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Mythic Rules as the great equalizer


Mythic Adventures Playtest General Discussion

Andoran

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In one of the first really epic campaigns I played in, one of the players was lagging a bit. He was a good player,had a great backstory that became integral to the plot...but it was 3.5 and he had a gnome rogue that just didn't roll stats very well. The gap kept growing and although he had some epic moments, often he was frustrated by the relative power of other party members.

Later in the game, the GM helped him out by having things happen to him that increased his ability scores a bit. It was fully in story, hard fought, but it also brought him in line with the group expectations.

This is how I plan to use the Mythic Rules, based on what I've read so far.

The Mythic Rules will be something I have in my toolbag to pull out and reward players who do everything right, make the game better, but maybe bit off more than they could chew with a concept that didn't work.

In that game, the gnome rogue ended up landing a killing blow on a demon we had been chasing for, well, years. It was epic have the little gnome that could land the final backstab, and that would have been a perfect time to reward the player with something like this.

So while I fully expect the munchkins and power gamers to abuse and exploit these on the forums, out in the real world I make this suggestions to the GMs.

This is yours to make adjustments at your table. To reward strong play and story.

Use it for good, not evil. :)


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That is an excellent use for Mythic Ranks!

I'm personally scheming about using them to balance out my next Adventure Path (Shattered Star) for fewer players than intended.

Cheers!
Landon


I am planning to use it to never miss a melee attack on my antipaladin.

Andoran

2 people marked this as a favorite.
johnlocke90 wrote:
I am planning to use it to never miss a melee attack on my antipaladin.

As much as it can be fun to fight cheese with cheese, the arms race A) gets old really quick and B) Kills the flow of the story.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

The purpose of all sourcebooks is to see what the largest DPR number you can get to post on the forums as a theoretical build of what you would totally do. I dunno where you're getting the idea that "balance" or "story" or "fun" should be involved anywhere; I don't see any stats for them in the bestiary, and they sound suspiciously like GM FIAT, which is the worst thing in the universe because it is not objective like my DPR minmaxing.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to show off my awesome Mythic Weapon Finesse build that dumps strength to 5. As long as I can convince a GM to let me start at 20th level with 10 mythic tiers, I'll be fine.


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Ciretose,

I fully agree, and I think people like you and I are staring down the barrel of a lot of discussion that involves story vs. mechanics in the future. The fact that the mythic tiers are tied directly to story elements is a big move for the Pathfinder system. It puts a great deal of emphasis on the importance of the narrative. I worry about the players' sense of entitlement, i.e. if a GM says we can use the Mythic rules, players will begin plotting the course for their mythic tiers and turn the gaining of "mythic levels" into a point-accruing system, where the story elements are only vaguely referenced. As with anything in RPGs, there will be people that see it the way you and I see it, and people that see it the way Roberta Yang (even though I think she was being sarcastic, there will be players of the game that think exactly that way) see it. Here's to the GM's toolkit, may it ever enhance the epic narrative!


My first thought upon learning of the planned Mythic Handbook was, "maybe if I let normal full casters play in the same team as mythic martial classes, the martial classes wouldn't be completely overshadowed."

I haven't had the chance to test the rules yet, but my initial reading seems to confirm my gut feeling.


Roberta Yang wrote:

The purpose of all sourcebooks is to see what the largest DPR number you can get to post on the forums as a theoretical build of what you would totally do. I dunno where you're getting the idea that "balance" or "story" or "fun" should be involved anywhere; I don't see any stats for them in the bestiary, and they sound suspiciously like GM FIAT, which is the worst thing in the universe because it is not objective like my DPR minmaxing.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to show off my awesome Mythic Weapon Finesse build that dumps strength to 5. As long as I can convince a GM to let me start at 20th level with 10 mythic tiers, I'll be fine.

Why is your strength so high? You should use reduce person for a size bonus to dex, will put your strength at 3. Unless you are building a belt of physical perfection, which can bring it up to 9 for pretty cheap at high levels.

Andoran

And I think the fact that they tied it to story element negates a lot of my concerns about abuse. As a GM, you decide who gets access to these things based on story.

I hope they don't get pressured into making the paths to becoming mythic concrete, as then players will start trying to go "I did the thing in the book in that battle, so give me my mythic levels!"

I wish they took the same approach with open ended spells, tying it more to GM permission than to player entitlement.

EDIT: To be clear, I don't care what you allow at your table, I care if you argue I am wrong to not allow it. The way this is written, I don't have that problem as a GM as I adjudicate what is and is not worth getting mythic levels for.


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ciretose wrote:
I hope they don't get pressured into making the paths to becoming mythic concrete, as then players will start trying to go "I did the thing in the book in that battle, so give me my mythic levels!"

Isn't this exactly what it's like right now?

You do absurd things, get your X-Box achievements, and when your gamerscore is high enough you attain the next Mythic tier.


Umbral Reaver wrote:
ciretose wrote:
I hope they don't get pressured into making the paths to becoming mythic concrete, as then players will start trying to go "I did the thing in the book in that battle, so give me my mythic levels!"

Isn't this exactly what it's like right now?

You do absurd things, get your X-Box achievements, and when your gamerscore is high enough you attain the next Mythic tier.

That's not entirely true. The Lesser Trials are like that for sure (I think that's a problem too) but the Greater Trials are left very abstract in the rules.


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Umbral Reaver wrote:
ciretose wrote:
I hope they don't get pressured into making the paths to becoming mythic concrete, as then players will start trying to go "I did the thing in the book in that battle, so give me my mythic levels!"

Isn't this exactly what it's like right now?

You do absurd things, get your X-Box achievements, and when your gamerscore is high enough you attain the next Mythic tier.

Well the Greater Trials are GM Fiat. If the GM doesn't set those up, you can do all the lesser ones you want and not get anywhere.

I can kind of see the point of the Lesser trials, but not really. I think the intent was to showcase the cool things these uber characters can do almost incidentally. Which is good. Mythic characters should be reknowned for their abilities as well as their greatest feats.
Making them part of the advancement mechanic seems wrong to me. If one character is more suited to the reactive/luck type of lesser trials and hasn't had the chance to get enough lesser trials under his belt when you hit the greater trial and everyone else goes up a tier. Or then, as others have said, he goes and sets up some trivial challenge just to try to catch up. Is that really what we want?

The GM's in control anyway with the Greater Trials. Just use those.


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The more I read the lesser trials, and the feedback coming on them, the more I dislike them. I understand that it clearly says they are suggestions and an effort to spark some discussion, and that ultimately the GM is in charge of creating even the lesser trials. However, the way they are described now, leads very much to a "I did this one, give my mythic power point!" Which is not, in my opinion, what was intended there. I think even the lesser trials are supposed to be story element focused. Perhaps the suggestions for lesser trials need to be far less mechanically explicit, and a lot more vague. In my estimation the mythic progression should fit the current story of any campaign, not force the story of that campaign to go down a specific road. If players are forcing things into a story in order to make it mythic, they take away the natural ebb and flow of the narrative.


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

I think the key to remember is that it says the trials must be a challenge. (it does say that right?) Even the lesser ones. As a GM if it was hard to achieve then ok you got it. If you are a Bard with a +35 to Diplomacy and you talk the commoner shopkeeper into giving you a discount. Woopty frickin do, not a challenge no lesser trial for you!


MiniGM wrote:
I think the key to remember is that it says the trials must be a challenge. (it does say that right?) Even the lesser ones. As a GM if it was hard to achieve then ok you got it. If you are a Bard with a +35 to Diplomacy and you talk the commoner shopkeeper into giving you a discount. Woopty frickin do, not a challenge no lesser trial for you!

So you can't go find easy challenges. Many of the challenges you can't control when they'll happen. So if your number doesn't come up or if doesn't come up when you're trying for that particular lesser trial, you're just out of luck. If you've done the GM fiat greater trials, generally I'm going to assume plot related, everyone else gets the next tier and starts working on the trials for the following one while you play catch up. Hope you catch up before the next greater trial or that won't count for you and you're probably permanently behind.

Probably not going to happen, but it seems really clunky to me.

It's all really GM Fiat anyway, due to the Greater Trials. I think I'd rather see it completely GM Fiat: One Greater Trial per tier, which should escalate in difficulty, probably being the climactic challenge of an arc. Lesser trials aren't needed for advancement, but they still restore mythic power.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
It's all really GM Fiat anyway, due to the Greater Trials. I think I'd rather see it completely GM Fiat: One Greater Trial per tier, which should escalate in difficulty, probably being the climactic challenge of an arc. Lesser trials aren't needed for advancement, but they still restore mythic power.

This is what I'd lean towards myself, but I haven't seen either approach in play yet, so we'll see.

And, if I end up preferring that approach, it's the easiest thing in the world to houserule.

Cheers!
Landon

Andoran

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MendedWall12 wrote:
The more I read the lesser trials, and the feedback coming on them, the more I dislike them. I understand that it clearly says they are suggestions and an effort to spark some discussion, and that ultimately the GM is in charge of creating even the lesser trials. However, the way they are described now, leads very much to a "I did this one, give my mythic power point!" Which is not, in my opinion, what was intended there. I think even the lesser trials are supposed to be story element focused. Perhaps the suggestions for lesser trials need to be far less mechanically explicit, and a lot more vague. In my estimation the mythic progression should fit the current story of any campaign, not force the story of that campaign to go down a specific road. If players are forcing things into a story in order to make it mythic, they take away the natural ebb and flow of the narrative.

Agree 100%.

I am fine with an AP or a Module having something it indicates should be a trial of one sort or another, but I don't want a list of trials to become a checklist for players to accomplish.

Having players do things specifically to meet a trial criteria is the worst kind of metagaming and would completely derail flow.


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ciretose wrote:

I am fine with an AP or a Module having something it indicates should be a trial of one sort or another, but I don't want a list of trials to become a checklist for players to accomplish.

You hit the nail right on the head there. The lesser trials as written almost necessitate an actual physical checklist (including descriptive text) that players have with them at the table, so they can look at what's coming, look at the lesser trials, and make their combat and roleplay choices based off of those lists. That is so metagame it's ridiculous.


Looking at the sample adventure, I noticed that rather than start at tier one and futz around with lesser & greater trials, the PCs are granted 3 Mythic tiers in one swoop (and then lose them at the end). That's certainly a good way to do it when you want to play around with Mythic stuff temporarily, but it also seems like a good precedent for not paying too much attention to the specific means of gaining tiers.


MiniGM wrote:
I think the key to remember is that it says the trials must be a challenge. (it does say that right?) Even the lesser ones. As a GM if it was hard to achieve then ok you got it. If you are a Bard with a +35 to Diplomacy and you talk the commoner shopkeeper into giving you a discount. Woopty frickin do, not a challenge no lesser trial for you!

So that makes the trick finding the "sweet spot" of the easiest trial that the GM will accept as challenging.

Then there is the matter of luck and skill -- some players will accomplish their lesser tirals easily, while others will find them nearly impossible. In a game where you generally want the player characters to level together, the lesser trials seem tailor made for spreading out rather than drawing together the power levels of the player characters.


David knott 242 wrote:
MiniGM wrote:
I think the key to remember is that it says the trials must be a challenge. (it does say that right?) Even the lesser ones. As a GM if it was hard to achieve then ok you got it. If you are a Bard with a +35 to Diplomacy and you talk the commoner shopkeeper into giving you a discount. Woopty frickin do, not a challenge no lesser trial for you!

So that makes the trick finding the "sweet spot" of the easiest trial that the GM will accept as challenging.

Then there is the matter of luck and skill -- some players will accomplish their lesser tirals easily, while others will find them nearly impossible. In a game where you generally want the player characters to level together, the lesser trials seem tailor made for spreading out rather than drawing together the power levels of the player characters.

Especially since the Greater Trials are specifically GM defined and all the characters need the same number. I think in practice, you'll probably all get roughly the same lesser trials with a little metagaming effort and it won't be too big a deal. But then why have them?

Unless they're actually meant to have a decent chance of some characters gaining a tier at the same time as the others.

Since the Greater ones are under GM control, it's probably more dramatically appropriate to gain your tier when you accomplish the last Greater Trial, probably as a climax. It doesn't make sense to say "We've defeated the demon, closed the portal and saved the city. Now let's go find a fight we can show off in."


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
ciretose wrote:


...but I don't want a list of trials to become a checklist for players to accomplish.

Having players do things specifically to meet a trial criteria is the worst kind of metagaming and would completely derail flow.

I believe we would be foolish to think it will not go there if a specific list is published. Yes a GM can always try and stand their ground, but will they?

If you give a player the idea there is a fixed list to more power, why wouldn't they try and make it happen?

In other words, I am saying I agree that it should be 100% GM Choice.

Andoran

danielc wrote:
ciretose wrote:


...but I don't want a list of trials to become a checklist for players to accomplish.

Having players do things specifically to meet a trial criteria is the worst kind of metagaming and would completely derail flow.

I believe we would be foolish to think it will not go there if a specific list is published. Yes a GM can always try and stand their ground, but will they?

If you give a player the idea there is a fixed list to more power, why wouldn't they try and make it happen?

In other words, I am saying I agree that it should be 100% GM Choice.

I don't see it working any other way.

Andoran

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thejeff wrote:

Especially since the Greater Trials are specifically GM defined and all the characters need the same number. I think in practice, you'll probably all get roughly the same lesser trials with a little metagaming effort and it won't be too big a deal. But then why have them?

Unless they're actually meant to have a decent chance of some characters gaining a tier at the same time as the others.

Since the Greater ones are under GM control, it's probably more dramatically appropriate to gain your tier when you accomplish the last Greater Trial, probably as a climax. It doesn't make sense to say "We've defeated the demon, closed the portal and saved the city. Now let's go find a fight we can show off in."

I think examples are fine, but I would prefer the Devs push it toward more of a story arch approach rather than a checklist approach.

If conceptually there is an assumption of exceptionalism that allows this thing to be "Mythic" the process of that exceptionalism shouldn't be a checklist.

I would change it from listing lesser trials to discussing it more in terms of a GM setting up trials specific to each character, and rewarding completion.

I can see tons of ways to do this in AP format, and house rule is house rule.

What I don't want is the "Gamer points" checklist for players to kill 1000 kobalds to get a hat.

Andoran

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ciretose wrote:


I think examples are fine, but I would prefer the Devs push it toward more of a story arch approach rather than a checklist approach.

My sentiments exactly. I can envision future APs with lesser and greater trials baked right into the adventures as part of the narrative. Right now it seems like people are trying to complete the seven lesser party tricks of Heracles than accomplish something genuinely heroic or mythic.

Another big concern for me is that the current lesser trial system seems very luck based. It is analogous to rolling randomly for experience points. In terms of balance and ease of designing encounters as a GM I generally want to of the PCs to be on par with each other, and this doesn't seem to help in that regard.

Ciretose, you mentioned you could use MRs as an equalizer but I think in practice the opposite would happen. The min-maxed munchkin PC would be more likely to complete the lesser trials and pull even farther ahead than the rest of the party. Sure, there is always GM fiat but then why have the system there in the first place?

Andoran

The_Hanged_Man wrote:


Ciretose, you mentioned you could use MRs as an equalizer but I think in practice the opposite would happen. The min-maxed munchkin PC would be more likely to complete the lesser trials and pull even farther ahead than the rest of the party. Sure, there is always GM fiat but then why have the system there in the first place?

As written, I agree. Which is why I am hoping they refrain from defining any specific lesser trials in the final edition.

It should be a GM tool, not a player tool. Same precident and concept as artifact level equiptment.


The_Hanged_Man wrote:
ciretose wrote:


I think examples are fine, but I would prefer the Devs push it toward more of a story arch approach rather than a checklist approach.

My sentiments exactly. I can envision future APs with lesser and greater trials baked right into the adventures as part of the narrative. Right now it seems like people are trying to complete the seven lesser party tricks of Heracles than accomplish something genuinely heroic or mythic.

Another big concern for me is that the current lesser trial system seems very luck based. It is analogous to rolling randomly for experience points. In terms of balance and ease of designing encounters as a GM I generally want to of the PCs to be on par with each other, and this doesn't seem to help in that regard.

Ciretose, you mentioned you could use MRs as an equalizer but I think in practice the opposite would happen. The min-maxed munchkin PC would be more likely to complete the lesser trials and pull even farther ahead than the rest of the party. Sure, there is always GM fiat but then why have the system there in the first place?

So much this.

As I envisioned how I would even playtest the lesser trials, I realized I don't want to, specifically because every character in the party would need encounters set up differently in order to fulfill their lesser trial requirements. At that point, I've become a GM that's designing encounters to grant obscure and possibly unattainable (for some of them, too easily attainable for others) "mythic points," rather than anything else. Could a GM with a lot of time and creative ingenuity design encounters that are fun, challenging, fit the story, and help characters fulfill their mythic progression of trials? Sure, but I don't have that kind of time. Also the likely chance that mythic characters are progressing at very different levels because of luck or player attention is too high. The experience point progression of level is a great way to keep characters at a very close (if not perfectly united) level of power. Trying to cater lesser trials to a diverse group of characters that would take diverse Mythic Paths, is a bookkeeping, story-killing, GM nightmare. Designing encounters that challenge the resources of a group of PCs is much more fun and easier, and in the end (without the mythic rules) everyone is rewarded equally because of experience points, which is a system proven to work. If I've got some mythic characters purely focused on advancing their mythic-ness, and others still focusing on the story, trying to keep both happy throughout the course of a campaign seems nigh on impossible. It seems to me the growing consensus is that lesser trials need a complete reworking.

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