Does Mythic Adventures Work?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Hello all.

I was very excited when mythic adventures was in the pipeline. My group and I are very much into the mechanical end of Pathfinder, we love the system, we have a good grasp on game theory. We understand its not a balanced game.

However. When we started playtesting scenarios to see how the new rules worked, we immediately started running into serious, immediate problems. Testing out some level 9/ tier 4 builds, we found that the barbarian could crank out over 200 points of damage per round pretty easily, while a bomb chucking alchemist could fast bomb for over 300 per round easy. These builds were not esoteric rules lawyering, it was power A+B+C= Win!

My group understands that offense intentionally scales faster than defense in the base game. It seems like all classes that use mythic get so much boosted output, however, that they literally kill everything they attack. Even mythic monsters aren't getting the kind of defensive boosts they need to survive. The problem that we are having is that nothing seems to survive an attack routine by a mythic character, even if its a mythic monster of the character's CR, or higher!

Now we understand having to hold back on builds to keep from steamrolling monsters, but it seems like we can't use huge swaths of the content in this book lest we steamroll every encounter the characters will ever have. I guess I am sad the monster end of mythic doesn't seem to hold up to the character end.

I am wondering if anyone has found that the system holds up at later levels? To be clear, I am a big fan of the game, and while I am disappointed that I might not be able to run / play mythic, I am still a big fan of paizo. I am sad not mad! Also I am hoping someone can tell me its not all rocket tag (without just ignoring the rules and beefing up monsters). Let me know what you think, I would be interested to hear about the nature of your experiences with mythic.

The Exchange

The biggest thing I've found that most mythic monsters start to patter out after a certain point but with a gm with the right game mastery why can't their be a Chaotic Evil Barbarian getting thrown against the party, not impossible to think the parties barbarian is the only one doin' it. The toughest fights my party has had against mythic opponents has been against NPC villians cranking out the same damage.

Why not throw a Lawful Evil Mythic Champion Zen Archer or Ranger. Get those arrows firing off and the party will find their defenses aren't scaling either.


Are you using multiple monsters in your encounters? I ask because it seems to me that overall action economy is the main problem with mythic PC 's. Having 4 mythic dudes get full round actions vs a single foe is going to unbalance the system more than usual.

Have you tried out one one the demon lords? And have you tried giving the monster Max hit points?


Can you give us some examples of the monsters you have thrown at those characters at that level?
This might sound insulting, please don't take it that way, but are you playing the monsters intelligently?


4 characters, level 9/ tier 4. 1 barbarian, 1 alchemist, 2 very defensive warriors (paladin and monk).

first encounter was with a range of CR 4-8's nothing special. Mythic Mummy and some non-mythic undead.

2nd encounter was 2 mythic bone devils and 3 bone devils.

3rd encounter was 4 iron golems.

All three encounters were done with no rest, and the player using the alchemist had no idea what he was doing, but it didn't matter.

Playtesting aside, the unexplored game theory is also of grave concern. 15th level wizard slinging mythic fireball with a rod of quickening can drop hundreds and hundreds of points per round, with no SR, resistance, or immunities. Of course, I can always throw NPC's at em, but then its 2 way rocket tag, I'm not crazy about that. Anyway, let me know what ya think. I am open to additional playtesting, but the combos and extra actions seem pretty out of control.

We also did the Mythic Adventures module, which seemed better balanced, though nothing was challenging except the end boss. Just seems like at higher levels it only gets more unbalanced.

The Exchange

An example scenario that proved to be a difficult fight for my group of 5 adventurers, they were level 7 with 1 mythic tier at the time. The fight consisted of:

Spoiler:

An Elven Cleric of Norgorbor 6/Ranger 2/Champion 2 assisted by 10 mooks, six of which were Cleric 3/fighter 1 and then four Fighter 4, the four Main-stay fighters only job was Disarm/Dirty Trick/Trip, and then the cleric's were there to buff/debilitate and heal the Main Boss when they could. This is just an example of one of my scenario's but this proved to be a difficult challenge, it wasn't impossible they won without any deaths but it was pretty resource exhausting for them which is good because I made them continue adventuring rather than resting.

Yeah an alchemist can dish that out in crazy amounts, as a GM its important to see that a party can do that and make them waste it on fights throughout a long adventuring day so that when they get to the final boss or whatever they are a little more resource burned out and have to make every move count because failure or rolling a 1 could be debilitating.

Too often does a GM let level 10+ parties head out on an adventure, gives them one encounter then call it a day after that. The adventurers fighting a BBEG completely fresh with all of their resources is of course going to be an easy fight.

I've found that Mythic adventures works out great and can really make a player have to decide on their resource management with swift actions and also giving them a resource like mythic points where sometimes they are spending to get that surge and not always just making another attack.

The Exchange

jamesburkhouse wrote:

4 characters, level 9/ tier 4. 1 barbarian, 1 alchemist, 2 very defensive warriors (paladin and monk).

first encounter was with a range of CR 4-8's nothing special. Mythic Mummy and some non-mythic undead.

2nd encounter was 2 mythic bone devils and 3 bone devils.

3rd encounter was 4 iron golems.

All three encounters were done with no rest, and the player using the alchemist had no idea what he was doing, but it didn't matter.

Roughly we are looking at them being around CR 12 maybe 13 based on you described how well-built they are. The Cr 4-8 is understandable, get them flexing their muscles, use some resource. The Bone devil fight is a CR 14 encounter so APL +1 at this point, not much. Now the Iron Golems, thats pretty good, looking at a CR 17 encounter, about APL +4 which is nice. If it was me, I'd have done the 4 Iron Golems and then an Iron Archer. Have the four golems form a spear head with the Archer in the back, and just start plucking away at the Alchemist.


Your findings are interesting but it's possible they got a little lucky or you rolled badly etc. I'll be interested to try out some test encounters myself when I have time.


Perhaps paizo haven't got their cr adjustments quite right with mythic monsters.


Is Mythic Adventures supposed to be intentionally "unbalanced"? Also, when you say that Pathfinder isn't meant to be a balanced game is that just an opinion, or is that something Paizo has actually stated? I'm just curious here.


My only concern which is probably why you are having issues is the 9th level party should not have 4 tiers of Mythic.

You do realize to get 4 tiers of Mythic your players would have had to complete 5 mythic trials.

The very fact that Mythic trials are supposed to be world altering and have an effect that is usually recogonized by everyone for its greatness is not something 9th level party would be able to complete 5 times in their short adventuring career.

One of the main issues I see with your problem is the party is way over tiered for there level which is pushing your encounter levels and monsters towards the lower end of the CR scale which is why your party is walking all over everything like it isn't there.

I mean it could just be me but I ignored all the examples in the book as they basically give player examples of 10th level / 5th Tier. 12th level/6th tier. I do not agree with the half level Tier examples they give as when you read the chapter on Mythic Trials and what they are and comprise of I do not see low level Party surviving the trials.

As I said though this is my personal $.02 worth.


I thought the book guidelinr is 1 tier per 2 levels, which is exactly what the original poster has. If the rules don't work as suggestd it is something to look at. I haven't gotten to test these myself yet buy I'll keep an eye out for any issues with too potent offense when I do. I do think I will reevaluate my plan to use a mythic NPC as a boss for my nonmythic group. I had thought mythic could help with the one NPC issue but I don't want to one shot every pc.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

You're dealing with Action Economy issues. Mythic gives them extra attacks.

The simple solution? Multiple lesser critters. And no undead. Undead are vulnerable to Channel Energy and thus aren't going to be that great a threat if you have a mystic type who can do this.

Or to put it another way, when my players encountered five Frost Skeletons in Reign of Winter (which I beefed up with maximum hit points), the snow slowed them down enough that the Paladin and Cleric were able to both use Channel Energy and kill four of the five (the last of which went down to a Magic Missile). (No spoilers needed for this because it was a random encounter.)

Those characters were NOT Mythic. But the snow slowed down the skeletons and prevented them from effectively closing with the group (or the group closing quickly with them).

So, no undead. But I bet your Mythic characters would have a problem facing a swarm of 6th level goblin rogues that were of an equivalent CR as your encounters. Because those goblins would all swarm the PCs, get flanking attacks, sneak attack damage, and so on.

One or two really powerful enemies really don't do it. You need swarms of lesser critters to be a true threat. Or say 10 or so Mythic Trolls who are able to get full attacks against the PCs. The only way one lone combatant can be effective against a party of adventurers is to do hit-and-run attacks while able to stay away from the party.


When I say balanced, I'm referring to it not being a 0-sum game, and not all classes being equivalent to each other or to encounters of their appropriate CR. Its a great game! I am just concerned that the Mythic buffs increased character effectiveness to the point where there is no give and take in combat, its just rocket tag.


Seconding what Tangent101 said. Also, longer adventuring days FTW. If your characters only have to face 3-4 fights a day, of course they're going to blow their resources and win easily and quickly. The CR system somewhat erroneously assumes that each equivalent CR fight will drain approximately 25% of the party's resources. While I don't have a better figure to give, it's definitely a ways below this number.
Now, say your players they know they'll likely have to face two or three times that many fights over the course of an hour or so while also encountering skill challenges, traps, haunts, and general environmental impediments. Say they ALSO will face more enemy reinforcements if they quit and return tomorrow before taking out the dungeon's boss. You can bet at that point that they'll start playing smart and conserving their magic, consumables, daily uses, and mythic power.


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You guys have to stop being so nice to your PCs.

4 encounters a day is not very mythic.


I found Mythic works great. It took a bit of change to encounter design as GM. I did some encounters that I thought would be too tough so in way I was pulling my punches. Once I got comfortable with what the players were capable of then things got a lot more interesting. The combats were more challenging.

The CR of encounters a bit of challenge. Some appropriate encounters were way to easy and other were very challenging. Much the same really as non mythic just I'm lot more used to what the players are capable of as non mythic.


I would love to hear a little bit more about the success of your mythic game. I have continued to playtest mythic to try and get a feel for what works as a "balance". It seems like by level 9 each character can dish out a couple hundred points of damage per round pretty easily. Wizards can go mythic on fireballs and drop 135 points of damage with one spell, and even by 9th level, thats a combo they can spam 3 times per day. How many encounters does it really take? How are monsters surviving full attacks without cheats/ extensive buffs etc.?

I think the overwhelming offense is what concerns me, because it seems like its effective even above the stated intended CR's. It would be nice if not every encounter had to be waves of deadly mooks. It really seems like elites/ BBES's won't even last long enough for every character to get a hit in. I really don't know how anything could survive even 1 round of a mythic party focusing on it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My advice is to go "wider" not "higher".

During playtest (before I actually started running an adventure with mythic characters), I ran a number of encounters with a party of 5 level 20 tier 1 characters. It didn't really come as a huge surprise, but the party did better against the Tarrasque than they did against 6 chromatic dragons at the same encounter CR (took two rounds to drop the big T, and five to finish off the dragons).

I rather strongly support Minotaur Games Underlings rules for the simple fact that it doesn't matter if an enemy has 1 hit point or 100: an attack that does 101 points of damage will drop them both, but it's still an attack that has to be made, by a PC, and that's an attack that isn't being made against the BBEG.

While I appreciate the desire to not use "waves of deadly mooks", waves of less deadly mooks can still be very effective in dividing the attention of the party.

The Exchange

When I was running my Mythic playtests I focused on a mix of sheer numbers of non-mythic foes backed up by 1-2 Mythic tier alpha baddies that wizely used their minions to soften up the PCs. The 1 or 2 fights I threw them at the party with just a higher CR mythic foe they chewed them up.

Also don't be afraid to mix in huge environmental challenges. One thing the Mythic book only do so-so is explain the need to mix up Mythic/Non-Mythic critters in a fight.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm interested to know how mythic monsters fare against non-mythic PCs. Any experiences?

The Exchange

Tend to eat them alive. Epic DR and some of their mythic abilities can really ruin a groups day. GREAT if you want a foe to be 'just' a bit more powerful than the PC's expect.


The overwhelming damage isn't really an issue I found. It looks huge but it's all the same. Your party will be fighting higher CR encounters. This can be one really big monster or a group of lower CR monsters. Single BBEG encounters suffer the same problems in mythic as normal, action economy.

One thing I did notice is Mythic favors martial classes. Caster get some nice stuff too but martial class really jump up. They get better battle field mobility, better defenses, more attacks and better DPR. Caster still just cast the same but get mythic spells which aren't all that great. There are a few feats that boost casting but not by much. Not like what Power Attack or Vital Strike does. The path powers are nice too but not as good. This seems to balance caster and martial divide better.

In one game I had a fighter and Two Full Casters, the fighter got a lot better the casters got a little better.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Got to agree that Martials got some nice things. Especially borne out when the Rogue 20/Trickster 1 uses Defensive Move and Fleet Charge to set up flanking, whacks the bad guy... And then does a full attack, too, TWFing daggers. Just to make sure.

That was educational.

Edit: I seem to recall that the party wizard's player's response was something like "Holy $#@+!"

Shadow Lodge

Casters get nifty abilities, but the martials get the REALLY fun toys. With my planned mythic build I'm sticking to Archmage, pilfering Sweeping Strike through dual path. Sweeping Strike with whip...

Shadow Lodge

it seems to me that you guys were in open white rooms. add in cover, centralized damage on one target opposed to the gm dispersing it over every pc.

i think your gm was to nice, i dont think it was the fact you guys were mythic.

4 bone devils should have assassinated one of the PCs in the first round.

here is the first round:cast invisibility;dimension door; ambush the alchemist; 4x 4 attacks (one with poison dc 20) at +14 each attack, that alchemist would not have the HP to survive the attacks. then after they assassinate that character the Int 16 bone devils would move away and teleport out. then they would kill your barbarian, then your monk, then your pally.

that is how you play an int 16 devil. not a slug fest to the death in an area without cover.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Indeed, your characters are built to dish out huge amounts of damage quickly; think of single characters of fiction and legend, taking on hordes of enemies on their own. That's partially what Mythic gives you; so your group either needs more enemies to absorb their actions, or the enemies need to be presented and played more intelligently.

Environment and group tactics can quickly change the balance of power in a fight; when I'm running games, it's the primary way I balance encounters. Most of the time I don't even have to bother with templates or hit points; I just play each creature smarter (or stupider) as I see fit; that does most of the work for me. I suspect your GM (you?) may need to up his/her/your game.

And frankly, sometimes you just steamroll. As someone said earlier, the real challenge comes not in those first couple of fights, but when your healing options start burning out and the alchemist runs out of bombs. Then things get interesting.

Just my thoughts; don't give up on the system just yet! You're asking questions and contributing, means you've got a better head on your shoulders than the average skeptic. :)


Thank you all for your input. I hoped this can be a thread where people continue to post the successes of their mythic games, and what enables DM's to throw fun and challenging encounters in mythic.


jamesburkhouse wrote:

Hello all.

I was very excited when mythic adventures was in the pipeline. My group and I are very much into the mechanical end of Pathfinder, we love the system, we have a good grasp on game theory. We understand its not a balanced game.

Well, think about how stupidly broken d20 games can get. Now, imagine trying to play Exalted with d20. There you go. It "works" but it can't be much fun for the DM.

Quote:
However. When we started playtesting scenarios to see how the new rules worked, we immediately started running into serious, immediate problems. Testing out some level 9/ tier 4 builds, we found that the barbarian could crank out over 200 points of damage per round pretty easily,

Uhh, you can build barbarians in that range that can (conservatively) do twice that in a round with mythic vital strike.

Quote:
while a bomb chucking alchemist could fast bomb for over 300 per round easy. These builds were not esoteric rules lawyering, it was power A+B+C= Win!

Pretty much. Spellcasters get even more absurd. Sorcerers can just punch the I Win button [Mythic Power Points] times per day.

Quote:
My group understands that offense intentionally scales faster than defense in the base game. It seems like all classes that use mythic get so much boosted output, however, that they literally kill everything they attack.

Yup, pretty much. It's pure rocket tag. Whoever has the highest initiative bonus wins. At late tiers... you don't even get to roll to see who goes first.

Quote:
Even mythic monsters aren't getting the kind of defensive boosts they need to survive. The problem that we are having is that nothing seems to survive an attack routine by a mythic character, even if its a mythic monster of the character's CR, or higher!

Correct. This is basically everyone's Mythic Experience.

Quote:
Now we understand having to hold back on builds to keep from steamrolling monsters, but it seems like we can't use huge swaths of the content in this book lest we steamroll every encounter the characters will ever have. I guess I am sad the monster end of mythic doesn't seem to hold up to the character end.

To tell the truth, neither do Mythic NPCs. It really is Rocket Tag. If a fight between mythic creatures lasts more than two rounds, something is dreadfully wrong.

Quote:
I am wondering if anyone has found that the system holds up at later levels?

Not at level 12. That's the best I can tell you from experience.

Quote:
To be clear, I am a big fan of the game, and while I am disappointed that I might not be able to run / play mythic, I am still a big fan of paizo.

Same. I like Pathfinder, but I am sorely disappointed with Mythic. It wasn't fun back in the playtest, it isn't fun now. I don't understand how anyone could find this game playable in the long term. How do you run a campaign with these Mythic rules? How do you have any kind of dramatic encounter when any member of the party can solo the entire encounter themselves? Big bosses mean nothing when the party fighter can one-hit-kill them with mythic vital strike.

I just don't understand it. How is this supposed to be fun? Every time I look at the mythic rules, I scratch my head and wonder what was supposed to be entertaining about winning everything all the time with no amount of tactical or strategic thought. Even if the more absurdly overpowered stuff--mythic vital strike, for example--were banned from the game, the whole of the Mythic rules seem so incongruous with the normal Pathfinder rules that it becomes virtually unplayable. I'd try to frame this as more constructive critique, but I just don't even know where to begin with Mythic. There's very little in Mythic that I actually feel improves the game from where it was before.

To be honest, I basically feel that I choose to play Pathfinder to play a d&d game--but Mythic is basically just playing Exalted with rules that don't work as well for it. If I wanted to play this sort of game, I would just play Scion or Exalted--or, hell, Rifts.

Quote:
I am sad not mad! Also I am hoping someone can tell me its not all rocket tag (without just ignoring the rules and beefing up monsters). Let me know what you think, I would be interested to hear about the nature of your experiences with mythic.

Mythic might work if you multiply the monster's hit points by ten.


Codanous wrote:

An example scenario that proved to be a difficult fight for my group of 5 adventurers, they were level 7 with 1 mythic tier at the time. The fight consisted of:

** spoiler omitted **

Yeah an alchemist can dish that out in crazy amounts, as a GM its important to see that a party can do that and make them waste it on fights throughout a long adventuring day so that when they get to the final boss or whatever they are a little more resource burned out and have to make every move count because failure or rolling a 1 could be debilitating.

Too often does a GM let level 10+ parties head out on an adventure, gives them one encounter then call it a day after that. The adventurers fighting a BBEG completely fresh with all of their resources is of course going to be an easy fight.

Let's try this another way. I'm playing a lockdown CC sorcerer, level 12, mythic tier 1. This character is slightly above normal--a Raelis Azata with 25 points, not standard stats for the race. I made a conscious choice not to pump my save DCs or Cha stat because of this--no stat adjustment items, no spell focus. I focused on using dazing spell to lock down groups of enemies with daze when combined with a few choice evocation spells. The DM is allowing some stuff in from 3.5e, giving me access to both chain missile and arcane thesis (chain missile). I locked down an entire encounter at CR +3 with TWO SPELLS before we even went mythic; a dazing chain missile for the little guys and an icy prison on the BBEG. An entire encounter got neutered with non-mythic abilities. But it took me two rounds to do that.

With mythic, I can go even more insane with this--forget arcane thesis and chain missile. As a swift action, I can cast any arcane spell of a level I can cast... and if I pick something at less than my full level, I can freely add metamagic to it. What? With just tier 1 mythic, I could have locked that entire encounter down on the FIRST ROUND that I acted. Now suddenly I have dazing fireballs as a swift action--no spell slot used, just a mythic power point. I can still cast my normal spell with my standard. At 14th level I could do dazing persistent acid arrows--again, mythic point only. This is complete encounter lockdown sort of broken. One or two rounds is enough to shut down an entire freaking encounter, leaving nothing but mopup work for the fighters. Seriously, 4 metamagiced CC spells in two rounds at no cost but two spell slots and two mythic points? That's not just depending on the 15 minute adventuring day to get by--that's maximized action economy. Almost no resources got used, I'm ready to go again right afterward.

That's what people mean by "mythic is just rocket tag." It's not just the crazy amounts of damage, it's the fact that initiative gets all screwed up and the party's spellcasters can double their spell volume for almost no expenditure. You can go encounter after encounter of this sort of craziness, and the mythic creatures are just flat out not strong enough to keep up (unless maybe it's a game about hunting mythic vampires).

Quote:
I've found that Mythic adventures works out great and can really make a player have to decide on their resource management with swift actions and also giving them a resource like mythic points where sometimes they are spending to get that surge and not always just making another attack.

I'm glad it's worked out for you, but I know that it's not working out for my group. At least, not in my opinion. I guess I could just play something other than a CC sorcerer, and the fighters can just avoid vital strike, and clerics can just consciously choose not to raise people from the dead for practically nothing, but that's cutting out large portions of the abilities available in Mythic.


Interesting reading.

I am planning a campaign using E12/mythic - so once the party hit 12th level (by which time they should have AT MOST 2 mythic tiers) they advance by gaining additional feats and mythic tiers but NOT class levels.

I agree that having 4 mythic tiers by the time you hit 9th level is broken. My personal plan is to limit the party to one character per mythic path and have each path gain tiers on different missions (so the Archmage gains a tier at level X, then the trickster gains a tier on the next quest when they hit level Y, and the Guardian gains a tier on the next quest when they hit level Z) - the logic is that each quest should go down in [mythic] history as one thing or another - you should not have the situation where ALL the characters gain mythic tiers for participation in the same encounter, only the mage/rogue/fighter will be remembered for what they have done, not the whole party.


I'm holding my opinion until there's more monsters out for the thing.

The Exchange

dungeonmaster heathy wrote:
I'm holding my opinion until there's more monsters out for the thing.

3PP is addressing that need rather nicely. There is alreadya Mythic Demon's book by a 3rd party out there.

Liberty's Edge

dungeonmaster heathy wrote:
I'm holding my opinion until there's more monsters out for the thing.
TheLoneCleric wrote:
3PP is addressing that need rather nicely. There is alreadya Mythic Demon's book by a 3rd party out there.

Bestiary 4 is supposed to fill that niche nicely as well.


On the other hand, three large? CR7 lightning elemental a all but wiped a 6th level tier2 party.

Party was a gunslinger, alchemist and Druid/barbarian, they started combat spread out in an open room with a known electricity trap running in a line.

I also think that not giving more than one tier at a time is good so players can ease in.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I chose to hold off on adding Mythic to my campaign because I wanted to put it in a better place than my original plans - I'd planned on using the mini-module to have the players Ascend but then strip away two of the Tiers afterward and then return them to Runelords.

Instead, I'm going to create my own mini-adventure involving (and any of my players, shoo! No spoilers for you!)

Spoiler:
Nualia using the dormant Runewell under Sandpoint to transform into a half-fiend that the group will have to fight... and then the pool will explode, filling the room with energy that will Ascend the Mythic PCs... and also have a young child emerge from the pool that represents the remaining purity and innocence of Nualia's that she was going to sacrifice to become a full demon. I'm not sure how I'm going to deal with the Cohorts, however; I'm thinking they may either die, and then be brought back to life with the Runewell surge... or I might convince the players to leave the Cohorts outside to guard the way out.

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