Just over a week ago, at Gen Con, we announced the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game hardcover book due to come out next August: Mythic Adventures. Since then, there has been a fury of speculation and excitement about this book, so I thought I would give a recap of what we’ve said so far about this new addition to the game.
What is mythic?
The mythic rules offer a new way to play Pathfinder. It uses all the rules that you are familiar with, but it adds a new layer to the game. Mythic adventurers are elevated above their non-mythic counterparts, gaining powers and abilities beyond their reach that allow them to take on tougher foes and more daunting challenges. A mythic character takes on the agents of deities, rushes headlong into the abyss, and strives to build a legend, all while facing off against a wide variety of foes, from common monsters to other mythic characters. If Elric, Fafhrd, Gray Mouser, Hercules, or King Arthur were created in Pathfinder, they would be mythic characters.
Is this a replacement for epic rules?
Mythic is not epic. You can use the mythic rules with 1st-level characters just as easily as you can with 20th-level characters. You can even use the mythic rules to continue to grow in power once your PCs reach 20th level, taking on some of the toughest adversaries in the game, from ancient dragons to demon lords. Meanwhile a low-level mythic character might take on monsters that you are already familiar with, at a level where non-mythic characters would face certain doom.
So, how does mythic work?
Each mythic character must select a mythic path, which defines some of the powers and abilities he gains, in addition to a few features gained by all mythic characters. As a character advances, his mythic tier might increase. Starting at 1st tier, a mythic character is quite a bit more resilient and can draw upon his mythic power to accomplish incredible deeds. Once he reaches 10th tier (the upper limit of mythic power), he is an unstoppable force, akin to a demigod in some respects.
Mythic tiers are not gained by accumulating experience points. Instead, a mythic character has to accomplish a specific number of deeds to achieve the next tier of mythic power. Using this system, your mythic tier is not tied to your character level. You still gain XP as normal, still gain levels as normal, but occasionally you might increase your mythic tier as well, adding a few new mythic abilities and powers to your character.
It is important to note that while mythic rules add to the game, they do not necessarily make the game more complex.
What are the mythic paths?
The rules currently include six paths for a mythic character to choose from. Each path offers a unique set of abilities to choose from, as well as some abilities that appear in more than one path. The paths you can choose from are as follows:
Archmage: Master of arcane magic, able to call upon his mythic power to cast extra spells, penetrate defenses, and even cast greater versions of existing spells.
Champion: Unequalled in his skill with weapons and styles of fighting. The champion can call upon his mythic power to make devastating attacks, quickly move across any battlefield, and strike many foes with a single swing.
Hierophant: In tune with the gods, be they deities or the spirits of the natural world, the hierophant is the master of divine magic. The hierophant can heal even the most deadly wounds, bring back allies from the dead, and wield the power of the gods.
Marshal: A leader of unparalleled vision, the marshal elevates those around him, granting powerful abilities and bonuses to his allies, even if they are not mythic themselves. Entire armies flock to his banner, and his close friends find his council invaluable.
Trickster: The master of many deceptions, the trickster can influence the world around him in both subtle ways (with a smile) and more direct ways (with a dagger in the back).
Warden: Few can withstand the sort of punishment that the warden takes regularly. No foe frightens this warrior, because he knows that no blow could possibly lay him low. The warden uses his resiliency to protect his allies, the people around him, and the lands he calls home.
What else will be in Mythic Adventures?
In short, everything you need to add mythic rules to your game. The book will contain the mythic paths, deeds, feats, spells, magic items, artifacts, monsters, and a short sample adventure to get you started. In addition, Mythic Adventures will include plenty of tips and advice for playing a mythic character and running a mythic campaign. It will also feature ways that you can add mythic rules to your existing campaign, even if it’s only for an adventure or two.
Oh yes. There will be mythic monsters. This book will include a selection of monsters, from upgrades of existing beasts, such as the mythic minotaur and medusa, to entirely new creations. In addition, there will be a number of simple templates and rules to allow a GM to make any monster mythic. There are also going to be a number of other toys to go in the GMs toolbox to help make a game that can challenge such powerful characters.
Can I have it NOW?
Not quite yet. Mythic Adventures will be released at Gen Con 2013, but you’ll get a chance to play with the rules well before that. We will be releasing a select portion of the rules set, to give you a chance to play with the rules, tell us what works and what needs work. This playtest will hopefully get underway by the end of September, but we will make sure to give you a firm date as soon as we have one. Until then, I want to leave you with this one little mythic rule for you to chew on.
Amazing Initiative (Ex): At 2nd tier, a mythic character gains a +20 mythic bonus on his initiative checks. In addition, he can spend one use of his mythic power each round to take an additional turn, treating his initiative for this second turn as his initiative roll without the +20 mythic bonus. Using this ability is a free action that must be decided at the end of his first action during the round.