A Look Into Mythic Mortals Player Mats

I had an awesome playtest a little while ago. The best part: I got some great feedback about my mats, and was able to nail down a bunch of places where I can improve them.

Warning! The text below contains a ton of detailed info about game design choices and Mythic Mortals design elements. Skip if you don’t want to dispel the mirage of my perfection.

We’ll go through all of the Mats that I’m currently working on, and I’ll show you the abilities before, what changes I want to make, and the final result. I go through this process about once every 2-3 weeks, constantly tweaking and updating the Mats to be as awesome as possible.

You can always get the latest versions of the 4 Core Mats and the rules with the Zero-Prep Packet. The rest of the Mats will have to wait for the Kickstarter!

Let’s get started, shall we?

The Hunter

The Hunter is the most solid, balanced Mat, in my opinion. Conceivably you could take the format of the Hunter and make tons of perfectly viable Mats. However, I strive to make each Mat feature different mechanics and focuses. That said, let’s see what we can improve about the Hunter.

Before After
Longbow // Sight

If this longbow is upgraded by Wind, it deals 12 Damage.

Longbow // Sight

If this longbow is upgraded by Wind, it always deals at least 10 Damage.

I had a player get pretty lucky and consistently unlock this weapon. The high damage threw off a lot of the math for player Mats (Doing more than 10 damage in a turn is incredibly powerful). So I decided to nerf that ability.

To make up for the nerf, I made the Spierce a little more fun:

Before

After

Spierce // Shout

Your spears pierce through multiple targets in a straight line.

Spierce // Shout

When holding your spear, you can target and hit enemies through any wall or material.

That will make it a little more useful and fun.

The Brute

The Brute is a ton of fun, and I didn’t have many changes for it. Just a clarification about ranges:

Before After
Roll under Mythos to grab any enemy smaller than a truck, and follow it up immediately by: Roll under Mythos to grab an enemy smaller than a truck in Melee range, then immediately:

Sneak

The sneak has been through a few changes. a part of me doesn’t like the fact that they must sacrifice a turn to use their abilities (that’s never fun), but during play most players like that surety. It’s usually worth it to them, and they enjoy describing how they setup their traps.

Before After
Dark Daggers Throw daggers at 2 foes in Shout range, deal Mythos damage to both, targets lose next turn. Dark Daggers: Throw daggers at 2 different foes in Sight range, deal Mythos damage to both.

After playing a few games of this, I’ve realized that doing damage and knocking two enemies out for the round is really powerful. Without foes to threaten the players, things get boring. So I need to cut down on enemies losing turns. It makes the game less fun.

So I bumped up the range, and specified the “different” foes, so keep it from being a boss killer.

Also needed to clarify what poisons affect:

Choose a deathly poison
for your deadly daggers.
(Poisons don’t affect Traps)

The Brewer

The Brewer has always been a bit tricky. I want the abilities to be interesting and effective without invalidating some other classes or making the brewer feel like a +1 bot. Made a lot of changes to this one. Most notably the weapons. While I like the idea of the staff at first, I dropped it an gave the brewer a ton of new weapons (most with similar abilities)

Before After
Your staff takes many forms The tools of your trade can double as deadly weapons.
Curved Hook // Melee
After target is hit, attacks made against them won’t miss until their next turn.
Stirring Staff // Melee
The end of your staff has some leftovers. Strikes deal Damage plus effects of last brew used.
Heavy Metal // Melee
You can only be attacked by one enemy per round.
Bouncing Barrel // Melee
Keeps foes away from you. You can only be attacked by one enemy per round.
Nightstick // Melee, ½ Damage.
You can use your free hand to toss tea to an Ally during an Attack.
Vial Dagger//Melee, ½ Damage
You can use your free hand to toss tea to an Ally during an Attack.
Launcher Basket // Shout
Your staff can launch a beer at an enemy. Target suffers 5 damage, plus effects of brew.
Un-Safety Glass Jars // Shout
Your staff can launch a beer at an enemy. Target suffers 5 damage, plus effects of brew.

I also clarified one of the flaws:

Before After
Drunk: Oops! If you fail the roll to toss tea to an ally, then you give them Beer instead, they suffer the negative effects. Drunk: Oops! If you fail the roll to toss tea to an ally, then you give them Beer instead, they suffer the negative effects. (Porter simply deals 5 dmg)

Unfortunately, the rest of the Mats listed are only available through the kickstarter or by purchasing the full game. However, I still want to cover some of the changes and updates I’m making.

Duelist

The Duelist also went through a lot of changes. I wanted to have a class that focused on 1v1 combat, sort of a boss-killer. But I couldn’t make them too powerful either. I also played around a lot with the Rival mechanic, and tried to incorporate it more into the abilities. First I changed some of the Mythos and Accuracy Abilities:

Before After
Seeking Sabre // Melee
Successful attacks mark the target. At the beginning of your turn you may teleport right in front of that target.
Seeking Sabre // Melee
At the beginning of your turn you may teleport right next to your Rival.
Enter the Arena
When an enemy attacks, transport both of you to an ethereal dueling arena. Whoever survives returns.
 Enter the Arena
Suffer ½ damage and transport both you and your attacker to an ethereal dueling arena. The survivor returns.
Internal Reflections
Intercept a melee attack made against you, and redirect it at another target in melee range who takes the damage instead of you.
My Secret Technique!
When your Rival attacks you, take full damage and then immediately destroy them.
Special Scar – Mark an enemy.
Attacks you make against
Marked enemies will not fail.
Mark lasts until enemy falls.
Special Scar – Deal full Damage and turn an enemy into a Rival, but without the Rival bonuses.

StormRider

I wanted to make a class with incredible mobility, allowing players to go anywhere, act multiple times, etc. However, in practice it ends up being very confusing. The stormrider is still undergoing a lot of work, and I need to find a way to allow for more mobility without tying down the class in a bunch of minor and major actions (ugh!). I think I’ll have to take this one back to the drawing board.

Shifter

Another troubled Mat. The Shifter can assume several forms that over-ride their Slots. So when they turn into a bear, their slots all become Clubs, Accuracy is equal to 10, Mythos is 4, Defense is 10, and Damage is 4.

This is a neat idea, but I’ve run 3 games with the Shifter, and players rarely if ever Shift. The individual abilities are useful, but somehow the shifting itself isn’t fun or interesting. We’ll see if I can find a way to fix this one.

Magus

The Magus is supposed to be the Crowd Control class. Able to affect ALL enemies, he can deal massive damage and debuffs across the battefield. The problem is making sure he isn’t an over-powered goofball while still feeling useful and fun. The magus has been the least playtested so far.

The way that the Magus Mythos abilities work is:

Roll under Mythos to cast spells
Success:
Affect ALL enemies
Failure:
Affect ALL allies

The challenge is coming up with abilities that are devastating to enemies, but don’t completely destroy Allies. One of the abilities, shown below has all targets lose their turn. This is really boring in play, so I need something better….hmmmm…

Before After
Now I am become Death –
Deal 6 Damage to all targets. Allies
cannot react to this.
Even the Odds (No Roll Required)
Roll two dice, all enemies suffer damage equal to the higher die, allies suffer damage equal to the low die.
What killed the Dinosaurs?
With a blast of ice, all targets slip and fall, losing their turn for that round.
SPIDERS! EVERYWHERE! –
Targets immediately deal ½ Damage to themselves.

That looks a little better. Most of the rest of the mat seems pretty solid.

Ancient Power

I designed the Ancient Power for my wife. She loves rpgs and playing games, but doesn’t really enjoy combat. The Ancient Power allows players to aid and assist their fellow Heroes by playing their own game of Poker that interacts with the rest of the game.

It’s been really fun in practice, and allows more people to participate in the game without slowing down the action or adding to the GM’s burden. You could possibly use this character class for ANY combat-focused Tabletop game, not just Mythic Mortals. I’ll be curious to see how well it’s received by players.

I didn’t see many changes for the Ancient Power, I think it’s finally in a solid place. Neat!

Conclusion

There were some other minor updates that weren’t mentioned (weapons dealing 4 damage instead of 5, spelling “polearm” correctly, etc). But most of the interesting stuff was covered here. Thanks for reading, and if you want to get a close look at the game and how the Mats work, then go check out the Kickstarter on October 15th!