.
Mythenders also lose any Gifts associated with non-permanent Fate box when the adventure is over and a new one begins (see here).
The list (pages 164–167) details all the Gifts. Each one has a basic option, and many come with upgrades. These upgrades may be taken whenever you fill in a new Gift slot, improving a Gift you already have. You may only take a Gift or upgrade once, unless otherwise stated. When choosing an upgrade, you may choose any of those listed. They aren’t sequential upgrade trees or anything like that.
Upgrades that change Might costs (explicitly stating “more” or “fewer”) are cumulative. Any that state an absolute amount to pay, not more or fewer, are separate costs. No Gift costs fewer than 0 Might tokens.
Unless otherwise specified, each Gift can only be used once per action, though multiple different Gifts can be used in a single action. (The Swiftness Gift may be used only once per round.)
Some Gifts have an Aiding upgrade, which allows a Mythender to use their Gift for someone else. This counts as using that Gift this action; if they also have the same Gift, only one of you can use it at the moment.
Some Gifts have restrictions on the actions they work for, such as saying a Gift only normally works for Legendary and Mythic actions. If these Gifts are available to the Myth, it has no such restrictions, since it doesn’t have a scale of action.
Most Gifts are available to both sides. But some are only available to Mythenders, and some are only available to Myths. These are noted as such.
While most Gifts involve modifying an action (such as the die pool roll or the Wound, whether it’s your action or you’re the target of another’s action), there are a couple that just provide an immediate effect upon taking it and don’t do anything after that: Channeled Hatred and Surge of Might. These remain on your list of Gifts once taken, but do not provide benefit to future actions.
The Myth-only Gift Building Doom is a non-action Gift that provides a continual benefit.
Whenever you roll the Mythic die in Battle, roll a second Mythic die and combine the results. This costs no Might. If you have this Gift, you must do this.
This is considered a single die for the purposes of risking your Fate, so you’re almost guaranteed to progress your Fate, as you’ll rarely get a result lower than 4.
Pay 2 Might tokens when you’re Wounded and have lost Thunder dice. Gain Lightning tokens equal to the Thunder dice lost.
If a Mythender dies and comes back, all the Thunder dice lost before coming back count for this Gift.
Dangerous: Pay 3 more Might, gain Lightning equal to twice Thunder dice lost instead.
Quick: Pay 1 fewer Might to use this Gift.
Myths only, Non-Action
At the beginning of each round after the first, increase your Storm rating by 1.
True Dread: Increase Storm rating by 2 instead of 1 each round.
Mythenders only, Non-Action
At the time of taking this gift, gain Lighting equal to twice the number of Gifts you have taken (including this one). When doing this, describe how you are ripping raw power from the Mythic World and pouring it into your Weapons and body.
You may take this Gift multiple times, but only once per round.
Pay 1 Might token when acting; you may charge two Weapons, or charge one Weapon and drain another, on the same turn. You must incorporate both Weapons into your description.
Alternatively, pay 3 Might tokens to drain two Weapons on the same turn.
Pay 1 Might token when acting, you may charge and drain with a Weapon on the same turn. Incorporate some advanced tactic with this Weapon in your description. (The charge and drain both happen before dice are gathered.)
This effect may stack with Dual Wield, but only for one Weapon you wish to drain.
When charging a Blight, mark two charge boxes. This costs no Might.
You may also pay 2 Might tokens to gain double bonus Thunder from draining a Blight, but then the Blight is destroyed. Describe how you tax it beyond existence.
Pay 2 Might tokens when Wounding, before the Wound is rolled. Raise the target’s Wound number by 1. Describe how your Wound is severe and vicious. Spend before the target rolls the Wound.
Note: this doesn’t change what Wound box is checked, just the number during this action.
Vicious: Pay 2 more Might, increase the target’s Wound number by 2 instead of 1.
Precise: May pay after seeing the result of the target’s Wound roll. Must pay 1 more Might if done after the Wound roll.
Aiding: Pay 1 more Might during an ally’s turn, they gain this benefit.
Mythenders only (except for Surging), Non-Action
Add 2 to your Storm rating. This costs no Might.
Raging: Add 2 more to your Storm rating, for a total of 4.
Surging: Pay 2 Might tokens when acting; gain double Thunder from your Storm dice. Pay before rolling. Describe how you’re carefully plotting the action to full advantage.
Note: Myths may take the Surging upgrade as a base Gift.
Pay 2 Might tokens when creating a Blight. This Blight cannot be destroyed until either it’s drained or the battle is over.
Pay 1 Might token on your action or an ally’s action, move up to 5 Thunder dice from yourself to that willing character or vice versa. Must have that Mythender’s permission. Describe how you two are cooperating and show your cunning plan.
Pay 1 more Might for every 5 additional Thunder dice you move.
Foresight: May move Thunder dice from any willing character to any other willing character, not just involving you.
Quick: Pay 1 fewer Might to use these benefits.
On a Titanic action, gain 4 Lightning tokens instead of 3 for each successful Thunder die.
If you’re Wounded and did not lose all your Thunder dice, you may pay 1 Might token after rolling your Wound. Rotate a single Thunder die up one face (a 3 becomes a 4, a 5 becomes a 6). You cannot rotate a die higher than 6. You may rotate as many dice as you wish, at the cost of 1 Might token per die per face rotated; for example, turning a 3 4 into a 5 5 costs 3 Might tokens.
In addition, you may pay 5 Might tokens when Ended to attempt to corrupt one of the Mythenders who just Ended you. If that Mythender needs to check for Apotheosis at the end of this battle, she’ll roll the die twice and use the higher result.
Note: this may be used after activating the Relentlessness Gift with the Unrepentant upgrade. Use the Relentlessness reroll before applying this Gift.
Pay 2 Might tokens after rolling a Legendary or Mythic action. Reroll failed Storm or Thunder dice (including any failed bonus Storm or Thunder dice). Spend after rolling. Describe how you’re pushing harder to recover from a fumble.
Pay 2 more Might tokens to use on a Titanic action.
Pay double Might cost to reroll failed Storm and Thunder dice.
Aiding: May pay to affect a willing character on their turn.
Unrepentant: Pay 3 Might tokens when Wounded, use this benefit on your Wound roll.
Pay 3 Might tokens during a Legendary or Mythic action; count 3s and higher as successes on Storm and Thunder. Pay 2 more Might tokens to do so on a Titanic action. Must pay before rolling.
Precise: Pay 1 more Might to use this Gift after rolling instead of before.
Quick: Pay 1 fewer Might to use these benefits.
Unyielding: Pay 2 more Might, count 2s and higher as successes.
Mythenders only, Non-Action
At the time of taking this Gift, gain 5 Might tokens. Describe how you acquire and drain this new wellspring of power.
You may take this Gift multiple times, but only once per round.
Pay 8 Might tokens to take an additional action. This action must be after your first action in this round, but cannot be immediately after your first. Myths cannot use this at the end of the round—that would given them two actions in a row (the Swiftness action and the first action of the next round).
Mythenders who use Swiftness must make a Mythic or Titanic action.
If more than one person wants to use this Gift at the same time, the rule: if the Myth is one of them, the Myth gets to go. Otherwise, the Mythenders decide amongst themselves.
Aiding: Allow another willing character to take this extra turn, instead of you. That character may only benefit from Swiftness once per round.
Quick: Pay 2 fewer Might to use these benefits.
Bloody: Pay 5 Might tokens, act before the Myth in battle. Only one Mythender may take advantage of this ability for any given battle. Note that the Myth’s Wound cost will be tripled during this action (see here).
Pay 2 Might tokens when Wounding. Pick a foe’s Relic or Companion Weapon. Describe how you deny that Weapon from them temporarily. The next time they use that Weapon, they must pay 2 Might tokens before rolling to do so, and describe in their action how they get it back. (This includes if a Myth wishes to Sunder the Weapon, see here.)
This is the one time where a Weapon can be denied, contrary to Your Weapons are Inseparable section. The denial ends at with the battle does, if it isn’t ended beforehand.
Making new Gifts is easily one of the most delicate parts of Mythender. If you tweak the wrong part of the game’s economy, it will cause the game to either feel way too easy or grind to a halt. And while creating new Gifts is far more art than science, here are some touchstones I’ve found in making mine (mostly in the form of problems I’ve encountered) that could help you in making yours.
First of all, no Gift should ever alter the results of the Mythic die (save for Blaze of Glory); any Gift that allows you to reroll it will either be used to cheat Fate by trying to get a lower number or steal more power by trying to get a higher one. And that gives the Mythender too much agency over his Mythic Heart. The reason Blaze of Glory works is because it represents the Mythender buying a bit more into the Heart’s bargain, but still has no more control or influence on what the results will be.
Be careful when altering the Wound Cost on a Mythender; if you raise it even by 1, the effect is dramatic: the Myth’s best tactical option is to always Wound that Mythender if it’s just going to pay Might to Wound the others in the group. Rather that creating any sense of invulnerability, it draws aggression. Sure, it costs more to Wound, but that’s only 1 extra Lightning token—and if you increase it much farther, the Myth’s economy (having only one effective player on its side) isn’t strong enough to catch up. On the other hand, there’s certainly room to play with the Wound Cost, especially in some temporary or fluctuating manner.
Beware of Gifts that allow Mythenders or Lesser Myths the ability to mitigate Wounds. In early versions of Mythender, there was a Gift called “Reduce Harm” which allowed you to pay 2 Might tokens to drop a Wound number by 1. That became the rule for reducing with Lightning tokens, because the game just turned into a war of Might attrition that wasn’t interesting, and made people less enthusiastic about using Grievous Harm against a foe with a large die pool who could mitigate it before rolling. The Gifts that do that now, One More Breath for gods and Relentlessness’s Unrepentant upgrade, are based on what happens after the Wound roll is made, and are more expensive than the cost of Grievous Harm (in the case of Unrepentant, also in that it takes two Gift slots to have).
Once you have an idea for a Gift’s effect, you’ll need to figure out its Might cost. The Relentlessness Gift is the best baseline; how does your Gift match up to being able to reroll a dozen failed dice? In general, a Gift costs 1 Might token if it modifies the player’s own action with certainty, before the roll is made. Gifts that modify with uncertainty—rerolling dice, changing what the results of the dice mean, etc.—cost at least 2 Might, as do any Gifts that modify someone else’s action or reaction to your effect. Gifts that don’t have an action associated with them or are just one-time benefits typically have no Might cost—but you can also tweak that dial if in play your Gift feels under- or overpriced.
While most of the straightforward Gifts have been made, there are some in this chapter and plenty of potential others that play with non-obvious benefits that become magnified in conjunction with other Gifts. Everyone’s going to take Gifts like Relentlessness and Grievous Harm—those are the obvious picks. By contrast, Vicious Denial provides a new purchasable effect, Mighty Presence increases the Lightning tokens gained on a Titanic action, Master Tactician allows you to move dice around—all those are designed for a focused play style and set of tactics, so the full extent of what they can do aren’t obvious. There’s a lot of fruitful ground in making such Gifts.