Brainstorm thread about mythic *GM only*


Tyrant's Grasp


So, it seems we are multiple GMs planning to/who have added mythic rules to our campaign. So here is a thread to expose different ideas and/or ask questions about mythic parties, in the scope of TG.

I'm still debating wether I will add mythic or not. I wonder how this will impact the campaign and its atmosphere. Won't it make it less "survival horror" if the characters are above everyone else ?

I will probably stop to rank 3. Rank 1 powers don't seem game-breaker. But even so, I will probably ban the less "campaign appropriate" feats and powers, like Divine Source for exemple. As of when to give them those ranks, I've seen people choosing to do so when the Radiant Fire is triggered (so end of book 1, during book 3 and end of book 4) or when strong moments happen in the scenario.

Adding mythic ranks to ennemies seem weird to me... But with some thoughts, maybe there are some ennemies who do deserve mythic ranks ? Like the Graveknight at the end of book 4 ? Do you have some in mind ?

Do you have other suggestions and/or questions to share ?

Liberty's Edge

I'm planning to make my PCs mythic precisely because it will lessen the "survivor horror" element, which is proving to me a bit much for the tastes of my players. Although we have not yet completed Book One (we're playing only one day a month, and I expect to get through Deathbower next session), my players are already having real issues feeling good about how the encounters have been manhandling them. Without something to give them some kind of edge, I suspect my game won't make it through the whole AP, and I want to experience this story with them. If I need to make them Big Damn Heroes to make that happen, then so be it.

I agree that Tier 3 is a good place to aim for as far as power levels go; that's my plan as well, and I think it allows for a real sense of what mythic has to offer without breaking things wide open. I have GMed for Tier 3 characters before, and while they were visibly more potent than I would have otherwise expected for their level, it wasn't difficult to challenge them even with non-mythic opponents.

As you saw already in the other thread, my idea is to have each use of the Radiant Fire act as a mythic trial for the PCs, powered by the obols. Each time the Whispering Tyrant uses the Radiant Fire, the PCs will have to make DC 30 Fortitude saves or be nauseated for one round. This will happen the first time when the PCs return to Roslar's Coffer (blah blah blah planar boundaries blah blah delayed activation blah arcanobabble), acting as their moment of ascension, and then afterward each time the Fire goes off. That means they will hit Tier 2 during "Last Watch," and then will be Tier 3 during "Borne by the Sun's Grace." If I were counting each firing as a trial and going strictly by the chart in Mythic Adventures, the PCs would hit Tier 3 right at the end of Book 4, but I am going to lean hard on dramatic timing to make it happen during Book 5 instead. (If I feel the need to explain myself, I'll just say that Vigil and Gallowspire happened too close to one another to count as separate instances. I doubt the players will even ask, though.) My plan is to have the Hammer Rock firing occur basically right after Miraina tells the PCs about how they can use the obols to stop the Tyrant - and the cost they will have to pay. They will simultaneously both hit Tier 3 and receive a very direct and painful reminder about what the Whispering Tyrant is doing right then back in Avistan. Unsubtle, yes, but I think it will work well.

Scarab Sages

Shisumo, you can easily write off Gallowspire, as there was probably not a significant loss of life. Imagine the player's oh crap reaction when they realize that their mythic elevations are happening as hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of lives are snuffed out in a moment. Think Obi-wan in A New Hope, staggered by the thousand voices crying out to suddenly be silenced. Gallowspire was like, say, the base on Scarif in Rogue One, yeah there are some lives lost, but nothing on the scale of a Core World getting pulverized like Alderaan.

The only problem there, though, is when TB uses the Fire to kill Aranzi and obliterate a good portion of the marshalled Knights of Ozem at the end of Book 4, its brings the blasts between Vigil and Hammer Rock to 4 total (Vigil, Gallowspire, Renchurch, and Hammer Rock).

Perhaps this will work:

Gallowspire is too little life to level up their Obol
Renchurch's mythic pop all gets sucked up by Aranzi's ritual
Hammer Rock gives the bump in book 5

That pulls its five uses down to three mythic tiers at
Roslar's Coffer
Vigil
Hammer Rock


Shisumo wrote:
I'm planning to make my PCs mythic precisely because it will lessen the "survivor horror" element, which is proving to me a bit much for the tastes of my players. Although we have not yet completed Book One (we're playing only one day a month, and I expect to get through Deathbower next session), my players are already having real issues feeling good about how the encounters have been manhandling them. Without something to give them some kind of edge, I suspect my game won't make it through the whole AP, and I want to experience this story with them. If I need to make them Big Damn Heroes to make that happen, then so be it.

Hmm, that's an interesting point of view. It's true that book one's difficulty seems through the roof, mainly because the players don't have time to prepare themselves (there are a bunch of surprise attacks).

After skimming through the different bossfights with your remark in mind, maybe it is not necessary to change most fights if you want to ease the "survival" aspect of the campaign without risking to unbalance the battles.

I will ask my players how they feel about the campaign's difficulty, but for now I think I will at least give one mythic rank to "boss-like" ennemies. I don't have anyone in mind for book 2 (nobody seems really important in the grand scheme of things in this one). The giant turtle will probably get a mythic rank since it has mutated thanks to the Radiant Fire, to mimic the PCs mythic ascension. Amareto Manslayer will definitely get at least one, and I'm pondering about giving one to each graveknight, but this may make this book too hard combat-wise if they can't dodge those battles and have to chain them.

As for when to give them mythic ranks, I was more thinking about giving them when they are directly exposed to the Radiant Fire. I do like the idea of "your powers come from the death of others" (I'm a sucker for grimdark), but this way I hope to make them understand that they are somewhat protected from the RF (and that's why they ended up in the Boneyard instead of dying, and why they tend to survive every blast of the RF not just because they weren't there when it happened), that the RF comes from a super-powerful source (since they gain mythic ranks when they are exposed to it), that their powers come with a price directly for them, and that the "thing lodged inside their hearts" the psychopomps won't stop talking about has something to do with it and is important (so that the plot twist "you had the key to destroy Tar-Baphon's plans all along" in book 5 comes in more naturally). Each time they are exposed to the Radiant Fire, they will experience excruciating pain in their heart for hours while the obols do their best to absorb the mythical energy, knocking them on the verge of unconsciousness.

The first time they will experience this will be when they get back to Roslar's Coffer (<insert Shisumo's arcanobabble here>), then during book 3 (in my version the blast will trigger just as they get out of the sewers to the surface), and during the fight Tar-Baphon vs Arazni (the edge of the blast will affect them and some of the weaker paladins from the army)


(I PMmmed this to Almarane before I saw this thread. So I'm going to expand the PM with some additional info).(I PMmmed this to Almarane before I saw this thread. So I'm going to expand the PM with some additional info).

So I did the mythic tiers for three reasons.
One - I wanted the final battle with the WT to be a little more impactful (my muse here was Avengers Infinity War and End Game).
Two - I wanted the PCs to be less squishy. It's problematic at best (and next to impossible with my mods) to get the PCs replacements in my game.
Three - I wanted this last 1e AP to really feel epic. For example, Vigil. You can't save it, no matter what you try. But with a couple of mythic tiers, the PCs can really have a moment where they slice through a horde of undead to bring a bunch of citizens to the docks. That they have to cut down some people they interacted with earlier in the module (shopkeepers, etc...) makes it all the more personal. And there's the horror aspect.

So yeah, it will be slightly less survival horror than otherwise. The PCs will be able to personally withstand a little more, but that just makes them feel more helpless because they can't save everyone. My feeling is that once you are mythic, you are like a superhero, and the weight of your decisions is what is important. Again, this goes back to the Avengers muse. Iron Man can easily save himself and his friends, but that's not who he is. So he has to make decisions, and the decisions he has to make will partly determine who lives and who dies.

There's also the point in Gardens of Gallowspire where mythic PCs with a couple of mythic levels might be tempted to take on the WT, but that would be a suicide mission. I've run through a few scenarios where a properly prepped WT easily beats Arazni and a L20 MT6 paladin. He's very very difficult to kill. Think "Empire Strikes Back" and the first fight between Luke and Vader. So, there is still a lot of "escape to fight another day" going on.

My PCs will have a total of 3-4 mythic tiers. Mythic tiers will be tied into feedback when they are present for a 'nuke'. Roslar's Coffer, Vigil and the first meeting with WT will be events where they gain mythic tiers. I might add a fourth somewhere in Arcadia. I probably will also deduct a mythic tier if they want to try and save their souls at the end of AP5. Note - while the PCs gain their first tier at the start of AP1, it doesn't take effect until they return to Golarion at the end of AP1. So mythic tier 1 gets granted at 4th level. (I may kick 5th level back a bit).

As for how to balance that, it will depend. In some encounters, I will simply add more monsters. In others, I will make the monsters higher level. The black dragon at the end of AP5 will be mythic.

The outline for my AP is as follows:

- Run a short module (I heavily modified the Night March of Kalkimedes (sp)) where the PCs find the Grace of the Last Azlanti artifact. That artifact protects the party by merging with them when they are killed in Roslar's Coffer. The GotLA is destroyed in the process, but it leaves behind the obols in the PCs. The PCs are supposed to take the GotLA from the temple to Vigil for safe keeping. They meet a few people who will show up in AP3 along the way. They also meet Arazni although they don't know it's her.

- PCs gain a level from the short module and start AP1 at L2. When they are 'killed', they arrive in the boneyard with none of their equipment. You'll have to add some mundane things. Also, when they make it to idealized Roslar's Coffer, they can restock. In my campaign, idealized Roslar's Coffer is subtly missing things - i.e it's drawn from the memories of the townsfolk, so the shops have only a smattering of goods because that's all that jumps to mind in those shops.. everything else has 'faded into the background' as it were. Regardless, it's enough for the PCs to equip themselves with decent equipment. (heh. our wizard was sans spell-book until then. He'd made a friend of the RC town mage, but the only spells in her spellbook were spells that she'd memorized the day of the explosion. All the other pages in between were blank!).
The rest of AP1 is fairly straightforward. Lots of fighting with things that cause disease but the disease doesn't take effect until you return to Golarion. So, go to town. My PCs are loving it and happily grilling me over the potential to cripple their PCs (obviously when they return, I'm wiping all that away).

- In AP2, I've reskinned a bunch of the encounters in the village to be people the PCs knew. These people didn't show up in the boneyard because their spirits were still trapped on Goalrion. There'll also be one survivor, because having one survivor makes it a tragedy. I've saved the PC's character sheets from when they died so that I can make them into undead for AP2 (and that's how they get their equipment back... six levels later).

- AP3 I've foreshadowed in the mini-module, so the PCs will have some prior experience with some of the NPCs. Again, this is a huge cinematic moment. The PCs need to quickly become invested in the city, so I plan on dragging on the conversations and make meticulous notes of who they meet. We have a high tiered former paladin PC (Y), now NPC who is at the top of the political chain in Lastwall in our campaign world. The PCs original goal was to give the GotLA to Y. Now, they can't reach him and get embroiled in the module instead. Vigil goes 'boom', the PCs suddenly jump a tier - possibly while in combat? Actually, that would be really cool because second tier means improved initiative, make the bad guys OP - and return to the hellscape that is the surface. Then comes some cool scenes where the PCs carve a swath through the city's undead and reach Y who has a bunch of other civilians before they all escape, Battlestar Galactica style, down the river.

- AP4 has the PCs making a hard moral choice. They will have two people to take advice from - Arazni and Y. Which do they follow? Arazni has a secret plan, the paladin Y has no plan, but is the 'good guy'. Arazni will also start to spill about the... less nice things that happened to her and about Aroden's religion. It's got some skeletons, tbh. Regardless, the PCs wind up at the big battle at the end, Y and Arazni team up, WT beats them both, but not before Arazni is able to detonate another shard and send the PCs to Arcadia.

- AP5 is basically a reprieve. And, omg the PCs very much need that. Things are generally happy in Arcadia. The PCs get another mythic tier. And then they learn the cost of defeating the WT.

- AP6... I plan on pulling out all the stops. Several mythic creatures, bumping up the number and HD of the bad guys. And still the WT will be too hard for the PCs (did I mention I'm redoing the WT's character sheet so he's not so wimpy? They have very under-powered him). Then the final boom and we'll see where it lands.

That's it. Roll credits.


(Sorry, I had the idea for this thread while waiting for your response and I'm the least patient person in the world when I'm hyped ;w; )

I'd very much like to see your version of WT when it's ready :)


Almarane wrote:

(Sorry, I had the idea for this thread while waiting for your response and I'm the least patient person in the world when I'm hyped ;w; )

I'd very much like to see your version of WT when it's ready :)

It's fine :)

A lot of what I did for the WT was simply to equip him as I would if he were my PC. Additionally is understanding that at his level there are spells with a longer-than-a-day duration that can buff / help him. He'd be able to cast them the night before and have their benefits the next day. There are also contingency spells, etc.

I can submit a version that I think is more appropriate to his status.

Scarab Sages

I mean, at the very least he should always be running with a Contingency: Teleport at a certain health thresh-hold similar to when he popped his nuke in book 4. Contingent teleport away, wish for harm, teleport back.


Having run a Mythic Reign of Winter campaign before, and Mythic Rise of the Runelords... you will want to do a couple things to control the worse elements of Mythic. For instance, using a Mythic point should NOT allow a Swift spell action. (Now, spending FIVE Mythic Points? That I might allow. Because that's a huge investment of mythic power.)

Otherwise there isn't a huge difference between Mythic Tier 3 and 4, outside of +2 to another stat. If you have your players start out with a 15-point build, then it won't be too overpowered, and I honestly think a lot of the problems with the overpowered aspect of Mythic is that people were starting with 25-point builds or the like - adding +2 to a stat for every two tiers is going to make things overbalanced rather quickly.

One other thing you can do to increase the threat of foes is just toss in a couple extra foes in a fight. Mythic becomes overpowered because it allows an early use of Swift actions and increases the Action Economy of a group. But adding extra foes negates or at the very least lessens that benefit.


Lol. We started with a 25pt build (but with a max 18 in any stat after adjustments). I'm not expecting too much trouble if I keep it to MT4 or less. The biggest thing will probably be PC access to mythic spells. (and I will likely be a benevolent GM and let them retrain spells when they advance a MT).

Generally the idea here is to have fun because this AP can be very depressing. So if I give the Pcs a bunch of extra options & kick up the CRs that fine for me. YMMV. Also I plan to make heavy use of the hero's dilemma- the bad guys are attacking X places and you can only save X-Y. I have a good group and a tremendous amount of faith that they will come up with impressively creative solutions

Acquisitives

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

so for the people who started down this mythic Grasp path, how did it go?

I am hoping for my life to calm down a bit and see if I can make a go at GM'ing this, and I really like the idea of throwing in a few levels of Mythic to make the PCs a bit more likely to survive, and to keep in theme with some of the amazing stuff that happens to them in the AP...


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We are about done with book 3.. The party is set to tackle Yosiduin in the next session and Vigil is going to blow up at the same time. This will bequeath the party with their second mythic tier.

Yosiduin will have two mythic tiers and be 15th level. I figure that ought to put him about par with 6 L9 Tier 1 mythic characters.

I've found that I have to up the CR between 3-4 for the party at this point. I'm pretty much rewriting every meaningful encounter now. It's not terrible, hero lab makes it easier. It'll probably jump to a 4-5 CR change after the party reaches Tier 2.

I should also add that my goal is for the party to start Book 6 at Level 20, so I'm deliberately compressing books 1-5 as well as adding additional content.

I will also add that with the party of 6 as L8 Tier 1 mythic characters, I altered the Erstwhile Kilibrant ambush encounter, turning EK into a mesmerist and the two slayers into stalkers. Properly prepared and outfitted with potions, etc.. the three nearly TPKed the party. The paladin and cleric went down in the first round before they could attack.
(The point was to put a little bit of the fear of god into the party again).

Sovereign Court

A little late to the party, but my group is admit to finish book 2 and I will use the destruction of the Fetoring Maw as their apotheosis. The Obol's were implanted in their hearts by the initial Radiant Fire and spent the energy rebuilding their bodies. Destroying a minor artifact crafted by the WT himself is enough to connect them to his magic as well, not to the same extent as Arazni, but enough for it to allow her to notice them.

2nd tier will be after Vigil is destroyed.

Need to read ahead again to see if I want them to gain one at Gallowspire or if I'll wait till they discover what they are in Arcadia for tier 3.

--Vrocky Launcher Tag

Sovereign Court

A little late to the party, but my group is admit to finish book 2 and I will use the destruction of the Fetoring Maw as their apotheosis. The Obol's were implanted in their hearts by the initial Radiant Fire and spent the energy rebuilding their bodies. Destroying a minor artifact crafted by the WT himself is enough to connect them to his magic as well, not to the same extent as Arazni, but enough for it to allow her to notice them.

2nd tier will be after Vigil is destroyed.

Need to read ahead again to see if I want them to gain one at Gallowspire or if I'll wait till they discover what they are in Arcadia for tier 3.

--Vrocket Launcher Tag

Sovereign Court

As for mythic enemies, in book 2 I'm giving Yosiduin the invincible mythic template considering his single minded devotion to the cause of the Seal Breakers all these years. I'll have him speak to the PCs of his dreams about them sent by Groetus who of course watched them traverse the Dead Roads. This gives me an excuse to use metagame knowledge off how they fight and have him counter them.

Acquisitives

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

i decided not to go mythic, but i did make the obols 'charged' so that they can be tapped into to give +1d6 on d20 rolls.

Sovereign Court

In Book 4 Amaretos has the Agile simple mythic template to make for a good mythic trial before surviving the encounter between Arazni and WT for the PCs 3rd tier.

Sovereign Court

Adding the Savage mythic template to the Ypotryll in Jolizpan for the first mythic trial they'll face. The sakhil and Istravek will also end up as some manner of mythic creatures.

Sovereign Court

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archmagi1 wrote:

Perhaps this will work:

Gallowspire is too little life to level up their Obol
Renchurch's mythic pop all gets sucked up by Aranzi's ritual
Hammer Rock gives the bump in book 5

That pulls its five uses down to three mythic tiers at
Roslar's Coffer
Vigil
Hammer Rock

In my campaign, we will be going to Mythic tier 4. The break down of when is as follows. Receiving the obols in the initial blast in Roslar's Coffer awakens the PCs mythic potential. After returning to Roslar's Coffer they need to be exposed to a significant amount of energy tied to the Whispering Tyrant and the destruction of the Fetoring Maw provides that for Tier 1.

Tier 2 comes when the PCs defeat Yosiduin as their Mythic Trial and the Radiant Fire goes off in the city above. I gave the elf the Incinvible mythic template.

Tier 3 comes at the end of Book 4 when the Tyrant and Arazni fight and he uses the Radiant Fire on her. The PCs have at this point defeated 2 mythic trials, Ameratos Manslayer with the Agile simple template and a much more difficult encounter with Ulthun and the Knights of Ozem using the Ultimate Intrigue rules for a Social Event with the DC around 40 before Aid another, influence and discovery checks on the Watcher Lords aides, and the boons granted in the adventure.

Tier 4 comes from the simultaneous events of Hammer Rock being destroyed at the same time Miraina reverses the Obols and the Kumaru seedlings taking root. The PCs will have defeated 3 mythic trials, a Savage template Ypotryll, an MR 5 Istravek, and an MR 8 nightwalker (using the stats from Khorramzedeh reborn from WotR).

Finally if the PCs sacrifice themselves against the WT at the end and forgo their mythic tiers they can save their souls in the Kumaru tree for later reincarnation instead of being wiped from existence.

--Vrocky Horror


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I finished up TG with mythic PCs a couple of months ago. I should probably get around to writing a "lessons learned" thread for the benefit of anyone else who wants to try it (and run TG in general).

In short, I found the premise of the AP to be very exciting, but the execution thereof to be very flawed. These problems were only compounded by the addition of mythic tiers.

For the record, the party of 6 wound up with 5 players at MT 4 at the end and one at MT 9 (for plot reasons). I homebrewed the WT to my own specifications, making him *very* difficult to kill. In the end, there was a Thanos-like moment where the MT9 PC had to slice off the hand of the WT which held the remaining shard. Then he could activate the shard himself and double-detonate it. He learned how to do this because, as a side quest, the PCs learned how to consolidate their individual obols into one PC (the MT 9 PC). Reasonable calculations beforehand suggested to me, as GM, that that was the PCs best chance to survive and win.

Behind the scenes, Absalom and the Starstone were destroyed, the WT's ultimate fate was decided by the Starstone (which encompassed the remnant spirit of Amaznen - Azlanti god of magic). I also used the event to say goodbye to PF1 as a ruleset for our group - we have since switched over to savage worlds. PF was great, but 1.5 hours to go through a round of combat was boring.

Leading up to the final battle, there was very little that the PCs could not handle with 3-4 mythic tiers each, even though they played the whole AP at 2-3 levels below what was recommended. (the PCs were 16th level during the final battle). And yes, most encounters were bumped up 1-2 CR. There were simply too many options available. (Although I flatter myself that I have a particularly good and inventive bunch of players).

In the end, the biggest complaints was not the quality of combat or magic items, but the overall tone of the AP and the nature of the WT's plan. The tone was problematic in that, after about book 3 the horror motif became numbing and tedious (the group almost gave up after book 3). Book 4, in particular, I tossed and replaced with custom content because it was obvious that the PCs would have bypassed most of the book, anyways (really? walk to gallowspire?). I took that opportunity to allow the PCs to learn more about the WT's plan and collect more allies. Which brings me to the second point - the isolation of the PCs. Most of the AP makes it seem like the PCs are working alone against the WT, which is completely nonsensical if the WT is actually as threatening as the AP makes him out to be. Moreover, there was considerable question by both myself and the table as to why the WT would want to take on the entire world at once. In any event, I'll detail my improvement to his plan in another post. Suffice to say that the rudimentary nature of his original plan was *the* major disappointment for the party, and one that needed correction on the fly. Like many movie trilogies, the scattered clues and hints that Paizo put forward in numerous publications beforehand made the railroaded nature of TGs disappointing in the end. Of course, the alternative would have been a much more nuanced campaign that involved considerably more geopolitics and world-spanning. I don't know whether something like that was ever on the table and got pulled due to 2e being developed simultaneously, but it's unfortunate we got what we got.

In the end, you can make it mythic if you want. Your end result will be longer combats, with more OP bad guys and meaningless dungeons. The final battle will be the same regardless whether you keep it canonically in the wasteland or bring it to the starstone cathedral like I did. And, likely, at the end, you and your party will be burned out on the ruleset like we were.

Sovereign Court

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This is my group's 3rd mythic campaign and I definitely learned the lessons of book 6 of APs from Wrath. Lots of encounters for XP sake. Since I use a step system of advancing (like unchained staggered advancement) I can forgo the CR budget of encounters. Early on the Advanced simple template is great for boosting monsters and in the last few books the Mighty template is even better!

Still deciding if I want to drag my players through Hammer Rock or take them at Level 16/tier 4 straight to the Cairnlands as the 2 level deficit balances out the 4 mythic tiers for the final ending. Even so, I need to bolster the Tyrant as well. The warpriest /guardian dropped a 700+ point critical mythic vital strike w/power attack and the paladin's shared smite on Istravek basically one shotting my CR 20/MR 5 Ravener.

I'd have to repurpose Ceto Malderra and Gildais to be relevant commanders of the WT forces outside Absalom.

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